IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-September 2022

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IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-September 2021

IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-September 2022

  1. THE Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) has confirmed that the mysterious disease resulting in “dwarfing” of rice plants, reported mainly from Punjab and Haryana, has been caused by the Southern Rice Black-Streaked Dwarf Virus (SRBSDV). The virus is spread by the white-backed plant hopper (WBPH), an insect pest, which injects it while sucking the sap from mostly young plants.  The Southern Rice Black-Streaked Dwarf Virus (SRBSDV) is spread by the white-backed plant hopper, an insect pest, which injects it while sucking the sap from mostly young plants. The virus is specific to the phloem (plant tissues that transport sugar and organic nutrients from the leaves to other parts) and is not transmitted by seed or grain. This is the first incident of the viral disease, a double stranded RNA virus that was initially reported in 2001 from Southern China, in Punjab. Nymphs of WBPH can transmit SRBSDV more efficiently as compared to their adults. Long distance transmission of this virus may occur through WBPH migrating with the typhoons and strong convection winds. The viruliferous WBPH nymphs and adults may transmit SRBSDV to rice plants at different growth stages.
  2. “Black cocaine”, a rare drug, is a mixture of regular cocaine and other chemicals of administrated quantity. In a bid to ensure that sniffer dogs used at airports do not detect cocaine, it is being used by drug peddlers coming to India from South American countries. It neutralises the smell of cocaine so that it can pass through checkpoints easily. Black cocaine is a mixture of regular cocaine base with various substances to camouflage typical appearance (e.g. charcoal), to interfere with colour-based drug tests (cobalt salts form deep red complexes in solution), to make the mixture undetectable by drug-sniffing dogs as activated carbon may sufficiently absorb trace odours. The pure cocaine base is then recovered from the mixture by extraction using common organic solvents such as methylene chloride or acetone. A second process is required to convert the cocaine base into powdered cocaine hydrochloride.
  3. When Advanced Economy (AE) central banks, especially the US Federal Reserve, raise interest rates aggressively (in a bid to contain inflation in their economies) it also forces economies such as India to raise interest rates. If India does not then its currency would be even more under pressure and lose even more against the dollar because better returns in the US pull global investors out of emerging economies.
  4. Prime Minister of India had laid the foundation stone for the “world’s first CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) terminal” at Bhavnagar in Gujarat.
  5. The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY) is a scheme under which the government provides free foodgrains — 5 kg per person per month — to eligible beneficiaries of the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013. This is over and above their monthly entitlement under the NFSA.
  6. The IMEI is a unique number that is used to identify a device on a mobile network. It has 15 digits and is like a phone’s unique identity. The number is used to verify the identity of a device when a user uses the Internet or places a call through it. Phones with a dual-SIM option have two IMEI numbers, one for each SIM. The IMEI number can help network providers track down a device in case it gets stolen or is lost. Once such loss or theft is reported, the carriers can deny the device access to the cellular network even with a new SIM card.
  7. The Ram Setu, also known as Adam’s Bridge, is a 48-km chain of limestone shoals between Rameswaram on India’s southeast coast and Mannar Island near Sri Lanka’s northwest coast.
  8. Kurmis are a landowning farming community whose status varies from place to place. The People of India series edited by K S Singh refers to Kurmis as “progressive farmers” who “avail of maximum benefits of all the development schemes available in the area and region”. Kurmis are distributed across several states — Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Goa, and Karnataka. In most states, Kurmis belong to the Other Backward Classes (OBC) in both the central and state lists for reservations.
  9. Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART: The targeted asteroid Dimorphos is actually a moon to a slightly larger asteroid called Didymos. While Didymos is 780 m at its widest, Dimorphos is about 160 metres. Dimorphos orbits around Didymos, and this two-body system go around the Sun. The DART mission was launched in November last year. The collision is likely to create a crater on Dimorphos. Whether the impact is able to make a noticeable alteration to its orbit would become known much later as telescopes around the world take measurements.
