Weekly Current Affairs Prelims (26th May to 2nd June, 2019)

National Education Policy Draft-2019

Weekly Current Affairs Prelims (26th May to 2nd June, 2019)

(Info graphic Summary at the end)

Topic : National Education Policy Draft-2019

Topic in Syllabus: Indian Society

 

Context:

National Education Policy Draft-2019

The policy becomes important in the context of rejecting the earlier report by TSR Subramaniam committee. And the contentious issue of Hindi language has to be focused on in the new policy.

 

Provisions of the National Education Policy-2019

Recently , the committee headed by Dr. K Kasturirangan submitted the Draft New Education Policy 2019, following are the key highlights of the policy:

  • The policy mentions that students in Hindi speaking states should learn a modern Indian language, apart from Hindi and English and, in non-Hindi-speaking states, Hindi along with there gional language and English.
  • The draft National Education Policy 2019 is built on the foundational pillars of ‘Access, Equality,Affordability, and Accountability. The committee has proposed to rename the Ministry of Human Resource Development as Ministry of Education.
  • The draft report proposes overhauling the education structure and extending Right to Education or RTE to Class 12.With respect to school education, it proposes a major reconfiguration of curricular and pedagogical structure with Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) as an integral part of school education
  • It also recommends the extension of Right to Education Act 2009 to cover children of ages 3 to 18.It proposes the schools to be re organised into school complexes. It also seeks to reduce the content load in the school education curriculum.
  • According to the policy, there will be no hard separation of learning areas in terms of curricular,co-curricular or extra-curricular areas and all subjects, including arts, music, crafts, sports, yoga,community service, etc., will be curricular.
  • The draft promotes active pedagogy that will focus on the development of core capacities, life skills,including 21st-century skills.It proposes for massive transformation in teacher education by shutting down sub-standard teacher education institutions and moving all teacher preparation or education programmes into large multidisciplinary universities/colleges.
  • It mentions that the four-year integrated stage specific BEd programme will eventually be the minimum degree qualification for teachers.

With regard to higher education, it proposes are structuring of higher education institutions with three types of higher education institutions which is:

  1. Focused on world-class research and high-quality teaching.
  2. Focused on high-quality teaching across disciplines with significant contribution to research, and high quality teaching
  3. Focused on under graduate education.

 

This will be driven by two missions —

Mission Nalanda and Mission Takshashila.

There will be restructuring of Undergraduate programs. For example, BSc, BA, B Com, B Voc of three or four years of duration and having multiple exits and entry options.

It proposes a new apex body, Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog to enable a holistic and integrated implementation of all educational initiatives and programmatic interventions and to coordinate efforts between the Centre and the States.

It also proposes the National Research Foundation, an apex body for creating a strong research culture and building research capacity across higher education.

It mentions the four functions of Standard setting,Funding, Accreditation and Regulation to be separated and conducted by independent bodies such as:

  1. National Higher Education Regulatory Authority as the only regulator for all higher education including professional education.
  2. Creation of accreditation eco-system led by revamped NAAC.
  3. Professional Standard Setting Bodies for each area of professional education and UGC to transform to Higher Education Grants Commission (HEGC).
  4. As per the draft policy, the private and public institutions will be treated on par and education will remain a ‘not for profit’ activity.

Several new policy initiatives for promoting internationalisation of higher education,strengthening quality open and distance learning,technology integration at all levels of education,adult and lifelong learning and initiatives to enhance participation of under-represented groups, and eliminate gender, social category, and regional gaps in education outcomes are recommended.

It also recommended for promotion of Indian and classical languages and setting up three new national institutes for Pali, Persian, and Prakrit and an Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation (IITI)

 

Criticisms :One language policy

  • Parties in Tamil Nadu including the DMK in Junestrongly opposed the continuation of the threelanguage formula proposed in the draft NationalEducation Policy 2019 alleging it was tantamountto “thrusting” Hindi.
  • It is also criticised by the DMK of Tamil Nadu thatthe three-language formula, which bats for Hindifrom pre-school to class 12 was a big shocker, andthe recommendation would divide the country.
  • The DMK also said that rather than lifting thestandards of education has led to doubts that ithad “ulterior motives” like imposition of Hindi onnon-Hindi speaking States and thrusting Sanskritin schools.
  • Many have even mentioned that if Hindi is to beimposed on non-Hindi states then the Hindispeaking states should be imposed with otherlanguages.

