Prelims inFocus-February 2020

  1. Estimated to have 1.5 million speakers (Census 2011), Bodo is listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. It is spoken in Assam, where the Bodo tribe constitutes about 5-6% of the population, and in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya, and West Bengal. Bodo is officially written in the Devanagri script, the language has a history of having been written in at least three different scripts — until in 1974, the Government recognised Devanagari as its official script. The language is believed to have had its own script in the pre-13th century era, when it was called Deodhai. However, scholars say there are contrasting claims and no concrete proof.  2020 Accord makes Bodo the associate official language throughout Assam. The new Accord also promises to establish a separate directorate for Bodo medium schools, provincialise schools and colleges in the BTAD (Bodoland Territorial Autonomous District) and establish a Cultural Complex-cum-Centre of Excellence named after the late social activist Bodofa Upendranath Brahma in Kokrajhar for protection and promotion of the language.
  2. TheSouth African oceanographic research vessel SA Agulhas has started its journey for the 11th expedition of an Indian mission to the Southern Ocean, or Antarctic Ocean from Port Louis (Mauritius). Currently, the research vessel was located at Prydz Bay, in the coastal waters of “Bharati”, India’s third station in Antarctica. The research vessel SA Agulhas is named after Agulhas warm ocean current that runs south along the east coast of southern Africa.
  3. Nameri Tiger Reserve (declared in 1999-2000) is located in the foothills of the eastern Himalayas in the Sonitpur district of the state of Assam. It is on the interstate border with Arunachal Pradesh.The Pakke Tiger Reserve of Arunachal Pradesh adjoins it on its north-eastern point. The river Jia-Bhareli (a tributary of Brahmaputra River) with its tributaries, the Nameri, Upper Dikorai and Bor Dikorai flow through the Reserve. Besided Tiger, the reserve is also home to the sambar, barking deer, wild boar and bison.
  4. Poompuhar is a Chola Dynasty port city in Tamil Nadu. There are exhaustive narrations in works of Sangam Tamil literature to infer that the city, located 30 km from the existing Poompuhar town in southern TN, was submerged due to “kadalkol” or rising sea levels.
  5. Filoviruses belong to a virus family called Filoviridae and can cause severe hemorrhagic fever in humans and nonhuman primates. So far, three genera of this virus family have been identified: Cuevavirus, Marburgvirus and Ebolavirus.
  6. Bats often carry ebola, rabies, marburg and the SARS coronavirus. Many high-profile epidemics have been traced to bats, and scientists are discovering new bat-borne viruses all the time. Ebola and Marburg viruses are known to cause severe hemorrhagic fevers, which affect many organs and damage the blood vessels, killing more than 50 percent of the people they infect, according to the World Health Organization.
  7. Paraquat is a herbicide used in agricultural fields. Paraquat consumption leads to pulmonary fibrosis and patients find difficulty in respiration. Similarly, kidney failures occur. Even if a person survives, he will not be fully fit as pulmonary fibrosis worsens with the passage of time. Paraquat does not have antidote.
  8. Anguilla is a British overseas territory in the Caribbean. It is one of the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles, lying east of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and directly north of Saint Martin.
  9. The court had in September 2018 appointed the Justice Roy Committee to examine the various problems plaguing prisons, from overcrowding to lack of legal advice to convicts to issues of remission and parole.
  10. The Sri Brahadeeswarar Temple (also spelt Brihadisvara, and called Peruvudaiyar Koyil, which translates simply to ‘Big Temple’) is the most famous of the many temples in Thanjavur. The temple, one of the world’s largest and grandest, was built between 1003 AD and 1010 AD by the great Chola emperor Raja Raja I (c. 985-1014 AD).
  11. International IP Index released by Global Innovation Policy Center or GIPC of the US Chambers of Commerce. India’s slipped to 40th position on the International Intellectual Property (IP) Index, which analyses the IP climate in 53 global economies.
  12. NASA astronaut Christina Koch returned to Earthfrom the International Space Station, where she set the record for the longest single spaceflight in history by a woman. Koch arrived along with Soyuz Commander Alexander Skvortsov of Roscosmos and Luca Parmitano of European Space Agency. Koch launched on March 14, 2019 and completed 328 days in space. The previous longest single spaceflight by any woman was 289 days by Peggy Whitson, also an American, who set that record in 2017. Among Americans across genders, just Scott Kelly (340 days) is ahead of Koch. The world record across genders is 438 days by Valery Polyakov of Russia. One particular research project Koch participated in is the Vertebral Strength investigation, which better defines the extent of spaceflight-induced bone and muscle degradation of the spine, and the associated risk for broken vertebrae. 