  10. e-commerce platforms with foreign investment are prohibited by the foreign direct investment (FDI) norms from offering discounts themselves. Many of the discount deals offered on these portals during the festive sales are offered either by sellers themselves, brand partners such as electronics brand manufacturers or banking partners. However, some platforms are incentivising sellers to offer these discounts to drive volumes.
  11. Mankading: The term comes from the name of the legendary former Indian cricketer Vinoo Mankad. In 1947, when India were playing a series in Australia, Mankad dismissed opposition batsman Bill Brown twice by taking off the bails at the non-striker’s end before releasing the ball.
  12. Italy’s election law favors parties that run in a coalition, and so the coalition on the right has an advantage over the fragmented left.
  13. Liquidity in the banking system refers to readily available cash that banks need to meet short-term business and financial needs. On a given day, if the banking system is a net borrower from the RBI under Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF), the system liquidity can be said to be in deficit and if the banking system is a net lender to the RBI, the system liquidity can be said to be in surplus. The LAF refers to the RBI’s operations through which it injects or absorbs liquidity into or from the banking system. A tight liquidity condition could lead to a rise in the government securities yields and subsequently lead to a rise in interest rates for consumers too.
  14. A rise in the repo rate will lead to a higher cost of funds. Banks will increase their repo-linked lending rates and the marginal cost of funds-based lending rate (MCLR), to which all loans are linked to. This rise will result in higher interest rates for consumers.
  15. Section 235 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) requires a judge to hear the accused after conviction on the question of sentence, and then pass sentence on him according to law.
  16. Hurricanes need two main ingredients — warm ocean water and moist, humid air. When warm seawater evaporates, its heat energy is transferred to the atmosphere. This fuels the storm’s winds to strengthen. Without it, hurricanes can’t intensify and will fizzle out. While technically the same phenomenon, these big storms get different names depending on where and how they were formed. Storms that form over the Atlantic Ocean or central and eastern North Pacific are called “hurricanes” when their wind speeds reach at least 74 miles per hour (119 kilometers per hour). Up to that point, they’re known as “tropical storms.” In East Asia, violent, swirling storms that form over the Northwest Pacific are called “typhoons”, while “cyclones” emerge over the Indian Ocean and South Pacific.
  17. The NAAC, an autonomous body under the University Grants Commission (UGC), assesses and certifies HEIs with gradings as part of accreditation. Through a multi-layered process, a higher education institution learns whether it meets the standards of quality set by the evaluator in terms of curriculum, faculty, infrastructure, research, and other parameters. The ratings of institutions range from A++ to C. If an institution is graded D, it means it is not accredited.
  18. The government of India began its year-long celebrations for the ‘Telangana Liberation Day’ on September 17, marking how on the same day in 1948, “the state of Hyderabad got its independence from Nizam’s rule”.
  19. Parth was a 102 metres-long vessel that was made in 2008. It was carrying 3,911 metric tonnes of Asphalt Bitumen and travelling from New Mangalore in Karnataka to Khor Fakkan on the Gulf of Oman in the UAE when there was an ingress of water in one of its compartments. 
  20. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which is composed of both government and civil society organisations, today cheetahs are mainly present in southern African countries such as Algeria, Botswana, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe, among others. Iran is the only country having the Asiatic cheetah.
  21. Ethereum, the world’s second most valuable cryptocurrency, has completed a significant software overhaul which promises to ramp up security of the cryptocurrency while claiming to cut down on its carbon footprint, nearly entirely. At the Ethereum Community Conference in July, Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin had said that post ‘The Merge’, the network will undergo further upgrades which he called the “surge,” “verge,” “purge,” and “splurge”.
  22. Nagorno-Karabakh also plays a key role in the global energy trade, with pipelines connecting Azerbaijan and Turkey passing by the region. Hostilities would compromise the pipeline, leading to more uncertainties in global energy prices. Chaired by France, Russia and the United States, under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Minsk Group has sought to prevent military clashes and to implement a peace settlement.
