IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-December 2021

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IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-September 2021

IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-December 2021

  1. The Perumbakkam wetland is traditionally known as a favoured hangout for dabbling ducks — which include the northern shoveler, northern pintail, garganey, common teal, the Eurasian wigeon and the whistling ducks — which prefer shallow waters. In contrast, diving ducks need a depth of at least one to two metres to take a comfortable plunge.

  2. Most meteorites contain tiny beads of glass that date back to the earliest days of the solar system, before planets formed. The beads of glass inside these meteorites are called chondrules. But what exactly caused the formation of these chondrules remains unclear.
  3. The WPI basically captures the average movement of wholesale prices of goods and is primarily used as a GDP deflator (the ratio of the value of goods an economy produces in a particular year at current prices to that of prices that prevailed during the base year). WPI pertains to only goods, not services.
  4. Short-lived halogenated substances (VSLS)such as dichloromethane have an atmospheric lifetime shorter than six months. Dichloromethane has been identified as the most abundant chlorine-containing VSLS, accounting for 70 per cent of the total stratospheric source gas injection from chlorine-containing VSLS. Dichloromethane originates mainly from anthropogenic sources, including its use as an emissive solvent for adhesive and cleaning purposes, and as a feedstock for hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) production.
  5. Nandankanan Zoological Park (NZP), is the only conservation breeding centre for Indian pangolins in the world. After Madhya Pradesh, Odisha is the second State in the country to release a radio-tagged Indian pangolin into the wild.  Pangolins are the most illegally traded mammals in the world and the Indian pangolin is the largest among eight pangolin species. The nocturnal animal lives in burrows and feed on ants and termites.
  6. The tribal affairs ministry, under the scheme Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) and Development of Value Chain for MFP, has so far notified MSP for 87 minor forest produces. 
  7. Streptomycin, which is used in the treatment of tuberculosis (TB). Tetracycline antibiotics find application in the treatment of bacterial infections.  Streptomycin is a critically important antimicrobial while tetracycline belongs to the class of highly important antimicrobials, according to the World Health Organization.
  8. The Indian drug regulator cleared the first anti-viral Covid-19pill: Molnupiravir. The drug, in India, has been cleared for the treatment of adults patients with Covid-19 and “who have a high risk of progression of the disease”. Molnupiravir (MK-4482, EIDD-2801), developed initially to treat influenza, is a repurposed oral anti-viral candidate to treat Covid-19 patients. Molnupiravir is an anti-viral pill that works by introducing errors into the SARS-CoV-2 virus’ genetic code, which prevents the virus from further replicating.
  9. The report titled Women and girls left behind: Glaring gaps in pandemic responsescompiled and analysed the results of Rapid Gender Assessment surveys (RGA) by United Nations Women
  10. Researchers of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) are carrying out tagging of Olive Ridley turtles at three mass nesting sites – Gahirmatha, Devi River mouth and Rushikulya. 
  11. The Government also decided that India’s first Dugong Conservation Reserve will be built in Tamil Nadu. The dugong, a marine animal, is listed as vulnerable in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List.
  12. The ideals behind the Preamble to India’s Constitution were laid down by Jawaharlal Nehru’s Objectives Resolution, adopted by the Constituent Assembly on January 22, 1947. “The Resolution states that it is our firm and solemn resolve to have a sovereign Indian republic. You will well understand that a free India can be nothing but a republic,” announced Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on December 13, 1946, as he sketched out the aims and objectives of the Constitution that he and his listeners put together in the next three years.
  13. Telangana stood first in the implementation of the Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM) while Tamil Nadu and Gujarat took the second and third positions respectively.
  14. An inter-state dispute between Karnataka and Maharashtra dating back to the period of Independence andthe reorganisation of states on linguistic lines in 1956 has reared its head again in the Belagavi region of Karnataka.
  15. National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) is an advisory committee consisting of multidisciplinary groups of experts responsible for providing information to national governments that is used to make evidence-based decisions regarding vaccine and immunization policy.
