IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-September 2020

  1. Viruses that belong to the same genus as Cat Que virus (CQV) and are similarly transmitted through mosquitoes include the Cache valley virus(causes meningitis), La Crosse virus (causes pediatric encephalitis), Jamestown Canyon virus (causes Jamestown Canyon encephalitis), and the Guaroa virus (causes febrile illness).
  2. The United Arab Emirates plans to send an unmanned spacecraft to the moon in 2024. It will be an Emirati-made lunar rover that will land on the surface of the moon in 2024 in areas that have not been explored previously by human missions. The launch of its Amal, or “Hope,” probe to Mars took place at Japan’s Tanegashima Space Centre in July.
  3. Carbon-14 is a weakly radioactive isotope of Carbon; also known as radiocarbon, it is an isotopic chronometer. C-14 dating is only applicable to organic and some inorganic materials (not applicable to metals). Gas proportional counting, liquid scintillation counting and accelerator mass spectrometry are the three principal radiocarbon dating methods. Carbon 14 is continually being formed in the upper atmosphere by the effect of cosmic ray neutrons on nitrogen 14 atoms. It is rapidly oxidized in air to form carbon dioxide and enters the global carbon cycle. Plants and animals assimilate carbon 14 from carbon dioxide throughout their lifetimes. When they die, they stop exchanging carbon with the biosphere and their carbon 14 content then starts to decrease at a rate determined by the law of radioactive decay. Carbon-14 is continually formed in nature by the interaction of neutrons with nitrogen-14 in the Earth’s atmosphere.
  4. Hyaluronic acid is a sugar molecule that occurs naturally in the skin, and it helps to bind water to collagen (a protein). It can absorb more than 1,000 times its own weight in water to form a hydrogel.
  5. Air-breathing engines use oxygen from the atmosphere in the combustion of fuel. They include the turbojet, turboprop, ramjet, and pulse-jet. This system is lighter, efficient and cost-effective than other systems in use.
  6. In 2011, SAARC approved the Agreement on South Asia Rapid Response to Natural Disasters (SARRND), which formalized a policy for a cooperative response mechanism in the region.
  7. In the Islamic tradition, the Kaaba in Mecca is considered the holiest site, followed by the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, and Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
  8. The Fridays For Future (FFF) is a dynamic global student movementpushing for immediate action on climate change through active campaigning and advocacy. The FFF movement was chosen as Champion of the Earth award for inspiration and action because of its role in highlighting the devastating effects of climate change.
  9. Cryptic organisms are organisms that are morphologically indistinguishable (identical in appearance) but are genetically distinct. Many species that are classified as single species but are found to be genetically different are called cryptic species. Examples of cryptic species include the African elephant. 
  10. Arthias are those who act as the immediate intermediary and aggregator in the process of procurement for which they charge their commission as notified in the Agricultural Produce Markets Act (APMC) of the respective States.
  11. Carbon Pricing is an instrument that captures the external costs of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions—the costs of emissions that the public pays for, such as damage to crops, health care costs from heat waves and droughts, and loss of property from flooding and sea level rise—and ties them to their sources through a price, usually in the form of a price on the carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted. A price on carbon helps shift the burden for the damage from GHG emissions back to those who are responsible for it and who can avoid it.
  12. Entry 33 of the Concurrent List mentions trade and commerce, production, supply and distribution of domestic and imported products of an industry; foodstuffs, including oilseeds and oils; cattle fodder; raw cotton and jute. The power to make laws with respect to residuary subjects i.e. the matters which are not enumerated in any of the three lists, is vested in the Parliament.
  13. India is a signatory to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control; whose core tobacco demand reduction provisions include regulating the packaging and labelling of tobacco products and product disclosures. India ratified the WHO FCTC in 2004.
  14. In 1924, John Marshall, Director-General of the ASI, announced the discovery of a new civilisation in the Indus valley to the world.
  15. The Forest Fire Prevention and Management Scheme (FPM) is the only centrally funded program specifically dedicated to assist the states in dealing with forest fires.
  16. A Brazilian indigenous leader Davi Kopenawa who secured the land rights of the Yanomami people was awarded the Right Livelihood Award-2019, also known as Sweden’s alternative Nobel Prize.
  17. Autonomous Bodies are audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), and the annual report is presented in the Parliament every year.
  18. Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing (DIKSHA) mobile app has been offered to the states as a platform to provide content in local languages.
  19. The Vaishwik Bharatiya Vaigyanik (VAIBHAV) summit is a global virtual summit of overseas and resident Indian Researchers and Academicians. The aim of the summit is to bring Indian origin luminaries in academic institutes and research and development (R&D) organizations across the world and resident counterparts on a single platform to debate upon collaboration mechanisms to strengthen academic and a Science and Technology (S&T) base in India for global development.
  20. Recently, Delhi Govt. has issued a public notice urging vehicle owners to fix their vehicles’ number plates. 14,000 vehicle owners in Delhi have applied for high-security registration plates (HSRP) & color-coded stickers. The colour-coded stickers are applicable in case of cars and autos, while the HSRPs are mandatory for bikes and e-rickshaws. HSRPs are chrome-based hologram plates manufactured through a process of hot-stamping and laser-branding a unique identification number, which cannot be duplicated and is linked to the central vehicular database of the Union government. The plates help authorities in tracking authenticity of vehicle ownerships, which will help in criminal probes, curb illegal sale in the grey market, and prevent thefts and forging of number plates.
  21. While Switzerland is not part of the European Union, it is still a member of the diplomatic bloc’s Single Market — which allows people to move and work freely in all 27 EU countries as well as in Switzerland. 
  22. This year United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has designated 2020 as the Year of Tourism and Rural Development.
  23. SAATHI initiative with Quality Council of India launched to assist the hospitality industry to ensure safety and hygiene for tourists and workforce. SAATHI is an initiative of the Ministry of Tourism with Quality Council of India to assist the hospitality industry to continue to operate safely and thereby instill confidence among the Staff, employees and the guests about the safety of the hotel/unit. SAATHI stands for System for Assessment, Awareness and Training for Hospitality Industry.
  24. Dromedary camels in India is confined to the arid and semi-arid areas of North-western India spread out in parts of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana. They are found in the cold desert of Nubra Valley of Laddakh region.
  25. Armenia and Azerbaijan are part of Transcaucasia or South Caucasia (geographical region in the vicinity of the southern Caucasus Mountains on the border of Eastern Europe and Western Asia consisting of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan). Nagorno-Karabakh region has 95% of the population as ethnically Armenian and is controlled by them but it is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan.
  26. Ground-level or “bad” ozoneis not emitted directly into the air, but is created by chemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the presence of sunlight.
  27. Torrefactionis a thermal process to convert biomass into a coal-like material, which has better fuel characteristics than the original biomass.
  28. The Department of Heavy Industries (DHI) under Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, is administering the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India) Scheme since April, 2015 to promote adoption of electric/ hybrid vehicles (xEVs) in India.
