IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-July 2022

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IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-September 2021

IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-July 2022

  1. Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF): USOF has been set up under the Telegraph Act to provide access to quality information and communication technology services to people in rural and remote areas.
  2. NITI Aayog and the World Food Programme (WFP), India, will launch the ‘Mapping and Exchange of Good Practices’ initiative for mainstreaming millets in Asia and Africa.
  3. Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNP) became the first 100% Landlord Major Port of India.
  4. Anti-defection law is not applicable in the presidential election; thus, electors are not bound to vote along party lines. However, the political parties cannot issue any direction or whip to their members to vote in a particular manner or not to vote at the election leaving them with no choice, as that would tantamount to the offence of undue influence within the meaning of section 171C of the IPC.
  5. China marked the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return and emphasized Beijing’s control over Hong Kong under One country, two systems (OCTS).
  6. Under Article 293 (3), state governments are required to take the Centre’s permission for fresh borrowing, if they are indebted to the Government of India.
  7. Centre has cut windfall tax on crude producers, scraps petrol exports levy. Windfall tax is a one-off tax imposed by a government on a company. It is levied on an unforeseen or unexpectedly large profit, especially unfairly obtained. It is only levied in public interest. It was announced to control rising domestic oil price and to meet domestic need for petrol.
  8. The International Institute of Agriculture conducted the first Programme for the World Census of Agriculture (WCA) in 1930.  Beginning with 1950, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has been preparing and advocating the decennial World Programme for the Census of Agriculture (WCA).
  9. Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) under Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act, 1958 considers sites for declaration as national importance provided, they meet certain criterion.
  10. Indigenous stealth drone took maiden flight from test range in Karnataka. The stealth drone, also referred to as an Unmanned Combat Airborne Vehicle (UCAV). The UCAV is a precursor to the Ghatak armed stealth drone programme called AURA (Autonomous Unmanned Research Aircraft). AURA is described as a self-defending, high-speed, reconnaissance UAV with a weapon firing capability. It has been designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE). It is powered by a small turbofan engine.
  11. The world celebrated International Tiger Day on July 29, 2022. This year was the deadline decided in the 2010 Global Tiger Summit in Russia. Then, it had been decided that tiger numbers should be doubled. Nepal has done it according to new figures it released July.
  12. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recently confirmed that the tiger has gone extinct in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
  13. The famed white onion of Alibag in Maharashtra’s Raigad district has earned itself a ‘Geographical Indication’, giving the crop a unique identity and wider markets.
  14. Indeed, the circumstances that led to Project Tiger and the landmark Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, are rooted in the so-called ‘Shikar Era’ of the 19th century.
  15. The Standardised Precipitation Index (SPI) is based on rainfall data and is related to soil moisture. 
  16. The specialized Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) an initiative under World Meteorological Organization, saves lives, assets and livelihoods through increased access to early weather warnings and risk information for people in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
  17. NTPC has said it has commissioned India’s largest floating solar power project. 100 MW Floating Solar Power Project has been operationalized at NTPC Ramagundam, Telangana.
  18. PM SVANidhi scheme was launched on June 1, 2020 to facilitate working capital loans to the street vendors to help them restart their businesses which were adversely impacted due to the lockdowns imposed during COVID-19 pandemic. It was launched by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in 2020 as a Central Sector Scheme. It is a special micro-credit facility plan. Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) manages the credit guarantee to the lending institutions through Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises.
  19. Cryptojacking is a cyber-attack that is hard to detect, wherein a computing device is hacked by the attacker, and its resources are used to illicitly coin mining of cryptocurrency. Coin mining is a legitimate, competitive process used to release new crypto coins into circulation or to verify new transactions.
  20. A British firm recently claimed that it has produced the world’s first bioplastic vinyl record, which it hopes will reduce the need for highly toxic Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). Bioplastics are derived from sources such as sugars and starches, rather than oil or gas, and do not create
    any toxic waste in their production. These are 100% degradable, equally resistant, and versatile, already used in agriculture, textile industry, medicine, in the container, packaging market etc.
  21. Ahmedabad city and the state of Kerala have been listed by TIME magazine among the “50 extraordinary destinations to explore” in its list of the world’s greatest places of 2022. It said that as India’s first UNESCO World Heritage City, Ahmedabad “boasts both ancient landmarks and contemporary innovations that make it a mecca for cultural tourism, from the serene Gandhi Ashram that sits on 36 acres on the banks of the Sabarmati River to Navratri, a vibrant nine-day celebration billed as the longest dance festival in the world.” It added that Ahmedabad’s Gujarat Science City, a “sprawling entertainment center and theme park”, unveiled three major attractions last year, including a 20-acre nature park to educate the public on local flora as well as provide new spaces for playing chess and practicing yoga.
