70 Days WAR Plan

Day#1 Current Affairs Flash Cards [70 Days WAR Plan]

Nipah Virus (NiV) Infection; GLASS initiative; Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA); Bru community; ‘Master of the Roster’; Mattala airport; Resolution 2427; Swachh Survekshan Grameen (SSG); P K Sinha high-level task force; Global Innovation Index (GII); etc.
By IT's Core Team
March 22, 2019




Global Innovation Index (GII) is published by which international organization?

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The GII global ranking is published by World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) – a specialized agency of United Nations in association with Cornell University and graduate business school INSEAD.

About Global Innovation Index (GII):

  • It ranks nations based on 80 indicators, ranging from intellectual property filing rates to R&D, online creativity, mobile application creation, computer software spending, education spending, scientific & technical publications and ease of starting business.
  • India’s Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is one of the knowledge partners which assists GII team in bringing out the annual ranking.
  • GII is published annually since 2007 and is considered leading benchmarking tool for business executives, policy makers and others seeking insight into state of innovation around the world.
  • It is being used by them to evaluate progress on continual basis.


GII 2018 has placed India at the 57th position among 130 countries.




The government has set up a high-level task force under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha. What is the mandate of this task force?

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  • The government has set up a high-level task force under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha to identify various items and policy interventions to reduce dependence on import.
  • The task force would suggest ways to cut import of those items which can be manufactured or explored in the country.
  • The task force includes secretaries from departments of commerce, industrial policy and promotion, skill development, revenue, defence production, steel, petroleum, electronics and telecommunications.




Under the Swachh Survekshan Grameen (SSG), a rural cleanliness survey, the weightage to different elements of SSG is assigned. Among these elements, which element has the highest weightage?

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The SSG 2018 will assign 65% weightage to findings and outcome and 35% to service level parameters to be obtained from Integrated Management Information System (IMIS) of the MDWS. The weights to different elements of SSG are direct observation of sanitation in public places (30%), citizen’s feedback on sanitation parameters (35%), service level progress on sanitation progress in the country as per SBMG-MIS (35%).

What is SSG?

  • Swachh Survekshan Grameen (SSG) is a rural cleanliness survey to rank all states and districts on basis of qualitative and quantitative evaluation.

All about SSG 2018:

Objective of SSG 2018:

  • The objective of SSG 2018 is to undertake ranking of states and districts on basis of their performance attained on key quantitative and qualitative Swachh Bharat Mission-Grameen (SBM-G) parameters.

Criteria of SSG-2018

  • The rankings will be based on taking into account set of comprehensive cleanliness parameters.
  • The criteria of SSG-2018 include survey of public places, citizens’ perspective of cleanliness, their recommendations and data from SBM-G.

Coverage of SSG-2018:

  • As part of SSG-2018, total 6,980 villages in 698 districts across India will be covered.
  • It will cover total 34,000 public places namely schools, anganwadis, public health centres, haat/bazaars/religious places in these villages.




Recently, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has adopted Resolution 2427. This resolution is related to which field?

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  • Resolution 2427 is related to protection of children in armed conflicts.
  • The resolution is aimed at further crystalizing the protection of children in armed conflicts, including by combating their recruitment by non-State armed groups and treating formerly recruited children primarily as victims.

More about Resolution 2427:

  • It strongly condemns the recruitment and use of children by parties to armed conflict as well as their re-recruitment, killing and maiming, rape and other forms of sexual violence, and abductions.
  • It also condemns attacks against schools and hospitals and the denial of humanitarian access by parties to armed conflict and all other violations of international law committed against children in situations of armed conflict.
  • It demands that all relevant parties immediately put an end to such practices and take special measures to protect children.
  • It also emphasizes the responsibility of all states to put an end to impunity and to investigate and prosecute those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other egregious crimes perpetrated against children.
  • The resolution reiterates the Security Council’s readiness to adopt targeted and graduated measures against persistent perpetrators of violations and abuses committed against children.
  • It calls on member states and the United Nations to mainstream child protection into all relevant activities in conflict prevention, conflict and post-conflict situations with the aim of sustaining peace and preventing conflict.