  29. The Life Insurance Corporation of India(LIC), General Insurance Corporation of India and The New India Assurance Co have been identified as Domestic Systemically Important Insurers (D-SIIs) for 2020-21 by insurance regulator, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI). Presently, the State Bank of India (SBI), ICICI Bank, and HDFC Bank have been identified as Domestic Systemically Important Bank (D-SIBs) as per the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  30. Champions of the Earth Award is the United Nations’ flagship global environmental award. It was established by the UN Environment Programme in 2005 to celebrate outstanding figures whose actions have had a transformative positive impact on the environment.
  31. JIMEX is a maritime exercise between India and Japan. Other Military Exercises between India and Japan are  ‘Dharma Guardian’,  ‘Shinyuu Maitri’ and Trilateral Maritime Exercise Malabaralong with the USA.
  32. Article 129 and 215 of the Constitutionof India empowers the Supreme Court (SC) and High Court (HC) respectively to punish people for their respective contempt.
  33. Every award made by the Permanent Lok Adalat shall be final and binding on all the parties thereto and shall be by a majority of the persons constituting the Permanent Lok Adalat.
  34. The term ‘nutraceutical’ is used to describe medicinally or nutritionally functional foods.
  35. Researchers have shown that a robot can measure vital signs such as body temperature and breathing rate in people, from a distance. The robot, called Spot, has been developed by Boston Dynamics, of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Controlled by a handheld device, it can walk on four legs, similarly to a dog.
  36. Every award made by a Lok Adalat shall be final and binding on all the parties to the dispute. No appeal shall lie to any court against the award of the Lok Adalat.
  37. Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) is a multi-national forum for enhancing cooperation towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia. It consists of 27 member nations from Asia including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Egypt, India etc. Japan, Indonesia, USA etc. are some of its Observer Nations. Republic of Tajikistan is the CICA Chairman for the period 2018-2020.
  38. Renowned Malayalam poet Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri was conferred the 55th edition of the Jnanpith Award.
  39. Lipopolysaccharide is the major component of the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria.
  40. Long-finned pilot whales are active predators that eat mostly squid, including relatively large-bodied species. They will also eat bony fishes when they are common. They prefer deep temperate to subpolar oceanic waters. They are listed under Appendix II of CITES Convention and least concern as per IUCN Status.
  41. The Sirte Declaration of 1999 was the resolution adopted to establish the African Union.
  42. The Ezulwini Consensus of 2005 is a position on international relations and reform of the United Nations, agreed by the African Union.
  43. Kishori Shakti Yojana (KSY) of the Union Ministry of Women & Child Development seeks to empower adolescent girls, so as to enable them to take charge of their lives.
  44. DRDO Ulka (Sanskrit: meteor or firebrand) is an air-launched expendable target drone of India. It has been designed to be launched from subsonic or supersonic aircraft by means of an ejector release unit. It performed missions between 50 m to 13,000 m altitude at speeds ranging from 0.7 to 1.4 Mach with a rocket motor. It is able to simulate the speed and altitude characteristics of approaching, receding or crossing of a variety of aircraft using false radar signatures. It is used for defensive training of surface-to-air missile crews against anti-ship missiles and for development testing and evaluation of air defense systems. It can be air-launched by a variety of aircraft. It is the first Indian aerial vehicle to incorporate a canard configuration.
  45. CAPTCHA stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. It determines whether the user is real or a spam robot. It uses several human validation methods including math or general knowledge questions, visual puzzles and even chess puzzles. It stretches or manipulate letters and numbers, and rely on human ability to determine which symbols they are.
  46. The DRDO Fluffy was a target dronedesigned and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization’s Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) in Bangalore in early 1970s for use by the Indian Armed Forces. It had a maximum endurance of 5 minutes and could be launched from the maximum altitude of 30,000 feet. After the development of the reusable Aerial Target DRDO Lakshya, which was simpler and more economical to use than Fluffy, the production of the latter was discontinued.
  47. The Legislative Assembly Speaker or Legislative Council Chairman constitutes a Privileges Committee consisting of 15 members in the Assembly and 11 members in the Council. If the privilege and contempt are found prima facie, then the Speaker or Chairman will forward it to the Privileges Committee by following the due procedure. The members to the committee are nominated based on the party strength in the Houses.
  48. India became the fourth country after the United States, Russia and China to develop and successfully test hypersonic technology.
  49. DRDO Lakshya (“target” in Sanskrit) is an Indian remotely piloted high speed target drone system developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) of DRDO. The drone remotely piloted by a ground control station provides realistic towed aerial sub-targets for live fire training. The drone is ground or ship launched from a zero-length launcher and recovery is by a two-stage parachute system developed by ADE (DRDO), for land- or sea-based recovery. The drone has a crushable nose cone, which absorbs the impact of landing, minimizing damage. The flight path may be controlled or pre-programmed, based upon the type of mission.
  50. Medicanes are tropical-like cyclones formed over the Mediterranean Sea. They typically form in the fall or winter months and occur once or twice a year. Medicanes occur more in colder waters than tropical cyclones, hurricanes and typhoons. Hence, the cores of these storms are also cold, as compared to the warm cores of tropical cyclones. Warmer cores tend to carry more moisture (hence rainfall), are bigger in size and have swifter winds.
  51. La Niña is the cooling phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, as opposed to the warming El Niño phase. It is characterized by the unusual cooling of the central and east-central equatorial Pacific Ocean. A La Niña produces more rain in the central eastern part, where most of the Mediterranean cyclones develop.
  52. Poverty and Human Development Monitoring Agency has been created as an agency registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. It is under the administrative control of the Planning & Convergence Department, Odisha Government.
  53. The Rodrigues Triple Junction (RTJ), also known as the Central Indian [Ocean] Triple Junction (CITJ) is a geologic triple junction in the southern Indian Ocean where three tectonic plates meet the African Plate, the Indo-Australian Plate, and the Antarctic Plate. The triple junction is named for the island of Rodrigues which lies 1,000 km (620 mi) north-west of it.
  54. International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is an international financial institution and specialized United Nations agency based in Rome, the UN’s food and agriculture hub. IFAD is the only multilateral development organization focused on eradicating hunger and poverty in rural areas. The Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP) is IFAD’s flagship programme for channeling climate and environmental finance to smallholder farmers. 
  55. Round tripping refers to money that leaves the country through various channels and makes its way back into the country often as foreign investment. This mostly involves black money and is allegedly often used for stock price manipulation.
  56. The event which led to an intense loss of species is thought to have been caused by long-lasting ozone depletion, which would have allowed much more of the Sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation to reach and harm life on Earth. This was called the Hangenberg crisis.
