IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-September 2023

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IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-September 2021


IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-September 2023

  1. Mitakashara law of succession governing Hindu Undivided Families applies to the whole of India except West Bengal and Assam.
  2. The 7thand last stealth frigate of Project 17A, Mahendragiri, was launched into water at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) in Mumbai recently.
  3. The national rating system, GRIHA, evaluates the environmental performance of a building holistically over its entire life cycle.  GRIHA is an acronym for Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment. GRIHA is a Sanskrit word meaning – ‘Abode’. Human Habitats (buildings) interact with the environment in various ways. Throughout their life cycles, from construction to operation and then demolition, they consume resources in the form of energy, water, materials, etc. and emit wastes either directly in the form of municipal wastes or indirectly as emissions from electricity generation. GRIHA attempts to minimize a building’s resource consumption, waste generation, and overall ecological impact to within certain nationally acceptable limits / benchmarks. Going by the old adage ‘what gets measured, gets managed’, GRIHA attempts to quantify aspects such as energy consumption, waste generation, renewable energy adoption, etc. so as to manage, control and reduce the same to the best possible extent. GRIHA is a rating tool that helps people assesses the performance of their building against certain nationally acceptable benchmarks. It evaluates the environmental performance of a building holistically over its entire life cycle, thereby providing a definitive standard for what constitutes a ‘green building’. The rating system, based on accepted energy and environmental principles, will seek to strike a balance between the established practices and emerging concepts, both national and international.
  4. Sarcophagus is an above-ground stone container for a coffin or dead bodythat often is often decorated with art, inscriptions, and carvings.
  5. Preeclampsia is a major cause of morbidities during gestation. Early-onset preeclampsia — occurring before 34 weeks of gestation — is associated with a higher risk of severe disease and foetal mortality.
  6. Under Article 72 of the Constitution, “the President shall have the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence where the sentence is a sentence of death”. Similarly, Article 161 confers pardoning powers on the governor, but these do not extend to death sentences.
  7. The Minister of State for Defence released the Maritime Infrastructure Perspective Plan (MIPP) 2023-37at the 2nd edition of the biennial Naval Commanders Conference recently. MIPP aims to synchronize and enmesh the infrastructure requirements of the Navy through a comprehensive perspective plan model for the next 15 years. The Plan Document is aligned with the Government’s vision on creation of sustainable infrastructure. It is also in compliances with broader policy directives on PM Gati Shakti project, disaster resilience, transition to net zero, etc.
  8. Soon, reusable water bottles and utensils made of various material cannot be sold without the ISI mark in Tamil Nadu. In a bid to establish quality standards in commonly used products, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has made certification mandatory and developed mandatory quality control order for these products to curb sales of substandard products.
  9. In line with the Union Budget 2021 announcement, India’s 1stFisheries Aquapark in form of ‘Multipurpose Seaweed Park in Tamil Nadu’ was announced by Finance Minister.
  10. Britain said it would join the European Union’s flagship Horizon science research programmeand its Copernicus earth observation programme, but not the Euratom nuclear research initiative.
  11. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is organising Arogya Manthan to celebrate 5 years of Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana and 2 years of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission.
  12. Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for scientific research and innovation with a budget of 95.5 billion euros ($102.3 billion). It has five main missions: Adapting to climate change, making climate neutral cities, combating cancer, and restoring oceans and soil. Copernicus, previously known as GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security), is the Earth observation component of the EU’S Space programme. It gathers data from satellites and other measurement systems to examine the changing climate, shifts in land use, information on oceans and atmospheric conditions such as air quality. The EU describes the Euratom Research and Training programme as a “complementary funding programme to Horizon Europe” covering nuclear research and innovation, using the same instruments and participation rules. Britain will not associate with Euratom, saying that “in line with the preferences of the UK fusion sector, the UK has decided to pursue a domestic fusion energy strategy instead”.
