Prelims Primer

  1. Outbreak of Kyasanur Forest Disease, or Monkey Fever, in Karnataka – The virus causing the disease belongs to the Flaviviridae family, whose other members are responsible for causing Yellow Fever, Zika and Dengue. Multiple species of ticks of the genus Haemaphysalis are the principal vectors.
  2. The Bharat Ratna, the nation’s highest civilian honour, was recently conferred on former President Pranab Mukherjee, along with social activist Nanaji Deshmukh (posthumous), and Assamese musician Bhupen Hazarika (posthumous).
  3. Rakhigarhi (Haryana) is one of the largest sites of the Harappan culture.
  1. The K-9 Vajra tracked self-propelled artillery gun from South Korea and the M777 ultra-light howitzer from the U.S. are the Army’s new artillery inductions after three decades.
  2. Zearalenone is a fungal toxin infesting cereals such as wheat, maize and barley. It attacks crops while they are growing, but can also develop when cereals are stored without being dried fully.
  3. Project CMB-Bharat, is a proposed project to listen to the faintest murmurs of the universe. CMB expands into Cosmic Microwave Background. The project would reveal the first clear signature of quantum gravity and ultra-high-energy-physics in the very early universe. This referred to quantum gravitational waves, which are different from what LIGO detectors. The “high” goals lay in neutrino physics where more about the neutrino species could be discovered, their total mass and mass hierarchy; mapping of all dark matter and most baryons in the observable universe.
  4. X-ray telescope eROSITA is to be launched in June 2019.
  5. India is all set to sign a revamped extradition treaty with Australia that would enable both countries to exchange information on spies, terrorism and human traffickers. India and Australia signed an extradition treaty in 2008, but it came into force only in 2011. Under this treaty, both countries decided to recognise extraditable offences which are punishable by an imprisonment of at least one year or severe penalty. It may be recalled that India had refused to sign the Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD-6), which is an agreement for exchange of terrorist screening information between the Terrorist Screening Centre (TSC) of the U.S. India has extradition treaties with 43 countries and extradition arrangements with 10 countries.
  6. Sarus crane – the world’s tallest flying bird now seems to be getting a new lease of life in Uttar Pradesh, where it enjoys the status of official State bird. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has marked it as ‘vulnerable’ in its list of threatened species.
  7. For the first time, 150 tribal students selected from 25 schools of three districts of Tripura will perform the traditional ‘Sangrai dance’ in the ceremonious Republic Day 2019 parade. ‘Sangrai dance’ is performed by the Mog tribal community on the occasion of Sangrai festival during the month of Chaitra (in April) of the Bengali calendar year. The Mogs are one of the 19 tribes in Tripura. The Mog are Arakanese descendants who migrated to Tripura through Chittagong Hill Tracts. Almost all the people belonging to the Mog community are the followers of Buddhism. Mogs are dependent on Jhum Cultivation. They have administrative social council and the chief of this council is called Chowdhury. The Mog cremate their dead after observing rites and rituals. Mog community is by tradition famous for their folk medicine. Beside their normal economic activities some of them earn through practicing traditional treatment by using indigenous medicines. Wah Festival is their annual meeting of whole Mog community.