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IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-January 2021

  1. The Marlagalla-Allapatna area of Madhya Pradesh, along the Nagamangala Schist Belt, which exposes mineralised complex pegmatites (igneous rocks), is seen as among the most promising geological domains for potential exploration for lithium and other rare metals.
  2. The Kerala Government announced a digital media literacy programme called ‘Satyameva Jayate’ (Truth alone triumphs). The Satyameva Jayate programme would cover five points — what is wrong information; why they are spreading fast; what precautions have to be adopted while using the content of social media; how those who spread fake news make profit; and what steps can be initiated by citizens.
  3. Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) iscelebrated on 9th January every year to mark the contribution of Overseas Indian community in the development of India.
  4. Credential stuffing is a type of cyberattack where stolen account credentials typically consisting of lists of usernames and/or email addresses and the corresponding passwords are used to gain unauthorized access to user accounts through large-scale automated login requests directed against a web application.
  5. ‘Project Sunrise’ was launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 2016, to tackle the rising HIV prevalence in north-eastern states in India, especially among people injecting drugs.
  6. The Defence Minister inaugurated the Sisseri River Bridge located at lower Dibang Valley in Arunachal Pradesh connecting Dibang Valley and Siang.
  7. Recently the Defence Minister virtually laid the foundation of a tunnel at Nechiphu in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh.
  8. The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) constructed the Daporijo bridge over Subansiri river in Arunachal Pradesh in a record span of just 27 days.
  9. Foreign Investment Facilitation Portal (FIFP) is the online single point interface of the Government of India with investors to facilitate FDI. It is administered by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  10. Kanha National Park is the largest National Park in Central India. The State animal of Madhya Pradesh – Hard Ground Barasingha (Swamp deer or Rucervus duvaucelii) is found exclusively in Kanha Tiger Reserve. It is best known for its evergreen Sal forests (Shorea Robusta). It is the first tiger reserve in India to officially introduce a mascot, “Bhoorsingh the Barasingha”.
  11. Polluter Pays Principle is part of the 1992 Rio Declaration which gives broader principles to guide sustainable development worldwide.
  12. Taiwan is the most populous state that is not a member of the United Nations and the largest economy outside the UN. Taiwan is Asia’s 5th largest economy. It is a global leader in chip manufacture and the second-largest manufacturer of IT hardware, etc.
  13. A UN Women Initiative called “Making Every Woman and Girl Count” was launched in 2016 to help prioritize gender data, ensure regular production of quality and comparable gender statistics, and ensure that data are accessible and used to inform policy.
  14. Bogibeel bridge, which is India’s longest road-rail bridge connecting Dibrugarh in Assam to Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh was inaugurated in 2018.
  15. Davos Agenda Summit is related to World Economic Forum (WEF).
  16. Kala Utsav is an initiative of the Ministry of Education (MoE)to promote arts in education. Kala Utsav aims at nurturing and showcasing the artistic talent of school students at the secondary stage in the country. This programme was initiated under Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), which has now been merged with other schemes under ‘Samagra Shiksha.
  17. The Future Investment Initiative (FII) is widely described as“Davos in the desert”. It is Saudi Arabia’s flagship investment conference.
  18. The International Energy Agency’s Clean Energy Transitions Programme (CETP) leverages the IEA’s unique energy expertise across all fuels and technologies to accelerate global clean energy transitions, particularly in major emerging economies. CETP activities include collaborative analytical work, technical cooperation, training and capacity building and strategic dialogues.
  19. Meningococcal meningitis is caused by Neisseria meningitidis bacteria. It is a serious infection of the thin lining that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.
  20. The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), General Insurance Corporation of India and The New India Assurance Co have been identified as Domestic Systemically Important Insurers (D-SIIs) for 2020-21 by Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).
  21. Strategic Nuclear Delivery Vehicles (‘SNDVs’) are Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (‘ICBMs’)with a range exceeding 5,500 kilometres, strategic bombers, warships (including strategic submarines) and cruise missiles, including air and sea-launched cruise missiles.
  22. Indian Navy and Republic of Singapore Navy successfully conducted the 27thedition of Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) and also participated in the second edition of the Singapore-India-Thailand Maritime Exercise (SITMEX).
  23. Entry 37 of the List 1 of the Seventh schedule of the Constitutiongives powers of raising foreign loans only to the Centre.
  24. India has two other observatories in Kongsforden and Gruvebadet in Norway.
  25. The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) under the Ministry of Finance is tasked with managing the Centre’s investments in the PSUs. Sale of the Centre’s assets falls within the mandate of DIPAM.
  26. India and Bangladesh share 7 km.of border, which is the longest land boundary that India shares with any of its neighbours.
  27. The central government has decided to observe Subhas Chandra BoseJayanti as ‘Parakram Diwas’ to be celebrated on 23rd
  28. Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award of the country. It is awarded in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order in any field of human endeavour. The recommendations for Bharat Ratna are made by the Prime Minister to the President of India.The number of Bharat Ratna Awards is restricted to a maximum of three in a particular year.
  29. The country’s retail inflation, which is measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), eased to 4.59 per cent in the month of December 2020 mainly due to decline in food prices. Separately, India’s factory output, measured in terms of Index of Industrial Production (IIP), witnessed a contraction of -1.9 per cent in November 2020, two separate data released by the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MoSPI).
