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IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-August 2021
- Lantana camara, one of the 10 most invasive weeds in the world, the removal of which is highly beneficial to forests, was used to make the life-size elephants.
- Indore city has become the first city to attain the ‘Water Plus’ status in the Swachh Survekshan 2021.
- Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) is a technology developed for storing electric charge by using specially developed batteries. They enable energy from renewables like solar and wind to be stored and released on demand later. BESS typically utilizes an electro-chemical solution. BESS has advantage over other storage technologies as it has small footprint and no restrictions on geographical locations that it could be located in.
- As per the Indus Waters Treaty between India and Pakistan in 1960, all the waters of the eastern rivers — Sutlej, Beas and Ravi — are allocated to India for unrestricted use. The waters of western rivers — Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab — have been assigned largely to Pakistan. According to the treaty, India has been given the right to generate hydroelectricity through run-of-the-river projects on the western rivers, subject to specific criteria for design and operation. This treaty also gives Pakistan the right to raise objections to Indian hydroelectric project designs on the western rivers.
- The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) launched its Global Standard for NbS in July 2020. Through public consultation reaching hundreds of stakeholders from 100 countries, it ‘was developed to be facilitative, incentivizing and enabling users to implement strong NbS projects’. The Global Standard includes self-assessment on eight criteria and associated indicators, which address the pillars of sustainable development (economy, environment and society) and resilient project management (iucn.org).
- A korangupila or Cullenia exarillatasapling and a wild nutmeg or Myristica dactyloides, picked from the 120 tree species in the stack, all native to this very place in the Anamalai Hills of the Western Ghats.
- Ter village is located on the banks of Terna river in the Osmanabad district, Maharashtra. It was called ‘Tagar’ in ancient times and was a trade center for centuries, going as far back as third century B.C. It was populated from 3rd century BC to 3rd century AD through pre-Satavahana, Satavahana, later-Satavahana and Vakataka periods. It may have gradually become inhabitable due to drought during the Rashtrakuta era. The site was a mercantile centre and part of India’s ancient trade with Rome. Its glory peaked during the Satavahana rule. Hindu, Buddhist and Jain traditions flourished there during Satavahana times. The site is mentioned in the works of the Chinese traveller Hsuan-Tsang.
- A critically endangered frog species, the Racophorus pseudomalabaricus or Anaimalai flying frog, is getting a new home at Pothamedu in Munnar, Kerala.
- Thennampaalai, which tastes like coconut; and muttakose, shaped like a cabbage. The farm also protects its brightly-flavoured singivaada; big, fibrous javadu; and sweet, pulpy thadaga kaai, iruttu, rettikola, kadhar, malliga, pether, neer malgova, K-white and amarapalli, dilpasand, putty, guamango, khudadad, khadar, pether, badami, and jehangir are varieties of mango.
- In a significant achievement, the Rubber Research Institute of India (RRII) under the Rubber Board has decoded the entire genome of the most popular Indian hybrid rubber clone RRII 105.
- The militaries of China, Pakistan, Mongolia, and Thailand will take part in a multinational peacekeeping exercise “Shared Destiny-2021” of the PLA in Henan’s Queshan. The scenario of the exercise is joint operations of multinational peacekeeping forces.
- India is the only country that produces all the five known commercial silks — mulberry, tropical tussar, oak tussar, eri and the distinctive gold-tinted muga. Of these, mulberry silk is the most widely produced. Despite being the world’s biggest consumer of silk and its second-largest producer, India does not fare too well on the sericulture scene. Moriculture (a term for the cultivation of mulberry for the purpose of rearing silkworms).
- Haqqani network is an Afghan guerrilla insurgent group that used asymmetric warfare to fight against US-led NATO forces and Afghanistan. It is an offshoot of the Taliban and its most combat-ready forces. The members specialise in complex attacks and provide technical skills, such as improvised explosive device and rocket construction.
- The Narayankoti temple in Uttarakhand’s Rudraprayag district is set to get a major facelift. The Narayankoti Temple is a group of ancient temples located about two kilometers from Guptkashi on the Rudraprayag-Gaurikund highway. It is a major attraction for devotees visiting Rudraprayag as it’s the only place in the country where temples of all the nine planets – Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Sun, Moon, Rahu and Ketu are present.
