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Prelim Bits 12-03-2018

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March 12, 2018


  • It is a rare phenomenon which means thunder and lightning occur during a snowstorm.
  • It is rare phenomenon as, unlike rain, snow mostly absorbs the light of lightning and the sound of thunder.
  • Recently, New Yorkers and others on the East Coast of USA experienced the thundersnow in the middle of a macro-scale cyclone, Nor’easter, in USA.
  • The ways in which a thundersnow can develop are as follows
  1. Similar to thunderstorm – When warmer, moist air close to the ground rises and mixes with colder, denser air higher up, which is observed in central USA.
  2. As observed in great lakes - When a thunderstorm develops, in spite of a prevailing cold temperature, due to the relatively warm moist air that comes from the lakes.
  3. As recently observed in New York – When a low pressure of a powerful winter storm creates strong upward motions in the air that generates the atmospheric instability.
  • A 2009 analysis found that only 0.07% of snowfalls are accompanied by thunder.


  • ICEGATE stands for the Indian Customs Electronic Commerce/Electronic Data interchange (EC/EDI) Gateway.
  • The national gateway is under Central Board of Customs and Exercise (CBEC).
  • It is an ecommerce portal of the Indian Customs  that provides e-filing services to the trade and cargo carriers and other clients of Customs Department.
  • By this facility, the department offers electronic filing of the Bill of Entry, Shipping Bills and related electronic messages between Customs and the Trading Partners.
  • e- SANCHIT was launched on a pilot basis by the Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC).
  • It is mainly for paperless processing, uploading of supporting documents, to facilitate the trading across borders which will reduce the precious time and provide digital easing.


  • The first-ever multi-nation naval exercise at sea, MILES-18, began at the Andaman Sea.
  • 11 naval ships of 8 countries and nine Indian ships are participating in the three-day exercise.
  • The exercise aims to hone search and rescue procedures, maritime interdiction operations, and core operational skills and exercise a variety of maritime security scenarios.

Student Suicides

  • Around 75,000 students committed suicides in India between 2007 and 2016.
  • Student suicides in the country have increased 52 per cent – from 17 every day (6,248) in 2007 to 26 every day in 2016.
  • Maharashtra (1350) reported the most student suicides in 2016, followed by West Bengal (1,147) and Tamil Nadu (981).
  • Failure in examination accounted for 25 % of all the suicides
  • India has one of the world’s highest suicide rates for youth aged from 15 to 29, according to a 2012 Lancet report.

Northern River Terrapin

  • In Bengal, U.P., M.P. and Assam conservation steps are taken to save the Northern River Terrapin.
  • The terrapin is one of the most threatened freshwater turtles among the world’s 50 most-threatened turtles.

  • The terrapin is also called as Batagur and Four-toed Terrapin.
  • Turtle Conservation Coalition, a consortium of conservation organizations, accounted its fragile state in the ‘Turtles in Trouble’ Document.
  • India’s top five turtles at risk are



IUCN Status

Northern River Terrapin (Batagur baska)


Critically Endangered

Red-Crowned Roof Turtle (Batagur kachuga)

National Chambal Sanctuary, spread across Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

Critically endangered

South Asian Narrow-Headed Softshell Turtle (Chitra indica)

Gangetic river system


Black Softshell Turtle (Nilssonia nigricans)

Temple ponds in Assam and Bengal.

Extinct in Wild

Asian Giant Softshell Turtle (Pelochelys cantorii)

In the eastern part of the country

Critically Endangered

  • Turtle habitat is being lost due to development, expansion of agriculture, land and water pollution and consumption of the animals and their eggs.


  • “FemTech” refers to software, diagnostics, products and services that use digital technology to improve women’s health.
  • It is emerging as the next big disruptor in the global health care market, according to Frost & Sullivan.
  • The following are the reasons for its emergence are
  1. 50 per cent of global health care customers are women
  2. They are the primary caregivers for the elderly and children
  3. 90% women are primary health care decision makers for their family and key influencers for friends
  4. 80 % of the household health care spending is done by women
  • Earlier, women’s health was sidelined as a niche market but now it can attribute to the rise of the ‘she-economy’.

Map of the Day


  • Antarctica Treaty System is in place to ensure that the continent Antarctica shall be used exclusively for peaceful purposes
  • Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) designated the Ross Sea as a Marine Protected Area. It is biggest MPA in the world.
  • Larsen C Ice Shelf is a trillion-ton iceberg that is disintegrating into smaller icebergs in Antarctica.
  • India presently has two research stations at Antarctica namely ‘Maitri’ and ‘Bharati’.
  • Maitiri station is located in the Schirmacher Oasis.
  • Dakshin Gangotri Glacial snout, a part of East Antarctica Ice Sheet (EAIS), is located in the western part of the oasis.
  • India’s first research station Dakshin Gangotri is different from the glacial snout and the station is now decommissioned.
  • National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR) is responsible for the research in the continent which is under Ministry of Earth sciences, Government of India.


Source: PIB, The Hindu, Business Standard

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Ayushi Pandey 4 years

Sir I have a question.Why agricultural commodities should not be imported at the prices below minimum support price declared by the government??



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