 

Revised draft by MHRD

  • Recently the Ministry of Human ResourceDevelopment (MHRD) has come up with therevised draft of National Education Policy (NEP)2019, which suggests giving flexibility over choiceof language under the three language model inschools after protests over Hindi imposition innon-Hindi speaking states.
  • The revised draft mentions that since the modularBoard examinations for language proficiency willindeed test only for basic proficiency in eachlanguage, such a change in choice in Grade 6would certainly be feasible if the student sodesires and would in such cases be supported byteachers and the schooling system.
  • The revised draft further added, the additionalchoices of languages would therefore be offered inmiddle school for this purpose of choice andflexibility.
  • This revised draft comes after much hue and cryover Hindi imposition in schools in the non-Hindispeaking states, Tamil Nadu being one.

 

Sample Question:

Consider the following statements with reference to THE NATIONAL EDUCATION POLICY DRAFT-2019

  1. National Research Foundation is proposed to be set up for creating strong research culture across higher education.
  2. For all science graduates 2 year common course and the next 3 year to specialize as doctor, nurse or dentist.
  3. Three new national institutes for Pali, Persian, and Prakrit and an Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation (IITI) are recommend.

 

Which of the above statement/s is/are Incorrect?

a). 1 and 2 only

b). 1 and 3 only

c). All of the above

d). None of the Above

 

Answer: D

 


Topic : Government to hold a full stake in NABARD and NHB

Topic in Syllabus: Indian Economy

 

Context:

Government to hold a full stake in NABARD and NHB

  • Recently the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has divested its entire stake held in National Housing Bank (NHB), the regulator for housing finance companies, and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) to the government, which now holds 100% in these entities.

 

Background:

  • National Housing Bank was set up in 1988 under the National Housing Bank Act, 1987. It is a Government of India owned entity and an apex financial institution for housing.
  • National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development NABARD( approved by the Parliament through Act 61 of 1981) came into existence in July 1982 by transferring the agricultural credit functions of RBIand refinance functions of the then Agricultural Refinance and Development Corporation (ARDC).

 

Why in News:

  • The RBI had 100% shareholding in NHB, which was divested for ₹1,450 crore.
  • TheNABARD stake was divested in two phases —
  1. RBI had a 72.5 percent stake in NABARD amounting to approximately 1,450 crore, of which5 percent was divested in October 2010for a value of 1,430 crore, and the residual shareholding was divested in February 2019  for 20 crore.
  2. RBI said that divestment of its stake in NABARD and NHB has its basis in the recommendation of Narasimham Committee II and the Discussion Paper prepared by RBI on Harmonizing the Role and Operations of Development Financial Institutions and Banks.

 

Significance:

  • Development Bank of the Nation for Fostering Rural Prosperity.
  • Promoting inclusive expansion with stability in the housing finance market

 

Functions of NHB

  • To operate as a principal agency to promote housing finance institutions both at local and regional levels and to provide financial and other support to such institutions.
  • To promote and develop specialized housing finance institutions for mobilizing resourcesand extending credit for housing.
  • Toprovide refinance facilities to housing finance institutions and scheduled banks
  • To provide guarantee and underwriting facilities to housing finance institutions
  • To formulate schemes for mobilization of resources and extension of credit for housing, especially catering to the needs of economically weaker sections of society
  • To provide guidelines to housing finance institutions to ensure their healthy growth
  • To co-ordinate the working of all agencies connected with housing

 

Functions of NABARD

Credit Functions:

  • Framing policy and guidelines for rural financial institutions.
  • Providingcredit facilities to issuing organizations
  • Monitoring the flow of ground-level rural credit.

 

Development Functions:

  • Help cooperative banks and Regional Rural Banks to prepare development actions plans for themselves.
  • Help Regional Rural Banks and the sponsor banks to enter into MoUs with state governments and cooperative banks to improve the affairs of the Regional Rural Banks.
  • Monitor implementation of development action plans of banks.
  • Provide financial support for the training institutes of cooperative banks, commercial banks, and Regional Rural Banks.
  • Provide financial assistance to cooperative banks for building improved management information system, computerization of operations and development of human resources.

