IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-March 2020

  1. Global Positioning System is a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), used to determine the ground position of an object. It is a US-owned utility that provides users with positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) services. Other GNSS include European Union’sGalileo, Russia’s GLONASS, China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System and India’s Navigation in Indian Constellation (NavIC).
  2. The Punjab and Haryana High Court has declared Sukhna lake (Chandigarh) as a living entity recently. The court invoked its parens patriae jurisdiction to declare the lake as a legal entity for its survival, preservation and conservation having a distinct persona with corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a living person. Sukhna Lake is a rain-fed lake, located within Chandigarh and its catchment area falls both in Punjab and Haryana.
  3. Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever is a viral haemorrhagic fever usually transmitted by ticks. It can also be contracted through contact with viraemic animal tissues (animal tissue where the virus has entered the bloodstream) during and immediately post-slaughter of animals. CCHF outbreaks constitute a threat to public health services as the virus can lead to epidemics, with a high case fatality ratio (10-40%). CCHF is endemic in all of Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East and in Asia. General supportive care with treatment of symptoms is the main approach to managing CCHF in people. The antiviral drug ribavirin has been used to treat CCHF infection with apparent benefit. Both oral and intravenous formulations seem to be effective. There are no vaccines widely available for human or animal use. In the absence of a vaccine, the only way to reduce infection in people is by raising awareness of the risk factors and educating people about the measures they can take to reduce exposure to the virus.
  4. Global Environment Monitoring System (GEMS) was introduced in 1975 at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. It is a global operation that collects information to better understand and protect the Earth’s environment.
  5. Allopatric speciation means speciation because of geographic and reproductive isolation. Polytypic species are species that contain two or more subspecies.
  6. The Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) was established under Companies Act in the year 1986-87. It is a non-profit organisation, with an object to promote, support, protect, maintain and increase the export of handicrafts. It is an apex body of handicrafts exporters for promotion of exports of Handicrafts from the country and projecting India’s image abroad as a reliable supplier of high quality of handicrafts. The Council has created necessary infrastructure as well as marketing and information facilities, which are availed both by the members exporters and importers.
  7. Ground-level ozone and airborne particles are the two pollutants that pose the greatest threat to human health in India.
  8. Durumis a kind of hard wheat grown in arid regions that is typically ground into semolina and used to make pasta. Durum wheat, or Triticum turgidum, is the second most cultivated species of wheat after bread wheat, which is also called common wheat or Triticum aestivum.
  9. Force majeure refers to a clause that is included in contracts to remove liability for natural and unavoidable catastrophes that interrupt the expected course of events and restrict participants from fulfilling obligations. Force majeure clauses excuse companies (or other parties to a contract) from meeting certain obligations when events beyond their control interfere with their ability to hold up their end of the bargain. If invoked, the clauses can relieve companies from commitments, temporarily or permanently, without being in breach of their agreement.
  10. TheGalos, which are one of the 26 major tribes of Arunachal Pradesh that dominate West Siang district practised the Arr-Rinam ritual. The Adi tribe of Arunachal Pradesh is believed to have come from southern China in the 16th century. They are the Tibeto-Burman language speaking population. Solung (harvesting festival where animal sacrifices and rituals are performed) and Aran (a hunting festival where all the male members of the family go for hunting) are two major festivals of the Adi tribes.
  11. Targeted Long-Term Repo Operations (TLTRO) is a tool in which central bank offers money to banks for a period of one to three years at the prevailing repo rate (currently at 5.15 per cent). The banks in turn offer government securities with same or higher tenure as a collateral to the central bank.
  12. INS Hansa is an Indian naval air station located near Dabolim in Goa. It serves as the Indian Navy’s one of the largest air bases and has grown to become a full-fledged airfield that handles both domestic as well as international flights round the clock.
  13. Contact tracing is the process of identifying, assessing, and managing people who have been exposed to a disease to prevent transmission.
  14. Athena SWAN (Scientific Women’s Academic Network) is a charter established and managed by the UK Equality Challenge Unit (now part of Advance HE) in 2005 that recognises and celebrates good practices in higher education and research institutions towards the advancement of gender equality: representation, progression and success for all.
