IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-February 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-February 2022

  1. India’s ambitious goals under the Bonn Convention and UNFCCC to absorb 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere would be far better served by protection and restoration of natural forests than through tree plantations.
  2. Sariska Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan’s Alwar district spread across 1,216 sq. km area, witnessed the first-of-its-kind tiger relocation from the Ranthambore National Park by helicopter in 2008 after the felines became extinct in the sanctuary.
  3. Carrhotus tholpettyensis, the new species of spider was found from the moist deciduous forest of Tholpetty range of the wildlife sanctuary in Western Ghats, a robust biodiversity hotspot.
  4. A new species, named as Delarthrum anomalans, belongs to the family Paradoxosomatidae, a group of minute millipedes.
  5. The Ramsar Convention definition for wetlands includes marshes, floodplains, rivers and lakes, mangroves, coral reefs and other marine areas no deeper than six metres at low tide, as well as human-made wetlands such as waste-water treatment ponds and reservoirs.
  6. Wetlands in Andhra Pradesh host several resident and migratory birds like black-bellied tern, spot-billed pelican, Asian open bills, Pallas’ fish eagle, Indian river tern, green shank and Eurasian curlew. Deccan mahseer is an endangered fish species inhabiting the Sileru river basin of the North Eastern Ghats.
  7. A miyawaki forest canopy with towering native trees and a dense belt of flowering plants has turned the city’s Vellalore Lake into a butterfly hotspot. Blue Mormons, the fourth largest butterfly of India and State butterfly of Maharashtra, have been sighted in great numbers. 
  8. The Chandrayaan-3 mission is a follow-up of Chandrayaan-2 of July 2019, which aimed to land a rover on the lunar South Pole. It was sent aboard the country’s most powerful geosynchronous launch vehicle, the GSLV-Mk 3. However, lander Vikram, instead of a controlled landing, ended up crash-landing on September 7, 2019, and prevented rover Pragyaan from successfully travelling on the surface of the moon.
  9. Deuterium and tritium, which are isotopes of hydrogen, are heated to temperatures 10 times hotter than the centre of the sun to create plasma. 
  10. ITER (initially the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) is an international nuclear fusion research and engineering megaproject aimed at replicating the fusion processes of the Sun to create energy on the Earth. Upon completion of construction of the main reactor and first plasma, planned for late 2025, it will be the world’s largest magnetic confinement plasma physics experiment and the largest experimental tokamak nuclear fusion reactor. ITER is a fusion research mega-project supported by seven members – China, the European Union, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the USA – based in the south of France, to further demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion energy.
  11. The Global Tree Assessmentwas launched in 2015 in recognition of the poor understanding of the conservation status of the world’s tree species, limiting the conservation action that can be taken towards saving threatened species. The initiative is coordinated by BGCI and the IUCN Species Survival Commission Global Tree Specialist Group (IUCN-SSC GTSG) and acts as a continuation and expansion of the red list activities undertaken by the two groups over the last 20 years.
  12. State of the World’s Trees September, released by London-based Botanic Gardens Conservation International.
  13. The novel coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the hard-won years of progress against another pandemic — cholera, an acute diarrhoeal illness caused by Vibrio cholerae. The bacteria is shed through faeces and infects through contaminated water and food.
  14. Lake Victoria, which Kenya shares with the east African countries of Uganda and Tanzania, continues to be affected because of relentless pressures brought about by urban and agricultural pollution over the past 100 years.
  15. The African Great Lakesare a series of lakes constituting the part of the Rift Valley lakes in and around the East African Rift. They include Lake Victoria, the third-largest fresh water lake in the world by area, Lake Tanganyika, the world’s second-largest freshwater lake by volume and depth, and Lake Malawi, the world’s eighth-largest fresh water lake by area.
  16. The year 2021 was the fifth-warmest on record, according to the annual report of Copernicus, European Union’s Earth-observation programme. 
  17. Primordial radionuclides are still present in rocks, minerals and soils today. Their decay is a source of heat in the Earth’s interior, turning its molten iron core into a convecting dynamo that maintains a magnetic field strong enough to shield us from cosmic radiation which would otherwise eliminate life on Earth. Radionuclides from food largely pass through our bodies but some remain for periods of time (their biological half-life is the time for our bodies to remove them). That same radioactive form of potassium emits high energy gamma rays as it decays which escape the human body, ensuring that we are all slightly radioactive. The most common medical radioisotope is 99mTc (technetium), which is used in 30 million procedures each year worldwide. Like many other medical isotopes, it is manmade, derived from a parent radionuclide that itself is created from fission of uranium in a nuclear reactor.
  18. Primordial and cosmogenic radionuclides are the source of most of the radiation that surrounds us. Radiation is taken up from the soil by plants and occurs in food such as bananas, beans, carrots, potatoes, peanuts and brazil nuts. Beer for instance contains a radioactive form of potassium, but only about a tenth of that found in carrot juice.
  19. The United Nations General Assembly declared February 11, 2022 as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. This year, the theme of the 7th International Day of Women and Girls in Science is “Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: Water Unites Us”. 
  20. Nitric Oxide (NO) gas has for many years been used worldwide for the treatment of medical conditions such as Blue Baby Syndrome and for treatment of heart or lung transplant patients.
  21. Copper-based Nanoparticle-coated Antiviral Face Mask’ has been developed under the DST-sponsored nano-mission project to fight against the Covid pandemic. ARCI developed copper-based nanoparticles of around 20 nanometres by a ‘Flame Spray Pyrolysis’ (FSP) processing facility. FSP process involves conversion of solution precursors into nano-powders by high temperature pyrolytic decomposition. Stable nano-particle suspension was obtained by optimising the solid loading and pH.
  22. Zircon is quite useful for studying meteorite impacts. It preserves microscopic damage caused by the passage of shock waves, and these “shocked grains” provide a solid record of impact. Zircon is a “geochronometer”, meaning it records (and reveals to us) how much time has passed since it crystallised from magma.
