IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-September 2019

  1. Tughlaq was the third ruler of Tughlaq dynasty that ruled over Delhi from 1320 to 1412 AD. Tughlaq was in power from 1351 to 1388 AD. He ascended the throne after the death of his cousin Muhammad-bin Tughlaq (ruled from 1324 to 1351 AD). The dynasty started from the rule of Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq (ruled from 1320 to 1324 AD) and ended at Nasiruddin Mahmud (ruled from 1395 to 1412 AD). Firoz Shah is regarded as the honorary founding president of The Conservation Society of Delhi and that the British called him the ‘father of the irrigation department’ because of the many gardens and canals that he built.
  2. Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Cholera remains a global threat to public health and an indicator of inequity and lack of social development.
  3. The Eastern Economic Forum was established by decree of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin in 2015 to support the economic development of Russia’s Far East and to expand international cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.
  4. Salmonella infection or salmonellosis is a common bacterial disease that affects the intestinal tract. Salmonella bacteria typically live in animal and human intestines and are shed through feces. Humans become infected most frequently through contaminated water or food. Salmonella bacteria are widely distributed in domestic and wild animals. They are prevalent in food animals such as poultry, pigs, and cattle, as well as in pets, including cats, dogs, birds, and turtles. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhoea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12-72 hours after contracting the infection.
  5. Inter Parliamentary Union-IPU is a unique organization made up of national parliaments from around the world.  Its aim is to protect and build global democracy through political dialogue and concrete action. It was the first permanent forum for political multilateral negotiations. Initially, the organization was for individual parliamentarians, but has since transformed into an international organization of the parliaments of sovereign states. Currently there are 179 Member Parliaments and 12 regional parliamentary associations are Associate Members. India is a member of IPU. The IPU has permanent observer status at the United Nations General Assembly. It is financed primarily by our Members out of public funds. Our headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland.
  6. The Indian Air Force (IAF) formally inducted eight US made AH-64E Apache attack helicopters into service at the Pathankot Air Force Station. Apache is the most advanced multi-role heavy attack helicopter in the world. Apache attack helicopters are being purchased to replace the Mi-35 fleet.
  7. Buckwheat is a wheat crop. It is a pseudocereal as it shares many similar properties to cereals but does not come from grass as most other cereals do. Flour of buckwheat can be used either as food or as medicine. As a medicine, buckwheat is used to improve blood flow by strengthening veins and small blood vessels; to treat varicose veins and poor circulation in the legs, and to prevent hardening of the arteries. Buckwheat is also used widely as a cover crop to smother weeds and improve the soil. The crop seems to improve soil tilth and is reported to make phosphorous more available as a soil nutrient, possible through root-associated mycorrhizae. Buckwheat suppresses weeds and attracts beneficial insects and pollinators with its abundant blossoms. It extracts soil phosphorus from soil better than most grain-type cover crops. Buckwheat thrives in cool, moist conditions but it is not frosted tolerant. Buckwheat is a relatively low input crop that has relatively high yields even in marginal soil. Since it adds nutrients to the soil, it makes a good cover crop or rotational crop.
  8. Japan-India-U.S. trilateral maritime exercise ‘Malabar 2019’ and the second Japan-India-U.S. trilateral mine-countermeasures exercise (MINEX) and expressed their resolve “to continue the trilateral exercise in the same framework from next year onwards.” The Armies and Air Forces of India and Japan held their first bilateral exercises, ‘Dharma Guardian’ and ‘Shinyuu Maitri’, in 2018. Last year, Japan also joined the India-US Air Force exercise ‘Cope India’ as an observer for the first time.
  9. In Russian, Vladivostok is ‘Ruler of the East’. Located on the Golden Horn Bay north of North Korea and a short distance from Russia’s border with China, it is the largest port on Russia’s Pacific coast, and home to the Pacific Fleet of the Russian Navy. It is the eastern railhead of the legendary Trans Siberian Railway, which connects the far east of Russia to the capital Moscow, and further west to the countries of Europe. At Vladivostok’s massive port, shipping and commercial fishing are the main commercial activities. Automobiles are a major item of import at the port, from where they are often transported further inland. An ocean liner travelling from Vladivostok to Chennai would sail southward on the Sea of Japan past the Korean peninsula, Taiwan and the Philippines in the South China Sea, past Singapore and through the Strait of Malacca, to emerge into the Bay of Bengal and then cut across through the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago to Chennai. India’s connection to Russia’s Far East go back a long way. India was the first country to open a Consulate in Vladivostok. For the development of Far East, India will give line of credit worth USD 1 billion.
  10. The Human Resource Development Ministry has awarded the status of Institute of Eminence to the IIT-Madras, the IIT-Kharagpur, Delhi University, Benares Hindu University and the University of Hyderabad. Four private universities — the Vellore Institute of Technology, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Jamia Hamdard University and the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology — were issued Letters of Intent to grant them the status.
