70 Days WAR Plan

Day#12 Current Affairs Flash Cards [70 Days WAR Plan]

‘Brent crude’; Marrakesh Agreement; National Land Records Modernization Programme; Sharda Prasad Committee; State Investment Index report; ‘Kole roga’; UDAN International; Atmospheric Laser Doppler Instrument (Aladin); Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP); Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Peace Mission 2018; etc.
By IT's Core Team
April 02, 2019




The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Peace Mission 2018 was held in which country?

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  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Peace Mission 2018 was held in Chebarkul, Russia.

Enrich Your Learning:

  • As part of the SCO initiatives, the SCO Peace Mission Exercise is conducted biennially for the SCO member states.
  • The exercise was aimed at enhancing cooperation between member states to deal with growing threat of terrorism and extremism.
  • Military contingents of the all eight SCO member nations (China, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, India and Pakistan) participated in this exercise.
  • The exercise will involve tactical level operations in an international counter insurgency or counter-terrorism environment under the SCO Charter.


  • The previous SCO counter-terrorism drills were mainly limited to the Central Asian nations. But due to the entry of India and Pakistan, the SCO’s counter-terrorism mission has expanded to South Asia.
  • The 2018 exercise will be the first for India and Pakistan since becoming full members of the SCO in 2017. It also will be the first time India and Pakistan take part in a military exercise together since their independence, though their militaries have previously worked on United Nations peacekeeping missions.




Where do you find Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP)?

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  • The “garbage patch” is a popular name for concentrations of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean.

Enrich Your Learning:

Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP)

  • Marine debris is litter that ends up in oceans, seas, and other large bodies of water.
  • The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also known as the Pacific trash vortex, spans waters from the West Coast of North America to Japan.
  • The patch is actually comprised of the Western Garbage Patch, located near Japan, and the Eastern Garbage Patch, located between the U.S. states of Hawaii and California.
  • These areas of spinning debris are linked together by the North Pacific Subtropical Convergence Zone, located a few hundred kilometres north of Hawaii.
  • This convergence zone is where warm water from the South Pacific meets up with cooler water from the Arctic.
  • The zone acts like a highway that moves debris from one patch to another.
  • The entire Great Pacific Garbage Patch is bounded by the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre.
  • The amount of debris in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch accumulates because much of it is not biodegradable.
  • Many plastics, for instance, do not wear down; they simply break into tinier and tinier pieces.
  • These patches are almost entirely made up of tiny bits of plastic, called micro plastics.
  • The seafloor beneath the Great Pacific Garbage Patch may also be an underwater trash heap.
  • Oceanographers and ecologists recently discovered that about 70% of marine debris actually sinks to the bottom of the ocean.great specific




What is Atmospheric Laser Doppler Instrument, also known as ALADIN?

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  • The Atmospheric Laser Doppler Instrument (ALADIN) is the payload of the ADM-Aeolus mission, which will provide direct measurements of global wind fields.

Enrich Your Learning:

Atmospheric Laser Doppler Instrument (Aladin)

  • It will determine the wind velocity component normal to the satellite velocity vector.
  • The instrument is a direct detection Doppler Lidar operating in the UV, which will be the first of its kind in space.
  • ALADIN comprises a high energy laser and a direct detection receiver operating on aerosol and molecular backscatter signals in parallel.
  • The laser is all solid-state, based on Nd-YAG technology and high power laser diodes.
  • So the Aeolus instrument, the Atmospheric Laser Doppler Instrument, or Aladin for short, comprises a powerful laser, a large telescope and a very sensitive receiver.
  • The detector is a silicon CCD whose architecture allows on-chip accumulation of the returns, providing photon counting performance.
  • The Aeolus satellite is developed for the European Space Agency by EADS Astrium Satellites as prime contractor for the satellite and the instrument.




In UDAN international, both the Centre and the State government share the subsidy. True or False?

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Right Statement:

  • Unlike in domestic UDAN where both the Centre and the State government share the subsidy, it is only the State government that will provide the financial support for flights under international UDAN.

Enrich Your Learning:

UDAN International

International UDAN is an extension of the domestic UDAN scheme.

  • UDAN in its domestic avatar seeks to boost air connectivity by linking up un-served and under-served airports in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities with the big cities and also with each other.
  • This is done by offering cheap tickets to passengers and the Central and State governments paying a subsidy to the airlines to enable them to offer cheap tickets.
  • Under International UDAN, the plan is to connect India’s smaller cities directly to some key foreign destinations in the neighbourhood.
  • Such direct air connectivity, it is hoped, would promote the development of the city and the State by wooing tourists and businesspeople to travel via smaller towns, instead of their flying through the metros.
  • The scheme seeks to make use of the open skies policy that India has with other Asian countries that allows direct and unlimited flights to and from these nations to 18 Indian destinations.
  • The domestic UDAN, the financial support and flying exclusivity on the route will be for three years.
  • Only Indian carriers can participate in the international UDAN scheme, and only aircraft with capacity of 70 seats or more can fly the foreign routes.
  • An International Air Connectivity Fund (IACF) for providing financial support to airlines participating in the scheme is set up by the government.




