Prelim Snippets 30-07-2019


Context: Madhya Pradesh’s Pench sanctuary, Kerala’s Periyar sanctuary rated top tiger reserves.

  •  Global Tiger Day, often called International Tiger Day, is an annual celebration to raise awareness for tiger conservation, held annually on 29 July.
  • The fourth cycle of the All India Tiger Estimation-2018 recorded 2976 tigers in India- the highest in all cycles.
Madhya Pradesh (Highest Number)526
  • Chhattisgarh and Mizoram saw a decline in tiger population and all other states saw a positive increase
  • The survey, the fourth such since 2006, is a gargantuan exercise and conducted once in four years
  • Pench Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh recorded the highest number of tigers, Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu registered the “maximum improvement” since 2014
  • India accounts for many of the 3,500-odd tigers that are scattered among Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russian Federation, Thailand and Vietnam.
Tx2 Programme:
  • It was launched by World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) at the 2010 St. Petersburg Tiger Summit held in Russia.
  • In 2010, these countries agreed to put in efforts to double the tiger population — in sum — by 2022.
Global Tiger Forum:
  • The Global Tiger Forum (GTF) is the only inter- governmental international body established with members from willing countries to embark on a global campaign to protect the Tiger.
  • The GTF was formed in 1993 on recommendations from an international symposium on Tiger Conservation at New Delhi, India.
  • GTF is focused on saving the remaining 5 sub-species of Tigers distributed over 13 Tiger Range countries of the world.



Context: In a recently published paper in Nature, researchers from the Harvard Micro robotics Laboratory in Cambridge have claimed to have made possible the “lightest insect-scale aerial vehicle so far to have achieved sustained, untethered flight”.

  • What is it? It is essentially a flying machine, which can flap its wings 120 times a second and is half the size of a paperclip
  • Specifications: The robot weighs 259 mg and uses 110-120 milliwatts of power using solar energy, matching the “thrust efficiency” of similarly sized insects such as bees.
  • Much like aircraft, the robot is heavier than the air it displaces — a concept referred to as “heavier-than-air flight”.



Context: Quarmy, a German Shephard held her own as the winner of a special prize for patrolling the Biswanath Wildlife Division of the KNP to curb poaching and illegal trade of tigers

  • The Trade Record Analysis of Flora and Fauna in Commerce (TRAFFIC) had announced the winners of the first Canines for Felines, a special contest for wildlife “super sniffer” dogs trained under a TRAFFIC and World Wide Fund-India programme in India.
About KNP:
  • It is a National Park in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of the state of Assam
  • The sanctuary, which hosts Two-Thirds of the world’s Great One-Horned Rhinoceroses, is a World Heritage Site.
  • Kaziranga is home to the Highest Density of Tigers among protected areas in the world, and was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006.
  • The park is home to large breeding populations of elephants, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer.
  • Kaziranga is recognized as an Important Bird Area by Bird Life International for conservation of avifaunal species.
  • It is a leading non-governmental organisation working globally on trade in wild animals and plants in the context of both biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.
  • Aim: To ensure that trade in wild plants and animals is not a threat to the conservation of nature.
  • It was founded in 1976 as a strategic alliance of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)



Context: The Geographical Indications Registry has granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag to Kodaikanal Malai Poondu (Kodaikanal Hill Garlic).

  • Its scientific name Allium Sativum, this particular garlic is known for its medicinal and preservative properties.
  • Properties: It has anti-oxidant and anti-microbial potential, which is attributed to the presence of higher amount of organosulfur compounds, phenols and flavonoids compared to other garlic varieties.
  • Characteristics: Its usually white or pale yellow and each bulb weighs 20-30g on an average.
  • Geographical Location:
  • The hill altitude, the misty condition and the soil prevailing in the Kodaikanal region are responsible for its medicinal property and the long storage shelf life of the garlic.
  • In India, garlic is planted as both kharif (June-July) and rabi (October-November) crop and it depends on the regions.
  • It is planted as a rabi crop in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Bengal and hilly regions.
  • It is both kharif and rabi crop in T.N., Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Geographical Indications:
  • A GI tag indicates that the product originates from a definite territory in India and has unique characteristics or quality.

Having a GI tag:

  • Prevents unauthorized use of a registered Geographical Indication by others
  • Boosts exports of Indian Geographical indications by providing legal protection
  • Also enables seeking legal protection in other WTO member countries.
  • Some of the examples of Geographical Indications in India include Basmati Rice, Darjeeling Tea, Kancheepuram silk saree, Alphonso Mango, Nagpur Orange and Kolhapuri Chappal.



