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28 October, 2020

54 Min Read

GS-I : Physical Geography Geomorphology
Himalayan zone is Tectonically Active

A Himalayan zone is Tectonically Active

Recently, a group of scientists from the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG), Dehradun have found that the Indus-Tsangpo Suture Zone (ITSZ) of Himalayais tectonically active.

What is a Suture zone?

  • A suture zone is a linear belt of intense deformation, where distinct terranes, or tectonic units with different plate tectonic, metamorphic, and paleogeographic histories join together.
  • These zones also provide the only record of deep oceanic crust and of ancient seafloor processes for roughly the first 90% of Earth’s history.
  • Their study provides a means to understand the end-product of plate tectonic processes in time and space. In plate tectonics, sutures are seen as the remains of subduction zones together with the terranes possibly representing fragments of different tectonic plates.
  • The suture zone is often represented on the surface by a mountain range comprising intensely deformed rocks.
  • The Iapetus Suture from Great Britain, which is now concealed beneath younger rocks, and Indo-Tsangpo Suture well exposed in the Himalayas are some of the best examples of suture zones.

What is the news?

  • The suture zone of Himalaya was conventionally thought to be locked.
  • WIHG is an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India.
  • Tectonics is the scientific study of the deformation of the rocks that make up the Earth’s crust and the forces that produce such deformation.
  • It deals with the folding and faulting associated with mountain building, the large-scale, gradual upward and downward movements of the crust and sudden horizontal displacements along faults.

Geological Evidences that Support the Finding:

  • Sedimentary beds are tilted and thrust broken.
  • Rivers are associated with uplifted terraces.
  • Bedrock shows brittle deformation at much shallower depths.
  • These deformed geological features were dated using the technique of Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) and data of seismicity and denudation rate was also reviewed.
  • Optically-Stimulated Luminescence: It is a late quaternary (geological time period that encompasses the most recent 2.6 million years) dating technique used to date the last time quartz sediment was exposed to light. As sediment is transported by wind, water or ice, it is exposed to sunlight and zeroed of any previous luminescence signal.
  • Seismicity: It is the worldwide or local distribution of earthquakes in space, time, and magnitude. More specifically, it refers to the measure of the frequency of earthquakes in a region.
  • Denudation: It is a long term process in which the wearing and tearing of the surface of the Earth take place. It includes all those processes that lower relief and acts both chemically (chemical weathering) and physically (mechanical weathering).
  • The region of the ITSZ has been neo-tectonically active since the last 78000-58000 years. The ITSZ is a suture zone in the Ladakh region and marks the limit of the Indian plate where it collides with the Eurasian plate and is subducted below the latter. The ITSZ can be traced for more than 200 km and a wide variety of rock association along the ITSZ indicates that the collision at the plate boundary was of very complex nature.
  • The ITSZ was conventionally believed to be a locked zone till now.
  • This will have major implications in terms of earthquake study, prediction, understanding the seismic structure of the mountain chains well as its evolution.

Source: PIB

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GS-II : International Relations U.S.A
3rd India-USA 2+2 dialogue

3rd India-USA 2+2 dialogue

What is 2+2 Dialogue?

  • 2+2 Ministerial is the highest-level institutional mechanism between the two countries.
  • It is a format of dialogue where the defence/foreign ministers or secretaries meet with their counterparts from another country.
  • India holds such talks with Australia, Japan and the USA.

India has signed the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) with the USA.

  • BECA will enable the exchange of geospatial data and information between the two countries and will improve the accuracy of India’s missiles in precision strikes.
  • The geospatial maps and charts to be shared, will be acquired from multiple sources like satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), reconnaissance aircraft, aerostats among others.
  • As part of measures to enhance military to military cooperation, Liaison Officers at each other's establishments could be leveraged to enhance information sharing.
  • BECA is one of the four foundational military communication agreements between the two countries.
  • The other three are:
  1. General Security Of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA).
  2. Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement. (LEMOA)
  3. Communications and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement. (COMCASA)
  • Both countries released a Joint Statement on shared Indo-USA goals in the Asia-Pacific region and emphasised that the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea should not prejudice the legitimate rights and interests of any nation in accordance with international law.
  • They also decided to expand joint capacity building activities with partner countries in the Indo-Pacific region.