  23. Primary bile acids are produced by our livers and are used by the body to break down fats. They are also transformed by bacteria in the gut to produce secondary bile acids, such as ursodeoxycholate. Gut bacteria play an important contributory role in producing this secondary bile acid, but levels of ursodeoxycholate aren’t wholly dependant on the gut microbes present.
  24. IIT Jodhpur research team have developed an Artificial Intelligence-based X-Ray design to detect Covid-19. The research team has proposed a deep learning algorithm called “COMit-Net” which has the capability to learn the abnormalities present in the chest X-Ray images. The project will detect the presence of Covid-19 using chest X-Ray images. This new technique is capable of identifying infected regions in the lung area. The AI-based technology is a part of the RAKSHAK project under NM-CPS DST and iHuB Drishti at IIT Jodhpur. A chest X-Ray through radiation has the capability to produce pictures of a person’s lungs, but the new technology that’s has been developed by IIT Jodhpur has the capacity to not only predict whether a person has Covid-19 pneumonia or not but also identifies the infected region in the lungs. 
  25. NeoCoV and its close relative, PDF-2180-CoV, can efficiently use some types of bat Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and, less favourably, human ACE2 for entry. ACE2 is a receptor protein on cells that provides the entry point for the coronavirus to hook into and infect a wide range of cells. A receptor-binding domain (RBD) is a key part of a virus that allows it to dock to body receptors to gain entry into cells and lead to infection.
  26. RNA interference (RNAi), a gene silencing approach, is a promising tool for targeted and focused therapy for chronic diseases like cancer. “The lack of safe and effective delivery methods for RNAi molecules is one of the key challenges against using RNAi-based therapy in biological systems,”
  27. Motor neurone disease (MND) is an uncommon condition that affects the brain and nerves. It causes weakness that gets worse over time. There’s no cure for MND, but there are treatments to help reduce the impact it has on a person’s daily life. Some people live with the condition for many years. One of the genes highlighted as a new MND gene, called KANK1, has been shown to produce neurotoxicity very similar to that observed in the brains of patients.
  28. The National Stock Exchange and the BSE have declared that they will implement the T+1 settlement cycle in a phased manner, starting with bottom 100 stocks in terms of market value, from February 25, 2022.  T+1 (trading+1day) means settlement of equity transactions in less than 24 hours from the day of transaction. It will make India the fastest stock market in the world to settle equity trades. Currently, India follows T+2 cycle, where it takes 48 hours or even more for the shares to be transferred into the client account in case of purchases.
  29. The Budget 2022-23 has picked up a recommendation from the Baba Kalyani Committee report, submitted in November 2018, to look into the travails of Special Economic Zones (SEZs).
  30. Mahal or Mahl is an Indo-Aryan language and is spoken by the people of Minicoy Island in the Union Territory of Lakshadweep, India.
  31. Kiliki or Kilikiliis a fictional language originally created by Madhan Karky for the 2015 Indian epic adventure film Baahubali.
  32. Tamil is the first legally recognized Classical Language of India, as formally announced by the then President of India, Dr. Abdul Kalam, in a joint sitting of both houses of Parliament in 2004.
  33. A new initiative stemming from this desire is an ‘Academic Bank of Credits’ (ABC) in higher education idea,which was notified recently by the University Grants Commission (UGC) for implementation.
  34. A team of herpetologists have recorded a new species of bent­toed gecko from a wooded part of the Umroi Military Station in Meghalaya. Its scientific name is Crytodactylus exercitus and English name is Indian Army’s bent­toed gecko. Exercitus in Latin means army.
  35. Ukraine has accused Russia of ceasefire violations in the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk and using weapons prohibited by the Minsk agreements.
  36. The standard HIV treatment regimen of anti-retroviral treatment (ART) therapy consisting of tenofovir, emtricitabine and raltegravir. Anti-retroviral therapy, through the years, has now ensured that HIV/AIDS isn’t always a death sentence and many with access to proper treatment have lifespans comparable to those without HIV.
  37. Embryonic stem cells are potentially able to grow into any kind of cell. These are pluripotent (ploo-RIP-uh-tunt) stem cells, meaning they can divide into more stem cells or can become any type of cell in the body. This versatility allows embryonic stem cells to be used to regenerate or repair diseased tissue and organs.
  38. All the three editions of NITI Aayog, the Centre’s policy think tank’s implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), have one common feature –Tamil Nadu finishing on top with regard to Goal 1 – “No Poverty.”
  39. LIGO stands for “Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory”. It is the world’s largest gravitational wave observatory and a marvel of precision engineering. More than an observatory, LIGO is a remarkable physics experiment on the scale and complexity of some of the world’s giant particle accelerators and nuclear physics laboratories. Though its mission is to detect gravitational waves from some of the most violent and energetic processes in the Universe, the data LIGO collects may have far-reaching effects on many areas of physics including gravitation, relativity, astrophysics, cosmology, particle physics, and nuclear physics.
  40. The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna(LISA) is a proposed space probe to detect and accurately measure gravitational waves tiny ripples in the fabric of spacetime—from astronomical sources. LISA would be the first dedicated space-based gravitational wave detector. It aims to measure gravitational waves directly by using laser interferometry.
  41. Byanjana Dwadashi is celebrated by adherents of Vaishnavism, the largest sect within Hinduism, which recognises Vishnu and his incarnations such as Krishna as the Supreme Godhead. The festival celebrates a variety of food (Byanjana in Odia) on the 12th day (Dwadashi) of the Sukla Paksha or waxing phase of the moon in the month of Margashira (mid-December to mid-January).
  42. Malawi has recorded Africa’s first wild poliovirus (WPV) case in five years, the Global Polio Laboratory Network (GPLN) confirmed February 17, 2022. The case has been found to be genetically linked to the WPV1 detected in October 2019 in Pakistan’s Sindh province — one of two countries where it continues to remain endemic. The other is Afghanistan.