  57. A team of researchers and engineers along with a drone pilot from the Dutch-based Technical University of Delft (TU Delft) have successfully conducted the first real test flight of the scaled model of the ‘Flying V’, a futuristic and fuel-efficient long-distance aircraft that could one day carry passengers in its wings. The Flying-V design, which derives its name from its noticeable ‘V’ shape, integrates the passenger cabin, the cargo holds and the fuel tanks in the wings. The aircraft’s improved aerodynamic shape and reduced weight will reduce fuel consumption by 20% compared to today’s most advanced aircraft.
  58. SAMARTH scheme, also known as Scheme for Capacity Building in the Textile Sector (SCBTS), was approved by Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) in 2017 in order to ensure steady supply of skilled manpower in the labor-intensive textile sector.
  59. The Strait of Malacca connects Indian Ocean to the South China Sea and is 900 km in length and is also a prominent trade route between East Asia and West Asia-Europe. Recently, India and Russia  scheduled to hold Indra 2020 in the Andaman Sea, close to the Strait of Malacca instead of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
  60. The US, UK, France, Germany and Belgium on decided to block Pakistan’s move to list two Indian nationals as global terrorists under the UN Security Council 1267 sanctions committee.
  61. Assisted reproductive technology includes medical procedures used primarily to address infertility. It involves procedures such as in vitro fertilization, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, cryopreservation of gametes or embryos, and/or the use of fertility medication.
  62. VAJRA (Visiting Advanced Joint Research) Faculty Scheme of the Department of S&T is a dedicated program exclusively for overseas scientists and academicians with emphasis on Non-resident Indians (NRI) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIO)/Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) to work as adjunct/visiting faculty for a specific period of time in Indian Public funded academic and research institutions.
  63. Bordering Myanmar, Thanamir is a village in Kiphire district inhabited by Nagas of the Yimchungru community. Thanamir was primarily known as the last stop for trekkers to Saramati, Nagaland’s highest peak at 3,840 m above sea level, until the State government declared it a vegetable village in 2013, almost five years after it was connected by a road.
  64. The Biodiversity Intactness Index (BII) estimates how the average abundance of native terrestrial species in a region compares with their abundances before pronounced human impacts.
  65. Adenoviruses (ADVs) are DNA viruses ranging from 70-90 nanometre in size, which induce many illnesses in humans like cold, respiratory infection etc. Adenoviruses are preferred for vaccines because their DNA is double stranded which makes them genetically more stable and the chances of them changing after injection are lower. However, there are drawbacks of adenovirus vector vaccines like pre-existing immunity in humans and inflammatory responses which may make vaccines less effective.
  66. With a population of over 5.7 crore, Hispanic Americans are currently the largest minority group in the US, making up a fifth of the total US population, according to the Pew Research Center. The community is referred to as Hispanic, Latino or Latinx– terms that refer to a person’s origin or culture, without considering their race.
  67. James Clerk Maxwell Telescope is the largest astronomical telescope in the world designed specifically to operate in the submillimetre wavelength region of the spectrum.
  68. A Customized My Stamp on India’s First Anti Satellite Missile (A-SAT) launch was released by Department of Posts on the occasion of Engineers Day. Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully conducted an Anti-Satellite (A-SAT) missile test ‘Mission Shakti’ from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha on 27th March 2019. A DRDO developed A-SAT Missile successfully engaged an Indian orbiting target satellite in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in a ‘Hit to Kill’ mode. The interceptor missile was a three-stage missile with two solid rocket boosters. Tracking data from range sensors had confirmed that the mission met all its objectives. The entire effort was indigenous which demonstrated the Nation’s capability to develop such complex and critical missions. A number of industries also participated in the mission. With this success, India became fourth nation in the world to possess such capability.
  69. Mekedatu, meaning goat’s leap, is a deep gorge situated at the confluence of the rivers Cauvery and its tributary Arkavathi. Recently the Karnataka government is likely to pressurise the Centre for approval of the construction of the Mekedatu Project on the Cauvery river.
  70. The International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights is a key international human rights treaty, providing a range of protections for civil and political rights. The Covenant compels governments to take administrative, judicial, and legislative measures in order to protect the rights enshrined in the treaty and to provide an effective remedy. The Covenant was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1966 and came into force in 1976. 173 countries including India have ratified the Covenant.
  71. The Committee for Reforms in Criminal Laws constituted by the Union Home Ministry. The committee has been constituted under Ranbir Singh and several other members.
  72. Diamond, graphite and fullerenes (substances that include nanotubes and buckminsterfullerene) are the important allotropes of pure carbon. Allotropy is the property of some chemical elements to exist in two or more different forms, in the same physical state.
  73. Graphene is known for anti-bacterial properties. The researchers created a laser-induced form of graphene and tested it on E coli. It showed anti-bacterial efficiency of about 82 per cent. Most of the E coli were dead after 8 hours.
  74. Under the Information Technology Rules, 2011, under the IT Act, 2000, personal data is “any information regarding a natural person, which either directly or indirectly, in combination with other information available or likely to be available… is capable of identifying such person.” This, however, does not include information available freely or accessible in the public domain. These rules also do not impose any conditions on the use of personal data for direct marketing etc. Many commercial entities access and aggregate such information for targeted advertisement.
  75. The pioneering efforts of Beohar Rajendra Simha, a well-known Hindi scholar-writer who rallied and lobbied in favour of Hindi along with other stalwarts like Hazari Prasad Dwivedi, Maithili Sharan Gupta  and Kaka Kalelkar came  to fruition on Simha’s 50th birth day on 14th September,1949 when the Constituent Assembly adopted Hindi as one of the  official languages of the Union of India  which  was ratified by the Constitution of India that came into effect on the 26th of January 1950. Under the Article 343 of the Indian Constitution, Hindi written in Devanagari script was adopted as the official language. Article 351 pertains to ‘Directive for development of the Hindi language’.
  76. Saqqara, the sweeping necropolis and pyramid field of Memphis has been an important historical site for 5000 years of Egyptian history. It is Egypt’s largest archaeological site. The vast Saqqara necropolis south of Cairo is part of the ancient capital of Memphis, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Saqqara is the site of the colossal rectangular-based step Pyramid of Djoser.
  77. The National Translation Mission (NTM) is being implemented through the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysore under which the text books of various subjects prescribed in Universities and Colleges are being translated in all languages of the Eighth Schedule.
  78. Cytokine Storm Syndrome is characterised by the overproduction of immune cells and the cytokines themselves because of a dysregulation in the process. A cytokine storm can occur due to an infection, auto-immune condition (when the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells as in case of coeliac disease- an immune disorder that primarily affects the small intestine), or other diseases. Signs and symptoms include high fever, inflammation (redness and swelling), severe fatigue, and nausea.
  79. Tropospheric, or ground-level ozone, is created by chemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC). It usually increases when pollutants emitted by cars, power plants, industrial boilers, refineries, chemical plants, and other sources chemically react in the presence of sunlight, impacting human health.