  13. YashoBhoomi’ or India International Convention and Expo Centre (IICC) is a state-of-the-art modern convention centre located in Dwarka, New Delhi. It will be among the world’s largest MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) destinations. It has a magnificent Convention Centre, multiple Exhibition halls and other facilities.
  14. Perovskites are a class of materials that share a similar structure and display a myriad of exciting properties like superconductivity, magnetoresistance, etc. It is a material that has the same crystal structure as the mineral calcium titanium oxide (CaTiO3), the first-discovered perovskite crystal. It is characterised by a three-dimensional arrangement of atoms. It has the general formula ABX3, where “A” and “B” represent cations (positively charged ions) and “X” represents anions (negatively charged ions).
  15. Pink diamonds, also known as fancy pink diamonds, are some of the rarest and most coveted gemstones in the world. Pink diamonds have uniquely bent crystalline structures. More than 90% of all the pink diamonds ever found come from a single mine in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. All diamonds are found in pipelike volcanoes or in their eroded remnants. 
  16. Western Himalayas are one of the most dangerous seismic zones in the world. Scientists say the Himalayan region, the 2500-km stretch from the Hindu Kush mountains to the end of Arunachal Pradesh, is due for a big earthquake, of a magnitude over 8 on the Richter scale, anytime. This is because of the huge amount of energy stored along the faultlines due to the continuous interaction of different tectonic plates. The energy can be released only in the form of massive earthquakes.
  17. An accurate prediction of an earthquake requires some sort of a precursory signal from within the Earth that indicates a big quake is on the way. Moreover, the signal must occur only before large earthquakes so that it doesn’t indicate every small movement within the earth’s surface. Currently, there is no equipment to find such precursors, even if they exist.
  18. The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) comprises of an Eastern Corridor connecting India to the Gulf region and a Northern Corridor connecting the Gulf region to Europe. It will include a railway and ship-rail transit network and road transport routes.
  19. The RBI announced I-CRR as a temporary measure to absorb excess liquidity from the banking system.
  20. The red fire ant, one of the world’s most invasive species, has been recently found in Europe for the first time, according to a new study.
  21. Encouraged the progress of Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) pathway which was the outcome of 3rd International Conference on Small Island Developing States.
  22. The ‘Ayushman Bhav’ campaign, initiated by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, is a comprehensive nationwide healthcare initiative that aims to provide saturation coverage of healthcare services, reaching every village and town in the country. This groundbreaking initiative builds upon the success of the Ayushman Bharat program and signifies a paradigm shift in healthcare services. The Ayushman Bhav campaign is aligned with the vision of creating ‘Healthy Villages’ and ‘Healthy Gram Panchayats,’ laying the foundation for achieving Universal Health Coverage in the country. Panchayats that successfully saturate the health schemes will earn the prestigious title of ‘Ayushman Gram Panchayat’ or ‘Ayushman Urban Ward,’ symbolizing their dedication to equitable healthcare provision.
  23. Epizootic Haemorrhagic Disease is an insect-born disease caused by a virus and affecting wild and domestic ruminant species. It has become an emerging disease in cattle and was added to the World Organisation of Animal Health list of notifiable diseases in May 2008. It is a disease of animals, not humans, so there are no human or public health issues. The causative agent, epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV), belongs to the Orbivirus genus. EHDV is transmitted between ruminant hosts by Culicoides midges, tiny biting flies commonly known as “no-see-ums” or gnats that are smaller than mosquitoes and other flies. Fever, weakness, lack of appetite, more saliva than usual, difficulty swallowing, skin rash on the udder, bleeding (skin and internal tissues), swollen red skin near hooves, swollen lining of the mouth, mouth ulcers, difficulty in breathing and sudden death (particularly in deer). There is no treatment for HD in wildlife populations and no commercially available vaccine to protect against EHD.
  24. World Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Dayis observed on Seventh September each year to raise awareness about Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The purpose of the day is to support efforts that will improve the quality of life for those who have dystrophinopathies through education, advocacy, and social inclusion. A rare degenerative illness called Duchenne muscular dystrophy makes muscles weaker over time until it affects the entire body.  This year’s World Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Day theme is Duchenne: Breaking Barriers.
