Flash Card

LAKSHYA-75 [Day-62] Current Flash Cards for IAS Prelims 2020

Harvest festivals; Defence Technologies and Trade Initiative (DTTI); Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan – SUMAN scheme; International Development Association (IDA); Western Dedicated Freight Corridor; Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor; Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs); Participatory Guarantee Scheme (PGS); Senior Citizens Savings Scheme (SCSS); State of the World’s Children report 2019; ‘DHRUV’ programme; Hope Spots;
By IASToppers
May 10, 2020

Which Indian island/islands have been named as “Hope spots” by the International Union for Conservation of nature (IUCN) in 2015?

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  • In 2015, Andaman and Nicobar Islandsand Lakshadweep islands have been named as the new “hope spots” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Mission Blue.

Enrich Your Learning:

Hope Spots

  • Hope Spots are special placesthat are critical to the health of the ocean. Hope Spots are about recognizing, empowering and supporting individuals and communities around the world in their efforts to protect the ocean.
  • Sylvia Earle(founder of Mission Blue, a non-profit organization) introduced the concept of Hope Spot in 2009.
  • Hope Spots can be Marine Protected Areas (MPA)that need attention or new sites. They are chosen for their contributions to biodiversity, the carbon sink, and important habitat.
  • There are 76 Hope Spots worldwide.
  • Hope Spots provide hope due to:
  • A special abundance or diversity of species, unusual or representative species, habitats or ecosystems
  • Particular populations of rare, threatened or endemic species
  • A site with potential to reverse damage from negative human impacts
  • The presence of natural processes such as major migration corridors or spawning grounds
  • Significant historical, cultural or spiritual values
  • Particular economic importance to the community
  • About 12 per cent of land around the world is under some form of protection(as national parks, world heritage sites, monuments) while less than one per cent of the oceans is protected.

Which Programme has been launched by the Union Government to encourage talented children to enrich their skills: (a) DHRUV OR (b) LAKSHAY?

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Answer: DHRUV

Enrich Your Learning:

‘DHRUV’ programme

  • The Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Programme – DHRUVhas been started by Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India to identify and encourage talented children to enrich their skills and knowledge.
  • In centres of excellenceacross the country, gifted children will be mentored and nurtured by renowned experts in different areas, so that they can reach their full potential.

Salient Features of DHRUV:

  • The programme is named after a pole star called DHRUV TARA.
  • The main objective of the program is to allow students to realize their complete potential and contribute to the society.
  • The program is to be launched from Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).


First Batch of DHRUV Programme:

  • The first batch of DHRUV programmewas implemented during October 2019.
  • 60 outstandingly talented students were selected in the first batch of DHRUV programme. To begin with, two areas i.e., Science and Performing Arts were covered.
  • There were 60 students in all, 30 from each area.
  • The students have been broadly chosen from classes 9 to 12, from all schools including government and private.


The Mopin harvest festival is celebrated by which tribe in India?

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  • The Mopin festival is a harvest festival celebrated by the Galo tribe of Arunachal Pradeshin the Galo months of Lumi and Luki.

Enrich Your Learning:

Harvest festivals

Mopin Festival – Arunachal Pradesh:

  • The Mopin festival is a harvest festival celebrated by the Galo tribe of Arunachal Pradeshin the Galo months of Lumi and Luki (March and April, according to the Gregorian calendar).
  • The presiding deity of the festival is Mopin Anethe goddess of fertility and prosperity of the animist religion of Donyi-Polo.
  • During the festival, people dress up in white and consume the locally-brewed alcoholic beverage apung/poka, eat aamin (a dish made of rice, meat and bamboo shoot) and perform the traditional dance of popir.

