IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-June 2022

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IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-September 2021

IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-June 2022

  1. India and Sweden were jointly hosting the ‘Industry Transition Dialogue’ in Stockholm as a part of an initiative, the Leadership for Industry Transition (LeadIT). The LeadIT initiative lays specific focus on hard-to-abate sectors that are key stakeholders in the global climate action and require specific interventions.
  2. The international community observes June 21 as International Yoga Day, recognising the many benefits of the ancient Indian practice of yoga. The theme of the 2022 Yoga Day was ‘Yoga for Humanity’. Yoga helps in elevating the levels of a chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which is associated with better mood and decreased anxiety.
  3. The Global Gender and Environment Outlook (GGEO), undertaken by the UN Environment Programme, combines gender and environment perspective into a comprehensive assessment, and provides an overview of the links gender and the environment to inform policy decisions aimed at increasing gender equality.
  4. TheInternational Gender Champions (IGC) is a leadership network that brings together female & male decision-makers determined to break down gender barriers and make gender equality a working reality in their spheres of influence. It is an initiative of Women@TheTable, and was founded in 2015 by Caitlin Kraft-Buchman of Women@TheTable,
  5. The COVID-19 Global Gender Response Tracker monitors responses taken by governments worldwide to tackle the pandemic, and highlights those that have integrated a gender lens. It captures two types of government responses: women’s participation in COVID-19 task forces and national policy measures taken by governments. It analyzes which of the policy measures address women’s economic and social security, including unpaid care work, the labour market and violence against women. The Tracker can provide guidance for policymakers and evidence for advocates to ensure a gender-sensitive COVID-19 policy response.
  6. Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR–RC) is a principle within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that acknowledges the different capabilities and differing responsibilities of individual countries in addressing climate change. The principle of CBDR–RC is enshrined in the 1992 UNFCCC treaty, which was ratified by all participating countries. Reflecting CBDR-RC, the Convention divided countries into “Annex I” and “non-Annex I,” the former generally referring to developed countries and the latter to developing countries. Under the Convention Annex I countries have a greater mitigation role than non-Annex-I countries.
  7. The drought in Parana river in Latin America pushed the water levels of the river to its lowest in 77 years and impacted lives and livelihoods in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.
  8. The drought in the Chad Basin that has seen Lake Chad shrink by 90 per cent since the 1970s and threatens the lives and livelihoods of more than 17 million people in the region.
  9. The new IEA report finds that the 2021 rebound in coal consumption and future trends will result in three gigatonnes higher CO2 emissions from coal in 2024 than its Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario (NZE). The NZE outlines a roadmap for the energy sector to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. 
  10. The Indigenous Foods Knowledges Network(IFKN) connects Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars, community members, and leaders from the Alaskan and Canadian Arctic and sub-Arctic and the U.S. Southwest to coproduce food sovereignty solutions. 
  11. Eucalyptus, poplar, willow, miscanthus and switchgrass were the bioenergy crops.
  12. Gandhi Sagar Dam on Chambal River in Madhya Pradesh is in need of immediate repair, warned a new report. It is one of the five water reservoirs of national importance. 
  13. Surrounded by desert-like rugged terrain on all sides, Kaza is the gateway to the Himalayan cold desert that spans Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur districts of Himachal Pradesh in the south to Ladakh in the north.
  14. Protein molecules are made up of amino acids and each of them has a specific set of amino acids. Various interactions between the amino acid residues drive the 3D structure of the protein, which determines its function. One amino acid change at a critical site can change a protein structure dramatically and lead to disease pathogenicity. 
  15. One of the largest vehicles for climate finance connected to the UNFCCC is GCF, which was born out of the Copenhagen Accord of 2009. It offers financing through “a flexible combination of grants, concessional debt, guarantees or equity instruments”. And part of its mandate is “to invest 50 per cent of its resources to mitigation and 50 per cent to adaptation in grant equivalent”. At least half of its adaptation resources must be invested in the most climate vulnerable countries (small island developing states or SIDS, least developed countries or LDCs, and African States). 
  16. Community Forest Rights (CFR) are claimed under The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006.
  17. Sudan is the third-largest country in Africa, and before separating from South Sudan over a decade ago, was the largest. It is situated in northeastern Africa and got independence from colonial rule in 1956. It was originally inhabited by the Nubians and by an indigenous population. It saw migrations from the Arab Peninsula between the 7th and 16th centuries, with the Arabs gradually integrating Islam and the Arabic language into the social fabric of Sudan, or Arabising the northern Sudanese. It is because of this history of Sudan that historians have called the distinction between African and Arab identities in the region fluid and not rigid.
  18. The Cool Biz campaignis a Japanese campaign initiated by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment from summer 2005 as a means to help reduce Japanese electricity consumption by limiting the use of air conditioning. This was enabled by changing the standard office air conditioner temperature to 28 °C (or about 82 °F) and introducing a liberal summer dress code in the bureaucracy of the Japanese government so staff could work in the warmer temperature. The campaign then spread to the private sector.
  19. India is also signatory to treaties such as the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources and the Protocol on the Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty— both of which enjoin India to help preserve the pristine nature of the continent.
  20. India signed the Antarctic Treaty on 19th August 1983 and soon thereafter received consultative status on 12th September 1983. The Madrid Protocol was signed by India which came into force on 14th January, 1998. India is one of the 29 Consultative Parties to the Antarctic Treaty. India is also a member of Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programme (COMNAP) and Scientific Committee of Antarctica Research (SCAR). All these representations show the significant position that India holds among the nations involved in Antarctic research.
  21. India has two active research stations; Maitri (commissioned in 1989) at Schirmacher Hills, and Bharati (commissioned in 2012) at Larsemann Hills in Antarctica. India has successfully launched 40 annual scientific expeditions to Antarctica till date. With Himadri station in Ny-Alesund, Svalbard, Arctic, India now belongs to the elite group of nations that have multiple research stations within the Polar Regions.
  22. The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty was signed in Madrid on October 4, 1991 and entered into force in 1998. It designates Antarctica as a “natural reserve, devoted to peace and science”. The Treaty covers the area south of 60°S latitude. Its key objectives are to demilitarise Antarctica, to establish it as a zone free of nuclear tests and the disposal of radioactive waste, and to ensure that it is used for peaceful purposes only; to promote international scientific cooperation in Antarctica and to set aside disputes over territorial sovereignty. Of the 54 signatory countries, 29 have ‘consultative’ status that give them voting rights. The Treaty parties meet each year at the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting. They have adopted over 300 recommendations and negotiated separate international agreements. These, together with the original Treaty, provide the rules which govern activities in the Antarctic. Collectively they are known as the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS).
  23. The PANGO network, an open global consortium of researchers from across the world, provides a system for naming different lineages of SARS-CoV-2. These variants or lineages are widely followed by epidemiologists for tracking the evolution of SARS-CoV-2.
  24. Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests (NCCF), came into existence in January 2015 as a registered society, comprising experts, professionals, and stakeholders of natural resources, engaged in the development of India specific and globally benchmarked sustainability standards, as its core working area, apart from working for policy advocacy, training and capacity building through multi-stakeholder engagement. NCCF is a Member of the PEFC Alliance from India, a member of IUCN, and has got Observer Status with the UNCCD as a Civil Society Organization. NCCF has developed the first-ever Indian scheme of forest certification that is endorsed by a leading international certification organization, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), giving it global recognition. This scheme is being used by many states for certification of forests
  25. India’s transition to a green economy could contribute more than $1 trillion in economic impact by 2030, as well as create over 50 million jobs, stated a report by the World Economic Forum. By 2070, the economic impact could increase to $15 trillion, the report further added. The WEF’s ‘Mission 2070: A Green New Deal for a Net-Zero India’ report provides a roadmap for India’s transition.