  16. Prime Minister virtually inaugurated a thought leadership forum on FinTech, ‘InFinity Forum’. The event was hosted by International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA), under the aegis of the Government of India in collaboration with GIFT City and Bloomberg. Indonesia, South Africa and the United Kingdom were the partner countries in the 1st edition of the Forum.
  17. The majority of industrialized and some developing countries have formally established advisory committees to guide immunization policies; other countries are working towards establishment of such committees. NITAG in each country may have different names, for example: Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) in the United States, Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) in Australia, Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) in the United Kingdom, National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) in Canada, National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) in Ireland, National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) in India. The primary purpose of NITAG is to provide technical resources, supplying guidance and recommendations to national policy makers and programme managers to enable them to make evidence-based immunization related policy and program decisions. This may also include vaccination schedules regarding appropriate timing, dosage, and contraindications of vaccines. There are no fixed rules about the total number of NITAG members as it depends on local considerations such as the need for geographic representation, the size of the country, and the availability of resources. NTAGI is the highest advisory body on immunization in the country which consists of independent experts who provide recommendations on vaccines after reviewing data on disease burden, efficacy and cost-effectiveness of vaccines.
  18. Criminal defamation has been specifically defined as an offence under section 499 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Civil defamation is based on tort law (an area of law which does not rely on statutes to define wrongs but takes from an ever-increasing body of case laws to define what would constitute a wrong).
  19. The Government is implementing various schemes to strengthen the seed production chain &to enhance availability of quality seeds & planting material of crops to farmers across the country through various schemes viz., National Food Security Mission (NFSM), Sub-Missions under National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) [Sub-Mission on Seeds & Planting Material (SMSP) & Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region] and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana RAFTAAR (RKVY-RKVY-RAFTAAR) which provides provision for seed production and distribution.
  20. The Jhansi Railway Station in Uttar Pradesh will be known as Veerangana Lakshmibai Railway Station.
  21. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has unanimously passed UNSC resolution 2615 to permit a carve-out in sanctions against the Taliban to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.
  22. A deep depression in the Bay of Bengal has intensified into cyclonic storm Jawad and is likely to make landfall near Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. Saudi Arabia has given the cyclone its name ‘Jawad’. The meaning ‘Jawad’ is liberal or merciful. The carries significance as this cyclonic storm will not be as severe as the previous ones.
  23. A very severe cyclone is defined as one with windspeeds touching 220 kmph. It is the fourth highest category of cyclones, just below “Extremely Severe Cyclones”. However, the Eastern Coast remained far more vulnerable to “Extremely Severe Cyclones” than the Western coast, but there was nevertheless “no significant trend” in the frequency of Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storms (ESCS).
  24. The Golden Visa system essentially offers long-term residency (5 and 10 years) to people belonging to the following groups: investors, entrepreneurs, individuals with outstanding talents the likes of researchers, medical professionals and those within the scientific and knowledge fields, and remarkable students. For the 10-year visa, investors having no less than AED 10 million worth of public investment, either in the form of an investment fund or a company, can apply. However, at least 60 per cent of the total investment must not be in the form of real estate and the invested amount must not be loaned, or in case of assets, investors must assume full ownership.
  25. The J&K Delimitation Commissionproposed to increase six seats for the Jammu division and one for the Kashmir division, besides reserving 16 seats for the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Schedule Tribe (ST) communities in the Union Territory, evoking sharp reactions from the regional parties. The commission, headed by Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai.
  26. Inflation targeting is a central banking policy that revolves around adjusting monetary policy to achieve a specified annual rate of inflation. The principle of inflation targeting is based on the belief that long-term economic growth is best achieved by maintaining price stability, and price stability is achieved by controlling inflation. The amended RBI Act provides for the inflation target to be set by the Government of India, in consultation with the Reserve Bank, once every five years.
  27. Kashmir is in a deep freeze as the 40-day harshest spell of winter, locally called ‘chillai kalan’. Chillai Kalan is a Persian word which means Major Cold.