Hareli and Pola – Chhattisgarh:

  • Hareliand Pola are two monsoon festivals that were traditionally observed by the various ‘cultivator’ tribes in the region, but are now celebrated across the state.
  • Hareli usually falls in July,and the name comes from the Hindi word hariyali (greenery).
  • It is only celebrated after a calculation of the planets (grahas) when seeds have germinated and seedlings have become visibly taller, which is why there is no fixed date.
  • Pola on the other hand, is an event of offering gratitude to the bail (Ox) for his labour on the field and is celebrated shortly after Hareli.
  • Pola is celebrated when rice grains start germinating.
  • It falls on the day of the Pithori Amavasya (new moon day) in the month of Bhadon.
  • The festival has two important aspects, first it is indebted to the bullocksand second, a belief is widely held that during Pola, the goddess Annapurna is impregnated.

Karma – Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand:

  • The Karma festival is celebrated across the states of Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand.
  • It is held on the 11th moon of the Bhadra month(between August and September) and is dedicated to Karam—the god of youthfulness.
  • It is accompanied by dancing and music.
  • The festival is celebrated in the honour of fertility, prosperity and well-being. 

Nuakhai – Odisha:

  • Baisakhi is to Punjabis, Nuakhai or Nuankhai is for the people of western Odisha.
  • The name translates to ‘new food’, reinforcing its importance as a harvest festival.
  • It is believed that the festival began in the 20th century under the reign of Maharaja Fatenarayan Deo and usually falls in the months of August or September.
  • It is associated with nine colours and, hence, there are nine rituals that follow on the day of the festival.

Wangala – Meghalaya, Nagaland and Assam:

  • Also known as the ‘Hundred Drums Festival’,Wangala is celebrated by the people of the Garo tribe from Meghalaya, Nagaland and Assam.
  • Various food items made from rice—a staple in this region—and rice beer (called chubitchi/chubok/chu) are consumed during the festivities.
  • The date of the Wangala varies from village to village and it takes place between September and December.
  • Typically, the celebrations are accompanied by dance and music, with people from across the village participating.

Pawl Kut – Mizoram:

  • The Pawl Kut harvest festival is celebrated by the Kuki, Chin and Mizo tribes of Mizoram in December.
  • The word ‘pawl’ means straw and ‘kut’ means festival, signifying its association with harvest.
  • It is essentially a thanksgiving festival and is accompanied by revelry and joy.
  • A few days before the feast, the men go hunting and during the festival, it is customary to consume meat and eggs. 

Tusu – West Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha:

  • Tusu is a harvest festival of the Kurmi community of West Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha.
  • It is celebrated from the last day of Aghrahayan to the last day of the Bengali month of Poush (mid-November to mid-December).
  • During the festival, various instruments such as the mandars, dhak and jhanjahri are played.

Gaan Ngai – Assam, Manipur and Nagaland:

  • The post-harvest Gaan Ngai festival is celebrated by the Zeliangrongpeople—a portmanteau of Zeme, Liangmai and Rongmei tribes from Assam, Manipur and Nagaland.
  • The annual festival commences on the 13th day of the Manipuri month of Wakching (December–January).
  • Though the rituals, customs and celebrations differ from village to village, there are some similarities across the tribes.
  • Gaan Ngai is usually celebrated over a period of five days. On the first day, a pig is sacrificed, cooked and eaten.This ritual is known as Jeigan Tumei. 
  • Sport competitions such as long jump and stone-throwing—collectively called Taophai Danchammei—are associated with Gaan Ngai.
  • Numerous dances such as Tuna Gaan Laam and Napteng Laam are performed over the five days by boys and girls. 

The State of the World’s Children report 2019 was released by which international institution?

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  • The report was released by the United Nations Children’s Fund(UNICEF).

Enrich Your Learning:

State of the World’s Children report 2019

  • The State of the World’s Children Report 2019 stated more than 8 lakhs under 5 Mortality Rate in India.
  • The report was released by the United Nations Children’s Fundis a United Nations agency (UNICEF).

