Prelim Snippets 08-07-2019


  • Context: India’s first indigenously built engineless semi-high-speed train arrived in Delhi at Safdarjung Railway Station
About TRAIN-18:
  • It is India’s First Indigenously designed locomotive-less (Engine Less) Train.
  • It breached the 180 kmph speed limit during test run.
  • It is called Vande Bharat Express.
  • It will become the Country’s Fastest Train.
  • It will be replacing current 30-year-old Shatabdi Express. Thus, it is touted as next generation Shatabdi Express.


Context: India has successfully test-fired a vertical deep dive version of BrahMos, the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile.

  • India is now the only country in the world to integrate long-range missiles onto fighter jets after the BrahMos missile was test-fired from a Sukhoi 30 aircraft of the Indian Air Force
  • Brahmos missile, which cruises at almost Three Times the speed of sound at Mach 2.8, is the Heaviest Weapon to be deployed on the Su-30 fighters.
About BrahMos:
  • It is a medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarine, ships, aircraft, or land.
  • It is the fastest supersonic cruise missile in the world.
  • It is a joint venture company owned by the governments of India and Russia and its missiles are produced in India.
  • It is the world’s fastest anti-ship cruise missile in operation.
  • The missile travels at speeds of Mach 2.8 to 3.0, which is being upgraded to Mach 5.0.


Context: Pink City Jaipur gets UNESCO World Heritage tag,

  • The announcement was made after the 43rd Session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee examined the nomination of the Walled City of Jaipur for inclusion in the World Heritage list.
About Walled City Jaipur:
  • The historic walled city of Jaipur in Rajasthan, was founded in 1727 AD under the patronage of Sawai Jai Singh II.
  • It serves as the capital city of the culturally-rich state of Rajasthan.
  • In town planning, it shows an interchange of ancient Hindu, Mughal and Contemporary Western Ideas that resulted in the form of the city
  • It is an exceptional example of a late Medieval Trade town in South Asia and defined new concepts for a thriving trade and commercial hub.
  • In addition, the city is associated with living traditions in the form of crafts that have national and international recognition
  • The city was proposed to be nominated for its value of being an exemplary development in town planning and architecture that demonstrates an amalgamation and important exchange of ideas in the late medieval period.
World Heritage Committee:
  • It is composed of representatives of 21 States Parties to the World Heritage Convention who meet annually.
  • The Committee is in charge of implementing the Convention.
  • Till date, 1,092 sites in 167 countries have been inscribed on the World Heritage List


  • Context: A second orphan baby Dugong found stranded on a southern Thai beach has been named “handsome sea prince” by one of the country’s princesses.
  • Southern Thailand’s waters are home to about 250 of the mammals, classified as vulnerable.
  • The newly named dugong was found Monday with scratches on its back and is now rehabilitating in a pool at the Phuket Marine Biological Centre.
About Dugong:
  • It is a Medium-Sized Marine Mammal.
  • The dugong is largely dependent on Seagrass communities for subsistence
    It is thus restricted to the coastal habitats which support seagrass meadows, with the largest dugong concentrations typically occurring in Wide, Shallow, Protected Areas such as bays, mangrove channels, the waters of large inshore islands and inter-reefal waters.
  • IUCN status: Vulnerable


  • Context: After 18 years of research, Indian and Australian scientists have identified a new gene directly linked to schizophrenia.
  • This study identified a gene called NAPRT1 that encodes an enzyme involved in vitamin B3 metabolism Schizophrenia
  • A mental disorder: It is a severe mental disorder, characterized by profound disruptions in thinking, affecting language, perception, and the sense of self. It affects more than 21 million people worldwide.
  • Cause: Researchers believe that genetic as well as environmental factors such as exposure to viruses contribute to causation, and also life stressors may play a role in the disorder’s onset and course.
  • Onset: It typically begins in late adolescence or early adulthood.
  • Impact: Hallucinations, delusions, reduced speaking, reduced ability to understand information and decision making, trouble in focusing or paying attention etc.
  • Schizophrenia is a treatable disorder. Therapy and support can help people learn social skills, cope with stress, identify early warning signs of relapse and prolong periods of remission.


  • NASSCOM & NSDC launches “World Skills India”-International Cloud Computing Challenge 2019
  • The initiative is Aimed at Recognizing the best practices from the world in the areas of cloud computing.


  • India’s first highway corridors with charging stations for electric vehicles are expected to come up along the Delhi-Jaipur and Delhi-Agra highways by 2020.
  • Eighteen charging stations will be set up on the two routes.


Context: Japan and Singapore top the 2019 Henley Index list of world’s most powerful passports

  • It is launched by Henley and Partners.
  • The Indian passport has been ranked 86 with a mobility score of 58.
  • Japan and Singapore hold the joint top spot on the Henley Passport Index.
  • The index includes 199 passports and 227 travel destinations — including micro-states and territories.
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