IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-January 2020

  1. Founded in 1935, the Indian History Congress(IHC) is the largest association of professional historians in South Asia. It has about 35000 members of which over 2000 delegates participate in its session every year. It has been holding its sessions very regularly from its inception and publishing its proceedings every year since 1935. Its main objective is to promote secular and scientific writing of history.\
  2. The World Economic Forum discussed about the global reforestation efforts and Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA) is a part of this effort. The Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 was founded in 2012 at Rio+20. TFA is funded by the governments of Norway, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, and its secretariat is hosted at the World Economic Forum.
  3. The Great Knot is an international migratory birdthat travels vast distances between the northern hemisphere breeding grounds and southern hemisphere summer feeding grounds around. It is distributed in far northeast Russia, coastal Australia, southeast Asia, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and eastern Arabian Peninsula. It is listed as Endangered under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.
  4. Odissi dance is one of theclassical dances of India. It is indigenous to Orissa, eastern India, and follows the principles of the Natya-shastra. Odissi dance deals largely with the love theme of Radha and Krishna.
  5. The Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden and Aaranyak (a wildlife conservation organisation)
    were successfully able to hatch a pair of Greater Adjutant Stork (Hargila) chicks on an artificial
    platform within the Zoo enclosure. The Greater Adjutant stork (Leptoptilos dubius) is one of the rarest species of Storks out of twenty species of Storks in the world. In India, 8 species of residential storks are found including Hargila. Once abundantly distributed in South and Southeast Asia, this stork is now restricted to a few isolated pockets in Assam and Bihar in India
    and PrekToal in Cambodia. Listed as Endangered as per IUCN Status.
  6. The ethnic communities of Assam are opposing to include non-tribal communities in the group of Khilonjia (also known as indigenous) people of the state. Currently, Khilonjias comprises of Bodo (the largest plains tribe in the northeast), Deuri, Dimasa, Rabha, Sonowal Kachari, Thengal Kachari and Tiwa.
  7. ‘Dharma Guardian’ is the joint military exercise between India and Japan.
  8. The Government has no right to transfer “invaluable” community resources like village water ponds to a few powerful people and industrialists for commercialisation of the property, when many areas of the country perennially face water crisis and access to drinking water is woefully inadequate, the Supreme Court has held. As per the Judgement “Protection of such village commons is essential to safeguard the fundamental right guaranteed by Article 21 of our Constitution. These common areas are the lifeline of village communities, and often sustain various chores and provide resources necessary for life. The judgment came on a plea by activist-lawyer Jitendra Singh against the transfer of village ponds’ sites of Saini Village in the National Capital Region to some private industrialists by the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority.
  9. Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Goa bounded by Cotigao wildlife sanctuary on the eastern side and Bhagwan Mahaveer wildlife sanctuary on the northern side. Cotigao Sanctuary is situated in Canacona Taluka, of Goa. Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Mollem town of Goa.
  10. The concept of the curative petition is supported by Article 137 of the Indian Constitution. It provides that in the matter of laws and rules made under Article 145, the Supreme Court has the power to review any judgement pronounced (or order made) by it. Such a petition needs to be filed within 30 days from the date of judgement or order. A curative petition may be filed after a review plea against the final conviction is dismissed. It can be entertained if the petitioner establishes that there was a violation of the principles of natural justice, and that he was not heard by the court before passing an order. It must be rare rather than regular. A curative petition must be first circulated to a Bench of the three senior-most judges, and the judges who passed the concerned judgment, if available. Only when a majority of the judges conclude that the matter needs hearing should it be listed before the same Bench. The Bench at any stage of consideration of the curative petition can ask a senior counsel to assist it as amicus curiae (Friend of the court). A curative petition is usually decided by judges in the chamber unless a specific request for an open-court hearing is allowed.
  11. The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve was the first biosphere reserve in India established in the year 1986. It is located in the Western Ghats and includes 2 of the 10 biogeographical provinces of India. The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve falls under the biogeographic region of the Malabar rain forest. The Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Wyanaad Wildlife Sanctuary Bandipur National Park, Nagarhole National Park, Mukurthi National Park and Silent Valley are the protected areas present within this reserve. It covers Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka
  12. M-Stripes is a software monitoring system built by the National Tiger Conservation Authority and the Wildlife Institute of India.
  13. The ability to see without eyes is known as extraocular vision. Researchers have shown that a species of brittle stars, which are relatives of starfish, can see even though it does not have eyes. The red brittle star (Ophiocoma wendtii), which lives in the coral reefs of the Caribbean Sea, becomes only the second creature, after a sea urchin species, known to have this ability (barring freak cases in other species). In sea urchins and brittle stars, researchers suspect that extraocular vision is facilitated by the photoreceptor cells found on their bodies.
  14. Elephanta Caves are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a collection of cave temples predominantly dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. They are on Elephanta Island, or Gharapuri  in Mumbai Harbour, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) east of Mumbai in the Indian state of Mahārāshtra.  The Elephanta Caves contain rock cut stone sculptures that show syncretism of Hindu and Buddhist ideas and iconography. The caves are hewn from solid basalt rock.
  15. To ensure that banks don’t go bust, RBI has put in place some trigger points to assess, monitor, control and take corrective actions on banks which are weak and troubled. The process or mechanism under which such actions are taken is known as Prompt Corrective Action, or PCA.