  30. Recently, under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)s initiative ‘Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav’, cleanliness drive was carried out in few villages of Goa along with guidance to village panchayats on waste disposal. The scheme which was launched in 2015 envisages scientists to select villages as per their convenience and remain in touch with the selected villages and provide information to the farmers on technical and other related aspects of agriculture in a time frame through personal visits or on telephone. They may function with the help of Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) and Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA).
  31. India’s factory output, which is measured in terms of IIP witnessed a contraction of -1.9 per cent on-year to 126.3 during the month of November, separate data released by the MoSPI showed.
  32. Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Agricultural Labourer (AL) & Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Rural Labourer (RL) are used to fix minimum wages of agricultural labourers and rural unskilled employees. These indexes are compiled by the Labour Bureau in the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
  33. The Padma Awards are announced annually on the Republic Day. Instituted in 1954, it is one of the highest civilian honours of India. Padma Vibhushan is highest in the hierarchy of Padma Awards followed by Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.
  34. Oxfam India’s findings are part of the Oxfam International report released on the opening day of the World Economic Forum’s “Davos Dialogues”. Recently, it released a new publication i.e. Inequality Virus Report.
  35. Kokborok Day is a festival celebrated in the Indian state of Tripura to celebrate the development of the Kokborok language. It is observed on 19 January every year. The Kokborok language is an official language in Tripura. This day is chosen to commemorate its initial recognition as an official language in 1979.
  36. Bum La Pass is one of the four officially agreed Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) points between the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army of China.
  37. WHO launched a REPLACE campaign in 2018 for global-level elimination of trans-fats in industrially produced edible oils by 2023.
  38. The Ministry of Minority Affairs has launched a new scheme ‘Upgrading The Skills And Training In Traditional Arts/ Crafts For Development’ (USTTAD), which inter-alia, aims to preserve heritage of traditional arts and crafts of minorities and build capacity of traditional crafts persons and artisans.
  39. The Environment Protection Act, 1986 is an Act that was influenced by the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment held at Stockholm in June, 1972, Stockholm Conference.
  40. Planetary nebula is an outer layer of gas and dust that are lost when the star changes from a red giant to a white dwarf.
  41. neutron star is the collapsed core of a massive supergiant star.
  42. Subunit vaccines are composed of protein or glycoprotein components of a pathogen that are capable of inducing a protective immune response and may be produced by conventional biochemical or recombinant DNA technologies.
  43. The Bhaga river originates from Surya taal lake, which is situated a few kilometers west of the Bara-lacha la pass in Himachal Pradesh.
  44. The Chandra river originates from glaciers east of the same pass (near Chandra Taal).
  45. Pakistan has successfully test-fired the Shaheen-III missile. It is a nuclear-capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile which can strike targets up to 2,750 km. The launch of the missile was aimed at revalidating various design and technical parameters of the weapon system.
  46. The Indian Army has signed a contract to buy for a high-altitude variant of SWITCH UAV, an indigenous system used in surveillance operations. It is a vertical take-off and landing drone. It is a fixed-wing hybrid Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Its features include: The drone will be used for Crowd Monitoring, Disaster Management, Precision Agriculture, Mining, etc.
  47. Bandipur Tiger Reserve is situated in the state of Karnataka. It is surrounded by Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (Tamil Nadu) in the South, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (Kerala) in the South-west & Kabini Reservoir separates the Bandipur and Nagarahole Tiger Reserve on the North-west. The Bandipur along with Nagarahole, Mudumalai, Sathyamangalam & Wayanad constitutes the single largest Wild population of Tigers in the world. This Landscape is also home to the single largest Asian Elephant population in the world and is part of the Mysore Elephant Reserve (MER).
  48. The UK was the first P5 member to support a permanent UN Security Council seat for India and the first G7 member to invite India to a G7 Summit in 2005.
  49. Article 335 of the Constitution relates to claims of SCs and STs to services and posts.
  50. When people do not exercise self-control, a state has to step in, as part of the Directive Principles of State Policy as per Article 47.
  51. The last of the ten Sikh Gurus, Guru Gobind Singh was born on 22nd December, 1666 in Patna, Bihar. He became the Sikh guru at the age of nine, following the demise of his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru. He named Guru Granth Sahib, the religious text of the Khalsas and the Sikhs, as the next Guru of the two communities. His literary contributions include the Jaap Sahib, Benti Chaupai, Amrit Savaiye, etc. He also wrote the Zafarnama which was a letter to the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
  52. Common Equity Tier 1 Capital (CET1) is the highest quality of regulatory capital, as it absorbs losses immediately when they occur. It is a capital measure introduced in 2014 globally as a precautionary means to protect the economy from a financial crisis.
  53. The Indian Council of World Affairs was established in 1943 as a think tank. It is devoted exclusively for the study of international relations and foreign affairs. The Vice President of India is the ex-officio President of ICWA.
  54. Russia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, India is classed as one of the “difficult four” countries, destined to count among the UK’s “rivals” or “awkward counterparts” as it pursues its global goals.
  55. In April 2018, the Ministry of Coal launched UTTAM Application for coal quality monitoring. UTTAM Stands for Unlocking Transparency by Third Party Assessment of Mined Coal.
  56. No grazing of any livestock shall also be permitted inside a National Park while in a Sanctuary, the Chief Wildlife Warden may regulate, control or prohibit it.
  57. World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) is an intergovernmental organisation responsible for improving animal health worldwide. It is recognised as a reference organisation by the World Trade Organization (WTO). India is a member country. It is headquartered in Paris, France.