  11. The Eurasian Economic Union is an international organization for regional economic integration. It has international legal personality and is established by the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union. The EAEU provides for free movement of goods, services, capital and labor, pursues coordinated, harmonized and single policy in the sectors determined by the Treaty and international agreements within the Union. The Member-States of the Eurasian Economic Union are the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and the Russian Federation. The Union is being created to comprehensively upgrade, raise the competitiveness of and cooperation between the national economies, and to promote stable development in order to raise the living standards of the nations of the Member-States.
  12. Loan with fixed-cum-floating home loan rates are known as teaser loans. Teaser loans are those which charge comparatively lower rates of interest in the first few years after which the rates are increased.
  13. Paleontologists have identified a new species, named it Cryodrakon boreas, and declared that it could be one of the largest flying animals. With a wingspan of over 10 metres, it is believed to have flown over the heads of dinosaurs. The reptile lived over 77 million years ago in what is western Canada today. Its remains were, in fact, discovered 30 years ago from the Dinosaur Park Formation located in Alberta. Then, paleontologists had assumed that it belonged to an already known species of pterosaur, Quetzalcoatlus.
  14. Saharias are ethnic group in the state of Madhya Pradesh. They are included in the list of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal groups. PVTG of Sahariyas has the highest population of 4,50,217,
  15. Pangon lake or Pangong Tso, is a salt water lake located in the Himalayas. It is an endorheic lake, it means the it has a limited drainage basin that normally retains water and allows no outflow to other external bodies of water, such as rivers or oceans, but converges instead into lakes or swamps, permanent or seasonal, that equilibrate through evaporation. It is not a part of the Indus river basin area and geographically a separate landlocked river basin. It is a salt water lake. Lake stretches out from India to China. One-third of water body, its 45 km stretch, is in Indian control while the rest of the 90 km is under Chinese control. The Line of Actual Control passes through the lake
  16. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) with 29 million tonnes produced per year between 2010 and 2017, India is the world’s number one producer of banana. Over 29% of the world’s banana production is in India. The average yield of banana in India is around 60 tonnes per hectare, according to the FAO. During the same period (2010 and 2017), China, which is second largest producer globally, produced about one-third of India — 11 million tonnes per year.
  17. A liquid asset is an asset that can easily be converted into cash within a short amount of time. Liquid assets include things like cash, money market instruments, and marketable securities
  18. A scattered archipelago of about 1,000 mountainous islands and low-lying coral atolls, the Solomon Islands lie east of Papua New Guinea and northeast of Australia in the south Pacific. The islands include Guadalcanal, Malaita, Santa Isabel, San Cristóbal, Choiseul, New Georgia, and the Santa Cruz group.
  19. Rustom-II MALE UAV is a part of the Rustom series of Unmanned Arial Vehicles, which also include Rustom-I, Rustom-H and Rustom-C. It is intended for use by the Indian Armed Forces including army, navy and air force in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) tasks. The unmanned aerial vehicle is designed to carry a variety of state-of-the-art payloads weighing up to 350kg to provide multi-mission capabilities in both day and night lighting conditions. The payloads include electromagnetic intelligence (ELINT), communication intelligence (COMINT), synthetic aperture radar (SAR), maritime patrol radar (MPR), radio altimeter, transmitting and receiving antennae, and situational awareness payloads.
  20. Suriname is a small country on the northeastern coast of South America. It’s defined by vast swaths of tropical rainforest. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west and Brazil to the south
  21. Right to have access to the Internet is part of the fundamental right to education as well as the right to privacy under Article 21 of the Constitution.
  22. Dementia is not a single disease; it’s an overall term that covers a wide range of specific medical conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease. Disorders grouped under the general term “dementia” are caused by abnormal brain changes. These changes trigger a decline in thinking skills, also known as cognitive abilities, severe enough to impair daily life and independent function. They also affect behavior, feelings and relationships. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases. Vascular dementia, which occurs because of microscopic bleeding and blood vessel blockage in the brain, is the second most common cause of dementia. But there are many other conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia, including some that are reversible, such as thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies. Dementia is caused by damage to brain cells. This damage interferes with the ability of brain cells to communicate with each other. When brain cells cannot communicate normally, thinking, behavior and feelings can be affected.
  23. The blackbuck also known as the Indian antelope, is an antelope found in India, Nepal and Pakistan. The blackbuck inhabits grassy plains and slightly forested areas. Due to their regular need of water, they prefer areas where water is perennially available. In India, hunting of blackbuck is prohibited under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. The blackbuck is listed under Appendix III of CITES. It is the state animal of Haryana, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh
  24. Sagittarius A is a supermassive black hole 26,000 light years away from Earth, near the Galactic Centre, or the centre of the Milky Way.
