Prelims inFocus-May 2020

  1. Every year, 1stMay is celebrated as the International Workers’ Day and as Labour Day in different parts of the world to commemorate the contributions of workers and the historic labour movements. In India, Labor Day was first celebrated in 1923, after the Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan initiated the celebrations and Comrade Singaravelar (Singaravelu Chettiar) continued the celebrations. Comrade Singaravelar was one of the leaders of the Self-Respect movement in the Madras Presidency and passed a resolution stating the government should allow everybody a national holiday on Labour Day.

  2. The Constituent Assembly of India adopted Hindi written in Devnagari Script along with English as the official language of the country on 14th September, 1949, under the Article 343 (1). The Hindi language is one of the 22 languages of the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India. Part XVII of the Indian Constitution deals with the official languages in Articles 343 to 351.

  3. Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations and WHO. But is member of WTO by name Chinese Taipei (Taiwan)

  4. The Delimitation Commission is appointed by the President of India and works in collaboration with the Election Commission of India. Article 82 provides the Parliament enacts a Delimitation Act after every Census. Article 170 provides division of State into territorial constituencies as per Delimitation Act after every Census.

  5. The Madhya Pradesh Governmenthas announced the launch of the ‘Rozgar Setu’ scheme, to help secure employment for skilled workers who have returned back to their homes and were employed at industries elsewhere. Madhya Pradesh is the first state to devise such a work plan for the workers.

  6. Bio-primingis a new technique of seed treatment that integrates biological (inoculation of seed with beneficial organism to protect seed) and physiological aspects (seed hydration) of disease control. It is recently used as an alternative method for controlling many seed- and soil-borne pathogens.

  7. The Uighurs are a predominantly Muslim minority Turkic ethnic group, whose origins can be traced to Central and East Asia. Currently, the largest population of the Uighur ethnic community lives in Xinjiang region of China.

  8. The Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds’ (SWAYAM) is an integrated platform for offering online courses, covering school (9thto 12th) to Postgraduate Level. The online courses are being used not only by the students but also by the teachers and non-student learners, in the form of lifelong learning. SWAYAM Prabha is an initiative to provide 32 High Quality Educational Channels through DTH (Direct to Home) across the length and breadth of the country on a 24X7 basis.

  9. Lyophilisation, also known as freeze-drying, is a dehydration method applying low temperatures and reduced ambient pressure.

  10. Crisil, Goldman Sachs and Fitch Ratings have projected the Indian economy to contract 5% during the current financial year.

  11. Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros and Seychelles along with La Réunion are part of Indian Ocean Commission. India has recently become an observer to the Commission.

  12. Recently, the Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology (CIPET) has been renamedas the Central Institute of Petrochemicals Engineering & Technology (CIPET). The changed name has been registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act 1975. CIPET is a premier national institution under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers. It was established in 1968 by the Government of India with the assistance of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)at Chennai.

  13. India has appointed T S Tirumurtias its Permanent Representative (also referred to as the UN ambassador) to the United Nations(UN).

  14. The Diamer-Bhasha Dam is located on theIndus Riverin northern Pakistan between Kohistan district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Diamer district in Gilgit Baltistan.

  15. KHUDOL (GIFT) a crowdfunded initiative of Ya_All, an Imphal (State of Manipur) based NGO that had created India’s first transgender football team. It entails ensuring food, health and hygiene of LGBTQI+ community, people living with HIV, daily wage earners, children and adolescents. United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth has listed Khudol among top 10 global initiatives for an inclusive fight against the COVID- 19 pandemic.

  16. The Shahi Lichi is a variety of lichi that isgrown in Muzaffarpurand has high pulp and is juicier compared to the litchi grown in other parts of the country. India is the second largest producer of lichi in the world after China and Bihar is the leading state for lichi production in the country. It was accorded the Geographical Indication (GI) tag recognition in 2018. Lichi is most commonly blamed for the Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) outbreakin Bihar.

  17. Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE)was set up by the Government of India and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI).