  58. Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, inaugurated the Virtual Agri-hackathon 2020 organised by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation and Farmers’ Welfare in association with IARI, Pusa, New Delhi. Agri India Hackathon is the largest virtual gathering to create dialogues and accelerate innovations.
  59. The blood test measures levels of mitochondrial DNA, a unique type of DNA molecule that normally resides inside the energy factories of cells. Mitochondrial DNA spilling out of cells and into the bloodstream is a sign that a particular type of violent cell death is taking place in the body. On average, mitochondrial DNA levels were about tenfold higher in Covid patients who developed severe lung dysfunction or eventually died. Those with elevated levels were almost six times more likely to be intubated, three times more likely to be admitted to the ICU and almost twice as likely to die compared with those with lower levels.
  60. Open Sky Agreements are bilateral agreements that the two countries negotiate to provide rights for airlines to offer international passenger and cargo services. It expands international passenger and cargo flights.
  61. Indonesian Semeru volcano erupts recently, in Indonesia’s East Java province. Indonesia has nearly 130 active volcanoes, more than any other country, and while many show high levels of activity it can be weeks or even months before an eruption. Other volcanoes, such as the Merapi volcano on the island of Java and Sinabung on Sumatra, have shown signs of activity recently.
  62. Kempe Gowda I was a feudatory king under Vijayanagar empire. He founded the city of Bengaluru in 1537 and named it after their family deity’s consort, Kempamma. He is also credited with the construction of several lakes or keres for the purposes of drinking water and irrigation eg. the Dharmambudhi lake.
  63. Ammonia is used as an industrial chemical in the production of fertilisers, plastics and dyes. Ammonia reduces the amount of oxygen in water as it is transformed to oxidised forms of nitrogen. Hence, it also increases Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD). Water pollution by organic wastes is measured in terms of BOD.
  64. The Kyoto Protocol had a differentiation between developed and developing countries listed as Annex 1 countries and non-Annex 1 countries respectively. But, in the Paris agreement, there is no difference between developing and developed countries. The Kyoto Protocol aimed at 6 major greenhouse gases but the Paris Agreement is focused on reducing all anthropogenic greenhouse gases causing climate change.
  65. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has constructed a composite Digital Payments Index (DPI) to capture the extent of digitisation of payments across the country. It has been constructed with March 2018 as the base period.
  66. Jallikattu is considered a traditional way for the peasant community to preserve their pure-breed native bulls. At a time when cattle breeding is often an artificial process, conservationists and peasants argue that Jallikattu is a way to protect these male animals which are otherwise used only for meat if not for ploughing. Kangayam, Pulikulam, Umbalachery, Barugur and Malai Maadu are among the popular native cattle breeds used for Jallikattu. The owners of these premium breeds command respect locally.
  67. Conservation and protection of migratory birds and their sites are covered under the Convention for Conservation of Migratory Species of Animals (CMS) but their health aspects are not.
  68. Umed Paoni Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary has a connection with Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve through forest along Wainganga river which is a tributary of Godavari and the Gose Khurd Dam on the northeast. It is situated in Nagpur district of Maharashtra state.
  69. India provided a grant of 7.56 million USD for the Suwa Seriya [vehicle or journey for good health] service which was launched in 2016, on a pilot basis. Later, this was extended throughout the country with additional grants from India.
  70. The Battle of Bhima Koregaon took place at the village of Koregaon (population 960) 16 miles northeast of Pune, where 800 British troops faced 30,000 Marathas on January 1, 1818. The story of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon on January 1, 1818 has come to be mediated by competing narratives of Dalit assertion against Brahminical oppression, and Indian ‘nationalism’ standing up to the colonial army of the East India Company. Dr B R Ambedkar visited the Jaystambh repeatedly, and said in a speech in Sinnar in 1941 that the Mahars had defeated the Peshwas at Koregaon.
  71. National Youth Day is held every year on 12th January to observe the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.
  72. Army day is celebrated every year on January 15 to commemorate the day when the first Indian general KM Cariappa took over as the first commander-in-chief of the Indian Army in 1949 from General Sir Francis Butcher, the last British commander-in-chief in India.
  73. The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) launched a specially developed ‘RAKSHITA’ – a bike ambulance to attend urgent evacuation needs of the security force personnel in event of a medical emergency or battle injury in Naxal affected areas.
  74. Article 243W of the Constitution vests municipalities and local authorities with the performance of functions and implementation of schemes as may be entrusted to them, including those in relation to the matters listed in item 6 of the 12th schedule. Item 6 of the Schedule includes “public health, sanitation conservancy and solid waste management.
  75. Hominins include modern humans, extinct human species and humans’ immediate ancestors.
  76. India is one of the largest producers as well as exporter of cereal products in the world.
  77. The System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) Central Framework was adopted in February 2012 as an international statistical standard by the UN Statistical Commission. The System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) provides a framework for measuring the link between the environment and the economy. The SEEA accounts bring into direct focus the relationship between the environment and economy not revealed through traditional measures of economic activity, such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
  78. Makaravilakku festival is celebrated at the sacred grove of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala. It is an annual seven-day festival, beginning on the day of Makar Sankranti when the sun is in the summer solstice. The highlight of the festival is the appearance of Makarajyothi- a celestial star which appears on the day of Makar Sankranti on top of Kantamala Hills. Makara Vilakku ends with the ritual called ‘Guruthi’, an offering made to appease the god and goddesses of the wilderness.
