Flash-Cards-Quiz-for-IAS-Prelims-2018-CA-Day-55
70 Days WAR Plan

Day#55 Current Affairs Flash Cards [70 Days WAR Plan]

Panmunjom Declaration; Aanayottu festival; Behdienkhlam festival; PAROS treaty; Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP); Leprosy; Axumite Empire; Lymphatic Filariasis; Bank Board Bureau (BBB); Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC);
By IT's Core Team
May 15, 2019

 

 

 

Which activities are prohibited under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)?

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Answer:

The Chemical Weapons Convention prohibits:

  • Developing, producing, acquiring, stockpiling, or retaining chemical weapons.
  • The direct or indirect transfer of chemical weapons.
  • Chemical weapons use or military preparation for use.
  • Assisting, encouraging, or inducing other states to engage in CWC-prohibited activity.
  • The use of riot control agents “as a method of warfare.”

Background:

  • The Chemical weapons are classified as weapons of mass destruction along with nuclear and biological, thus making the dreaded NBC {Nuclear, Biological, Chemical} trinity.
  • A chemical weapon uses toxic chemicals to cause harm or death.
  • The tear Gas (also known as CS Gas) and pepper spray are most commonly used non-lethal chemical weapons.
  • These chemical weapons are considered worse than nuclear bombs or advanced weapons.

About Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC):

  • The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is an arms control treaty.
  • It outlaws the production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons and their precursors.
  • It is also called Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction.
  • CWC negotiations started in 1980 in the UN Conference on Disarmament.
  • The convention opened for signature on January 13, 1993 and entered into force on April 29, 1997.
  • It is administered by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), an intergovernmental organization based in Hague, the Netherlands.
  • It bans chemical weapons and requires their destruction within a specified period of time.
  • The treaty is of unlimited duration.
  • It is more comprehensive than the 1925 Geneva Protocol, which outlaws the use but not the possession of chemical weapons.
  • The CWC is open to all nations and currently has 193 states-parties.
  • Israel has signed but has yet to ratify the convention.
  • Three states have neither signed nor ratified the convention (Egypt, North Korea and South Sudan).
  • The convention requires states-parties to destroy:
    • All chemical weapons under their jurisdiction or control.
    • All chemical weapons production facilities under their jurisdiction or control.
    • Chemical weapons abandoned on other states’ territories.
    • Old chemical weapons.

Key features of the CWC:

  • Prohibition of production and use of chemical weapons
  • Destruction (or monitored conversion to other functions) of chemical weapons production facilities
  • Destruction of all chemical weapons (including chemical weapons abandoned outside the state parties territory)
  • Assistance between State Parties and the OPCW in the case of use of chemical weapons
  • An OPCW inspection regime for the production of chemicals which might be converted to chemical weapons
  • International cooperation in the peaceful use of chemistry in relevant areas

Categories of chemical weapons stockpiles:

  • Category 1: chemical weapons based on Schedule 1 chemicals, including VX and sarin.
  • Category 2: chemical weapons based on non-Schedule 1 chemicals, such as phosgene.
  • Category 3: chemical weapons including unfilled munitions, devices and equipment designed specifically to employ chemical weapons.

India and CWC:

  • India had signed the CWC in January 1993 and ratified later in 1997.
  • Thus, Chemical Weapons Convention Act, 2000 was enacted that is applicable to all citizens of India whether resident or non-resident and associates, branches, subsidiaries of Indian companies, whether domestic or non-domestic.
  • India also destroyed its chemical weapons as per its commitment to this treaty.
  • National Authority on CWC was established that works under Cabinet Secretariat to follow various provisions of the international treaty.
  • The current provisions of the act, it is illegal for any person to transfer or receive toxic chemicals from someone who is not a citizen of a state member of CWC.

 

 

 

What do you know about the Bank Board Bureau (BBB)?

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Answer:

About Bank Board Bureau (BBB):

  • Banks Board Bureau (BBB) is an autonomous body of the Government of India.
  • The Government of India, announced the constitution and composition of the Bureau in 2016, based on the recommendations of the J. Nayak Committee to Review Governance of Boards of Banks in India, May 2014.
  • It is tasked to:
    • improve the governance of Public Sector Banks,
    • recommend selection of chiefs of government owned banks and financial institutions and
    • help banks in developing strategies and capital raising plans.
  • It is housed in RBI’s Central Office in Mumbai.
  • The BBB was the part of Indradhanush Plan of government.
  • The bureau will have three ex-officio members and three expert members, in addition to the Chairman. All the Members and Chairman will be part time.
  • Its broad agenda is to improve governance at state-owned lenders.
  • Its mandate also involves advising government on top-level appointments in PSBs and assisting banks with capital-raising plans through innovative financial methods and instruments as well as strategies to deal with issues of stressed assets or bad loans.