  16. The Army has initiated the process of identifying potential industry partners to implement the Government Owned Contractor Operated (GOCO) model for its base workshops and ordnance depots intended to improve operational efficiency. The GOCO model was one of the recommendations of the Lt. Gen. DB Shekatkar (Retd.) committee to “enhance combat capability and re-balancing defence expenditure.” Inthe ‘Government Owned Corporate Operated (GOCO)’ model the assets owned by Govt will be operated by the private industry for agreed upon terms. Maintenance of complete infrastructure will be the responsibility of the service provider.
  17. Bihuis a set of three important Assamese festivals in the Indian state of Assam Rongali or Bohag Bihu observed in April, Kongali or Kati Bihu observed in October, and Bhogali or Magh Bihu observed in January.
  18. A black box flight recorder is heavily protected recording device, similar to a hard disk or a memory card. The “black box” is made up of two separate pieces of equipment: the flight data recorder (FDR) and a cockpit voice recorder (CVR). They are compulsory on any commercial flight or corporate jet, and are usually kept in the tail of an aircraft, where they are more likely to survive a crash. FDRs record things like airspeed, altitude, vertical acceleration and fuel flow. Early versions used wire string to encode the data; these days they use solid-state memory boards. Solid-state recorders in large aircraft can track more than 700 parameters. Black boxes are fitted with an underwater locator beacon that starts emitting a pulse if its sensor touches water. They work to a depth of just over four kilometres, and can “ping” once a second for 30 days before the battery runs out
  19. Global Economic Prospect Report is published by World Bank.
  20. Union Home Minister inaugurated the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C). The I4C is a seven-pronged system, which includes a cybercrime reporting portal, analysis of threats, capacity building, research and innovation, creating an ecosystem for cybercrime management and a joint cybercrime investigation platform for law enforcement agencies. The project was approved in October 2018 at an estimated cost of ₹415.86 crore, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
  21. One of the largest freshwater fish the Chinese paddlefish (Psephurus gladius) has been declared extinct in a study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment.
  22. Chittaranjan Das is generally referred as Deshbandhu which means “Friend of the nation”. Das completed his education in England, where he became a Barrister, his public career began in 1909 when he successfully defended Aurobindo Ghosh on charges of involvement in the Alipore bomb case. Das maintained close contact with Bipin Chandra Pal and Aurobindo Ghosh and helped them in publishing the Bande Mataram, an English weekly for propagating the ideals of swaraj. Das also brought out a newspaper called ‘Forward‘ and later changed its name to Liberty to fight the British Raj. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was the editor of this newspaper. Bose considered Das as his mentor.. Das was also a voracious reader, he was closely associated with a number of literary societies and wrote poems, apart from numerous articles and essays. Das, a few years before his death, gifted his house and the adjoining lands to the nation to be used for the betterment of the lives of women. At present, it is a big hospital called Chittaranjan Seva Sadan and has gone from being a women’s hospital to one where all specialties are present.
  23. Section 7(D) says that the OCI registration may be cancelled if it was obtained by means of fraud, false representation or the concealment of any material fact; or if the overseas citizen of India has shown disaffection towards the Constitution of India, or unlawfully traded or communicated with an enemy (in case of a war) or has been sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than two years within five years after registration as an OCI, or if it is necessary so to do in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India.
  24. The jallikattu-like event using foxes, or vanga nari in Tamilis usually organised on Kaanum Pongal on the outskirts of the district as villagers believe it will bring bountiful rain and good fortune. Foxes are a protected species under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and hunting or capturing them is prohibited.
  25. Bojjannakonda and Lingalametta are the twin Buddhist monasteries dating back to the 3rd century BC. These sites have seen three forms of Buddhism – the Theravada period when Lord Buddha was considered a teacher, the Mahayana, where Buddhism was more devotional, and Vajrayana, where Buddhist tradition was more practised as Tantra and esoteric form. It is situated near a village called Sankaram, which is a few kilometres away from Anakapalle, Vishakhapatnam in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The name Sankaram is derived from the term, ‘Sangharama’. It is famous for the whole lot of votive stupas, rock-cut caves, brick-built structural edifices, early historic pottery and Satavahana coins that date back to the 1st century AD. The main stupa was carved out of rock and then covered with bricks, where one can see a number of images of the Buddha sculpted on the rock face all over the hill. At the Lingalametta, one can see hundreds of rock-cut monolithic stupas in rows.
  26. The world’s second tallest statue of Gautam Buddha is proposed to be built in Dev Ni Mori, Sabarkantha district, Gujarat.
  27. Spring Temple statue in China (153 metres), Thailand-based Sitting Buddha statue (92 metres). The Gujarat government had proposed to develop Dev Ni Mori in Sabarkantha district into an “international Buddhist destination” with “the second tallest statue of Buddha (108 metres).
  28. Consumer Price Index is a measure of change in retail prices of goods and services consumed by defined population group in a given area with reference to a base year. This basket of goods and services represents the level of living or the utility derived by the consumers at given levels of their income, prices and tastes. The consumer price index number measures changes only in one of the factors; prices. This index is an important economic indicator and is widely considered as a barometer of inflation, a tool for monitoring price stability and as a deflator in national accounts. The dearness allowance of Government employees and wage contracts between labour and employer is based on this index. Consumer price indices compiled in India are CPI for Industrial workers CPI(IW), CPI for Agricultural Labourers CPI(AL) and; Rural Labourers CPI(RL) and (Urban) and CPI(Rural).