  25. The National Population Register (NPR) is a Register of usual residents of the country. It is being prepared at the local (Village/sub-Town), sub-District, District, State and National level under provisions of the Citizenship Act 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003. It is mandatory for every usual resident of India to register in the NPR. A usual resident is defined for the purposes of NPR as a person who has resided in a local area for the past 6 months or more or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next 6 months or more. The objective of the NPR is to create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country. The database would contain demographic as well as biometric particulars
  26. The marmosets, also known as zaris, are twenty-two New World monkey species of the generaCallithrix, Cebuella, Callibella and Mico. All four genera are part of the biological family Callitrichidae. The term marmoset is also used in reference to the Goeldi’s marmoset, Callimico goeldii, which is closely related. IUCN Red List : Least Concern.
  27. The chimpanzee also known as the common chimpanzee, robust chimpanzee, or simply “chimp“, is a species of great ape native to the forests and savannahs of tropical Africa. IUCN Red list Endangered
  28. Quantum supremacy refers to a quantum computer solving a problem that cannot be expected of a classical computer in a normal lifetime. This relates to the speed at which a quantum computer performs. According to reports the quantum processor took 200 seconds to perform a calculation that the world’s fastest supercomputer, Summit, would have taken 10,000 years to accomplish. The phrase “quantum supremacy” was coined in 2011 by John Preskill, Professor of Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology. What differentiates a quantum computer from a traditional computer is the way the two store information. The former stores information in the form of bits that can take only two values, zero or one, whereas a quantum computer stores it in the form of quantum bits (qubits) that can take on various combinations of zero and one.
  29. Asperger’s syndrom is one of a group of neurodevelopmental disorders that have effects on an individual’s behavior, use of language and communication, and pattern of social interactions. Asperger’s syndrome is named for Dr. Hans  sperger, an Austrian pediatrician, who first described the condition in 1944. Asperger disorder was formerly characterized as one distinct autism spectrum disorder. There is still some controversy as to whether Asperger’s syndrome should be regarded as a separate clinical entity or simply represents a high-functioning form of autism. In the revised Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) published in May 2013, Asperger’s syndrome and autistic disorder have been combined into one condition for diagnostic purposes, known as ASD. People with Asperger’s syndrome typically have normal to above-average intelligence but typically have difficulties with social interactions and often have pervasive, absorbing interests in special topics.
  30. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has named an asteroid, discovered in 2006, after Indian classical singer Pandit Jasraj. Pandit Jasraj is an exponent of Indian classical vocal music. He is the recipient of numerous awards, honours, and titles, including the prestigious Padma Vibhushan and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.
  31. INS Nilgiri is the first ship of the Project-17A. Project 17A frigates is a design derivative of the Shivalik class stealth frigates with much more advanced stealth features and indigenous weapons and sensors. The P17A frigates incorporate new design concepts for improved survivability, sea keeping, stealth and ship manoeuvrability. These frigates are being built using integrated construction methodology.
  32. The Galos are one of the major communities which dominate Siang, Lepa Rada, Upper Subansiri and Namsai districts of Arunachal Pradesh. The Galos belong to the Tani group inhabiting Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, besides Tibet. Communities like the Mising (Assam), Adi, Apatani, Nyishi, Tagin, and Galos trace their common origin to a primaeval ancestor, Abotani. Among all the communities only the Galos maintain genealogy through given names. Galo community has been recognized as a Scheduled Tribe in the Amendment to the Constitution (ST), Order, 1950, Part-XVIII. Mopin is the main festival in Galos which is celebrated for the prosperity of the villages. The Galos perform Popir dance.
  33. Due to desertification in India three species of animals the Indian Cheetah, pink-headed duck, and the Great Indian Bustard have become extinct.
  34. Erra Matti Dibbalu is dissected and stabilized coastal red sediment mounds, located between Visakhapatnam and Bheemunipatnam in Andhra Pradesh. Formed around 12,000 years ago due to sea-land interaction. Comprises a mixture of sand (40-50%), silt and clay (another 50%) with oxidation imparting the unique red colour. They are geologically important as they represent the geological history of the late Quaternary period and carry the imprints of the fall of sea level and its subsequent rise, the impact of climate, monsoon and geological processes on the sediments. They are anthropologically and archeologically important as they possibly contain mesolithic and neolithic cultural materials as well. It was recognised as a national geo-heritage site in 2014 and as a protected site by the Andhra Pradesh Government in 2016. The only other place in the country to have a similar stretch of red sand dunes is Tamil Nadu, which has the Teri dune complex.
  35. Joint Military Exercise KAZIND-2019 between India and Kazakhstan will be conducted in Uttarakhand, India.
  36. Recently a new mineral has been discovered inside a diamond unearthed from a mine in South Africa. It has been found in Earth’s Mantle (A part of Interior of the Earth) which covers 80% of earth’s volume. Goldschmidtite has high concentrations of niobium, potassium and the rare earth elements lanthanum and cerium. The found single grain is dark green in colour and opaque. The mineral has been named after the Norwegian scientist Victor Moritz Goldschmidt, who is considered as the founder of Modern Geochemistry.