Functions of BBB:

  • The Bureau is mandated to play a critical role in reforming the troubled public-sector banks by recommending appointments to leadership positions and boards in those banks and advise them on ways to raise funds and how to go ahead with mergers and acquisitions.
  • It will constantly engage with the boards of all 22 public sector banks to formulate appropriate strategies for their growth and development.
  • They will also constantly engage with the Board of Directors of all the public-sector banks to formulate appropriate strategies for their growth and development.
  • The bureau will search and select heads of public sector banks and help them develop differentiated strategies of capital raising plans to innovative financial methods and instruments.
  • It would also be responsible for selection of non-executive chairman and non-official directors on the boards.
  • Give advice to PSBs in developing differentiated strategies for raising funds through innovative financial methods and instruments and to deal with issues of stressed assets.

 

 

 

What is “Lymphatic Filariasis”? And what are its causes, symptoms, and treatment? Also mention about the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis.

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Answer:

About Lymphatic Filariasis:

  • Lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis, is a painful and profoundly disfiguring disease.
  • It is a human disease caused by parasitic worms known as filarial worms.
  • In communities where filariasis is transmitted, all ages are affected.
  • While the infection may be acquired during childhood its visible manifestations may occur later in life, causing temporary or permanent disability.
  • In endemic countries, lymphatic filariasis has a major social and economic impact.
  • The disease is diagnosed by microscopic examination of blood collected during the night.
  • In 2015 about 38.5 million people were infected.
  • About 950 million people are at risk of the disease in 54 countries.
  • It is most common in tropical Africa and Asia, and also in and sub-tropics of Asia, Africa, the Western Pacific, and parts of the Caribbean and South America.
  • Lymphatic filariasis is classified as a neglected tropical disease and one of the four main worm infections.
  • The disease results in economic losses of many billions of dollars a year.

Causes:

  • The disease spreads from person to person by mosquito bites.
  • It is a type of helminth infection.
  • The disease is caused by three species of thread-like nematode worms, known as:
    1. Filariae – Wuchereria bancrofti,
    2. Brugia malayi and
    3. Brugia timori.
  • Male worms are about 3–4 centimeters in length, and female worms 8–10 centimeters.
  • The male and female worms together form “nests” in the human lymphatic system, the network of nodes and vessels that maintain the delicate fluid balance between blood and body tissues.
  • The lymphatic system is an essential component of the body’s immune system.
  • Three types of worm cause the disease and damage the lymphatic system:

Symptoms:

  • Most cases of the disease have no symptoms.
  • Some people, however, develop a syndrome called elephantiasis, which is marked by severe swelling in the arms, legs, breasts, or genitals.
  • Elephantiasis leads to marked swelling of the lower half of the body and thickening of the skin, making it look like that of an elephant, a term called “pachyderm”.
  • The skin may become thicker as well, and the condition may become painful.
  • The changes in the body may harm the affected person’s social and economic situation.
  • It causes blockages in the flow of lymph. Infections usually begin in childhood.
  • Filarial infection can cause a variety of clinical manifestations, including lymphoedema of the limbs, genital disease (hydrocele, chylocele, and swelling of the scrotum and penis) and recurrent acute attacks, which are extremely painful and are accompanied by fever.
  • The vast majority of infected people are asymptomatic, but virtually all of them have subclinical lymphatic damage and as many as 40% have kidney damage, with proteinuria and haematuria.
  • Elephantiasis mainly affects the lower extremities; the ears, mucous membranes, and amputation stumps are affected less frequently.

Treatment:

  • Medications used include antiparasitics such as albendazole with ivermectin, or albendazole with diethylcarbamazine (DEC).
  • The medications do not kill the adult worms but prevent further spread of the disease until the worms die on their own.
  • Efforts to prevent mosquito bites are also recommended, including reducing the number of mosquitoes and promoting the use of bed nets.
  • Lymphedema and elephantiasis are not indications for DEC treatment because most people with lymphedema are not actively infected with the filarial parasite.
  • Even after the adult worms die, lymphedema can develop.
  • Carefully wash the swollen area with soap and water every day.
  • Elevate and exercise the swollen arm or leg to move the fluid and improve the lymph flow.
  • Disinfect any wounds. Use antibacterial or antifungal cream if necessary.

Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis:

  • In 1997, following advances in diagnosis and treatment of the disease, WHO classified lymphatic filariasis, along with five other infectious diseases, as eradicable or potentially eradicable.
  • WHO launched the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF) in 2000.
  • The elimination strategy has two components:
    1. to stop the spread of infection (interrupting transmission); and
    2. to alleviate the suffering of affected populations (controlling morbidity).
  • Mosquito control is a supplemental strategy supported by WHO.
  • It is used to reduce transmission of lymphatic filariasis and other mosquito-borne infections.

 

 

 

Which region was known to be ruled by Axumite Empire? And what do you know about this kingdom?

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Answer:

About Axumite Empire:

  • The Kingdom of Aksum is also known as the Kingdom of Axum, or the Aksumite Empire.
  • It was an ancient kingdom in present day Northern Ethiopia and Eritrea.
  • Though very little is known but, it was described by a Persian writer as one of the four greatest powers in the world at the time.
  • It was a counterpoint to the Greek and Roman
  • It was an important trading nation in North-Eastern Africa, growing from the proto-Aksumite period c. 4th century B.C.E. to achieve prominence by the 1st century C.E till 940 AD.
  • The Empire of Aksum at its height extended across portions of present-day Eritrea, northern Ethiopia, Yemen, southern Saudi Arabia, northern Djibouti, and northern Sudan.
  • It was a major naval and trading power from the 1st to the 7th centuries C.E.
  • As a civilization it had a profound impact upon the people of Egypt, southern Arabia, Europe and Asia, all of whom were visitors to its shores, and in some cases were residents.
  • The capital city of the empire was Aksum, now in northern Ethiopia.
  • It was an ancient African civilization that traded widely throughout the ancient world.
  • Aksum was deeply involved in the trade network between India and the Mediterranean.
  • They were exporting ivory, tortoise shell, gold, and emeralds, and importing silk and spices.
  • The Kingdom of Aksum benefited from a major transformation of the maritime trading system that linked the Roman Empire and India.
  • Ethiopian culture today has its roots in this civilization.
  • The decline, from the seventh century, has been attributed both to climate change and to defeat at the hands of Judith, a legendary Jewish Queen.
  • The speculation suggests the rise of Islam heavily impacted its ability to trade with the Far East in the era when shipping was limited to coastal navigation as well as cut it off from its principal markets in Alexandria, Byzantium, and Southern Europe.
  • The Aksumite people represented a mix of a Semitic-speaking people, Cushitic-speaking people, and Nilo-Saharan-speaking people (the Kunama and Nara) collectively known as Habeshas.
  • The Aksumite kings had the official title ngs ngst—King of Kings.
  • The kingdom almost was converted to Christianity in the fourth century.
  • Before its conversion to Christianity the Aksumites practiced a polytheistic religion not unlike the Greek’s system.

 

 

 

Which parts of the body are affected by the disease, Leprosy?

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Answer:

  • Leprosy mainly affects the skin, the peripheral nerves, mucosal surfaces of the upper respiratory tract and the eyes.

About Leprosy:

  • Leprosy is also known as Hansen’s disease.
  • It is known to occur at all ages ranging from early infancy to very old age.
  • It is curable and early treatment averts most disabilities.

Causes:

  • It is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae, a rod-shaped bacillus that is an obligate intracellular (only grows inside of certain human and animal cells) bacterium.

Transmission:

  • The infection is thought to be spread from person to person by nasal secretions or droplets.
  • Leprosy is rarely transmitted from chimpanzees, mangabey monkeys, and nine-banded armadillos to humans by droplets or direct contact.
  • Susceptibility to getting leprosy may be due to certain human genes.

Symptoms:

  • The early signs and symptoms of leprosy are very subtle and occur slowly usually over years.
  • Signs of leprosy are painless ulcers, skin lesions of hypopigmented macules (flat, pale areas of skin), and eye damage (dryness, reduced blinking).
  • Later, large ulcerations, loss of digits, skin nodules, and facial disfigurement may develop.
  • Among the first symptoms:
    • Numbness, Loss of temperature sensation, Touch sensation reduced, Pins and needles sensations.
    • Pain (joints), Deep pressure sensations are decreased or lost, Nerve injury, Weight loss
    • Blisters and/or rashes, Ulcers, relatively painless,
  • Later symptoms and signs:
    • Large ulcerations, Hair loss (for example, loss of eyebrows), Loss of digits, Facial disfigurement (for example, loss of nose).