Other Steps Taken:

  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Technical Cooperation in Earth Observations and Earth Sciences.
  • Agreement to extend the duration of the MoU on the Global Center for Nuclear Energy Partnership.
  • Agreement on the electronic exchange of customs data.
  • Letter of intent regarding cooperation in traditional Indian medicines.
  • Discussions on the status of Afghanistan and support for its peace process..
  • USA reiterated its support to India in defending its territorial sovereignty in the background of the ongoing standoff between India-China.

Source: TH

Source: TH

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GS-II : Government policies and interventions Government policies and interventions
Maritime Vision 2030

Maritime Vision 2030

What is it?

  • It is a ten-year blueprint for the maritime sector which will be released by the Prime Minister of India at the Maritime India Summit in November 2020.
  • It will supersede the Sagarmala initiative and aims to boost waterways, give a fillip to the shipbuilding industry and encourage cruise tourism in India.

Development Projects under Maritime Vision 2030:

  • Maritime Development Fund: A Rs. 25,000-crore fund, which will provide low cost, long-tenure financing to the sector with the Centre contributing Rs. 2,500 crore over seven years.
  • Port Regulatory Authority: A pan-India port authority will be set up under the new Indian Ports Act (to replace the old Indian Ports Act 1908) for enabling oversight across major and non-major ports, enhance institutional coverage for ports and provide for structured growth of the ports sector to boost investor confidence.
  • Eastern Waterways Connectivity Transport Grid project: It will aim to develop regional connectivity with Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar.
  • Riverine Development Fund: Calls for extending low cost, long-term financing for inland vessels with the support of a Riverine Development Fund (RDF) and for extending the coverage of the tonnage tax scheme (applicable to ocean-going ships and dredgers) to inland vessels also to enhance the availability of such vessels.
  • Rationalisation of Port Charges: It will make them more competitive, besides doing away with all hidden charges levied by ship liners to bring in more transparency.
  • Promotion of Water Transport: For decongestion of urban areas, and developing waterways as an alternative means of urban transport.

Significance:

  • It will reduce logistics cost and increase the velocity of the cargo.
  • It would enable direct movement of containers from factories, without intermediate handling at any container freight stations (CFSs), on a 24x7 basis.
  • It will help in increasing Ease of Doing Business for the exporters, as the facility will bring efficiency and reduce dwell time, lower tariff cost and improve the competitiveness of shippers in international trade.

Source: PIB

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GS-III : S&T Health
World Polio Day

World Polio Day

Paper-2 PT-MAINS-Personality test (Government policies &Health)

Polio FACTS

Polio is a crippling and potentially deadly viral infectious disease that affects the nervous system.There are three individual and immunologically distinct wild poliovirus strains:

      • Wild Poliovirus type 1 (WPV1)
      • Wild Poliovirus type 2 (WPV2)
      • Wild Poliovirus type 3 (WPV3)

Symptomatically, all three strains are identical, in that they cause irreversible paralysis or even death. However, there are genetic and virological differences, which make these three strains separate viruses which must each be eradicated individually. WPV2 and WPV3 have been eradicated globally but WPV1 remains in circulation in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
**WPV2 was eradicated in 1999.

World Polio Day 2019 marked a milestone in polio eradication as the independent Global Commission for the Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication (GCC) declared WPV3 to be globally eradicated.

Spread:
The virus is transmitted by person-to-person mainly through the faecal-oral route or, less frequently, by a common vehicle (for example, through contaminated water or food).

It largely affects children under 5 years of age.

The virus multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system and can cause paralysis.

Symptoms:

    • Most people with polio do not feel sick. Some people have only minor symptoms, such as fever, tiredness, nausea, headache, nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, stiffness in the neck and back, and pain in the arms and legs.
    • In rare cases, polio infection causes permanent loss of muscle function (paralysis).
    • Polio can be fatal if the muscles used for breathing are paralysed or if there is an infection of the brain.

Prevention and Cure: There is no cure, but it can be prevented through immunisation.