  15. Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction test detects the virus genetic material, which is the RNA. RT-PCR provides direct evidence whereas antibody kits provide the indirect evidence.
  16. Biofortificationis a process to increase the bioavailability and the concentration of nutrients in crops through both conventional plant breeding and genetic engineering.
  17. Biomining is the process of using microorganisms (microbes) to extract metals of economic interest from rock ores or mine waste. Biomining techniques may also be used to clean up sites that have been polluted with metals. It is usually used for old dumped waste that remains in a partly or fully decomposed state with no segregation in existence between wet and dry waste. This biological decomposition of the waste decreases the volume of the waste by 40%.
  18. Kuril Islands are stretched from the Japanese island of Hokkaido to the southern tip of Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula separating Okhotsk Sea from the North Pacific Ocean. The chain is part of the belt of geologic instability circling the Pacific and contains at least 100 volcanoes, of which 35 are still active, and many hot springs. Earthquakes and tidal waves are common phenomena over these islands. The Kuril Islands dispute between Japan and Russia is over the sovereignty of South Kuril Islands.
  19. CRAR or Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) is the ratio of a bank’s capital in relation to its risk weighted assets and current liabilities. It is decided by central banks and bank regulators to prevent commercial banks from taking excess leverage and becoming insolvent in the process. The Basel III normsstipulated a capital to risk weighted assets of 8%. However, as per RBI norms, Indian scheduled commercial banks are required to maintain a CRAR of 9%.
  20. Sajibu Cheiraoba is a ritual festival of Meiteis which is observed on the first day of Manipur lunar month Shajibu, which falls in March/April every year. On the day of the festival, people arrange a joint family feast in which traditional cuisines are offered to local deities at the entrance gates of the houses.
  21. An amicus curiae (literally, “friend of the court”) is someone who is not a party to a case and may or may not have been solicited by a party and who assists a court by offering information, expertise, or insight that has a bearing on the issues in the case.
  22. Yakshagana is a traditional theatre form of Karnataka. It is a temple art form that depicts mythological stories and Puranas. It is performed with massive headgears, elaborate facial make-up and vibrant costumes and ornaments. Usually recited in Kannada, it is also performed in Malayalam as well as Tulu (the dialect of south Karnataka). It is performed with percussion instruments like chenda, maddalam, jagatta or chengila (cymbals) and chakratala or elathalam (small cymbals).
  23. Ram Manohar Lohia opposed the Indian participation on the side of Great Britain in World War IIand was arrested for anti-British remarks in 1939 and 1940. Lohia along with other CSP leaders mobilized support for the Quit India movement (a campaign initiated by Mohandas K. Gandhi to urge the withdrawal of British authorities from India) in 1942. He was jailed again in 1944–46 for such resistance activities. Some of his works include: ‘Marx, Gandhi and Socialism’, ‘Guilty Men of India’s Partition’, etc. Later that year Lohia established a new Socialist Party, for which he became chairman as well as the editor of its journal, Mankind.
  24. KUSUM stands for Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan.It’s objective is to provide financial and water security to farmers through harnessing solar energy capacities of 25,750 MW by 2022.
  25. Teesta river is a tributary of the Brahmaputra (known as Jamuna in Bangladesh), flowing through India and Bangladesh. It originates in the Himalayas near Chunthang, Sikkim and flows to the south through West Bengal before entering Bangladesh.
  26. SIRT1 is an enzyme that deacetylates (removal of acetyl) proteins that contribute to cellular regulation (reaction to stressors, longevity). A shortage or absence of the control by glucose may lead to a diabetic-like state, while excess feeding and sustained low levels of SIRT1 can lead to obesity and enhanced ageing. This study paves the way might be beneficial in tackling lifestyle disorders and ageing-related diseases. Both over-activation and under-activation of SIRT1 can lead to diseases.
  27. Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) also called bulk drugs, are significant ingredients in the manufacture of drugs. The Hubei province of China is the hub of the API manufacturing industry. India is heavily import-dependent for APIs from China. India’s API imports stand at around $3.5 billion per year, and around 70%, or $2.5 billion, come from China.
