Flash Card

LAKSHYA-75 [Day-24] Current Flash Cards for IAS Prelims 2020

Pinaka Missile; Crocodile Breeding Project; Sea Cow; Talley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary; African Swine Fever; Hedge funds; National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT); Kajin Sara lake; Masala Bonds; Neutrinos
By IASToppers
March 30, 2020

 

 

Thousands of Neutrino particles passes through our body every second, yet they are difficult to detect. Why?

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Solution:

 

Enrich Your Learning:

  • Most neutrinos pass through Earth without interacting at all. They are difficult to detect because neutrinos have very little interaction with matter.
  • Moreover, neutrinos interact only through two of the four known forces: the weak force and gravity.

Why in news?

The Centre reiterated that the Indian Neutrino Observatory (INO) will be established in picturesque Theni in south Tamil Nadu, though there has been opposition to the project by locals.

What are Neutrinos?

  • Neutrinos are subatomic particles that are very similar to an electron. Neutrinos are of very small mass. They also do not have an electrical charge.
  • Neutrinos are the second most abundant particles in the universe. Most neutrinos pass through Earth without interacting at all. They are difficult to detect because neutrinos have very little interaction with matter.
  • Neutrinos interact only through two of the four known forces: the weak force and gravity. Their speed is very close to the speed of light, but also not known exactly.
  • Physicist Enrico Fermi popularized the name “neutrino”.
  • There are three types of neutrinos: electron neutrino, muon neutrino, and tau neutrino

Sources of Neutrinos:

  • Natural sources are The Sun, Supernova, The Big Bang etc.
  • Artificial sources consist of Reactor Neutrinos, Accelerator Neutrinos and among others.

What are the applications of Neutrinos?

  • Helps monitor nuclear proliferation. Help find cavities of mineral and oil deposits in Earth.
  • Facilitate faster global communication.
  • Allow scientists to detect dark matter.

 

 

 

Masala bonds were first issued by State Bank of India in 2014 to to fund infrastructure projects in India. True OR False.

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Solution:

False

Correct Statement:

  • The International Finance Corporation(IFC), the investment arm of the World Bank, in November 2014, issued a Rs. 1,000 crore bond to fund infrastructure projects in India. IFC then named them Masala bonds to give a local flavour by calling to mind Indian culture and cuisine.

Enrich Your Learning:

Masala Bonds

  • Masala bond is a term used to refer to a financial instrument through which Indian entities can raise money from overseas markets in the rupee.

Background:

  • The International Finance Corporation(IFC), the investment arm of the World Bank, in November 2014, issued a Rs. 1,000 crore bond to fund infrastructure projects in India.
  • These bonds were listed on the London Stock Exchange(LSE). IFC then named them Masala bonds to give a local flavour by calling to mind Indian culture and cuisine.

About Masala bonds

  • Masala Bonds are rupee-denominated borrowingsissued by Indian entities in overseas markets.
  • The objective of Masala Bonds is to fund infrastructure projects in India, fuel internal growth via borrowings and internationalise the Indian currency.
  • Indian corporates usually issue Masala Bonds to raise funds from foreign investors.
  • The minimum maturity period for Masala Bonds raised up to Rupee equivalent of USD 50 million in a financial year is 3 years and for bonds raised above USD 50 million equivalent in INR is 5 years.
  • They are issued to foreign investors and settled in US dollars. Hence the currency risk lies with the investorand not the issuer, unlike external commercial borrowings (ECBs), where Indian companies raise money in foreign currency loans.

 

 

 

Recently, The Kajin Sara Lake was in news for?

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Solution:

The Kajin Sara lake in Nepal is likely to set a new record of being the world’s highest lake replacing Tilicho lake, which is situated at an altitude of 4,919 metres in Nepal.

Enrich Your Learning:

Why in news?

  • The Kajin Sara lake in Nepal is likely to set a new record of being the world’s highest lake replacing Tilicho lake, which is situated at an altitude of 4,919 metres in Nepal.

About the Kajin Sara lake

  • The Kajin Sara lake is located in Manang district of Singarkharka area of Chame rural municipality.
  • The lake would be the world’s highest lake if its altitude of 5200 metres is officially verified.