  18. Article 32guarantees judicial protection to the Fundamental Rights which makes them meaningful. For him, Article 32 was the most important article of the constitution and thus, he referred to it“soul of the Constitution and very heart of it”.

  19. Ecolabellingis a voluntary method of environmental performance certification and labelling that is practised around the world.

  20. Pai is an artificial intelligence (AI) based chatbot, to create awareness around NPCI’s products like FASTag, RuPay, UPI, AePS on a real time basis.

  21. India has signednon-legally binding Memorandums of Understanding(MoU) with Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) on the conservation and management of Siberian Cranes (1998), Marine Turtles (2007), Dugongs (2008) and Raptors (2016).

  22. Recently, the Defence Institute of Advanced Technology has developed a microwave steriliser named asAtulya’to disintegrate Covid-19

  23. The Supreme Court of India, in theSubramanian Swamy vs Union of India, 2014,upheld the constitutional validity of the criminal defamation law. In India, defamation can both be a civil wrong and a criminal offence In Indian laws, criminal defamation has been specifically defined as an offence under the section 499 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) whereas the civil defamation is based on tort law (an area of law which does not rely on statutes to define wrongs but takes from ever-increasing body of case laws to define what would constitute a wrong).

  24. The India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) is located at the Bodi West Hills regionin Theni District of Tamil Nadu.

  25. The Askaryan effect is the phenomenon whereby a particle traveling fasterthan the phase velocity of light in a dense dielectric(such as salt, ice or the lunar regolith) produces a shower of secondary charged particles.

  26. Forests are a subject in the concurrent list (brought under this list through 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1976) of the Seventh Schedule of the Indian Constitution.

  27. Zardalu Mango is aunique mango varietyfrom  It is known for its light-yellow skin and distinct special aroma. It was accorded the Geographical Indication (GI) tag in 2018.

  28. There are five species of turtles in Indian waterse. Olive RidleyGreen turtle, Loggerhead, Hawksbill, Leatherback. The Olive Ridley, Leatherback and Loggerhead are listed as ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The Hawksbill turtleis listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ andGreen Turtle is listed as ‘Endangereed’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. They are protected in Indian Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, under Schedule I.

  29. The Treaty of Sugauli concluded between British India and the Kingdom of Nepal in the year 1816, states the Kali River in the Kalapani region demarcates the border between India and Nepal. Kalapani is a valley that is currently administered by India as a part of the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand.

  30. India Observatory is India’s first socio, economic and ecological open-source integrated Geospatial data platform. The observatory is designed to supplement local level decision making by village communities, Panchayats, NGOs and government officials. It is freely available for civil society organizations, students, government departments and citizens.

  31. Purandara Dasa belonged to theVaishnava traditionduring the Vijayanagar  Prior to the adoption of Vaishnava tradition, he was a rich merchant and was called Srinivasa Nayaka. He was a great devotee of Lord Krishna, a poet and a musician. He is considered the father of Carnatic Music. He formalized the music system which was a blend of various traditions of South India and the musical science as explained in the Vedas. He composed songs in Kannada and Sanskrit with the pen name Purandara Vithala. In his compositions, he expressed his love for Sri Krishna describing various aspects of Krishna’s life.

  32. Kangra teais grown in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. Kangra tea has got the Geographical Indication (GI) tag. It is loaded with antioxidantslike catechins and polyphenols, and said to offer these health benefits: promotes weight loss, builds immunity, improves oral health and mental alertness, etc. It is also used in making sentizers, soap, vinegar, wine

  33. Antibiotic resistance is the ability of bacteria or other microbes to resist the effects of an antibiotic. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in some way that reduces or eliminates the effectiveness of drugs, chemicals, or other agents designed to cure or prevent infections.

  34. In last 10 years Infant Mortality Rate declined by about 35% in rural areas and about 32% in urban areas.

  35. The Textiles Committee is astatutory bodyestablished in 1963 through an Act of Parliament and is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Textiles. The Chairman of the Committee is nominated by the Government.