  23. The annual celebration of Hindi Diwas commemorates September 14, 1949, the day when the Constituent Assembly of India took the decision to make Hindi the official language of the Union government, while English was to hold the status of associate language for 15 years.
  24. The Finance Ministry constituted an expert committee headed by former SEBI chief M. Damodaran to examine and suggest appropriate measures to address regulatory issues to scale up investments by venture capital (VC) and private equity (PE).
  25. The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has set up a committee under noted energy expert Kirit Parikh to review the current gas pricing formula.
  26. Article 351 of the Constitution asked for the promotion and development of the Hindi language in a way that it could serve as a means of expression in all matters.
  27. Lying-in-state is a term used to describe a formal, solemn occasion during which a deceased person’s coffin is placed on view at a primary government building for the public to pay their respects before the last rites. The body, as per local customs, can be placed inside or outside the coffin.
  28. Andaman and Nicobar (A&N) Islands have got India’s 1st Swachh Sujal Pradesh certification.
  29. India accords ‘state funerals’ to departed dignitaries like the sitting president, prime minister, a former prime minister, president or governor among others, with the Centre having the power to announce it for any individuals it deems fit for the honour. Lying-in-state is observed during the time leading up to the state funeral, which also has protocols that involve observing ‘days of mourning’ with the flag flying at half-mast and no official entertainment.
  30. In the Kharkiv region, Russian troops have retreated from Balakliya, Izium and Kupiansk. Both Izium and Kupiansk were key logistics centres being used by the Russian forces.
  31. Parboiling is a process where the paddy is soaked in water, steamed and dried while retaining its outer husk. It results in the rice becoming harder with less breakage on milling. The parboiled rice exported from India contains 5-15% broken grains. In raw rice, the brokens are normally up to 25%. It is the rice having 100% brokens whose exports have been prohibited.
  32. The country India has a 40% share of the world’s total rice exports.
  33. To settle trade transactions with any country, banks in India would open Vostro accounts of correspondent bank/s of the partner country for trading. Indian importers can pay for their imports in INR into these accounts. These earnings from imports can then be used to pay Indian exporters in INR. A Vostro account is an account that a correspondent bank holds on behalf of another bank — for example, HSBC Vostro account is held by SBI in India.
  34. A start-up backed by Blue Energy Motors, has made India’s 1st LNG-fuelled green truck at Chakan in Pune.
  35. The Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) for Loss and Damages, set up in 2013, was the first formal acknowledgment of the need to compensate developing countries struck by climate disasters.
  36. Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus (519 BC to 438 BC) was a Roman emperor whose name is invoked to refer to an honourable and principled figure. The first US President, George Washington, was called Cincinnatus by a French traveller Jacques-Pierre Brissot de Warville in 1788 – a year before Washington became president and after he fought in the American War of Independence, because, “The celebrated General is nothing more at present than a good farmer, constantly occupied in the care of his farm and the improvement of cultivation.”
  37. Former US president Barack Obama won an Emmy, a prestigious US award that gives prizes for television content annually, for his narration of the Netflix nature documentary, Our Great National Parks, making him achieve half an ‘EGOT’ status.  EGOT is the acronym for Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony – arguably the highest honours in popular performing arts given in America, in the fields of TV, music, acting and theatre, respectively. Those who have won at least one award from each category are deemed as having achieved EGOT status and are often regarded as some of the greatest artists in the West. Obama has previously won a Grammy for the audiobooks of his memoirs.
  38. The prehistoric antiquity of Mohenjo Daro, which flourished on the right (west) bank of the Indus river in the 3rd millennium BC was established by Rakhal Das Banerji of the Archaeological Survey of India in 1922. The ruins of the sprawling city of unbaked (burnt) brick 510 km north-east of Karachi and 28 km from Larkana in Sindh were recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1980.
  39. The 400-odd-km-long Teesta rises in the Pauhunri mountain and flows through Sikkim and West Bengal before entering Bangladesh near Mekliganj, downstream of Jalpaiguri. The Teesta, which joins the Brahmaputra in Bangladesh, carries a significant volume of water; it is the second largest river of West Bengal after the Ganga.