  22. Burhanpur also known as the ‘Darwaza of Dakhin’ in Madhya Pradesh becomes the first ‘Har Ghar Jal’ certified district in the country. Burhanpur is the only district in the country where people from each of 254 villages have declared their villages as ‘Har Ghar Jal’ through a resolution passed by Gram Sabhas, certifying that all people in the villages have access to safe drinking water through taps, ensuring that ‘No One is Left Out’.
  23. 100% Saturation of Grey Water Management in Pappankuzhi Village, Tamil Nadu. Greywater is the category of waste water that is not contaminated with faecal matter or urine. This includes used water from bathing, washing dishes, laundry, etc.   
  24. Zimbabwehas launched gold coins to be sold to the public in a bid to tame runaway inflation that has further eroded the country’s unstable currency. Called Mosi-oa-Tunya, which in the local Tonga language refers to Victoria Falls, the coins will have liquid asset status, that is, it will be capable of being easily converted to cash, and will be tradable locally and internationally. 
  25. India is proud to be home to five big cats, including the Royal Bengal Tiger (Panthera Tigris), Asiatic Lion (Panthera Leo), Indian Leopard (Panthera pardus), Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia) and Clouded Leopard (Neofelisnebulosa). Now interestingly, the sixth one is in the queue. Eight African cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus jubatus) will be relocated from Namibia to India in August for captive breeding in the Kuno National Park (KNP) wildlife sanctuary, Madhya Pradesh.
  26. Adeno-Associated Virus 2 (AAV2) is a dependoparvovirus which means it “typically requires a co-infecting ‘helper’ virus to replicate,” Herpes virus HHV6 is the second theory of the other helper virus.
  27. The World Weather Attribution (WWA) initiative, a collaboration between climate scientists at Imperial College London in the UK, KNMI in the Netherlands, IPSL/LSCE in France, Princeton University and NCAR in the US, ETH Zurich in Switzerland, IIT Delhi in India and climate impact specialists at the Red Cross / Red Crescent Climate Centre (RCCC) around the world, has been founded to change this, and provide robust assessments on the role of climate change in the aftermath of the event. 
  28. Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) is a combination of HIVmedications that patients must take every day. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a chronic, potentially life-threatening condition caused by HIV.  Dolutegravir a World Health Organization-recommended HIV
  29. 28 July 2022 is observed as World Nature Conservation Day. The theme of World Nature Conservation Day 2022 is “Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet”.
  30. The Indian Railways had rolled out the Indian Railway Water Policy 2017 in order to promote water use efficiency and preservation of water. This was done to contribute towards India’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) of a 20 per cent reduction in water consumption by 2030.
  31. Chhattisgarh Legislative Assemblyhas unanimously passed a resolution urging the Centre to cancel allocation of coal blocks in Hasdeo Aranya forests. Tribal communities and activists have been opposing coal mining in the forests for a long time, fearing damage to its biodiversity. There are five coal blocks in the region, which includes areas like Parsa, Parsa East Kete Basan (PEKB), PEKB Extension, Gidhmuri Paturia, Madanpur South and Chotia.
  32. Gaucher’s disease is one of the common diseases among Lysosomal Storage Disorder patients.
  33. Lignin is a complex, woody biopolymer that gives mechanical support to plants and helps transport water and nutrients. Post-harvest, lignin is left over as stubble, either burnt or used as cattle feed.
  34. The African Continental Free Trade Area came into operation on 1 January 2021. This is a considerable achievement. The free trade area is now the world’s single largest market for goods and services, when measured by number of countries, after the World Trade Organisation. It is also the largest in terms of geographic area and population size.
  35. Delegates at the Africa Protected Areas Congress (PCA) adopted the ‘Kigali Call to Action’ for the establishment of a special fund to compensate communities affected by human-wildlife conflict.
  36. Bengaluru became the first municipality to set up dry waste collection centres (DWCC)in the country. DWCCs are an important element of decentralised waste management in Bengaluru, where the recyclable materials are segregated processed, and resold to recycling industries.
  37. Ministry of housing and urban affairs, under the aegis of Swachh Bharat(clean India) Mission–Urban, has launched the “Clean Green Campaign“. The campaign aims at the effective management of plastic waste.
  38. The Asian Nature Conservation Foundation (ANCF) has suggested the expansion of both the Sambalpur Elephant Reserve and the Mahanadi Elephant Reserve in Odisha. The Asian Nature Conservation Foundation (ANCF) , a non -profit public charitable trust is actively involved in the conservation of the Asian Elephant, considered to be a keystone species in the biologically rich forests of South and Southeast Asia.
