IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-April 2022

IAS Abhiyan is now on Telegram:

IAS Abhiyan Official Telegram Channel: Click Here to Join

For Mains Value Edition (Facts, Quotes, Best Practices, Case Studies): Click Here to Join

IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-September 2021

IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-April 2022

  1. On the occasion of Ram Navami, Prime Minister addressed the 14th Foundation Day celebration at Umiya Mata Temple at Gathila, Junagadh.
  2. The President of India, inaugurated five-day long Madhavpur Ghed Fair at Madhavpur Ghed, Porbandar in Gujarat. Since 2018, the Government of Gujarat in association with the Ministry of Culture is organizing this fair every year to celebrate the sacred union of Lord Krishna and Rukmini.  The Madhavpur Fair connects Gujarat with north-east region in an integral bond. 
  3. Established in 2006, the Financial Regulatory Commission (FRC) is a parliamentary authority mandated to supervise and regulate the non-bank sector; including the insurance and securities markets, and participants of the microfinance sector. The FRC is responsible for providing stable and sound financial markets. The Commission exercises power over non-bank financial institutions, insurance companies and intermediaries, securities firms, and savings and credit cooperatives. At the same time, it ensures the rights of individual financial market clients (securities holders, domestic and foreign investors, and insurance policyholders) and protects against financial malpractices.
  4. The Sea of Azov port of Mariupol, reduced to a wasteland by seven weeks of siege and bombardment that Ukraine says killed tens of thousands of civilians, could become the first big city captured by Russia since its invasion. Mariupol, home to more than 400,000 people before the war, is the biggest Ukrainian city on the Sea of Azov and the main port serving the industries and agriculture of eastern Ukraine. It is also the site of some of Ukraine’s biggest metals plants.
  5. Adenoviruses, which cause common respiratory illnesses such as the common cold. Human to human transmission of adenoviruses is possible by touching contaminated surfaces and through the respiratory route.
  6. Hepatitis, which affects the liver, can occur because of a number of reasons and can be life threatening if not treated. Its symptoms include dark urine, pale and grey-coloured stool, itchy skin, yellowing of the eyes and skin, high temperature, muscle and joint pain and loss of appetite among others.
  7. The bush frog, or Raorchestes ponmudi eats up the shoot borer Conogethes punctiferalis that enters through immature panicles and attacks the shoots and stems, thus destroying cardamom plants, often in a large-scale. The bush frog is widely found in the Ponmudi area of the Western Ghats and is familiar to cardamom planters.
  8. On March 8, 1996, the government of erstwhile (undivided) Andhra Pradesh had issued ‘Government Order (GO) 111’ prohibiting development or construction works in the catchment area of the Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar lakes up to a radius of 10 km. The reservoirs were created by building dams on the Musi (also known as Moosa or Muchkunda) river, a major tributary of the Krishna, to protect Hyderabad from floods. The proposal to build the dams came after a major flood during the reign of the sixth nizam Mahbub Ali Khan (1869-1911) in 1908, in which more than 15,000 people were killed. The lakes came into being during the reign of the last nizam Osman Ali Khan (1911-48). Osman Sagar was completed in 1921, and Himayat Sagar in 1927. The nizam’s guesthouse at Osman Sagar is now a heritage building.
  9. Labour Bureau has been compiling Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers every month on the basis of retail prices collected from 317 markets spread over 88 industrially important centers in the country. The index is compiled for 88 centers and All-India and is released on the last working day of succeeding month.
  10. A first-of-its-kind programme to promote women in the field of research and development through lateral entry was launched yesterday. The programme called Women’s Involvement in Science and Engineering Research (WISER) program was launched by Indo-German Science & Technology Centre (IGSTC) for encouraging women researchers in joint R&D projects. This program by IGSTC, a joint initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Government of Germany, will support women scientists holding regular/long term research positions in academia or research institutes/industry. The involvement in the program will be possible through lateral entry. There is neither requirement of break-in-career nor any age limit, and it will enable easy participation.
  11. Fund for Industrial Research Engagement (FIRE)’ launched by the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) is a novel initiative to bring together industry and academia on a common platform to exchange ground-breaking ideas and co-promote innovative research. I believe this collaboration will open many new doors for exploration in scientific research, which could make India a key player in technology-based solutions.
  12. Kollam, Kerala to be first totally Constitution literate district in State.
  13. The global formula milk industry, valued at roughly $55 billion, is also evading the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes adopted by the WHO in 1981. The 1981 International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes was termed a “landmark public health agreement” aimed at regulating advertising such products to ensure the health of the baby and mother are maintained by avoiding negative influence on breastfeeding practices.
  14. Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary (VGDS) spread over 50 kilometres along the river, is considered a safe hub for the endangered dolphins. Bihar is home to around half of the estimated 3,000 Gangetic dolphins in the country. Gangetic dolphins live in a zone where there is little or no current, helping them save energy. The dolphins swim from the no-current zone to the edges to hunt for fish and return. The Gangetic river dolphin frequently falls prey to poachers. Their carcasses are found regularly on river banks. The species is found in India, Bangladesh and Nepal. It is blind and finds its way and prey in the river waters through echoes. 
  15. Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data is a global science initiative and primary source established in 2008 that provides open access to genomic data of influenza viruses and the coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.
