IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-Oc 2023

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IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-September 2021

IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-October 2023

  1. Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras and Tel Aviv University have developed an aerogel adsorbent that can remove trace pollutants from wastewater. Their graphene-modified silica aerogel can remove over 76% of pollutants (parts per million level) when water is flowing, making it possible to scale up the experiment. Aerogels comprise mostly of air and can be used to remove contaminants. The highly porous, low-density materials with adjustable chemistry are referred to as solid air or frozen smoke and can be easily fabricated.  In India 18% of the world’s population has only 4% of global water resources. The water-intensive industries such as pharmaceuticals and textile sector discharge nearly 10 lakh tonnes of toxic synthetic dyes annually.  
  2. Subansiri River, better known as the “Gold River” is the largest tributary of the Brahmaputra River. It flows through Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, and the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. It joins the Brahmaputra at the mystic confluence of Majuli Island, which is noted as the largest inhabited river island in the world.
  3. Broadly, photocopying is a set of techniques with which to duplicate some content using, among other things, light. However, the contemporary colloquial use of the word ‘photocopying’ refers almost exclusively to xerography. Both the word ‘xerography’ and the name ‘Xerox’ come from the Greek root-word ‘xero’, meaning ‘dry’. This is because xerography is a type of photocopying method whose process doesn’t involve messy liquid chemicals. Xerographic machines are in ubiquitous use around the world today to quickly and cheaply reproduce printed material. The first is the photoconductive surface – a surface coated with a photoconductive material. Such a material, when exposed to light, allows electrons to flow through it (i.e. conducts electricity) but blocks them when it’s dark. This surface is negatively charged by placing a thin negatively charged wire with a high voltage next to it. Then, the sheet of paper to be copied is illuminated with a bright light. The darker parts of the paper – where something is printed, i.e. – don’t reflect the light whereas the unmarked parts do.
  4. Biologists have long known mushrooms of the genus Mycena, commonly known as bonnet mushrooms, as fungi that live off of dead trees and plants. New research from the University of Copenhagen demonstrates that bonnets can also find their ways into young, healthy trees and plants, where they try to cooperate. In doing so, they have made an evolutionary leap which challenges our understanding of the ecological roles of fungi. Fungal spores float through the air.
  5. Neurocysticercosisis a parasitic infection of the central nervous system and is caused by the pork tapeworm, Taenia solium. Humans become infected after consuming undercooked food, particularly pork, or water contaminated with tapeworm eggs, or through poor hygiene practices. Taeniasis is the intestinal infection of the adult tapeworm. When left untreated, a more serious condition known as cysticercosis develops as T. solium larvae invade body tissues. When larvae build up in the central nervous system, muscles, skin, and eyes, it leads to neurocysticercosis. It is the most severe form of the disease and a common cause of seizures worldwide. It is mainly treated symptomatically and by management of seizures by anticonvulsants.
  6. The SARAS Melas organised by the Ministry of Rural Development and National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) is an important initiative to support livelihood enhancement support initiatives.
  7. Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans initially interbred 250,000 years ago, a date that is far earlier than previously thought, a new study suggests. Until now, Neanderthalsand anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens) were believed to have first interbred earlier than 75,000 years ago. However, a new analysis, published Oct. 13 in the journal Current Biology, has revealed that one group of Homo sapiens from Africa interbred with Neanderthals in Eurasia around 250,000 years ago. 
  8. Earthquake swarm is a series of many (sometimes thousands) low-intensity earthquakes without a discernible main shock that can occur over weeks in active geothermal areas. When seismic energy piles up inside the Earth and is released in small amounts from certain points, a series of earthquakes can occur.
  9. Toll, Operate and Transfer (TOT) model has been developed to encourage private participation in Highway sector. NHAI from time to time, has awarded contracts for tolling, operation and maintenance of various National Highway stretches on Toll Operate Transfer (TOT) basis. 
  10. According to the World Health Organisation WHO Egypt became the first country to achieve “gold tier” status on the path to elimination of hepatitis C as per the global health body criteria.
  11. Jericho is Israel’s original ballistic missile programme, initiated in the 1960s and named after the biblical city located in the West Bank. The Jericho-3, an intermediate-range system, was introduced years later and was reportedly tested in 2008, entering service in 2011. It featured improvements over the previous models, with a longer length than Jericho-2 and a larger diameter of 1.56 metres.
  12. The Patriot (MIM-104), which stands for Phased Array Tracking Radar for Intercept on Target, is the S. Army’s most advanced air defense system. It is an all-weather surface-to-air missile defense system to counter tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and advanced aircraft. 