 

Supervisory Functions:

  • Undertakes inspection of Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) and Cooperative Banks (other than urban/primary cooperative banks) under the provisions of Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
  • Undertakes inspection of State Cooperative Agriculture and Rural Development Banks (SCARDBs) and apex non- credit cooperative societies on a voluntary basis.
  • Provides recommendations to Reserve Bank of India on the issue of licenses to Cooperative Banks, opening of new branches by State Cooperative Banks and Regional Rural Banks (RRBs).
  • Undertakes portfolio inspections besides off-site surveillance of Cooperative Banks and Regional Rural Banks (RRBs).

 

Sample Question:

Which of the following is Correct with respect to National Housing Bank (NHB)?

a). D Subramanian, the then Deputy Governor, RBI recommended the setting up of National Housing Bank as an autonomous housing finance institution

b). NHB is a partially owned subsidiary of Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

c). RESIDEX, the country’s first housing price index was launched by NHB in 2007.

d). None of the Above

 

Answer: C

 


Topic : Air Space Restriction

Topic in Syllabus: International Affairs

 

Context

Air Space Restriction

Pakistan has extended the ban on use of its airspace till June 15 while Indian Air Force has removed all the temporary restrictions on all air routes in the Indian air space.

A notice to airmen (NOTAM) informed airlines about the extension of the ban.

 

Background:

In the wake of escalating tension following an airstrike by Indian Air Force in Balakot in February 2019, Pakistan had restricted its airspace for airlines to and from India.

 

Issues:

  • Several Central Asian airlines as well as those providing connectivity to Europe and the United States from Southeast Asia were forced to cancel their flights due to the ban.
  • The ban is contributing to financial losses owing to longer routes, demand of passengers on these routes, increased crew presence and increased fuel costs.
  • In a case of Air space violation, a Delhi-bound Georgian aircraft that took off from Karachi was recently intercepted over Gujarat.

 

Diplomacy:

However, on the up side, recently, India granted permission for Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s aircraft to fly over the country for his visit to Male and Colombo. Pakistan too exempted External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to fly directly through Pakistani airspace to attend the SCO meet in Bishkek.

 

How closure of Airspace affects airlines?

  • Globally, commercial airlines generally fly from east to west. All airlines seek to fly a straight route so as to save fuel. This is possible only when the airspace over a country, which is the sovereign right of that country, is open and be safe to fly over.
  • Every country marks out several entry and exit points for various airlines to use. When these entry and exit points are shut, airlines need to consider alternative routes, which involve flying longer or stopping at an intermediate point before reaching their final destinations.

 

Facts:

  • Airspace:In international law, the space above a particular nation’s territory is owned by the government controlling the territory.The upper limit of national airspace is not defined by international law. However, under the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, airspace ends where outer space begins, as outer space is declared to be free and not subject to national appropriation
  • Air sovereignty: It is the fundamental right of a sovereign state to regulate the use of its airspace and enforce its own aviation law. State controls the entry of foreign aircraft into its territory and that persons within its territory are subject to its laws
  • Prohibited airspace: It refers to an area of airspace within which flight of aircraft is not allowed, usually due to security concerns. It is one of many types of special use airspace designations and is depicted on aeronautical charts with the letter “P” followed by a serial number.
  • Restricted airspace:Different from prohibited airspace, in it the entry is typically forbidden at all times from all aircraft and is not subject to clearance from ATC or the airspace’s controlling body.

 

Sample Question:

The main aim of aviation security is .