  36. Katkari is one of the 75 Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs). Katkaris are locatedprimarily in Raigad and in parts of Palghar, Ratnagiri and Thane districts of Maharashtra as well as in some places of Gujarat. The British administration had classified them underthe Criminal Tribes Act, 1871.

  37. The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradeshhas launched a new programme ReStart’to support the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector in the State.

  38. Chhattisgarhis set to launch the Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojanato encourage farmers to produce more crops and help them get the right price. Under the scheme, based on registered area and area under cultivation during Kharif crop season 2019, Rs. 10,000 per acre will be deposited in the bank accounts of farmers as agriculture assistance grant for sowing crops such as paddy, maize and sugarcane. The money will be given to the farmers in four instalments.

  39. Propolis or bee glue is a resinous mixture (a sticky chemical compound) that honey bees produce by mixing saliva and beeswax with gums gathered from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources. Propolis is used against infections caused by bacteria, viruses, fungus etc. It is used for boosting the immune system and for treating gastrointestinal problems.

  1. Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) is not actually a dual citizenshipas the Indian Constitutionforbids dual citizenship or dual nationality under Article 9. OCI does not confer political rights. The registered Overseas Citizens of India shall not be entitled to the rights conferred on a citizen of India under article 16 of the Constitution with regard to equality of opportunity in matters of public employment.

  2. Sonic Booms are shockwaves produced by planes or other objects that are flying at a speed equal to or greater than the speed of sound.

  3. Malaysiais theworld’s second largest producer of palm oil after Indonesia. India is the world’s biggest buyer of edible oils. India buys more than two-thirds of its total edible oil imports as palm oil.

  4. India is in the middle of two major illicit opium production regions in the world, the Golden Crescent in the westand the Golden Triangle in the east. The Golden Trianglerepresents the region coinciding with the rural mountains of Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand. Golden Crescent is region of South Asia is a principal global site for opium production and distribution. It comprises Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan.

  5. Silk fibroins are the unique proteins of silkworm fibers. They have unique properties which include biocompatibility (i.e. compatible with living tissue), favorable oxygen permeability, and biodegradability. The degradation product also can be readily absorbed by the body with minimal inflammatory reaction.

  6. The Damodar river rises in the Palamu hills of the Chota Nagpur plateauin the state of Jharkhand. It passes through two Indian states namely, Jharkhand and West Bengal. The Damodar occupies the eastern margins of the Chotanagpur Plateau where it flows through a rift valleyand finally joins the Hugli. The Barakar river is its main tributary. It is also known as the ‘sorrow of Bengal’ due to the devastating floods.

  7. Kedar Khand (Garhwal Region) and Manu Khand (Kumaon Region) both are situated in the state of Uttarakhand. Hemkund Sahib:Formerly known as Gurudwara Shri Hemkund Sahib Ji, it is a Sikh place of worship and pilgrimage site in Chamoli district. It is devoted to Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru, and finds mention in Dasam Granth, a work dictated by Guruji himself. Valley of Flowers and Nanda Devi (National Parks) is a UNESCO World Heritage SiteJim Corbett National Park (oldest national park of the country) and Rajaji Tiger Reserve were situated in the state of Uttarakhand.

  8. The Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MOHUA) has announced the results of the Star Rating of Garbage Free Citiesfor the assessment year 2019-2020. The 5-Star cities include Ambikapur (Chattisgarh), Surat and Rajkot (Gujarat), Indore (Madhya Pradesh) and Navi Mumbai (Maharashtra).

  9. India has exported antimalarial drug Hydroxychloroquine(HCQ) to the U.S. and several other countries.

  10. The Bay of Bengal (BoB) hashigherSea Surface Temperature (SST) compared to the Arabian Sea. The Arabian Sea receives stronger winds that help dissipate the heat, and the lack of constant fresh water supply helps the warm water mix with the cool water, reducing the temperature.

  11. Hurricanes derive their energy from heated seawater which can be prevented by presence of upper-level-winds that disrupt the storm circulation forcing it to lose its strength.