Vaccines:

    • Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV): It is given orally as a birth dose for institutional deliveries, then primary three doses at 6, 10 and 14 weeks and one booster dose at 16-24 months of age.
    • Injectable Polio Vaccine (IPV): It is introduced as an additional dose along with the 3rd dose of DPT (Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus) under the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP).

World polio day 2020 24th Oct

Every year, 24th October is observed as World Polio Day in order to call on countries to stay vigilant in their fight against the disease. It was established to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who developed an Inactivated (killed) Polio Vaccine (IPV).

Facts

  • In the last three decades, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), led by national governments and the World Health Organisation (WHO), has been monitoring the disease situation globally.
  • As per the WHO, since 1980, the cases of wild poliovirus have decreased by over 99.9% as a result of vaccination efforts made around the world.
  • Polio Eradication: For a country to be declared polio-free, the wild transmission of all three kinds of Polioviruses has to be stopped. For eradication, cases of both wild and vaccine-derived polio infection have to be reduced to zero.
    Eradication of a disease refers to the complete and permanent worldwide reduction to zero new cases through deliberate efforts. If a disease has been eradicated, no further control measures are required. However, elimination of a disease refers to reduction to zero or a very low defined target rate of new cases in a defined geographical area. It requires continued measures to prevent re-establishment of disease transmission.
  • Recent Outbreaks:
    • In 2019, polio outbreaks were recorded in the Philippines, Malaysia, Ghana, Myanmar, China, Cameroon, Indonesia and Iran, which were mostly vaccine-derived in which a rare strain of the virus genetically mutated from the strain in the vaccine. According to the WHO, if the oral vaccine-virus is excreted and allowed to circulate in an unimmunised or under-immunised population for at least 12 months, it can mutate to cause infections.
    • Afghanistan and Pakistan are the two countries that are the last stronghold of the wild poliovirus.

Polio in India: India received polio-free certification by the WHO in 2014, after three years of zero cases.

      • This achievement has been spurred by the successful pulse polio campaign in which all children were administered polio drops.
      • The last case due to wild poliovirus in the country was detected on 13th January 2011.

Source: IE

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GS-III : S&T Health
Mission Indradhanush

Mission Indradhanush

Paper-2 PT-MAINS-Personality test (Government policies &Health)

Mission Indradhanush was launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India on December 25, 2014. Between 2009-2013 immunization coverage has increased from 61% to 65%, indicating only 1% increase in coverage every year. To accelerate the process of immunization by covering 5% and more children every year, Indradhanush mission has been adopted to achieve target of full coverage by 2020.

Objective

The Mission Indradhanush aims to cover all those children by 2020 who are either unvaccinated, or are partially vaccinated against vaccine preventable diseases. India’s Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) provide free vaccines against 12 life threatening diseases, to 26 million children annually. The Universal Immunization Programme provides life-saving vaccines to all children across the country free of cost to protect them against Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, Hepatitis B, Pneumonia and Meningitis due to Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib), Measles, Rubella, Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Rotavirus diarrhoea. (Rubella, JE and Rotavirus vaccine in select states and districts).

Implementation

Focused and systematic immunization drive will be through a “catch-up” campaign mode where the aim is to cover all the children who have been left out or missed out for immunization. Also the pregnant women are administered the tetanus vaccine, ORS packets and zinc tablets are distributed for use in the event of severe diarrhoea or dehydration and vitamin A doses are administered to boost child immunity.

Mission Indradhanush Phase I was started as a weeklong special intensified immunization drive from 7th April 2015 in 201 high focus districts for four consecutive months. During this phase, more than 75 lakh children were vaccinated of which 20 lakh children were fully vaccinated and more than 20 lakh pregnant women received tetanus toxoid vaccine.

The Phase II of Mission Indradhanush covered 352 districts in the country of which 279 are medium focus districts and remaining 73 are high focus districts of Phase-I. During Phase II of Mission Indradhanush, four special drives of weeklong duration were conducted starting from October 2015.

Phases I and II of the special drive had 1.48 crore children and 38 lakh pregnant women additionally immunized. Of these nearly 39 lakh children and more than 20 lakh pregnant women have been additionally fully immunized. Across 21.3 lakh sessions held through the country in high and mid-priority districts, more than 3.66 crore antigens have been administered.