  28. Cord blood is the blood from the baby that is left in the umbilical cord and placenta after birth. Cord blood banking involves taking the umbilical cord blood, which is a rich source of stem cells, and preserving it for future use. It contains special cells called hematopoietic stem cells that can be used to treat some types of diseases. Hematopoietic stem cells can mature into different types of blood cells in the body. Globally, cord blood banking is recommended as a source of hematopoietic stem cell (derived from bone marrow, peripheral blood, or umbilical cord blood) transplantation for haematological cancers and disorders where its use is recommended. For all other conditions, the use of cord blood as a source of stem cells is not yet established.
  29. The Rushikulya rookery on the coast of Odisha in India is the largest mass nesting site for the Olive-ridley, followed by the coasts of Mexico and Costa Rica.
  30. Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)is a free Web-based distance learning program that is designed for the participation of large numbers of geographically dispersed students.
  31. Navroz is the new year celebrations for Parsis (Zoroastrians)and Muslims (both Shia and Sunni). It was observed on March 21 to mark the beginning of spring and the day of equinox. It is inscribed in the list of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of India. In India it is known as Jamshed Navroz.
  32. Tectaria Macrodonta is native to tropical areas of Asia and commonly found in Western Ghats of India. The fern is known to be used in salads in Nepal and as a concoction for gastric disorders in many regions of Asia.
  33. As per the Key World Energy Statistics 2019India is the 3rd largest producer of electricity in the world. India was 106th in terms of per capita consumption in 2017. Electricity is also one of the eight core industriesof India.
  34. Unnat Bharat Abhiyanis a flagship program of the Ministry for Human Resource Development (MHRD). It aims to link the Higher Education Institutions with a set of at least (5) villages, so that these institutions can contribute to the economic and social betterment of these village communities using their knowledge base.
  35. Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium is an autonomous society promoted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers’ Welfare. It is a pioneer in organising small and marginal farmers as Farmers Interest Groups, Farmers Producers Organisation (FPOs) and Farmers Producers Company for endowing them with bargaining power and economies of scale. It provides a platform for increased accessibility and cheaper availability of agricultural inputs to small and marginal farmers and in establishing forward and backward linkages in supply chain management.
  36. Article 212 of the Constitution bars courts from inquiring into proceedings of the Legislature. In this case, however, prompted by the fact that the Speaker’s conduct has been called into question on several occasions, the court invoked Article 142, which allows the Supreme Court to pass any order necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter.
  37. Wasp-76b is a huge gas planet that is twice the width of Jupiter. Its name comes from the UK-led Wasp telescope system that detected it in 2016. The UK Wide Angle Search for Planets (WASP) is a collaborative project involving several UK universities. The primary aim is the discovery of exoplanets. It is 640 light-years from the Earth and is so close to its star that it takes just 43 hours to complete one revolution.
  38. e-Kuber is the Core Banking Solution of Reserve Bank of India which was introduced in 2012. The e-kuber system can be accessed either through INFINET or Internet. The INFINET is a Closed User Group Network for the exclusive use of member banks and financial institutions and is the communication backbone for the National Payments System.
  39. Article 124(7) of the Indian Constitutionprovides that a retired Supreme Court judge cannot “plead or act in any court or before any authority within the territory of India”. However, this provision only restricts post-retirement appointments in Judiciary itself, but not in posts of president, governor, member of parliament, etc.
  40. Spanish flu was caused by an H1N1 influenza virus. There is no universal consensus regarding where the virus originated. It is believed that World War I was partly responsible for it’s spread. Spain was one of the earliest countries where the epidemic was identified, but historians believe this was likely a result of wartime censorship.
  41. Electroplating or electrodeposition is a process that employs an electrical signal provided by an external power source to reduce cations of a desired metal in solution and produce a metallic coating. It involves the metal parts to be immersed in an electrolyte bath solution. In this case, it is typically prepared by dissolving crystals of Nickel (Ni) and Tungsten (W) salts in a mix of distilled water and other additives. A Direct Current (DC) is passed through the solution, and the resulting reaction leaves a deposit of Ni-W alloy on the piece being plated.
