Flash Card

LAKSHYA-75 [Day-2] Current Flash Cards for IAS Prelims 2020

Agricultural Produce Market Committee (International Seed Treaty;Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC); Arrokoth’ Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument; Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR); Christchurch Call; Shadow Banning; iDEX initiative; Article 142 of the Constitution of India; Brown to Green Report 2019APMC); Arrokoth’ Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument; Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR); International Seed Treaty; Christchurch Call; Shadow Banning; iDEX initiative; Article 142 of the Constitution of India; Brown to Green Report 2019
By IASToppers
March 07, 2020




The Brown to Green Report is released by a) United Nations Environment Programme OR b) Climate Transparency Organisation

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Solution: Climate Transparency Organisation

Enrich Your Learning:

The Brown to Green Report 2019:

  • The Brown to Green Report is the world’s most comprehensive review of G20 climate action providing concise information on G20 countries mitigation action, finance, and adaptation on climate.
  • This report was produced by Climate Transparency Organisation.

Highlights of the report:

India scenario:

  • India is the only country that is close to 1.5-degree Celsius temperature rise. (It is the scenario set by the global Paris Agreement that will lead to disastrous consequences.)
  • India has set ambitious NDCs (Nationally determined contributions) and is investing more in long term goals.
  • Russia, France, Italy, Germany and India were the highest ranked countries that faced economic losses from extreme weather events.

Global scenario:

  • G20 countries are responsible for 80% of global Green House Gas emissions.
  • Brazil and Germany were the only two countries with long term goals.
  • Australia was the worst performing country in terms of climate response.


  • In 2018, global emissions grew once again signalling that ever stronger efforts to reduce emissions are required to arrest global warming at 1.5°C. So that G20 countries will have to ratchet up their 2030 emissions targets in 2020.
  • The ‘Brown to Green Report 2019’ takes stock of where the G20 countries stand in terms of 1.5°C benchmarks.


  • The G20 is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 19 countries including India and the European Union.
  • And G20 Climate Action is core issue of the G20 Agenda on Economic Growth.

Nationally determined contributions (NDCs):

  • The Paris Agreement requests each country to outline and communicate their post-2020 climate actions, known as their NDCs.

NDCs embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.




Under which article of Indian constitution, Supreme Court ordered 5 acres’ land for a mosque to the Sunni Waqf Board?

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Solution: Article 142

Enrich Your Learning:

Article 142 of the Constitution of India:

Why in news?

  • Article 142 of the Constitution, which grants the Supreme Court special powers, was invoked twice by the five-judge Constitution bench while delivering the landmark verdict in the Ayodhya.

What is Article 142?

  • Article 142 provides that “the Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction may pass such decree or make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it”.
  • Any order so passed or orders so made shall be enforceable throughout the territory of India in such manner as may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament and, until provision in that behalf is so made, in such manner as the President may by order prescribe.

Salient Features of Art.142:

  • The Article 142 of the constitution enables the Supreme Court to pass any order necessary “for doing complete justice in any cause”.
  • The jurisdiction and powers under Ar. 142 are supplementary in nature and are provided to for doing complete justice in any matter.
  • The expressions ‘cause’ or ‘matter’ include any proceeding pending in the court and would cover almost every kind of proceeding in the court including civil or criminal, whether interlocutory or final, and whether before or judgement.
  • The plenary powers of the Supreme Court under Ar. 142 of the Constitution are inherent in the court and are complementary to those powers which are specifically conferred on the court by various statutes though are not limited by those statutes.
  • The exercise of the power is left completely to the discretion of the Supreme Court.

SC interpretations of Art.142:

  • In Prem Chand Garg vs. Excise Commissioner case, the court had suggested that its power under Ar. 142 (1) cannot be exercised against a definite statutory provision.
  • Delhi Judicial Service Association Vs State of Gujarat: In this case, court’s power under Article 142(1) to do ‘complete justice’ is entirely of different level and of a different quality. Any prohibition or restriction contained in ordinary laws cannot act as a limitation on the constitutional power of this Court.
  • These observations were approved by the Constitution Bench which decided Union Carbide Corpn. v. Union of India.
  • Supreme Court Bar Association v. Union of India: The apex court has emphasized that the power given to it under Ar. 142 is conceived to meet situations which cannot be effectively and appropriately tackled by the existing legal provisions.
  • The Supreme Court has left the power under Ar. 142 “undefined and uncatalogued” so that “it remains elastic enough to be moulded to suit the given situation.”

