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Prelim Bits 31-10-2019

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October 31, 2019

Vishwa Shanti Stupa

  • The 50th anniversary of establishment of Vishwa Shanti Stupa (World Peace Pagoda) at Rajgir in Bihar was observed recently.
  • A pagoda is a type of stupa which provides equality for worship and gathering at one place for common cause.
  • It is one of the peace pagodas established around the world by Japanese Buddhist Monk NichidatsuFujii.
  • It is made of white marble and is the tallest peace Pagoda in the world standing tall at 400 meters.
  • It houses four statues of Lord Buddha on the four side-corners of the stupa depicting the 4 phases of life of Lord Buddha - birth, enlightenment, Teaching and Death.

LG of New UT

  • The State of Jammu and Kashmir ceased to exist in line with “The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019”.
  • The two Union Territories – Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh came into existence following the August 5th decision of Parliament to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir.
  • R K Mathur was sworn-in as the first LieutenantGovernor of UT of Ladakh and administered oath by Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court.
  • The powers a Governor has in the state they administer is equivalent to that of the President.
  • They can appoint Chief Ministers, Ministers, the State Election Commissioner and judges of the District Courts.
  • A Lieutenant Governor also has the same powersto ensure checks and balances for the state government and its functioning.
  • Union Territories - Andaman and Nicobar, Delhi and Puducherry, Ladakh have Lieutenant Governors.
  • In the case of Delhi, since portfolios like land, police and public order fall under the domain of the Centre, Lt. Governor holds more powers than a Governor.


  • Space scientists have discovered a new celestial body Hygiea using Very Large Telescope in Chile.
  • It might be the smallest such planet to exist in our solar system, sized at 430 kilometres (267 miles) in diameter.
  • According to the criteria which defines celestial bodies as dwarf planets instead of asteroids, is that it needs to have sufficient mass for the gravity to pull it into a shape of a sphere.

Lymphatic Filariasis

  • National Symposium on the theme ‘United to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis’ was organised recently by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • Call to Action to eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis by 2021 was signed.
  • Lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis, is a painful and profoundly disfiguring disease.
  • It is caused by three species of thread-like nematode(roundworms) of the family Filariodidea.Wuchereriabancrofti is responsible for 90% of the cases.
  • Infection occurs when filarial parasites are transmitted to humans through mosquitoes.
  • It is one of the Neglected Tropical Diseases.
  • It impairs the lymphatic system and can lead to the abnormal enlargement of body parts, causing pain, severe disability and social stigma.
  • It can be eliminated by stopping the spread of infection through preventive chemotherapy with safe medicine combinations repeated annually.
  • Global Program to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF) was organised by the WHO in 2000.

National Pension Scheme

  • Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has now permitted Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) to enrol in National Pension Scheme (NPS) at par with Non-Resident Indians.
  • Now, any Indian citizen, resident or non-resident and OCIs are eligible to join NPS till the age of 65 years.
  • NPS was initially notified for central government employees joining service on or after 1st Jan 2004, adopted by State Governments.
  • It was extended to all citizens of Indian on voluntary basis from 2009 and to corporates in 2011 and to Non-Resident Indians in 2015.
  • PFRDA is the statutory Authority established by an enactment of the Parliament, to regulate, promote and ensure orderly growth of the National Pension System (NPS) and pension schemes.


Source: PIB, The Hindu, The Indian Express

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