- Indian scientists have found a theoretical model explaining a unique kind of motion, called direction reversing active motion, exhibited by some bacteria that feed on other microorganisms. Bacteria move by propelling themselves with a velocity that changes direction randomly, which is called active motion. Besides bacteria, this kind of motion is found in living systems ranging from cells at the microscopic scale to the flocking of birds and fish schools at the macroscopic scale. It is also seen in artificial systems, including granular matter self-catalytic swimmers, and nano-motors. Some microorganisms, such as predator bacteria Myxococcus Xanthus and saprotrophic bacteria Pseudomonas putida, exhibit a unique kind of reversing active motion, whereby, in addition to a diffusive change of direction, the motion also completely reverses its direction intermittently.
- The Constitution of 2004 and the national anthem referred to 14 ethnic groups. Article 4 stated that the nation of Afghanistan shall comprise “Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Turkman, Baluch, Pachaie, Nuristani, Aymaq, Arab, Qirghiz, Qizilbash, Gujur, Brahwui and other tribes”. Among the ethnic groups, the Pashtuns are the largest, estimated to be 40%-42% of the country’s 3.8 crore population. Pashto and Dari are the official languages. Concentrated in the south and east of the country, the Pashtuns are scattered across the country, from the south of Amu Darya to the borders with Pakistan and beyond. The ethnic Tajiks, who form the majority in neighbouring Tajikistan, are the second largest group in Afghanistan. The Tajiks are the predominant ethnic group in Herat in the west and Mazar-e-Sharif in the north. The Hazaras are the third largest ethnic group, accounting for 9%-10% of the population. Most are Shias and live in Hazarajat in the central highlands – Bamiyan, where the Taliban destroyed the Buddha statues. The Hazaras, who are said to be of Turkic or Mongol origin.
- The ‘incel’ movement is slowly becoming a threat to law and order. The movement came into the spotlight yet again in the UK’s Plymouth, where a 22-year-old man named Jake Davidson shot dead five people, including a toddler. It is a dangerous online subculture comprising men who identify as ‘involuntary celibates’ and regularly express deeply misogynistic views about women.
- A number of traders earned their living by sea-routes. Sea-faring was risk hut highly profitable as it was very cheap. The traders who took full advantage of this and became enormously rich were often designated as masattuvan in Tamil and as setthis and satthavahas in Prakrit.
- Mazar, the key city in the north, was until now under the control of Dostum and his Uzbek troops – the Hairatan crossing on the border with Uzbekistan is barely an hour’s drive from Mazar. But the Uzbeks are not the predominant group in the city – they are outnumbered by the Tajiks and Pashtuns. The city is also inhabited by the Hazaras and Turkmen. Mazar is the capital of Balkh and its airport is named after Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi who we know as Rumi, the 13th century poet, scholar and mystic. The city also houses the Blue Mosque which the Sunnis believe contains the tomb of Hazrat Ali – Shias maintain that he rests at the Imam Ali shrine in Najaf, Iraq.
- Pineapple agroforestry systems (PAFS) are in dominant land use in the Indian Eastern Himalayas and other parts of Asia and are mostly grown in association with multipurpose trees. PAFS is a traditional practice done by the ethnic “Hmar” tribe in southern Assam. They practice the indigenous PAFS for, both home consumption and boosting economic benefits.
- Creamy layer is a concept that sets a threshold within which OBC reservation benefits are applicable. There is a 27% quota for OBCs in government jobs and higher educational institutions. Those falling within the “creamy layer” (various categories based on income and parents’ rank) cannot get the benefits of this quota.
- National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) has commissioned India’s largest 25 MW floating solar PV project at NTPC Simhadri, Andhra Pradesh.
- The Public Accounts Committee is formed every year with a strength of not more than 22 members of which 15 are from Lok Sabha and 7 from Rajya Sabha. Public Accounts Committee cannot intervene in the questions of policy. It can keep a tab on the expenses only after they are incurred. It has no power to limit expenses. It cannot intervene in matters of day-to-day administration. Any recommendation that the committee makes is only advisory. They can be ignored by the ministries. It is not vested with the power of disallowance of expenditures by the departments. Being only an executive body; it cannot issue an order. Only the Parliament can take a final decision on its findings. Its chief function is to examine the audit report of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) after it is laid in the Parliament.