  43. The Saltwater Crocodile(Crocodylus porosus) is the largest of the 23 species of ‘extant’ or living crocodilians. This includes ‘true crocodiles’, alligators and caimans. The ‘saltie’ is today found in three locations in India — the Sundarbans, Bhitarkanika National Park and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is one of the three crocodilians native to the Indian Subcontinent, along with the mugger crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) and the gharial (Gavialis gangeticus). It is also found in Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Australia and the Solomon Islands. The saltie is also called the ‘estuarine crocodile’ and as the name suggests, is typically found in the brackish water of estuaries. It can also tolerate saltwater in the oceans and can travel long distances over the open ocean, making use of tidal currents. The Saltwater crocodile “was historically found in the Mekong Delta region of southern Vietnam, extending at least as far inland to Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia. The species was also known to be present on Phu Quoc Island and in the Con Dao Archipelago. In addition, human-crocodile conflict records reveal that the species was also present in the lower Dong Nai River in Ho Chi Minh City (previously Saigon) and in Vung Tau to the north.
  44. Phu Quoc Island is a Vietnamese island off the coast of Cambodia in the Gulf of Thailand.
  45. Con Dao Archipelago is a group of islands off the southeast coast of Vietnam.
  46. Since ISFR 2003, the biennial surveys also include Trees Outside Forests (TOF) as a category. In this category, tree cover includes patches of trees and isolated trees on areas less than one hectare. “Forest cover” is defined as all areas, irrespective of ownership, that are more than 1 ha and have more than 10 per cent tree cover, TOF is the count of trees outside forests, irrespective of the size of the patch.
  47. The Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, mandate the generators of plastic waste to take steps to minimise it, ensure its segregated storage at source and hand it over to local bodies or agencies. The rules cast Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) on producer, importer and brand owner for collection and recycling of plastic packaging waste. The guidelines specify three categories. The second category relates to flexible plastic packaging of single layer or multilayer. The third category covers multi-layered plastic packaging and one of material other than plastic).
  48. Italy, Indonesia and India are the G20 troika countries at present.
  49. Old Tupi village is inhabited by Nocte tribes in the Tirap district, Arunachal Pradesh.
  50. ‘Meet the Champions’ initiative is part of the government’s ‘Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ that was kicked off by Olympic Gold medallist Neeraj Chopra in December 2021 and was taken ahead by Olympic Bronze medallist Bajrang Punia in Haryana, Olympic sailors Varun Thakkar and KC Ganapathy in Rameshwaram, Paralympic Bronze medallist Sharad Kumar in Kerela and Olympic Swimmer Srihari Natraj in Karnataka.
  51. The International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP) is an international forum for governments and public authorities that have implemented or are planning to implement emissions trading systems (ETS). ICAP facilitates cooperation between countries, sub-national jurisdictions and supranational institutions that have established or are actively pursuing carbon markets through mandatory cap and trade systems.
  52. The World Economic Forum’s Net Zero Carbon Cities’ mission is to create an enabling environment for clean electrification and circularity, resulting in urban decarbonization and resilience. The program aims to do this by fostering public-private collaboration to bridge the gap across the energy, built environment and transport sectors.
  53. Ministry of Culture has announced ‘DHARA, an Ode to Indian Knowledge System’ as a part of the Science Week Vigyan Sarvatra Pujyate being held from 22nd to 28th February 2022.  Vigyan Sarvatra Pujyate, a festival of Science, is being organised to celebrate Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.  DHARA comprises a series of lecture demonstrations by eminent scholars across the world to revisit our history and celebrate the achievements of India and the contribution of great scholars, mathematicians, scientists, and leaders to its heritage.
  54. The 25th meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) was held in Mumbai, under the Chairpersonship of Union Finance Minister. The Financial Stability and Development Council has been set up by the government in consultation with financial market regulators, to strengthen and institutionalize the mechanism for maintaining financial stability, enhance inter-regulatory coordination and promote financial sector development. Without prejudice to the autonomy of regulators, the Council monitors macro-prudential supervision of the economy, including functioning of large financial conglomerates, and addresses inter-regulatory coordination and financial sector development issues. It also focuses on financial literacy and financial inclusion.
  55. The Ramanujan Prize for Young Mathematicians was awarded to Professor Neena Gupta, a mathematician of the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata. She received the award for the year 2021 for her outstanding work in affine algebraic geometry and commutative algebra. The prize is awarded annually to a researcher from a developing country funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) of the Government of India in association with ICTP (International Centre for Theoretical Physics) and the International Mathematical Union (IMU). It is given to young mathematicians less than 45 years of age who have conducted outstanding research in a developing country. It is supported by DST in the memory of Srinivasa Ramanujan, a genius in pure mathematics who was essentially self-taught and made spectacular contributions to elliptic functions, continued fractions, infinite series, and analytical theory of numbers.
  56. NDC-Transport Initiative for Asia (NDC-TIA) project is a joint programme of seven organizations that engages India, China and Vietnam in promoting a comprehensive approach to decarbonizing transport in their respective countries. The project is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) supports the initiative on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag. NITI Aayog is the implementing partner for the India component of the project.
  57. The ‘Heritage City’ of Chandigarh, founded in 1953 and planned by famous Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier, stands out for its immaculate urban planning and design. The city has been certified as 1-Star Garbage Free in the recently concluded Star Rating Assessment for Garbage Free Cities in 2021, under the aegis of Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0. It was also recognized for its commitment to transform ‘manhole to machine hole’ by winning the ‘Best Performing UT’ in SafaiMitra Suraksha Challenge 2021.
  58. Lavender has been designated as Doda brand product. Doda is the birthplace of India’s Purple Revolution (Aroma Mission) and lavender can be promoted under ‘One District, One Product’ initiative.