Effects:

  • The disease develops slowly (from six months to 40 years) and results in skin lesions and deformities.
  • It most often affects the cooler places on the body (for example, eyes, nose, earlobes, hands, feet, and testicles).
  • The disease is similar to tuberculosis, because it produces inflammatory nodules (granulomas) in the skin and nerves over time.

Types:

  • Indeterminate
  • Tuberculoid
  • Borderline tuberculoid
  • Mid-borderline
  • Borderline lepromatous
  • Lepromatous
  • Paucibacillary
  • Multibacillary

Treatment:

  • Antibiotics are used in the treatment of leprosy.
  • WHO developed a multidrug therapy in 1995 to cure all types of leprosy.
  • It’s available free of charge worldwide.
  • These antibiotics include:
    • Dapsone
    • Rifampin
    • Clofazamine
    • Minocycline
    • Ofloxacin
  • The best way to prevent leprosy is to avoid long-term, close contact with an untreated, infected person.

 

 

 

Department of Pharmaceuticals under the Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers launched a campaign to provide quality medicines at affordable prices to the masses. What is the name of this campaign?

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Answer:

Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP)

About Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP):

  • Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) is a campaign launched by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals& Fertilizers, Government of India.
  • BPPI (Bureau of Pharma Public Sector Undertakings of India) has been established under the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Govt. of India, with the support of all the CPSUs for co-coordinating procurement, supply and marketing of generic drugs through the Jan Aushadhi Stores.
  • It aims to provide quality medicines at affordable prices to the masses through special kendras known as Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendra.
  • It will make available quality drugs at affordable prices through dedicated stores selling generic medicines which are available at lesser prices but are equivalent in quality and efficacy as expensive branded drugs.

Objectives:

  • Making quality medicines available at affordable prices for all, particularly the poor and disadvantaged, through exclusive outlets “Jan Aushadhi Medical Store”, so as to reduce out of pocket expenses in healthcare.
  • Create awareness among the public regarding generic medicines.
  • Create demand for generic medicines through medical practitioners.
  • Create awareness through education and awareness program that high price need not be synonymous with high quality.
  • Provide all the commonly used generic medicines covering all the therapeutic groups at affordable price.
  • Provide all the related health care products too under the scheme.
  • Bring down the healthcare budget of every citizen of India

Jan Aushadhi Store (JAS):

  • JAS has been opened across the country.
  • All therapeutic medicines are made available at JAS.
  • It also provides medicines and surgical items supplied by Bureau of Pharma PSU of India (BPPI).
  • It also sells allied medical products commonly sold in chemist shops.
  • OTC (Over-the-counter) products can be purchased by any individual without a prescription.
  • A prescription from a registered medical practitioner is necessary for the purchase of scheduled drugs.
  • Jan Aushadhi Store (JAS) can be opened by State Governments or any organization / reputed NGOs / Trusts / Private hospitals / Charitable institutions / Doctors / Unemployed pharmacist/ individual entrepreneurs are eligible to apply for new Jan Aushadhi stores.
  • The applicants shall have to employ one B Pharma / D Pharma degree holder as Pharmacist in their proposed store.

 

 

 

Why was the PAROS treaty proposed? And what is the controversy going on over this treaty?

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Answer:

About PAROS treaty:

  • PAROS stands for Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space.
  • It was proposed in the Conference on Disarmament to prevent an arms race in space in 1983.
  • The UN General Assembly established the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) in 1959.
  • This committee identified areas for:
    • International cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space,
    • Devised programs to be undertaken by the United Nations,
    • Encouraged research on matters relating to outer space, and
    • Studied legal problems arising from the exploration of outer space.
  • The treaty would prevent any nation from gaining a military advantage in outer space.
  • It is a critical issue on the UN disarmament and arms control agenda.
  • The arms race in space will destabilize regional and global strategic environment.
  • The treaty is currently being discussed in the Conference on Disarmament (CD).
  • USA, India, and Israel vetoed it in 2005 to keep its advantageous position in the missile defence systems.

What are the obligations as per the draft treaty?

  • Under the draft treaty submitted to the CD by Russia in 2008, State Parties would commit to refrain from placing objects carrying any type of weapon into orbit, installing weapons on celestial bodies, and threatening to use force against objects in outer space.
  • State Parties would also agree to practice agreed confidence-building measures.
  • A PAROS treaty would complement and reaffirm the importance of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty.

