Prelims inFocus-June 2020

  1. Tamar valley is located in the south of England and is a rich archaeological landscape with many sites belonging to the Iron Age and Roman era.

  2. Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) are comets and asteroids nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits and are composed mostly of water ice with embedded dust particles.

  3. UNFCCC’s Climate Ambition Alliancehas launched a global campaign called “Race to Zero” that encourages countries, companies, and other entities to deliver structured net-zero greenhouse-gas emission pledges.

  4. Exotic animals are those species that are found in a particular country and mentioned under the Appendices of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

  5. Dolphins are known to use a technique called shellingto capture prey.

  6. India Cycles4change Challengeis an initiative of Smart Cities Mission to support Indian cities to quickly implement cycling-friendly initiatives in response to COVID-19.

  7. At present six communitiesnamely Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Zoroastrians (Parsis) and Jains have been notified as Minority Communities.

  8. Temples like Srirangam and the Varadaraja temple in Kanchi are governed by the Pancharatra agama. Ratra denotes ajnana, and pancha denotes that which destroys ajnana. Lord Narayana has five forms — Para, vyuha, vibhava, antaryami and archa — and hence the name Pancharatra. Ratra also means jnana (knowledge). Jnana is of five types, and this is called artha panchakam. Ahirbuddhnya Samhita says the qualities of the five forms of Vishnu are described in the Pancharatra agamas, and that is why they are so called. The Divya Prabandham abounds in pasurams, where Vishnu is referred to as koothan (dancer). The Pancharatra Agamas make it clear that dance is an important part of worship in Vishnu temples.

  9. The lands around the Persian Gulf are shared by eight countries namely, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

  10. Twin Pillar approach is a U.S. policy to promote Iran and Saudi Arabia as local guardians of U.S. interests in the Persian Gulf region.

  11. The Gaia hypothesis is an ecological hypothesisproposing that the biosphere and the physical components of the Earth are closely integrated. They thus form a complex system that maintains the climatic and biogeochemical conditions on Earth.

  12. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a political and economic alliance of six countries in the Arabian Peninsula: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

  13. Iran also neighbours Turkey and some countries of Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea region.

  14. Every year, the Statistics Day is celebrated on 29thJune, the birth anniversary of Prof. Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis,to recognise his invaluable contribution in establishing the National Statistical System.

  15. Petrapole is the Indian side of Petrapole-Benapole border

    checkpoint between India and Benapole of Bangladesh, on

    the Bangladesh-India border, near Bongaon in North 24

    Parganas district of West Bengal. Petrapole border is the only land port in south Bengal. It

    is also the largest land customs station in Asia.

  16. The Uttrakhand opened its biggest biodiversity park in Haldwani on the World Environment Day (5thJune).

  17. Global Economic Prospects is the World Bank’s semi-annual flagship publication on the state of the world economy. It is issued twice a year, in January and June. The January edition includes in-depth analyses of topical

    policy challenges while the June edition contains shorter analytical pieces.

  18. Forex reserves are external assets in the form gold, SDRs (special drawing rights of the IMF) and foreign currency assets (capital inflows to the capital markets, FDI and external commercial borrowings) accumulated by India and controlled by the Reserve Bank of India.

  19. Article 262 of the Constitution provides for the adjudication of inter-state water disputes.

  20. Soil Moisture Active Passive is NASA mission orbits Earth collecting information about moisture in the soil.

  21. Dark fibre is an unused optical fibre that has been laid but is not currently being used in fibre-optic communications. Since fibre-optic cable transmits information in the form of light pulses, a ‘dark’ cable refers to one through which light pulses are not being transmitted. Companies lay extra optical fibres in order to avoid cost repetition when more bandwidth is needed. It is also known as unlit fibre.

  22. Babesia is a tiny parasite that infects red blood cells.

  23. Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) a Contagious and serious disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of puppies and dogs

  24. Challenger Deep deepest known point in the Earth’s oceans located in the Western Pacific Ocean at the southern end of the Mariana Trench near the Mariana Islands group

  25. Lonar Lake is famous as the world’s Largest Basaltic Impact Crater and a notified National Geo-heritage Monument.

  26. Sajibu Cheiraoba is celebrated by Meiteis (an ethnic group in Manipur) which is observed on the first day of Manipur lunar month Shajibu, which falls in the month of April every year.

  27. The Coral Triangle is a vast ocean expanse that geographically spreads across 6 countries in Asia and the Pacific: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Timor Leste (the “CT6” countries).

  28. Darbuk-Shyokh-Daulat Beg Oldie is Northernmost corner of Indian territory in Ladakh.

  29. Athirappilly hydroelectric project is situated in the state of Kerala. Kadar tribes, a designated Scheduled Tribe residing in the hilly areas of Thrissur and Palakkad districts of Kerala.

  30. GST Council is a constitutional body under Article 279A. It makes recommendations to the Union and State Government on issues related to Goods and Service Tax and was introduced by the Constitution (One Hundred and First Amendment) Act, 2016.

  31. IFLOWS-Mumbai is a monitoring and flood warning system.

  32. Endemic speciesare those plants and animals that exist only in one geographical region.

  33. Malabar Gliding Frogis a rare amphibian spotted in Kerala (Western Ghats) placed in the Least Concern category of IUCN.

