Facts Corner-Part-73


  • It is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the brain in humans and other mammals
  • Symptoms include fever, headache, excess salivation, muscle spasms, paralysis and mental confusion. 
  • Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Thailand have sharply cut rabies-related infection and mortality using mass canine vaccination campaigns and improving access to life-savingPost-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) treatments.
  • In India, similar initiatives in Goa, Sikkim, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu have saved countless lives.
  • All World Health Organisation-South East Asia countries have, meanwhile, phased out the production and use of nerve-tissue vaccines; six have introduced cost-effective, intradermal vaccination schedules to improve the accessibility, affordability and availability of the modern rabies vaccine.


  • The term fedayi is derived from Arabic literally meaning: “those who sacrifice themselves”
  • The fidayeen attack is a term used to describe suicidal strikes that are launched by militants
  • Theologically, the suicide bombings and fidayeen attacks are a Salafi tradition.

World Bank loan for Biopharma Mission

  • The government has secured a loan of about Rs. 1,600 crore from the World Bank to develop new vaccines, medical devices and medicines.
  • The money will be disbursed over five years and is part of the Department of Biotechnology-led National Biopharma Mission.
  • The goal is to have 6 to 10 new products in the next five years and in the process create a slew of jobs.
  • It was approved by the Cabinet in May 2017 and launched on June 30, 2017.

Fejervarya goemchi

  • In the highland plateaus of the Western Ghats parts of Goa, scientists have identified a new species of frog calledFejervarya goemchi.
  • The new species is named after the historical name of the state of Goa where the species is discovered, Nirmal Kulkarni, a senior herpetologist said.
  • The new species is found in the high elevation areas of laterite plateaus, temporary water bodies and paddy fields of Goa.
  • Detailed studies of this species are necessary to map its distribution range.

National Commission for Minorities

  • The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) has decided to approach the government for granting it constitutional status to protect the rights of minority communities more effectively.
  • If granted such a status, the NCM will be able to act against errant officials who do not attend hearings, follow its order or are found guilty of dereliction of duty, chairman Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi said.
  • Till now, only the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes enjoy constitutional status.
  • In its present form, the NCM has powers to summon officials, including chief secretaries and director generals of police, but has to rely on departments concerned to take action against them.
  • If granted constitutional status, the NCM can penalise or suspend an officer for two days or send him/her to jail.
  • Earlier, the Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment (2017-18), in its 53rd report noted that the NCM is “almost ineffective” in its current state to deal with cases of atrocities against minorities. The committeere commended constitutional status to the body “without any delay”.

Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act 2017

  • Expecting mothers who are working in the organized sector can now avail 26 weeks of paid maternity
    leave instead of 12 weeks
  • This Act allows 26 weeks of paid maternity leave to mothers who are adopting a child below the age of three months and also to commissioning mothers who opt for surrogacy
  • This entitlement is applicable only up to first two children. For the third child, the entitlement will be for only 12 weeks. The leaves further reduce to six weeks if the woman wants to become a mother for the fourth
  • The act is applicable to all those women employed in factories, mines and shops or commercial establishments employing 10 or more employees
  • It makes it mandatory for employers with 50 or more employees to provide crèches in close vicinity of the workplace, and by allowing women up to four daily visits to the crèche
  • The organizations must communicate these rights to female employees via writing
  • An employer can permit a woman to work from home if the nature of work assigned permits her to do so
  • This option can be availed of, after the period of maternity leave, for a duration that is mutually decided by the employer and the woman

Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture

  • GACSA is an inclusive, voluntary and action-oriented multi-stakeholder platform on Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA).
  • Its vision is to improve food security, nutrition and resilience in the face of climate change. GACSA aims to catalyse and help create transformational partnerships to encourage actions that reflect an integrated approach to the three pillars of CSA. 

GACSA works towards three aspirational outcomes to:

  • Improve farmers’ agricultural productivity and incomes in a sustainable way;
  • Build farmers’ resilience to extreme weather and changing climate;
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with agriculture, when possible.

Context specific priorities and solutions need to be aligned with national policies and priorities.

GACSA aims to catalyze and help create transformational partnerships to encourage the three pillars of Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) – productivity, adaptation and mitigation.

Idate commission report

  • The Idate Commission has recommended a Constitutional amendment so that Scheduled NT/ DNT/ SNT can be added as a third category after Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Act
  • The commission was constituted in January 2015 for a three-year temporary term, following which it had to submit its report identifying these communities state-wise, assessing their development status, and recommending ways to uplift them
  • In its report, the commission has noted that entire communities were branded as criminals under the colonial rule through enforcement of the Criminal Tribes Act, 1871
  • Despite the repeal of the Act after Independence, subsequent legislation has forcibly alienated them from their traditional occupations and habitations

Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies (CIHTS)

  • CIHTS is a centrally funded institute that was started in 1967 following a discussion between Dalai Lama and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in the early 1960s
  • This was later turned into an autonomous body under the Ministry of Culture
  • It is situated in Sarnath
  • The Central Tibetan Administration, the authority of the Tibetans in exile has several programmes for cultural preservation at CIHTS and thus it is a unique institution in India

Piped natural gas (PNG) scheme

  • Gujarat is set to emerge as the first state to offer subsidized PNG to poor households
  • Gujarat has an edge over other states in terms of PNG connections, due to its well-developed pipeline infrastructure and easy availability of gas
  • The state has a pipeline network covering over 25,000 km for city gas distribution

South Asia Economic Focus report

  • The World Bank in its twice-a-year South Asia Economic Focus report has projected growth rate of 7.3% for India in 2018 and 7.5% for 2019 and 2020.
  • The growth is expected to accelerate from 6.7% in 2017 to 7.3% in 2018 and to subsequently stabilise supported by sustained recovery in private investment and private consumption.
  • India’s recovering growth will drive South Asia to the fastest growing region. Indian economy has recovered from effects of demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
  • India should strive to accelerate investments and exports to take advantage of recovery in global growth.


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