Prelim Snippets 22-07-2019


  • Context: Gibraltar was granted the power to detain Iran’s Grace 1 oil tanker for another month.
About Gibraltar:
  • It is a British Overseas Territory located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula.
  • It has an area of 6.7 km2 and is bordered to the north by Spain.
  • The landscape is dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar at the foot of which is a densely populated town area, home to over 30,000 people, primarily Gibraltarians.
Strait of Gibraltar:
  • It is a narrow strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea.
  • It separates Gibraltar and Peninsular Spain in Europe from Morocco and Ceuta (Spain) in Africa.


  • Context: The 11th biennial edition of DefExpo India- 2020 is scheduled to be held for the first time in Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow.
About DefExpo:
  • It will provide an opportunity to the major foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to collaborate with the Indian defence industry and help promote ‘Make in India’ initiative.
  • It would provide a unique platform for Defence industry OEMs, exhibitors and private industry to display their latest innovations and capabilities
  • Main theme of the DefExpo India- 2020: ‘India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub’.
  • Focus: ‘Digital Transformation of Defence’.
Defence Industrial Corridors:
  • One of the two Defence Industrial Corridors (DICs) of India is also planned in Uttar Pradesh.
  • The Corridor will encourage Defence Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), including our Indian defence industry and promote Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs).
  • The other DIC is proposed in Tamil Nadu.


  • Context: Ministry of Defence inaugurated the One-kilometre long Ujh bridge in Kathua district, 617.40-Metre-long Basantarbridge in Samba district of Jammu & Kashmir today and dedicated these to the nation.
  • One Km long Ujh bridge is the longest bridge constructed by BRO and also has the distinction where technology of Pre-Cast Segmental br with 60 m spans was used.
  • Both these bridges have been constructed under 69 RCC/13 BRTF of Project Sampark.
  • These bridges will provide smooth connectivity and are vital for the Army for deployment on border areas.
  • These bridges will be a big relief for the local people of border villages of Kathua and Samba sector as road connectivity used to get disrupted during Monsoon.


  • Context: Sports and Youth Affairs Minister conferred Arjuna Awards to tennis player Rohan Bopanna and women cricketer Smriti Mandhana.
About ARJUNA Award:
  • Aim and Objective: To recognize outstanding achievement in sports
  • Eligibility: A sportsperson should not only have had good performance consistently for the previous four years at the international level with excellence for the year for which the award is recommended, but should also have shown qualities of leadership, sportsmanship and a sense of discipline
  • It was established in 1961 and are given by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports
  • From the year 2001, the award is given only in disciplines falling under the following categories:
  • Olympic Games / Asian Games / Commonwealth Games / World Cup / World Championship Disciplines and Cricket
    Indigenous Games
  • Sports for the Physically Challenged


  • Context: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued an order prohibiting the manufacture, sale and distribution of colistin and its formulations for food-producing animals, poultry, aqua farming and animal feed supplements.
  • Intensivists across the country are rejoicing as the move is a “massive victory” for the movement against anti-microbial resistance.
  • In recent years, medical professionals have been alarmed by the number of patients who have exhibited resistance to the drug
About Colistin:
  • Colistin, also known as polymyxin E, is an antibiotic produced by certain strains of the bacteria Paenibacillus polymyxa.
  • It is a decades-old drug that fell out of favor in human medicine due to its kidney toxicity.
  • It remains one of the last-resort antibiotics and is effective against most Gram-negative bacilli.


  • Context: Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, inaugurated the Next Generation Sequencing (NSG) facility at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad.
  • NSG facility is fourth in the country, which can sequence 30 human genomes a day
  • The facility includes technology for high genome sequencing and also diagnostic sequencing of clinical samples.
  • The state-of-the-art genome sequencing facility would be of help, especially to patients suffering from rare genetic disorders
  • The NSG would help prenatal genetic screening and counselling, thereby generating large scale genomic data critical for diagnosis and therapy.
About Genome Sequencing:
  • Genome sequencing is figuring out the order of DNA nucleotides, or bases, in a genome—the order of As, Cs, Gs, and Ts that make up an organism’s DNA
Next Generation Sequencing (NSG):
  • The massively parallel sequencing technology known as next-generation sequencing (NGS) has revolutionized the biological sciences.
  • With its ultra-high throughput, scalability, and speed, NGS enables researchers to perform a wide variety of applications and study biological systems at a level never before possible.