- Taliban is a Deobandi Islamist movement and military organization in Afghanistan.
- The Royal Salute was Afghanistan’s first national anthem, an instrumental adopted in 1926 when Amanullah Khan the Amir became King in the seventh year of his rule. A Loya Jirga — in Pashto, it means a large council or assembly — decided on the Milli Surud (Pashto) or Surud-e Milli (Persian), the anthem of a new Afghanistan, one that sought to stitch together its different ethnicities, underlining that “this is the country of every tribe”.
- Indian researchers have developed a non-invasive, easy to administer, cost-effective, and patient compliant potential therapeutic strategy against VL. Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) or kala-azar is a complex infectious disease transmitted by the bite of female Phlebotomine sandflies. It is caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Leishmania. It is a neglected tropical disease that affects millions annually, making it the second most common parasitic killer after malaria.
- Like the Barb, the hump-backed mahseer and other ‘true mahseers’ found across south Asia have no legal protection. Mahseers are large freshwater fish in the family Cyprinidae, commonly known as carps. It is the largest vertebrate family on earth. Within the tribe Torini, there are four genera, which are all considered as mahseers due to their relatively large heads and scales compared to most other carps. The four genera are Tor, Neolissochilus, Naziritor and Parator. True mahseers are distributed across 16 countries of south and southeast Asia. There are 16 species currently valid according to the IUCN. Eight valid species of Tor mahseers currently live in Indian freshwaters, mainly rivers. The IUCN Red List status lists one mahseer as Critically Endangered, two as Endangered and one Near Threatened of the Indian species. Three others are considered Data Deficient due to a lack of accurate identification capabilities and no clear understanding of ecology.
- Madurkathi is a rhizome-based plant found abundantly in the alluvial tracts of Purba and Paschim Medinipur. Madhurkathi was awarded the Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the Geographical Indication Registry. Madur mats are made of natural fibres, unique to West Bengal.
- The country’s first indigenous motorised wheelchair has been designed and developed by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras. The wheelchair by the name NeoBolt, is a battery-operated vehicle that is capable of travelling at a maximum speed of 25 kmph. The wheelchair can be used on roads as well as uneven terrains. The indigenous motorised wheelchair helps users with a safe, convenient, and low-cost mode of outdoor mobility.
- A new rating study titled tudy titled, ‘Transparency Index: Rating of pollution control boards on public disclosure’ by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has found that a majority of India’s pollution control agencies remain closed entities when it comes to sharing information with the public.
- The karez system in Afghanistan, a legacy of its Persian cultural moorings, has suffered extensive damage in 43 years of war and stares at an uncertain future under the Taliban’s second regime. But hundreds of miles to the south, a similar system in southern India is thriving. The surangam or suranga is usually found in northern Kerala and southern Karnataka. There are approximately 6,000 surangas in just Kasargod district. There can be more in Uttara and Dakshina Kannada districts and Goa. Very few may be found in Kannur and Wayanad districts also.
- The Gupta kings patronized Brahmanical Hinduism. In other words, the period witnessed the ascendancy of Brahmanical religious beliefs like Vaishnavism, Saivism, Shakti worship etc. The rulers themselves were ardent worshippers of Vishnu and accepted Vaishnavite titles like Parama Bliagabata, Parama Bhattaraka etc.
- The US military recently held the Large-Scale Exercise (LSE) 2021 with the UK, Australia and Japan with the aim to strengthen the rules-based regional order and maintain a “free and open Indo-Pacific”.
- Gartang Galibridge in the Uttarkashi district, Uttarakhand has been reopened for visitors following restoration. It is a tourist attraction and strategic point in Garhwal Himalayas, which was shut down in 1962 following the Indo-Sino war. The nomads (Bhotiya tribe) ferried their goods on yaks from this bridge for barter.
- Pensilungpa Glacier is located in Zanskar Range, Ladakh.
- National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) is under the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences. The National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management under the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change and the Central Water Commission under the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti.