  37. Silicosis is one of the most prevalent occupational health illnesses in the world. It is a progressive lung disease caused by inhalation of silica over a long period of time. Silicosis is characterized by shortness of breath, cough, fever and bluish skin. Silicosis is an incurable condition with its potential to cause permanent physical disability. Silicosis occurs most commonly in people working in the quarrying, manufacturing, and building construction industries. Silica (SiO2/silicon dioxide) is a crystal-like mineral found in abundance in sand, rock, and quartz.
  38. India has jumped four places from 48th place in 2018 to 44th rank in 2019 in World Digital Competitiveness Ranking (WDCR). The Ranking, produced by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Competitiveness Center, measures the capacity and readiness of 63 nations to adopt and explore digital technologies as a key driver for economic transformation in business, government and wider society.
  39. Gandhi Solar Park is a first of its kind symbolic Indian effort at the UN that highlights India’s willingness to go beyond the talk on climate change and climate action. At a contribution of about USD 1 million, India has gifted solar panels that have been installed on the roof of the UN Headquarters, one panel each for every 193 UN member states. The solar panels are powered up to reach the max of 50 KW of generation power. Energy generated in the park is equivalent to the energy that would have been created through the use of 30,000 kilograms of coal.
  40. Recently, the Indian Defence Minister commissioned the Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Varaha at the Chennai port. The ICGS Varaha is the fourth in the series of seven 98-m Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG). The ship has been designed and built indigenously and will operate from the port of New Mangalore on the West Coast (covering Exclusive Economic Zone) up to Kanyakumari. It is fitted with the latest navigation and communication equipment which include the Integrated Bridge System, Automated Power Management System and indigenously built Integrated Platform Management System and Halo Traversing System. ICGS Varaha is capable of operating the indigenously developed advanced light helicopter developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
  41. Black carbon is a short-lived climate pollutant with a lifetime of only a few days to weeks after release in the atmosphere. Black carbon particle is a potent climate-warming component of particulate matter formed by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, wood, and other fuels. Incomplete combustion releases CO2, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, and organic carbon and black carbon particles in the atmosphere. Black carbon and its co-pollutants are key components of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) air pollution that is one of the leading environmental causes of poor health and premature deaths.
  42. Vaigai River is an east-flowing river. The Vaigai river basin is an important basin among the 12 basins lying between the Cauvery and Kanyakumari. This basin is bounded by the Cardamom Hills and the Palani Hills on the West and by the Palk Strait and Palk Bay on the East.
  43. Recently, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has appointed two Special Expenditure Observers for the forthcoming elections to the Legislative Assembly of Maharashtra. The Special Expenditure Observers are appointed in the exercise of the powers conferred on ECI under Article 324 of the Constitution and the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
  44. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy recently awarded grants to the awardees of the second round of PACEsetter fund programme. The PACEsetter fund was constituted by India and the USA in 2015 as a joint fund. The mission of the PACEsetter Fund is to accelerate the commercialization of innovative off-grid clean energy access solutions by providing early-stage grant funding that would allow businesses to develop and test innovative products, business models and systems. The Fund’s main purpose is to improve the viability of off-grid renewable energy businesses that sell small scale (less than 1 megawatt) clean energy systems to individuals and communities without access to grid-connected power or with limited/intermittent access.
  45. The scope of India and Mongolia regular military exercises named “Nomadic Elephant” and “Khaan Quest” is expected to be broadened.
  46. SAMVAAD dialogue brings Buddhist religious leaders, experts and scholars from different countries together to deliberate on contemporary issues related to Buddhism.
  47. Saudi Arabia supplies 10% of the global world oil and is the world’s largest crude oil exporter.
  48. Deaucha Panchami coal block of Birbhum Coalfield Area is World’s Second Largest Coal Block situated in West Bengal. This coal mine is the largest coal mine or coal block in Asia, due to the number of coal reserves. It is the newest coal mine in West Bengal. The proposed mining project at Birbhum coalfield Area has been recently in the news due to expected environmental concerns and displacement of the people from the same area.
  49. Recently, the Indian Air Force has inaugurated resurfaced runway at India’s Easternmost Village-Vijaynagar in Arunachal Pradesh. Vijaynagar in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh is the eastern-most inhabited locality of the country. It is not connected by road. Thus, the main mode of transport to Vijaynagar has been helicopters. Vijaynagar is surrounded by Myanmar on three sides and the fourth side comprises stretches of Namdapha National Park.