  40. A Dark Sky Reserve is public or private land with a distinguished nocturnal environment and starry nights that has been developed responsibly to prevent light pollution. Individuals or groups can nominate a site for certification to the International Dark Sky Association (IDSA). There are five designated categories, namely International Dark Sky parks, communities, reserves, sanctuaries and Urban Night Sky Places. The certification process is similar to that of a site being awarded the UNESCO World Heritage Site tag or getting recognised as a Biosphere Reserve. Between 2001 and January 2022, there have been 195 sites recognised as International Dark Sky Places globally. The Ladakh Union Territory administration is leading the efforts in establishing the country’s first Dark Sky Reserve.  To be situated at a height of 4,500 metres above sea level, the Hanle Dark Sky Reserve (HDSR) will come up within the Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary.
  41. The Karakoram sanctuary is spread over 5,000 sq km in Leh district and houses the famous Tibetan antelope.
  42. Odisha became the first state in the country to start an encyclopedia on tribal communities to document their age-old and unique traditions.
  43. The standing committee of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) has cleared the setting up of a new IAF base in Ladakh where Indian and Chinese troops have been facing off along the Line of Actual Control since May 2020. The base, which will be located in the Changthang wildlife sanctuary in eastern Ladakh.
  44. Article 129 of the Constitution gives the Supreme Court the power to initiate contempt cases on its own, independent of the motion brought before it by the AG or with the consent of the AG. “The Supreme Court shall be a court of record and shall have all the powers of such a court including the power to punish for contempt of itself,” Article 129 states.
  45. Mamangam was a 28-day-long trade festival celebrated once every 12 years on the banks of the Bharathappuzha, also known as Nila. Traders from various parts of India and as well as places such as China, Ceylon, Arabia and Europe used to arrive by ship at the Ponnani port and then move to Thirunavaya to participate in the trade fair held on the premises of the Navamukunda temple, believed to be around 5,000 years old now. There is no consensus on when the first Mamangam was held, but it is believed that the Chera kings began the duodecennial trade festival. The last Chera ruler passed on the right to conduct it to Valluvakonathiri (rulers of the Valluvanad region) around the 12th century.
  46. The Navamukunda temple is one of the 108 major Vishnu temples in India. It is famous for its sculptures, including the 10 incarnations of Vishnu. Renowned craftsman Perumthachan is believed to have renovated the temple more than 1,000 years ago. Devotees come to the temple to perform rituals for their ancestors on the banks of the river.
  47. The new Naval Ensign bears the seal of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, whose navy gave his enemies sleepless nights, and which the Indian Navy will now fly proudly in the sky and on the seas.
  48. Short anti-Tuberculosis Treatment ‘BPal’ has shown favourable outcomes for 84 to 94% of TB patients and has therefore been given global approval.
  49. Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the body’s response to an infection damages its own tissues.
  50. The Central Bureau of Investigation has launched a multi-phase ‘Operation Garuda’ against illicit drug trafficking networks to disrupt, degrade and dismantle drug networks with international linkages through the rapid exchange of criminal intelligence on drug trafficking.
  51. Using a novel aircraft-operation mode known as Short Take Off But Arrested Recovery (STOBAR), INS Vikrant is equipped with a ski-jump for launching aircraft, and a set of three ‘arrester wires’ for their recovery.
  52. The new, Indian pattern of flags of Army, Navy and Air Force, and also the Regimental Flags of the Army and badges of ranks of all three services were adopted on January 26, 1950.
  53. The strongest tropical storm of 2022, dubbed Super Typhoon ‘Hinnamnor’, has been barrelling across the western Pacific Ocean and is presently hurtling back towards the islands of Japan and South Korea, packing wind speeds of upto 241 kilometres per hour.
  54. The Market-Based Economic Dispatch (MBED) mechanism proposes a centralised scheduling of power dispatches, both inter-state and intra-state. MBED is a way forward to deepen power markets in line with the Centre’s ‘One Nation, One Grid, One Frequency, One Price’ formula.