(a) Safeguarding civil aviation against acts of unlawful interference

(b) Detect crime

(c) Check drug trafficking

(d) To maintain law & order

 

Solution: a

 


Topic : Artemis 2024 moon mission

Topic in Syllabus: Science & Technology

 

NASA to send equipment to the Moon starting 2020 for Artemis crewed mission in 2024

Artemis 2024 moon mission

Artemis Program:

  • The mission will return astronautsto Moon for first time in past 50 years, including eightscheduled launches and a mini-station in lunar orbit by2024.
  • Artemis 1(in 2020) : It will be anuncrewedflight test mission around Moon. It willdemonstrate NASA’s capability of sending crewspaceship to lunar orbit ahead of its return to surface ofMoon.
  • Space Launch System (SLS, rocketthat will do the job) and Orion spacecraft (which willcarry astronauts) together for the first time from amodernized Kennedy Space Center in Florida, US.
  • TheSLS will also deploy a number of CubeSats to performexperiments and technology demonstrations.
  • Artemis 2(in ):  Itwill orbit Earth’s satellite (moon) and will fly a differentpath than first test flight. It will be a crewed mission andaround Moon for first time in 50 years.
  • Artemis 3: (in 2024) Moon mission which will return astronauts tolunar surface by year 2024, including first woman andthe next man. So far only 12 humans (all American male)have walked on Moon.
  • All three missions will be launched into space bybiggest rocket of all time, the Boeing-led Space LaunchSystem (SLS). It is currently under development but hasseen numerous delays and is being criticized by some asa bloated jobs program.

 

About Lunar Gateway

NASA and its fellow partners are designing anddeveloping, a small spaceship in orbit around Moon forastronauts and science and technology (S&T)demonstrations, it is known as ‘The Lunar Gateway’. It islocated about 250,000 miles from Earth.

The Gateway will enable access to entire surface ofMoon and will provide new opportunities in deep spacefor exploration. It’s also a stop-over for missions to Mars.

 

About Artemis Mission

ARTEMIS is abbreviation for Acceleration,Reconnection, Turbulence and Electrodynamics ofMoon’s Interaction with the Sun. It is NASA’s nextmission to Moon.

It is named Artemis after Greek mythologicalGoddess of Moon and also twin sister to Apollo (thenamesake of Apollo program which sent 12 Americanastronauts to Moon between 1969 and 1972).

 

Objective:

It consists of a spacecraft to measurewhat happens when Sun’s radiation hits our rocky moon,where there is no magnetic field to protect it.

 

Benefits:

Artemis mission uses two out of five inorbit spacecraft from another NASA Heliophysicsconstellation of satellites called The Time History ofEvents and Macroscale Interactions during Substormsi.e. “THEMIS”.

The NASA’s THEMIS mission began in2007 and was successfully completed in 2010. TheArtemis mission thus allows NASA to repurpose its twoin-orbit spacecraft and to extend their useful sciencemission, saving millions of taxpayer dollars instead ofbuilding and launching new spacecraft.

 

Significance:

After a successful Artemis mission,NASA will be able to establish a sustainable humanpresence on Moon by 2028 which will further help it touncover new scientic discoveries, demonstrate newtechnological advancements, and lay foundation forprivate companies to build a lunar economy

 

Sample Question:

Consider the following statements regarding“Artemis” space missions:

  1. It is ISRO’s next mission to the Moon.
  2. Artemis 1 will be an non-crewed mission around the Moon in 2020 whereas in 2022, Artemis 2 will orbit moon with a crew.

 

Which of the given statement(s) is/are correct?

a).  1 only

b).  2 only

c).  Both of them

d).  Neither of them

 

Solution: b

 


Topic : India’s first all woman crew flies Mi – 17 V5 medium lift helicopter

Topic in Syllabus: Security Issues

 

Context:

India's first all woman crew flies Mi - 17 V5 medium lift helicopter

Three women officers of Indian Air Force were part of India’s first all-women crew to fly a medium-lift helicopter Mi-17 V5.

 

Facts:

  • Flight Lieutenant Parul Bhardwaj (Captain), Flying Officer Aman Nidhi (co-pilot) and Flight Lieutenant Hina Jaiswal (Flight Engineer) were three women IAF officers flew the chopper, which took off from a forward air base in South Western air command.
  • All three women officers flew a Mi-1 7 V5 helicopter for Battle Inoculation Training mission.
  • Under this mission, the helicopter had taken off and landed from restricted areas at a forward airbase in South Western air command.
  • Flight Lieutenant Parul Bhardwaj became the first woman pilot to fly the Mi-17 V5.
  • Flight Lieutenant Hina Jaiswal became the first woman flight engineer of the IAF.
  • Flying officer Aman Nidhi from Jharkhand also became the first woman IAF pilot from the state.