- Hackathon “MANTHAN 2021” is a unique national initiative to identify innovative concepts and technology solutions for addressing the security challenges of the 21st century faced by our intelligence agencies. Participants are expected to develop digital solutions under 6 themes for20 different challenge statements released today using new technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning, Augmented reality, Machine Learning, etc. for ever-changing security related challenges, which include photo/video analysis, Fake Content Identification along with the information of creator, predictive Cyber Crime data analytics, etc. Manthan- 2021 is organized by Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) in coordination with the Innovation Cell of the Ministry of Education and AICTE.
- Diglipur Island is located in the North Andaman Islands. River Kalpong passes through it.
- The Landfall Island is the Northernmost Island of the Andaman & Nicobar Island chain. This area is home to the indigenous aka-chari tribe. The island is specifically situated right between the North Andaman Island and Myanmar’s Coco Islands. The Cleugh Passage separates the island from North Andaman.
- Paraperlucidibaca, Cycloclasticus, Oleispira, Thalassolituus Zhongshania are bacteria.
- Inuit communities had contributed to community-based monitoring across the Arctic, indigenous Australian knowledge of climatic patterns has been offered as a complement to sparse observational records, such as those of sea-level rise.
- Missile Ghaznavi is a Hypersonic surface-to-surface ballistic missile recently launched by Pakistan. It is a nuclear-capable missile ensuring operational readiness of Army Strategic Forces Command.
- Peruvian fishermen had first thought of the name ‘El Niño’ for the now well-known climate phenomenon in the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean. It had later been linked by researchers to the Southern Oscillation and both were now jointly known as ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation).
- Prosopis juliflora — a non-native and invasive tree species — has encroached over half Banni, one of Asia’s largest grasslands in Gujarat. The tree is harmful to ecology; yet, local communities have over time grown dependent on it for livelihood by, for example, making charcoal.
- National Institute of Ocean Technology will soon start working to build the world’s first self-powered desalination plant using Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) at Kavaratti Island in Lakshadweep.
- The hotline has been established between the Indian Army at Kongra La in north Sikkim and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at Khamba Dzong in the Tibet Autonomous Region to further the spirit of trust and cordial relations along the border.
- Sabja are seeds of the tulsi plant found in Indian homes and used in tea to treat runny noses and sore throats. The herb falls under the genus Ocimum that has over 150 species across the world. While most species are found in tropical rain forests of Africa, India is considered its place of origin. Leaves of Ocimum sanctum (Ram / Shwet / light and Shyam / Krishna / dark tulsi varieties, or holy basil) are more commonly used; for seeds, Ocimum basilicum (Babui tulsi, or sweet basil) is the preferred species as it has a higher number of seeds per plant. The seeds have recently been popular among those looking to eat healthy. The small black seeds, also called falooda seeds, become mucilaginous (gain a gelatinous consistency) when soaked in water and are said to help reduce weight, deal with constipation and acidity and also manage diabetes. The mucilage is rich in dietary fibre such as the polysaccharides glucomannan and xylan that make one feel satiated for a long time. A study published in the journal Bioactive Carbohydrates and Dietary Fibre in May 2021 establishes that fibre accounts for 98.50 per cent of this mucilage.
- Kanal Istanbul is an under-construction shipping routein Turkey running parallel to the strategically critical Bosphorus Strait.
- Operation Devi Shakti is an ongoing operation of the Indian Armed Forces to evacuate Indian citizens and foreign nationals from Afghanistan.
- India ranked fifth in terms of certified organic area and first in terms of organic farmers in the world (International Resource Data from Research Institute of Organic Agriculture -FiBL and the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements-IFOAM Statistics 2021). Currently, 3.8 million hectares have been brought under organic certification and 4.4 million farmers are covered under National Programme for Organic Production and Participatory Guarantee System of certification.
- Bharat Biotech’s BBV154 Covid Vaccine is the first intranasal vaccine being developed in the country entering into late-stage clinical trials.
- Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a condition in which a hormone made by the placenta prevents the body from using insulin effectively. Gestational diabetes is not caused by a lack of insulin, but by other hormones produced during pregnancy that can make insulin less effective, a condition referred to as insulin resistance. Gestational diabetic symptoms disappear following delivery.
