Flash Cards

Day#1 Current Affairs Flash Cards [PRELIMS 2020]

Golden Langur; ‘No Frills accounts’ or Basic Savings Bank Deposits account (BSBD); Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary; ‘Additive Manufacturing’; Nord Stream; St. Petersburg International Economic Forum; Lead Bank Scheme; etc.
By IASToppers
July 25, 2019



The Nord Stream twin pipelines carries natural gas through which water body?

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The Nord Stream twin pipelines carries natural gas through the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany.

Enrich Your Learning:

About Nord Stream:


  • The Nord Stream twin pipeline system is an offshore natural gas pipeline through the Baltic Sea runs from Vyborg, Russia to Lubmin near Greifswald, Germany.
  • The pipelines were built and are operated by Nord Stream AG whose majority shareholder is the Russian state company Gazprom.
  • The Nord Stream route crosses the Exclusive Economic Zones of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany, as well as the territorial waters of Russia, Denmark, and Germany.
  • The two 1,224-kilometre offshore pipelines are the most direct connection between the vast gas reserves in Russia and energy markets in the European Union.
  • The twin pipelines have the capacity to transport a combined total of 55 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas a year.

Line 1

  • Construction of Line 1 of the twin pipeline system began in April 2010, and was completed in June 2011.
  • Transportation of gas through Line 1 began in mid-November 2011.

Line 2

  • Construction of Line 2, which runs parallel to Line 1, began in May 2011 and it was completed in April 2012.
  • Gas transport through the second line began in October 2012.

Why in News?

  • In St. Petersburg Chinese president Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasised that their bilateral relations were at a historic high, marked by increased diplomatic and strategic cooperation.
  • Both the leaders cleared in St. Petersburg that the tensions with the West had only drawn them closer.
  • It shows Russia-china bonhomie in St. Petersburg.

Reasons for the rift between Russia and west:

  • Ukrainian crisis: Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the stand-off in eastern Ukraine.
  • Russia’s tensions with the U.S. and some EU countries stem also from their opposition to the 1,200-km-long Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany.
  • U.S. objections draw in part from its eagerness to export liquefied natural gas to Europe, besides thwarting Moscow’s ambition to dominate the region’s energy market.
  • US’s blacklisting of Huawei, prohibiting it from selling technology to the U.S. and barring domestic firms from supplying semiconductors to Beijing.
  • Robert Mueller’s inquiry report into possible Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election deteriorate relation between two.

St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

  • It is an annual Russian business event for the economic sector, which has been held in St. Petersburg since 1997, and under the auspices of the Russian President since 2005.
  • The Forum brings together the chief executives of major Russian and international companies, heads of state, political leaders, prime ministers, deputy prime ministers, departmental ministers, and governors.
  • The key purpose of the Forum is to provide a practical tool for business, helping to overcome the barriers, both geographical and informational, dividing Russia and other countries.



What is Lead Bank Scheme? and what are the aims of the scheme?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

About Lead Bank Scheme:

  • The Lead Bank Scheme was introduced in 1969, to guide commercial, regional, rural and Co-operatives to improve their facilities in rural areas and deliver effective services.
  • The Reserve Bank of India on the basis of the study group under the Chairmanship of Prof. D.R. Gadgil and a committee of Bankers headed by F.K.F.Nariman evolved the Lead Bank Scheme.
  • A “district credit” plan combined with government schemes is prepared and monitored by the lead bank.
  • The effectiveness of the Lead Bank Scheme depends on the dynamism of the District Collectors and the Lead District Managers (LDMs).

Aim of the Scheme:

  • The aim of the scheme is providing adequate banking and credit in rural areas through an ‘service area approach’, with one bank assigned for one area.

Objectives of The Lead Bank Scheme:

  • To identify unbanked and underbanked centres in districts and to evaluate their physiographic, agro climatic end Socio-economic conditions through economic survey.
  • To help in removing regional imbalances through appropriate credit deployment;
  • To extend banking facilities to unbanked areas;
  • To estimate credit gaps in various sectors of an economy of a district and prepare a credit plan accordingly.
  • To identify economically viable and technically feasible schemes.
  • To effect structural and procedural changes in banking sector.
  • To develop co-operation amongst financial and non-financial institutions, in overall development of the districts.
  • To serve as a clearing house for discussions of problems arising out of financing priority sectors.

Lead banks are in terms of doubling the income of farmers by 2022 advised to:

  • Work closely with NABARD in preparation of Potential Linked Plans (PLPs) & Annual Credit Plans.
  • Include ‘Doubling of Farmer’s Income by 2022’ as a regular agenda under Lead Bank Scheme.



What do you mean by the term ‘Additive Manufacturing’?

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  • Additive Manufacturing refers to a process by which digital 3D design data is used to build up a component in layers by depositing material. Using digitally controlled and operated material laying tools, additive manufacturing makes ‘objects’ from a digital ‘model’ by depositing the constituent material/s.

Enrich Your Learning:

Four main components of Additive Manufacturing:

  • A digital model of the object,
  • Material/s that are consolidated from the smallest possible form for example liquid droplets, wire, powder to make the object,
  • A tool for laying materials and
  • A digital control system for the tool to lay the material/s layer-by-layer to build the shape of the object.

Seven process categories of Additive Manufacturing (AM)

  • As per International Organization for Standardization (ISO/ASTM) standards AM can be divided into the seven process categories.
  • The seven type of categories are as follows.

Vat Photo Polymerization:

  • A liquid photopolymer is selectively cured by light-activated polymerization to create a 3D part in this process.
  • Only Plastic can be printed using these technologies.

