Prelim Snippets 29-06-2019

International Seed Testing Association (ISTA):

Context: Recently Telangana hosted the triennial International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) Congress in Hyderabad.It is the first time that ISTA Congress is being held in Asia.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare and the Telangana government are jointly hosting the conference, which will be attended by stakeholders from across the globe.

Why Telangana? Telangana is a major hub of seed production in the country meeting about 60% of the country’s needs in major crops such as rice, maize, soybean, pearl millet, sorghum and cotton.

About ISTA:

  • The International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) was founded in 1924 and has more than 100 members worldwide.
  • It is an association of laboratories which are authorised to check on the marketability of seed as defined in various countries laws.
  • Part of its duties is the definition of methods to determine the ability to germinate, the vigour of seed, and the content of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in seed.
  • The test results, as certified by ISTA member laboratories, are accepted by the trading partners of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in international seed traffic.

Research and Analysis Wing

  • It is the foreign intelligence agency of India.
  • It was established in 1968 following the intelligence failures of the Sino-Indian War, which persuaded the Government of India to create a specialised, independent agency dedicated to foreign intelligence gathering previously, both domestic and foreign intelligence had been the purview of the Intelligence Bureau.
  • Headquartered in New Delhi

Function: To gather foreign intelligence, engage in counter-terrorism, promote counter-proliferation, advise Indian policymakers and advance foreign strategic interests of India.

Go Tribal campaign

Context: Tribal Affairs Ministry and TRIFED launched ‘go tribal campaign’ in association with Amazon Global in New Delhi.

  • With this collaboration, tribal products will be available in the US and will help establish an export market with tribal products

Aim :The collaboration aims to create awareness and promote tribal arts and crafts as well as aid in socio-economic welfare of over 700 Indian tribes.

TRIFED is an organization under Ministry of Tribal Affairs and is engaged in marketing development of tribal products including tribal art and craft under the brand name “TRIBES INDIA”.

‘Jaipur Foot Korea’

Context: Korean ambassador signs agreement for providing assistance in prosthetic limbs sector.

  • Korean Ambassador to India Bong-kil Shin launched ‘Jaipur Foot Korea’,
  • A collaborative initiative between Korea and Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS).
  • Through this agreement Korea will provide financial and technical assistance to further research and development collaboration in the med-tech sector specifically in the area of prosthetic limbs, bionic arms, 3-D printing-based Flat foot solution, and mobility solutions.
  • It will also open up opportunities for overseas development assistance and grants from the Government of Korea and donations from private institutions and corporations from Korea to India.

About Jaipur Foot:

  • It is a rubber-based prosthetic leg for people with below-knee amputations.
  • It is inexpensive and widely acceptable as a prosthesis, and as a result has been widely used in India.

Mumbai–Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Corridor(MAHSR)

  • MAHSR project is joint venture between Indian Railways and Japan’s Shinkansen Technology.
  • The 508km-long Mumbai to Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) Project will be built at cost of Rs 1.10 lakh crore. It is expected to be completed by 2022.
  • It will travel at speeds between 320 km/hr and 350km/hr and is expected to reduce travel time between Ahmedabad and Mumbai to three-and-a-half hours
  • Of the total project cost, 80% cost will be provided by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as soft loan at interest of 0.1% per annum.
  • This loan will be repaid to Japan in 50 years, with 15 years grace period.
  • As per agreement between India and Japan, MAHSR Project has “twin, complementary objectives viz. localised manufacture and transfer of technology.


Context: India successfully test-fired indigenously developed nuclear-capable missile Prithvi-II as part of a user trial by the Army from a test range off the Odisha coast.


  • It is a tactical surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) developed by DRDO of India under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP).
  • It has a strike range of 350 km, was carried out from a mobile launcher from Launch Complex-III of the Integrated Test Range, ITR at Chandipur.
  • The missile is capable of carrying 500 to 1000 kg of warheads and is powered by liquid propulsion twin engines.
  • It had improved navigation due to an inertial navigation system.
  • The missile features measures to deceive anti-ballistic missiles.

International MSME Day : 27 June

  • The UN General Assembly declared 27th June as Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day.
  • The day recognizes the importance of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in achieving sustainable development goals and in promoting innovation, creativity and sustainable work for all.

Theme for 2019 – Big Money for Small Business: Financing the SDGs

MSMEs in India:

According to Micro, Small and Medium EnterprisesDevelopment Act, 2006, the manufacturing units areclassified depending on their investments in plant andmachinery as:

Singhey Khababs Sindhu Festival in Leh

  • It is a festival of India held every year on full moon day (on Guru Purnima) in June, this year it is celebrated on 28 June 2019
  • It is held at Leh, in Ladakh District of Jammu & Kashmir.
  • It was first started in the October, 1997 and continues to be held every year since then, attracting large number of foreign and domestic tourists.
  • The main reason behind the celebration is to endorse the Indus River (Sindhu River) as an icon of the communal harmony and unity of India.
  • The main attraction of the festival is local Folk songs and dances, exhibitions of handicrafts, and ethnic food items.

INS Vagli

Context: T.N. paying demurrage charges as submarine museum with INS Vagli fell through

About INS Vagli:

It was a Vela-class diesel-electric submarine of the Indian Navy designed by Russia and commissioned in 1974.

  • Along with her sister ship Vela, she spent almost 10 years undergoing a protracted refit by Hindustan Shipyard.
  • After 36 years of active service, INS Vagli was decommissioned on 9 December 2010
  • After its decommisioning, Tamil Nadu government has decided to set up the submarine museum near the shore temple Mamallapuram, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

INS Kursura

  • It was a Kalvari-class diesel-electric submarine of the Indian Navy
  • She participated in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
  • After decommissioning, she was preserved as a museum for public access on RK Beach in Visakhapatnam.
  • Kursura has the distinction of being one of the very few submarine museums to retain originality and has been called a “must-visit destination” of Visakhapatnam.
  • Despite being a decommissioned submarine, she still receives the navy’s “Dressing Ship” honour, which is usually awarded only to active ships.
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