  79. The Chengalikodan Nendran banana grown in Kerala got Geographical indication (GI) Tag in 2014.
  80. Lightning strikes around a fixed period and almost similar geographical locations in similar patterns. Inter cloud or intra cloud (IC) lightning are visible and harmless. The most lightning activity on Earth is seen on the shore of Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela. At the place where the Catatumbo river falls into Lake Maracaibo, an average 260 storm days occur every year, and October sees 28 lightning flashes every minute – a phenomenon referred to as the Beacon of Maracaibo or the Everlasting Storm.
  81. Ka Pomblang Nongkrem is the dance Festival of Meghalaya. The celebration comprises of animal sacrifice and Nongkrem dance with a sword in one hand and yak hair whisk in the other. Unlike different unusual festivals in India, this festival is quite popular among the people of Meghalaya.
  82. Wangala is the merriment of 100 drums played by Garo tribes of northeast India mainly in Meghalaya and Assam. This is one of the popular harvest festivals of India marking the onset of winter.
  83. Agera is one of the crop festivals of India celebrated with great enthusiasm by the people of Mumbai. Celebrated on the first Sunday of October in the regions of Mumbai, Thane, Raigad, and Vasai, it marks the harvest season of Maharashtra when Catholic locals thank “thank God for the abundance of blessings received”.
  84. The Dree Festival is among the most famous festivals in Arunachal Pradesh as it marks an important time of the year for the Apatani tribe – the harvest season. Characterized by sacrificial offerings and prayers, Dree is celebrated on the 5th of July every year in the Ziro district of Arunachal Pradesh.
  85. Removal of Sulfur Dioxide is called as Flue-gas Desulphurization (FGD). It seeks to remove gaseous pollutants viz. SO2 from exhaust flue gases generated in furnaces, boilers, and other industrial processes due to thermal processing, treatment, and combustion.
  86. Metabolic syndrome includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels. The syndrome increases a person’s risk of heart attack and stroke.
  87. The US State Department put Cuba back on a blacklist designating it a “state sponsor of terrorism”
  88. Harvest Festivals of India
    1. Shishur Sankraat-Jammu & Kashmir
    2. Maghi/Lohri-Haryana, Himachal Pradesh /Punjab
    3. Baisakhi-Punjab/Haryana
    4. Makar Sankanti-Bihar/Jharkhand /Odisha /Maharashtra/ Madhya Pradesh
    5. Magh Bihu-Assam/NE
    6. Uttarayan-Gujarat/Rajasthan
    7. Kicheri-Uttar Pradesh
    8. Poush Sankranti-West Bengal
    9. Makara Sankramana-Karnataka
    10. Pedda Panduya-Andhra Pradesh
    11. Makara Villaku-Kerala
    12. Pongal-Tamil Nadu
  89. Sprintonics also known as spin electronics, is the study of the intrinsic spin of the electron and its associated magnetic moment, in addition to its fundamental electronic charge, in solid-state devices.  The field of spintronics concerns spin-charge coupling in metallic systems; the analogous effects in insulators fall into the field of multiferroics. Spintronics fundamentally differs from traditional electronics in that, in addition to charge state, electron spins are exploited as a further degree of freedom, with implications in the efficiency of data storage and transfer. Spintronic systems are most often realised in dilute magnetic semiconductors (DMS) and Heusler alloys and are of particular interest in the field of quantum computing and neuromorphic computing.
  90. The Akash surface-to-air missile is an important missile of the country with over 96 per cent indigenisation. The Akash SAM, with a range of 25 km, was inducted into the IAF in 2014 and in the Indian Army in 2015.
  91. The RBI has created a Payments Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) to encourage acquirers to deploy Points of Sale (PoS) infrastructure — both physical and digital modes — in tier-3 to tier-6 centres and north eastern states.
  92. Recently, Gulf states signed a ‘solidarity and stability’ deal at the 41st Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit held in Al Ula, Saudi Arabia.
  93. Antibodies are an important weapon in the immune system’s defense against infections. They bind to the surface structures of bacteria or viruses and prevent their replication. One strategy in the fight against disease is therefore to produce effective antibodies in large quantities and inject them into patients. However, producing antibodies is difficult and time-consuming; they are, therefore, probably not suitable for widespread use. Monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies are slightly safer to produce than nanobodies, as there are biohazards involved in nanobody production not present for conventional antibody production. Monoclonal antibodies are made using identical immune cells that are all clones of a specific parent cell. Polyclonal antibodies are made using several different immune cells.
  94. Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID) is a public platform started by the WHO in 2008 for countries to share genome sequences. The GISAID Initiative promotes the international sharing of all influenza virus sequences, related clinical and epidemiological data associated with human viruses, and geographical as well as species-specific data associated with avian and other animal viruses.
  95. Nanobodies are antibody fragments that are so simple that they can be produced by bacteria or yeast, which is less expensive. Nanobodies are much smaller than classic antibodies and they, therefore, penetrate the tissue better and can be produced more easily in larger quantities. Nanobodies are stable in a wide range of temperatures, remaining functional at temperatures as high as 80°C. As an added bonus, unfolding of the nanobody due to high temperatures has been shown to be fully reversible, unlike conventional antibody fragments. Nanobodies are also compatible with genetic engineering methods, which allow alteration of amino acids to improve binding.
  96. Charge-coupled device, known as CCD, is another very popular photodetector commonly used for digital imaging and video. Charge-coupled-devices (CCDs) are used in many imaging applications, such as surveillance, hand-held and desktop computer video cameras, and document scanners. A charge-coupled device (CCD) is a metal oxide semiconductor chip sensor that transports electrically charged signals. A CCD generally has an array of cells to capture a light image via the photoelectric effect.