  55. A conference has been organized under BEEP (Indo-Swiss Building Energy Efficiency Project) for helping India mainstream energy-efficient and thermally comfortable Building design for both commercial and residential buildings. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) will implement it.
  56. Bajjika, one of five dialects spoken in Bihar, is a mix of Hindi and Maithili, and is spoken mainly in Vaishali, Muzaffarpur, and parts of Sitamarhi, Sheohar and Samastipur. Bajjika is not as well known as other dialects such as Bhojpuri and Maithili.
  57. The resin of the silphion was extensively used as a spice, perfume, aphrodisiac, contraceptive and medicine. It occupied an important place in the export economy of ancient Cyrene, an old Greek and later Roman colony near north-eastern Libya.
  58. The Dawoodi Bohras are members of the Muslim community’s Shia sect. Their leader is known as the Al-Dai-Al-Mutlaq. For over 400 years, the leader has been based out of India, including the current and the 53rd leader, His Holiness Dr Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin. According to the members, around 1 million members of the community are spread across the world. The leader of the community is recognised by the members as having the right to excommunicate its members. In practice, being excommunicated includes not being allowed to access a mosque belonging to the community or a burial dedicated to the community. Among those who have faced excommunication in the past were people who contested the headship of the leaders.
  59. The INR system rates the overall nutritional profile for packaged food by assigning it a rating from ½ star (least healthy) to 5 stars (healthiest). More stars indicate the food product is better positioned to provide for daily human need of nutrients.
  60. Rosh Hashanah commemorates the universe’s birth and marks the start of the Days of Awe, a 10-day period of repentance that concludes with Yom Kippur. This day is called Atonement Day. The Jewish faith observes two High Holy Days: Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is also the day of Atonement and marks the end of the Jewish high holy days—and offers a chance for people to change their fate through prayer, repentance, and charity.
  61. The Indian Army and the Defence Geoinformatics and Research Establishment (DGRE) have jointly installed the Avalanche Monitoring Radar, the first of its kind in India, in north Sikkim.
  62. Principle of Equality, which prohibits the State from discrimination against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them under Article 15(1), and guarantees “equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State” under Article 16(1), in addition to prohibition against discrimination against any citizen on the same grounds as in Article 15(1), specifically with respect to employment or appointment under the State.
  63. The Uyghurs live in Xinjiang, the largest and most western of China’s administrative regions, which is surrounded by Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. They are Muslim, speak a language close to Turkish, and are culturally and ethnically closer to Central Asia than the rest of China.
  64. The Khmer Rouge were guerrillas who formed the Communist Party. Their ideology is based on the ideology of both Marxism and Maoism. Initially the Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai and Americans supported the Khmer Rouge. The Vietnamese at war with the Americans used Cambodia as a base; the Chinese in a bid to counter the Vietnamese did much the same. The US used the Khmer Rouge to counter the Vietnamese.
  65. Agri-carbon includes regenerative farming and soil health practices (such as no-till farming and crop rotation) which can restore carbon in the soil, biomass for energy and feedstock,and the trade of carbon credits.
  66. The ‘Dharamshala Declaration 2022’ was released at the end of the three-day national conference on tourism attended by ministers from 12 states, besides Governors, UT administrators and central government officials.
  67. The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950, under Article 341 stipulates that no person professing a religion different from Hinduism, Sikhism or Buddhism can be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled Caste. The original order under which only Hindus were classified as SCs was amended in 1956 to include Sikhs, and in 1990 to cover Buddhists.
