70 Days WAR Plan

70 Days WAR Plan Static Flash Cards Day#26 [Revision]

Lagoon; Cyclones; Amaram lands; Eknath; Namadeva; Specific Relief Act of 1963; Recognition as a National Party; Recognition as a State Party; Water fluoridation; Contingency Fund (CF) of RBI; Cash Transfers & In-Kind Benefits; Cayman Islands;
By IT's Core Team
April 16, 2019




Where is Cayman Islands located?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:


  • The Cayman Islands is an autonomous British Overseas Territory in the western Caribbean Sea.
  • The islands are in the western Caribbean Sea and are the peaks of a massive underwater ridge, known as the Cayman Ridge (or Cayman Rise).
  • This ridge flanks the Cayman Trough, 6,000 m (20,000 ft) deep which lies 6 km (3.7 mi) to the south.
  • The islands lie in the northwest of the Caribbean Sea, east of Quintana Roo, Mexico and Yucatán State, Mexico, northeast of Costa Rica, north of Panama, south of Cuba and west of Jamaica.
  • The territory comprises the three islands of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman located south of Cuba, northeast of Costa Rica, north of Panama, east of Mexico and northwest of Jamaica.
  • The Cayman Islands is considered to be part of the geographic Western Caribbean Zone as well as the Greater Antilles.
  • The territory is often considered a major world offshore financial haven for international businesses and many wealthy individuals.
  • All three islands were formed by large coral heads covering submerged ice age peaks of western extensions of the Cuban Sierra Maestra range and are mostly flat.
  • One notable exception to this is The Bluff on Cayman Brac’s eastern part, which rises to 43 m (141 ft) above sea level, the highest point on the islands.
  • Terrain is mostly a low-lying limestone base surrounded by coral reefs.





What are the differences between Cash Transfers & In-Kind Benefits?

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Cash Transfers:

  • Cash transfers are benefits paid by the government, to individuals, in the form of cash.
  • For example, if you are injured on the job, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
  • These benefits are paid in cash, not in the form of a product or service, so they are classified as a cash transfer.
  • The benefit of cash transfers is that you can use them in any way that you choose.

In-kind Benefits:

  • In-kind benefits, like cash transfers, are benefits paid to individuals by federal or state governments.
  • Unlike cash transfers, these benefits are not paid directly in cash. Instead, the individual receives goods or services for free or at a reduced rate.
  • A good example of this is Medicaid. When you are starting out in life and establishing yourself financially, you may qualify for Medicaid benefits. The government does not simply give you a check, but rather covers some of your medical costs.
  • While having financial freedom can be advantageous, being limited can also have its advantages. Because in-kind benefits must be used for specific things, it can force you to take advantage of things that you should use — but might not if you had the choice.




What is Contingency Fund (CF) of RBI? Why has the RBI put its foot down on parting with a part of its contingency fund?

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The CF is a fund set apart for meeting the unforeseen contingencies, including depreciation in the value of securities, risks arising out of monetary/exchange rate policy operations, systemic risks and any risk arising on account of the special responsibilities enjoined upon the Bank.

  • The contingency fund alongside other reserves such as asset development fund, foreign currency and gold reserves are a crucial part of the RBIs balance sheet.
  • They enable the RBI to tackle unexpected disruptions, and in this manner serve to instil faith in global investors.

It is for Contingency arise from the:

  • Rapid depreciation of the value of its domestic bond holdings,
  • Exchange rate depreciation on its foreign exchange assets and losses from open market operations involving the tweaking of the repo and reverse repo rates for managing the supply of money in the economy
  • Collapse of a commercial bank which can rattle the economy and thus needs to be bailed out.

Where does the RBI make money to put into its contingency fund?

  • There are various sources. Foremost among them is the interest earnings on foreign currency assets such as bonds. It could also be from interest earned from loans and advances to central and state government. Interest from deposits held with foreign banks is another source of income for the apex bank.
  • Net interest earned from liquidity operations is a source of income too. This includes the difference between repo rate (interest charged by the RBI to commercial banks while lending money to the latter) and reverse repo rate (interest paid by the RBI to borrow money from commercial banks).
  • A part of the earnings of the central bank from all these sources go into printing currencies and supporting its operations. The remaining amount is transferred to the government as a dividend.
  • And sometimes, the RBI also sets aside a part of its income for contingency funds. This leads to reduced dividend transfer to the government.

