A palaeochannel, or paleochannel, is a remnant of an inactive river or stream channel that has been filled or buried by younger sediment.
Bodo-Kachari, Hajong, Koch, Mann, and Rabha are five minor tribes that are clubbed together as ‘unrepresented tribes’for nomination in Meghalaya’s autonomous tribal councils. These minor tribes are indigenous to Meghalaya and have been living in the state much before its creation in 1972.
Col Chewang Rinchen Setu is India’s highest altitude all-weather permanent bridge. Located in eastern Ladakh at nearly 45 km from the country’s border with China. It is built on Shyok River. The bridge is located on the 255-km Darbuk-Shayok-Daulat Beg Oldie (DSDBO) section of the road between Leh and Karakoram Pass. The bridge is between Karakoram and Chang Chenmo ranges.
Starship is a prototype design of its next-generation spacecraft that will take people or cargo to the moon, Mars or other destinations in space or around Earth. Starship will allow us to inhabit other worlds to make life as we know it multiplanetary, starship has been designed for full, “rapid reusability”. SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft will be capable of carrying up to 100 people on long-duration interplanetary flights and deliver as much as around 100 tons of payload for building bases on Moon and Mars cities. Starship will be the most powerful rocket in history, capable of carrying humans to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. Starship is expected to reach orbit in six months.
China has recently unveiled its new generation of commercial carrier rockets which could carry up to 1.5-tonne of payload. The new rocket series comprises of small space rockets. Solid-fuelled rockets code named as the Smart Dragon (SD) family (The SD rocket family is made up of the SD-1, 2, and 3 launch vehicles), and Tenglong- the liquid-propellant rocket (which will make its first flight in 2021).
Section 69A of the IT Act, empowers the Central Government to order that access to certain websites and computer resources) be blocked in the interest of the defense of the country, its sovereignty and integrity, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of an offence. The details of the procedural safeguards that had to be followed while blocking access were set out in in more detail in the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking for Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009. Blocking can be carried out only when the Central Government is satisfied that it is necessary and the restrictions sought to be imposed fall squarely within the reasonable restrictions to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(2).
A synchrotron is an extremely powerful source of X-rays. The X-rays are produced by high energy electrons as they circulate around the synchrotron. The entire world of synchrotron science depends on one physical phenomenon: When a moving electron changes direction, it emits energy. When the electron is moving fast enough, the emitted energy is at X-ray wavelength. A synchrotron machine exists to accelerate electrons to extremely high energy and then make them change direction periodically. The resulting X-rays are emitted as dozens of thin beams, each directed toward a beamline next to the accelerator. The machine operates day and night, with periodic short and long shutdowns for maintenance.
The Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) have joined hands to set up the country’s first e-waste clinic here, that would enable segregation, processing and disposal of waste from both household and commercial units.
Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery (ReCAAP) is the first regional government-to-government agreement to promote and enhance cooperation against piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia. o The ReCAAP Agreement was launched in November 2006 with14 Asian Contracting Parties including North, Southeast, and South Asian countries.
The Common Reporting Standard (CRS), developed in response to the G20 request and approved by the OECD Council calls on jurisdictions to obtain information from their financial institutions and automatically exchange that information with other jurisdictions on an annual basis. It sets out the financial account information to be exchanged, the financial institutions required to report, the different types of accounts and taxpayers covered, as well as common due diligence procedures to be followed by financial institutions.
The name Mamallapuram derives from Mamallan, or “great warrior”, a title by which the Pallava King Narasimhavarman I (630-668 AD) was known. It was during his reign that Hiuen Tsang, the Chinese Buddhist monk-traveller, visited the Pallava capital at Kanchipuram. Narasimhavarman II (c.700-728 AD), also known as Rajasimhan, built on the work of earlier Pallava kings to consolidate maritime mercantile links with southeast Asia.
Quilombola is an Afro-Brazilian resident of quilombo settlements first established by escaped slaves in Brazil. They are the descendants of Afro-Brazilian slaves who escaped from slave plantations that existed in Brazil until abolition in 1888.
The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2019 is awarded to the Austrian author Peter Handke “for an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience.” The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2018 is awarded to the Polish author Olga Tokarczuk “for a narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life.” She had also won the prestigious Man Booker International Prize last year. Two Nobel Prizes in literature were announced this year as the 2018 award was delayed by one year following sex abuse allegations that had rocked the Swedish Academy.
Athletes have been found to use erythropoietin, synthetic oxygen carriers and blood transfusions for blood doping. Each of the three substances or methods is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). While the use of erythropoietin in people who are anaemic due to chronic kidney disease helps in increasing the oxygen level in the blood, the use of the hormone by normal, healthy people can lead to serious health risks. In the case of healthy people who have a normal red blood cell count, the use of external erythropoietin is highly likely to make the blood thick (increase viscosity) leading to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and cerebral or pulmonary embolism (clot that blocks the flow of blood)
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed wins 2019 Nobel Peace Prize. Ethiopia and Eritrea, longtime foes who fought a border war from 1998 to 2000, restored relations in July 2018 after years of hostility.
