70 Days WAR Plan

Day#61 Current Affairs Flash Cards [70 Days WAR Plan]

Dhanush artillery gun; Micro-irrigation; Kishanganga Hydroelectric Plant; Justice Mudgal panel; Djibouti; Queen pineapple; Global Action Plan on Physical Activities 2018-2030; Allograft; National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO); India US 2+2 dialogue;
By IT's Core Team
May 21, 2019




What is India US 2+2 dialogue? And why is it significant?

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About India US 2+2 dialogue:

  • India-US 2+2 Dialogue was agreed between USA and India in 2017 during Prime Minister of India’s visit to USA.
  • This dialogue is going to be held between Foreign and Defence Ministers of both the countries.
  • It was aimed at replacing earlier India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue that was held during the previous Obama administration.
  • The high-level dialogue is designed to address bilateral issues.
  • It is for the first time that India will be holding a ‘2+2’ dialogue with any country at the ministerial level.
  • At secretarial level, however, India has had similar ‘2+2’ dialogue with other countries.


  • It brings the strategic, defence and security relationship between the two countries at the centre stage.
  • Both Defence Minister and External Affairs Minister of India will be meeting with US Secretary of Defence and Secretary of State.
  • The dialogue is expected to boost bilateral ease of ties in the backdrop of growing disagreement over the Iran nuclear deal and the brewing tariff war between the two sides.
  • It will enhance strategic coordination between both countries and maintain peace and stability in Indo-Pacific region, and focus on focused on regional security, economic cooperation, defence, trade and climate challenges.
  • It will also discuss the strategic issue of South Asia policy of Trump Administration where India is having a key role.
  • It insulates India-US strategic relationship from feuds over trade issues and deep divide on economic integration policies as trade and commercial issues that collided with strategic relationship between both countries discussed in Strategic and Commercial Dialogue earlier.
  • It is similar to India-Japan 2+2 dialogue format that was held in 2010, between foreign and defence secretaries of the two countries.

What is the controversy?

  • The officials have been saying that the postponement has nothing to do with bilateral issues or policy issues pertaining to sanctions on Iran or Russia.
  • But some of the critics suggest that the postponement is due to the backdrop of growing differences between India and the U.S. over the Iran nuclear deal.
  • The Trump administration withdrew from the Iran deal also known by the acronym JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) in May 2018.
  • India announced a plan to raise tariffs on 29 US imports in retaliation for the US decision to include India in its list of countries covered by higher steel and aluminium duties.
  • The U.S.A has given a November deadline to Indian and Chinese companies that continue to trade with Iran disregarding U.S. Treasury’s sanctions.
  • Recently in June 2018, the External Affairs Minister of India met his French counterpart where both sides agreed to “maintain” the Iran nuclear deal that allows for global trading with Iran.




Dhanush is a rocket launchpad OR artillery gun?

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  • The Dhanush is a 155 mm towed howitzer, an artillery gun, used by the Indian Army.

About Dhanush artillery gun:

  • In 2012, the Defence Acquisition Council had decided to look for artillery guns within the country and asked OFB to start manufacturing howitzers.
  • The design is based on Bofors, now Haubits FH77 which India acquired in the 1980s.
  • The Dhanush project was started by Ordnance Factories Board (OFB) to replace the older 105 mm Indian Field Gun, 105 mm Light Field Gun and the Russian 122 mm guns with a modern 155mm artillery gun.
  • The gun is mounted on a 8×8 Tatra truck license manufactured by Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) and can do 30 km/h cross country speed and 80 km/h road speed.
  • It has a strike range of 38 kilometres and 81% of its components are indigenously sourced, that would go up to 90 per cent by 2019.




What is National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO)?