  59. Kishtwar’s Rattle Hydropower Project has been revived after over eight years. Kishtwar is going to become the hub of hydroelectricity with 1000 MW Pakal Dul Hydropower project, 624 MW Kiru Hydropower project and revived Ratle Hydropower Project that will make the entire Jammu and Kashmir power surplus in future.
  60. In a recent study, Indian researchers have found that properties of Gold-nanorods can be tuned by applying external forces for devising sensors that can detect trace amounts of molecules, paving the way for more efficient way of detecting food contamination. Gold nanorods have unique plasmonic properties. They can be used as sensors in the detection of minute amounts of particles (femto-moles of molecules) and also in the fluorescent enhancement of low-quantum yield molecules. To be used as sensors, they needed to arrange the particles in 2D arrays.
  61. The National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA) is a regulatory body set up under Section 132 of the Companies Act, 2013 to oversee compliance with Accounting and Auditing Standards by Public Interest Entities (PIEs) as defined in Rule 3 of NFRA Rules 2018 and their Statutory Auditors. Such PIEs includes all listed companies and large public unlisted companies.
  62. OzonAction is a branch of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) which has its main office in Paris, and is part of UNEP’s Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE). UNEP OzonAction assists developing countries and countries with economies in transition (CEITs) to achieve and sustain their compliance with the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, and make informed decisions on alternative technologies and ozone-friendly policies. UNEP’s OzonAction branch is one of the Fund’s implementing agencies, along with others, such as UNIDO, UNDP and the World Bank.
  63. The main objective of the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol is to assist developing country parties to the Montreal Protocol whose annual per capita consumption and production of ozone depleting substances (ODS) is less than 0.3 kg to comply with the control measures of the Protocol. Currently, 147 of the 196 Parties to the Montreal Protocol meet these criteria. UNEP is also one of several Implementing Agencies for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol.
  64. UNEP hosts the secretariats of several multilateral environmental agreements and research bodies, including The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), The Minamata Convention on Mercury, The Convention on Migratory Species and The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
  65. China’s new Long March-8 rocket placed 22 satellites in space on Sunday, setting a domestic record for the most spacecraft launched by a single rocket. These satellites will be mainly used for commercial remote sensing services, marine environment monitoring, forest fire prevention and disaster mitigation. The mission marked the 409th flight of the Long March carrier rockets.
  66. An IIT Delhi start-up has launched the “world’s smallest” wearable air purifier, claiming it is as effective as an N95 face mask. The product can also be used by children as they are more vulnerable to air borne infections and air pollution.
  67. Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) Business Ambition for 1.5 degrees Celsius is an urgent call to take action from a global coalition of UN agencies and business and industry leaders, in partnership with the Race to Zero campaign.
  68. Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Mohali researchers have taken up the system of the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) and a bacterial pathogen that affects the fruit fly, sometimes even causing death – Pseudomonas entomophilia – have been co-evolved to study the pathway of evolution taken by the system of antagonists.
  69. The island of Okinawa in Japan has an exceptional number of healthy centenarians because adults practice Hara Hachi Bu – stopping eating when they are 80% full (CR). Buddhist monks of certain sects eat their last meal at noon (TRF).
  70. Time dilation is a phenomenon predicted by Albert Einstein and refers to the stretching of time intervals when moving at high speeds or passing near intense gravitational fields. 
  71. Did you know the female Indian Bank Mantis will sometimes eat her suitor during copulation? Or that the presence of the pretty yellow flowers of Rattle pod ( crotalaria quinquefolia) indicate a very high water table in the area?
  72. Volupe Jumping spider ( chrysilla volupe) a spider that was discovered in Gujarat in 1868 by renowned arachnologist, Dr Ferdinand Karsch. However, for 150 years, it was considered extinct, until 2018 when it was re-discovered by a group of entomologists at Wayanad. It is now also found in Moira.
  73. Chacaltaya glacier in Bolivia was once home to the World’s highest Ski resort.
  74. The Indian Institute of Technology Madras Research Park and the National Institute of Ocean Technology are jointly hosting, for the first time in India, the OCEANS 2022 conference, a bi-annual event of global marine researchers. The Department of Ocean Engineering is coordinating the event on behalf of the Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineering Ocean Engineering Society and Marine Technology Society.
  75. Black holes are extraordinarily dense objects possessing gravitational pulls so powerful even light cannot escape them. Supermassive black holes, which reside at the centre of many galaxies, including our own, are the largest of them.
  76. An active galactic nucleus(AGN) is a compact region at the center of a galaxy that has a much-higher-than-normal luminosity over at least some portion of the electromagnetic spectrum with characteristics indicating that the luminosity is not produced by stars. Such excess non-stellar emission has been observed in the radio, microwave, infrared, optical, ultra-violet, X ray and gamma ray wavebands. A galaxy hosting an AGN is called an “active galaxy”. The non-stellar radiation from an AGN is theorized to result from the accretion of matter by a supermassive black hole at the center of its host galaxy.
  77. The Blue Blob is a cold patch located south of Iceland and Greenland and little is known about it. However,a recent study theorises that it may have helped temporarily stall the melting of Arctic sea ice. The cold patch was most prominent during the winter of 2014-2015 when the sea surface temperature was about 1.4 degrees Celsius colder than normal. The researchers found that cooler waters near the Blue Blob were linked to observations of lower air temperatures over Iceland’s glaciers and coincided with a slowing of glacial melting since 2011. Blue Blob is part of the normal sea surface temperature variability in the Arctic. Before the Blue Blob, a long-term cooling trend in the same region, called the Atlantic Warming Hole, reduced sea surface temperatures by about 0.4 to 0.8 degrees Celsius during the last century and may continue to cool the region in the future.
  78. A possible explanation for the Warming Hole is that climate change has slowed the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, an ocean current that brings warm water up from the tropics to the Arctic, thus reducing the amount of heat delivered to the region.