Other such treaties to prevent the outer space from weaponization:

During the 1960s and 1970s a number of agreements were adopted to prevent the weaponization of outer space. These include:

  • The Partial Test Ban Treaty, formally titled the Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water (1963),
  • The Outer Space Treaty, formally titled the Treaty on the Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (1967),
  • The Rescue Agreement, formally titled the Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts and the Return of Objects Launched into Outer Space (1968),
  • The Agreement Relating to the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization “Intelsat” (1971),
  • The Liability Convention, formally titled the Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects (1972),
  • The Launch Registration Convention, formally titled the Convention on the Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space (1975),
  • The Moon Agreement, formally entitled the Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (1979).

Controversy:

  • Although these treaties ban the placement of weapons of mass destruction in space, they do not prevent states from placing other types of weapons in space.
  • As a result, many states argue that existing treaties are insufficient for safeguarding outer space as “the common heritage of mankind.”
  • The UN General Assembly’s Special Session on Disarmament mandated that negotiations should take place in what is now the Conference on Disarmament (CD).
  • With its large missile defence program and technical advantages in potential space weaponry, the United States has consistently refused to negotiate PAROS in the CD.

 

 

 

The non-Christian Pnars in Meghalaya celebrate a festival for good health, property and bumper harvest in mid-July. What is this festival known as?

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Answer:

Behdienkhlam festival

About Behdienkhlam festival:

  • Behdienkhlam is celebrated at Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya.
  • It is celebrated in the month of mid-July for good health, property and bumper harvest.
  • It is celebrated among the Non- Christian Pnars.
  • “Khlam” means plague or pestilence and “beh dien” means to drive away with sticks.
  • This unique festival is held after the sowing season is over so as to overcome any destructive forces of nature including diseases by invoking the God for a good harvest.
  • The festival is celebrated around the same time “Rath Yatra” is celebrated in other parts of eastern India.
  • It is also the most important and unique dance festival of the Jaintias.
  • The ceremony and ritual were carried out for three days and on the last day, in the afternoon people gathered in a place called Aitnar (a sacred pool) and both young and old danced to the tunes of the pipes and drums.

Rituals:

  • The festival of Behdienkhlam begins with a ritual in which the Daloi or the chief of the tribe opens the proceedings with a ceremonial invocation to the Gods of the tribes through a series of religious rites.
  • Following this is one of the most popular rituals of the festival where young men symbolize the flight of the evil spirit by beating the roof of every house in the village with bamboo poles.
  • However, the main attraction of the Behdeinkhlam festival takes place when young men fight for the possession of a huge beam, a fight which is characterized by smearing of mud on all the participants.
  • The main feature of the festival is the making of the “dein khlam”, “symlend” and “khnong”, which are rounded, polished and tall tree trunks, felled in a reserved forest.
  • Pine trees are never used.

 

 

 

Where is Aanayottu festival celebrated? And what is it known for?

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Answer:

About Aanayottu festival:

  • Aanayottu festival is held annually in the precincts of the Vadakkunnathan temple in City of Thrissur, in Kerala.
  • Aanayottu means feeding of elephants.
  • Festival refers to feeding of about 50 elephants with delicious feast.
  • It is held in the premises of Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur every year in the month of July.
  • Gaja puja held on the occasion.
  • The elephants are lined up and fed specially made Ayurvedic food consisting sugarcane, coconut, ice, ghee, jaggery and special Ayurveda medicines.
  • It is a holy ritual, which is equivalent to feeding Lord Ganesh.
  • Thousands of devotees from different parts of the state participate in the festival.
  • The Vadakkunnathan temple, which is considered to be one of the oldest Shiva temples in southern India.

 

 

 

What is Panmunjom Declaration? It is focused on which factors?

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Answer:

About Panmunjom Declaration:

  • The Panmunjom Declaration is a declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula.
  • It was adopted between the North Korea and South Korea on April 27, 2018, during the 2018 inter-Korean Summit.
  • According to the declaration, the leaders of North and South Korea agreed to work together on ending the Korean War and the Korean conflict, beginning a new era of peace and sharing commitments in ending divisions and confrontation by approaching a new era of national reconciliation, peace and prosperity and improvements to inter-Korean relations.
  • This declaration includes the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
  • The declaration focused on:
    • Disarmament
    • Denuclearization
    • Peace regime
    • Pyongyang visit
    • Family reunions
    • Joining sporting forces
    • No more war
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