  28. Rantas is a mythical creature from Kashmiri folklore a female with long hair, pointed teeth, long nails, and inverted feet who ventures out during heavily snowy nights. She is invoked to frighten children into staying safely at home during winter.
  29. Pheran or phiran is the traditional outfit for both males and females in the Kashmir Valley. According to some sources, the pheran was mentioned in sanskrit text called nilamata purana and is known as Pravarna.
  30. Puthuvayil Narayana Panicker is known as the Father of the Library Movement of Kerala.
  31. The Speaker has the power, under Rule 374(A) of the general Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, to eject and suspend members who disrupt proceedings.
  32. The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) was passed by the Lok Sabha on December 9, 2019 and by the Rajya Sabha on December 11 and was assented by the President on December 12. The MHA issued a notification later that the provisions of the Act will come into force from January 10, 2020. The CAA provides citizenship on the basis of religion to six undocumented non-Muslim communities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who entered India on or before December 31, 2014. The tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram or Tripura as included in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution and Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland and Manipur are exempted from the CAA.
  33. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been conferred Bhutan’s highest civilian award, ‘Order of the Druk Gyalpo’. PM Narendra Modi is the first foreign head of government to receive the award.
  34. The Supreme Court recently stayed all proceedings before Justice Madan Lokur Commission, set up by the West Bengal government to inquire into the alleged interception of mobile phones using military grade spyware Pegasus, disapproving breach of undertaking by the state for halting the commission’s work when the SC was seized of the pan-India issue. Under The Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952, a Commission set up by the government shall have the powers of a civil court, while trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. While both central and state governments can set up such Commissions of Inquiry, states are restricted by subject matters that they are empowered to legislate upon.
  35. The United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME) was formed in 2004 to share data on child mortality, improve methods for child mortality estimation, report on progress towards child survival goals, and enhance country capacity to produce timely and properly assessed estimates of child mortality. The UN IGME is led by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and includes the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank Group and the United Nations Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs as full members.
  36. According to the Constitution, the powers, privileges and immunities of Parliament and MP’s are to be defined by Parliament. No law has so far been enacted in this respect. In the absence of any such law, it continues to be governed by British Parliamentary conventions. A breach of privilege is a violation of any of the privileges of MPs/Parliament. Among other things, any action ‘casting reflections’ on MPs, parliament or its committees; could be considered breach of privilege. This may include publishing of news items, editorials or statements made in newspaper/magazine/TV interviews or in public speeches.
  37. National Export Insurance Account (NEIA) is a trust set up by the Ministry of Commerce and administered by Export Credit & Guarantee Corporation of India (ECGC). NEIA Trust was established in 2006 to promote project exports from India that are of strategic and national importance. The National Export Insurance Account (NEIA) Trust aims to ensure the availability of credit risk cover for projects and other high-value exports, which are desirable from the point of view of national interest, but which ECGC is unable to underwrite due to capacity constraints or at terms, which are different from its regular policies. The NEIA Trust promotes Medium and Long Term (MLT) /project exports by extending (partial/full) support to covers issued by ECGC to MLT/project export.
  38. Aoleng, a festival celebrated in the first week of April (1-6) to welcome the spring and also to invoke the Almighty’s (Kahwang) blessing upon the land before seed-sowing, is the biggest festival of the Konyaks. Another festival, ‘Lao Ong Mo’, is the traditional harvest festival celebrated in the months of August/September.
  39. Both the U.S. and China are parties to the Outer Space Treaty, which is formally known as the ‘Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies’. The multilateral treaty, adopted by the UN General Assembly, provides the basic framework on international space law.
  40. The UN General Assembly has conferred Observer Status to the International Solar Alliance (ISA), a historic decision which India said would help provide for a well-defined cooperation between the Alliance and the United Nations that would benefit global energy growth and development. The ISA was conceived as a joint effort by India and France to mobilise efforts against climate change through the deployment of solar energy solutions. It was presented by the leaders of the two countries at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Paris in 2015. A total of 80 countries have signed and ratified the ISA Framework Agreement and 101 countries have only signed the agreement, according to the ISA website.
