Prelims inFocus-August 2020

  1. Articles 293 sets the rules under which states can borrow from within the country.
  2. Operation Breathing Space is a codename of Israel to work with Indian authorities on the Covid-19
  3. The subject of ‘relief of the disabled and unemployable’ is specified in the state list of the Seventh Schedule of the constitution.
  4. The acronym BIPOC stands for “Black, Indigenous, and People Of Color” and is pronounced “buy-pock” as opposed to saying each letter individually. The BIPOC acronym originated from the term “people of color,” which itself emerged as a “person-first” way to take back the phrase “colored people” from its racist history. The BIPOC acronym builds on that, while also acknowledging that not all people of color have the same experiences or deal with the same types of injustice. 
  5. PM-Yasasvi (PM Young Achievers Scholarship Award Scheme for Vibrant India), is a single national scholarship scheme for meritorious students from the OBC, SC, Denotified, Nomadic and semi-Nomadic Tribes and economically backward categories for secondary and higher education. The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowermenthas been tasked to implement the Scheme by conducting a merit test.
  6. Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) is an important part of the immune system and related to a group of genes on chromosome six. HLA genes are extremely variable and are very different across human populations.
  7. Post Matric Scholarship for Scheduled Caste students is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme and implemented through State Government and UT administration. The Scheme provides financial assistance to the Scheduled Caste students studying at post matriculation or post-secondary stage to enable them to complete their education.  These scholarships are available for studies in India only and are awarded by the government of the State/Union Territory to which the applicant actually belongs i.e. permanently settled. Scholarships will be paid to the students whose parents/guardians’ income from all sources does not exceed Rs. 2,50,000/-.
  8. The State Election Commission (SECs) are free to prepare their own electoral rolls for local body elections, and this exercise does not have to be coordinated with the EC.
  9. Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) ensures that there is universal non-discriminatory access to quality ICT services at economically efficient prices to people in rural and remote areas. It was created under the Department of Telecommunications in 2002. It is a non-lapsable fund. All credits to this fund require parliamentary approval and it has statutory support under Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Act, 2003.
  10. As per extant RBI guidelines, a PMJDY account is treated as inoperative if there are no customer induced transactions in the account for over a period of two years.
  11. The liquidity coverage ratio (LCR)will require banks to hold a buffer of high-quality liquid assets sufficient to deal with the cash outflows encountered in an acute short-term stress scenario as specified by supervisors. The Net Stable Funds Rate (NSFR) requires banks to maintain a stable funding profile in relation to their off-balance-sheet assets and activities. NSFR requires banks to fund their activities with stable sources of finance (reliable over the one-year horizon). The minimum NSFR requirement is 100%. Therefore, LCR measures short-term (30 days) resilience, and NSFR measures medium-term (1 year) resilience.
  12. According to the Rohini Commission, out of almost 6,000 castes and communities in the OBCs, only 40 such communities had gotten 50% of reservation benefits for admission in central educational institutions and recruitment to the civil services.
  13. Laboratory for the Conservation of Endangered Species (LaCONES), is a Council of Scientific and Industrial Research lab located in Hyderabad. It is India’s only research facility engaged in conservation and preservation of wildlife and its resources.
  14. Bio-energy Technology Collaboration Program is an international platform for co-operation among countries with the aim of improving cooperation and information exchangebetween countries that have national programmes in bioenergy research, development and deployment. Bioenergy TCP works under the framework of International Energy Agency (IEA). The primary goal of joining IEA Bioenergy TCP is to facilitate the market introduction of advanced biofuels with an aim to bring down emissions and reduce crude imports. Government of India is joining IEA’ Bioenergy TCP as its 25th member.
  15. Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) is a part of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) was formed in the year 2001. The vision of the council is, “To enable a sustainable built environment for all and facilitate India to be one of the global leaders in the sustainable built environment by 2025”. The council offers a wide array of services which include developing new green building rating programmes, certification services and green building training programmes. The council also organises Green Building Congress, its annual flagship event on green buildings.
  16. During the St. Petersburg declaration in 2010, tiger range countries had resolved to double tiger numbers across their range by 2022.  Global Tiger Recovery Programme was endorsed by the Tiger Range Countries(TRCs) in the first “Tiger Summit” in St Petersburg, Russia in November 2010. It is a first of its kind where the countries will define priority actions to be taken to deal with the crisis of extinction facing the big cat. 13 tiger range countries include Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Viet Nam.
  17. The Right to Food is recognized as a part of Right to Life and Personal Liberty (Article 21) by the National Human Rights Commission.
  18. The International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) is the collaborative effort of five intergovernmental organizations working to bring coordinated support to the national wildlife law enforcement agencies and to the subregional and regional networks that, on a daily basis, act in defence of natural resources. The ICCWC partners are the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Secretariat, the World Customs Organization (WCO), INTERPOL, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and the World Bank. The mission of ICCWC is to usher in a new era where perpetrators of serious wildlife and forest crime will face a formidable and coordinated response, rather than the present situation where the risk of detection and punishment is all too low. ICCWC works for, and with, the wildlife law enforcement community, since it is frontline officers who eventually bring criminals engaged in wildlife crime to justice. ICCWC seeks to support the development of law enforcement that builds on socially and environmentally sustainable natural resource policies, taking into consideration the need to provide livelihood support to poor and marginalized rural communities. ICCWC was formally established on 23 November 2010 in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  19. The Jatayu and Sparrow Conservation Breeding Centre, Pinjore (JCBC), is world’s largest facility within Bir Shikargah Wildlife Sanctuaryfor the breeding and conservation of Indian vultures and House sparrow in the State of Haryana, India. It covers 5 acres (2.0 ha), and its focus is the conservation, study, and breeding of critically endangered and threatened species of vultures on the IUCN Red List.