  13. Almost a decade into the Rashtriya Gokul Mission—India’s flagship scheme to improve indigenous cattle breeds—the country has hit a peculiar roadblock. Instead of improving the quality of all the indigenous breeds, as envisioned under the scheme, it has ended up promoting only one indigenous variety, the Gir cow, across the country. This trend, if not corrected, could end up threatening the purity of indigenous breeds across the country.
  14. An international team of biologists, animal management specialists, geneticists and forestry managers has discovered a new species of “dragon lizard” in Laos—one with very impressive camouflage capabilities. So called “dragon lizards” have been known in parts of Laos for many years—they are of the Agamidae family and as their name suggests, slightly resemble fictional dragons. The new species was found living on the pinnacles of an outcrop of limestone in what is known as a karst landscape in Khammouan Province.
  15. Karst habitats are typically home to caves and hills due to underground water dissolving the rock, resulting in the creation of homes for a wide variety of creatures—such habitats are known for their rich diversity.
  16. Guillain-Barre syndrome is a chronic illness where the immune system attacks the nerves, leading to symptoms like weakness, tingling in the hands and feet, and, in severe cases, paralysis, breathing difficulties, abnormal blood pressure, and trouble walking. Most people do recover with minimal lasting effects.
  17. Pliosaurs were a type of plesiosaur with short necks and massive skulls. They appeared over 200 million years ago but remained minor components of marine ecosystems until suddenly developing into enormous apex predators. The new study shows that this adaptive shift followed feeding niche differentiation and the global decline of other predatory marine reptiles over 170 million years ago. Lorrainosaurusis the oldest large-bodied pliosaur represented by an associated skeleton. It had jaws over 1.3 m long with large conical teeth and a bulky ‘torpedo-shaped’ body propelled by four flipper-like limbs. Lorrainosaurus was one of the first truly huge pliosaurs. It gave rise to a dynasty of marine reptile mega-predators that ruled the oceans for around 80 million years.
  18. Recently, Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) delivered the third Stealth Destroyer of Project 15B Class Guided Missile Destroyer, i.e., Yard 12706 (IMPHAL), to the Indian Navy.
  19. White phosphorus is a waxy, yellowish-to-clear chemical with a pungent, garlic-like odour. It is a highly combustible chemical that burns quickly and brightly when exposed to air. It is used in incendiary weapons by militaries around the world, including the United States, for a variety of purposes, such as illuminating targets at night, or to just inflict damage on enemies.
  20. Ichamati River is actually a trans-boundary riverthat flows through India and Bangladesh.
  21. INS Beas is a Brahmaputra-class frigate of the Indian Navy. It is the second ship in the Indian Navy to bear the name. The first was a Leopard-class frigate commissioned in 1960 and scrapped in 1992. It is a versatile warshipcapable of a range of missions, including anti-aircraft, anti-submarine, and anti-ship warfare. It is also used for patrolling, surveillance, and providing security to India’s maritime interests.
  22. More than 100 Paleolithic cave paintings and engravings have been identified by archaeologists at the Cova Dones site on the eastern Iberian Coast in Spain.
  23. Orionid meteor shower is an annual phenomenon that lights up the night sky every October. It is produced when Earth passes through the debris left behind by Halley’s Comet, officially known as 1P/Halley. This comet, which orbits the sun approximately every 76 years, expels dust particles from its nucleus, creating a trail of debris in its path. Each year, our planet intercepts this path in late October, resulting in the Orionid meteor shower. Halley’s Comet, measuring about five by nine miles in size, loses between three to ten feet of material on each passage through the inner solar system. The Orionids are viewable in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres during the hours after midnight. 
  24. Under the terms of the stock split arrangement, every existing equity share of Sigachi Industries with a face value of Rs 10 each has been divided into 10 equity shares, each with a face value of Re 1. This ratio of 10:1 effectively increases the total number of outstanding shares, making them more affordable to a wider range of investors. A stock split is a corporate action that aims to lower the face value of each share while increasing their quantity on the stock market. This move is often employed to enhance trading activity, increase liquidity, and attract more investors.
  25. The members of the Ethics Committee are appointed by the Speaker for a period of one year.
  26. 25T Bollard Pull (BP) Tug, ‘Mahabali’ was launched. This Tug is proud flag bearer of “Make in India” initiative of Ministry of Defence. These Tugs are built under the classification rules of Indian Register of Shipping (IRS). The availability of Tugs will provide impetus to Operational commitments of INby facilitating assistance to Naval ships and submarines during berthing and un-berthing, turning and manoeuvring in confined waters. The Tugs will also provide afloat firefighting assistance to ships alongside, and at anchorage, and will have capability to conduct limited Search and Rescue Operations.
