Trivia Thursday: Iconic Wins By The Indian Cricket Team

Trivia Thursday: Iconic Wins By The Indian Cricket Team

After a historical win at Gabba, Brisbane by the Indian Cricket team, in this week’s Trivia Thursday let’s have a look at some of the most iconic wins by Team India in the past.

Crux of the Matter

In this week’s Trivia Thursday, let us have a look at the iconic wins of the Indian cricket team.

The Great Underdogs

  • The 1983 Cricket World Cup hosted by England was the 3rd edition of the World Cup, with the previous two being conquered by West Indies.
  • India defended a low total of 183 by sending all the batsmen to their dressing room within 52 overs (the ODI format consisted of 60 overs per innings then) at 140 runs.
  • It still remains the lowest ever total successfully defended in a World Cup final.
  • The match is considered one of the most stunning upsets in cricket history, which broke West Indies’ streak.
  • Amarnath was the most economical bowler, conceding just 12 runs from his 7 overs while taking 3 wickets. He was also awarded the Man of the Match award for his all-round performance.

The Great Wall Of India

  • Marked as one of the greatest victories against the Australian team, it was the 2nd test match from India’s 2003–04 tour of Australia.
  • Dravid went on to score 233 and 72 not out in the first and second innings respectively to help India clinch a historic win over Australia.
  • It not only marked Australia’s first home test match loss in 5 years but was also India’s first win on Australian soil in 23 years.
  • Steve Waugh (then Australian Captain), in a brave act of sportsmanship, gave Dravid the ball – which Dravid had just hit for the winning four – saying “Well Played.”

The Perfect Revenge

  • It was the final match of England’s tour of India in 2001, in which India lost the last match and the series was tied.
  • The lost match was not an issue but the celebration of Flintoff at Wankhede, home of Indian Cricket, was not liked by Dada, Sourav Ganguly.
  • A year later, Natwest Series between England, India and Sri Lanka began. The final was played between India and England at Lord’s. After losing 5 early wickets, it seemed impossible to chase a total of 325, but the partnership of Yuvraj and Kaif brought India back into the game.
  • After clinching the victory in the last over, Ganguly took the perfect revenge by his iconic celebration at the Home of the Cricket, Lord’s.

Beginning Of The Dhoni Era

  • Without many senior players in the team, a brand new Captain (Dhoni), and a new format in the sport, no one was expecting much out of India in the 2007 T20 World Cup.
  • But the tournament turned out to be one of the most celebrated tournaments in the history of Indian cricket. India won the finals played against its favourite rivals, Pakistan. India also found its “Captain Cool”.

Dhoni Finishes Off In Style!

  • Hosted at the home of Indian Cricket, Wankhede, the 2011 World Cup final was played between India and Sri Lanka.
  • After losing initial wickets to a strong bowling attack from Sri Lanka, the target of 275 seemed beyond India’s reach.
  • But Gambhir and Dhoni took the match onto their shoulders and their knock of 97 and 91 not out respectively brought the ODI world cup back to India after 28 long years.
  • And we sure can’t forget the epic commentary by Ravi Shastri and his words describing the win “Dhoni finishes off in style. A magnificent strike into the crowd. India lifts the world cup after 28 years and the party begins in the dressing room”.

Take a look at our last week’s Trivia Thursday here: Indian Festivals On Makar Sankranti

Korean War And The Role Of America

Korean War And The Role Of America

In the backdrop of North Korea exhibiting a new missile amidst Joe Biden’s inauguration as the US President, let us take a look at the peak of the conflict between the countries, which occurred in the Korean War starting in 1950.

Crux of the Matter

Korea was under Japanese rule since the early 20th century. It was divided after World War II along the 38th parallel, which is the popular name of latitude 38° N.

  • Area to the North of the line – Russians occupied and appointed ‘communist dictator’ Kim Il Sung.
  • Area to the South of the line – US occupied and appointed ‘anti-communist dictator’ Syngman Rhee.