  39. Jamun, also known as Malabar plum, Java plum and black plum, is said to be a native of India and is cultivated throughout the Indian subcontinent. The fruit has a combination of sweet, mildly sour and astringent flavour and tends to colour the tongue purple. The presence of this colour, given to it due to the presence of anthocyanin, has made it popular as a colourant for foods and pharmaceuticals. Traditionally, jamun fruits are used to prepare vinegar which was also used by diabetics. It has been found that this vinegar also leads to weight loss and is therefore becoming even more popular.
  40. The World Health Organization (WHO) categorises snakebite as a Neglected Tropical Disease. Every year, between 81,000 and 138,000 people die due to snakebite while as many as 400,000 survivors are left with permanent physical and psychological morbidity, according to the WHO.
  41. The World Health Organization has classified BA.2.75 as a variant of interest, rather than a variant of concern. This means it’s being monitored but there’s not yet evidence it will cause problems. Called BA.2.75, it’s a subvariant of omicron. You might have also heard it called “Centaurus”, the name of a constellation and given to BA.2.75 by a Twitter user. The numbers of BA.2.75 infections are still relatively low. Most infections in the UK remain driven by the omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5. BA.5 in particular is similarly dominant in other countries where BA.2.75 has been detected.
  42. Pneumonia is the second-highest cause of mortality under the age of five years. The disease contributed to 16.2 per cent of deaths in that age group, as per the Cause of Death Statistics report of Registrar General India (2015-17). 
  43. The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation conducted a situation assessment survey of agricultural households during the National Sample Survey (NSS) 77th round. NSS is responsible for conducting large-scale sample surveys in India.  The average monthly income and average farmers’ debt are not maintained monthly. However, the Government of India conducted a survey through the National Sample Survey Office on ‘Agricultural Households and Land and Livestock Holdings of Households in Rural India’.
  44. The migratory monarch butterfly, a sub-species of the monarch butterfly that travels around 4,000 kilometres across America each year, has been classified ‘endangered’ in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
  45. The Hatti community lives between the Giri and Tons rivers, both of which flow in the south-eastern part of Himachal Pradesh and finally into the Yamuna. The Tons forms the border between Himachal and Uttarakhand. The Hattis in the Trans-Giri region share many linguistic and cultural similarities with the people living in the Jaunsar Bawar region across the Tons in Uttarakhand. The Trans-Giri and Jaunsar Bawar regions were once part of the princely state of Sirmaur. But in 1814, Jaunsar Bawar was conquered by the British.
  46. Geoengineering often means “solar radiation management,” which aims to emulate a volcano and add particulates to the stratosphere to reflect incoming solar radiation back to space and produce a cooling. It might partially work, but it could have concerning side effects.
  47. Phenology is the study of growing, leafing, flowering, fruiting and senescence (deterioration) stages in a plant’s life cycle.
  48. The nomadic tribes of Chhattisgarh — Lohar, Saura, Devar and Rajgod.
  49. The Chambal river flows through Morena and its bed is made up of fine sand.
  50. The ‘Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies’has been unanimously adopted June 17, 2022 during the Twelfth Session of the Ministerial Conference (MC-12) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) held at Geneva.
  51. The National Health Authority has launched a new version of Health Benefit Packages (HBPs) 2022 under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana.
  52. In recent years, people have resorted to unsafe methods to avail it. As the people of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh hope for changes on the ground soon, for the Malto tribe (also known as the Pahariya tribe) that live in Santhal Parganas region of Jharkhand, such respite is nowhere in sight. 
  53. A black hole is usually formed when the core of a star collapses on itself and explodes to create a structure with such large gravity that nothing — not even photons — can escape it. In the absence of light, black holes are identified only by X-rays and Gamma-rays emitted when matter from nearby, orbiting stars is sucked in.  Black holes normally orbit another bright star that was part of a binary with the star that died to form the black hole. 
  54. The Centre, however, had launched the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) in 2019 as a national strategy to reduce particulate matter concentration 20-30 per cent by 2024 across the country.
  55. The transfer of genes from microbes to insects could have occurred through horizontal gene transfer (HGT). It allows genes to move between different species. Different bacterial species can exchange genes, including antibiotic-resistant ones, through HGT. HGT is quite common in bacteria (which are prokaryotes, ie, organisms without a nucleus), but its occurrence in eukaryotes (organisms with a nucleus) has been much more rarely observed.
  56. The 26th Global Meeting of the Crocodile Specialist Group (CSG) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) was held, at the city of Chetumal in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo on the Yucatan Peninsula.
  57. The Karjan river, an important tributary of the Narmada, starts near the Tapi river on Maharashtra’s border with Gujarat. There is a large reservoir on the river after which it flows north through the town of Rajpipla and finally into the Narmada. The basin of the river is largely located in the Adivasi-dominated Narmada district, carved out of neighbouring Bharuch.