  68. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is the governing body for cricket in India. Its headquarters are situated at Cricket centre, Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The BCCI is an autonomous, private organisation and does not fall under the purview of the National Sports Federation of India. The government of India has minimal regulation of the board. As such, it does not receive any grants or funding from the Ministry of Sports. It is a consortium of state cricket associations, and the state associations select their representatives who in turn elect the BCCI president. BCCI manages three squads that represent India in international cricket: the men’s national cricket team, the women’s national cricket team, and the national under-19 cricket team. It also governs the India A and India B teams. BCCI have own constitution. The board can not amend its constitution without the hearing and order of ‘supreme court of India’. BCCI is registered as a society in Tamil Nadu state under societies registration act and it denies coming under Article 12 of Indian constitution. From its foundation BCCI did not get sanctioned by Government of India and it started as governing body of Cricket in India as well as representative of India. BCCI is alleged to use British Raj emblem without prior permission from government of India and its offence under the Emblem and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950. It sends its player’s name for prestigious awards such as Arjuna award but technically board is not a national sports federation. Membership of the Board of Control for Cricket in India consists of full members and associate members; only full members have voting rights in annual general meeting. President is an elected position, and is considered the most powerful position in the BCCI administration. Due to financial clout and popularity of cricket in the country, it is considered as a highly prestigious position. President presides the meeting of apex council and general body. He signs audited annual accounts as well as financial statements. The full member state boards can vote in the presidents’ election. Gujarat, Maharashtra has more than one full member but as per Lodha committee – supreme court guidelines any state can have only one vote in the election at any given time. ‘BCCI secretary’ is the second most powerful and important post after president. Secretary signs all the contracts and carries correspondence on behalf of BCCI. The secretary have power to take action or defend office bearers, employees of the board. As per the eligibility criteria the person who have at least 10 years of working experience in a 100 crore INR or more annual turnover company on management position can be a CEO in this board.
  69. Since labour is in the Concurrent List, some states introduced reforms.
  70. India will assume the Presidency of the G20 for one year from December 1, 2022, to November 30, 2023, and is expected to host over 200 meetings across the country, beginning in December this year. India, as G20 Presidency, will be inviting Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain and UAE as Guest countries, said the MEA. During our Presidency, India, Indonesia and Brazil would form the troika. This would be the first time when the troika would consist of three developing countries and emerging economies, providing them a greater voice.
  71. Saudi Arabia is India’s fourth-largest trading partner. More than 18 per cent of India’s crude oil imports are sourced from Saudi Arabia. During FY22 (April-December), bilateral trade was valued at $29.28 billion. During this period, India’s imports from Saudi Arabia were valued at $22.65 billion and exports to Saudi Arabia were worth $6.63 billion. The 2.2-million-strong Indian community is the largest expatriate community in Saudi Arabia, according to the Indian embassy.
  72. The Cheerpumkundu iron bridge, which was used for the immersion of Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes on February 12, 1948, is in ruins these days. Known as Kerala Gandhi, freedom fighter K Kelappan in 1949 launched the week-long Sarvodaya Mela in Thirunavaya in memory of the Father of the Nation.
  73. The portal for complaint management for violation of child rights, E-Baal Nidan has been revamped by NCPCR (National Commission for protection of Child Rights).
  74. In May 2011, the Indian Government ratified two UN Conventions the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (UNTOC) and its three protocols. Having ratified both Conventions, India became the fourth South Asian country after Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to ratify the UNTOC while joining Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in ratifying the UNCAC. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is mandated by its Member States to assist in the implementation of both Conventions, which along with the UN Drug Conventions of 1961, 1971 and 1988 underpin all the operational work of UNODC.
  75. In adherence to the Convention on International Road Traffic of 1949 (also known as the Geneva convention), the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways have notified on standardizing the process for issuance of International Driving Permit (IDP). India is a signatory of the convention and is required to issue IDPs.
  76. At the National Conference of State Tourism Minister, the “Dharamshala Declaration” was adopted for developing “sustainable and responsible tourism” and positions India as a “global leader in the tourism sector by 2047”.
  77. NITI Aayog has declared Haridwar city of Uttarakhand as the best aspirational district on the basis of five parameters.
  78. Indian Council of Agricultural Research with its National Agricultural Higher Education Project and Crop Science Division is organizing Hackathon 3.0 ‘’KRITAGYA” on promoting ‘speed breeding for crop improvement’.