  29. Wholesale Price Index (WPI) measures the average change in the prices of commodities for bulk sale at the level of early stage of transactions. The index basket of the WPI covers commodities falling under the three major groups namely Primary Articles, Fuel and Power and Manufactured products. (The index basket of the present 2011-12 series has a total of 697 items including 117 items for Primary Articles, 16 items for Fuel & Power and 564 items for Manufactured Products.) The prices tracked are ex- factory price for manufactured products, mandi price for agricultural commodities and ex-mines prices for minerals. Weights given to each commodity covered in the WPI basket is based on the value of production adjusted for net imports. WPI basket does not cover services. In India WPI is also known as the headline inflation rate. In India, Office of Economic Advisor (OEA), Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry calculates the WPI.
  30. The IT tool, known as the Integrated Road Accident Database (IRAD), has been developed by the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) and will be implemented by the National Informatics Centre. The project is being supported by the World Bank. The system will be first piloted in the six States with highest fatalities from road crashes — Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. The IRAD will be improved on the basis of the learnings from the trial, following which it will be rolled out across the country. The IRAD mobile application will enable police personnel to enter details about a road accident, along with photos and videos, following which a unique ID will be created for the incident. Subsequently, an engineer from the Public Works Department or the local body will receive an alert on his mobile device. He or she will then visit the accident site, examine it, and feed the required details, such as the road design. Data thus collected will be analysed by a team at IIT-M, which will then suggest if corrective measures in road design need to be taken. Road users will also be able to upload data on road accidents on a separate mobile application, which is expected to go live from April 1, according to a Ministry official.
  31. Moghalmari, a Buddhist monastic site of the early medieval period in West Bengal’s Paschim Medinipur district. Recently a study of inscriptions on clay tablets recovered from recent excavations at Moghalmari have confirmed the presence of two monasteries — Mugalayikaviharika and Yajñapindikamahavihara. Archaeologists and historians point out that famous Chinese traveller Xuanzang (more widely identified as Huen Tsang), who visited India in the 7th century CE, referred to the existence of ‘ten monasteries’ within the limits of Tamralipta (modern day Tamluk in adjoining Purba Medinipur district). However, he did not refer to any specific name or location. With the discovery of the site and the deciphering of the inscriptions, at least two of these monasteries are now identified.
  32. Galapagos islands is a part of the Republic of Ecuador, are an archipelago of volcanic islands distributed on either side of the equator in the Pacific Ocean surrounding the centre of the Western Hemisphere, The islands are known for their large number of endemic species and were studied by Charles Darwin during the second voyage of HMS Beagle. His observations and collections contributed to the inception of Darwin’s theory of evolution by means of natural selection. The Galápagos Islands and their surrounding waters form the Galápagos Province of Ecuador, the Galápagos National Park, and the Galápagos Marine Reserve. 
  33. Myeloma is cancer of the plasma cells. Plasma cells are white blood cells that produce disease- and infection-fighting antibodies in your body. Myeloma cells prevent the normal production of antibodies, leaving your body’s immune system weakened and susceptible to infection. The multiplication of myeloma cells also interferes with the normal production and function of red and white blood cells. An abnormally high amount of these dysfunctional antibodies in the bloodstream can cause kidney damage. Additionally, the myeloma cells commonly produce substances that cause bone destruction, leading to bone pain and/or fractures. Myeloma cells are produced in the bone marrow, the soft tissue inside your bones. Sometimes myeloma cells will travel through your blood stream and collect in other bones in your body. Because myeloma frequently occurs at many sites in the bone marrow, it is often referred to as multiple myeloma.
  34. India will host the 19th Council of Heads of Government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation next year, the first such high level meeting of the eight-member grouping to be organised by New Delhi after its admission to the bloc in 2017, SCO Secretary General Vladimir Norov said on Tuesday. The SCO is a China-led eight-member economic and security bloc, in which India and Pakistan were admitted as full members in 2017. Its founding members included China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
  35. The World Economic Situation and Prospects is an annual UN flagship publication on the state of the world economy, viewed through the lens of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It is a joint product of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the UN Conference on Trade and Development and the five UN regional commissions.
  36. Yada Yada is an alphavirus, a group of viruses that the researchers described as “small, single-stranded positive-sense RNA viruses (that) include species important to human and animal health, such as Chikungunya virus and Eastern equine encephalitis virus… (and which) are transmitted primarily by mosquitoes and (are) pathogenic in their vertebrate hosts”. Unlike some other alphaviruses, Yada Yada does not pose a threat to human beings. The virus was detected in mosquitoes trapped as part of the Victorian Arbovirus Disease Control Programme in Encephalitis Virus Surveillance traps set up overnight in three locations in Victoria, Australia, for seven weeks in late 2016
  37. The Reserve Bank of India has included the National Population Register letter as an officially valid document (OVD) for Know Your Customer (KYC) verification for opening bank accounts or applying for credit cards. The Reserve Bank of India has also allowed a video based customer identification process for verification. According to the Reserve Bank’s KYC Master Direction on KYC, updated on January 9, 2020. OVD means the passport, the driving licence, proof of possession of Aadhaar number, the Voter’s Identity Card issued by the Election Commission of India, job card issued by NREGA duly signed by an officer of the State Government and letter issued by the National Population Register containing details of name and address.
