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03-July-Facts For Prelims


  1. Lalan Shah Fakir
  • In his lifetime, Lalan, who ran his famous institution, Lalon Akhrah, had at least 10,000 followers cutting across religious lines. His biggest strength was that he blended Islamic and Hindu religious tenets and epics freely in his search for the divine.
  • A contemporary of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Swami Vivekananda, Lalan mixed the teachings Bengal’s Vaishnav hero Sri Chaitanya and Lord Krishna with the Islamic quest for Allah. Even after more than a century of Lalan’s demise, his songs continue to resonate on both sides of Bengal. Such is his influence that folk songs of the Bauls in Bangladesh continue to be called ‘Lalan Geeti’, in the same way as Rabindranath Tagore’s songs are categorised as ‘Rabindra Sangeet.
  1. Why germs spread in winter;

Cold air can carry less water vapour before it reaches the “dew point” and falls as rain. So while the weather outside may seem wetter, the air itself is drier as it loses the moisture. Any time we splutter with a cold, we expel a mist of particles from our nose and mouths. In moist air, these particles may remain relatively large, and drop to the floor. But in dry air, they break up into smaller pieces – eventually becoming so small that they can stay aloft for hours or days. (It’s a bit like the mist you get when you turn a hose pipe to its finest spray.) The result is that in winter, you are breathing a cocktail of dead cells, mucus and viruses from anyone and everyone

  1. A National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF) headed by the Cabinet Secretary was constituted.
  • The NCTF comprises of stakeholders from the Government and the private sectors including trade community.
  • The NCTF has adopted 76 point National Trade Facilitation Action Plan (NTFAP) which is a reflection of the Government’s commitment to implement the TFA.
  • The objectives to be achieved by National Action Plan are improvement in ease of doing business by
    • reduction in cargo release time and cost,
    • move towards paperless regulatory environment,
    • transparent and predictable legal regime and
    • improved investment climate through better infrastructure.
  • The Action Plan not only covers the activities coming under the TFA but they go beyond the ambit of TFA per se, which have been defined as TFA Plus category.
  1. The WCO(World Customs Organisation )

The World Customs Organization (WCO) is an intergovernmental organization headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.

  • The WCO is noted for its work in areas covering the development of international conventions, instruments, and tools on topics such as commodity classification, valuation, collection of customs revenue, supply chain security, international trade facilitation, customs enforcement activities, combating counterfeiting in support of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), drugs enforcement, illegal weapons trading, integrity promotion, and delivering sustainable capacity building to assist with customs reforms and modernization.
  • The WCO maintains the international Harmonized System (HS) goods nomenclature, and administers the technical aspects of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreements on Customs Valuation and Rules of Origin.
  • Today, the WCO represents 182 Customs administrations across the globe that collectively process approximately 98% of world trade. As the global centre of Customs expertise, the WCO is the only international organization with competence in Customs matters and can rightly call itself the voice of the international Customs community.
  • The ‘Revised Kyoto Convention’ (RKC) is the legal instrument of the WCO that aims to simplify and harmonize international customs procedures globally, in order to achieve faster, more predictable and efficient customs clearances.


  1. ‘Gavkis- A panchayat, which acts like a Khap or Jat panchayat, existing in the interior parts of Maharashtra
  2. The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) and its guidelines provide the foundation for countries to implement and manage tobacco control. To help make this a reality, WHO introduced the MPOWER measures.These measures are intended to assist in the country-level implementation of effective interventions to reduce the demand for tobacco, contained in the WHO FCTC.


  1. ‘Huvadhu Kandu’ is a major international shipping passage controlled by Maldives. The Huvadhu atoll is a relatively isolated atoll with the 97 km wide Huvadhu Kandu


  1. IAS’ stands for ‘International AIDS Society’- 2017 session in Paris.
  2. ‘Biological darkening-
  • Algae and microbes living and reproducing in ice sheets
  • White snow reflects up to 90% of solar radiation while dark patches of algae will only reflect about 35% or even as little as 1% in the blackest spots.
  • One concern now is that rising temperatures will allow algae to flourish not only on the slopes of the narrow margins of the Greenland ice-sheet but also on the flat areas in the far larger interior where melting could happen on a much bigger scale.
  • Earlier research had found that the Greenland ice sheet is covered with a range of contaminants carried on the winds including dust and soot from as far away as Canadian prairie fires and the industrial heartlands of China, America and Europe.
  1. The Outer Space Treaty, which laid the foundation for an international space law, came into force in October 1967, following a feverish, decade-long space race between the Cold War rivals, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.
  • Formulated to bar its signatory countries from placing weapons of mass destruction in orbit of the Earth, on the Moon or any other celestial body or the outer space, the treaty aimed to get the countries to use space exploration for peaceful purposes.
  1. ‘Project Dantak’- The construction of road and telecommunications network by India’s Border Roads Organisation, in Bhutan
  2. Codex Alimentarius Commission

In a major recognition of India’s efforts to benchmark global spices trade, the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) has adopted three Codex standards for black, white and green pepper, cumin and thyme, paving the way for universal agreement on identifying quality spices in various countries. .