  20. Entry 14 of List II of the Constitution comprises agriculture as the subject of the states. 
  21. India’s flagship assistance project — the 218-km strategic Delaram-Zaranj road, which will provide landlocked Afghanistan and Central Asia access to the Arabian Sea, through the Iranian port of Chabahar. While Zaranj-Delaram will be connected by the Afghan highway network, the Milak bridge will link Afghanistan to Iran, giving Afghanistan and countries like Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, an alternative, non-Pakistani, route to the sea.
  22. Bengal School of Painting is also called the Renaissance School or the Revivalist School, as it represented the first modern movement of Indian art. Its leading artist was Abanindranath Tagore and its theoretician was E.B. Havell, the principal of the Calcutta School of Art.
  23. Afghan-India Friendship Dam (AIFD), formerly Salma Dam, is a hydroelectricand irrigation dam project located on the Hari River in western Afghanistan.
  24. Sin goods are goods which are considered harmful to society and individuals.g-Alcohol and Tobacco, Candies, Drugs, Soft drinks, Fast foods, etc.
  25. Amnesty International (AI) is an international Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO)founded in London (UK).  It seeks to publicise violations by governments and other entities of rights recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), especially freedom of speech and of conscience and the right against torture.
  26. The National Health Authority (NHA) is the apex agency of the Government of India responsible for the design, roll- out, implementation and management of Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana(AB PM-JAY) and the National Digital Health Mission across the country.
  27. INS Viraat holds the Guinness World Recordfor being the longest serving warship of the world.
  28. The current OPEC members are the following: Algeria, Angola, Equatorial,Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, the Republic of the Congo, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emiratesand Venezuela. Libya holds Africa’s largest oil reserves.
  29. The Type-054A first of the four advanced naval warshipsis built by China for Pakistan. The Type-054A uses a surface-to-air missile system called the HQ-16, which experts claim is derived from the Russian Shtil missile.
  30. The Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI) is a declaration of the member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation(OIC) adopted in Cairo, Egypt, on 5 August 1990.
  31. Under Pooled Loan Issuance (PLI) a bank or an NBFC (the “Principal Lender”), provides loans (“Identified Loans”) to identified Microfinance Institutions/other NBFCs/corporates (the “Borrower” or “Borrowers”).
  32. Bondas are one of the 13 Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs)found in Odisha. Odisha is home to 62 tribal communities — the largest diverse groups of tribal population in India.
  33. Nuakhai Juhar is anagricultural festival, also called Nuakhai Parab or Nuakahi Bhetghat s the festival of Western Odisha, southern Chhattisgarh and adjoining areas of Simdega (Jharkhand).  It is celebrated to welcome the new crop of the season. It traces its origin to the Vedic period in  One among them was Pralambana yajna which means the cutting of new crops and offering them to the mother goddess.
  34. The behrupiyafestival is a traditional Indian style of street theatre and takes place every year in different locations- Delhi, Ahmedabad, Udaipur, Jaipur, Kumbh, Muzaffarnagar and others. Behrupiya is referred to a community of artistes who imitate and dress like Gods, animals and various characters to entertain masses. This is a traditional art, the customs attached to it are passed onto the next generation by their elders.  According to a 2010 BBC report, less than few hundred could be left in all of India, most of them in Rajasthan where the art was patronised by kings until a few centuries ago and flourished.     
  35. The National Cadet Corps (NCC) falls under the purview of the Ministry of Defenceand is headed by a Director General of three-star military rank. It enrolls cadets at high school and college level and also awards certificates on completion of various phases.
  36. Saudi Arabia is India’s fourth largest trade partner (after China, US and Japan) and a major source of energy: India imports around 18% of its crude oil requirement from the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia is also a major source of LPG for India.
  37. Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is thehighest sporting award given by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for the spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over a period of four years.
  38. Under the Constitution, the Election Commission has advisory jurisdiction in the matter of post-election disqualification of sitting members of Parliament and State Legislatures. The opinion of the Commission in all such matters is binding on the President or, as the case may be, the Governor to whom such opinion is tendered.
  39. Flavonoids are part of the polyphenol class of phytonutrients (plant chemicals) found in almost all fruits and vegetables. Along with carotenoids (organic pigments), they are responsible for the vivid colours in fruits and vegetables.
  40. In 2015 the European Union launched the Connectivity Agenda, an initiative that combines high-level political commitment from both the EU and the region with a financial pledge of EUR 1 billion from EU pre-accession funds linked to reform measures to improve key transport and energy connections. The Connectivity Agenda is a platform for countries to exchange best practices and experiences to trade and investment and undertake domestic reform.
  41. The government describes fiscal deficit of India as “the excess of total disbursements from theConsolidated Fund of India, excluding repayment of the debt, over total receipts into the Fund (excluding the debt receipts) during a financial year”. It is calculated as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), or simply as total money spent in excess of income.
  42. The Commonwealth Blue Charter is an agreement by all 54 Commonwealth countries, adopted at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London, April 2018. Commonwealth Blue Charter Action Groups implement the Blue Charter. They are member-driven, led by ‘Champion’ countries’. To date, 13 countries have stepped forward to be Champions on ten topics they identified as priorities. Action Groups will unlock the power of 54 nations and guide the development of tools and training, they are: Commonwealth Clean Ocean Alliance, Coral Reef Protection and Restoration, Mangrove Ecosystems and Livelihoods, Marine Protected Areas, Ocean Acidification, Ocean and Climate Change, Ocean Observation, Sustainable Aquaculture, Sustainable Blue Economy and Sustainable Coastal Fisheries.
  43. The Humboldt Current, also called the Peru Current, is a cold, low-salinity ocean current that flows north along the western coast of South America. It is a highly productive ecosystem. It is the most productive eastern boundary current system. It accounts for roughly 18-20% of the total worldwide marine fish catch.
  44. Mali is the seventh largest country in Africa, bordering Algeria on the north, Niger on the east, Burkina Faso and the Cote d’Ivoire on the south, Guinea on the south-west, and Senegal and Mauritania on the west.