Launched by the Army’s Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME) Project Beehive seeks to achieve greater automation of the Corps and connect all its workshops to an integrated smart network with real-time data analytics capabilities, is expected to be up and running by October next year. Automated program will provide real time information to it about the life and present conditions of its tanks, vehicles, guns and air assets and their upcoming problems. The EME is tasked with carrying out repair, refurbishing and overhaul of the army’s equipment, ranging from tanks, infantry combat vehicles, artillery guns including the new M777 Ultra Light Howitzers, small arms, radars and aviation assets. Each workshop has a two-year old automated program called ‘wasp’, which compiles all data such as equipment under repair, how many to be repaired and their future life. The wasps will be integrated with the Beehive and thereby provide every data to it.
Milasen is a custom” drug that researchers developed specifically for Eight-year-old Mila Makovec who was diagnosed with a rare, usually fatal neurological disorder in 2016.
India and China agreed to establish sister-state relations between Tamil Nadu and Fujian province to explore the ancient cultural and trade ties enjoyed by the two states that date back to at least 800 years.
South Asia Economic focus is World Bank’s twice-a-year regional economic update.
The 2019 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel has been awarded jointly to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty”. The award carries a purse of 9 million Swedish krona (about Rs 6.5 crore) to be shared among the three winners.
A full court reference is held for departed senior lawyers and judges of the apex court as a mark of respect and remembrance for their service to the court and the legal profession.
A microbial fuel cell (MFC) is a bio-electrochemical device that harnesses the power of respiring microbes to convert organic substrates directly into electrical energy. At its core, the MFC is a fuel cell, which transforms chemical energy into electricity using oxidation reduction reactions. The key difference of course is in the name, microbial fuel cells rely on living biocatalysts to facilitate the movement of electrons throughout their systems instead of the traditional chemically catalyzed oxidation of a fuel at the anode and reduction at the cathode.
Project Soli, driven by Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) team, was first showcased back in 2015. The idea is that a radar chip can be used to detect hand movements and gestures to interpret what they could mean. It’s only recently that Google figured out how to reduce the size of this radar chip and fit it on the front of the smartphone, still ensuring accuracy. And that’s why it is coming to Pixel 4.
Tulagi is an island within the Solomon Islands, which are located in the South Pacific, directly between Australia and the U.S. It was the administrative seat (from 1893) of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate until it was destroyed by the Japanese (1942) during World War II.
Veer Savarkar was born in 1883 near Nasik, Maharashtra. He called 1857 revolt as the first war of independence. He founded Abhinav Bharat Society and Free India Society. He also formed a youth organization Mitra Mela, He was a member of Hindu Mahasabha, he also served as its president. He was also a member of India House. He opposed the Quit India movement in 1942. He endorsed the idea of Hindu Rashtra. He wrote the book” Joseph Mazzini- Biography and Politics, Hindutva and The Indian War of Independence. In the year 1964, Savarkar declared his wish to attain Samadhi and started hunger-strike on February 1, 1966 and passed away on February 26, 1966. He believed that his purpose of life is solved as India has gained Independence. In 2002, Port Blair airport at Andaman and Nicobar’s Island was renamed after Veer Savarkar International Airport.
A mode-S transponder is an electronic address which is unique to a country and each plane. These are assigned under different categories — IAF, civilian aircraft and AAI’s ground equipment.
Gale is a crater, and probable dry lake, on Mars
Mount Paektu or Changbai (in Chinese) is a volcanic mountain that last erupted over 1,000 years ago. It is situated at the border between DPRK and China and for centuries has been considered sacred by the Koreans since they treat it to be the spiritual origin of the Korean kingdom, where the founder was born. At a height of about 9,000 feet, it is also the highest peak in the Korean peninsula.
Trilobites are a group of extinct marine arachnomorph arthropods that form the class Trilobita. Trilobites form one of the earliest-known groups of arthropods.
The project, called Unnati, is aimed at training unskilled MGNREGA workers so that they can move from distress employment to full-time jobs. The programme (Unnati) is meant to train one adult member (between 18 and 45 years) per house household, who has completed 100 days of work under MGNREGA in the previous financial year. The candidate undergoing training will be paid stipend for a maximum period of 100 days, and for one programme per household, as per the prevailing wages in the state concerned.”
Tanaji Malusare was a military leader in the Maratha Empire of present-day India. He fought alongside Maratha leader Shivaji Maharaj in various battles throughout the years. He is most famously known for his role in the Battle of Sinhagad in 1670. The battle was fought between Tanaji Malusare commander of Maratha ruler Shivaji and Udaybhan Rathod, fortkeeper under Jai Singh I who was a Mughal Army Chief.
Section 11 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, empowers the EC to remove or reduce the period of disqualification.
Global wealth report is published by the Credit Suisse Research Institute According to the 2019 report total wealth in India increased fourfold between 2000 and 2019, reaching $12.6 trillion in 2019, making India the fifth globally in terms of the number of ultra-high net-worth individuals
India will commission its first-ever survey to estimate the population and geographical range of the snow leopard, an elusive and endangered predator. The snow leopard is found along the upper reaches of the Himalayan range and, in India, it is reported to have a presence in Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. The snow leopard is found in 12 countries — India, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Mongolia, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. It is the State animal of Himachal Pradesh and the National Heritage Animal of Pakistan. IUCN Red list status – Vulnerable, CITES – Appendix I. Inhospitable terrain and the reclusive nature of the animal have so far made a scientific estimation impossible.
