IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-August 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-August 2022

  1. The High Seas Alliance is a partnership of organizations and groups aimed at building a strong common voice and constituency for the conservation of the high seas. The Alliance is currently made up of 40+ NGOs plus the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The objective of the Alliance is to facilitate international cooperation to establish high seas protected areas and to strengthen high seas governance. Members of the HSA share and facilitate access to information in order to promote transparency and encourage an informed public discourse related to the mission and goals of the Alliance. High Seas Alliance members commit to work together to achieve these goals either as members of a collaborative effort through the Alliance, or as individual organizations supported by or affiliated with the Alliance.
  2. Located on the southern tip of the Indian Peninsula, just 10 nautical miles from the major international sea route and east-west shipping axis, and with a natural water depth of more than 20 m within a nautical mile from the coast, the Vizhinjam port is likely to play a pivotal role in the maritime development of the country and Kerala. The commissioning of the port is expected to leverage the growth of 17 minor ports in the State along with creating thousands of employment opportunities.
  3. According to Iraq’s electoral laws, if a parliamentary seat becomes vacant, it will be filled by the candidate who receives the second-highest number of votes in their electoral district.
  4. One mobile banking trojan, called Anubis, has been targeting Android users since 2017, and its worldwide campaigns have hit users in Russia, Turkey, India, China, Colombia, France, Germany, the U.S., Denmark, and Vietnam. 
  5. Article 344(1) envisages Commissions constituted by the President after five years, and then ten years, from the commencement of the Constitution, consisting of a Chairman and members representing the languages specified in the Eighth Schedule to make recommendations to the President for the progressive use of Hindi for the official purposes of the Union.
  6. Article 351 of the Constitution provides that it shall be the duty of the Union to promote the spread of the Hindi language so that it may serve as a medium of expression for all the elements of the composite culture of India. It further makes it the duty of the nation to “secure its enrichment by assimilating without interfering with its genius, the forms, style and expressions used in Hindustani and in the other languages of India specified in the Eighth Schedule.” It also specifies that it may draw upon Sanskrit, and secondarily, other languages, for its vocabulary wherever ”necessary or desirable.”
  7. The Constitution or any supporting documentation does not refer to which languages are to be included in the Eighth Schedule and what criteria they are expected to fulfil. Article 29, however, does say that a section of citizens having a distinct language, script or culture has the right to conserve the same.
  8. Currently, there are no vaccines available to treat infection by the West Nile virus. In most cases, the infection heals itself. Medication may be needed to treat the flu-like symptoms caused by the virus. Most health departments recommend covering the body and using mosquito repellents to prevent West Nile virus infections. WNV is a zoonotic virus, meaning it spreads from animals to humans. It is a member of the flavivirus genus and belongs to the Japanese encephalitis antigenic complex of the family Flaviviridae. The virus circulates between birds and mosquitoes in nature, but not all birds react similarly to the virus. Some birds like crows and jays often die following infections. Humans, horses and other mammals can be infected as well. The optimal temperature for WNV transmission from mosquitoes to humans is 23-25°C in general. At cooler temperatures, the virus replicates more slowly. Mosquitoes are not able to survive at higher sustained temperatures.
  9. Kerala has soft launched ‘Kerala Savari’, the country’s first online taxi service owned by a State government, to ensure fair and decent service to passengers along with fair remuneration to auto-taxi workers.
  10. Facial recognition is an algorithm-based technology which creates a digital map of the face by identifying and mapping an individual’s facial features, which it then matches against the database to which it has access. It can be used for two purposes: firstly, 1:1 verification of identity wherein the facial map is obtained for the purpose of matching it against the person’s photograph on a database to authenticate their identity. For example, 1:1 verification is used to unlock phones. However, increasingly it is being used to provide access to any benefits or government schemes. Secondly, there is the 1:n identification of identity wherein the facial map is obtained from a photograph or video and then matched against the entire database to identify the person in the photograph or video. Law enforcement agencies such as the Delhi Police usually procure FRT for 1:n identification.
  11. NFTs are digital assets whose ownership is verified through transaction records stored on blockchains. Art work, digital avatars and accessorised monkeys are some of the most commonly traded NFTs. OpenSea is said to be one of the largest NFT marketplaces in existence.
  12. Ethiopia, the second most populous country in Africa, is situated in the strategic Horn of Africa region. It is bordered by Eritrea, Djibouti, Sudan, Somalia, and Kenya. The country is divided into 10 regions based on the concentration of ethnic groups. The Oromo- the largest ethnic group in the country, and Amhara- the second largest group, make up more than 60 per cent of Ethiopia’s 115 million people. The Tigrayans, meanwhile, constitute around 6-7 per cent and are an ethnic minority.
  13. In 1975, the ‘Derg’, a Soviet-backed Marxist military dictatorship’ led by Mengistu Haile Mariam was established in Ethiopia and ruled over the country till 1991, when it was ousted.
  14. Rohingya, an ethnic group, mostly Muslim, hail from the Rakhine province of west Myanmar, and speak a Bengali dialect. Myanmar has classified them as “resident foreigners” or “associate citizens,”
  15. India is not a signatory to the 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol. All foreign undocumented nationals are governed as per the provisions of The Foreigners Act, 1946, The Registration of Foreigners Act, 1939, The Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 and The Citizenship Act, 1955.
  16. The Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO), responsible for tracking foreigners and their visas, has been requesting space at a new location for the Rohingya from the Delhi government since 2021. The FRRO is under the administrative control of the MHA.
  17. In 2014, India deployed IndARC, India’s first moored-underwater observatory in the Kongsfjorden fjord, Svalbard, to monitor the impact of the changes in the Arctic Ocean on the tropical processes such as the monsoons. 
  18. National Lok Adalats (NLA) are an alternate dispute resolution mechanism, regularly organised to help parties reach a compromise. NLAs deal with motor-accident claims, disputes related to public-utility services, dishonour of cheques, and land, labour and matrimonial disputes (except divorce).
  19. Directive Principles were not made to be “rigid” or enforceable by law, but fundamental to governance. Dr. Ambedkar had described them as “socialistic” and a “novel feature” of the Constitution.
  20. With an aim to augment ethanol supplies, the government has allowed procurement of ethanol produced from other sources besides molasses — which is first generation ethanol or 1G. Other than molasses, ethanol can be extracted from materials such as rice straw, wheat straw, corn cobs, corn stover, bagasse, bamboo and woody biomass, which are second generation ethanol sources or 2G.
  21. Puga Valley is situated in the Changthang Valley in the southeastern part of Ladakh, about 22 km away from the Salt Lake Valley. The region is known as a hub for generating geothermal energy, which is notably in the form of sulphur and borax deposits. It has shown an immense amount of mud pools and hot sulphur springs.
  22. The ILO report titled ‘Asia-Pacific Employment and Social Outlook 2020: Navigating the crisis towards a human-centred future of work’, estimates the pandemic to have wiped out some 81 million jobs in 2020 compared to pre-crisis trends.
