IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-October 2020

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  1. The grandest day was October 21, 1943. On this day Bose announced the formation of the Provisional Government of Free India (PGFI), Arzi Hakumat-e-Azad Hind,or, in short, Azad Hind Government, an Indian government-in-exile. It started functioning from Singapore with 11 ministers and eight representatives from the INA. This year it marks 77th The PGFI was a culmination of the political movement originating in the early 1940s outside India with the purpose to liberate her from the British rule. The government of Azad Hind soon had its own currency, court, civil code and national anthem ‘Subh Sukh Chain’. The INA had its motto, ‘Ittehad, Itmad aur Qurbani’ (unity, faith and sacrifice) and its national greeting ‘Jai Hind’.
  2. The Kochi-Muziris Biennale is an art exhibition and festival that is the largest of its kind in South Asia and is organised by the Kochi Biennale Foundation at Kochi, Kerala. In mythology, Muziris was a port city, among the earliest of its kind in the world and when Kerala established itself as a major center for spice, the ancient port of Muziris emerged as its hub.
  3. World Post Day is celebrated each year on 9th October, to commemorate the establishment of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) in 1874 in the Swiss capital, Berne.
  4. Tropical cyclones rotate counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere. These are measured by the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
  5. Jute is an important Khariff crop. India is the world’s largest producer of raw jute and jute goods, contributing to over 50% and 40% respectively of global production. Almost 85% of world’s jute cultivation is concentrated in the Ganges Delta. West Bengal alone accounts for over 50 percent raw jute production. Jute crop requires humid climatewith temperature fluctuating between 24 degree Celsius and 38 degree Celsius. Minimum rainfall required for jute cultivation is 1000 mm. The I-CARE programme unveiled by the National Jute Board and the Jute Corporation of India seeks to address the retting issue by introducing a pilot project on retting technologies aimed at increasing farmers’ returns.
  6. Tectonics is the scientific study of the deformation of the rocks that make up the Earth’s crust and the forces that produce such deformation. It deals with the folding and faulting associated with mountain building, the large-scale, gradual upward and downward movements of the crust and sudden horizontal displacements along faults.
  7. In geography, an airshed is defined as a region in which the atmosphere shares common features with respect to the dispersion of pollutants; in other words, a region sharing a common flow of air.
  8. Located in Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s tallest mountain at about 5,895 meters. It is also the largest free-standing mountain rise in the world, meaning it is not part of a mountain range. Kilimanjaro is a stratovolcano or composite volcano (a term for a very large volcano made of layers of ash, lava, and rock) and is made up of three cones: Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira. Kibo is the summit of the mountain and the tallest of the three volcanic formations. While Mawenzi and Shira are extinct, Kibo is dormant and could possibly erupt again. The mountain is also known for its snow-capped peak which might disappear within the next 20 years or so as per the warnings by the scientists.
  9. The Karakoram Mountain range ends at the north bank of Pangong Tso. Its southern bank too has high broken mountains sloping towards Spangur Lake in the south.
  10. The Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is a set of guidelines issued by the EC to regulate political parties and candidates prior to elections. It helps EC in keeping with the mandate it has been given under Article 324 of the Constitution, which gives it the power to supervise and conduct free and fair elections to the Parliament and State Legislatures. The MCC is operational from the date on which the election schedule is announced until the date of result announcement.
  11. While the Constitution does not use the word ‘impeachment’, it is colloquially used to refer to the proceedings under Article 124 (for the removal of a Supreme Court judge) and Article 218 (for the removal of a High Court judge). The Constitution provides that a judge can be removed only by an order of the President, based on a motion passed by both Houses of Parliament. 
  12. Mizoram is the southernmost landlocked state, sharing borders with three of the Seven Sister States, namely Tripura, Assam and Manipur. The state also shares a 722-kilometre border with the neighbouring countries of Bangladesh and Myanmar.
  13. Article 121 and Article 211 of the Indian Constitution expressly bar Parliament and the state legislatures to discuss the conduct of any judge.
  14. Agriculture is a State subject in the Constitution, listed as Entry 14 in the State List (List II). Apart from this, entry 26 in List II refers to “trade and commerce within the State”; entry 27 refers to “production, supply and distribution of goods”; and entry 28 refers to “markets and fairs”.
  15. The Supreme Court’s in Lalita Kumari versus Government of Uttar Pradesh judgment (2013) , the court has clearly said that whenever anyone comes to the police station and makes a complaint of a cognizable offence the police officer is bound to register an FIR, under the Section 154 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
  16. Retributive Justice is a system of criminal justice based on the punishment of offenders rather than on rehabilitation. It holds that when an offender breaks the law, justice requires that they must suffer in return. It also requires that the response to a crime must be proportional to the committed offence.
  17. Reformative or Restorative Justice is generally the most appreciated theory of punishment as it believes in the concept that the object is to extinct crime and not the criminal. It believes that nobody is born as a criminal and it is only the consequences of those circumstances which were around the offender/criminal.
  18. The provisions of Article 243K of the Constitution, which provides for setting up of SECs, are almost identical to those of Article 324 related to the EC. In other words, the SECs enjoy the same status as the EC.
  19. Courts cannot interfere in the conduct of polls to local bodies and self-government institutions once the electoral process has been set in motion.