 

About Mi-17 V-5 :

  • Mi-17V-5 is a military transport variant in the Mi-8/17family of helicopters. It is produced by Kazan Helicopters, a subsidiary of Russian Helicopters.
  • The Mi-17V-5 medium-lifter was designed based on the Mi-8 airframe. The helicopter retains the outstanding performance characteristics of its predecessors and can fly in tropical and maritime climates,and desert conditions.
  • The helicopter has a maximum takeoff weight of 13,000kg. It can transport either 36 armed soldiers internally or 4,500kg of load on a sling.

 

About Indian Air Force
Founded: 8 October 1932
Commander-in-Chief: President Ram Nath Kovind
Chief of the Air Staff (CAS): Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh

 

Sample Question:

Women IAF officers were the part of which mission as first all women crew to fly Mi-17 V5 flight?
(A) Ballistic Missile Flight Mission

(B) Battle Inoculation Training mission

(C) Bilateral Air Force Military Exercise

(D) None

 

Solution: (B)

Three women IAF officers from Punjab were part of the country’s first all-women crew to fly a medium-lift helicopter Mi-17 V5. Flight Lieutenant Parul Bhardwaj (Captain), Flying Officer Aman Nidhi (co-pilot) and Flight Lieutenant Hina Jaiswal (Flight Engineer) flew the chopper, which took off from a forward air base in South Western air command.

 


Topic : USA removed India from its currency monitoring list

Topic in Syllabus: International Affairs

 

Context:

USA removed India from its currency monitoring list

US Congress, the Treasury Department did not mention India’s name in its watchlist of countries with potentially “questionable” foreign exchange policies and currency “manipulation”.

 

Countries in the list:

India, China, Japan, Germany, Switzerland and South Korea, was placed in the bi-annual currency watch list in October last year.

While India and Switzerland have not been mentioned in the latest list, the US has added Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam to the list, with China continuing to figure in it.

 

Implications:

While the designation of a country as a currency manipulator does not immediately attract any penalties, it tends to dent the confidence about a country in the global financial markets.

 

The criterion:

Countries with a current-account surplus equivalent to 2 per cent of gross-domestic product are eligible for the list, according to modifications made in the new list, down from 3 per cent earlier. Other thresholds include repeated intervention in the currency markets and a trade surplus with the US of at least $20 billion.

 

Significance:

Tweaks in currency policy has been used by the Trump administration to browbeat countries that, from Washington’s perspective, have hurt American businesses and consumers.

 For India, this comes amid the ongoing trade spat between Washington and New Delhi.

Trump has repeatedly claimed that India is a “tariff king” and imposes “tremendously high” tariffs on American products, while also dismissing as “inadequate” the Indian government’s decision to halve the import tariff on Harley-Davidson motorcycles from 100% to 50% last year, even as he has maintained that his administration is “fixing broken trade deals” to protect American workers.

 

Sample Question:

Which country is tagged as Currency Manipulator?

a). Countries which indulge in manipulating the currency exchange rate for gaining unfair competitive advantage in international trade

b). Countries which indulge in degrade their currency to get eligibility as under developed country to get international funding

c). Both a and b

d). None

 

Solution: a

 


Topic : Rising plastic pollution in Oussudu Lake

Topic in Syllabus: Ecology & Environment

 

Context:

Rising plastic pollution in Oussudu Lake

Vulnerability assessment study conducted in Oussudulake, Puducherry had shown concern over rising plastic pollution in water bodies.

The report had highlighted that the canals have become dumping grounds for used plastic bags, thermocols, cups, plates, pipes and bottles.

 

Threats from Plastic Pollution

  • The dumping of plastic items had interrupted free flow of monsoon run-off.
  • Around two-thirds of all forms of plastic getting accumulated, degrades slowly and leaches into the land and water.
  • Plastic causes serious environmental pollution, affecting the basic life support systems such as soil, water and air.
  • Plastic pollution also results in health ailments such as eye irritation, vision failure, difficulty in breathing, liver dysfunction and cancer.