  42. Mahuwa (Madhuca indica) is a prominent forest tree in tribal areas of Bastar and plays an important role in the rural economy. The mahuwa flowers are a rich source of sugars and are said to contain vitamins, minerals and calcium. The flowers are fermented and distilled yielding spirituous liquor also known as ‘country beer’. An estimated 90 per cent of annual production of Mahuwa flower is used in the process of brewing beverages.
  43. The annual “Attukal Pongala” festival, one of the largest all-women religious congregations of Kerala
  44. Starch is a carbohydrate extracted from agricultural raw materials. The starch molecule consists of a large number of glucose units joined by glycosidic bonds. It is the most important carbohydrate in the human diet. Because it is renewable and biodegradable it is also a perfect raw material as a substitute for fossil-fuel components in numerous chemical applications such as plastics, detergents, glues etc.
  45. OceanSat-2provides service continuity for the operational services of Oceansat-1 with enhanced application potential. It was launched in 2009. It’s main objectives are to study surface winds and ocean surface strata, observation of chlorophyll concentrations, monitoring of phytoplankton blooms, study of atmospheric aerosols and suspended sediments in the water.
  46. Inland Water Transport (IWT) mode is widely recognized as an environment friendly and cost-effective mode of transport. The Three National Waterways (NWs) viz. Ganga-Bhagirathi–Hooghly river system (NW-1), River Brahmaputra (NW-2) and West Coast Canal (NW-3) have been developed with targeted depth, fixed and floating terminals with mechanized facilities for cargo loading, unloading and Navigational Aids.
  47. Lésbos, also called Mitilíni, is a greek island. It is the largest island after Crete and Euboea in the Aegean Sea. The island is largely volcanic in the west, and numerous thermal springs indicate the unstable subterranean structure that has caused severe earthquakes throughout history. The principal peak is Mount Lepethymnus (Áyios Ilías) which reaches 3,176 feet.
  48. Polyurethaneis a polymer composed of organic units joined by urethane links. It is a plastic material, which exists in various forms. They are used in a wide variety of applications to create all manner of consumer and industrial products that play a crucial role in making our lives more convenient, comfortable and environmentally friendly.
  49. The annual Chaitra Jatra festivalscheduled to be held on 17th March, 2020 at Odisha’s Tara Tarini hill shrine has been cancelled as a precautionary measure against COVID-19 This temple had been built as per traditional Rekha style of Odia temple architecture, as per which famous Jagannath temple of Puri and Lingaraj temple of Bhubaneswar have been built. Since its inception it has been an established seat of Tantrism.
  50. The Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS) is an autonomous think tank on strategic studies and land warfare in the Indian context. CLAWS aims to develop and promote strategic culture and futuristic thinking on security issues across the continuum of conflict affecting Land Warfare. CLAWS is registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and is a membership-based organisation. It is governed by a Board of Governors and an Executive Council. CLAWS organises seminars and conferences, round-table discussions, workshops and guest lectures and undertakes research projects on national security related issues, especially those pertaining to land warfare. It is located in New Delhi.
  51. A National Executive Committee (NEC) is constituted under Section 8 of the DM Act, 2005 to assist the National Disaster Management Authority in the performance of its functions. Union Home secretary is its ex-officio chairperson. NEC has been given the responsibility to act as the coordinating and monitoring body for disaster management, to prepare a National Plan, monitor the implementation of National Policy etc.
  52. The Bhoomi Rashi Portal is an e-Governance initiative of the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways. The portal intends to expedite the process of land acquisition for National Highways. It has fully digitized and automated the entire process of land acquisition. It has helped to make land acquisition error-free & more transparent with notifications at every stage being processed on a real-time basis. Earlier, the acquisition of land for the purpose of National Highway projects, payment of compensation to the landowners etc. was done manually by physical movement of documents. It had some constraints viz. delay in issuing land acquisition notification, errors in the land/ area details etc. The portal is integrated with the Public Financial Management System (PFMS) for depositing the compensation in the account of affected/ interested persons on a real-time basis.
