IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-October 2022

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IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-September 2021

IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-October 2022

  1. Community reserves fall under protected areas, along with marine protected areas, national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and conservation reserves, according to the Wild Life (Protection) Act (WLPA), 1972. Conservation reserves and community reserves are protected areas of India which typically act as buffer zones between established national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and reserved and protected forests of India, according to the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate change (MoEFCC). These protected area categories were first introduced in the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act of 2002 — the amendment to WLPA, 1972. The provisions of the WLPA apply to an area once it has been declared a community reserve. Section 33 of the WLPA passes the authority of the sanctuary to the chief wildlife warden. A community reserve is usually formed by the local village council and the forest department signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU).
  2. YUVA (Young, Upcoming and Versatile Authors) 2.0 is an Author Mentorship programme to train authors (below 30 years of age). It aims to promote reading, writing and book culture in the country and project India and Indian writings globally. It is a part of India@75 Project (Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav). It promotes writers to write on subjects regarding Indian heritage, culture and knowledge system.
  3. The Pahari community, a linguistic group mainly residing in the Pir Panjal valley comprising Rajouri and Poonch districts, are expecting a major push to their demand to be included in Schedule Tribe (ST) list from the Union Minister. Paharis are also spread in parts of the Kashmir valley. The move seems to be aimed at building on goodwill among smaller Muslim communities in the J&K. Gujjars, Bakerwals and Paharis are non-Kashmiri speaking population of J&K. Paharis also comprise both Hindus and Muslims unlike Bakerwals and Gujjars, two prominent nomadic clans.
  4. Cordycepin, a secondary metabolite produced by Cordyceps species of fungus, is known to have anti-tumour properties. “Not only cordycepin, in general, several secondary metabolites are known to be beneficial for humans in terms of both therapy and health.
  5. The invasive Kappaphycus alvarezii seaweed, which smothers and kills coral reefs, has spread its wings to coral reef areas in Valai island in the Gulf of Mannar (GoM) and set to invade new coral colonies in the marine national park. After invading Shingle, Kurusadai and Mulli islands in Mandapam cluster of the GoM, the red algae invaded Valai island along Kilakarai coast following its cultivation in south Palk Bay.
  6. India emerges as the world’s largest producer and consumer of sugar and world’s 2nd largest exporter of sugar.
  7. A purse seine is a large net used in an entire area. The seine floats along the top line with a lead line threaded through rings along the bottom. Once a school of fish is located, a skiff encircles them. The lead line is then pulled in, pursing the net closed on the bottom, preventing fish from escaping.
  8. The non-OPEC countries which also produce and export crude oil, affiliated with OPEC are termed as OPEC+. The 13 OPEC member states, with the addition of another 11 allied major oil-producing countries that include Russia forms OPEC+.
  9. The Brihadisvara temple at Gangaikondacholapuram in the Perambalur district was built for Siva by Rajendra I (1012-1044 CE). The temple has sculptures of exceptional quality. The bronzes of Bhogasakti and Subrahmanya are masterpieces of Chola metal icons. The Saurapitha (Solar altar), the lotus altar with eight deities, is considered auspicious.
  10. The Kerch Strait connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov separating the Kerch Peninsula of Crimea from the Taman Peninsula of Russia.
  11. The Airavatesvara temple at Tanjavur was built by the Chola king Rajaraja II (1143-1173 CE.): it is much smaller in size as compared to the Brihadisvara temple at Tanjavur and Gangaikondacholapuram.  It differs from themin itshighly ornate execution. The temple consists of a sanctum without a circumambulatory path and axial mandapas. The front mandapa known in the inscriptions as Rajagambhiran tirumandapam, is unique as it was conceptualized as a chariot with wheels. The pillars of this mandapa are highly ornate. The elevation of all the units is elegant with sculptures dominating the architecture. A number of sculptures from this temple are the masterpieces of Chola art. The labelled miniature friezes extolling the events that happened to the 63 nayanmars (Saiva saints) are noteworthy and reflect the deep roots of Saivism in this region. The construction of a separate temple for Devi, slightly later than the main temple, indicates the emergence of the Amman shrine as an essential component of the South Indian temple complex.
  12. The Brihadisvara temple at Tanjavur marks the greatest achievement of the Chola architects. Known in the inscriptions as Dakshina Meru, the construction of this temple was inaugurated by the Chola King, Rajaraja I (985-1012 CE) possibly in the 19th regal year (1003-1004 CE) and consecrated by his own hands in the 25th regal year (1009-1010 CE). A massive colonnaded prakara with sub-shrines dedicated to the ashatadikpalas and a main entrance with gopura(known as Rajarajantiruvasal) encompasses the massive temple. The sanctum itself occupies the centre of the rear half of the rectangular court. The vimana soars to a height of 59.82meters over the ground. This grand elevation is punctuated by a high upapitha, adhisthana with bold mouldings; the ground tier (prastara) is divided into two levels, carrying images of Siva. Over this rises the 13 talas and is surmounted by an octagonal  There is a circumambulatory path all around the sanctum housing a massive linga.  The temple walls are embellished with expansive and exquisite mural paintings. Eighty-one of the one hundred and eight karanas, posed in Baharatanatya,are carved on the walls of second bhumi around the garbhagriha. There is a shrine dedicated to Amman dating to c.13th century.
  13. Diethylene glycol (DEG) and Ethylene glycol both are sweet-tasting, colourless, odourless liquid commonly used in the commercial preparation of antifreeze, Ethylene glycol is used in the production of polyester fibres, paints and polyethene terephthalate (PET). DEG because of its hygroscopic property, is used in brake fluid, cigarettes, treatment of paper and some dyes. It is an excellent solvent for many relatively insoluble substances.
  14. The Paris club is an informal group of mostly wealthy, bilateral Western creditors. The club is headquartered in Paris, France. The Paris Club has 22 permanent members, including most of the western European and Scandinavian nations, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan. Its role is to find coordinated and sustainable solutions to the payment difficulties experienced by borrower countries. Paris Club creditors provide debt treatments to debtor countries in the form of rescheduling, which is debt relief by postponement or, in the case of concessional rescheduling, reduction in debt service obligations during a defined period (flow treatment) or as of a set date (stock treatment). India is placed in the categories of observers. Observers are invited to attend the negotiating sessions of the Paris Club but they cannot participate in the negotiation itself, nor sign the agreement that formalizes the result of negotiation.