 

Recommendations

  • Prior to Plastic Ban, it is necessary to adopt daily usage of alternative packing items.
  • Encourage people to identify and manufacture alternative packing items.
  • Hoteliers should be encouraged to shift to banana leaf, teak leaf, vanathula leaf and mantharai leaf for serving and packing food.
  • Skill development in producing alternate packing materials should be encouraged.
  • Enforcement of rules and regulations for the production and use of plastic

 

About Oussudu Lake

  • The Ousteri Lake also referred to as Oussudu Lake is a man-made lake situated about 10 km from Puducherry.
  • It is recognized as one of the important wetlands of Asia by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).
  • The structure of the lake is complex consisting of water, wetland and mudflats.
  • Lake acts as the single largest catchment of fresh water in Puducherry.
  • The vegetation of the lake (ranges from small herbs to trees) supports migratory avifauna as well as native birdsduring summer and winter.

 

Conservation Efforts

  • Under the government’s renovation plan the region near the lake will be make litter free so that it becomes favourable of the migratory birds.
  • The lake region will be declared as no horn and plastic free zone.

 

Sample Question:

Oussudu Lake is

a). A man-made lake situated about 10 km from Puducherry.

b). Recognized as one of the important wetlands of Asia  by IUCN

c). Both

d). None

 

Answer: C

 


Topic : Gene Editing to Halt Human Flu Pandemic

Topic in Syllabus: Ecology & Environment

 

Context:

Gene Editing to Halt Human Flu Pandemic

  • Recently scientists in Britain have used gene-editing techniques to stop bird flu spreading in chicken cells.
  • The technique was successful for the cells grown in a lab. The next step will be to produce chickens with the same genetic change.
  • However, this is a key step towards making genetically-altered chickens that could halt a human flu pandemic.
  • Further, the scientists will use the gene editing technology, known as CRISPR, to remove a section of the birds’ DNA responsible for producing a protein called ANP32.
  • ANP32 is protein on which all flu viruses depend to infect a host.
  • The lab tests of cells engineered to lack ANP32 showed they resist the flu virus by blocking its entry and halting its replication and spread.

 

Bird Flu:

  • Bird Flu (H5N1) is a type of influenza virus that causes a highly infectious, severe respiratory disease in birds called avian influenza.
  • Human cases of H5N1 avian influenza occur occasionally, but it is difficult to transmit the infection from person to person.
  • When people do become infected, the mortality rate is about 60%.
  • There is no evidence that the disease can be spread to people through properly prepared and thoroughly cooked food.

 

Measures Taken:

  • Candidate vaccines to prevent H5N1 infection have been developed, but they are not ready for widespread use. Seasonal influenza vaccination does not protect against H5N1 infection.
  • WHO collaborates with global health partners and agencies, including the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO-UN), to control and prevent the spread of animal diseases.
  • WHO’s global laboratory system, the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS), identifies and monitors strains of circulating influenza viruses, and provides advice to countries on their risk to human health and available treatment or control measures.

 

Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)

  • Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) – Cas9 is a new technique for genome editing.
  • It is faster, cheaper and more accurate than earlier techniques, and can precisely target a sequence of DNA in germ cells, extract, edit or replace it even in the embryo stage.
  • The technique can prevent hereditary diseases such as sickle cell, thalassaemia, HIV, cancer, and Huntington’s disease from passing on to children.
  • Another popular method is Somatic Cell Gene Therapy (SCGT), which affects only an individual and not his or her future generations.

 

HOW TO PREVENT BIRD FLU?

  • We can prevent the spread by culling of the birds or by giving vaccination to the birds. Bird flu triggers speculation about the safety of the poultry products. In Chandigarh a similar scenario was reported two years ago where people had stopped consuming poultry products and the poultry industry was negatively affected.
  • Cooked poultry are safe to eat, as long as they are prepared properly. This is a heat sensitive virus. Those dealing with raw meat can be infected.
  • Hygiene has to be maintained in the poultry farm. There must be standard hygienic conditions which must be followed.
  • All birds can’t be killed, nor can bird migration be stopped. Therefore, humans have to be careful to prevent the flu.
  • There are vaccines available to prevent the spread of infection in the domestic poultry. Most often Government culls the animal to prevent the spread of the disease because it is not easy to vaccine the entire poultry.
  • Whenever there is reporting of Bird flu in a particular place it is better to close the area for time being as a precaution.
  • In India not much research has been done in the component of Avian Influenza. For Avian Influenza Vaccine is available outside India. USA has developed vaccine for Human infection. India has the vaccination for the swine flu. We should be cautious about the suspicious dying of the birds and investigate whether it is the virus infection.

