What are van der Waals (VdW) materials?

Until six years ago, such materials did not exist but today, researchers believe that they hold the key to a ‘post-silicon’ electronics. VdW materials are made of piles of ultra-thin layers that are held together by weak van der Waals bonds, which arise when atoms are in close proximity. The Read More …

What is information cascade in Sociology?

This refers to a social phenomenon where people make decisions purely based on the choices made by others, thus in effect ignoring any personal information that they may possess about a certain situation. It is prevalent, for instance, in the world of business where firms may simply copy the actions Read More …

What is ‘premature deindustrialisation’ in economics?

This refers to a phenomenon wherein the growth of an economy’s manufacturing sector begins to slow down prematurely in its path towards development. Economists generally picture economic development as a process by which labour and other resources gradually move from agriculture to the manufacturing sector before these resources move to Read More …

Why cyclones hit the east coast in October?

Context: Last week, Cyclone Titli became the third major cyclone to hit the Odisha-Andhra coastal zone in the last five years, all in October. What explains the similar timing, and how effective are the mechanisms for prediction and disaster mitigation? Season & frequency Cyclones have always been frequent in the Read More …

What are turbidity currents?

They are fast-moving currents that sweep down submarine canyons, carrying sand and mud into the deep sea. However, there is more to them than just sediment-laden seawater flowing over the sea floor, and they also involve large-scale movements of the sea floor itself. This discovery could help ocean engineers avoid Read More …

Did you know?

Cash crop is a crop that’s grown to be sold in the market and to make profit. It is not grown for the consumption of the farmers or for any of their personal uses such as food for their cattle etc. Cash crops generate income for the country it is Read More …

Decoding total expense ratio

Context: Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) announced changes to total expense ratio (TER) of mutual funds. Srikanth Meenakshi, founder and chief operating officer, FundsIndia.com explains about the metric. Edited excerpts: What is total expense ratio and why is it important for investing in mutual funds? Mutual funds are investments Read More …

What is ecological succession in ecology?

This refers to the progressive changes that happen to the biological structure of an ecological community. Over time, there are changes that take place in the composition of species that constitute an ecological community. In the case of primary succession, a region that is uninhabited by any species gets occupied Read More …

What are zombie cells?

Much like the ‘undead’ in apocalyptic movies, zombie cells are the ones that cannot die but are equally unable to perform the functions of a normal cell. Formally known as senescent cells, they have been implicated in a number of age-related diseases. In a mouse model of brain disease, scientists Read More …

What is Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana?

The Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana was launched by Prime Minister  of India on January 22, 2015, in order to encourage parents of a girl-child to stock a fund for their education and marriage. The saving scheme was launched by the Government of India as a part of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Read More …