  27. The Hadrian Wall is part of a larger UNESCO World Heritage Site called the ‘Frontiers of the Roman Empire’ and is found in the UK and Germany. The Roman Empire, in its territorial extent, was one of the greatest empires history has known. Enclosing the Mediterranean world and surrounding areas, it was protected by a network of frontiers stretching from the Atlantic Coast in the west to the Black Sea in the east, from central Scotland in the north to the northern fringes of the Sahara Desert in the south.
  28. As climate change reduces the availability of nutrients in the sea, marine microalgae or eukaryotic phytoplankton fire up a protein called rhodopsin. It is related to the protein in the human eye responsible for vision in dim light. This light-responsive protein is helping the microalgae flourish with the help of sunlight in place of traditional chlorophyll. 
  29. Floating Rate Savings Bonds(FRSBs) are interest bearing, non-tradeable bonds, issued by the Government of India, which are repayable on the expiration of seven years from the date of issue.
  30. RBI-Retail Direct Scheme (RDS) was launched on November 12, 2021. Under the Scheme, individual investors are permitted to open Retail Direct Gilt account with RBI, using an online portal (https://rbiretaildirect.org.in), through which investments in Government Securities can be made in primary and secondary market.
  31. Gudavi Bird Sanctuaryis a tourist destination in Malenadu region of Karnataka.
  32. Edakkal Caves in Wayanad, known for its rock art from prehistoric times. The two caves, on a remote location 3,900 ft above the sea level on the Ambukuthi hills, feature Neolithic-era pictorial writings believed to be dating to at least 6,000 BCE. The caves sport human and animal figures besides symbols and letters. The hill also offers people opportunity for trekking.
  33. Sea cucumbers are prohibited species as per Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, while the illegal transaction of turmeric and other commodities across the IMBL is an offence under the Customs Act, 1962.
  34. NASA is gearing up for humanity’s deepest-ever peek into the heart of our Milky Way Galaxy. For this, it will make use of its Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, which will monitor the vast expanse of space for “tell-tale flickers” for secrets that may change our understanding of the world “out there”. As per the NASA website, the Roman Space Telescope will monitor “hundreds of millions of stars,” looking for “telltale flickers that betray the presence of planets, distant stars, small icy objects that haunt the outskirts of our solar system, isolated black holes, and more.” Roman Telescope is NASA’s long-term monitoring system. As per NASA, it “represents a boon to what scientists call time-domain astronomy” or the study of how the universe changes over time.
  35. Caldera is a depression created after a volcano releases the majority of the contents of its magma chamber in an explosive eruption. Without any structural support below, the land around the erupting volcanic vent or vents collapses inwardly, creating the bowl-shaped caldera. A caldera-causing eruption is the most devastating type of volcanic eruption. These are formed by the inward collapse of a volcano. Calderas may have parts of their sides missing because land collapses unevenly.
  36. Macrophages are white blood cells that act as the body’s first line of infection defence. In addition to killing hazardous pathogens, macrophages can initiate an immune response against cancers. However, like other cells, macrophages can experience senescence, which is connected with ageing, disease, and a number of physiological difficulties. Senescent cells stop dividing, however, they do not die and are not usually eliminated from the body. They can stay and build in tissues, and they may secrete toxic chemicals. This is why senescent cells are referred to as “zombie cells.” The reason why healthy cells become senescent is unknown.
  37. A debt service ratio (DSR) measures the proportion of the income used to repay the debt-related obligations. It is calculated as the ratio of interest payments and amortisations to income. A lower DSR indicates better sustainability and a more manageable level of household debt. The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) publishes quarterly data on household DSR for 17 advanced economies, but not on any developing country.
  38. The RBI uses Open market operations (OMOs) in order to adjust the rupee liquidity conditions in the market on a durable basis. When the Reserve Bank feels that there is excess liquidity in the market, it resorts to the sale of government securities, thereby sucking out the rupee liquidity. Similarly, when the liquidity conditions are tight, the central bank buys securities from the market, thereby releasing liquidity into the market. It’s used as a tool to rein in inflation and money supply in the system. However, when liquidity is sucked out, it can lead to a spike in bond yields as the RBI will release more government securities into the market and bond buyers demand more interest rate on these securities.
  39. Brown Goods are relatively light electronic consumer durables such as computers, digital media players, TVs and radios. Unlike large household appliances (white goods), brown goods are more focused on entertainment, communication, and convenience. These devices often have electronic components, and their primary function is to provide audio, video, or data-related services.
  40. The Dhordo village in Kutch district of Gujarat for being awarded as the Best Tourism Village by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).  