  26. A house in India is considered affordable for an LIG (lower income group) household when the monthly installment or rent does not exceed 30 per cent of the household’s gross monthly income. This benchmark was established in 2008 by the Task Force on Affordable Housing for All, set up by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to “look into the various aspects of providing affordable housing for all”; it measures affordability using the expenditure method or the housing cost burden method. Under this, the expenditure towards housing is classified as affordable if it does not go above a certain percentage of the household income. This percentage cut-off is set by the respective governments. Globally, this cut-off is about a third of the household income.
  27. The Republic of Fiji said it had banned deep-sea mining. Palau, Fiji and Samoa — all island nations — launched a new alliance to prevent deep-sea mining at the United Nations Ocean Conference.
  28. Nauru, an island nation between Australia and Hawaii, invoked the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. It gave an ultimatum to the International Seabed Authority (ISA), the UN-affiliated organisation tasked with managing deep-sea mining activities, to either develop regulations for deep-sea mining or allow mining proposals sans international consensus on rules.
  29. Serum Institute of India (SII) produces Covishield, developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca, and Covovax, a subunit of the vaccine developed by Novavax and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin has a shelf life of a year while Covishield, the most widely administered vaccine in India, has a shelf life of nine months. Russia-made Sputnik V and Biological E’s Corbevax are other vaccines available in India. The Drugs Controller General of India also approved Zydus’ ZyCoV-D vaccine the world’s first DNA vaccine against COVID-19. Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine has been cleared for use in India and was to be supplied by Biological E, while Indian pharma company Cipla was authorised to import the Moderna vaccine.
  30. Local Arhtiyas(middlemen) contact farmers and offer them prices over the MSP.
  31. The International Blue Carbon Initiativefocuses on mitigating climate change through conservation and restoration of coastal and marine ecosystems. Conserving and increasing blue carbon in coastal habitats is an important carbon mitigation strategy. The Initiative is coordinated by Conservation International (CI), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (IOC-UNESCO). The Initiative works through two working groups: the International Blue Carbon Scientific Working Group and the International Blue Carbon Policy Working Group.
  32. Dhemaji, one of the worst flood-affected districts of Assam. Dhemaji is in the foothills of the Himalayas. The Brahmaputra and its tributaries traverse from the hills of Arunachal Pradesh through this district.
  33. During the CoP15 in December 2022, the world will adopt a post-2020 global biodiversity framework as a stepping stone towards the 2050 vision of “Living in harmony with nature”.
  34. The United States Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe vs Waderuling June 24, 2022, thus taking away the legal right to abortion from millions of women in America.
  35. India has had the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act in place since 1972. “The Act does not recognise abortion as a right. It gives the power of making a decision regarding abortion to the healthcare provider rather than the woman.
  36. Vaccine-derived poliovirus has been detected in sewage samples from the London Beckton Sewage Treatment Works in the eastern part of the British capital. The virus has continued to evolve and is now classified as a ‘vaccine-derived’ poliovirus type 2 (VDPV2), which on rare occasions can cause serious illness, such as paralysis, in people who are not fully vaccinated. The virus may have spread between closely linked individuals, who were administered an oral polio vaccine overseas.
  37. Wild poliovirus is endemic only in Pakistan and Afghanistan, with just two new cases reported in 2021, according to the WHO. However, Malawi recorded Africa’s first wild poliovirus case in five years this February.
  38. The Government of Kenya has also been ordered to recognise the Ogiek as an indigenous people of Kenya. The Minority Rights Group International (MRGI), an international group advocating the rights of indigenous peoples and disadvantaged groups, describes the Ogiek as “one of the last forest-dwelling hunter-gatherer communities” on its website. Since time immemorial, they have lived in the Mau Forest in Kenya’s Rift Valley and in the forested areas around Mt Elgon, relying on these territories for food, shelter, identity and therefore their very survival.
  39. People from Tanzania’s Maasai community are being forcefully evicted from their ancestral land to make way for a luxury game reserve for the rich.
  40. Fodder in Punjab is known as ‘tudi’ and is made from wheat stubble.
  41. The Bedti-Varada project was envisaged in 1992 as one to supply drinking water of Karnataka. The plan aims to link the Bedti, a river flowing west into the Arabian Sea, with the Varada, a tributary of the Tungabhadra river, which flows into the Krishna, which in turn flows into the Bay of Bengal. The Bedti is known as Gangavali in the estuary region.
  42. Demodex folliculorum,a tiny parasitic mite found on eyelashes, eyebrows or near the nose. The other known variety of face mite is Demodex brevis, but it was not covered in the study. Demodex folliculorum is the dominant mite species, certainly for Europe. Demodex brevis comes next. These parasites have adapted to living a sheltered life inside skin pores.
  43. Protected areas in Ladakh like Hemis National Park, Changthang Cold Desert Sanctuary and Karakoram Sanctuary require vigilance and regular patrolling to reduce unwanted wildlife-tourist interaction as well as habitat destruction due to off-road driving and encroachment.
  44. The Centre for Fire, Explosive and Environment Safety(CFEES) is an Indian defence laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Located in Timarpur, Delhi, its main function is the development of technologies and products in the area of explosive, fire and environmental safety. CFEES is organised under the Armaments Directorate of DRDO.
  45. Indian elm or chilbil seeds can not only be served as a healthy snack, they are also a promising source of edible oil. The tree, also known as jungle cork tree or Holoptelea integrifoliain scientific lexicon, is native to the country and is referred to as chilbil, papri, kanju and several other names in local languages. Known as chirbilva in Sanskrit, the seeds have several uses in traditional medicine. Chilbil leaves are effective against Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, which causes diseases ranging from food poisoning to skin and bone infections and shows resistance to most antibiotics. Its leaves are also used to prepare chiruvilwadi kashayam, which helps treat stomach ailments and acts as a mild laxative. 
  46. The Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG) is a regional watchdog promoting Pacific peoples’ right to be self-determining. PANG mobilizes movements and advocates based on substantive research and analysis to advocate and promote Pacific peoples’ centered development agenda. PANG operates through a networking model to support and work with community level groups representing diverse constituencies and interests including trade unions, feminists, young people, traditional landowners, community and environmental groups, scientists, lawyers, economists, political analysts, academics, parliamentarians and governments.
  47. Five species of turtlesand the gharial and saltwater crocodile, are among the seven CMS species found in India.
  48. Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) is a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system, indicated by an increase in heart rate and decrease in blood pressure while changing positions (sitting, lying down, standing up). This leads to dizziness and fainting and can sometimes be debilitating, leading to disability. A patient is said to have POTS if the heart rate increases by 30 beats per minute. Otherwise, some patients monitor their rate while sitting and standing up at home using various fitness technologies that display heart rate. Also called the NASA Lean Test, it is done at home when there is a lack of infrastructure.
  49. The Chota Nagpur Tenancy (CNT) Act was promulgated in British India in 1908. The Santhal Parganas Tenancy (Supplementary provisions) Act was promulgated in newly independent India. The purpose of both these Acts was to prevent tribal land from being grabbed by non-tribals. Both Acts stipulate that no tribal land should be used for any commercial purposes.
  50. Researchers from the University of Adelaide, Australia, have carried out a new study that includes an updated map of the earth’s tectonic plates. The new study added several new microplates to the existing tectonic plate model like the Macquarie microplate which sits south of Tasmania and the Capricorn microplate that separates the Indian and Australian plates.
  51. During a La Nina event, cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures prevail over the east and central Pacific Ocean, due to which the trade winds above the sea surface change in character because of a difference in the wind pressures. During a La Nina event, the vertical wind shear (change in intensity of vertical winds from near surface to higher parts of atmosphere) is low over the Atlantic Ocean and is conducive for the formation and intensification of hurricanes. A strong wind shear tears apart a hurricane from the top. 
  52. D Srinivasa Reddy took charge as director of CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT), Hyderabad. Reddy is a recipient of the JC Bose Fellowship, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize in chemical sciences, Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, India (FASc) and Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, India (FNASc).