  34. The United Kingdom (U.K.) announced a Jet Zero’ planto bring down its aviation emissions.

  35. Albinism is a rare disease which is characterized by a lack of melanin pigment in skin, hair and eyes.

  36. Yakshagana a traditional theatre form of Karnataka and Kerala. Yakshagana is performed with percussion instruments like chenda, maddalam, jagatta or chengila (cymbals) and chakratala or elathalam (small cymbals).

  37. Talamaddale’, a variant of Yakshagana theatre an ancient form of dance practiced in Southern India in the coastal Malnad regions of Karnataka and Kerala

  38. The Vienna programme of action was adopted by the international community in recognition of the complex challenges facing landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and their special development needs.

  39. India is home to two species of pangolin. Protection-Schedule I Part I of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) IUCN Conservation Status: Indian pangolin – Endangered and Chinese pangolin – Critically Endangered

  40. A Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) is a greenhouse gas concentration (not emissions) trajectory adopted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It is defined as a radiative force in watt per square metre due to the rising greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the atmosphere.

  41. Malathion is a pesticide that is widely used in agriculture, residential landscaping, public recreation areas, and in public

    health pest control programs such as mosquito eradication.

  42. Dexamethasone is an anti-inflammatory drug, commonly used to treat conditions in which the body’s immune system does not function properly, and causes inflammation and tissue damage.

  43. Hilsa, known as “maacher rani” is listed as Least Concerned under IUCN Red List. The national fish of Bangladesh and state symbol in the Indian states of West Bengal and Tripura.

  44. Recently, a new species of fish has been discovered in Arunachal Pradesh. This new species of fish has named as Schizothorax sikusirumensis, after the rivers – Siku and Sirum in East Siang district at the junction, from where it was found. The fish inhabits the water logged area of torrential river drainage.

  45. Article 226, empowers the high courts to issue, to any person or authority, including the government, orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto, certiorari or any of them.

  46. India was elected as non-permanent member of the powerful UN Security Council for a two-year term.

  47. World Investment Report is a publication of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

  48. Galwan River Valley runs westwards from its origin in Karakoram range through Aksai Chin and east Ladakh to join the Shoyk river which is a significant tributary of Indus.

  49. Micius is the world’s first quantum communications satellite, launched by China in 2016.

  50. Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (EAG) is an associate member of the FATF.

  51. The International Day of Yoga (IDY) is observed on 21st The themefor the year 2020 is ‘Yoga for Health – Yoga at Home’.

  52. Article 213 empowers the Governor to promulgate Ordinance, during recess of legislature

  53. A team of conservationists has begun the process of laying vast tarpaulin sheets to cover over 100,000 sq metres of the Presena glacier in Northern Italy to prevent it from melting due to global warming. The coverings are “geotextile tarpaulins that reflect sunlight, maintaining a temperature lower than the external one, and thus preserving as much snow as possible Situated between the regions of Trentino and Lombardy in Northern Italy, the glacier is part of the Presanella mountain (Alps) group.

  54. International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), ismulti-modal transportationestablished in 2000 in St. Petersburg, by Iran, Russia and India for the purpose of promoting transportation cooperation among the Member States. This corridor connects India Ocean and the Persian Gulf to the Caspian Sea via the Islamic Republic of Iran and then is connected to St. Petersburg and North Europe via the Russian Federation.

  55. Minks are small semi-aquatic mammals raised for their fur. The article suggested that the infection was a result of virus spillover from humans. It is a zoonosis in reverse — called ‘reverse zoonosis’. Zoonosis is an infectious disease caused by a pathogen that has jumped from an animal to a human. When the pathogen is transmitted from human to animals, it is known as reverse zoonosis.

  56. Chakrashila WLS in Assam is India’s first wildlife sanctuary with golden langur as the primary species.

  57. Any limestone or dolomitic region showing typical landforms produced by the action of groundwater through the processes of solution and deposition is called Karst topography. The karst topography is also characterised by erosional and depositional landforms. Karst landscapes feature caves, underground streams and sinkholes on the surface. Where erosion has worn away the land above ground, steep rocky cliffs are visible.

  58. Recently, a local council in southern Japan has approved a bill to change the name of an area containing Senkaku Islands from Tonoshiro to Tonoshiro Senkaku. Senkaku Islands are known as the Diaoyus by China and Tiaoyutai by Taiwan. The islands are disputed with China and Taiwan. The Senkaku Islands dispute, or Diaoyu Islands dispute, concerns a territorial dispute over a group of uninhabited islands known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan, the Diaoyu Islands in China and Tiaoyutai Islands in Taiwan.

  59. Goliath Frog is the largest frog in the world. They are found only in the tropical rainforest of central Africa, within the south western part of Cameroon and north of Equatorial Guinea. Scientists believe the goliath frog has been around for over 250 million years. This species has a limited geographic distribution, narrow ecological requirements and is largely hunted by the local communities in Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea for consumption and pet trade. Goliath frogs are exported to the US for participation in frog jumping contests. classified as an ‘endangered species’ by IUCN. Biologically, Mount Nlonako has been termed as a veritable hotspot of African amphibian diversity.

