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70 Days WAR Plan

Day#40 Static Flash Cards Revision [70 Days WAR Plan]

'Sea-Floor Spreading'; Duties of Panchayat Secretary during the conduct of Gram Sabha; Supernova; Carbon Sequestration; Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA); Effective Revenue Deficit; Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs); Brahmavadini; Vikrama Era, Saka Era, Gupta Era & Kali Era;
By IT's Core Team
April 30, 2019

 

 

 

When did the Vikrama Era, Saka Era, Gupta Era & Kali Era start?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

Vikrama era:

  • The founder the Saka rule in India in the first century B.C. was Maues. His son and successor was Azes I, who was considered to be the founder of the Vikrama era.
  • It started in 56 B.C.

Saka era:

  • Kanishka was the most important ruler of the Kushana dynasty. He was the founder of the Saka era which starts from 78 A.D. He was not only a great conqueror but also a patron of religion and art.

Gupta era:

  • Chandragupta I is considered to be the founder of the Gupta era which starts with his accession in A.D. 320.

Kali era:

  • Kali era is the last of the four stages (or era) the world goes through as part of a ‘cycle of yugas’ (i.e. Mahayuga) described in the Sanskrit scriptures.
  • The other ages are called Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, and Dvapara Yuga.
  • It began in 3102 B.C.

 

 

 

Lopamudra, Vishwawara, Sikta, Ghosha and Maitreyi were women who composed hymns of which ancient text?

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Answer:

  • Lopamudra, Vishwawara, Sikta, Ghosha and Maitreyi were Brahmavadini, which are those women who composed any hymns of the Vedas.

Enrich Your Learning:

About Brahmavadini:

  • Brahmavadini or “an expounder of the Veda” are those women who composed any hymns of the Vedas.
  • The prominent among them were Lopamudra, Vishwawara, Sikta, Ghosha and Maitreyi.
  • Maitreyi, (the wife of Yajnavalkya) is accredited with about ten hymns in Rig Veda.
  • Two suktas (hymns) of the tenth Mandala (book) of Rigveda, 39 and 40, each containing 14 verses, have been attributed to Ghosha.
  • The first hymn praises the Ashvins. The second hymn is a personal wish expressing her intimate feelings and desires for married life.
  • Lopamudra was the wife of the sage Agastya.
  • A hymn in the Rigveda is attributed to her.

 

 

 

How are the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) beneficial for the economy?

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Answer:

  • They are beneficial for the economy of India as they allow dormant investable funds to be channelled into infrastructure projects such as apartment complexes, hospitals, schools, etc.

Enrich Your Learning:

About REIT:

  • A real estate investment trust (REIT) is a company that owns, and in most cases operates, income-producing real estate. REITs own many types of commercial real estate, ranging from office and apartment buildings to warehouses, hospitals, shopping centres, hotels and timberlands. Some REITs engage in financing real estate.
  • There are primarily two types of REITs – equity and mortgage. Real Estate Investment Trusts are extremely beneficial for the development of an economy as they allow dormant investable funds to be channelled into infrastructure projects such as apartment complexes, hospitals, schools and the likes.
  • REITs are similar to mutual funds. While mutual funds provide for an opportunity to invest in equity stocks, REITs allow one to invest in income-generating real estate assets.
  • REITs raise funds from a large number of investors and directly invest that sum in income- generating real estate properties (which could be offices, residential apartments, shopping centres, hotels and warehouses).
  • The trusts are listed in stock exchanges so that investors can buy units in the trust. REITs are structured as trusts. Thus, the assets of an REIT are held by an independent trustee on behalf of unit holders.
  • The investment objective of REITs is to provide unit holders with dividends, usually generated from rental income and capital gains from the profitable sale of real estate assets.
  • Typically, the trust distributes 90 per cent of its income among its investors by issuing dividends.
  • For investors who are averse to investing in physical purchase of property due to the risks involved, REIT is an alternative.
  • Investors purchase units of REITs which are traded on the stock exchange, as against physical purchase of property. Therefore, investors can buy and sell units of REIT on the stock exchange as and when required, making investment easier to liquidate compared to physical property transaction.
  • REITs units are listed on, and are subject to the vagaries of the stock exchanges, resulting in negative or lower returns than expected.
  • As in mutual funds, retail investors in REITs have no control over investments and exits being made by the trust.
  • An Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvITs) is like a mutual fund, which enables direct investment of small amounts of money from possible individual/institutional investors in infrastructure to earn a small portion of the income as return.

 

 

 

The difference between “the revenue deficit and the grants for creation of capital assets” is known as?

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Answer:

  • The difference between “the revenue deficit and the grants for creation of capital assets” is called effective revenue deficit.