  45. Prime Minister Employment Generation Program (PMEGP) is the flagship employment generation program of the Central government and Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is the nodal agency for implementing the scheme. The District Level Task Force Committee (DLTFC) in approving the PMEGP projects.
  46. The Ministry of Defence under the chairmanship of Lt. Gen (Retd) DB Shekatkar had constituted a committee to recommend measures to enhance combat capability and rebalance defence expenditure of the armed forces.
  47. Cyprus an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean. The third largest and third most populousisland in the Mediterranean, it is located south of Turkey; west of Syria and Lebanon; north of Egypt, Israel, and the Palestinian region of the Gaza Strip; and southeast of Greece.
  48. Technology Information Forecasting and Assessment Council(TIFAC) is an autonomous organisation and think-tank of the Department of Science and Technology. Its mandate is to look ahead in technology domain, assess the technology trajectories, and support innovation by networked actions in select areas of national importance.
  49. Granth Sahib is the sacred scripture of Sikhism(religion). The first Prakash Purab Utsav marked the installation of Guru Granth Sahib in Harmandir Sahib, also known as the Golden temple, in 1604.
  50. The prior consent of the Attorney General (AG) of India is not required to suo motu initiate the inherent contempt powers of the Supreme Court. A three-judge Bench led by Justice Arun Mishra held that the suo motu contempt powers of the top court is drawn from Article 129 of the Constitution, which says the Supreme Court, as a court of record, has the power to punish for contempt of itself. The Contempt of Court Act of 1971 cannot limit this power of the court. The statute only provides the procedure in which such contempt is to be initiated. The court explained this in its 108-page judgment in a suo motu contempt case against advocate Prashant Bhushan for his tweets.
  51. Dams in News: Veer, Yeldari and Koyna dams- Maharashtra; Bango dam- Chhattisgarh; Koddam dam- Telangana; Rana Pratap Sagar, Som Kamla dams – Rajasthan; Hidkal dam, Almatti and Narayanpur dams-
  52. Article 32 of the Indian Constitution and Article 226 of the Indian Constitution lay down the provisions for filingPublic Interest Litigation (PIL) in Supreme Court and High Courts respectively. This has given rise to the court’s power to initiate legal action on their cognizance of a matter.
  53. Article 239AA (4) says that in the case of a difference of opinion between the LG and his Ministers on any matter, the Lieutenant Governor shall refer it to the President for final decision and act according to it. Lieutenant Governor does not to refer to the President normal administrative matters as that would disturb the concept of Constitutional governance, principles of collaborative federalism and the standards of Constitutional morality.
  54. National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) is to be audited by the CAG of India according to the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
  55. National Transit Pass System (NTPS) is launched by Union Environment Ministry. It is an online system for issuing transit permits for timber, bamboo and other forest produce.
  56. Gothic Architecture is a European style of architecture. This architecture has its roots in France and England. The Britishers merged some Indian features of architecture to the Gothic architecture, which resulted in the Indo-Gothic style of architecture. Madras High Court, Victoria Memorial, The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (previously Victoria Terminus) are some of the examples of Indo-Gothic style of architecture.
  57. Etikoppaka toys of Andhra Pradesh received the Geographical Indication (GI) tag from the Geographical Indication Registry (GIR) in 2017.
  58. The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is an index that shows the growth rates in different industry groupsof the economy in a fixed period of time. It is compiled and published monthly by the National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. The eight core industries in decreasing order of their weightage: Refinery Products> Electricity> Steel> Coal> Crude Oil> Natural Gas> Cement> Fertilizers.
  59. Festivals in News: Navreh is the lunar New Year that is celebrated in Kashmir. Sajibu Cheiraoba is celebrated by Meiteis, an ethnic group in Manipur is observed on the first day of Manipur lunar month Shajibu and Losoong also known as Namsoong is the Sikkimese New Year.
  60. According to Article 145 (3) of the Constitution, at least five judges need to hear cases that involve‘a substantial question of law as to the interpretation’ of the Constitution, or any reference under Article 143, which deals with the power of the President of India to consult the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court bench consisting of at least five judges is called the Constitution bench.
  61. Kenopanishads, Ishopanishad, Kathopanishad and Mundaka Upanishadare some of the literary Works of Raja Ram Mohan Roy.
  62. India is a state party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, 1979. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), which monitors the implementation of the Convention, calls for the abolition of laws that assume women have a different physical or intellectual rate of growth than men.
  63. Naval Innovation and Indigenization Organisation (NIIO) is recently launched by Defence Minister of India to foster innovation and indigenisation for self-reliance in defence in keeping with the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat. The NIIO is a three-tiered organisation. Naval Technology Acceleration Council (N-TAC)will bring together the twin aspects of innovation and indigenisation and provide apex level directives. A working group under the N-TAC will implement the projects. A Technology Development Acceleration Cell (TDAC) has also been created for induction of emerging disruptive technology in an accelerated time frame.
  64. An Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) for the Indian Coast Guard was launched and re-christened as Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘Sarthak’.  OPV Sarthak is the 4thin the series of five OPVs. The sustenance and reach, coupled with the latest equipment and system, provides her the capability to perform the role of a command platform and undertake tasks to fulfill the Coast Guard charter. The ship is designed to embark and carry a twin-engine helicopter, four high speed boats and one inflatable boat for swift boarding and Search & Rescue operations. The ship is also capable of carrying limited pollution response equipment to undertake oil spill pollution response at sea. 
  65. Provision of Urban Amenities to Rural Areas (PURA) is a strategy for rural development in India. This concept was given by former president  A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. PURA proposes that urban infrastructure and services be provided in rural hubs to create economic opportunities outside of cities. Physical connectivity by providing roads, electronic connectivity by providing communication networks, and knowledge connectivity by establishing professional and technical institutionswill have to be done in an integrated way so that economic connectivity will emanate. The Indian central government has been running pilot PURA programs in several states since 2004. The Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Rurban Mission is a successor to this mission.