  53. The ‘National Mission on use of Biomass in coal-based thermal power plants’, also called SAMARTH — Sustainable Agrarian Mission on use of Agro-residue in Thermal Power Plants.
  54. Survival Internationalis an organisation that works for the rights of tribal and uncontacted peoples across the world. The Oakland Institute is an independent policy think tank, “bringing fresh ideas and bold action to the most pressing social, economic, and environmental issues of our time.”
  55. Tendu (Diospirus melanocaylon) is also called ‘green gold’ and is a prominent minor forest produce in India. In 1964, the trade in tendu leaves was nationalised in then-undivided Madhya Pradesh. Maharashtra adopted the same system in 1969, undivided Andhra Pradesh in 1971, Odisha in 1973, Gujarat in 1979, Rajasthan in 1974 and Chhattisgarh in 2000. Tendu leaf collectors cite The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 and the 2013 Supreme Court verdict in the much-touted Niyamgiri case to say private collectors can sell them on their own. Many types of minor forest produce like Mahua, Salbeejor the seeds of the Sal tree (Shorea robusta) and Chironji or Almondette kernels (Buchanania lanzan) are collected and sold by tribals.
  56. Arunachal Pradesh remains the only state still handing out private ownership certificates for a Schedule I Animal, when its legality, and also that of gifting elephants, is sub judiceand pending in Writ Petition 743 of 2014 before the Supreme Court. Arunachal Pradesh Abotani Community Confederation, a group for the socio-economic development of the state’s Tani community.
  57. May 2022 has tied with its counterparts from 2018 and 2021 to be the fifth-warmest May on record, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) of the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts.
  58. Hasdeo river is the largest tributary of the Mahanadi. Hasdeo Aranya, a biodiversity-rich forest, is also a rich source of coal. The Hasdeo Aranya (Aranya means forest) lies in the catchment area of the Hasdeo river and is spread across 1,878 sq km in North-Central Chhattisgarh. The Hasdeo river is a tributary of the Mahanadi river which originates in Chhattisgarh and flows through Odisha into the Bay of Bengal. The Hasdeo forests are also the catchment area for the Hasdeo Bango Dam built across the Hasdeo river which irrigates six lakh acres of land, crucial to a State with paddy as its main crop. Besides, the forests are ecologically sensitive due to the rich biodiversity they offer and due to the presence of a large migratory corridor for elephants.
  59. New Zealand will tax burps by cattle and sheep in order to tackle one of its biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions.
  60. The International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS) is a group of senior military leaders, security experts, and security institutions across the globe dedicated to anticipating, analyzing, and addressing the security risks of a changing climate. The launch of the IMCCS was announced at The Hague, Netherlands, on February 19, 2019 in response to a growing demand from military professionals for sharing information and best practices on addressing the security and military dimensions of climate change. It was founded and is administered by the Center for Climate and Security(CCS), an institute of the Council on Strategic Risks, in partnership with the French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs (IRIS), the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS) and the Planetary Security Initiative of the Netherlands Institute of International Relations.
  61. There’s a growing, global movement to make human communities and ecosystems more resilient to climate extreme impacts. For the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative (ND-GAIN), it’s a movement rooted in the power of data, grounded in science-based evidence and driven by a mission of “Science Serving Society.” The ND-GAIN Country Index summarizes a country’s vulnerability to climate change and other global challenges in combination with its readiness to improve resilience. It aims to help governments, businesses and communities better prioritize investments for a more efficient response to the immediate global challenges ahead.
  62. The United Nations’ mid-year climate change conference commenced in Bonn, Germany, with a stand-off between developing and developed countries on the issue of loss and damage (L&D). It all started when a request from the G77+China bloc of countries was put forth to add two agenda items to the official conference agenda — one on the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) and one on the Glasgow Dialogue on L&D Finance. The Bonn summit, also known as the 56th session of the subsidiary bodies (SB 56). It is led by two technical committees — the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI).
  63. The southern yellow-billed hornbill, like other types of hornbills, has unusual breeding and nesting habits. The female seals herself in a cavity and stays there for about 50 days to brood and care for chicks. The southern yellow-billed hornbill initiates breeding in response to rainfall in the arid western parts of its southern African range. They feed on insects, spiders and scorpions as well as seeds that they find on the ground. It is usually found in resident pairs or small family flocks.
  64. The fishing cat, a Schedule I species according to the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, generally indicates the health of wetland and coastal ecosystems, which are considered as one of the major safeguards against climate change. The fishing cat is a globally threatened species found in marshlands, mangroves, flooded forests and other wetlands. They are found in 10 Asian countries but have remained untraced in Vietnam and Java for more than a decade. West Bengal declared the fishing cat to be its state animal in 2012. Authorities in Chilika also named the cat as the lake’s ambassador in 2020.
  65. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child recognizes that young people have a right to be heard and to participate in decisions that affect their lives. 
  66. Lliuya and members of Germanwatch met during the 20th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Lima in 2014. RWE is the second-largest emitter of carbon dioxide in Europe, spewing more than 100 million tonnes of it into the atmosphere each year. The fact that the company doesn’t operate in Peru.
  67. SDG 7, one of the 17 goals established by the United Nations in 2015, aims to “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”. Universal access to modern energy is one of the major indicators.
  68. The REPowerEU Plan by the European Commission plans for saving energy; producing clean energy and diversifying the energy supplies and to make Europe “independent from Russian fossil fuels well before 2030, in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”
  69. Fit for 55 package of the European Green Deal has set itself a binding target of achieving climate neutrality by 2050. As an intermediate step towards climate neutrality, the EU had raised its 2030 climate ambition, committing to cutting emissions by at least 55 per cent by 2030.
  70. The Permanent Structured Cooperation(PESCO) is the part of the European Union’s (EU) security and defence policy (CSDP) in which 25 of the 27 national armed forces pursue structural integration.
  71. Besides the Brahmaputra, rivers Beki, Manas, Pagladiya, Puthimari, Kopili, Subansiri are flowing above the danger level and Kopili is above the ‘highest flood level’ in Kampur area of central Assam’s Nagaon district.
  72. Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), Coimbatore, which is a Centre of Excellence under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. SACON has been closely associated with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the Indian Air Force (IAF) as bird hits affect both organisations. 
  73. Basaveshwara and his disciples advocated Veerashaiva philosophy which was based on simple human values. They rejected the numerous rituals deeply rooted in Vedic religion. Basaveshwara was a strong opponent of the caste system and he threw away the ‘Sacred thread’ after his Upanayana (the thread ceremony) and went to Kudalasangama.
  74. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) headsets are therefore, one of the important cogs in this online fantasy land. VR/AR devices are the keys to unlock passage into the digital land. These gadgets take people into the virtual world to meet and greet each other. And some early movers failed to usher in a VR era without these gadgets. Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2 is the most popular VR device with 78% share of the AR/VR market in 2021. Three years after the launch, Microsoft signed a $480 million deal with the U.S. Army to sell customised HoloLens, called Integrated Visual Augmented System (IVAS). HoloLens was several notches above Google Glass, which was similar to Microsoft’s device but suffered from a slow hardware and patchy application ecosystem.
  75. In the U.S., Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) law is commonly known as ‘red flag’ law. Under this, an individual identified to be at risk of causing violence is restricted from accessing firearms for a temporary period. The proposal passed by the Senate will provide resources to ensure that weapons are kept away from those who have been deemed a danger to themselves or society by a court. 
  76. As electronics improved and first-generation computers came about, Joseph Weizenbaum of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory built ELIZA, a computer programme with which users could chat. ALICE (Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity), another early chatbot developed by Richard Wallace, was capable of simulating human interaction.
  77. LaMDA is short for ‘Language Model for Dialogue Applications’, Google’s modern conversational agent enabled with a neural network capable of deep learning. Instead of images of cats and dogs, the algorithm is trained using 1.56 trillion words of public dialogue data and web text on diverse topics.
  78. Harini Logan, a 13-year-old eighth-grader from San Antonio, Texas, won the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee competition held on June 2.