Phase III of Mission Indradhanush was launched from 7 April 2016 covering 216 districts. Four intensified immunization rounds were conducted for seven days in each between April and July 2016, in these districts. These 216 districts have been identified on the basis of estimates where full immunization coverage is less than 60 per cent and have high dropout rates. Apart from the standard of children under 2, it also focussed on 5-year-olds and on increasing DPT booster coverage, and giving tetanus toxoid injections to pregnant women.

Overall, in the first three phases, 28.7 lakh immunisation sessions were conducted, covering 2.1 crore children, of which 55 lakh were fully immunised. Also, 55.9 lakh pregnant women were given the tetanus toxoid vaccine across 497 high-focus districts. Since the launch of Mission Indhradhanush, full immunisation coverage has increased by 5 per cent to 7 per cent. Mission Indradhanush has resulted in a 6.7 % annual expansion in the immunization cover.

Phase IV of Mission Indradhanush was launched from 7 February 2017 covering the North-eastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. It has been rolled out in rest of the country during April 2017.

The four phases of Mission Indradhanush have reached to more than 2.53 crore children and 68 lakh pregnant women with life-saving vaccines.

The Ministry is being technically supported by WHO, UNICEF, Rotary International and other donor partners. Mass media, interpersonal communication, and sturdy mechanisms of monitoring and evaluating the scheme are crucial components of Mission Indradhanush.

Areas Under Focus

Mission Indradhanush targets 201 high priority districts in the first phase, 297 districts for the second phase in the year 2015 and 216 districts in the third Phase during 2016.

Within the districts, the Mission focusses on high risk settlements identified by the polio eradication programme. These are the pockets with low coverage due to geographic, demographic, ethnic and other operational challenges. Evidence has shown that most of the unvaccinated and partially vaccinated children are concentrated in these areas.

The following areas are targeted through special immunization campaigns:

  1. High risk areas identified by the polio eradication programme. These include populations living in areas such as:
    • Urban slums with migration
    • Nomads
    • Brick kilns
    • Construction sites
    • Other migrants (fisherman villages, riverine areas with shifting populations etc.) and
    • Underserved and hard to reach populations (forested and tribal populations etc.)
  2. Areas with low routine immunization (RI) coverage (pockets with Measles/vaccine preventable disease (VPD) outbreaks).
  3. Areas with vacant sub-centers: No ANM posted for more than three months.
  4. Areas with missed Routine Immunisation (RI) sessions: ANMs on long leave and similar reasons
  5. Small villages, hamlets, dhanis or purbas clubbed with another village for RI sessions and not having independent RI sessions.

Source: Vikaspedia

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GS-III : S&T S&T
Genome Sequencing

Genes

  • Gene is a sequence of DNA or RNA that codes for a molecule that has a function.
  • They are made of DNA and is a subdivision of DNA. They are packed in Chromosomes.
  • Genes contain the bio-information that defines any individual.
  • Physical attributes like height, skin or hair colour, more subtle features and even behavioural traits can be attributed to information encoded in the genetic material.

A genome is the DNA or sequence of genes in a cell.

  • Human genome is made up of 23 chromosome pairs with a total of about 3 billion DNA base pairs.
  • Most of the DNA is in the nucleus in the form of chromosomes and the rest is in Mitochondria (cell's powerhouse). Genes make amino acids and proteins.
  • Sequencing a genome means deciphering the exact order of base pairs in an individual.
  • Exome is a portion of the gene responsible for making Proteins.
  • There are 24 distinct human chromosomes:
  1. 22 autosomal chromosomes, plus the sex-determining X and Y chromosomes.
  2. Chromosomes 1-22 are numbered roughly in order of decreasing size.
  3. Somatic cells usually have one copy of chromosomes 1-22 from each parent, plus an X chromosome from the mother and either an X or Y chromosome from the father, for a total of 46.
  • There are estimated 20,000-25,000 human protein-coding genes.