  20. The Legislative Assembly Speaker or Legislative Council Chairman constitutes a Privileges Committee consisting of 15 members in the Assembly and 11 members in the Council. The members to the committee which has quasi-judicial powers are nominated based on the party strength in the Houses. The Speaker or Chairman first decides on the motions. If the privilege and contempt are found prima facie, then the Speaker or Chairman will forward it to the Privileges Committee by following the due procedure. At present, there is no Privileges Committee in either House of the state legislature.
  21. Male government employees raising a child alone are now entitled to child care leave. Single male parent’ includes unmarried employees, widowers and divorcees, who may be expected to take up the responsibility of caring for a child single-handedly. It is a path-breaking and progressive reform to bring ease of living for government employees. An employee on child care leave may now leave the headquarters with the prior approval of the competent authority, according to an official statement. In addition, Leave Travel Concession (LTC) may be availed by the employee even if he is on child care leave. Child care leave can be granted at 100 per cent of leave salary for the first 365 days and 80 per cent of leave salary for the next 365 days, Singh said, according to the statement. Another welfare measure introduced in this regard is that in case of a disabled child, the condition that child care leave can be availed by the parents only till the child is 22 years of age has been removed.
  22. October 24 is observed as World Polio Day every year in order to call on countries to stay vigilant in their fight against the disease. World Polio Day was established by Rotary International over a decade ago to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who led the first team to develop the vaccine against the disease. As per the CDC, Afghanistan and Pakistan are the two countries that are the last stronghold of the wild poliovirus. India was declared polio-free in January 2014.
  23. Since its launch in 2015, the National Deworming Day (NDD), a flagship program of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, is implemented as a biannual single day programme implemented through the platforms of schools and anganwadis.
  24. Soil-Transmitted Helminthiases (STH), also known as parasitic intestinal worm infection, is a significant public health concern mostly in low resource settings. Soil-Transmitted Helminthsrefer to the intestinal worms infecting humans that are transmitted through contaminated soil. There are three main types of helminths that infect people, roundworm (Ascaris lumbricoides), whipworm (Trichuris trichiura) and hookworms (Necator americanus and Ancylostoma duodenale).
  25. Goa has earned itself the unique distinction of becoming first ‘Har Ghar Jal’ State in the country as it successfully provides 100% Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTCs) in the rural areas covering 2.30 lakh rural households.
  26. Thalassemia Bal Sewa Yojna was launched in 2017. This scheme is a Coal India CSR funded Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT). It aims to provide a one-time cure opportunity for Haemoglobinopathies like Thalassaemia and Sickle Cell Disease for patients who have a matched family donor.
  27. TheCoalition of Epidemic Preparedness for Innovation (CEPI), a global initiative, has named Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), Faridabad as one of the six laboratories for assessing Covid-19 vaccine candidates that are under development. Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness for Innovation (CEPI) was founded in Davos (Switzerland) by the governments of Norway and India, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and the World Economic Forum. Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI) is an autonomous institute of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT).
  28. Introduced by the World Bank, Learning Adjusted Year of Schooling (LAYS) seeks to combine access and learning outcomes into a single measure. It combines quantity (years of schooling) and quality (how much kids know at a given grade level) into a single summary measure of human capital in a society.
  29. In a bid to expand its economic reach, India launched an initiative in 2004 called Techno-Economic Approach for Africa–India Movement (TEAM–9), together with eight energy- and resource-rich West African countries viz. Burkina Faso, Chad, Cote D’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Senegal, and India. The initiative was part of a broader policy to engage the underdeveloped, yet resource-wealthy countries of West Africa, which required both low-cost technology and investment to develop their infrastructure. In particular, India increasingly wants to play an important role in helping Ivory Coast and other West African countries channel their energy resources more efficiently.
  30. Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty(FMCT) is a proposed international agreement that prohibits the production of two main components of nuclear weapons: highly-enriched Uranium and Plutonium. The UN Conference on Disarmament (CD) operates by consensus and is often stagnant, impeding progress on an FMCT.
  31. Kazakhstan is the largest landlocked country in the world.
  32. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to keep Pakistan on the “greylist” till the next review of its compliance to the recommendations in February next year. The FATF listing makes it extremely difficult for Pakistan to get financial aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the European Union.
  33. Exercise Bongosagar is a bilateral naval exercise between India and Bangladesh.
  34. Under Ship Recycling Act, 2019, India has acceded to Hong Kong Convention for Ship Recycling under International Maritime Organization (IMO). IMO adopted the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships in 2009.
  35. The Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative is a partnership between the World Bank Groupand the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) that supports international efforts to end safe havens for corrupt funds. StAR works with developing countries and financial centers to prevent the laundering of the proceeds of corruption and to facilitate more systematic and timely return of stolen assets. StAR provides platforms for dialogue and collaboration and also facilitates contact among different jurisdictions involved in asset recovery. Since its establishment ten years ago, StAR has assisted many countries in developing legal frameworks, institutional expertise, and the skills necessary to trace and return stolen assets. StAR works with partners around the world to develop the most effective tools to tackle and prevent the theft of assets critical to development. StAR works with global organizations, including the Conference of States parties to UNCAC, the G8, the G20, and the Financial Action Task Force to influence and liaise with policymakers.
