Flash Cards
Flash Cards

[Current Affairs] Flash Cards Sample Set #3

Initial Coin Offerings (ICO); Belfour Declaration; Kaleshwaram Irrigation Project; Nutraceutical; Raman Spectroscopy
By IT's Research Team
March 18, 2019



What is Raman Spectroscopy?

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C. V. Raman image

  • Raman spectroscopy, named after Indian physicist Sir C. V. Raman.
  • It is a spectroscopic technique used:
    • to observe vibrational, rotational, and other low-frequency modes in a system
    • to provide information on molecular vibrations and crystal structures.
  • It plays an important role in both R&D and QA/QC in a variety of industries and academic fields such as semiconductors, polymers, pharmaceuticals, batteries, life sciences and more.


  • Identifying the unknown substance and polymers,
  • Tracking changes in molecular structures,
  • Tracking a change in crystallinity,
  • Evaluating the magnitude of residual stress,
  • Assessing the direction of orientation of molecules.
  • Provide a structural fingerprint by which molecules can be identified.

The advanced types of Raman spectroscopy include surface-enhanced Raman, resonance Raman, tip-enhanced Raman, polarized Raman, stimulated Raman (analogous to stimulated emission), transmission Raman, spatially offset Raman, and hyper Raman.



What are Nutraceuticals and what are its benefits?

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  • Nutraceutical is the hybrid of ‘nutrition’ and ‘pharmaceutical’, an alternative to pharmaceuticals.
  • They are derived from food sources that are purported to provide extra health benefits, in addition to the basic nutritional value found in foods.
  • They can be considered non-specific biological therapies used to promote general well-being, control symptoms and prevent malignant processes.



  • Depending on the jurisdiction, products may claim to prevent chronic diseases, improve health, delay the aging process, increase life expectancy, or support the structure or function of the body.
  • It plays significant role in modifying and maintaining normal physiological function that maintains healthy human beings.
  • The food products used as nutraceuticals can be categorized as dietary fibre, prebiotics, probiotics, polyunsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants and other different types of herbal/ natural foods.
  • They cure major health problems such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, cholesterol, renal and gastrointestinal disorders, as well as different infections etc.



Write a note on Kaleshwaram Irrigation Project

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About Kaleshwaram Irrigation Project:

ias toppers Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project

  • It is a dream project of present Telengana government.
  • The Kaleshwaram project is an off-shoot of the original Pranahitha-Chevella Lift Irrigation Scheme taken up by the Congress government in 2007 when Andhra Pradesh was not divided.

iastoppers Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project

Uniqueness of the project:

  • It is claimed to be the costliest irrigation project to be taken up by any State till date with an estimated cost of ₹80,500 crore.
  • It will be providing irrigation facility to one crore acres of land under all projects/tanks.
  • The project including the longest tunnel to carry water in Asia, running up to 81 km, between the Yellampally barrage and the Mallannasagar reservoir.
  • The project would also utilise the highest capacity pumps, up to 139 MW, in the country to lift water.
  • It will make availability of water round-the-year and eradicating drought permanently.



What is Initial Coin Offerings (ICO)? What are its usages and significance?

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  • Initial coin offering (ICO) is an unregulated and controversial means of crowdfunding via use of cryptocurrency, which can be a source of capital for start-up companies.
  • It means that someone offers investors some units of a new cryptocurrency or crypto-token in exchange against cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum.



  • Since 2013 ICOs are often used to fund the development of new cryptocurrencies.
  • The pre-created token can be easily sold and traded on all cryptocurrency exchanges if there is demand for them.
  • ICOs can be used for a wide range of activities, ranging from corporate finance to charitable fundraising to outright fraud.
  • ICO enables every individual and every company to easily release freely tradable tokens to raise funds.
  • It could be used to completely reconstruct the financial system of shares, securities and so on. It decentralized not just money, but stock creation and trade.


  • ICO has become a tool that could revolutionize not just currency but the whole financial system. ICO token could become the securities and shares of tomorrow.
  • The first cryptocurrency distributed by an ICO was Ripple then several other cryptocurrencies have been funded with ICO like Bitcoin, NEXT, Mastercoin, Lisk, prominent however is Ethereum.
  • Gnosis, EtherEx and Akasha are the hot future ICO’s.
  • They are very high risk and speculative investments, are scams in some cases, and often offer no protections for investors.
  • The potential of this trend is immense.
  • The legal state of ICO is mostly undefined. Ideally, the token is sold not as a financial asset but as a digital good like many other things. This is why ICO is often called “crowd sale”. 



What is Belfour Declaration? Why it is in news?

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  • The Balfour Declarationwas a public statement issued by the British government during World War I.
  • It announced the support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, then an Ottoman region with a minority Jewish population.
  • The declaration called for safeguarding the civil and religious rights for the Palestinian Arabs, who composed the vast majority of the local population, and also the rights of the Jewish communities in other countries outside of Palestine.

Balfour Declaration iastoppers

Why in news:

  • The year 2017 marks one hundred years since the Balfour Declaration was issued.
  • The British government recently stated that it should have called for protection of the Palestinian Arabs’ political rights.

The Impact:

  • A century after Balfour, the Palestinians continue to be denied their basic rights to peace and security.
  • It set in motion the process which led to the displacement and dispossession of millions of Palestinians over the course of ten decades.
  • The declaration had two indirect consequences, the emergence of a Jewish state and a chronic state of conflict between Arabs and Jews throughout the Middle East.
  • It led to the creation of Mandatory Palestine, which later became Israel and the Palestinian territories.
  • It widened into the regional Arab–Israeli conflict, often referred to as the world’s “most intractable conflict”.
  • There are now more than 5 million Palestinian refugees facing poverty and insecurity across the occupied Palestinian territories, Lebanon and Jordan, and in Syria.
  • The Gaza Strip and the West Bank have been under military occupation for 50 years; the West Bank is being colonised by illegal settlers, while the Gaza Strip languishes after a decade of siege.