  13. Protected Agricultural Zone aims to safeguard this region from practices and projects that are exploitative to the farmers in that region as well as to provide a fillip to cultivation and farm-based activities. Aim is to replicate the model of Special Economic Zone (area with unique economic regulations) to boost agriculture and related practices in the region in the delta region. It means that apart from agriculture and activities related to cultivation, the region is closed for other activities, including the proposed hydrocarbon projects. One of the main concerns that the farmers have been raising is that the hydrocarbon exploration will dry the land out and leave it barren forever, thus, in turn, impacting their livelihood. Incidentally, the Kerala government introduced a similar measure — the Special Agricultural Zone (SAZ) — in 2017-2018. This designates the agricultural land exclusively for agricultural purpose. Regions such as Kuttanad, Palakkad, Wayanad, Thrissur and Kozhikode were designated as SAZ for various crops. Similarly, the Indira Gandhi Canal in Rajasthan provided irrigation facilities and transformed the barren deserts of Jaisalmer and Barmer districts into agricultural, fertile lands.
  14. “Sharang is the 130mm artillery gun ‘up-gunned’ to 155mm, 45 calibre up-gunning based on the Army’s tender,” an OFB official said. The Army had issued the Request For Proposal (RFP) in 2013 for both OFB and private industry.
  15. Loktak lake is the largest fresh water lake of Northeast India. The reclusive endangered sangai can be spotted here. Designated as Ramsar wetland of International importance. Floating Phumdis can be found here. It is a vegetation of biomass and soil.
  16. Dark fibre is the extra optical fibre laid by companies in order to avoid cost repetition when more bandwidth is needed.
  17. Integrated Air Defence Weapon System, also known as the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS), provides integrated air missile defence and is currently deployed around Washington, DC. The IADWS system includes radar, launchers, targeting, and guidance systems, advanced medium-range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM) and Stinger missiles, and related equipment and support,” the spokesperson said.
  18. Scientists have discovered a new virus in Lake Pampulha. Lake Pampulha is an artificial lagoon in the city of Belo Horizonte in Brazil. The new virus has been named Yaravirus after “Yara,” the mother of waters — an important character in the mythological stories of the Tupi-Guarani indigenous tribes. Over 90% of the Yaravirus genome has never been documented in viral research. The virus infects amoeba. It does not infect human cells.
  19. The Ministry of Culture recently set up a seven-member panel of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to locate the grave of the Mughal prince Dara Shikoh (1615-59). He is believed to be buried somewhere in the Humayun’s Tomb complex in Delhi, one of around 140 graves of the Mughal clan. The eldest son of Shah Jahan, Dara Shikoh was killed after losing the war of succession against his brother Aurangzeb. Dara Shikoh is described as a “liberal Muslim” who tried to find commonalities between Hindu and Islamic traditions. He translated into Persian the Bhagavad Gita as well as 52 Upanishads. According to the Shahjahannama, after Aurangzeb defeated Dara Shikoh, he brought the latter to Delhi in chains. His head was cut off and sent to Agra Fort, while his torso was buried in the Humayun’s Tomb complex.
  20. India has been a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child since 1992, which was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1989.  “In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration,” the Convention states.
  21. Asur, a particularly vulnerable tribal group in the hills of Jharkhand’s Latehar district. Asur language figures in the list of UNESCO Interactive Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger.
  22. Kambala, which roughly translates to “paddy-growing mud field” in the local language Tulu, is a traditional sport originating from part of Karnataka’s coast. Participants sprint through a field, which is normally either 132m or 142m, with two buffalo that are tethered together.
  23. GEO Imaging Satellite or GISAT is a planned Indian geo-imaging satellite class for providing images quickly during disasters. Two identical satellites will provide resolution in the range of 50 m to 1.5 km. It will carry multi-spectral (visible, near infra-red and thermal), multi-resolution (50 m to 1.5 km) imaging instruments. Launch of the first satellite to geostationary orbit is expected in March 2020.