  53. Parliamentary committees draw their authority from Article 105 (on privileges of Parliament members) and Article 118 (on Parliament’s authority to make rules for regulating its procedure and conduct of business). However, Parliament is not bound by the recommendations of committees.
  54. In microbiology, inoculation is defined as introducing microorganisms into a culture where they can grow and reproduce. More generally, it can also be defined as introducing a certain substance into another substance. Bio-inoculants are living organisms containing strains of specific bacteria, fungi, or algae. These are also known as microbial inoculants.
  55. Kali Tiger Reserve is located in the central portion of Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka state. The Tiger Reserve comprises two important protected areas of the region viz., Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary and Anshi National Park. These two protected areas are contiguous to each other and form a single tract of protected area located in the biologically sensitive Western Ghats.
  56. A bear market refers to the market where share prices are continuously declining. Its downward trend makes investors believe that the trend will continue, which, in turn, perpetuates the downward spiral. It is considered riskier to invest in a bear market, as many equities lose value. Thus, most investors withdraw their money from the markets. During a bear market, the economy slows down and unemployment rises as companies begin laying off workers.
  57. CMS is an environmental treaty under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programmethat provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats. The mascot for Conservation of Migratory Species COP-13 is ‘Gibi – The Great Indian Bustard’. It is a critically endangered species (according to the IUCN) and has been accorded the highest protection status (listed in Schedule I) under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The Logo of COP 13 was inspired by ‘Kolam’- a traditional art form Southern India used to depict key migratory species in India like Amur Falcon, and Marine Turtles. CMS is also known as the Bonn Convention. It is the only convention that deals with taking or harvesting of species from the wild. It currently protects 173 migratory species from across the globe. India has signed a non-legally binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with CMS on conservation and management of Siberian Cranes (1998), Marine Turtles (2007), Dugongs (2008), and Raptors (2016).
  58. The Question Hour is one such mechanism in which the members ask questions on varied aspects of administration and governmental activity. The first hour of every parliamentary sitting is termed as Question hour. It is mentioned in the Rules of Procedure of the House. During this time, the members ask questions and the ministers usually give answers.
  59. A bull market refers to a market that experiences a sustained increase in market share prices. It ensures investors that the uptrend will continue over the long term. It signifies that the country’s economy is strong and employment levels are high.
  60. Blast Disease is caused by fungus Pyricularia grisea (P. oryzae). It is also known as rotten neck or rice fever.
  61. The Central Pollution Control Board is a statutory organisation which was constituted in September, 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. It was entrusted with the powers and functions under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981. It serves as a field formation and also provides technical services to the Ministry of Environment and Forests of the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. Principal Functions of the CPCB, as spelt out in the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 to promote cleanliness of streams and wells in different areas of the States by prevention, control and abatement of water pollution and to improve the quality of air and to prevent, control or abate air pollution in the country.
  62. The red panda is a small reddish-brown arboreal mammal. It is also the state animal of Sikkim. It is listed as Endangered in the IUCN red list of Threatened Species and under Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. It is found in the forests of India, Nepal, Bhutan and the northern mountains of Myanmar and southern China.
  63. Katchatheevu Island is an uninhabited off-shore island in the Palk Strait originally owned by a king of Ramnad (present-day Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu). During the British rule, it was administered jointly by India and Sri Lanka. In the early 20th century, Sri Lanka claimed territorial ownership over the islet, so in 1974 India ceded the island to Sri Lanka, through a joint agreement.
  64. The Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Junagadh district of Gujarat. The Gir Forests is the only natural habitat of Asiatic lions.
  65. Article 335 recognizes that special measures need to be adopted for considering the claims of SCs and STs in order to bring them to a level-playing field.
  66. The Star Labeling Programme has been formulated by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, under the Energy Conservation Act, 2001.
  67. The Freedom in the World 2020 report has ranked India at the 83rd position along with Timor-Leste and Senegal. The report is released by Freedom House, a U.S.-based watchdog, which has been tracking global political and civil liberties for almost half a century. The report derives its methodology from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) in 1948.