  12. Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is located in the state of Maharashtra. It is Maharashtra’soldest and largest national park. It is one of India’s 50 “Project Tiger” reserves. The first Tiger Reserve established in the State is Melghat Tiger Reserve. It represents Southern Tropical Dry Deciduous Teak Forests in the Tiger habitat and has a viable tiger population.

  13. Styrene is a flammable liquid that is used in the manufacturing of polystyrene plastics, fiberglass, rubber, and latex. It is also found in vehicle exhaust, cigarette smoke, and in natural foods like fruits and vegetables. It could also lead to cancer and depression in some cases, though there isn’t much evidence to indicate there may be an association between styrene exposure and an increased risk of leukemia. Styrene is included in the schedule of the Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemical Rules, 1989.

  14. Bru or Reang is a community indigenous to Northeast India, living mostly in Tripura, Mizoram and Assam. In Tripura, they are recognised as a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group. Among the 75 listed PVTG’s the highest number are found in Odisha.

  1. Gravitational microlensing is an astronomical phenomenon due to the gravitational lens effect. It can be used to detect objects that range from the mass of a planet to the mass of a star,regardless of the light they emit.

  2. A pandemic is declared when a new disease for which people do not have immunity spreads around the world beyond expectations. An epidemic is a large outbreak, one that spreads among a population or region. It is less severe than pandemic due to a limited area of spread. A disease is called endemic when the presence or usual prevalence of its infectious agent is constant within a given geographical area or population group. A syndemic is a situation when two or more epidemics interact synergistically to produce an increased burden of disease in a population.

  3. Chopta is a small region of meadows and evergreen forest area which is a part of kedarnath wildlife sanctuary located in Uttarakhand state. The Pindari Glacier is a glacier found in the upper reaches of the Kumaon Himalayas, to the southeast of Nanda Devi and Nanda Kot.

  4. A hydrogel is a three-dimensional network of hydrophilic polymers that can swell in water and hold a large amount of water while maintaining the structure due to chemical or physical cross-linking of individual polymer chains.

  5. Cyclone Amphan(pronounced as UM-PUN) is a tropical cyclone formed over Bay of Bengal which is a very severe cyclone between the Sagar islands of West Bengal and the Hatiya islands of Bangladesh. It has been named by Thailand.

  6. Contact tracingis the process of identification of persons who may have come into contact with an infected person and subsequent collection of further information about these contacts.

  7. BCG, or bacille Calmette-Guerin, is a vaccine for tuberculosis (TB) disease.

  8. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is the apex statutory body for disaster management in India. It was constituted in accordance with the Disaster Management Act, 2005 with the Prime Minister as its Chairperson and nine other members, and one such member to be designated as Vice-Chairperson.

  9. In 1995, a young Tibetan boy Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was recognised as the 11th Panchen Lama, the second highest spiritual authority in Tibetan Buddhism after Dalai Lama. In 1995, a young Tibetan boy Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was recognised as the 11th Panchen Lama, the second highest spiritual authority in Tibetan Buddhism after Dalai Lama.

  10. The International Day of Families is observed on 15 Mayevery year. The theme for 2020 isFamilies in Development: Copenhagen & Beijing+25. Copenhagen & Beijing+25 signifies the World Conferences on Women (WCW) organised by the United Nations.

  11. Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme was started in 2002 by the Ministry of Human Resources and Development with the assistance of the World Bank and is being implemented in a phased manner. It aims to upscale the quality of technical education and enhance capacities of institutions. The Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme III (TEQIP-III) was started in 2017 aims to develop technical education as a key component for improving the quality of Engineering Education.

  12. The World Press Freedom Dayis observed on 3rd May, every year. Theme for 2020: Journalism without Fear or Favour.

  13. Parkinson’s disease is a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder that affects the central nervous system. It damages nerve cells in the brain dropping the levels of dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that sends behavioural signals from the brain to the body. The disease causes a variety of “motor” symptoms (symptoms related to movement of the muscles), including rigidity, delayed movement, poor balance, and tremors. Medication can help control the symptoms of the disease but it can’t be cured. It affects the age group from 6 to 60 years. Worldwide, about 10 million people have been affected by this disease.