  16. Ownership of khutkattiland (lands claimed through lineage after clearing forests), from which Khunti derives its name, is at the epicentre of the tribal agitation in Jharkhand.
  17. In traditional Munda society, Pathalgadi is the custom of erecting stone slabs in honour of the deceased or to demarcate boundaries. 
  18. The Sati Pati cult, which has spread to parts of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, originated in pre-independence India.  the Sati Pati movement in its present form was given shape around 1941-42 by Keshri Singh under the name of AC Kutumb Parivar, which declared to be the real owner of India. Singh started spreading the movement among the people. The Sati Pati followers think that the Earth should not be ploughed throughout the year. Many of its ideals cannot be accepted today by educated tribals. Also, Pathalgadi as a tradition is thousands of years old and so many people do not follow Sati Pati.
  19. A drug used to treat asthma and allergies can bind to and block a crucial protein produced by the virus SARS-CoV-2 and reduce viral replication in human immune cells, a study by Bengaluru-based Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has claimed. The drug, called montelukast, is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It has been around for more than 20 years and is usually prescribed to reduce inflammation caused by conditions like asthma, hay fever, and hives. The researchers found that the drug binds strongly to one end (‘C-terminal’) of a SARS-CoV-2 protein called Nsp1, which shuts down the synthesis of proteins required by the immune system to protect the host body.
  20. The rare day-flying moth Achelurabifasciata was recorded after 125 years in Devalsari of Tehri district in Uttarakhand. 
  21. An anticyclone, like the name suggests, is the opposite of a cyclone in the sense that while in a cyclone the wind is directed towards a low-pressure area, in an anticyclone situation, the wind moves out of a high-pressure area.
  22. Energy prices are expected to rise more than 50 per cent in 2022, before easing in 2023 and 2024, the World Bank’s latest Commodity Markets Outlook
  23. Litchi is grown under a specific micro-climatic condition. During this period, the temperature should be neither low nor high, for its natural growth. Variations of climate also affect sugar assimilation, resulting in poor quality litchis as well as mango. Litchi orchards are spread across nearly 12,000 hectares in Muzaffarpur and litchi cultivation in Bihar is spread across nearly 32,000 hectares. This accounts for nearly 40 per cent of India’s litchi production. Litchi is cultivated in nearly 98,000 hectares of the country.
  24. Tikola, Malda and Jardalu are mango varieties.
  25. The tea mosquito bug (Helopeltis antonii) has been around for years but generally infected the cashew plantations in the south Indian states. Odisha is the third-largest state in cashew cultivation, production and processing in the country after Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. The tea mosquito bug (Helopeltis antonii) has been around for years but generally infected the cashew plantations in the south Indian states.
  26. The damaging floods in KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa followed three tropical cyclones and two tropical storms that hit South-East Africa in just six weeks of the year.
  27. Canine distemper is caused by the paramyxovirus virus. It spreads through body fluids like infected urine, blood and saliva. The virus attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of puppies and dogs and can be transmitted to lions, tigers, leopards and other wild cats as well as seals, according to the American veterinary medical association.  The virus is also found in wild foxes, wolves, coyotes, raccoons, skunks, mink and ferrets. Its symptoms include dullness, lacrimation, cough, diarrhea and seizures.
  28. Authorities in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur and its neighbouring districts, are working on strategies to prevent Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) as rising temperature and humidity reignite fears of an outbreak. The focus this time is very much on not letting the deadly disease, locally known as chamki bukharspread, rather than rushing to provide treatment to children diagnosed with AES like in past years.
  29. Seafloor spreading rates have slowed down by roughly 35 per cent globally, according to a study that analysed data from the last 19 million years. Growing mountains might be one of the factors driving the slowdown, the analysis found. Seafloor spreading is a geological process that creates crusts, the outermost shell of Earth. Tectonic plates separate, allowing magma from the earth’s interior to fill the gap in this phenomenon. The magma cools to form a new oceanic crust. These activities occur along mid-ocean ridges — large mountain ranges rising from the ocean floor. Basalt rocks on the oceanic crust contain magnetic properties. Their magnetism is influenced by the Earth’s magnetic field when the magma reached the surface and began cooling to form the crust. For example, as the Andes — where the Nazca oceanic plate is sinking beneath the South American continental plate — grows, it causes the Earth’s crust to shorten and thicken. The rapidly growing range could be slowing the seafloor spreading along the ridges, the researchers explained. 
  30. The world’s most popular search engine, Google, dedicated its homepage logo doodle for April 22, 2022 to climate change to mark Earth Day.  The four locations displayed are Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Sermersooq in Greenland, Great Barrier Reef in Australia and Harz Forests in Elend, Germany. Each year, World Earth Day is celebrated on April 22, a tradition that started in 1970. This year’s official theme is ‘invest in our planet. The first-ever Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 and is attributed to Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. politician who served as a Governor and a Senator during his career. In 1969, Santa Barbara in California was ravaged by a massive oil spill which served as a motivation for the Senator to work towards the protection of the environment.
  31. Recently, the Perseverance Mars rover belonging to the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has captured Phobos, Mars’ potato-shaped moon or satellite, crossing the face of the Sun. The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission is part of NASA’s Moon to Mars exploration approach, which includes Artemis missions to the Moon that will help prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet.
  32. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has awarded David Attenborough the Champions of the Earth Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication to research, documentation and advocacy for the protection of nature and its restoration. Previous winners of the award include environmental justice advocate Robert Bullard (2020), environment and indigenous rights defender Joan Carling (2018) and plant biologist José Sarukhán Kermez (2016).