Report Highlights:

  • The report has ranked countries in the order of ‘highest burden of death among children of under-5’to the ‘lowest burden of death among children of under-5’. 
  • The report analyses the global state of children’s health vis-a-vismalnutrition, obesity, anaemia, and other health issues.
  • The report showed the Under 5 Mortality Ratein India is 37 per 1,000 live births against the Global average of 39 per 1,000 live births in 2018.
  • It also stated that globalization, urbanization, inequities, humanitarian crisis and climate shocks are driving unprecedented negative changes in the nutrition situation of children around the world.
  • According to the Sample Registration System (SRS) 2010-13 report major causes of child mortality in India are: Prematurity & low birth weight, Pneumonia, Diarrheal diseases, Other non-communicable diseases, Birth asphyxia, and birth trauma, Injuries, Congenital anomalies, Ill-defined or cause unknown, Acute bacterial sepsis and severe infections, Fever of unknown origin, all Other Remaining Causes.

GoI’s measure:

  • GoI has launched Prime Minister Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nourishment (POSHAN) to prevent and reduce stunting, underweight and low birth weight by 2% per annum and the reduction of anemia by 3% per annum.
  • Government also launched several schemes including Anganwadi Services, Scheme for Adolescent Girls (SAG) and Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojna (PMMVY)to improve the nutritional and health status of children in the age-group 0-6 years. 
  • Government also supports all States/UTs under National Health Mission (NHM)to implement Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health and Nutrition (RMNCAH+N) strategies to address child mortality and morbidity.

What is the deposit period for senior citizen saving scheme?

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Answer: 5 years

Enrich Your Learning:

Senior Citizens Savings Scheme (SCSS)

  • The Senior Citizens Savings Scheme (SCSS) is primarily for the senior citizens of India.
  • The scheme offers a regular stream of income with the highest of safety and tax saving benefits.
  • It is an apt choice of investment for those over 60 years of age.

Minimum and Maximum SCSS Deposit Limits:

  • Depositors are allowed to make a lump sum deposit with a minimum deposit of Rs.1000.
  • Deposits greater than Rs.1000 have to be made in multiples of Rs.1000.
  • The maximum SCSS limit deposit is Rs.15 lakh.
  • While deposits in the SCSS accounts can be made in cash, this is allowed only for amounts less than Rs. 1 lakh.
  • If the deposit amount for Senior Citizens Savings Scheme exceeds Rs. 1 lakh, using a cheque/demand draft for making the deposit is mandatory.

Eligibility for Senior Citizens Saving Schemes:

  • Senior citizens of India aged 60 years or above.
  • Retirees who have opted for the Voluntary Retirement Scheme(VRS) or Superannuation in the age bracket 55-60. Here the investment has to be done within a month of receiving the retirement benefits.
  • Retired defence personnel with a minimum age of 50 years.
  • HUFs (Hindu Undivided Family) and NRIs are not allowed to invest in this scheme.

Benefits of investing in SCSS:

  • Safe and Reliable:This is an Indian government-sponsored investment scheme and hence is considered to be one the safest and most reliable investment options.
  • Simple and easy process:The process to open an SCSS account is simple and can be opened at any authorized bank or any post office in India. It is also transferable across India.
  • Good returns:At 8.6 % the return rate is very good as compared to a savings or FD account.
  • Nomination:Nomination facility is available at the time of opening an SCSS account by means of submitting an application as part of Form C. This submission is also accompanied by the passbook to the Branch.
  • Tax benefits:Tax deduction of up to Rs 1.5 lakh can be claimed under Section 80C of the Indian Tax Act, 1961.
  • Flexible:The tenure of this investment scheme is flexible with an average tenure of 5 years which can be extended up to 3 additional years.

Participatory Guarantee Scheme is a process of certifying a) Credibility of Bank loans OR b) Organic Products c) Works done by Gram Panchayat?

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  • PGS is a process of certifying organic products, which ensures that their production takes place in accordance with laid-down quality standards.


Enrich Your Learning:

Participatory Guarantee Scheme (PGS)

  • PGS is a process of certifying organic products, which ensures that their production takes place in accordance with laid-down quality standards.
  • The certification is in the form of a documented logo or a statement.
  • According to a 2008 definition formulated by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM),PGSs are locally focused quality assurance systems that certify producers based on active participation of stakeholders and are built on a foundation of trust, social networks and knowledge exchange.