  • It is the main UN international body concerned with the setting of international food standards.
  • The Codex Alimentarius, or “Food Code” is a collection of standards, guidelines and codes of practice adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. It is the central part of the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme and was established by FAO and WHO to protect consumer health and promote fair practices in food trade.
  • It is jointly funded by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO)
  • The Codex Alimentarius is recognized by the World Trade Organization as an international reference point for the resolution of disputes concerning food safety and consumer protection

About the CCSCH: The 36th session of CAC, which met in Rome from July 1-5, 2013, deliberated on the proposal from India for establishing an exclusive committee for spices and culinary herbs under the aegis of the CAC. The CAC later approved the proposal with unanimous support of the member-countries. It heralded the creation of CCSCH, with India as the host country and Spices Board as the Secretariat. This was the first new Codex commodity committee to be approved in the past 25 years.

  1. Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill, 2017:The Bill aims to establish a legal framework for consolidation of related laws to replace the age old archaic laws with modern Indian legislation and to confer admiralty jurisdiction on all High Courts of the coastal states of the country.
  • As per the new Bill, High Courts of all the coastal states shall exercise admiralty jurisdiction over maritime claims which include several aspects not limited to goods imported and chattel as earlier, but also other claims such as payment of wages of seamen, loss of life, salvages, mortgage, loss or damage, services and repairs, insurance, ownership and lien, threat of damage to environment etc.
  • The Bill accords highest priority to payment of wages of the seafarers. The Bill also provides for protection against wrongful and unjustified arrest and has provision for transfer of cases from one High Court to other High Court
  1. International Economic Association
  • aims to Promote personal contacts and mutual understanding among economists in different parts of the world
  • The IEA was founded in 1950 as a Non Governmental Organization, at the instigation of the Social Sciences Department of UNESCO. It has since its creation maintained information and consultative relations with UNESCO.
  • Kaushik Basu was recently appointed as President of the IEA.


  1. What is the ‘sandbox approach’? Regulation in the context of innovation

The sandbox approach gives limited authorization for fintech startups to test new products and models with a small number of actual users in a simulated environment.

  • This gives them more time to build and test business ideas, instead of spending time navigating complex financial services regulations. Focusing on regulatory compliance eats up seed capital before anyone knows whether an idea could work and be scaled up.
  • Globally, regulatory sandboxes have been introduced in the U.K., Singapore, Australia, Malaysia and UAE. All these countries have so far created a sandboxed environment to support financial institutions (FIs) and fintech firms.
  1. the slogan, ‘Quit India’ was coined by Dr. Yusuf Meher Ali..”


  1. New vaccines in UIP
  • In the last two years, through the UIP, Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV), Rotavirus vaccine (RVV) against diarrhoea, and the measles-rubella (MR) vaccine, to protect against both measles and rubella have been introduced.
  • The latest weapon in the arsenal being introduced is pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV). More than 130 countries worldwide have introduced PCV as part of their childhood immunization programmes, in line with World Health Organization (WHO) global recommendations.
  • This vaccine provides protection against one of the most common causes of pneumonia—a bacterium called pneumococcus, which also causes other diseases such as ear infections, meningitis and blood infections, with some of these resulting in death or serious disabilities.
  1. National technical advisory bodies to guide immunization policies are often referred to as National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (NITAGs).
  • The Global Vaccine Action Plan calls for all country to establish or have access to such a NITAG by 2020.
  • India’s NTAGI : The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) was established in August 2001 by the Department of Family Welfare. The NTAGI was intended to provide technical advice to inform decision-making on both technical and operational matters pertaining to immunisation and choice and scheduling of existing and planned vaccines.
  1. The Monterrey Consensus was the outcome of the 2002 Monterrey Conference, the United Nations International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico. Since its adoption the Monterrey Consensus has become the major reference point for international development cooperation. The document embraces six areas of Financing for Development:
  • Mobilizing domestic financial resources for development.
  • Mobilizing international resources for development: foreign direct investment and other private flows.
  • International Trade as an engine for development.
  • Increasing international financial and technical cooperation for development.
  • External Debt.
  • Addressing systemic issues: enhancing the coherence and consistency of the international monetary, financial and trading systems in support of development.

The Third International Conference on Financing for Development was held in Addis Ababa from 13 to 16 July 2015. It adopted the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA)

  1. The International Securities Identification Number (ISIN) is a code that uniquely identifies a specific securities issue. The organization that allocates ISINs in any particular country is the country’s respective National Numbering Agency (NNA).
  • Securities to which ISINs can be issued include debt securities, shares, options, derivatives and futures. ISIN cannot specify a particular trading location in this case, and another identifier, typically MIC (Market Identifier Code) or the three-letter exchange code, will have to be specified in addition to the ISIN. The Currency of the trade will also be required to uniquely identify the instrument using this method.
  • Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is authorized to issue the ISIN number to the securities. For Government Securities or G-Secs RBI is authorized to issue ISIN.



March 17, 2018

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