Enrich Your Learning:

Effective Revenue Deficit:

  • Effective revenue deficit has been defined as the difference between “the revenue deficit and the grants for creation of capital assets”.
  • Effective Revenue deficit is a new term introduced in the Union Budget 2011-12.
  • According to the Finance Ministry, such revenue expenditures contribute to the growth in the economy and therefore, should not be treated as unproductive in nature.
  • In the Union Budget (2011-12) a new methodology has been introduced to capture the ‘effective revenue deficit’, which excludes those revenue expenditures (or transfers) in the form of grants for creation of capital assets.
  • While revenue deficit is the difference between revenue receipts and revenue expenditure, the present accounting system includes all grants from the Union Government to the state governments/Union territories/other bodies as revenue expenditure, even if they are used to create assets.
  • Such assets created by the sub-national governments/bodies are owned by them and not by the Union Government. Nevertheless they do result in the creation of durable assets.
  • Effective revenue deficit has now become a new fiscal parameter and same is targeted to be eliminated by the 31st of March 2015 and keep it at that level in the future, as per the Amendments made in 2012 to Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act.

 

 

 

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment is an outcome of which prominent personality: Kofi Annan OR Ban-Ki-Moon OR Bill Gates?

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Answer:

  • The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) was called for by the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2000.

Enrich Your Learning:

About Millennium Ecosystem Assessment:

  • The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) was called for by the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2000.
  • Initiated in 2001, the objective of the MA was to assess the consequences of ecosystem change for human well-being and the scientific basis for action needed to enhance the conservation and sustainable use of those systems and their contribution to human well-being.
  • Their findings, contained in five technical volumes and six synthesis reports, provide a state-of-the-art scientific appraisal of the condition and trends in the world’s ecosystems and the services they provide (such as clean water, food, forest products, flood control, and natural resources) and the options to restore, conserve or enhance the sustainable use of ecosystems.
  • Out of the various services supporting services are those that are necessary for the production of all other ecosystem services.
  • They differ from provisioning, regulating, and cultural services in that their impacts on people are often indirect or occur over a very long time, whereas changes in the other categories have relatively direct and short-term impacts on people.
  • Some services, like erosion regulation, can be categorized as both a supporting and a regulating service, depending on the time scale and immediacy of their impact on people. While maintenance of diversity is regarded as supporting services.

 

 

 

What do you mean by Carbon sequestration? Is it a natural OR deliberate process OR Both?

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Answer:

  • Carbon sequestration is a natural and deliberate processes by which CO2 is either removed from the atmosphere or diverted from emission sources and stored in the ocean, terrestrial environments (vegetation, soils, and sediments), and geologic formations.

Enrich Your Learning:

About Carbon Sequestration:

  • The term carbon sequestration is used to describe both natural and deliberate processes by which COis either removed from the atmosphere or diverted from emission sources and stored in the ocean, terrestrial environments (vegetation, soils, and sediments), and geologic formations.
  • Before human-caused CO2 emissions began, the natural processes that make up the global carbon cycle maintained a near balance between the uptake of CO2 and its release back to the atmosphere.
  • However, existing CO2 uptake mechanisms (sometimes called CO2 or carbon “sinks”) are insufficient to offset the accelerating pace of emissions related to human activities.
  • Annual carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels in the United States are about 1.6 gigatons (billion metric tons), whereas annual uptake amounts are only about 0.5 gigatons, resulting in a net release of about 1.1 gigatons per year.
  • The agricultural practices like contour bunding, relay cropping and zero tillage assists in carbon storage in the soil.

 

 

 

What is ‘supernova’?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

About Supernova:

  • Supernova is a transient astronomical event that occurs during the last stellar evolutionary stages of a massive star’s life, whose destruction is marked by one final titanic explosion of a star.
  • This causes the sudden appearance of a “new” bright star, before slowly fading from sight over several weeks or months.
  • Supernovae are more energetic than new bright star.
  • It is the largest explosion that takes place in space.
  • The word supernova was coined by Walter Baade and Fritz Zwicky in 1931.
  • A supernova happens where there is a change in the core, or centre, of a star.
  • A change can occur in two different ways, with both resulting in a supernova.
  • The explosion may expel much, if not all, of the material away from a star at velocities up to 30,000 km/s or 10% of the speed of light.
  • This drives an expanding and fast-moving shock wave into the surrounding interstellar medium, and in turn, sweeping up an expanding shell of gas and dust, which is observed as a supernova remnant.
  • The expanding shock waves from supernovae can trigger the formation of new stars.
  • A supernova burns for only a short period of time, but it can tell a lot about the universe.
  • One kind of supernova has shown scientists that we live in an expanding universe, one that is growing at an ever-increasing rate.
  • Scientists also have determined that supernovas play a key role in distributing elements throughout the universe.
  • When the star explodes, it shoots elements and debris into space.
  • They are also potentially strong galactic sources of gravitational waves.
  • Many of the elements we find on Earth are made in the core of stars.
  • These elements travel on to form new stars, planets and everything else in the universe.

Types of supernova:

  • The first type of supernova happens in binary star systems.
  • Binary stars are two stars that orbit the same point. One of the stars, a carbon-oxygen white dwarf, steals matter from its companion star. Eventually, the white dwarf accumulates too much matter. Having too much matter causes the star to explode, resulting in a supernova.
  • The second type of supernova occurs at the end of a single star‘s lifetime.
  • As the star runs out of nuclear fuel, some of its mass flows into its core. Eventually, the core is so heavy that it cannot withstand its own gravitational force. The core collapses, which results in the giant explosion of a supernova.

