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Prelims Booster

26th October – Prelims Booster

Indo-Tibetan Border Police

Recently, the 59th Raising Day of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) was celebrated in a function in Greater Noida.

About ITBP –

  • Raised on 24th October, 1962 during India-China War, the ITBP primarily guards the nation’s 3,488 kilometre long borders in the Himalayas at the border outposts located at altitudes ranging from 3,000 to 18,800 feet.
  • Apart from guarding the border; the Force is also deployed for Anti Naxal operations and other internal security duties.
  • ITBP is deployed on border guarding duties from Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Jachep La in Arunachal Pradesh covering 3488 km of Sino-India Border.
  • ITBP is a specialised mountain force and most of the officers and men are professionally trained mountaineers and skiers.
  • Being the first responder for natural disasters, ITBP has been carrying out numerous rescue and relief operations across the country.
  • Headquarters of ITBP is located at New Delhi.

Financial Action Task Force

The Financial Action Task Force has decided to keep Pakistan on the ‘grey list’ till the next review of its compliance.

Details –

  • The FATF statement said that “Pakistan has made progress across all action plan items and has now largely addressed 21 of 27 action items. As all action plan deadlines have expired, the FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by February 2021”.
  • The points on which Pakistan failed to deliver included inaction against charitable organisations or non-profit organisations linked to terror groups banned by the UNSC.
  • The FATF has also noted that there were few convictions of terror commanders of UN-designated entities affiliated to the Al Qaeda and the Haqqani network. Pakistan was found non-compliant in cracking down on terror financing through narcotics and smuggling of mining products including precious stones.

Financial Action Task Force –

  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 during the G7 Summit in Paris.
  • The objectives of the FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
  • Its Secretariat is located at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) headquarters in Paris.
  • As of 2020, FATF membership consists of thirty-seven member jurisdictions. India is one of the members.
  • The FATF Plenary is the decision making body of the FATF. It meets three times per year.

Other information –

FATF has two lists –

  • Grey List: Countries that are considered safe haven for supporting terror funding and money laundering are put in the FATF grey list. This inclusion serves as a warning to the country that it may enter the blacklist.
  • Black List: Countries known as Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories (NCCTs) are put in the blacklist. These countries support terror funding and money laundering activities. The FATF revises the blacklist regularly, adding or deleting entries.

Himalayan Brown Bear

A recent study on the Himalayan brown bear ( Ursus arctos isabellinus) has predicted a significant reduction in suitable habitat and biological corridors of the species due to climate change, prompting scientists to suggest an adaptive spatial planning of the protected area network in the western Himalayas for conserving the species.

Details –

  • The Himalayan brown bear is one of the largest carnivores (otherwise omnivore) in the highlands of the Himalayas. The study carried out in the western Himalayas by scientists of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) predicted a massive decline of 73% of the bear’s habitat by the year 2050.
  • These losses in habitat will also result in loss of habitats from 13 protected areas (PAs), and eight of them will become completely uninhabitable by the year 2050, followed by loss of connectivity in the majority of PAs. Furthermore, simulation suggests a significant qualitative decline in remaining habitats of the species within the protected areas of the landscape.
  • In such a situation when the protected areas in the Himalayan region lose their effectiveness and representativeness, there is a need to adopt “preemptive spatial planning of PAs in the Himalayan region for the long-term viability of the species”.
  • The suitable habitats were mapped outside the PAs and are closely placed to PAs; such areas may be prioritised to bring them into the PA network or enhanced protection.

Why?

The elevation gradient in which the brown bear is distributed is most vulnerable to global warming as this elevation belt is getting warmer faster than other elevation zones of Himalayas.

About Himalayan Brown Bear

  • Himalayan Brown Bears are also known as the Himalayan red bear, Isabelline bear or Dzu-The. Himalayan Brown Bears is a subspecies of the brown bear.
  • They are categorised as critically endangered in IUCN list.
  • These bears are the largest mammal in the Himalayan region, males reach up to 2.2 m long while females are a little smaller. They are omnivorous and hibernate in a den during the winter.
  • In India, these are found in 23 protected areas of the northern states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand. In J&K, they are found in Suru, Zanskar, Drass and Kargil in the Ladakh region. These bears also found in northern Afghanistan, northern Pakistan, Nepal and Tibet.