  41. The Ken-Betwa river interlinking project will lead to the submergence of a major portion of the core area of the Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh. The project involves transferring of water from the Ken river to the Betwa river through the construction of Daudhan dam and a canal linking the two rivers, the Lower Orr Project, Kotha Barrage and the Bina Complex Multipurpose Project.
  42. The Tamil Nadu government has declared Tamil Thai Vaazhthu, a prayer song sung in praise of Mother Tamil, as the State Song.
  43. Avian Influenza type A viruses are classified based on two proteins on their surfaces – Hemagglutinin (HA) and Neuraminidase (NA). It is a disease caused by avian influenza Type A viruses found naturally in wild birds worldwide.
  44. The Poshan Tracker, known as the ICDS-CAS (Integrated Child Development Services-Common Application Software) in its earlier avatar, was set up with the aim of tracking and improving various services delivered at anganwadis and to ensure nutritional management of beneficiaries.
  45. India has revised its FTA rules of origin recently in 2020, known as Customs (Administration of Rules of Origin Under Trade Agreements) Rules (CAROTAR). The Rules were introduced after the amendment in the Customs Act, 1962 in the same year, which is responsible for the accuracy of the information on FTA COO, compliance with value-added requirements and access to cost data.
  46. The Pillar of Shame, a haunting eight-metre tall sculpture showing intertwined bodies with hollowed eyes and open mouths an anguished mass of humanity was created by Danish artist Jens Galschiot as a tribute to the victims of China’s crackdown in Tiananmen Square in June 1989.
  47. India has risen as the 4th most powerful country in the Asia-Pacific region for comprehensive power out of 26 countries according to the Asian Power Index 2021 released by the Sydney-based Lowy Institute.
  48. The Constitution (Forty–Second Amendment) Act, 1976 inserted in the Constitution Article 31D (during Emergency) which defined ‘anti-national activity’ and this Article 31D was, subsequently, omitted by the Constitution (Forty-third Amendment) Act, 1977.
  49. Article 212 of the constitution of India provides that the Courts cannot inquire proceedings of the Legislature on the ground of any alleged irregularity of procedure.
  50. non-fungible token(NFT) is a non-interchangeable unit of data stored on a blockchain, a form of digital ledger, that can be sold and traded. Types of NFT data units may be associated with digital files such as photos, videos, and audio. Because each token is uniquely identifiable, NFTs differ from blockchain cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. Ownership of an NFT does not inherently grant copyright or intellectual property rights to the digital asset a token represents.
  51. The Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor is an advanced nuclear fusion experimental research device located at the Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ASIPP) in Hefei, China. The purpose of the artificial sun is to replicate the process of nuclear fusion, which is the same reaction that powers the sun. The EAST is one of three major domestic tokamaks that are presently being operated across the country. Apart from the EAST, China is currently operating the HL-2A reactor as well as J-TEXT. In December 2020, HL-2M Tokamak, China’s largest and most advanced nuclear fusion experimental research device, was successfully powered up for the first time — a key milestone in the growth of China’s nuclear power research capabilities.
  52. Hydrogen wallis the place where bubbles of solar wind cease to exist. Here, the mass of matter is very small but strong enough to not let the solar winds to pass through. It presses the solar winds inward.
  53. The Apatani weave comes from the Apatani tribe living at Ziro, the headquarters of Lower Subansiri district. The woven fabric of this tribe is known for its geometric and zigzag
  54. patterns and for its angular designs. The tribe predominantly weaves shawls known as jig-jiro, and jilan or jackets called supuntarii. The people use leaves and plant resources for organic dyeing of the cotton yarns in their traditional ways. And only women folk are engaged in weaving.