  14. The Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB)is a statutory body under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India.

  15. MATRICS Scheme was launched in 2017 by the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB). It aims to provide fixed grant support to active researchers with good credentials in Mathematical Sciences, Theoretical Sciences and Quantitative Social Sciences. The support is provided in the form of research grant of Rs. 2 lakh per annum plus overheads for a period of three years.

  16. Mizoram became the first state to grant industry status to sports.

  17. Sariska Tiger Reserve is located in Aravali hills and forms a part of the Alwar District of Rajasthan. Sariska was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1955 and was declared the tiger reserve later in 1978, making it a part of India’s Project Tiger. Kankarwadi fort is located in the center of the Reserve and it is said that Mughal emperor Aurangzeb had imprisoned his brother Dara Shikoh at this fort in struggle for succession to the throne.

  18. The International Nurses Day is annually observed on May 12. Theme of 2020-Nursing the World to Health. May 12 was chosen for celebrating the day as it is the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, the foundational philosopher of modern nursing. The World Health Organization (WHO)has designated 2020 as The Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.

  19. The Naku La is situated at border of the Indian state of Sikkim and China’s occupied Tibet in the Eastern Himalayas. Inhabitants of North Sikkim and Tibetans call it as “Nak-po-la”, which means “Black Pass”. In Tibetan word, “Nak-po” means black and “La” means mountain pass. The other passes located in the state of Sikkim are Nathu La Pass and Jelep La Pass.

  20. Streptomycinwas discovered in 1943. It was the first antibiotic discovered that was effective against TB. 

  21. Buddha gave his first sermon in the village of Sarnath, near Varanasiin Uttar Pradesh. This event is known as Dharma Chakra Pravartana (turning of the wheel of law).

  22. RT-PCR test (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) detects the virus genetic material, which is the Ribonucleic acid (RNA).

  23. FlytBase, an enterprise drone automation company has built FlytNow- an Internet of Drones (IoD) platform that allows seamless integration of intelligent fleets of drones with cloud-based business applications.

  24. Force Majeure, or “Act of God” is a common clause in contracts that essentially frees both parties from liability or obligation when an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond the control of the parties occurs. It prevents one or both parties from fulfilling their obligations under the contract.

  1. Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020 (FRA 2020) report is released by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

  2. COBAS 6800 is the first such testing machine that has been procured by the Government for testing of Covid-19 cases and is installed at theNational Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). COBAS 6800 is a fully automated,high end machine for performing Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing for Covid-19. The device can also detect other pathogens like Viral Hepatitis B & C, HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, Papilloma, Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, Chlamydia (a bacterial infection), Neisseria (bacteria) etc.

  3. Gopal Krishna Gokhale played a key role in framing the Morley-Minto reforms of 1909. He was associated with the Moderate Groupof Indian National Congress (joined in 1889). He became president of INC in 1905 in Banaras session. He established the Servants of India Society in 1905 for the expansion of Indian education. He was also associated with the Sarvajanik sabha journal started by Govind Ranade. In 1908, Gokhale founded the Ranade Institute of Economics. He started english weekly newspaper, The Hitavada (The people’s paper).

  4. Plague is caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis usually found in small mammals and their fleas. There are two main clinical forms of plague infection: bubonic and pneumonic. Bubonic plague is the most common form and is characterized by painful swollen lymph nodes or ‘buboes’. Pneumonic plague is a form of severe lung infection. Plague is transmitted between animals and humans by the bite of infected fleas, direct contact with infected tissues, and inhalation of infected respiratory droplets.

  5. Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE)intends to attract talent to study science at an early age, and to help the country build the required critical resource pool for strengthening and expanding the Science and Technology base with long term foresight. It is an India specific model for attracting talent with an aptitude for research and innovation, for a career in Basic & Natural sciences. The scheme has been developed by the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Ministry of Science and Technology and approved in 2008.