  60. Mount Merapi, an active volcano in Indonesia, erupted twice, sending clouds of ash 6 kilometers (4 miles) into the sky. Mount Tambora of Indonesia, which erupted in 1815 and became the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history. Indonesia is located on the Ring of Fire, a vast area around the Pacific Ocean where many tectonic plates meet. It consists of over 17,000 islands and islets — and nearly 130 active volcanoes.

  61. The Ring of Fire (also known as the Rim of Fire or the Circum-Pacific belt) is a major area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean where many earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. The Ring of Fire is home to 75% of the world’s volcanoes and 90% of its earthquakes. Home to the deepest ocean trench, called the Mariana Trench.

  62. Grimsvotn is Iceland’s most active volcano.

  63. The chambal riverin the northern slopes of the Vindhya mountains in the state of Madhya Pradesh is known as the primary habitat of gharials. Estuarine or Saltwater Crocodile is found in Odisha’s Bhitarkanika National Park, the Sundarbans in West Bengal and the Andamans and Nicobar Islands.

  64. Verkhoyansk, a town in Siberia, has recorded the highest temperature in the Arctic circle in the last 140 years at 38 degrees Celsius.

  65. The World Day Against Child Labour has been observed on June 12th

  66. Melghat tiger reserve (MTR) is situated in the Satpura hill ranges, the MTR is a part of Amravati district bordering Madhya Pradesh. Comprises five protected areas, Gugamal National Park, Melghat Sanctuary, Narnala, Amba Barwa and Wan wildlife sanctuary. While Melghat sanctuary has hilly areas, other ones like Narnala, Ambabarwa and Wan have plains. The existing metre-gauge passes through Wan sanctuary. The Tapti River and Gawilgarh ridge of the satpura range form the boundaries of the reserve.

  67. Global Education Monitoring Report, 2020 was released by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

  68. AarogyaPath is a Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) National Healthcare Supply Chain Portal. It is an information platform to provide real-time availability of critical healthcare supplies for manufacturers, suppliers and customers.

  69. The Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System is a United States program developed to provide missile defence against short to intermediate-range ballistic missiles. The government had originally guaranteed that interceptor missile gear would not land in residential areas near where the system was based. However, the government could not confirm that residential areas would not be affected by missile interceptors.

  70. Order of the Nine Angles (O9A) is considered to be a satanic, anarchist group founded in the UK in the 1970s that now operates around the world, including in the US. The group describes itself as “a diverse, and world-wide, collective of diverse groups, tribes, and individuals, who share and who pursue similar sinister, subversive, interests, aims and life-styles, and who cooperate when necessary for their mutual benefit and in pursuit of their shared aims and objectives…”

  71. Madhya Pradesh (MP) this year surpassed Punjab to become the number one contributor of wheat.

  72. Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro and the world’s second deepest lake, Lake Tanganyika are located in Tanzania. Zanzibar an island in the Indian Ocean, is located off the coast of east-central Africa. In 1964 Zanzibar, Pemba Island and some other smaller islands joined to form the United Republic of Tanzania. Dar es Salaam is the largest city and economic capital of Tanzania.

  73. Recently, the warships of Indian and Japanese held a small exercise towards the Malacca strait in the Indian Ocean Region. Since 2015, Japan has become a regular participant in the annual “Malabar” naval exercise with India and US. The “Malabar” exercise is slated to be held later this year in the Bay of Bengal. Besides, India and Japan have also increased their bilateral military ties with an annual joint land military exercise, “Dharma Guardian”

  74. Researchers from GNS Science in New Zealand have announced that they mapped the shape and size of the Zealandia continent in unprecedented detail. Scientists confirmed the existence of an eighth continent, called Zealandia, under New Zealand and the surrounding ocean in 2017. Zealandia ‘s area is nearly 2 million square miles (5 million square kilometers) — about half the size of Australia. Only 6% of the continent is above sea level. That part underpins New Zealand’s north and south islands and the island of New Caledonia.

  75. Australia’s Pacific Step Up and India’s Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) reaffirm their cooperation in the South Pacific region.

  76. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs will be the nodal Ministry for implementation and monitoring of the scheme. The Minimum Support Price would be determined by the Ministry with technical help of TRIFED. TRIFED will act as the Central Nodal Agency for implementation and monitoring of the scheme through State level implementing agencies. The MSP for MFPs is revised once in every 3 years by the Pricing Cell constituted under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India.

  77. Indian-American soil scientist –  Rattan Lal –has been declared the winner of the World Food Prize 2020.

  78. India is a member of the International Accreditation Forum.

  79. Article 46 of the Constitution makes promoting the economic interests of Tribes a bounden duty of the State.

  80. A declared foreigner, or DF, is a person marked by any of the 100 Foreigners’ Tribunals (FTs) in Assam for allegedly failing to prove their citizenship after the State police’s Border wing marks him or her as an illegal immigrant.

  81. United Nations Convention against Torture is an international human rights treaty, under the review of the United Nations, that came into force on 26 June 1987. It aims to prevent torture and other acts of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment around the world. 26 June is now recognized as the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, in honour of the Convention. It defines torture as a criminal offence. India had signed UNCAT in 1997 but has not ratified it yet. India is among the few countries that have not ratified the CAT which has been ratified by 170 countries including Pakistan and China.

  82. Kushinagar is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site, where

    Gautam Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana.