Four pillars of PGS

The government’s 2015 PGS manual underlines that the system in India is based on participatory approach, a shared vision, transparency and trust.

  • Participation: Stakeholders such as producers, consumers, retailers, traders etc are collectively responsible for designing and decision-making. Direct communication among the stakeholders helps create an integrity- and trust-based approach with transparency in decision-making.
  • Shared Vision: Each stakeholder organisation or PGS group can adopt its own vision conforming to the overall vision and standards of the PGS-India programme.
  • Transparency: Transparency is maintained through the active participation of producers in information-sharing at meetings and workshops, peer reviews, and involvement in decision-making.
  • Trust: A fundamental premise of PGS is the idea that producers can be trusted. The trustworthiness includes a producer pledge made through a witnessed signing of a declaration, and written collective undertakings by the group to abide by the standards of PGS.

Advantages of PGS:

  • Procedures are simple, documents are basic, and farmers understand the local language
  • All members live close to each other and are known to each other. As practising organic farmers themselves, they understand the processes well.
  • Because peer appraisers live in the same village, they have better access to surveillance; peer appraisal instead of third-party inspections also reduces costs
  • Mutual recognition and support between regional PGS groups ensures better networking for processing and marketing.
  • Unlike the grower group certification system, PGS offers every farmer individual certificates, and the farmer is free to market his own produce independent of the group.


  • PGS certification is only for farmers or communities that can organise and perform as a group within a villageor a cluster of contiguous villages, and is applicable only to farm activities such as crop production, processing, and livestock rearing, and off-farm processing by PGS farmers of their direct products.
  • Individual farmers or group of farmers smaller than five members are not coveredunder PGS. They either have to opt for third party certification or join the existing PGS local group.
  • PGS ensures traceability until the product is in the custody of the PGS group, which makes PGS ideal for local direct sales and direct trade between producers and consumers.

Give the brief info on Western Dedicated Freight Corridor and Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor.

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

About Western Dedicated Freight Corridor

  • The Western Dedicated Freight Corridor or Western DFCis a broad gauge freight corridor under construction in India by Indian Railways.
  • It will connect India’s capital, Delhi, and its economic hub, Mumbai.
  • This corridor will cover a distance of 1483 kmand would be electrified with double line operation.
  • A single line branch is proposed from Pirthala to Tughlakabad.
  • This will run parallel to existing Delhi – Mathura main line.
  • The Route from Rewari to Dadriwill be an entirely new line and Dadri will further be connected to Khurja junction which will connect this corridor to Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor.

About Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor

  • Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor or EDFC is a freight specific railwayunder construction in northern to eastern India by Indian Railways.
  • The railway will run between Ludhiana in Punjab and Dankuni (near Kolkata)in West Bengal.
  • The Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (1839 kmconsists of two distinct segments:
    • An electrified double-track segmentbetween Dankuni in West Bengal & Khurja in Uttar Pradesh and;
    • An electrified single-track segmentbetween Ludhiana (Dhandarikalan) – Khurja – Dadri in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
  • The entire EDFC is being built with loan from World Bank,except for the last portion between Bihar and West Bengal.
  • The Indian Railways had two options now; either do a course correction and go for the financial assistance from World Bank in the form of a viability gap funding, or carry on as planned (private public-private partnership (PPP) mode) and invite players to bring in the capital.


What are Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs)?

  • The DFCs are freight-only railway lines to move goods between industrial heartlands in theNorth and ports on the Eastern and Western coasts.
  • The dedicated freight-only lines are being built along the four key transportation routes– known as the Golden Quadrilateral and connecting Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Howrah and its two diagonals (Delhi – Chennai and Mumbai – Howrah).

International Development Association (IDA) is the part of which bank: (a) Asian Development Bank OR (b) World Bank?

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  • The International Development Association (IDA) is the part of the World Bankthat helps the world’s poorest countries.