  58. India is the largest banana-growing country in the world, accounting for 28 per cent of global production. In India, Gujarat constitutes 12 per cent of the total banana production, ranking third after Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
  59. Chongqing, one of the four municipalities of China directly under the rule of the central government (besides Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai) witnessed four consecutive days with temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius (°C) or above. The provinces of Gansu, Qinghai, Shaanxi and Sichuan as well as the autonomous region of Ningxia have also seen record-breaking high temperatures.
  60. Suchitwa Mission is Kerala’s solid waste management project with financial assistance from the World Bank. The project aims to strengthen the institutional and service delivery systems for waste management services at a regional scale and in select urban areas in Kerala.
  61. According to NASA, an ozone hole is an area where ozone levels drop below the historical threshold of 220 Dobson Units(DU is the measure of ozone concentrations).
  62. Founded in 1534 as San Miguel in Portuguese Bombaim (later Bombay and now Mumbai), St Michael’s is one of the oldest churches in the city. One of the services — called novenas— attracts people of all faiths, many of whom bring garlands and wax figures of what they desire (for example, a house). The flowers and wax are both recycled. 
  63. Asiatic black bears caught on camera trap in Daranghati Wildlife Santuary, Himachal Pradesh. Asiatic black bears too have a white ‘V’ mark on the chest, which is why they are called ‘Moon bears’. But the pattern is visible only when the animal is in an erect position on its hind legs. This makes it difficult to identify Asiatic black bears through sampling methodologies such as camera trapping and direct sightings.
  64. Prussian blue is a pigment typically used in dyes and paints. Its chemical structure is suitable for soaking up and releasing sodium ions, resulting in batteries that can charge and discharge in minutes and deliver quick bursts of energy.  While this is very advantageous for specific applications, it cannot support long-duration, grid-scale energy storage. Homogeneous glass electrolytes have the potential to overcome this issue if used in sodium-ion batteries. 
  65. The Climate Champions were appointed at CoP21 in Paris to oversee voluntary pledges and actions taken by non-Party actors to advance the goals of the Paris Agreement. This covers a wide range of entities including ‘cities, regions, businesses and investors’.
  66. At Bonn, developing country blocs like the Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDC) repeatedly lamented the lack of “balance” between issues like mitigation on one hand and adaptation as well as L&D on the other. They pointed to the struggle they faced to get the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) and the Glasgow Dialogue on Loss and Damage on the formal agenda of the Bonn conference. 
  67. The Science Council was established in April 2021 by WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. It is comprised of 9 leading scientists and public health experts from around the world. 
  68. The Lion Capital of Ashoka is an ancient sculpture dating back to 280 BCE, during the reign of the Mauryan Empire. The national emblem was designed by five students of Nandalal Bose, a pioneer of modern Indian art and the principal of Kala Bhavan, Visva-Bharati University. Among the five was Dinanath Bhargava, who studied the behaviour of the lions at the Kolkata Zoo for the purpose. The Lion Capital is one of the capitals associated with the Mauryas. The animals associated with imperial kingship in the ancient period are the elephant, lion, bull and horse.
  69. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is about more than bacterial infections. The resistance occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines. When an individual becomes infected with these microbes, the infection is said to be resistant to antimicrobial medicines. These infections are often difficult to treat.
  70. There are already vaccines available against four priority bacterial pathogens: Pneumococcal disease (Streptococcus pneumoniae), Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b) Tuberculosis (mycobacterium tuberculosis) and Typhoid fever (Salmonella Typhi).
  71. Current Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccines against tuberculosis (TB) do not adequately protect against TB and the development of more effective vaccines against TB should be accelerated.
  72. Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein that will trigger an immune response inside our bodies.
  73. Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral disease that spreads widely in the monsoon season. It is transmitted by the infective bite of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. The symptoms of dengue include high fever, headache, rash, muscle and joint pain. It occurs in two forms – Dengue fever and Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (DHF). Dengue fever is a severe, flu-like illness while DHF is a more severe form of the disease, which may cause death.
  74. The Ninety East Ridge is an aseismic ridge located almost parallel to 90 degrees east longitude in the Indian Ocean. It is approximately 5,000 kilometres in length and has an average width of 200 km.
  75. An extremely large ‘Azores High’ (a subtropical weather phenomenon) has resulted in abnormally dry conditions across the western Mediterranean, including the Iberian Peninsula, primarily occupied by Spain and Portugal, according to a new study. Azores High is a subtropical high pressure system that extends over the eastern subtropical North Atlantic and western Europe during winter, the researchers explained. It is associated with anticyclonic winds in the subtropical North Atlantic. It is formed by dry air aloft descending the subtropics and coincides with the downward branch of the Hadley Circulation.