  83. Researchers have rediscovered a plant that was last seen 136 years ago. The Globe andersoni is commonly known as Dancing Ladies or Swan Flower. The researchers from Pune and Kozhikode discovered the plant in the Sevoke Hill Forest in July 2011. The area is located in northern West Bengal. This was revealed in their paper that was recently published in international journal Botany Letters. The plant usually grows on rocky slopes of evergreen forests.

  84. Nagaland Governorhas told the chief minister that he “could no longer abstain from constitutional obligations in the state under Article 371A (1) (b) of the Constitution”. It applies exclusively to Nagaland and bestows upon the governor “special responsibility with respect to law and order”. According to the provision, the governor, for all practical purposes, has the final say on all matters related to the state’s law and order and on what constitutes law and order.

  85. Juneteenth is the portmanteau of June and nineteenth and while it is not a federal holiday, it is recognised as

    a state holiday in over 45 US states. The day is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the US and is observed on June 19. It is also known as Emancipation Day or Juneteenth Independence Day.

  86. Democratic Republic of Congo has declared a new Ebola epidemic in the western city of Mbandaka. Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans. The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population

    through human-to-human transmission.

  87. Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) is the usage and licensing fee that telecom operators are charged by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). It is divided into spectrum usage charges and licensing fees, pegged between 3-5 percent and 8 percent respectively.

  88. Antigens are foreign substances that induce an immune response in the body. It is a test on swabbed nasal samples that detects antigens that are found on or within the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It is a point-of-care test, performed outside the conventional laboratory setting, and is used to quickly obtain a

    diagnostic result.

  89. Section 69A of Information Technology Act, 2000 provides for blocking of websites and Uniform Resource Locators (URL’s) in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence relating to the above. This is the primary law that deals with cyber-crime and electronic commerce in India.

  90. Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) is form of Alternative dispute redressal mechanism (ADR) that uses negotiation, mediation and arbitration techniques to resolve disputes with help of the Internet and ICT.

  91. The India Economic Strategyis an ambitious plan to transform Australia’s economic partnership with India out to 2035. It provides insights for business on approaching the Indian market and practical options for government to assist business succeed, including leveraging Australia’s regulatory expertise.

  92. World Competitiveness Index was released by Institute for Management Development (independent academic institution). India ranked 43rd out of 63 nations (same as last year). Singapore has retained its top position on the 63- nation list. This index is different from Global Competitive Index which is released by World Economic Forum.

  93. In 1976, the 42nd amendment incorporated protection of wildlife and forests in the Directive Principles. It also included forests and protection of wild animals in the Concurrent List – Seventh Schedule (Article 246) of the Constitution.

  94. Food Safety Compliance System (FOSCOS) LAUNCHED BY FSSAI is cloud based, upgraded food safety

    compliance online platform that will act as one -stop point for all regulatory and compliance engagements of FSSAI with Food Business It will replace existing Food Licensing and Registration System. It will enable pan India integrated response system to any food fraud and ensure an advanced risk based; data driven regulatory approach. it will eliminate errors and grant licences quicker, licensing process for food manufactures will be based on a standardised food product list on FoSCoS.

  95. The Ambarnaya river flows to the Pyasino lake and

    river Pyasina, which connects it to the Kara sea, a part of the Arctic Ocean.

  96. Secrecy of ballot is the cornerstone of free and fair elections. The choice of a voter should be free and

    the secret ballot system in a democracy ensures it. It is the policy of law to protect the right of voters to secrecy of the ballot. The principle of secrecy of ballots is an important postulate of constitutional democracy. Section 94 of the Representation of People Act upholds the privilege of the voter to maintain confidentiality about her choice of vote.

  97. G6PD deficiency is a genetic abnormality that results in an inadequate amount of glucose-6- phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) in the blood. This is a very important enzyme (or protein) that regulates various biochemical reactions in the body. G6PD is also responsible for keeping red blood cells healthy so they can function properly and have a normal life span. Without enough of it, red blood cells break down prematurely. This early destruction of red blood cells is known as Hemolysis, and it can eventually lead

    to Hemolytic anemia. The defective gene that causes this deficiency is on the X chromosome, which is one of the two sex

    Men have only one X chromosome, while women have two X chromosomes. In males, one altered copy of the gene is enough to cause G6PD deficiency.

  98. In the early 1990s, after ecological assessment of some protected areas within the historical range of lions was undertaken, the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) identified Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary (Kuno WLS) in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh as the most potential reintroduction site. The sanctuary is classified under the semi-arid – Gujarat Rajputana biogeographic zone.

  99. Asiatic Cheetahs are found only in Iran now. African Cheetah from Namibia can be introduced in India, the Supreme Court The apex court had earlier stayed any such relocation, stating that there was no scientific study to show that re-introduction of cheetahs and lions in Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary would be successful. Cheetah is a flagship species of a highly endangered ecosystem of the country — the grasslands. Cheetah is also the only species to go extinct in peninsular India in historical times.

  100. The Nordic Pool is world’s first international exchange for power trading and sourcing power from different sources like hydro, thermal, nuclear, wind and solar etc.