Conflict started immediately after the division – 10,000 North and South Korean soldiers killed in skirmishes even before the war.

War Begins

  • 25 June 1950: Korean war began – 75,000 soldiers from North Korea stormed across the ‘38th parallel’.
  • The war over border conflict, the spread of communism state, and the ‘cold war’ between Soviet and US.
  • The US considered intervention vital to curb the spread of communism and Soviet influence – the latter didn’t fight but aided its communist allies with supplies.
  • South Korean forces were ill-equipped – North Korea captured former’s capital Seoul in 3 days.

US Arrives

  • 5 July 1950: US and United Nations forces land to aid South Korea but suffered heavy casualties initially. US Gen. Douglas MacArthur also commanded the UN forces.
  • September: Seoul under UN control as the US launched ‘Inch’on Landing’ (mass amphibious attack).
  • October: UN forces now captured North Korean capital Pyongyang and advanced towards the Yalu river which separates it from China.

China Joins

  • November 1950: China invaded North Korea after UN forces refused to stop while also fearing for its own border.
  • July 1951: Truce talks began. However, fight still continued as talks repeatedly failed.
  • October 1952: Notably, US bombed North Korea capital Pyongyang continuously for 2 months.
  • 27 July 1953: UN, US, China and North Korea signed an armistice (rejected by South Korea). SK didn’t sign the armistice over the division of Korea – truce is held informally.

Technically the war is not over as no formal peace treaty was signed after the temporary armistice. 5-6 million casualties were reported in the war with around 50% to 70% of them being civilians.

The US has since shared a cordial relationship with South Korea. It is in stark contrast to the strained relation with North Korea. The question remains over which method Biden would use to deal with North Korea and its authoritarian rule.

  • North Korea’s human rights record is often considered to be the worst in the world and has been globally condemned, with the United Nations, the European Union, and groups such as Human Rights Watch all critical of the country’s record.
  • The Korean Demilitarized Zone is a strip of land running across the Korean Peninsula. It is established by the provisions of the Korean Armistice Agreement to serve as a buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea.
  • In South Korea, the war is usually referred to as “625” or the “6–2–5 Upheaval“, reflecting the date of its commencement on 25 June

New Findings Of Chandra X-Ray Observatory

New Findings Of Chandra X-Ray Observatory

In 2020, astronomers added a new member to a family of exotic objects, i.e the discovery of a magnetar. NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has made new observations, stating that the magnetar also acts as a pulsar. But what’s a pulsar? A magnetar? Well, let’s demystify this space jargon!

Crux of the Matter

What Is The Chandra X-ray Observatory?
Called one of the great observatories like Hubble telescope, it is a space telescope launched aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1999, during STS-93 by NASA. It is sensitive to X-ray sources 100x fainter than any previous X-ray telescope, enabled by the high angular resolution of its mirrors. 

Known as the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility (AXAF) previously, it was later renamed after the Nobel Prize-winning Indian-American astrophysicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar.

What Is A Magnetar?
It is a star which is made up of tightly packed neutrons, formed from the collapsed core of a massive star during a supernova.

How Is It Different From Other Stars?
Also called a magnetic star, it has the most powerful magnetic field in the universe. For context, Earth’s magnetic field is 1 Gauss, a refrigerator magnet is 100 Gauss while a magnetar measures a million billion Gauss! This intensity heats the surface to 18 million° F.

How Was The Latest One Detected?
Using NASA’s Neil Gehrels Swift Telescope in 2020. Dubbed as J1818.0-1607, it is the youngest (500 years old) and 31st known magnetar, out of the 3,000 known neutron stars.

How Is This Age Estimation Done?
Based on how quickly the rotation rate is slowing and the assumption that it was born spinning much faster. This one spins faster than any previously known magnetar, rotating once every 1.4 seconds.

What Did Chandra Find Out Then?
It gave astronomers the first high-resolution view of the magnetar, revealing a point source where it was located, 21,000 light-years from Earth and how it gives off radio waves.