  97. Consumer Price Index (CPI)-Urban and CPI Rural indexes are compiled by the National Statistical Office (NSO) in the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
  98. Dzukou valley and Japfu peak are located adjacent to the Pulie Badze Wildlife Sanctuary (Nagaland). The Dzukou valley is also a sanctuary for the endangered Blyth’s tragopan (Nagaland’s State bird) and other species of birds and animals.
  99. People of Telangana have celebrated the festival of cattle ‘Kanuma’ on the occasion of the Sankranti festival. It is celebrated on the third day of the Sankranthi festival.
  100. SAATHI (Sustainable and Accelerated Adoption of efficient Textile technologies to Help Small Industries) is an initiative of the Ministry of Textiles.
  101. SAATHEE Portal launched by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) as a Management Information System (MIS) portal namely State-wise Actions on Annual Targets and Headways on Energy Efficiency (SAATHEE).
  102. SATHI (Sophisticated Analytical & Technical Help Institutes) is an initiative of the Department of Science & Technology (Ministry of Science and Technology)
  103. SATH (Sustainable Action for Transforming Human capital) Program is a program of NITI Aayog.
  104. Tirthan Wildlife Sanctuary and Great Himalayan National Park in Himachal Pradesh have performed the best among the surveyed protected areas according to Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
  105. Scheme for Harnessing and Allocating Koyala (Coal) Transparently in India (SHAKTI) was launched in May 2017, for allocation of future coal linkages in a transparent manner for the power sector.
  106. Sultanpur National Park (formerly Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary) is located at Sultanpur village on Gurugram-Jhajjar highway. Located in Sultanpur village, Farukhnagar, Gurugram district in Haryana state. Every year over a hundred migratory bird species visit here to feed. In winter the sanctuary provides is a panorama of migratory birds such as Siberian crane, greater flamingo, ruff, black-winged stilt, Eurasian teal, common greenshank, northern pintail, yellow wagtail, white wagtail, northern shoveller, rosy pelican, spot-billed pelican, gadwall, wood sandpiper, spotted sandpiper, Eurasian wigeon, black-tailed godwit, spotted redshank, starling, bluethroat and long-billed pipit.
  107. Recently, the second edition of the biennial pan-India coastal defence exercise Sea Vigil-21 has been conducted. Its inaugural edition was conducted in January 2019. Sea Vigil is a build-up towards the major Theatre-level Readiness Operational Exercise (TROPEX) which the Indian Navy conducts every two years. The exercise is being undertaken along the entire 7516 km coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone of India.
  108. Lithium can be extracted in different ways, depending on the type of the deposit – it is generally done either through solar evaporation of large brine pools or by hard-rock extraction of the ore. In India, alongside the rock mining at Mandya, there is some potential for recovering lithium from the brines of Sambhar and Pachpadra in Rajasthan, and Rann of Kachchh in Gujarat. The major mica belts in Rajasthan, Bihar, and Andhra Pradesh, and the pegmatite belts in Odisha and Chhattisgarh apart from Karnataka, are the other potential geological domains.
  109. Pari-khanda is a style of sword and shield fighting from Bihar, created by the Rajputs. Pari-khanda steps and techniques are also used in Chau dance.
  110. Thoda is known as a form of a martial art form that is commonly seen in Himachal Pradesh, especially in the valleys of Kullu and Manali. Thoda needs excellence in archery, where the main weapons are bows and arrows.
  111. Jagannath Puri temple is called ‘Yamanika Tirtha’ where, according to the Hindu beliefs, the power of ‘Yama’, the god of death has been nullified in Puri due to the presence of Lord Jagannath.
  112. If a seat falls vacant due to disqualification then that particular disqualified member of the House has to incur disability under Article 191 (1)(e) of the Constitution and be debarred from being chosen again during the term for which he/she was elected. A person shall be disqualified for being a member of the Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council of a State if he is so disqualified under the Tenth Schedule.
  113. India and Oman hold annual bilateral exercises across all three wings of the armed forces (Army Exercise ‘Al Najah’, Air Force Exercise ‘Eastern Bridge’, Naval Exercise ‘Naseem al Bahr’). Further, Oman has provided the Indian Navy access to the Port of Duqm SEZ which is one of Indian Ocean’s largest deep-sea ports.
  114. A new variant of the coronavirus is driving a second wave of infections in South Africa. The variant has spread to other countries in Africa and Europe and concerns have been raised over how it will respond to Covid-19 vaccines. South Africa named the variant 501Y.V2 because of the N501Y mutation they found in the spike protein that the virus uses to gain entry into cells within the body. This mutation was also found in the new strain that the UK notified WHO in December – which is estimated to have been circulating since September.
  115. National Industrial Corridor Development and Implementation Trust (NICDIT) is under the administrative control of Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) for coordinated and unified development of all the industrial corridors which are at various stages of development and implementation.
  116. Peoples’ Climate Vote is a publication of the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
  117. Carbon Dioxide Equivalent (co2e) is a standard unit to express the impact of each different greenhouse gas, such as methane or nitrous oxide in terms of the amount of CO2 that would create the same amount of warming.
  118. Maach is a theatre form from Madhya Pradesh. It is a sung folk theatre that has a semi sacred character, blending religious and secular themes.
  119. The Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM) was an early result of the Uruguay Round. It is the main transparency instrument of the WTO, affording opportunities for a process of collective evaluation of the trade policies and practices of individual members. The mandate of the TPRM was broadened to cover services trade and intellectual property. All WTO Members are subject to review under the TPRM.