Genome sequencing

  1. It determines the unique genetic traits, susceptibility (and resilience) to disease.
  2. Now the youth will be told if they carry gene that makes them less responsive to certain types of medicines. Example, A certain gene make some people less responsive to Clopidogrel, a key drug to prevent strokes and heart attacks.
  3. Genome sequencing is figuring out the order of DNA nucleotides, or bases, in a genome—the order of Adenine, Cytosine, Guanines, and Thymine that make up an organism's DNA.

Importance of Genome Sequencing

  • Sequencing the genome is an important step towards understanding how genes works. Genes account for <25% of DNA in the genome. Studying entire genome sequence will help scientists study parts of genome outside the genes.
  • It will represent a valuable shortcut, helping scientists find genes much more easily and quickly.
  • A genome sequence does contain some clues about where genes are, even though scientists are just learning to interpret these clues.
  • Genome sequencing of wild varieties of plants can be used to identify disease resistance and drought tolerance genes in various plants and develop new varieties of crop plants in lesser time.
  • Genome sequencing of cop plants can be helpful in deciphering and understanding the host-pathogen realationship in crops.

Why Genome sequencing?

  • Ever since the human genome was first sequenced in 2003, it opened a fresh perspective on the link between disease and the unique genetic make-up of each individual.
  • Nearly 10,000 diseases — including cystic fibrosis, thalassemia — are known to be the result of a single gene malfunctioning.
  • While genes may render some insensitive to certain drugs, genome sequencing has shown that cancer too can be understood from the viewpoint of genetics, rather than being seen as a disease of certain organs.

Human Genome Project

  • The Human Genome Project was started in 1990, a 13 year long international research effort to determine the sequence of the human genome and identify the genes that it contains.
  • The Project was coordinated by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • Not only did the completion of this project usher in a new era in medicine i.e. personalized medicine, but it also led to significant advances in the types of technology used to sequence DNA.

IndiGen initiative

  • It is a programme for the Mapping of entire genome. CSIR will undertake genome sequencing of a sample of nearly 1000 Indian rural youth to determine unique genetic traits, susceptibility (and resilience) to disease. It is 1st of a kind initiative.
  • It is managed by CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) and CSIR – Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB).
  • The aim is 2 fold:
  1. If it is possible to rapidly and reliably scan several genomes.
  2. Advice people on health risks in their gene i.e. disease detection.

Advtantages

  1. It is important for Precision medicine and Personalised medicine.
  2. It will sequence a gene which hides the information of susceptibility to attain a disease.
  3. Cancer, Heart strokes etc.
  4. Understanding gene functioning.

Disadvantages

  1. Not everyone who signs up will be guaranteed a scan.
  2. It can breach ethical standards fixed in the developement of Pluripotent stem cells.
  3. It can also cause personalized biological attacks by anyone who has your gene sequence.
  4. Breach of Right to Privacy.
  5. The project is an adjunct to a much larger government-led programme Genome India Project, still in the works, to sequence at least 10,000 Indian genomes.
  6. Under IndiGen, CSIR drafted 1000 youth from college through campsand educating attendees on genomics and the role of genes in disease.Those 1000 youth will get a Card and access to an app.

Department of Biotechnology under MoS&T has cleared the Genome India Project

  • It is a gene-mapping project involving 20 leading institutions including IISc and IITs.
  • The first stage of the project will look at samples of 10,000 persons from all over the country to form a grid that will enable the development of a reference genome.

Source: PIB

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GS-I : Art and Culture Festivals
Kochi-Muziris Biennale

Kochi-Muziris Biennale

5th edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale has been postponed to 1st November 2021, which was earlier set to be inaugurated on 12th December 2020.

What?

The Kochi-Muziris Biennale is an art exhibition and festival that is the largest of its kind in South Asia and is organised by the Kochi Biennale Foundation at Kochi, Kerala.
The Foundation is a non-profit charitable trust engaged in promoting art and culture and educational activities in India.It works throughout the year to strengthen contemporary art infrastructure and to broaden public access to art across India through a diverse range of programmes.

Why Imp?

In mythology, Muziris was a port city, among the earliest of its kind in the world and when Kerala established itself as a major center for spice, the ancient port of Muziris emerged as its hub.
Currently, the Muziris Heritage Project is one of the biggest conservation projects in India, where the state and the central governments have come together to conserve a rich culture that is as old as 3000 years or more.