  50. Namdapha National Park lies at the international border between India and Myanmar within Changlang District in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. It is only parked in the World to have the four Feline species of big cat namely the Tiger (Panthera Tigris), Leopard (Panthera Pardus), Snow Leopard (Panthera Uncia) and Clouded Leopard (Neofelis Nebulosa). Hoolock Gibbons, the only ‘ape’ species found in India is found in this National Park.
  51. Aedes aegypti mosquitos are responsible for transmitting dengue, chikungunya and Zika virus.
  52. India is home to 17% of the world’s population but has only 4% of the world’s freshwater resources. At present, 75% of Indian households do not have access to drinking water, and close to 90% of rural households have no access to piped water.
  53. Iceland was the first Nordic country that publicly extended support to India’s candidature for permanent membership at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Iceland was one of the countries that co-sponsored the resolution at the UN to declare June 21 as the International Day of Yoga.
  54. With a population of 660,000, the Solomon Islands were easily Taiwan’s largest remaining ally in the Pacific. Its economy relies on agriculture, fishing and forestry, and the country has a wealth of undeveloped mineral resources. The Solomon Islands are located directly between Australia and the U.S. and was the site of fierce battles during World War II. Its capital is Honiara.
  55. A new hybrid wheat variety Karan Vandana is soon to be launched across the country. It is also known as DBW-187. It is rich in protein and iron. It has high heat tolerance across the country. It is resistant to yellow rust and wheat blast which causes widespread losses. It will reduce unit costs for farmers as well as return higher yield than normal varieties. It can be cultivated only in areas under full irrigation support. It has been developed by the Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research (IIWBR) under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
  56. India’s conservation efforts are focussed on the three species of vultures which are Critically Endangered according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) namely, White-backed Vulture, Slender-billed Vulture, and Long-billed Vulture.
  57. United Nations has 3 Rio Conventions namely, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Established in 1994, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the only legally binding international agreement linking environment and development issues to the land agenda. In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly declared 17 June the “World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought” to promote public awareness and the implementation of the UNCCD in the desertification affected countries. India is hosting the Fourteenth session of Conference of Parties (COP – 14) from 29th August – 14th September 2019 at India Expo Mart Limited, Greater Noida. One of the primary functions of the COP is to review reports submitted by the Country Parties detailing how they are carrying out their commitments. India will take-over the COP presidency from China for two years until the next COP is hosted in 2021
  58. The Bonn Challenge is a global effort to bring 150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded land into restoration by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030.At the UNFCC Conference of the Parties (COP) 2015 in Paris, India also joined the voluntary Bonn Challenge pledge to bring into restoration 13 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by the year 2020, and additional 8 million hectares by 2030. India’s pledge is one of the largest in Asia.
  59. INS Sahyadri is a Shivalik-class multi-role guided missile stealth frigate. INS Kiltan is a Kamorta-class anti-submarine warfare corvette. INS Sahyadri and Kiltan, are the latest, indigenously designed and built multi-role ships of the Indian Navy.
  60. The Indian Navy and the Royal Malaysian Navy will be participating in the bilateral exercise ‘Samudra Laksamana’ that took place from 12th to 15th September 2019.
  61. Exercise MAITREE is an annual training event that is conducted in India and Thailand alternatively, since 2006.
  62. Recently, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully flight tested indigenously developed Man-Portable Antitank Guided Missile (MPATGM). It is low weight and fire and forget missile. The missile was launched from a man-portable Tripod launcher. This is the third series of successful testing of MPATGM. The missile is incorporated with Infrared Imaging Seeker along with advanced avionics.
  63. Recently, Prime Ministers of India and Nepal have jointly inaugurated a cross-border petroleum products pipeline. Pipeline carries petroleum products from Motihari in India to Amlekhgunj in Nepal. This is South Asia’s first cross-border petroleum products pipeline. It is 69-km long having a capacity of 2 million metric ton per annum, will provide cleaner petroleum products at affordable cost to the people of Nepal. The project would help to deepen India-Nepal Bilateral Relationship.
  64. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) is a statutory body under the Ministry of Power, Government of India. It assists in developing policies and strategies with the primary objective of reducing the energy intensity of the Indian economy. BEE coordinates with designated consumers, designated agencies, and other organizations to identify and utilize the existing resources and infrastructure, in performing the functions assigned to it under the Energy Conservation Act.
  65. Megaliths refer to large stone structures that were constructed either as burial sites or as commemorative sites. The burial sites are the sites with actual burial remains, such as dolmenoid cists (box-shaped stone burial chambers), cairn circles (stone circles with defined peripheries), and capstones (distinctive mushroom-shaped burial chambers found mainly in Kerala). Commemorative megaliths include memorial sites. In India, archaeologists trace the majority of the megaliths to the Iron Age (1500 BC to 500 BC), though some sites precede the Iron Age, extending up to 2000 BC. Megaliths are spread across the Indian subcontinent. The majority of megalithic sites are found in Peninsular India, concentrated in the states of Maharashtra (mainly in Vidarbha), Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana.