  76. The Yasuni National Park and Biosphere Reserve is a Humid Tropical Rain Forest located in the Amazon region of Ecuador. Yasuni National Park is home to 40% of Ecuador’s crude oil reserves – in the Ishpingo-Tiputini-Tambococha (ITT) oil fields.
  77. A cloudburst is a local climatic phenomenon, according to experts. It can occur during heavy rainfall with size droplets 4-6 millimetres falling at a speed of 10 metres per second.
  78. Nagri Nagar Panchayat in Chhattisgarh’s Dhamtari district managed to get forest rights for 676.15 hectares under the Community Forest Resource Rights (CFRR) in 2021 — one of the first three Nagar Panchayats to be  awarded the title in India.
  79. Prosopagnosia,also known as face blindness, is a cognitive disorder. In this neurological condition, the patient finds it difficult to recognise familiar faces and is unable to recognise people who he/she has known earlier, by face. However, the patient will be able to recognise another individual through voice and/or other gestures.
  80. The European Commission has presented a Taxonomy Complementary Climate Delegated Act on climate change mitigation and adaptation covering certain gas and nuclear activities.
  81. Loyendia is a tiny Adivasi hamlet surrounded by lush green forests atop the Ugadi hill in Odisha’s Kandhamal district.
  82. The Odisha government was working on three projects — Mayurbhanj Elephant Conservation Project, Sambalpur Elephant Conservation Project and Mahanadi Elephant Conservation Project — to conserve elephants in the state.
  83. The Large Hadron Collider was successfully reignited for the third time July 5, 2022 — 10 years after it enabled scientists to find the elusive ‘God particle’ or Higgs Boson. Since then, it has discovered three exotic particles, according to the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).
  84. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) revised the particulate matter emission standards for ‘baby’ industrial boilers — capacity less than two tonnes per hour. The emission limit was reduced to 500 milligrams per cubic metre from 1,200 mg / NM3. 
  85. The Government of India, came up with a first-ever state ranking index to capture the implementation of the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). Odisha topped the list of 34 states and Union territories (UTs). Ladakh was ranked last on the index. NFSA is a crucial policy instrument to ensure food security. It covers nearly 800 million people.
  86. Chhattisgarh became the first state to grant community forest resource rights (CFRR) to peri-urban governance units (nagar panchayat) last year.
  87. The time of emergence (TFE) signals the year of onset of drought conditions exceeding the maximum value climate variability reached during 1865-2005, and continues for more than five years.
  88. Obesity is measured using the body mass index (BMI). This is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by their height in meters, squared. A person with a BMI below 18.5 is considered underweight, in the range of 18.5–25 is considered healthy weight, above 25 is considered to be overweight, and above 30 is considered obese.
  89. Gestational diabetesis caused by the insulin-blocking hormones that are produced during pregnancy. This type of diabetes only happens during pregnancy. It is often seen in people with preexisting pre-diabetes and a family history of diabetes. About 50% of people diagnosed with gestational diabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes.
  90. A sovereign wealth fund (SWF) is a state-owned fund. It is mostly formed from the country’s reserves. It is used to invest in capital assets such as real estate, metals, stocks, and bonds. The main objective of the SWFs is to allocate funds for the betterment of the country’s economy. SWFs also invest in alternative investments such as private equity funds and hedge funds. Some SWFs invests in the global avenues.
  91. Y- 3023 Dunagiri is the fourth ship of Project 17A Frigates. It would be a world class stealth frigate with multidimensional capabilities to destroy enemies from sea, sky, and underwater. It is built for the Indian Navy. It is named after a mountain range in the state of Uttarakhand. P17A Frigates are follow-on class of the P17 (Shivalik Class) Frigates. Seven P17A Frigates are under various stages of construction at Mazagaon Dock Limited (MDL) and GRSE.
  92. Naari Adalat scheme is part of the umbrella scheme Mission Shakti, which comprises of sub-schemes for women’s safety and empowerment. Naari Adalat (Women’s Courts) will be implemented by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. It will be led by women’s collectives in the country in a phased manner as an alternative grievance redressal mechanism to resolve “petty” disputes at the gram panchayat level. It has been added as a component to Mission Shakti to promote and facilitate alternative dispute resolution and gender justice in society and within families.
  93. The city of Varanasi, showcasing India’s culture and traditions over the ages, will be declared the first “Cultural and Tourism Capital” of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. The Beijing-headquartered Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is an eight-member economic and security alliance comprising China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan. Under this initiative, each year, a city of cultural heritage of a member country, that will take over the rotating Presidency of the organisation, will get the title to highlight its prominence.