  79. India has signed military logistics agreements with several countries in the past. This includes the India–US Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), India–Japan Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) and India–Australia Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA), demonstrating all the Quad countries.
  80. India has now signed all four foundational agreements with the US, LEMOA in 2016, Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) in 2018 and Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial cooperation (BECA)in 2020. While the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) was signed a long time ago, an extension to it, the Industrial Security Annex (ISA), was signed in 2019. India now has access to encrypted communication systems from the U.S. under COMCASA and to geospatial information through BECA which cumulatively have been beneficial.
  81. Karimpuzha Wildlife Sanctuary is a Wildlife sanctuary near Nilambur, Malappuram district in the Indian state of Kerala. It forms a portion of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The Karimpuzha WLS links the Silent Valley National Park in Kerala and Mukurthi National Park in Tamil Nadu and thereby create a contiguous protective area stretch. The Karimpuzha wildlife sanctuary has almost all the mammals endemic to Western Ghats including the Nilgiri Tahr and Lion-tailed macaque. 
  82. Article 243(b) of the Indian Constitution defines the role of the Gram Sabha as the primary body of the Panchayati Raj. This body is empowered to register dissent from the majority villagers against any project proposed by the government. 
  83. The Government of West Bengal started disbursing compensation to residents of villages under the Deocha-Pachami and Dewanganj-Harinsingha coal blocks in the state’s Birbhum district. The area is the site of the largest coal mine project in India and the second-largest in the world. 
  84. Tamil Nadu government’s recent decision to go ahead with the establishment of a conservation reserve for the elusive dugong (Dugong dugon), a sirenian species native to parts of the Indian littoral is a welcome step. Dugongs are protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 which means they have the highest level of legal protection under Indian law.
  85. Khewali jaal can be used in multiple types of waterbodies — streams, wetlands and ponds having sufficient depth. The catch includes various commercial fish, such as chital (Chitala chitala), minor carp (Labeo bata) and major Indian carps like rohu (Labeo rohita), mrigel (Cirrhinus mrigala) and catla (Catla catla). The tubular paori with sizes ranging from 2.5 to 4 metres is used in small waterbodies or for fishing in flood water. Resembling a triangular basket is the jakoi or scoop gear, mostly used by the women fishers.
  86. Palmer Station is the smallest of the three permanent scientific research stations operated by the United States Antarctic Program in Antarctica.
  87. Black carbon, a byproduct of fossil fuels, reduces the surface albedo and can lead to earlier and more rapid snow melt.
  88. Jaipur, Rajasthan is in danger of losing major green cover and biodiversity at Dol Ka Badh forest. Medicinal plants: Peristroph bicalyculata (Kakjangha), Abutilon indium (Atibala), Tephrosia perpuria (Sarpunkha) and Ailanthus excelsa (Arlu).
  89. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature defines an alien speciesas a species introduced outside of its natural range. They may be brought in by people accidentally or intentionally into regions where they do not exist. Invasive Alien Species: Moniliophthora perniciosa, Moniliophthora roreri, pink hibiscus mealybug (Maconellicoccus hirsutus Green) and melon thrips (Thrips palmi Karny).
  90. Cassava in Ghana, for example, is a main staple crop and contributes about 22 per cent and 30 per cent to the agricultural gross domestic product and daily calories intake, respectively. The crop can be at risk from cassava brown streak virus which can reduce yields by up to 70 per cent.
  91. Maize lethal necrosis disease can be a major disruptor of maize production in Ghana, where the crop accounts for more than 50 per cent of the country’s total cereal production. The disease can cause losses ranging between 50-90 per cent, depending on the variety of maize and the growing conditions of the year, the report showed.
  92. Byanjana Dwadashi is celebrated by adherents of Vaishnavism, the largest sect within Hinduism, which considers Vishnu and his incarnations such as Krishna as the Supreme Godhead.
  93. Antibiotics such as Azithromycin, Ciprofloxacin, Ofloxacin, Levofloxacin and others were found to be significantly present at the industry’s outlet leading to CETP for further treatment, but no comparison could be made since no residual antibiotic standards exist. Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETP) are treatment systems specifically designed for collective treatment of effluents generated from small-scale industrial facilities in an industrial cluster.
  94. The proposed Indian Neutrino Observatory at Bodi West Hills in Theni district if implemented, will affect the flora and fauna of the Periyar Tiger Reserve and Mathikettan Shola National Park in the Western Ghats. The proposed site is spread across Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The proposed project area links the Periyar Tiger Reserve in Kerala with Srivilliputhur Meghamalai Tiger Reserve.
  95. High tide increases water levels that reach above the invert level of drains. This results in a backflow of river water into drains. Low tide increases the chances of pollution since there is no excess water to dilute pollutants.
  96. As far as the Dalit community in Uttarakhand is concerned, it constitutes almost 19 per cent of the population and most Dalits are artisans, craftsmen or marginal farmers. The Dalits, popularly referred to as shilpkars, an impact of Arya Samaj movement, are mainly divided into three sub-castes — Koltas, Doms  and  Bajgi or Lohars (blacksmiths).
  97. The first organised movement by Dalits was the Tamta Sudhar Sabha in 1905. It later took the form of the Kumaon Shilpkar Sabha in 1913. Shilpkar or the artisan class, mostly belonging to the lower castes, were not allowed to enter temples and were also kept out of the Army and the police. They also started the Dola Palki Andolan or the palanquin movement in 1923, demanding the right to use horses and palanquins, a practice which was otherwise confined to upper castes.
  98. The Australian government declared the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), the cute marsupial that is the very symbol of the country, as ‘Endangered’ in the states of Queensland and New South Wales as well as the Australian Capital Territory. The koala has suffered greatly in recent years due to habitat loss, disease and most of all, bushfires. Chlamydia, a bacterial disease, has wrought havoc on koala populations by forming cysts inside breeding adults, leading to infertility.