  79. Greenhouse gases (GHG) include carbon dioxide, methane, fluorinated gases, and nitrous oxide. 
  80. Non-consensual sexual acts are defined as rape under the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, commonly known as the Istanbul Convention. Spain has signed and ratified it. Article 36 of the Istanbul Convention urges signatories to criminalise non-consensual sexual acts. Spain is also a signatory to the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women of the United Nations (CEDAW), and the Council of Europe Convention on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings (Warsaw Convention). India ratified the CEDAW convention on 9th July 1993, with two declaratory statements and a reservation.
  81. EU nations which share a border with Russia — the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, and Poland.
  82. Historically, vaccination against smallpox had been shown to be protective against monkeypox. While one vaccine (MVA-BN) and one specific treatment (tecovirimat) were approved for monkeypox, in 2019 and 2022 respectively, they aren’t widely available.
  83. Foreign portfolio investors are those that invest funds in markets outside of their home turf. Their investments typically include equities, bonds and mutual funds. They are generally not active shareholders and do not exert any control over the companies whose shares they hold. The passive nature of their investment also allows them to enter or exit a stock at will and with ease. FPIs also show keenness to invest in bonds when there is a favourable differential between the real interest rates on offer in the country they aim to invest in, and other markets, but more specifically, compared with the largest economy in the world, the U.S. When FPIs sell their holdings, and repatriate funds back to their home markets, the local currency takes a beating. After all, they sell rupees in exchange for their home market currency. As supply of the rupee in the market rises, its value declines. 
  84. The ‘Windrush generation’ is a generation of people who were invited to Britain from Caribbean nations between 1948 and 1971 to help plug the labour shortage and rebuild the country after the destruction of World War Two. They were allowed to lawfully live and work in Britain as part of the extended Colonial empire. The name ‘Windrush’ comes from a ship called the ‘Windrush Empire’ on which the first group of nearly 500 Commonwealth citizens arrived in the UK in June 1948, from countries such as Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados.
  85. India’s Bhadla Solar Park is the largest solar power park in the world. Bhadla Solar Park is located in Bhadla, a dry and sandy region in Rajasthan, and spans 14,000 acres. There are over 10 million solar panels at the park, which contribute to an operational capacity of 2245MW.
  86. Monsoon rainfall in India is known to be affected by global phenomena such as El Nino or La Nina — large-scale warming or cooling events of the sea surface. Other factors such as the Indian Ocean Dipole and Madden-Julian Oscillation also influence monsoon rainfall.
  87. The bare-bellied hedgehog, also known as the Madras hedgehog. The hedgehog is an elusive animal found predominantly in Tamil Nadu. Critically endangered Elvira rat, a rodent found only in the Yercaud hills.
  88. Svalbard also known as Spitsbergen, or Spitzbergen, is a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. North of mainland Europe, it is about midway between the northern coast of Norway and the North Pole. The largest island is Spitsbergen, followed by Nordaustlandet and Edgeøya. The largest settlement is Longyearbyen. While part of the Kingdom of Norway since 1925, Svalbard is not part of geographical Norway; administratively, the archipelago is not part of any Norwegian county, but forms an unincorporated area.
  89. The Svalbard Treaty(originally the Spitsbergen Treaty) recognises the sovereignty of Norway over the Arctic Archipelago of Svalbard, at the time called Spitsbergen. The exercise of sovereignty is, however, subject to certain stipulations, and not all Norwegian law applies. The treaty regulates the demilitarisation of the archipelago. The signatories were given equal rights to engage in commercial activities (mainly coal mining) on the islands. As of 2012, Norway and Russia make use of this right. Uniquely, the archipelago is an entirely visa-free zone under the terms of the Svalbard Treaty. As of 2018, there are 46 parties to the treaty. India is a signatory member of the treaty.
  90. The United Nations University (UNU) is the academic arm of the United Nations and acts as a global think tank. The mission of the Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) is to carry out cutting edge research on risks and adaptation related to environmental hazards and global change. The institute’s research promotes policies and programmes to reduce these risks, while taking into account the interplay between environmental and societal factors. Beyond its research mandate, UNU-EHS is actively engaged in education. It offers the joint Master of Science degree programme “The Geography of Environmental Risks and Human Security” with the University of Bonn. UNU-EHS also hosts a number of international PhD projects and courses on global issues of environmental risks and sustainable development. The institute is based in Bonn, Germany.
  91. Visakhapatnam coast has a good population of sharks and rays. But only five species of sharks and rays are protected by law even though nearly 30 species are threatened.
  92. India is set to urge the Convention on Wetlands to fast-track designation of 26 wetlands in the country as Ramsar sites in addition to the existing 49 sites. The 26 wetlands proposed to be designated as Ramsar sites comprise 13 from Tamil Nadu, four from Odisha, three from Madhya Pradesh, two from Jammu & Kashmir and one each from Maharashtra, Mizoram, Karnataka and Goa. The sites in Tamil Nadu include bird sanctuaries in Chitrangudi, Koonthankulam, Vaduvur, Vellode, Kanjirakulam, Vedanthangal and Karikili, the wetland complexes in Suchindram Theroor and Vembannur, Pichavaram Mangrove, Pallikaranai Marsh and the Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve. The Satkosia Gorge, Tampara Lake, Hirakud Reservoir and Ansupa lake in Odisha; Sirpur wetland, Sakhya Sagar and Yashwant Sagar in Madhya Pradesh; the wetland conservation reserves in Hygam and Shallbugh in J&K Thane creek in Maharashtra; Nanda lake in Goa; Pala wetland in Mizoram; and Ranganathituu Bird Sanctuary in Karnataka are set to get a push for designation as Ramsar sites.
  93. World Environment Day is celebrated every year on June 5 with a different theme. The theme for this year’s event is “Only One Earth”, with the focus on “Living Sustainably in Harmony with Nature”.
  94. National Green Tribunal (NGT) was established on October 18, 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources. The NGT was proposed to be set up at five places with New Delhi as the principal place of sitting of the tribunal and Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata, and Chennai the other four places of sitting of the tribunal.
  95. The Supreme Court recently directed that every protected forest, national park and wildlife sanctuary across the country should have a mandatory eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) of a minimum one km starting from their demarcated boundaries. The purpose of declaring ESZs around national parks, forests and sanctuaries is to create some kind of a shock absorber for the protected areas. These zones would act as a transition zone from areas of high protection to those involving lesser protection.
  96. The PSLV-C53, the 55 th flight of ISRO’s workhorse launch vehicle, will carry on board three satellites from Singapore. The three satellites — DS-EO, a Singaporean Earth Observation Satellite, NeuSAR, Singapore’s first small commercial satellite carrying a SAR (Search and Rescue) payload, and SCOOB-I satellite from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) — will be launched from the second launchpad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, SHAR, Sriharikota.
  97. The Kabini or Kabani, or Kapila River is one of the major tributaries of the River Cauvery. It originates in Pakramthalam hills, Kerala by means of the confluence of the Panamaram River and the Mananthavady River. It flows eastward to join the Kaveri River at Tirumakudalu Narasipura in Mysore district of Karnataka.
  98. The PSLV Orbital Experimental Module (POEM) activity is designed to perform in-orbit scientific experiments using the spent PS4, the uppermost stage of the PSLV, as an orbital platform and will be the first time that the PS4 stage would orbit the earth as a stabilised platform. The experimental module will carry six payloads, including two from Indian space start-ups, Digantara and Dhruva Space.
  99. Seismology literally means the study of earthquakes, and the term includes studies of how elastic waves propagate through the Earth and other planet-like bodies, revealing the nature of different layers of the body in question. There are, thus, different types of waves generated by natural quakes as well as explosions made by people. 
  100. Wetlands assist in stabilisation CO2, CH4, N2O and Green House Gas (GHG) concentrations by minimising climate and land-use-mediated GHG releases and by boosting the potential to actively collect CO2 from the atmosphere and sequester carbon.