Only 5 magnetars have been recorded like this, making them 0.2% of the known neutron star population. Moreover, J1818.0-1607 is also converting energy more efficiently from its decreasing rate of a spin into X-rays, and this efficiency matches the range of pulsars.

What Does This Mean?
The magnetar has properties similar to a “rotation-powered pulsar,” a neutron star which gives off beams of radiation, detected as repeating pulses of emission as it rotates and slows down.

  • NASA’s series of Great Observatories satellites are four large, powerful space-based astronomical telescopes launched between 1990 and 2003. They were built with different technology to examine specific wavelength/energy regions of the electromagnetic spectrum: gamma rays, X-rays, visible and ultraviolet light, and infrared light.
  • Edwin Powell Hubble was an American astronomer. He played a crucial role in establishing the fields of extragalactic astronomy and observational cosmology. The Hubble telescope is named after him.
  • Riccardo Giacconi was an Italian-American Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist who laid down the foundations of X-ray astronomy. In 1976 the Chandra X-ray Observatory was proposed to NASA by Riccardo Giacconi.

What Is Expected From The Budget Of 2021?

What Is Expected From The Budget Of 2021?

Union Budget, also known as Annual Financial Statement would be presented on 1st February 2021 at 11 AM. With the big day nearing, industry representatives have started voicing their concerns and expectations from this year’s budget. Will these expectations be heeded? Well, only time will tell that. Until then, let’s look at what industries are expecting from Budget 2021.

Crux of the Matter

Present Day Need
Let’s start by taking a look at the present-day needs.

Expectations Of Individuals

  • Raising the basic tax exemption limit.
  • Reduction in the non-corporate income tax rate.
  • Increase in ‘Standard Deduction‘ amount (at present stays at ₹50,000).
  • Introduce separate limit for deduction of principal repayment of housing loan.
  • To focus on employment for reviving the economy.

Real Estate

  • To increase the affordability of housing by expanding the Income Tax reduction benefits to first-time buyers.
  • Removing or easing taxes on notional rental income.
  • Streamlining the insolvency process for Real Estates for quick adoption of resolution plans.
  • To increase last-mile funding for the completion of mid-income housing projects, to spur its demand.


  • Reducing GST rates on Insurance Premium (most products lie in 18% tax rate).
  • Tax Exemption on Home Insurance.
  • To increase the penetration of Insurance amongst Tier I and Tier II cities with higher tax fee slabs in Section 80C. (Currently exemption up to a limit of ₹1,50,000).

Read more about GST here.

Tourism & Hospitality

  • The Federation of Association in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) has proposed the creation of National Tourism Council of Chief Ministers headed by the Prime Minister along with Tourism Minister.
  • To make export earnings tax free
  • Income Tax exemption on travelling within India or Income Tax credits for up to ₹1.5 lakh in order to boost domestic tourism.


  • Luxury carmakers expect a reduction in GST rate (at present stands at 28% GST and additional Cess up to 22%).
  • Measures to promote investment in Electric Vehicles and its ancillaries.
  • The reintroduction of the 15% additional deduction for capital expenditure on plant and machinery under Income Tax Laws.


  • Bring aviation turbine fuel under the GST regime.
  • Restricting GST on the travel industry to 5%.
  • Lowering Income Tax rates for travel companies.
  • To increase the baggage allowance from ₹50,000 to ₹1 lakh, subjected to duty-free shops.

Print Media

  • To remove custom duty on newsprint imports, which at present stays at 5%.
  • To increase the advertisement rates paid by the government by 50%.

Food Service

  • To reduce GST on home delivery food from 18% at present to 5%.
  • This recommendation comes with an intention to bring parity on rates between dining in (which is at 5%) and food delivery (18%).

Read about the budget of 2020 here.