Mattala airport was recently in news. It is located in which country? – Malaysia OR Sri Lanka?

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Sri Lanka


  • Mattala airport is dubbed as the “world’s emptiest airport” due to a lack of flights.
  • The airport infrastructure was funded through high interest Chinese commercial loans. The airport was officially opened in March 2013.
  • The only international flight operating from there was halted in May due to recurrent losses and flight safety issues.

India to gain control of Sri Lanka’s Mattala airport

  • India has agreed to form a joint venture with Sri Lanka to operate the country’s loss-making Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport in Hambantota.
  • The joint venture would see India gain a major stake of the airport.




In context of judiciary, what do you mean by the term ‘Master of the Roster’?

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  • The term – ‘Master of the Roster’ refers to the privilege of the Chief Justice to constitute Benches to hear cases.
  • This privilege was emphasised in November last year, when a Constitution Bench, led by the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, declared that “the Chief Justice is the master of the roster and he alone has the prerogative to constitute the Benches of the Court and allocate cases to the Benches so constituted.”
  • It further said that “no Judge can take up the matter on this own, unless allocated by the Chief Justice of India, as he is the master of the roster.”
  • The immediate trigger for this was a direction by a two-judge Bench that a petition regarding a medical college corruption case, involving an alleged conspiracy to bribe Supreme Court judges, be heard by a Bench fo the five senior-most judges of the Supreme Court.




Bru community was frequently appeared in news. They are spread across which Indian states?

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  • The Brus, also referred to as the Reangs, are spread across the northeastern states of Tripura, Assam, Manipur, and Mizoram.


  • A bout of ethnic violence forced thousands of people from the Bru tribe to leave their homes in Mizoram. As many as 32,876 people belonging to 5,407 families are living in the refugee camps in the Jampui Hills of Tripura.
  • The displaced Bru people from Mizoram have been living in various camps in Tripura since 1997. In 1997, the murder of a Mizo forest guard at the Dampa Tiger Reserve in Mizoram’s Mamit district allegedly by Bru militants led to a violent backlash against the community, forcing several thousand people to flee to neighbouring Tripura.
  • The Bru militancy was a reactionary movement against Mizo nationalist groups who had demanded in the mid-1990s that the Brus be left out of the state’s electoral rolls, contending that the tribe was not indigenous to Mizoram.




Do you know India is one of the members of Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA)?

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  • The current membership of APTA consists of six countries or Participating States (PSs), namely, Bangladesh, China, India, Lao PDR, Republic of Korea, and Sri Lanka.

About Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA):

The Asia Pacific Trade Agreement or APTA (formerly the Bangkok Agreement) is an initiative under the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) for trade expansion through exchange of tariff concessions among developing country members of the Asia Pacific Region.

  • Since this is a preferential trade agreement, the basket of items as well as extent of tariff concessions are enlarged during the trade negotiating rounds which are launched from time to time.

Functions of APTA:

  • Being the oldest preferential trade agreement among developing countries in Asia-Pacific, APTA aims to promote economic development through the adoption of mutually beneficial trade liberalization measures that will contribute to intra-regional trade expansion and provides for economic integration through coverage of merchandise goods, services, investment and trade facilitation.

Significance of APTA:

  • Open to all developing member countries, APTA is a truly region-wide trade agreement spanning East and South Asia, with potential to expand to other sub-regions, including Central Asia and the Pacific.
  • APTA is the first plurilateral agreement among the developing countries in the region to adopt common operational procedures for certification and verification of the origin of goods and it has the longest effective implementation period amongst the trade agreements in the entire Asia-Pacific.
  • Notably, APTA is the only operational trade agreement linking China and India, two of the fastest growing markets in the world, and other major markets such as the Republic of Korea.