  25. Researchers have investigated a nearly 520 million year old fossil of Kylinxia zhangi, with a CT scanner and redescribed the animal. Kylinxia is related to the arthropods, whose bodies are divided into segments each bearing a pair of jointed limbs, including crabs, lobsters, insects and spiders. The well preserved fossil provides scientists with valuable insights into the early evolution of arthropods and related organisms. Kylinxia is distantly related to both crustaceans and insects. The creature had a head with six segments, which is similar to modern insects. The fossil indicates that Kylinxia and extant arthropods, shared a common ancestor with a six-segmented head.
  26. In 1724, Nizam-ul-Mulk Asaf Jah established Hyderabad, a state that spread over most of the Deccan plateau. Not only did it become popular, it was also prosperous as it had its own army, railway and airline network, postal system and a radio network. Eighty five per cent of the Nizam’s subjects were Hindus. In 1798, the Royal state of Hyderabad was the first to agree to British protection under the policy of Subsidiary Alliance.
  27. Oncologist Ravi Kannan, a recipient of India’s fourth-highest civilian award Padma Shri and the director of Assam’s Cachar Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (CCHRC), has been named one of the four winners of the 2023 Ramon Magsaysay Award, Asia’s equivalent of the Nobel prize.
  28. Bengaluru is hosting the fifth World Coffee Conference, which will showcase the Indian coffees to global buyers.
  29. The United Nations Convention on the International Effects of Judicial Sales of Ships (the “Beijing Convention on the Judicial Sale of Ships”) opened for signature at a ceremony in Beijing held on 5 September 2023.  Fifteen States signed the Convention at the ceremony, which was attended by senior officials and representatives of more than 30 States. The ceremony was followed by an international symposium, which highlighted the main features of the Convention and its expected impact on shipping, and addressed current topics of interest in the field of international carriage of goods by sea. The Convention was prepared by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 7 December 2022. The Convention establishes a harmonized regime for giving international effect to judicial sales, while preserving domestic law governing the procedure of judicial sales and the circumstances in which judicial sales confer clean title. By ensuring legal certainty as to the title that the purchaser acquires in the ship as it navigates internationally, the Convention is designed to maximize the price that the ship is able to attract in the market and the proceeds available for distribution among creditors, and to promote international trade.
  30. Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) are large expulsions of plasma and magnetic fields from the Sun’s corona that propagate outward into interplanetary space. During a CME, the Sun releases a colossal amount of material, including electrons, protons, and heavier ions, as well as magnetic fields. This ejected material travels at high speeds into space. CMEs are typically triggered by the destabilisation of the Sun’s magnetic fields. The exact mechanisms are complex, but they often involve the reconfiguration or disruption of magnetic loops on the Sun’s surface. CMEs are distinct from solar flares, although they often occur together. Solar flares are sudden and intense bursts of energy and radiation, whereas CMEs involve the expulsion of solar material.
  31. The delicate ozone layer is a shield of gas that protects our planet from harmful parts of the Sun’s radiation, playing an important role in preserving life on Earth. September 16 this year is celebrated as Ozone Day under the theme “Montreal Protocol: Fixing the ozone layer and reducing climate change.”
  32. London’s India Club, a rest stop for Indians in the United Kingdom during the independence movement, is set to close down permanently on September 17after decades of operations. The club is located in the Strand Continental Hotel in London on a busy street. It was started in 1951 by the India League, a British organisation that started out as an advocate for Indian independence and self-rule (swaraj) and included members of the elite in British society. Later on, it hoped to play a role in furthering Indo-British friendship in the post-independence era.
  33. The Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) is an innovative voluntary interagency partnership on forests that was established in April 2001 in response to an invitation issued in the resolution 2000/35 by the Economic and Social Council of the UN (ECOSOC) that established the International Arrangement on Forests and the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF). The Partnership is currently comprised of fifteen international organizations, institutions and secretariats that have substantial programmes on forests.