  94. NASA has released an image of the globular cluster Terzan 2in the constellation Scorpio captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. The new image captured by Hubble looks remarkably similar to the image of Terzan 9 captured earlier this year. Despite looking very similar, Terzan 2 and Terzan 9 are in different parts of the sky as we see it from Earth. Terzan 2 is in the Scorpio constellation while Terzan 9 is in the Sagittarius constellation. Hubble captured a “galactic gem”: the CGCG 396-2 galaxy merger, which is an uncommon multi-armed galaxy merger that is 520 million light-years away from Earth in the direction of the constellation Orion.
  95. Donations to the National Culture Fund are eligible for 100% tax benefit under Section 80G (ii) of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
  96. Tetra pod in Greek means four-legged. These are four-legged concrete structures that are placed along coastlines to prevent erosion and water damage. They are typically placed together to form an interlocking but porous barrier that dissipates the power of waves and currents. These are large structures, sometimes weighing up to 10 tonnes, and interlocked tetra pods act as a barrier that remains stable against the rocks when buffeted by waves.
  97. The Kali Bein river is 165 Kms long. It starts from Dhanao Village in Hoshiarpur and meets the confluence of the rivers Beas and Sutlej in Kapurthala. The name of the river is due to seepage of minerals. Waste water from the villages and towns and the industrial wastes turns its water black. This led to the name Kali Bein (black rivulet).
  98. Under the National Legal Services Authority (Legal Services Clinics) Regulations, 2011, the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), UT Chandigarh in association with Chandigarh State Aids Control Society and Association of Professional Social Workers & Development Practitioners (APSWDP), has opened a Legal Services Clinic, exclusively to provide legal services to transgender community, which is named as ‘Samta Nyay Kendra’. The objective of this Kendra is to provide counselling and help the transgenders in redressal of their legal grievances. For this purpose, Panel Lawyers and Para Legal Volunteers are deputed on need-based assignments by the DLSA. The effort is to provide legal services through the Para Legal Volunteers from within members of the transgender community in an inclusive atmosphere. The said Kendra is also spreading legal awareness regarding various rights and entitlements of the transgender persons.
  99. The Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, in March, 2019, Government had notified the “Pradhan Mantri JI-VAN (Jaiv Indhan- Vatavaran Anukool fasal awashesh Nivaran) Yojana” for providing financial support to integrated bio-ethanol projects for setting up Second Generation (2G) ethanol projects in the country using lignocellulosic biomass and other renewable feedstock. Under the PM JI-VAN Yojana, the maximum financial assistance of Rs.150 crore per project for commercial projects and Rs.15 crore per project for demonstration projects has been prescribed for improving commercial viability as well as promoting R&D for development and adoption of technologies in the field of production of 2G ethanol.  Apart from financial support through PM JI-VAN Yojana, other steps taken to promote 2G Ethanol Plants include imposition of additional excise duty on non-blended fuels; encouraging studies on various aspects including; identifying areas having the potential of surplus Biofuels feedstocks; policy interventions to mainstream biofuels; separate price for 2G ethanol, etc.
  100. Gulf of Aden, which separates Somalia and Yemen and connects the Arabian Sea to the Red Sea and further to the Mediterranean Sea through the Suez Canal, has been one of the deadliest areas in the oceans due to a large number of piracy incidents. This is also one of the most important trade routes for countries in Asia, Europe, and on the eastern coast of Africa. Due to an increased naval presence in the Gulf of Aden, it has been observed that piracy operations are shifting towards the east and south, which increases their proximity to India’s west coast.
  101. Also known as Dakshin Kashi, the Mahuli Group of Temples are located in Mahuli near Satara in Maharashtra. It is situated at confluence of the rivers Krishna and Venna. These are famous group of 5 temples belonging to 11th and 12th CE in Hemadpanthi style of architecture. Vishweshwar Temple side is called “Sangam Mahuli” whereas Rameshwar Temple side is called “Kshtra Mahuli”. This area has the samadhis of great Maratha queens Rani Tarabai Bhosle and Rani Yesho Bai Bhosle.
  102. Samudrayaan Mission is aimed to develop a self-propelled manned submersible to carry 3 human beings to a water depth of 6000 meters in the ocean with a suite of scientific sensors and tools for deep ocean exploration. It has an endurance of 12 hours of operational period and 96 hours in case of emergency.
  103. The Manas Tiger Reserve is contiguous with the 1,000 sq. km Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan. The Manas Tiger Reserve in Assam has 2.4 tigresses for every tiger, the annual wildlife monitoring results of the trans-boundary wildlife preserve has revealed.
  104. The Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) on Forest Landscape Restoration between India and Germany. It is one of the deliverables of the 6th India-Germany Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC).
  105. The Cities for Climate Protection program(CCP) is one of three major global transnational municipal networks aimed at reducing urban greenhouse gas emissions. Established in 1990 by the International Union of Local Authorities and the United Nations Environment Programme, one of the largest global transnational networks, the International Council for Local Environment Initiatives (ICLEI), presented a framework to represent local government environmental concerns internationally.