  99. Lake Victoria, which Kenya shares with the east African countries of Uganda and Tanzania, continues to be affected because of relentless pressures brought about by urban and agricultural pollution over the past 100 years.
  100. In 2024, ISRO is expected to launch the Shukrayaan Venus mission; DISHA, a twin aeronomy satellite mission that will study the uppermost layer of Earth’s atmosphere; and Thermal infraRed Imaging Satellite for High-resolution Natural resource Assessment in collaboration with France to observe Earth’s surface.
  101. Police’ and ‘law and order’ fall under the category of subjects within the domain of the State as per Entry 2 of List II of the VIIth Schedule in the Constitution of India.
  102. Mango ginger can be regarded as the master impersonator in the plant kingdom. This spice, known as Curcuma amada in scientific lexicon. However, it is nowhere close to a mango or ginger. Rather, the spice belongs to the same genus as turmeric (Curcuma longa). But even here there is a difference: Unlike turmeric’s rich yellow tissue, mango ginger just has a pale yellow core. Two Curcuma species share the name mango ginger. While C mangga is native to Indonesia, C amada is said to have originated in India. The spice is cultivated in parts of Odisha, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, where it is usually planted in April and harvested seven to eight months later. Along with medicine, mango ginger also finds extensive use in traditional cuisine. The rhizome is known to stimulate appetite.
  103. Eliminating cancer is one of WHO South-East Asia Region (WHO-SEAR)’s key projects. Measures used to decrease prevalence of the disease include vaccination against hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human papillomavirus (HPV), screening for cervical cancer, encouraging physical activity and healthy diets, taxing and controlling tobacco, alcohol as well as sugary drinks. 
  104. Non-human African primates are the source for HIV. The African green monkey is the source of the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus, the sooty mangabey is the source of HIV-2 and the Common Chimpanzee the source of HIV-1. 
  105. Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN), Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), Modified Interest Subvention Scheme, Market Intervention Scheme and Price Support Scheme; and Pradhan Mantri Kisan Man Dhan Yojana. All these schemes provide cash benefits to individual farmers.
  106. In the present study about 65% moths (91 species) carried sufficient quantities of pollen grains to be considered as potential pollinators. Teliphasa sp. (Crambidae) and Cuculia sp. (Noctuidae) are found to carry the highest quantity of pollen. Geometridae (geometer moths) and Erebidae (erebid moths, tiger moths, lichen moths, among others) turned out to be the most important moth families for pollen transportation in the Himalayan region. The moth species Achaea janata (a well-known pest of various economically important plants) was identified as a potential pollinator of three plant families, indicating that moths can provide net benefits as pollinators even when acting as larval herbivores of the same species.
  107. After quickly spreading to many countries and becoming the dominant strain in circulation within a very short time after Omicron was designated as a variant of concern on November 26, 2021, the Omicron sub-lineage 2 is now following the in the footsteps of BA.1 in many countries. The BA.2 has a “cluster of sequences that share many of the same mutations as the ‘original’ Omicron (BA.1) but is missing some mutations and has some other new ones.
  108. National Supercomputing Mission (NSM) has been designed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC). NSM is steered jointly by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), and implemented by C-DAC and IISc.
  109. Mount Vinicunca in Peru is commonly known as the Mountain of Seven Colours or Rainbow mountain. It is located in the Cusco region of Peru, on the Andes, more than 5200 meters above sea level. Peru was primarily famous for the Machu Picchu, but, recently, Mount Vinicunca -a new geological wonder- was added to the country’s tourist destinations. Currently, this mountain is one of the main attractions of Peru.
  110. The Ramsar Convention definition for wetlands includes marshes, floodplains, rivers and lakes, mangroves, coral reefs and other marine areas no deeper than six metres at low tide, as well as human-made wetlands such as waste-water treatment ponds and reservoirs.
  111. The Budapest Memorandum of Security Assurances is a political agreement between Ukraine, Russia, the U.K., and the U.S. It was signed in 1994.
  112. After five years as the Principal Economic Adviser to the Ministry of Finance, Sanjeev Sanyal has now been appointed as a full-time member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM). 
  113. Pickleball incorporates components of tennis, table tennis, and badminton all into one. It can be played both indoors and outdoors, with standard court size the same as a badminton court or a modified tennis court. The game is usually played as singles or doubles using paddles and a plastic ball with holes.
  114. ‘Suisse secrets’ is an investigation conducted by 163 journalists, working with 48 media outlets across 36 countries, who united under the investigative consortium Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) to analyse data leaked more than a year ago to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.
  115. The USTR’s Notorious Markets List (NML) enumerates online and physical markets reportedly involved in facilitating, neglecting or benefitting from sale of counterfeit products or copyright piracy and violations. The report’s ‘Positive Development’ section mentions the actions that governments and private entities have taken in the past one year to combat piracy and counterfeiting. The Special 301 Report places countries on ‘Priority Watch List’ and the ‘Watch List’. India along with Argentina, Chile, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Ukraine were on the ‘Priority Watch List’ in the 2021 review.
  116. The Donbass region, comprising the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine, has been at the centre of the conflict since March 2014 when Moscow invaded and annexed the Crimean Peninsula.
  117. The International Space Station is the only operational space laboratory as of now, orbiting the earth in a trajectory that is about 400 km above the land surface. It is operated by more than 15 partner countries. Apart from Russia and the United States, Canada, Japan and several members of the European Space Agency are partners in the ISS. It completes one journey around the earth in about one and a half hours. In one day, therefore, it makes about 16 trips around the world. The ISS is not the first space station to be built and operated. Several smaller space stations have been used earlier, the most famous of which have been the Russian Mir space station that operated in the 1980s, and the American Skylab.
  118. The OSCE or the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, is the world’s largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization with an observer status at the United Nations.