  23. The nine-point agreement of November 10, 2020 was signed by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The agreement imposed an immediate ceasefire, a timeline for withdrawal from Azerbaijan’s occupied regions, the introduction of Russian peacekeepers, and the need for new transport corridors.
  24. As per the First Schedule of the Constitution in 1949, integrated territories were grouped into 27 States, divided into Part A, B, C, and D categories. Part A states were erstwhile Governors’ provinces. Part B were former Princely States or clusters of Princely States. Part C were states run by commissioners appointed by the President. Part D comprised solely of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, then run by a Centre-appointed Lieutenant Governor.
  25. Thrombocytopenia is low platelet count, while leukopenia means a fall in the white blood cell count, in turn reducing the body’s disease-fighting capability.
  26. The Press Freedom Index is an annual publication by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), an international non-profit organisation. The objective of the Press Freedom Index is to “compare the level of press freedom enjoyed by journalists and media in 180 countries and territories” in the previous calendar year. From 80 in 2002, India’s rank has fallen to 150 in 2022
  27. The Tornado Cash mixer is a decentralised protocol based on the Ethereum blockchain. Ethereum’s native currency Ether (ETH) is only below Bitcoin in terms of market cap.
  28. The U.S. Senate approved a Bill titled the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) 2022. The IRA has a special focus on climate, healthcare, and tax provisions to address inflation. The Bill marks the largest American investment aimed toward making the U.S. a leader in clean energy. It includes packages worth $369 billion for the clean energy transition.
  29. In May 2022, Japan announced its ‘Invest in Kisida’ plan which aims for a $1.1 trillion investment to bolster the Japanese economy. As part of the plan, the country aims to transition to clean energy and achieve 46% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. In June 2021, the European Union (EU) proposed a similar ‘Fit for 55’ plan to reduce emissions by 55% by 2030. 
  30. Manipur, home to three major ethnic groups: These ethnic groups are the non-tribal Meitei people concentrated in the Imphal Valley, the central part of Manipur, and the tribal Naga and Kuki-Zomi groups mostly inhabiting the hills around.
  31. The Hasdeo Aranya (Aranya means forest) lies in the catchment area of the Hasdeo river and is spread across 1,878 sq km in North-Central Chhattisgarh. The Hasdeo river is a tributary of the Mahanadi river which originates in Chhattisgarh and flows through Odisha into the Bay of Bengal. The Hasdeo forests are also the catchment area for the Hasdeo Bango Dam built across the Hasdeo river which irrigates six lakh acres of land, crucial to a State with paddy as its main crop. Besides, the forests are ecologically sensitive due to the rich biodiversity they offer and due to the presence of a large migratory corridor for elephants.
  32. AlphaFold is an AI-based protein structure prediction tool. It is based on a computer system called deep neural network. Inspired by the human brain, neural networks use a large amount of input data and provides the desired output exactly like how a human brain would. The real work is done by the black box between the input and the output layers, called the hidden networks. AlphaFold is fed with protein sequences as input. When protein sequences enter through one end, the predicted three-dimensional structures come out through the other. It is like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat.
  33. Potassium iodide (KI) tablets, or anti-radiation pills, are known to provide some protection in cases of radiation exposure. They contain non-radioactive iodine and can help block absorption, and subsequent concentration, of radioactive iodine in the thyroid gland.
  34. Artemis I will send a rocketwithout a crew on a month-long journey around the Moon. The programme aims to increase women’s participation in space exploration – 30% of its engineers are women. Artemis was a major deity in ancient Greece, worshiped at least as early as the beginning of the first millennium B.C., or even earlier. She was a daughter of Zeus, the chief god of the Olympians, who ruled the world from the summit of Mount Olympus. She was also the twin sister of Apollo, god of the Sun and oracles.
  35. The Idgah, one of three in Hubbali, is said to have been traditionally used by local Muslims to offer Ramzan and Bakrid prayers. There are some old reports of fairs and meetings by various political parties at the ground in the decades before Independence. The ownership of the land is said to have been with one Moopana Basappa Narool, one Esar Vanch Padri, and the Basel Mission at various times in the nineteenth century. The land was acquired by the Hubbali Municipality in the early years of the 20th century. In 1921, the Anjuman-e-Islam petitioned the municipality to allow Muslims to hold prayers in the maidan. The municipality accepted the representation, and the land was leased to the Anjuman for 999 years. The lease agreement was subsequently confirmed by the government of the Bombay Presidency.
  36. The Wakf Act defines Wakf as a permanent dedication by a person professing Islam, of any movable or immovable property for any purpose recognised by Muslim law as pious, religious or charitable.
  37. Ukraine is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear weapons state. Each of its nuclear facilities is under IAEA safeguards. That means every bit of nuclear material and fuel, every kilogram of uranium and every gram of plutonium, has to be accounted for and reported.
  38. Also referred to as dead or doomed ice, zombie ice is one that is not accumulating fresh snow even while continuing to be part of the parent ice sheet. Such ice is “committed” to melting away and increasing sea levels.
  39. This year’s Earth Overshoot Daywas observed (28th July) a day before it was celebrated in year 2021 on July 29. It indicates that humanity’s demand for natural resources exceeds what the Earth can provide.
  40. Just like dementia in humans, dogs too experience a decline in cognitive functions, which is known as canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD) or doggy dementia. The disease, the study said, is difficult to diagnose as it is often confused with age-related issues among canines like loss of vision or hearing. However, symptoms that pet owners should look out for include changes in the dog’s sleep cycle, forgetting years of house training, wandering around the house as if lost, among others.
  41. India is at the top after getting the highest number of sponsored study visas from the UK and has even surpassed China.
  42. Recently, Prime Minister inaugurated the 357.18-kilometer-long Kutch Branch Canal (KBC) that stretched from the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Dam in Narmada district. The Saurashtra and North Gujarat regions have been receiving Narmada waters through the Saurashtra Branch Canal, its six sub-branch canals as well as through the canal network in north Gujarat.
  43. Supreme Court judges retire on attaining the age of 65 while high court judges retire at 62.
  44. Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, sworn in as the 49th Chief Justice of Indiaon Saturday, will be the sixth head of the Indian judiciary to have a tenure of less than 100 days. Lalit will demit office on November 8 with a tenure of 74 days. Justice Kamal Narain Singh, who was the CJI between November 25, 1991 and December 12, 1991, had a tenure of 18 days. Justice S Rajendra Babu had a tenure of 30 days as the chief justice of India between May 2, 2004 and May 31, 2004. Justice J C Shah had a tenure of 36 days when he was the CJI between December 17, 1970 and January 21, 1971. Justice G B Patnaik had a 41-day tenure as the head of the Indian judiciary when he held the office of the CJI from November 8, 2002 to December 18, 2002. Justice L M Sharma had a tenure of 86 days as the CJI when he was in office between November 18, 1992 and February 11, 1993.