  66. An international conference ANGAN (Augmenting Nature by Green Affordable New-habitat) focused on Energy Efficiency in Building Sector began here today. The Conference is being organised by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), Ministry of Power, Government of India in collaboration with GIZ under the Indo German Technical Cooperation.
  67. Malaria is caused by Plasmodium parasites. The parasites are spread to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes, called “malaria vectors”. World Malaria Day is observed on 25th April. It can be noted that WHO officially endorses disease-specific global awareness days for only four diseases viz. HIV-AIDS, TB, Malaria, and Hepatitis.
  68. Biocatalyst is an enzyme or a protein that increases or catalyzes the rate of a biochemical reaction. An amylase-based biocatalyst is like a protein that breaks down the starch into simple sugar molecules increasing the rate of a biochemical reaction.
  69. Craniopagus twins are conjoined twins that are fused at the skull. It represents the rarest of congenital abnormalities. Conjoined twins are genetically identical and always share the same sex.
  70. Chandrayaan-2 is an integrated 3-in-1 spacecraft comprising of an Orbiter of the Moon, Vikram, the lander and Pragyan, the rover, all equipped with scientific instruments to study the moon.
  71. Masked Dances-Cham Dance is a famous masked dance from Ladakh which is the major attraction of the festival. It is also performed on Tsechu Festival which is the yearly spiritual festival carried out in many monasteries in Ladakh. It is said to bring good luck to the people viewing this dance. This dance which is accompanied by music played by monks using traditional Tibetan instruments is usually performed by a few selected sects of Buddhism.
  72. According to the World Gold Council, India has gold reserves totalling 618 tonnes, the 10th largest gold reserve in the world. U.S has the highest gold reserves with 8,133.5 tonnes of total gold reserves, followed by Germany with 3,366.8 tonnes and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) with a holding of 2,451.8 tonnes.
  73. Rabies is caused by a Ribonucleic Acid(RNA) virus that is present in the saliva of a rabid animal (dog, cat, monkey, etc). It is invariably transmitted following a bite of a rabid animal that leads to deposition of the saliva and the virus in the wound. The death invariably occurs in four days to two weeks due to cardio-respiratory failure. However, the time interval between the bite and occurrence of symptoms/signs of rabies i.e. incubation period varies from four days to two years or rarely even more.
  74. Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla stadium is set to be renamed Arun Jaitley Stadium after the former Finance Minister. The stadium took its name from a 14th century fortress Firoz Shah Tughlaq. Born in 1309 and ascended the throne of Delhi after the demise of his cousin Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq. He was the third ruler of Tughlaq dynasty that ruled over Delhi from 1320 to 1412 AD. Tughlaq was in power from 1351 to 1388 AD. He was the one who started the imposition of Jaziya. He provided the principle of inheritance to the armed forces where the officers were permitted to rest and send their children in army in their place. However, they were not paid in real money but by land. The British called him the ‘father of the irrigation department’ because of the many gardens and canals that he built. He established the Diwan-i-Khairat — office for charity, established the Diwan-i-Bundagan — department of slave, established Sarais (rest house) for the benefits of merchants and other travelers, adopted the Iqtadari framework, established four new towns, Firozabad, Fatehabad, Jaunpur and Hissar, established hospitals known as Darul-Shifa, Bimaristan or Shifa Khana.
  75. In 1946, the interim government of India led by Jawaharlal Nehru was formed. It was the only such cabinet in India’s history in which arch-rivals Congress and the Muslim League shared power at the Centre. Viceroy Wavell subsequently called upon Indian representatives to join the interim government. A federal scheme had been visualised under the Government of India Act of 1935, but this component was never implemented due to the opposition from India’s princely states. As a result, the interim government functioned according to the older Government of India Act of 1919. In November 1946, India ratified the Convention on International Civil Aviation. 
  76. Dadabhai Naoroji was among the key proponents of the ‘Drain Theory’, disseminating it in his 1901 book ‘Poverty and Un-British Rule in India’.
  77. The Paika Rebellion is one among the peasant rebellions that took place in India when the British East India Company was expanding its military enterprise. Because these uprisings violently clashed with European colonialists and missionaries on many occasions, their resistance is sometimes seen as the first expression of resistance against colonial rule — and therefore considered to be “nationalist” in nature. In July 2017, the Odisha government decided to formally ask the Centre to declare the rebellion as the first war of independence in Indian history. In the real sense, the rebellion of Khorda in 1817 is the first well organised rebellion against the British. In 1817, some 400 Kondhs, who belonged to the state of Ghumsur, banded together to revolt against the British. Bakshi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar Mohapatra Bharamarbar Rai, the highest-ranking military general of King of Khorda Mukund Dev II, led the Paikas to join the uprising.