In a blow to telecom service providers, the Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the Department of Telecom’s move to recover adjusted gross revenue (AGR) of about ₹92,000 crore from them. Telecom operators are required to pay licence fee and spectrum charges in the form of ‘revenue share’ to the Centre. The revenue amount used to calculate this revenue share is termed as the AGR. According to the DoT, the calculations should incorporate all revenues earned by a telecom company – including from non-telecom sources such as deposit interests and sale of assets. The companies, however, have been of the view that AGR should comprise the revenues generated from telecom services only and non-telecom revenues should be kept out of it. It is the usage and licensing fee that telecom operators are charged by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). It is divided into spectrum usage charges and licensing fees that are fixed between 3-5% and 8% respectively.
Air Quality Index (AQI) is a tool for effective dissemination of air quality information to people. There are six AQI categories, namely Good, Satisfactory, Moderately polluted, Poor, Very Poor, and Severe. The AQI will consider eight pollutants (PM10, PM2.5, NO2, SO2, CO, O3, NH3, and Pb) for which short-term (up to 24-hourly averaging period) National Ambient Air Quality Standards are prescribed. Based on the measured ambient concentrations, corresponding standards and likely health impact, a sub-index is calculated for each of these pollutants. The worst sub-index reflects overall AQI. Associated likely health impacts for different AQI categories and pollutants have been also been suggested, with primary inputs from the medical expert members of the group.
Normal metals like gold and silver are good conductors of electricity. A key aspect that decides the quality of conduction is the way energy depends on the momentum of electrons. Dirac metals differ from normal metals in that the energy depends linearly on the momentum. This difference is responsible for their unique properties. Semi-Dirac metals behave like Dirac metals in one direction and like normal metals in the perpendicular directions (since their microscopic structure is different along the two directions). Within any material, charge carriers, such as electrons, acquire an effective mass which is different from their bare mass depending on the nature of the material. The effective mass and the number of states available for the electron to occupy when it is excited by an electric field, for example, determine the conductivity and other such properties. This is also true of a semi-Dirac metal. In particular, the effective mass becomes zero for conduction along a special direction.
Uluru also known as Ayers Rock is a large sandstone rock formation in the southern part of the Northern Territory in central Australia. Uluru is sacred to the Pitjantjatjara Anangu, the Aboriginal people of the area. The area around the formation is home to an abundance of springs, waterholes, rock caves and ancient paintings. Uluru is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Uluru and Kata Tjuta, also known as the Olgas, are the two major features of the Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park.
Autophagy is the natural, regulated mechanism of the cell that removes unnecessary or dysfunctional components. It allows the orderly degradation and recycling of cellular components. Macrophages are important cells of the immune system that are formed in response to an infection or accumulating damaged or dead cells. Macrophages are large, specialized cells that recognize, engulf and destroy target cells
Mountain streams have a higher average carbon dioxide emission rate per square metre than streams at lower altitudes, due in part to the additional turbulence caused as water flows down slopes.
Popular messaging platform WhatsApp was used to spy on journalists and human rights activists in India earlier this year. The surveillance was carried out using a spyware tool called Pegasus, which has been developed by an Israeli firm, the NSO Group.
The depression over Arabian Sea has intensified into a cyclonic storm. It is named Maha. The name is given by Oman. This year, Maha will be the fourth Cyclone in Arabian Seato form after Vayu, Hikaa, Kyaar. Bhaona is a traditional form of entertainment, always with religious messages, prevalent is Assam, India. The history of Assamese drama begins with the plays of Mahapurusha Srimanta Sankardeva (1449-1568) written in the early sixteenth century. These plays are popularly known as Ankiya Nats and their staging is known as bhaona. Bhaona is a performing art form.
Goura – Gauri festival is celebrated in Chhattisgarh. It is celebrated on the day after Diwali. Goura stands for Lord Shiva and Gauri, for Goddess Parvati. The festival celebrates the pastoral life of the people of Chhattisgarh. The gathering sees the rituals of ‘gedi’, ‘raut nacha’ and ‘panthi nritya’ in the traditional attire.’ Gediis a dance of the Gond people,who are spread widely throughout Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, and is one of India’s prominent tribal groups. Gedi is a pair of bamboo stilts with footrests. The dancers strike the stilts on the ground to produce simple rhythmic beats. Raut Nacha is a traditional dance of the Yadav community which is performed on Diwali. In this dance, the Rauts, wearing a special costume, sing and dance in a group with sticks in their hands in the pathways of the village. Panthi Nritya is performed by Satnami community of Chhattisgarh. Songs related to dance depicts the importance of human life with strong spiritual messages with prime focus on omnipotent devotion.
India is at 32nd in Melbourne Mercer Global Pension index.