  45. Corp Residue Management (CRM) is a central government sponsored scheme under which the state gets an annual grant since 2018-19. It will include Happy seeder, super seeder, smart seeder, super SMS, which is an attachment with the combine harvester, cutter, chopper, mulcher, etc. Under the scheme, farmers are entitled a 50% subsidy on a machine and groups are entitled to 80% subsidy.
  46. California has approved a ban on the sale of new petroleum-powered vehicles by 2035 — a landmark policy intervention that could have an impact throughout most other American states, and in countries outside of the US. California, besides being the biggest US state, is one of the largest markets for car sales in the world. So, California’s position on new car sales is extremely important given the state’s status as a torch bearer for clean air regulations.
  47. Moderna, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, had been an innovator in the messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine technology that enabled unprecedented speed in developing the COVID-19 vaccine. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines use the same technology, based on messenger RNA, or mRNA. Such vaccines make use of the messenger RNA molecules that tell the body’s cells what proteins to build. mRNA enters cells shortly after vaccination and instructs them to create a SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, prompting the immune response. The immunity against a Covid infection is in the form of antibodies that will develop and remain in the blood, fighting the real virus when it infects. Other types of vaccines include the non-replicating viral vector category, an example of which is the vaccine developed by Oxford and AstraZeneca.
  48. Mosquitoes transmit diseases like malaria, West Nile virus, Zikavirus, and dengue among others.
  49. South Korea and the United States began their largest joint military drills since 2017. These joint military drills are designed to test readiness against North Korea’s missile tests. The drills, called the Ulchi Freedom Shield, are scheduled to run until September 1. They are tri-service drills involving thousands of troops as well as live-fire exercises.
  50. A company or business is said to be “over leveraged” if it has unsustainably high debt against its operating cash flows and equity. Such a company would find it difficult to make interest and principal repayments to its creditors, and may struggle to meet its operating expenses as well. In the latter case, the company may be forced to borrow even more just to keep going, and thus enter a vicious cycle. This situation can ultimately lead to the company going bankrupt.
  51. Some of Europe’s biggest rivers — Rhine, Po, Loire, Danube — which are usually formidable waterways, are unable to support even mid-sized boats.
  52. China recently issued its first national drought alert of the year, after areas like Shanghai, the Yangtze Delta region and Sichuan province in southwest China reported weeks of severe heat. Sichuan in particular is dependent on hydropower systems for over 80 per cent of its energy. The hydropower deficit has also impacted regions like Chongqing city and Hubei province.
  53. The ‘pileus cloud’ is also known as a ‘cap cloud’ or ‘scarf cloud’. Actually, the rainbow-like pileus cloud is not a cloud in itself. The pileus cloud is an accessory cloud of small horizontal extent, in the form of a cap or hood above the top or attached to the upper part of a cumuliform cloud that often penetrates it. Several pileus may fairly often be observed in superposition. A pileus is created when the quickly rising air in the cumulus cloud (or cumulonimbus) updraft pushes against the cooler air above it. This causes condensation of the moisture right along the top of the updraft, leading to the formation of the Pileus. When the sun is shining at a perfect angle, diffraction of light takes place between the droplets and ice crystals in the cloud, giving the Pileus its rainbow-like colors. But, these clouds typically only last a few hours, as they are “eaten up” by the cloud that is above them. Pileus cloud is absorbed by the lower cloud by convection. Pileus isn’t very common, but it can be spotted on days when you could anticipate cumulus clouds developing into thunderstorms.
  54. Six members of ‘Razakar Bahini’, a locally recruited paramilitary force that collaborated with the Pakistan army during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, were sentenced to death for ‘crimes against humanity’ by Bangladesh’s International Crimes Tribunal. The Razakars were an auxiliary force of the Pakistan army during the 1971 Bangladesh War. Razakar literally means ‘volunteer’ or ‘helper’ in Persian and Urdu, but has come to mean ‘collaborator’ and is associated with betrayal in Bangladesh.
  55. Pandurang Khankhoje was one of the founding members of the Ghadar Party, established by Indians living abroad in 1914, mostly belonging to Punjab. Its aim was to lead a revolutionary fight against the British in India. Khankhoje had a close connection with Mexico, the country in which he sought refuge due to his association with the radical pro-Indian independence Ghadar Party.
  56. The first Indian kingdom to come up in Southeast Asia was Funan, which is the predecessor of modern Cambodia and Lin-yi in southern Vietnam, both of which came up in the second century CE.
  57. An IPOis an asset class that is a derivative of the secondary market, and its performance is linked to the sentiment in the broader market. Demand tends to be strong when investor sentiment is buoyant, and in such a scenario they get higher investor interest and fare well. However, that is not true for all cases; it also depends upon the pricing of the issue. Hence, investors need to do a thorough study of the company — the quality of promoters, business fundamentals, and the financial and peer review analysis — before investing in an IPO.
  58. As a member of the 23-nation Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), Kenya is a strategically important player in the Indian Ocean region. Kenya is currently a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. During its rotational presidency of the UNSC in October 2021.
  59. 19 Kumaon, or ‘Unnis’ as it is better known in the Kumaon Regiment, was barely five years old when it was deployed in Operation Meghdoot. The operation had been mounted in April 1984 by the Indian Army to occupy certain features on the Siachen Glacier, in order to pre-empt the Pakistan Army which had been noticed to be advancing to occupy the same heights and features. The Saltoro Ridge is around 15 km in length and ranges from 18,600 feet approximately at Gyong La to 22,000 feet at Gyong Kangri. The unit eventually hoisted the Tricolour at Point 5725, opposite, Gyong La, amidst firing from the Pakistan Army.
  60. The display of the National Flag is governed by the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950, and the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971. The Flag Code of India, 2002, which took effect on January 26, 2002 in supersession of the earlier ‘Flag Code — India’, brings together all these laws, conventions, practices and instructions. The National Flag, which is flying high across India as the nation celebrates 75 years of freedom, was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on July 22, 1947. The diameter of the Wheel shall approximate to the width of the white band. The ratio of the width to the length of the Flag shall ordinarily be 2:3.
  61. There are two main forms of poliovirus. Alongside the wild-type outlined above, there are also rare cases of what is known as vaccine-derived polio. While vaccine-derived polio is almost unheard of in the above locations, it is a known – albeit rare – threat in other countries, causing outbreaks every year, including 415 cases in Nigeria in 2021. It stems from the use of an oral polio vaccine containing weakened live virus. After children are vaccinated, they shed virus in their faeces for a few weeks. In under-vaccinated communities, this can then spread and mutate back to a harmful version of the virus.
  62. The PIN is made up of six digits. The first number indicates the postal region — Northern, Eastern, Western, Southern; and number 9, which signifies the Army Postal Service. The second number denotes a sub-region, and the third represents the sorting district. The remaining numbers narrow the geography further to the specific post office making the delivery.
  63. Globally, in the US, the Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP) code was introduced July 1, 1963, under the aegis of the Postal Service Nationwide Improved Mail Service plan to improve the speed of mail delivery. According to the Library of Congress, “Under the old system letters went through about 17 sorting stops – the new system was going to be considerably less time-consuming utilizing newer, more mechanical systems”.