  101. The coastal blue carbon soaked by mangroves, salt marshes and seagrasses via photosynthesis and stored in wet anaerobic soils has received considerable attention recently in the context of climate change. Peatlands, considered to be one of the world’s largest carbon reserves, are sparse in India and require immediate attention.
  102. Today, helioseismology is a technique used to study the Sun. Derived from the words helios (Sun), seismos (quake) and logos (study of), helioseismology is both similar and different from geoseismology, the study of the waves generated by quakes and explosions (seismic waves) and what they reveal about the interior of the Earth. A major difference between geoseismology and helioseismology is that while the Earth is a solid, the layers in the Sun are fluid. Hence, there are no shear waves in the Sun. 
  103. Psyche is just the latest in NASA’s fleet of asteroid-exploring spacecrafts. Osiris-Rex is on the way back to Earth with rubble from the asteroid Bennu. Last year, NASA launched the ships Lucy and Dart to explore other space rocks and test if a rocket could knock off course an asteroid heading smack into Earth. Psyche is an asteroid. What makes it unique is that it appears to be the exposed nickel-iron core of an early planet, one of the building blocks of our solar system. This asteroid is in between Mars and Jupiter, and is orbiting the Sun. NASA’s Psyche mission is a journey to a unique metal asteroid orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. Psyche was selected in 2017 as part of NASA’s Discovery Program, which is a line of low-cost competition missions led by a single principal investigator. The main objectives: To understand how planets and other bodies are separated into layers such as cores, mantles, and crusts, To examine an asteroid made of metal, To explore early eras of solar system.
  104. Substance use is a term in common parlance that includes the use of a range of products, including psychoactive drugs. Psychoactive drugs are substances which when taken or administered into the system cause an alteration in mental processes, such as perception, consciousness, cognition and mood or emotions. Psychoactive drugs include alcohol and nicotine. While not all of these are addictive, substance use disorders are a major health hazard. They affect 8-10% of adult population and are a leading cause of death. Hence there is an interest in understanding how to treat addictions and substance use disorders. Treatment for substance use disorders are inadequate and do not show promise in the long term. New methods of treatment try modulating specific parts of the brain which are believed to be implicated in addiction.
  105. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has decided to extend the ‘Use and File’ procedure to all health insurance products in order to facilitate faster customer access to health policies.
  106. TROPIcC-1 is an Earth venture mission – science-driven, competitively selected, low-cost missions that provide opportunity for investment in innovative Earth science to enhance our capability to better understand the current state of the Earth system and to enable continual improvement in the prediction of future changes.   
  107. A team of researchers from the University of Delhi has discovered a unique set of fossilised dinosaur eggs, with one egg nesting within the other at the Dinosaur Fossil National Park, in Dhar District of Madhya Pradesh. Dinosaurs of the Sauropod family were among the largest land animals that have ever lived and were widespread millions of years ago in the territory that is now India. Fossils of these animals have been found in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh as well as Meghalaya.
  108. Researchers at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine think they’ve found that a neural circuit involving spinal neurons and a signalling pathway are responsible for how burning pain is sensed. During this process, the team identified the activation of a “novel,” or newly discovered, class of spinal cord neurons (called ErbB4+) that process heat signals to the spinal cord. The researchers expressed a toxin specifically targeting the ErbB4+ neurons. Once the neurons were destroyed, the response to heat pain was impaired. This demonstrated that ErbB4+ neurons are specifically tied to how thermal pain is sensed and, when destroyed, pain is not felt less.
  109. HIV spread is predominantly sexual/parenteral, while monkeypox is mainly direct contact. Direct [skin-to-skin] contact is the primary route of monkeypox virus transmission. In the case of HIV, besides sexual route of virus transmission, the virus can be transmitted from the mother to the child (vertical transmission) during pregnancy, labour, delivery or breastfeeding and also through injection drug use. Yet, HIV is called a sexually transmitted disease.
  110. Spinosaurs had elongated skulls reminiscent of crocodiles with lots of conical teeth – perfect for grasping slippery prey – as well as strong arms and big claws. They fed upon aquatic prey as well as other dinosaurs. Meat-eating dinosaurs belonged to a clade called theropods, with each continent producing immense examples. They were bipedal and the largest had massive skulls and strong teeth. Spinosaurus was Africa’s largest. Tyrannosaurus rex, approaching 42 feet (13 meters), was North America’s king, while the similarly-sized Giganotosaurus reigned in South America and the slightly smaller Tarbosaurus in Asia. The largest-known named theropod from Europe was Torvosaurus, at about 33 feet (10 meters).
  111. The fossils were spotted on the surface along Compton Bay on the southwestern coast of the Isle of Wight. The Isle of Wight has become one of Europe’s richest locales for dinosaur remains. The same team of researchers last year announced the discovery of two other Isle of Wight Cretaceous spinosaurs, both measuring about 30 feet long (9 meters).
  112. The hormones oestrogen and progesterone, found in large quantities in women, contribute to the core body and skin temperatures. Oestrogen dilates blood vessels at the extremities. This means more heat can be lost to the surrounding air. And progesterone can cause the vessels in the skin to constrict, meaning less blood will flow to some areas to keep the internal organs warmer, leaving women feeling cooler. This hormone balance changes throughout the month alongside the menstrual cycle.
  113. China will be the only country to own a space station, with the International Space Station (ISS) of Russia being a collaborative project of several countries. Hours after they were launched into the designated orbit by the Shenzhou-14 spacecraft, which later docked with orbiting module of the space station called Tianhe and cargo crafts attached to it, the three astronauts, Chen Dong, Liu Yang, and Cai Xuzhe, successfully entered for a six-month stay.
  114. Indian physicist Satyendra Nath Bose documented his findings in a report called Planck’s Law and the Hypothesis of Light Quanta. In honour of Bose’s legacy, any particle that obeys the Bose Einstein statistics is called a boson. His theory is a cornerstone of condensed matter physics. Einstein recognised the significance of Bose’s theory and generalised it to a wider range of phenomena, and the theory came to be known as Bose-Einstein statistics.
  115. Till date over 15 monkeypox genomes have been sequenced. But the monkeypox virus has a lower mutation rate (about two mutations a year) compared to nearly 25 mutations in a year in the case of SARS-CoV-2 virus. This is because monkeypox is a DNA virus unlike the SARS-CoV-2, which is an RNA virus. The low mutation rate in DNA viruses is largely due to the differences in mechanisms which create the mutation as also proof-reading mechanisms utilised by the viruses. The mutation rates of monkeypox are not well known, but generally other pox viruses have a much lower mutation rate. 
  116. The Parthian shot played a key role in the defeat of Prithviraj Chauhan in the second battle of Tarain. Perhaps, to compensate for this loss to the Parthian shot, the Prithviraj Raso was composed by the king’s court poet, Chand Bardai, describing how the Rajput leader, though blinded, finally shot Muhammad Ghori dead using just sound to identify the target (shabda-bhed), a skill valued in Indian archery lore since ancient times. The Parthian shot perhaps inspired the two-and-side move of the horse in chess too, moving front and then sideways. While Hindu temples and lore are full of images of horse-drawn chariots and horse-riders, we find no image or mention of the Parthian shot anywhere. One rare exception is the Srisailam temple of the Vijayanagara period (16th century) where there are images of the Parthian shot. By this time, South Indian kings had been adequately exposed to Turkish warfare. Perhaps the Vijaynagara kings hired Turkish cavalry, or trained non-Rajput warrior clans to adopt this practice. This is not clear. But soon gunpowder would arrive and replace archery altogether on the battlefield.
  117. The Meenachil River flowing through Kottayam in Kerala is sometimes in spate, and at other times a spectacle of grace. Suryakaladi Mana, on the banks of the Meenachil river, was constructed by Maharaja Swati Tirunal.