  78. Munich Agreement was signed among Germany, France, Italy, and Great Britain on September 29-30, 1938. Hitler’s appeasement in an attempt to keep the peace in Europe was strongly supported by Great Britain’s Prime Minister at the time, Neville Chamberlain. After coming back from Munich, Chamberlain waved the piece of paper signed by Hitler and called it a declaration of “peace with honour”. In return for European peace, the Sudetenland region was permitted to be annexed by the Germans. Czechoslovakia, the country whose region was about to be annexed, was not officially party to the Agreement. It was forced to agree to the deal under pressure from Great Britain and France, which had a military alliance with the country.
  79. Mata Vaishno Devi shrine atop the Trikuta hills in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir has been named country’s ‘Best Swachh Iconic Place’.
  80. Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) which is sometimes referred to as the “Atlantic conveyor belt” — is one of the Earth’s largest water circulation systems where ocean currents move warm, salty water from the tropics to regions further north, such as western Europe and sends colder water south. It aids in distributing heat and energy around the earth, as the warm water it carries releases heat into the atmosphere, and in absorbing and storing atmospheric carbon. Rising temperatures in the Indian Ocean can help boost the AMOC and delay slow down. Warming in the Indian Ocean generates additional precipitation, which, in turn, draws more air from other parts of the world, including the Atlantic. The higher level of precipitation in the Indian Ocean will reduce precipitation in the Atlantic and increase salinity in the waters, the researchers explained. This saline water in the Atlantic, as it comes north via AMOC, will get cold much quicker than usual and sink faster, acting “as a jump start for AMOC, intensifying the circulation.
  81. 91st Amendment of Article 164(1A) of the Constitution mandates that the strength of ministers cannot exceed 15% of the total members of the House. Basic disqualification criteria for an MP are laid down in Article 102 of the Constitution, and for an MLA in Article 191.
  82. Under Article 9 of the Indian Constitution, a person who voluntarily acquires citizenship of any other country is no longer an Indian citizen.
  83. According to 7th Constitutional Amendment Act 1956, the same person can be the Governor of two or more states. The governors and lieutenant-governors are appointed by the president. There is no provision of impeachment, as it happens for the president.
  84. Under Article-351, it is the duty of the Union to encourage the spread of the Hindi language so that it may serve as a medium of communication.
  85. Centralised Technology Vertical (CTV) to be set up within Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). It will help law enforcing agencies in getting real-time information, in tackling complex financial crimes, like 2G scam, coal block irregularities, Ponzi schemes and capital market scams. The CBI is building a state-of-the-art Centralised Technology Vertical (CTV) to combat cybercrimes.
  86. The Northern Zonal Council comprises of the States of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, and Rajasthan, Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh and Government of NCT of Delhi.  Chief Ministers from the member States in the Zone along with two Ministers each, Administrators of Union Territories, Chief Secretaries and senior officers from the State Governments and the Central Government will attend the meeting. The Council takes up issues involving Centre and States and one/many States falling in the Zone.  The Zonal Councils thus provide a forum for resolving disputes and irritants between Centre and States and among many States in the Zone.  The Zonal Councils discuss broad range of issues which include boundary related disputes, security, infrastructure related matters like road, transport, industries, water and power etc., matters pertaining to forests & environment, housing, education, food security, tourism, transport etc. Five Zonal Councils were set up in the year 1957 under Section 15-22 of the States Reorganization Act, 1956.  Union Home Minister is the Chairman of each of these five Zonal Councils and Chief Ministers of the host State (to be chosen by routine every year) is the Vice-Chairman.  Two more Ministers from each State are nominated as Members by the Governor. 
  87. Amendments to District Mineral Foundation (DMF) Trust Rules, 2015, by Chhattisgarh government has made it more inclusive, people-centric and will also empower people affected by mining in the state, according to Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a New Delhi-based non-profit. Chhattisgarh, became the first statein July 2019, to amend DMF rules. The new rule mandates the inclusion of 10 Gram Sabha members directly from mining-affected areas in the DMF Governing Council (GC). In Scheduled Areas, at least 50 per cent of the Gram Sabha members must be from Scheduled Tribes (ST).
  88. Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Thailand became the first four countries in the World Health Organization’s southeast Asia region to have successfully controlled hepatitis B. 
  89. Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) Regime is to be carried out under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), the global reporting standard for such exchange of information. It takes care of aspects such as confidentiality rules and data safeguards. The CRS has been developed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). AEOI is the exchange of information between countries without having to request it. It aims to reduce global tax evasion. The new global standard on Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) reduces the possibility for tax evasion. It provides for the exchange of non-resident financial account information with the tax authorities in the account holders’ country of residence. Participating jurisdictions that implement AEOI send and receive pre-agreed information each year, without having to send a specific request. AEOI will enable the discovery of formerly undetected tax evasion.  It will enable governments to recover tax revenue lost to non-compliant taxpayers, and will further strengthen international efforts to increase transparency, cooperation, and accountability among financial institutions and tax administrations. Additionally, AEOI will generate secondary benefits by increasing voluntary disclosures of concealed assets and by encouraging taxpayers to report all relevant information. As new information is brought to light by AEOI, the importance of the current standard of Exchange of Information on Request (EOIR) will also increase. The two standards of AEOI and EOIR are therefore complementary, working together to enhance the effectiveness of tax administrations’ efforts in addressing international tax evasion.