  24. Sammakka Saralamma Jatara  is a festival to honour the Hindu tribal goddesses, celebrated in the state of Telangana, India. This Jatara is known for witnessing one of the largest people gatherings in the world. People offer Bangaram (jaggery). The rituals related to the Goddesses are entirely conducted by Koya tribe priests, in accordance with Koya customs and traditions.
  25. Force majeure is a situation, which refers to extraordinary events and circumstances beyond human control.
  26. Salwa Judum’ or ‘Campaign for Peace’ in Chhattisgarh was part of an official plan to create a civil vigilante structure parallel to that of the Naxalites. Authorities often involve tribal villagers to strengthen the fight against the Maoists who began their insurgency about four decades ago. The anti-Naxalite movement initially started as a government-backed people’s resistance movement against the Naxalites. The movement that was initially an uprising of local indigenous people in Chhattisgarh, was adopted by the state government to restore democratic rule to regions where the Naxalites had established themselves by force. Over the years a number of SPOs or ‘Special Police Officers’ have been trained from amongst the state’s tribal population. But according various human rights agencies, far from being a peaceful campaign, the Salwa Judum activists are armed with guns, lathis and bows and arrows in their fight against the Naxals. As the power of the Salwa Judum grew with bipartisan support in the state, reports of excesses was highlighted by the media, including people being forcibly picked up from their villages, forced migration and violence.
  27. The Foreign exchange reserves of India consists of below four categories : Foreign Currency Assets, Gold, Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), Reserve Tranche Position.
  28. Yakshaganais a traditional Indian theatre form, developed in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Uttara Kannada, Shimoga and western parts of Chikmagalur districts, in the state of Karnataka and in Kasaragod district in Kerala that combines dance, music, dialogue, costume, make-up, and stage techniques with a unique style and form. It is believed to have evolved from pre-classical music and theatre during the period of the Bhakti movement. Yakshagana is traditionally presented from dusk to dawn. Its stories are drawn from Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavata and other epics from both Hindu and Jain and other ancient Indic traditions
  29. Kawal Tiger Reserve is located at Jannaram mandal of Mancherial District in Telangana state of India. Govt of India declared Kawal wildlife sanctuary as Tiger Reserve in 2012. 
  30. The phenomenon of“red snow”or “watermelon” has been observed over the last few weeks around Ukraine’s Vernadsky Research Base, off the coast of Antarctica’s northernmost The snow is red because of a red-pigmented, microscopic algae called Chlamydomonas nivalis chlamydomonas, which thrives in freezing water as the ice melts.
  31. Phenobarbital Drug is one of the most internationally traded controlled psychotropic substances,with more than 161 countries reporting imports of the substance in 2018. It included on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicinesfor treating epilepsy (a neurological disorder). China is the lead manufacturing country of phenobarbital in 2018, followed by India and Hungary.
  32. The Pre-Export Notification (PEN) Online is developed by UNODC/International Narcotics Control Board (INCB). It is used by the Member States exporting precursor chemicalsto alert the national competent authorities in the importing countrywith the details of the export transaction It enables the easy on-line exchange of information between the Member States on shipments (export and import) of the chemicals required for the manufacture of illegal addictive drugs. The system also facilitates electronic reply to acknowledge receipt and notify the exporting country of clearance to export. An electronic copy is sent to INCB by default.
  33. Compound Annual Growth Rate is the mean annual growth rate of an investment over a specified period of time longer than one year.
  34. Kallakadal/Swell surge are flash-flood eventsthat take place without any noticeable advance change in local winds or any other apparent signature in the coastal environment. Kallakkadal is a colloquial term used by Kerala fishermen to refer to the freaky flooding episodes and in 2012 UNESCOformally accepted this term for scientific use. They are caused by meteorological conditions in the Southern Ocean, south of 30°S. During Kallakkadal events, the sea surges into the land and inundates vast areas.
  35. Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties are agreements between governments allowing for the exchange of evidence and information in criminal and related matters between the signing countries.
  36. Extradition Treaty is an agreement or arrangement made by India with a Foreign State, relating to the Extradition of fugitive criminals. Extradition treaties are traditionally bilateral in character.
  37. Catalina Sky Survey is a NASA funded projectto discover and track near-Earth objects (NEOs).It is based in Arizona in the United States of America. NEOs are asteroids or comets with sizes ranging from metres to tens of kilometres that orbit the Sun and whose orbits come close to that of Earth’s.