  41. The Bedouins are a nomadic Muslim Arab people who live mainly in the Negev desert of southern Israel. They have traditionally been pastoralists with no powerful or exclusive national affiliation, who would, until about a century and a half ago, wander the area between Saudi Arabia and the Sinai with their livestock. During the last several decades of Ottoman rule, the Bedouin began to settle into a largely sedentary life. Before the formation of Israel, groups of Bedouin were employed by early Jewish settlers to guard clusters of their communities in Palestine. During the Arab-Israeli war of 1948-49, many Bedouin provided valuable intelligence to the Jewish militias and the newly formed IDF, and some of them also fought against the Arab armies alongside the Jews. No. Army training is compulsory only for the Jewish population of Israel. However, many Bedouin youth also volunteer. Many of the IDF’s Bedouin soldiers come from families with a tradition of joining the defence forces.
  42. The Delhi High Court has ruled that the Intelligence Bureau (IB) stands exempted from rigours of RTI Act by virtue of Section 24 Act not to apply to certain organizations) thereof.
  43. The vaccine for Lyme disease, which causes infections that are transmitted to humans through ticks, has shown a “strong immune response” in a mid-stage study in both children and adolescents a month after a booster dose.
  44. Mundra Port, the largest private portand the largest container port in India is located on the north shores of the Gulf of Kutch, near Mundra, Kutch district, Gujarat. 
  45. Minister cannot be elected as a member of the Estimate Committee and if a member after selection to the Committee is appointed a Minister, the member ceases to be a Member of the Committee from the date of such appointment. 
  46. Cognitive computing is the use of computerised models to simulate the human thought process in complex situations where the answers might be ambiguous and uncertain. It is an attempt to have computers mimic the way the human brain works. The goal is to create intelligent systems that can adapt and make decisions similar to the way humans would. Cognitive computing applications analyse patterns and apply machine learning to replicate human capabilities such as deduction, learning, perception, and reasoning.  Unlike traditional programmed systems, cognitive computing solutions can analyse large amounts of unstructured data from various sources and identify patterns and insights.  They can interpret text, images, and speech and make connections across data. Over time, these systems continue to learn from their interactions and experiences.
  47. The BlueWalker 3 is a prototype satellite, part of a satellite constellation planned by its owner AST SpaceMobile, intended to deliver mobile or broadband services anywhere in the world.
  48. Basohli Pashmina, a more than 100-year-old traditional craft from Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district, has got the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.
  49. Watermeal, smaller even than duckweed, is an intriguing focus of this research. This rootless, stemless plant typically floats on the surface of water bodies in regions like Thailand and other parts of Asia. Its simplicity and rapid growth rate make it an ideal candidate for studying the effects of altered gravity on plant development. Because watermeal doesn’t have any roots, stems or leaves, it is basically just a sphere floating on a body of water. That means we can focus directly on the effects that gravity shifts will have on its growth and development. Watermeal offers more than just scientific curiosity. It’s a prolific producer of oxygen through photosynthesis and a rich source of protein. In Thailand, it has been part of the local diet for generations, appearing in dishes ranging from soups to salads.
  50. Ruixiang Zhang, Assistant Professor, University of California, Berkeley, USA will be awarded with the 2023 SASTRA Ramanujan Prize for his outstanding contributions in mathematics. The age limit for the prize has been set at 32 influenced by Ramanujan’s achievements in his brief life of 32 years.
  51. Sayeret Matkal, also called General Staff Reconnaissance Unit 269, is an elite commando unit of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). It is modelled on the UK’s Special Air Service, or SAS, a Special Forces unit of the British army, taking the unit’s motto “Who Dares Wins”. Sayeret Matkal is a field intelligence-gathering unit that conducts deep reconnaissance behind enemy lines and is also tasked with counter-terrorism and hostage rescue beyond Israel’s borders.
  52. Tara is located in the Hasdeo Arand forest area and six other coal blocks are in the catchment area of the Mand river, which flows through the Mand-Raigarh forest area. The Mand and Hasdeo rivers are important tributaries of the Mahanadi river, which starts from north Chhattisgarh and flows into Odisha.
  53. The Allahabad High Court has refused to exercise its writ jurisdiction in a petition seeking compliance of a Supreme Court order.
  54. President Vladimir V. Putin claimed that Russia had successfully tested the Burevestnik, an experimental nuclear-powered cruise missile, and had almost completed work on a new type of nuclear-capable ballistic missile.
  55. Infantile Hypophosphatasia is a rare genetic disease in which the patient’s bones and teeth demineralise, making her fragile and prone to fractures. While there is no known cure, there’s a chance that a pharma company could begin trials for a drug to cure the disease by the end of 2024.