Ajivika Sect was founded by Goshala Maskariputra (a friend of Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism) and was contemporary of Jainism and Buddhism. Ajivika sect is based on the philosophy that the affairs of the entire universe were ordered by a cosmic force called niyati (Sanskrit: “rule” or “destiny”) that determined all events, including an individual’s fate.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) launched its Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF) in 2000. In 2012, the WHO neglected tropical diseases roadmap reconfirmed the target date for achieving elimination by 2020. The GPELF aims to provide access to a minimum package of care for every person with associated chronic manifestations of lymphatic filariasis in all areas where the disease is present, thus alleviating suffering and promoting improvement in their quality of life.
Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (ECGC) has introduced the Export Credit Insurance Scheme (ECIS) called NIRVIK to enhance loan availability and ease the lending process. It is an insurance cover guarantee that will cover up to 90% of the principal and interest. The cover will include both pre and post-shipment credit. The ECGC currently provides credit guarantee of up to 60% loss. The enhanced cover will ensure that Foreign and Rupee export credit interest rates will be below 4% and 8% respectively for exporters.
‘Hori Habba’, is a popular bull-catching event in Karnataka.It is held during the harvest season. It is an ancient folk game native to Haveri district, and played on the lines of Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu and Kambala in Dakshina Kannada district.
Lakshmi Narasimha temple was built during Hoysala rule in the early 13th It is built in ‘Trikuta’ style, that is, having three shrines- dedicated to Lakshmi Narasimha, Venugopalaswamy and Purushothama. The outer walls of the temple bear great detailed carvings in Hoysala style. The concrete flooring on the platform, also called jagati, is used by devotees as pradakshina path (ambulatory passageway for circumambulation).
Hoysala architecture is the building style developed under the rule of the Hoysala Empire between the 11thand 14th centuries, mostly concentrated in southern Karnataka. Hoysala temples are sometimes called hybrid or vesara as their unique style seems neither completely Dravida nor Nagara, but somewhere in between. The Hoysala temples, instead of consisting of a simple inner chamber with its pillared hall, contain multiple shrines grouped around a central pillared hall and laid out in the shape of an intricately-designed star. The most characteristic feature of these temples is that they grow extremely complex with so many projecting angles emerging from the previously straightforward square temple, that the plan of these temples starts looking like a star, and is thus known as a stellate-plan. Since they are made out of soapstone which is a relatively soft stone, the artists were able to carve their sculptures intricately. This can be seen particularly in the jewellery of the gods that adorn their temple walls. They are easily distinguishable from other medieval temples by their highly original star-like ground-plans and a profusion of decorative carvings. Some of the famous temples are: Hoysaleshvara temple (Lord of the Hoysalas) at Halebid in Karnataka that was built in dark schist stone by the Hoysala king in 1150, Chennakeshava temple in Somnathpura, Karnataka built around AD 1268 under Narasimha III, Kesava temple at Belur in Hassan district of Karnataka built by Vishnuvardhana.
Cyclone Kyarr is a tropical cyclone that has intensified west of India in the Northern Indian Ocean’s Arabian Sea as a Category 4 storm with 150 mph winds. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Cyclone Kyarr is the first Super Cyclonic storm in the Arabian Sea in the last 12 years. It is likely to continue its movement north-west towards Oman coast. It has been namedby Myanmar.
‘Exercise SHAKTI’is a biennial exercise which is conducted alternately in India and France. Defence Exercises between India and France: Varuna – Naval exercise, Garuda – Air exercise, Shakti – Army exercise
Gagan Shaktiis conducted by the Indian Air Force to showcase its air dominance over the entire extended area of the Indian Ocean Region. It includes all terrain operations – desert, high altitude, maritime scenarios and special operations – in real time with specific focus on key areas like aerial combat, air to surface combat, paratrooper assault and medical evacuation. Garuda Shakti is the joint military exercisebetween India and Indonesia. Mitra Shakti is the joint military exercise between India and Sri Lanka.
Cooperative Societies is a State Subject(Entry 32 of List II of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution, i.e. State List).
Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participationprogram (SVEEP), is the flagship program of the Election Commission of India for voter education, spreading voter awareness and promoting voter literacy in India.
Election Commission of India has started working on detailed guidelines to facilitate the process of postal ballot paper for Absentee voters of essential services, Senior citizens of more than 80 years and marked PwD electors. EC has defined absentee voter as a person belonging to such class of persons as may be notified under clause(c) of section 60 of the Representation of the People Act,1951. Such absentee voters include (a)Persons employed in essential services such as railways, state transport among others (b)Persons with Disabilities (PwD) and (c)Senior citizens. Person with Disability means a person flagged as person with disability in the database for the electoral roll. Senior citizen means an elector belonging to the class of absentee voters and is above 80 years of age.
The Minimum Support Price (MSP) is the rate at which the government buys grains from farmers. The MSP is fixed on the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).
The Asiatic Wild Water Buffalo is scientifically known as Bubalus Arnee is known to be found in the Central Indian Forests and is mostly restricted to the states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. It has been listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It is listed under Schedule-1 of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. It is included in CITES Appendix-III and is legally protected in Bhutan, India, Nepal, and Thailand. Wild Water Buffalo is believed to be extinct in Bangladesh, Peninsular Malaysia, and on the islands of Sumatra, Java, and Borneo.