  38. 1000 Springs Initiative aims at improving access to safe and adequate water for the tribal communitiesliving in difficult and inaccessible parts of rural areas in the country. The initiative will help in harnessing the potential of perennial springs’ waterto address natural scarcity of water in tribal areas.
  39. Cyanobacteria, also called blue-green algae, are microscopic organisms found naturally in all types of water. These single-celled organismslive in fresh, brackish (combined salt and freshwater), and marine water. These organisms use sunlight to make their own food. In warm, nutrient-rich(high in phosphorus and nitrogen) environments, cyanobacteria can multiply quickly.
  40. Hindustani Music is one of the two distinct schools of Indian Classical Music practiced mainly in North India. The other school of Indian Classical Music is Carnatic musicwhich is practiced mainly in Southern India.
  41. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has launched‘Higher Education Leadership Development Programme for Administrators’ in New Delhi. The programme is a joint initiative of University Grants Commission (UGC) and the British Council under the auspices of UK India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI). To train the senior and middle level academic administrators to enable them to bring about systemic changes with renewed approaches, capacity, tools and skill in Universities in India. The programme is a step towards institutional development in line with Governments’ commitment to improve the quality of education being imparted in Universities.
  42. Coliforms are bacteria that are always present in the digestive tracts of animals, including humans, and are found in their wastes. They are also found in plant and soil material.
  43. The Mukundra Tiger Reserve (TR) is located near Kota, Rajasthan. It is located on the eastern bank of the Chambal Riverand is drained by its tributaries.
  44. Singur Dam is located in Medak district of Telangana.
  45. Olive Ridley Turtles are the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtlesfound in the world, inhabiting warm waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans. These turtles, along with the Kemps ridley turtle, are best known for their unique mass nesting called Arribada(mass-nesting event when thousands of turtles come ashore at the same time to lay eggs on the same).
  46. Kaamya Karthikeyan, a twelve year old Indian student, has become the youngest girl in the world to summit  Aconcagua,the highest peak in South America. At 6962 metres, Mt. Aconcagua is the highest peak outside Asia.It lies in the Southern Andes (the world’s longest mountain range that is located along the entire western coast of South America). Aconcagua is of volcanic origin, but it is not itself an active volcano.
  47. The Vittala Temple is among the most-visited and the most photographedprotected monuments at Hampi. Hampi is the 14th century capital of the Vijayanagar Empire,located in the Tungabhadra basin in Bellary District, Central Karnataka. Vittal Temple Complex is the finest example of Vijaynagar Temple Architecture. Temples of Hampi are noted for their large dimensions, florid ornamentation, bold and delicate carvings and stately pillars which include subjects from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The Mahanavami Dibba, a variety of ponds and tanks, and the row of pillared Mandapas are some of the important architectural remains of Hampi. In 1986, Hampi was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
  48. Mahadayi or Mhadei, the west-flowing river, originates in Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary (Western Ghats), Belagavi district of Karnataka. It is essentially a rain-fed river also called Mandovi in Goa. The Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunalwas set up in 2010. Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtraare parties to the tribunal.
  49. Pakke Tiger Reserve (declared in 1999 – 2000) lies in the foothills of the eastern Himalaya in the East Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh. It is also known as Pakhui Tiger Reserve. It is known for its amazing sightings of four resident hornbill species. It falls within the Eastern Himalaya Biodiversity Hotspot.
  50. Van Vihar National Park is located in Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh). It is situated next to the famousUpper Lake of Bhopalalso known as the “Bada Talab” which is a Ramsar Site and one of the two lakes of Bhoj Wetland. It has the unique distinction of being a combination of National Park, a Zoo, Rescue Centre for wild animals and Conservation Breeding Centre for selected vital species.
  51. Saudi Arabiais the first Arab nation to hold the G20 presidency. The 2020 G20 Presidency will focus discussions, forums, working groups and Ministerial Meetings under the theme of “Realizing Opportunities of the 21stCentury for All”.
  52. Sonbhadra is thesecond largest district (area-wise) of Uttar Pradeshafter Lakhimpur Kheri. It is the only district in the country which shares borders with four states. Madhya Pradesh to the west, Chhattisgarh to the south, Jharkhand to the south-east and Bihar to the east. Kaimoor Wildlife Sanctuary lies mostly within Sonbhadra, reaching generally east and west along the Kaimur Range, and extending to the Son river at its eastern end. Sonbhadra is known for its several Cave painting sites found in the Vindhya region.