  90. Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C are liver infections caused by three different viruses. Hepatitis A is usually a short-term infection and does not become a long-term infection. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C can also begin as short-term infections but in some people, the virus remains in the body, and causes chronic, or lifelong, infection. There are vaccines to prevent hepatitis A and hepatitis B; however, there is no vaccine for hepatitis C. The hepatitis B virus is spread when blood, semen, or other body fluid infected with the hepatitis B virus enters the body of a person who is not infected.
  91. Established in 2017, the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU) is a community of organisations and individuals committed to the urgent need to transform the way we produce and consume food and use our land for people, nature and climate. We support science-based solutions and help build a shared understanding of the challenges and opportunities to unlock collective, ambitious action. We build on the work of the Food, Agriculture, Biodiversity, Land Use and Energy (FABLE) Consortium teams which operate in more than 20 countries.
  92. Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) is an initiative of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Govt. of India to systematically rank all major higher educational institutions and universities in India on indicators related to “Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development” amongst students and faculties.
  93. Gilgit Baltistan-located in the northern Pakistan. It borders China in the North, Afghanistan in the west, Tajikistan in the north west and Kashmir in the south east. It shares a geographical boundary with Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and India considers it as part of the undivided Jammu and Kashmir, while Pakistan sees it as a separate from PoK. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) also passes through this region. Three of the world’s longest glaciers outside the polar regions are found in Gilgit-Baltistan.
  94. Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (ECGC) has introduced the Export Credit Insurance Scheme (ECIS) called NIRVIK to enhance loan availability and ease the lending process. It is an insurance cover guarantee that will cover up to 90% of the principal and interest. The cover will include both pre and post-shipment credit.
  95. Prime Minister of India is scheduled to launch the National Animal Disease Control Programme (NADCP) for eradicating the foot and mouth disease and brucellosis in livestock. The programme aims at vaccinating over 500 million livestock including cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats and pigs against the FMD. The programme also aims at vaccinating 36 million female bovine calves annually in its fight against the brucellosis disease.
  96. Polymetallic nodules (also known as manganese nodules) are potatoshaped, largely porous nodules found in abundance carpeting the sea floor of world oceans in deep sea. Besides manganese and iron, they contain nickel, copper, cobalt, lead, molybdenum, cadmium, vanadium, titanium, of which nickel, cobalt and copper are considered to be of economic and strategic importance.
  97. India’s ambition to send men to the deep sea in a submersible vehicle is likely to be a reality in 2021-22 with the ‘Samudrayaan’ project. The project proposes to send a submersible vehicle with three persons to a depth of about 6000 metres to carry out deep underwater studies. The indigenously developed vehicle is capable of crawling on the sea bed at a depth of six kilometre for 72 hours. Similar to ISRO’s plan to carry persons on a space mission, NIOT has undertaken Samudrayaan. The ‘Samudrayaan’ project undertaken by the NIOT, Chennai, is in line with the ISRO’s ambitious ‘Gaganyaan’ mission of sending an astronaut to space by 2022. The success of the ‘Samudrayaan’ will help India to join the league of developed nations in exploration of minerals from oceans. Such missions had already been carried by developed countries and India could be the first among the developing nations. The ‘Samudrayaan’ is a part of the Ministry of Earth Sciences’ pilot project for deep ocean mining for rare minerals. India has been allocated a site of 75,000 sq km in the Central Indian Ocean Basin by the International Sea Bed Authority for exploration of polymetallic nodules from seabed.
  98. The Shola vegetation are tropical montane forests found in the Western Ghats separated by rolling grasslands in high altitudes. Many of the rivers in Kerala and Tamil Nadu originate from the Shola grasslands and were perennial. With depletion of Sholas and other forests, the streams that supply water to them dry up in summer.
  99. Post-disaster needs assessments tool was developed by the UN Development Group, the World Bank and the European Union as one of the key commitments of their 2008 agreement to develop and use common assessment and recovery planning approaches in post-crisis settings. The main goal is to assess the full extent of a disaster’s impact, define the needs for recovery, and, in so doing, serve as the basis for designing a recovery strategy and guide donors’ funding.
  100. Pulikali is also known as Tiger Dance, it is a folk art of Kerala, performed on the fourth day of Onam festival.
  101. Bamboonomics was launched at the COP 14 of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).