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scheme could now be availed by charitable institutions, the Central government, the State

government or any other entity owned by the Central government or the State

government + In 2015, the government launched the GMS to mobilise the gold held by

households and institutions + GMS allows bank customers to deposit idle gold holdings

for a fixed period in return for interest

 Future of Consumption in Fast-Growth Consumer Market India Report = by WEF

(Annual GDP growth rate of 7.5%, India is currently the world's sixth-largest economy.

By 2030, domestic private consumption, which accounts for 60% of the country's GDP, is

expected to develop into a $6 trillion growth opportunity,")

 Composition scheme = for small businesses and traders to pay a low and flat tax on their

turnover + under GST + turnover upto1.5 crore(raised recently from 75 lakhs) + only for

good providers(not for service providers)(however, GST Council )

 National clean air programme(NCAP) = MoEFCC + programme to reduce particulate

matter (PM) pollution by 20-30% in at least 102 cities by 2024 + NCAP will be a mid-

term, five-year action plan, with 2019 as the first year. This is not a pan-India, but a city-

specific programme

 Penna river = rises in Nandi Hills in Chikballapur District of Karnataka state + runs

north and east through the states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh to empty into the Bay

of Bengal.

 Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) = Ministry of Health & Family

Welfare + 2003 + To correct regional imbalances in the availability of affordable/ reliable

tertiary healthcare services and also to augment facilities for quality medical education in

the country + It has two components(setting up of AIIMS like institutions + upgradation

of Government medical college institutions) + recently 3 new AIIMS at jammu, Kashmir

and Gujarat has been announced under the scheme

 United Nations Peacekeeping Missions = Peacekeeping by the United Nations is a role

held by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations as "a unique and dynamic instrument

developed by the organization as a way to help countries torn by conflict to create the

conditions for lasting peace." + Blue helmet soldiers + Ethopia and rawandahav

contributed the highest number of personnel, followed by three Asian countries-

Bangladesh, India and Nepal

 Renuka Dam = in the Upper Yamuna Basin + has been conceived as a storage project

on the Giri river (a tributary of the Yamuna) in Himachal Pradesh

 Human Space Flight Centre(HSFC) = setup in Bengaluru + will carry out all activities

related to the human programme. Under it will function the Gaganyaan Project +

 Mahad Satyagraha = 1927 + by B.R Ambedkar +symbolism of mass drinking of the

water, with Ambedkar himself taking the first sip, was akin to an act of civil disobedience

 'Floating church' = Karnataka + French missionaries who built the Rosary Church on

the banks of the Hemavathi at Shettihalli village near Hassan in Karnataka in the 1860s

 Plasma environment of the Moon = generated mainly by its interaction with the solar

plasma wind flowing towards it from the Sun + This plasma wind consists of charged

particles such as protons and is partly absorbed by the side of the Moon facing the sun +

The rest of the solar plasma wind incident on the Moon flows around it, but leaves a

wake (a void) on the side not facing (the night-side of the Moon)

 Six new species of bent-toed geckos = a type of small lizard + recently discovered in

North-East India +All the new lizards belong to the genus Cyrtodactylus and are

calledbent-toed or bow-fingered geckos, named after their bent toes + (Kaziranga bent-

toed gecko + the Jaintia bent-toed gecko + Nagaland bent-toed gecko+ Abhayapuri bent-

toed gecko(from Assam) + etc)

 Global status report on road safety 2018 = by WHO

 Rare Diseases = Defined by WHO as as one that affects less than 1 in 1,000 (NOTE:

Definitions vary nationally) + Ambit of the National health Mission(NHM) is restricted

to primary and secondary health care so rare diseases (which come under tertiary care)

cannot be served + also called 'orphan diseases' because drug companies are not

interested in adopting them to develop treatments due to low profitability + most

common rare diseases include Haemophilia, Thalassemia, Sickle-cell Anaemia, auto-

immune diseases, etc + Karnataka is the first state to release a Rare Diseases and Orphan

Drugs Policy

 National Policy for Treatment of Rare Diseases (NPTRD) = suspended now +

approved in 2017 on the orders of Delhi HC + policy also stated the role of the Union

Health Ministry by suggesting that a rare disease cell should be set up within the Ministry

and headed by a joint secretary + implementation was moved to NHM(National Health


 Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) = international programme that focuses on monitoring

the status of waterbirds and wetlands + AWC is co-coordinated by Wetlands

International- as part of global programme, the "International Waterbird Census" + The

census is carried out each January as a voluntary activity at national and local level. + In

India, the AWC is jointly coordinated by the Bombay Natural History Society(BNHS)

and Wetlands International

 'Eco-friendly measures to mitigate impacts of linear infrastructure'= by MOEFCC +

an advisory document for mitigating human-animal conflicts

 Farm-to-port project = UAE and Saudi Arabia had decided to use India as a base to

address their food security concerns + UAE and Saudi Arabia will use India as a base in

addressing their social security concerns(For the first time, India's export policy identifies

the potential of agriculture along with horticulture, dairy, plantation and fisheries) + farm-

to-port project will be similar to a special economic zone but in the style of a corporatised

farm, where crops would be grown keeping a specific UAE market(for example) in mind

 National clean Energy Fund(NCEF) = 2011 + created out of cess on coal at ₹400 per

tonne to provide financial support to clean energy initiatives + an Inter Ministerial Group

chaired by the Finance Secretary was constituted to approve the project/schemes eligible

for financing under NCEF

 "Mobile Broadband Index" = released annually by Nokia

 Devadasi custom = practice of dedicating young girls to temples as an offering to

appease the gods

 Global Housing Technology Challenge = Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty

Alleviation + Under this programme, Centre will offer about ₹150 crore as a technology

innovation grant to build 6,000 homes — cheaper, faster and better — using alternative

technologies and materials(aimed at introducing best technologies to construct houses

quickly and at a lower cost)

 Lushai Hills = mountain range in Mizoram and Tripura, India + part of the Patkai range

system and its highest point is 2,157 m high Phawngpui, also known as 'Blue Mountain'.

 Zagros Mountains = are a long mountain range in Iran, Iraq and southeastern Turkey

 Board for Financial Supervision (BFS) of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) — which has

been entrusted by the central bank board to review the performance of the banks under

PCA + BFS is chaired by the RBI Governor

 Global Aviation Summit = 1

st ever in Mumbai + Conducted by the Ministry of Civil

Aviation and the Airports Authority of India in collaboration with the Federation of

Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) + (India's first Air Cargo Policy is

unveiled at Global aviation summit + Despite registering a double-digit growth for nearly

four years in a row, India has remained without a specific policy for air cargo)

 Brine = water comprising about 5% salt (By contrast, global sea water is about 3.5% salt)

+ often includes toxins such as chlorine and copper used in desalination+ About 55% of

the brine is produced in desalination plants processing seawater in Saudi Arabia, the

United Arab Emirates and Qatar, according to the study by the U.N. University's

Canadian-based Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH)

 Seno Ballena fjord = Chile + one of the most inhospitable places on earth

 KichchuHaisodu = A ritual of trial by fire for cattle in Karnataka

 Annual status of education report(ASER) = 13

th + done by NGO(Pratham) +

household survey + one to one assessment + representative sample of all

children(whether in or out of school) + focus on foundational skills like reading and

writing + (shows that more than half of Class VIII students cannot correctly solve a

numerical division problem and more than a quarter of them cannot read a primary level

text + at class III level, there is gradual improvement since 2014 + found that enrolment

is increasing and the percentage of children under 14 who are out of school is less than

4% + gender gap is shrinking) + ASER survey covered almost 5.5 lakh children between

the ages of 3 and 16 in 596 rural districts across the country + (Additional Information on

ASER Report: In 2017, it conducted the first alternate-year design known as ASER

'Beyond Basics', focusing on youth in the 14 to 18 age group in 28 districts across India

+ In 2018, ASER returns once again to the 'basic' model)

ASER Survey NAS Survey

 It is a household survey conducted since


It is a school-based survey

 One-on-one oral assessments It is a pen-paper test

 Aimed at representative sample of all

children (whether in school or out of


It takes into account the children enrolled in government schools

 It focuses on foundational skills such as

reading and math

It looks at wider variety of skills

 It is limited to rural areas of the country It is conducted throughout the country in both rural and urban


 It is a citizen-led survey It is conducted by NCERT under Ministry of Human Resource


 Manipur became the first to pass a law against lynching

 National skill competitions/India Skills 2018 = a commendable initiative of the

Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) + Twenty-seven States