In past, a term ‘Kole roga’ appeared in news. What is it?

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  • FRUIT ROT of areca nut, also known as “mahali” in Malayalam and “koleroga” in Kannada, is a serious disease that could lead to great economic losses. The disease may cause fruit drop of 50 to 100 per cent in individual palms. It is caused by the fungus Phytophthora meadii.

Enrich Your Learning:

Kole roga

Koleroga as it is called in Karnataka is otherwise called Mahali in Kerala or fruit rot in a number of places.

  • This disease was first reported in India in 1906 and has been serious on areca palms (Areca catechu; supari) in the western peninsular parts of our country.
  • It has also been reported from Assam.
  • It severely affects the fruits (nuts) of the areca palm during June to September when there is heavy rainfall (187-750 cm) in these areas.
  • The areca fruits surfaces get rotten as a result of the disease.
  • If prolonged favourable conditions prevail as well as there is not timely spraying of fungicides, the damage is heavy resulting in almost the total loss (up to 90%) of the crop.
  • The disease spreads from palm to palm and from orchard to orchard.

Causal Organism of Koleroga Disease:

  • The mycelium is coenocytic; the hyphae vary in diameter from 8 µm to 9 µm. The hyphae invade inter- or intracellularly and produce sparsely distributed finger-shaped, occasionally branched haustoria in the host cells.
  • The pathogen is considered to perennate in the infected tree tops during entire dry season ranging from January to June because of two reasons:
  • The recovery of the pathogen from tree tops was 100% during January to April and 90% from May to June, and
  • The sporangia have been caught on aeroscope slides at 32 feet high over the orchard and the neighbouring areas.

Management of Koleroga Disease:

  • Cleanliness and sanitary cultural practices, particularly the destruction of diseased tops of the palms and other plant parts, are of foremost importance in disease management.
  • Fallen infected fruits should be collected and burnt.
  • Although the height of palms and the situation of affected parts of the top make spraying difficult, the latter is found to be very effective. Copper fungicides such as 0.25% Perenox or 1% Bordeaux mixture or Fytolon, has been found very effective.




State Investment Index report is released by which institute of India?

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  • State investment index report is released by National Council of Applied Economic research.

Enrich Your Learning:

NCAER State Investment Potential Index (N-SIPI) report

  • NCAER launched the index in March 2016, to provide metrics of economic governance, competitiveness and growth opportunities at the state and regional level.
  • The index is designed to provide a systematic and reliable go to reference for policy makers, existing businesses and potential domestic and overseas investors.
  • The ranking of 20 states and one Union Territory of Delhi was based on six pillars — land, labour, infrastructure, economic climate, governance and political stability and business perceptions.
  • The index ranks competitiveness on six pillars: land, labour, infrastructure, economic climate, political stability and governance and business perceptions.
  • These six pillars are classified under four broad categories: Factor driven (land and labour), efficiency driven(infrastructure), growth driven (economic climate and political stability & governance) and perceptions driven (ranking of business climate built on firm surveys).flash card map


About National Council of Applied Economic research:

  • Established in 1956, NCAER is India’s oldest and largest independent, non-profit, economic policy research institute.
  • NCAER’s work falls into four thematic areas: Growth, Macro, Trade, and Economic Policy; Investment Climate, Industry, Infrastructure, Labour, and Urban; Agriculture and Rural Development, Natural Resources, and Environment; Poverty, Equity, Human Development, and Consumers.




The Sharda Prasad Committee was constituted by which ministry?

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  • The Sharda Prasad committee was constituted by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

Enrich Your Learning:

Sharda Prasad Committee

In 2016, the Government of India formed the Sharada Prasad Committee to rationalise the Sector Skill Councils (SSCs), which are employer bodies mostly promoted by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Confederation of Indian Industry and other industry associations, and improve ‘Skill India’.

  • Sharada Prasad Committee was constituted to Review, Rationalize and Optimize the Functioning of Sector Skill Councils.
  • The committee submitted its report in 2016.

Significance of the report:

  • It is the first Committee to look at the National Vocational Education and Training System in a holistic manner since 1952.