  36. The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is a Russia-led military alliance of seven former Soviet states that was created in 2002. The CSTO’s purpose is to ensure the collective defence of any member that faces external aggression. It has been described by political scientists as the Eurasian counterpart of NATO, which has 29 member states, while the CSTO has just six. Current CSTO members are Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation and Tajikistan. Afghanistan and Serbia hold observer status in the CSTO.
  37. The 8th Edition of annual Indian Navy (IN) – Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) bilateral maritime exercise SLINEX-20 was concluded. SLINEX-20 aims to enhance inter-operability, improve mutual understanding and exchange best practices and procedures for multi-faceted maritime operationsbetween both navies. Interaction between the SLN and IN has also grown significantly in recent years, in consonance with India’s policy of ‘Neighbourhood First’ and Hon’ble PM’s vision of ‘Security and Growth for all in the Region (SAGAR)’.
  38. India has been designated the ‘Vice-Chair’ of Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) Working Group of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) is a quality system, which has been evolved by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to ensure that safety data generated on various chemicals like industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals (Human and Veterinary), agrochemicals, cosmetic products, food/ feed additives, and medical devices, etc., can be relied upon by regulatory authorities.
  39. Bahrain is a sovereign statein the Persian Gulf. The capital and largest city is Manama. In 2011, the country experienced protests inspired by the regional Arab Spring. It subsequently has a high Human Development Index and is recognised by the World Bank as a high-income economy. Bahrain is a member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, Arab League, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Gulf Cooperation Council. Bahrain shares maritime borders with Iran, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. Umm an Nasan is an island in the Gulf of Bahrain.
  40. India is one of the five countries that have not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The others include Pakistan, Israel, North Korea, and South Sudan. The NPT represents the only binding commitment in a multilateral treaty to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapon States. The treaty was signed in 1968 and entered into force in 1970. Presently, it has 190 member states.
  41. 20th Amendment to Sri Lanka’s Constitution was recently passed. It envisages expansive powers and greater immunity for the Executive President. The Amendment rolls back Sri Lanka’s 19th Amendment, a 2015 legislation that sought to clip presidential powers, while strengthening Parliament. The new legislation in turn reduces the Prime Minister’s role to a ceremonial one.
  42. The purpose of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) was enumerated in the Havana Declaration of 1979 to ensure “the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of non-aligned countries” in their struggle against imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, racism, and all forms of foreign subjugation.
  43. Recently, Pakistan was re-elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for another three-year term commencing on 1stJanuary, 2021.
  44. New Caledonia is an archipelago and special collectivity of France located in the southwest Pacific Ocean. New Caledonia is an archipelago and special collectivity of France located in the southwest Pacific Ocean. New Caledonia is a territory sui generise., territory of its own kind. The indigenous Kanaksrepresent around 39% of the population, while European settlers (known as Caldoches) make up about 27%.
  45. Pulses historically have been one of the most important constituents of the Indian cropping and consumption patterns. Pulse crops form a unique feature of our farming system, particularly in dry land agriculture. They provide food for human consumption, green nutritious fodder for animal and enrich soil through biological nitrogen fixation.
  46. Legumes are not only a rich source of protein but also cheaper when compared to animal proteins. In addition, pulses are an important source for some of the essential amino acids and have been reported to reduce the levels of cholesterol and blood glucose.
  47. Some legumes are known to have medicinal and therapeutic properties Hence, they were rightly termed as “Unique Jewels” of Indian crop husbandry. India is the largest producer, consumer, processor and also the importer. About 90% of the global pigeon pea, 75% of chickpea and 37% of lentil area falls in India. The major pulses producing states are Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh.
  48. reserve tranche position implies a portion of the required quota of currency each member country must provide to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that can be utilized for its own purposes. The reserve tranche is basically an emergency account that IMF members can access at any time without agreeing to conditions or paying a service fee.
  49. The three major millet crops currently growing in India are jowar (sorghum), bajra (pearl millet) and ragi (finger millet). Along with that, India grows a rich array of bio-genetically diverse and indigenous varieties of “small millets” like kodo, kutki, chenna and sanwa.
  50. Ubiquitous Agriculture (u-Agri) an Internet of Things (IoT) based system for acquiring micro-climate information from agricultural fields and providing personalized and localized advisories on Pest and Disease Forewarning and Irrigation Scheduling, to farmers. The system provides crop specific Pest & Disease forewarning advisories and irrigation scheduling advisories to farmers for optimal resource utilization as part of the farm management practices.
  51.  The Competition Act, 2002 is India’s antitrust law. It repealed and replaced the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969 (MRTP Act) on the recommendations of the Raghavan committee.
  52. Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project is a multi-purpose irrigation project, on the Godavari River in Kaleshwaram, Bhupalpally, Telangana initiated in 2016. The project starts at the confluence point of Pranahita River and Godavari River.
  53. Headline inflation is a measure of the total inflation within an economy, including commodities such as food and energy prices.
  54. Sheath blight disease caused by a necrotrophic fungal pathogen (Rhizoctonia solani) is a big threat to rice crops. Rice is a staple food all over the world and India is the second-largest producer and consumer of rice at the global level. Production of rice in India is limited by several biotic and abiotic factors.