  38. Stagflation is an economic scenario where an economy faces both high inflation and low growth (and high unemployment) at the same time.
  39. The Irrawaddy dolphin is a euryhaline (able to tolerate a wide range of salinity) species of oceanic dolphinfound in discontinuous subpopulations near sea coasts and in estuaries and rivers in parts of the Bay of Bengal and Southeast Asia. It is an aquatic mammal. Although sometimes referred to as the Irrawaddy river dolphin, it is not a true river dolphin, but an oceanic dolphinthat lives in brackish water near coasts, river mouths and in estuaries. In India, it is mostly present in the brackish-water Chilka Lake. Their Presence has also been recorded from Sunderbans National Park. It has established sub-populations in freshwater rivers, including the Mahakam River, the Mekong, the Ganges and the Irrawaddy River from which it takes its name.  Irrawaddy dolphins are more susceptible to human conflict than most other dolphins who live farther out in the ocean. The Irrawaddy dolphin’s proximity to developing communities makes the effort for conservation difficult. Entanglement in fishnets and degradation of habitats are the main threats to Irrawaddy dolphins. Appendix 1 as per CITES. Irrawaddy dolphins are listed as an endangered species in the IUCN list, which applies throughout their whole range. The Irrawaddy dolphin is listed on both Appendix I and Appendix II of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).
  40. Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) is a trade agreement between the European Union and India.
  41. India-made Truenat MTB is a molecular diagnostic test to diagnose pulmonary and extrapulmonary TB and rifampicin-resistant TB. It has high diagnostic accuracy as per WHO. Truenat MTB will be used as an initial test to diagnose TB thus replacing sputum smear microscopy.
  42. India, a partner in the construction of one of the largest telescopes in the world, has said it wants the project to be moved out of the proposed site at Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano in Hawaii.
  43. A joint military training exercise between India and Bangladesh ‘SAMPRITI-IX’ will be conducted at Umroi, Meghalaya.
  44. Global Investment Trend Monitor report is compiled by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
  45. In March 2019, the RBI introduced a separate channel, the ‘Voluntary Retention Route’ , to enable FPIs to invest in debt markets in India. Investments through VRR are free of the macro-prudential and other regulatory prescriptions applicable to FPI investments in debt markets, provided FPIs voluntarily commit to retain a required minimum percentage of their investments in India for a particular period
  46. Martyr’s Day is observed on 30th January every year in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi and his contributions to the nation. 23rd March is also observed as Martyr’s Day to pay tribute to three revolutionaries of India namely Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar.
  47. Recently, the Togolese Republic (also known as Togo) and India has come together for the development of about 300 MW Solar Power Projects in Dapaong (Dalwak region) and Mango (Savanes region). Togo is the first International Solar Alliance (ISA) country to avail the services of NTPC. Togo is a country in West Africa and extends south to the Gulf of Guinea and is bordered on the north by Burkina Faso, Benin to the east, and Ghana on the west.
  48. A ‘fruit train’, said to be the first of its kind in the country, was flagged off from Tadipatri Railway Station in Andhra Pradesh carrying a load of 980 metric tonnes of locally grown bananas to the Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai. This is the first time in India that an entire train is being sent to the gateway port (JNPT) for export.
  49. Absolute Poverty is a condition where household income is below a necessary level to maintain basic living standards (food, shelter, housing). This condition makes it possible to compare between different countries and also over time. Relative Poverty is defined from the social perspective that is living standard compared to the economic standards of population living in surroundings. Hence it is a measure of income inequality. Usually, relative poverty is measured as the percentage of the population with income less than some fixed proportion of median income.
  50. The International Health Regulations (2005) represents a binding international legal agreement involving 196 countries across the globe, including all the Member States of the WHO. Their aim is to help the international community prevent and respond to acute public health risks that have the potential to cross borders and threaten people worldwide.
  51. Nagoba Jatara is a tribal festival held in Keslapur village, Indervelli Mandal Adilabad district, Telangana, thus the festival is also known as Keslapur Jatara. It is a huge religious and cultural event of the Boigutta branch of Mesram clan of the aboriginal Raj Gond and Pradhan tribes. During the festival, the maha puja of serpent god Nagoba is held.
  52. Cyclone Diane is atropical cyclone recently affected to Madagascar. Madagascar has been hit by it and there has been heavy flooding and landslips causing loss of lives and displacement, affecting more than 92,000 people. India has been the first country to respond to floods in Madagascar.
  53. Gatka is a traditional martial artform associated with the Sikh gurus. It imbibes sword and sticks fighting skills and self-control. Gatka is believed to have originated when the 6th Sikh Guru Hargobind adopted ‘Kirpan’ for self-defence during the Mughal era. A style of stick fighting between two or more practitioners, Gatka is a toned-down version of the deadlier Shastar Vidya. The sharp swords of Shastar Vidya have been replaced by wooden sticks (soti) and shields (farri) in Gatka. It is considered as a battle technique.