Objectives of the committee:

  • Meet the exact skill needs of the industry.
  • Provide relevant skills and decent means of livelihood to each youth entering the labour market; and
  • Design a holistic and credible skill development system which could meet skills needs of the domestic industry and realize the vision of our Prime Minister to make India as the Skills capital of the World.




Erstwhile National Land Records Modernization Programme is now known as?

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  • National Land Records Modernization Programme is now known as the Digital India Land Records Modernization Programme (DILRMP).

Enrich Your Learning:

National Land Records Modernization Programme




  • The National Land Records Modernization Programme (NLRMP) was launched by the Government in August 2008, aimed to modernize management of land records, minimize scope of land/property disputes, enhance transparency in the land records maintenance system, and facilitate moving eventually towards guaranteed conclusive titles to immovable properties in the country.
  • The major components of the programme are computerization of all land records including mutations, digitization of maps and integration of textual and spatial data, survey/re-survey and updation of all survey and settlement records including creation of original cadastral records wherever necessary, computerization of registration and its integration with the land records maintenance system, development of core Geospatial Information System (GIS) and capacity building.

Objective of NLRMP:

  • The main objective of the NLRMP is to develop a modern, comprehensive and transparent land records management system in the country with the aim to implement the conclusive land-titling system with title guarantee.

NLRMP Project involves following activities:

  • Scanning, digitization, updation of mussavies/ cadastral maps.
  • Geo-linking of RoR data with updated digitized maps.
  • Scanning of old Revenue documentsfor virtual record room
  • Survey/Resurvey using ETS
  • DGPS Survey
  • Satellite data processing




Who are the member parties of the Marrakesh Agreement?

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  • All WTO members are parties to the Marrakesh Agreement, including countries that have joined the WTO since it was signed.

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What is this Agreement and what does it do?

  • The agreement establishing the World Trade Organization, commonly known as the “Marrakesh Agreement”, was signed in Marrakesh, Morocco, on April 15, 1994, at the conclusion of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations.
  • This Agreement defines the scope, functions and structure of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and previously negotiated under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), along with agreements concluded during the Uruguay Round.
  • These agreements are now considered to be WTO agreements.
  • All WTO members are parties to the Marrakesh Agreement, including countries that have joined the WTO since it was signed.

Objective of Marrakesh Agreement

  • The objective of the countries that signed the Marrakesh Agreement was to create an integrated multilateral trading system encompassing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the results of all the trade rounds (including the Uruguay Round) that had been conducted since the GATT was signed in 1947.
  • This Agreement entered into force on January 1, 1995. It has no expiration date.

Functions of the Marrakesh Agreement:

  • Established the WTO and states that it will serve as the basic framework for trade relations among all WTO member countries on matters covered by the WTO agreements;
  • Defines the functions of the WTO.
  • Provides for the organizational and administrative structure of the WTO.
  • Requires the WTO to hold a Ministerial Conference at least once every two years, where trade ministers from WTO member countries meet to assess the implementation of the WTO agreements and decide on future WTO initiatives.
  • Established the WTO General Council, which oversees WTO operations between meetings of the Ministerial Conference.
  • Provides that decisions in the WTO are to be made as a general rule by consensus, although voting is allowed in certain circumstances where a decision cannot be reached by consensus.
  • Gives the Ministerial Conference and the General Council the exclusive authority to adopt interpretations of this Agreement and all WTO agreements, and also grants the Ministerial Conference the authority to amend all WTO agreements.
  • States that any country may join the WTO on terms that are agreed upon between the country applying for membership and the WTO.
  • Maintains that WTO members may choose not to apply the WTO Agreements to a country that is joining the WTO as long as the Ministerial Conference is notified before approving that country’s accession terms, and
  • Permits any WTO member to withdraw from the WTO after giving six months’ advance notice to the WTO’s Director-General.





The term ‘Brent crude’ frequently appear in news. What is Brent crude?

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Brent crude is the benchmark against which the majority of the 100m barrels of crude oil traded every day are priced.

Enrich Your Learning:

  • Best known of the three benchmark crude oils (the other two are ‘West Texas Intermediate’ and ‘Dubai’) against which other crude oils are priced.
  • Light (API Gravity 37.5°) and sweet (having low sulfur/sulphur content), it is a blend of UK’s two North Sea oils: Shell Oil Company’s Brent-field crude and British Petroleum Company’s Ninian-field crude, both of which are past their peak in terms of production which now stands at about 500,000 barrels a day.
  • The preference for Brent crude today stems from the fact that it may be a better indicator of global oil prices.
  • Brent essentially draws its oil from more than a dozen oil fields located in the North Sea.
  • It’s also still considered a sweet crude, despite having a higher sulfur content than WTI.
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