Why did the centre demand a part of the contingency fund?

  • Economic growth, which suffered a serious setback owing to the toxic mix of demonetisation and haphazard implementation of the GST, is topmost on government’s agenda.
  • To revive it, the government first needs to recapitalise the bankrupt banks and NBFCs (non-banking finance companies) mostly barred from lending till they correct their balance sheets by recovering their loans.
  • The lending restrictions placed on them has stifled business growth in the nation, particularly in the MSME (micro, small, and medium enterprises) sector which has bore the main brunt of demonetisation and GST implementation.
  • The massive funds needed for bank recapitalisation, for large social welfare schemes and for materialising other tall promises such as the quick Rs.1 crore loan to the MSMEs is expected to put a severe strain on the government’s fiscal deficit going forward.
  • Hence the finance minister Arun Jaitley demanded a whopping Rs.3.6 lakh crore from it. This has been calculated to be around 2 percent of the GDP of the nation.

Why has the RBI put its foot down on parting with a part of its contingency fund?

  • The centre has been dissatisfied with the RBI putting money into its contingency fund, reason being it reduces the government’s share of dividends.
  • It feels that the RBI’s contingency fund is already the second largest in the world after Norway. Besides, being at 26.5 percent of total assets, it is greater than the median of 10 percent.

Under such circumstances, why was the RBI reluctant?

  • The biggest reason is that with the money gone from its coffers, RBI would stand to lose its credibility; it would destroy the trust of the global investors and other nations on the Indian apex bank to meet various contingencies.
  • Besides, it would also gradually lower the earnings of the central bank. This is because it holds the contingency fund in the form of gold reserves, forex exchange reserves, consisting of foreign currency assets along with foreign currencies, and government of India bonds. With a substantial part of the contingency fund depleted, its interest income would also come down.
  • But most importantly, drawing the staggering amount at one shot would generate a systemic risk as it would force the central bank to sell the government bonds or its foreign exchange reserves.
  • As per experts, it is simply imprudent to use up all the funds accumulated over several years at one go. The fund is meant to be used sparingly, only when there is an extreme emergency.

Way ahead:

  • The RBI has now decided to conduct statutory audit of its account twice a year, so that it can transfer the surplus to the government as many times. The government has been demanding more funds as dividend from the RBI which has become a bone of contention.
  • A six-member committee headed by former RBI Governor Bimal Jalan has been formed to review the economic capital framework of the central bank. The committee would submit its report within 90 days from the date of its first meeting.




What is water fluoridation?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

  • Water fluoridation is the controlled addition of fluoride to a public water supply to reduce tooth decay.
  • Fluoridated water contains fluoride at a level that is effective for preventing cavities; this can occur naturally or by adding fluoride.
  • Fluoridated water operates on tooth surfaces: in the mouth, it creates low levels of fluoride in saliva, which reduces the rate at which tooth enamel demineralizes and increases the rate at which it remineralizes in the early stages of cavities.
  • Dental caries remains a major public health concern in most industrialized countries, affecting 60–90% of schoolchildren and the vast majority of adults.
  • There are two main types of fluorosis, namely dental and skeletal fluorosis.
  • Dental fluorosis is caused by continuous exposures to high concentrations of fluoride during tooth development, leading to enamel with low mineral content and increased porosity.
  • Skeletal fluorosis is developed by the disturbance of calcium metabolism in the formation of bones of the body.