  53. On International Mother Language Day (February 21), Kiliki, a fictional languagewas launched by the Karky Research Foundation of India. It now has evolved into a language with script grammar and more than 3000 words for everyday communication. It is considered as the world’s easiest language. This language is not associated with any race, community or caste.
  54. India ranked 35thin the Worldwide Educating for the Future Index (WEFFI) 2019,as per a report published by The Economist Intelligence Unit. This year, India scored 53 and has jumped five ranks from the 40th rank with an overall score of 41.2 across categories in 2018. Finland topped the index followed by Sweden.
  55. Tirur vettila has obtained a Geographical Indication (GI) tag. Tirur Vettila is a type of betel leaf which is grown inTirur and nearby areas of Malappuram district of Kerala. Tirur Vettila is unique for its significantly high content of total chlorophyll and proteinin fresh leaves. Tirur vettila possesses some special biochemical characters like unique flavour and aroma. Eugenol is the major essential oil in Tirur betel leaf contributing to its pungency. The Intellectual property rights (IPR) Cell of Kerala Agricultural University has received National IP Award, 2019 of Government of India its efforts in the facilitation of GI Registration.
  56. Subarnarekha (Line of gold) river flows through the states of Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha
  57. The United Arab Emirates (UAE)has issued an operating licencefor the Arab world’s first nuclear power plant, paving the way for it to start production in 2020.
  58. Paparva Island islocated between Kandla port and Navlakha port,in the Gulf of Kutch (Gujarat). The island is uninhabited but local fishermen go there to dry their fish.
  59. The Law Commission of India is a non-statutory body constituted by the Government of India from time to time. The Law Commission of India is a non-statutory body constituted by the Government of India from time to time. The first Law Commission of independent India was established in 1955 for a three-year term. Since then, twenty one more Commissions have been established. The first Law Commission was established during the British Raj era in 1834 by the Charter Act of 1833 and was chaired by Lord Macaulay. It works as an advisory body to the Ministry of Law and Justice.
  60. Entry 20-A in List III (Concurrent List) of the 7th Schedule deals with population control and family planning. This provision was added through the 42nd Constitutional Amendment 1976. The National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution,headed by N. Venkatachaliah had also recommended in 2002, that Article 47A to be inserted into the Constitution to control population explosion.
  61. Recently, UNESCO’s network of creative cities as included Hyderabad as a creative city of gastronomy.
  62. Madhav National Park is situated in Shivpuri District, Madhya Pradesh. It is a part of the upper Vindhyan hills. The Park is currently facing displacement and rehabilitation issues as it is home to Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG)slike 
  63. The Constitution does not define the criteria for recognition of Scheduled Tribes and hence the definition contained in 1931 Census was used in initial years after independence. However, Article 366(25) of the Constitution only provides process to define Scheduled Tribes: “Scheduled Tribes means such tribes or tribal communities or parts of or groups within such tribes or tribal communities as are deemed under Article 342 to be Scheduled Tribes for the purposes of this Constitution.” There are over 700 tribes which have been notified. The largest number of tribal communities (62) are found in Odisha. No Tribe was identified in Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh, Delhi, and Pondicherry.
  64. The GI tag for goods correspond to a specific geographical location or origin (e.g., a town, region, or country). As of August 2019, 178 GI handicraft products were registered from all over India. These include Madhubani Painting (Bihar), Kondapalli Bommallu (Andhra Pradesh) etc.
  65. A new species of lizard, the urban bent-toed gecko (Cyrtodactylus urbanus)was discovered in Guwahati, Assam. The bent-toed gecko was earlier thought to be the same as the Khasi Hills lizard.
  66. The creation of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration Cultural Property (ICCROM) took place as a result of a proposal at the UNESCO General Conference held in New Delhi, in 1956. In 1959, the Centre was established in Rome, Italy. India is a member (1961). It is an intergovernmental organization which works with its members to promote the conservation of all forms of cultural heritage, in every region of the world. It operates in the spirit of the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (2001).
  67. E-MASIHA (E-Medical Assistance System for Indian Pilgrims Abroad) is an online system to create and maintain the complete health database of Indian pilgrims. It also provides doctors’ prescriptions, medical treatment as well as medicine disbursals, and has been developed to deal with any emergency in Makkah-Madinah.
