Prelims Revision

  1. Zoji La pass connects Kargil in Ladakh with Srinagar. Silk route is an ancient overland route that once connected Central Asia, Asia and Europe via the high mountain passes of the Pamir, Tian Shan, Hindu Kush, Karakoram and Kunlun mountain ranges.
  2. Chandrayaan-2 is the lunar lander and rover mission. Gaganyaan (Indian manned space programme) was announced on August 15, 2018 as a marquee mission for the 75th year of Independence. It is slated to take place at a ‘near-Earth’ distance of 400 km. Before that, two unmanned trial flights with human-friendly capsules are to be flown in 2020, carrying a few micro-gravity experiments.
  3. Multispectral imaging can capture texts in manuscripts that are affected by pests, fungus, over-written, scribbled, blackened or scraped and cannot be seen with bare eyes. It uses infra-red and ultraviolet rays to retrieve texts.
  4. Thottappally, Kerala coast is one of the prime locations for egg-laying turtles in the State.
  1. Obsession for its supposedly medicinal scales in China is believed to have made the ant-eating Chinese Pangolin, one of two species found in South Asia, (possibly) extinct in India. The pangolin is the most trafficked mammal in the world. Though hunted for its meat across the northeastern States and in central India, the demand for its scales in China has made it the most critically endangered animal in less than a decade. The Indian Pangolin, marked endangered in 2014 is now critically endangered and disappearing fast.
  2. Vande Bharat Express is the fastest train in India, touching the 180 kmph mark during its trials. It can commercially run at a speed of 160 kmph. However, on the Delhi-Varanasi route it will run at 130 kmph, covering the distance in about 8 hours, from over 11.5 hours at present.
  3. The day the elections are notified, the Lok Sabha is considered dissolved and with it the existing committees too. Also, even though the Lok Sabha is not sitting, a committee can send the report to the Speaker and it can be considered tabled if the Speaker accepts the report.
  4. Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary (TCFS) and Sanjay Gandhi National Park (home to leopards) are in Mumbai. The TCFS consists of 896 hectares of mangrove forests and 794 hectares of waterbodies. It came into being in August 2015 and is Maharashtra’s second marine sanctuary, after Malvan. The TCFS has been attracting flamingos in large numbers since 1994. In all, 200 species have been reported, even globally threatened species such as the greater spotted eagle and others such as osprey. Other birds found here are the Pied avocet, western reef heron, black-headed ibis, common redshank, marsh sandpiper, common greenshank, curlew sandpiper, brown-headed gull, whiskered, gull-billed, Caspian and little terns. The white-bellied sea eagle and Eurasian marsh harrier have been spotted too.
  5. Blackbuck is Punjab’s State animal; Abohar Wildlife Sanctuary is in Punjab.
  6. The government holds 51% stake in Pawan Hans Helicopters and the rest is held by ONGC.
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