Facts Corner-Part-75

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute 

  • SIPRI is an international institute, dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament.
  • It was established in 1966.
  • It is based in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • SIPRI provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public.

Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs renamed the Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) as Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram.
  • The programme is aims at building infrastructure in minority concentration areas currently covers 196 districts.
  • The restructured programme aims to provide better socioeconomic infrastructure facilities to the minority communities, particularly in the field of education, health and skill development.
  • The criteria for identification of minority concentration towns and clusters of villages has been rationalised by lowering the population percentage criteria from 50 percent to 25 per cent.
  • This would result in a 57 percent rise in area covered under the programme.

Sloth Bear Sanctuaries

  • Sloth bears have been distributed across India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.
  • The largest population in the world can be found in India.
  • In the country, they are spread across several States, including Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
  • The animals have been declared “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Ratanmahal Sloth Bear Sanctuary (1)

  1. Located in the Dahod district of Gujarat.
  2. It lies on Gujarat’s border with Madhya Pradesh and the actual habitat of the bear extends into this neighboring State.
  3. The tree called mahuda locally and a favourite of the sloth bears is found in abundance in the region.

Jessore Sloth Bear Sanctuary(2)

  1. Located in Banaskantha district of Gujarat
  2. The sanctuary spans over 180 sq.km. Of forest tracts of Jessore hill and adjoining areas.
  3. In addition to sloth bears, the region shelters a variety of rare and endangered species of flora and fauna

Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary(3)

  1. Daroji is located near Hampi in Karnataka’s Ballari district.
  2. it is situated within the Bilikallu reserve forest.

National Green Tribunal

  • The National Green Tribunal has been established on 18.10.2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
  • It is a specialized body equipped with the necessary expertise to handle environmental disputes involving multi-disciplinary issues.
  • The Tribunal shall not be bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, but shall be guided by principles of natural justice.
  • The Tribunal’s dedicated jurisdiction in environmental matters shall provide speedy environmental justice and help reduce the burden of litigation in the higher courts.
  • The Tribunal is mandated to make and endeavour for disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of filing of the same. Initially, the NGT is proposed to be set up at five places of sittings and will follow circuit procedure for making itself more accessible. New Delhi is the Principal Place of Sitting of the Tribunal and Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai shall be the other four place of sitting of the Tribunal.

The NGT has the power to hear all civil cases relating to environmental issues and questions that are linked to the implementation of laws listed in Schedule I of the NGT Act. These include the following:

  1. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974;
  2. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977;
  3. The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980;
  4. The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981;
  5. The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986;
  6. The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991;
  7. The Biological Diversity Act, 2002.

Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandan Yojana

  • PMVVY is a Pension Scheme exclusively for the senior citizens aged 60 years and above.
  • The Scheme can be purchased offline as well as online through Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India which has been given the sole privilege to operate this Scheme.
  • Scheme provides an assured return of 8% p.a. payable monthly (equivalent to 8.30% p.a. effective) for 10 years.
  • Pension is payable at the end of each period, during the policy term of 10 years, as per the frequency of monthly/ quarterly/ half-yearly/ yearly as chosen by the pensioner at the time of purchase.
  • The scheme is exempted from Service Tax/ GST.
  • On survival of the pensioner to the end of the policy term of 10 years, Purchase price along with final pension installment shall be payable.
  • Loan upto 75% of Purchase Price shall be allowed after 3 policy years (to meet the liquidity needs). Loan interest shall be recovered from the pension installments and loan to be recovered from claim proceeds.
  • The scheme also allows for premature exit for the treatment of any critical/ terminal illness of self or spouse. On such premature exit, 98% of the Purchase Price shall be refunded.
  • On death of the pensioner during the policy term of 10 years, the Purchase Price shall be paid to the beneficiary.


  • It is the production and emission of light by a living organism as the result of a chemical reaction during which chemical energy is converted to light energy.
  • Bioluminescence occurs widely in marine vertebrates and invertebrates, as well as in some fungi, microorganisms including some bioluminescent bacteria and terrestrial invertebrates such as fireflies.

Varuna Exercise

  • The Varuna is an annual naval exercise between the two navies.
  • The Indian Navy and the French Navy have conducted bilateral maritime exercises since May 1993.
  • Since 2001, the exercises have been named VARUNA.
  • The Indian and French navies are conducting the last phase of the 2018 “Varuna” naval exercise, from 1st to 7th of May, in the vicinity of Reunion Island.
  • Réunion is an island and region of France in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar and 175 kilometres (109 mi) southwest of Mauritius.

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)

  • The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), statutory organisation, was constituted in September, 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. Further, CPCB was entrusted with the powers and functions under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
  • It serves as a field formation and also provides technical services to the Ministry of Environment and Forests of the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. Principal Functions of the CPCB, as spelt out in the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, (i) to promote cleanliness of streams and wells in different areas of the States by prevention, control and abatement of water pollution, and (ii) to improve the quality of air and to prevent, control or abate air pollution in the country.
  • Air Quality Monitoring is an important part of the air quality management. The National Air Monitoring Programme (NAMP) has been established with objectives to determine the present air quality status and trends and to control and regulate pollution from industries and other source to meet the air quality standards. It also provides background air quality data needed for industrial siting and towns planning.
  • Besides this, CPCB has an automatic monitoring station at ITO Intersection in New Delhi. At this station Resirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Ozone (O3), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) are being monitored regularly. This information on Air Quality at ITO is updated every week.

SWAYAM (Study Webs of Active–Learning for Young Aspiring Minds)

  • SWAYAM is a programme initiated by Government of India and designed to achieve the three cardinal principles of Education Policy viz., access, equity and quality.
  • The objective of this effort is to take the best teaching learning resources to all, including the most disadvantaged.

Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana

  • The Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) was announced in 2003 with objectives of correcting regional imbalances in the availability of affordable/ reliable tertiary healthcare services and also to augment facilities for quality medical education in the country.
  • It is a central sector scheme.
  • The scheme has two components: Setting up of new AIIMS and upgradation of government medical colleges.

WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control 

  • The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) is the first international public health treaty negotiated under the auspices of the WHO.
  • The objective of FCTC is to provide a framework for supply and demand reduction measures for tobacco control at the national, regional and global levels.
  • Article 15 of WHO FCTC envisages elimination of all forms of illicit trade and tobacco products, including smuggling, illicit manufacturing and counterfeiting.
  • India is a party to WHO FCTC.

Green Revolution – Krishonnati Yojana

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for the Umbrella Scheme, “Green Revolution – Krishonnati Yojana” in agriculture sector beyond 12th Five Year Plan for the period from 2017-18 to 2019-20.       
  • The Umbrella scheme comprises of 11 Schemes/Missions. These schemes look to develop the agriculture and allied sector in a holistic and scientific manner to increase the income of farmers by enhancing production, productivity and better returns on produce.

Algae Noctiluca scintillans

  • It is green algae which is behind the scintillating phenomenon observed in oceans when they glow fluorescent blue at night. The Noctiluca algae is often reported to occur in patches or blooms in the Northern Arabian Sea. These striking green blooms often appear to glow at night due to a special phenomenon called bioluminescence, earning them the nickname ‘sea sparkle’.
  • An Indo-US study has found that global warming is leading to large-scale fish kills in the Arabian Sea by fuelling the growth of this harmful bioluminescent algae.
  • It is believed to be dangerous to ocean life because it produces ammonia. Their growing abundance is a cause of concern, because they adversely affect fish, which do not thrive in such waters.

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