  120. Innate Immunity is a non-specific type of defense that is present at the time of birth.
  121. Concretisation or the increase in paved surfaces has a suffocating impact on trees and turns a city into an urban heat island with extremely low ground water and threats of floods looming large in monsoons due to surface run-off. During concretisation, the carbon stored in the soil escapes into the atmosphere, which then gets oxidised to form carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas leading to temperature escalation.
  122. Caracal, a medium size wild cat found in some parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat, into the list of critically endangered species for taking up conservation efforts with financial support under Centrally sponsored Scheme-Development of Wildlife Habitat. Now, there are 22 wildlife species under recovery programme for critically endangered species.
  123. Rastriya Kamdhenu Aayog is an agency under the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying) established for the protection of cows.  
  124. Sharana movement was presided over by Basavanna. The movement, which was too radical for its time, attracted people from all castes, and like most strands of the Bhakti movement, produced a corpus of literature, the vachanas, that unveiled the spiritual universe of the Virashaiva saints.
  125. Horn of Africa is the easternmost extension of African land and includes the region that is home to the countries of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia, whose cultures have been linked throughout their long history.
  126. The Rajamahendravaram Wildlife Management Division of the Andhra Pradesh Forest Department will conduct a two-day waterbird census in the Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary and adjoining areas in the Godavari estuary, Kolleru Lake including Atapaka Bird Sanctuary and Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary in Krishna estuary in the State
  127. Covishield is a version of the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford in collaboration with Swedish-British drugmaker AstraZeneca, that has already got emergency use approval in the UK. Its first batches arrived in UK hospitals over the weekend.
  128. Covaxin, India’s only indigenous Covid-19 vaccine, has been developed by Hyderabad-headquartered Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research’s National Institute of Virology, Pune.
  129. Unlike Antarctica, the Arctic is not a global common and there is no overarching treaty that governs it, only the UN Convention of Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Large parts of it are under the sovereignty of the five littoral states — Russia, Canada, Norway, Denmark (Greenland) and the US — and exploitation of the new resources is well within their rights.
  130. The Prime Minister declared the year 2019-20 as ‘Construction Technology Year’ while inaugurating GHTC-India in March 2019. As part of ‘Construction Technology Year’, besides LHPs, a Certificate Course on Innovative Construction Technologies namely NAVARITIH (New, Affordable, Validated, Research Innovation Technologies for Indian Housing) and a Compendium of 54 innovative housing construction technologies which were identified through GHTC-India were released by the Prime Minister at the event.
  131. In a bid to promote Moringa (botanical name Moringa oleifera) products exports from India, APEDA has been supporting private entities in creating necessary infrastructure. It is a fast-growing, drought-resistant tree native to the Indian subcontinent. Common names include moringa, drumstick tree, horseradish tree etc. It is widely cultivated for its young seed pods and leaves, used as vegetables and for traditional herbal medicine. It is also used for water purification. It has various healthy compounds such as various vitamins, important elements such as Iron, Magnesium etc. and is extremely low on fats and contains no cholesterol. Globally, the demand for Moringa products, such as Moringa Leaf Powder and Moringa Oil, Moringa as a nutritional supplement and in food fortification has been witnessing healthy growth.
  132. The restriction of mass range eliminates one of the popular candidates for dark matter particles known as Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMP). If these particles are eventually found out to be the dark matter by other means then it would bring in the influence of the mysterious new force on these WIMPs leading to new physics.
  133. Sarottar Lake, about 35km south of Motihari and adjacent to world famous Kesaria Stupa, attracts migratory birds from Siberia and the Himalayan region every winter. Pochard, Red Crested Pochard, Coot, Dove, Sora, Virgina rail, Snipe, Teal and Wood Cock are among those that flock to the lake in search of food and nesting spots. Other various species of migratory birds such as Siberian cranes, common teal, open-billed stork, tufled duck, black-tailed godwit, pintails, spoonbill and white-necked storks visit the lake every year.
  134. The United Nations has declared 2021-2030 as the “Decade of Healthy Ageing”, thereby calling upon governments, civil society, international agencies, professionals, academia, the media and the private sector to come together and strive towards “10 years of concerted, catalytic and collaborative action to improve the lives of older people, their families, and the communities in which they live.”
  135. Four sites — three in Madhya Pradesh and one in Rajasthan — have been selected by a Supreme Court-appointed to reintroduce the cheetah into India. The sites include Kuno National Park, Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary and Gandhi Sagar-Chittorgarh in Madhya Pradesh and Bhainsrogarh Sanctuary in Rajasthan.
  136. Scientists from the United Kingdom and Japan have come together to develop new, safer technologies to dismantle old nuclear facilities like the Fukushima Daiichi reactors, which were severely damaged by an earthquake and a tsunami in March 2011. Long-reach robot arms used in this research collaboration called ‘LongOps’ will diminish risks to human health and also speed up decommissioning of legacy sites. Apart from Fukushima, these robots will also be deployed at Sellafield in northwest England’s Cumbria where nuclear fuel is reprocessed and stored.
  137. The Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 prohibited the hunting of elephants, including not only killing but also capturing, coursing, snaring, trapping, driving, or baiting a wild or captive elephant or attempting to do so.