  33. Aedes aegyptimosquitoes is a vector for viruses such as chikungunya, dengue, zika and yellow fever. 
  34. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ketoprofen and flunixin. Meloxicam and tolfenamic acid are cheap and safe options and out of patent.
  35. The crocodiles found in Jawai are muggers or marsh crocodiles (Crocodylus palustris) which are freshwater specialists. They found all over south Asia — India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh — as well as south-eastern Iran. Muggers measure six to 13 feet on average and live for 70-80 years. The species has been extirpated in many areas of its former range and now survives largely in protected areas, mainly in India and Sri Lanka. The mugger is found in 15 Indian states, with the largest populations in the middle Ganges (Bihar-Jharkhand) and Chambal (Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan) basins.
  36. Degrai Oran is in the middle of a 13,000 square kilometre wide biodiversity-rich land that is among the last natural habitats of the Great Indian Bustard (GIB). For GIBs, Rajasthan’s state bird, it is a natural habitat. The species was considered ‘critically endangered’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 2011. GIBs are slow breeders and lay only one egg every year, that too in the wild.
  37. The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) was held in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom from 31 October to 13 November 2021. The Alliance for Reversing Ecosystem Service Threats (AREST), which is a partnership between ATREE, Columbia University, EDF, FES, and ICRAF participated in multiple engagements at the COP26. AREST presented scientific evidence for adopting socio-ecologically responsible interventions to address land degradation. Such an approach, rooted in good science and good economics, will generate jobs, support local livelihoods, sequester carbon and deliver co-benefits on nutrition, biodiversity conservation, and food and water security.
  38. Plants grow quickly when exposed to high carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations.
  39. The Cuvette Centrale is located in the centre of the Congo river basin. It contains around 30 gigatonnes of carbon, equivalent to 15 years of emissions from the United States.
  40. The DRC, the Republic of the Congo and Indonesia signed the Brazzaville Declarationin March 2018 to protect this complex under the leadership of UN Environment and other Global Peatlands Initiative partners, UNEP.
  41. Peatlands are a type of wetland which occur in almost every country and are known to cover at least three per cent of global land surface. The term ‘peatland’ refers to the peat soil and the wetland habitats growing on the surface according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
  42. The G20 Health and Development Partnership (HDP) had, in February 2021, suggested creating a body similar to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) for pandemic preparedness and health system resilience which would report annually to the British Parliament.
  43. The Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) accelerates and coordinates the technically and scientifically sound implementation of measures to improve climate-related outcomes at national, regional and global levels. As a framework with broad participation and reach, GFCS enables the development and application of climate services to assist decision-making at all levels in support of addressing climate-related risks.
  44. Around 50,000 tribals from Chhattisgarh, who were forced to flee to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana due to the Maoist-Salwa Judum conflict in 2005. The tribals have been categorised as Internally Displaced People (IDP). Section 3.1.m of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act or FRA, 2006, gives rights to in situ or alternative land to those who have been displaced.
  45. The Alliance for International Medical Action has launched a Sahel emergency fund for purchasing essential supplies for children suffering from acute malnutrition.
  46. The Krishnaraja Sagar dam, located below the confluence of river Cauvery with its tributaries Hemavati and Lakshmana Tirtha, in the Mandya district of Karnataka.  
  47. Microbes such as Cyclops, Daphnia, Spirogyra, Spirochaeta, and E coli, well-known bio-indicators of water contamination. 
  48. The NITI Aayog released India’ first State Energy and Climate Index (SECI, Round 1) for performance in various dimensions of energy-efficiency and climate-resilience. 
  49. Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was first identified in 2012 in Saudi Arabia. MERS is a zoonotic disease that usually travels from dromedary camels to humans. The severity of the infection can range from asymptomatic, symptomatic and severe acute respiratory disease to death. MERS-CoV belongs to the same family of viruses that causes COVID-19. The symptoms of the disease are fever, cough, shortness of breath, pneumonia gastrointestinal symptoms (including diarrhea).
  50. PM 2.5 are tiny particles or droplets that are 2.5 micrometres or less in width that are linked to a host of diseases and premature death. Ammonia and reactive volatile organic compounds, which aid the formation of PM2.5, rose up to 12 per cent and 11 per cent respectively. 
  51. The Weija dam, which provides 80 per cent of the drinking water supply of Ghana’s capital, Accra, is particularly prone to flooding, according to a new report. Five dams will particularly feel the projected impacts of climate change — Akosombo, Bui, Tono, Vea and Weija.
  52. XE is a ‘recombination’ of the BA.1 and BA.2 sub lineages of omicron. Another variant, XD — a recombination of delta and omicron.
  53. Gothra village is located in Charkhi Dadri, Haryana’s newest district on the state’s border with Rajasthan.
  54. Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary in Odisha’s Kendrapara district, known as the world’s largest rookery of sea turtles. Arribada, a Spanish term for the mass-nesting continues for a week. The turtle eggs normally take 45 days to hatch. Tiny hatchlings then emerge and make their way to the sea. The rookery at Gahirmatha, from Dhamra mouth to Hukitola island, covering 1,435 square kilometres, was declared a marine sanctuary in 1997 by the government to protect the endangered turtles that are protected under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 as a Schedule I animal. All five species of sea turtles found in India are included in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and in the Appendix I of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
  55. The archaeological remains of Machu Picchu are located high above the Urubamba River on a narrow saddle between two mountain peaks. The larger peak, called Machu Picchu, stands to the south, while the smaller peak, Huayna Picchu, is located to the north.
