Flash Card

LAKSHYA-75 [Day-12] Current Flash Cards for IAS Prelims 2020

Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi); Sonbhadra gold deposits; e-National Agriculture Market (eNAM); Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas; RBI’s Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) Framework; Revised Kisan Credit Card Scheme; Iraq; Types of Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs); Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE); Singur dam;
By IASToppers
March 18, 2020



Where is Singur dam located?

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  • Singur Dam is located in Medak district of

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Singur Dam

  • Singur Dam is located in Medak district of
  • It was constructed on the Manjeera River in 1989.
  • It is a reservoir built for hydroelectric and irrigation purposes.
  • It also serves as a source of drinking water for Hyderabad.
  • The deep waters of the reservoir are home to about 1000 crocodiles.



Is Bureau of Energy Efficiency a statutory body?

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  • Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) is a statutory body under the (Ministry of Power, Government of India) established under provisions of the Energy Conservation Act 2001, to promote efficient use of energy and its conservation.

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Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE)

Why in News?

  • The Central Government in consultation with the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE)has notified new energy performance standards for Room Air Conditioner (RACs).

About BEE:

  • Bureau of Energy Efficiencywas established by the Government of India on March 1, 2002 under the provision of Energy Conservation Act, 2001.
  • BEE is a statutory bodyunder the Ministry of Power, Government of India.
  • It is assisted in developing policies and strategies with the primary objective of reducing the energy intensity of the Indian economy.
  • BEE coordinates with designated consumers, designated agencies, and other organization to identify and utilize the existing resources and infrastructure, in performing the functions assigned to it under the energy conservation act.
  • To promote energy efficiency and conservation, BEE introduced star rating system (varying from 1-5) for various electrical appliances such as air conditioners, ceiling fans, colour televisions, etc., based on their power consumption.
  • The star rating system is a labelling system, under which the manufacturer is required to place a label indicating how much electricity the appliance is likely to consume under pre-set conditions.

Regulations by BEE:

  • BEE launched the voluntary star labelling programfor fixed-speed room air conditioners (RACs) in 2006, and this program became mandatory on 12th January 2009.

  • Thereafter, in 2015, voluntary star labelling program for inverter room air conditioners was launched and which was made mandatory with effect from 1st January 2018.
  • The BEE star labelling program for Room Air Conditionersnow covers both fixed and inverter RAC up to a cooling capacity of 10,465 watts (2.97 TR).
  • Continual enhancement in performance levels has resulted in substantial energy efficiency improvement of about 43% in the minimum energy performance standards(MEPS) for split units, which are the most popular RACs sold in the market.



What are the types of Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs)?

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  • There are three types of PPIs—closed system PPIs, semi-closed system PPIs and open system PPIs.

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Payment instruments

  • A payment instrumentis a paper-based or electronic means or other medium used to initiate the transfer of funds.
  • Payment instruments include funds transfer instructions and electronic means of payment.
  • Payment instruments are licensed and regulated by the Reserve Bank of India.
  • The following payment instruments are used to initiate funds transfers:
  • Payment instructions;
  • Payment demand order;
  • Cheque in settlement;
  • Claim (this definition refers to cases where funds transfers are initiated by an execution creditor or a recipient in the event of a contractual charge-off);
  • Memo slip (is initiated by the bank to execute transactions involving debiting funds from the payer’s account and interbank transactions in accordance with the Law of Ukraine on Payment Systems and Money Transfer in Ukraine and NBU regulations.

What are Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs)?

  • PPIs are methods that facilitate purchase of goods and services against the value stored on such instruments.
  • The value stored on such instruments represents the value paid for by the holder, by debit, by cash to a bank account or by credit card.
  • These prepaid instruments can be issued as online wallets, mobile accounts, mobile wallets, smart cards, magnetic stripe cards, internet accounts, paper vouchers and any such instruments used to access the prepaid amount.
  • There are three types of PPIs—closed system PPIs, semi-closed system PPIs and open system PPIs.

Closed system PPI:

  • It is a brand-specific gift card.
  • Such cards, physical or otherwise, can be used only at specific locations, and cannot be used to transfer funds from one account to another.