  55. A new vulnerability named Log4Shell is being touted as one of the worst cybersecurity flaws to have been discovered.
  56. The Climate Finance Leadership Initiative launched by India and the United Kingdom in September to generate more resources for climate and green energy projects is a positive step in this direction.
  57. Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) rolled out their first AgriTech Challenge cohort for its ambitious innovative Agri-tech program that aims to help smallholder farmers across Asia and Africa to address their challenges in the aftermath of the pandemic.
  58. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister has launched the ‘Meendum Manjappai’ campaign aimed at creating awareness on the usage of cloth bags instead of single-use plastic bags.
  59. Assam Rifles is the only paramilitary force with a dual control structure. While the administrative control of the force is with the MHA, its operational control is with the Indian Army, which is under the Ministry of Defence.
  60. An international team of researchers has discovered a new marine reptile. The specimen, a metre-long skull, has been named Kyhytysuka sachicarum. The fossil is one of the last surviving ichthyosaurs – ancient animals that look eerily like living swordfish.
  61. The Moortidevi Awardis an Indian literary award annually presented by the Bharatiya Jnanpith, a literary and research organisation. The award is given only to Indian writers writing in Indian languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India, and in English, with no posthumous conferral or self-nomination.
  62. Architect Balkrishna Doshi will receive the Royal Gold Medal 2022, one of the world’s highest honours for architecture. Given in recognition of a lifetime’s work, the Royal Gold Medal is approved personally by Queen Elizebth II and is given to a person or group of people who have had a significant influence on the advancement of architecture.
  63. The foundation stone for one of the world’s largest and India’s first green hydrogen microgrid project was laid by NTPC in Andhra Pradesh. NTPC has awarded the project, a standalone fuel-cell-based micro-grid with hydrogen production using electrolyser. The projectwill be set up at Simhadri, Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
  64. President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the reconstructed Ramna Kali temple in Ramna, a part of the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka where the landmark Suhrawardy Udyan (the former Ramna Race Course) is located. The historic Ramna Kali temple is a symbol of the spiritual and cultural bonding among the people of India and Bangladesh. The temple in the area, dedicated to the Goddess Kali, is believed to have been built during the Mughal period. However, it is the second oldest Hindu temple in Bangladesh, the Dhakeshwari Temple being the oldest.
  65. The UNSC functions in secrecy with obnoxious ‘veto’ politics, whereas UNFCCC works in consensus with transparency. The UNSC is the antithesis of what UNFCCC has been collectively progressing through ‘common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities’ (CBDR+RC) of members. 
  66. Sajnekhali Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the northern part of the Sundarbans deltain West Bengal, India. It is located at the confluence of the Matla and Gumdi rivers.
  67. The drought in Parana river in Latin America pushed the water levels of the river to its lowest in 77 years and impacted lives and livelihoods in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.
  68. Recently, the Sankalp Smarak, at Andaman Nicobar Island, was dedicated to the nation in the memory of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
  69. The tiger census work covered 400 square kilometres in Indravati Tiger Reserve in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district. This is the first time tiger counting will be carried in such a large area of the reserve, which is a Maoist-affected area.
  70. Chakotia Bhunjia adivasi community, a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group lived in the vast Sunabeda plateau of Odisha’s Nuapada district.
  71. Traditional varieties of paddy: Ccented varieties such as Chandan Baas, Tulsi Baas, Kalkati and Baas Patri; and the unscented Saputri, Garrakanthi, Ranki, Gelei Kanthi, Hirakani, Kulia and Darli.
  72. The tribal affairs ministry, under the scheme Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) and Development of Value Chain for MFP, has so far notified MSP for 87 minor forest produces.
  73. India is poised to miss its annual target of 2.4 million tuberculosis (TB) case notifications defined in the draft National Strategic Plan (NSP), an analysis of the monthly notifications data maintained by the World Health Organization (WHO) showed.