  106. Maharashtra has joined the United Nations (UN)-backed ‘Race to Resilience’ campaign, which aims to facilitate sub-national governments globally in developing climate-resilient infrastructures to protect those who are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. It is a sister concern of the ‘Race to Zero’ campaign, which facilitates sub-national governments to reach ‘net zero’, or carbon neutrality. As India’s most industrialised state, Maharashtra is a crucial voice in building climate resilience in the Global South. By joining the Race to Resilience, Maharashtra aims to be a leading example for regional governments. The High Level Climate Champions Race to Resilience — the sibling campaign to Race To Zero — was launched at the Climate Adaptation Summit on January 25 by Alok Sharma, COP26 President designate, after an opening statement from Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary General of the United Nations. Non-state actor-led regional, national or global initiatives are invited to express their interest to join the Race to Resilience.
  107. The Pilikula Biological Park is the only zoo in India to get permission from the Central Zoo Authority for captive breeding of King Cobras. 
  108. Scientists of Zoological Survey of India have stumbled across new eel species in Purba Medinipur district, West Bengal. The recently discovered eel species has been named as Ariosoma Bengalense in the name of its connection to the state. The species is distributed in the northern part of Bay of Bengal.
  109. In the US, pre-exposure vaccination with JYNNEOS® is available to healthcare workers and lab workers exposed to this group of poxviruses. The smallpox vaccine is 85 percent effective against the disease. Another vaccine, ACAM2000, is a live vaccinia virus vaccine that is otherwise recommended for smallpox immunisation and can also be used for high-risk individuals during monkeypox outbreaks. In addition, Tecovirimat, an antiviral drug used to treat smallpox, is recommended for monkeypox.
  110. In 1855, they revolted against the Permanent Settlement of Bengal introduced by Lord Cornwallis in 1793.
  111. Enacted under Article 253 of the Constitution, the Environment Protection Act, came into force on November 19, 1986.
  112. The span 2021-2030 is the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, emphasising efforts to restore degraded terrestrial ecosystems including forests. In 2011, the Bonn Challenge was launched with a global goal to restore 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested landscapes by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030. India joined the Bonn Challenge in 2015, pledging to restore 26 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by 2030.
  113. The Cantor’s or Asian giant softshell turtle, as its name implies, the olive-brown turtle grows up to one metre in length, almost as wide, and ranks as the second largest freshwater turtle in India. Instead of swimming away with the current as other turtles would when released, these immediately buried themselves entirely in the riverbed’s sand, leaving only their noses sticking out. They spent most of their time stock-still in this ambush position, and when fish or shrimp swam past, their heads shot lightning fast to snap up the prey.
  114. Canada is all set to become the world’s first nation to introduce a printed warning on every cigarette amid concern about photo warnings on tobacco packages losing impact.
  115. Metastatic cancer is when tumorous cells that originated in one part of the body jump into another via blood. Also called stage IV cancer, these cells, according to the National Cancer Institute, have features like that of primary cancer and not like the cells in the place where the metastatic cancer is found. This is how doctors can tell that it is cancer that has spread from another part of the body.
  116. Perfluooctane sulfate (PFOS) is a type of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) and is referred to as ‘forever chemicals’ as they can take years to degrade in the body or environment as well.
  117. Article 122of the Constitution says parliamentary proceedings cannot be questioned before a court: “No officer or Member of Parliament in whom powers are vested by or under this Constitution for regulating procedure or the conduct of business, or for maintaining order, in Parliament shall be subject to the jurisdiction of any court in respect of the exercise by him of those powers”.
  118. A patent protects new inventions, processes, or scientific creations, a trademark protects brands, logos, and slogans, and a copyright protects original works of authorship. A trademark includes words, phrases, designs, or any combination of these that particularly identify a good or service. The three types of patents are design, utility, and plant. Utility patents are for new discoveries, compositions of matter, machines, or processes. Plant patents are for anyone that discovers or develops and asexually reproduces a new variety of plant. A design patent is for anyone that creates a new, original, and ornamental design.
  119. After starting with a foul and two modest throws of 82.39m and 86.37 metres, Chopra stormed back with an 88.13 m effort. It was an improvement on his gold-medal winning distance of 87.58 m at the Tokyo Games, but he was still a distant second to Grenada’s Anderson Peters. After securing India’s first-ever World Championship silver medal — Anju Bobby George had got a long jump bronze back in 2003 — Chopra spoke about the level of competition he had to face.