Binder jetting process:

  • In this process a binding liquid is selectively deposited to join powder material together to form a 3D part.
  • This process is unique because it does not employ heat during the process like others to fuse the material together.

Directed energy deposition:

  • Focused thermal energy such as a laser, electron beam, or plasma arc is used in this process to fuse materials by melting as they are being deposited.
  • The process is also known as “Metal Deposition” and can be used for any material.
  • It was developed by Sandia National Laboratories in 1995 under the name of LENS (Laser Engineering Net Shape).

Material extrusion:

  • This technique uses continuous filament of thermoplastic or composite material to construct 3D parts.

Material jetting:

  • In Material jetting, build material droplets are selectively deposited layer by layer into the build platform to form a 3D part.

Powder bed fusion:

  • In this technique either laser, heat or electron beam is used to melt and fuse the material together to form a three-dimensional object.

Sheet lamination:

  • It is the process of building a 3D object by stacking and laminating sheets of material.
  • Paper and metal foil are most commonly used materials and it is used to produce coloured objects in a high detailed resolution.

Additive Manufacturing Society of India:

  • Additive Manufacturing Society of India (AMSI) promote 3D printing & Additive Manufacturing Technologies in India.
  • It is a helps the design, research and development organisations, manufacturing professionals and academics in 3D Printing.

Advantages of additive manufacturing:

  • It reduces waste compared to machinery.
  • Without any tooling complex 3D geometries with internal features can be printed.
  • Different materials can be mixed during the printing process to create a unique alloy.
  • Prototypes can be made quicker allowing designers to check different iterations resulting in quicker design cycle phase.



Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for the protected habitat to which animal species?

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  • Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for being the protected habitat of the Golden Langur which is found only along the Indo-Bhutan border.

Enrich Your Learning:

Golden Langur

  • Golden Langur belongs to the Old World monkey family and Trachypithecus geei species.
  • It is one of the most endangered primate species of India.
  • These monkeys have a black face and a very long tail. Their coat ranges from cream to golden.
  • It is habitat to moist and tropical forests with an elevation of up to 3,000 meters above sea level.
  • Its diet mainly contains Fruits, leaves, seeds and flowers.
  • The golden langur is found only in western Assam and along the adjoining Indo-Bhutan border.
  • It is listed as ‘Endangered’ in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

 Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for being the protected habitat of the Golden Langur. The Langur is found only along the Indo-Bhutan border.
  • Charkashila was previously a reserve forest, but in the year 1994, it was declared as a wildlife sanctuary.
  • Its jurisdiction falls under two districts – namely of Dhubri and Kokrajhar district of Assam.
  • There are two lakes in the wildlife sanctuary, Dheer Beel and Diplai Beel.
  • Other than Langur 30 species of mammals are recorded there. As well as many other species of reptiles, amphibians and birds are also found.
  • The forest type of the sanctuary is mostly semi-evergreen forest.

Why in News?

  • On June 5, 2019 the district authorities of Assam launched a project under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) to plant guava, mango, blackberry and other fruit trees in Kakoijana Reserve Forest in western Assam.
  • The MGNREGA will have non-human beneficiaries (rare golden langur) for the first time through this project.
  • Several golden langurs have died due to electrocution and in road accidents while looking for food beyond the reserve forests.


  • To ensure that the resident golden langurs of the Kakoijana Reserve Forest do not have to risk their lives to find food.



What are No Frills accounts?

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  • The basic savings bank deposit account or no-frills account is a savings account which offers certain minimum facilities, free of charge, to the holders of such accounts.

Enrich Your Learning:

What are No Frills accounts?

  • As per the norms specified by the RBI, account holders of such accounts are not required to maintain minimum balance and can get certain minimum facilities for free.
  • These basic facilities are four withdrawals from ATMs in a month, deposit of cash at bank branch and ATM card or ATM-cum-debit card.
  • The Reserve Bank of India had made it mandatory for all banks to roll out no-frills accounts in a move to induce financial inclusion in 2005.
  • In 2012 the RBI asked the banks to convert the existing ’no-frills’ accounts into ‘Basic Savings Bank Deposit Accounts’.

Why is it news?

  • In June 2019 the RBI directed banks to offer to basic savings bank deposit (BSBD) account holders five services for free and without any requirement for maintaining minimum balance.

New Directive of RBI:

  • As per the new directive of the RBI banks are free to provide additional value-added services, including issue of cheque book, beyond the above minimum facilities, which may or may not be priced and must be disclosed.
  • The RBI also stated that offering such additional services will not make it a non-BSBD account, and customers should have the option of not availing such value-added services.
  • Holders of BSBD accounts will not be eligible for opening any other savings bank deposit account in the same bank.
  • If a customer already has a savings account, they are required to close it within 30 days from the date of opening a BSBD.
  • The minimum free withdrawals available to the BSBD account holders can be made at all ATMs (own-bank or other bank ATMs).

The five services are:

  • Deposit of cash at bank branches as well as ATMs and cash deposit machines (CDMs).
  • Receipt of money through any electronic channel or by means of deposit or collection of cheques drawn by government agencies and departments.
  • Unlimited deposits.
  • A minimum of four withdrawals in a month.
  • Including ATM withdrawals.
  • An ATM card or ATM-cum-debit card.

Key Facts:

  • The ‘Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account’ is available to all customers, through branches.
  • There is no requirement for any initial deposit for opening a BSBDA.
  • Banks offer the ATM Debit Cards free of charge and no Annual fee is levied on such Cards.
  • Balance enquiry through ATMs is not counted in the four withdrawals allowed free of charge at ATMs.
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