Other facts:

  • Only three Milky Way naked-eye supernova events have been observed during the last thousand years, though many have been seen in other galaxies using telescopes.
  • The most recent directly observed supernova in the Milky Way was Kepler’s Supernova in 1604, but two more recent supernova remnants have also been found.
  • Statistical observations of supernovae in other galaxies suggest they occur on average about three times every century in the Milky Way, and that any galactic supernova would almost certainly be observable with modern astronomical telescopes.
  • The sun is a single star, but it does not have enough mass to become a supernova.
  • It can affect the Earth’s atmosphere and biosphere as well, if there is any near-earth supernova present.

 

 

 

Skating on ice becomes possible due to which reason?

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Answer:

Reason:

  • Gabor Somorjai, a professor at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has performed a number of studies related to ice and its chemical properties.
  • According to him, ice has a “quasi-fluid layer” that is inherently slippery in nature.
  • All types of ice have this layer, even ice at -129 degrees Celsius (-200 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Skating is possible on snow or ice due to the formation of water below the skates.

What happens to the ice?

  • Just below the skates, ice melts at a lower temperature due to increase in pressure.
  • The water so formed acts as a lubricant.
  • The melting point is characteristic of a substance. It also depends on pressure.
  • While it is true that pressure and friction can melt ice and make it slippery, in the game of ice hockey, or while skating, the pressure is not significant enough to liquify it.
  • There the ice does not need to be melted to be slippery; in fact, it already has a slippery layer on its surface.
  • As the temperature increases and the ice is warmed, the depth of that slippery layer increases.
  • This makes skaters ‘slice’ through more layers, producing more friction, and making it more difficult to skate as fast with the same amount of effort.
  • On the other hand, more layers will also soften the surface of the ice, making it easier for figure skaters, who tend to skate on warmer ice.
  • In other words, you don’t have to melt the ice in order to skate on it; it will be slippery all by itself without you doing anything to make it so.

Other facts:

  • The temperature at which the solid and the liquid states of the substance in thermal equilibrium with each other is called its melting point.
  • The melting point of a substance at standard atmospheric pressure (760 mm of mercury (Hg)) is called its normal melting point.
  • Boiling point of a liquid gets lowered at low pressures.
  • This explains why it is difficult to cook at higher altitudes where atmospheric pressure is low.
  • On the other hand, boiling point is increased inside a pressure cooker by increasing the pressure. Hence cooking is faster.

 

 

 

What are the duties of Panchayat Secretary during the conduct of Gram Sabha?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

The duties of Panchayat Secretary can broadly be categorized into three stages: 

(1) Pre-Gram Sabha, (2) During Gram Sabha, and (3) Post Gram Sabha. 

The Pre-Gram Sabha duties of Panchayat Secretary include:

  • Finalization of agenda for Gram Sabha in consultation with the Sarpanch.
  • Issuing notice of Gram Sabha meeting.
  • Publishing widely the Gram Sabha meeting details, such as the date ,time and venue.
  • Preparing the Action Taken Report on the resolutions of the previous Gram Sabha meeting.
  • Preparation of notes on the agenda items to be placed before the current Gram Sabha meeting.
  • Providing proper seating, drinking water facilities and sanitation facilities for people attending the Gram Sabha meeting.

Duties of Panchayat Secretary during the conduct of Gram Sabha include:

  • Recording the details of members attending the meeting of Gram Sabha.
  • Presenting the Action Taken Report on resolutions of previous Gram Sabha meeting.
  • Ensuring the smooth conduct of the meeting of Gram Sabha as per its Agenda.
  • Assisting the Sarpanch in recording the minutes of Gram Sabha.
  • Recording of votes casted in favor/against of any resolution placed before Gram Sabha

Post Gram Sabha duties of Panchayat Secretary include:

  • To coordinate with the Sarpanch and ward members for considering the resolutions of Gram Sabha in Gram Panchayat meetings.
  • To send report on the Gram Sabha meeting to the higher officials concerned.

 

 

 

Which evidences can be attributed to the concept of ‘Sea-Floor Spreading’?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

  • The corner stone of plate-tectonics is the theory of sea-floor spreading. According to this theory the floor of the ocean is moving or spreading away from ridges, by repetitive magma intrusion that split and spread the older sea-floor, causing them to be moved away from the ridge in a nearly continuous horizontal position.
  • This is also confirmed by the occurrence of progressively older rocks with increasing distance from the ridge. The lack of pelagic sediments at the ridge crest can also be explained by seafloor spreading.
  • The new floor at the crest is too young to have received a blanket of pelagic sediments. The idea of sea-floor spreading could provide an explanation for aspects of ridge vulcanism, seismicity, and physiography, and for the apparent youthfulness of sea-floor rocks compared with the continental ones.
  • Plate tectonics incorporates sea-floor spreading as one of its essential parts and makes explicit the idea that the sea-floor and the litho-sphere beneath it are simultaneously being created at ridges.
  • According to it, a diverging boundary on the sea-floor is marked by the crest of the mid-oceanic ridge. It is also believed that upward convection is a result of plate divergence
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