Facts Corner-Part-2

Global Temperature Potential:

  • GWP is a measure of how much energy the emissions of 1 ton of a gas will absorb over a given period of time, relative to the emissions of 1 ton of carbon dioxide (CO2). The larger the GWP, the more that a given gas warms the Earth compared to CO2 over that time period.
  • The scientific community has developed a number of other metrics that could be used for comparing one GHG to another. These metrics may differ based on timeframe, the climate endpoint measured, or the method of calculation.
  • The Global Temperature Potential (GTP) is one such alternative. It is a measure of the temperature change at the end of that time period (again, relative to CO2).The calculation of the GTP is more complicated than that for the GWP, as it requires modeling how much the climate system responds to increased concentrations of GHGs.

Cancer train:

  • The “cancer train” commences from the Bathinda station every day to reach Rajasthan’s Bikaner, where patients undergo treatment at the Acharya Tulsi Regional Cancer Treatment and Research Centre. A majority of the patients are from the Malwa region of Punjab.
  • Experts say this “cancer train” symbolises the adverse impact of the Green Revolution on public health in Punjab. The rise in cancer cases in the region can be attributed to the indiscriminate use of agro-chemicals.

Major non-NATO ally:

  • Major non-NATO ally (MNNA) is a designation given by the United States government to close allies who have strategic working relationships with US armed forces but are not members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
  • While the MNNA status does not automatically include a mutual defense pact with the United States, it does confer a variety of military and financial advantages that otherwise are not obtainable by non-NATO countries.
  • The MNNA status provides a range of privileges, such as eligibility to participate in cooperative research and development programmes, expanded bilateral training opportunities and eligibility for priority delivery of defence articles.

GenomeAsia 100K initiative:

  • MedGenome, is a founding member of the GenomeAsia 100K (a non-profit consortium), is a genomics-based diagnostics and research company from India with global offices in California.
  • GenomeAsia 100K-a mission driven non-profit consortiumcollaborating to sequence and analyze 100,000 Asian individuals genomes to help accelerate Asian population specific (both, South and East Asian, therefore statement 1 is correct) medical advances and precision medicine.

Official languages of the UN:

There are six official languages of the UN.  These are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. The correct interpretation and translation of these six languages, in both spoken and written form, is very important to the work of the Organization, because this enables clear and concise communication on issues of global importance.

  • A delegate may speak in any official UN language. The speech is interpreted simultaneously into the other official languages of the UN.
  • At times, a delegate may choose to make a statement using a non-official language. In such cases, the delegation must provide either an interpretation or a written text of the statement in one of the official languages.
  • Most UN documents are issued in all six official languages, requiring translation from the original document.
  • Though there are six official languages in the U.N., only two — English and French — were working languages.

Zojila tunnel:

  • The Cabinet recently gave its approval for the construction, operation and maintenance of 2-lane bi-directional Zojila Tunnel connecting NH-1A at Km 95.00 and at Km 118.00 in Jammu & Kashmir on Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) mode.
  • The construction of this tunnel will provide all weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh and will bring about all round economic and socio-cultural integration of these regions.
  • The project has strategic and socio-economic importance and shall be an instrument for the development of the economically backward districts in Jammu & Kashmir.

Fiscal Deficit:

Fiscal deficit is the difference between the government’s total expenditure and its total receipts excluding borrowing

  • Gross fiscal deficit = Total expenditure – (Revenue receipts + Non-debt creating capital receipts)

Non-debt creating capital receipts are those receipts which are not borrowings and, therefore, do not give rise to debt. Examples are recovery of loans and the proceeds from the sale of PSUs (corporate tax is a tax revenue receipt, not capital receipt).

The fiscal gap:

  • The fiscal gap has widened in spite of a healthy jump in non-debt capital receipts
  • With monetary authorities at the RBI having reiterated the inflationary risks that a worsening fiscal gap would pose, and private investment still struggling to gain traction, policymakers would do well to try and regain their footing on the crucial path of fiscal consolidation.

Bhima-Koregaon battle:

  • The Koregaon Ranstambh (victory pillar) is an obelisk in Bhima-Koregaon village commemorating the British East India Company soldiers who fell in a battle on January 1, 1818, where the British, with just 834 infantrymen — about 500 of them from the Mahar community — and 12 officers defeated the 28,000-strong army of Peshwa Bajirao II.
  • It was one of the last battles of the Third Anglo-Maratha War, which ended the Peshwa domination.
  • Babasaheb Ambedkar’s visit to the site on January 1, 1927, revitalised the memory of the battle for the Dalit community, making it a rallying point and an assertion of pride.