  15. Codeine is an opioid-based analgesic, mostly used to treat cough, cold and pain. Due to high rates of abuse of codeine cough syrups, its use is closely monitored and controlled in developed markets including the US and Europe. In 2017, the US Food and Drug Administration, the restricted the use of codeine and tramadol (therapy to treat pain) medicines in children, due to safety risks. Codeine and its preparations are under schedule H1, which are dispensed against prescription, but most are available over the counter in India. Further, there is rampant cross-border smuggling of codeine-based cough syrups in the northeast, West Bengal, and Bihar.
  16. Solar Heat Gain Coefficient is the amount of heat from direct sunlight that falls on the glass and passes through it.
  17. Equivalent Melanopic Lux (EML) is described as a way of measuring the biological effects of light on humans.
  18. Acoustic comfort is obtained by the absence or reduction of unwanted sounds from external sources like the local traffic or internal sources like office equipment, and people talking. The study suggests in 73% of spaces, levels of interior background noise were higher than the standard threshold.
  19. The United Nations declared 2022 as the International Year of Glass to promote best practices and sustainability in the industry.
  20. X-ray fluorescence is commonly used to study the composition of materials in a non-destructive manner. When the sun gives out solar flares, a large amount of X-ray radiation falls on the moon, triggering X-ray fluorescence. The CLASS measures the energy of the X-ray photons coming from the moon and counts the total number. The energy of the photons indicates the atom (for instance, sodium atoms emit X-ray photons of 1.04 keV) and the intensity is a measure of how many atoms are present.
  21. Sodium is the only element apart from potassium that can be observed through telescopes in the lunar atmosphere (its exosphere).
  22. The guidelines and parameters for the Automatic Exchange Of Information (AEOI) are set by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In 2013, G20 countries endorsed AEOI as the new global standard for exchange of information.
  23. There are no pearls growing on the oyster reefs in San Diego Bay, but scientists hope they will yield an even more valuable treasure: protection against coastal erosion wrought by rising sea levels. The reefs are much more than a natural bulwark against tidal erosion; their bivalve occupants are all miniature filtration plants that are essential to the marine ecosystem. To capture the nutrients an oyster needs to survive, each one filters around 50 gallons (190 liters) of water every day. And like the oysters, these long-filament seagrass beds will also provide a crucial food source for the 80 species of fish and 300 varieties of birds that make their home in the area.
  24. The 2022 Nobel Peace Prizewas awarded to human rights advocate Ales Bialiatski from Belarus, the Russian human rights organisation Memorial, and the Ukrainian human rights organisation Center for Civil Liberties.
  25. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the 2022 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel to Ben S. Bernanke, Douglas W. Diamond and Philip H. Dybvig “for research on banks and financial crises.”
  26. Methyl bromide is fairly common on Earth but it is not easy to detect it in our atmosphere because of our Sun’s intense ultraviolet (UV) radiation. 
  27. The snow leopard is listed as ‘vulnerable’ on the IUCN-World Conservation Union’s Red List of the threatened species and Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. India has launched two conservation efforts, including Project Snow Leopard, which promotes an inclusive and participatory approach to conservation involving local communities. The other conservation effort is SECURE Himalaya, which is being funded by the Global Environment Facility-United Nations Development Programme. The snow leopard has never been spotted nor recorded in the Namdapha National Park and Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh’s Changlang district. The 1,985 sq. km reserve bordering Myanmar has an elevation varying from 200 metres to 4,571 metres above sea level. Namdapha is the known home of three other large cats — tiger, leopard and clouded leopard. The belief that the national park is also the habitat of the snow leopard is based on the claim of a hunter from the Lisu ethnic community that he possessed the skin of the carnivore. A person in Vijaynagar (close to Myanmar border, in Changlang district) had described having a skin that could have been of a snow leopard. He called it Lamaphu, which is possibly the local name for a snow leopard. The tiger is called Lama in the Lisu dialect.
  28. Paddy straw made into pellets or torrefied can be mixed along with coal in thermal power plants. This saves coal as well as reduces carbon emissions that would otherwise have been emitted were the straw burnt in the fields, as is the regular practice of most farmers in Punjab and Haryana.
  29. The Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) held in Astana. India, that is a founder of the 27-nation CICA peace and confidence-building grouping of Asian countries, became its coordinator for counter-terrorism this year. India will also host a special meeting of the UNSC Counter-Terrorism Committee, ambassadors and representatives of all countries in the Security Council, including the P-5 members U.S., Russia, China, U.K. and France.
  30. The NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter is a small solar-powered rotorcraft that landed on the surface of Mars on February 19, 2021, along with the perseverance rover. 
  31. Chandrayaan-2’s CLASS X-ray spectrometer has mapped an abundance of Sodium on the Moon for the first time. The orbiter’s X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (C1XS) detected sodium with the help of its characteristic line in X-rays.
  32. New Delhi will also host the third “No Money for Terrorism” Ministerial conference with more than a hundred countries expected to attend.
  33. The Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) initiative is apparently modelled after the South Africa JETP launched at the last climate conference in Glasgow with the support of the United Kingdom (UK), the United States (US), France, Germany, and the European Union (EU).
  34. The UK and India have a bilateral Sustainable Finance Forum to help prepare projects that can seek support from the Green Growth Equity Fund in India set up by the UK. Similar fora exist with France, Germany and Japan. The government may consider whether it is worthwhile to negotiate access to capital and technology through these for a, rather scout for new.
  35. The reptile, called Scleromochlus taylori, is a close cousin of pterosaurs. It is a member of a group called lagerpetids, considered the nearest relatives of pterosaurs. It did not have a lizard-like or frog-like sprawling posture as previously hypothesized.
  36. The 7th edition of IBSAMAR, a joint multinational maritime exercise, among the Indian, Brazilian and South Africa navies was held at Port Gqeberha (also known as Port Elizabeth), South Africa. The Indian Navy was represented in it by the guided missile frigate, INS Tarkash, a Chetak helicopter and MARCOS special forces. The objectives of the exercise included strengthening maritime relations, promoting joint operational military training, combating maritime crimes, securing Sea Lines of Communication and enhancing interoperability to pursue common evolutions at sea.
  37. ABO-incompatible transplant is done when the blood types of the recipient and donor are different, and therefore, incompatible. Such a transplant are thus very complex. However, medical advancements over the years have made it possible to conduct such surgeries with a good success rate.
  38. El Niño poses a threat to the island group. It shuts down the cold current every couple of years, causing penguin populations to collapse. El Niño is a climate pattern that causes unusual warming of surface waters in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.
  39. The United Nations Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) launched an open-access platform called the Risk Information Exchangeto connect countries with global and regional initiatives by aggregating disaster risk information.
  40. The United Nations Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) released the report October 13, 2022 on the occasion of International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction.