  118. In Thanjavur, the artistes were classified as belonging to ‘thattu’ (nattuvangam), ‘muttu’ (playing mridangam), and ‘aattu’ (dancing) families. 
  119. The Mattewara forest is adjacent to Ludhiana city, reportedly one of the four most polluted cities for Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM). 
  120. Under GST, as per the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Act, 2017, the states were guaranteed compensation at the compounded rate of 14 per cent from the base year 2015-16 for losses arising due to implementation of the taxation regime for five years since its rollout.
  121. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is mandated to keep inflation at 4 per cent, plus-minus 2 per cent.
  122. World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Bank jointly produced the World Report on Disability in 2011 to provide evidence for innovative policies and programmes.
  123. World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) jointly launched the first Global Report on Assistive Technology (GReAT).
  124. A floor test is a legislative procedure through which an incumbent government that is suspected to have lost majority is required to prove it still retains the confidence of the House. The Chief Minister moves a motion seeking a vote of confidence, on which MLAs who are present in the House vote. If the majority of members vote in favour, the government survives; if the CM loses the vote, the government has to resign. Voting can be conducted by either a voice vote, in which MLAs respond to the motion verbally. Voting electronically involves the casting of votes by pressing a button, after which the numbers for each side are displayed on a board. In a physical division of votes, lawmakers cast votes in a ballot box, which are then counted.
  125. Under Article 179 of the Constitution, a Speaker can be removed by a resolution of the Assembly passed by a majority of “all the then members of the Assembly”. The process begins with notice of at least 14 days.
  126. Nadaprabhu Kempegowda, a 16th century chieftain of the Vijayanagara empire, is credited as the founder of Bengaluru. It is said that he conceived the idea of a new city while hunting with his minister, and later marked its territory by erecting towers in four corners of the proposed city. He was from the dominant agricultural Vokkaliga community in south Karnataka. Kempegowda is an iconic figure among Karnataka’s second most dominant Vokkaliga community after Lingayats. 
  127. ‘Hermit’ is the latest sophisticated spyware in the news, and it is believed to have targeted iPhones and Android devicesin Italy and Kazakhstan. Hermit’s deployment – the spyware has been developed by an Italian vendor called RCS Lab – was first reported by cyber security researchers at the Lookout, a San-Francisco-based cybersecurity firm. Hermit is a spyware on the lines of Pegasus by NSO Group. Once installed on a device, it can record audio on the device, carry out unauthorised calls, and carry out many unauthorised activities. The spyware can steal stored account emails, contacts, browser bookmarks/searches, calendar events, etc. It can also take pictures on the device, steal device information such as details about applications, the kernel information, model, manufacturer, OS, security patch, phone number, etc. It can also download and install APK (the app software files on Android) on a compromised phone.
  128. Russia, the world’s biggest supplier of palladium and nickel — which are central inputs in emission control systems and electric vehicle batteries respectively — besides ferro-alloys, chromium and vanadium (required for steel production), makes it easier for Russia to cope with sanctions than it is for Cuba, Iran, or North Korea.
  129. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain; people with ASD may behave, communicate, interact, and learn in ways that are different from most other people. In the paper, the interventions focused on ASD children’s communication and gross motor skills.
  130. Mo Bus, the bus service of Odisha’s Capital Region Urban Transport (CRUT) authority, has been recognised by the United Nations as one of 10 global recipients of its annual Public Service Awards for 2022.
  131. Article 174(2)(b) of the Constitution gives powers to the Governor to dissolve the Assembly on the aid and advice of the cabinet. However, the Governor can apply his mind when the advice comes from a Chief Minister whose majority could be in doubt. Under Article 175(2), the Governor can summon the House and call for a floor test to prove whether the government has the numbers. 
  132. The effectiveness of antibiotics for typhoid fever is threatened by the emergence of resistant strains, according to a large genome sequencing study of the bacteria Salmonella Typhi published in The Lancet Microbe.
  133. In Spain, the Sierra de la Culebra mountain range in the province of Zamora is the worst affected, with fires destroying almost 25,000 hectares and forcing the evacuation of residents of 18 municipalities. Wildfires are also raging in Lleida, Tarragona, and Garraf in northeastern Catalonia.
  134. The Timber Trail is a bicable ropeway and its cable cars are called Gondola Cabins. Every cabin moves on two cables that are designed according to the designated load to be carried. Bicable ropeways are considered the safest aerial ropeway technologies around the world. The ropes usually don’t snap, unless the maintenance is extremely poor. Even if one cable snaps, the cabin will not fall because the other rope will hold it.
  135. The Himachal government announced 13 more ropeway projects having a total length of 111.65 km. One in Pangi valley of Chamba district, three ropeways in Kullu district (Prini and Hamta Pass in Manali, another proposed in Manali, and third proposed between Manali and Labadugh. In Kangra district, a ropeway project is proposed between Palampur, Thathri to Chunja glacier. In Shimla, a ropeway is proposed between Narkanda-Hatu peaks. In Solan district, ropeway projects will come up in Kasauli (3 km), in Bilaspur between Lunhu and Bandla and in Sirmaur’s Churdhar. A ropeway project has also been proposed between Shikawari and Bhatkidhar in Mandi district. 
  136. The term Black Death refers to the bubonic plague that spread across Western Asia, Northern Africa, Middle East and Europe in 1346-53. The microorganism Y. pestis spread to human populations, who at some point transmitted it to others either through the vector of a human flea or directly through the respiratory system.
  137. India is among the countries that persist with the death penalty as the maximum punishment, but it is not mandatory for any crime.
  138. In India, drug consumption or possession is a criminal offence. The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act of 1985 is the main legislation dealing with drugs and their trafficking. Currently, the NDPS Act only adopts a reformative approach towards addicts. It gives addicts immunity from prosecution and imprisonment (if found guilty) if they volunteer to undergo treatment and rehabilitation. However, there is no provision for relief or exemption for, say, first-time users or recreational users.
  139. The ‘extreme risk protection laws’, known informally as ‘red-flag’ laws, are among the possible solutions offered to tackle the endemic gun violence in the United States.
  140. Hypogonadism is a condition caused by the deficiency of the male sex hormone, testosterone, and a new study in Lancet Health Longevity looks at the short- to medium-term safety of testosterone treatment. Testosterone replacement therapy is the standard treatment for hypogonadism, which can cause sexual dysfunction, weakening of bones and muscles, and reduced quality of life. Risk factors include ageing (as testosterone levels decline with age), obesity and diabetes. 
  141. Under Article 62(1) of the Constitution, “an election to fill a vacancy caused by the expiration of the term of office of President shall be completed before the expiration of the term”.
  142. The earliest available record for cheetahs being used for hunts in India, comes from the 12th century Sanskrit text Manasollasa, which was produced by the Kalyani Chalukya ruler, Someshvara III (reigned from 1127-1138 CE).
  143. Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) is a fee that a merchant is charged by their issuing bank for accepting payments from their customers via credit and debit cards. According to a norm that has been in effect since January 2020, UPI and RuPay attract zero-MDR, meaning that no charges are applied to these transactions.
  144. European Union lawmakers have reached a provisional agreementto mandate mobile device makers include a standard USB-C charging port for devices sold in the region starting autumn 2024.
  145. Net zero emissions means that all carbon emissions into the atmosphere must be absorbed by methods like increasing the forest cover, and decreasing man-made emissions.
  146. The kidney can survive longer outside of the body — 24 to 36 hours — than the lungs (4-5 hour) and the liver (8-12).
  147. In 1953, the States Reorganization Committee came into existence in order to manage the smooth redrawing of state boundaries. In 1955, the Committee recommended that Hyderabad be linguistically reorganised. The Marathi-dominant Marathwada would be integrated into the bilingual Bombay state and south western Kannada-dominant districts would be integrated into the Mysore state.
  148. Telangana region also had what were called the Mulki Rules, which were safeguards in place to ensure that Mulkis or native residents did not face difficulty in procuring government jobs. The rules had 4 conditions to be met in order to be classified as a Mulki. When in 1952, the Hyderabad government accepted a large number of non-Mulkis into government positions, protests broke out.