  34. The 14th edition of the World Spice Congress (WSC) began at Vashi in Navi Mumbai.
  35. World Lymphoma Awareness Day is observed every year on September 15. The theme of World Lymphoma Awareness Day 2023 is “We Can’t Wait to Focus on Our Feelings.”
  36. Seven leopard cubs at Bannerghatta Biological Park in Bengaluru have died after being infected by a contagious virus, feline panleukopenia that is spread from cats. The virus spreads from cats and it might have spread from that. The exact reason is unknown. These leopards were rescued from the wild and kept here. So despite being vaccinated, there is a possibility that the virus might have mutated.
  37. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the behaviour of antibodies produced by the immune system to protect against diseases and foreign substances. Monoclonal antibodies are specifically designed to target certain antigens.
  38. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is preparing for the final phase of the OSIRIS-REx mission as the spacecraft is set to drop a capsule containing samples from the asteroid Bennu on Earth. 
  39. Samudra Prahari is an Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS)specially designed for pollution control. It is the first pollution control vessel of its kind in Southeast Asia.
  40. Thrissur city turned into a sea of stripes and spots as more than 250 ‘human tigers and leopards’ pranced about the streets in a rollicking show of Pulikkali. Pulikkali, believed to have originated two centuries ago as a street dance form, became part of Onam celebrations later. Once dismissed as a rather obscene performance, it gained popularity after certain rules about the style and dance steps were introduced.
  41. Gold exchange-traded funds are commodity-based exchange-traded funds with an underlying asset as gold. These are passive investment instruments that are based on gold prices and invest in gold bullion. Gold ETFs are units representing physical gold, which may be in paper or dematerialised form. One unit of this und is equal to 1 gram of gold and is backed by physical gold of very high purity. They are listed and traded on the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange Ltd. (BSE). There is complete transparency on the holdings of a Gold ETF due to its direct gold pricing.
  42. At the lowest point, nearly 11,000 metres below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, a new virus named vB_HmeY_H4907 has been discovered on Earth. It is a new virus discovered nearly 11,000 metres below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. The virus has been understood as a Bacteriophage, which means ‘bacteria eater’. It infects halophilic bacteria (bacteria that inhabit environments with high salt concentrations) from the genus Halomonas. Such bacteria are generally found in deep-sea hydrothermal vents. The virus is actually very genetically similar to its host and is a lysogenic phage, meaning that it inserts its genetic material into the bacteria but usually doesn’t kill it; instead, both virus and bacteria replicate at the same time.
  43. Recently, NASA’s Lucy spacecraft has captured its first images of the main belt asteroid Dinkinesh, marking the beginning of a 12-year voyage.
  44. Indian agriculture scientist Swati Nayak won the prestigious Norman E. Borlaug Award for 2023. She introduced Sahbhagi Dhan’, a drought-tolerant variety rice suitable for hilly uplands, and ‘BINA Dhan-11’, which is flood-tolerant. The award recognises exceptional scientists under 40 and someone who works in the field of food and nutrition security and hunger eradication. It is given in memory of the Nobel awardee and Green Revolution’s chief architect Dr Norman Borlaug. The award will honour an individual who is working closely and directly “in the field” or at the production or processing level with farmers, animal herders, fishers or others in rural communities in any discipline or enterprise across the entire food production, processing, and distribution chain. The award diploma incorporates the image of Dr. Borlaug at work in the fields of Mexico and a cash prize of $10,000. It is endowed by the Rockefeller Foundation and will be presented every October in Des Moines, Iowa, by the World Food Prize Foundation.
  45. Recently, the patent office of Government of India has granted a patent to Botanical Survey of India for bamboo (Schizostachyum andamanicum) based reusable straw.
  46. The Phanigiri Buddhist site is considered one of the most important finds in Buddhist iconography in this millennium. Phanigiri (meaning hillock of snake hood) is a small village in the state of Telangana.