  56. Brazil’s Xavante Amerindians, for instance, are trained in total fire suppression. The Pemón in south-east Venezuela use patch mosaic burning to protect and sustain forests in Canaima National Park, which helps reduce the impacts of wildfires in the region.
  57. Helium-3 has been measured at Earth’s surface in relatively small quantities. But scientists did not know how much was leaking from the Earth’s core, as opposed to its middle layers. Some natural processes can generate helium-3, such as the radioactive decay of tritium, but helium-3 is made primarily in solar nebulae — massive, spinning clouds of gas and dust like the one that gave rise to our Solar System. Because helium is one of the earliest elements produced in the universe, most helium-3 can be traced back to the Big Bang.
  58. Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius – Kusum in Hindi; Kusumba in Tamil), of which India is today a major producer on account of the oil, was the source of carthamin and carthamidin, which lend a red colour to cotton and a distinctive orange-red to silk.
  59. The ancient Greeks called the plant dye indigo by a name which is pronounced as indikón and means Indian.  The dye was highly valued, from royalty to militaries (as in navy blue) and came from a tropical genus of plants, Indigofera, some of which were native to the Indian subcontinent. The dye named Suranji got from Indian mulberry (Morinda tinctoria , aal in Hindi; manjanatti or manjanunnai in Tamil), gives a bright yellow-red, or chocolate, or even black colour to cotton, depending on the method of ‘fixing’ it to cloth. The roots of Manjistha , the Indian madder ( Rubia cordifolia -manjith in Hindi; manditta in Tamil) yield a red pigment called purpurin, that in 1869, became the first dye to be synthesised in a laboratory, as alizarin. Indigo is by itself non-toxic, but it is insoluble in water and strongly alkaline lyes are needed to dissolve and fix it to fabrics.
  60. (a) Nepal barberry (Mahonia napaulensis , Daaruhaldi in Hindi; Mullumanjanathi in Tamil): The Apatani tribe of Arunachal Pradesh has for long used this plant for colouring their weaves. (b) Wild canna (Canna indica – Sarvajjaya in Hindi; Kalvazhai in Tamil) The flowers of this ornamental plant are bright red, from an alcohol-soluble dye that can be easily fixed on to cotton and stands fast. (c) Flame of the forest (Butea monosperma , Palash in Hindi) is a native of our subcontinent and has an eye-catching flower from which is derived a traditional colour of the Holi festival. Sun-dried petals of this flower are rich in dyes that can be extracted by water.
  61. Graphene is a two-dimensional material comprising a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. Stacks of graphene layers can make up graphite. Twisted bilayer graphene is made by placing two layers of graphene on top of each other such that they are aligned well, and then twisting one layer, so that it makes a well-calibrated, known angle with respect to the former. 
  62. Pyrolysis is the thermal decomposition of materials at elevated temperatures in an inert atmosphere. It involves a change in chemical composition. The word is coined from the Greek-derived elements pyro “fire” and lysis “separating”. It is most commonly used in the treatment of organic materials. It is one of the processes involved in charring wood. It is considered as the first step in the processes of gasification or combustion.
  63. Biochar is a high-carbon, fine-grained residue that is currently produced through modern pyrolysis processes (direct thermal decomposition of biomass in the absence of oxygen and preventing combustion). It produces a mixture of solids (the biochar proper), liquid (bio-oil), and gas (syngas) products. Biochar may increase soil fertility of acidic soils (low pH soils), increase agricultural productivity, and provide protection against some foliar and soil-borne diseases. Biochar has other uses too — apart from safekeeping carbon, biochar has several uses in agriculture. Agricultural leftovers such as rice husk are a major source of biomass, and the biochar it forms has significant mineral content. Adding it to soil enriches plant nutrients. The porous nature of biochar makes it suitable for remediation — the adsorption of toxic substances in polluted soils – thus reducing the potency of contaminants in the soil.
  64. The International Dark Sky Week is an annual event hosted by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA).
  65. Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the state of Andhra Pradesh.  It is a dry evergreen forest mixed with scrub and meadows and covers an area of 70.70 square kilometers. The indicator species is the Indian leopard.
  66. India currently ranks fifth after China, U.S., Japan and Germany in terms of installed solar power capacity. As of December 2021, the cumulative solar installed capacity of India is 55GW, which is roughly half the renewable energy (RE) capacity (excluding large hydro power) and 14% of the overall power generation capacity of India.
  67. Anaimalai Tiger Reserve is designated as an ‘anthropological reserve’ as it supports six tribes — Malasar, Malai Malasars, Kadars, Eravallars, Pulayars and Muduvars which is very unique to Tamil Nadu. It is also probably the only tiger reserve with diverse groups of indigenous people.
  68. The theme of this year’s World Water Day (March 22) was ‘Groundwater: Making the Invisible Visible’
  69. Kadaiyezhu Vallalgal’ highlights the virtue of generosity through the stories of seven kings — Began, Paari, Ayi, Oori, Kaari, Adhiyaman, and Nalli — who These kings ruled different parts of Tamil Nadu during the Sangam period. 