Significance of Water Fluoridation:

Significance of Water Fluoridation

  • A daily intake of around 10-20 mg/day for adults and as low as 3-8 mg/day for children has been found to be harmful.
  • More than 100 districts across the country and probably more than 60 million people are consuming drinking water which has fluoride greater than 1 mg/l.
  • Local food can also get irrigated by the same water, food also contains fluoride in these places. This makes the total daily consumption of fluoride more than 10 mg/day which is always harmful for adults and more so for children.
  • This is really important to all of us and especially for pregnant women for whom iron deficiency anemia and related problems are a serious cause of under-weight and unhealthy children at birth.
  • Removal of fluoride (activated alumina and reverse osmosis), saving rainwater directly from rooftops or through dams and wells, advanced detection of water and health, and so on.




What are the rules for eligibility for national and state party status?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

Conditions for Recognition as a National Party

  • Secure at least 6% of the valid vote in an Assembly or a Lok Sabha General Election in any four or more states and won at least 4 seats in a Lok Sabha General Election from any State or States
  • Win at least 2% of the total Lok Sabha seats in a Lok Sabha General Election and these seats have to be won from at least 3 states
  • The party is recognized as a State Party in at least four states

Conditions for Recognition as a State Party

  • Secure at least 6% of the valid vote & win at least 2 seats in an Assembly General Election
  • Secure at least 6% of the valid vote & win at least 1 seats in a Lok Sabha General Election
  • Win at least 3% of the seats or at least 3 seats, whichever is more, in an Assembly General Election
  • Win at least 1 out of every 25 seats from a state in a Lok Sabha General Election
  • Secure at least 8% of the total valid vote in an Assembly or a Lok Sabha General Election.




What do you know about the Specific Relief Act of 1963?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

  • The Specific Relief Act, 1963 is an Act of the Parliament of India which provides remedies for persons whose civil or contractual rights have been violated. It replaced an earlier Act of 1877.
  • Protection of life and property cannot be assured by a simple declaration of rights and duties. The enumeration of rights and duties must be supplemented by legal devices which help the individual to enforce his rights. Social redress must be provided to every person who is injured in the social process.
  • Basically, the mission of the Specific Act is to assure that whenever there is a wrong there must be a remedy.
  • The law sets out remedies available to parties whose contractual or civil rights have been violated.
  • It also provides a remedy that aims at the exact fulfilment of an obligation or specific performance of the contract rather than a general relief or compensation or damages.
  • It sets out two main remedies to party whose contract has not been performed.
  • First one, the party may ask court to compel performance of contract (specific performance and
  • Second one, the party may seek monetary compensation instead of performance.
  • Though the Specific Relief Act is concerned only with the enforcement of civil rights and not penal laws, even civil law has to take care of certain rights, the violation of which is capable of creating serious violent clashes, and these are rights to possession of property.

The following kinds of remedies may be granted by a court under the provisions of the Specific Relief Act:

  • Recovery of possession of property
  • Specific performance of contracts
  • Rectification of instruments
  • Rescission of contracts
  • Cancellation of Instruments
  • Declaratory decrees
  • Injunction

The Lok Sabha has passed Specific Relief (Amendment) Bill, 2017 to further ease procedures for doing business in the country. The Bill seeks to amend the Specific Relief Act, 1963.




Give some brief information on Bhakti Saints: (i) Eknath and (ii) Namadeva

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  • In the sixteenth century, Ekanatha opposed caste distinctions and sympathetic towards the lower castes. He composed many lyrics and his bhajans and kirtans were famous.
  • He was a prominent Marathi sant, scholar, and religious poet of the Varkari sampradaya.
  • In the development of Marathi literature, Eknath is seen as a bridge between his predecessors Dnyaneshwar and Namdev; and the later Tukaram and Ramdas.
  • He wrote a variation of the Bhagavata Purana which is known as the Eknathi Bhagavata, and a variation of the Ramayana which is known as the Bhavarth Ramayan.
  • He also wrote Rukmini Swayamwar Hastamalak, which was comprised 764 owes and based on a 14-shlok Sanskrit hymn with the same name by Shankaracharya.