  54. Montreux Record under the Ramsar Convention is aregister of wetland sites on the List of Wetlands of International Importance where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring, or are likely to occur as a result of technological developments, pollution or other human interference. It is maintained as part of the Ramsar List. Currently, two wetlands of India are in Montreux record: Keoladeo National Park (Rajasthan) and Loktak Lake (Manipur). Chilika lake (Odisha) was placed in the record but was later removed from it.
  55. Bodos are the single largest communityamong the notified Scheduled Tribes in Assam. Bodos are a part of Bodo-Kachari and constitute about 5-6% of Assam’s population.
  56. The population of Mugger Crocodile is on the rise in Odisha’s Ghodahada reservoir.
  57. Indian constitution does not specify as to what disqualifies a person from contesting elections for the Parliament, Legislative assembly or any other legislature. The Representation of Peoples Act which mentions the criteria for disqualifying a person for contesting an election of the legislature.
  58. Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserveis located in Chandrapur district in  It is Maharashtra’s oldest and largest national park. It is one of India’s 50 “Project Tiger” – Tiger reserves. Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve was established as the second Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra in 1993-94. The first Tiger Reserve established in the State is Melghat Tiger Reserve (1973-74). It represents Southern Tropical Dry Deciduous Teak Forests in the Tiger habitat and has viable tiger population of more than 40 tigers.
  59. The Bhil are one of the largest tribal groups,living in Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan.
  60. Coronaviruses are a specific family of viruses, with some of them causing less-severe damage, such as the common cold and others causing respiratory and intestinal diseases. A coronavirus has many “regularly arranged” protrusions on its surface, because of which the entire virus particle looks like an emperor’s crown, hence the name “coronavirus”. It is an RNA virus with ribonucleic acid (RNA) as its genetic material instead of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). That means the virus blends with its host’s DNA and can mutate rapidly. There are four common disease-causing coronaviruses, while the two other are the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) coronavirus and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus, both of which can cause severe respiratory diseases.
  61. India and Brazil share a very close and multifaceted relationship at bilateral level as well as in plurilateral forasuch as BRICSIBSAG4G20, BASIC, International Solar Alliance, Biofuture Platform and in the larger multilateral bodies such as the UN, WTO, UNESCO and WIPO.
  62. In K. Gopalan v. State of Madras (1950) case,the Supreme Court interpreted the Fundamental Rights under Part III. In the leading case of Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala (1973), the Supreme Court concluded that Parliament’s power to amend the Constitution did not extend to altering its Basic Structure. The Supreme Court in Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India (1978) case reversed its earlier stand that it took in A K Gopalan case.
  63. The term Gram Sabha is defined in the Constitution under Article 243(b). It is the primary and permanent bodyof the Panchayati Raj system. Persons, those who are above 18 years, living in the village whose names are included in the electoral rolls for the Panchayat at the village level. The constitution empowered the State Legislatures to define the powers and functions of the Gram Sabhas through laws passed by them.
  64. The A-SAT missile was developed by the DRDO under Mission Shakti. Mission Shakti seeks to defend India’s space assets and thus aims at strengthening India’s overall security. India became the fourth countryto acquire such technology after USA, Russia, and China. The A-SAT technology has a ‘hit to kill’ feature which is developed for the first time in India. It enables to destroy an enemy satellite by directly colliding with it with pinpoint accuracy.
  65. Air Defence Tactical Control Radar (ADTCR) is used for volumetric surveillance, detection, tracking and friend/foe identification of aerial targets of different types and transmission of prioritised target data to multiple command posts and weapon systems. It is also capable of detecting very small targets and low flying targets.
  66. Recently, the High Court of Karnataka has directed the State government to stop all the developmental activities being undertaken at Karwar port under the Sagarmala project.
  67. Under Article 51Aof the Constitution of India it is a duty of every citizen of India to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform.
  68. Pudi Bhuyan is a major section of the historically famous Bhuinya tribe. This tribe is majorly found inBihar, Odisha, West Bengal and Assam. It is one of the 13 Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) in Odisha. They speak local Odia language which is pronounced differently.
  69. The Supreme Court of India also gave judgement on the internet shutdown and curbing of other civil liberties in the Jammu and Kashmir. It upheld the Right to access the Internet and released guidelines on imposition of section 144 of CrPC. Recently, the Kerala High Court, in Faheema Shirin v. the State of Kerala case, declared the Right to Internet Access as a fundamental right, forming a part of the right to privacy and the right to education under Article 21 of the Constitution.
  70. Measles and Rubella arecaused by different viruses but share more or less the same symptoms, including the red rashes. The Measles & Rubella Initiative, a global program, aims at eliminating both these diseases. The vaccine for the diseases are provided in the form of Measles-Rubella (MR), Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR), or Measles-Mumps-Rubella-Varicella (MMRV)
  71. India’s ranking in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI-2019)has slipped from 78 to 80 compared to the year 2018.
  72. Biosphere Reserve (BR) is an international designation by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)for representative parts of natural and cultural landscapes extending over large areas of terrestrial or coastal/marine ecosystems or a combination of both.
  73. Fifth and Sixth Schedules-provide for alternate or special governance mechanism for certain schedule area. Article 244 under Part X provides special provision for the administration in Scheduled Areas and Tribal Areas notified under Fifth Schedule.
  74. India, a partner in the construction of Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), has requested that the project be moved out of the proposed site at Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano in Hawaii, USA.