SC decisions based on Article 142:

  • In ayodhya case, SC directs that appropriate representation may be given in the Trust or body to the Nirmohi Akhara in the scheme to be framed by the Central Government.
  • The top court had invoked the Article 142 to annul a marriage of a couple living apart for past 22 years, even though the woman had not given consent for the divorce.
  • In December 2015, the top court had invoked the Article 142 to appoint Justice Virendra Singh as the Lokayukta of Uttar Pradesh, when the state had not made the appointment within the deadline citing lack of consensus. Appointment of the Lokayukta is in the government’s domain.
  • The court had even invoked the Article to transfer the trial of a case against the accused in Babri Masjid Demolition from Rae Bareli court to a Lucknow court for the joint trial of two sets of cases arising out of the same issue.
  • Under art. 142, the Supreme Court has issued guidelines and directions in a large number of cases. Guidelines on the adoption of minor children by foreigners, norms for the appointment of and transfer of judges, prevention of sexual harassment of women at the work place.

Key Facts:

  • The high Court’s power under Art. 226 of the Constitution of India is not at par with the constitutional jurisdiction conferred upon the Supreme Court under Art. 142.
  • The Supreme Courts power under Art. 142 is not available to High Courts and the High Courts have no power to do complete justice.
  • Only Bangladesh and Nepal include similar provisions of their constitutions.




iDEX is an initiative of which Central Ministry of India?

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Solution: iDEX (Innovations for Defence Excellence) is an initiative of Ministry of defence.

Enrich Your Learning:

iDEX initiative:

  • Ministry of Defence (MoD) has introduced “Innovations for Defence Excellence” (iDEX) initiative which was launched April 2018.
  • iDEX is aimed at creating an ecosystem which fosters innovation and encourages technology development in Defence by engaging R&D institutes, academia, industries, Startups and even individual innovators.
  • iDEX function under the aegis of Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO), as its executive arm.
  • The DIO has an Advisory Committee with members from Service HQs, DPSUs (Defence Public Sector Undertakings), NITI Aayog along with representatives from the Department of Science and Technology and Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.
  • The main functions of DIO are:
  • Receive periodic reports from iDEX team on the projects

Provide high level policy guidance.




A term ‘Shadow Banning’ was recently appeared in news. What is Shadow Banning?

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Shadow banning is the act of blocking or partially blocking a user or their content from an online community such that it will not be readily apparent to the user that they have been banned.

Enrich Your Learning:

Why in news?

  • The phrase, which refers to a “hidden” ban on undesirable users, often comes up in accusations that Twitter and other technology companies are biased against conservatives.

What is Shadow Banning?

  • Shadow banning (also called stealth banning, ghost banning or comment ghosting) is the act of blocking or partially blocking a user or their content from an online community such that it will not be readily apparent to the user that they have been banned.
  • For instance, shadow banned comments posted to a blog or media site won’t be visible to other persons accessing that site from their computers.

How Shadow Banning becomes in existence?

  • Moderators of social media (like twitter) could always just disable the accounts of spammers, harassers or those who were just too argumentative.
  • But sometimes banned users came back with new accounts, prolonging the turmoil. So, moderators came up with an alternative punishment: the shadow ban. The shadow-banned user can still post freely, but no one else sees their messages.




What is the aim of Christchurch Call Action Summit?

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Solution: Elimination of terrorist and violent extremist content online

Enrich Your Learning:

Christchurch Call

  • The Christchurch Call Action Summit, which took place in May 2019 in Paris, was a political summit initiated by New Zealand PM.
  • The summit was aimed to bring together countries and tech companies to bring an end the ability to use social media to organise and promote terrorism and violent extremism.
  • In the summit, the world leaders and technology companies pledged to “eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online”.

India is also the signatory to the pledge.



Which treaty facilitates the access to plant genetic materials?

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Answer: International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

Enrich Your Learning:

International Seed Treaty

  • The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (IT PGRFA) is popularly known as the International Seed Treaty.
  • It was adopted by the Thirty-First Session of the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations on 3 November 2001.
  • It is legally binding.
  • India is also a contracting party to it.

The aim of treaty:

  • recognizing the enormous contribution of farmers to the diversity of crops that feed the world;
  • establishing a global system to provide farmers, plant breeders and scientists with access to plant genetic materials;
  • ensuring that recipients share benefits they derive from the use of these genetic materials with the countries where they have been originated.

Other information

  • The Treaty facilitates access to the genetic materials of the 64 crops in the Multilateral System for research, breeding and training for food and agriculture. 
  • Those who access the materials must be from the Treaty’s ratifying nations and they must agree to use the materials totally for research, breeding and training for food and agriculture.
  • The Treaty prevents the recipients of genetic resources from claiming intellectual property rights over those resources in the form in which they received them, and ensures that access to genetic resources already protected by international property rights is consistent with international and national laws.
  • It is a comprehensive international agreement in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which aims at guaranteeing food security through the conservation of the world’s plant genetic resources.






What is Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR)?