  56. Niemann Pick Disease (NPD) is a lysosomal storage disease (LSD) caused by acid sphingomyelinase deficiency (ASMD). The disease refers to a group of inherited metabolic disorders in which abnormal amounts of lipids (fatty materials such as waxes, oils, and cholesterol) build up in the brain, spleen, liver, lungs, and bone marrow. 
  57. Tanzanian President, who is currently on a three-day bilateral visit to India, conveyed approval to join flagship Indian programmes like the International Big Cat Alliance (IBCA) and the Global Biofuels Alliance (GBA). India is Tanzania’s third-largest trading partner.
  58. A new Laboratory of Advance Synthesis and Characterisation (LASC) at Gujarat is developing LASC probe stations for universities in India and abroad for investigation of opto-electronic properties in a wide range of materials, including semiconductors, thin films, LEDs, and solar cells. With the capabilities of the probe station, researchers can study the opto-electronic characteristics of these materials while varying temperature and wavelength. This comprehensive approach allows researchers to gain a deeper understanding of their materials and optimize their properties more effectively. The heart of the probe station consists of three elements which mark it differ than the available and imported similar systems. These include Peltier Elements– a solid-state device capable of transferring heat when subjected to an electrical current; zero welding helping it attain high vacuum level and a system that offers superior control over opto-electronic functions. The systems are user-friendly, equipped with tungsten tips, which provide exceptionally low resistance for high-temperature measurements.
  59. The Iron Dome is the most well-known of Israel’s air-defense systems and has been put to serious work since fierce fighting broke out between Israel and Hamas over the weekend. 
  60. India had Signed DTAAs with countries like Slovenia, Lithuania and Colombia. The companies cited how these DTAAs featured a lower rate of 5%. They further claimed that due to the MFN clause, this benefit of 5% should be available even to them under DTAAs with the Netherlands, Switzerland or France.
  61. Under Operation ‘Nanhe Faristey’, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) plays an important role in reuniting the children lost/separated due to several reasons from their family.
  62. Soon tourists can feel the magnificence of the Bekal Fort in Kasaragod from the comforts of a caravan as Kerala has decided to set up a caravan park there. The well-protected fort on a hillock overlooking the Arabian Sea boasts a stunning architecture and lush green environs.
  63. Diphtheria is a highly contagious vaccine-preventable disease caused mainly by the bacteria Corynebacterium diphtheriae and sometimes by Corynebacterium ulcerans which can be fatal in 5-10 per cent of cases, with a higher mortality rate in young children. However, in settings with poor access to diphtheria antitoxin, the CFR can be as high as 40 per cent. WHO states that diphtheria treatment involves administering diphtheria antitoxin (DAT) as well as antibiotics. It is also emphasised that vaccination against diphtheria has been effective in reducing the mortality and morbidity from diphtheria dramatically.
  64. INS Sumedha is the third ship of the indigenously built Saryu-class Naval Offshore Patrol Vessels (NOPV). It was indigenously designed and built by Goa Shipyard Limited. It is part of the Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet, based in Visakhapatnam.
  65. INS Sagardhwani s a marine acoustic research shipdesigned and developed by Naval Physical & Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) of DRDO, Kochi and constructed indigenously by GRSE Ltd.
  66. A newborn Javan rhino calf has been spotted in in Ujung Kulon National Park, Indonesia, but the good news is tempered by questions over the species’ population trend and reports of an increase in attempted poaching incursions into the animal’s last holdout.
  67. India is part of the ASEAN Plus Six grouping, which includes China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia. 
  68. According to IUCN, Data Deficient (DD) is a condition applied to species in which the amount of available data related to its risk of extinction is lacking in some way. Consequently, a complete assessment cannot be performed.
  69. Hamas is the largest Palestinian militant Islamist group and one of the two major political parties in the region. Currently, it governs more than two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The organisation, however, is also known for its armed resistance against Israel Hamas is essentially “the internal metamorphosis” of the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood, which was established in Jerusalem in 1946, according to the book, ‘Hamas: A Beginner’s Guide’, by Khaled Al Hroub, professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Northwestern University of Qatar.
  70. A fast radio burst is a bright and brief burst of electromagnetic radiation (light) seen in radio-wave frequencies. They usually last for very short period of time. Some FRBs repeat, but the vast majority happen once and disappear forever. They reach earth from faraway galaxies, emitting as much energy in a millisecond as the sun does over weeks. Scientists don’t know for sure what causes fast radio bursts. However, the current prevailing theory is that at least some FRBs are emitted by neutron stars. These stars form when a supergiant star collapses, going from eight times the mass of our sun (on average) to a superdense core only 20–40 kilometers across. Magnetars are neutron stars with extremely strong magnetic fields, and these have been observed to emit FRBs.