  80. Cotton fabric from around 3,000 BCE has been excavated from the ruins of Mohenjo­daro, and archaeological findings in Mehrgarh, Pakistan, show that cotton was used in the subcontinent as far back as 5,000 BCE. Cotton suffers from plenty of infestation from moth pests (Lepidopteran) such as the Pink Bollworm (PBW) and sap­sucking (Hemipteran) pests such as aphids and mealy bugs.
  81. The Foreign Investment Facilitation Portal (FIFP) facilitates the single window clearance of applications which are through approval route. This portal is administered by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  82. Recently, Korean Peninsula and Japan were hit by two typhoons named Maysak and Haishen. These typhoons were categorized as a Category 4 hurricane storm. A Category 4 storm has wind speeds between 130-156 mph and can uproot trees and bring down power lines. Hurricanes are categorized on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which rates them on a scale of 1 to 5 based on wind speed. Hurricanes that reach category three or higher are classified as major hurricanes.
  83. Jaipur, Patrika Gate is a memorial that reflects the cultural heritage and architectural style of Rajasthan. This memorial is an attempt to integrate the art, craft & cultural heritage of Rajasthan in one structure. The design of the Patrika gate incorporates the culture lifestyle & architecture of all the parts of Rajasthan from Sriganganagar to Banswara and from Jaisalmer to Bharatpur. Patrika is the southern gate of Jaipur. 
  84. After noting significant progress in a pilot programme to teach Sanskrit to residents of two villages in Uttarakhand, the state government gave it a go-ahead to authorities to develop ‘Sanskrit grams’ across the state. Sanskrit is the second official language in Uttarakhand.
  85. In a nationwide investigation, RPF has disrupted the operation of illegal software called “Real Mango” used for cornering confirmed Railway reservation. Real mango software bypasses V3 and V2 captcha. It synchronises bank OTP with help of a mobile app and feeds it to the requisite form automatically. The software auto-fills the passenger details and payment details in the forms. The software logs in to the IRCTC website through multiple IRCTC Ids. The illegal software is sold through five-tiered structure: System Admin & his   team, Mavens, Super sellers, Sellers and Agents.  System admin is receiving payment in bitcoins.
  86. Sir David Attenborough has been conferred with Indira Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2019.
  87. Pithoragarh is strategically very sensitive as it has boundaries with both China and Nepal. Uttarakhand shares a 350-km border with China and a 275-km boundary with Nepal. Five of the state’s 13 districts are border districts. Chamoli and Uttarkashi share boundaries with China, whereas Udham Singh Nagar and Champawat have boundaries with Nepal.
  88. Wainganga river, which divides Gadchiroli & Chandrapur Districts is one of the important rivers in the State of Maharashtra.
  89. Crete is an island located at the southern border of the Aegean Sea. It is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands.
  90. Small Finance Banks are registered as a public limited company under the Companies Act, 2013. Small Finance Banks are governed by the provisions of the: Banking Regulation Act, 1949; Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934; Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999; Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007; Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Act, 2005; Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation Act, 1961; Other relevant Statutes and the Directives, Prudential Regulations and other Guidelines/Instructions issued by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and other regulators from time to time. The small finance bank can also become an Authorised Dealer in foreign exchange business for its clients’ requirements. SFBs need to maintain a Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) and Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR). They cannot be a Business Correspondent (BC) for another bank. However, they can have their own BC network.
  91. Reacting to Golak Nath Case/Judgement of the Supreme Court the Parliament through the 24th Amendment Act, 1971 brought certain changes to the amend ability of the Fundamental Rights. The 24th Amendment Act, 1971 amended Articles 13 and 368. It declared that the Parliament has the power to abridge or take away any of the Fundamental Rights under Article 368 and such an Act, will not be a law under the meaning of Article 13. The Supreme Court upheld the validity of the 24th Amendment Act, and stated that the Parliament is empowered to abridge or take away any of the Fundamental Rights but at the same time laid down the new doctrine of the ‘basic structure of the Constitution’. Thus, it may be said that the 24th Amendment enhanced the powers of the Parliament to amend the Fundamental Rights.
  92. Trami Tradition is the Kashmir Valley’s centuries-old culinary tradition. It involves eating together from one plate during weddings. The tradition sees people sitting around and eating from one plate irrespective of their class and caste. It symbolized brotherhood and sharing.
  93. Nord Stream 2 is a new export gas pipeline running from Russia to Europe across the Baltic Sea.
  94. Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) is a premier institute of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), engaged in research of national importance in the areas of genomics, molecular medicine, bioinformatics, etc. It is based in New Delhi.
  95. Ecological Threat Register (ETR), covers 157 independent states and territories. Produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), the ETR measures ecological threats that countries are currently facing and provides projections to 2050. The ETR includes: population growth, water stress, food insecurity, droughts, floods, cyclones and rising temperature and sea levels. The ETR results show that 141 countries are exposed to at least one ecological threat between now and 2050.  Approximately one billion people live in countries that do not have the resilience to deal with the ecological changes they are expected to face between now and 2050. By 2040, a total of 5.4 billion people – more than half of the world’s projected population will live in the 59 countries experiencing high or extreme water stress including India and China.
  96. National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) under Ministry of Road, Transport & Highways has speeded up the detailed project report (DPR) work on the World’s Longest High-Altitude Shinkun La Tunnel). The 13.5 Km long tunnel under the Shingo La pass will enable all-weather road connectivity between Manali and Nimu via Shingo La and Padum. The tunnel will provide all-weather road connectivity between Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir in Zanskar valley. The road is not only of strategic importance as it provides easier access areas on the Indo-China border but also comes as a relief for the 15-odd villages in Zanskar valley where residents have to walk for five to six days to either reach Leh or Manali. Zoji La is the second highest pass after Fotu La on the Srinagar-Leh highway, which often remains closed during winter.
  97. Rakhigarhi is the largest city of Harappan civilisation in the Indian sub-continent. It is located in the Ghaggar-Hakra river plain. It is a village in Hisar District in Haryana. This site was excavated by Shri Amarendra Nath of Archeological Survey of India. The Global Heritage Fund declared Rakhigarhi one of the 10 most endangered heritage sites in Asia.
  98. The South Asians who lived in the Indus Valley civilisation belonged to a completely different group of hunter-gatherers, who began farming much earlier. This is in contradiction to the theory that the Iranians and South Asians shared ancestry.  More commonly held theory, while the first humans (out of Africa) came to the Indian region 65,000 years ago, the Harappan civilisation was created by a mixed population of them and West Asian migrants who reached India around 9,000 years ago. The Aryans are believed to have arrived about 4,000 or 3,000 years ago, from the Central Asian Steppe region.
