Flash Cards

Day#8 Current Affairs Flash Cards [PRELIMS 2020]

Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary; Behdienkhlam Festival; VG Kannan Committee’; NASA’s Parker Solar Probe; “Security and Growth for All in the Region" (SAGAR) doctrine;
By IASToppers
August 02, 2019



What is the name of the only Indian reserve legally dedicated to India’s national aquatic animal?

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  • Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary is the only reserve legally dedicated to India’s national aquatic animal

Enrich Your Learning:

Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary

  • The Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary (VGDS), from Sultanganj to Kahalganj on the Ganga in Bihar is the only dolphin sanctuary in the country.
  • The Vikramshilla Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary came into existence in 1991.
  • The most ancient of all cetaceans, the blind, side-swimming, endangered Gangetic river dolphin or Platanista gangetica gangetica.
  • The number of dolphins Sanctuary has declined to 154 from 207 in 2015.

About Gangetic Dolphin

  • Gangetic dolphins prefer deep water with adjoining shallow water.
  • They live in a zone where there is little or no current that helps them save energy.
  • If they sense danger, they can go into the deep waters.
  • The dolphins swim from the no-current zone to the edges to hunt for fish and return.

Steps taken to ensure that dolphins will not be adversely affected by the National Waterways Project

  • National Waterway-1 passes through the Sultanganj-Kahalgaon stretch.
  • Vessel speed would be restricted to 2.7 knots in Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary (VGDS) area to reduce the noise generation from propeller.
  • Other measures are fitting vessels with propeller guards and dolphin deflectors to minimise dolphin accidents and using non-toxic paints for painting vessels.





What does the doctrine SAGAR refer to?

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  • SAGAR refers to “Security and Growth for All in the Region” a doctrine outlined by Prime Minister in 2015 aiming to keep the Indian Ocean region peaceful and secure.

Enrich Your Learning:

What is SAGAR Doctrine?

  • Underlining the growing salience of the Indian Ocean and global maritime commons in India’s strategic calculus, SAGAR Doctrine was unveiled by Prime Minister in 2016.
  • It calls for intensifying cooperation among navies and maritime agencies of the world to engineer virtuous cycles of cooperation.



What are the objectives of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe?

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NASA’s Parker Solar Probe will be the first-ever mission to “touch” the sun.


  • To trace how energy and heat move through the solar corona and
  • To explore what accelerates the solar wind as well as solar energetic particles.


  • Determine structure and dynamics of magnetic fields at sources of solar wind.
  • Trace flow of energy that heats corona and accelerates solar wind.
  • Determine what mechanisms accelerate and transport energetic particles.
  • Explore dusty plasma near Sun and its influence on solar wind and energetic particle formation.

Key facts about the probe:

  • The spacecraft, about the size of a small car, will travel directly into the sun’s atmosphere about 6.2 million miles from our star’s surface.
  • It is scheduled for launch in 2018 to explore the Sun’s outer atmosphere.
  • The probe will use Venus’ gravity during seven flybys over nearly seven years to gradually bring its orbit closer to the Sun.
  • The Parker Solar Probe will perform its scientific investigations in a hazardous region of intense heat and solar radiation.
  • The primary power for mission is dual system of solar panels (photovoltaic array). Secondary source consists of much smaller secondary array power that uses pumped-fluid cooling to maintain operating temperature



VG Kannan Committee has been constituted by which central authority in India?

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  • The VG Kannan Committee’ has been set up by the Reserve Bank of India.

Enrich Your Learning:

‘VG Kannan Committee’

  • The Reserve Bank of India has constituted a six-member committee to review the ATM interchange fee structure.
  • The committee, is headed by VG Kannan, Chief Executive, Indian Banks’ Association.
  • The committee will submit its report within two months of its first meeting.
  • The use of automated teller machines (ATMs) has been growing significantly and there have been persistent demands to change ATM charges and fees.


  • The Reserve Bank of India has set up the committee to reduce prices for customers on ATM transactions, with a broader objective to improve rural penetration of teller machines.

Aim of the committee:

  • To assess the entire gamut of costs in respect of the ATM ecosystem and make recommendations on the optimal charge/interchange fee structure and pattern.

The committee will review:

  • The existing structures and patterns of costs.
  • Charges and interchange fees for ATM transactions.
  • The overall patterns of usage of ATMs by cardholders
  • Assess the impact, if any, on charges and interchange fees.

Key facts

  • As per the latest RBI data, 80.9 crore transactions were done through debit cards on ATM during April 2019.



Where is the Behdienkhlam Festival celebrated in India?

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  • Behdienkhlam, one of the most colourful festivals of the State, was celebrated in the Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya.
  • The Behdienkhlam literally means driving away the plague as “Khlam” means ‘Plague’ and “Beh Dein” means to drive away the plague.
  • The non-Christian ‘Pnar’ people who believe either in the traditional faith of ‘Niamtre’ or Hinduism observe this festival.
  • It is the ritualistic expression of the relentless struggle of mankind to overcome the destructive forces of nature, including diseases, since the dawn of civilization.
  • This festival is also an invocation to God seeking blessings for a good harvest. Women offer sacrificial food to the spirits of the ancestors.
  • Most popular festival of the Jaintia tribe, Behdienkhlam is celebrated in the month of July for good health, property and bumper harvest.
  • The festival witnessed a colourful display of 12 rots or ‘rath’ at the sacred pool ‘Aitnar’.
  • The festival ends with a final salutation to the divine powers when the women of the tribe offer sacrificial food to their almighty. The festival is also known as the festival for chasing away the Demon of Cholera.
  • The festival is celebrated around the same time “Rath Yatra” is celebrated in other parts of eastern India.



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