- The password-protected or paywall-protected websites, including online banking services, for instance, are considered a part of the deep web. Such websites hold the information relating to accounts of millions of individuals that is not accessible to the entire web population. The content of personal databases like email accounts, social media accounts, scientific and academic databases, legal documents, etc. that are accessible to only a closed group also form part of the deep web.
- Within the deep web, there are some parts which are completely concealed, and are accessible by using specific software browsers, like Tor. These parts form the ‘dark’ web, also known as the invisible or the hidden web. The browser software used to access the dark web offer anonymising and encrypting facilities to the users so as to intentionally hide their browsing patterns, location and actual identities.
- India is set to conduct its first-ever naval exercise with Saudi Arabia called “Al Mohed Al Hind”.
- Indian Navy undertook bilateral exercise ‘Zayed Talwar 2021’ with UAE Navy off the coast of Abu Dhabi.
- A swaption contract gives the buyer the right, but not the obligation, to enter into an interest-rate swap deal. The swaption interest-rate derivative product helps both local borrowers and investors to control/limit funding costs in a rising rate scenario and retain investment returns in a falling rate scenario. If the borrower buys a swaption contract, the instrument will protect the borrower against any losses from rate movements in the event of investors exercising their put options.
- In order to access the dark web, specific browser software are needed. Software like the Onion Router (Tor) browser, FreeNet, Invisible Internet Project (I2P), TAILS (The Amnesic Incognito Live System), Whonix and many others have made it convenient to navigate the dark web. These software allow anonymity and confidentiality on the web by use of techniques like Proxy (an intermediate between sender and receiver for bypassing internet censorship), Tunneling/Virtual Private Networks (network providing inter-connectivity between various entities to provide secure communication), and by translating domain names to IP addresses in order to make it easier to access Internet resources.
- Smog towers are structures designed to work as large-scale air purifiers. They are fitted with multiple layers of air filters and fans at the base to suck the air. After the polluted air enters the smog tower, it is purified by the multiple layers before being re-circulated into the atmosphere.
- In situ Bioremediation means treatment of contaminated soil in the location where it was found. In situ Bioremediation techniques include – Bioventing, Biosparging, Bioaugmentation.
- Bioventing is a process of stimulating the natural in situ biodegradation of contaminants in soil by providing air or oxygen to existing soil microorganisms.
- Biosparging is an in-situ remediation technology that uses indigenous microorganisms to biodegrade organic constituents in the saturated zone. In biosparging, air (or oxygen) and nutrients (if needed) are injected into the saturated zone to increase the biological activity of the indigenous microorganisms.
- Bioaugmentation is the practice of adding cultured microorganisms into the subsurface for the purpose of biodegrading specific soil and groundwater contaminants.
- Wetlands are the favourite habitats of the fishing cat. In India, fishing cats are mainly found in the mangrove forests of the Sundarbans, on the foothills of the Himalayas along the Ganga and Brahmaputra river valleys and in the Western Ghats.
- India got its first ‘highest’ herbal park at Mana village in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district. The Park is situated at a height of 11000 ft close to the Indo-China border. It has around 40 species that are usually found in high-altitude alpine areas in the Indian Himalayan region. It will help conserve various medicinally and culturally important alpine species, and facilitate a study on the propagation of these species, and their ecology.
- The inter-creditor agreement is aimed at the resolution of loan accounts with a size of ₹50 crore and above that are under the control of a group of lenders. It is part of the “Sashakt” plan approved by the government to address the problem of resolving bad loans. Such an agreement may persuade banks to embark more quickly on a resolution plan for stressed assets.
- The terms Nivartana, Kulyavapa and Dronavapa were used for Land measurements.
- Islamic State Khorasan Province (IS-K) is the regional affiliate of the Islamic State group. It is the most extreme and violent of all the jihadist militant groups in Afghanistan.
- Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has introduced a new registration mark that is called Bharat series (BH-Series). The new BH series will be available for select vehicle owners who are subject to frequent transfers and relocations. A vehicle bearing this registration mark shall not require a new registration mark when the owner of the vehicle shifts from one state to another. The user with BH series mark, will not have to re-register their car or bike when they move to a new state. It will facilitate free movement of personal vehicles across States/UTs of India upon relocation to a new State/UT.