  41. The nine-point agreement of November 10, 2020 was signed by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The agreement imposed an immediate ceasefire, a timeline for withdrawal from Azerbaijan’s occupied regions, the introduction of Russian peacekeepers, and the need for new transport corridors. However, this failed to initiate a peace agreement because it altered the power balance between the two countries and lacked clarity on several issues resulting in the subsequent ceasefire violations on both sides.
  42. Mostly objects such as satellites and spacecrafts are put in elliptical orbits only temporarily. They are then either pushed up to circular orbits at a greater height or the acceleration is increased until the trajectory changes from an ellipse to a hyperbola and the spacecraft escapes the gravity of the Earth in order to move further into space — for example, to the Moon or Mars or further away. Satellites that orbit the Earth are mostly placed in circular orbits. One reason is that if the satellite is used for imaging the Earth, it is easier if it has a fixed distance from the Earth. If the distance keeps changing as in an elliptical orbit, keeping the cameras focussed can become complicated.
  43. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has partnered with the Indian State of Telangana for Data in Climate Resilient Agriculture (DiCRA). The platform aims to strengthen food systems and food security by the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. DiCRA is a digital solution that aims to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). DiCRA is a part of Digital Public Goods Alliance through which India is pioneering open data systems and making them widely available to other countries. It is a multi-stakeholder initiative that aims to achieve sustainable development goals in low and middle-income countries by facilitating the discovery, development, use of, and investment in digital public goods.
  44. The Hemis Festival is held at Ladakh’s largest monastery, the Hemis Gompa, which houses approximately 500 monks. It is known for the famous masked dance, ‘Cham Dance,’ which is performed with enacting the goal of destroying all evils & obstacles.
  45. A ruling by the Supreme Court is final and binding. However, Article 137 of the Constitution grants the SC the power to review its judgments or orders. A review petition must be filed within 30 days of pronouncement of the judgment. Except in cases of death penalty, review petitions are heard through “circulation” by judges in their chambers, and not in an open court.
  46. What are the three alliance of NATO? Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) is a 50-nation multilateral forum for dialogue and consultation on political and security-related issues among Allies and partner countries. Mediterranean Dialogue is a partnership forum that aims to contribute to security and stability in NATO’s Mediterranean and North African neighbourhood. Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) is a partnership that aims at long-term global and regional security by offering non-NATO countries in the broader Middle East region the opportunity to cooperate with NATO.
  47. Krishnanaattam, a dance drama performed at the Guruvayoor temple, combines elements of folk rituals from Kerala, such as Tirayattam, Theyyam, and Kathakali. In eight parts, it tells the story of Krishna from his birth to his ascension to heaven.
  48. The Indian Constitution puts police forces under the jurisdiction of state governments, and each of the 28 states have their own police force. Both ‘public order’ and the ‘police’ are placed in List II (State List) of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, which deals with the division of powers between the Union and States.
  49. There are three broad categories of lichen — foliose, which are flat and leaf-like, crustose which form a layer, and fruticose which resemble minishrubs. Lichen (such as Parmotrema tinctorum and Ramalina sinensis respectively) are used as spices and in perfumes, particularly utilised in the famous perfumeries of Kannauj, while some are used in medicines for asthma and fractures. Recent research shows some lichen have biochemicals which can treat cancers.
  50. Lichen are nature’s emblem of coexistence. Formed via a symbiotic relationship between fungus and algae, they resemble a micro-ecosystem and with lower plants like mosses, they attract insects, birds, snails, frogs and little animals needing food, habitat and shelter. Importantly, lichen are ‘pioneer species’ or among the most ancient organisms on Earth — they are the first to appear on barren rocks, in deserts and icy terrain and after disturbances like landslides. They also enhance soil chemically, releasing minerals from rocks. They thus play a foundational role in enabling all life. In deserts, lichen form a crust over the surface, retaining moisture — only in such spots do desert trees grow. These are also bioindicators of pollution — not having roots or structures like other plants, they depend on the atmosphere for air and water. The quality of our ambience thus reflects in the diversity of lichens. In Uttarakhand, lichen is locally called ‘jhoolaghas’ or ‘patthar ke phool’ as it often appears on rocks. It offers a source of income — in Kumaon, some villages collect lichen to sell to traders for its many uses.
  51. Cassie, a robot designed at the Oregon State University (OSU) and manufactured by Agility Robotics established the Guinness World Record for the fastest 100 metres sprint by a bipedal robot.
  52. The Orionid meteor shower is a moderate shower that produces between ten and twenty meteors per hour at its peak. It will be active throughout October and November with its peak on the night of October 20. Unfortunately, the moon will be about 20 per cent full during the peak nights so it might interfere a bit with the viewing even though it won’t spoil it completely.
  53. High constitutional functionaries, from the President of India to government Ministers, need not depend on the state machinery to prosecute his or her defamer, the Supreme Court held in a judgment. A constitutional functionary can choose to shed the identity of his high office and don the role of a private citizen to prosecute damaging comments made about his public functions in office.
  54. Wild poliovirus is endemic in just two countries — Pakistan and Afghanistan.
  55. World Health Summit is an international health conference being held in Berlin, Germany.
  56. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) is led by national governments with six core partners – Rotary International, the World Health Organization (WHO), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. 
  57. The Swadesh Darshan Scheme was launched by the Centre in 2014-15 for the integrated development of theme-based tourist circuits. Under the scheme, the Ministry of Tourism provides financial assistance to State governments, Union Territory Administrations or Central Agencies for development of tourism infrastructure in the country. The scheme was envisioned to synergise with other government schemes such as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Skill India, and Make in India with the idea of positioning the tourism sector as a major engine for job creation, driving force for economic growth, building synergy with various sectors to enable tourism to realise its potential. Some of the prominent circuits launched under this were the Buddhist tourist circle, Ambedkar Tourist Circle and the North-East Tourist Circle.
  58. Stellar winds are streams of gas that stars blow into space. When these two stars came close together, their stellar winds met and compressed the gas, creating dust in the process. The orbit of these stars brings them together about once every eight years. These rings mark the passage of time just like the growth rings on a tree.
  59. The Great Indian Bustards (GIBs), which is the State bird of Rajasthan, is also considered India’s most critically endangered bird and is protected under the Wildlife Protection Act. Significantly, the GIB was added to the world list of protected species of the ‘Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals’ during its 13th conference in Gandhinagar in 2020. Pakistan is a signatory to the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the convention.
  60. Viruses are some of the most abundant entities on earth, but they need to infect a host’s cell in order to replicate. According to the research, these virus/host relationships seem relatively stable within superkingdoms, the major groupings of organisms. However, below this rank, viruses may infect a new host from a reservoir host (in which it usually resides) by being able to transmit sustainably in a novel host – a process defined as ‘viral spillover’.