  149. The Commonwealth of Nations grew into a body encompassing 54 member states, including a few who were never British colonies. Those countries recognise their shared values and ties to the British Empire but don’t recognise the queen. Members of the Commonwealth realms are all independent sovereign nations, but the Crown still retains its right to supersede certain matters.
  150. Gait is defined as a manner of walking or moving on foot. Gait analysis is a technique in podiatry medical care and the treatment of the foot, which is used to evaluate and diagnose conditions that affect walking and posture. The analysis can help experts zero in on the source of an injury or pain that determines the way in which an individual stands or walks. It can also be used by physiotherapists for treatment, and in athletics training so that athletes can perform better and in greater comfort. Gait analysis techniques have now been borrowed by forensic sciences experts to identify suspects in criminal cases. With footage from CCTV cameras becoming a crucial element in fighting and preventing a range of crimes especially in the cities, gait analysis has begun to be used as a tool for focusing on or eliminating individuals from a list of suspects.
  151. Turkey will now be known as Türkiye at the United Nations, after the intergovernmental body agreed to a formal request for the name changefrom Ankara. There are other countries that have changed their names either to drop colonial legacies or rebrand, as is the case with Turkey. Some examples include The Netherlands, which was changed from Holland; Macedonia, which changed its name to North Macedonia due to political disputes with Greece; Iran, which changed its name from Persia in 1935; Siam, which changed its name to Thailand; and Rhodesia, which changed to Zimbabwe to drop its colonial legacy.
  152. Sologamy is the act of marrying oneself in a public ceremony, also referred to as self-marriage or autogamy. While such a marriage has no legal sanction or status, the symbolic ceremony is used by many as an act to emphasize their self-love and independence. There are no rules or social norms. They can be similar to traditional two-people weddings, or not. Since the trend picked up, service providers too have come up in different corners of the world to help their self-marrying clients.
  153. The Thway Thout Ah Pwe, a pro-military junta group in Myanmar has been targeting members of the Peoples’ Defence Force (PDF) and the National League for Democracy (NLD), as well as their supporters in Myanmar. The name of the group roughly translates into “Blood Comrades”, with their presence being marked largely in the country’s second largest city — Mandalay.
  154. Durum wheat (Triticum turgidum) is a variety of spring wheat, which is typically planted in the spring and harvested in the fall. It is the second most cultivated species of wheat after bread wheat or the common wheat (Triticum aestivum). It is well adapted to the hot and dry conditions surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. Durum wheat grains can be ground into semolina – a type of coarse flour commonly used in pasta, including couscous. They can also be used to make breakfast cereals, puddings, or bulgur, or ground into a finer flour to make unleavened bread or pizza dough.
  155. Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, a joint mission of US space agency NASA and the German Aerospace Centre.
  156. Multiple events of glacial advances have been witnessed from the Yankti Kuti valley situated in the extreme eastern part of Pithoragarh district, Uttarakhand, since 52 thousand years (MIS 3) that synchronises with climate variability.
  157. The Circular Bioeconomy Alliance is building a global network of Living Labs for Nature, People and Planet. They demonstrate how harmony can be achieved by empowering nature and people. The Alliance was established by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales in 2020. It provides knowledge-informed support as well as a learning and networking platform to connect the dots between investors, companies, governmental and non-governmental organizations and local communities to advance the circular bioeconomy while restoring biodiversity globally.
  158. Oarfish (Regalecus glesne) is a long, pelagic lampriform fish of the Family Regalecidae (Order Lampridiformes). This reclusive deep-sea swimmer is found throughout the tropics and subtropics in rather deep water. It is also called ribbon fish due to their long, skinny bodies or rooster fish because of their frilly, red dorsal crests. Seldom seen at the surface, it is credited as the “sea serpent” of some reported sightings. Known as the “Messenger from the Sea God’s Palace,” it’s commonly believed the animal is a harbinger of earthquakes and tsunamis.
  159. Made from the two-dimensional compound poly (heptazine imide) carbon nitride (aka PHI carbon nitride), these microbots are nothing like the miniaturised humans. They range from 1-10 micrometre (a micrometre is one-millionth of a metre) in size, and can self-propel when energised by shining light. The PHI carbon nitride microparticles are photocatalytic. “Like in a solar cell, the incident light is converted into electrons and holes. These charges drive reactions in the surrounding liquid.
  160. The Centre of Excellence for Khadi (COEK) has designed a range of ‘Wellness wear’ ‘Svadha’ to showcase the versatility of khadi on International Yoga Day. In Atharva veda, ‘Svadha’ means ease, comfort or pleasure. 
  161. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is promoting a “blue deal” to enable the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth at the 2022 United Nations Ocean Conference.
  162. A wildlife researcher specialising in the Madras hedgehog, uses puppetry and comics to sensitise local communities to the unique fauna of the Eastern Ghats. Among the species that the team is documenting is the critically endangered Elvira rat (Cremnomys elvira), a rodent found only in the Yercaud hills; the endangered ornamental tarantula (Poecilotheria formosa) found in Salem; and the endemic Shevaroy Hills earth snake (Uropeltis shorttii).
  163. Guided by the Global Compact on Refugees, the Global Refugee Forum is an opportunity to translate the principle of international responsibility-sharing into concrete action. The Forum will showcase impactful pledges and contributions and the exchange of good practices. This Forum is an opportunity to attest our collective commitment to the Global Compact on Refugees and rally behind the aspirations of the Sustainable Development Goals of leaving no one behind. The GRF will be held every four years at the Ministerial level. It is intended to present an opportunity for UN member states and other stakeholders to announce action plans and pledges towards meeting objectives such as easing the burden on the host country, enhancing refugee self-reliance, expanding access to third-country solutions, and supporting conditions in countries of origin for return in safety and dignity. The first GRF has been organised around six areas of focus: burden- and responsibility-sharing, education, jobs and livelihoods, energy and infrastructure, solutions, and protection capacity.
  164. The boyfriend loophole refers to a gap in American federal and some state gun laws that allow access to guns by dating abusers. The new plan on gun safety measures includes a provision to address what is known as the “boyfriend loophole”. It would prohibit dating partners- not just spouses- from owning guns if they had been convicted of domestic violence.
  165. Title IX, the law best known for its role in gender equity in athletics and preventing sexual harassment on campuses, is turning 50. It was signed into law by President Richard Nixon on June 23, 1972, after being shepherded through Congress in part by Rep. Patsy Mink, a Democrat from Hawaii who was the first woman of color elected to the U.S. House. The law forbids discrimination based on sex in education, and despite its age remains a vital piece in the ongoing push for equality, including in the LGBTQ community.
  166. The BepiColombo mission captured a beautiful image of Mercury’s crater-marked surface as the spacecraft flew close to the planet for a gravity assist maneuver. It is Europe’s first mission to Mercury. It was launched on 20 October 2018. It is on a seven-year journey to the smallest and least explored terrestrial planet in our Solar System. The mission comprises two spacecraft: the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (Mio). BepiColombo is a joint mission between ESA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), executed under ESA leadership. Other Missions to Mercury: Mariner 10 – NASA Flyby Mission to Venus and Mercury (1973), MESSENGER – NASA Orbiter to Mercury (2004).
  167. India and Australia signed an interim Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) on 2 April 2022. Both the countries reaffirmed their commitment to conclude a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) by the end of 2022. The ECTA is the first bilateral trade agreement of India with a developed country in the last decade. The pact will eliminate or lower tariffs on a huge number of goods on both sides, along with pro-active measures to remove non-tariff barriers like technical barriers to trade (TBT) and sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) restrictions.
  168. To free its forest department from devoting too much time, resources, and efforts in fighting illegal mining in the National Chambal Sanctuary, the Madhya Pradesh government has proposed to open 292 hectares for mining in five stretches on Chambal and its tributary Parvati rivers. An important bird habitat, NCS is home to the critically endangered gharials, river dolphins, mugger crocodiles and several rare turtle species.