Semi-closed PPIs:

  • E-wallets like Oxigen and Mobikwik are a common example.
  • These are not restricted to a single entity.
  • Instead, these can be used for purchase of any kind of goods and services from a merchant, as well as to transfer money to someone.

Open system PPIs:

  • It can be issued only by banks and can be used at any merchant outlet for any purchase or even cash withdrawal.
  • A travel card is a type of open system PPI.
  • It can be used for all types of spending and for cash withdrawal from ATMs.



Iraq is bordered by which countries?

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  • It is a country in Western Asia.
  • Baghdad is the capital city of Iraq.
  • Iraq mainly consists of desert, but near the two major rivers (Euphratesand Tigris) are fertile alluvial plains.
  • Iraq was under British rule for 17 years, and Ottoman rulefor centuries. It gained independence from Britain on October 3, 1932.
  • Iraq’s oil reservesare the fifth largest in the world.
  • The Iraq war startedon March 20th, 2003. The Iraq war is also called the Second Persian Gulf War.



What is the benefit of KCC (Kisan Credit Card) Scheme?

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  • Simplifies disbursement procedures
  • Removes rigidity regarding cash and kind
  • No need to apply for a loan for every crop
  • Assured availability of credit at any time enabling reduced interest burden for the farmer.
  • Helps buy seeds, fertilizers at farmer’s convenience and choice
  • Helps buy on cash-avail discount from dealers
  • Credit facility for 3 years – no need for seasonal appraisal
  • Maximum credit limit based on agriculture income
  • Any number of withdrawals subject to credit limit
  • Repayment only after harvest
  • Rate of interest as applicable to agriculture advance
  • Security, margin and documentation norms as applicable to agricultural advance
  • Access to adequate and timely credit to farmers
  • Full year’s credit requirement of the borrower taken care of. Minimum paper work and simplification of documentation for withdraw of funds from the bank.
  • Flexibility to draw cash and buy inputs.
  • Assured availability of credit at any time enabling reduced interest burden for the farmer.

Enrich Your Learning:

Revised Kisan Credit Card Scheme

  • The Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme was announced in the year 1998-99 by Indian Banks with the aim of providing short-term formal credit to farmers.
  • This model scheme was prepared by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
  • Under the scheme, all farmers who are eligible for the Kisan Credit Card are issued a smart card cum debit card in addition to the Kisan Credit Card, valid for 5 years.
  • The KCC scheme is being implemented by all the Commercial Banks, Cooperative Banks and Regional Rural Banks in collaboration with the State Governments.


  • To provide adequate and timely credit support from the banking system to the farmers at the cheap rate of interest.
  • To support post-harvest expenses.
  • To fulfil Investment credit requirement for agriculture and allied activities

Salient Features of the Scheme:

  • Card valid for 5 years is subjected to annual review.
  • As incentive for good performance, credit limits could be enhanced to take care of increase in costs, change in cropping pattern, etc.
  • Revolving cash credit facility involving any number of drawls and repayments within the limit.
  • Limit to be fixed on the basis of operational land holding, cropping pattern and scale of finance.
  • Entire production credit needs for full year plus ancillary activities related to crop production to be considered while fixing limit.
  • Operations may be through issuing branch (and also PACS in the case of Cooperative Banks) through other designated branches at the discretion of bank.
  • Crop loans disbursed under KCC Scheme for notified crops are covered under Crop Insurance Scheme to protect the interest of the farmer against loss of crop yield caused by natural calamities, pest attacks etc.

Conversion/re-scheduling of loans is also permissible in case of damage to crops due to natural calamities.



Cooperative banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) can be brought under PCA. Right OR Wrong?

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  • The PCA framework is applicable only to commercial banks and not extended to cooperative banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs).

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RBI’s Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) Framework

What is Prompt Corrective Action (PCA)?

  • PCA norms allow the regulator to place certain restrictions such as halting branch expansion and stopping dividend payment.
  • It can even cap a bank’s lending limit to one entity or sector.
  • Other corrective action that can be imposed on banks include special audit, restructuring operations and activation of recovery plan.
  • Banks’ promoters can be asked to bring in new management, too.
  • Under PCA, the RBI can also supersede the bank’s board.