  • Namdev, also transliterated as Namdeo and Namadeva, was a poet-saint from Maharashtra, India who is significant to the Varkari sect of Hinduism.
  • He is also venerated in Sikhism, as well as Hindu warrior-ascetic traditions such as the Dadupanthis and the Niranjani Sampraday that emerged in north India during the Islamic rule.
  • Namdev was influenced by Vaishnavism, and became widely known in India for his devotional songs set to music (bhajan-kirtans).
  • His philosophy contains both nirguna and saguna Brahman elements, with monistic themes.
  • Namdev’s legacy is remembered in modern times in the Varkari tradition, along with those of other gurus, with masses of people walking together in biannual pilgrimages to Pandharpur in south Maharashtra.
  • Namadeva preached the gospel of love. He opposed idol worship and priestly domination. He also opposed the caste system.




What were amaram lands known for in Vijayanagar empire? And how were they managed?

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  • The Vijayanagar army was well-organized and efficient. It consisted of the cavalry, infantry, artillery and elephants. High-breed horses were procured from foreign traders.
  • The Malabar port was the center of this trade and trade in other luxury commodities. The Vijaynagar rules always attempted to control the port.
  • The top-grade officers of the army were known as Nayaks or Poligars.
  • They were granted land in lieu of their services. These lands were called amaram.
  • Soldiers were usually paid in cash.
  • They were also familiar with the use of firearms and employed Turkish and Portuguese experts, to train their soldiers, with latest wepon.
  • The nayaka were responsible for expanding agriculture activities in his amaram. They also collect the tax in the respective area to maintain their army, horses, elephants and weapons which they had to supply to Vijaynagar ruler.
  • Some of the taxes were also used to maintain temples and also for irrigation work.




The low pressure area in the centre of the cyclone is created by what?

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  • The low pressure area in the centre of the cyclone is created by the surface wind spiral inwards to the centre of the cyclone.

Enrich Your Learning: 

About Cyclone: 

  • Typical cyclones are elliptical arrangement of isobars having low pressure at the centre with a convergence of winds within them. The wind direction in the cyclones is anti clockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere.
  • Cyclones are of two types – the temperate or mid latitude cyclones and the tropical or low latitude cyclones.
  • A mature tropical cyclone is characterised by the strong spirally circulating wind around the centre, called the eye. The diameter of the circulating system can vary between 150 and 250 km.
  • A low pressure area in the centre is created by the surface wind spiral inwards the centre of the cyclone.
  • The pattern of wind direction in cyclones has is anticlockwise in northern hemisphere and clockwise in southern hemisphere with low pressure condition at the centre.




What is Lagoon? In India, where do you find Lagoons?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

  • A lagoon is a body of water separated from larger bodies of water by a natural barrier.
  • Lagoons are separated from larger bodies of water by sandbars, barrier reefs, coral reefs, or other natural barriers.
  • Sometimes due to deposition of waves and currents both the ends of the bar join to enclose a part of the sea water between the coast and the bar. This enclosed part of the sea forms a lake of saline water. This saline water lake is called a lagoon.

Types of lagoons

  • There are two types of lagoons: atoll and coastal. Atoll lagoons form when an island completely subsides beneath the water, leaving a ring of coral that continues to grow upwards. At the center of the ring is a body of water that is often deep. The combination of coral growth and water creates a lagoon. It may take as long as 300,000 years for an atoll formation to occur.
  • Coastal lagoons form along gently sloping coasts. They are generally shallower than atoll lagoons and tend to be separated from the ocean by an island, reef, or sand bank. Most of the time, coastal lagoons are connected to the ocean by an inlet.

Factors responsible for the formation Lagoon:

  • Sometimes the lagoons are formed due to wave erosion also. A lagoon is generally connected with the sea through a narrow passage.
  • Sea level rise, the amount of existing sediment, and tidal range all contribute to the formation of coastal lagoons. Younger and more dynamic than atoll lagoons, coastal lagoons may have shorter “lifespans” due to their exposed locations on the shore.

Lagoons in India:

  • India has a vast coastline and the coast is very indented in some states. Due to this, a number of lagoons and lakes have formed.
  • The States like Kerala, Odisha and West Bengal have vast surface water resources in these lagoons and lakes.
  • Although, water is generally brackish in these water-bodies, it is used for fishing and irrigating certain varieties of paddy crops, coconut, etc