Flash Card

LAKSHYA-75 [Day-32] Current Flash Cards for IAS Prelims 2020

Jallikattu; Kambala; Juice Jacking; Smog tower; Rehabilitation Centre for Turtles in India; Operation Save Kurma; Complex Volcano; Taal Volcano; UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP); United Nations Security Council Resolution 47; Sagarmatha Dialogue; Delhi Dialogue XI; 6th Indian Ocean Dialogue; ‘Electrokinetic streaming’ and ‘contrasting inter-facial activities’; India-EU Broad Based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) negotiations;
By IASToppers
April 09, 2020

Often, the bilateral negotiations under Broad Based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) appear in the news. Which organization is involved under the BTIA negotiations?

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European Union

Enrich Your Learning:

India-EU Broad Based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) negotiations

  • The European Union (EU) has expressed interest in exploring a bilateral investment protection agreement (BIPA) with India that would be delinked from the proposed free trade agreement (FTA) where ongoing negotiations are in a state of limbo.
  • The FTA was called Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) where negotiations are stuck.
  • On 28th June 2007, India and the EU began negotiations on a broad-based Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) in Brussels, Belgium
  • These negotiations are pursuant to the commitment made by political leaders at the 7th India-EU Summit held in Helsinki on 13th October 2006to move towards negotiations for a broad-based trade and investment agreement on the basis of the report of India-EU High Level Technical Group.
  • The negotiations cover Trade in Goods, Trade in Services, Investment, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, Technical Barriers to Trade, Trade Remedies, Rules of Origin, Customs and Trade Facilitation, Competition, Trade Defence, Government Procurement, Dispute Settlement, Intellectual Property Rights & Geographical Indications, Sustainable Development.
  • The BTIA negotiations have been languishing since 2013 when the talks collapsed over certain demands from the EU such as greater market access for automobiles, wine and spirits, and further opening up of the financial services sector such as banking, insurance and e-commerce.
  • The EU wanted labour, environment and government procurement to be included in the talks.
  • India’s demand for easier work visa and study visa norms as well as data secure status, that would make it easier for European companies to outsource business to India, were also not received enthusiastically by the EU countries.
  • So far, 15 rounds of negotiations have been heldalternately at Brussels and New Delhi. The last meeting was held in the week of 13th May, 2013 in New Delhi.
  • Negotiations are stuck since 2013.

Recently, the terms ‘Electrokinetic streaming’ and ‘contrasting inter-facial activities’ appeared in the news. These terms are related to which domain?

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  • Recently, IIT Guwahati researchers developed materials to produce energy from the water on a small scale. ‘Electrokinetic streaming’ and ‘contrasting inter-facial activities’ were used to develop these materials.

Enrich Your Learning:

  • Recently, IIT Guwahati researchers developed materials to produce energy from the water on a small scale.
  • The researchers employed a nanoscale phenomenon called “electrokinetic streamingpotential”to harvest energy from flowing water on a small scale. [ Electro Kinetic Streaming occurs when fluids stream through tiny channels that are charged, they can generate an electrical voltage, which may be harnessed through miniaturised generators].
  • Similarly, “contrasting inter-facial activities” entailing different types of semiconducting materials to generate power from stagnant water.Here, graphene flakes were used to extract power from stagnant water. Graphene is the sheet produced by oxidation followed by reduction of natural graphite flakes.
  • The technology can be used to produce energy at the household level.  
  • The excess energy produced can be evacuated to energy-deficient areas nearby.

What was the theme of the Delhi Dialogue XI?

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  • The theme is “Advancing Partnership in Indo-Pacific”.

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Delhi Dialogue XI

  • It is being organized with the assistance of the Research and Information System for Developing Countries.

6th Indian Ocean Dialogue

  • The theme is “Indo-Pacific: Re-imagining the Indian Ocean through an Expanded Geography”.
  • It is being organized with the assistance of the Indian Council for World Affairs.

Both the above initiatives are Track 1.5 dialogues. Track 1.5 diplomacy/dialogue involves both officials and non-officials of two states.

The first ever multi-stakeholder dialogue ‘Sagarmatha’ was held in which country?

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Enrich Your Learning:

Sagarmatha Dialogue:

Why in news?

Nepal has invited the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan along with several other heads of government and heads of state for the Sagarmatha Dialogue in Kathmandu.

About Dialogue:

  • The first edition of the ‘Sagarmatha Sambaad’ is scheduled to be held from April 2 to 4.
  • Theme of Dialogue: “Climate Change, Mountains and the Future of Humanity”.
  • The dialogue is named after the world’s tallest mountain Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest).
  • It aims to create awareness about the direct relation that exists between the climate change and mountain ecology.

Key fact:

  • The member states of SAARC are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) has been tasked to formulate International policies to partially end India-Pakistan conflict. Right OR Wrong?