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Solution: It is a licence fee calculated on the basis of all revenues earned by a telecom operator including non-telecom related sources.

Enrich Your Learning:

Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR)

  • Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) is the usage and licensing fee that telecom operators are charged by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
  • The AGR is divided into spectrum usage charges and licensing fees, pegged between 3-5 percent and 8 percent respectively.
  • Currently, telecom operators pay 8% of the AGR as licence fee, while spectrum usage charges (SUC) vary between 3-5% of AGR.
  • As per DoT, the charges are calculated based on all revenues earned by a telco – including non-telecom related sources such as deposit interests and asset sales. Telcos, on their part, insist that AGR should comprise only the revenues generated from telecom services.
  • The Supreme Court has upheld the definition of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) calculation as stipulated by the Department of Telecommunications.
  • Currently, the telecom companies of India will have to pay up as much as Rs 92,642 crore to the government, more than half of which are owed by Airtel and Vodafone.
  • It directly impacts the outgo from the pockets `of telcos to the DoT.




‘Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument’ is located in which country: (a) USA OR (b) Japan?

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Answer: ‘Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument’ is located in USA.

Enrich Your Learning:

Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument

  • It is the world’s largest marine conservation area located in Hawaii (Midway Atoll), USA.
  • It was inscribed in 2010 as a UNESCO mixed World Heritage site.
  • It encompasses vast stretch of Pacific Ocean waters, including 10 islands and atolls of the North-western Hawaiian Islands.
  • It was created in June 2006.
  • The monument supports 7,000 species, one quarter of which are endemic.
  • Prominent species include Hawksbill sea turtle (endangered), green sea turtle (threatened) etc.
  • Its total area is larger than all of America’s National Parks combined.
  • The monument’s ocean area is administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.




The term ‘Arrokoth’ was recently appeared in news. What is it?

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  • Arrokoth is the new name of ‘Ultima Thule’ which is a contact binary located in the Kuiper belt (circumstellar disc in the outer Solar System, extending from the orbit of Neptune to approximately 50 AU from the Sun).

Enrich Your Learning:


  • Ultima Thule which is the farthest cosmic body ever visited by a spacecraft, has been renamed Arrokoth.
  • It is a trans – Neptunian object located in the Kuiper belt.
  • Arrokoth means ‘sky’ in the Native American Powhatan language. NASA added that they had received consent from Powhatan Tribal elders.
  • The new official name, which was chosen by the New Horizons team and ratified by the International Astronomical Union, was announced in a ceremony at NASA headquarters Tuesday.

What is Arrokoth?

  • It is a contact binary.
  • Contact binary is a small Solar system body such as a comet that is composed of two bodies that have gravitated towards each other until they touch resulting in peanut like shape.

Why the name ‘Ultima Thule’ being discarded by NASA?

  • The ‘Ultima Thule’ name has been changed due to a controversy which states that it was co-opted by far-right German occultists in the early 20th century as the fabled ancestral home of “Aryan” people.
  • Members of Thule Society founded a political party that evolved into Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party, and the term remains popular in alt-right circles.



Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) is constituted by (a) Central government OR State Governments?

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  • APMC is constituted by the state government. The agricultural marketing is a state (provincial) subject.

Enrich Your Learning:

Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC)

  • Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) is a statutory market committee constituted by a State Government in respect of trade in certain notified agricultural or horticultural or livestock products, under the Agricultural Produce Market Committee Act issued by that state government.
  • APMCs are intended to be responsible for:
  1. ensuring transparency in pricing system and transactions taking place in market area
  2. providing market-led extension services to farmers
  • ensuring payment for agricultural produce sold by farmers on the same day
  1. promoting agricultural processing including activities for value addition in agricultural produce
  2. Publicizing data on arrivals and rates of agricultural produce brought into the market area for sale
  3. Setup and promote public private partnership in the management of agricultural markets
  • The typical amenities available in or around the APMCs are: auction halls, weigh bridges, godowns, shops for retailers, canteens, roads, lights, drinking water, police station, post-office, bore-wells, warehouse, farmer’s amenity center etc.
  • The APMC system was introduced to prevent distress sale by farmers to their creditors, to protect farmers from the exploitation of intermediaries and traders and to ensure better prices and timely payment for their produce through the auctions in the APMC

Legal Background of APMC

  • Under Constitution of India, agricultural marketing is a state (provincial) subject.
  • While intra-state trades fall under the jurisdiction of state governments, inter-state trading comes under Central or Federal Government (including intra-state trading in a few commodities like raw jute, cotton, etc.).
  • Thus, agricultural markets are established and regulated mostly under the various State APMC Acts.

Once a particular area is declared as a market area and falls under the jurisdiction of a Market Committee, no person or agency is allowed to freely carry on wholesale marketing activities.


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