  66. India’s population is among the youngest in an ageing world. By 2022, the median age in India will be 28 years; in comparison, it will be 37 in China and the United States, 45 in western Europe, and 49 in Japan.
  67. Following Basel-III norms, central banks specify certain capital adequacy norms for banks in a country. The CCCB is a part of such norms and is calculated as a fixed percentage of a bank’s risk-weighted loan book.
  68. The Mitakshara school of Hindu law codified as the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 governed succession and inheritance of property but only recognised males as legal heirs.
  69. For preparing Balance of Payment (BoP) accounts, economic transactions between a country and rest of the world aregrouped under – Current account, Capital account and Errors and Omissions. It also shows changes in Foreign Exchange Reserves.
  70. The Depsang Plains along with Pangong Tsoare the two major areas of concern in the ongoing standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. Depsang is one of the few places on the LAC where tank manoeuvres are possible. Focusses standoff areas at Galwan, Gogra Hotsprings and Finger area of Pangong Tso. Depsang is also close to the Karakoram Pass, overlooking the very strategic Saltoro Ridge and Siachen glacier.
  71. Blockchain is a system in which the database of recordings (a ‘chain’) appears on multiple computers at the same time even as it is updated with any new digital information (‘a block’). This distributed collection of the information has led some to claim that this system can overcome issues of over-centralisation.
  72. Atal Grand Challenge (AGC) Awards, under the Atal Innovation Mission, has the objective of developing novel disruptive technologies that are ultra-low cost, low maintenance, durable and customised to the local conditions of India. AGC will award grand prizes to anyone who delivers in a timely manner the desired solution as per the challenge specific criteria. NITI Aayog has called on the national and the international  community to join the initiative and in finding solutions to the most intractable problems.
  73. The National Health Authority (NHA) has been constituted as an autonomous entity under the Society Registration Act, 1860 for effective implementation of Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) in alliance with state governments.
  74. Amazon launched Saheli Programme with the aim to empower and enable Indian women entrepreneurs to sell their products across the country. It was rolled out in partnership with non-government social service entities like Self-Employed Women Enterprise (SEWA) and Impulse Social Enterprise.
  75. Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has set up a committee headed by K.V. Kamath on restructuring of loans impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Committee is tasked to recommend parameters for one-time restructuring of corporate loans.
  76. National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) was launched in 2013 with an aim to achieve national fuel security by promoting hybrid and EVs in the country. There is an ambitious target to achieve 6-7 million sales of hybrid and EVs year on year from 2020 onwards.
  77. Schizophrenia is the descriptive term for a group of psychotic disorders in which personal, social and occupational functioning deteriorate as a result of disturbed thought processes, strange perceptions, unusual emotional states, and motor abnormalities. It is a debilitating (making someone very weak and infirm) disorder. The social and psychological costs of schizophrenia are tremendous, both to patients as well as to their families and society. It typically begins in late adolescence or early adulthood.
  78. The freedom struggle was marked by different streams of thought and action. To start with, moderates like Dadabhai Naoroji and Pherozeshah Mehta took to petitioning the British for incremental improvements. Assertive nationalists like Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal believed in bold action. Revolutionaries like Khudiram Bose, Chandrasekhar Azad, and Bhagat Singh took to armed resistance. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose revived the INA and sought Japanese help to evict the British from India. It was, however, Mahatma Gandhi who emerged as the voice of the freedom struggle for over 30 years.
  79. Regenerative Agriculture” describes farming and grazing practices that, among other benefits, reverse climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity – resulting in both carbon drawdown and improving the water cycle. The key to regenerative agriculture is that it not only “does no harm” to the land but actually improves it, using technologies that regenerate and revitalize the soil and the environment. Regenerative agriculture leads to healthy soil, capable of producing high quality, nutrient dense food while simultaneously improving, rather than degrading land, and ultimately leading to productive farms and healthy communities and economies.
  80. Article 19(1)(c) under Part III of the Constitution enables all the citizens to form cooperatives by giving it the status of fundamental right of citizens.  Article 43B was added in the Directive Principles of State Policy (Part IV) regarding the “promotion of cooperative societies”.
  81. The Quit India Resolution adopted on August 8, 1942, stressed that “…the immediate ending of British rule in India is an urgent necessity for both the sake of India and for the success of the United Nations. The continuation of that rule is degrading and enfeebling India making her progressively less capable of defending herself and contributing to the cause of world freedom.”
  82. ‘ALEKH’ is a quarterly e-newsletter which emphasize the commitment of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs to improve the health and wellbeing of the tribal communities. Swasthya Portal aims to provide health and nutrition related information of the tribal population of India.
  83. Indian Council for Fertilizers and Fertilizer Technology Research  has been registered as society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 on 19th August 2019.
  84. Purchasing Managers’ Index is an index of the prevailing direction of economic trends in the manufacturing and service sectors. The purpose of the PMI is to provide information about current and future business conditions to company decision makers, analysts, and investors. It is different from the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), which also gauges the level of activity in the economy.
  85. While Gandhi gave the clarion call of Quit India, the slogan was coined by Yusuf Meherally, a socialist and trade unionist who also served as Mayor of Mumbai. A few years ago, in 1928, it was Meherally who had coined the slogan “Simon Go Back”.
  86. Hamara Ghar, Hamara Vidyalaya Programme is a home-based learning programme launched by the Madhya Pradesh (MP)
  87. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) comprised of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
  88. The Gond comprise the largest tribal group of India. Odisha comprises the largest number of tribal communities i.e. 62 in India.  In Tamilnadu, anthropologists have identified more than 500 tribes with their own unique culture, way and view of life as well as dialects. Of these six – the Thodas, Paniyars, Kattunaickars, Irulas, Kurumbas and Kothars can be seen in the Nilgiris district that nestles in the Western Ghats.