  6. Iran’s national currency will be changed from the rial to the Toman, which is equal to 10,000 rials.

  7. Jharkhand launched three employment schemes — Birsa Harit Gram Yojana (BHGY), Neelambar Pitambar JAL Sammridhi Yojana (NPJSY) and Veer Sahid Poto Ho Khel Vikas Scheme (VSPHKVS) — to create wage employment for workers in rural areas.

  8. The Oxford University has created a Stringency Indexwhich shows how strict a country’s measures were and at what stage of the Covid-19 spread, it enforced these.

  9. Y2K is the shorthand term for “the year 2000” commonly used to refer to a widespread computer programming shortcut that was expected to cause extensive havoc as the year changed from 1999 to 2000. The Y2K bug was a technical problem identified in the late 1990s from a date transition in computer systems from the year 1999 to 2000 at the turn of the millennium.

  10. Energy Transition Index is a report of World Economic Forum(WEF).

  11. River Nila is also known as Bharathapuzha and Ponnani. Amaravathipuzhaoriginating from Thrimoorthy Hills of Anamalaisin Tamil Nadu joins with Kalpathipuzha at Parali in Palakkad District and forms Nila. The river’s drainage state are Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It flows westward through Palakkad Gap (most prominent discontinuity in the western ghats) and drains into the Arabian Sea. Its tributaries-Kannadipuzha (Chitturpuzha), Kalpathipuzha (Korapuzha), Gayathripuzha and Thuthapuzha. Malampuzha dam is the largest among the reservoirs built across Bharathapuzha.

  12. Article 23 of the Constitution prohibits “forced labour”.

  13. Registrar General of India arranges, conducts and analyses the results of the demographic surveys of India including Census of India and Linguistic Survey of India. Sample Registration System is a demographic survey for providing reliable annual estimates of infant mortality rate, birth rate, death rate and other fertility and mortality indicators at the national and sub-national levels. It was initiated on a pilot basis by the Registrar General of India.

  14. Excise dutyis basically a production tax. It is imposed on manufactured items in India that are meant for domestic consumption.

  15. The Access and Benefit-sharing Clearing-House (ABS Clearing-House) is a platform for exchanging information on ABS established by Article 14 of the Nagoya Protocol.

  16. India’s Forex Reserve include: Foreign Currency Assets, Gold reserves, Special Drawing Rights and Reserve position with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

  17. Lipulekh Pass is also known as Lipu-Lekh Pass/Qiangla or Tri-Corner is a high-altitude mountain pass situated in the western Himalayas. It is an International mountain pass between India, China and Nepal.

  18. Pangong Tso or Pangong Lake is an endorheic lake in the Himalayas. Pangong Lake is located in the Union Territory of Ladakh. It is 134 km (83 mi) long and extends from India to the Tibetan Autonomous Region, China. It is not a part of the Indus river basin area and geographically a separate landlocked river basin. The lake is in the process of being identified under the Ramsar Convention as a wetland of international importance. This will be the first trans-boundary wetland in South Asia under the convention.

  19. The President of India is the President of Indian Red Cross Society and the Union Health Minister is the Chairman of the Society.

  20. UN Environment and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations will lead implementation of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

  21. Spirulina is a biomass of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) that can be consumed by humans and animals.

  22. Initiative 20×20 is a country-led effort seeking to change the dynamics of land degradation in Latin America and the Caribbean by bringing 20 million hectares of land into restoration by 2020.

  23. Long March 5B’ rocket will be China’s successful step to operate a permanent space station and send astronauts to the Moon.

  24. The semi-autonomous Somali state of Jubaland which contains the entire Somali border with Kenya

  25. Shekatakar Committee was constituted to recommend measures to enhance combat capability and rebalance defence expenditure of armed forces

  26. Interest payment to revenue receipts (IP-RR) is the ratio of total interest payments made towards the debt to the revenue receipts of the government.

  27. Article 280of the Indian Constitution requires the composition of the Finance Commission in every five years so that the states can get a reasonable part in the tax revenue of the union government.

  28. Montenegro is the first country in Europe to declare itself coronavirus-free. Montenegro is a country of South and Southeast Europe on the coast of the Balkans.