- If Parliament is not in session, a cabinet minister can be arrested by a law enforcement agency in case of a criminal case registered against him. As per Section 22 A of the Rules of Procedures and Conduct of Business of the Rajya Sabha, the Police, Judge or Magistrate must intimate the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha about the reason for the arrest, the place of detention or imprisonment in an appropriate form. In civil cases, they have freedom from arrest during the continuance of the House and 40 days before its commencement and 40 days after its conclusion, as per section 135 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The privilege of freedom from arrest does not extend to criminal offences or cases of detention under preventive detention.
- The Taliban has captured the capital of Kunduz, Sar-e-Pul city, Taloqan and the government buildings and all the installations in the North of Afghanistan. Kunduz is the capital of Kunduz Province in northern Afghanistan. Sar-e Pol or Sari Pul is the capital of Sar-e Pol Province in northern Afghanistan. Taloqan is the capital of Takhar Province, in north-eastern Afghanistan.
- The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has launched a loan interest subvention scheme in association with United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Global Environment Facility (GEF). The scheme provides financial assistance to innovative waste to energy biomethanation projects and business models.
- Child has been adopted as per the Hindu adoption ceremony known as ‘Datta Homam’.
- Valmiki National Park is a Tiger Reserve in West Champaran District of Bihar, India. It is the only National Park in Bihar. The landscape encompasses foothills ranges of Himalayan Shivaliks with cliffs, ridges, gorges, hills, streams, and valleys.
- Active Galactic Nucleus (AGN) are supermassive blackholes at the centres of galaxies. Since they accrete matter, they have a glow around them which can be observed using light spectroscopy. AGNs affect evolution of the galaxies. The evolution of the universe can be understood by knowing how the galaxies evolve. AGN can release huge amounts of energy that can start star formation by pushing gas or stop it by removing gas from the galaxy.
- The island of Gulhifalhu, has been promoted by Maldives government as a strategic location for manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution facilities due to its proximity to the capital city. The artificial island of Thilafushi was created and designated as a landfill to receive garbage in Malé.
- Maharashtra government’s Women and Child Development Department has launched Mission Vatsalya. It is a special initiative to provide relief to women who have lost their husbands due to COVID-19 pandemic.
- State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda and Union Bank of India have won the awards for best performing banks for PSB Reforms EASE 3.0 based on the EASE index.
- Ministry of Jal Shakti has begun ‘SUJALAM’, a ‘100 days campaign’ from 25 August 2021 to create more ODF Plus villages. It seeks to undertake waste water management at village level, particularly through creation of 1 million Soak-pits and other grey water management activities. It will also aid in management of wastewater and would help to revive the waterbodies.
- India is set to become the world’s first country to develop a DNA vaccine against COVID-19. It is being pioneered by Ahmedabad-based Zydus Cadila and is known as ZyCoV-D.
- Panjshir Valley, literally the valley of five lions is located 150 km north of Kabul, the Valley is near the Hindu Kush mountain range. It’s divided by the Panjshir river and ringed by the Panjshir mountains in the north and the Kuhestan mountains in the south. It is located in eastern Afghanistan, near the Afghan-Pakistan border. The mountain tops are covered by snow throughout the year.
- Hemavati River is an important tributary of the Kaveri.
- Reiek Cuesta is a beautiful cuesta formed due to erosion of the Tertiary sand shale alternations near Aizawl.
- Chabimura is famous for its panels of rock carving on a steep mountain wall on the bank of river Gomati in Tripura. There are huge carved images of Shiva, Vishnu, Kartika, Mahisasura Martini Durga and other Gods and Goddesses. The hill ranges are covered with thick jungles and according to folklore, one can reach the abode of gods only after trekking through this jungle.
- Mawblei- Situated near the Syntung village of East Khasi Hills District, the rock is locally known as Mawblei (God’s rock in Khasi language) and is a sacred place for the local populace of Mawkynrew Block in East Khasi Hills District. The boulder is composed of the reddish-purple gritty Mahadek sandstone belonging to the Khasi Group of Cretaceous age. It is a natural wonder that dates back thousands of years and signifies major geological changes that the region might have witnessed.
- Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs launched called ‘SonChiraiya’. SonChiraiya is a brand and logo for marketing of urban Self-Help Group (SHG) products. It was launched by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. This initiative is a significant step of increasing visibility and global access for the products made by urban SHG women. Under the initiative, variety of professionally packaged and hand-crafted ethnic products will reach to the doorsteps of the customers worldwide.
- The Centre has set up a committee headed by Sunil Sethi for doubling the production and quadrupling the exports of handlooms in a span of 3 years.
- The Central Board for Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) launched the Indian Customs Compliance Information Portal (CIP) recently.
- The International Bullion Exchange ecosystem is expected to bring all the market participants at a common transparent platform for bullion trading. It will provide an efficient price discovery, assurance in the quality of gold, enable greater integration with other segments of financial markets and help establish India’s position as a dominant trading hub in the World. The International Bullion Exchange shall be the “Gateway for Bullion Imports into India”, wherein all the bullion imports for domestic consumption shall be channelized through the exchange.
- Google has launched the global ‘Be Internet Awesome’ program for kids in India, wherein it will partner with Indian comic book publisher Amar Chitra Katha to offer Internet safety lessons through popular comic book characters across eight Indian languages.
- Hazaras are an ethnic and religious minority group of Afghan region of Hazarajat. They are believed to be descendants of the founder of the Mongol empire, Genghis Khan. They have unique identity, ethnicity and speak Hazaragi, which is close to Dari Persian, the official language of modern-day Afghanistan. They share physical similarities with the Mongols, setting them apart from other communities within Afghanistan.
- Wanchuwa festival is a significant festival for the Tiwas, one of the major ethnic groups of Assam. The festival is usually marked by the sacrifice of a pig and prayers being offered for a bountiful harvest.
- Sweat equity refers to shares issued by a company to its employees for non-cash consideration. Sweat equity is generally comes in the form of physical labour, mental effort, and time. Sweat equity is commonly found in real estate and the construction industry, as well as in the corporate world—especially for startups. The issue of sweat equity shares to employees who belong to promoter or promoter group shall be approved by way of a resolution passed by a simple majority of the shareholders in general meeting
- Hmar tribe is also called as Mhar or Mar and they are the dwellers of the North Eastern Part of India. They inhabit Meghalaya, Mizoram, Cachar, Chittagong Hill Tracts and Tripura. They gained recognition as one of the Scheduled Tribes as per the 6th Schedule of Constitution of India. Hmar tribe belonged to the Chin-Kuki-Mizo group of tribes. The festival of Hmar tribe highlights agricultural practices is Sikpuiruoi and Butukhuonglom.
- Hydrometeorological calamities includes flood, drought, cyclone, avalanche, heat wave, cold wave, etc. But the floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters.
- The world’s second-largest refurbished state-of-the-art National Gene Bank was inaugurated recently at the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR), Pusa, New Delhi.
- Haiti is located near the intersection of North American plate and the Caribbean plate.
- IndiGau is India’s first Cattle Genomic Chip for the conservation of pure varieties of indigenous cattle breeds like, Gir, Kankrej, Sahiwal, Ongole etc.
- Fan Tokens are a type of NFT (non-fungible token) which is a digital-only asset. Like Bitcoin and similar digital currencies, fan tokens are volatile assets and their value can drastically change overnight. Fans can purchase these crypto tokens with real-world money to gain access to exclusive content and augmented-reality games. These tokens are created by a crypto platform called Socios and these fan tokens give the token holder the status of an influencer.
- Recently, the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) has released the Quality of Life for Elderly
- Brunei is a sovereign state located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. Apart from its coastline with the South China Sea, the country is completely surrounded by the state of Sarawak, Malaysia. Brunei is the only sovereign state completely on the island of Borneo; the remainder of the island’s territory is divided between the nations of Malaysia and Indonesia. It is separated into two parts by the Sarawak district of Limbang. Bandar Seri Begawan is the capital city of Brunei.