Nano pharmaceuticals is defined as a pharmaceutical preparation containing nanomaterials intended for internal use or external application on a human for the purpose of therapeutics, diagnostics and health benefits. Nanomaterial is defined as material having a particle size in the range of 1 to 100 nm in at least one dimension. Nano-formulations are not entirely new drugs but medicines that have better quality because of the technology-led delivery mechanisms that are used to make its administration in the body more effective.
Right to be forgotten is in sync with the right to privacy, which was hailed by the Supreme court as an integral part of Article 21 (right to life) of the constitution in Puttaswamy judgement 2017.
The Gandhara School of Art or Greco-Indian School of Art (First sculptural representation of Buddha in human form) has its origin in Greco tradition (Greek invaders brought with them the traditions of the Greek and Roman sculptors) which was further merged with the regional or local art of the time. The sculptures of the Mathura school were influenced by all the three religions Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. Unlike Gandhara and Mathura schools which focused on single images, Amaravati school laid more emphasis on the use of dynamic images or narrative art(like jataka tales).
The Ramgarh dam, located in the state ofRajasthan,which earlier supplied drinking water to the city of Jaipur has dried completely in the last decade.
Col Chewang Rinchen Setu is built over River Shyok, which connects Durbuk and Daulat Beg Oldie in Eastern Ladakh. The location of the bridge is sandwiched between strategic Karakoram and Chang Chenmo ranges.
The chemical-based colours used during the Petta Thullal ritual are proposed to be banned by the Kerala State Pollution Board recently. The presence of hazardous metals, including lead, arsenic and cadmium in the colours used during the ritual, causes skin troubles as well as pollution of water and soil. The usage of an organic vermilion has been suggested to minimize the environmental impact. Vermilion is a red colour pigment, originally made from the powdered mineral cinnabar. Petta Thullal is the ritualistic sacred dance to celebrate the victory of good over evil in the legend of Lord Ayyappa. It also denotes the beginning of the last leg of the annual Sabarimala pilgrimage season in Kerala.
The Rohingya refugees living in Bangladesh camps have agreed to move to Bhashan Char Island in the Bay of Bengal. The island is also known as Thengar Char Island. Bhashan Char island was formed about two decades agoon the mouth of river Meghna. The Bhashan Char falls in an ecologically fragile area prone to floods, erosion and cyclone.
Dar-es-Salaam is the largest city and economic capital of Tanzania. It is located in a bay off the Indian Ocean coast. The city has developed into the economic importance of the entire East African region.
The positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)refers to the warmer western basin of the Indian Oceanas compared to the Eastern basin.
The Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine (a dog headed pouched dog) was an exclusively carnivorous marsupial that is considered to be extinct (also the IUCN status).
Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary has the highest density of one-horned rhinos in the world and second highest concentration in Assam afterKaziranga National Park. It is often called ‘Mini Kaziranga’ due to similar landscape and vegetation. The wildlife sanctuary is home to endangered one-horned rhinoceros and the other mammals such as Leopard, Leopard cat, Fishing cat, Jungle cat, Feral Buffalo, Wild pigs, Chinese pangolins, etc. About 72% of Pobitora Sanctuary consists of wet savannah of Arundo donax and Saccharum. The remaining area is covered by water bodies. Water hyacinth (an invasive aquatic plant) is a major problem to the area especially to waterfowl, as it forms thick mats on the water surface.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 during the G7 Summit in Paris. The objectives of the FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. Its Secretariat is located at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development(OECD) headquarters in Paris. As of 2019, it consists of thirty-seven member jurisdictions. India is one of the members. FATF has two lists i.e. Grey & Black List. Grey List: Countries that are considered safe haven for supporting terror funding and money laundering are put in the FATF grey list. This inclusion serves as a warning to the country that it may enter the blacklist. Black List: Countries known as Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories (NCCTs) are put in the blacklist. These countries support terror funding and money laundering activities. The FATF revises the blacklist regularly, adding or deleting entries.
Zanzibar an island in the Indian Ocean, is located off the coast of east-central Africa. It is located on the Indian Ocean trade routes making it accessible to both traders and colonists from Arabia, South Asia, and the African mainland. In 1964 Zanzibar, Pemba Island and some other smaller islands joined to form the United Republic of Tanzania. Zanzibar and Pemba are believed to have once formed part of the African continent.
Aflatoxins are toxins produced by certain fungi which are generally found in agricultural crops like maize, peanuts, cotton seed and others. They are carcinogenic in nature. According to a World Health Organization (WHO) study, consumption of food containing aflatoxin concentrations of one milligram per kilogram or higher has been suspected to cause aflatoxicosis, the outcome of which consists of acute liver failure, jaundice, lethargy and nausea, eventually leading to death.The exposure to AFM1 from milk causes stunting among children.
Mount Paektu or Changbai (in Chinese) is considered sacred by the Koreans. It is a volcanic mountain that last erupted over 1,000 years ago. It is situated at the border between Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and China.