  70. The Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2022 amends the Schedule to the ST Order to include communities such as Deshwari, Ganjhu, Dautalbandi (Dwalbandi), Patbandi, Raut, Maajhia, Khairi (Kheri), Tamaria (Tamadia), and Puran in the list of STs in Jharkhand.
  71. Near Field Communication (NFC): A short-range wireless connectivity technology that allows NFC-enabled devices to communicate with each other and transfer information quickly and easily with a single touch. It makes possible to pay bills, exchange business cards, download coupons, or share a document. NFC transmits data through electromagnetic radio fields, to enable communication between two devices. Both devices must contain NFC chips, as transactions take place within a very short distance. NFC-enabled devices must be either physically touching or within a few centimetres from each other for data transfer to occur.
  72. According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Nature and Business Report, a nature-positive pathway in the infrastructure and built environment could create over $3 trillion in business opportunities and create 117 million jobs by 2030. 
  73. The World Economic Forum is collaborating with the Government of Colombia on a global initiative that supports city governments, businesses and citizens around the world to create an urban development model in harmony with nature: BiodiverCities by 2030. 
  74. The Getting to Zero Coalition is a platform that convenes around 200 stakeholders from across the shipping and fuels value chain. The Coalition was founded in 2019 by the Global Maritime Forum, Friends of Ocean Action and the World Economic Forum after a 2018 Call to Action launched by a group of 34 key stakeholders dedicated to decarbonizing shipping.
  75. The World Economic Forum Global AI Action Alliance is a global community and accelerator that brings the world’s foremost AI developers and users together.
  76. The World Economic Forum’s Friends of Ocean Action is a unique, informal group of over 70 ocean leaders who are fast-tracking solutions to the most pressing challenges facing the ocean. Its members – the Friends – come from business, civil society, international organizations, science and technology.
  77. The objective of the Low-Carbon Emitting Technologies Initiative of WEF is to accelerate the development and upscaling of low carbon emitting technologies for chemical production towards a marked reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the chemical industry and related value chains.  Major chemical sector companies and the World Economic Forum established the Low-Carbon Emitting Technologies initiative to put the global chemical sector on a path to reach net-zero by 2050.
  78. The Global Health Equity Network (GHEN) is a World Economic Forum initiative aims to shape a healthier and more inclusive world through mobilizing executive leadership and commitment across sectors and geographies to prioritize health equity action in organizational strategy and purpose.
  79. The Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation is a public-private partnership for trade-led growth, supporting governments in developing and least-developed countries in implementing the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement. The Alliance is led by the World Economic Forum, CIPE and ICC, in cooperation with GIZ. It is funded by the governments of the United States, Canada, Germany, and Denmark.
  80. The World Economic Forum launched the EDISON Alliance as the first of its kind platform to accelerate and foster unprecedented collaboration between the ICT community and other critical sectors of the economy. EDISON stands for Essential Digital Infrastructure and Services Network.
  81. The Clean Skies for Tomorrow Coalition is led by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with the Rocky Mountain Institute and the Energy Transitions Commission. It is advanced through close consultation with advisory partner, the Air Transport Action Group. Champions of the Clean Skies for Tomorrow Coalition will advance co-developed initiatives to break this impasse, to advance the commercial scale of viable production of sustainable low-carbon aviation fuels (bio and synthetic) for broad adoption in the industry by 2030. Initiatives include a mechanism for aggregating demand for carbon-neutral flying, a co-investment vehicle and geographically specific value-chain pilots.
  82. Established in June 2019, the G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance on Technology Governance unites municipal, regional and national governments, private-sector partners and cities’ residents around a shared set of principles for the responsible and ethical use of smart city technologies. The Alliance establishes and advances global policy norms to help accelerate best practices, mitigate potential risks, and foster greater openness and public trust. The World Economic Forum, the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation, serves as secretariat for the Alliance.
  83. The Tropical Forest Alliance is a global public-private partnership dedicated to collaborative action to realize sustainable rural development and better growth opportunities based on reduced deforestation and sustainable land use management in tropical forest countries. TFA is funded by the governments of Norway, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, plus the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Cargill. TFA is hosted at the World Economic Forum.
  84. Freshwater fishes account for over half of the world’s total fish species. IUCN’s Global Species Programme and Species Survival Commission are currently assessing the state of extinction among freshwater fish.
  85. Interstate Commission for Military-Economic Cooperation is a subsidiary body established under the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
  86. Rock Phosphate is the key raw material for DAP and NPK fertilisers and India is 90% dependent on imports. Volatility in international prices affects domestic prices of fertilisers and hinders the progress and development of agriculture sector in the country.
  87. Doxxing is publishing and analysing others’ personal information on the internet with a malicious intent that can reveal the person’s real identity making them victims of harassments and cyber-attacks.
  88. Agricultural leftovers like rice husk are a major source of biomass. Biomass is a rich source of both hydrogen & carbon. Biomass be it from banana peel or tree bark improves air quality & adds value to agricultural produce. Choose correct options.
  89. All-India Household Consumer Expenditure Survey: Usually conducted by the National Statistical Office (NSO) every five years, is set to resume this year after a prolonged break. Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES) is traditionally a quinquennial (recurring every five years) survey conducted by the government’s National Sample Survey Office (NSSO). It is designed to collect information on the consumer spending patterns of households across the country, both urban and rural. Typically, the Survey is conducted between July and June and this year’s exercise is expected to be completed by June 2023.