  64. Asbestos, the name for another group of naturally occurring silicate minerals, can also be found near talc deposits. Asbestos has been used in construction and manufacturing, and is known to cause lung cancer, ovarian cancer, mesothelioma and other health conditions.
  65. Indian author Geetanjali Shreewon the International Booker Prize for the English translation of her Hindi book ‘Ret Samaadhi’ or Tomb of Sand, a novel that features an Indian woman in her eighties who attempts to journey to Pakistan, where she lived before Partition.
  66. A Chinese ballistic missile and satellite tracking shipwill dock at Hambantota port on Sri Lanka’s southern coast for a week. The ship is a Chinese research and survey vessel called ‘Yuan Wang 5’. China uses its Yuan Wang class ships to track satellite, rocket and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launches. China has seven of these tracking ships, which are capable of operating throughout the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans. The ships supplement Beijing’s land-based tracking stations. The Yuan Wang 5 is a powerful tracking vessel whose significant aerial reach — reportedly around 750 km — means that several ports in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh could be on China’s radar.
  67. The Chinese manjha is a glass-coated synthetic string used to fly kites. It is made of monofilament fishing lines. They are made by melting and mixing polymers, and after the strings are formed, they are then coated with glass. Stretched tight, monofilament strings have the ability to injure humans and animals alike. The main reason for the popularity of Chinese manjha, however, is the cost. It is a third of the cost of the cotton manjha and several times stronger.
  68. One of the pioneer Sattriya and Odissi dancer, Gorima Hazarika,passed away at her residence in Assam.
  69. The UK Ministry of Defence, in its intelligence assessment of the ongoing war in Ukraine, has and sounded an alarm on the possible use of PFM-1 series ‘Butterfly Mines’ by the Russian military in Donetsk and Kramatorsk. Commonly called the ‘butterfly mine’, the PFM-1 series are deeply controversial, indiscriminate weapons. PFM-1s were used to devastating effect in the Soviet-Afghan War where they allegedly maimed high numbers of children who “mistook them for toys. The PFM-1 and PFM-1S are two kinds of anti-personnel landmines that are commonly referred to as ‘Butterfly mines’ or ‘Green Parrots’. These names are derived from the shape and colour of the mines. The main difference between the PFM-1 and PFM-1S mine is that the latter comes with a self-destruction mechanism which gets activated within one to 40 hours. The anti-personal mines are banned by international convention on land lines but Russia and Ukraine are not signatories to it. However, there is a 1996 Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons-the Landlines Protocol to which Russia and Ukraine are signatories.
  70. US firm Microsofthas become the first big tech company to join the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), a government-backed project which is aimed at enabling small merchants and mom-and-pop stores in parts of the country to access processes and technologies that are typically deployed by large e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and Flipkart.
  71. An American anti-radar missile, AGM-88 HARM, which is part of NATO’s inventory, has been used in the theatre of conflict. The acronym ‘HARM’ in the AGM-88 HARM air-to-surface missile stands for High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile. It is a tactical weapon fired from fighter aircraft, and has the capability to detect and home into radiation emitted by hostile radar stations that have surface-to-air detection capabilities. The AGM-88 HARM is 14 metres in length, but only 10 inches in diameter. It weighs around 360 kg and carries a fragmentation type warhead that is optimised for radar targets. It also has an anti-radar homing seeker broadband RF antenna and receiver, and a solid state digital processor. The missile has a range of more than 100 km.
  72. A typical solar PV value chain consists of first fabricating polysilicon ingots which need to be transformed into thin Si wafers that are needed to manufacture the PV mini-modules. The mini-modules are then assembled into market-ready and field-deployable modules.
  73. The International Mobile Equipment Identity or IMEI is a unique number that is used to identify a device on a mobile network. It has 15 digits, and is like your phone’s unique identity. When you use the internet or place a call through your cellular service provider, then this number is used to verify the identity of your device. If you have a dual SIM phone, then you will have two IMEI numbers, one for each slot. However, the easiest way to find it is to dial *#06# on your mobile, and your screen will immediately display the IMEI number of your current device.
  74. Based on the responses, the RBI comes up with two indices: the Current Situation Index (CSI) and the Future Expectations Index (FEI).
  75. Live-fire exercises are exercises primarily used by military personnel, in which live ammunition is used to create training conditions that are as close to real combat scenarios as possible. Live-fire exercises are also used by law enforcement and firefighters as a form of field training, to train them to act calmly in real-life emergency situations in the future.
  76. The “porcupine doctrine”, which was proposed in 2008 by US Naval War College research professor William S Murray, is a strategy of asymmetric warfare focused on fortifying a weak state’s defences to exploit the enemy’s weaknesses rather than taking on its strengths.
  77. The Indian Army has various breeds of dogs in its dog units. These include Labradors, German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois and Great Mountain Swiss Dogs. Axel was reportedly a Belgian Malinois breed dog.
  78. In the Indian Army, animals, including dogs, are eligible to be awarded the Chief of Army Staff Commendation Card, Vice Chief of Staff Commendation Card as well as General Officer Commanding in Chief Commendation Card for their acts of gallantry as well as distinguished service. The Dog Handlers are eligible for the gallantry medals and have been awarded Shaurya Chakra and Sena Medal for gallantry while taking part in operations with their dogs.
  79. The Space Liability Convention of 1972 defines responsibility in case a space object causes harm. The treaty says that “a launching State shall be absolutely liable to pay compensation for damage caused by its space objects on the surface of the earth or to aircraft, and liable for damage due to its faults in space. The Convention also provides for procedures for the settlement of claims for damages.” However, there is no law against space junk crashing back to earth.
  80. Insulin, a hormone produced by beta cells in the pancreas, helps regulate blood sugar levels in the body. In Type 1 diabetes, beta cells produce less or no insulin at all.
  81. Paxlovid is an antiviral drug developed by Pfizer, which consists of nirmatrelvir tablets and ritonavir tablets, co-packaged for oral use. Paxlovid is administered as three tablets — two of nirmatrelvir and one of ritonavir — taken together orally twice daily for five days.
  82. The odonates’ checklist of Kerala has now grown to 182 with the discovery of a new damselfly species from the Western Ghats in the Peechi Wildlife Sanctuary in Thrissur. This is the second species belonging to the damselfly genus Protosticta to be described by the TNHS researchers after Ponmudi Reed-tail ( Protosticta ponmudiensis) that was described in 2015 from Ponmudi hills in Thiruvananthapuram. There are 15 species of Protosticta in India, among which 12 inhabit the Western Ghats.
  83. The Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is also known as the ‘Pakshi Kashi’ of Karnataka. It is a bird sanctuary in the Mandya District of the state of Karnataka in India. It is the largest bird sanctuary in the state with 40 acres in area, and comprises six islets on the banks of the Kaveri River. The sanctuary has been designated as a protected Ramsar site since 2022. This is also the first and the only Ramsar site in Karnataka. The bird sanctuary supports more than 1% of the world’s population of spot-billed pelicans — as against a global population of nearly 17,000, Ranganathittu supports about 1,000 of these birds.