  79. Oncolytic viruses (OVs) are viruses that selectively target and kill cancer cells while sparing normal ones. The study notes that these viruses also enhance the immune system’s ability to recognise and terminate cancer cells. Although long theorised, the research into oncolytic virotherapy picked up only in the 1960s. Of late, there have been several trials looking at different viruses for cancer treatment. The latest study focused on the virus known as myxoma and it found that T-cells infected with myxoma virus can lead to a type of cancer cell death not previously observed. The research claims to “uncover an unexpected synergy between T-cells and MYXV (myxoma virus) to bolster solid tumor cell autosis that reinforces tumor clearance”. Autosis is a form of cell destruction that is useful against solid tumors, which are seen as treatment-resistant. Myxoma can target and kill cancer cells directly, but using myxoma-equipped T-cells works well as cancerous cells in the vicinity of those targeted are also destroyed. This process is called bystander killing. The study makes the case that immunotherapy combined with virotherapy holds potential to seek and destroy ‘cold tumors’ that fly under the immune system’s radar.
  80. Potassium iodide (KI) tablets, or anti-radiation pills, are known to provide some protection in cases of radiation exposure. They contain non-radioactive iodine and can help block absorption, and subsequent concentration, of radioactive iodine in the thyroid gland.
  81. Legionellosis is a “pneumonia-like illness that varies in severity from mild febrile illness to a serious and sometimes fatal form of pneumonia,” according to the WHO. The disease typically spreads via inhalation of contaminated aerosols from contaminated water, which could come from — air conditioning cooling towers, evaporative condensers associated with air conditioning and industrial cooling, hot and cold-water systems, humidifiers and whirlpool spas. Direct human-to-human transmission of this disease has not yet been reported, according to the WHO. There is concern that it could contribute to the spread of these highly disease-causing strains by linking modern man-made water systems through human transmission.”
  82. Community reserves fall under protected areas, along with marine protected areas, national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and conservation reserves, according to the Wild Life (Protection) Act (WLPA), 1972. Conservation reserves and community reserves are protected areas of India which typically act as buffer zones between established national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and reserved and protected forests of India, according to the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate change (MoEFCC). These protected area categories were first introduced in the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act of 2002 the amendment to WLPA, 1972. The provisions of the WLPA apply to an area once it has been declared a community reserve. Section 33 of the WLPA passes the authority of the sanctuary to the chief wildlife warden.
  83. Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel has won UNESCO Felix Houphouet- Boigny Peace Prize 2022 for her efforts at ‘welcoming and protecting refugees’
  84. Global wind workforce outlook 2022-2026 was published September 26, 2022 by non-profit Global Wind Organization (GWO) and Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), a forum for the wind energy sector. 
  85. The Kilum-Ijim Mountain Forest, spanning some 20,000 square kilometers, is one of the last remaining homes of the endemic Bannerman’s Turaco bird. Tribal rulers of Oku have now developed a fresh consciousness about potentially losing the bird and, with it, an age-old tradition. The Bannerman’s Turaco, known in the Oku language as the Fen.
  86. Climate tipping points” are levels of ecological changes, if crossed, could spark a significant change in the way the Earth’s systems operate, affecting oceans, weather and chemical processes, which could be “irreversible” and self-continuing even if there is no further warming.
  87. The Maheshwar dam is one of the large dams of the Narmada Valley Development Project, which envisages the construction of 30 large and 135 smaller dams in the Narmada valley. The privatised hydroelectric project of 400 megawatts capacity was coming up in Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone.
  88. Tigers will be reintroduced in the Madhav National Park (MNP) of Madhya Pradesh more than six decades after they were last seen there.
  89. The SCALE (Skill Certification Assessment for Leather Employees) app was unveiled by Minister of Education and Skill Development at the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR)-Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI) in Chennai. This app provides a one-stop solution for the education, testing, and employment requirements of the leather sector.
  90. Anopheles stephensi is a highly competent vector, responsible for causing malaria in urban environments. Anopheles stephensi, formerly found only in some regions of South Asia and the Arabian Peninsula, has expanded its geographic range over the past ten years. It transmits both Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax vectors and quickly adjusts to environmental changes. It flourishes in urban areas, unlike the other primary mosquito vectors of malaria in Africa.