  68. The Korku mostly resides in the Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and adjoining Melghat region of Maharashtra. The Korku are primarily cultivators. They are also excellent agriculturalists and have pioneered the cultivation of potato and coffee. They live in small groups of huts made of grass and wood. Korku is one of the 196 languagestermed endangered by UNESCO. A few groups have been more successful in preserving their language, especially the Potharia Korku (from the Vindhya mountains).
  69. The Central Administrative Tribunal had been established under Article 323 – A of the Constitutionfor adjudication of disputes and complaints with respect to recruitment and conditions of service of persons appointed to public services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Unionor other authorities under the control of the Government. It exercises jurisdiction only in relation to the service matters of the parties covered by the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985. The Tribunal is guided by the principles of natural justice in deciding cases and is not bound by the procedure, prescribed by the Civil Procedure Code. Under Section 17 of the Administrative Tribunal Act, 1985, the Tribunal has been conferred with the power to exercise the same jurisdiction and authority in respect of contempt of itself as a High Court. The orders of Central Administrative Tribunal are challenged by way of Writ Petition under Article 226/227 of the Constitution before respective High Court in whose territorial jurisdiction the Bench of the Tribunal is situated.
  70. Mukurthi National Park (MNP) is located in the northwest corner of Tamil Nadu in the Western Ghats. It is a part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve(UNESCO World Heritage Site) along with Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Bandipur National Park, Nagarhole National Park, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary and Silent Valley. The park was created to protect its keystone species, the Nilgiri Tahr.
  71. The International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) was established in 1991. It is a global network of more than 90 countries and organisations under the United Nations INSARAG deals withUrban Search and Rescue (USAR) related issues, aiming to establish minimum international standards for international coordination in earthquake response based on its Guidelines.
  72. The Right to protest peacefully is enshrined in the Indian Constitution—Article 19(1)(a)guarantees the freedom of speech and expression; Article 19(1)(b)assures citizens the right to assemble peaceably and without arms. Article 19(2) imposes reasonable restrictions on the right to assemble peaceably and without arms. However, resorting to violence during the protest is a violation of a key fundamental duty of citizens. Enumerated in Article 51A, the Constitution makes it a fundamental duty of every citizen “to safeguard public property and to abjure violence”.
  73. Countervailing duty (CVD) is an import tax imposed on certain goods in order to prevent dumping or counter export subsidies.
  74. ‘Apiary on Wheels’ is a unique concept designed by theKhadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC)for the easy upkeep and migration of Bee Boxes having live Bee colonies.
  75. Thwaites Glacier is 120 km wide, fast-moving glacier located in Antarctica. Recently, a new study has detected the presence of warm water at a vital point beneath the Thwaites glacieras the cause of its melting.
  76. Anguilla, an island in the Caribbean Sea, is a financial beneficiary oftwo latest trends in technology: Artificial intelligence(AI) and vanity URL (Uniform Resource Locator) or internet addresses. It is an island in the eastern Caribbean Sea and a British overseas territory. The Caribbean Sea is a body of water adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean, southeast of the Gulf of Mexico.
  77. The fifth edition of India-UK joint military exercise ‘Ajeya Warrior’will be conducted at Salisbury Plains, United Kingdom from 13th-26thFebruary, 2020.
  78. The Chindu Yakshaganam is an age-old art form popular in The art form dates back tosecond century BC. It is similar to Yakshaganam, a traditional theatre form particular to Karnataka. It is a theatre art form that combines dance, music, dialogue, costume, make-up, and stage techniques with a unique style and form.
  79. Guru Ravidas was a 14thcentury saint and reformer of the Bhakti movementin North India. He gained prominence due to his belief in one God and his unbiased religious poems. His devotional songs made an instant impact on the Bhakti Movement and around 41 of his poems were included in ‘Guru Granth Sahib’, the religious text of the Sikhs.
  80. Ethiopia is building one of the largest dams in the world, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), on the river Nilenear the Sudan border. It is Africa’s biggest dam projectand will have lasting impacts on its longest river- Nile.
  81. Recently, rejuvenation camp for captive elephants was inaugurated inside the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR). Mudumalai Tiger Reserve is located in the Nilgiris District of Tamil Nadu state at the tri-junctionof three states, viz, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It is a part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (1stBiosphere Reserve in India) along with Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (Kerala) in the West, Bandipur National Park (Karnataka) in the North, Mukurthi National Park and Silent Valley in the South.
