Flash Card

LAKSHYA-75 [Day-35] Current Flash Cards for IAS Prelims 2020

Swami Vivekananda; H9N2 virus; Contribution of Climate Innovations Exchange – CLIX; Hormuz Peace Initiative; Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS); Oxidation; Global Risks Report 2020; Pin Valley National Park; STARS scheme; IndARC;
By IASToppers
April 12, 2020

IndARC is India’s first underwater moored observatory in the Antarctic region. True OR False?

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  • IndARC is India’s first underwater moored observatoryin the Arctic region.

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  • IndARCis India’s first underwater moored (tied to stay in a same place) observatory in the Arctic region.
  • It was deployed in 2014at Kongsfjorden fjord, Svalbard, Norway which is midway between Norway and North Pole.
  • Goal:Its research goal is to study the Arctic climate and its influence on the monsoon.
  • Designed by:The observatory is designed and developed by Earth System Science Organisation (ESSO)-National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) and ESSO-National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research with ESSO-Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS).

STARS scheme was recently in news. What is its main objective?

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  • Scheme for Transformational and Advanced Research in Sciences (STARS) is an initiative of Ministry of Human Resource and Development, which aims at promoting translational, India-centric research in Sciences.

Enrich Your Learning:

STARS scheme:

  • The scheme was launched on 28 February, 2019 (National Science Day) and will be implemented and managed by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore.
  • Rs 250 crore worth of funds will be used for around 500 science projects.
  • The selection of the benefitting projects will be done on the basis of competitions.

Key Objectives:

  • To support socially relevant research in the 6 basic thrust areas- Physics, Chemistry, Biological Sciences, Nano sciences, Data Sciences & Mathematics and Earth Sciences.
  • To fund science projects which are translational, i.e. which have direct implications for the progress of the country, through a competitive process in an open and transparent manner.
  • To take stock of an existing problem and work backwards towards conducting research for a solution.
  • Promoting an inter-disciplinary & translational approach in research for synergy, de-duplication and greater comprehensiveness & relevance of research activity.
  • Orient science towards addressing needs & issues of the country in key sectors like health, agriculture, energy, environment, security etc.

Pin Valley National Park is located in which state of India?

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Pin Valley National Park is located in Himanchal Pradesh.

Enrich Your Learning:

Pin Valley National Park:

  • Pin Valley is a National park of India located within the Lahaul and Spiti district, in the state of Himachal Pradesh, in far Northern India.
  • Spreading south of Dhankar in the Spiti district near the Tibetan border, the reserve forms a natural interface between the Lahaul and Spiti divisions of the state.
  • The park is located in the desert habitat of the Spiti Valley, within the Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, in the Himalayas region.
  • It is the only cold desert National Park located in Himachal Pradesh.
  • The park lies in the valley of the Pin river, and hence derives the name.
  • It was set up to protect and preserve the rare and unique Himalayan flora and fauna.
  • The sparsely populated Pin Valley is the home to the snow leopards, and its prey ibex (a wild mountain goat).
  • The local residents in the whole Pin Valley consists of scheduled tribes belonging to Buddhist community.

Global Risks Report 2020 is released by which international organization?

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Global Risks Report is an annual report produced by the World Economic Forum in partnership with Marsh & McLennan and Zurich Insurance Group.

Enrich Your Learning:

Global Risks Report 2020:

  • The 15th editionof the Global Risks Report has been published in January 2020.
  • It provides companies withinsights into threats to their business and discusses changes to the global risk landscape.

The top 5 Global risks according to the report:

  1. Climate-related risks had the greatest likelihood of severe impacts.
  2. Geopolitical turbulence and retreat from multilateralism.
  • Economic stagflation.
  1. Unequal access of the technology across the globe.
  2. Social demographic, environmental and technological pressure on health system.

Top ten risks in terms of likelihood:

  • Extreme weather
  • Climate action failure
  • Natural disasters
  • Biodiversity loss
  • Human-made environmental disasters
  • Data fraud or theft
  • Cyberattacks
  • Water crises
  • Global governance failure
  • Asset bubbles
  • The top five risks of likelihood are climate-related, for the first time in the history of the report.

Top ten risks in terms of Impact:

  • Climate action failure
  • Weapons of mass destruction
  • Biodiversity loss
  • Extreme weather
  • Water crises
  • Information infrastructure breakdown
  • Natural disasters
  • Cyberattacks
  • Human-made environmental disasters
  • Infectious diseases

Rusting of iron is an example of (a) Oxidation OR (b) Hydrolysis?

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  • Oxidation is the reaction of oxygen which air or water with minerals in the rock.
  • For example, most rocks contain a certain amount of iron, which when it comes in contact with air is changed to iron oxide. Familiar brownish crust or rust.
  • Iron oxide crumbIes easily and is fat more easily eroded than the original iron.
  • It is thus removed, loosening the overall structure of the rocks and weakening them.

Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) was recently seen in the news. What is its main objective?