  74. Tal Chhapar Sanctuaryis a sanctuary located in the Churu district of Northwestern Rajasthan, in the Shekhawati region of India. It is known for blackbucks and is also home to a variety of birds. The forest of this region falls under major group “Tropical Forest” as per classifications of Indian forests by Champion & Seth.
  75. Tetracycline antibiotics find application in the treatment of bacterial infections. Streptomycin is a critically important antimicrobial while tetracycline belongs to the class of highly important antimicrobials, according to the World Health Organization.
  76. Uranium in drinking water raises concerns because of its chemical toxicity. Uranium (U) has no known essential biological functions. Chronic exposure to low-level U isotopes (radionuclides) may be interlinked with cancer etiology and at high exposure levels, also kidney disease. As uranyl phases are soluble in circulating groundwater, the process leads to a higher concentration of dissolved uranium in groundwater. Permissible limits for Uranium given by the World Health Organization (30 μg / l) and Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (60 μg /l) respectively.
  77. All landmasses and seas north of 66.5° latitude are considered the Arctic region. The latitude itself is called the Arctic Circle. The weather station at Verkhoyansk, located in the northern part of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).  It falls in eastern Siberia, which has an extremely harsh dry continental climate (very cold winter and hot summer). Verkhoyansk, a town in Siberia, recorded a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius on June 20, 2020. It was then pushed as the highest temperature ever recorded in the Arctic region.
  78. The poverty line at the all-India levels has been estimated as Rs 816 for rural areas and Rs 1,000 for urban areas for the year 2011-12.
  79. Moreover, vitamin D3’s effectiveness in curing several diseases, especially acute respiratory distress syndrome that is also a COVID-19 after-effect, is well-known. It has also been recorded that vitamin D3 effectively suppresses “the progression of inflammation by reducing the generation of inflammatory cytokines”. Cytokine release syndrome, also known as “cytokine storm”, causes multiple organ damage — a key cause of death in late stage COVID-19 cases.
  80. The 2018 WHO report Saving Lives, Spending Lessshowed that countries and donors could save millions of lives lost to NCDs through cost-effective interventions.
  81. A “money bill” is beyond the power of Judicial Review.
  82. The Agariya community — the salt farmers — of the Little Rann of Kutchh (LRK) is silently playing its part in curbing air pollution, even as the mechanised salt industry on the coastline of Gujarat continues to operate on subsidised thermal power. The Agariya are community of the states of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh in India.
  83. India is the third-largest producer of salt globally after the United States and China. Agariyas, the salt farmers of the Little Rann of Kutch (LRK), produce 30 per cent of India’s inland salt — about 0.35 million metric tonnes.
  84. Little Rann of Kutch (LRK) is a saucer-shaped region that remains a desert for eight months. It becomes a brackish water lake in the four months of the southwest monsoon. That is when 11 rivers from Saurashtra, North Gujarat and Rajasthan drain here, combining with tidal waters from the Arabian Sea that enter the region via a creek. The LRK, surrounded by five districts of Gujarat, is a wildlife sanctuary to conserve the endemic wild ass.
  85. Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALY) is a measure of overall disease burden, expressed as the number of years lost due to ill-health, disability or early death.
  86. The number of female operational holders in India was 20,439, according to the Agriculture Census 2015-16. Andhra Pradesh has the highest female operational holders at 2,565, followed by Maharashtra and Bihar.
  87. The Zika virus is spread by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. It can also be transmitted through blood transfusions, sexual contact and via exposure to urine. There is no vaccine.
  88. The Prime Minister of India has laid foundation stone of Luhri and Dhaulasidh Hydropower projects in Himachal Pradesh. The Luhri Stage 1 Hydro Power Project will be constructed on the River Sutlej and Dhaulasidh Hydro Power Project will be constructed on River Beas.
  89. Ferula assafoetida, a perennial herb valued for its resin asafoetida (heeng). F assafoetidagrows in cool but dry conditions. Heavy and continuous rainfall is likely to affect crop growth adversely. It requires an annual average rainfall of 250-300 mm. Though the plant can tolerate temperatures up to 35 degrees Celsius, it requires abundant sunshine and thrives in a temperature varying from 10-20°C. But all these factors that made the Himalayan districts suitable for growing F assafoetida are fast changing. Asafoetida has a long history of use in India, both as a flavouring agent and folk medicine.