What are the trigger points of capital levels that can attract PCA?

  • The PCA framework prescribes five levels of trigger points based on capital measures.
  • The five PCA categories are:
  • Well capitalised
  • Adequately capitalised
  • Undercapitalised
  • Significantly undercapitalised
  • Critically undercapitalised.

When is PCA invoked?

  • The PCA is invoked when certain risk thresholds are breached.
  • There are three risk thresholds which are based on certain levels of asset quality, profitability, capital and the like.
  • The third such threshold, which is maximum tolerance limit, sets net NPA at over 12% and negative return on assets for four consecutive years.



What are the main threats to Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas? 

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  • Intensive agriculture, loss of aboveground biodiversitysoil erosion and land degradation are among the most relevant threats to soil life.

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Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas

Why in News?

  • World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) was released its Living Planet Report 2018 titled “A warning sign from our planet: Nature needs life support”.

Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas:

  • The Atlas is prepared by World Wide Fund for Nature.
  • It indicates risk index which takes in to account, threats from loss of above-ground diversity, pollution and nutrient over-loading, over-grazing, intensive agriculture, fire, soil erosion, desertification and climate change.
  • The two key drivers of biodiversity loss were the over exploitation of natural resources and agriculture.
  • The risk index shows India among countries whose soil biodiversity faces the highest level of risk.

Highlights of the report:

  • The report highlighted that, while India’s per capita ecological footprint was less than 1.75 hectares/person (which is in the lowest band, among countries surveyed) its high population made it vulnerable to an ecological crisis.
  • The other countries which are placed along with India – Pakistan, China, several countries in Africa and Europe, and most of North America.
  • The findings under this are part of the bi-annual Living Planet Report 2018.



Which is the implementing agency of the ‘National Agricultural Market (NAM)?

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  • ‘National Agricultural Market’ (NAM) is implemented by Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC).

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e National Agriculture Market (eNAM)

  • National Agriculture Market (eNAM) is a pan-India electronic trading portal which networks the existing APMC mandis to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities.
  • Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) is the lead agency for implementing eNAM under the aegis of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Government of India.

Objectives of eNAM:

  • To establish quality assaying systems for quality assurance to promote informed bidding by buyers; and
  • To promote stable prices and availability of quality produce to consumers.
  • To integrate markets first at the level of the States and eventually across the country through a common online market platform, to facilitate pan – India trade in agricultural commodities;
  • To streamline marketing / transaction procedures and make them uniform across all markets to promote efficient functioning of the markets;
  • To promote better marketing opportunities for farmers / sellers through online access to more buyers / markets, removal of information asymmetry between farmer and trader, better and real-time price discovery based on actual demand and supply of Agri-commodities, transparency in auction process, prices commensurate with quality of produce, online payment etc. that contribute to marketing efficiency;

Outcome of the Scheme:

  • Single License for trading across all markets in a State
  • Single point of market fee
  • Electronic auction for transparent price discovery
  • Easier norms for obtaining trading Licenses
  • Abolition of fragmented markets
  • Seamless transfer of agricultural commodities
  • Improved supply-chain and reduced wastage
  • Increased price share for the farmers
  • Warehouse based sales
  • Quality based informed training

Beneficiaries& Benefits:

  • e – NAM is designed and implemented to benefit all the stakeholders – Farmers, Mandis, Traders, Buyers, Processers and Exporters.
  • The benefits to stakeholders include:
  • Transparent online trading with enhanced accessibility to the market
  • Real time price discovery for better & stable price realization for producers
  • Reduced transaction cost for buyers
  • Availability of information on e-Nam mobile app about commodity prices.
  • The details of price of commodity sold along with quantity are received through SMS
  • Quality certification
  • More efficient supply chain & warehouse based sales
  • Online payment directly to the bank accounts of the farmers



What does Vo Wi-Fi mean?

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  • Voice over Wi-Fi(VoWiFiis a term typically employed to describe the delivery of commercial telephony services using Voice over IP (VoIP) technologies from mobile devices connected across Wi-Fi.