  120. Aneurysm is a swelling of the arteries and veins in any part of the body, and is caused by weakening of the walls. It occurs most commonly in the aorta, back of the knees, brain or intestines. If the aneurysm gets ruptured, it can even cause internal bleeding and stroke. Potential risk factors for aneurysm include smoking, age, high cholesterol, obesity, hypertension or tissue disorders. Pregnancy can also increase risk of aneurysm of the spleen. Usually, an aneurysm remains undetected and screening may be required for patients needing monitoring or treatment. A device called flow diversion stent is a new innovative intervention for treatment of aneurysm for the initial stages, when it has not ruptured. Most cases being congenital, it is not always possible to prevent aneurysm, but certain lifestyle changes can help reduce risk. These include quitting smoking; maintaining a healthy blood pressure by sticking to a balanced diet; maintaining a healthy body weight; and avoiding a high cholesterol diet.
  121. Rule 3B of Rules annexed to the MTP Act, which was amended in 2021, specify seven categories of women who are eligible for termination between 20-24 weeks. These are: survivors of sexual assault or rape or incest; minors; those who have a change of marital status during the ongoing pregnancy (widowhood and divorce); women with physical disabilities; mentally ill women; women carrying malformed foetus that has substantial risk of being incompatible with life; and women with pregnancy in humanitarian settings or disaster or emergency situations as may be declared by the government.
  122. Namibia officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in Southern Africa. Its western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Zambia and Angola to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. Although it does not border Zimbabwe, less than 200 metres (660 feet) of the Botswanan right bank of the Zambezi River separates the two countries. Namibia is a member state of the United Nations (UN), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU) and the Commonwealth of Nations.
  123. The World Anti-Doping Agency was established as a result of a collaborative effort led by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It was founded on November 10, 1999, in Lausanne, Switzerland, in response to the “Declaration of Lausanne” to promote, coordinate, and monitor the fight against drugs in sports.
  124. The Aditya L1 mission will see an Indian spacecraft going 1.5 million kms away to the L1 or Lagrangian point between the Sun and Earth. There are five Lagrangian points between any two celestial bodies where the gravitational pull of both the bodies on the satellite is equal to the force required to keep the satellite in orbit without expending fuel, meaning a parking spot in space. The XpoSat will be India’s second astronomical observatory in space after the Astrosat. It will help in studying cosmic x-rays.
  125. The period spanning between the prorogation of a House and its reassembly in a new session is called ‘recess’. A sitting of Parliament can be terminated by adjournment or adjournment sine die-Know the difference between adjournment or adjournment sine die.
  126. The Vice President holds the nation’s second-highest office. In the official warrant of precedence, he is given a rank next to the President. The design of this position is based on the American vice president.
  127. As Indonesia deals with the economic impacts of Covid-19, the country has announced “Digital Nomad Visas” for travellers, to attract more foreign tourists.
  128. Nord Stream 1 is a 1,224 km underwater gas pipeline that runs from Vyborg in northwest Russia to Lubmin in northeastern Germany via the Baltic Sea.
  129. The Abraham Accords of 2020 had led to Israel formally normalising diplomatic ties with the UAE, Morocco and Bahrain, marking an important shift in the stance of West Asian countries on Israel. This accord took shape due to the efforts of US. It led to an entirely new grouping of partners including Israel, India, UAE and the United States — what we call I2U2.
  130. A cloudburst refers to an extreme amount of rain that happens in a short period, sometimes accompanied by hail and thunder, and this has a precise definition. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) defines it as unexpected precipitation exceeding 100mm (or 10 cm) per hour over a geographical region of approximately 20 to 30 square km. Significant amounts of rainfall such as this can result in floods.
  131. Article 105(2) of the Constitution lays down that “no Member of Parliament shall be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said or any vote given by him in Parliament or any committee thereof”.
  132. The base year for ‘Index For Industrial Production (IIP) was changed to 2011-12 from 2004-05 in the year 2017. The earlier base years were 1937, 1946, 1951, 1956, 1960, 1970, 1980-81, 1993-94 and 2004-05.
  133. The Constitution unambiguously separates the three wings of our democracy — the Executive (government), the Legislature (Parliament and state assemblies) and the Judiciary. The President summons Parliament. The Prime Minister is the head of the Executive. The Legislature has its independent role to perform, amongst others, to legislate laws, keep the Executive accountable and answerable. This constitutional separation of powers between the three wings is being subverted by the head of the Executive.
  134. The existing parliament building was designed by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker who were responsible for the planning and construction of New Delhi. It was inaugurated in January 18, 1927, by then Governor General of India Lord Irwin.
  135. India is one of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s founder members, having attended the Chicago Conference in 1944, and has since been a member of the council of the ICAO, including the Provisional ICAO between 1944 and 1947.  India has maintained a permanent delegation at the headquarters of ICAO in Montreal.  India is fully committed to the aims and objectives of the ICAO and has participated in ICAO’s organizational and governance activities in a very cooperative, constructive and positive manner.

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