  68. Mission Innovation (MI) is a global initiative of 24 countries and the European Commission (on behalf of the European Union) working to reinvigorate and accelerate global clean energy innovation with the objective to make clean energy widely affordable. MI was announced at COP21 on November 30, 2015, as world leaders came together in Paris to commit to ambitious efforts to combat climate change.
  69. The scheme Mission Solar Charkha is enterprise driven scheme and envisages setting up of ‘Solar Charkha Clusters’ which will have 200 to 2042 beneficiaries (Spinners, Weavers, Stitchers and other skilled artisans). The Solar Charkha Mission is an initiative of Ministry of Micro Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) initiative launched during June 2018. The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) would implement the programme. The objectives of the Scheme are as follows: To ensure inclusive growth by generation of employment, especially for women and youth, and sustainable development through solar charkha clusters in rural areas. To boost rural economy and help in arresting migration from rural to urban areas. To leverage low-cost, innovative technologies and processes for sustenance.
  70. Article 365 of the Constitution makes it mandatory for the state governments to
    follow and implement the directions of the Central government, failing which the President can hold that the state government cannot carry on.
  71. Gender Parity Indexin primary, secondary and tertiary education is the ratio of the number of female students enrolled at primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education to the number of male students in each level. GPI is released by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a part of its Global Education Monitoring Report.
  72. Most of the endophyticactino bacteria isolates having antifungal activity showed presence of chitinase, NRPS (Nonribosomal peptides synthetase) or PKS-1 (Polyketide Synthase) gene, suggesting the presence of distinctive mechanisms to inhibit the growth of pathogenic plant fungi.
  73. Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) is considered a very complex disease as it can be caused by various agents including bacteria, fungi, virus and many other agents. Viruses are the main causative agents in AES cases, although other sources such as bacteria, fungus, parasites, spirochetes, chemicals, toxins and non-infectious agents have also been reported over the past few decades. Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is the major cause of AES in India (ranging from 5%-35%). Nipah virus, Zika virus are also found as causative agents for AES.
  74. EKAM Fest is an effort for promoting entrepreneurship and knowledge among the Divyangjan community. EKAM stands for Entrepreneurship, Knowledge, Awareness and Marketing. it will help in generating awareness among society about Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) entrepreneurs’ potential.
  75. OPEC plus countries include Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Russia, South Sudan and Sudan.
  76. ExoMars is a joint endeavour between ESA and the Russian space agency, Roscosmos.
  77. Directorate General of Foreign Trade is an attached office of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, formed in 1991. It is involved in the regulation and promotion of foreign trade through regulation. The DGFT also issues scrips/authorization to exporters and monitors their corresponding obligations through its network of regional offices.
  78. Black Redstart is a small-sized bird (14-15 cms) and it breeds across the Himalayan Range. It occurs almost throughout Europe, Asia and in the portions of Africa and breed in the high-altitude areas of Kashmir, Ladakh, Tibet and the Central Himalayan Range. It falls under the least Concerned category under IUCN Status. It is protected under the Schedule IV of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  79. Recently, the Uttarakhand Government named Gairsain as the new summer capital of the state. A summer capital is a city used as an administrative capital during extended periods of particularly hot weather. Remember the capital city as UPSC will ask question based on the location of the city.
  80. Technology Development Board is a statutory body established by Technology Development Board Act, 1995. Its objective is to promote development and commercialization of indigenous technology and adaptation of imported technology for much wider application
  81. The ‘means-test and creamy layer’ first finds expression in the Supreme Court’s landmark judgment in Indra Sawhney versus Union of India, delivered by a nine-judge Bench on November 16, 1992.
  82. Union Home Minister launched Crime Multi Agency Centre (Cri-MAC). Cri-MAC aims to share information between various police forces on heinous crimes. It is meant to share information on heinous crimes and other issues related to inter-state coordination.
