Prelim Bits 13-03-2019

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March 13, 2019

UN Environment Assembly

  • The United Nations Environment Assembly is the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment.
  • The Environment Assembly meets biennially to set priorities for global environmental policies and develop international environmental law.
  • It addresses the critical environmental challenges facing the world today.
  • The United Nations Environment Assembly was created during the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also referred to as RIO+20, in 2012.
  • Recent UN Environment Assembly is being held at Nairobi, Kenya.


  • Export-Import Bank of India (EXIM Bank) is a specialized financial institution, set up in 1982, for financing, facilitating and promoting foreign trade of India.
  • The Bank provides assistance in helping Indian firms in their globalization efforts by locating overseas distributor(s)/ buyer (s)/ partner (s) for their products and services.
  • Exim Bank also lays special emphasis on enhancing export capabilities and international competitiveness of Indian companies through its various Advisory Services.

Voting options in India

  • In India a voter can exercise his/her franchise only by personally visiting the polling booth.
  • Apart from this there are two more options
  • Postal ballots - In which a voter exercises his/her franchise through post is available only for people on election duty, armed forces personnel, and electors subject to preventive detention.
  • Proxy voting - The option of proxy voting is available only for armed forces, police, and government officials posted outside India.
  • The person can authorize another residing in the same polling booth area to cast a vote on his/her behalf.
  • This option is currently available for wives of the above-mentioned personnel, but not for the husbands.
  • Overseas voter - A non-resident Indian, who holds an Indian passport, can vote in his/her hometown after registering as an Overseas Voter.
  • The NRI must fill the Form 6A, which can be downloaded online or taken from the nearest Indian Mission.
  • Once the person returns to India, they will have to re-register themselves as a general voter and obtain an EPIC card.
  • Note - The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill 2017 that extends the proxy voting to NRIs was passed in the Lok Sabha during 2018, but didn't see the light in Rajya Sabha and hence got lapsed.

Blue hole

  • Blue holes are roughly circular marine cavern or sinkhole, which is open to the surface.
  • It has developed in a bank or island composed of a carbonate bedrock (limestone or coral reef).
  • The deep blue color is caused by the high transparency of water and bright white carbonate sand.
  • Their water circulation is poor and they are commonly anoxic below a certain depth, this environment is unfavorable for most sea life, but nonetheless can support large numbers of bacteria.
  • Some of the significant blue holes are
  1. Dragon Hole - South China Sea
  2. Great Blue Hole - Belize
  3. Dean’s Blue Hole - Bahamas
  • Blue holes are distinguished from cenotes in that the latter are inland voids usually containing fresh groundwater rather than seawater.

Starry Dwarf frog

  • A starry dwarf frog, a nocturnal amphibian which sports pale blue spots and brilliant orange thighs has been found in Wayanad district, Kerala.
  • The frog has distinct physical characteristics such as its triangular finger- and toe tips, which closely resembled frogs in South America and Africa.
  • The frog species is named as Astrobatrachus kurichiyana in the honor of Kurichiya tribal community of Kerala. 
  • The frog is not only a new species but different enough to be assigned to a new ‘subfamily’.



Source: PIB, the Hindu

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