The biennale exhibits artworks across a variety of mediums including film, installation, painting, sculpture, new media, and performance art, and also offers seminars, screenings, music, workshops and educational activities for school children and students.

Source: IE

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GS-I : Physical Geography Current mapping upsc
Important Facts of Kerala

Important Facts of Kerala

Capital

Thiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum

Date of Formation

November 01, 1956

State Boundaries

Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Puducherry (Mahe)

Number of Districts

14

State Animal

Elephant

State Bird

Great Indian Hornbill

State Flower

Kanikonna or Indian laburnum or amaltus

State Tree

Coconut

Official Language

Malayalam

Major cities

Kochi, Kozhikode, Kollam and Thrissur

Festivals

Onam, Thrissur Pooram, Sabarimala, Theyyam, Payippad Jelotsavam

Dances

Chavittunatakam, Kathakali, Kolkli, Koothu, Kutiyattam, Theyyam, Thirvathirakali, Ottamthullal, Chakyar Koothu, Mohiniyattam

Hill Station

Munnar

UNESCO sites

Nilgiri, Agasthyamalai, Western Ghats

Physical division

Nilgiri – Anamalai – Cardamon (North to South)

Beaches

  • Alappuzha Beach
  • Cherai Beach
  • Kovalam
  • Kozhikode Beach
  • Muzhappilangad Beach
  • Thirumullavaram Beach
  • Payyambalam Beach
  • Kannur Beach

Lakes

  • Sasthamkotta Lake
  • Vembanad Lake
  • Lakes of Alappuzha
  • Pookode Lake
  • Ashtamudi Lake
  • Punnamada Lake
  • Akkulam Lake
  • Mananchira
  • Veeran Puzha
  • Vellayani Lake
  • Paravur Kayal

Islands

Dharmadam Island, Kavvayi, Vypin, Gundu Island, Munroe Island, Valiyaparamba, Willingdon Island, Ezhumanthuruthu, Pulinkunnu

Waterfalls

Mulamkuzhi, Attukal, Cheeyappara, Thusharagiri, Kesari

National Park

  • Eravikulam National Park
  • Silent Valley National Park

Bird Sanctuary

  • Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary
  • Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
  • Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

Biological Park

  • Agasthyavanam Biological Park

Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Begur Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Peechi Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

Biosphere Reserve

  • Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve
  • Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve

Dams

  • Malampuzha Dam
  • Walayar Dam
  • Banasura Sagar Dam
  • Parambikulam Dam

Tribes

Paliyan, Ulladan, Hill Pulaya, Rular, Kattunayakan, Koraga, Mudugar, Kadar

Inland Waterways

West Coast Canal or National Waterway No 3

Important Institution

  • Centre for water Resources development and management Kunnamangalam – Kozhikode (Kerala)
  • Bioinformatics Centre – Thiruvananthapuram
  • Centre for Development Studies – Thiruvananthapuram
  • National Centre for Earth Science Studies, Thiruvananthapuram
  • Bharat Bhavan, Nalanda, Thiruvananthapuram
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute, Thiruvananthapuram.
  • Centre for Heritage Studies, Ernakulam
  • National Transportation Planning and Research Centre – Thiruvananthapuram
  • Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology – Thiruvananthapuram

Agriculture

In the hills – rubber, tea, wattle, and coffee beside teak and rose wood.

Major Crops

Rice, Coconut, Rubber

Minerals

Iron Ore, Bauxite, Silica Sand, Magnesite

Wildlife animals & birds

Asian Elephant, Bengal Tiger, Indian Sloth Bear, Kingfisher, Woodpecker, Jungle Fowl.

