Flash Card

Day#86 Current Affairs Flash Cards [PRELIMS 2020]

Aghanashini Lion Tailed Macaque Conservation Reserve; ‘Bluetongue Disease’; ‘Project Vishwajeet’; ‘Ramakien’; KHON Ramlila; ‘GOAL (Going Online as Leaders) Programme’;
By IASToppers
November 12, 2019



The Going Online as Leaders (GOAL) programme aims to guide which community of villages to become village level digital leader: a) tribal women b) Scheduled cast women c) both?

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The Going Online as Leaders (GOAL) programme aims to guide tribal women to become village level digital leader in their community.

Enrich Your Learning:

‘GOAL (Going Online as Leaders) Programme’:

  • Going Online as Leaders (GOAL) is an initiative of Facebook in partnership with Digital Empowerment Foundation (India) to connect underprivileged young tribal women with senior expert mentors in the areas of business, fashion and arts for teaching digital and life skills.

About GOAL:

  • This initiative is a year-long programme that was launched in March 2019.
  • The program will give technical support to the socially and economically marginalized women for their needs to succeed, using the technology they may otherwise have not had access to.
  • Recently, Ministry of Tribal Affairs partners Niti Aayog and Facebook for Second Phase of Goal.
  • In total, more than 200,000 hours of guidance will be provided using Facebook family of apps including WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
  • Following the program, the participants will graduate to the GOAL alumni and will continue to receive support and guidance from the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Facebook.


  • In the first phase from March to August 2019, 25 eminent people from diverse backgrounds mentored 4 girls each from tribal communities across various states.
  • In the second phase of the programme, 5000 young women in India’s tribal dominated districts will be digitally mentored.
  • The Ministry of Tribal Affairs will also work with district administration and other government agencies to help secure qualified participants with a fellowship.



Ramakien Epic was recently appeared in news. It is an epic of which country?

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The Ramakien is Thailand’s national epic, derived from the Hindu epic Ramayana.

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  • Thai Ramakien, which is a famous National Epic of Thailand, based on the Indian epic Ramayana.
  • A painted representation of the Ramakien is displayed at Bangkok’s Wat Phra Kaew, and many of the statues there depict characters from it.
  • The tales of the Ramakien are similar to those of the Ramayana, though transferred to the topography and culture of Ayutthaya (city in Thailand), where the Avatar of Pra Narai (the Thai incarnation of Vishnu) is reborn as Pra Ram.
  • It is a story that recounting the struggle between the forces of good and evil and about the temple of Wat Phra Jetubon in Bangkok.
  • It is identical to that of the Ramayana, many other aspects were transposed into a Thai context, such as the clothes, weapons, topography, and elements of nature, which are described as being Thai in style.


  • A number of versions of the epic were lost in the destruction of Ayutthaya in 1767.
  • Three versions currently exist, one of which was prepared in 1797 under the supervision of King Rama I. His son, Rama II, rewrote some parts of his father’s version for khon drama.
  • The work has had an important influence on Thai literature, art and drama.


  • Ramayana came to Southeast Asia by means of Indian traders and scholars who traded with the Khmer kingdoms (such as Funan and Angkor) and Srivijaya, with whom the Indians shared close economic and cultural ties.

KHON Ramlila:

  • KHON (Thai word) Ramlilais a masked form of Ramlila art of Thailand.
  • KHON Ramlila of Thailand is included in the list of UNESCO’s Intangible cultural heritage and it’s a form of masked dance depicting the scenes of Ramlila.
  • It has no dialogues and background voices narrate the whole story of Ramayana.
  • KHON Ramlila’s performance is also a visual delight famous for its beautiful attire and golden masks.



Project Vishwajeet was recently in news. What is it all about?

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Project VISHWAJEET is the initiative of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) will aim to pick the IITs with greatest potential to climb up the global ranking order.

Enrich Your Learning:

‘Project Vishwajeet’:

  • An endeavour titled ‘Project Vishwajeet’ by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to put IITs among the list of global educational institutions was conceptualised in 2016.
  • Recently, MHRD could look at reviving a 2016 initiative to ensure that IITs rank as top education institutes globally with the subject of the funding proposals from past alumni and corporate donors.
  • The project aimed to push seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) to the top rung in global academic rankings.
  • The seven IITs which will be a part of this project are IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Madras, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Guwahati, IIT Roorkee and IIT Kanpur.
  • This will be done through a mix of grants, research fellowships and funding to improve their academic and physical infrastructure.
  • It also includes targeted measures such as filling 20 percent vacancies with foreign faculty, 20 percent international students at the undergraduate and post graduate level.
  • While this was a three-year old project, it was not formally launched due to a lack of consensus on the quantum of funds. 

What next?

  • MHRD may also offer research grants for students and faculty who have published a minimum of two to three papers in renowned journals.
  • The project would run for five years and corporates will also be encouraged to fund this initiative through their CSR funds.
  • This year no Indian institute features among the Top 300 global institutes as per the 2020 World University Rankings of Times Higher Education.



What is Bluetongue Disease?

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Bluetongue is a non-contagious viral disease affecting sheep, cattle, deer, goats and camels spread by insects.

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‘Bluetongue Disease’:

  • Bluetongue is a non-contagious, viral disease spread by biting insects. It affects species of ruminants, particularly sheep.
  • Bluetongue virus is spread by insects called biting midges (Culicoides spp.). Other biting insects, such as ticks or sheep keds, may also transfer the virus.
  • The disease occurs worldwide including India.

What causes Bluetongue?

  • Bluetongue causes many different symptoms in affected animals, including ulcers, sores, painful hooves, lameness and reproductive problems.
  • Affected animals can have swelling of the tongue (“bluetongue”) which can cause breathing difficulties.

Which animals get bluetongue?

  • Bluetongue virus affects many domestic and wild ruminants. The disease is seen most often in sheep, occasionally in goats, and rarely in cattle.
  • Severe disease can also occur in wild ruminants, such as white tailed deer, pronghorn, and desert bighorn sheep.

How can animal get bluetongue?

  • Bluetongue is not spread by contact between animals. However, the virus may be spread by contaminated objects (fomites), such as surgical equipment and needles.

India and Bluetongue:

  • A new vaccine called ‘Raksha Blu’ against the deadly ‘bluetongue’ disease was developed and launched in India on January 8, 2015.
  • The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has developed diagnostic kits to detect and control ‘bluetongue’ diseases in animals.
  • These diagnostic kits have been developed by the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) under the ICAR.
  • India is the first country in the world to develop a diagnostic kit for bluetongue disease.
  • The Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI)is established in 1889 and is based in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh.
  • It is one of the premier research institutions dedicated to livestock research and development of the region.



The Aghanashini Conservation Reserve of Karnataka is dedicated to conservation of which animal?

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Answer: Lion Tailed Macaque

Enrich Your Learning:

Aghanashini Lion Tailed Macaque Conservation Reserve

  • It is the conservation reserve located in Karnataka.
  • It is 299.52 sq km area between Sirsi and Honnavar which was set aside in 2012 for the reserve.
  • The Aghanashini Conservation Reserve is dedicated for the Lion Tailed Macaque Conservation of the Western Ghats.


  • Forests of Sirsi-Honnavara over the last decade has seen a rapid decline in the vegetation cover of estimated yearly loss of 1.9%, in which largest population of LTM was first identified in 2002.
  • The government marked the boundaries to develop as protected area in 2008 and as a result of this Aghanashini Lion-tailed macaque Conservation reserve (ACR) came up.
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