  101. An “over-the-top” media service is any online content provider that offers streaming media as a standalone

    The term is commonly applied to video-on-demand platforms, but also refers to audio streaming,

    messaging services, or internet-based voice calling solutions. OTT services circumvent traditional media distribution channels such as telecommunications networks or

    cable television providers. As long as you have access to an internet connection — either locally or through a mobile network — you can access the complete service at your leisure.

  102. Mahakali Treaty or महाकाली सन्धि(Mahakali Sandhi) is an agreement between the Government of Nepal (former His Majesty’s Government of Nepal) and the Government of India regarding the development of watershed of Mahakali River.

  103. Dorjilung hydropower project is a trilateral cooperation between the governments of Bangladesh, India and Bhutan in Bhutan’s Lhuentse district.

  104. South Asia Regional Initiative for Energy Integration (SARI/EI) was launched in 2000 to promote energy security

    through increased trade, investment and access to clean sources of power and fuel. It covers 8 countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, The Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

  105. International Centre for Settlement of Disputes (ICSID) is the world’s leading institution devoted to international investment dispute settlement. ICSID was established in 1966 by the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes for legal dispute resolution and conciliation between international investors. ICSID convention is ratified by 155 countries. India is not a party to the ICSID convention.

  106. Placebos are substances that are made to resemble drugs but do not contain an active drug. A placebo is made to look exactly like a real drug but is made of an inactive substance, such as a starch or sugar.

  107. Fair and Equitable Treatment (FET): It means that the foreign investor is protected against unacceptable measures of the host state by rules of international law which are independent of those of the host state.

  108. Located on the southwestern part of the delta, the Indian Sundarban constitutes over 60% of the country’s total mangrove forest area. It is the 27th Ramsar Site in India, and with an area of 4,23,000 hectares is now the largest protected wetland in the country. The Indian Sundarban, also a UNESCO world heritage site, is home to the Royal Bengal Tiger. It is also home to a large number of “rare and globally threatened species, such as the critically endangered northern river terrapin (Batagur baska), the endangered Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris), and the vulnerable fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus).” Two of the world’s four horseshoe crab species, and eight of India’s 12 species of kingfisher are also found here.

  109. The Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISAs) based test is used for the detection of antibodies that are produced by the body to fight against antigens or foreign substances. ELISA-based tests are blood-based tests, which have high sensitivity and specificity.

  110. Article 348 (1) of the Constitution of India provides that all proceedings in the Supreme Court and in every High court shall be in English Language until Parliament by law otherwise provides. Under Article 348 (2), the Governor of the State may, with the previous consent of the President, authorize the use of the Hindi language or any other language used for any official purpose of the

    State, in the proceedings of the High Court having its principal seat in that State provided that decrees, judgments or orders passed by such High Courts shall be in English.

  111. SAHAKAR MITRA is an internship programme to provide paid internship to youth and ensure availability of assured project loans to young cooperators. It is an initiative by National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC), a statutory body under the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Professional graduates in disciplines such as Agriculture and allied areas, IT etc. will be eligible for

    internship. Professionals who are pursuing or have completed their MBA degrees in Agri-business, Cooperation, Finance, International Trade, Forestry, Rural Development, Project Management etc. will also be eligible.

  112. Artemis– Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence and Electrodynamics of Moon’s Interaction with the Sun. It

    is NASA’s next mission to the Moon. Its objective is to measure what happens when the Sun’s radiation hits our rocky moon, where there is no magnetic field to protect it. Artemis was the twin sister of Apollo and goddess of the Moon in Greek

  113. Gondwana formed when Earth’s ancient supercontinent, Pangea, split into two fragments. Laurasia in the north became Europe, Asia, and North America. Gondwana in the south dispersed to form modern day Africa, Antarctica, South America, and Australia.

  114. The Finance Commission is constituted by the President under article 280 of the Constitution, mainly to give

    its recommendations on distribution of tax revenues between the Union and the States and amongst the States

    The Terms of Reference of the Finance Commission require it to recommend grants-in-aid to the States.

    These grants include: (i) revenue deficit grants, (ii) grants to local bodies, and (iii) disaster management grants.

  115. Plasma (Geo) is like a gas, but comprised of positive ions and free electrons with little or no overall electric charge. Because of presence of charged ions, plasma is highly electrically conductive and responds strongly to magnetic and electric fields (unlike gas). Plasmas have no fixed shape or volume, and are less dense than solids or liquids. Plasma is the most common state of matter in the Universe comprising more than 99% of our visible universe. Plasma occurs naturally in sun, the core of stars, quasars, Xray beam emitting pulsars and supernovas.

  116. A lone wolf attack is undertaken by a very small group or an individual in support of a larger cause, but without the overall supervision or support of a terrorist organisation.

  117. Recently, government released draft of ‘uniform framework for Extended Producers Responsibility’ under Plastic Waste Management Rules (PWMR) 2016.

  118. General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) is an international group of geoscientists and hydrographers, working on the development of a range of bathymetric data sets and data products. GEBCO operates under the joint auspices of the Intergovernmental oceanographic commission (IOC) of UNESCO and the International Hydrographic Organization. GEBCO is the only intergovernmental organisation with a mandate to map the entire ocean floor.

  119. As per the seismic hazard map of India, both the states of Mizoram and Tripura lie entirely in Zone V.

  120. Niti Mana Valley is located near the India Tibetan Border in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand.