  119. Along with Austria, Ireland, Cyprus and Malta, Finland and Sweden are two EU states that are not members of NATO Since the end of the Second World War, both countries remained militarily neutral. The two countries had also consciously remained politically neutral in the 1990s, but that stance changed when they joined the European Union in 1995. This is, in part, due to their policies of military non-alignment, but over the past few years, increase in what both countries view as Russian aggression, have prompted discussions of a potential NATO membership.
  120. Aviation and defence colossus Boeing delivered India’s 12th maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare P-8I aircraft. The first of these aircraft was inducted in 2013, and it made India the first country outside the United States to get one. The aircraft is designed for “long-range anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions”, according to its maker, and is a “multi-mission aircraft” with “state of the art sensors, proven weapons systems, and a globally recognised platform”. The P-8I can fly as high as 41,000 feet, and has a short transit time, which reduces the size of the “Area of Probability when searching for submarines, surface vessels or search and rescue survivors”. It is also used for low altitude, and humanitarian, and search and rescue missions.
  121. Human immunodeficiency virus or HIV is an infection that attacks the immune system by destroying the body’s immune cells called CD4, which help it respond to infection. Once HIV attacks the CD4 cells, it starts replicating and destroying the cells, weakening the body’s immune system and making it more prone to certain “opportunistic infections” that take advantage of the weak immune system.
  122. Fair and remunerative price (FRP) is the price declared by the government, which mills are legally bound to pay to farmers for the cane procured from them. The payment of FRP across the country is governed by The Sugarcane Control order, 1966 which mandates payment within 14 days of the date of delivery of the cane. Mills have the option of signing an agreement with farmers, which would allow them to pay the FRP in installments. Delays in payment can attract an interest up to 15 per cent per annum, and the sugar commissioner can recover unpaid FRP as dues in revenue recovery by attaching properties of the mills. Assured payment is one of the major reasons why cane is a popular crop with farmers. The FRP is based on the recovery of sugar from the cane. The higher the recovery, the higher is the FRP, and higher is the sugar produced.
  123. Central bank digital currency(CBDC) is a legal tender issued by a central bank in a digital form. It is similar to a fiat currency issued in paper and is interchangeable with any other fiat currency. The RBI is expected to launch the CBDC from the upcoming financial year. This follows the government’s plans to launch the CBDC that will be backed by blockchain technology. According to Investopedia, the goal of CBDCs is to provide users with convenience and security of digital as well as the regulated, reserve-backed circulation of the traditional banking system. The Bahamas launched the world’s first CBDC in October 2020 called the “Sand Dollar”.
  124. In simplest terms, President’s Fleet Review is the country’s President taking stock of the Navy’s capability. It showcases all types of ships and capabilities the Navy has. It takes place once under every President, who is the supreme commander of the armed forces. The President will be given a 21-gun salute before embarking on the yacht. There have been 11 President’s Fleet Reviews since Independence. The first was conducted in 1953, under Dr Rajendra Prasad. The next one was done not by the President but by the then Defence Minister, Y B Chavan, in 1964. Since then, it has been the President reviewing the fleet.
  125. Canada is the largest destination of American goods and the third largest supplier of imported goods in the US. Around 2/3rd of this trade happens by road.
  126. NAND wafers contain arrangements of a large number of memory cells, which are essentially logic gates that receive binary inputs and output a single signal. In 2D or planar flash arrays, memory cells are arranged in a simple two-dimensional matrix.
  127. Several parts of Jharkhand are seeing massive protests against the inclusion of Bhojpuri and Magahi as “regional languages”in district-level competitive examinations for government jobs.
  128. Alpine skiing is a type of ski sport that is made up of five different events — the downhill, Super G, Alpine combined, slalom and giant slalom. While slalom is the shorter of the two events, it is the more technically challenging one since the gates are smaller and skiers have to focus on their zigzagging technique rather than their speed in this event. Giant slalom on the other hand combines the technical aspect of slalom with the speed of downhill skiing events. The giant slalom event sees skiers reach up to 80 kilometres an hour. The increase in speed means that the ‘gates’ have to be larger.
  129. Section 306 of the CrPc has provisions for tender of pardon for an accomplice of a crime. The section states that a court can at any stage of the investigation or inquiry or trial of an offence, tender pardon to a person on condition that he makes full and true disclosure of the whole circumstances of the offence within his knowledge related to other accused. The section states that this may be done with a view to obtain evidence of any person “supposed to have been directly or indirectly concerned in or privy to an offence”. If the plea is allowed by the court, the person is examined as a witness in the case. The section has provision for the person to be kept in detention till the termination of the trial. If his pardon is granted, the person cannot be sentenced to any punishment.
  130. A tunic uniform is a British era overcoat worn over the traditional uniform by the police force. Worn by British police officers traditionally, it is suitable in the cold British climate. Maharashtra DGP has discontinued the use of the tunic uniform for officers from the rank of Police Sub Inspectors (PSI) to Deputy Superintendent (DySP). Officers from SP rank and above can continue its use.
  131. Solar storms are magnetic plasma ejected at great speed from the solar surface. They occur during the release of magnetic energy associated with sunspots (‘dark’ regions on the Sun that are cooler than the surrounding photosphere), and can last for a few minutes or hours. Not all solar flares reach Earth, but solar flares/storms, solar energetic particles (SEPs), high-speed solar winds, and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that come close can impact space weather in near-Earth space and the upper atmosphere. Solar storms can hit operations of space-dependent services like global positioning systems (GPS), radio, and satellite communications. Geomagnetic storms interfere with high-frequency radio communications and GPS navigation systems. Aircraft flights, power grids, and space exploration programmes are vulnerable.
  132. Article 25(1) of the Constitution guarantees the “freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion”. It is a right that guarantees a negative liberty — which means that the state shall ensure that there is no interference or obstacle to exercise this freedom. However, like all fundamental rights, the state can restrict the right for grounds of public order, decency, morality, health and other state interests.