  89. International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples or World Tribal Day is being observed on 9th August, 2020. The date recognizes the first meeting of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations in Geneva in 1982. The day is celebrated on August 9th every year from 1994, in accordance with the declaration by the United Nations. As a continuation of 2019 being observed as the Year of Indegenous Languages, this year the World Tribal Day celebrations are focussed on preservation and documentation of tribal languages.
  90. La Nina is a climate pattern that describes periods of below-average sea surface temperatures across the east-central Equatorial Pacific. La Nina is considered to be the counterpart to El Nino, and its impacts tend to be opposite those of El Niño. Together, they form the “cold” (La Nina) and “warm” (El Nino) phases of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO).
  91. National Handloom Day was observed on 7th August 2020. The date, 7th August, was chosen as the Swadeshi Movement was launched on the same date in the year 1905, which was based on Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s ideology of swadeshi.
  92. India is the fifth largest contributor of uniformed personnel to the UN Peacekeeping Forces.
  93. Registered under the then Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act 1984, TRIFED came into existence in 1987 as the national nodal agency under the aegis of Ministry of Tribal Affairs, working towards the socio-economic development of the tribal people from all states. 
  94. Handloom GI Tag Products– Patolas, Paithanis, Ikats, Kandangis, Maheshwaris, Venkatagiris.
  95. Handloom Export Promotion Council is a nodal agency constituted under the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India. It was incorporated as a not-for-profit company under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956.
  96. Thenzawl Golf ResortProject is recently, launched in Mizoram.
  97. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbeanwhere the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean It is east of the Yucatán Peninsula (Mexico), south of both the U.S. state of Florida and the Bahamas, west of Haiti and north of both Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Havana is the largest city and capital. Recently, the United States of America has urged United Nations members not to support Cuba’s bid to join the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Cuba is a sovereign state and a founding member of the United Nations, the G77, the Non-Aligned Movement, the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, ALBA and Organization of American States. It has currently one of the world’s only planned economies, and its economy is dominated by the tourism industry and the exports of skilled labor, sugar, tobacco, and coffee. It is the only country in the world to meet the conditions of sustainable development put forth by the WWF.
  98. The United Nations Human Rights Council(UNHRC)  is a United Nations body whose mission is to promote and protect human rights around the world. The UNHRC has 47 members elected for staggered three-year terms on a regional group The headquarters of UNHRC is in Geneva, Switzerland. The UNHRC works closely with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and engages the UN’s special procedures.
  99. US withdrawal from WHO, Paris Agreement, UNESCO, UNHRC, Iran Nuclear Deal, Trans-Pacific Partnership, INF Treaty, Open Skies Treaty.
  100. A Member of the United Nations which has persistently violated the Principles contained in the present Charter may be expelled from the Organization by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.
  101. Loya Jirga is a mass national gatheringthat brings together representatives from the various ethnic, religious, and tribal communities in Afghanistan. It is considered the highest expression of the Afghan people. It is not an official decision-making body and its decisions are not legally binding.
  102. EnVision is a proposed orbital mission of European Space Agency(ESA) to Venus that would perform high-resolution radar mapping and atmospheric studies.
  103. The Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), is a proposed infraredspace telescope, follow-on to the successful Akari space observatory. It is a collaboration between European and Japanese scientists.
  104. Transient High-Energy Sky and Early Universe Surveyor (THESEUS) is a space telescopemission proposal by the European Space Agency that would study gamma-ray bursts and X-rays for investigating the early universe. If developed, the mission would investigate star formation rates and metallicity evolution, as well as studying the sources and physics of reionization.
  105. Qualified institutional placements (QIPS) are a way to issue shares to the public without going through standard regulatory compliance. It follows a looser set of regulations; however, the allottees are highly regulated. Qualified institutional buyers (QIBs) are the only entities allowed to purchase QIPs. A qualified institutional placement (QIP) is, at its core, a way for listed companies to raise capital without having to submit legal paperwork to market regulators. SEBI created the rule to avoid the dependence of companies on foreign capital resources.
  106. Alliance to End Plastic Waste was founded in 2019 as a nonprofit organization, in Singapore. It helps to solve the serious and complex issue of 8 million tons of plastic waste entering the ocean every year. Currently, ‘Alliance to End Plastic Waste’ is working on the Project Aviral which aims to reduce plastic waste in the Ganga River.
  107. Long Period Average (LPA) is the average rainfall recorded during the months from June to September, calculated during the 50-year period,and is kept as a benchmark while forecasting the quantitative rainfall for the monsoon season every year. India Meteorological Department (IMD) maintains an independent LPA for every homogeneous region of the country.
  108. Article 46 of the Constitution, part of Directive Principles of State Policy, it has a duty to protect the interests of economically weaker sections. “The State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and, in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.
  109. One Nation One Ration Card scheme (ONORC) was started as an inter-State portability of ration cards. It allows the migratory National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 beneficiaries to lift their entitled quota of food grains from any Fair Price Shop (FPS) of their choice anywhere in the country. Currently, ration cardholders can avail their entitlement of subsidised foodgrains under the National Food Security Act, only from the designated Fair price shop (FPS) within the concerned state. Now a total of 24 States/UTs are connected under the ONORC scheme.
  110. iDEX is an initiative taken by the government to contribute towards modernization of the Defence Industry. iDEX aims to promote innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace by engaging Industries (which includes MSMEs, start-ups, individual innovators, R&D institutes & academia). iDEX will be funded and managed by Defence Innovation Organization (DIO), and will function as the executive arm of DIO.
  111. The writ of habeas corpus is considered one of the most basic protections a citizen is guaranteed under the Constitution against unchecked state power – of taking people into custody without any charges; and the High Courts are specially empowered to issue orders related to this writ, act swiftly, and order the government to produce the detainee before the court and ensure due process. The writ of habeas corpus can be issued against both public authorities as well as private individuals. It is a Latin term which literally means ‘to have the body of’. Under this the court issues an order to a person who has detained another person, to produce the body of the latter before it. The court then examines the cause and legality of detention.