  99. The name Novichok means “newcomer” in Russian, and applies to a group of advanced nerve agents developed by the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s. They were known as fourth-generation chemical weapons and were developed under a Soviet programme codenamed Foliant. Some variants of Novichok are thought to be five to eight times more toxic than the VX nerve agent. While some Novichok agents are liquids, others are thought to exist in solid form. This means they could be dispersed as an ultra-fine powder. Some of the agents are also reported to be “binary weapons”, meaning the nerve agent is typically stored as two less toxic chemical ingredients that are easier to transport, handle and store. When these are mixed, they react to produce the active toxic agent. Novichoks were designed to be more toxic than other chemical weapons, so some versions would begin to take effect rapidly – in the order of 30 seconds to two minutes. Novichok agents have similar effects to other nerve agents – they act by blocking messages from the nerves to the muscles, causing a collapse of many bodily functions.
  100. The work of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is carried out as part of an international control regime that governs what is, or is not, permissible as far as very toxic chemicals are concerned. This was established by the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), to which 192 countries are signed up members. Only four countries are outside the CWC – North Korea, Israel, Egypt and South Sudan, which has begun the process of signing. They are still bound by the treaty’s provisions, under international law. Countries agree to never manufacture, stockpile or use chemical weapons – nor to assist others to do so. They are also required to declare what stocks of chemical weapons they have and where they could be produced. Under the convention, countries are allowed stocks of toxic chemicals and their precursors for peaceful purposes including industry, agriculture, research and medicine. Signatories are allowed to hold a combined total of one tonne and one facility, usually a laboratory, where these substances can be made. These stocks can be used to develop protective clothing, gas masks, antidotes and for developing methods to identify chemical weapons.
  101. Atropine and Athene were antidotes for the nerve agents but they only helped stop the poison’s actions and were not a cure.
  102. Unlike National parks or wildlife sanctuaries, reserved forests are declared by the respective state governments. They are often upgraded to status of Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks. A reserved forest in India denote forests accorded a certain degree of protection. Land rights to forests declared to be Reserved forests are typically acquired (if not already owned) and owned by the Government of India. National Parks and Wildlife sanctuaries are reserved forest areas in India. Rights to all activities like hunting, grazing, etc. are banned unless specific orders are issued. In Reserved Forest, no public entry is allowed for collection of timber or grazing of cattle.
  103. Indian Council of Historical Research is an autonomous organization, established under Societies Registration Act,1860 in 1972. It is under the Ministry of Education.
  104. Special rapporteur, independent expert, and working group member are titles given to individuals working on behalf of the United Nations (UN) within the scope of “special procedure” mechanisms who have a specific country or thematic mandate from the United Nations Human Rights Council. Special Rapporteurs often conduct fact-finding missions to countries to investigate allegations of human rights violations. They can only visit countries that have agreed to invite them.
  105. Gravitational waves were proposed by Albert Einstein in his General Theory of Relativity over a century ago. It was only in 2015, however, that the first gravitational wave was actually detected — by LIGO. Since then, there have been a number of subsequent detections of gravitational waves. Gravitational waves are invisible ripples that form when a star explodes in a supernova; when two big stars orbit each other; and when two black holes merge. Travelling at the speed of light, gravitational waves squeeze and stretch anything in their path.
  106. The Commission for Scientific and Technical Terminology (CSTT) is providing publication grants towards the publications of University Level Books in regional languages.
  107. Hurricane Nana made landfall in Belize, pelting a relatively sparsely populated stretch of the country’s coast with heavy rain and wind before weakening to a tropical storm while pushing across Guatemala. Nana weakened to a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds near 60 mph (95 kph).
  108. Tropical cyclones with maximum sustained surface winds of less than 39 miles per hour (mph) are called tropical depressions. Those with maximum sustained winds of 39 mph or higher are called tropical storms. When a storm’s maximum sustained winds reach 74 mph, it is called a hurricane.
  109. More life can be supported by ‘dead’ coral rubble than live coral, according to a recent study. ‘Dead’ coral reefs supported ‘cryptic’ animals — hidden sea creatures, including fishes, snails, tiny crabs and worms — who hide under this rubble to save themselves from predation. The general perception of life supported by ‘live’ coral reefs included larger invertebrates like starfish, giant clams and sea cucumbers. ‘Live’ coral reefs — considered among the most diverse ecosystems of the world — are under threat from rising temperatures, as they are sensitive to temperature changes. When corals become stressed due to any changes, including pollution or warming, they can expel algae and get bleached, meaning the ‘death’ of the coral.
  110. National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) is an umbrella programme conceived and developed by the Innovation & Entrepreneurship division, Department of Science & Technology. It would work in line with the national priorities and goals. Its focus would be to build an innovation driven entrepreneurial ecosystem with an objective of socio-economic development through wealth and job creation. The aim of the programme is to nurture ideas and innovations into successful startups through scouting, supporting and scaling of innovations.
  111. The Importer -Exporter Code (IEC) is a key business identification number which is mandatory for Exports or Imports. No person shall make any import or export except under an IEC Number granted by the DGFT. In case of import or export of services or technology, the IEC shall be required only when the service or technology provider is taking benefits under the Foreign Trade Policy or is dealing with specified services or technologies the nature of the firm obtaining an IEC may be any of the follows- “Proprietorship, Partnership, LLP, Limited Company, Trust, HUF and Society.” Consequent upon introduction of GST, IEC number is the same as the PAN of the firm. The IEC would be separately issued by DGFT. IEC is a 10-digit code which has a lifetime validity.
  112. The Asur language figures in the list of UNESCO Interactive Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger. The Asur language features in the UNESCO list of ‘definitely endangered’ languages.  Found in-Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal. It is one of the PVTGs of Jharkhand.
  113. The Himalayan Hindu Kush region extends across 3,500 km over eight countries—Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan. They are known as the Water Tower of Asia due to its reserve of frozen water.
  114. Along the bylanes of Marol-Maroshi in Andheri East, one can spot a strange looking ‘upside down’ tree. With a swollen base and sparse foliage, the African-origin tree, called Baobab, looks like it has been planted with its roots jutting out in the air. These trees are found wherever the Portuguese settled in India. They considered these trees auspicious and so carried a seed or a sapling wherever they travelled and planted them. It is likely that they brought them from Africa. Bearing the scientific name Adansonia digitata and locally known as ‘Gorakh-chinch’, it holds massive amount of water in its hollow trunk. Its fruit is called ‘Monkey-bread’. “At the end of the dry season, it produces white flowers. These flowers bloom at night and are pollinated by bats.
  115. RhODIS (Rhino DNA Index System) is a project that was initiated by the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory of the University of Pretoria in order to help with the plight of the rhinos. The Veterinary Genetics Laboratory is collecting DNA samples of rhinos across the country to create a database using the unique DNA profile of individual rhinos. The goal is for all rhinos to be on the system. This will deter poachers and assist in forensic prosecutions. In 2016, RhODIS India was launched by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in partnership with Wildlife Institute of India. The progress of RhODIS implementation is reviewed by the Ministry on an annual basis.
  116. Recently, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) launched ‘i-ATS’, an indigenously-built communication-based train control signaling technology for the metro. The i-ATS (Automatic Train Supervision) is a computer-based system that manages train operation. It is indigenously-developed technology, which will reduce the dependence of Indian metros on foreign vendors.