  47. According to the World Health Organisation, Varicella-zoster is a herpes virus that causes chickenpox, a common childhood illness. Herpes zoster (HZ), commonly known as shingles, is caused by the reactivation of the varicella zoster virus (VZV).
  48. The words ancient predator probably conjure up images of dinosaurs, most notably, the rex.  But much before the age of dinosaurs, 40 million years before in fact, Pampaphoneus biccairoamed South America as the biggest and most dangerous predator of its time. The Pampaphoneus skull is the second ever discovered in South America. Not only is it larger than the first but it also provides much more information about the animal’s physical shape and structure because of how well preserved the bones are.
  49. Warm Arctic Cold Eurasian (WACE) pattern is a pattern of warm surface temperatures over the Arctic and a large blob of cold surface temperatures over Eurasia. This pattern is associated with upper air circulation changes that reach into the Indian Ocean sector. The warm Arctic–cold Eurasia pattern is accompanied by an anomalous high pressure and anticyclonic circulation over the Eurasian continent. The warm, moist air mass is advected to the Arctic by the anomalous atmospheric circulations, and the increased downward turbulent heat flux also explains sea ice melt in the Barents and Kara seas. In other words, the sea ice loss in the Barents and Kara seas and the cooling of the Eurasian continent can both be traced to anomalous atmospheric circulations.
  50. Meningococcal disease is caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis. Meningococcal disease can be spread through respiratory and throat secretions, often by coughing, kissing or sharing cups or utensils. It is not as contagious as the cold or flu. When the disease leads to meningitis, the bacteria causes swelling of the brain and spinal cord.
  51. The GDI, GSI and Global Civilisation Initiative (GCI) are three key new initiatives proposed by Mr. Xi that will underpin China’s foreign policy during his third term. Nepal recently appeared to reject calls from China to join President Xi Jinping’s Global Security Initiative (GSI), but agreed to take forward ambitious cross-border connectivity projects.
  52. The Tasmanian tiger, a dog-sized striped carnivorous marsupial also called the thylacine, once roamed the Australian continent and adjacent islands, an apex predator that hunted kangaroos and other prey. Because of humans, the species is now extinct. In a scientific first, researchers said they have recovered RNA – genetic material present in all living cells that has structural similarities to DNA – from the desiccated skin and muscle of a Tasmanian tiger stored since 1891 at a museum in Stockholm.
  53. Pralay ballistic missiles is a quasi-ballistic surface-to-surface missile. It can hit targets 150-500 km away. The missile can carry 350-700 kg of high-grade explosives. It is developed by the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO). It is powered by a solid propellant rocket motorand other new technologies. The missile guidance system includes state-of-the-art navigation and integrated avionics. It can change its path after covering a certain range in mid-air.
  54. Brucella canis is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Brucella canis. It is highly contagious between dogs. It can cause infertility, mobility issues, and discomfort in affected dogs. Different species of Brucella infect sheep, goats, cattle, deer, elk, pigs, and other animals. Dogs typically contract Brucella canis through contact with infected body fluids, such as urine, vaginal discharge, or reproductive fluids, from other infected dogs. It can be transmitted to humans through contact with infected bodily fluids.
  55. Sangeet Natak Akademi Amrit Awards is a national honour bestowed on performing artists as well as teachers and scholars in the field of performing arts. The recipients are selected by the Akademi’s General Council. The Akademi’s General Council consisted of distinguished musicians, dancers, theatre artists and scholars in these disciplines and nominees of the Government of India, state governments, and Union Territories. The honour carries a purse money of Rs. 1,00,000/- (Rupees one lakh) besides a Tamrapatra and Angavastram. The award was constituted to honour Indian artists aged above 75 years who have not been accorded any national honour in their career so far.
  56. The Maharashtra government has proposed to develop the 200-feet monolith column of black basalt rock, Gilbert Hill in Andheri (West), into a tourist spot on the lines of Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Identified as a grade II heritage structure, Gilbert Hill was formed from molten lava around 66 million years ago. At present, the cliff and the base of the hill is a landslide-prone area, encroached by slum-dwellers.