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  • To regulate maritime traffic-management route-system

Solution & Enrich Your Learning:

Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS):

  • TSS is a maritime traffic-management route-system ruled by the International Maritime Organization or IMO.
  • TSSs are used to regulate the traffic at busy, confined waterways or around capes. 
  • TSS schemes include ‘inshore traffic zones’ between the traffic-lanes and the coast.
  • The inshore traffic zone is unregulated and is not intended to be used for through traffic but rather for local traffic, fishing and small craft. 
  • The TSS rules are incorporated in the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.
  • Well-known TSS locations include the English Channel, German Bight, Singapore, and Cape Horn.
  • The Dover Strait (part of the English Channel) was the first International Maritime Organisation (IMO) approved traffic separation scheme in the world.

Objectives of Scheme:

  • Help reduce and manage head on situations for the streams of opposing traffic.
  • Help manage crossing situation arising while entering or coming out of port.
  • In areas of offshore activities, directives regarding safe distance from the installations
  • Providing routes for deep draught vessels.
  • Avoiding presence of routine traffic from some areas as desired by administration.
  • Better management of inshore traffic zone, fishing zones and areas dangerous to navigation due to presence of isolated dangers and shoal patches in a high density traffic area.

Recently, India attended the Hormuz Peace Initiative that was led by which country?

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  • Iran

Enrich Your Learning:

Hormuz Peace Initiative:

  • India attended the Hormuz Peace Initiativethat was held in Tehran in early January 2020. 
  • The initiative was led by Iran to stabilise the Strait of Hormuz.
  • The Strait of Hormuz is one among the world’s busiest and strategically located shipping lanesamid escalating US-Iran tensions.
  • It saw participation from key regional players including Oman and India besides Afghanistan and China.

Strait of Hormuz:

  • It is a strait between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

  • It provides the only sea passage from the Persian Gulf to the open ocean and is one of the world’s most strategically important choke points.


  • Two-thirds of the oil and half liquefied natural gas (LNG) India imports come through the strait.
  • As much as 18 million barrels of oil pass through the Strait of Hormuz every day, accounting for one-third of the global oil trade.
  • A third of the world’s LNG trade also passes through the strait.

Climate Innovations Exchange (CLIX) is an initiative of which international body/summit?

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  • Climate Innovations Exchange (CLIX) is an initiative of the UAE’s World Future Energy Summit.

Enrich Your Learning:

Climate Innovations Exchange – CLIX

  • CLIX was launched in 2018 to enable the sourcing and funding of climate change solutions and technologies.
  • It is a unique global marketplace located in Abu Dhabi.
  • The initiative is focused on solving the world’s most pressing climate change issues by connecting local and global entrepreneurs.

About World Future Energy Summit:

  • It is an annual event, dedicated to advancing future energy, energy efficiency and clean technologies.
  • 2020 theme: Rethinking Global Consumption, Production, and Investment.
  • It was started by United Arab Emirates in 2011.

What are the key contributions made by Swami Vivekananda?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

Contribution of Swami Vivekananda:

  • He wrote the books named ‘Raja Yoga’, ‘Jnana Yoga’, ‘Karma Yoga’.
  • He was an ardent disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa and a major force in the revival of Hinduism in India and credited with enlightening the western world about Hinduism.
  • He pushed for national integration in colonial India.
  • He is known to have introduced the Hindu philosophies of Yoga and Vedanta to the West.
  • He began delivering lectures at various places in the US and UK, and became popular as the ‘messenger of Indian wisdom to the Western world’.

Key facts about Vivekananda:

  • His speeches at the World’s Parliament of Religions made him famous as an ‘orator by divine right’.
  • Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose had called Vivekananda the “maker of modern India.”
  • In 1893, he took the name ‘Vivekananda’ after Maharaja Ajit Singh of the Khetri State requested him to do so.
  • He was the first religious leader in India to understand and openly declare that the real cause of India’s downfall was the neglect of the masses. 
  • Swami Vivekananda left for America with the funds partly provided by the Raja of Khetri for the Parliament of the World’s Religions at Chicago in 1893.
  • He formed the Ramakrishna Mission in 1897 to bring noblest ideas to the doorstep of even the poorest and the meanest.
  • He established the Belur Math in 1899, on the western bank of the Ganga to have a permanent abode for the monastery.
  • He preached ‘neo-Vedanta’, an interpretation of Hinduism through a Western lens, and believed in combining spirituality with material progress.

Recently, Indian scientists have detected a microorganism named H9N2 which is (a) Bacteria OR (b) Fungi OR (c) Virus

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Indian scientists have detected the country’s first case of infection with a rare variant of the H9N2 virus that causes avian influenza, or bird flu.

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What is A(H9N2) virus?

  • H9N2 is asubtype of the influenza A viruswhich causes human influenza as well as bird flu.
  • The H9N2 subtype was isolated for the first time in Wisconsin, US in 1966 from turkey flocks.
  • H9N2 viruses are found worldwide in wild birdsand are endemic in poultry in many areas. However, they are somewhat neglected.

Human Infection by H9N2:

  • H9N2 virus infections in humans are rare, but likely under-reported due to typically mild symptoms of the infections.
  • Cases of human infection have been observed in Hong Kong, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Egypt.
  • One case was detected in Oman recently.
  • The first case globally was reported from Hong Kong in 1998. 
  • The virus has, however, spread extensively among poultry populations.
  • The virus was also identified in poultry populations in Myanmar and Burkina Faso.

Daily Current Flash Cards 2020 Prelims 2020 LAKSHYA-75

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