  55. India currently has 22 reactors with an installed capacity of 6,780 MWe (mega watt electric). Of these, eight reactors are fuelled by indigenous uranium while the remaining 14 are under IAEA Safeguards and qualify to use imported uranium. Kazakhstan is the world’s largest producer of uranium.
  56. The Karan Vandana (DBW 187) wheat variety, developed by the Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research (IIWBR) under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), is used for cultivation in North Eastern Plains Zones.
  57. Price Support Scheme (PSS) is operationalised on the State governments’ request when the prices fall below the  Minimum Support Price (MSP).
  58. Open Market Sale Scheme is done especially during the lean season to moderate the open market prices in the deficit regions.
  59. In 2017, Odisha was among three states, along with Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh, to be selected by NITI Aayog to offer assistance for improving their health and education sectors under SATH-E. The initiative aims to transform elementary and secondary school education through goal driven exercise and create role model states for education. The initiative culminates at the end of the 2020 academic year. Merger of schools is one of the measures undertaken to achieve goals as the process is advocated to help “consolidate” resources such as teachers, libraries, laboratories and play equipment.
  60. Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana (KSY)was launched in 2018 to strengthen and improve the living of potters in the country by making them self-reliant. Kumbhar Sashaktikaran Program is an initiative of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) for empowerment of potters’ community in the remotest of locations in the country.
  61. The Employees’ State Insurance Corporation is a pioneer Social Security organization providing comprehensive social security benefits like reasonable Medical Care and a range of Cash Benefits in times of need such as employment injury, sickness, death etc. It is covering about 3.49 Crores of family units of workers and providing matchless cash benefits and reasonable medical care to its 13.56 crore beneficiaries. The ESI Scheme today stands implemented in 568 districts in all the States and Union Territories, except Lakshdweep. Apart from various benefits, the employees covered under ESI Scheme are also entitled to unemployment allowance. There are two unemployment allowance schemes namely Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojna (ABVKY) and Rajiv Gandhi Shramik Kalyan Yojna (RGSKY).
  62. Indira Rasoi Yojana(a kitchen scheme)-Rajasthan government’s ambitious scheme launched on the occasion of ‘Sadbhavana Diwas’, the birth anniversary of former prime minister Late Rajiv Gandhi. Under the scheme, full meals will be provided to the poor and needy for Rs 8.
  63. The Deen Dayal SPARSH (Scholarship for Promotion of Aptitude & Research in Stamps as a Hobby) yojana was launched by the Ministry of Communications which gives scholarships to promote philately among school children.
  64. TRIFED, IIT Kanpur and Chhattisgarh MFP Federation E-Launch “Tech for Tribals” Initiative. It is a programme by TRIFED, in collaboration with the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) under the Entrepreneurship and Skill Development Programme (ESDP) programme.
  65. India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) is the third generation launch vehicle. PSLV is the first launch vehicle which is equipped with liquid stages.
  66. ISRO’s Venus instrument, VIRAL (Venus Infrared Atmospheric Gases Linker) has been co-developed by Russian and French agencies.
  67. Mendelian disorder is a type of genetic disorder, resulting due to alterations in a gene or due to abnormalities in the genome.
  68. The Contingent Emergency Response Component (CERC) is composed of five major components that are designed to provide swift response in the event of an eligible crisis or emergency, defined as “an event that has caused, or is likely to imminently cause, a major adverse economic and or social impact associated with natural or man-made crises or disasters. The project is funded by the World Bank. This contingency is designed to be move funds which are uncommitted to help respond to an emergency, with the intention that the World Bank will fill the funding gap in the original project in time.
  69. ‘Saviour Sibling’ refers to babies that are created to serve an older sibling as a donor of organs, bone marrow or cells.
  70. Diamagnetism is a very weak form of magnetism that is induced by a change in the orbital motion of electrons due to an applied magnetic field. This magnetism is non-permanent and persists only in the presence of an external field.
  71. A superconducting material kept in a magnetic field expels the magnetic flux out its body when cooled below the critical temperature and exhibits perfect diamagnetism. It is also called the Meissner effect which simply means that magnetic lines do not pass-through superconductors in a magnetic field.
  72. When a material makes the transition from the normal to the superconducting state, it actively excludes magnetic fields from its interior and this is called the Meissner effect.
  73. Avian Botulism is a neuro-muscular illness caused by Botulinum (natural toxin) that is produced by bacteria, Clostridium botulinum. The bacteria is commonly found in the soil, rivers, and seawater. It affects both humans and animals. The bacteria also need anaerobic (absence of oxygen) conditions and do not grow in acidic conditions.
  74. The Institution Innovation Council annual report was established by the Ministry of Education in 2018. IIC envisions to promote innovation in young students by encouraging, inspiring and nurturing them to work with new innovative ideas through periodic activities related to innovation and entrepreneurship.
  75. Antibodies are proteins produced naturally by the immune system that target a specific foreign object (antigen). They are called monoclonal Antibodies (mAbs) when they are produced by clones derived from a single parent cell. They are man-made proteins that act like a human antibody in the immune system. They are made by cloning a unique white blood cell. mAbs have monovalent affinity, it binds only to the same epitope i.e. the part of an antigen that is recognized by the antibody. They are designed to perform many roles, like they can be used to carry drugs, toxins, or radioactive substances directly to affected cells. mAbs are used to treat many diseases, including some types of cancer.