Context: The rasagola, a popular dessert of Odisha, has received the geographical indication tag from the Registrar of Geographical Indication

  • Both Odisha and West Bengal have been contesting the origin of the rasagola.
  • Historical records submitted say the ‘Odisha Rasagola’ is associated with world famous Puri Jagannath Temple.
About Odisha Rasagola:
  • Odisha Rasagola’ is a sweet from the state of Odisha made of chhena (cottage cheese) cooked in sugar syrup, which is very soft to feel, is juicy and non- chewy in consistency and can be swallowed without teeth pressure.
  • Colour development of the ‘Odisha Rasagola’ is very specific, where without addition of external colour
  • Various intensely-coloured rasagolas are prepared using the principle of caramelisation of sugar with specific methods of preparation
  • Odisha Rasagolas are white in colour with round shape (non‐ spherical) but off white rasagolas in various shades are plentily prepared by cooking the rasagola at 110 degree Celsius for about 40 minutes in which caramalisation of sugar takes place giving the off white colour.



Context: The National Commission of Minorities (NCM) has refused to entertain a plea to declare Hindus a “minority community” in those States where they do not form a majority of the population.

About National Commission of Minorities:
  • In 1978, the Government of India, through an executive order, set up a “Minorities Commission” to safeguard the interests of minorities.
  • With the enactment of the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992 the Minorities Commission became a statutory body and was renamed as the “National Commission for Minorities”.
  • The Act extends to the whole of India, except the State of Jammu & Kashmir.

The main functions of the Commission are

  • To evaluate the progress of the development of minorities,
  • Monitor the working of the safeguards provided in the Constitution and in laws enacted by the Central Government/State Governments for the protection of the interests of minorities.
  •  Look into specific complaints regarding deprivation of rights of the minorities.
  • It also causes studies, research and analysis to be undertaken on the issues relating to the socio-economic and educational development of minorities
  • Make recommendations for the effective implementation of the safeguards for the protection of the interests of minorities.
  • It consists of a Chairperson, a Vice Chairperson and five Members to be nominated by the Central Government from amongst persons of eminence, ability and integrity.



Context: Today’s Google Doodle celebrated Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddi, a surgeon, educator, lawmaker and social reformer, on her 133rd birth anniversary

  • Dr. Reddi devoted her life to public health and fought the battle against gender inequality.
  • The Government of Tamil Nadu announced on Monday that government hospitals in the State will celebrate her birth anniversary as ‘Hospital Day‘ every year.
  • Born in 1886 in Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu, Dr. Reddi was the first Indian girl student in the Department of Surgery at Madras Medical College.
  • In 1956 was awarded the Padma Bhushan.
  • She passed away in 1968 at the age of 81.
  • Medicine: She became one of the first women doctors in India in 1912, and the first woman house surgeon in the Government Maternity Hospital, Madras.
  • In 1954, she opened the Cancer Institute in Chennai
    Political Involvement: She co-founded the Women’s Indian Association in 1918,
  • She became the first woman member (and vice president) of the Madras Legislative Council — making her the first woman legislator in India.
    Social reforms: She helped raise the minimum age for marriage for girls and pushed the Council to pass the Immoral Traffic Control Act, and the Devadasi system abolishment Bill.



Context: The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has issued a draft notification amending Central Motor Vehicle Rules,It allows motor vehicles and their parts to be affixed with permanent and nearly invisible microdots that can be read physically with a microscope and identified with ultra violet light source.

About Microdot technology:
  • It involves spraying the body and parts of the vehicle or any other machine with microscopic dots, which give a unique identification.
  • Use of this technology will help check theft of vehicles and also use of fake spare parts.
  • The microdots and adhesive will become permanent fixtures/affixation which cannot be removed without damaging the asset, that is the vehicle itself.
  • It says that the microdots, if affixed, will have to comply with AIS 155 requirements.



Context: IN LCU L56 was commissioned into the Indian Navy by Vice-Admiral Atul Kumar Jain, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command.

About LCU 56:
  • It is an amphibious ship with its primary role being transportation and deployment of Main Battle Tanks, Armoured Vehicles, Troops and Equipment from ship to shore.
  • LCU L56 would be administered and based in Port Blair under the NAVCC in ANC (Andaman Nicobar Command).
  • it is the sixth ship of the Landing Craft Utility (LCU) MK IV class.
  • Commissioning the ship, the Vice-Admiral congratulated the GRSE (Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers) for being the first shipyard in the country to have built the 100th warship.
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