  84. Exercise Pitch Black is a biennial three-week multilateral air combat training exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
  85. Recently, Goaand Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu (D&NH and D&D) became the first ‘Har Ghar Jal’ certified State and UT in the country respectively.
  86. Scotland is the first country to offer period products free of charge on a national scale. Others, including New Zealand and Kenya, distribute products for free in public schools. Scotland has become the first country in the world to make period products free for all.
  87. Dr N Kalaiselvihas become the first woman to be appointed Director General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Kalaiselvi also made key contributions to theNational Mission for Electric Mobility. She has more than 125 research papers and six patents to her credit. CSIR is funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology and it operates as an autonomous body through the Societies Registration Act, 1860. Prime Minister of India is the Ex-officio President of CSIR. The Director General is the head of the governing body. The other ex-officio member is the finance secretary (expenditures). Other members’ terms are three years.
  88. A propagule is a vegetative structure that can become detached from a plant and give rise to a new plant. Examples include a bud, sucker, or spore.
  89. The AVRA Technology Award – 2021 was presented to Dr Krishna M Ella, Chairman, Bharat Biotech, at CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, HyderabadBharat Biotech (in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) – National Institute of Virology) produced India’s indigenous vaccine, Covaxin.
  90. Cartwheel Galaxy, located about 500 million light-years away in the Sculptor constellation, has been caught with the James Webb Space Telescope. The structure appears like a wheel of a wagon, and Webb reveals the galaxy’s central black hole along with the information about star formation. Cartwheel galaxy has been explored earlier with the Hubble Space Telescope but the same had failed may be due to the thick layer of dust which obstructs the view. Webb with an infrared gaze explored the uncovered part of the Cartwheel galaxy. Webb Telescope had not just revealed the observations of the galaxy’s present structural formations but also determined that Cartwheel is in a very transitory stage.
  91. Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) is a process or technology for producing energy by harnessing the temperature differences (thermal gradients) between ocean surface waters and deep ocean waters.
  92. The WWF has launched the “Good for You, Good for the Planet” campaign to guide people towards eating a planet friendly diet.
  93. August 9 is celebrated as International Day of the World’s Indigenous People. “The Role of Indigenous Women in the Preservation and Transmission of Traditional Knowledge” is the theme.
  94. One of the Ramsar criteria is that a wetland should support 20,000 or more waterfowl while another is that it should regularly support 1% of the population of one species or sub-species of water bird.
  95. Russia will launch an Iranian remote sensing satellite ‘Khayyam’ into orbitby using its Soyuz 2.1B satellite carrier.
  96. Vasculitis is a general term for several conditions that cause inflammation of blood vessels. It is also called angiitis (“inflammation within blood vessels”) or arteritis (“inflammation in arteries”). It is an auto-immune disease in which the body’s immune system turns on healthy blood vessels, causing them to swell up, narrow down, stretched, or weak. The blood vessels might close entirely.
  97. Similar to the Enhanced Access and Service Excellence (EASE) for Public Sector Banks (PSBs), the Centre has asked the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) to prepare a viability plan for Regional Rural Banks (RRBs).
  98. Ottawa Convention is the 1997 Convention on the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of Anti-Personnel landmines (APLs) and on their Destruction. Usually referred to as Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Treaty, this international agreement bans APLs. This Convention requires states-parties: To destroy their stockpiled APLs within 4 years and To eliminate all APL holdings, including mines currently planted in the soil, within 10 years. Some key current and past producers and users of landmines, including the US, China, India, Pakistan, and Russia, have not signed the treaty.
  99. Latvia and Estonia say they have left a Chinese-backed forum aimed at boosting relations with Eastern European countries, in what appears to be a new setback for China’s increasingly assertive diplomacy. Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs) are member states that were part of the former Eastern bloc. The member countries include Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
  100. Not far from the Adichanallur site, which sits at the top of a mound along Tirunelveli-Tiruchendur Road, lies Korkai, an ancient port city of the Pandya kings.
  101. Heavy downpour has left vast tracts of paddy fields at villages in Sagar taluk of Shivamogga district inundated, but the farmers in the villages of Saidur, Kanale and Hirenallur gram panchayats of Karnataka grow a flood-resistant traditional variety called Nereguli, which has stood them in good stead.
  102. A recent study by researchers used fossil evidence to create a 3D model of the Megalodon — one of the biggest predatory fish of all time.
  103. Greece’s exit from the European Union’s so-called enhanced surveillance framework for its economy ends 12 years of pain and allows the country greater freedom in policy making.
  104. Africa has adopted a new strategy to boost access to the diagnosis, treatment and care of severe non-communicable diseases (NCD). Called ‘PEN-PLUS, A Regional Strategy to Address Severe Non-Communicable Diseases at First-Level Referral Health Facilities’, the strategy is aimedat bridging the access gap in treatment and care of patients with chronic and severe NCDs. The PEN-PLUS strategy has been successfully implemented and scaled up in Liberia, Malawi and Rwanda, with evidence of significant improvement in the number of patients accessing services in these countries.
  105. The Netarhat Field Firing Range is spread over 1,470 square km of land across 245 villages in two districts in Jharkhand. In 1954, the then-undivided Bihar government gave 8 square km in 7 revenue villages of the Netarhat plateau to the Army for cannon firing in the name of Netarhat Field Firing Range.
  106. The novel Fijivirus has caused a disease that had dwarfed some non-basmati and basmati plants in Haryana and Punjab. The Fiji Virus is the other name for the Southern Rice Black-Streaked Dwarf Virus (SRBSDV). The virus was first reported in southern China in 2001 and causes a striking disease on rice and maize that leads to serious yield losses in several East Asian countries, such as China, Vietnam and Japan. It spreads by the white-backed plant hopper (Sogatella furcifera), which injects it while sucking the sap from mostly young plants. The virus is specific to the phloem and is not transmitted by seed or grain. The affected plants showed severely stunted appearance. The roots were poorly developed and turned brownish. The infected tillers can be pulled out easily.
  107. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has issued a notification on 26 August 2022 for greater facilitation of citizens in the issue of International Driving Permit (IDP) across the country. India, being a signatory to Convention on International Road Traffic of 1949 (Geneva Convention), is required to issue IDP as provided under this Convention, for the acceptance of the same on reciprocal basis with other countries. Currently, the format, size, pattern, colour etc. of the IDP being issued was differing across States in India. Due to this, many citizens were facing difficulties with their respective IDP in foreign countries. Now, through this amendment, the format, size, colour etc. for IDP has been standardized for issuance across India, and in adherence to the Geneva Convention.
  108. The strongest tropical storm of 2022 is raging towards the East China Sea, threatening Japan’s southern islands. Super Typhoon Hinnamnor, which is similar to a category-5 hurricane.