  76. Bhaskaracharya National Institute of Space Applications & Geo-informatics (BISAG-N) is an autonomous scientific society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. It comes under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
  77. Isothermal amplification of nucleic acids is a process that rapidly and efficiently accumulates nucleic acid sequences at constant temperature. The Isothermal Amplification Techniques have been developed as alternatives to Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).
  78. Thermocyclers are instruments used to amplify DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid) samples by the polymerase chain reaction.
  79. India International Science Festival (IISF) is an annual event organised jointly by science & technology-related Ministries and Departments of the Government of India and Vijnana Bharati (Vibha). IISF is a festival to celebrate the achievements of India’s scientific and technological advancements with students, innovators, craftsmen, farmers, scientists and technocrats from India and abroad.
  80. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer is a payload imaging sensor built by Santa Barbara Remote Sensing that was launched into Earth orbit by NASA in 1999 on board the Terra satellite, and in 2002 on board the Aqua satellite.
  81. Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope is an array of thirty fully steerable parabolic radio telescopes of 45 metre diameter. It is operated by the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. It functions at the metre wavelength part of the radio spectrum because man-made radio interference is considerably lower in this part of the spectrum in India and there are many outstanding astrophysics problems which are best studied at metre wavelengths.
  82. Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) is a type of molecule found on the surface of most cells in the body. These play an important part in the body’s immune response to foreign substances. These make up a person’s tissue type, which varies from person to person. HLA typing is important in organ transplantation protocols, as they determine the likelihood of rejection.
  83. Spread over hundreds of hectares and home to a rich variety of wildlife, the Dumna Nature Reserve in Madhya Pradesh’s Jabalpur is being threatened by a series of projects with the latest being a tiger safari, aimed at promoting tourism to the area. Dumna is among the most well-preserved ecological habitats in an urban area and it is also a catchment area for the Khandari Lake which is an important source of drinking water supply to the city.
  84. Bioswales are made along roadsides so that rainwater from the road flows towards them and percolates into the ground.
  85. According to Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) rules, for every hectare of forest land diverted, double the area of ‘degraded’ lands are used as sites for ‘compensatory afforestation’.
  86. As per the Elephant Census, 2017, Karnataka has the highest population of Indian elephants. It is included in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES). It is ‘Endangered’ as per the IUCN Red List.
  87. Rajaji National Park is home to the Van Gujjars in the winters.Van Gujjars are one of the few forest-dwelling nomadic communities in the country.
  88. The Government of India and United Nations Development Programme, with support from the Global Environment Facility, are implementing a new programme in the high altitude Himalayas entitled “SECURE Himalayas – Securing livelihoods, conservation, sustainable use and restoration of high range Himalayan ecosystems”, to ensure conservation of locally and globally significant biodiversity, land and forest resources in the high Himalayan ecosystem, while enhancing the lives and livelihoods of local communities.
  89. The International Plant Protection Convention(IPPC) is a 1951 multilateral treaty deposited with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) that aims to secure coordinated, effective action to prevent and to control the introduction and spread of pests of plants and plant
  90. Chinese pink dolphins are making a comeback in the Pearl river estuary, one of the most heavily industrialised areas on Earth. The Pearl River estuary includes Hong Kong, Macau as well as the mainland Chinese cities of Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Dongguan. Dolphins use echolocationto find their way in water. The estuary is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.
  91. The Multidisciplinary Drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) 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.
  92. An introduced species, alien species, exotic species, adventive species, immigrant species, foreign species, non-indigenous species, or non-native species is a speciesliving outside its native distributional range, but which has arrived there by human activity, directly or indirectly, and either deliberately or accidentally. Non-native species can have various effects on the local ecosystem.
  93. In conservation biology, a flagship species is a species chosen to raise support for biodiversity conservation in a given place or social context. Species selected since the idea was developed in 1980s include widely recognised and charismatic species like the black rhinoceros, the Bengal tiger, and the Asian elephant. Some species such as the Chesapeake blue craband the Pemba flying fox, which are locally significant to Northern America; have suited a cultural and social context. Chosen flagship species include the Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris), the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), the Golden lion tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia), the African elephant (Loxodonta sp.) and Asian elephant (Elephas maximus).
  94. Five Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) under Petroleum & Natural Gas Ministry will be joining International Solar Alliance (ISA)’s Coalition for Sustainable Climate Action (ISA-CSCA) as Corporate Partners. The CSCA is a consortium of public and private entities working in the direction of Universal Energy Access and meeting climate targets. A recent initiative, it brings together energy or non-energy-based companies joining ISA as Corporate Partners.
  95. The World Bank has operationalised a Solar Risk Mitigation Initiative (SRMI). SRMI aims to support countries in developing sustainable solar programs that will attract private investments and so reduce reliance on public finances.
  96. Umbrella species are speciesselected for making conservation-related decisions, typically because protecting these species indirectly protects the many other species that make up the ecological community of its habitat. Umbrella species can be used to help select the locations of potential reserves, find the minimum size of these conservation areas or reserves, and to determine the composition, structure, and processes of ecosystems. An example of an umbrella species would be a  Other species includes Andean bear, spotted owl, blue wildebeest, Magellanic woodpecker, Siberian tiger, black whales also known as right whales.