  90. India is the largest producer of lemons in the worlde. around 17% of the world’s lemons. Andhra Pradesh is the highest lemon-growing state, followed by Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha and Tamil Nadu. Lemon cultivation requires a warm, moderately dry and moist climate.
  91. Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary(PNP) is a protected area located in the districts of Idukki and Pathanamthitta in Kerala, India. It is notable as an elephant reserve and a tiger reserve. The park forms the major watershed of two important rivers of Kerala: the Periyar and the Pamba. The park is located high in the Cardamom Hills and Pandalam Hills of the south Western Ghats along the border with Tamil Nadu.
  92. Acute hepatitis refers to inflammation of the liver. It most commonly is associated with viral hepatitis, but can be seen with bacterial and fungal infections and with medications. Hepatitis B is associated with hepatocellular carcinoma, for which patients undergo imaging studies as surveillance.
  93. Sometimes, animals pursue the very opposite tactic to avoid being eaten by predators. Instead of merging into the background, they actually aggressively advertise themselves through colouration or shape that they are not worth eating. The brightly coloured animal could be toxic, taste bad, smell foul or have spines or just be too aggressive. Perceiving that there is no profit in eating them the prey leaves them alone. This tactic is called aposematism and the animal which pursues this is aposematic. Aposematism works best when members of the prey are located together in large numbers. A few members are eaten by the predator, who then realises that they are not worth eating and the rest are left alone. The most common colours are red, yellow, black and white.
  94. Over the years, apart from several Indian martial art forms such as Kalaripayattu, Thang Ta, Paika Akhada, and Malkhamb, those of Japan and South East Asia have also been featured. Innovative productions like ‘Bibiddha Barna’ (seven folk art forms of Odisha), and ‘Charishnu’ (seven Indian classical dance styles), and instrumental ensembles have widened the festival’s repertoire.
  95. Poorakali or Marathukali, an amalgam of melody and movements, is a ritualistic art form performed by men during the Malayalam month of Meenam.
  96. ‘Pratibimba’ was based on the ‘darpani’ pose, which is one of the most important bhangis of Odissi. This sculpturesque posture can be seen on temple walls with the Shalabhanjikas holding the mirror. 
  97. A heatwave is declared when the maximum temperature is over 40 degree Celsius and at least 4.5 notches above normal. A severe heatwave is declared if the departure from normal temperature is more than 6.4 degrees, according to the IMD. Based on absolute recorded temperatures, a heatwave is declared when an area logs a maximum temperature of 45 degree Celsius. A severe heatwave is declared if the maximum temperature crosses 47 degrees.
  98. The Olga Tellis vs Bombay Municipal Corporationjudgment in 1985 ruled that eviction of pavement dwellers using unreasonable force, without giving them a chance to explain is unconstitutional. It is a violation of their right to livelihood.
  99. Somalia a country in the Horn of Africa. The country is bordered by Ethiopia to the west, Djibouti to the northwest, the Gulf of Aden to the north, the Indian Ocean to the east, and Kenya to the southwest. It is a member of the United Nations, the Arab League, African Union, Non-Aligned Movement and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
  100. Russia’s guided-missile cruiser Moskva, the flagship of the country’s Black Sea fleet recently sank. The ship, which would normally have about 500 sailors aboard, was located in the Black Sea somewhere off the Ukrainian port of Odesa at the time of the explosion. The Neptune, an anti-ship missile based on an earlier Soviet design, was first announced by Ukraine in 2013. A Neptune missile can hit targets up to 280 kilometres away. The launchers are mounted on trucks stationed near the coast.
  101. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronaut Mark Vande Hei returned to the earth on March 30 after spending 355 days aboard the International Space Station (ISS), setting a record for the longest single spaceflight in history by an American.
  102. A made-in-India aircraft, the Dornier-228, taking to the skies on its maiden commercial flight to Arunachal Pradesh from Assam. Alliance Air has become India’s first commercial airline to fly the Indian-made aircraft for civil operations. Dornier-228 aircraft has been used by the armed forces till now. 
  103. Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh was shown as having a dB range from 29 to 114. At a maximum value of 114, it was the second-most-noisiest city in the list. The first was Dhaka, Bangladesh at a maximum value of 119 dB. The latest 2018 World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines established a health-protective recommendation for road traffic noise levels of 53 dB. 
  104. Article 20(3) of the Constitution states that “no person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.”
  105. The Command Area Development & Water Management (CADWM) Programme has been brought under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) – Har Khet Ko Pani from 2015-16 onwards. The main objective of taking up CAD works is to enhance utilization of irrigation potential created, and improve agriculture production on a sustainable basis through Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM). Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare is implementing “Per Drop More Crop” component of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) which is operational from 2015-16 in the India. The PMKSY- “Per Drop More Crop” mainly focuses on water use efficiency at farm level through micro irrigation (drip and sprinkler irrigation system).
  106. National Aquifer Mapping and Management program (NAQUIM) is being implemented by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) as part of Ground Water Management and Regulation (GWM&R) Scheme, a central sector scheme.
  107. Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has considered/examined the Mihir Shah Committee report of 2016. Based on the report submitted by Dr. Mihir Shah Committee, various Committees, including that of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmadabad and a high level group comprising Chairman, Central Water Commission (CWC) and Chairman, Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), have been constituted.
