70 Days WAR Plan

Day#4 Current Affairs Flash Cards [70 Days WAR Plan]

Sawfish; Bureau of Indian standards (BIS) Act 2016; Mullaperiyar Dam dispute; National Sample Survey Office (NSSO); NASA’s Dawn mission; All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA); Institute of National Importance (INI); Consumer International (CI); Rural Postal Life Insurance; Postal Life Insurance (PLI); Kanger Ghati National Park;
By IT's Core Team
March 25, 2019




Kanger Ghati National Park is situated in which Indian State?

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About Kanger Ghati National Park:

  • Also known as Kanger Valley National park, it is located in the Bastar district near the Kholaba river.
  • It is named after the Kanger River which flows near the Park.
  • The park starts from Tirathgarh waterfall and ends near the Kolab River in the Orissa border.
  • The Park has mainly Cuddapah group of rock formation and at some places vindhyan group of rock formation, shales are the common rock formation of cuddapah group, which are horizontally bedded, at many places calcareous, the other rock formation is slate.
  • It was declared as a National park in the year of 1982.




Rural Postal Life Insurance was formed as a result of the recommendations of which committee?

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  • Rural Postal Life Insurance (RPLI), introduced on March 24, 1995 on the recommendations of the Malhotra Committee, provides insurance cover to people residing in rural areas, especially weaker sections and women living in rural areas.

About Postal Life Insurance (PLI):

  • Postal Life Insurance (PLI) was introduced on 1st February 1884.
  • Low premium and high bonus is the unique feature of PLI and RPLI schemes. As on March 31, 2017, there were 46.8 lakh PLI and 146.8 lakh RPLI policies across the country.
  • PLI also extends the facility of insurance to the officers and staff of the Defence services and para-military forces.
  • Apart from single insurance policies, Postal Life Insurance also manages a group insurance scheme for the extra departmental employees (Gramin Dak Sevaks) of the Department of Posts.
  • PLI offers 6 types of plans viz. Whole Life Assurance (SURAKSHA), Convertible Whole Life Assurance (SUVIDHA), Endowment Assurance (SANTOSH), Anticipated Endowment Assurance (SUMANGAL), Joint Life Assurance (YUGAL SURAKSHA) and Children Policy (BAL JEEVAN BIMA). In all policies age limit is 19 to 55 years.

Expansion of PLI:

  • The benefits of Postal Life Insurance (PLI) will no more be confined to government and semi-government employees only, but will also be available to all professionals and to the employees of listed companies of NSE (National Stock Exchange) and BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange).
  • The decision has been taken to enlarge the cover of social security and bring the maximum number of people under the protection of Postal Life Insurance (PLI).




Is International Organization of Consumers Unions (IOCU) a specialized agency of United Nations (UN) for consumer protection?

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  • International Organization of Consumers Unions (IOCU) is not an agency of United Nations (UN).

About Consumer International (CI):

  • Consumers International (CI) is the world confederation of consumer groups.
  • Formerly known as International Organization of Consumers Unions (IOCU), it is consumer advocacy group that promotes the rights and interests of consumers.
  • It was founded on 1 April 1960.
  • It has over 250 member organizations in 120 countries.
  • Its head office is based in London, England.
  • CI is a not-for-profit company.
  • CI is funded by membership fees and grants from governments, multilateral agencies, and nongovernmental organizations.

CI defends eight basic consumer rights:

  1. The right to protection from unsafe products
  2. The right to product information.
  3. The right to a range of product choices.
  4. The right to representation in government policy.
  5. The right to products that satisfy basic needs.
  6. The right to redress for grievances concerning unsatisfactory products.
  7. The right to consumer education.
  8. The right to an environment that is not threatening to human well-being.




What is the status of Institute of National Importance (INI)?

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  • Institute of National Importance (INI) is a status that may be conferred to a premier public higher education institution in India by an act of parliament, an institution which “serves as a pivotal player in developing highly skilled personnel within the specified region of the country/state”.
  • INIs receive special recognition and funding.

More about Institute of National Importance (INI):

  • An Institute of National Importance is one that plays a crucial role in developing skilled people within the state or region.
  • These institutes of national importance are often supported by the government and provide high quality of education. Only some chosen few belong to this category.
  • The Indian Institutes of Technology form a major group in this list.




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 are the salient features of the Bureau of Indian standards (BIS) Act 2016?

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About the Bureau of Indian Standards Bill, 2016:

  • The Bureau of Indian Standards Bill, 2015 was introduced in Lok Sabha by Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution on August 7, 2015.
  • The Bill replaces the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986.
  • A new Bureau of Indian standards (BIS) Act 2016 which was notified on 22nd March 2016, has been brought into force with effect from 12th October, 2017.
  • The Bureau of Indian Standards Bill, 2015 Act establishes Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) as the National Standards Body of India
  • The new Act will further help in ease of doing business in the country, give fillip to ‘Make in India’ campaign and ensure availability of quality products and services to the consumers.

Highlights of the act:

  • There is provision to bring more services and products like jewellery under the mandatory standard regime.
  • The new law will further help ease of doing business in the country.
  • As per the new law, the government can bring under compulsory certification regime any goods and service which it considers necessary in the public interest or for the protection of human, animal or plant health, safety of the environment, or prevention of unfair trade practices or national security.
  • Enabling provisions have also been made for making hallmarks of the precious metal articles mandatory.
  • The new Act also allows multiple type of simplified conformity assessment schemes, including self-declaration of conformity against a standard which will give simplified options (to manufacturers) to adhere to the standards and get certificate of conformity.
  • There is also a provision that enables the Centre to appoint any authority/agency, in addition to the BIS, to verify the conformity of products and services to a standard and issue certificate of conformity.
  • There is provision for repair or recall, including product liability of the products bearing Standard Mark but not conforming to the relevant Indian Standard.



Do you know sawfish has been included in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972?

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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.