  91. LSD is caused by a vector-transmitted virus of the capripoxvirus genus in the poxviridae family. The symptoms are nodules of two-to-five-centimetre diameter all over the body, particularly around the head, neck, limbs, udder and genitals. The lumps gradually open up like large and deep wounds. 
  92. The Global Methane Pledge, launched in 2021, aims to keep alive the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal. Over 100 countries have committed to reducing global methane emissions by at least 30 per cent by 2030 from 2020 levels. This reduction could eliminate over 0.2˚C warming by 2050, the Pledge read. India, which is not a part of the Global Methane Pledge, is among the top five methane emitters globally, according to the International Energy Agency. Most emissions can be traced back to agriculture.
  93. Methane and short-lived climate pollutants like hydrofluorocarbons stay in the Earth’s atmosphere for a few years, unlike carbon dioxide. Methane has contributed to about one-third of the current anthropogenic greenhouse gas-driven warming. Methane enters the atmosphere due to leaks in oil and gas industries, rearing livestock and the decomposition of waste in landfills.
  94. The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India’s largest research and development organization, presents the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar prize annually September 26. It recognizes outstanding contributions to science and technology. 
  95. Extended reality (XR) is an umbrella term referring to all real-and-virtual combined environments and human-machine interactions generated by computer technology and wearables.
  96. India has 12 major ports and 212 non-major ports. Most of the non-major ports are small fishing harbours and only a few of them cater to international shipping. Major ports figure in the Union List and come under the jurisdiction of the Central government. Non-major ports are in the Concurrent List and come under the respective State governments, but the Centre has overriding legislative and executive powers.
  97. In 1997, a Maritime State Development Council (MSDC) was created by an executive order, with the Union Minister of Shipping as chairperson and the Ministers in charge of ports of the maritime States/Union Territories (UTs) as members. The MSDC serves as an apex advisory body for the coordinated development of major ports and non-major ports. It has met only 18 times in the last 25 years. The Union Ministry of Shipping provides secretarial services for the MSDC’s meetings.
  98. Grafting involves building a new plant by connecting the organic tissues of two plants, often of the same species. Plants from a different genus or different species can be grafted too, but in many cases, the outcome is weaker, short-lived and sometimes, they never come together at all. Grafting can occur naturally as well. Meghalaya, a state in India’s north east is famed for its “living root bridges”. Several trees have closely intertwined roots that form aerial bridges strong enough for people to walk over, helping them navigate steep slopes. The roots fuse and repair themselves through a process of self-grafting called inosculation.
  99. UNESCO released a list of 50 exclusive and iconic heritage textile crafts of the country. Toda embroidery and Sungadi from Tamil Nadu, Himroo weaves from Hyderabad and Bandha tie and dye weaving from Sambalpur in Odisha were some of the textiles that made the cut.
  100. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on September 24, 2022, conducted searches at 59 locations across 20 States and one Union Territory, as part of a pan-India drive against the circulation and sharing of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM). The operation code-named “Megh Chakra” is being carried out following the inputs received from Interpol’s Singapore special unit based on the information received from the authorities in New Zealand.
  101. A Constitution Bench recently decided that majority decision of a Bench of larger strength will prevail over the decision of a Bench of lesser strength, irrespective of the number of judges constituting the majority. The lead judgment written by Justice Indira Banerjee, who headed the Constitution Bench, held that under Article 145(5) of the Constitution, concurrence of a majority of the judges at the hearing would be considered as a judgment or opinion of the court.
  102. Very Short-Range Air Defence System (VSHORADS) is a Man Portable Air Defence System (MANPAD) designed and developed indigenously by DRDO’s Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Hyderabad in collaboration with other DRDO laboratories and Indian Industry Partners. VSHORADS missile incorporates many novel technologies including a miniaturized Reaction Control System (RCS) and integrated avionics, which have been successfully proven during the tests.

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