  109. A student from Canada has received the prestigious 2022 Stockholm Junior Water Prize for her research on how to treat and prevent harmful algae blooms. Stockholm Junior Water is an international competition where students aged 15 to 20 years present solutions to major water challenges. The Stockholm Junior Water Prize has been organised every year since 1997 by the Stockholm International Water Institute, with Xylem, an American water technology provider, as a founding partner.
  110. Nelson Mandela Bay includes the coastal city of Gqeberha, previously known as Port Elizabeth and Kariega, Despatch, the Colchester, Blue Horizon Bay and Seaview areas.
  111. Cryo-electron microscopy reveals how the VH Ab6 antibody fragment attaches to the vulnerable site on the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to block the virus from binding with the human ACE2 cell receptor.
  112. Delhi-based non-profit, Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) launched ‘Save the Whale Shark Campaign’ along Karnataka, Kerala and Lakshadweep in Mangaluru. The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is the largest fish on Earth and a keystone species in marine ecosystems. It can grow to a length of approximately 18 metres and weigh as much as 21 tonnes. The whale shark is distributed all along the Indian coast. However, the largest whale shark aggregation is along the Gujarat coast. The fish is listed as a Schedule I animal under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has noted that whale shark populations are on the decline and its global status is notified as ‘Endangered’.
  113. An distinctively coloured crab species has been discovered in the Western Ghats by a forest guard and a group of researchers. Interestingly, the guard who came across it first didn’t have any research or scientific writing experience. The crab has been named Ghatiana dvivarna sp nov. The freshwater species was first spotted in Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka. The crab’s name is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘dvivarna’, which means bicolour, as the crustacean has a white body and claws and “red-violet” legs. The species was first sighted June 30, 2021, in Anshi wildlife range, Kali Tiger Reserve in Karnataka.
  114. A team of researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) — Guwahati has developed an edible material that, coated on vegetables and fruits, substantially extended their shelf-life. The team used a mix of an extract of a marine microalga called Dunaliella tertiolectaand polysaccharides to produce it. The microalga is known for its antioxidant properties and has various bioactive compounds such as carotenoids and proteins. It is also used to produce algal oil, a non-animal source of omega-3 fatty acid and is considered a good source of biofuel.
  115. Geothermal arsenic typically originates in deep reservoirs of several kilometers and can contaminate drinking water with possible adverse cascading effects. The utilisable geothermal energy is the heat from Earth’s mantle that is transferred to the 40-km thin surface crust of the Earth. Geothermal fluids — essentially water ‘trapped’ deep down in the fractured rock which flows into ‘drilled geothermal wells’, is the medium from which the heat is harnessed. The administrative area of the Union Territory of Ladakh straddles two tectonic plate sutures — the Indus suture and the Shyok suture.
  116. The world’s largest study of the causes and correlates of mortality in India has undertaken by the Registrar General of India (RGI). The study, called the Million Death Study (MDS) in India, is implemented in close collaboration with the Centre for Global Health Research at the University of Toronto, leading Indian and overseas academic institutions and ICMR.  RGI-MDS conducted the first snakebite study in India and focused on the incidence of snakebites in five regions of India and 13 states. 
  117. La Nina is a climate phenomenon that takes place due to the cooling of surface ocean water on the tropical west coast of South America. It can be described as a counterpart to El Nino, which involves the warming of ocean currents in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. The combined phases of La Nina and El Nino are termed as El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) that affect rainfall patterns, global atmospheric circulation and atmospheric pressure across the planet. La Nina conditions currently prevail over the equatorial Pacific Ocean. However, the La Nina could have negative impacts on Indian agriculture.
  118. Ozone is a highly reactive molecule formed of three oxygen atoms found primarily in two regions of the atmosphere. About 90 per cent of Earth’s ozone resides in the stratosphere above the troposphere — the layer closest to Earth’s surface. The region of the stratosphere with the highest amount of ozone is called the ozone layer. The stratospheric ozone layer absorbs the sun’s ultraviolet rays and protects all biological systems on Earth from these harmful rays. 
  119. King Cobra confirmed in Chhattisgarh is the first such discovery in central India. The snake is also delineated in Schedule II (part II) of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. The Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of wild flora and fauna — a multilateral treaty — lists it under Appendix II. IUCN: vulnerable.
  120. NASA’s Perseverance rover has found surprising volcanic rocks in Mars’ Jezero Crater, whichwas once a lake.
  121. The rocks in the Séítah formation — a rock unit on the crater floor — possessed carbonates, indicating that they were formed after the rock reacted with carbon dioxide-rich water.
  122. The Máaz formation, another Martian rock, thought to have been formed by the deposition of water or wind, also showed signs of being altered by water.
  123. Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is a viral illness, caused by lumpy skin disease virus of the capripoxvirusgenus in the poxviridae It appears as nodules of two-five centimetre diameters all over the body, particularly around the head, neck, limbs, udder and genitals. The lumps gradually open up like large and deep wounds. Two main reasons for the spread are the multiplication of vectors like houseflies, ticks as well as mosquitoes during the monsoon months and the unrestricted movement of stray cattle. Goat pox vaccine is tried and tested in the country as the virus is antigenically similar to sheep and goat pox.
  124. The Nikshay Poshan Yojana entitles every tuberculosis (TB) patient, seeking treatment in either the public or private sector, to a direct benefit transfer (DBT) of Rs 500 per month for nutritional needs. It was launched in April 2018. India has set a target to eliminate TB by 2025. The major risk factor driving TB in India is undernutrition.
  125. Nitrogen-fixation involves converting atmospheric nitrogen into its more reactive constituents, such as — nitrates, nitrites, or ammonia. These compounds support agriculture and plant growth. On the contrary, a lack of nitrogen stunts the growth of crops. About 90 per cent of the biotic nitrogen is fixed by microorganisms present in the soil. Legumes such as — pea, broad bean, soya bean, clover and cowpea are the best-known nitrogen-fixing plants. They team up with rhizobium bacteria to fix the atmospheric nitrogen. Lightning also contributes to nitrogen-fixation. Sangu pushpam (butterfly pea flower), fenugreek and agathi keerai (vegetable hummingbird) are some nitrogen-fixing plants that can be grown in home gardens.
  126. NASA has also released another sonification of a famous black hole. The black hole in Messier 87, or M87, has been studied by scientists for decades. The black hole in the Perseus galaxy cluster has been associated with sound since 2003.
  127. India already has a zoning system called homogenous monsoon regions. It separates the country into four zones — northwest, east and North East, central and southern peninsular India.
  128. The National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), however, considers reduction of PM10 fine respirable particulate matter as a benchmark of improving air pollution status. This is because sufficient infrastructures for measuring PM2.5 do not exist throughout the country.
  129. India has secured the third position by winning five medalsat the 15th International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA)-2022 held in Kutaisi, Georgia.
  130. The bluefin biomass, which is the parameter used to assess the stock of the fish, is set to cross the second rebuilding target later this year much ahead of the predicted timeline. It has already met the first target which was set for 2024. 