  57. Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) a tax imposed by the Indian government on companies that distributed dividends to their shareholders. It was introduced to tax the dividend income received by shareholders indirectly through the company rather than taxing the dividend income at the individual level. Companies that pay dividends to their shareholders in India were required to pay the DDT. 
  58. A research team from the Tokyo University of Science (TUS) in Japan discovered a fungus that helps destroy a harmful food toxin, Patulin.
  59. The Union Home Ministry recently extended for another six months the disturbed area status in parts of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958. The AFSPA gives armed forces personnel, operating in disturbed areas, sweeping powers to search, arrest, and to open fire if they deem it necessary for maintenance of public order. The central government in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the AFSPA 1958 (28 of 1958) had declared the Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts in Arunachal Pradesh and the areas falling within the jurisdiction of Namsai and Mahadevpur police stations in Namsai district of Arunachal Pradesh, bordering the state of Assam as ‘disturbed area’ on March 24, 2023.”
  60. Tripura has thus become the fourth state—and second in the Northeast—after Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh, to have introduced an e-cabinet system.
  61. Conocarpus, a fast-growing exotic mangrove species, had been a popular choice for increasing the green cover in Gujarat in recent years. Conocarpus is not the only plant species that has fallen out of favour after widespread use. In the past few years, Delhi and Kerala have tried to control the growth of non-indigenous trees that were harming the local environment and flora and fauna due to their abundance.
  62. Recently, the Union Minister of Civil Aviation launched an e-wallet payment option on Bharatkosh portal. It is the initiative of the Controller General of Accounts, Ministry of Finance, Government of India. It provides one-stop services to deposit any fees/fine/other money into the government’s account. It converges all the Civil Ministries/Departments of the Government of India. It aims to provide 24X7 year-round electronic services to deposit money into Government account using internet-based payment technologies to the users at the door step through the web-based portal. It thus leverages the e-Governance commitment of the Government to provide e-efficient, e-effective, e-excellent government anywhere anytime.
  63. Recently, a unit of Abu Dhabi AI company G42 has released ‘Jais’, the world’s most advanced Arabic large language model.
  64. Dr P V Satyanarayana, Principal Scientist at the Agricultural Research Station, Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University, Ragolu, has been recently awarded the prestigious Dr MS Swaminathan Award.
  65. Senior nuclear scientist Vivek Bhasin recently assumed charge as the director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC).
  66. The digital world of cookies plays a significant role in any online experience. In the digital realm, cookies help in personalisation and user convenience. These unassuming bits of code, stored on a device when one visits websites, play a pivotal role in shaping any online experience. Just like the club bouncer recognises regular patrons and grants them seamless access, cookies remember your login information on websites. This means you do not have to repeatedly enter your credentials every time you revisit a site, making it convenient for use. cookies remember your previous interactions; from products you have browsed to purchases you have made. Armed with this knowledge, Amazon serves up tailored product recommendations and content, making your online shopping feel like a personalised boutique experience. Consider an enchanted grocery cart that never empties, no matter how many times you step away. Online shopping carts, fuelled by cookies, offer a similar enchantment. You can add items to your cart, leave the website, and return later to find your selections waiting patiently, ready for checkout.
  67. Toto is a Sino-Tibetan language spoken by the tribal Toto people and is written in the Bengali script. Even though prominent community member Dhaniram Toto developed a script as recently as in 2015, most people either write it in Bengali script or write in Bengali language. A book by the Padma Shri-decorated Mr. Toto, titled Dhanua Totor Kathamala, was written in Bengali.
  68. Monoclonal antibodies (also called moAbs or mAbs) are proteins made in laboratories that act like proteins called antibodies in our bodies.  Antibodies are parts of our immune system. They seek out the antigens (foreign materials) and stick to them in order to destroy them.