Catalonia is a semi-autonomous region in Iberian Peninsula in the north-eastern Spain. Recently more than 100 people were detained by Police in Catalonia over controversy sparked by arrest of separatist leaders.
A microbial fuel cell (MFC) is a device that converts chemicalenergy to electrical energy by the action of microorganisms. It is a bio-electrochemical system that uses bacteria as the catalyst to oxidize organic and inorganic matter, and consequently, generate electric current out of it. It has applications in various fields such as power generation systems, bio-recovery, waste-water treatment, etc.
SARAS Aajeevika Mela is a programme to transform rural India in general and the lives of rural women in particular. It is an initiative by the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) under the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), with an objective to bring the rural women Self Help Groups (SHGs) under one platform so that they can showcase their skills, sell their products, and help them build linkages with bulk buyers.
The Going Online as Leaders (GOAL) is a Facebook program aimed at guiding and encouraging tribal girls from across India to become village-level digital young leaders for their communities.
Indian Air Force (IAF) is participating in the joint bilateral exercise EX EASTERN BRIDGE V with Royal Air Force Oman (RAFO). Naseem Al-Bahr is the naval exercise conducted between both the countries. AL Nagah is the joint bilateral exercise between the armies of two countries.
The Archaeological Survey of India is planning to declare the Rangdum Monastery located in Ladakh (Kargil district) as a monument of national importance.Rangdum Monastery is the 18th century built monastery that is situated at an altitude of 4,031 m. at the head of the Suru Valley, in Ladakh. Suru Valley is drained by the Suru River which is a tributary of the Indus River. Rangdum Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery belonging to the Gelugpa sect.
India’s per-capita energy consumption is about one-third of the global average. Though India accounts for around 18% of the world’s population, it uses only around 6% of the world’s primary energy.
The Booker Prize 2019 was awarded jointly to Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo.
Manipur was the first part of India to hold an election based on universal adult franchise.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2019. It is the only tripartite U.N. agency. It brings together governments, employers and workers of 187 member States, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men.
ActNow is the United Nations global call to individual action on climate change. The campaign is a critical part of the UN’s coordinated effort to raise awareness, ambition, and action for climate change and accelerate implementation of the Paris Agreement. It is primarily an online and social media campaign that seeks to educate and encourage individual actions, mainly by adjusting consumption patterns. It highlights the impact that collective action can have at this critical moment in our planet’s history. The more people act, the bigger the impact. ActNow harnesses advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to spur behaviour change.
The 10th edition of the Joint Military Exercise Ekuverin, between the Indian Army and the Maldives National Defence Force was held from 7th-20th October, 2019 in Pune, Maharashtra.
“Operation Greens” was announced on the lines of “Operation Flood”, to promote Farmer Producers Organizations, agri-logistics, processing facilities for integrated development of Tomato-Onion-Potato (TOP) value chain. Operation Flood was launched in 1970 by India’s National Dairy Development Board (NDDB). It is also known as the White revolution.
Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat is an initiative of the Ministry of Human Resource Development. It was launched in 2015 to promote engagement amongst the people of different States/UTs so as to enhance mutual understanding and bonding between people of diverse cultures, thereby securing stronger unity and integrity of India.
Dharma Guardian is a Joint Military Exercise between India and Japan. It is an annual training event which is being conducted in India since 2018.
Presbyopia is a condition in which it is difficult to see nearby objects. Myopia is a condition in which it is difficult to see objects at a particular distance. Trachoma- an eye disease that is caused due to bacterial infection in the eye. Many countries have eliminated it including India.
Sahel is a semiarid region of western and north-central Africa extending from Senegal eastward to Sudan. It forms a transitional zone between the arid Sahara (desert) to the north and the belt of humid savannas to the south.
C40 World Mayors’ Summit is a conference where city leaders from around the world share ideas on green urban development, and on ways to get national governments to act on climate issues.
The Ganges river dolphin is found in parts of the Ganges-Meghna-Brahmaputra and Karnaphuli-Sangu river systems in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. The Gangetic river dolphin is India’s national aquatic animal and is popularly known as ‘Susu’. It is among the four freshwater dolphins in the world- the other three are The ‘Baiji’ now likely extinct from the Yangtze River in China, The ‘Bhulan’ of the Indus in Pakistan, and The ‘Boto’ of the Amazon River in Latin America. Listed as Endangered as per IUCNStatus. It is listed on CITES Appendix-I. It is classified under Schedule 1, Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 providing absolute protection as offences under these are prescribed the highest penalties. Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary (VGDS) in Bihar’s Bhagalpur district is India’s only sanctuary for its national aquatic animal.
Malware Smominru is affecting nearly 4,700 computers every day, with over 90,000 computers affected globally in August 2019. It is a type of malware short for malicious software which refers to any kind of software that is designed to cause damage to a single computer, server, or computer network. Ransomware, Spy ware, Worms, viruses, and Trojans are all varieties of malware.