  97. BSF, the Border Security Force has a Camel Contingent, It is the only camel mounted police band in the world, and the Central Reserve Police Force has a Brass Band. BSF also as a Mounted Band and Assam Rifles’ Pipe band are all known to us for their spectacular music.
  98. Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBPF) is a Central Armed Police Forcefunctioning under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. Assam Rifles (AR), Border Security Force (BSF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), National Security Guards (NSG) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) are other Central Armed Police Forces.
  99. The Department of Military Affairs is headed by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).
  100. Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), is a Russia-led military alliance of six former Soviet states that was created in 2002. Its aim is to ensure the collective defence of any member that faces external aggression. Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation and Tajikistan are its member country.
  101. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)has decided to make available the RTGS system round the clock on all days from December 2020 in order to facilitate swift and seamless payments in real-time for domestic businesses and institutions. The Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS) enables real-time transfer of funds to a beneficiary’s account and is primarily meant for large-value transactions. Real time means the processing of instructions at the time they are received and gross settlement implies that settlement of funds transfer instructions occurs individually. RTGS is meant for large-value instantaneous fund transfers while NEFT is generally used for fund transfers of up to Rs. 2 lakhs. The minimum amount to be remitted through RTGS is Rs. 2,00,000 with no upper or maximum ceiling. There is no limit imposed by RBI for funds transfer through NEFT system. However, banks may place amount limits based on their own risk perception with the approval of its board.
  102. Britain’s Prince Williamhas launched a new 50-million pound Earthshot Prize, aimed at funding the most innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. The Earthshot Prize is centred around five “Earthshots”, simple but ambitious goals for the planet, which if achieved by 2030 will improve life for all, for generations to come. The first awards ceremony will take place in London in autumn 2021.
  103. International law identifies four global commons. They are the high seas, the atmosphere, antarctica and the outer space.
  104. Article 19 confers upon citizens the right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) and right to assemble peacefully without arms under Article 19(1)(b). The Constitution guarantees the right to protest and express dissent, but with an obligation towards certain duties.
  105. October 8 is celebrated as the Air Force Day because on this day, the Air Force in India was officially raised in 1932 as the supporting force of the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom. The first operational squadron came into being in April 1933. After participation in World War II, the Air Force in India came to be called the Royal Indian Air Force in the mid 1940s. In 1950, after the republic came into being it became the Indian Air Force.
  106. Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) is defined by the International Maritime Organization as the effective understanding of anything associated with the maritime domain that could impact the security, safety, economy, or environment of a country.
  107. Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre is an autonomous national institute of Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  108. Article 262 of the Constitution provides for the adjudication of inter-state water disputes. Under this, Parliament may by law provide for the adjudication of any dispute or complaint with respect to the use, distribution and control of waters of any inter-state river and river valley. Parliament may also provide that neither the Supreme Court nor any other court is to exercise jurisdiction in respect of any such dispute or complaint.
  109. The ‘Startup India Showcase’, a part of the Startup India portal, is intended to be an online discovery platform for the most promising startups of the country. The startups showcased here shall be handpicked by experts and will span across different sectors like FinTech, EdTech, Social Impact among others. The showcase will help industry, investors and public authorities find and connect with startups for potential partnerships, investments and public procurement respectively. This showcase will help the ecosystem connect with them better while also serving as an inspiration.
  110. The ‘Blockchain-based Certificate Verification System’ will enable instant verification and access to certificates of recognitions issued by DPIIT. This feature introduces an added layer of security to the startup certificates. It can be accessed by Government Departments, procurement entities, investors, and other third parties to verify status of recognized startups for accessing different opportunities.
  111. Article 270 of the Constitution allows cess to be excluded from the purview of the divisible pool of taxes that the Union government must share with the States.
  112. The United Nations has designated the first Monday of October every year as World Habitat Day i.e. on 5th October 2020.
  113. Low-External-Input and Sustainable Agriculture (LEISA) is agriculture which makes optimal use of locally available natural and human resources (such as soil, water, vegetation, local plants and animals, and human labour, knowledge and skill) and which is economically feasible, ecologically sound, culturally adapted and socially just.
  114. The Rainforest Alliance is an international non-profit organization working at the intersection of business, agriculture, and forests to make responsible business the new normal.
  115. Founded in 1985 by Randy Hayes, Rainforest Action Network (RAN) is an environmental organization that campaigns for the preservation of rainforests and the rights of the indigenous peoples who live within those forests.
  116. The Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) is an initiative led by Conservation International, CARE, The Nature Conservancy, Rainforest Alliance, and the Wildlife Conservation Societyto promote the development of land management The CCBA was established in 2003 and works to increase public and private investment in forest protection, restoration and agroforestry by developing standards intended to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases.
  117. The International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) is a non-profit business organisation created in June 1999 to establish a functional international framework for trading in greenhouse gas emission reductions. The mission of the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) is to empower business to engage in climate action, advancing the objectives of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement as informed by IPCC science, and to establish effective market-based trading systems for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals that are environmentally robust, fair, open, efficient, accountable and consistent across national boundaries.