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About National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO):

  • National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO) is a National level organization set up under Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
  • It will result in ensuring increased availability of organs/tissues retrieved from deceased donors and help save lives of many persons suffering from end-stage organ failure.
  • Since health is a State subject, the Government of India will provide support to States under the National Organ Transplant Programme to set up Regional Organ and Tissue Transplant Organizations/State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organizations.
  • It is envisaged that all new AIIMS like institutions including the one at Bhubaneswar would eventually have such a facility.
  • It is working along with a large number of Non-Governmental Organizations to spread awareness about organ donation, their retrieval, and

It has following two divisions:

  1. “National Human Organ and Tissue Removal and Storage Network”:
    • It has been mandated as per the Transplantation of Human Organs (Amendment) Act 2011.
    • It is the nodal networking agency for Delhi and shall network for Procurement Allocation and Distribution of Organs and Tissues in Delhi.
    • It will gradually expand to include other States and Regions of the country.
    • It will function as apex center for All India activities of coordination and networking for procurement and distribution of Organs and Tissues and registry of Organs and Tissues Donation and Transplantation in the country.
    • It conducts activities to facilitate Organ Transplantation in the safest way in shortest possible time and to collect data to develop and publish National registry.
  2. “National Biomaterial Centre”.
    • The Transplantation of Human Organs (Amendment) Act 2011 has included the component of tissue donation and registration of Tissue
    • It fulfills the demands of tissue transplantation including activities for procurement, storage and fulfils distribution of biomaterials.
    • The main thrust & objective of establishing the center is to fill up the gap between ‘Demand’ and ‘Supply’ as well as ‘Quality Assurance’ in the availability of various tissues.
    • It takes care of various tissue allografts.




What do you mean by Allograft?

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About Allograft:

  • Allograft means a tissue graft (implantation) from a donor of the same species as the recipient but not genetically identical.
  • It is the transplant of an organ or tissue or cells from one individual to another of the same species with a different genotype (genetically non-identical donor) although of a compatible blood type.
  • It is also known as an allogeneic graft or a homograft.
  • For example, a transplant from one person to another, but not an identical twin, is an allograft.
  • It accounts for many human transplants, including those from cadaveric, living related, and living unrelated donors.
  • Most human tissue and organ transplants are allografts.
  • It is contrasted with auto transplantation (from one part of the body to another in the same person), syngeneic transplantation (grafts transplanted between two genetically identical individuals of the same species) and xenotransplantation (from other species).
  • Allografts can be referred to as “homostatic” if they are biologically inert when transplanted, such as bone and cartilage.
  • Allografts are a natural alternative to synthetic and metal implants. However, unlike synthetic or metal implants, allografts should incorporate into body over time.
  • An immune response against an allograft or xenograft is termed rejection. An allogenic bone marrow transplant can result in an immune attack, called graft-versus-host disease.
  • A limiting factor in tissue allotransplantation for reconstructive surgery deals with the side effects of immunosuppression (metabolic disorders, malignancies, opportunistic infections) which is a predominant issue.
  • The risk of transmitting infection is very high.
  • Allografts are commonly used in the transplants of skin, corneas, hearts, livers, kidneys, and bone and bone marrow, although transplants of the last often come from relatives.

A variety of organs and tissues can be used for allografts, including:

  • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repair
  • Joint reconstruction in the knee and ankle
  • Meniscal replacement
  • Reconstruction due to cancer or trauma
  • Ridge augmentation in dental procedures
  • Shoulder repair
  • Spinal fusion
  • Urological procedures
  • Skin transplants
  • Corneal transplants
  • Heart transplants
  • Heart valves
  • Lung transplantation
  • Intestinal transplantation (isolated small bowel, intestine & liver, multivisceral)
  • Liver transplants
  • Kidney transplants
  • Pancreas transplantation
  • Islet cell transplantation
  • Bone marrow transplants
  • Bone allograft
  • Ligament or tendon allograft




What is Global Action Plan on Physical Activities 2018-2030? And what were the concerns that led to frame this plan?

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  • Regular physical activity is proven to help prevent and treat noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and breast and colon cancer.
  • It also helps to prevent hypertension, overweight and obesity and can improve mental health, quality of life and well-being.

What is physical activity?