The Thar Desert also called the Great Indian desert lies towards the western margins of the Aravali Hills. It is an undulating sandy plain covered with sand dunes (mainly Barchans). Barchans are crescent-shaped sand dune always facing the wind. It is formed when a lot of sand is present in the desert. A steady wind from one direction is also needed. The region receives very low rainfall below 150 mm per year. It has an arid climate with low vegetation cover. Luni is the only large river in this region.
Recently, the Union Human Resource Development Minister has launched the Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Programme named ‘DHRUV’. The objective of the Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Programme is to encourage talented students to realize their full potential and henceforth, contribute to society. The programme is named DHRUV after the Pole Star with the same name. Every student selected under this programme will be called as ‘Dhruv Tara’. The students will thus both shine through their achievements and light a path for others to follow. The programme will cover two areas namely, Science and Performing Arts. Overall 60 students will be selected (30 from each area) from across the country. The students will be broadly from classes 9 to 12 from all schools including government and private.
Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a state-driven process under UNHRC’s auspices and provides opportunities to member states to declare what actions they have taken to improve human rights and to fulfil their obligations.
Acute Flaccid Myelitis being referred to as a ‘polio-like condition’, has been tested negative for the polio virus, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States. It is a neurological illness. It is a weakness or paralysis of the limbs. In case of myelitis, there’s inflammation of the spinal cord.
Recently the discovery of 20 new moons of Saturn has made Saturn the planet with the highest number of moons (82) against 79 moons of Jupiter.
The Sixth (6th) Schedule makes special provisions for the welfare and advancement of the Scheduled Tribes and the tribal areas residing in the parts or the whole of the four northeastern states namely, Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura.
Nomadic Elephant is a joint military exercise between India and Mongolia.
Multidisciplinary Drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate is an international research expedition to study the physical, chemical, and biological processes that coupled the Arctic atmosphere, sea ice, ocean, and ecosystem. MOSAiC is the first year-round expedition into the central Arctic exploring the Arctic climate system.
The United Nations, in 2017, awarded the West Bengal government the first place for Public Service for its “Kanyashree” scheme.
In Maru Ram v Union of India case (1980),the constitutional bench of the Supreme Court of India held that the power under Article 72 is to be exercised on the advice of the Central Government and not by the President on his own at his discretion. And that the advice of the Government is binding on him. The Supreme Court in Epuru Sudhakar v Ors. case (2006) to rule out any case of arbitrariness or executive mala fide upheld that the granting of clemency by the President or Governor can be challenged in court on various grounds such as, the order has been passed without application of mind, or the order is mala fide, or the relevant material has been kept out of consideration.
Atal Innovation Mission (AIM),NITI Aayog and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) India has launched ‘Youth Co:Lab’ which aims at accelerating social entrepreneurship and innovation in young India. It was co-created in 2017 by UNDP and the Citi Foundation and is operational in 25 countries across the Asia Pacific region.
A Co-operative bank is a financial entity which belongs to its members, who are at the same time the owners and the customers of their bank. Co-operative banks in India are registered under the States Cooperative Societies Act.The Co-operative banks are also regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and governed by the Banking Regulations Act 1949 and Banking Laws (Co-operative Societies) Act, 1955.
Mount Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano in Tanzania. It is the highest mountain in Africa.
Money Market Mutual Funds (MMMF) are short-run liquid investments which invest in high-quality money market instruments such as Treasury Bills (T-Bills), Repurchase Agreements (Repos), Commercial Papers and Certificate of Deposits. Money Market Fund is an open-ended mutual fund. It invests in short-term debt securities like treasury bills and commercial paper. Debt securities funds invest in fixed income securities like bonds and treasury bills.
International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology is a unique intergovernmental organisation initially established as a special project of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). UNIDO is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability.
BRAHMOSsupersonic cruise missile is a joint venture between the Defence Research and Development Organisation of India (DRDO)and the NPOM of Russia. Brahmos is named on the rivers Brahmaputra and Moskva. It is a two-stage (solid propellant engine in the first stage and liquid ramjet in second) air to surface missile with a flight range of around 300 km. India’s entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) has extended the range of the BRAHMOS missile to reach 450 km-600km, a shade above its current MTCR capped range of 300 km. Brahmos is a multiplatform i.e it can be launched from land, air, and sea and multi capability missile with pinpoint accuracy that works in both day and night irrespective of the weather conditions. It operates on the “Fire and Forgets” principle i.e it does not require further guidance after launch. Brahmos is one of the fastest cruise missile currently operationally deployed with speed of Mach 2.8, which is 3 times more than the speed of sound.
Rheumatic Fever is an inflammatory disease that can develop as a complication of inadequately treated strep throat or scarlet fever. Rheumatic fever can cause permanent damage to the heart, including damaged heart valves and heart failure. Rheumatic fever is most common in 5-15 years old children, though it can also develop in younger children and adults. Rheumatic fever can occur after an infection of the throat with a bacterium called Group A streptococcus.
India has joined the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance on Technology Governance.
The first Buddhist Council, immediately after the Mahaparinirvana of Lord Buddha, was convened at this place which presently is called Rajgir.
Pattadakal is a complex of 7th and 8th century CE Hindu and Jain temples in northern Karnataka. It is located on the west bank of the Malaprabha River.