  131. The Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydropower project, has increased its water discharge to help ease the drought in the Yangtze. The Three Gorges Dam is a hydroelectric gravity dam that spans the Yangtze River by the town of Sandouping, in Yiling District, Yichang, Hubei province, central China, downstream of the Three Gorges.
  132. Federation of Medical and Cell Representatives Association of India (FMRAI) is a trade union body for medical representatives.
  133. Hunger stones, or hungersteine in German, are a common hydrological marker in central Europe. They date back to the pre-instrumental era. Hydrological droughts may also be commemorated by what are known as “hunger stones”. One of these is to be found at the left bank of the River Elbe (Decın-Podmokly). The Elbe, which flows from the Czech Republic into the North Sea near Hamburg, is one waterway that has 22 known hunger stones. They are also found in other rivers such the Rhine, the Danube and the Weser. Major rivers on the continent have dried up due to the current drought. These include the Rhine in Germany, the Po in Italy, the Thames in the United Kingdom and the Loire in France.
  134. Only three universities in India could shine in the recent QS World Rankings, 2022 published by global higher education think-tank QS Quacquarelli Symonds. Several news and broadcast agencies focus on only three globally recognised institutes in the country: Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
  135. Photovoltaic panels are typically a deep black colour because their job is to absorb light. Colours are the result of some frequencies of light getting reflected.
  136. The UK became the first country to approve the bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine.
  137. Parboiled rice is rice that has been partially boiled in the husk. Telangana is a major producer of parboiled rice.
  138. Thiourea is a white crystalline solid used as a leaching agent in the extraction areas of gold.
  139. TROPOMI, an instrument aboard the Sentinel-5P satellite, to collect data. TROPOMI provides daily data on atmospheric methane concentrations.
  140. Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) describes a natural climate cycle brought about by sustained changes in the difference between sea surface temperatures of the tropical western and eastern Indian Ocean. The La Nina phenomenon in the equatorial Pacific Ocean is the opposite of El Nino. La Ninas generally have a cooling effect on global temperatures.
  141. Odisha’s Bhitarkanika National Park, the second-largest mangrove forest in India after the Sundarbans, is known for a successful saltwater crocodile conservation programme.
  142. In the Indian subcontinent, the lion was found in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, Rajasthan, a part of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Pakistan. The distribution was restricted in the north of the Narmada and in the west and south of Ganga rivers.
  143. International Seabed Authority (ISA) is an intergovernmental body under the United Nations responsible for developing a “mining code” — a set of rules, regulations and procedures for exploring and exploiting minerals in the international seabed area. It is also tasked with protecting the marine environment from the potential impacts of deep-sea mining. Deep-sea mining involves extracting ores rich in cobalt, manganese, zinc and other rare metals from the sea floor. They contain critical minerals needed to build batteries for electric vehicles and renewable energy capacity, smartphones and laptops. In 2016, India was given a 15-year contract to explore an area of 75,000 square kilometres for mining polymetallic nodules from the Central Indian Ocean Basin at depths of 5,000-6,000 metres.
  144. ECOsystem and Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) instrument aboard NASA’s space station. ECOSTRESS measures the temperature of the ground, which is hotter than the air temperature during the daytime. The primary mission of the instrument is to identify plants’ thresholds for water use and water stress, giving insight into their ability to adapt to a warming climate.
  145. Hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and high altitude sickness are the common non-communicable diseases.
  146. Lake Mead, located in the states of Nevada and Arizona, is the largest artificial body of water in the US. Lake Powell is another artificial reservoir on the Colorado river, straddling the border between the states of Utah and Arizona. These lakes are currently at their lowest levels ever and are at risk of reaching ‘dead pool status’ a point at which the water level is low that it could no longer flow downstream and aid power hydroelectric power stations, noted UNEP. Water levels in Mead lake are currently at their lowest since April 1937.
  147. Database of Global Administrative Areas (GADM) is a regional classification of countries by the World Bank based on income levels, population and gross domestic product.
  148. Electoral bonds are purchased anonymously by donors and are valid for 15 days from the date of issue. A debt instrument, these can be bought by donors from a bank, and the political party can then encash them. These can be redeemed only by an eligible party by depositing the same in its designated account maintained with a bank. The bonds are issued by SBI in denominations of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1 crore.
  149. One disease for which gene therapy has great potential is alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency, a condition in which liver cells are unable to make adequate amounts of the protein AAT. It results in a breakdown of lung tissue that can cause serious respiratory problems, including the development of severe lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or emphysema. Adding a molecule called suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid, or SAHA, helps muscle cells make AAT at a production level more like that of liver cells. It works because SAHA is a proteostasis regulator with the ability to boost the cell’s protein output.
  150. TheMikoyan-Gurevich MiG 21 is a supersonic jet fighter and interceptor aircraft, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the Soviet Union.
  151. The Reserve Bank of Indiahas released the Composite Financial Inclusion Index (FI-Index) for the year ended 31st March 2022. It is a comprehensive index incorporating details of banking, investments, insurance, postal as well as the pension sector in consultation with the government and respective sectoral regulators. It was developed by the RBI in 2021, without any ‘base year’, and is published in July every year.
  152. India is thelargest producer of Sugarcane in the World. India has surpassed Brazil in the sugar production in the current sugar season 2021-22.
  153. Recently, the Government appointed Suresh N Patel as the new chief of the Central Vigilance Commission.
  154. In Commonwealth Games 2022, Indian women’s team scripted history by winning the country’s first-ever Gold Medalin “Women’s Four Lawn Bowls” Lawn bowls is often considered a mix of “Ten-pin Bowling” and the winter sport of “Curling”. Bowls are mostly spherical ball-like objects, typically made of wood, rubber or plastic resin, having flattened sides. India has participated in lawn bowls events at the 2010, 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games.
  155. One of the privileges is that a Member of Parliament cannot be arrested in a civil case, 40 days before the commencement of the session or Committee meeting, and 40 days thereafter. This privilege is already incorporated under Section 135A of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908. It means that a Member of Parliament does not enjoy any immunity from being arrested in a criminal case, during the session or otherwise.
  156. Electromagnetic Field (EMF) emissions from Mobile towers are non-ionizing Radio frequencies having very minuscule power and are incapable of causing any adverse environmental impact. The International EMF Project of World Health Organisation (WHO) has published an information sheet in 2005 on effect of EMF emissions on animals, insects, vegetation and aquatic life and has concluded that the exposure limits in the Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines for protection of human health are also protective of the environment. The present norms for Electromagnetic Field (EMF) emissions from mobile towers in India are already ten times more stringent (even lower) than the safe limits prescribed by ICNIRP and recommended by WHO.
  157. On the occasion of World Biofuel Day, Prime Minister dedicated the 2nd generation (2G) ethanol plant set up at the Indian Oil Corporation’s Panipat refinery in Haryana.
  158. India is one of the Founding members of the intergovernmental platform of Tiger Range Countries – Global Tiger Forum, and over the years, GTF has expanded its programme on multiple thematic areas, while working closely with the Government of India, tiger states in India and tiger range countries.