  69. Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) is a highly contagious viral disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals, including cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs. It is a transboundary animal disease (TAD) that deeply affects the production of livestock and disrupts regional and international trade in animals and animal products.  It is a disease of animals, not humans and is a different disease than hand, foot, and mouth disease, which is common in young children. It is caused by the foot-and-mouth disease virus, which is a member of the Picornaviridae family. It is primarily spread through direct contact between infected animals, as well as through contaminated feed, equipment, vehicles, clothing, and the movement of infected animals. It can be transmitted to humans in rare cases. Human cases are typically mild and self-limiting, with symptoms similar to other viral illnesses.
  70. Sonobuoys are small, expendable devices used in underwater acoustics and sonar systems to detect and analyze sound in the ocean, particularly for tracking submarines and other underwater objects. Sonobuoys are deployed by dropping them into the ocean from aircraft or launching them from ships or submarines. They sink to a predetermined depth and begin listening for acoustic signals, helping pin-point potential submarine threats. Multiple sonobuoys can be deployed in a pattern to determine the exact location of a target.
  71. Kerala recently introduced India’s first-ever AI (artificial intelligence) school.
  72. Sea urchins belong to a group of marine invertebrates called echinoderms, which means spiny-skinned animals. It includes other well-known marine creatures like starfish and sea cucumbers. Sea urchins are characterized by their spherical to somewhat flattened, spiny bodies, and they are found in oceans worldwide, from shallow coastal waters to deep-sea environments. They live on the ocean floor, usually on hard surfaces, and use tube feet or spines to move about. The largest urchin (known from a single specimen) is Sperostoma giganteumof deep waters off Japan.
  73. An excavation in Turkey has brought to light an unknown Indo-European language. The new language was discovered in the UNESCO World Heritage Site Boğazköy-Hattusha in north-central Turkey. This was once the capital of the Hittite Empire, one of the great powers of Western Asia during the Late Bronze Age (1650 to 1200 BC).
  74. The free movement regime allows people residing close to both sides of the India-Myanmar border to venture 16 km deep into each other’s territory without any document.
  75. The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) s a corporate fraud investigating agency set up by the Government of India. It is a multi-disciplinary organisation under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. It consists of experts in the fields of accountancy, forensic auditing, law, information technology, investigation, company law, capital market and taxation. SFIO comes under the corporate affairs ministry. The headquarters of SFIO is in New Delhi, with five Regional Officesin Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata.
  76. Storm Shadow/SCALP is a long-range cruise missile with stealth capabilities jointly developed by the UK and France. The missile is intended to strike high-value stationary assets such as airbases, radar installations, communications hubs and port facilities. The missile able to be operated in extreme conditions, the weapon offers operators a highly flexible, deep-strike capability based on a sophisticated mission planning system. The Storm Shadow is also in service with the air forces of Egypt, India, Italy, Greece, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). 
  77. Under the National Digital Education Architecture (NDEAR), the Ministry of Education is pushing States to open Vidya Samiksha Kendras (VSKs), a data repository which will have data from all schemes run by the Ministry of Education (MoE). This will include regularly updated data from the PM-POSHAN mid-day meal programmes; teacher training data from National Initiative for School Heads’ and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement portal; textbook content from Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing; school dropout and attendance-related data on Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE+); students’ learning outcomes from National Achievement Survey; and Performance Grading Index which evaluates school education system at the State/U.T. level. Currently, at the Central level, a VSK centre is housed in the Central Institute of Educational Technology building in the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) campus with multi-national IT company Ernst and Young, managing its operations. It is an open-source platform run on C-Qube software.
  78. Interbank Call Money Market is a short-term money market which allows large financial institutions to borrow and lend money at interbank rates, the rate of interest that banks charge when they borrow funds from each other. The loans in the call money market are very short, usually lasting no longer than a week. These loans are often used to help banks meet reserve requirements. It is not exclusively used by banks. Interbank call money market customers can include other financial institutions, mutual funds, large corporations, and insurance companies.