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Wi-Fi calling service

Why in News?

  • Bharti Airtel has introduced Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi), a first for India.

What is Wi-Fi calling?

  • Wi-Fi calling is voice calls made with the help of a Wi-Fi network.
  • It works similar to normal calls but uses Wi-Fi connection instead of mobile network, which often doesn’t work properly in indoors.
  • Wi-Fi calling basically aims at offering an enhanced and seamless voice calling experience to users even when the cellular network is patchy.


  • It uses high speed Internet connection, available via broadband, to make and receive high definition (HD) voice calls. Users don’t have to pay extra for these calls as it is using a Wi-Fi network.
  • It works similar to WhatsApp calls. Similar to the voice calling apps, Wi-Fi calling allows users to make phone calls, but it doesn’t require them to install an application for it. The service also doesn’t charge the user and consumes very minimal data.
  • Wi-Fi Calling can be configured on compatible smartphones by upgrading operating systems to the version that supports Wi-Fi Calling, and enabling this in Settings. Keeping VoLTE switched on will help in seamless voice calling, but this is not essential.


  • Vo-Wi-Fi simply stands for voice over Wi-Fi.
  • Vo-Wi-Fi is a complementary technology to VoLTE and utilizes IMS technology to provide a packet voice service that is delivered over IP via a Wi-Fi network.
  • The feature can be used over private WLANs, home Wi-Fi networks, and public Wi-Fi hotspots.
  • A VoWiFi will carry your call over wireless networks which means one can make normal calls in the absence of cellular networks.
  • The technology should ideally permit, depending on implementation, that VoLTE calls may be seamlessly handled between LTE and Wi-Fi, depending on the availability of a better option.
  • The security is still handled by the SIM-based authentication, which means you aren’t relying on any app’s security or getting exposure to potential vulnerabilities.
  • So basically any application that lets you make voice calls using your internet or Wi-Fi, is using VoWiFi technology.
  • The difference here is that – in order to make calls via Wi-Fi, you had to first go into the app. However, this time you can just open the native dialer app and start calling – like you would when the cellular network is available.


  • Airtel Wi-Fi calling claims to enhance indoor voice calling experience for smartphone customers. Since these calls use stable Wi-Fi connections, call drops are not expected to be a problem. Wi-Fi Calling is aimed especially for areas where cellular networks are not strong.

Present status: 

  • At the moment the service is limited to Delhi-NCR users with compatible devices. For now, it will work only for users who have Wi-Fi on Airtel Xstream Fiber home broadband.

Way Forward: 

Airtel says it will soon be compatible with all broadband services and Wi-Fi hotspots, and rolled out in other locations. Reliance Jio can be expected to roll out its own VoWiFi service soon.



Which is the only district in India that shares its boundary with four states?

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  • Sonbhadrais the only district in India which borders four states namely Madhya Pradesh, Chhattishgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar.

Enrich Your Learning:

Sonbhadra gold deposits

Why in News?

  • The Geological Survey of India (GSI) has rejected the UP government’s Department of Geology and Mining claims of discovering about 3,000 tonnes of gold deposits in Uttar Pradesh’s Sonbhadra district, saying the actual estimated reserve stands at 160 kg.
  • The probable resource is 52,806.25 tonnes of ore, with an average grade of 3.03 grams per tonne, which means the total gold that can be extracted is 160 kg.


  • Sonbhadra is the second largest district by area of Uttar Pradesh,
  • Sonbhadra is the only district in India which borders four states namely Madhya Pradesh in west, Chhattisgarh in south, Jharkhand in south east and Bihar in the northeast.
  • Sonbhadra district is an industrial zone and it has lots of minerals like bauxite, limestone, coal, gold etc.
  • Sonbhadra is called as “Energy Capital of India” because there are so many power plants.
  • Sonbhadra lies between Vindhyas and Kaimur hills, and its topology and natural environment.

India’s gold reserve:

  • India’s gold reserve is around 626 tonnes.
  • According to the World Gold Council (WGC)India is currently at the 10th spot in the list of nations with the highest gold reserve.
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