 

 

 

National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) has been banned by Indian government under which law since 1997?

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Solution:

NLFT has been banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act since 1997 

Enrich Your Learning:

  • A Memorandum of Settlement was signed by the Government of India, Government of Tripura and National Liberation Front of Twipra led by Sabir Kumar Debbarma (NLFT-SD).

About National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT)

  • The National Liberation Front of Tripura is a Tripuri nationalist militant organisation based in Tripura.
  • It seeks to secede from India and establish an independent Tripuri stateand is an active participant in the Insurgency in Northeast India.
  • NLFT has been banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act since 1997and has been involved in violence, operating from their camps across the international border.
  • Peace talks with NLFT were initiated in 2015 and there has been no violence by NLFT since 2016.

About the memorandum

  • NLFT (SD) has agreed to abjure the path of violence by surrendering their cadres and weapons. The surrendered cadres will be given surrender benefits as per the Surrender-cum-Rehabilitation Scheme, 2018 of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

 

 

 

In context of Economy, what are Hedge funds? How it is different from mutual funds?

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Solution:

  • Hedge funds are mutual funds that are privately managed by experts.

Enrich Your Learning:

Hedge funds

  • To hedge means to safeguard, and in the context of investing, it means to protect against risks.
  • Hedge funds are mutual funds that are privately managed by experts.
  • A hedge fund uses the funds collected from accredited investors like banks, insurance firms, High Net-Worth Individuals (HNIs) & families etc. This is the reason why these funds often function as overseas investment corporations or private investment partnerships.
  • They do not need to be registered with SEBI, nor do they need to disclose their NAV periodically like other mutual funds.

Features

  • Only qualified or accredited investorscan invest in hedge funds.
  • Hedge funds have a comprehensive portfolio of investments ranging from currencies, derivatives, stocks, real estates, equities, and bonds. Hence, they are also considered as alternative investments.
  • Higher fund management feescompared to mutual funds
  • Higher Risks
  • Returns are market neutral. Returns from hedge funds stand testimony to the fund manager’s skill.

 

 

 

What is the range of Pinaka Missile system?

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Solution:

  • The system has a maximum range of 40 km for Mark-I and 75 km for Mark-II variant.

Enrich Your Learning:

Why in news?

  • Recently, an upgraded version of India’s indigenously developed Pinaka guided rocket system was successfully test-fired.

Pinaka Missile

  • It is a multi-barrel rocket launch (MBRL) system, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • The weapon system is equipped with guidance kit comprising an advanced navigation and control system, with DIGICORA MET radar.
  • The Pinaka launcher can operate in different modes — autonomous, standalone, remote and manual.
  • It can use a wide range of warheads comprised of pre-fragmented high explosive, anti-tank bomblet, anti-tank minelet warhead, anti-personnel mines, incendiary practice and pilot shot.
  • The system has a maximum range of 40 km for Mark-I and 75 km for Mark-II variant.

 

 

African swine fever can be spread by live or dead pigs.  True OR False.

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Solution:

True

Enrich Your Learning:

What is African Swine Fever (ASF)?

  • African Swine Fever is a highly contagious animal disease.
  • It affects domestic and wild pigs and causes high mortality.
  • It is caused by a large DNA virus of the Asfarviridae family.
  • Affected pigs suffer from an acute form of haemorrhagic fever. The first outbreak occurred in 1921 in Kenya.
  • ASF is not a risk to human health.

How does ASF spread?

  • African Swine Fever is a transboundary animal disease which can spread by live or dead pigs and pork products.
  • The virus has high environmental resistance.
  • Transmission mechanisms:
    • Direct contact with infected domestic or wild pigs;
    • Indirect contact, through ingestion of contaminated material (e.g. food waste, feed, or garbage);
    • Through biological vectors like ticks.

What is the Impact?

  • The mortality is close to 100 per cent. Death of the infected animal occurs within 20 days. ASF is responsible for the production and economic losses at local, regional and national levels.
  • According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, ASF is a disease of growing strategic importance for global food security and household income.
  • Post outbreak, pork prices have increased. Moreover, consumers are shifting to alternate sources of protein like beef and chicken of which Brazil is a major exporter. To meet the demand, Brazil is clearing land under Amazon forests for agriculture.

