1. Though not a ‘state’ under Article 12 of the Constitution of India, BCCI is amendable to judicial review under Article 226 of the Constitution of India as held by the Supreme Court of India. Article 32 grants a person the liberty to approach the Supreme Court directly when his or her fundamental right has been violated. Ordinarily, this relief is available only against the “State” (defined in Article 12 to include “the government and Parliament of India, the government and the legislature of each of the States, and all local and other authorities within the territory of India or under the control of the Government of India.”) Article 226 affords a wider relief. It allows a person to approach a high court seeking a writ against any person or authority for any purpose. Source: The Hindu. BCCI is currently not covered under the purview of the ‘Right to Information’ Act. However, recently, the Law Commission of India has submitted the 275th report titled (headed by Justice BS Chauhan) LEGAL FRAMEWORK: BCCI vis-à-vis RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT, 2005 wherein it is recommended that RTI Act be made applicable to BCCI along with all its constituent member cricketing associations, provided they fulfil the criteria applicable to BCCI. Source: LiveLaw and Firstpost. Also read: The Hindu.
  2. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is seen in the news quite often (e.g. in relation to rescue operation in Kerala floods recently). The Yokohoma Strategy Plan and the Hyogo Framework for Action are the international instruments which are related to the creation of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). The mid nineties and the subsequent decade saw much international debate & discussion around Disaster Response & Preparedness. Some of the notable and more impactful ones were the Yokohama Strategy Plan (1994) & the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005), adopted by the UN. During the same period India faced some of its most severe natural calamities like Orissa Super Cyclone (1999), Gujarat Earthquake (2001) and Indian Ocean Tsunami (2004). This succession of events and the International environment brought to fore, the need of comprehensive disaster management plan. This led to the enactment of the Disaster Management Act on December 26th, 2005. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) was constituted to lay down the policies, plans and guidelines for disaster management. The Disaster Management Act has statutory provisions for constitution of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) for the purpose of specialized response to natural and man-made disasters. Accordingly, in 2006 NDRF was constituted with 8 Battalions. Source: National Disaster Response Force. Also read: Nod for four more NDRF Battalions.
  3. SAADMEx is a disaster response exercise. Through the exercise, the important aspects of responding to disasters by pooling of resources/expertise will be addressed and also the imperative of presenting a well coordinated response within the SAARC region will be emphasised. Source: PIB and NDRF.
  4. Silicosis is a progressive interstitial lung disease, characterized by shortness of breath, cough, fever and bluish skin; it can present in three different forms: acute, accelerated and chronic.1It is caused by the lung tissue reaction to the inhalation of silica and occurs most commonly as an occupational disease of people working in the quarrying, manufacturing and building construction industries. As silicosis is incurable, clinical management includes removing the worker from the industry and giving symptomatic treatment. Silicosis is a notified disease under the Mines Act (1952) and the Factories Act (1948) but not under the Public Health Act (1875). Notified Disease is any disease that is required by law to be reported to enforcement agency. Source: WHO.
  5. The EPI published in January, 2018 ranked India 177 out of 180 countries on the Environmental Performance Index 2018. India slipped 36 points from 141 in the 2016 report, prepared by Yale and Columbia Universities along with the World Economic Forum. Read more at: The Hindu.
  6. United Arab Emirates (UAE) has emerged as the top source of inward remittances, while Kerala has received the maximum funds sent from abroad, according to the Reserve Bank of India’s survey of inward remittances for 2016-17. UAE’s share in total remittances was 26.9%, followed by the United States (22.9%), Saudi Arabia (11.6%), Qatar (6.5%) and Kuwait (5.5%). According to the survey, 82% of the total remittances received by India originated from eight countries — UAE, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, the United Kingdom and Malaysia. Among destinations, Kerala has the highest share with 19%, followed by Maharashtra (16.7%), Karnataka (15%), Tamil Nadu (8%) and Delhi (5.9%). Source: The Hindu.
  7. The KarenKayinKariangor Yang people refer to a number of individual sino-tibetan language speaking ethnic groups, many of which do not share a common language or culture. These Karen groups reside primarily in Karen state southern and south eastern Myanmar. There is a population of 2500 Karen in India, mostly restricted to Mayabunder Tehsil of North Andaman in Andaman and Nicobar. Source: Wikipedia.  
  8. The Indian bullfrog (Hoplobatrachus tigerinus) has been in news recently due to its presence in huge number in the Webi village of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The presence of the Indian Bullfrog is being considered as invasive by many where it has bred in hordes thus leading to an unusual man-frog conflict. The voracious animal gulps down anything that would fit in its jaws: centipedes, leeches, native frogs, lizards, small snakes, and even chicks and ducklings (the Indian Bullfrog can weigh at least half a kilo), which are an important source of food and income for the islanders. The bullfrog, found widely in mainland India and is protected under Schedule IV of the Indian Wildlife Act 1972. Read more at The Hindu.
  9. (Answer – Only 1). Loha Barrack Salt Water Crocodile Sanctuary is a protected area for conserving crocodiles in its natural habitat at the western side of South Andaman region of Andaman and Nicobar Islands which is surrounded by Bay of Bengal. Source: ResearchGate. Also read the report on increasing Crocodile and human conflicts in Andaman Islands by Hindustan Times.
  10. The Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve (KBR) of Sikkim, the highest biosphere reserve in the country that includes the third highest mountain peak in the world, Kanchenjunga (8,586 m), has been included in the UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserve (WHBR) (in August 2018). With the inclusion of the KBR, one of the highest ecosystems in the world, reaching elevations of 1,220 m to 8,586 m above sea level, the number of biosphere reserves from the country included in World Network of Biosphere Reserves has increased to 11. The last biosphere reserve to be included was the Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve in Kerala in 2016. The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve was the first reserve from the country to be included in the WNBR. India has 18 biospheres reserves, of which 11 have been included in the WNBR. The Khangchendzonga National Park (KNP), which comprises the core area of the KBR, was inscribed as India’s first “Mixed World Heritage Site” on July 17, 2016. Eighty six per cent of the core lies in the Alpine zone and the remaining portions are located in the Himalayan wet temperate and sub tropical moist deciduous forest. Simlipal National Park is part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves since 2009. Sources: The Hindu and Wikipedia.