  29. Troglomyces twitteri is a type of parasitic fungus. It belongs to an order called Laboulbeniales — tiny fungal parasites that attack insects and millipedes.

  30. Quinine, the primitive antimalarial avatar of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), has made a village in Meghalaya latch on to its past for a curative future. Quinine Nongladew is a village in the state of Meghalaya. It is named after the alkaloid quinine extracted from the bark of cinchona, a plant belonging to the Rubiaceae family and classified as either a large shrub or a small tree. Quinine is a medication used to treat malaria and babesiosis.

  31. India observes its National Technology Day on 11thMay every year. The day has a historical perspective as it was on May 11, 1998, that India achieved a major technological breakthrough by successfully carrying out nuclear tests at Pokhran. Further, the first indigenous aircraft “Hansa-3” was test flown at Bangalore on this day; and India also performed successful test firing of the Trishul missile on the same day. Since 1999, the day is being celebrated as National Technology Day.

  32. Swine Flu is caused by the swine flu virus, the H1N1. It is an infection of the respiratory tract characterized by the usual symptoms of flu like cough, nasal secretions, fever, loss of appetite, fatigue and headache. It is called swine flu because in the past it was known to occur in people who had been in the vicinity of pigs. The virus is transmitted by short-distance airborne transmission, particularly in crowded enclosed spaces. Hand contamination and direct contact are other possible sources of transmission.

  33. Pulse Oximeter is a test used to measure the oxygen level (oxygen saturation) of the blood. The device measures the saturation of oxygen in red blood cells(RBCs) and can be attached to a person’s fingers, toes, nose, feet, ears or forehead.

  34. India and Nepal share an approximately an 1,800 Km long open border running along West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Sikkim.

  35. Smallpox is an infectious disease caused by one of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. It is contagious i.e. spread from one person to another. Smallpox is one of two infectious diseases to have been eradicated, the other being rinderpest in 2011.

  36. Bay of Bengal Boundary Layer Experiment or BoBBLE is a joint India-UK project. It seeks to examine the impact of ocean processes in the Bay of Bengal (BoB) on the monsoon system. It is a project funded by Union Ministry of Earth Sciences and the Natural Environment Research Council of UK.

  37. International Day of UN Peacekeepers 2020 will be observed on May 29. The theme for this year’s Day is “Women in Peacekeeping: A Key to Peace” to help mark the 20th anniversary of the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.

  38. Helicopter money is an unconventional monetary policy tool,which involves printing large sums of money and distributing it to the public, to stimulate the economy during a recession (decline in general economic activity) or when interest rates fall to zero.

  39. Mission Sagar was launched in 2015. It is India’s strategic vision for the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). Sagar stands for Security and Growth for All in the Region. The key relevance of SAGAR emerges when seen in conjunction with India’s other policies impacting the maritime domain like Act East Policy,Project Sagarmala, Project Mausam, India as ‘net security provider’, focus on Blue Economy

  40. Absolute liability, on the other hand, provides them with no defence or exemptions and is part of Article 21 (Right to Life). Article 21 declares that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law. This right is available to both citizens and non-citizens.

  41. One country, two systems” is a constitutional principle of the People’s Republic of China describing the governance of Hong Kong and Macau since they became Special Administrative Regions of China in 1997 and 1999 respectively.

  42. Consol bond (also known as perpetual bond) is a fixed income security with no maturity date. It is often considered atype of equity, rather than debt.  The major benefit of these bonds is that they pay a steady stream of interest payments forever. However, these bonds can be redeemed at issuer’s discretion. The console bonds were majorly used by the British government during World War-I.

  43. Rabindranath Tagore as awarded the Nobel Prize in Literaturefor his work on  In 1915 Tagore was awarded knighthood by the British King George V. In 1919, following the Jallianwalla Bagh massacre he renounced his Knighthood. In 1921 established the Vishwa-Bharati University, a university that challenged conventional education.