  118. The Coalition for Rainforest Nations (CfRN) is an intergovernmental organizationestablished by forested tropical countries to collaboratively reconcile forest stewardship with economic development. The Rainforest Coalition aims to bring together both developing and industrialized nations for the purpose of creating community-driven, environmentally sustainable growth. The primary strategy of the Coalition is to bring about the reform of international frameworks, both legal and economic, to correct market failures that result in unsustainable outcomes, and to create economic incentives for the preservation of areas of high biodiversity and endemism The Coalition supports the Forests Now Declaration calling for changes in the Kyoto Protocol and other international carbon markets to include land use and forestry. The Coalition has been instrumental in the establishment of the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility and the United Nations’ UN-REDD program.
  119. The Tropical Forest Alliance was founded in 2012 at Rio+20 after the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) committed to zero net deforestation by 2020 for palm oil, soy, beef, and paper and pulp supply chains in 2010. The CGF partnered with the US government to create the public-private alliance with the mission of mobilizing all actors to collaborate in reducing commodity-driven tropical deforestation. The Tropical Forest Alliance is a multistakeholder partnership platform initiated to support the implementation of private-sector commitments to remove deforestation from palm oil, beef, soy and pulp/paper supply chains. Hosted by the World Economic Forum, our 170+ alliance partners include companies, government entities, civil society, indigenous peoples, local communities and international organizations, working together through Forest-Positive Collective Action to advance the world’s transition to deforestation-free commodity supply chains.
  120. In India, La Niña means the country will receive more rainfall than normal, leading to floods. La Niña could also affect the South West Indian Ocean Tropical Cyclone season, reducing the intensity. 
  121. Lions are found in Gujarat across an area of 30,000 sq km called the Asiatic Lion Landscape (ALL). Maldharis, a traditional pastoral people found in and around the Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary.
  122. The proposal for the relocation of Maldharis is also in contravention of the provisions of the Schedule Tribe and Other Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, (FRA) 2006. Under the provisions of the Act, forest dwellers cannot be displaced unless the rights settlement process has been completed. Moreover, the Act has a special provision for setting up ‘Critical Wildlife Habitats’ (CWH), for the conservation of the species. However, for the CWH notification process to start, some conditions mentioned in FRA have to be met.
  123. An inviolate space of 800-1,000 sq km is required as ‘core area’ for a tiger reserve and with a buffer of another 800-1,000 sq km, according to the NTCA’s rules for tiger conservation.
  124. The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) has detected water molecules (H2O) in the Clavius Crater, one of the largest craters visible from Earth, located in the Moon’s southern hemisphere. Previous observations of the Moon’s surface detected some form of hydrogen, but were unable to distinguish between water and its close chemical relative, hydroxyl (OH).
  125. In 2009, NASA’s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite found ice in the Moon’s craters in its polar regions.
  126. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiomete on NASA’s Terra satellite captured a natural-colour image of the central Andes.  The snow on the mountains appeared smaller compared to mid-winter, the accompanying report by NASA said. The Andes is the longest mountain range in the world and stretches across seven countries of South America.
  127. The population of Galapagos penguins, the only ones living on the Earth’s equator, increased to 1,940 in 2020 from 1,451 in 2019. Most inhabit Fernandina Island and the west coast of Isabela Island. 
  128. Aldabra — one of the world’s largest atolls — is a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site in Seychelles and located in the Indian Ocean. It comprises four main islands of coral limestone separated by narrow sea passages and encloses a large shallow lagoon. It is home to a population of endemic giant Aldabra tortoises, which fluctuate to around 100,000 more than the 95,000 population of Seychelles.
  129. However, while the proposal has identified these new sites, the Gujarat Forest Department has still not carried out the Supreme Court order of 2013 directing the state to relocate lions to the Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary. The six new sites identified for possible lion relocation in the future include: Madhav National Park, Madhya Pradesh-Sitamata Wildlife Sanctuary, Rajasthan-Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan-Gandhi Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary, Madhya Pradesh-Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary, Rajasthan-Jessore-Balaram Ambaji WLS and adjoining landscape, Gujarat
  130. The Action Plan for Vulture Conservation 2020-2025 has laid out strategies and actions to stem the decline in vulture population, especially of the three Gyps species: Oriental white-backed vulture (Gyps bengalensis), Slender-billed vulture (Gyps tenuirostris), Long-billed vulture (Gyps indicus)
  131. Gujarat’s Asiatic Lion Landscape(ALL) includes Gir National Park and Sanctuary and covers eight districts of Gujarat, including Junagadh, Amreli, Bhavnagar, Porbandar, Rajkot, Gir-Somnath, Botad and Jamnagar, according to the 14th Lion Population Estimation Report 2015.
  132. Flue-gas desulfurisation (FGD) is a set of technologies used to remove sulfur dioxide from exhaust flue gases of fossil-fuelled power plants. 
  133. Lemru Elephant Reserve (LER) is situated in the state of Chhattisgarh. Chhattisgarh has two national parks, three tiger reserves, eight sanctuaries, and one biosphere reserve, which is 8.36% of the state’s total geographical area and 18.92 % of the state’s total forest area. At present there are three tiger reserves in state: Achanakmar Tiger Reservein Bilaspur, Udanti-Sitanadi Tiger Reserve in Gariaband and Indravati Tiger Reserve in Bijapur district.