  90. Agra is known as the city of the Taj Mahal across the world. But for food lovers, it is also the destination for a unique sweet — petha, a soft, translucent candy made from ash gourd or winter melon (Benincasa hispida). The recipe of Agra ka petha(Agra’s petha) is believed to have slipped out of the royal kitchen of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Over the years, its popularity has given rise to a full-fledged industry in this historical city, located on the banks of the Yamuna in Uttar Pradesh.
  91. Neurocysticercosis (NCC), a preventable disease that wreaks havoc among Assam’s pig-rearing communities among others. The disease, which can result in adult-onset epilepsy, is caused when a human consumes meat from — or is indirectly in contact with — a pig infected with tapeworm. Pork is a staple protein in North East India. It accounts for about 68.75 per cent of pork consumed in India. Nagaland tops the list, followed by Assam and Meghalaya. The life cycle of a pork tapeworm (taenia solium) takes it from pigs to humans and vice-versa. Humans are the only definitive host for the parasite to complete its life cycle. This spillover from pigs to humans and vice-versa makes NCC a zoonotic disease. 
  92. The Central Ground Water Authority was constituted under the Environment Protection Act, 1986.
  93. The sea surface temperatures over the east and central Pacific Ocean become cooler-than-average during La Nina. This affects the trade winds flowing over the ocean surface through change in wind stress.
  94. Recently, an Israeli airstrike hit Syria’s Latakia port. Latakia is a seaport located on the Mediterranean Sea in the city of Latakia. Syria’s ally, Russia, operates a naval base in the port of Tartus, 85 kilometers to the south of Latakia port.
  95. India was not a signatory to the Global Methane Pledge. The Pledge was proposed by the European Union and the United States at the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate. It aimed a 30 per cent reduction in global methane emissions from 2020 levels by 2030.
  96. The Union Ministry of Power and Bureau of Energy Efficiency were entrusted with the task of preparing the implementation plan for the National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE). ‘Perform, Achieve and Trade’ (PAT) is a competitive mechanism under NMEEE for reducing energy use in large industries. PAT scheme covered about 13 energy-intensive sectors. Sectors included are thermal power plants (TPP), cement, aluminium, iron and steel, pulp and paper, fertiliser, chlor-alkali, petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, distribution companies, railways, textile and commercial buildings (hotels and airports).
  97. The survey report titled The ILO Global HIV Discrimination in the World of Work Surveystated that discriminatory attitudes are fuelled by a lack of knowledge about HIV transmission.
  98. Loss and damage, as an agenda, first came into prominence at the Warsaw climate summit in 2013. The ‘Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage Associated with Climate Change Impacts’ was set up to address the issue in a holistic manner. Subsequently in 2019, the Santiago Network was created to catalyse the support for developing countries already impacted with climate change impacts.
  99. Implementation of the Sendai Framework is expected to contribute to UN-mandated Sustainable Development Goals and to achieving Agenda 2063 commitment “The Africa we want”.
  100. Tunis declarationwas adopted at the Africa Arab Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction held in Tunis from October 9-13, 2018.
  101. Dapivirine is an antiretroviral drug — medicine to treat infection by retroviruses, particularly HIV. They work to suppress viral activity.
  102. The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) is an intergovernmentally negotiated agreement, prepared under the auspices of the United Nations, that describes itself as covering “all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner”. The compact was formally endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly. As the compact is not an international treaty, it is non-binding under international law. The Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF), as agreed to by Member States in Annex I of the New York Declaration.
  103. Secured overnight financing rate(SOFR) is an influential interest rate that banks use to price U.S. dollar-denominated derivatives and loans. It’s based on the rates that large financial institutions pay each other for overnight loans.