Kerala Tourism tagline

God’s own Country

Facts:

  • The first state to be declared as “Complete Digital State”.
  • Kochi, earlier known as Cochin, is popularly known as ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’ and is also called ‘Gateway to Kerala’.
  • Edakkal caves in Arnbukutty Moun am have petroglyphs or rock carvings and are believed to have been made by Neolithic men.
  • Believed to be the oldest of all martial art forms, Kalaripayattu gets its name from lalari’ or school and ‘payattu’ or practice.
  • Kocchi is World’s first airport completely powered by solar energy
  • Coconut produces 2/3 of total production in India (56% form Kozhikode)
  • Black pepper – 95% of country’s production
  • Cardamom – Kerala’s share in the national production is 75% on upland mainly form Idukki, Wayanad
  • Tea – from 760mt to 1520mt Idduki and Wayanad
  • Coffee – Kerala’s share in the national production is 22%;
  • Rubber – Kerala’s share in the national production is 91%. 83% area of the Country under Rubber is in Kottayam, Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam
  • Banana – Average crop duration 300 days
  • Kerala had been ruled by many powerful dynasties like the Cheras, Cholas and Pandayas.
  • Kerala is known to be the state with the highest literacy rate.
  • The streams of Kerala empty themselves into these lagoons.
  • Kozhikode is an important timber trading centre.
  • Alleppey is the biggest weaving and exporting centre of coir.
  • Trichur district is famous for diamond cutting and polishing industry.
  • Perambra (Trichur)-Rubber tyres are manufactured.
  • Vembanad Lake is designated as wet land under Ramsar convention.
  • Asthamudi Lake is a palm shaped lake with a unique wetland ecosystem and a Ramsar site.
  • Asthamudi Lake is the entrance to the famous backwaters of Kerala and the houseboat rides here are extremely famous.
  • Sasthamkotta Lake is the largest freshwater lake of Kerala and a Ramsar site.
  • The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve was the first biosphere reserve in India established in the year 1986.
  • The Cheraman Juma mosque is supposed to be built during 629 AD by Malik Ibn Deenar.
  • Kannur-1st Zero landless district in the country
  • Malappuram – First e-literate district in the country
  • Alappuzha (Alleppey) is also known as ‘Venice of the East’
  • The Sasthamcotta Lake, the only major fresh water lake in the state is in Kollam District
  • The annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race takes place on the backwaters of Punnamada in Alappuzha.

Source: NCERT

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GS-III : S&T S&T
Analysis of Indian Genes

Analysis of Indian Genes

What is the news?

  • Recently, the results from the computation analysis of the 1029 sequenced genomes from India were published in the scientific journal, Nucleic Acid Research.
  • The analysis has found that out of 55,898,122 single nucleotide variants in India 18,016,257 (32.23%) variants are unique and found only in the samples sequenced from India.
  • This emphasizes the need for an India centric population genomic initiative.
  • The analysis was carried out by CSIR constituent labs, Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), Delhi and Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad.

IndiGenomes Resource Database

  • It encompasses the genomic data from over 1000 whole genome sequences sequenced from across India as part of the IndiGen programme and represents diverse geographies and ethnicities.
  • The IndiGen Programme was launched in April 2019, under which genome sequencing of 1029 self-declared healthy Indians drawn from across the country has been completed.
  • Its objective was to enable genetic epidemiology and develop public health technologies applications using population genome data.
  • The resource provides access to over 55 million genetic variants representing the contemporary Indian population with an objective to classify variants involved in mendelian disorders and improve precision medicine outcomes.
  • Mendelian disorder is a type of genetic disorder, resulting due to alterations in a gene or due to abnormalities in the genome.

Source: PIB

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GS-I : Social issues Child
Single Male Parent

Single Male Parent

  • Male Government employees who are single parents will now be eligible for child care leave.
  • Single male parents, includes unmarried employees, widowers and divorcees, who may be expected to take up the responsibility of caring for a child single-handedly.
  • Features: Child care leave can be granted at 100% of leave salary for the first 365 days and 80% of leave salary for the next 365 days.
  • In case of a disabled child, the condition of availing child care leave up to the age of 22 years of the child has been removed and now child care leave can be availed by a government servant for a disabled child of any age.
  • Child Care Leave: It is treated as earned leave and is generally granted to women employees.
  • Women employees having minor children (children upto 18 years of age) may be granted child care leave for a maximum period of two years (i.e. 730 days) during their entire service for taking care of upto two minor children
  • The child care leave is granted either for rearing children or to look after any of the needs of children like examination, sickness etc.

Source: IE

Source: IE

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