Facts Corner-Part-102


  • Trachoma is a contagious and preventable cause of blindness
  • Trachoma occurs upon repeated infections from the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis
  • It thrives in congested living conditions among populations that have limited access to water and healthcare
  • It is transmitted by flies and aided by poor personal hygiene and fomites
  • Co-habitation with animals like pigs, hens, goats, dogs, cats etc. could be a contributory risk factor
  • Trachoma is hyperendemic in many of the poorest and most rural areas of 41 countries of Africa, Central and South America, Asia, Australia and the Middle East

GET 2020 alliance

  • WHO has been pushing the GET 2020 (Global Elimination of Trachoma by 2020)alliance since 1996
  • India is a partner in the alliance
  • India has moved to apply for ‘trachoma-free’ status
  • India expects to meet the 2020 target

Nicobar archipelago

  • Nicobar is India’s southernmost district
  • The Nicobar archipelago is separated from the Andaman cluster by the Ten Degree Channel
  • The Nicobarese are the largest, most urbanised, and most influential among the six better-known tribes of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands
  • Other tribes are Jarawas, Shompen, Great Andamanese, Onge and Sentinelese

Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana

  • Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana was implemented in 2008
  • It aimed to cover Below Poverty Line (BPL) households, funding private insurance for inpatient coverage of Rs30,000 for five members per household
  • The scheme had failed in both its primary objectives
  • It covered only 12.7% of households among the poorest quintile at the national level
  • It failed to significantly impact OOP expenditure or reduce health-related poverty

LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging)

  • It is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the Earth
  • It bounces pulsed laser light off the ground, revealing contours hidden by dense foliage
  • These light pulses—combined with other data recorded by the airborne system— generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape of the Earth and its surface characteristics
  • LIDAR systems allow scientists and mapping professionals to examine both natural and manmade environments with accuracy, precision, and flexibility
  • A LIDAR instrument principally consists of a laser, a scanner, and a specialized GPS receiver
  • Airplanes and helicopters are the most commonly used platforms for acquiring LIDAR data over broad areas

Real estate investment trusts (REITs)/Infrastructure investment trusts (InvITs)

  • Real Estate Investment Trusts or REITs are mutual funds like institutions that enable investments into the real estate sector/infrastructure sector
  • This is done by pooling small sums of money from multitude of individual investors for directly investing in real estate properties/infrastructure so as to return a portion of the income (after deducting expenditures) to unitholders of REITs, who pooled in the money
  • A REIT in India is allowed to invest mainly in completed and revenue generating assets and other approved investments
  • REITs/InvITs will have to distribute majority of its income among the unit holders
  • REITs/InvITs are regulated by SEBI

Assam Accord

  • The Assam Accord (1985) was a Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) signed between representatives of the Government of India and the leaders of the Assam Movement in New Delhi on 15 August 1985
  • Some of the key demands of the movement were:
  • All those foreigners who had entered Assam between 1951 and 1961 were to be given full citizenship, including the right to vote
  • Those who had done so after 1971 were to be deported; the entrants between 1961 and 1971 were to be denied voting rights for ten years but would enjoy all other rights of citizenship

3. Though the accord brought an end to the agitation, some of the key clauses are yet to be implemented

Base Rate

  • Base rate is the minimum rate set by the Reserve Bank of India below which banks are not allowed to lend to its customers
  • Base rate is decided in order to enhance transparency in the credit market and ensure that banks pass on the lower cost of fund to their customers


  • MCLR actually describes the method by which the minimum interest rate for loans is determined by a bank – on the basis of marginal cost or the additional or incremental cost of arranging one more rupee to the prospective borrower
  • The MCLR is a tenor linked internal benchmark (tenor means the amount of time left for the repayment of a loan)
  • The MCLR comprises of the following:

    a) The marginal cost of funds which is a novel concept under the MCLR methodology comprises of Marginal cost of borrowings and return on net worth, appropriately weighed.

Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme

  • The Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) was an Indian Ministry of Defence programme for the research and development of the comprehensive range of missiles
  • The programme was managed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Ordnance Factories Board in partnership with other Indian government political organisations
  • The project started in 1982–83 with popular political support from the successive governments and bestowed under the leadership of Abdul Kalam who oversaw its ending in 2008 after these strategic missiles were successfully developed.
  • On 8 January 2008, the DRDO formally announced the successful completion of the IGMDP
  • It added that the strategic integrated guided missile programme was completed with its design objectives achieved since most of the missiles in the programme had been developed and inducted by the Indian armed forces

Capital Gains Tax

  • A capital gains tax (CGT) is a tax on capital gains, the profit realized on the sale of a non-inventory asset that was greater than the amount realized on the sale
  • The most common capital gains are realized from the sale of stocks, bonds, precious metals and property
  • Not all countries implement a capital gains tax and most have different rates of taxation for individuals and corporations
  • For equities, an example of a popular and liquid asset, national and state legislation often has a large array of fiscal obligations that must be respected regarding capital gains
  • Taxes are charged by the state over the transactions, dividends and capital gains on the stock market
  • However, these fiscal obligations may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction

Artificial Intelligence

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) is an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans
  • The term “artificial intelligence” is applied when a machine mimics “cognitive” functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as “learning” and “problem solving”
  • The traditional problems (or goals) of AI research include reasoning, knowledge, planning, learning, natural language processing, perception, explainability and the ability to move and manipulate objects
  • General intelligence is among the field’s long-term goals
  • High-profile examples of AI include autonomous vehicles (such as drones and self-driving cars), medical diagnosis, creating art (such as poetry), proving mathematical theorems, playing games (such as Chess or Go), search engines (such as Google search), online assistants (such as Siri), image recognition in photographs, spam filtering, prediction of judicial decisions and targeting online advertisements.


  • An online complaint management system, called the sexual harassment electronic-box (SHe-Box), was developed for registering complaints of sexual harassment at workplace
  • It is an effort of the government of India to provide a single-window access to every woman, irrespective of her work status, whether working in organized or unorganized, private or public sector, to facilitate registration of complaint of sexual harassment
  • Once a complaint was submitted to SHe-Box, it would be directly sent to the authorities concerned for action

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