  82. Apart from Article 326 of the Constitution ( that guarantees the right to vote to every citizen above the age of 18 years, unless disqualified by any law), Section 62of the RPA,1951 also ensures that every person who is in the electoral roll of that constituency is entitled to vote. One person can vote at one constituency only and only for one time in a particular election.
  83. The Chenchus are Scheduled Tribe in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Odisha. Many Chenchus live in the dense Nallamala forest of Andhra Pradesh. The Chenchus speak the Chenchu language, a member of the Dravidian language
  84. The Union Cabinet has given its ‘in-principle’ approval for setting up a major port at Vadhavannear Dahanu in  With the development of Vadhavan port, India will break into the countries with top 10 container ports in the world.A container port is a port which specializes in handling goods transported in containers.
  85. The walled city of Jaipur, famous for its grid plan-based architecture and buildings constructed with the pink facade,was declared a world heritage siteby UNESCO in July 2019.
  86. Dihing or Burhi Dihing is a large tributary of the BrahmaputraRiver in Upper Assam.  The river originates in the Eastern Himalayas (the Patkai Hills) in Arunachal Pradesh and flows through Tinsukia and Dibrugarh Districts in Assam to its confluence with the Brahmaputra at Dihingmukh. It creates a number of oxbow lakes in the area. Ujh is a tributary of the Ravi river.
  87. Mukti Caravan is being run in the state of Rajasthan. Mukti (liberation) Caravan is a campaign toraise awareness about evils like child trafficking, child labour and child sexual abuse. Mukti Caravan was launched by Nobel peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi in 1997.
  88. Blue Dot Network was launched in 2019 on the side-lines of the 35th ASEAN Summit by the US, Australia and Japan.
  89. Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services is an independent intergovernmentalbody established to strengthen the science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem servicesfor the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, long-term human well-being and sustainable development. It was established in Panama City (US), in April  It is not a United Nations body.
  90. Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary lies in the Western Ghatsof Karnataka. It is named after the Someshwara temple located within the sanctuary. The sanctuary is mostly made up of evergreen forests, semi-evergreenand moist deciduous It is situated very close to the Kudremukh National Park. Sitanadi river flows through the sanctuary. Some Endangered species are found viz; Lion Tailed Macaque, Tiger, Dhole (wild dog).
  91. Entry 65 of State List in 7th schedule empowers states with “jurisdiction and powers of all courts, except theSupreme Court, with respect to any of the matters in this list”. “Administration of justice; constitution andOrganisation of all courts, except the Supreme Court and the High Courts” falls under Concurrent list. The State Government, in consultation with the High Court, notifies the boundaries of the area under the jurisdiction of a Gram Nyayalaya. It can also alter such limits at any time. The State Government shall appoint a presiding officer called Nyayadhikari for every Gram Nyayalaya in consultation with the High Court, who will be a person eligible to be appointed as a Judicial Magistrate of the First Class. Gram Nyayalaya shall exercise both civil and criminal jurisdiction.
  92. Yongle Blue Hole is the deepest known marine cavern. Located in the Xisha Islands of the South China Sea (SCS). Its waters are mostly isolated from the surrounding ocean and receive little fresh water from rainfall, making it a rare spot to study the chemistry of oxygen-deprived marine ecosystems.
  93. Addu atoll is also known as Seenu Atoll, and is the southernmost atoll of the Maldives. An atoll is a ring-shaped coral reef that surrounds a body of water called a lagoon.
  94. The United Kingdom has officially left the European Union (EU) after 47 years of membership. On 31st January UK became the first state to leave the EU and an 11-month transition period has kicked in.
  95. P-notes are offshore derivative instruments of underlying Indian assets. These are issued by registered Foreign Portfolio investors (FPIs) to overseas investors or hedge funds who wish to be part of the Indian stock market without registering themselves with SEBI directly. E.g. Citigroup and Deutsche Bank.
  96. Recently International Intellectual Property Index 2020 was released by US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Centre (GIPC). India’s ranked 40th among 53 countries, while in 2019 India was ranked at 36th position out of 50 countries. The US, the UK, Sweden, France and Germany remained the top five economies on the index.
  97. Brihadeshwara Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, is located in Thanjavur, Tamil
    Nadu at the South bank of Kaveri river. The temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the ‘Great Living Chola Temples’ with other two being the ‘Temple at Gangaikondacholapuram’ and ‘Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram’.
