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Prelim Bits 14-08-2017

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August 14, 2017

Japanese Encephalitis

  • It is a mosquito-borne viral infection of the brain.
  • Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is a flavivirus related to dengue, yellow fever and West Nile viruses, and is spread by mosquitoes.
  • There is no cure for the disease. Treatment is focused on relieving severe clinical signs and supporting the patient to overcome the infection.
  • JEV is transmitted to humans through bites from infected mosquitoes of the Culex species.
  • The virus exists in a transmission cycle between mosquitoes, pigs and/or water birds (enzootic cycle).
  • Safe and effective JE vaccines are available to prevent disease and it is one of the vaccines given under Universal Immunisation Programme of India.

International Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise (IMMSAREX)

  • Bangladesh, the current Chair of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) is scheduling a International Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise (IMMSAREX) in November in the Bay of Bengal.
  • It is going to be attended by the members and observers of the IONS.
  • China will be participated in the Rescue Exercise as an observer.

Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS)

  • The IONS is a regional forum of Indian Ocean littoral states, launched in 2008.
  • It presently has 23 members and 9 observers.
  • Indian Ocean littoral states are represented by the heads of their navies and the organization aims to foster military-to-military cooperation.
  • The Voluntary initiative seeks to increase maritime co-operation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region.
  • The grouping has working groups on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), Information Security and Interoperability (IS&I) and anti-piracy now renamed as maritime security.

Elephant Census

  • Recently, Elephant Census 2017 was released by Union Environment Ministry.
  • The elephant is considered a National Heritage Animal of India.
  • According to the Census, the population has decreased by about 3,000, compared to last census in 2012.
  • India started Project Elephant in 1992 to protect the Asian elephant, its habitat and corridors and address the man-elephant conflict.
  • IUCN status of Asian Elephants is listed as “Endangered” and African elephants are listed as “vulnerable”.

Gaj Yatra

  • It is a nationwide campaign to protect elephants on the occasion of World Elephant Day (12th Aug).
  • International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is partnering the campaign.
  • The campaign is planned to cover 12 elephant range states.
  • Elephant Range States – Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, A.P, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha and Uttarakhand.

Mike Programme

  • Monitoring of Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) programme was started by CITES (The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).
  • It was started in South Asia (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka) in the year 2003.
  • It is an international collaboration that tracks trends in information related to the illegal killing of elephants to monitor effectiveness of field conservation efforts.
  • CITES is the only treaty to ensure that international trade in plants and animals does not threaten the survival in the wild.


  • In a new study, researchers found that the TRAPPIST-1 star is quite old: between 5.4 and 9.8 billion years.
  • This is up to twice as old as our own solar system, which formed some 4.5 billion years ago.
  • TRAPPIST-1 is a system of seven Earth-size planets orbiting an ultra-cool dwarf star about 40 light-years away.
  • This is by far the largest collection of Earth-like planets in the habitable ‘Goldilocks’ zone of a star.
  • Goldilocks represents a zone which is neither too close nor too far from a star, which raises the possibility of liquid water being present on the surface.
  • Unlike earlier discoveries of exoplanets, all seven planets could possibly have liquid water.
  • Since the initial discovery of three planets was made using the Chile-based Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope, the exoplanet system is called TRAPPIST-1
  • The TRAPPIST-1 planets have lower densities than Earth; it is possible that large reservoirs of volatile molecules such as water could produce thick atmospheres that would shield the planetary surfaces from harmful radiation.
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Sakthi Murugesh 6 years


 In IONS website it is stated that there are 35 member countries. Then which one is correct?



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