  121. Skills Build Reignite (Sbr) And Skills Build Innovation Camp (Sbic) is a partnership between Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship and IBM. SBR seeks to provide job seekers and entrepreneurs, with access to free online coursework and mentoring support designed to help them reinvent their careers and businesses. SBIC is 10-week program which supports 100 hours of structured learning to for gaining hands on project experience to enhance learning and building network and enhance employability.

  122. Japan has approved a plan to change the name of the area covering the Tokyo-controlled Senkaku Islands

    known by Taiwan and China as the Diaoyus — from “Tonoshiro” to “Tonoshiro Senkaku”. The Senkaku Islands are located in the East China Sea between Japan, the People’s Republic of China, and the

    Republic of China (Taiwan). The archipelago contains five

    uninhabited islands and three barren rocks. The Chinese repeatedly boycotted Japanese goods throughout the 1930s in response to the Japanese invasion, and most recently in response to the Senkaku/Diaoyu Island conflict in 2012.

  123. One of the lichen species called Jhula Ghas is used as a flavouring agent in Hyderabadi biryani and some non-vegetarian dishes in North Indian cuisine.

  124. Maareech is an advanced anti-torpedo decoy system that is capable of being fired from all frontline ships. It was recently inducted by the Indian Navy. Designed and developed indigenously by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). It is capable of detecting, locating and neutralizing incoming torpedo.

  125. GISAID is a global science initiative and primary source for genomic data of influenza viruses and the novel coronavirus responsible for COVID-19. GISAID was recognized for its importance to global health by G20 health ministers in 2017. Since its establishment in 2008, as an alternative to sharing avian influenza data via conventional public-domain archives, GISAID is recognized for incentivizing rapid exchange of outbreak data during the H1N1 pandemic in 2009, the H7N9 epidemic in 2013, and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. In 2020, GISAID entered into the global research effort to understand SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, by making available genomic sequences that are modeled in real time, thereby helping to detect viral mutations and track movement of the virus across the planet.

  126. Desert locusts (Schistocerca gregaria), which belong to the family of grasshoppers, normally live and breed in

    semi-arid or desert regions. For laying eggs, they require bare ground, which is rarely found in areas with

    dense vegetation.

  127. Article 47 of the Constitution provides that ‘the State shall endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption

    except for medicinal purposes of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health’.

  128. Right to Health’ is an integral part of ‘Right to Life’ under Article 21 of the Constitution.

  129. The 6X6X6 strategy (six target beneficiary groups, six interventions and six institutional mechanisms) of the programme has been highlighted for using anaemia testing and treatment as the entry point to provide information on healthy diets.

  130. Patent pools are usually effective in aggregating, administering and licensing patents related to specific areas of technology. Pooling of patent resources is also in line with the Doha Declaration on Public Health which is a part of the TRIPS agreement.

  131. Under Article 137, the Supreme Court has the power to review any of its judgments or orders. As per the Civil Procedure Code and the Supreme Court Rules, any person aggrieved by a ruling can seek a review. However, the court exercises its discretion to allow a review petition only when it shows the grounds for seeking the review.

  132. The Madheshi are residents of Terai region in the south of Nepal at the foothill of the Himalayas on the border with India in Bihar. The Madhesis have castes and ethnicity similar to Bihar and eastern UP, with frequent intermarriages between families on either side of the border.

  133. GAFA tax named after Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon—is a proposed digital tax to be levied on large technology and internet companies. France has decided to introduce the tax (3% tax on revenues from digital activities).

  134. The Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs announces Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for various crops at the beginning of each sowing season based on the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). The CACP takes into account demand and supply, the cost of production and price trends in the market among other things when fixing MSPs

  135. Leishmaniasis is a neglected tropical disease affecting almost 100 countries including India. It is caused by a parasite called Leishmania, which is transmitted through the bite of sand flies. There are three main forms of leishmaniasis – visceral, which affects multiple organs and is the most serious form of the disease, cutaneous, which causes skin sores and is the most common form); and mucocutaneous, which causes skin and mucosal lesion).

  136. Under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 (DM Act), the States and district authorities can frame their own rules on the basis of broad guidelines issued by the Ministry. The legal basis of the DM Act, is Entry 23, Concurrent List of the Constitution “Social security and social insurance”. Entry 29, Concurrent List “Prevention of the extension from one State to another of infectious or contagious diseases or pests affecting men, animals or plants,” can also be used for specific law making.

  137. Plasma (In Body) is the liquid portion of blood “yellowish” in color. About 55% of blood is plasma, and the remaining 45% are red blood cells (RBC), white blood cells (WBC) and platelets that are suspended in the plasma. Plasma helps maintain blood pressure and volume, supply critical proteins for blood clotting and immunity, carries electrolytes such as sodium and potassium to our

    muscles, helps to maintain a proper pH balance in the body, which supports cell function.

  138. To keep a track of the TB patients across the country, the Government of India has introduced a system called NIKSHAY. NIKSHAY is the National TB information system which acts a one-stop solution to manage information of patients and monitor program activity throughout the country. India is one of the first countries to adopt the Communities, Rights and Gender Tools developed by the Stop TB Partnership.