  83. Red Crowned Roofed Turtleis one of the 24 species endemic to India, is characterised by the bright colours such as red, yellow, white and blue on the faces and necks of the males. The Red-crowned roofed turtle is native to India, Bangladesh and Nepal. Currently in India, the National Chambal River Gharial Sanctuary is the only area with substantial population of the species, but even this Protected Area and habitat are under threat. Listed as Critically Endangered as per IUCN status. Listed under Schedule I and Appendix II under Wildlife Protection Act (IWPA) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) simultaneously.
  84. Recently, the Minister of State of Culture and Tourism has informed Lok Sabha that India has submitted two nomination dossiers namely ‘Dholavira: A Harappan City’ and ‘Monuments and Forts of Deccan Sultanate’ for inclusion in the World Heritage Listfor the year 2020. The City of Dholavira located in Khadir island of the Rann of Kutch (Gujarat) belonged to the mature Harappan phase. It demonstrates a highly organised system of town planning with perfected proportions, street-pattern and an efficient water conservation system that supported life for more than 1200 years (3000 BCE to 1800 BCE) against harsh hot arid climate. The water conservation methods of Dholavira are unique and measures as one of the most efficient systems of the ancient world. The presence of a three-tier zonation comprising of a distinct upper (citadel, bailey) and middle (having a distinct street-pattern, large scale enclosure and a ceremonial ground) towns enclosed by a lower town (with narrower streets, smaller enclosures and industrial area) – distinguishes the city of Dholavira from other metropolises of the Indus Valley Civilisation.
  85. In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-clause (a) of clause (1) of Article 80 of the Constitution of India, read with clause (3) of that article, President recently nominated Shri Ranjan Gogoi to Council of States to fill the vacancy.
  86. Avian influenza or Bird Flu is a viral infection that can infect not only birds, but also humans and other animals. Most forms of the virus are restricted to birds. It is a highly contagious viral disease affecting several species of food-producing birds (chickens, turkeys, quails, guinea fowl, etc.), as well as pet birds and wild birds.
  87. Nitinol is a nickel-titanium alloy distinguished from other materials by its shape memory and superelastic characteristics. It is discovered while searching for materials that could be used in tools for dismantling magnetic mines. It is widely used in various kinds of industries but majorly used in the medical industry due to its narrow temperature range.
  88. Black carbon is a kind of an aerosol. An aerosol is a suspension of fine solid particles or liquid droplets in the air. Among aerosols (such as brown carbon, sulphates), Black Carbon (BC) has been recognized as the second most important anthropogenic agent for climate change and the primary marker to understand the adverse effects caused by air pollution. It gets emitted from gas and diesel engines, coal-fired power plants, and other sources that burn fossil fuel. It comprises a significant portion of particulate matter or PM, which is an air pollutant.
  89. In case of a difference of opinion between the LG and his Ministers on any matter, the Administrator is bound to refer it to the President for a decision and act according to the decision given by the President. However, the Administrator can also claim that the matter is urgent, and take immediate action as he deems necessary.
  90. The first Gender Social Norms Index was recently released by the UN Development Programmme (UNDP). 86% & 90% of women and men, respectively, held some sort of bias against women (2018), according to UNDP’s Gender Social Norms Index; in India (2014-15), this bias showed un 97% of women and 99% of men.
  91. ODF+ focuses on toilets with water, maintenance and hygiene, ODF++ focuses on toilets with sludge and septage management.
  92. Gaur (Bos Gaurus) also called the Indian bison is the largest extant bovine in the world. The species is listed as ‘vulnerable’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species since 1986.
  93. A floor test is a constitutional mechanism. It is used to determine if the incumbent government enjoys the support of the legislature. The magic number is the total number of seats required to form a government, or stay in power. It is the halfway mark, plus one. In case of a tie, the Speaker casts the deciding vote. The leader of the party claiming majority has to move a vote of confidence. If some MLAs remain absent or abstain from voting, the majority is counted on the basis of those present and voting. The voting process can happen orally, with electronic gadgets or a ballot process. Composite floor test, which is necessitated when more than one person stake the claim to form the government and the majority is not clear.