Nipah Virus can be transmitted through air. Right OR Wrong?

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Right Statement:

  • Nipah virus cannot be transmitted through air. It is transmitted through direct contact with infected bats, pigs. Human to Human transmission from other NiV-infected people is also reported.

All about Nipah Virus (NiV) Infection:

NiV infection is zoonotic disease (disease transmitted to humans from animals) that causes severe disease in both animals and humans.


  • The organism which causes Nipah Virus encephalitis is RNA or Ribonucleic acid virus of family Paramyxoviridae, genus Henipavirus, and is closely related to Hendra virus.
  • The natural host of the virus are fruit bats belonging to the family Pteropodidae.
  • The virus is present in bat urine and potentially, bat faeces, saliva, and birthing fluids. Presumably, first incidence of NiV infection occurred when pigs in Malaysian farms came in contact with fruit bats who had lost their habitats due to deforestation.
  • In 2004, humans were affected after eating the date palm contaminated by infected fruit bats. Pigs can also act as intermediate hosts.


  • It was first identified in 1999 during outbreak among pig farmers in Malaysia and Singapore.
  • It gets its name from Sungai Nipah, a Malaysian village, where pig farmers became ill with encephalitis.

Signs & Symptoms:

  • NiV infection in humans has range of clinical presentations i.e., from asymptomatic infection to acute respitatory syndrome and fatal encephalitis (inflammation of brain).
  • After exposure and incubation period of 5 to 14 days, illness presents with 3-4 days of fever and headache, followed by drowsiness, disorientation and mental confusion. These signs and symptoms can progress to coma within 24 to 48 hours.
  • The mortality rate of patients infected with NiV infection is reportedly 70%. It is capable of causing diseases in domestic animals too.


  • There is no vaccine for NiV disease either for humans or animals. The main treatment for those infected is intensive supportive care and supportive medicines.
  • NiV Infection can be prevented by avoiding exposure of infected people without protective gear. In disease prone areas, fruits strewn on the ground should not be eaten, for safety.



GLASS initiative was frequently appeared in news. What is it?

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  • On 22 October 2015, WHO launched the Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (GLASS), the first global collaborative effort to standardise antimicrobial resistance (AMR) surveillance.

About GLASS:

  • GLASS supports the strategic objective of WHO’s Global Action Plan on AMR (GAP-AMR) to strengthen the AMR evidence base.
  • The aim is to support global surveillance and research in order to strengthen the evidence base on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and help informing decision-making and drive national, regional, and global actions.
  • It provides a standardised approach to the collection, analysis, and sharing of AMR data by countries, and seeks to document the status of existing or newly developed national AMR surveillance systems.
  • GLASS is supported by WHO Collaborating Centres, involving strong commitment from participating countries and close collaborations with AMR regional networks.
  • It helps to foster and strengthen national AMR surveillance systems in order to ensure the production of reliable information.
  • GLASS will initially focus on surveillance data on human priority bacterial pathogens considered the greatest threat globally and progressively incorporate information from other surveillance systems related to AMR in humans, such as foodborne AMR, monitoring of antimicrobial use and surveillance of infections associated with health care.
  • Early implementation of GLASS covers the period 2015–2019.
  • During this period, GLASS will provide surveillance and laboratory guidance, tools and support to countries in developing effective AMR surveillance systems. Further development of GLASS will be based on the lessons learnt during this period.
  • The GLASS manual for early implementation details the proposed approach and outlines the flexible and incremental development of the system over time.


  • Foster national surveillance systems and harmonise global standards;
  • Estimate the extent of AMR globally by monitoring selected indicators;
  • Collect surveillance data needed to inform and estimate AMR burden;
  • Routinely analyse and report global data on AMR;
  • Detect emerging resistance and its international spread;
  • Assess the impact of interventions.


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