  139. Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music And Culture Amongst Youth (SPIC MACAY) is a voluntary youth movement which promotes intangible aspects of Indian cultural heritage. It does this by promoting Indian classical music, classical dance, folk music, yoga, meditation, crafts and other aspects of Indian culture.

  140. The International Criminal Court (ICC), located in The Hague, is the court of last resort for prosecution of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. It is the first permanent, treaty based, international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community. Its founding treaty, the Rome Statute, entered into force on July 1, 2002. It does not have the capacity to arrest suspects and depends on member states for their cooperation.

  141. STARS stand for Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States Program (STARS). It is a project to improve the quality and governance of school education in six Indian states. They are Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, and Rajasthan.

  142. Hybrid Eclipse is a very rare eclipse where the eclipse will only be annular for the first few seconds. For the rest it will be a total eclipse. Partial solar eclipse happens when the sun, moon and Earth are not exactly lined up. The sun appears to have a dark shadow on only a small part of its surface.

  143. Swades (Skilled Workers Arrival Database For Employment Support) is a joint initiative of Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Ministry of External Affairs. This is an initiative to conduct a skill mapping exercise of returning citizens under Vande Bharat Mission. It aims to create a database of qualified citizens based on their skill sets and experience to tap into and fulfil demand of Indian and foreign companies.

  144. The Dauki Fault which follows the international border of India and Bangladesh in Meghalaya passes through northern sections of Tripura.

  145. Uighurs are a Muslim minority community concentrated in the country’s northwestern Xinjiang province. They claim closer ethnic ties to Turkey and other central Asian countries than to China, by brute — and brutal force.

  146. Researchers have suggested the lockdown period, which is also being referred to as the “Great Pause”, be referred to with a more precise term. “We propose ‘anthropause’ to refer specifically to a considerable global slowing of modern human activities, notably travel.

  147. The lands around the Persian Gulf are shared by eight countries- Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar,

    Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

  148. Raja Parba festival is being celebrated in Odisha. This festival is also associated with the end of the summer season and the arrival of the monsoon.

  149. Keeladi excavation site is a Sangam period settlement that is being excavated by the Archaeological Survey of India. This site is located southeast of Madurai in Tamil Nadu, near the town of Keeladi in Sivagangai district. The settlement lies on the bank of the Vaigai River and it reflects the ancient culture of Tamil people.

  150. Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, CBIC has launched its flagship programme Turant Customs, at

    Bengaluru and Chennai. Under this, Importers will now get their goods cleared from Customs after a faceless assessment is done remotely by the Customs officers located outside the port of import.

  151. In October 2017, President Ram Nath Kovind, in exercise of the powers conferred by Article 340 of the Constitution, appointed a commission to examine the issue of sub-categorisation of OBCs, chaired by retired Justice G. Rohini, to ensure social justice in an efficient manner by prioritising the Extremely Backward Classes (EBCs).

  152. Widefield Array (MWA) radio telescope is a joint project between an international consortium of organisations to construct and operate a low-frequency radio array. the main scientific goals of the MWA are to detect neutral atomic Hydrogen emission from the cosmological Epoch of Reionization (EoR), to study the sun, the heliosphere, the Earth’s ionosphere, and radio transient phenomena, as well as map the extragalactic radio sky.

  153. Covaxin is India’s first COVID vaccine candidate approved by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI). Covaxin is an inactivated vaccine created from a strain of the infectious SARS COV-2 virus. The vaccine has been developed by Hyderabad Major Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR and the National Institute of Virology (NIV). The company is also involved in the development of CoroFlu, a nasal vaccine for COVID-19, as part of an international collaboration of virologists at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and vaccine firm FluGen.

  154. West Bank is a landlocked territory near the Mediterranean coast of Western Asia, bordered by Jordan to the east and by the Green Line separating it and Israel on the south, west and north. The West Bank also contains a

    significant section of the western Dead Sea shore.

  155. Hidden Treasures of Chhattisgarh-Karkabhat – Megalithic burial site, Dipadih – Temple complex dating back to the 7th Century, Ghotul – It is both an ancient tribal system of education as well as the campus with its own system of hierarchs, Sonabai- Famous bas relief ornamentation works of Chhattisgarh got its roots when Sonabai made little toys

    for her son Daroga Ram to lull him to sleep.

  156. Mahesh Navami is the biggest festival of the Maheshwari community. The festival is mainly celebrated by the people of Rajasthan. According to the Hindu calendar, every year, the Navami of the Shukla Paksha of the month of Jyeshtha is celebrated with the celebration of “Mahesh Navami”. This festival is mainly dedicated to the worship of Lord Mahesha (Shiva) and the Goddess Parvati.

  157. The President under Article 342 is empowered to declare communities as scheduled tribes, while Parliament by law can amend the list.

  158. The Supreme Court under Article 32 and the High courts under Article 226 of the Constitution can issue the

    writs of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, certiorari and quo-warranto to check and enforce fundamental rights. The Parliament under Article 32 can also empower any other court to issue these writs. However, no such provision has been made so far. The Supreme Court can issue writs only for the enforcement of fundamental rights whereas a High court can issue writs for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights and also for an ordinary legal right.

  159. The Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (CSIR-IHBT) is the only laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Himachal Pradesh.