  98. The 9th Schedule of the Constitution contains a list of central and state laws which cannot be challenged in courts. Any act which is added under the 9th schedule gets resistant from any encroachment from judiciary even if it infringes the fundamental rights of an individual. It was added with the First amendment in 1951.
  99. Seeking to enhance the firepower of Army and Air Force, India has started developing a 200-km strike range tactical ballistic missile ‘Pranash’. “The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has started working on the development of the 200-km strike range Pranash ballistic missile which would be armed with conventional warheads. The missile is an advanced version of the 150-km strike range Prahar missile which was being developed for tactical missions. The surface-to-surface ballistic missile will be of use for the Air Force and Army. The trials of the missile would be conducted in next couple of years and the single-stage solid-propellant missile would also be readied for exports to friendly foreign countries as its strike range is within the permissible limits of international regimes on missile sales. It will be a non-nuclear missile and will be propelled by a single-stage solid propellant engine.
  100. The local Bugun tribe supported the formation of community reserve to conserve the critically
    endangered bird called Bugun liocichla.
  101. Danakil Depression in northeastern Ethiopia (Afar Region) is one of the hottest, driest and lowest places on Earth at 100 metres below sea level. The Depression overlaps the borders of Eritrea, Djibouti and the entire Afar Region of Ethiopia. It is part of the great East African Rift Valley.
  102. Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) is a global partnership between public, private, philanthropic and civil society organisations launched at World a Economic forum (WEF), Davos in 2017. Its aim is to accelerate the development of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases and enable equitable access to these vaccines for people during outbreaks. It is headquartered in Oslo, Norway. It is being funded by the Wellcome Trust, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, World Economic Forum (WEF), Governments of Norway, Japan, India (Department of Biotechnology) and Germany.
  103. In the Gregorian calendar, a century year (a year ending with 00) is not a leap year, even though it is a multiple of 4. Thus, the year 2100 will not be a leap year. To ensure that, some century years remain leap years. In the Gregorian calendar, leap years include those
    century years which are exactly divisible by 400. Thus, 2000 remained a leap year even though it ended with 00.
  104. India will be moving to include the Asian Elephant and the Great Indian Bustard in global conservation list- the list of species that merit heightened conservation measures.
  105. The concept of the curative petition is supported by Article 137 of the Indian Constitution. It provides that in the matter of laws and rules made under Article 145, the Supreme Court has the power to review any judgement pronounced (or order made) by it. Such a petition needs to be filed within 30 days from the date of judgement or order.
  106. Chief Vigilance Commissioner are appointed by the President of India on the recommendations of a committee consisting of Prime Minister, Union Home Minister and Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha (if there is no LoP then the leader of the single largest Opposition party in the Lok Sabha). The Central Vigilance Commissioner or any Vigilance Commissioner can be removed from his office only by order of the President on the ground of proved misbehavior or incapacity after the Supreme Court, on a reference made to it by the President, has, on inquiry, reported that the Central Vigilance Commissioner or any
    Vigilance Commissioner, as the case may be, ought to be removed.
  107. Idlib is a city in northwestern Syria, 59 kilometers southwest of Aleppo, which is the capital of the Idlib Governorate.
  108. The Physiological pigmentation is a serious defence device by which skin is protected against harmful UV radiation. Inefficient pigmentation predisposes to skin cancers, which are one of the leading causes of cancer-associated deaths worldwide. Further, these disorders (both hypo and hyper pigmentary) are considered a social stigma and therefore they communicate long-term psychological trauma and tremendously hamper mental well-being of patients.
  109. The CRR is used by RBI to wipe out excessive money from the system. Cash reserve ratio is also referred to as the amount of funds which the banks have to keep with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). If a central bank increases CRR then the available amount with the banks decreases or comes down.
  110. Yellow Rust was recently detected in wheat crops in parts of Punjab and Haryana. It is a disease that appears as yellow stripes of powder or dust on leaves and leaf sheaths of the wheat crop.
  111. Hog Cholera or Classical swine fever (CSF) is a contagious viral disease of domestic and wild swine. It happens due to the viruses that bring viral diarrhea in pigs and ailments in sheep. The disease does not harm humans but all-important precautions are advised to follow. Classical Swine Fever (CSF) is one of the biggest pigs’ diseases in India.