Guru Ravidas was a poet and saint of the Bhakti movement. He is believed to be a disciple of the bhakti saint-poet Ramananda and a contemporary of the bhakti saint-poet Kabir. One of his famous disciples was the saint, Mirabai. Ravidas’ devotional songs were included in the Sikh scriptures, Guru Granth Sahib. It was at the Gridhakuta, the hill of the vultures, where Buddha made Bimbisara convert to Buddhism. It was at the Gridhakuta, the hill of the vultures, where Buddha made Bimbisara convert to Buddhism.
Ramesh Pandey has been selected by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for prestigious Asia Environmental Enforcement Award.
Paramahansa Yogananda was an Indian monk, yogi, guru and is considered as the “Father of Yoga in the West.” He was the first major Indian teacher to settle in America, and the first prominent Indian to be hosted in the White House.
Satnamis were originally a militant sect of Hindu Worshippers. The major religious activity of this sect is to chant and meditate the true names (Sat-Nam) of God, specially Rama and Krishna. This sect is thought to be an offshoot of Ravidasi sect and comprised of lower strata of the Hindu society, particularly, leather workers, sweepers, carpenters, Goldsmiths etc.
QS Indian University Rankings include public, private, higher education or deemed universities.
The BASIC group was formed as the result of an agreement signed by the four countries on November 28, 2009. They are a bloc of four large newly industrialized countries – Brazil, South Africa, India and China.
SUVIN, the finest quality of Extra Long Staple Cotton produced in Tamil Nadu having the highest fibre length.
Vikram Sarabhai set up India’s first rocket launch site in Thumba, a small village near the Thiruvananthapuram airport in Kerala. Sarabhai was the mastermind behind building India’s first satellite, Aryabhata.
‘Clean Air Cities Declaration’ was unveiled at the C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen, an event that occurs once every three years and is designed to implement “substantive clean air policies by 2025”.
Spectroscopy is the technique of splitting light (or more precisely electromagnetic radiation) into its constituent wavelengths (a spectrum), in much the same way as a prism splits light into a rainbow of colours. Old style spectroscopy was carried out using a prism and photographic plates. These days, modern spectroscopy uses diffraction gratings to disperse the light, which is then projected onto CCDs (Charge Coupled Devices) similar to those used in digital cameras.
A National Crisis Management Committeeis a committee set up by the Government of India in the wake of a natural calamity for effective coordination and implementation of relief measures and operations. It is headed by Cabinet Secretary.
The National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL) is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD), Department of Secondary and Higher Education, Government of India. Set up to promote, develop and propagate Urdu language, Council started its operation in Delhi on April 1, 1996. In its capacity as the National Nodal Agency for the promotion of the Urdu language NCPUL is the principal coordinating and monitoring authority for promotion of Urdu language and Urdu education.
Phazolicin is a new antibiotic discovered in the soil of a tropical rainforest. It was recently isolated deep in the tropical forests of Los Tuxtlas, Mexico. The antibiotic phazolicin is a class of peptide produced in the ribosome, and is part of a diverse class of natural products with a variety of biological uses.
Hagibis Typhoon is the latest typhoon and is said to be Japan’s worst storm in decades.
Shirui Lily Festival is an annual five-day State festival of Manipur.
World bank released World Development Report titled “Trading for Development in the Age of Global Value Chains”.
Acceptance Development Fund (ADF) will be set up to increase acceptance of debit and credit cards in tier III and VI cities. The government’s contribution to the ADF would come from NABARD’s Financial Inclusion Fund (FIF) and RBI’s contribution from the Depositors’ Education and Awareness (DEA) Fund. This was indicated in the Payment System Vision Document 2021 of RBI and also recommended by the Committee on Deepening of Digital Payments (Chaired by Nandan Nilekani). The framework will be operationalised by December 2019.
Recently, a new fossil record of bamboo has shown that India is the birthplace of Asian bamboo. The fossils were found in the Tirap mine of Makum Coalfield in Assam.
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Prelims inShots 2024
Most PROBABLE and HIGHLY recommended topics "you should never miss" to prepare to crack UPSC Prelims Examination.
International Institutions /Groupings /Organisations /Conventions, Biosphere Reserves, Biodiversity Hotspots & Hope Spots, Important Terms of Ancient & Medieval History of India, Mnemonics for UPSC, Indices & Reports, Economic Terms /Glossary, Environment Conventions, Terms, Organizations, Important Constitutional Articles, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Tiger Reserves, National Parks in News, GI Tags in News, Places in News, Rivers in News, Buddhism & Jainism, Species in News, Critical Regions & Marine Conservation Programme, Tiger Reserves in India, Ramsar Sites in India, World Heritage Sites in India, Elephant Corridors /Reserves in India, Government Portals & Government Apps, Know Your State & UTs, Folk Dance /Folk Paintings /Martial Art Forms /Theatre Forms of India, Fact Sheet on Diseases, India's Ranking on Production & Consumption, Tiger Corridors in India, Agriculture, Maritime Exercises, Tribes in News, Space Missions, Facts at a Glance