  61. SARS-CoV-2 is an RNA virus and similar processes have been seen in mice infected with other RNA viruses that can also cause residual cognitive symptoms, such as the West Nile virus.
  62. The Sukapaika River originated from another river, the Mahanadi, near Ayatpur village. 
  63. Satellite connectivity relies on satellites — rather than cell phone towers, which provide connectivity to regular cell phones. Satellite phones work in remote areas where there are no cell phone towers and therefore, no cellular connectivity. Satellite (or sat) phones usually cover most of the planet with fairly robust connectivity. There are a few well known satellite connectivity providers. These are Iridium, Inmarsat, Thuraya and Globalstar. Each sat phone device works only with a specific provider — which means a Thuraya phone will not work on the Iridium network. Can you get a sat phone for yourself: Theoretically, yes, as long as they are allowed by law, and the requisite permissions have been obtained. If you need to use a satellite phone inside the country, you must purchase it in India from an authorised distributor.
  64. NASA’s Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) mission is to test a unique elliptical lunar orbit. The orbit, called a near rectilinear halo orbit (NRHO) is very elongated and its location is at a precise balance point in the gravities of the Earth and the Moon. The mission is aimed at reducing risks for future spaceflight by validating new technologies and verifying this orbit.
  65. Researchers in Japan are working on a “cyborg cockroach,” or a remote-controlled insect wearing a tiny backpack of solar cells and electronic hardware. This set-up would let the cockroaches to explore dangerous ruins and obey commands from remote controllers in order to find survivors trapped under stone.  For this purpose, a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach was chosen. Unlike the cockroaches we see in households, the Madagascar Hissing cockroach is large, wingless, and can turn itself over after falling on its back – even if its wearing the cyborg suit. The backpack can also be removed from the insect, so the cockroach is not a cyborg in the true sense of the word. 
  66. China launched its Advanced Space-based Solar Observatory (ASO-S), nicknamed Kuafu-1. The observatory has three instruments on board that will help scientists understand how the Sun’s magnetic field causes coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and other eruptions.
  67. Google has also introduced a free defence programme called Project Shield, under which over 200 Ukrainian websites have been protected from denial-of-service attacks. Global ransomware damages are expected to exceed $30 billion by 2023. Asia is one of the worst-impacted regions with 26 per cent of global attacks directed towards Asia.
  68. Maharashtra, home to seven of the nine vulture species in India, marked International Vulture Awareness Day, celebrated on the first Saturday of September annually, with a slew of initiatives to boost numbers and ensure conservation. Currently, as per the Maharashtra forest department, seven species have been reported from the state, comprising white-rumped vulture (critically endangered), Indian vulture (critically endangered), red-headed vulture (critically endangered), Egyptian vulture (endangered), cinereous vulture (near threatened) , Himalayan griffon (near threatened) and griffon vulture (least Concern).
  69. As many as seven of the nine species of raptors found in India are ‘critically endangered’ and ‘near threatened’, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. 
  70. The origin of tambo art or rice paddy art can be traced to Japan where people plant paddy of various varieties and hues to create the desired images. Paddy art originated in the small town of Inakadate village in Aamori in south Japan. Rice plantations are done in the areas without using any machines. The farmers decided to celebrate 2000 years of rice cultivation. Paddy Art also known as Tambo Art, became popular in Japan in 1993. 
  71. More than 75% of Indian coffee production is exported
  72. OmpA (outer membrane protein A) is one of the most abundant barrel-shaped porin proteins localised in the outer membrane of Salmonella.
  73. The town of Morbi is situated on the Machchhu River, 35 km from the sea and 60 km from Rajkot.
  74. Machchhu River originates from Madla hills (Jasdan) and meets in little Rann of Kuchchh. It is a North flowing river of Saurashtra in Gujarat state. The total length of this river from its origin to its outfall is 140 km. There are 2 dams located on river Machchhu River – Machchhu-I & Machchhu-II.
  75. Global warming potential(GWP) is the heat absorbed by any greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, as a multiple of the heat that would be absorbed by the same mass of carbon dioxide (CO2). GWP is 1 for CO2. For other gases it depends on the gas and the time frame. Through GWP, we know gases such as nitrous oxide and methane produce more heat around the earth’s surface than carbon dioxide or CO2, which is taken as a reference. It absorbs more energy than CO2 but stays in the atmosphere for a shorter duration. Over a 20-year-period, it has 80 times more GWP than that carbon dioxide.
  76. Article 44 is one of the Directive Principles of State Policy, described in Part IV of the Constitution. According to Article 37, “The provisions contained in this Part shall not be enforceable by any court, but the principles therein laid down are nevertheless fundamental in the governance of the country and it shall be the duty of the State to apply these principles in making laws.”
  77. Part IV (Articles 36-51) covers a wide range of principles, including (apart from the UCC), the securing of equal justice and free legal aid to citizens (Art 39A), participation of workers in the management of industries (Art 43A), organisation of agriculture and animal husbandry (Art 48), protection and improvement of the environment and safeguarding of forests and wildlife (Art 48A), promotion of international peace and security (Art 51), etc.
  78. Plainly, anti-Semitism refers to any form of prejudice against the Jewish people. However, the term itself is a misnomer as Semitic designates a language group, not a race. Though anti-Semitism can linguistically be used to describe a prejudice against speakers of the Semitic languages (including Arabs and Ethiopians,) in practical terms, it is commonly used specifically to pertain to Jews.
  79. The Balfour Declaration, the British Government’s 1917 statement of support for the creation of a Jewish state, is one example of the phenomenon. The Declaration, Fox and Bauer write, “was at least partly rooted in the antisemitic view that Jews were a powerful group, the ‘positive’ conclusion being that they were worth luring to the British side.”
  80. Hybridisation involves crossing two genetically dissimilar plant varieties that can even be from the same species. The first-generation (F1) offspring from such crosses tend to have higher yields than what either parent can individually give.
  81. Under Article 350A of the Constitution, the government must try to ensure that children from linguistic minority groups are educated in their mother tongue.
  82. Article 351 says “It shall be the duty of the Union to promote the spread of the Hindi language, to develop it so that it may serve as a medium of expression for all the elements of the composite culture of India and to secure its enrichment by assimilating without interfering with its genius, the forms, style and expressions used in Hindustani and in the other languages…specified in the Eighth Schedule…”
  83. Mitochondrial DNA is passed intact from mother to offspring. It is not involved in sexual mixing, so it changes only by the random process of mutation. The lack of mutations that might have distinguished the DNA of the individuals in question from each other suggests not only a common ancestor, but a relatively recent one.