  • The first Union budget of independent India was presented by R. K. Shanmukham Chetty on 26 November 1947. Morarji Desai has presented 10 budgets which is the highest count followed by P Chidambaram’s 9 and Pranab Mukherjee’s 8.
  • Until the year 1999, the Union Budget was announced at 5:00 pm on the last working day of the month of February. All that budgets seemed to do was to raise taxes, a presentation in the evening gave producers and the tax collecting agencies the night to work out the change in prices. It was Mr Yashwant Sinha, the then Finance Minister of India who changed the ritual by announcing the 1999 Union Budget at 11 am.
  • In 2016, departing from the colonial-era tradition of presenting the Union Budget on the last working day of February, Minister of Finance (India) Arun Jaitley announced that it will now be presented on 1 February. Additionally Rail Budget, presented separately for 92 years, merged with the union budget.

North Korea Exhibits New Missile As Message To Biden And US

North Korea Exhibits New Missile As Message To Biden And US

North Korea has unveiled another missile (nothing new in that). Interesting is the fact that the unveiling occurred just a week before Biden’s inauguration as the US President. In that light, let us take a look at how the US-North Korea relationship was under Trump regime and how it alternated rapidly.

Crux of the Matter

New Missile Unveiled
North Korea recently unveiled a new type of “submarine-launched ballistic missile” at a parade. It has been described by the NK media as “the world’s most powerful weapon.”

Message To Biden?
The recent development has come days before Joe Biden takes charge as the US President from 20th January. Besides unveiling the new missile, North Korea Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un also called to be wary of the US “no matter who is in power” there.

“Our foreign political activities should be focused and redirected on subduing the U.S., our biggest enemy and main obstacle to our innovated development.”

Kim Jong Un on the US


  • North Korea had unveiled an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in October 2020.
  • The ICBM is reportedly able to hit even the US with a nuclear warhead.

Trump-Kim Era
Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un shared an alternating relationship in Trump’s tenure. The relations were tense as Kim accelerated NK’s nuclear programme while Trump continued with his ‘unusual’ diplomacy.

  • August 2017: Trump tweeted that “[North Korea] will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen” if they make any threats.
  • September: Trump, at the UN General Assembly, claimed that the “Rocket Man [Kim] is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime“.
    Kim called him “mentally deranged” in response.
  • November: The US officially designated North Korea as ‘state sponsor of terrorism’ – NK was removed from the list in 2008.

Button Battle

In January 2018, Kim claimed that the entire US was within its nuclear weapon range and that he has a “nuclear launch button” on his table. Trump had retaliated by claiming that he had “much bigger” and “more powerful” button on his desk.

Love Over Letters
However, their relation improved drastically with an exchange of ‘letters’.

  • September 2018: Trump claimed that he and Kim “fell in love” as “he wrote me [Trump] beautiful letters”.
  • June 2019: Trump visited North Korea – became the 1st US President to do so.

The Result?
No actual progress came though. with denuclearization talks proving unfruitful. It was witnessed in June 2020, when North Korea formally announced to cease attempts to establish diplomatic relations with the US over continued economic sanctions.

The 2016-20 period for the 2 nations witnessed several missile tests and threats by North Korea. Talks with the US also ultimately failed in the period, with several points of tension reminding people of the Korean war.

In 2020, Kim Jong Un declared that North Korea will develop strategic weapons to ensure the security of its state until a lasting peace-keeping mechanism is ready. Read about it in detail here.

  • Ballistics is the field of mechanics concerned with the launching, flight behaviour and impact effects of projectiles especially ranged weapon munitions such as bullets, unguided bombs, rockets or the like. A ballistic missile is a missile that is guided only during the relatively brief initial phase of powered flight and the trajectory is subsequently governed by the laws of classical mechanics.
  • Huolongchushui (Fire dragon) were the earliest form of multistage rockets and ballistic cruise missiles used in post-classical China. The name of the weapon was used to strike fear into enemy troops.
  • North Korea’s human rights record is often considered to be the worst in the world and has been globally condemned, with the United Nations, the European Union and groups such as Human Rights Watch all critical of the country’s record.