  75. Senna spectabilis isa deciduous tree native to tropical areas of America. It grows up to 15 to 20 metres in a short period of time and distributes thousands of seeds after flowering. The thick foliage of the tree arrests the growth of other indigenous tree and grass species. Thus, it causes food shortage for the wildlife population, especially  It also adversely affect the germination and growth of the native species. It is categorised as ‘Least Concern’ under IUCN Red List.
  76. Recently, the International Labour Organisation (ILO)has released the World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2020 (WESO)
  77. The goal of universal health coverage(UHC) as stated in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs no. 3) is one of the most significant commitments to equitable quality healthcare for all. India moved a step closer towards its commitment to the SDGs, when in 2018 the country launched a national health protection scheme, Ayushman Bharat, to achieve UHC.
  78. Kuki tribe is majorly found in Manipurwith other states of North Eastern India. ‘Mim Kut’ is the main festival of the Kuki tribe. The Chin-Kuki group consists of Gangte, Hmar, Paite, Thadou, Vaiphei, Zou, Aimol, Chiru, Koireng, Kom, Anal, Chothe, Lamgang, Koirao, Thangal, Moyon and Monsang. The term Chin is used for the people in the neighboring Chin state of Myanmar whereas Chins are called Kukis in the Indian side. Other groups like Paite, Zou, Gangte, and Vaiphei identify themselves as Zomi and have distanced themselves from the name, Kuki. In Northeast India they are present in all the states except Arunachal Pradesh.
  79. Ranthambore Tiger Reserve lies in the eastern part of Rajasthan state in Karauli and Sawai Madhopur districts, at the junction of the Aravali and Vindhya hill ranges.
  80. The Baiga (means sorcerers) is one of theParticularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs). They mainly live in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Traditionally, the Baiga lived a semi-nomadic life and practised slash and burn cultivation. Now, they are mainly dependent on minor forest produce for their livelihood. Tattooing is an integral part of Baiga culture, every age and body part has a specific tattoo reserved for the occasion.
  81. Surveys conducted inside Anamalai Tiger Reservehas shown that carbon storage was highest in species-rich evergreen forest.
  82. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) and the five United Nations Regional Economic Commissions have jointly released the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2020 (WESP)
  83. Jallikattu is a traditional bull-taming eventthat is organised in the state every year as part of the harvest festival  Recently Over 100 people were injured in three Jallikattu events in Tamil Nadu.
  84. Kambala is a traditional bull buffalo racewhich generally takes place in coastal Karnataka from November to March. The PETA has alleged that Kambala too involves acts of cruelty on animals which are not physiologically suited for racing.
  85. Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) is a Public Sector Enterprise, set up by Department of Biotechnology (DBT). BIRAC is aindustry-academia interface and implements its mandate through a wide range of impact initiatives. It aims to strengthen and empower the emerging Biotech enterprise to undertake strategic research and innovation, addressing nationally relevant product development needs.
  86. Under the 7thSchedule of the Constitution, Police is under the State list. It means individual states can legislate and exercise control over this subject. At the district level, a ‘dual system’ of control exists, in which the SP has to work with the DM for supervising police administration.
  87. The Supreme Court has recently held that a citizen’s right to own private propertyis a human right. The Court used its extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 136 and Article 142 of the Constitution to direct the government to pay the woman compensation of 1 crore rupees. A citizen’s right to own private property is a human right. The state cannot take possession of it without following due procedure and authority of law. Right to Property ceased to be a fundamental right with the 44th Constitution Amendment in 1978. It was made a Constitutional right under Article 300A. Article 300A requires the state to follow due procedure and authority of law to deprive a person of his or her private property.
  88. Recently, the naval version of the indigenously built Mk1Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) landed for the first time on an aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya. INS Vikramaditya (a former Russian ship) is the newest and largest aircraft carrier to join Indian Navy in 2013.
  89. An annual one-month long people centric fuel conservation campaignof the Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) named Saksham, will be launched on 16th January, 2020. This campaign aims to spread the message of fuel conservation and greener environment across India.
  90. Recently, the World Health Organisation(WHO) has endorsed TrueNat which is an indigenous molecular diagnostic tool for tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis.
  91. The Zonal Councilsare the statutory (and not the constitutional) bodies. They are established by an Act of the Parliament, that is, States Reorganisation Act of 1956.
  92. Bengal is also known as the Indian fox,is a species of Asian foxes endemic to the Indian subcontinent. This is a medium-sized fox with an elongated muzzle with black hair in small patches on the upper part of the muzzle. Its large, bushy, black-tipped tail is its most prominent feature, accounting for as much as 60% of the length of its body. These are protected under Part 1 of Schedule II of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and hunting or capturing them is prohibited. Listed as  Least Concerned as per IUCN.
  93. Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttarakhandshowed the largest gender gaps in under-5 mortality. Uttar Pradesh is the state with the highest number of estimated newborn deaths in India, both because of the high neonatal mortality rate and because of the large number of births that occur every year in the State.
  94. India ranks third in terms of global oil consumptionafter China and the United States. India ships in over 80% of its oil needs, of which 65% is from the Middle East through the Strait of Hormuz. India is the world’s fourth largest oil refiner and a net exporter of refined fuels, mainly gasoline and diesel.