  138. A sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) is related to the behaviour of the stratospheric polar vortex, a fast-blowing band of winds that forms over the Arctic region during the winter due to reduced solar radiation. The rainfall and changing winds is how the SSW event impacts the weather in the tropical regions. Very rarely, SSW may also occur over the South Pole as happened in September 2019. “Waves in the atmosphere can disturb the flow of the polar vortex. In the most extreme cases, such as during SSW, the polar vortex flow weakens dramatically and sometimes even reverses. The weather in the atmospheric layers above the stratosphere — mesosphere and thermosphere — also get affected by SSW. This is a cause for concern for satellite navigation and other space-based human endeavours. During SSW events the temperature of the stratosphere can increase by up to 50 degree Celsius within 10 days and the winds in the stratosphere can reverse from westerly to easterly. The distance between the southern tip of Tamil Nadu and the Barents Sea in the Arctic, which is a crucial part of the region of occurrence of the event, is more than 7,800 km.
  139. Irrespective of technology, producing CBG from biomass involves a two-pronged approach. First, biogas is produced through anaerobic decomposition of biomass. Since biogas contains 55 to 60 per cent methane, 40 to 45 per cent carbon dioxide (CO2) and trace amounts of hydrogen sulphide, the second process involves purifying the gas to remove carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide gases to prepare CBG. Thus chemically, CBG is the same as CNG — both are compressed methane — and has the same calorific value. The difference is that while CNG is a by-product of petroleum, CBG can be produced from any biomass, be it crop residue, cattle dung, sugarcane press mud, municipal wet waste or effluents from a sewage treatment plant. Just like CNG, CBG too can be transported through cylinders or pipelines to retail outlets. It is a rich source of silica that not only aids in the growth and yield of crops but also bestows immunity against many diseases and prevents toxic material uptake by plants such as arsenic, cadmium, lead and other heavy metals. It can thus help reduce the requirement of chemical fertilisers.
  140. Bio-manure produced from paddy straw also has a high-water retention capacity that helps reduce irrigation requirement. The other by-product is CO2. It can be tapped while purifying the biogas and used to produce liquid or solid CO2, which have high demand for food preservation or to be used in fire extinguishers.
  141. Root zone moisture is also vital for agriculture as it is the most easily available source of water for plants.
  142. Recently, a team of scientists have founded Madhuca latifolia trees were, in fact, Canophyllum inophyllum. These are called Punnai in Tamil and Alexandrian Laurel or India Laurel in English. Although the reason why the Mahua trees were present in the French Quarter is not known, it is known that Mahua, called Iluppai in Tamil, has been mentioned in Akananuru, one of eight poetic anthologies in ancient Sangam literature. Sangam literature particularly notes the attraction of sloth bears to Mahua flowers. The presence of the trees of both species — Mahua and Indian Laurel — have contributed to making the French Quarter a green space.
  143. Under the Indian Forest Act, 1927, once the notification under Section 4 is issued, the state government has to appoint a forest settlement officer (FSO) to look into the land rights of people living within the identified boundaries of the proposed reserve forest. The officer, who is usually from the revenue department as the law forbids forest officials for the role, has the power to settle rights over both common and private lands.
  144. Virunga National Park, which is famous for its mountain gorillas, is situated in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
  145. The bird flu epidemic has wrought havoc in Kerala’s scenic Kuttanad region located in Alappuzha.
  146. Just 10 countries had ratified the Convention on Homework nearly 25 years since it was adopted by the International Labour Conference June 20, 1996.
  147. The Nagas of Manipur, Assam and Nagaland and several other tribal communities of the Northeast prefer even smaller and softer creatures — adult termites, pre-pupal stage of Eri silkworm and the hornets’ grubs. In fact, the grubs of ferocious hornets are such a delicacy among the Nagas that one of their sub-tribes, the Tangkhul Nagas, inhabiting the Ukhrul district of Manipur, have mastered the art of rearing two of its species — Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia) and Asian hornet (Vespa velutina).
  148. Entomophagy is the technical term for eating insects. Humans have harvested the eggs, larvae, pupae and adults of certain insect species from forests or other suitable habitats to eat for thousands of years.
  149. One of the aims of United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals is to reduce by a third the premature mortality from non-communicable diseases like hypertension, heart diseases, lung diseases and cancer. Also, the World Health Organisation (WHO) aims to reduce the prevalence of hypertension globally by 25 per cent by 2025.
  150. Seijosa, one of the five administrative divisions of the district, has a population of around 4,000 across 19 villages. It lies on the eastern end of the scenic Pakke Tiger Reserve forest and south of the Papum reserve forest of the Khellong forest division of Arunachal Pradesh.
  151. By declaring snowfall, a state-specific natural calamity, it has become a notified disaster. It enables the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) to provide relief.  Under SDRF, an ex gratia of Rs four lakh was given in case of the death due to snowfall and Rs one lakh if the house was damageds.
  152. The thylacine, also known as the Tasmanian Tiger or Tasmanian Wolf, was a carnivorous marsupial found on the island of Tasmania, south of Australia. It became extinct in 1936.
  153. The Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) approved an advisory envisages empowering gram panchayats to deal with “problematic wild animals as per the section 11 (1) (b) of Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972”. This provision usually empowers the Chief Wildlife Warden or an authorised officer to hunt an animal specified in Schedules II to IV of the WPA, 1972, if it has become a danger to human life and property. However, the NBWL advisory excluded animals such as the tiger or the leopard and other big carnivores, that are listed in Schedule I of the WPA.