  • Physical activity can be undertaken in many different ways: walking, cycling, sports and active forms of recreation (for example, dance, yoga, tai chi).
  • Physical activity can also be undertaken at work and around the home.
  • All forms of physical activity can provide health benefits if undertaken regularly and of sufficient duration and intensity.

Global Action Plan on Physical Activities 2018-2030:

  • WHO launched “Global Action Plan on Physical Activities 2018-2030: More active people for a healthier world” in June 2018.
  • WHO global action plan to promote physical activity, responds to the requests by countries for updated guidance, and a framework of effective and feasible policy actions to increase physical activity at all levels.
  • It aims to ensure that all people have access to safe and enabling environments and to diverse opportunities to be physically active in their daily lives.
  • This plan is to be seen as a means of improving individual and community health and contributing to the social, cultural and economic development of all nations.
  • The action plan was developed through a worldwide consultation process involving governments and key stakeholders across multiple sectors including health, sports, transport, urban design, civil society, academia and the private sector.
  • The action plan shows how countries can reduce physical inactivity in adults and adolescents by 15% by 2030.
  • It recommends a set of 20 policy areas, which combined, aim to create more active societies through improving the environments and opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to do more walking, cycling, sport, active recreation, dance and play.

The four strategic objectives of the plan are:

  • Create active societies
  • Create active environments
  • Create active people
  • Create active systems

Concerns that led to the global action plan:

  • Being active is critical for health. But in modern world, this is becoming more and more of a challenge, largely because the cities and communities aren’t designed in the right ways.
  • Worldwide, one in five adults, and four out of five adolescents (11-17 years), do not do enough physical activity.
  • Girls, women, older adults, poorer people, people with disabilities and chronic diseases, marginalized populations, and indigenous people have fewer opportunities to be active.
  • Regular physical activity is key to preventing and treating noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and breast and colon cancer.
  • NCDs are responsible for 71% of all deaths globally, including for the deaths of 15 million people per year aged 30 to 70.




Queen pineapple is a state fruit of?

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Queen pineapple:

  • The President of India declares queen pineapple as ‘State Fruit’ of Tripura on 8th June 2018.
  • Its export was a major step in connecting the state with world trade.
  • It got the GI Tag in 2015.
  • North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation, a central public-sector unit, helped in getting the GI Tag to it.
  • It will be exported for the first time to Dubai.
  • The Queen pineapples are spiny, golden yellow in colour and have a pleasant aroma and flavour.
  • The sweetness and unique aroma differentiates it from pineapples of other states of the Northeast.
  • Tripura is one of the largest pineapple growing states in the country and there are more than 100 commercial scale pineapple plantations spread throughout the state.
  • Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) had earlier helped export the Kew variety of pineapples from Tripura to West Asia.
  • It is hoped that it will find good acceptance among different countries including neighbouring Bangladesh.
  • Tripura holds a very important position to develop trade with ASEAN countries including neighbouring Bangladesh adding the central government was serious about developing the Northeast through its ‘Act East’ policy.




Give the location of Djibouti.

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Location of Djibouti:

  • Djibouti is a country located in the Horn of Africa.
  • It is bordered by
    • Eritrea in the north,
    • Ethiopia in the west and south, and
    • Somalia in the southeast.
    • The Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east.
  • Djibouti has always been a very active member in the African Union and the Arab league.
  • It serves as a gateway to the Suez Canal, one of the world’s busiest shipping routes.




Why was Justice Mudgal panel constituted?

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Justice Mudgal panel report:

  • The Mudgal Committee was appointed in 2014 by a bench of Justice A.K. Patnaik and Justice J.S. Kehar of the Supreme Court.
  • It was constituted to probe the allegation of betting and spot-fixing in Indian Premier League (IPL).
  • It was a 3-member Probe Committee.
  • The committee comprises of:
    • Justice Mukul Mudgal (Retired Chief Justice, Punjab & Haryana High Court) as the Chairman,
    • L. Nageswara Rao, Sr. Advocate & Additional Solicitor General as Member,
    • Nilay Dutta, Sr. Advocate, Guwahati High Court as Member.
  • It was mandated to probe the allegations of betting and spot-fixing in the IPL matches.
  • The Mudgal panel clarified that BCCI-IPL may immediately terminate an agreement with a franchisee or owner if their acts hurt the reputation of the T20 league and the game of cricket.