Device of Proceedings in Rajya Sabha:

  1. Special Mention – A matter which cannot be raised during question hour
  2. Question Hour – Members ask questions to ministers and/or private members
  3. Zero Hour – Members can raise matters without any prior notice
  • In addition to the ministers, the questions can also be asked to the private members. Thus, a question may be addressed to a private member if the subject matter of the question relates to some Bill, resolution or other matter connected with the business of the House for which that member is responsible.
  • Unlike the question hour, the zero hour is not mentioned in the Rules of Procedure. Thus it is an informal device available to the members of the Parliament to raise matters without any prior notice. The zero hour starts immediately after the question hour and lasts until the agenda for the day (regular business of the House) is taken up.
  • Special Mention is a matter which is not a point of order or which cannot be raised during question  hour,  half-an  hour discussion,  short  duration  discussion  or  under  adjournment  motion,  calling  attention  notice  or  under any  rule  of  the  House  can  be  raised  under  the  special  mention  in  the  Rajya Sabha.


  • “Cryptocurrencies may or may not emerge as a useful tool, especially since the government may not want to encourage the proliferation of anonymous, non-fiat currencies as its anti-black money fight intensifies.
  • But blockchains, basically digital ledgers of financial transactions that are immutable and instantly updated across the world, are worth looking at as aids to ease doing business.
  • They have the potential to greatly streamline payment mechanisms and make them transparent.”
  • Not all cryptocurrencies are based on Blockchain technology. For instance, ‘IOTA’ is one such Cryptocurrency. Instead of a blockchain, IOTA uses a mathematical “tangle.”
  • Altcoins are the alternative cryptocurrencies launched after the success of Bitcoin.
  • Generally, they project themselves as better substitutes to Bitcoin.


  • Justice, liberty, equality and fraternity are the objectives of the constitution, as specified in the Preamble.
  • Nature of Indian state: The Preamble declares India to be of a sovereign, socialist, secular and democratic and republican polity.
  • The term ‘secular ’ was added by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1976. However, as the Supreme Court said in 1974, although the words ‘secular state’ were not expressedly mentioned in the Constitution, there can be no doubt that Constitution-makers wanted to establish such a state and accordingly Articles 25  to  28  (guaranteeing  the  fundamental  right  to  freedom  of  religion)  have  been included in the constitution. The  Indian  Constitution  embodies  the  positive  concept  of  secularism  ie,  all  religions  in  our  country (irrespective of their strength) have the same status and support from the state.


NASA uses a device called ‘MinION’ to sequence DNA aboard the International Space Station.

For the first time ever, DNA was successfully sequenced in microgravity as part of the Biomolecule Sequencer experiment performed aboard the International Space Station. The ability to sequence the DNA of living organisms in space opens a whole new world of scientific and medical possibilities. Scientists consider it a game changer.

  • With a way to sequence DNA in space, astronauts could diagnose an illness, or identify microbes growing in the International Space Station and determine whether or not they represent a health threat.
  • A space-based DNA sequencer would be an important tool to help protect astronaut health during long duration missions on the journey to Mars, and future explorers could also potentially use the technology to identify DNA-based life forms beyond Earth (Samples need not be returned to earth for testing).
  • NASA’s Genes in Space-3 was a collaboration to collect, sequence and identify unknown organisms, entirely from space.
  • Another device called the miniPCR was employed along with the MinION. The miniPCR (mini-polymerase chain reaction) is an instrument which replicates DNA in order to have enough to analyse.

Nyctribatrachus :

  • A new frog from Kerala is the latest contribution to the spurt in amphibian discoveries across India: scientists have just discovered the Mewa Singh’s Night frog, belonging to a genus endemic to the Western Ghats, from Kozhikode’s Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • Frogs in the genus Nyctibatrachus, commonly known as night frogs, are found only in the Western Ghats mountain range.

12th Constitution Amendment Act, 1962:

  • Goa, Daman and Diu India acquired these three territories from the Portuguese by means of a police action in 1961.
  • They were constituted as a union territory by the 12th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1962.
  • Later, in 1987, Goa was conferred a statehood. Consequently, Daman and Diu was made  a separate union territory.

Swayam Prabha:

  • A project for telecasting ‘High-quality educational programmes’ through 32 DTH channels on Sunday at a National Convention on Digital Initiatives for Higher Education.
  • Every day, there will be content of four hours that will be repeated six times, thus covering all 24 hours of the day.
  • This will allow the student to choose a time of his own convenience,” said an official.
  • “The channels will cover curriculum-based course content covering arts, science, commerce, performing arts, social sciences, engineering, medicine, law, agriculture, etc.”

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