  44. Redenomination is the process whereby a country’scurrency is revalued due to significant inflation and currency devaluation, or when a country adopts a new currency and needs to exchange the old currency for a new one at a fixed rate. In simpler words, it is exchanging old currency for new currency, or changing the face value of existing notes in circulation.

  45. The Bannerghatta Biological Parkhas been an integral part of Bannerghatta National Park. Bannerghatta Biological Park is one among the few places in the world where wilderness is preserved so close to a big city. It is having different units such as Zoo, Safari, Butterfly Park and Rescue Center (Conservation of captive animals). The Bannerghatta National Park is located near Bangalore in Karnataka.

  46. Thrissur Pooram is an annual Hindu festival held in Kerala. It is celebrated on the day when the star sign “Pooram” occurs in the Malayalam month of “medam (April-May)”. The festival was the brainchild of Raja Rama Varma, famously known as Sakthan Thampuran, the Maharaja of Cochin (1790–1805). Pooram officially begins with Kodiyettam (flag hoisting ceremony) in which all the participating temples of the festival are present. The Pooram consists of ten temples in and around Thrissur and is considered to be a ceremony where these deities come together to pay obeisance to Lord Shiva at the Vadakkunnathan Temple, located in the centre of the town. One of the hallmarks of the festival is the percussion ensemble consisting of traditional instruments like chenda, maddalam, edakka, thimila and kombu. The seventh day of the pooram is the last day. It is also known as “Pakal Pooram”. Pooram, though a Hindu ritual, has grown to encompass all religious and cultural strains of Kerala. Both the Muslim and Christian communities participate in the festival in a variety of ways highlighting secular credentials of the state.

  47. Foreign Currency Assets (FCA) are assets that are valued based on a currency other than the country’s own currency. FCA is the largest component of the forex reserve. It is expressed in dollar terms. The FCAs include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US units like the euro, pound and yen held in the foreign exchange reserves.

  48. Chilblains are small, itchy, red patches that appear on the toes and fingers after a person has been exposed to the cold.

  49. The Vaccine Action Programme (VAP) is an Indo-US bilateral program, which supports a broad spectrum of activities relating to new and improved vaccines.

  50. Susta in Bihar is on the Banks of River Gandak.

  51. The Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration (GPFLR) is a proactive global network that unites governments, organizations, academic/research institutes, communities and individuals under a common goal: to restore the world’s lost and degraded forests and their surrounding landscapes. Specifically, the GPFLR responds directly to the Bonn Challenge to restore 150 million hectares of deforested and degraded land by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030. The GPFLR was initiated in 2003 by a small consortium of like-minded organizations and spearheaded by IUCN.

  52. Among children under 5 years of age, 149.0 million are stunted, 49.5 million are wasted and 40.1 million are overweight.

  53. Parliamentary committees draw their authority from Article 105 (on privileges of Parliament members) and Article 118 (on Parliament’s authority to make rules for regulating its procedure and conduct of business).

  54. Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) is considered a very complex disease as it can be caused by various agents including bacteria, fungi, virus and many other agents. Viruses are the main causative agents in AES cases. Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is the major cause of AES in India.

  55. An ISO-9001 company Garuda Aerospace has brought out an Automated Disinfecting Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) that aids in Sanitization of Public Places, Hospitals & Tall buildings. Named as ‘Corona-Killer’, these drones can be used to spray disinfectants on buildings up to 450 feet.

  56. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (Veer Savarkar) Founded a secret society called Abhinav Bharat Society. Went to the United Kingdom and was involved with organizations such as India House (founded by Shyamji Kishan Verma in 1905 in London) and the Free India Society (a political organization of Indian students in England-Founding leader, Madam Bhikaji Cama). Involved in the formation of Hindu Mahasabha. Savarkar wrote a book titled ‘The History of the War of Indian Independence’ in which he wrote about the guerilla warfare tricks used in 1857 Sepoy Mutiny. He also wrote the book ‘Hindutva: who is hindu?’. Arrested in 1909 on charges of plotting an armed revolt against the Morley-Minto reform (Indian Councils Act 1909).