Other fact:

  • A Supreme Court-appointed panel held BCCI president N Srinivasan’s son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan guilty of betting and passing on team information during the IPL matches in 2013.
  • The committee recommended further probe against Raj Kundra and Shilpa Shetty, part-owners of Rajasthan Royals.




What do you know about Kishanganga Hydroelectric Plant?

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Kishan Ganga Hydroelectric Project:

  • The Kishanganga Hydroelectric Plant is a part of a run-of-the-river hydroelectric scheme.
  • On 19 May 2018, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Kishanganga hydropower project.
  • It is designed to divert water from the Kishan ganga River to a power plant in the Jhelum River basin.
  • It has an installed capacity of 330 MW.
  • Construction on the project began in 2007 and was expected to be complete in 2016, but it was temporarily halted by the Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration (CoA) in October 2011 due to Pakistan’s protest of its effect on the flow of the Kishanganga River (called the Neelum River in Pakistan).
  • The diverted water from the Kishanganga River is used for the purpose of irrigation or to generate additional electricity from the downstream Lower Jhelum, Uri and proposed Kohala Hydel Power Projects.




What is the concept of Micro-irrigation? What is its need? And what are the benefits of Micro Irrigation Fund approved by union cabinet?

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  • Micro-irrigation means the application of water at low volume and frequent interval under low pressure to plant root zone.
  • It is also called drip irrigation or low-volume irrigation.
  • It offers users the most value, including better control and water savings.
  • The use of micro-irrigation means application of optimum water according to plant requirement.
  • This could be achieved by introducing advanced and sophisticated methods of irrigation viz. drip irrigation, sprinkler, etc.
  • The method is facilitated by releasing water in a slow and steady fashion.
  • These irrigation techniques are highly economical and precise.

What is the need for micro irrigation?

  • Surface irrigation techniques involve covering an entire field with water.
  • Overhead irrigation wets the plants but produces runoff.
  • In contrast, micro irrigation is a much more controlled irrigation method and economical.
  • This helps in attaining maximum benefit from the limited water resources and hence can lead to food security.
  • The slow flow of water virtually guarantees that it will be absorbed into the ground where it will be used more efficiently and where it won’t evaporate.
  • It eliminates the phenomenon of water wastefully running off.

Micro irrigation fund and its benefits:

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister on 16th May 2018, approved an initial Corpus of Rs.5,000 crore for setting up of a dedicated “Micro Irrigation Fund” (MIF) with NABARD under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY).
  • Objectives:
    • To facilitate the States in mobilising the resources for expanding coverage of Micro Irrigation by taking up special and innovative projects.
    • To incentivise micro irrigation beyond the provisions available under PMKSY-PDMC to encourage farmers to install micro irrigation systems.
  • Benefits:
    • The dedicated Micro Irrigation Fund would supplement the efforts of Per Drop More Crop Component (PDMC) of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana in an effective and timely manner.
    • With the additional investment for micro irrigation accessing MIF, innovative composite/ commodity/ community/ cluster based micro irrigation projects/ proposals may bring about 10 lakh ha.
    • The Fund will facilitate States to mobilise resources for their initiatives, including additional (top up subsidy) in implementation of PMKSY-PDMC to achieve the annual target of about 2 Million ha/year during the remaining period of 14thFinance Commission under Per Drop More Crop Component of PMKSY as recommended by the Group of Secretaries.

Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY):

  • PMKSY has been formulated amalgamating ongoing schemes viz:
    • Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP), Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) and On Farm Water Management (OFWM) component of National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA).
  • It is implemented by Ministries of Agriculture, Water Resources and Rural Development.
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