 

Sample Question:

Which of the following statements is/are correct regarding Bird Flu
1) It is caused by the H1N5 virus
2) The virus can be caught by eating fully cooked chicken or eggs
3) It can spread through cleaning or plucking infected birds

 

Choose the Correct Answer

a). 1 and 3 only

b). 2 and 3 only

c). 3 only

d). 1 only

 

Solution: c

Bird Flu is caused by H5N1 virus. It is not spread by eating fully cooked chicken or eggs.

 


 

Topic : Orchha added into tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Topic in Syllabus: Heritage and Culture

 

Background:

Orchha added into tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites

According to the rules, heritage or any historical site first has to be on tentative list in order to be part of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites. After it makes to the tentative list, another proposal is sent to UNESCO for its final addition in heritage sites. ASI in its earlier proposal had requested UNESCO to include Orchha in the list of cultural heritage.

 

Orchha:

  • It is situated on the banks of the Betwa river in Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh. It is located around 15 km from Jhansi of Uttar Pradesh and 80 km away from Tikamgarh district in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Bundela dynasty: This town was built by king Rudra Pratap Singh of Bundela dynasty in the 16th century. The famous King of this dynasty Veer Singh Dev was close friend of Mughal emperor Jahangir and fought wars as Akbar’s aid.
  • Bundela architecture: The ancient town depicts peculiar style of the Bundela dynasty. It has Mughal influence since the two dynasties were very close.

 

Importance:

  • It is famous for its Chaturbhuj Temple, Orchha fort complex, Raja Mahal among others.
  • It is also famous for its two elevated minaret called Saavan and Bhadon and its four palaces — Jahangir Palace, Raj Mahal, Sheesh Mahal and Rai Praveen Mahal.
  • It is also famous for its concept of open bungalows, stone work windows, animal statues depicting the culture of Bundelkhand.
  • Linkages with Ramayana: It is the only place in India where Lord Ram is worshipped as king with a dedicated temple in his name called Sri Ram Raja Mandir

 

About UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites List:

  • UNESCO inaugurated the list by adopting a treaty known as ‘The World Heritage Convention’ in 1972.
  • It aims is to identify and protect the world’s natural and cultural heritages.
  • The list of World Heritage Sites is maintained by the ‘World Heritage Programme’, administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee
  • At present, there are 38 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India (1 mixed, 7 Natural and 30 Cultural).

 

BENEFITS OF THE ACHIEVEMENT:

  • The international recognition of the heritage precinct will boost the local economy of the state in various manners.
  • This is a matter of pride to the entire nation and it is expected to give a tremendous fillip to domestic and international tourism leading to increased employment generation, the creation of world-class infrastructure and heritage memorabilia.

 

CONCLUSION:

For India, its cultural heritage is a spectacular memorandum of its splendour past. From the magnificent Taj Mahal to the architectural ruins of Hampi, India is home to 38 World Heritage Sites. The inclusion of the historic town of Orchha in the list will help in its conservation and will further amplify the hidden visual structure of Orchha and suggest the reconciliation of myth and history. The world heritage status will encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world.

 

Sample Question:

The Orchha town was recently added to the tentative list of World Heritage Sites of UNESCO. In which state is the Orchha town located?

(A) Andhra Pradesh
(B) Madhya Pradesh
(C) Uttar Pradesh
(D) Himachal Pradesh

Solution: (B)

The Orchha town of Madhya Pradesh has been included in the tentative list of the World Heritage Sites of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). It is famous for its four palaces – Jahangir Palace, Rai Praveen Mahal, Raja Mahal, and Sheesh Mahal.

 


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Infographic summary 26th May to 2nd June 2019 - 1

 

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