  108. India’s external debt rose by $11.5 billion to $614.9 billion in the three months ended December 2021. Commercial borrowings remained the largest component of external debt, with a share of 36.8%, followed by non-resident deposits (23.1%) and short-term trade credit. U.S. dollar denominated debt remained the largest component of India’s external debt, with a share of 52% at end-December 2021, followed by the Indian rupee (32%), SDR (6.7%), Yen (5.3%), and the Euro (3.1%).
  109. Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) has several stealth features and has armour protection, night attack capability and crash worthy landing gear to give it better survivability. It is powered by two Shakti engines and has a maximum takeoff weight of 5,800 kg. With a maximum speed of 268 km per hour it has a range of 550 km and an operational ceiling of 6.5 kms. Armed with air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, LCH also has a 20 mm gun and 70 mm rockets. With a full glass cockpit, the LCH has an Electronic Warfare suite and helmet mounted display for the flying crew. The LCH is well suited for anti-tank role wherein it can fly low and fast to attack enemy armour columns and destroy them. It is also suitable for air defence roles and destruction of enemy air defence assets. It can also be used in urban warfare missions and combat search snd rescue operations.
  110. The Punjab Mandi Board has decided to send a ‘digital form J’ on the WhatsApp number of farmers from this Rabi procurement season. ‘J form’ is the sale receipt of a farmer’s agricultural produce in mandis (grain market). These forms were earlier issued manually by arthiyas (commission agents) because in Punjab, a majority of farmers sell their crops through such agents only. The ‘J form’ can be used for raising finance from financial institutions, IT waivers, subsidy claims, farmer’s insurance. Apart from this, it can also help farmers get admission for their wards in educational institutes abroad.
  111. The grimmest discoveries have been made in a Kyiv (Ukraine) suburb called Bucha, a town located about 25 km to the northwest of the capital.
  112. Two (02) Geographical Applications, i.e., Memong Narang and Khasi Mandarinhave been registered from State of Meghalaya. 
  113. “Dhara: An Ode to Indian Knowledge Systems” is the Ministry of Culture’s flagship initiative in this direction. It is conceptualised as a series of lecture demonstrations dedicated to specific areas of enquiry, highlighting India’s contribution and achievements across domains. 
  114. For the modern world, it was the Greek mathematician Archimedes who produced the first-known summation of an infinite series. However, it was used by Madhava (c 1,400 CE) to find the approximate value of pi (p). The Arabic numeral system owes its origins to the Bakhshali Manuscript, the first surviving reference of the Indian numeral system. This system was transmitted to the Arab world by around 800 CE and was popularised by the Persian mathematician Al-Khwarizmi and the philosopher Al-Kindi. From the Arab world, it was transmitted to Europe by around 1100 CE. It was Brahmagupta who established, way back in the 7th century CE, that “the product of a debt (negative number) and a fortune (positive number) is a debt (negative number)”. Similarly, be it the Fibonacci Series (ingenious work of Virahanka) or Pascal’s Triangle (Pingala’s Meru Prastara), ancient India’s contribution to modernmathematics has been dominant and consistent.
  115. The VRRR is usually undertaken to reduce the money flow by taking out existing cash present in the system. The central bank has been rebalancing the surplus liquidity in the system by shifting it out of the fixed-rate overnight reverse repo window to VRRR auctions of longer maturity.
  116. According to Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), tropical forests, which have one of the fastest carbon sequestration rates per unit land area, face the greatest deforestation pressure. Tropical forests store nearly a quarter of terrestrial carbon on the planet and can also cool the earth by as much as 1-degree C, and even more if we factor in biophysical effects. The study further adds that restoring forests in the 0-10 degree N region would deliver 25 per cent more global cooling than expected based on CO2 sequestration alone.
  117. The first batch of Indian Navy aircrew successfully completed its training on the MH-60R Multi-Role Helicopters (MRH) at the U.S. Naval Air Station, North Island in San Diego India had signed a $2.2 bn deal for MH-60R helicopters built by Lockheed Martin during the visit of then U.S. President Donald Trump in February 2020. Deliveries are expected to be completed by 2025.
  118. Situated in the outskirts of Odisha’s capital city of Bhubaneswar, the Chandaka Wildlife Sanctuary is an elephant corridor and important habitat for wild elephants. Elephants from Dhenkanal and Cuttack cross the Mahanadi river and migrate to southern Odisha using Chandaka as their corridor.
  119. The Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards are national honours bestowed by the Government on performing artists as well as teachers and scholars in the field of performing arts. The awards are given in the categories of music, dance, and theatre. In addition, one category is reserved for traditional, folk, and tribal dance, music, theatre and puppetry. An award each was also given for overall contribution and scholarship in Performing Arts.
  120. Although English, alongside Hindi, is one of the two official languages of the central government, it is not among the 22 languages in the 8th Schedule; it is one of the 99 non-scheduled languages.
  121. Consumer Pyramid Survey of Households (CPSH), a privately conducted survey by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). They do this by reweighing the household and population weights of the CPSH given the problems with the survey. 
  122. The Hasdeo forest covering Chhattisgarh’s Korba, Sarguja and Surajpur districts, spans an area of 170,000 hectares. It is a noted migratory corridor and has a significant presence of elephants. It is also the catachment area of the Hasdeo river, the largest tributary of the Mahanadi. The area was declared as a ‘No-Go Zone’ for mining by the Centre in 2009. Despite this, mining in the region continued as the policy for the ‘No-Go Zone’ was not finalised.