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a chain of small islands situated in the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. The archipelago in the Lesser Antilles is located south of Saint Lucia, west of Barbados, and north east of Grenada. The island nation shares maritime borders with Barbados, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela. St. Vincent is of volcanic origin, its highest point is La Soufriere, an active stratovolcano with a crater lake
- The island of Evia is the second largest in Greece, following Crete, and is situated off the eastern coast of Central Greece. Long and narrow, it stretches over the Aegean very close to the shores of the mainland. The two shores are separated by the Gulf of Evia and the famous Evripos Straits. A main highway and ferries from several terminals form connections with the island, which offers natural beauty and scenery. The capital city of Evia is Chalkis, a cosmopolitan city with many famous archaeological sites and a particular charm and nobility.
- Cyanobacteria are aquatic and photosynthetic. They are quite small and usually unicellular, though they often grow in colonies large enough to see. They have the distinction of being the oldest known fossils, more than 3.5 billion years old.
- Sree Narayana Guru was a catalyst and leader who reformed the oppressive caste
system that prevailed in society at the time. He gave the famous slogan “One Caste, One Religion, One God for All”. He consecrated the first temple of Lord Shiva, where an idol was ordinated by a non-brahmin in Aruvippuram village of Kerala. Advaitha Deepika, Asrama,
Thevarappathinkangal, Brahmavidya Panchakam are some of his literary works.
- During the regime of the Mughal king Akbar, the administrative report ‘Ain-e-Akbari’ included
comprehensive data pertaining to population, industry, wealth and many other characteristics. During the regime of the Mughal king Akbar, the administrative report ‘Ain-e-Akbari’ included
comprehensive data pertaining to population, industry, wealth and many other characteristics.
- Under MPLADs scheme, the Lok Sabha Members can recommend works in their respective constituencies. The elected members of the Rajya Sabha can recommend works anywhere in the state from which they are elected. Nominated members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha may select works for implementation anywhere in the country.
- Article 323A deals with Administrative Tribunals. These are quasi-judicial institutions that resolve disputes related to the recruitment and service conditions of persons engaged in public service. Article 323B deals with tribunals for other subjects such as Taxation, Industrial and labour, Foreign exchange, import and export, Land reforms, Food, Ceiling on urban property, Elections to Parliament and state legislatures, Rent and tenancy rights.
- The first use of BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin), the vaccine against tuberculosis (TB) in humans have been completed for 100 years. TB is a very ancient disease and has been documented to have existed in Egypt as early as 3000 BC. It is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, belonging to the Mycobacteriaceae family consisting of about 200 members. Some of these cause diseases like TB and leprosy in humans and others infect a wide range of animals. Mycobacteria are also widely dispersed in the environment. In humans, TB most commonly affects the lungs (pulmonary TB), but it can also affect other organs (extra-pulmonary TB).
- Oslo Accords are a series of agreements between Israel and the Palestinians signed in the 1990s. Oslo I (1993) is formally known as the Declaration of Principles (DOP). Oslo II, officially called the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza, expanded on Oslo I.
- Uniting for Consensus (UfC), nicknamed the Coffee Club, is a movement that developed in the 1990s in opposition to the possible expansion of permanent seats in the United Nations Security Council. Under the leadership of Italy, it aims to counter the bids for permanent seats proposed by G4 nations (Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan) and is calling for a consensus before any decision is reached on the form and size of the Security Council.
- Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary headquartered in Peechi, Thrissur District of Kerala, India. It is situated in the catchment area of the Peechi and Vazhani Dams. It is part of the Palapilli-Nelliampathy forests and forms the northern boundary of the Chimmini Wildlife Sanctuary.
- Minervarya Pentali is the newly discovered species is endemic to the southern Western Ghats (Kerala and Tamil Nadu). This species is also among the smallest known Minervaryan frogs. Another frog Anaimalai flying frog is a critically endangered frog species. The frog is Endemic to the southern part of the Western Ghats. This species is known from at least two protected areas, Indira Gandhi National Park and Parambikulam Tiger Reserve.
- Article 233 of the Constitution provides that appointment as a district judge requires not less than seven years as an advocate, it is the Supreme Court that has upheld the interpretation to mean continuous practice.
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