  112. Bubonic plague struck Pune in 1897, which incidentally forced the British administration to enact the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897. To stem the spread of this contagious disease, repressive measures were adopted by Walter Charles Rand, who was appointed as a special duty officer.  Rand was killed by Damodar Chaphekar.
  113. Amrita Bazar Patrika debuted on 20 February 1868. It was started by Sisir Ghosh and Moti Lal Ghosh. It was first edited by Motilal Ghosh, who did not have a formal university education. It had built its readership as a rival to Bengalee which was being looked after by Surendranath Banerjee.
  114. The Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate is a publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
  115. African Catfish also known as ‘African magur’, was taking place in Krishnagiri district, Tamil Nadu. This activity was banned under the Biological Diversity Act, 2002.
  116. The Sambhar Salt Lake, India’s largest inland salt lake located in the state of Rajasthan. it is surrounded by the Aravali hills on all sides. It is surrounded by the Aravali hills on all sides.  A Ramsar site recognized wetland of international importance. A key wintering area for tens of thousands of pink flamingos.
  117. Major tributaries of the Ganga selected for the prevention of discharge of untreated industrial waste and sewage were Bagmati, Burhi Gandak, Gandak, Kiul, Kosi, Mahananda, Parmar, Punpun, Ramrekha, Sikrahana, Sirsia and Sone rivers.
  118. Acidic water accumulated in mine pits of Gorbi Project in Madhya Pradesh’s Singrauli district.
  119. African Trypanosomiasis is a disease caused by infection with the protozoa Trypanosoma brucei. African trypanosomiasis is transmitted to humans by bites of tsetse fly (found only in rural Africa). Recently, Togo has become the first country in Africa to eliminate sleeping sickness or African Trypanosomiasis.
  120. Girital Lake is located in the state of Uttarakhand.
  121. Ecuador made a part of the Galapagos a wildlife sanctuary in 1935, and the sanctuary became the Galapagos National Park in 1959. In 1978, the islands became UNESCO’s first World Heritage Site. The Galapagos Islands, spread over almost 60,000 sq km, are a part of Ecuador, and are located in the Pacific Ocean around 1,000 km away from the South American continent.
  122. Gramodyog Vikas Yojana aims to promote and develop the village industries through common facilities, technological modernization, training etc. The scheme is under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. Under the scheme, R&D support would be given to the institutions that intend to carry product development, new innovations, design development, product diversification processes etc. The village institutions will be provided market support by way of preparation of product catalogue, Industry directory, market research, new marketing techniques, buyer seller meet, arranging exhibitions etc.
  123. In January 2014, India was declared polio-free after three years on zero cases, an achievement that is widely believed to have been spurred by the successful pulse polio campaign. In early 2016, India became the first country globally to introduce fractional doses of IPV in childhood immunization programme in eight states and Union territories.
  124. Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), also called the Salk vaccine, consists of inactivated (killed) poliovirus strains of all three poliovirus types. IPV produces antibodies in the blood to all three types of poliovirus.
  125. The African baobab tree (Adansonia digitata) is called the tree of life. Baobab trees can live for more than a thousand years and provide food, livestock fodder, medicinal compounds, and raw materials. The African baobab tree has 168 chromosomes — critical knowledge for further genetic studies, conservation, and improvement for agricultural purposes.
  126. Eklavya Model Residential Schools are set up in States/UTs with grants under Article 275(1) of the Constitution of India.
  127. A study by an international team of scientists — including those from the University of Maryland (UMD), United States — claimed this to be the work of a protein called OSCA1.3 that formed a channel leaking calcium to the cells. The OSCA1.3 protein transformed in a very specific way when it was exposed to BIK1, suggesting it to be the calcium channel. BIK1 was activated only when plants were infected by a pathogen, further suggesting OSCA1.3 was responsible for creating the calcium channel that helps close plants’ stomata.
  128. The National Cancer Registry Programme under Indian Council of Medical Research was started in December 1981 with coordinating centre at Bengaluru.
  129. Harijan Sevak Sangh was established by Mahatma Gandhi in 1932.
  130.  Acharya Vinoba Bhave’s Sarvodaya movement and Gramdan concept exemplified the Gandhian ideal of village reconstruction and rural upliftment. It was a cooperative system for socio-economic upliftment of the villages.
  131. The Eat Out to Help Out (EOHO) scheme is an economic recovery measure by the United Kingdom.
  132. Betlingchip, Tripura’s highest peak, is in Phuldungsai and is a key tourist destination. Phuldungsai is a bone of contention between Tripura-Mizoram border.
  133. Glanders is a contagious zoonotic disease that occurs primarily in horses, mules, and donkeys. The infectious disease that is caused by the bacterium Burkholderia mallei, usually by ingestion of contaminated feed or water. B. mallei is able to infect humans, so is classed as a zoonotic agent. Transmission occurs by direct contact with infected animals and entry is through skin abrasions, nasal and oral mucosal surfaces, or by inhalation. Bacterium Burkholderia mallei is considered as potential bio-weapon and categorized under ‘Tier 1 Select Agent’. Glanders is endemic in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Central and South America. It has been eradicated from North America, Australia, and most of Europe through surveillance and destruction of affected animals, and import restrictions.
  134. Indian Air Force launched a mobile application ‘MY IAF’ at Air HQs Vayu Bhawan as a part of Digital India initiative. The application has been developed in association with Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC). It provides career related information and details for those desirous of joining the Indian Air Force (IAF).
  135. The Vice President recently released a report- ‘Status of Sex Ratio at Birth in India’ which mentioned that there has not been any change in the sex ratio at birth in India from 2001-2017–the number of girl children born is much less than what is the general or natural norm. It was brought out by the Indian Association of Parliamentarians for Population and Development (IAPPD). The Indian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (IAPPD) is a national level Organization established in the year 1978. The organization was formed with an imperative of moderating the pace of population growth for a smoother course of development so as to ensure an overall improvement in the quality of life of the people and maintain a proper balance between population and development.