  95. The Nalabana bird sanctuary is located on Nalabana Island in the Chilika lagoon area in Odisha. The Nalabana Bird Sanctuary is the core area of Chilika. Chilika Lakeis Asia’s largest and world’s second-largest lagoon after the New Caledonian barrier reef in New Caledonia.
  96. Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuaryis located in North Goa District, Sanguem taluka near the town of Valpoi. Owing to the presence of Bengal Tigers, it can be declared as a tiger reserve under Project Tiger. The Mhadei River, known downstream as the Mandovi River, the lifeline of the state of Goa, originates in Karnataka, passes through the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary and meets the Arabian Sea at Panaji in Goa.
  97. Seke means “golden language”which originated in the Mustang district of Nepal. It is an unwritten It is spoken in just five villages of Chuksang, Chaile, Gyakar, Tangbe, and Tetang, a region close to the border with Tibet. It is one of the endangered languages in the world. UNESCO has recognised 42 Indian languages as Critically Endangered.
  98. Indian Navy continues to deploy one warship for Operation SANKALPin order to ensure the safe passage of Indian Flag Vessels transiting through the Strait of Hormuz amidst deteriorating US-Iran relations. Indian Navy launched Operation SANKALP in the Gulf Region on 19th June 2019.
  99. The sixth joint naval exercise between China and Pakistanstarted on 6th January, 2019. It is being held in the Arabian Sea. For the first time, the exercise has been named as ‘Sea Guardians’.
  100. Patola is a double ikat woven sari,usually made from silk, made in Patan, Gujarat, Patola are usually woven in Surat, Ahmedabad and Patan. But velvet patola styles are majorly made in Surat. It has received a Geographical Indication (GI) tagin 2013.
  101. Recently, there has been a political tussle between leaders of Maharashtra and Karnataka over an area called Belagavi. Belagavi is an area in Karnataka, which has a sizeable Marathi-speaking population and has been at the heart of a five-decade-old border row between Karnataka and Maharashtra.
  102. Coal is the main source of energyin India. This fossil fuel is found in a form of sedimentaryrocks and is often known as ‘Black Gold’.
  103. Recently, the Supreme Court held that the state has the rights to introduce a regulatory regimein the national interest to provide minority educational institutions with well-qualified teachers so that they can achieve excellence in education. Minority institutions have the fundamental right under Article 30of the Constitution to establish and administer their educational institutions according to their choice. However, they cannot ignore the regulations recommended by the state.
  104. Yuelu Proclamation was adopted at the first international conference on language resources protection in Changsha, Central China’s Hunan province in 2018 by UNESCO. It is a document on protection and promotion of the world’s linguistic diversity. It calls upon the international community, states, governments and non-governmental organizations, among others, to reach a consensus on the protection and promotion of linguistic diversity in the world.
  105. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)will undertake scientific conservation of Bibi Ka Maqbaralocated in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. It is a famous 17th century Mughal-era monument in the city of Aurangabad, Maharashtra. It was commissioned by Emperor Aurangzeb in 1660 in the memory of his wife Dilras Banu Begum. The structure is known as the ‘Taj of the Deccan’ because of its striking resemblance to the Taj Mahal. The domes, minarets and the marble screens inside are built in marble.
  106. Lamu Island is located on theeastern coast of Kenya. Lamu is one of the oldest and the best-preserved living settlements among the Swahili towns(in Arabic Swahili means “of the coast”) on the East African coast. It is recognised as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
  107. The anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Actprotests have brought demands of the Adivasis and tea tribesin Assam to the forefront. The Adivasis, comprising 106 sub-groups, are the largest of the six communities demanding the Scheduled Tribes (ST) status. The others are Chutiya, Koch-Rajbongshi, Moran, Matak, and Tai-Ahom.
  108. Savitribai Phule Jayanti is celebrated on3rdJanuary every year to honour her contribution towards society, women empowerment and education. Phule started the Literacy Mission in India between 1854-55 and the Satyashodhak Samaj (Society for Truth-Seeking), through which she along with her husband wanted to initiate the practice of Satyashodhak marriage, in which no dowry was taken. Her books of poems are “Kavya Phule” and “Bavan Kashi Subodh Ratnakar”.
  109. Homo erectus (meaning upright man)is an extinct species of the human genus(Homo), perhaps an ancestor of modern humans (Homo sapiens). Hominin is any member of the zoological “tribe” Hominini (family Hominidae, order Primates), of which only one species exists today—Homo sapiens, or human beings.
  110. Yakshagana is a rare and uniquetraditional theatre of Karnatakastate in India and has a recorded history of more than 5 centuries. It is a rich artistic blend of music, dance, speech, and costumes, this art combines the features of opera as well as drama, the characteristics of moral education and mass entertainment. Yakshagana is strongly influenced by the Bhakti movement.
  111. Madhya Pradesh,which has the highest number of tigers in the country (526, as per the last census), has recorded the highest number of tiger deaths (31) followed by Maharashtra (18), Karnataka (12) and Uttarakhand (10).
  112. Carnatic music is a system of music commonly associated with southern India including the states Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu,but also practised in Sri Lanka. It is one of two main genres of Indian classical music that evolved from ancient Hindu traditions, the other genre being Hindustani music, which emergedas a distinct form because of Persian and Islamic influences in northern India.