  117. The sarus is the state bird of Uttar Pradesh. The sarus is found mainly in Uttar Pradesh’s Etawah, Mainpuri and Shahjahanpur districts. Sarus (Grus antigone) is the tallest flying bird found in wet and agricultural lands in Asia. It is a large nonmigratory crane found in parts of the Indian subcontinent, the sarus crane is classified as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List and listed under Appendix II in CITES and Schedule IV in the Wildlife Act, 1972.
  118. ‘Prisons’/’persons detained therein’ is a State subject under Entry 4 of List II of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India. Administration and management of prisons is the responsibility of respective State Governments.
  119. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), statutory organisation, was constituted in September 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. Further, CPCB was entrusted with the powers and functions under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
  120. Ballast Water Convention is an international treaty that aims to prevent the spread of harmful aquatic organisms from one region to another, by establishing standards and procedures for the management and control of ships’ ballast water and sediments. It was adopted in 2004 but has not yet entered into force. Its biodiversity relevance is that ballast water is a common way through which alien invasive species are introduced in the marine environment. Ballast Water is water with its suspended matter taken on board a ship to control trim, list, draught, stability or stresses of the ship.
  121. Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) sites contain the entire population of one or more species listed as Endangered or Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The Alliance itself is formed of 93 biodiversity conservation institutions from 37 countries, and its goal is to prevent the extinction of species. AZEs are included under the ‘umbrella’ classification of Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs).
  122. Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas (PSSAs) are “areas that need special protection through action by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) because of their significance for recognized ecological, socio-economic or scientific reasons where such attributes may be vulnerable to damage by international maritime activities. PSSAs are limited to the Exclusive Economic Zone, and they must be identified by the Member State whose sovereign territory the area falls under. PSSAs can also overlap with other international designations.
  123. The National GIS-enabled land bank system was launched in August 2020 by Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It aims to solicit the details of industrial land with plot level information, connectivity thereto, basic facilities, other facilities available and contact details of authorities/developer of the park. It is being developed by integration of Industrial Information System (IIS) with State GIS Systems.
  124. Ministry of Mumbai’s Magic, a citizens’ collective, has announced the launch of Biodiversity by the Bay campaign to highlight the need for sustainable development to enhance protection for the city’s environment.
  125. In 2008, the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 9) adopted the scientific criteria for identifying Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas in need of protection in open-ocean waters and deep-sea habitats.
  126. Tarballs are small light-absorbing, carbonaceous particles formed due to burning of biomass or fossil fuels that deposit on snow and ice. The percentage of the tarballs increased on days of higher levels of pollution. It could contribute to hastening of glacial melt and global warming. Tarballs are formed from brown carbon. Brown Carbon is emitted during the burning of fossil fuels. Primary brown carbon (BrC) co-emitted with black carbon (BC) from biomass burning is an important light-absorbing carbonaceous aerosol. The black carbon from the Indo-Gangetic Plain can reach the Himalaya region and influence glacial melting and climatic change.
  127. The National Policy on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances is based on the Directive Principles, contained in Article 47 of the Indian Constitution, which direct the State to endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption, except for medicinal purposes, of intoxicating drugs injurious to health.
  128. Located more than 1300 metres above sea level in Kerala’s Wayanad district, Ambukuthi Mountain comprises the exquisite Edakkal rock shelters with unique carvings which are thousands of years old. The rock carvings at Edakkal are categorised as Neolithic Petroglyphs. Neolithic is the new stone age, estimated between 12,000 years before present (ybp) to 6,500 ybp. Petroglyphs are images carved onto rock. The Wayanad district website claims that the carvings date back to 6,000 B.C.
  129. Pangolins enjoy the highest level of protection under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Trade in all eight species of pangolins is illegal. Of the eight known species of the pangolin, one of the world’s most trafficked animals, India is home to two pangolin species, the endangered Indian pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) and critically endangered Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla).  There are certain regions in north West Bengal (extending to Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar) where there is an overlapping distribution of both species. The Indian pangolin is found throughout the country south of the Himalayas, excluding the north-eastern region, while the Chinese pangolin ranges through Assam and the eastern Himalayas. They are listed under Schedule I of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 & Appendix I of CITES. Indian Pangolins are categorized as Endangered in IUCN Red List.
  130. The Environment Pollution Control Authority is also mandated to enforce Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in the city as per the pollution levels. If its directions are not followed, it has powers to file criminal complaints (under section 19 of the Act) before courts. One of the EPCA’s important powers is the redressal of grievances through complaints. The EPCA shall furnish a progress report about its activities once in a month to the Central Government.
  131. As of now, Commission on Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) recommends MSPs of 23 commodities, which comprise 7 cereals (paddy, wheat, maize, sorghum, pearl millet, barley and ragi), 5 pulses (gram, tur, moong, urad, lentil), 7 oilseeds (groundnut, rapeseed-mustard, soyabean, seasmum, sunflower, safflower, nigerseed), and 4 commercial crops (copra, sugarcane, cotton and raw jute).
  132. The Centre unveiled the first look of the Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) train whose design is inspired by Delhi’s iconic Lotus Temple and can attain a top speed of 180 kilometres per hour on the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut corridor. RRTS trains will also have business class (one coach per train) with spacious, comfortable and reclining seats which will be accessible through a special lounge at the platform-level. The 82-km-long Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut corridor is the first RRTS corridor being implemented in India. 
  133. The Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), an autonomous technology think tank under the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India.  TIFAC continues to strive for technology development in the country by leveraging technology innovation through sustained and concerted programmes in close association with industry and academia. TIFAC embarked upon the major task of formulating a Technology Vision for the country in various emerging technology areas.
  134. Microlensing is a form of gravitational lensing where light from a background source, such as a star, is bent by the gravitational field of a foreground planet or any other source of gravity. This creates distorted or multiple images, which show both intensity of light and position of the background source of light inaccurately. Gravitational microlensing is a scaled-down version of gravitational lensing, where a large structure, such as a galaxy cluster, is used to focus light that’s coming from a background galaxy or star.
  135. Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is also known as Pakshi Kashi of Karnataka. It is the largest bird sanctuary in the state and comprises six islets on the banks of the Kaveri river. Riverine reed beds cover the banks of the islands, while the islands themselves are covered in broadleaf forests, with dominant species being Terminalia arjuna (Arjun tree), bamboo groves, and Pandanus trees. 
  136. Recently, an ‘ecological disaster’ of sorts is unfolding on a black volcanic beach of the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East. Kamchatka is a UNESCO world heritage site.
  137. The Fifth Schedule of the Constitution deals with the administration and control of Scheduled Areas as well as of Scheduled Tribes residing in any State other than the States of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
  138. The Western Ghats cover six states — Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The K Kasturirangan Committee had in 2012 earmarked around 60,000 sq km as ESZ. In 2014, the then MoEF issued a draft notification declaring 56,825 sq km in the Western Ghats as ESZ.