  123. The International Court of Justicealso has jurisdiction over the Genocide Convention, the first human rights treaty adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 1948, stating the international community’s commitment to prevent the atrocities of World War Two from ever happening again.
  124. The Gulf of Gabes also known as Lesser Syrtis contrasting with the Greater Syrtis in Libya, is a gulf on Tunisia’s east coast in the Mediterranean Sea, off North Africa. The gulf roughly spans the coast from Sfax to Djerba. Except for the Strait of Gibraltar and the Gulf of Venice, it is the only part of the Mediterranean with a substantial tidal range, causing the uncovering of extensive sandbanks at low water.
  125. The Himalayas are the only example in the world where you have a continental-continental collision (collision of Indian and Eurasian plates). The Spiti Valley had a rare trace fossil — the impression of a movement of an animal — of a giant scorpion. It is found only in three places — Antarctica, India (Spiti Valley) and Australia.
  126. A former US Marine, ultramarathoner, and entrepreneur, Akshay Nanavati is never afraid of a challenge. His latest quest is one for the record books — he is among less than 50 people who have managed to successfully ski up the treacherous Axel Heiberg glacier in Antarctica.
  127. Amidst stiff resistance from Ukraine in the ongoing war and harsh sanctions imposed by the West, Russia went ahead and tested its new Inter Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Sarmat. It was launched from Plesetsk in North West Russia with the intended target in the Kamchatka peninsula almost 6,000 km away. The RS-28 Sarmat (NATO name Satan-II) is reported to be able to carry ten or more warheads and decoys and has the capability of firing over either of the earth’s poles with a range of 11,000 to 18,000 km. It is expected to pose a significant challenge to the ground-and-satellite-based radar tracking systems of the western powers, particularly the USA. The ten warheads are Multiple Independently-Targetable Re-entry Vehicles and each has a blast yield of .75 MT. The Sarmat will also be the first Russian missile which can carry smaller hypersonic boost-glide vehicles. These are manoeuvrable and hard to intercept. 
  128. GLobal Insect Threat-Response Synthesis (GLiTRS) is a four-year project funded by the Natural Environment Research Council Highlight Topics program. It is a consortium of six institutions in the UK and South Africa, with partners around the world.
  129. Oil India Limited (OIL) has taken the first significant step towards Green Hydrogen Economy in India with the commissioning of India’s First 99.999% pure Green Hydrogen pilot plant, with an installed capacity of 10 kg per day at its Jorhat Pump Station in Assam. The plant produces Green Hydrogen from the electricity generated by the existing 500kW Solar plant using a 100 kW Anion Exchange Membrane (AEM) Electrolyser array. The use of AEM technology is being used for the first time in India. Anion exchange membranes are used in electrolytic cells and fuel cells to separate reactants present around the two electrodes while transporting the anions essential for the cell operation.
  130. On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of Indian Independence & ongoing Azadi ka Amrit Mahotasav, India Post Payments Bank (IPPB), a 100% government owned entity under Department of Posts (DoP) announced the launch of Fincluvation– a joint initiative to collaborate with Fintech Startup community to co-create and innovate solutions for financial inclusion.
  131. The Government of India recently appointed Suman K Bery as the vice-chairman of the NITI Aayog following the resignation of Rajiv Kumar.
  132. The World Health Organisation (WHO) said Pfizer’s oral antiviral drug Paxlovid was “strongly recommended” for patients with non-severe Covid-19 who are at highest risk of developing severe disease and hospitalisation, such as unvaccinated, older, or immunosuppressed patients.
  133. Zydus Cadila’s vaccine is the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine built on a DNA platform that has been approved for commercial use. Corbevax is a “recombinant protein sub-unit” vaccine, which means it is made up of a specific part of SARS-CoV-2, that is, the spike protein on the virus’s surface. The spike protein allows the virus to enter cells so that it can replicate and cause disease. However, when just the spike protein is injected into the body, it is not as harmful as the virus itself, because the rest of the virus is missing.
  134. Article 239 AA was inserted in the Constitution by The Constitution (69th Amendment) Act, 1991 to give Special Status to Delhi following the recommendations of the S Balakrishnan Committee that was set up to look into demands for statehood for Delhi. It says that the NCT of Delhi will have an Administrator and a Legislative Assembly. Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, the Legislative Assembly “shall have power to make laws for the whole or any part of the NCT with respect to any of the matters in the State List or Concurrent List in so far as any such matter is applicable to Union territories” except on the subject of police, public order, and land.
  135. The Hattis are a close-knit community who got their name from their tradition of selling homegrown vegetables, crops, meat and wool etc. at small markets called ‘haat’ in towns. The Hatti community, whose men generally don a distinctive white headgear during ceremonies, is cut off from Sirmaur by two rivers called Giri and Tons. Tons divides it from the Jaunsar Bawar area of Uttarakhand. The Hattis who live in the trans-Giri area and Jaunsar Bawar in Uttarakhand were once part of the royal estate of Sirmaur until Jaunsar Bawar’s separation in 1815.

To Read Previous Months Monthly Prelims inFocus: Click here

To Download our Monthly Current Affairs Digest (Free Prelims inFocus): Click here