  84. Neanderthals lived 50,000 years ago in the Altai mountains of Russia. The remains under study—17 bone and tooth samples belonging to 13 individuals—came from two caves about 100km apart. One, called Chagyrskaya, yielded 11 individuals (three boys, three girls, three men and two women). The other, Okladnikov, yielded two (a boy and a woman). The individuals in the Okladnikov cave were related closely neither to each other nor to anyone from Chagyrskaya.
  85. Russia’s Kalibr missiles are believed to be able to fly up to 2,000 km, descend on their targets at several times the speed of sound, and carry warheads that weigh more than 400 kg, potentially including nuclear weapons. They are designed to destroy well-protected, high value military targets such as enemy warships or command centres. Shooting them down requires sophisticated air defences, which are best suited to defending specific, important targets rather than protecting a wide area.
  86. The name Sitrang (read Si-trang) has been given by Thailand, and features in the list of tropical cyclone names prepared by the RMSC being followed since April 2020. The IMD is one of the world’s six RMSCs mandated to provide cyclone advisories and alerts to 13 member countries — Bangladesh, India, Iran, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
  87. Prime Minister Liz Truss has ended her tenureas Britain’s shortest-serving prime minister.
  88. Sri Lankan writer Shehan Karunatilaka has won the 2022 Booker Prizefor his second novel, The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida (published in the subcontinent as Chats with the Dead in 2020 by Penguin Random House). He is only the second Sri Lankan to win the prestigious £50,000 after Michael Ondaatje in 1992 for The English Patient.
  89. American historian and internationally acclaimed scholar of South Asian history and Islam, Barbara D Metcalf received the Sir Syed Excellence International Award for 2022. The annual award is given by the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on its founder Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’s birth anniversary. This year, AMU is marking the 205th anniversary of Sir Syed. The international award, given to Metcalf this year, carries a cash prize of Rs. 200,000, while the national award of Rs 100,000 was given to the Maulana Azad Education Foundation in New Delhi. The award is named in honour of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan (1817-1898), one of the foremost social and political reformers of modern India. He founded the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental (MAO) College in 1875, which was influenced by Oxford and Cambridge Universities in Britain, and sought to instill a scientific temperament in the Muslim community and allow Indians to access Western knowledge in their own languages.
  90. The 5 sub-variant of omicron continues to be the dominant one across the globe, accounting for 76.2 per cent of the cases, according to the latest situation report by the World Health Organisation. In India, BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants never became the dominant variants. At present, BA.2.75 continues to cause most of the infections. In the Unites States, BQ.1, BQ.1.1, and BF.7 are being monitored as variants of concern because of an increase in cases caused by them. In the United Kingdom, the BQ.X variant and BF.7 are under the scanner as they gain ground over the dominant BA.5.
  91. Pasmanda is a Persian word that means the ‘ones left behind’. The word is used to describe the depressed classes among Muslims who have been deliberately or consciously excluded from the fruits of power and privilege. Backward, Dalit, and tribal Muslims use the word Pasmanda as an umbrella identity to flag caste-based discrimination within the community.
  92. Wolf warrior diplomacy is a tactic for the Chinese government to extend its ideology beyond China and counter the West and defend itself. It is an unofficial term for the more aggressive and confrontational style of communication that Chinese diplomats have taken to in the last decade.
  93. Key policy interventions and technological advancements have made India the second-largest telecom market in the world. The sector is one of the highest contributors to India’s GDP. In the last few years, the government has allowed 100%.
  94. Kamikaze drones are small unmanned aircraft packed with explosives that can be flown directly at a tank or a group of troops that are destroyed when it hits the target and explodes. The name comes from the World War 2 era’s feared Japanese kamikaze pilots, who conducted suicide attacks by intentionally crashing their explosive filled aircraft into enemy targets. The modern drone versions have the capability of surpassing traditional defences to strike their targets and are also cheaper than their larger counterparts. The small lethal drones are difficult to detect on radar, and through the use of facial recognition, can be programmed to hit targets without human intervention. Called a “poor man’s cruise missile”, Kamikaze drones are low-cost and difficult to intercept by air defence systems. Kamikaze drones, also called suicide drones, are designed to detonate on contact with the target. It is a type of loitering munition – an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that, as the name suggests, has the ability to “loiter” in the air for an extended period of time before striking the target. The kamikaze drones used by Russia to attack Ukraine are believed to be Iranian-made Shahed-136s, rebranded as Geran-2 (or Geranium-2) by Russia.
  95. Ecuador: The first country in the world to recognise the rights of nature. More recently, in April 2022 Ecuador became the first country to grant legal rights to individual wild animals. 
  96. Bolivia: Establishing the Law of Mother Earth.
  97. New Zealand’s Whanganui river: First in the world to be given legal status. The Maori people had been fighting for the river to be recognized as a living entity for about 160 years. The river, revered by the Maori people, is represented in court proceedings by iwi – one of the members of the Maori tribe – and one from the Crown.
  98. The Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 and the Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960 exist, they do not recognize animals as individual living entities.
  99. Carbon dating is a widely-used method to establish the age of organic materials, things that were once living. Living things have carbon in them in various forms. The dating method is based on the fact that Carbon-14 (C-14), an isotope of carbon with an atomic mass of 14, is radioactive, and decays at a well known rate.
  100. The Hubble Space Telescope has been delivering important imagery and science data for astronomers since its launch in 1990. Hubble was reportedly serviced several times in the early 2000s during the US Space Shuttle program. The program was retired in 2011 and astronomers have considered various ways to service the telescope. No plans have been developed yet.
  101. Two commonly employed methods for dating rocks are potassium-argon dating and uranium-thorium-lead dating. The radioactive isotope of potassium decays into argon, and their ratios can give a clue about the age of rocks. Uranium and thorium have several radioactive isotopes, and all of them decay into the stable lead atom. The ratios of these elements present in the material can be measured and used to make estimates about age.
  102. Rythu Bharosa Kendras: Set up for the first time in the country, the RBKs are unique seeds-to-sales, single-window service centres for farmers that have been set up across the state. They are a one-stop solution to all farmers’ needs and grievances. RBKs sell pre-tested quality seeds, certified fertilisers and animal feed. Farmers can purchase or hire farm equipment, and even sell their produce at the prevailing MSP in the RBKs.
