Flash Cards

Day#16 Current Affairs Flash Cards [PRELIMS 2020]

Sawfishes, also known as carpenter sharks; Mullaperiyar Dam dispute; National Sample Survey Office (NSSO); NASA’s Dawn mission; National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH) accreditation; All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA);
By IASToppers
August 12, 2019



Which institute is the first medical institute under the AYUSH ministry to hold the coveted National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH) accreditation?

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  • All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA)

About All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA):

  • The first ever All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA), set up along the lines of AIIMS, was inaugurated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Ayurveda Day on 17th October, 2017 at New Delhi.


  • This institute is set up as an apex institute under the Ministry of AYUSH, the AIIA will bring synergy between the traditional wisdom of Ayurveda and modern diagnostic tools and technology.



What is the objective of NASA’s Dawn mission?

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  • NASA’s Dawn mission will study the asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres, celestial bodies believed to have accreted early in the history of the solar system.

About NASA’s Dawn mission:

  • The mission will characterize the early solar system and the processes that dominated its formation.
  • Dawn is the only mission ever to orbit two extra-terrestrial targets.
  • It orbited giant asteroid Vesta for 14 months from 2011 to 2012, then continued on to Ceres, where it has been in orbit since March 2015.
  • Dawn completed its prime mission in June 2016, and its first extension was also approved that year.



National Sample Survey Office operates under which Ministry of Government of India?

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National Sample Survey Office operates under Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India.

About the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO):

  • NSSO is headed by a Director General who is responsible for conduct of large scale sample surveys in diverse fields on All India basis.
  • It is under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation which has been regularly conducting nation-wide surveys on various socio-economic subjects.
  • Results of these surveys are used for planning, policy formulation and decision making.
  • Primarily data are collected through nation-wide household surveys on various socioeconomic subjects, Annual Survey of Industries (ASI), etc.
  • Besides these surveys, NSSO collects data on rural and urban prices and plays a significant role in the improvement of crop statistics through supervision of the area enumeration and crop estimation surveys of the State agencies.
  • It also maintains a frame of urban area units for use in sample surveys in urban areas.

It has four divisions:

  1. Survey Design and Research Division (SDRD) – Kolkata
  2. Field Operations Division (FOD) – New Delhi
  3. Data Processing Division (DPD) – Kolkata
  4. Co-ordination and Publication Division (CPD) – New Delhi



Mullaperiyar Dam dispute involves which Indian States?

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  • Tamil Nadu-Kerala dam row is an ongoing row and the long legal battle between the Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala about the Mullaperiyar dam on the Periyar river.

About Mullaperiyar Dam:

  • The Mullaperiyar Dam or Mullaiperiyar Dam is a masonry gravity dam on the Periyar River in the Indian state of Kerala.
  • It is located on the Cardamom Hills of the Western Ghats in Thekkady, Idukki District of Kerala, South India.
  • It was constructed between 1887 and 1895 by John Pennycuick and also reached in an agreement to donate water eastwards to the Madras Presidency area (present-day Tamil Nadu).
  • The Periyar National Park in Thekkady is located around the dam’s reservoir.
  • The dam is located in Kerala on the river Periyar, but is operated and maintained by Tamil Nadu state.

About the Mullaperiyar Dam dispute:

  • Although the 116-year-old Mullaperiyar dam is located in Kerala, it is operated by the government of Tamil Nadu which signed a 999-year lease agreement with the former British government to irrigate farmland on its side.
  • The control and safety of the dam and the validity and fairness of the lease agreement have been points of dispute between Kerala and Tamil Nadu states.
  • Supreme Court judgment came in February 2006, allowing Tamil Nadu to raise the level of the dam to 152 ft (46 m) after strengthening it.
  • Responding to it, Mullaperiyar dam was declared an ‘endangered’ scheduled dam by the Kerala Government under the disputed Kerala Irrigation and Water Conservation (Amendment) Act, 2006.
  • Kerala in 2006, constituting the Dam Safety Authority to prevent Tamil Naidu from raising the water level in the Mullaperiyar dam from 136 ft to 142 ft.
  • Tamil Nadu has insisted on exercising its unfettered rights to control the dam and its waters, based on the 1886 lease agreement. Kerala has pointed out the unfairness in the 1886 lease agreement and has challenged its validity. However, safety concerns posed by the 119-yearold dam to the safety of the people of Kerala in the event of a dam collapse, have been the focus of disputes from 2009 onwards.



What do know about the Sawfishes, also known as carpenter sharks?

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About Sawfish:

  • Sawfishes, also known as carpenter sharks, are a family of rays characterized by a long, narrow, flattened rostrum, or nose extension, lined with sharp transverse teeth, arranged in a way that resembles a saw.
  • The sawfish family has been assessed either ‘Endangered’ or ‘Critically Endangered’ in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Global Red List, considering their threatened status, high extinction risk and observed population decline.
  • There are only five species of the sawfish ever identified — dwarf sawfish, knifetooth sawfish, smalltooth sawfish, largetooth sawfish and green sawfish.
  • Sawfish are elasmobranchs, meaning their skeleton is made of cartilage.
  • They are closely related to sharks and have shark-shaped bodies and, hence, are also called flat sharks.
  • The smalltooth sawfish was once widely distributed, but available data indicate the range of this species has been reduced by about 90%, and population numbers have declined dramatically, perhaps by 95% or more.

Sawfish in India:

  • The sawfish may be the most endangered fish species in India.
  • They were once common along the Indian coast, especially in the northern Arabian Sea coast including Maharashtra but now has been declined drastically due to several reasons.
  • Sawfish, considered “sacred”, were rarely seen over the last few decades.
  • Under the guidance of National Plan of Action for Sharks (NPOA), specific plans have been chartered for the protection of sawfishes in India.
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