  • Context: Preliminary data from vaccination in Congo suggest the vaccine has 97.5% efficacy in preventing Ebola.
  • When Ebola struck the Democratic Republic of Congo on August 1, 2018, the decision to use Merck’s vaccine was approved.
  • It has not been licensed in any country for clinical use, was taken without much thought as it was the only vaccine that been tested in phase-3 trials.
  • It is an experimental vaccine for protection against Ebola virus disease.
  • It consists of a vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), which has been genetically engineered to express a glycoprotein from the Zaire ebolavirus so as to provoke a neutralizing immune response to the Ebola virus.
  • The vaccine was developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada and licensed to NewLink Genetics.


  • Aanayoottu is a unique Temple Festival that involves the ritualistic feeding of elephants.
  • The festival is held in the precincts of the Vadakkunnathan temple in City of Thrissur, in Kerala. This famous temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
  • The festival falls on the first day of the month of Karkkidakam (timed against the Malayalam calendar), which coincides with the month of July.
  • On the festival day the elephants are brought inside the premises of the Vadakkumnathan Temple for the special feast.
  • Here, the elephants are lined-up in a single row and facing them would be thousands of people ready with offerings in their hands to feed the elephants.
  • Sugarcane, rice, ghee, coconut, jaggery and Ayurvedic medicines are the major ingredients of the special feed for the elephants.
  • Every year of Aanayoottu, Gaja pooja, is conducted.
  • It is believed that offering poojas and delicious feed to the elephants is a way to satisfy Lord Ganesha—the god of wealth and of the fulfilment of wishes.


  • Context: Hawaii saw protests against plans to start construction of a giant telescope atop Mauna Kea, the US state’s highest mountain at 14,000 feet.
  • It is a telescope to study exoplanets which is being built by an international collaboration of government organisations and educational institutions.
  • India is one of the countries — along with USA, Canada, Japan and China — collaborating on this international project.
  • The Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) together will work together for the project across 10 years of construction.
  • “Thirty Metre” refers to the the 30-metre diameter of the mirror, with 492 segments of glass pieced together, which makes it three times as wide as the world’s largest existing visible-light telescope.
  • The larger the mirror, the more light a telescope can collect, which means, in turn, that it can “see” farther, fainter objects.
  • Scientists say that it would be more than 200 times more sensitive than current telescopes, and would be able to resolve objects 12 times better than the Hubble Space Telescope.
  • One of its key uses will be the study of exoplanets and whether their atmospheres contain water vapour or methane — the signatures of possible life.


Context: Recently, the Centre decided to extend the benefit of this scheme to all 14.5 crore farmers, irrespective of the size of their landholding.

  • PM KISAN is a Central Sector scheme with 100% funding from Government of India.
  • Under the scheme an income support of Rs.6000/- per year in three equal instalments will be provided to small and marginal farmer families having combined land holding/ownership of up to 2 hectares. (The cap has been relaxed now).
  • Definition of family for the scheme is husband, wife and minor children.
  • State Government and UT Administration will identify the farmer families which are eligible for support as per scheme guidelines.
  • The fund will be directly transferred to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries
  • There are various Exclusion Categories for the scheme.
Exclusion Criteria:
  • Beneficiaries of higher economic status shall not be eligible for benefit under the scheme.
  • All Institutional Land holders.
  • Farmer families in which one or more of its members belong to following categories
  • Former and present holders of constitutional posts
  • Former and present Ministers/ State Ministers and former/present Members of Lok Sabha/ Rajya Sabha/ State Legislative Assemblies/ State Legislative Councils, former and present Mayors of Municipal Corporations, former and present Chairpersons of District Panchayats.
  • All serving or retired officers and employees of Central/ State Government Ministries /Offices/Departments and its field units Central or State PSEs.
  • All Persons who paid Income Tax in last assessment year.
  • Professionals like Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers, Chartered Accountants, and Architects registered with Professional bodies and carrying out profession by undertaking practices.


  • Context: Pobitora wildlife Sanctuary has been temporarily closed due to the ongoing Assam floods.
About Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary:
  • It is situated in the flood plains of River Brahmaputra in the district of Morigaon in Assam.
  • It harbours the highest density of Rhino in the world and second highest concentration of Rhino in Assam after Kaziranga National Park.Besides Rhinoceros, the other mammals found are Leopard, Leopard cat, Fishing cat, Jungle cat, Feral Buffalo, Wild pigs, Chinese pangolins etc.
  • Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is an Important Bird Area.
  • Pobitora is running a successful Rhino breeding program within its sanctuary.
  • It is running under Indian Government as “Indian Rhino vision 2020“.
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