  154. Two rare migratory birds were recently cited in Chilika Lake i.e. falcated teal and mallard.
  155. Marine molluscs — that comprise several marine species — have collapsed in parts of the eastern Mediterranean due to rising temperature of water. While the mollusc species originally native to the eastern Mediterranean are on the decline, tropical invaders have increased significantly, the research found. The species that migrate via the Suez Canal are well adapted to the warm water in the eastern Mediterranean and can, therefore, settle in large numbers.
  156. The year 2020 was the joint hottest year on record globally along with 2016, according to European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).
  157. The United States has over 250,000 rivers, with a total of about 3,500,000 miles of rivers. The longest river in the US is the Missouri river, a tributary of the Mississippi river and is 2,540 miles long. But the biggest in terms of water volume is the deeper Mississippi river.
  158. Jiadhal river — a tributary of the Brahmaputra — that has flooded repeatedly in 2020. The river traverses a peculiar topography — from the Abor Hills of Arunachal Pradesh through the Dhemaji district of Assam. It naturally changes its course frequently and flows through several channels.
  159. A polar vortex is a wide expanse of swirling cold air, a low pressure area, in polar regions. During winters, the polar vortex at the North Pole expands, sending cold air southward.
  160. WMO’s Global Atmosphere Watch programme works closely with Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service, The United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Environment and Climate Change Canada and other partners to monitor the Earth’s ozone layer.
  161. The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer regulates production and consumption of nearly 100 chemicals referred (OSD). Since the ban on halocarbons, the ozone layer has slowly been recovering, according to WMO. 
  162. India has two stations on the polar continent of Antarctica — Maitri and Bharati — which are being operated under the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), Union Ministry of Earth Sciences.
  163.  Global Land Analysis and Discovery alert system launched in 2016, are available for free through a simple interface called Global Forest Watch. The alerts map all forms of tree cover loss, including logging, clear-cuts and intensive fires in both natural forests and plantations. 
  164. Mastitis can be debilitating both for dairy cattle and their farmers. This bacterial infection, triggered by injuries caused due to rough milking or because of unhygienic farm conditions, causes inflammation of the udder tissue and blockage of milk ducts. This causes excruciating pain to the animal and affects milk yield and quality. Left unmanaged, the disease can spread to uninfected animals in the herd and result in their death. One such is ceftriaxone, which is categorised as “highest priority critically important antimicrobial” (HPCIA) by the World Health Organization (WHO). Three others, gentamicin, streptomycin and penicillin, are categorised as “critically important antimicrobials (CIAs)” by WHO.
  165. Statement on Climate of India during 2020 is a publication of India Meteorological Department’s (IMD).
  166. The stocks of the Indian oil sardine, the cheap, tasty and nutritious variety of marine fish most consumed in Kerala, could be in for a revival in the state after a five-year-long decline. Known locally as mathi and chala, this is Kerala’s staple fish variety. If regulated at least for the time being, the revival of oil sardine along the southern coasts will be quicker. Sardine forms one-third of the total catch in Kerala. Other than its rich taste, the sardine is known for its health benefits. Rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins such as D, A and B12 and low on mercury levels, it is regarded widely as being good for skin and hair.
  167. Artemis 1 is the first flight of the Nasa-led, international Artemis program to return astronauts to the Moon by 2024. The United Arab Emirates’ Al Amal (Hope) spacecraft is the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to launch its third lunar mission: Chandrayaan-3. Chandrayaan-1 launched in 2008 and was one of the first major missions in the Indian space programme.
  168. The James Webb Space Telescope is the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, but has had a rocky path to being launched. Whereas Hubble has provided some amazing views of the universe in visible and ultraviolet region of light, Webb is planning to focus observations in the infrared wavelength band. The reason for this is that when observing really distant objects there will probably be gas clouds in the way.
  169. A perfectly preserved woolly rhinoceros was found by scientists in Yakutia, in Russia’s far north. The animal was discovered on the bank of the Tirekhtyakh river in the Abyisk district in Yakutia.
  170. The sloth bear, which is native to South Asia, is listed as ‘Vulnerable’ according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
  171. Whale sharks are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act and are an ‘endangered’ species in the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
  172. The hump-backed mahseer—a large freshwater fish also called the tiger of the water and found only in the Cauvery river basin (including Kerala’s Pambar, Kabini and Bhavani rivers)—is now “Critically Endangered”: more threatened than the tiger is, as per the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. The fish is one of the 229 species added to the Red List last November; this update also reveals that the threat status of 12 other Indian species, including great hornbills, has increased. The inclusion of the mahseer in the Red List, an inventory of the conservation status of the world’s species, was possible only once the fish got its scientific name last June—Tor remadevii—thanks to detailed research by Rajeev Raghavan (Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies, Kochi) and his Indian and international collaborators. Their assessment now recognizes 16 species of mahseer in India. Now, securing the future of the hump-backed mahseer would depend on the strong willingness and cooperation of a range of stakeholders in three states—Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka—in the Cauvery, one of India’s most contested rivers, says Raghavan. Five other species have also made it to threatened categories: two wild orchids, the Arabian scad (a marine fish) and two wild coffee species found only in a few localities in the Western Ghats. While 31 species that were already in the Red List have been down-listed (since threats are not as significant as earlier thought or due to conservation efforts), the threat status of 12 species has increased. The great hornbill (found in India and southeast Asia) was earlier categorised as “Near Threatened”. It is now “Vulnerable” due to high hunting pressure coupled with habitat loss and deforestation, while the wreathed hornbill has moved from “Least Concern” to “Vulnerable”.

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