  169. RBI’s Order Books, Inventories and Capacity Utilisation Survey or OBICUS, a quarterly quantitative survey, which collects information on product-wise utilised production capacity at the firm level to derive aggregate level capacity utilisation.
  170. Capacity utilisation is the ratio of actual output to the potential output that can be produced under normal conditions. Higher capacity utilisation, accompanied by order book growth, signals robust demand conditions in the economy.
  171. The ‘Migration in India’ report, which is based on first-time collection of additional data during the annual round of Periodic Labour Force Survey for July 2020-June 2021, separates the categories of ‘temporary visitors’ and ‘migrants’. While ‘temporary visitors’ have been defined as the ones who arrived in households after March 2020 and stayed continuously for a period of 15 days or more but less than 6 months, ‘migrants’ have been defined as those, for whom the last usual place of residence, any time in the past, is different from the present place of enumeration.
  172. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is an autonomous statutory body established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (FSS Act). Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India is the administrative Ministry of FSSAI. It is headquartered in Delhi. The main role of the authority is to regulate and monitor, manufacture, processing, distribution, sale and import of food while ensuring safe and wholesome food to the consumers. Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006 aims to establish a single reference point for all matters relating to food safety and standards, by moving from multi-level, multi-departmental control to a single line of command. The Act established FSSAI and the State Food Safety Authorities for each State.
  173. The Indian Railways’ Southern Railway zone began the maiden service of privately-run ‘Bharat Gaurav Trains‘ from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu to Shirdi in Maharashtra.
  174. According to Nasa, the phenomenon of a Supermoon occurs when the Moon’s orbit is closest to Earth which makes the satellite appear brighter and bigger than usual. Historically, the last full moon of June is called the “Strawberry Moon” because its appearance coincides with the ripening of June bearing strawberries that are traditionally harvested by Native American tribes of northeastern US around mid-June. However, since in some places the enlarged moon appears red or pink in colour, its association with the strawberry became even more popular.
  175. Thailand has become the first nation in Asia to decriminalize marijuana – also known as cannabis, or ganja in the local lingo – but it is not following the examples of Uruguay and Canada, the only two countries so far that have legalized recreational marijuana on a national basis.
  176. The Chief of Defence Staff is the most senior uniformed officer in rank, the first among equals — the only four-star officers in the country are the CDS, the chiefs of the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force.
  177. In the Indian Ocean, three major Sea Lanes Of Communication (SLOCS) play a crucial role in the energy security and economic prosperity. SLOC connects the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean through the Bab al-Mandab. SLOC connecting the Persian Gulf to the Indian Ocean through the Strait of Hormuz. SLOC connecting the Indian and Pacific Oceans through the Straits of Malacca.
  178. Saudi Arabia, home to over 35 million inhabitants (including immigrants) and also the world’s largest vertically integrated dairy company.
  179. The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the RBI sits once every two months — typically in February, April, June, August, October and December — to review its policy stance.
  180. The NGT was established on October 18, 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources. Its remit also includes enforcement of legal rights related to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property in such matters. The NGT was proposed to be set up at five places with New Delhi as the principal place of sitting of the tribunal and Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata, and Chennai the other four places of sitting of the tribunal.
  181. India buys soyoil mainly from Argentina and Brazil and sunflower oil from Ukraine and Russia.
  182. Conversion of the forest villages to revenue ones was made in terms of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, which “does not require approval of the Forest Conservation Act, 1980”.
  183. The Nature Conservancy developed out of a scholarly organization initially known as the Ecological Society of America(ESA). The ESA was founded in 1915, and later formed a Committee on Preservation of Natural Areas for Ecological Study, headed by Victor Shelford.
  184. Fertilizer Flying Squads have been formed in various states to curb the hoarding, black marketing and illicit sale of urea.
  185. The Palme d’Or is considered one of the most prestigious awards in the film industry. Chetan Anand’s Neecha Nagar (1946) is the only Indian film to win the award, itself never released in India. Cannes is one of the “big five” international film festivals — the other four being the Venice Film Festival, the Berlin International Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival.
  186. Perovskite-based devices are considered heavily used semiconductor materials as they are affordable and easy to manufacture. The perovskite materials are extremely unstable towards ambient (humidity and oxygen) conditions that restrict their commercialisation,
  187. Dostarlimab belongs to a group of monoclonal antibodies called “checkpoint inhibitors”. These are synthetic antibodies which block the proteins that cancer cells produce to prevent the body’s immune system from attacking them. Dostarlimab is an inhibitor of the Programmed Cell Death Protein (PD-1).
  188. Mandakini river, which emerges from the Chorabari glacier in Kedarnath.
  189. The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) has ordered the phasing out of coal from across Delhi and the National Capital from January 1, 2023. The Commission will be a statutory authority.It will supersede bodies such as the central and state pollution control boards of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, UP and Rajasthan. The CAQM was established in August 2021 and replaced the now-dissolved Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control Authority). The body is currently the country’s highest authority on air pollution.
  190. Blazars which are super massive black holes (SMBH) feeding on gas in the heart of a very distant galaxy, are among the most luminous and energetic objects in the Universe. When the jet, composed of ionized matter traveling at nearly the speed of light, is pointed towards an observer, it is called a blazar. The blazar AO 0235+164 is unique as it is gravitationally lensed by intervening galaxies (phenomenon by which light shining from far away to be bent and pulled by the gravity of an object between its source and the observer).
  191. Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has launched a novel fixed-dose combination (FDC) drug in the country for patients with uncontrolled asthma. The Mumbai-based drug major has launched – Indacaterol + Mometasone FDC under the brand name
  192. The Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) comprises the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), the Border Security Force (BSF), the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), and the Indo Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP), which are under the administrative and operational control of the MHA. The Assam Rifles deployed along the Myanmar border is under the administrative control of the MHA.
  193. At present, Russia is the only country setting up imported Light Water Reactor-based nuclear projects in India, despite the fruition of international cooperation in nuclear energy well over a decade ago.
  194. A part of Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary at Hanle, Ladakh is all set to become India’s first Dark Sky Reserve. 
  195. The Killimangalam Pulpaya, a traditional straw mat indigenous to Killimangalam in Thrissur district in Kerala, began trending on social media. The straw mat weaving was traditionally practised by the Kurava community, who inhabited the banks of the Bharathapuzha. 
  196. The Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF) was launched on March 28, 2009. The MEF is intended to facilitate a candid dialogue among major developed and developing economies, help generate the political leadership necessary to achieve a successful outcome at the annual UN climate negotiations, and advance the exploration of concrete initiatives and joint ventures that increase the supply of clean energy while cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The MEF has 17 members: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the EU, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, the UK and the US.
  197. The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) is an Indian non-governmental trade association and advocacy group focused mainly on telecommunications industry. COAI was constituted in 1995 as a registered, non-governmental society. As of 2017, COAI has been (jointly) organizing the India Mobile Congress with the Department of Telecommunications, Government of India.
  198. The Keibul Lamjao National Park (KLNP) in the Bishnupur district of the state of Manipur is the natural habitat of the brow-antlered deer. It is the only floating park in the world, located in North East India, and an integral part of Loktak Lake. The national park is characterized by floating decomposed plant material locally called phumdi.
  199. As per the Indian Constitution, gambling is classified under the State List. States have the power to regulate or prohibit such activity. This is unfortunate given that “games of skill” are legitimate business activities protected under Article 19(1)(g) of the Indian Constitution as per the rulings of the Supreme Court and several High Courts till date.
  200. Fishing beyond 200 nautical miles (370 km) from the seashores of a country is called distant water or high sea fishing.
  201. European Commission’s Global Gateway initiative is also undertaking projects supporting the PGII such as mRNA vaccine plants in Latin America and a fibre-optic cable linking Europe to Latin America among others.

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