  160. Visceral leishmaniasis (VL), also known as kalaazar, black fever, and Dumdum fever, is the most severe form of leishmaniasis and, without proper diagnosis and treatment, is associated with high fatality. Caused by protozoan parasites of the Leishmania genus, migrates to the internal organs such as the liver, spleen (hence “visceral”), and bone marrow.

  161. Pangong Tso literally translates into a “conclave lake”. Pangong means conclave in Ladakhi and Tso means a lake in Tibetan language. Situated at over 14,000 feet, Pangong Tso or Pangong Lake is about 135 km long. It is formed from Tethys geosyncline. It is a salt water lake. Pangong Tso is strategically crucial as it is very close to Chusul Valley, which was one of the battlefronts between India and China during the 1962 war.

  162. Scarborough Shoal is located in the eastern part of the South China Sea. It is uninhabited and shaped like an atoll consisting mainly of rocks and barely consists of any land except for very small islands. It is located at about 220 kilometers from the Philippines and is located inside the Exclusive Economic zone of the Philippines. Its location is much closer to the Philippines’ shore as compared to the China’s shore. It is also referred to as ‘Bajo de Masingloc’ and ‘Panatag’ by the Philippines and ‘Huangyan Island’ by China. The present name Scarborough was given after an East India company’s ship named ‘Scarborough’ got grounded on one of the rocks in the atoll.

  163. Rule 267 of the Lok Sabha states that committee meetings have to be held in the Parliament building. However, the Speaker has the powers to change the venue. However, it is Rule 266, which mandates that all committee meetings have to be held in private, that has become a roadblock for videoconferencing. This is essentially to protect the confidentiality of the information shared by the government in the meetings.

  164. The German Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) established the International Climate Initiative (IKI) in 2008. BMUB uses this instrument to strengthen cooperation between the German Government and developing and transition countries and emerging economies, in order to mitigate and adapt to climate change, and preserve biodiversity.  The IKI is a key element of Germany’s climate financing and the funding commitments in the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Initiative places clear emphasis on climate change mitigation, adaption to the impacts of climate change and the protection of biological diversity. These efforts provide various co-benefits, particularly the improvement of living conditions in partner countries.

  165. Environment Impact Assessment is an important process for evaluating the likely environmental impact of a proposed project. It is a process whereby people’s views are taken into consideration for granting final approval to any developmental project

    or activity. It is basically, a decision-making tool to decide whether the project should be approved or not.

  166. State Disaster Response Fund is constituted under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and is the primary fund available with state governments for responses to notified disasters. The Central government contributes 75 per cent towards the SDRF allocation for general category states and UTs, and over 90 per cent for special category states/UTs, which includes northeastern states, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand). For SDRF, the Centre releases funds in two equal installments as per the recommendation of the Finance Commission. On the other hand, the National Disaster Response Fund, which is also constituted under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 supplements the SDRF of a state, in case of a disaster of severe nature, provided adequate funds are not available in the SDRF. The disasters covered under the SDRF include cyclones, droughts, tsunamis, hailstorms, landslides, avalanches and pest attacks among others.

  167. Used as a metaphor, the term “Trojan horse” refers to any person or thing that deceives or misleads a target in order to attack it from the inside. It is derived from the ancient Greek story of the Trojan War — an epic that has for centuries influenced western poetry, art and literature. In 1998, UNESCO designated the Trojan remains at Hisarlik in Turkey as a World Heritage Site. “In scientific terms, its extensive remains are the most significant demonstration of the first contact between the civilizations of Anatolia and the Mediterranean world.

  168. Pampore Saffron Heritage of Kashmir is one of the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage systems (GIAHS) recognised sites in India. GIAHS recognised sites are traditional agricultural systems that represent models of sustainable agricultural production. The other two sites in India are Kuttanad Below Sea Level Farming of Kerala and Koraput Traditional Agriculture of Odisha.

  169. Amery Ice Shelf (AIS) is one of the largest glacier drainages basins in the world, located on the east coast of

    Antarctica. It is part of Mac. Robertson Land.

  170. Ministry of Power has launched the ‘#iCommit’ campaign, on the occasion of World Environment Day as a clarion call to all stakeholders and individuals to continue moving towards energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainability to create a robust and resilient energy system in the future.  The ‘#iCommit’ initiative, driven by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), under the administration of Ministry of Power, Government of India is uniting a diverse set of players such as Governments, Corporates, Multilateral and Bilateral Organisations, Think Tanks and Individuals.

  171. Treasure of Uttarakhand– Kuari Pass (Uttrakhand): This trek was explored by Lord Curzon and is also knows as the Curzon trail, Brahma Taal (Uttrakhand): It is a hidden and secluded lake amidst the ridge, where Lord Brahma

    meditated according to the mythology, Roopkhund (Uttarakhand): It is a high altitude glacial lake. It lies in the lap of Trishul massif, Fotoksar is a picturesque village in Ladakh. It is the part of the Lingshed- Padum trek (also known as The Great Zanskar trek).

  172. Losoong also known as Namsoong is the Sikkimese New Year. It is usually the time when the farmers rejoice and celebrate their harvest. It is mostly celebrated in the month of December every year with traditional gaiety and colour both by the Lepchas and Bhutias.

  173. The Quality Council of India (QCI) set up in 1997 is an autonomous body attached to the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.