  113. The World Health Organisation (WHO)has designated the year 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse and midwife”,in honour of the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale. Florence Nightingale was a British nurse, statistician, and social reformer who is also considered as a foundational philosopher of modern nursing.
  114. Juangas are one of the 13 Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG)out of the total 62 tribes found in Odisha.
  115. Article 131 of the Constitution talks about the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, where the apex court deals with any dispute between the Centre and a state; the Centre and a state on the one side and another state on the other side; and two or more states. This means no other court can entertain such a dispute. A dispute to qualify under Article 131, it has to necessarily be between states and the Centre, and must involve a question of law or fact on which the existence of a legal right of the state or the Centre depends.
  116. Aadhaar is a verifiable 12-digit identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to the resident of India. UIDAI, is a statutory authority established under the provisions of Aadhaar Act 2016, under the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology. Aadhaar collects only four pieces of personal information – name, age, gender and address – along with biometric data.
  117. The Constitution of India does not define the term
  118. The National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI) Act defines MEI as a college or an educational institution established and administered by a minority or minorities. NCMEI, a quasi-judicial body, regulates the certification of
    minority educational institutions all over India. Its Chairman should be who has been a Judge of the High
    Court and three members are to be nominated by Central
    It has the powers of a Civil Court. It has both original and
    appellate jurisdiction
    in such matters, as laid down by the SC

    in Joseph of Cluny v/s The State of West Bengal case. It can also cancel the minority status granted to institutions
    if they are found to have violated the conditions of the grant.
  119. The 103rd Constitution Amendment Act 2019 inserted Article 15 (6) and Article 16 (6) in the Constitution to allow reservation for the EWS among the general category.
  120. Reangs in Tripura are categorised as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG).
  121. The Economics of Environment and Biodiversity (TEEB) is a global initiative focused on “making nature’s values visible”. Its principal objective is to mainstream the values of biodiversity and ecosystem services into decision-making at all levels. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, at the International Environment House, the TEEB office is hosted by the UNEP. In 2007, G8+5 countries proposed to initiate the process of analyzing the global economic benefit of biological diversity, the costs of the loss of biodiversity and the failure to take protective measures versus the costs of effective conservation.
  122. coral reefs are important because they are the counterpart to the tropical rain forest in terms of species diversity and biological productivity in the Ocean. In India, Coral reefs are present in the areas of Gulf of Kutch, Gulf of Mannar, Andaman & Nicobar, Lakshadweep Islands and Malvan (Maharashtra).
  123. India Coolng Action Plan (ICAP) and BEE’s draft strategy plan for accelerating energy efficiency in India – UNNATEE (Unlocking NATional Energy Efficiency potential) was launched in 2019. UNNATEE provides a roadmap for meeting India’s goals on climate change through energy efficiency.
  124. The most common rare diseases include Haemophilia, Thalassemia, Sickle-cell Anaemia and Primary Immuno Deficiency in children, auto-immune diseases etc. They include genetic diseases, rare cancers, infectious tropical diseases and degenerative diseases. 80% of rare diseases are genetic in origin and hence disproportionately impact children.
  125. Ashfaqullah Khan along with Ram Prasad Bismil, was sentenced to death for the Kakori conspiracy of 1925.
  126. Recently, the Lai Haraoba, a five-day long ritualistic festival observed by Manipuri Meitei communities, was celebrated. Mizoram government will be organising Zo Kutpui (festival) in at least 10 states across India and countries such as US, Myanmar and Bangladesh.
  127. India recently joined the World Economic Forum’s Reskilling Revolution as a founding government member.
  128. org is a WEF initiative, designed to support the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration
    2021-2030, led by UNEP and FAO
  129. Operation Turtshield is a new Central programme to protect endangered turtles. The flapshell turtle, which is smaller in size, is killed for its meat which is considered a delicacy in both Bengal and Bangladesh. It is listed as Least Concerned under IUCN Red list. Indian peacock softshell turtles are categorized as Vulnerable in IUCN Red list. It is also listed in schedule-I of the Wildlife Protection Act and Schedule – I of CITES.
  130. Palau (located in the western Pacific Ocean) has become first country to ban sun cream that is
    harmful to corals and sea life.
  131. Article 29 of the Constitution provides that a section of citizens having a distinct language, script or culture have the right to conserve the same.
  132. Hemorrhagic septicemia is a severe bacterial disease caused by certain strains. The disease is also spread through contact with infected animals, contaminated clothing, equipment, and through ingestion or inhalation of the bacteria. Primary symptoms include swishing tails, reduced cudding, undigested food in faeces and reduced milk yield.
  133. Sahyog-Kaijin is a joint coast guard exercise between India and Japan.
  134. Yada Yada virus belonged to a group that includes other alphaviruses such as chikungunya virus and the astern equine encephalitis. Even so, the novel virus poses no threat to human beings, because it is a part of a group of viruses that only infect mosquitoes. Other viruses in the same group include the Tai forest alphavirus and the Agua Salud alphavirus.
  135. Saksham is a people centric fuel conservation mega campaign of Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA).
  136. Operation Sankalp is a maritime security operation launched by India to promptly respond to the emergency situations for Indian sea vessels in the Middle East region. It has been launched in order to ensure safe passage of Indian Flag Vessels through the Strait of Hormuz.
  137. The Epiphany festival was celebrated in parts of India, such as Goa and Kerala.