  79. Researchers studying the findings of the Solar Orbiter Aircraft, a joint mission by the European Space Agency and the U.S. space agency NASA, recently announced that they have detected small jets of charged particles intermittently expelled from the sun’s outer atmosphere, at supersonic speeds for 20-100 seconds. These are called picoflare jets.  According to researchers, picoflare jets may be a source of solar winds, which have important effects on the solar system at large as well as on the earth’s magnetic field. Solar winds are high-speed streams of charged particles from the sun, but their exact origin is unclear. Coronal holes, part of sun’s outer atmosphere with magnetic field lines opening outwards, are already known to be the source region of solar winds. 
  80. The Indian Army recently launched ‘Project Naman’, which will entail establishing facilitation and grievance redressal centres for veterans and the kin of personnel who have lost their lives. The Project will entail establishing facilitation and grievance redressal centres for veterans and the kin of personnel who have lost their lives. The first such centre will be established in Delhi Cantonment. ‘Naman’ will house a Common Service Centre, which will facilitate the veterans and their relatives. It will offer all government-to-customer services and also facilitate the updating of pensioners’ accounts on the SPARSH portal of veterans, next of kin and dependents.
  81. Vibrio vulnificus is a type of bacteria that can cause a fatal infection.  This infection can happen when a wound comes into contact with raw or undercooked seafood, its juices, or its drippings or salt water. It eats away at the skin, muscles, nerves, fat and blood vessels around an infected wound. In severe cases, it can lead to septicemia, which is when the bacteria enter the bloodstream. It results in a septic shock, where blood pressure drops dangerously.
  82. Kokborok is the language spoken by the Borok people belonging to the State of Tripura. The term kok means “verbal”, and borok means “people” or “human”.  It is a Sino-Tibetan language and can be traced back to at least the 1st century AD when the historical record of Tripuri kings started to be written down in a book called the Rajratnakar.  The dialect belongs to the Tibeto-Burman group of languages, and its root can be traced to the Sino-Tibetan speech family. Kokborok got the written form in the year 1897 as Doulot  Ahammad, a Muslim scholar, wrote the first Kokborok Grammar named “ KOKBOROMA ANG TRIPURA – VYAKARAN GRAMMAR.” It is one of the state languages of Tripura, notified on January 19, 1979.
  83. The Global Fund, a deal with generic pharmaceutical manufacturers to significantly slash the price of a cutting-edge HIV drug, in a move it said would save lives. The Global Fund, a partnership set up in 2002 to battle AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, said the agreement would make it possible to provide the advanced pill known as TLD for under $45 per person per year.
  84. United Nations Biodiversity has urged people globally to use the word ‘funga’ whenever they say ‘flora and fauna’, in order to highlight the importance of fungi. Fungi, along with Animalia (animals), Plantae (plants), Protista, Archaea/Archaebacteria, and Bacteria or Eubacteria form the six ‘kingdoms’ of biology.
  85. The Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 considers the welfare of the child as the prime consideration in the determination of custody. Section 6 of the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956 declares the father as the natural guardian and ‘after him’ the mother; the mother would ordinarily have custody till the child attains five years of age. The person would lose custody if she/he ceases to be Hindu. In Githa Hariharan (1999), the Supreme Court of India held that the expression ‘after him’ does not necessarily mean ‘after life­time’ of the father but, instead, ‘in the absence of’.
  86. Maldives has followed a system of Executive Presidency since 1968. It followed a single-party system till 2008, and the President was elected for five years through a referendum. The first executive President of the Maldives, Ibrahim Naseer, was in power from 1968 to 1978. With political protests erupting in 1978, Naseer did not contest for the third term and the Maldives’ parliament chose Maumoon Abdul Gayoom — the then Transport minister — as the next President. Gayoom ruled the country for 30 years, till 2008, quelling protests and famously defeating a coup attempt with India’s help in 1988. However, amid protests by different groups, Gayoom undertook political reforms in 2004. Political parties were registered in 2005 and a new Constitution adopted in 2008. That charted the path towards Presidential elections every five years with a multi-party system.
  87. Conocarpus is an evergreen species with dark-green shiny leaves. It is a fast-growing species which is reported to be not palatable to wild herbivores or domesticated animals.

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