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Right Statement:

  • It has been tasked with monitoring the ceasefire lineor tasked with monitoring the ceasefire line between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir.

Enrich Your Learning:

UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP):

  • UNMOGIP has been established by UN Security Council(UNSC) Resolution and started its operations in 1949.
  • It has been tasked with monitoring the ceasefire line between India and Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The group is financed by the United Nations regular budget.
  • The group, based in Rawalpindi, is composed of 43 military observers and 23 international civilian personnel.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 47:

  • Resolution 47 of the UNSC focuses on the complaint of India concerning the dispute over the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • It took to the Security Council in 1948 by India.

Who were the UNSC members who oversaw the issue?

  • The UN Security Council increased the size of the investigating council established by UNSC Resolution 39to include six members along with permanent members of the UNSC.
  • Along with the five permanent members, China, France, UK, US & Russia, non-permanent members included Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Syria and the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

What was the recommendations of UNSC resolution 47?

The Resolution recommended a three-step process for the resolution of the dispute.

  • In the first step, Pakistan was asked to withdraw all its nationals from Kashmir.
  • In the second step, India was asked to progressively reduce its forces to the minimum levelrequired for law and order.
  • In the third step, India was asked to appoint a plebiscite administratornominated by the United Nations who would conduct a plebiscite [a free and impartial voting to know the people’s desire about J&K merger (with India or Pakistan)].

The Taal volcano in Philippines, which erupted recently, is a type of: (a) Cinder volcano OR (b) Complex Volcano?

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  • Complex Volcano

Enrich Your Learning:

Complex Volcano:

In the Philippines (near Manila), a volcano called Taal on the island of Luzon erupted 50 km from Manila, spewing lava on the ground, and ash and smoke into the sky.

What is Complex Volcano?

  • A complex volcano (or a compound volcano) is defined as one that consists of a complex of two or more vents, or a volcano that has an associated volcanic dome, either in its crater or on its flanks.

Example: Mount Vesuvius (Italy), Taal (Philippines).

About Taal Volcano:

  • Taal is classified as a “complex” volcano by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS).
  • Taal has erupted more than 30 timesin the last few centuries.
  • Taal volcano does not rise from the ground as a distinct, singular dome but consists of multiple stratovolcanoes (volcanoes susceptible to explosive eruptions), conical hills and craters of all shapes and sizes.
  • The volcanic eruption was categorized in alert level 4, which means that a “hazardous eruption”.
  • Hazardous eruptions are characterized by intense unrest, continuing seismic swarms and low-frequency earthquakes.

Key fact:

  • Philippines is situated at the boundaries of two tectonic plates:
    1. the Philippines Sea Plate
    2. the Eurasian plate.
  • It is particularly susceptible to earthquakes and volcanism.

The first Rehabilitation Centre for Turtles in India is about to be opened in which state?

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  • A rehabilitation centre for freshwater turtles is to be inaugurated in Bihar.

Enrich Your Learning:

Rehabilitation Centre for Turtles in India:

first-of-its-kind rehabilitation centre for freshwater turtles is to beinaugurated in Bihar’s Bhagalpur forest division in 2020.

Why Bhagalpur?

  • In eastern Bihar and Bhagalpur, the flow of water in the Ganga is ample and it serves an ideal breeding ground for turtles. Also, there are many sandbanks in the middle of the river, which facilitate breeding of turtles.
  • The rehabilitation centre, spread over half a hectare, will be able to shelter 500 turtles at a time.

Need and Purpose:

  • The need to build such a centre was felt after several turtles were found severely injured, sick or dead and sick when rescued from smugglers by rescue teams.
  • Previously the rescued turtles used to be released into rivers without much treatment in the absence of any facility like the centre.
  • This centre will play a significant role in treating these animals and their proper upkeep before being returned to their natural habitat.

Fresh Water Turtles:

  • The turtles play a significant role in the river by scavenging dead organic materials and diseased fish, controlling fish population as predators and controlling aquatic plants and weeds.
  • They are also described as indicators of healthy aquatic ecosystems.
  • IUCN:Turtles like Assam roofed turtles and River terrapin are Critically endangered.
  • Turtles are placed in schedule 1of theIndian Wildlife Protection Act (1972).


  • According to a recent study conducted by Traffic India, around 11,000 turtles are being smuggled in India every year for meat, and pet trade.
  • These species are now under severe threats due to habitat fragmentation and loss through dams and barrages, pollution, illegal poaching, accidental drowning through fishing nets and threats to their nesting habitats.

Operation Save Kurma:

  • Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) had convened a species specific operation on turtles, code named ‘Operation Save Kurma” from December 15, 2016 to January 30, 2017.
  • The operation brought about an awareness among the enforcement agencies to focus on the existing trade routes and major trade hubs in the country, which will be specifically focused in future.
  • Indian government was awarded certificate of commendation for its effort to combat illegal wildlife trade by Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) for its Operation Kurma in 2017.

