Flash Cards

Day#47 Current Affairs Flash Cards [PRELIMS 2020]

Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission; DIDYMOS; ‘SLINEX’ exercise; ‘Institute of Eminence’ scheme; River Krishna; Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme (ITHPC);
By IASToppers
September 17, 2019



In which group of countries, the ‘Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme (ITHPC)’ seeks to run Tiger conservation projects?

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  • Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Nepal and Myanmar

Enrich Your Learning:

Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme (ITHPC)

  • The programme is a grant-making initiative, started in 2014, which contributes to the Global Tiger Recovery Programme (GTRP), an initiative for global effort to double tiger numbers in the wild by 2022.
  • The programme consists of a portfolio of 12 large-scale projects in key Tiger Conservation Landscapes across Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Nepal and Myanmar
  • The initiative is funded by The German Cooperation via KfW Development Bank, over two phases. The first phase is being implemented from 2014 to 2020 and the second one from 2019 to 2023.
  • The main aim of the second phase is to continue working in areas where funding is desperately needed and to create a sense of self-sufficiency, so projects are sustainable in the long-term beyond the lifespan of funding programs.


  • The Tiger Programme is based on three pillars:
  • Protecting tiger species and their prey from the threat of poaching 
  • Preserving tiger habitats, including core habitats, buffer zones and corridors 
  • Supporting human populations living in tiger landscapes

Key facts

  • Around 50,000 community members living in park buffer zones or corridor areas benefit from the Tiger Programme, through reduced human-animal conflict and more sustainable income sources.
  • In Nepal, there has been a decrease of over 70% in human-tiger conflict incidents and a 50% decline in livestock deaths.



Which river is known to have its origin in Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra?

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  • River Krishna

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River Krishna

  • The river Krishna is an east-flowing river that originates at Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra.
  • It merges with the Bay of Bengal, flowing through Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
  • It is also known as Krishnaveni.
  • Together with its tributaries, it forms a vast basin that covers 33% of the total area of the four states.
  • The largest tributary of the Krishna River is the Tungabhadra River but the longest tributary is the Bhima River.
  • The Krishna River is the fourth-biggest river in terms of water inflows and river basin area in India, after the Ganga, Godavari and Brahmaputra.
  • The delta of this river is one of the most fertile regions in India and was the home to ancient Satavahana and Ikshvaku Sun Dynasty kings.
  • Vijayawada is the largest city on the River Krishna.



Which scheme has the target to empower Indian higher educational Institutions to become world-class teaching and research institutions?

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Answer: Institute of Eminence’ scheme

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‘Institute of Eminence’ scheme

  • In his budget speech of 2016, Finance Minister of India announced this scheme.
  • The scheme was rolled out by University Grants Commission (UGC).
  • It has been launched in order to implement the commitment of the Government to empower the Higher Educational Institutions and to help them become world-class teaching and research institutions.
  • Ten public and ten private institutions are to be identified to emerge as world-class Teaching and Research Institutions.
  • The target for Institutions of Eminence will be to break into top 100 brackets in one internationally reputed ranking framework in 10 years.
  • The selected institutions will have greater autonomy and will be free to decide their fee for domestic and foreign students and also will have a flexible course duration and structure.
  • They will be exempted from approvals of government or UGC for academic collaborations with foreign institutions, except institutions in Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • The 10 government institutions selected will also get Rs 1,000 crore each from the HRD Ministry to achieve world-class status.
  • There will be no financial assistance to the private institutions.
  • The eligibility criteria: only higher education institutions, currently placed in the top 500 global ranking or top 50 of NIRF (National Institutional Ranking Framework).



The ‘SLINEX’ is a maritime fleet exercise between which countries?

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Solution: India and Sri Lanka

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  • It is a series of biennial bilateral Indo- Sri Lanka Maritime fleet exercise.
  • The first-ever SLINEX exercise took place in 2005.
  • The annual Joint Indo-Lanka maritime fleet exercise – SLINEX 2019 is scheduled to be held from September 7, 2019.
  • The SLNS Sindurala and Suranimala Navy patrol vesselsof Sri Lanka will be participating in the exercise.
  • The exercise signifies the desire of both countries to enhance co-operation and to further strengthen mutual trust and interoperability between the two navies.
  • It will enable both navies to rehearse and improve own capabilities and enhance operational effectiveness required to maintain maritime security in the Indian Ocean region. 



Which special asteroid has been selected for the experiment under Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment (AIDA) Mission?

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Answer: Asteroid Didymos

Enrich Your Learning:

Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission

  • It is a mission to deflect an asteroid in space and to prove the technique to be an effective method of defence against a looming asteroid collision.
  • This mission aims to deflect the smaller part of a double asteroid dubbed
  • A spacecraft will be made to crash into the asteroid andlater, another spacecraft will reach the asteroid to study the crash site and gather necessary data on effects of the collision.
  • The spacecraft that will be crashed into asteroid is named Double Asteroid Impact Test (DART) by NASA.
  • Another spacecraft to study the crash will be an Italian satellite called Light Italian CubeSat for Imaging of Asteroids (LICIACube).
  • Hera by ESA (European Space Agency) will perform “close-up survey of the post-impact asteroid, acquiring measurements such as the asteroid’s mass and detailed crater shape.
  • The results provided by Hera will help ascertain the effectiveness of the collision and verify if this experiment can actually be used as a reliable method to dissipatea real threat.
  • DART will be launched in September 2022 and Hera will be launched in October 2024.


  • It is a double asteroid
  • The main body of Didymos asteroid is about 780 metres wide, with its moonlet about 160 metres in diameter
  • It is roughly the size of the Great Pyramid of Egypt.
  • Due to the relatively small mass and gravities of these bodies, the smaller asteroid orbits its parent at a comparatively low velocity ofa few centimetres per second, making it feasible to shift its orbit measurably.
  • It would not be achievable so precisely with a lone asteroid in a much more rapidly movingsolar orbit.
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