  133. The tiny, iridescent Ormyrus labotus always seemed suspicious for a parasitoid wasp. It wasn’t the wasp’s striking beauty — wasps can be conventionally attractive, too — but its life strategy. Parasitoid wasps lay their eggs on or inside other insects and arthropods, and the larvae eat their way out when they hatch. Each parasitoid wasp species tends to prefer one or a few hosts. But Ormyrus labotus had been observed laying its eggs in more than 65 different species of insects — far more than one or a few.
  134. The COP is an annual conference of all countries that are members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and is the ‘supreme decision-making body of the Convention.’ The first COP was held in Berlin, Germany in 1995 and has since been convened annually; and the COP this year (COP-27) will be held in Egypt. REDD+ constitutes an important milestone in the history of COPs. Adopted at the 13th Conference of Parties (COP-13) in Bali, REDD+ aims at ‘reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation,’ with the ‘+’ referring to ‘enhancing forest carbon stocks due to sustainable management of forests’.
  135. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), many angel shark species are endangered. Squatina are flat-bodied sharks and resemble stingrays. S. mapama looks very similar to another species that lives around the same area named Squatina david. There were only subtle physical differences between the two and genetic analyses helped establish them as a separate species. The Small-crested Angelshark is the fourth new species of Squatina identified in the Western Atlantic in the last decade.
  136. National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) announced that Nepal will be the first foreign country to adopt India’s UPI system.
  137. India’s first water taxi service connecting the twin cities, Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, was flagged off by Union Shipping Minister.
  138. The IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas is the first global standard of best practice for area-based conservation. It is a programme of certification for protected and conserved areas – national parks, natural World Heritage sites, community conserved areas, nature reserves and so on – that are effectively managed and fairly governed. India has so far not become a parnter in the initiative, in which China and nations from Europe, Africa and South America are active members.
  139. GloLitter Partnerships Project is launched by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UNs (FAO) and initial funding from the Government of Norway. It is aimed to prevent and reduce marine plastic litter from shipping and fisheries.
  140. World Wetlands Day is observed on February 2 every year to raise global awareness about the importance of wetlands, not only for people but the planet Earth as well. The day also marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on February 2, 1971. This is the first year when the World Wetlands Day will be observed as a United Nations international day, following its adoption by the UN General Assembly on August 30, 2021. The theme of this year is ‘Wetlands action for people and nature’, highlighting the importance of actions to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands for humans and planetary health.
  141. The UN defines wetlands as ecosystems where water is the primary factor controlling the environment and the associated plant and animal life. It can be both freshwater and marine and coastal ecosystems such as all lakes and rivers, underground aquifers, swamps and marshes, wet grasslands, peatlands, oases, estuaries, deltas and tidal flats, mangroves and other coastal areas, coral reefs, and all human-made sites such as fishponds, rice paddies, reservoirs and saltpans.
  142. The scheme SHRESHTA (Residential Education for Students in High Schools in Targeted Areas) has been launched for the purpose of providing seats for the meritorious SC boys and girls in the best private residential schools in the country. The Department of Social Justice & Empowerment, Ministry of Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment were the implementing agency.
  143. India’s first graphene innovation center to be established in Thrissur, Kerala. Graphene is a one-atom-thick layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. It is the building-block of Graphite, but graphene is a remarkable substance on its own with a multitude of astonishing properties. It is the thinnest, most electrically and thermally conductive material in the world, while also being flexible, transparent and incredibly strong. Graphene is also known as a wonder material due to its vast potential in the energy and medical world.
  144. Services e-Health Assistance and Teleconsultation (SeHAT) is the tri-services teleconsultation service of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) designed for all entitled personnel and their families.  SeHAT stay home OPD is a patient-to-doctor system where the patient can consult a doctor remotely through the internet using his Smartphone, laptop, Desktop or Tablet. The consultation occurs through video, audio and chat at the same time. It aims to provide quality healthcare services to patients from the comfort of their homes. Safe and structured video-based clinical consultations between a doctor in a hospital, and a patient within the confines of his or her home anywhere in the country, have been enabled. 
  145. As per the request received from the State Government of Bihar, Ministry of Tourism has included Punaura Dham in the Ramayana circuit of Swadesh Darshan Scheme.  The destination of Punaura Dham has been recently included under PRASHAD Scheme of the Ministry of Tourism. 
  146. Ministry of Tourism under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme has identified Tirthankar Circuit as one of the fifteen thematic circuits for development in the country. All the sites associated with Jainism are covered under this circuit. Ministry has sanctioned the project “Development of Tirthankar Circuit: Vaishali-Arrah-Masad-Patna-Rajgir-Pawapuri-Champapuri in Bihar”
  147. Development of Buddhist circuit: In the State of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, Ministry plans to cover and further develop the following Buddhist sites, namely, Bodh Gaya, Nalanda, Rajgir, Viashali, Sarnath, Shravasti, Kushinagar, Kaushambi, Sankisa, and Kapilavastu. The holy sites follow Buddha’s life cycle with the most important ones being Buddha’s birthplace Lumbini (Nepal), Bodh Gaya where he attained enlightenment, Sarnath where Buddha gave his first sermon after enlightenment also known as Dharmachakrapravartana, Kushinagar which Buddha chose for his final departure or Mahaparinirvana, Nalanda which was one of the world’s first residential universities and an epicentre for learning, Rajgir where Buddha spent several months meditating and preaching at Gridhra Kuta (Hill of the Vultures), Sravasti where he taught many of his Suttas (sermons), and Vaishali where Buddha delivered his last sermon, to name a few. 
  148. Development of Gandhi Circuit: Bhitiharwa-Chandrahia-Turkaulia under Rural Circuit theme of Swadesh Darshan Scheme”

To Read Previous Months Monthly Prelims inFocus: Click here

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