  136. Flavonoids are a group of plant metabolites that provide health benefits through cell signalling pathways and antioxidant effects. These molecules are found in a variety of fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids are mostly present in tomato, onion, lettuce, grape, apple, strawberry, peach, and other vegetables.
  137. Carbon Capture, Utilisation, and Storage (CCUS) is one of the identified innovation challenges in the Mission Innovation (MI) programme, a global initiative of 24 countries and the European Union, to accelerate the global clean energy innovation.
  138. In recent years, the Indian government has promoted plant efficiency in the country’s coal fleet, closing older subcritical stations and building or upgrading the fleet to supercritical or ultra-supercritical High efficiency low emissions (HELE) technologies. HELE technologies are a group of varied technologies developed to increase the efficiency of coal-fired power plants. These technologies reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas emissions, as well as non-GHG emissions such as nitrogen oxide (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter (PM). The International Energy Agency (IEA) considers HELE technologies a critical first step in reducing emissions from coal. These plants are also important precursors on the road to carbon capture, utilization and storage.
  139. As per the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act, 90% of the CAF money is to be given to the states while 10% is to be retained by the Centre. It was enacted to manage funds collected for compensatory afforestation which till then was managed by ad hoc Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA).
  140. The Technology Development Board (TDB) in partnership with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) launched Millennium Alliance programme under which innovators will be provided with services such as seed funding, grants, incubation, networking opportunities, business support, knowledge exchange and technical assistance which will facilitate further access to equity, debt, and other capital to the innovators. The Millennium Alliance (MA) is an inclusive platform to leverage Indian creativity, expertise, and resources to identify and scale innovative solutions being developed and tested in India to address development challenges that will benefit base of the pyramid populations across India and the world. The MA is a network to bring together various actors within India’s social innovation ecosystem including social innovators, philanthropy organizations, social venture capitalists, angel investors, donors, service providers and corporate foundations to stimulate and facilitate financial and other support to the innovators. Through the Millennium Alliance, TDB, USAID, FICCI, and other partners who have also joined seek to realize India’s role as a global innovation laboratory.
  141. AYURAKSHA is a joint venture of All India Institute of Ayurveda and Delhi Police aims for maintaining the health of frontline COVID warriors like Delhi police.
  142. The Minister of Minority Affairs is implementing NaiUdaan and NayaSavera programme.  The objective of the Naya Savera Scheme is to assist students/candidates belonging to the notified the minority communities by way of special coaching for qualifying in competitive examination for recruitment to Group „A‟, „B‟ & „C‟ services and other equivalent post under the Central and State Governments including public sector undertaking, banks, railways etc. or for admission in technical/professional courses. The objective of the Nai Udaan Scheme is to provide financial support to the minority candidates who clear the preliminary examinations conducted by the Union Public Service Commission, Staff Selection Commission and State Public Service Commission.
  143. The genetic affinity of Gujjars in the Jammu region to Pashtuns in the Baghlans and Kunduz provinces of Afghanistan and Pashtuns and Sindhis in Pakistan indicated their past genetic relatedness and a common ancestry. On the other hand, Ladakhis were found to be genetically close to Chinese (Uighurs and Han) and Nepalese (Magar) populations, which might be due to their close geographic proximity. Gujjars are less diverse as compared to Ladakhis.
  144. Paryushan Parva is a major Jain festival that lasts seven days, culminating in ‘Samvatsari Parvi’. On this day, Jains greet each other with “Michhami Dukkadam” and observe a day-long fast. ‘Michhami Dukkadam’ is an ancient phrase from Prakrit language, which is uttered by one seeking forgiveness for any ill-will or bad deeds and offering a renewal of relationship.
  145. Barakah nuclear power plant is the United Arab Emirates’s first nuclear powerstation, the first nuclear power station in the Arabian Peninsula, and the first commercial nuclear power station in the Arab World. 
  146. Sir Creek is a 96-km tidal estuaryin the Indus River Delta on the Kutch coastline between India and Pakistan. The creek flows into the Arabian Sea and separates Gujarat from Sindh province in Pakistan.
  147. The salmonella bacteria reside in animals. When it enters a human body it causes salmonellosis, an infection that attacks the intestine, and can cause diarrhoea, abdominal pain, fever, vomiting, bleeding in stool and nausea. The symptoms of the infection last anywhere between 2 and 7 days. However, bowel function could sometimes take months before returning to normalcy. In some cases, it spreads the infection from the intestine to the blood stream. The infection hits children, below the age of five, and senior citizens the worst. The good news is less than 1 per cent of infected people succumb to the infection. Salmonella can transmit to humans through contaminated water or food. In this case, the bacteria were transmitting through contaminated onions, cultivated by Thomson International.
  148. Heron/ Machatz 1 is a medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned air vehicle (UAV) system. It is primarily designed to perform strategic reconnaissance and surveillance operations. It has been procured from Israel in September 2005. Heron provides its operators with real-time information on enemy battlefields by performing surveillance and target acquisition over large areas, even under adverse weather conditions.
  149. Lok Adalat is one of the alternative dispute redressal mechanisms. It is a forum where disputes/cases pending in the court of law or at pre-litigation stage are settled/ compromised amicably. National Legal Services Authority along with other Legal Services Institutions conducts Lok Adalats. The Lok Adalats can deal with all Civil Cases, Matrimonial Disputes, Land Disputes, Partition/Property Disputes, Labour Disputes etc., and compoundable criminal Cases (the casesthat can be compromised by the victim and the offender, with or without permission of the court). The Lok Adalat shall not decide the matter so referred at its own instance, instead the same would be decided on the basis of the compromise or settlement between the parties. Lok Adalats have been given statutory status under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987. The award (decision) made by the Lok Adalats is deemed to be a decree of a civil court and is final and binding on all parties and no appeal against such an award lies before any court of law.