Treatment Methods:

  • Post infection, culling and burying the animal.
  • No vaccinations or treatment options available.
  • Prevention systems include proper implementation of appropriate import policies and biosecurity measures.

 

 

 

Recently, a new species of snakes, which belongs to a genus of burrowing snakes and are called slender snakes, was found from which wildlife sanctuary of India?

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Solution:

  • Recently, a new species of natricid snakes was found from Talley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh.

Enrich Your Learning:

Why in news?

  • Recently, a team of researchers have discovered a new species of natricid snakes, Trachischiumapteii from Talley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The newly discovered species belongs to a genus of burrowing snakes and are called slender snakes. These are similar in their habits to shieldtail snakes, found in the Western Ghats.
  • The snakes of this genus are poorly studied probably because they remain underground mostly.

Talley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary:

  • Talley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary as well as a bio-diversity hotspot locatedin Arunachal Pradesh.
  • It is situated at altitude of 2400 metres with rivers like Pange, Sipu, Karing and Subansiri flowing through the Reserved Forest and Sanctuary.
  • Talley is a plateau with dense forest of silver fir trees, pine clad plateau of beautiful grandeur, and a vast wasteland.
  • The area has some of the most important endangered species including the clouded leopard.
  • Pleioblastus simone is a bamboo variety only found in Talley Valley.

Key Facts:

  • Arunachal Pradesh as a whole contains 40% of the floral and faunal species in India.

 

 

 

Sea Cow, now an extinct aquatic animal, was found in which sea? a) Caspian Sea b) Bearing Sea c) East China Sea

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Solution:

Sea Cow, now an extinct aquatic animal, was found in Bering Sea.

Enrich Your Learning:

Sea Cow

  • Sea Cow, an Aquatic mammal which is now EXTINCT, was once inhabited near shore areas of the Komador Islands in the Bering Sea.
  • Sea cow was the largest sirenian with length of 9-10 metres.
  • Sirenian is any of four large aquatic mammal species now living in primarily in tropical waters such as
  • Sea cows were wiped out by hunters in the 18th centuryless than 30 years after they were first discovered by Arctic explorers.
  • Steller’s sea cow was unknown to science until 1741 and it was discovered by German naturalist Georg W Steller.
  • Like the dugong, the sea cow had a relatively small head and a broad, horizontal forked tail fluke.
  • Small stumpy flippers near the front of the bodywere used for moving over rocky areas and for holding fast to rocks in rough seas. The bark like skin was dark brown, sometimes streaked or spotted with white.
  • Sea cows had no teeth, instead, they relied on horny plates in the mouth to compact their soft food, which consisted of kelp and seaweed near the ocean’s surface along the shore. But had little ability to submergeand thus were easy targets for harpooning by hunters. 

 

 

Which Indian state has distinction for existence of all the three species of Indian crocodilians?

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Solution:

  • Odisha has distinction for existence of all the three species of Indian crocodilians.

Enrich Your Learning:

Background:

The Gharial and Saltwater crocodile conservation programme was first implemented in Odisha in early 1975 and subsequently the Mugger conservation programme was initiated, since Odisha is having distinction for existence of all the three species of Indian crocodilians.

Crocodile Breeding Project

  • A national crocodile breeding project initiated in 1975has taken several measures to conserve the salt water crocodile and the freshwater crocodile consisting of Indian mugger and the
  • Under the project, 16 crocodile rehabilitation centres and 11 crocodile sanctuaries were established. 
  • The crocodile conservation project covered a 550 km stretch in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradeshand Madhya Pradesh.
  • The project began by collecting eggs from the wild.
  • The Indian conservationists and foresters took technical help from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  • Captive gharial hatcheries and rearing pools came up in nine statesand the Central Crocodile Breeding and Management Training Institute (CCBMTI) opened in Hyderabad in 1978 to add fillip to the campaign.
  • The greatest achievement was the re-establishment of viable gharial breeding populations in Chambal and Satkoshia Gorge sanctuaries.

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