  134. Elephant reserves are not recognised under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 or WLPA. However, an area can be declared a ‘conservation reserve’ under Section 36A. The management of a conservation reserve involves communities living in the area through the formation of the conservation reserve management committee. This is unlike other protected areas like national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, mentioned in the WLPA. Section 36A has a special provision that gives the Union government a say in the process of notification in case the land to be notified as conservation reserve has areas belonging to the Centre.
  135. This year 2020, fires have been burning in the Pantanal, the largest tropical wetland in the world which is located in the eastern part of Bolivia.
  136. India got its very first building energy code in 2007 under the mandate put in place by the Energy Conservation Act, 2001. Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) caters to commercial buildings, and was revised in 2017. In 2018, a separate energy code for residential buildings, Eco-Niwas Samhita, was launched.
  137. Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP) was endorsed by 194 WHO member states, calls for each country to achieve a rate of 12 stillbirths or fewer per 1,000 total births by 2030. It also suggests a reduction in equity gaps, particularly in countries that have already met the stillbirth target.
  138. Japan set to become the latest country targeting net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
  139. According to the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi), “Net Zero emissionsare achieved when anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere are balanced by anthropogenic removals over a specified period.
  140. Tuvalu has the lowest carbon footprint on the planet. Their current carbon footprint rests at zero MtCO₂, and they plan to continue this trend by doing away with fossil fuels altogether.
  141. Peatlands are a type of soil made from organic matter such as wood and leaves. Peatlands store a lot of carbon and play an important role in the carbon cycle.
  142. Indian, German, British and Swiss scientists have discovered a new family of bony fish from the Western Ghats. The family has been named Aenigmachannidae. It consists of the Gollum snakehead, discovered by chance in the aftermath of the August 2018 Kerala floods and the Aenigmachanna mahabali, which was discovered ‘opportunistically’ from a dug-out well. Aenigmachannidaerepresents a new family, different from Channidae, in which both species were initially placed.
  143. The Rubella virus was first described by George Maton in 1814. Henry Veale gave it the name ‘Rubella’ in 1866. However, it was only in 1962 that its full impact was identified. An airborne, it can cause miscarriage, stillbirth and fetal development defects during pregnancy. It is not known in animals. It has largely been eradicated due to an effective vaccine. Till now, it was thought the Rubella virus was the sole member in its family Matonaviridae.
  144. Critical ‘wildlife’ habitats (CWLHs), on the other hand, are defined only in the Forest Rights Act, 2006. CWLHs are meant to be areas of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries that are required to be kept as inviolate for the purpose of wildlife conservation (not just tigers). Similar to CTH, the identification of CWLH is done based on scientific and objective criteria, but it mandatorily requires settlement of forest rights under FRA. Unlike CTHs, the notification of CWLHs can only be done with the consent of the Gram Sabhas and affected stakeholders. Post notification, the forest rights in CWLHs can be modified or resettled subject to certain conditions.
  145. Critical ‘tiger’ habitats (CTHs), also known as core areas of tiger reserves—are identified under the Wild Life Protection Act (WLPA), 1972 based on scientific evidence that “such areas are required to be kept as inviolate for the purpose of tiger conservation, without affecting the rights of the Scheduled Tribes or such other forest dwellers”. The notification of CTH is done by the state government in consultation with the expert committee constituted for the purpose.
  146. Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) recognises the inclusion of indigenous communities and forest dwellers in the management of protected areas and governance of biodiversity.
  147. Banana is among the world’s oldest domesticated It has descended from two wild varieties — Musa acuminataand Musa balbisiana — that originally grew in Southeast Asia and contained hard seeds.
  148. Tropical race 4 (TR4) is a strain of the fungus that causes Panama disease of bananas,Fusarium oxysporumsp. cubense. It causes leaves to turn yellow and wilt, and vascular discoloration which is only visible if the pseudostem is cut open. TR4 is most commonly associated with Cavendish varieties of banana but can attack other varieties, and a handful of other host species from the genera Musa and Heliconia. 
  149. Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) is a greenhouse gas concentrationtrajectory adopted by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) describe four different 21st century pathways of GHG emissions and atmospheric concentrations, air pollutant emissions and land use.
  150. Land use, land-use change, and forestry (LULUCF), also referred to as Forestry and other land use (FOLU), is defined by the United Nations Climate Change Secretariatas a “greenhouse gas inventory sector that covers emissions and removals of greenhouse gases resulting from direct human-induced land use such as settlements and commercial uses, land-use change, and forestry
  151. Minsk Group is the only internationally agreed body to mediate the negotiations for the peaceful resolution of the conflict. It is chaired by France, Russia and the US. It functions under the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
  152. Dam Health and Rehabilitation Monitoring Application (DHARMA) is a web-based software to support the effective collection and management of dam safety data in respect of all large dams of India.
  153. Seismic Hazard Assessment Information System (SHAISYS) is a web based interactive application tool to estimate the seismic hazard at any point in Indian region.
  154. “Women and Trade: The Role of Trade in Promoting Gender Equality” is a joint report of World Bank Group (WBG) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).