  103. No fundamental right is absolute and can be curtailed by following due procedure, and that the freedom of conscience and religion under Article 25 is subject to restrictions provided under Article 25(1). “Such right is not just subject to public order, morality and health but also ‘other provisions of Part III’. This would also include Article 14 which provides for equality before law.”
  104. The Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), which is a government-backed project is an initiative aimed at promoting open networks for all aspects of exchange of goods and services over digital or electronic networks. ONDC is to be based on open-sourced methodology, using open specifications and open network protocols independent of any specific platform. The ONDC platform lies in the middle of the interfaces hosting the buyers and the sellers. So far, the buyer side interface is being hosted by Paytm, whereas the seller side interface is being hosted by other players like GoFrugal, etc.
  105. International poverty line is revised periodically to account for rising prices of goods and services over time. The very first international poverty line — a dollar a day — was constructed in 1990 using the 1985 prices. It was then raised to $1.08 a day in 1993, $1.25 a day in 2005 and $1.90 a day in 2011. The $2.15 one is based on 2017 prices.
  106. The 19-km (12-mile) Crimea Bridge over the Kerch Strait is the only direct link between the transport network of Russia and the Crimean peninsula, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014. It consists of a separate roadway and railway, both supported by concrete stilts, which give way to a wider span held by steel arches at the point where ships pass between the Black Sea and the smaller Azov Sea.
  107. The Rosetta Stone is a large stone slab with inscriptions on it and is believed to be a piece of a bigger rock. It has inscriptions in three scripts, all of which convey a decree or public message. This is similar to how in Ancient India, King Ashoka ordered stambhas or edicts that had messages of Buddha’s teachings and news about victory in a war inscribed. These were then placed throughout the kingdom for the public to see.
  108. The provision called the foreign direct product rule, or FDPR, was first introduced in 1959 to control trading of US technologies. It essentially says that if a product was made using American technology, the US government has the power to stop it from being sold – including products made in a foreign country.
  109. Article 124(1) of the Constitution says that “there shall be a Supreme Court of India consisting of a Chief Justice of India…and…other Judges”; Article 124(2) lays down that “every Judge of the Supreme Court shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal…”.
  110. The central government has notified a Commissionunder former Chief Justice of India and former chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) K G Balakrishnan “to examine the matter of according Scheduled Caste status to new persons, who claim to historically have belonged to the Scheduled Castes, but have converted to religions other than those mentioned in the Presidential Orders issued from time to time under Article 341 of the Constitution”. Under Article 341 of the Constitution, the President may “specify the castes, races or tribes or parts of or groups within castes, races or tribes which shall…be deemed to be Scheduled Castes”.
  111. The Sachar Commission Report observed that the social and economic situation of Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians did not improve after conversion. The Ranganath Misra Commission, which submitted its report in May 2007, recommended that SC status should be “completely de-linked…from religion and…Scheduled Castes [should be made] fully religion-neutral like…Scheduled Tribes”.
  112. The No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels (NOPEC) bill, which passed the US Senate is intended to protect U.S. consumers and businesses from engineered oil spikes. OPEC+, which groups the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia, agreed to steep production cuts, curbing supply in an already tight market.
  113. Dengue infections are caused by four Antigenically distinct serotypes, DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3 & DENV-4.
  114. Nord Stream 1 is a 1,224 km underwater gas pipeline running from Vyborg in northwest Russia to Lubmin in northeastern Germany via the Baltic Sea. The majority owned by the Russian energy giant Gazprom, it is the primary network through which gas reaches Germany. Most of the gas goes directly to Germany, while the rest travels west and southwards through onshore links to other countries and into storage caverns.
  115. The C-295MW is a transport aircraft of 5-10 tonne capacity with contemporary technology that will replace the ageing Avro aircraft of the IAF. It has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para dropping of troops and cargo. Its abilities include short take-off and landing from semi-prepared surfaces.
  116. Damini Appwas developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM-Pune) and Earth System Science Organization (ESSO) under the ministry of earth sciences. The app monitors the lightning occurrence all over India and alerts the user of lightning near them by a GPS notification under 20 km and 40 km. Further, the Damini app also triggers warning about lightning strikes three hours in advance which can help reduce losses to life and property.
  117. A “Cyclonic Storm’ or a “Cyclone” is an intense vortex or a whirl in the atmosphere with very strong winds circulating around it in anti-clockwise direction in the Northern Hemisphere and in clockwise direction in the Southern Hemisphere. Tropical cyclones are also referred to as ‘Hurricanes’ over Atlantic Ocean, ‘Typhoons’ over Pacific Ocean, ‘Willy-Willies’ over Australian Seas and simply as ‘Cyclones’ over north Indian Ocean (NIO).
  118. The Section 79 D of the Representation of People Act, 1951 defines “electoral right” to mean the right of a person to… vote or refrain from vote at an election”. The same provision exists in the Indian Penal Code, vide Section 171A (b). The law completely enables, but does not force, citizens to vote. Section135B of the Representation of People Act, 1951, grants a paid holiday to every person employed in any business, trade, industrial undertaking or any other establishment.
  119. According to Section 135B of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, every registered voter employed in any business, trade, industrial undertaking or any other establishment and entitled to vote in a Parliament or Assembly election has to be granted a paid holiday for the purpose. The state and central governments always notify polling day as a paid holiday within the meaning of Section 25 of Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.
  120. India joined a select group of nations when it announced the successful launch of an SLBM (submarine-launched ballistic missile). The other six nations that have demonstrated similar underwater capability include the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — Russia, the UK, France and China. In August 2016, North Korea claimed a successful launch of an SLBM.
  121. Launched in 2009 and Commissioned in 2016, INS Arihant is India’s first indigenous nuclear powered ballistic missile capable submarine built under the secretive Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project, which was initiated in the 1990s.
  122. The central message of the International Monetary Fund’s latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) — it publishes two WEOs each year (in April and October) as well as two updates (January and July) — to policymakers around the globe: “The worst is yet to come” for the world economy.
  123. Tana Bhagat Movement (1914-1920) was a movement in Chhotanagpur area of British India against the policies of the local British authorities and exploitative business practices of local zamindars, mostly by Oraon people. The Tana Bhagat sect was founded by Jatra Oraon of Chipri Nawatoli in the Bishunpur area of Gumla, who claimed he had received a divine message from the Oraon god Dharmesh, and asked his followers to join the movement.
  124. The OECD released a new global tax transparency framework, “Crypto-Asset Reporting Framework (CARF). It is said that the OECD’s a new global tax transparency framework, Crypto-Asset Reporting Framework (CARF) is in line with earlier proposal of G20 that the OECD develop a framework for the automatic exchange of information between countries on crypto-assets.