  139. The MoEF (Ministry of Environment & Forests) has approved a comprehensive set of guidelines laying down parameters and criteria for declaring Eco-Sensitive Areas (ESAs). A committee constituted by MoEF put this together. The guidelines lay out the criteria based on which areas can be declared as ESAs. These include Species Based (Endemism, Rarity etc), Ecosystem Based (sacred groves, frontier forests etc.) and Geomorphologic feature based (uninhabited islands, origins of rivers etc.).
  140. The iDEX initiative of the Department of Defence Production was launched by Prime Minister in April 2018. It aims to encourage innovations in the Indian Defence sector and create an ecosystem where Startups, MSMEs and individual innovators could interact easily with the Indian defence establishment and provide innovations for specific challenges experienced in operational environments. The iDEX initiatives are executed by ‘Defence Innovation Organisation’, a Section 8 company of Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) – BEL (Bharat Electronics Limited) & HAL (Hindustan Aerospace Limited).
  141. Haiyang 2C is a Chinese oceanography satellite designed to measure the height of waves and winds. The HY-2C will network alongside the HY-2B previously sent into space, and the HY-2D, scheduled for launch next year.
  142. Dr Ritesh Agarwal has been awarded Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology for the year 2020 in the medical sciences category, for his significant contributions in the field of Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis (ABPA). His research showed that lower doses of oral steroids were sufficient in the treatment of ABPA. Before his research, there was no dosing protocol for oral glucocorticoids (a class of steroid hormones).
  143. Recently, a big chunk of ice has broken away from the Arctic’s largest remaining ice shelf – 79N, or Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden – in north-east Greenland. Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden is the floating front end of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream – where it flows off the land into the ocean to become buoyant. 79N became ‘the largest remaining Arctic ice shelf’ only recently, after the Petermann Glacier in northwest Greenland lost a lot of area in 2010 and 2012.
  144. Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis is a fungal infection of the lung. It is caused by a severe allergic reaction after being exposed to a type of fungus called Aspergillus.  Aspergillus can be found in the soil, dust, water, and rotting or decaying vegetation (and some foods and ground spices. With ABPA, this allergic reaction causes the immune system to overreact to Aspergillus leading to lung inflammation. It causes bronchospasm (tightening of airway muscles) and mucus buildup resulting in coughing, breathing difficulty and airway obstruction.
  145. Renowned Malayalam poet Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri was conferred the Jnanpith award. Akkitham is the only living poet being called Mahakavi (great poet) in Malayalam. Jnanpith award is India’s highest literary award.
  146. The Department of Biotechnology is implementing the India Centric Epidemic Preparedness (Ind-CEPI) mission to strengthen development of vaccines for the diseases of epidemic potential in India. CEPI is a global alliance financing the development of vaccines against infectious diseases. From time to time, CEPI issues calls for proposals inviting applicants to submit funding proposals for projects to develop specific vaccine candidates.
  147. A hackathon named “KRITAGYA” has been planned by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) under National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP). It is a joint initiative by NAHEP and Agricultural Engineering Division. It aims to promote potential technology solutions for enhancing farm mechanization with special emphasis on women friendly equipment.
  148. India is home to the largest number of Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros in the world with its population in the range of 3000 animals in the States of Assam, West Bengal & UP. There are 5 different species of rhinos: White Rhino (Ceratotherium simum), Black Rhino (Diceros bicornis), Javan Rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus), Sumatran Rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatresnsis) and Greater One Horned Rhino species.
  149. The Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) is largest association of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) worldwide.   At present A-WEB has 115 EMBs as Members & 16 Regional Associations/Organisations as Associate Members.  Election Commission of India (ECI) has been very closely associated with the process of formation of A-WEB since 2011-12. Recently, India completed of one year of chairmanship of the Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB). The current chairman is Sunil Arora from India.
  150. Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that mainly infects cattle, swine, goats, sheep and dogs. Humans can get infected if they come in direct contact with infected animals or by eating or drinking contaminated animal products or by inhaling airborne agents. According to the WHO, most cases of the disease are caused by ingesting unpasteurized milk or cheese from infected goats or sheep. Human to human transmission of the virus is rare.
  151. Bagh Print is a traditional hand block print with natural colours, an Indian Handicraft practised in Bagh, Dhar district in Madhya Pradesh, India. Its name is derived from the village Bagh on the banks of the Bagh River. Bagh print fabric with replicated geometric and floral compositions with vegetable colours of red and black over a white background is a popular Textile printing product. Weaving and hand block printing process with the geometric designs, imaginative use of red and black natural colours and taking advantage of the chemical properties of the river and effective use of colours results in Bagh Prints in a unique art form. 
  152. The word Viking comes from the Scandinavian term “Vikingr”, which means pirate. The Vikage Age refers to the period between AD 800 until the 1050s. The Vikings played an important role in changing the political and genetic course of Europe. Further, the Vikings also exported ideas, technologies, language, beliefs and practices to other places.
  153. The Fund for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage of Outstanding Universal Value, called “the World Heritage Fund”, was established under Article 15 of the World Heritage Convention and may be used only for such purposes as the World Heritage Committee shall define.
  154. The Government of India has set up an expert committee under by Lt Gen (retd) Rajesh Pant, the National Cyber Security Coordinator to evaluate the implications of the digital surveillance by Data Information Technology Co. Limited.
  155. National Research Centre on Camels was established in 1984 by the Central Government under Indian Council of Agricultural Research at the outskirts of Bikaner city to promote research and development on camels. It is located about 8 km from Bikaner city in the state of Rajasthan in India.
  156. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a serious condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein located deep inside human body. A deep vein thrombosis can break loose and cause a serious problem in the lung, called a pulmonary embolism.
  157. Sahabati, Pundabati, Daasibati and Dhangdabati system are the cooperatives systems Dongria Kondh Tribes. The Dongria Kondh in southwestern Odisha is one of India’s so-called “particularly vulnerable tribal groups.”
  158. Desert bighorn sheep found in landscapes in the American Southwest with the least human disturbance, were most likely to survive the effects of climate change.  They found that the least vulnerable bighorn populations were primarily in and around Death Valley National Park and Grand Canyon National Park. On the other hand, the most vulnerable populations were outside of national parks in the southern Mojave Desert and in southeastern Utah. IUCN-Least Concern.
  159. The island of Tierra del Fuego lies in the extreme south of the South America continent and the southernmost tip of this island is called the ‘Cape Horn’ across the Strait of Magellan. Tierra del Fuego is divided between Chile and Argentina, with the latter controlling the eastern half of the main island and the former the western half plus the islands south of Beagle Channel.
  160. N11 countries or the Next 11 countries refers to a group of eleven countries—specifically Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Turkey, South Korea, and Vietnam—which have emerging markets that could potentially become some of the world’s largest economies.