  71. A hybrid species of Atlantic puffins that formed in the last century was recently discovered by scientists. Other species in the Arctic have hybridized, like the beluga whale and polar bear, but this is the first time that scientists have been able to track how an Arctic species’ genes have changed over time because of hybridization
  72. With over 150 garganeys, and several other species, including waders and raptors, flocking the Pallikaranai marshland, the curtain for the migratory season has been raised. Garganey, northern pintail, northern shoveler, common teal, western yellow wagtail, grey-headed lapwing, common sandpiper, and wood sandpiper have arrived. Raptors, such as red-necked falcon, osprey, and greater-spotted eagle were also sighted. White wagtail and forest wagtail are expected to arrive in ten days and one month respectively.
  73. The Fajr-3 is an Iranian-built unguided surface-to-surface artillery rocket. The Fajr-3 has a range of 43 km and is found in the stockpile of Hezbollah – a group that has close ties with Iran and Syria. The Fajr-5 has an extended range of 75 km, with a 90 kg high explosive (HE).
  74. The Green Credit programme is independent of the carbon credit programme under the Carbon Credit Trading Scheme, 2023, established under the Energy Conservation Act, 2001.
  75. Vikramshila Dolphin Sanctuary is on the list of names proposed for Ramsar sites, but illegal dredging of the Ganga river takes place on its banks.
  76. Extra tropical cyclones occur in temperate zones and high latitude regions, though they are known to originate in the Polar Regions. Cyclones that develop in the regions between the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer are called tropical cyclones.
  77. India is the world’s largest user of groundwater, exceeding the use of the United States and China combined.
  78. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe recently voted to recognize ‘Holodomor’ as a “genocide.” Holodomor is a man-made famine that occurred in the Soviet republic of Ukraine from 1932 to 1933,peaking in the late spring of 1933. 
  79. The Hakki Pikkis are traditionally a semi-nomadic tribe of bird catchers and hunters, who settled down in several parts of Karnataka. The Hakki Pikkis are traditionally a semi-nomadic tribe of bird catchers and hunters, who settled down in several parts of Karnataka.
  80. DNA methylation (DNAm), a type of epigenetic modification, helps the body to respond to environmental signals and ultimately contributes to whole system health and disease status. Understanding relationships between DNAm, genetics and environment is essential for understanding pathways of health, disease and consequences.
  81. A GI tag is conferred upon products originating from a specific geographical region, signifying unique characteristics and qualities. Essentially, it serves as a trademark in the international market. It is given by the Geographical Indications Registry in Chennai.
  82. Out of 75 PVTG in India, only three have habitat rights. The Bharia PVTG in Madhya Pradesh was the first, followed by the Kamar tribe and now the Baiga tribe in Chhattisgarh.
  83. The Egyptian Vulture, despite being relatively widespread across the country, is listed as ‘endangered’ by the IUCN Red List and marked in ‘rapid decline’ as per the ‘State of India’s Birds 2023’ report. In Pune district, these vultures inhabit open areas like the grasslands around Saswad, Jejuri, Kurkumbh and Baramati.
  84. Eighteen captive-bred pygmy hogs, the smallest and rarest pigs on earth, were released in western Assam’s Manas National Park and Tiger Reserve. Once thriving across the alluvial grasslands along the southern edge of the Himalayas, the pygmy hog (Porcula salvania) was thought to be extinct in the 1970s. 
  85. The click of crickets in the evening or frogs croaking during the monsoons might sound random or even annoying, but they have a good reason for making these sounds. Scientists call it phonotaxis: the movement by an animal in response to a sound. It has mostly been observed among crickets, moths, frogs, and toads, among a few other creatures. There are two types of phonotaxis: positive and negative. The purpose of positive phonotaxis is attraction. It usually happens when the females of a particular species – including those of crickets and frogs – are attracted to the sounds made by the males. Negative phonotaxis, on the other hand, serves to repel or warn, such as when the sound of a predator nearby signals to an animal that it needs to move away. Crickets in particular have been found to steer themselves away from low-intensity ultrasound typically associated with bats (which use it for echolocation). Mediterranean house geckos (Hemidactylus turcicus) use positive phonotaxis to their advantage. The fields that these geckos inhabited were also home to male decorated crickets (Gryllodes supplicans), which used species-specific sounds to attract the females from their burrows. The geckos recognised and followed this call until they reached the burrow, where they consumed the female crickets.
  86. The 2023 Nobel prize in Economic Sciences, the final prize of this year’s Nobels season, has been awarded to Claudia Goldin “for having advanced understanding of women’s labour market outcomes.” Goldin is only the third woman to win the prize since it was first introduced in 1969.