  125. Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC consists of eight satellites and covers the whole of India’s landmass and up to 1,500 km (930 miles) from its boundaries.
  126. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has implemented a Scheme of Aapda Mitra on a pilot basis to train 6000 community volunteers (200 per district) in 30 flood-prone districts of 25 States/UTs in disaster response   with  a  focus   on   flood,  so  that   they  can   respond   to  the community’s immediate needs in the aftermath of a disaster. More than 5500 volunteers have been trained under the pilot scheme.
  127. Reflection nebulae are clouds of interstellar dust and gas that can reflect the light of nearby stars. 
  128. Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) image of the pillars of creation shows thousands and thousands of stars forming in the region. But many of these stars are missing in this MIRI (mid-infrared instrument) image. According to the European Space Agency, this is because many of the newborn stars no longer have “cloaks” of dust that can be detected in mid-infrared light.
  129. NASA’s Earth Surface Mineral Dust Investigation, or EMIT, was mainly designed to study airborne dust and its effect on climate change but it has proven useful to detect a cause of climate change–detecting large “super-emitters” of methane from around the world. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas but compared to carbon dioxide, which lingers in the atmosphere for decades, methane lasts only decades in the atmosphere. This means that reducing methane emissions could produce more immediate impacts on climate change. Methane is an 80 times more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. It accounts for a small portion of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions compared to carbon dioxide. But it is thought to be 80 times more efficient than carbon dioxide at trapping atmospheric heat in the 20 years following its release. Nearly 30 per cent of the current global temperature rise can be attributed to methane.
  130. While geosynchronous satellites can have any inclination, the key difference from geostationary orbit is the fact that they lie on the same plane as the equator. Geostationary orbits fall in the same category as geosynchronous orbits, but it’s parked over the equator. This one special quality makes it unique from geosynchronous orbits. At any inclination, a geosynchronous orbit synchronizes with the rotation of the Earth. More specifically, the time it takes for the Earth to rotate on its axis is 23 hours, 56 minutes, and 4.09 seconds, which is the same as a satellite in a geosynchronous orbit.
  131. The rare “extremely red” quasar is about 11.5 billion light-years old and has a supermassive black hole at the centre of its swirl. It appears red in colour because of the clouds of dust and gas between Earth and the gas near the black hole.
  132. Textile engineers at Shinshu University in Japan have woven a fabric that can heat up or cool down depending on the outside temperature. The fabric is woven out of super-fine nano-threads that contain a special “phase-change” material (PCM) that can store and release large amounts of heat. Their ability to absorb and release heat could mean that they can absorb heat in hot conditions and release it when it gets cooler and vice versa.
  133. The photoresponsive material absorbs heat from direct sunlight and the electrothermal coating converts excess heat into electricity. The fabric combines these three different technologies to expand the range of environments where it can be used.
  134. Red dwarf stars or M dwarf stars are the most common type of stars in the universe.
  135. For an asteroid to be classified as a near-Earth Asteroid (NEA), its trajectory should bring it within 1.3 Astronomical Units (AU) of the Sun. One AU is the distance between the Sun and our planet. After an asteroid is discovered, more “focussed,” larger telescopes, like the Very Large Telescope in Chile, can be used to make further observations. This helps astronomers understand the asteroid’s, path, and size and can even give clues about its composition.
  136. Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB) brings along glad tidings for scientists in the form of new insights into stellar collapses and the birth of black holes. It also helps them learn more about interactions of matter when they near the speed of light. Another GRB like this may not happen for decades, according to NASA.
  137. NASA’s NICER X-ray telescope and a Japanese detector called Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image (MAXI) were linked to create OHMAN (Orbiting High-energy Monitor Alert Network). This explosion provided a great inaugural opportunity for the two linked experiments to observe. With the link, NICER automatically and rapidly turns to outbursts detected by MAXI; something that previously required interventions by scientists on the ground.
  138. Japan’s rocket carrying eight satellites failed just after liftoff. It was the first time that a JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) rocket failed since the space agency’s H2A rocket failed in 2003. It was also the first time that an Epsilon rocket carried commercially developed payloads.
  139. The ALMA Observatory in Chile, MeerKAT observatory in South Africa, the Australian Telescope Compact Array and the Chandra X-Ray Observatory and the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory in space.
  140. Methyl bromide is fairly common on Earth but it is not easy to detect it in our atmosphere because of our Sun’s intense ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV radiation causes chemical reactions that break up the water molecules in our atmosphere, splitting them into substances that destroy the methylated gas. Also, methyl bromide absorbs light in a wavelength close to that of another biosignature gas, methyl bromide.
  141. The Dimorphos moonlet is one of the smallest astronomical objects to receive a permanent name and is one of 27,500 known near-Earth asteroids of all sizes tracked by NASA. Although none are known to pose a foreseeable hazard to humankind, NASA estimates that many more asteroids remain undetected in the near-Earth vicinity.
  142. Diclofenac — an anti-inflammatory drug — was banned for veterinary use by the Government of India in 2006. It was found to be the main cause of a dramatic decline (99 per cent) of the vulture population across Asia. Aceclofenac in water buffaloes poses the same threat to vultures as it is a pro-drug of diclofenac. Recent study found that, aceclofenac was rapidly converted to diclofenac in the water buffaloes too. Aceclofenac is a pro-drug of diclofenac and behaves similarly in domestic water buffalo as it does in domestic cattle, posing the same risk to vultures. Aceclofenac turns into diclofenac soon after it enters the livestock. Aceclofenac is an unnecessary threat to the scavenging birds since safe alternatives — meloxicam and tolfenamic acid — are available.
  143. The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layeris the multilateral environmental agreement that regulates the production and consumption of nearly 100 man-made chemicals referred to as ozone depleting substances (ODS). The ozone layer protects life on Earth from the Sun’s ultraviolet radiation. ODS, released through aerosols, damages the stratospheric ozone layer. 
  144. The westerlies are prevailing winds from the west toward the east in the middle latitudes. The westerly influence played a key role in the cyclone shifting gear rapidly, claimed experts. Though such quickening of speed is not a common phenomenon, the speed of the cyclonic systems often gets enhanced by the westerly influence. 
  145. Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)’s AQI has several categories. An AQI of 1-50 is ‘good’, 51-100 is ‘satisfactory’, 101-200 is ‘moderate’, 201-300 is ‘poor’, 301-400 is ‘very poor’ and 401-500 is ‘severe’ category. An air quality of more than 501 is in an ‘emergency’ zone.