  159. National Intellectual Property Awareness Mission (NIPAM) is being implemented by Intellectual Property Office, the Office of Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDTM), Ministry of Commerce and Industry. 
  160. Coastal land up to 500 metre from the High Tide Line (HTL) and a stage of 100m along banks of creeks, lagoons, estuaries, backwater and rivers subject to tidal fluctuations is called coastal regulation zone (CRZ). The government had in 2019 notified CRZ norms under the Environment Protection Act, 1986 to conserve and protect the environment of coastal stretches and marine areas, and ensure livelihood security to the fishing communities and other local communities. The three institutions responsible for the implementation of the CRZ notification are National Coastal Zone Management Authority (NCZMA); State/Union Territory Coastal Zone Management Authorities (SCZMAs/UTCZMAs) and District Level Committees (DLCs).
  161. Zircons are formed by the crystallisation of magma or are found in metamorphic rocks. They act as tiny time capsules, recording the period of geologic activity.
  162. The National Action Plan for Mechanised Sanitation Ecosystem (NAMASTE) scheme is being undertaken jointly by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and the MoSJ&E and aims to eradicate unsafe sewer and septic tank cleaning practices.
  163. NITI Aayog’s Governing Council is the premier body tasked with evolving a shared vision of national priorities and strategies with the active involvement of States and Union Territories.  The Governing Council presents a platform to discuss inter-sectoral, inter-departmental and federal issues. It comprises the Prime Minister of India; Chief Ministers of all the states and union territories with legislature; Lt Governors of other UTs; Ex-Officio Members; Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog; Full-Time Members, NITI Aayog; and Union Ministers as Special Invitees.  It provides one of the most important forum for deliberations between the Centre and States and identifying key strategies for cohesive action with a whole-of-Government approach.
  164. Realizing the potential of Fisheries sector, Technology Development Board, a statutory body under Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India supports M/s Fountainhead Agro Farms Private Limited, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra for ‘Advanced, Intensive, All Male Tilapia Aquaculture Project with Israeli Technology’.  ‘Tilapia’ has emerged to be one of the most productive and internationally traded   food   fish   in   the   world. The culture of tilapia has become commercially popular in many parts of the  world  and  the  fishery experts have dubbed the tilapia as “aquatic chicken” due to its quick growth and low maintenance cultivation. Today, if any fish that could be named as global fish, no better name can be thought of than Tilapia.
  165. Bisphenol-A (BPA) is an important feedstock for the production of epoxy resins, polycarbonate and other engineering plastics.
  166. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the ratification of amendments to the Constitution of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) as contained in the Eleventh Additional Protocol to the Constitution signed during the 27thCongress of the Universal Postal Union held at Abidjan. The approval enables the Department of Posts, Government of India to have the “Instrument of Ratification” signed by the Hon’ble President of India and have the same deposited with the Director General of the International Bureau of the Universal Postal Union. This would fulfil the obligations arising from Article 25 and 30 of the UPU Constitution which provides for ratification of the amendments to the Constitution adopted by a Congress as soon as possible by the member countries. In brief, the amendments to the Constitution of UPU adopted by the 27th UPU Congress ensure further legal clarity and stability to the Acts of the Union, bring terminological consistencies, resolve many long-standing discrepancies in the text and accommodate provisions for ‘acceptance or approval’ of the Acts in consistency with Vienna Conventions on Law of Treaties, 1969.
  167. Recently, the World Bank has agreed to look into environmental damage from the under-construction Vishnugad Pipalkoti Hydro Electric Project (VPHEP)on the Alaknanda River in Uttarakhand.
  168. Article 25 of the Indian Constitution protects the right to freely profess, preach, and practice a religion. It also grants all religious groups the freedom to administer their own religious affairs, subject to public morals, health, and order. However, no one has the right to compel others to adopt their religious views, and as a result, no one should be made to practice a religion against their will. There is no national legislation that prohibits or controls religious conversions. To govern religious conversions, however, Private Member Bills have often been submitted in Parliament since 1954 (although never passed by the body).
  169. All marriages between an NRI and an Indian woman are required to be registered with the Women and Child Development Ministry within 48 hours of marriage. The ministry digitally maintains a registry to keep a tab on NRI grooms. The step was taken to tackle the issue of NRIs abandoning their wives in India.
  170. The ruling party at the Centre has also made a representation to the governor, who forwarded it to the EC under Article 192 of the Constitution. Under Article 192, the governor can decide on disqualifying an elected member of the state Assembly on the poll panel’s opinion. Under Section 9A of the Representation of People’s Act, a person who has a subsisting contract with the Government is not qualified for being chosen as a member. And hence, an elected member who entered into a contract with the government for “supply of goods” or “for the execution of any works undertaken by the government” is liable for disqualification.
  171. The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation compiles the GSDP figures as reported by the Directorate of Economics & Statistics of respective state governments.
  172. Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) is a 50-nation multilateral forum for dialogue and consultation on political and security-related issues among Allies and partner countries.
  173. Mediterranean Dialogue is a partnership forum that aims to contribute to security and stability in NATO’s Mediterranean and North African neighbourhood.
  174. Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) is a partnership that aims at long-term global and regional security by offering non-NATO countries in the broader Middle East region the opportunity to cooperate with NATO.
  175. The Vandenburg Resolution was the stepping stone to NATO. The US believed the treaty would be more effective if it included, apart from the signatories of the Brussels Treaty, countries of the North Atlantic — Canada, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Ireland, and Portugal.
  176. “Minor Forest Produce” has been defined in “The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006” which includes all nontimber forest produce of plant origin, including bamboo, brushwood, stumps, cane, tussar, cocoons, honey-wax, lac, tendu leaves, medicinal plants, herbs, roots, tubers, etc.
  177. Commercial crops are grown for sale in the market or are used as raw materials for industries. It is an agricultural crop that is grown for sale to return a profit. It is typically purchased by parties separate from a farm.
  178. Articles 124 to 147 in Part V of the Constitution deal with the organisation, independence jurisdiction, powers, procedures and so on of the Supreme Court. The Parliament is also authorised to regulate them.
  179. Under Article 293 of the Constitution, states need to take the Centre’s consent for fresh loans if they are indebted to the Centre. This is a powerful tool in the hands of the Centre or the Union Finance Ministry.
  180. Article 53(2) has an interesting formulation: “Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provision, the supreme command of the Defence Forces of the Union shall be vested in the President and the exercise thereof shall be regulated by law”.
  181. As per the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP), the document governing the process of appointment of judges and appointment of the CJI, the Law Minister asks the outgoing Chief Justice of India to recommend the next CJI. The MoP states that the CJI should be “the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court considered fit to hold the office.” Although the MoP says that the CJI’s views must be sought “at the appropriate time” and does not specify a timeline for the process, it normally takes place a month before the retirement of the incumbent CJI.

To Read Previous Months Monthly Prelims inFocus: Click here

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