La Excellence IAS Academy

Maharashtra Cabinet Gives Nod To OPS Benefit For 26,000 Employees Who Joined Service After Nov 2005

Syllabus: GS-II

Subject: Governance

Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections.

Issue: Pension Scheme.

Context: Maharashtra cabinet approves one-time option for state govt employees joining after Nov 2005 to opt for Old Pension Scheme (OPS).


  • Move addresses a long-standing demand but has a limited scope, benefiting a specific group of employees.
  • Decision follows protests by employees demanding restoration of OPS.
  • Benefits 26,000 employees selected before Nov 2005 but receiving joining letters later.
  • OPS discontinued in 2005, offers monthly pension without employee contributions.
  • Employees have six months to choose OPS or stick with New Pension Scheme, with a two-month document submission deadline.


Old Pension Scheme (OPS):

  • OPS assured government employees a pension of 50% of their last drawn salary.
  • Described as a ‘Defined Benefit Scheme,’ it provided a defined and secure retirement benefit.
  • Discontinued by the Central government in 2003.

Concerns with OPS:

  • Unfunded pension liability led to no specific corpus for continuous payouts.
  • ‘Pay-as-you-go’ scheme caused inter-generational equity issues, burdening the present generation with the rising pensioner costs.
  • Lack of a clear plan for future funding prompted the discontinuation of OPS in 2003.

What is New Pension Scheme (NPS)?

  • NPS, introduced in April 2004, replaced OPS by the Central government.
  • Open to employees in public, private, and unorganized sectors, excluding the armed forces.
  • Administered by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).
  • Eligibility: Indian citizens aged 18-60, including NRIs.
  • Minimum annual contribution: Rs. 6,000; failure to contribute results in account freezing.

Conclusion: OPS, with its defined benefit of 50% last drawn salary, provided assurance to government employees but faced challenges like unfunded pension liability and inter-generational equity issues, leading to its discontinuation in 2003.

Source: The Hindu

India, Nepal sign power pact, MoU in renewable energy

Syllabus: GS-II

Subject: International Relations

Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations.

Issue: India-Nepal Joint Commission meeting.

Context: External Affairs Minister co-chaired the seventh India-Nepal joint commission meeting in Kathmandu.


Key Agreements:

  • India will import 10,000 MW of electricity from Nepal over the next decade.
  • Agreements on cooperation in renewable energy development.
  • Virtually inaugurated three cross-border transmission lines (132 kV Raxaul-Parwanipur, 132 kV Kushaha-Kataiya, and New Nautanwa-Mainahiya) to enhance energy connectivity.
  • Pacts for implementing high-impact community development projects.
  • Launch service agreement signed for the Munal Satellite developed by Nepal Academy of Science and Technology.
  • Discussions on cooperation in defence and security to strengthen bilateral ties.
  • India announced a $75 million grant assistance to Nepal for the reconstruction of earthquake-affected areas.


India and Nepal Relations:

  • Share a historically close relationship with an open border, cultural ties, and significant economic cooperation (Beti-Roti).
  • The 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship forms the foundation of their special ties.
  • Nepal shares a border of over 1850 km with five Indian states – Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
  • The ‘Indo-Nepal Battalion-level Joint Military Exercise Surya Kiran’ is conducted alternately in India and in Nepal.
  • Currently, about 32,000 Gorkha Soldiers from Nepal are serving in the Indian Army.
  • India is the largest trading partner of Nepal. Nepal is also India’s 11th largest export destination.

Major issues in Ties:

  • A boundary dispute over Kalapani-Limpiyadhura-Lipulekh and Susta, escalating in 2020 due to India’s road inauguration.
  • Nepal issued a new map, leading to tensions with India rejecting the claims.

China’s increasing presence in Nepal, impacting India’s strategic interests. China’s engagement through the Belt and Road Initiative, including infrastructure projects, raises apprehensions about Nepal’s role as a buffer state between India and China.

Conclusion: The visit occurs amid rising Chinese influence in Nepal, emphasizing the unique and strengthening India-Nepal friendship

Source: Indian Express

Aditya L1, ISRO’s mission to study the Sun, is set to be placed in final orbit Tomorrow

Syllabus: GS-III

Subject: Science & Technology

Topic: Achievements of Indians in science & technology

Issue: Aditya L1 Mission.

Context: The Aditya-l1 space probe executing its final manoeuvre on January 6 to enter a halo orbit around Sun-Earth Lagrange Point 1 (L1) 1.5 million km away, which was Launched on September2.
Top of FormSynopsis:

  • Aditya-L1 is ISRO’s first space-based observatory to examine the Sun.
  • Aims for a five-year mission to study the Sun and solar storms from L1’s unobstructed view.
  • Equipped with seven instruments, it will provide crucial data on solar dynamics.
  • L1 is an ‘unstable’ Lagrange point, requiring periodic makeovers to counter trajectory errors and maintain the intended orbit.
  • Aditya-L1 joins four active probes at L1, including NASA’s WIND, ACE, DSCOVR, and ESA’s SOHO, enhancing solar observation capabilities.
  • ISRO relies on precise “orbit determination” procedures using mathematical algorithms and specialized software for accurate positioning.


  1. Studying solar upper atmospheric dynamics,
  2. Coronal heating,
  3. Plasma physics, and
  4. Space weather drivers.


  • Maintaining stability at Lagrange Point 1, requiring precise maneuvers.
  • Continuous Adjustments are essential to counteract gravitational influences and ensure the correct orbit.Accurate “orbit determination” using algorithms and specialized software is vital for mission success.
  • External gravitational forces from celestial bodies add complexity to maintaining the spacecraft’s designated orbit.


Conclusion: The success of this mission underscores ISRO’s capabilities in tackling complex space missions and advancing our understanding of the Sun.

Source: Indian Express