  146. Klebsiella pneumoniae pathogen has been known to cause pneumonia and other nosocomial infections. Klebsiella pneumoniae, a major microbe that resides on the ISS, is beneficial to various other microbes also present on the ISS, especially the bacteria from the Pantoea  This bacterial family includes members like E coli, Salmonella, etc, which are also present in the human gut. This bacterial family was found to be the most beneficial among the other microbes present on the ISS.
  147. The new Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) test generates results in under an hour. At the same time, conventional techniques like PCR can take a day or two. LAMP was first defined in 2000 by researchers from Japan. The technique is performed at a constant temperature of 65 degrees Celsius, eliminating the need for expensive PCR machines. A water heater or other portable instruments can aid the test, Kumari explained. PCR is carried out with the help of a series of alternating temperature cycles.
  148. International E-Waste Day is held on October 14 every year as an opportunity to reflect on the impacts of e-waste. This year’s slogan is ‘Recycle it all, no matter how small!’. 
  149. Ultra-hot Jupiters are a class of hot gaseous planets that matches the size of Jupiter. But they have short orbital periods, unlike Jupiter.
  150. The cold ocean current creates a cooler, more stable environment for coral reefs and marine life and birds that often live much closer to the poles. It is described by the UNESCO World Heritage Convention as a “living museum and showcase of evolution.” Galápagos is home to the critically endangered — Galápagos penguin, Galápagos fur seal and Galápagos sea lion.
  151. The UNDRR launched an open-access platform called the Risk Information Exchangeto connect countries with global and regional initiatives by aggregating disaster risk information.
  152. Geothermal energy occurs as heat in the earth’s crust and is present in areas where tectonism and volcanism have brought magma closer to the surface.
  153. Sodium dichromate is not a by-product of sodium saccharin.It is a hexavalent chromium compound that oxidises O-Toluene Sulphonamide to saccharin.  Sodium saccharin is an organic compound used mainly in pharmaceutical industries.
  154. The communities living in the oil-rich Niger Delta have been devastated by recurring floods. The lack of efforts to safeguard these communities or help them adapt to the conditions brought on by climate change has left them vulnerable and helpless. Bayelsa is one of six states in the oil-rich region of Africa’s largest oil producer.
  155. In 2009, following the H5N1 bird flu scare, USAID launched PREDICT to accelerate and coordinate global virus discovery and surveillance.
  156. The Danda-2 peak is situated in the Draupadi ka Danda area at a height of 5,006 metres above sea level in Uttarakhand’s Uttarkashi district.
  157. The Raikar Rabari community in Rajasthan breeds Nari cattle which are reared only in the Aravalli hill range; in Telangana, the Lambada community breed the Poda Thurupu cattle which are able to survive the hot climate.
  158. Lassa fever is caused by the Lassa virus, a member of the Arenaviridae Humans usually become infected through direct contact or exposure to the excreta of infected Natal multimammate rat (Mastomys natalensis) rats.
  159. New Zealand passed the Plain Language Act, which will require the country’s officials to use simple, easily understood English language in official documents and on websites.
  160. The Troubles, also known as the Northern Ireland Conflict, was a turbulent period in Northern Ireland’s history that began in the late 1960s and lasted till 1998.
  161. Capital adequacy ratio is an indicator of the ability of a bank to survive as a going business entity in case it suffers significant losses on its loan book. A bank cannot continue to operate if the total value of its assets drops below the total value of its liabilities as it would wipe out its capital (or net worth) and render the bank insolvent. So, banking regulations such as the Basel-III norms try to closely monitor changes in the capital adequacy of banks in order to prevent major bank failures which could have a severe impact on the wider economy. The capital position of a bank should not be confused with cash held by a bank in its vaults to make good on its commitment to depositors.  The CRAR, which is a ratio that compares the value of a bank’s capital (or net worth) against the value of its various assets weighted according to how risky each asset is, is used to gauge the risk of insolvency faced by a bank. The riskier a type of asset held in a bank’s balance sheet, the higher the weightage given to the value of the asset while calculating the bank’s capital adequacy ratio. This causes the capital adequacy ratio of the bank to drop, thus signalling a higher risk of insolvency during crises. In other words, the CRAR tries to gauge the risk posed to the solvency of the bank by the quality or riskiness of the assets on the bank’s balance sheet. 
  162. The internationally-accepted resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict is called the two-State solution. If achieved, the two-State solution will provide for the coexistence of the State of Israel alongside the independent State of Palestine.
  163. The Unification Church, formally known as the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, is a religious group, often described as a ‘cult’ by critics, founded by late Reverend Sun Myung Moon in 1954 in South Korea. The Church, known for its ultra-conservative, anti-communist views, and mass-weddings where thousands of unmarried persons were matched by the Reverend, first expanded its international reach in Japan in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
  164. Article 145(3), which deals with the rules of the court, provides for the setting up of a Constitution Bench.Article 145(3) says a minimum of five judges need to sit for deciding a case involving a “substantial question of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution”, or for hearing any reference under Article 143, which deals with the power of the President to consult the SC.
  165. Earlier this year, the National Assembly of Bhutan gave its nod to a set of rules, which requires all tourists entering Bhutan to pay a tourism tax, known as the Sustainable Development Fee, or SDF. 
  166. On October 13, 1935, Ambedkar, as president of the ‘Yeola Conversion Conference’ near Nasik, announced his decision to renounce Hinduism, as a path to contest the Hindu caste order.
  167. The Nobel Prize for Physiology this year has been awarded to Svante Pääbo, Swedish geneticist, who pioneered the field of palaeogenomics, or the study of ancient hominins by extracting their DNA.
  168. Because of their high selectivity and specificity, click chemistry reactions find wide-range applications in areas like drug conjugation, materials science, etc. The bioorthogonal reactions are extremely significant in medicinal biochemistry since they do not interact with any other substances around them.
  169. Quantum entanglement is a phenomenon by which a pair of particles, say photons, are allowed to exist in a shared state where they have complementary properties, such that by measuring the properties of one particle, you automatically know the properties of the other particle. This is true regardless of how far apart the two particles are transported.
  170. As India is a signatory to the Singapore Convention on Mediation (formally the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation), it is appropriate to enact a law governing domestic and international mediation.
  171. NSIL is the commercial arm of the Indian space agency ISRO. It was incorporated in March 2019 and is under the administrative control of the Department of Space (DOS) of the Government of India. NSIL operates to fulfil business demands in the space sector, including building launch vehicles through Indian industries, providing launch services, satellite building and associated ground services, technology transfer, and satellite-based services. Its mission is to enable Indian industries to develop a high-technology manufacturing base for space programmes. Currently, NSIL has an authorised share capital of ₹100 crore and a paid-up capital of ₹10 crore.

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