  104. Tequila fish, which disappeared from the wild in 2003 due to pollution and the introduction of invasive species, has been successfully reintroduced in a river in Jalisco, Mexico, and is once again thriving in its natural habitat.
  105. As per the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, Sri Lanka and India will jointly develop the Trincomalee oil tank farms. Trincomalee Oil Tank Farms are located in China Bay.
  106. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) virtually launched “Certification Course on Home Energy Audit (HEA). The certification program will create awareness on importance and benefits of energy audit and energy efficiency and conservation among students from engineering/diploma colleges.
  107. Log4j is a widely used software logging library for Java software. A 0day (or zero-day vulnerability) refers to a security flaw which has not been publicly disclosed and for which a software patch or remediation technique is not available.
  108. An ‘India Out’ [#IndiaOut] campaign has cropped up every now and then within the Indian Ocean island nation, mostly on social media. The campaign has got louder around key bilateral developments such as the signing of the Uthuru Thila Falhu (UTF) harbour development deal with India in February 2021. New Delhi is helping Male develop the Maldives National Defence Force Coast Guard Harbour. Similar resistance emerged in June, when India announced the opening of a consulate in the southern Addu Atoll.
  109. While fighting has receded, Afghanistan is far from reaching peace and stability. Unlike in the 1990s, the Taliban have taken control of almost all of the country, including Panjshir Valley in the north which defied both the Soviets and the Taliban earlier.
  110. The Tablighi Jamaat (Society of Preachers) was founded by Deobandi Islamic scholar Muhammad Ilyas al-Kandhlawi in Mewat, India in 1926. Inspired by the Deobandi creed, the Tablighis urge fellow Muslims to live like the Prophet did. They are theologically opposed to the syncretic nature of Sufi Islam and insist on members to dress like the Prophet did (trouser or robe should be above the ankle). The focus of the organisation was not on converting people from other faith into Islam. Rather, the Tablighi is focussed on “purifying” the Muslim faith. The Emir is the leader of the international movement and is always related to the group’s founder Muhammad Ilyas al-Kandhlawi.
  111. The Deobandis belong to the Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) – the same as Sufis – while the Hanbali Islam is the dominant fiqh in Saudi Arabia. While both are opposed to “innovations”, traces of Sufism can be found among Deobandis (Naqshbandi, Qadri, Chisti and Suhrawardy orders), while Salafi-Wahhabis consider Sufis as heretics. More importantly, Wahhabism is the official religion of Saudi Arabia. And it may not like another branch of puritanical Islam gaining currency in the kingdom.
  112. The ZBNF method also promotes soil aeration, minimal watering, intercropping, bunds and topsoil mulching and discourages intensive irrigation and deep ploughing.
  113. The concept, so-called, of “two principles of justice”, is synonymous with the name of John Rawls, a highly influential American liberal political philosopher of the last century. It forms the singular-most operative facet of Rawls’ doctrine of justice, which he termed justice as fairness.
  114. Russia announced that it had successfully test launched a Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile from a Severodvinsk submarine deployed in the Barents Sea which hit a target 350 kms away.
  115. Turkey’s official currency, the lira, has been in a free fall recently, losing about a quarter of its value against the U.S. dollar.
  116. Hallmark Unique Identification (HUID) number is a six-digit alphanumeric code, or one that consists of numbers and letters. It is given to every piece of jewellery at the time of hallmarking and is unique for each piece. Jewellery is stamped with the unique number manually at the Assaying & Hallmarking (A&H) centre. The hallmark consists of three symbols which give some information about the jewellery piece. The first symbol is the BIS logo; the second indicates purity and fineness; and the third symbol is the HUID.
  117. The Minsk Protocol was an agreement signed by representatives of Ukraine, Russia, OSCE, and the then heads of the two separatist groups, Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic, to end the war in the Donbas region. It enjoins Ukraine to devolve more powers to the local governments – likely controlled by the separatist groups — in the Donbas region.

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