The world’s highest smog tower has been installed in Delhi recently. Right OR Wrong?

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  • The world’s highest smog toweris operational in city of Xi’an, China (100 metres).

Enrich Your Learning:

  • Recently a smog tower or a prototype air purifier was inaugurated at Lajpat Nagar, Delhi. The smog tower in Delhi is a collaboration between the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, IIT-Delhi and the University of Minnesota, USA, in association with The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

What is a smog tower?

  • Smog towers are structures designed to work as large-scale air purifiers. They are usually fitted with multiple layers of air filters, which clean the air of pollutants as it passes through them.
  • The 20-metre (65 feet) high smog tower will trap particulate matter of all sizessuspended in the air. Large-scale air filters shall draw in the air through fans installed at the top before passing it through the filters and then releasing clean air.
  • The filters installed in the tower will use carbon nanofibers as a major componentand will be fitted along its peripheries, to facilitate reduction of particulate matter.
  • The smog tower installed at Lajpat Nagar is capable of treating 6,00,000 cubic meters of air per dayand can collect more than 75 % of particulate matters (PM) 2.5 and 10.
  • The project is a collaboration between the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, IIT-Delhi and the University of Minnesota, USA, in association with The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Smog Tower in China:

  • China, which has been battling air pollution for years, has two smog towers — in its capital Beijing and in the northern city of Xi’an.
  • The Xi’an tower is dubbed the world’s largestand has reportedly brought down PM 2.5 by 19% in an area of around 6 sq. km in its vicinity.
  • The 100-metre(328 feet) high tower has produced 10 million cubic meters of clean air every day since its launch, and on severely polluted days, is able to bring down smog close to moderate levels.
  • The smog tower in Beijing has been able to compress the carbon waste generated during purification to produce gemstonesused in ornaments.

Juice jacking was recently seen in news. What is it?

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  • Juice jacking is a cyber-attack to steal private data or hack financial accounts using USB charging cable.

Enrich Your Learning:

What is Juice Jacking?

  • It is a cyber-attack to steal private data or hack financial accounts, carried out by hackers through a USB charging cable.
  • When a user connects the charging cable in his mobile’s charging port to any of the rigged charging stations installed at public spaces such as airports, train stations, hotels, cafes etc., it gives a back-door entry to hackers into the device.

Harms inflicted:

  1. Data theft:
  • Data is stolen from the connected device; there are crawlers that can search phone for personally identifiable information (PII), account credentials, banking-related or credit card data.
  • These crawlers have the ability to copy all information to their own devices.
  • There are also many malicious apps that can clone phones’ data to another phone.
  1. Malware installation:
  • Once the connection is established, malware is automatically installed in the connected device.
  • It remains on the device until it is detected and removed by the user.
  • There are many categories of malware that cybercriminals can install including adware, cryptominers, ransomware, spyware, or Trojans.

How to mitigate risks?

  • Avoid using public charging stations as they are often kept unguarded and without any surveillance.
  • Always use your own AC charging adapter and cable for charging the device.
  • Do not connect with an unknown person’s laptop or PC for charging your devices.
  • Use a power bank.
  • Use a USB blocker which is a small device that blocks the data connection on the USB cable by blocking its data pins.

The traditional sports named Jallikattu and Kambala belongs to which Indian states respectively?

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Tamil Nadu and Karnataka

Enrich Your Learning:


  • Jallikattu is an ancient and traditional sport which is famous in Tamil Nadu.
  • Jallikattu is an integral part of the celebration of Pongal.
  • Playing Jallikattu is an ancient tradition of 2000 years. 
  • The term Jallikattu is derived from the term calli kacu (coins) and kattu (meaning a package) tied to the horns of the bulls as the prize money.
  • Basically a game of taming bulls, the bull is decked up with ribbons, coloured gulal and garlands.
  • Jallikattu was said to be one of the popular games by which the women used to choose their grooms.


  • Kambala or Buffalo Race is a well-known sport in Karnataka.
  • It is held under the aid of local Tuluva landlordsand households in the coastal district of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi of Karnataka.
  • Kambala is seen as the beginning of the sowing season for the next round of crops.
  • The sport is also organized during the religious festivalsof the region such as Kodamantaya and Jumaadi Bhuta Kolas.
  • It is popularly believed that it is originated in the farming community of Karnatakaaround 800 years back.
  • Kambala festival is dedicated to Kadri’s Lord Manjunatha, a living form of Lord Shiva.
  • According to experts, Kambala was started by the Hoysala Kingsto watch if the buffaloes could be trained and used in war situations.

Daily Current Flash Cards 2020 Prelims 2020

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