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UPSC Prelims News 16 December 2022

UPSC Prelims News of 16 December 2022

Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP)

Context: The ruling party in Rajasthan has committed to fulfill its promise of implementing Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project.

About ECRP:

  • ECRP is a planned project to harvest surplus yield available in the Southern Rajasthan rivers and transfer it to deficit basins in South-Eastern Rajasthan.
  • This project aims to meet the drinking / irrigation and industrial water needs of the thirteen districts of Southern & South Eastern Rajasthan.
  • Catchment area: The project will harvest water from catchment area of Kunnu, Kul, Parbati, Kalisindh, Mez, Chakan and Banas river in the state.
Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project
Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project
  • Proposed benefits of the project:
    • The project will provide water for drinking purpose in thirteen districts of the state.
    • The canal project will control flood/ drought situation in the area.
    • It will help in expanding cropping area in the state.
    • Groundwater table can be elevated by reducing underground water extraction
  • Challenges associated:
    • Large area will be inundated as a result of construction of dams
    • High cost of construction

UPSC Prelims News 15 December 2022


Exercise Surya Kiran

Context: India and Nepal will participate in the 16th edition of the joint military training exercise ‘Surya Kiran’.

About the Surya Kiran 2022:

  • Location: The exercise will be conducted at Nepal Army Battle School, Saljhandi (Nepal).
  • Objective: The annual exercise is held with the goal of improving interoperability in jungle warfare and counter-terrorism operations in mountainous terrain, as well as Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR under the UN mandate.

Focus areas: The exercise will focus on counter-terrorism, martial arts, humanitarian aid, natural disasters, environmental protection

  • Participants: Nepal Army soldiers of the Shree Bhawani Baksh Battalion and Indian Army soldiers from the 5 GR will take part in the exercise.
  • Significance: Participants will train together to develop experience on variety of operations.
    • It will also enhance the level of defence cooperation which will further strengthen the bilateral relations between the two nations.


Alternative Investment Funds AIFs

Context: Indian alternative investment funds (AIFs) have got an estimated 10-15% from investors in Cayman Islands and UAE.

About Alternative Investment Fund:

  • It is a special investment category that differs from conventional investment instruments. It is a privately pooled fund.
  • Generally, institutions and HNIs invest in AIFs as substantial investments are required.
  • These investment vehicles adhere to the SEBI (Alternative Investment Funds) Regulations, 2012.

Types of AIFs in India:

Category 1: These funds invest in SMEs, start-ups, and new economically viable businesses with high growth potential.

  • Venture Capital Funds (VCF): New-age entrepreneurial firms that require large financing during their initial days can approach VCF.
  • Angel Funds: These invest in budding start-ups and are called angel investors.
  • Infrastructure Funds: This fund invests in infrastructure companies, i.e., those involved in railway construction, port construction, etc.
  • Social Venture Fund: Funds investing in a socially responsible business are social venture funds.

Category 2:

  • Private equity fund: It invests in unlisted private companies.
  • Debt Funds: This fund primarily invests in debt securities of unlisted companies.
  • Funds of Fund: Such funds invest in other Alternative Investment Funds. They do not have their investment portfolio but focus on investing in different AIFs.

Category 3:

  • Private Investment in Public Equity Fund (PIPE): A PIPE invests in shares of publicly traded companies.
  • Hedge funds: Hedge funds pool money from accredited investors and institutions. These funds invest in both domestic and international debt and equity markets.

Advantage of Investing in AIFs

  • AIFs generally have a higher return potential than other investment options. The massive pooled amount gives the fund managers enough room to prepare flexible strategies for maximizing returns.
  • AIFs are not directly related to stock markets. Volatility in these funds is less, compared with traditional equity investments.
  • These funds allow much-needed diversification in an investment portfolio


New GI Tags

Context: The Union government has granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag to 9 products, raising the total to 432 in the country.

Gamosa of Assam

  • This is a traditional textile having great significance for the people of Assam.
  • In all rituals related to puja and ‘namprasang’, Gamosa is wrapped around the neck by both men and women.
Gamosa of Assam
Gamosa of Assam

Alibag White Onion

  • This is a traditional variety of white onion in Alibag tehsil of Raigad district in Maharashtra.
  • This particular onion does not have a strong odour like the standard onion commonly available in the market. It has a sweet taste, different from other onions.
Alibag White Onion
Alibag White Onion

Tandur Redgram

  • This is a traditional crop in the rain-fed tract of the Telangana region.
  • It contains about 22-24% protein, which is almost three times that of cereals.
Tandur Redgram
Tandur Redgram

Raktsey Karpo Apricot

  • Native to Ladakh and is known for its pure organic sweetness.
  • Ladakh Raktsey Karpo Apricot has a unique seed. The Raktsey Karpo fruit have white seed stones.
Raktsey Karpo Apricot
Raktsey Karpo Apricot

The Attappady Thuvara (Red gram)

  • It is an important traditional crop of the Attappady tribal area in Palakkad district, Kerala.
  • It is a woody shrub, generally grown as an annual crop.
Attappady Thuvara
Attappady Thuvara

Kanthalloor Vattavada Veluthulli (garlic)

  • It is a traditional garlic grown in prominent cultivation areas such as Kanthalloor and Vattavada panchayats in Kerala.
  • It is known for its unique flavour, pungency, taste, medicinal properties and longer shelf life.

Kodungallur Pottuvellari (Kodungallur snap melon)

  • It is cultivated in several districts of Kerala.
  • It is used as a vegetable and also for making juice
Kodungallur Pottuvellari
Kodungallur Pottuvellari

Attappady Aattukombu Avara

  • It is cultivated in the Attappady tribal area in Palakkad district, Kerala.


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