Enrich Your Learning:

International Development Association (IDA)

  • The International Development Association (IDA) is the part of the World Bankthat helps the world’s poorest countries.
  • Overseen by 173 shareholder nations, IDA aims to reduce poverty by providing loans(called “credits”) and grants for programs that boost economic growth, reduce inequalities, and improve people’s living conditions.
  • IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 771 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa,and is the single largest source of donor funds for basic social services in these countries.
  • IDA’s work coversprimary education, basic health services, cleans water and sanitation, agriculture, business climate improvements, infrastructure, and institutional reforms.

Functions of the IDA:

  • IDA lends money on concessional terms.This means that IDA credits have a zero or very low interest charge and repayments are stretched over 25 to 40 years, including a 5- to 10-year grace period. IDA also provides grants to countries at risk of debt distress.
  • In addition to concessional loans and grants, IDA provides significant levels of debt relief through the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC)Initiative and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI).

What is the difference between IDA and IBRD?

  • IDA complements the World Bank’s original lending armthe International Bankfor Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).
  • IBRD was established to function as a self-sustaining business and provides loans and advice to middle-income and credit-worthy poor countries.
  • IBRD and IDA share the same staff and headquartersand evaluate projects with the same rigorous standards.

Under which scheme, the central government provides  assured quality antenatal care, free of cost, universally to all pregnant women on the 9th of every month, up to 6 months after delivery?

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Answer:  Under Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan (SUMAN) scheme.  

Enrich Your Learning:

About Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan – SUMAN scheme:

  • It was launched by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare(MoHFW).
  • It aims to provide assured quality antenatal care, free of cost, universally to all pregnant women on the 9th of every month, up to 6 months after delivery.
  • It envisages to improve the Antenatal Care (ANC) and Diagnostics and Counselling services as part of the Reproductive Maternal Neonatal Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A) Strategy.
  • The programme motivates private practitioners to volunteerfor the campaign. Pregnant women would be given Mother and Child Protection Cards.
  • ‘IPledgeFor9’ Achievers Awardshave been devised to celebrate individual and team achievements and acknowledge voluntary contributions for PMSMA across India.

Services under SUMAN Scheme:

  • At least four ante natal check-ups, Iron Folic Acid supplementation and Tetanus diptheria injection
  • Home-based newborn care visits
  • Zero expense access to the identification and management of complications (such as C-section facility) during and after the pregnancy.
  • Free transport from home to health institutions.
  • Assured referral services with scope of reaching health facility within one hour of any critical case emergency.

Objectives of the program:

  • Ensure care provision by a physician/specialist in at least one ante-natal visit in the second or third trimester
  • Special emphasis on women with malnutrition conditionslike Anemia.
  • Special focus on adolescent and early pregnancies, as these pregnancies need extra and specialized care.
  • Improve the quality of care during ante-natal visits. This includes ensuring provision of the following services:
    • All applicable diagnostic services
    • Screening for the applicable clinical conditions
    • Appropriate management of any existing clinical condition such as Anaemia, Gestational Diabetes etc.
    • Appropriate counselling services
    • Additional service opportunity to pregnant women who have missed ante-natal visits.

Target beneficiaries:

  • The program aims to guarantees a minimum package of antenatal care services to all Pregnant Women who are in the 2nd or 3rd Trimesters of pregnancy.

What is the objective of Defence Technologies and Trade Initiative (DTTI)?

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  • To expedite the cooperation on defence technologybetween India and US that become narrow due to the presence of differing legal requirements.

Enrich Your Learning:

US-India Defence Technology and Trade Initiative

  • The aim of DTTI is to expedite the cooperation on defence technologybetween India and US that become narrow due to the presence of differing legal requirements.
  • The DTTI (Defence Technologies and Trade Initiative) was initiated by USin
  • DTTI initiative is led by secretary of Defence for Acquisition and Sustainmentfrom US and Secretary for Defence Protection from India.


  • In August 2018, the US granted to India the designation of Strategic Trade Authority Tier 1(STA-1). 
  • It allowed US companies to export a greater range of dual-use and high-technology items to India. This authorisation is the equivalent of NATO allying with Japan, South Korea and Australia.

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