  150. Innovation and Agri-entrepreneurship Development programme have been launched under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana in order to promote innovation and agripreneurship by providing financial support and nurturing the incubation ecosystem.
  151. The Kali River Valley of Kumaun marks the international border between India and Nepal. Kumaon Himalayas lies largely within the state of Uttarakhand and northwest of Nepal. The range includes the Siwalik Range in the south and part of the Great Himalayas in the north. It lies between Sutlej River in the east and the Kali River in the west.
  152. Chopta & Pindari Glacier, Jim Corbett National Park, Rajaji Tiger Reserve and UNESCO site of Nanda Devi National Park, Kedar Khand (Garhwal Region), Manu Khand (Kumaon Region), Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Hemkhund Sahib and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Valley of Flowers are popular destination of Uttarakhand.
  153. In order to ensure that a citizen does not have to run from one police station to another to register an FIR, the law has allowed any police station across the country to register an FIR as soon a cognisable offence is disclosed to them. Hence, a zero FIR is registered by a police station when an offence reported to it has been committed in the area under the jurisdiction of a different police station. As per Section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code, a police officer is duty bound to register the Zero FIR irrespective of territorial jurisdiction.
  154. India is the second-largest producer of sugar.
  155. The Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) usually occurs in birds and can sometimes spill over to humans. More than 50 per cent of the 800 people infected globally by HPAI since 2003 have not survived. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization consideres six countries to be endemic for the HPAI virus in poultry as of 2011, namely Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia and Vietnam. 
  156. Fishermen from the Kerala and Tamil Nadu coast often go up to Diego Garcia (967 nautical miles or 1,796 km away from Kanyakumari coast), Muscat and Andaman and Nicobar Islands in search of sea wealth. The waters of Diego Garcia are known for their abundant fish wealth, particularly tuna and shark.
  157. Betelgeuse is classified as a red supergiant, the largest type of star. It is more than 10 times the mass of our sun. If it resided at the center of our solar system, its surface would extend to the planet Jupiter. In a supernova, huge stars like Betelgeuse expel large amounts of heavy elements, including carbon, oxygen, calcium and iron, into space that become building blocks of new generations of stars. Betelgeuse is located relatively near our solar system, about 725 light-years away. A light year is the distance light travels in a year, 9.5 trillion km.
  158. The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) set up under the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993 as Article 338b of the Constitution can only recommend inclusion and exclusion of castes from the OBC list and the level of income that cuts off the “creamy layer” among these castes from the benefits of reservation.
  159. India is the second largest agriculture producer in the world and has the largest arable land of 156 million hectares. India ranks 13th in the world in agriculture exports despite being leading producer of milk, bananas, mangoes.
  160. Boreal Summer Intra Seasonal Oscillation or BSISO induce high wave activity in north Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea. BSISO is the movement of convection (heat) from Indian Ocean to western Pacific Ocean roughly every 10-50 days during the monsoon (June-September). They represent the monsoon’s ‘active’ and ‘break’ periods, in which weeks of heavy rainfall give way to brilliant sunshine before starting all over again. The active phase also enhances monsoon winds and hence the surface waves. Wave forecast advisories based on the BSISO would be more useful for efficient coastal and marine management.
  161. Coastal residents in the Western Indian Ocean region – which includes Comoros, Kenya, France (Reunion), Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, and Tanzania.
  162. 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).
  163. Mangroves for the Future (MFF) is a unique partner-led initiative to promote investment in coastal ecosystem conservation for sustainable development. Co-chaired by IUCN and UNDP, MFF provides a platform for collaboration among the many different agencies, sectors and countries which are addressing challenges to coastal ecosystem and livelihood issues. It initially focused on the countries that were worst affected by the tsunami — India, Indonesia, Maldives, Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
  164.  Important initiatives of IUCN: Global Drylands Initiative (GDI), Global Island Partnership (GLISPA), Global Mountain Initiative, Global Mangrove Management Initiative, Mangroves for the Future.
  165. India became part of the “Bonn Challenge”, a global effort to bring 150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded land into restoration by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030.
  166. The Great Green Wall is a symbol of hope in the face of one of the biggest challenges of our time – desertification. Launched in 2007 by the African Union, this game-changing African-led initiative aims to restore Africa’s degraded landscapes and transform millions of lives in one of the world’s poorest regions, the Sahel. Once complete, the Wall will be the largest living structure on the planet – an 8,000 km natural wonder of the world stretching across the entire width of the continent.
  167. The “Sustainability, Stability and Security” (3S) Initiative is an inter-governmental action launched by Morocco and Senegal to address the root causes of instability in Africa – in particular migration and conflict related to the degradation of natural resources – through an innovative approach. 
  168. According to the ranking of the states released by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Odisha continued to be the top performer in implementation of Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation Scheme (AMRUT) scheme.
  169. Kerala will set up India’s first international women’s trade centre (WTC), in consonance with the United Nations sustainable development goals (SDGs), at Angamaly. This initiative aims to accelerate women entrepreneurship and secure gender parity while providing women with a safe place away from home to start new businesses, set up or expand, and get their products marketed globally.
  170. The UK government has launched a £3 million innovation challenge fund in India to support scientists in academia and industry to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.
  171. Mediterranean Sea is a vast sea positioned between Europe to the north, Africa to the south, and Asia to the east. The Mediterranean Sea connects to the Atlantic Ocean by the Strait of Gibraltar (known in Homer’s writings as the “Pillars of Hercules”) in the west to the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea, by the Straits of the Dardanelles and the Bosporus respectively, in the east. The artificial Suez Canal in the southeast connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea.
  172. The National Education Policy (NEP) approved by the Union cabinet does not mention ‘Chinese’ language (rather than Mandarin or Cantonese) from its list of examples of foreign languages that can be taught in schools.