  94. The action of the State is nothing but an unwarranted interference in privacy of people. The same hence, is in violation of Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
  95. In India, the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, divides contempt into civil contempt and criminal contempt. ‘Civil contempt’ is a ‘wilful disobedience to any judgment, decree, direction, order, writ or other processes of a Court or wilful breach of an undertaking given to the court’. ‘Criminal contempt’ is ‘the publication (whether by words, spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise) of any matter or the doing of any other act whatsoever which Scandalises or tends to scandalise, or lowers or tends to lower the authority of, any court, Prejudices, or interferes or tends to interfere with the due course of any judicial proceeding, Interferes or tends to interfere with, or obstructs or tends to obstruct, the administration of justice in any other manner.’
  96. Parliamentary privileges are certain rights and immunities enjoyed by members of Parliament, individually and collectively, so that they can “effectively discharge their functions”. Parliamentary privileges are defined in Article 105 of the Indian Constitution and those of State legislatures in Article 194. When any of these rights and immunities are disregarded, the offence is called a breach of privilege and is punishable under law of Parliament. Besides, Rule No 222 in Chapter 20 of the Lok Sabha Rule Book and correspondingly Rule 187 in Chapter 16 of the Rajya Sabha rulebook govern privilege.
  97. Sepsisis a potentially life-threatening condition caused by the body’s response to an infection. The body normally releases chemicals into the bloodstream to fight an infection. Sepsis occurs when the body’s response to these chemicals is out of balance, triggering changes that can damage multiple organ systems. Ebola and yellow fever viruses, dengue, swine flu or bird flu viruses can also cause sepsis. It is also the common cause of COVID-19. Viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites sepsis can be triggered by a variety of pathogens.
  98. An outbreak is understood to be a sudden rise in the cases of a disease in a particular place. An epidemic is a large outbreak among a particular population or region (such as the current situation in China). A pandemic is “the worldwide spread of a new disease”. There is no specific number of countries that a disease must touch for WHO to classify it as a pandemic.
  99. Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is a statutory body of Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India. It functions as the nodal body for adoption of Indian children and is mandated to monitor and regulate in-country and inter-country adoptions. CARA is designated as the Central Authority to deal with inter-country adoptions in accordance with the provisions of the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption, 1993, ratified by Government of India in 2003. CARA primarily deals with adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children through its associated /recognised adoption agencies. CARA is also mandated to frame regulations on adoption-related matters from time to time as per
    Section 68 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
  100. TRIFED Launches transformational “Tech For Tribals” program in partnership with Institutes of National Importance (INIs) to develop Tribal entrepreneurship. It is supported by Ministry of MSME. It also aims at capacity building and imparting entrepreneurship skills to tribal forest produce gatherers enrolled under the Pradhan Mantri VanDhan Yojana (PMVDY).
  101. A rare disease, also referred to as an orphan disease, is any disease that affects a small percentage of the population. Most rare diseases are genetic, and are present throughout a person’s entire life, even if symptoms do not immediately appear. The most common rare diseases recorded in India are Haemophilia, Thalassemia, sickle-cell anaemia and primary immuno deficiency in children, auto-immune diseases, Lysosomal storage disorders such as Pompe disease, Hirschsprung disease, Gaucher’s disease, Cystic Fibrosis, Hemangiomas and certain forms of muscular dystrophies.
  102. Swap ratio is the ratio at which an acquiring company will offer its own shares in exchange for the target company’s shares during a merger or acquisition.
  103. Maharana Pratap Sagar in India, also known as Pong Reservoir or Pong DamLake was created in 1975, by building the highest earthfill dam in India on the Beas River in the wetland zone of the Siwalik Hills of the Kangra district of the state of Himachal Pradesh.
  104. The Black Sea is an inland sea located between far-southeastern Europe and the far-western edges of the continent of Asia and the country of Turkey. It is bordered by Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Russia and Georgia. The Baltic Sea is positioned in Northern Europe.It is bordered by Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, northeastern Germany and Denmark. The North Sea is a part of the Atlantic Ocean.It is bordered by the UK, Denmark, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France.
  105. Parole is a system of releasing a prisoner with suspension of the sentence. The release is conditional, usually subject to behaviour, and requires periodic reporting to the authorities for a set period of time