  87. Project Veer Gatha was instituted under Gallantry Awards Portal (GAP) in 2021 to disseminate the details of acts of bravery of the Gallantry Awardees and the life stories of these brave hearts among the students so as to raise the spirit of patriotism and instil amongst them values of civic consciousness.
  88. Even the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, underlines this. Article 11 of the Declaration says, “Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.”
  89. REC Limited, the Maharatna Central Public Sector Enterprise under the Ministry of Power, has launched a mobile application, exclusively for current and future investors in REC’s 54EC Capital Gain Tax Exemption Bonds. Named ‘SUGAM REC’, the mobile app will offer investors with complete details of their investment in REC 54EC Bonds. Section 54EC Bonds are a type of fixed income financial instruments which provide tax exemption under capital gains to investors, under Section 54EC of the Income Tax Act.
  90. REC Limited is an NBFC focusing on Power Sector Financing and Development across India. Established in 1969, REC Limited has completed over fifty years of operations. It provides financial assistance to state electricity boards, state governments, central/state power utilities, independent power producers, rural electric cooperatives and private sector utilities. Its business activities involve financing projects in the complete power sector value chain; for various types of projects including Generation, Transmission, Distribution and Renewable Energy. REC’s funding illuminates every fourth bulb in India. REC has recently diversified into financing infrastructure and logistics sector as well.
  91. In the Article 244(1) of the Constitution, expression Scheduled Areas means such areas as the President may by order declare to be Scheduled Areas.
  92. The world’s highest steel arch rail bridge situated in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi town is set to be developed as a tourist spot.  This iconic bridge is a part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project (USBRL). It can bear the earthquake forces of highest intensity zone-V in the country. The project was declared as a “National Project” in 2002. Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district attracts thousands of tourists every year. It has many well-known historical and natural sites such as  Shiv Khori, Salal Dam and Bhimgarh Fort. The district also houses the famous Mata Vaishno Devi shrine atop Trikuta hills. 
  93. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), the most prevalent cause of chronic liver disease in affluent societies, is intrinsically linked with personality disorders. NAFLD has become the most common cause of chronic liver disease in wealthy societies – responsible for a significant rise in liver-related deaths. Non-alcohol steatohepatitis – a more serious form of NAFLD, where the liver has become inflamed – is the most common cause of cirrhosis in industrialised countries where deaths from liver disease have increased fourfold over the last 50 years.
  94. VSHORADS is a Man Portable Air Defence System (MANPAD) designed and developed indigenously by Research Centre Imarat (RCI) in collaboration with other DRDO laboratories and Indian Industry Partners. VSHORADAS missile incorporates many novel technologies including miniaturized Reaction Control System (RCS) and integrated avionics which have been successfully proven during the tests. The missile is propelled by a dual thrust solid motor and meant for neutralizing low altitude aerial threats at short ranges. The design of the missile including launcher has been highly optimized to ensure easy portability. The flight test was witnessed by officials of the Indian Army, senior Scientists from various DRDO laboratories and Industry Partners.
  95. The centuries-old Bojjannakonda is likely to draw tourists not only from across the country but also from nations like Bhutan, Singapore, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Myanmar, where Buddhism is practised even to this day, if the grandiose plans of the Central and State governments are any indication. Located about 3 km from Anakapalle town and 40 km from Visakhapatnam city, the site was excavated under the aegis of Alexander Rim in 1906. A gold coin belonging to the Samudra Gupta period, copper coins of the Chalukya king Kubja Vishnu Vardhan, coins of Andhra Satavahanas and pottery were discovered at the site.
  96. United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) plays a key role in developing that framework in pursuit of its mandate to further the progressive harmonization and modernization of the law of international trade. UNCITRAL membership is structured to represent different legal traditions and levels of economic development. UNCITRAL maintains close links with international and regional organizations, both inter-governmental and non-governmental, that are active participants in the work programme of UNCITRAL and in the field of international trade and commercial law. 
  97. The 69, a group of developing countries from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific (Small Island Developing States), also supports UNSC reform.
  98. India has updated and strengthened its legal framework to combat crimes like illicit trafficking in arms, drug trafficking, organized cyber crimes, human trafficking, corruption, money laundering and international dispersal of proceeds of crime through The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016; amendment in 2018 of The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988; The Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 and amendment of The Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
  99. The Prime Minister, performed darshan and pooja at Sanwariya Seth Temple in Chittorgarh.
  100. The National Service Scheme Awards instituted by the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, are presented every year to the NSS Volunteers, Programme Officers, NSS Units and the Universities/+2 Councils to recognize their voluntary service. 
