Prelim Bits 05-04-2018

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April 05, 2018

Wayanad wildlife Sanctuary

  • The Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala was formed in 1973.
  • The sanctuary was carved out of two territorial divisions- Wayanad and Kozhikode.
  • The sanctuary is located on the southern part of Western Ghats.
  • It is a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and also an Elephant Reserve.
  • The sanctuary is significant because of ecological and geographic continuity with other protected areas such as
  1. Bandipur Tiger Reserve and Nagarhole National Park of Karnataka in north-eastern portion
  2. Mudumalai Tiger Reserve of Tamil Nadu in south-eastern side
  • The vegetation comprises of tropical semi-evergreen forests, moist mixed deciduous forests, dry mixed deciduous forests, bamboo forests, and marshy grasslands.

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  • Last year, the first-ever vulture and raptor survey was conducted at the sanctuary.
  • As many as 24 species of raptors and two species of vultures were recorded.

Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan

  • Ministry of Human Resource Development has launched the Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan (RAA).
  • It is a convergent framework across School Education and Higher Education aiming to encourage children towards learning Science and Mathematics.
  • The objectives of the RAA are,
  1. To enable children to become motivated and engaged in Science, Mathematics and Technology (SMT).
  2. To create a culture of thinking, inventing, tinkering to promote enquiry based learning in schools.
  3. To encourage and nurture schools to be incubators of innovation.
  • It is planned to provide nourishing and nurturing support to and a platform for schools in a dual track approach.

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  • Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan will target students in the age group of 6 - 18 years.
  • It will encourage the children to have an enduring interest both inside classroom and outside classroom activities.

Competition Commission of India (CCI)

  • The Union Cabinet approved a proposal to bring down the members of Competition Commission of India (CCI).
  • Presently the CCI has seven members, including the chairperson.
  • With this decision the change may be one chairperson and three members, totaling four members.
  • CCI is a statutory body of the Government of India responsible for enforcing the Competition Act, 2002.
  • Click here to know about CCI.

Internet Security Threat Report

  • The ‘Internet Security Threat Report’ was recently released by security solutions provider Symantec.
  • According to the report, India emerged as the third most vulnerable country in terms of risk of cyber threats, such as malware, spam and ransomware, in 2017.
  • India continues to be 2nd most impacted by spam and bots, 3rd most impacted by network attacks, and 4th most impacted by ransomware.

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  • Cyber criminals are rapidly adding “cryptojacking” to their arsenal as the ransomware market becomes overpriced and overcrowded.
  • Cryptojacking is defined as the secret use of your computing device to mine cryptocurrency.
  • The global threat ranking is based on eight metrics — malware, spam, phishing, bots, network attacks, web attacks, ransomware and cryptominers.

National Social Assistance Program (NSAP)

  • NSAP is a welfare program administered by the Ministry of Rural Development.
  • Its launch represents a significant step towards the fulfillment of the Directive Principles in Article 41 of the Constitution.
  • The program introduced a National Policy for Social Assistance for the poor.
  • It aims at ensuring minimum national standard for social assistance in addition to the benefits that states are currently providing or might provide in future.
  • This program is implemented in rural areas as well as urban areas.
  • The NSAP scheme was brought within the umbrella of ‘Core of Core’ scheme in 2016.
  • NSAP at present comprises of
  1. Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS)
  2. Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS)
  3. Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS)
  4. National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS)
  5. Annapurna

Small Savings Schemes

  • According to data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), small savings schemes accounted for a little over a fifth (20.9 per cent) of all central government borrowing.

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  • Small savings scheme include post office deposits, National Savings Certificate (NSC), and Kisan Vikas Patras (KVP).
  • The period (FY14-FY18) also saw a jump in government borrowing from the provident fund.
  • In the same period, annual borrowing from the (bond) market declined by 27 per cent.
  • Kisan Vikas Patra is a small savings instrument that will facilitate people to invest in a long term savings plans.
  • National Savings Certificates are savings instrument that are eligible for tax rebate.
  • Both KVP and NSC can be purchased from the Post offices.


Source: PIB, The Hindu, BusinessLine, Business standard


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