  161. The red fox, one of the most widespread carnivores in the world, is spreading in Norway’s alpine areas at the cost of the Arctic or blue fox. While the red fox has existed in alpine regions, it is essentially an invasive species. The blue fox is already endangered and the spread of the red fox could not just impact it but also ground dwelling birds like the ptarmigan.
  162. The fire regimes in the Arctic are changing rapidly, with ‘zombie fires’ becoming more frequent in addition to fires occurring in the once-frozen tundra, according to a new study. A ‘zombie fire’ is a fire from a previous growing season that can smoulder under the ground which is made up of carbon-rich peat. When the weather warms, the fire can reignite.
  163. Verkhoyansk, a town in Siberia, recorded the highest temperature in the Arctic circle in the last 140 years at 38°C. The town is known for extreme temperature swings, from around -67°C to 37°C.
  164. The Global Carbon Project is a Global Research Project of Future Earth and a research partner of the World Climate Research Programme. It was formed to work with the international science community to establish a common and mutually agreed knowledge base to support policy debate and action to slow down and ultimately stop the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The Global Carbon Project was established in 2001 by a shared partnership between the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP), the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and Diversitas. This partnership constituted the Earth Systems Science Partnership (ESSP) which subsequently evolved into Future Earth.
  165. The Ice Sheet Mass Balance Intercomparison Exercise (IMBIE) is a joint collaboration established between scientists supported by the European Space Agency and the United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 2011.
  166. Section 3 of the Schedule Tribe and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA) specifies community forest rights of uses or entitlements such as fish and other elements in water bodies, grazing (both settled or transhumant) and traditional seasonal resource access of nomadic or pastoralist communities.
  167. Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary also known as the Wild Ass Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Little Rann of Kutch in the Gujarat state of India. The sanctuary is one of the last places on earth where the endangered wild ass sub-species Indian Wild Ass (Khur) (Equus hemionus khur) belonging to Asiatic Wild Ass species Onager (Equus hemionus) can be spotted.
  168. Primary Water Quality Criteria for Outdoor Bathing is notified under Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986. 
  169. The Union Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare ministry was implementing the ‘Sub-Mission on Plant Protection and Plant Quarantine’ Scheme, under which Integrated Pest Management approach was being promoted to educate farmers about judicious use of chemical pesticides.
  170. Wetlands in Jammu and Kashmir-Zalwan, Wullar Lake, Gandbal, Ningli, Manasbal Lake, Anchar Lake, Dal lake, Hokarsar.
  171. Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are the Great Andamanese (in Strait Island), Onges (in Little Andaman), Jarawas (in South Andaman) and Shompens (in the Greater Nicobar Islands).
  172. People with atrial fibrillation (AFib) — a common heart rhythm disorder that affects more than 2.7 million Americans — exposed to greater levels of pollution have a 1.2 times greater risk of stroke than those who live with less pollution.
  173.  NASA’s Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) and Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) instrument fly aboard NASA’s Aqua spacecraft and are managed by its Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
  174. A bright salt pan to a wet and lush landscape — the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently captured images depicting the wet and dry cycles of Etosha Pan in Africa’s Namibia through the year.  The Etosha pan is hollow in the ground, wherein water may collect or in which a deposit of salt remains after water has evaporated. The 120-kilometre-long dry lakebed and its surroundings are protected as Etosha National Park, Namibia’s second-largest wildlife park. The pan is mostly dry, but after a heavy rain, it acquires a thin layer of water that is heavily salted by the mineral deposits on the surface.
  175. The Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB) is the joint arm of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank. Recently, the board released a report titled “A World in Disorder”.
  176. Streams known to host rare or endangered aquatic species should form the focus of any fire preparation activities. Some species exist only in highly localised areas, such as the endangered native barred galaxias (Galaxias fuscus) in central Victoria.
  177. Humanpapillomavirus (HPV) vaccines are vaccines that prevent infection by certain types of human papillomavirus, which cause the greatest risk of cervical cancer.
  178. Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA) is a group of 104 countries, towns, regions and organisations that aims to advance the phase-out of coal-fired power stations. The partnership was initiated by Canada and the United Kingdom at United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23) in November 2017. PPCA includes 34 national and 24 subnational jurisdictions, but covered only 3.4 per cent of global coal power generation as of 2015. The PPCA is at the forefront of the global effort to deliver the Paris Agreement. Phasing out coal-fired electricity is one of the most important steps to tackle the climate crisis. The PPCA encourages all members to endorse the PPCA Declaration – including a commitment to phase out coal by 2030 in the OECD and EU, and by no later than 2050 in the rest of the world.
  179. Cellulose Acetate is a major component of the cigarette /bidi butts.
  180. Brown coal, or young coal, has water content as high as 50-60 per cent. It catches fire easily on drying and is risky to handle. The brown coal is available at very low depths of 250 metres. It is pertinent to note that Indian coal seams are at a depth up to 600 metres.
  181. A low-pressure system (LPS) is a region of low atmospheric pressure that generally forms over the sea surface and carries a lot of moisture and winds with it in a roughly cylindrical formation. The system could strengthen into a depression, a deep depression or if it stays over the sea for long enough, even tropical cyclones. The LPS that form during the monsoon season rarely grow into cyclones but could strengthen to intermediate depressions and deep depressions. The existence of the monsoon trough creates vertical shear winds that disrupt the formation of cyclones during this period. The LPS that are the most numerous during the season, have a typical life span between three and six days and their horizontal span is 1,000-2,000 kilometres. They are crucial for monsoon rainfall in many regions in the country, especially the central, north western regions and some parts of eastern India, which are known as the core monsoon zone.
  182. In 2012, Ocean Conservancy launched the Trash Free Seas Alliance (TFSA) in pursuit of a common goal: a healthy ocean free from trash. The TFSA develops innovative and pragmatic solutions that rid our ocean of marine debris and plastics. TFSA partners have pledged to eliminate or replace up to a half-million tons of virgin plastic from products and packaging each year. The goal: real-world collaboration to stop the flow of plastics into the ocean by 2030.
  183. Two formulations for hand sanitisers are permitted under WHO’s guidelines. They can either contain ethanol (96 per cent), hydrogen peroxide (three per cent) and glycerol (98 per cent). The other permitted formulation is isopropyl alcohol or IPA (99.8 per cent), hydrogen peroxide (three per cent) and glycerol (98 per cent). 
  184. Enhancing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for Food Systems report is a publication of the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), EAT and Climate Focus.
  185. The Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 is an International Labour Organization Convention, also known as ILO-convention 169, or C169. It is the major binding international convention concerning indigenous peoples and tribal peoples, and a forerunner of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. India had not ratified the International Labour Organization’s Convention 169.
  186. India Innovation Fund is a SEBI registered venture capital fund that invests in innovation led, early stage Indian firms.
  187. Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) is the first and largest energy exchange in India providing a nationwide, automated trading platform for physical delivery of electricity, Renewable Energy Certificates and Energy Saving Certificates. IEX is regulated by Central Electricity Regulatory Commission