  101. India, along with 12 other countries, is Observers to the Arctic Council. So are 13 intergovernmental and inter-parliamentary organisations like the UN Environment Programme, and the UN Development Programme, and 12 other non-governmental organisations. The Observers are not part of the decision-making processes, but they are invited to attend the meetings of the Council, especially at the level of the working groups. The Observer status is granted to entities that support the objectives of the Arctic Council, and have demonstrated capabilities in this regard, including the ability to make financial contributions. The renewal of Observer status is a formality. The status, once granted, continues till there is a consensus among the members that the Observer was engaging in activities that run counter to the objectives of the Arctic Council.
  102. The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961) is a United Nations treaty that set some common principles and terms on how countries must treat each other’s diplomatic representatives, in order to ensure friendly relations and maintain proper communication channels between countries. Diplomatic immunity flows from two conventions, popularly called the Vienna Conventions — the 1961 Convention and the Convention on Consular Relations, 1963. Today, 193 countries have ratified the convention, meaning they agree it should be legally binding on them. Ratification means that a country should seek approval for the treaty on the domestic level and enact a law in their country to give effect to it. India ratified it through the Diplomatic Relations (Vienna Convention) Act of 1972.
  103. The Bedouins are a nomadic Muslim Arab people who live mainly in the Negev desert of southern Israel. They have traditionally been pastoralists with no powerful or exclusive national affiliation, who would, until about a century and a half ago, wander the area between Saudi Arabia and the Sinai with their livestock.
  104. Orbital Module (OM) that will be Orbiting Earth comprises of Crew Module (CM) and Service Module (SM). OM is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics systems with adequate redundancy considering human safety.  CM is the crew’s access to a livable, Earth-like environment in space. It has a double-walled construction with an unpressurized external structure and a metallic inner structure that is pressured with a thermal protection system (TPS). The crew interfaces, human-centric goods, life support, avionics, and deceleration systems are all housed in the CM. In order to guarantee the crew’s safety throughout the crew’s descent and landing, it is also intended for re-entry. SM will be utilised to give CM the support it needs while in orbit. It is a pressurised but unpressurized framework that houses thermal, propulsion, power, avionics, and deployment mechanisms.
  105. The Environmental Control & Life Support System (ECLSS) is meant to ensure that conditions inside the crew module are suitable for humans to live comfortably. The inside of the crew module is a twin-walled sealed structure that will recreate Earth-like conditions for the astronauts. It would be designed to carry two or three astronauts. The ECLSS maintains a steady cabin pressure and air composition, removes carbon dioxide and other harmful gases, controls temperature and humidity, and manages parameters like fire detection and suppression, food and water management, and emergency support.
  106. Also known as the ‘Cheget’, named after a mountain in Russia, the briefcase is part of a larger system in place for authorising the launch of nuclear strikes. It’s part of a secured communication setup, meant to convey orders for a nuclear strike to the rocket forces of the country.
  107. The term first information report(FIR) is not defined in the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973, or in any other law, but in police regulations or rules, information recorded under Section 154 of CrPC is known as First Information Report (FIR). Section 154 (“Information in cognizable cases”) says that “every information relating to the commission of a cognizable offence, if given orally to an officer in charge of a police station, shall be reduced to writing by him or under his direction, and be read over to the informant; and every such information, whether given in writing or reduced to writing as aforesaid, shall be signed by the person giving it, and the substance thereof shall be entered in a book to be kept by such officer in such form as the State Government may prescribe”. Also, “a copy of the information as recorded…shall be given forthwith, free of cost, to the informant”. In essence then, there are three important elements of an FIR: (1) the information must relate to the commission of a cognizable offence, (2) it should be given in writing or orally to the head of the police station and, (3) it must be written down and signed by the informant, and its key points should be recorded in a daily diary.
  108. Mulugu holds a biennial festival – the Sammakka Saralamma Jatara – which is considered among the largest gatherings of tribal people in the world. The festival recalls the 13th-century mother-daughter duo’s struggle against local rulers in protest of the imposition of taxes on the Koya people. The Jatara (yatra, or pilgrimage) begins at Medaram, and the rituals are conducted by the Koya priests, in accordance with their customs and traditions.
  109. Maharashtra’sCultural Affairs Minister signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Victoria and Albert Museum in London to bring back Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s legendary wagh nakh to the state. The wagh nakh is a medieval claw-like dagger which was used across the Indian subcontinent. It was designed to either fit over the knuckles or be concealed under the palm, the weapon consisted of four or five curved blades affixed to a glove or a bar of some kind. It was a weapon used for personal defence or stealth attack, and could easily slice through skin and flesh.

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