Dairy production in Indus Valley Civilisation

The year 2020 marks 100 years of discovery of Indus Valley Civilisation, and a new study has shown that dairy products were being produced by the Harappans as far back as 2500 BCE.

Findings –

  • By analysing residues on ancient pots, researchers show the earliest direct evidence of dairy product processing, thus throwing fresh light on the rural economy of the civilisation. The studies were carried out on 59 shards of pottery from Kotada Bhadli, a small archeological site in present-day Gujarat.
  • Traces were seen in cooking vessels indicating that milk may have been boiled and consumed. Residues in a bowl showed that either heated milk or curd could have been served. There are also remains of a perforated vessel, and similar vessels were used in Europe to make cheese. So it is possible that they were further processing milk into different forms.
  • The team was also able to show which type of animals were being used for dairy production. They studied the tooth enamel from fossils of cattle, water buffalo, goat and sheep found in the area. Cows and water buffalo were found to consume millets, while sheep and goats ate nearby grass and leaves. A preliminary study suggested that most of the cattle and water-buffalo died at an older age, suggesting they could have been raised for milk, whereas the majority of goat/sheep died when they were young, indicating they could have been used for meat.
  • The Harappans did not just use dairy for their household. The large herd indicates that milk was produced in surplus so that it could be exchanged and there could have been some kind of trade between settlements. This could have given rise to an industrial level of dairy exploitation.
  • The most fascinating thing about the Indus Valley Civilisation is that it is faceless — there is no king, no bureaucratic organisations, but there are these very close regional interactions between settlements, a symbiotic relationship of give and take that helped the civilisation survive for so long.

About Indus Valley Civilisation –

  • The Indus Valley Civilisation was established around 3300 BC. It flourished between 2600 BC and 1900 BC (Mature Indus Valley Civilisation). It started declining around 1900 BC and disappeared around 1400 BC.
  • This is also called Harappan Civilisation after the first city to be excavated, Harappa (Punjab, Pakistan).
  • Pre-Harappan civilisation has been found at Mehrgarh, Pakistan which shows the first evidence of cotton cultivation.
  • Geographically, this civilisation covered Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Western Uttar Pradesh. It extended from Sutkagengor (in Baluchistan) in the West to Alamgirpur (Western UP) in the East; and from Mandu (Jammu) in the North to Daimabad (Ahmednagar, Maharashtra) in the South. Some Indus Valley sites have also been found in as far away as Afghanistan and Turkmenistan.

MCQs

1. Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct about the ‘Indo-Tibetan Border Police’?

  1. It was raised during the India-China war in the year 1962.
  2. It is assigned the task of guarding the India-China border only.
  3. The headquarters of ITBP is located in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.

Select the correct codes from below –

  1. 1 only
  2. 1 and 2 only
  3. All of the above
  4. None of the above

Answer – A

Explanation – Raised on 24th October, 1962 during India-China War, the ITBP primarily guards the nation’s 3,488 kilometre long borders in the Himalayas at the border outposts located at altitudes ranging from 3,000 to 18,800 feet. Apart from guarding the border; the Force is also deployed for Anti Naxal operations and other internal security duties. ITBP is deployed on border guarding duties from Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Jachep La in Arunachal Pradesh covering 3488 km of Sino-India Border. ITBP is a specialised mountain force and most of the officers and men are professionally trained mountaineers and skiers. Being the first responder for natural disasters, ITBP has been carrying out numerous rescue and relief operations across the country. Headquarters of ITBP is located at New Delhi.

2. Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct about the ‘Financial Action Task Force’?

  1. It is an inter-governmental body established in the year 1989 during the G20 Summit in Paris to combat money laundering.
  2. Its Secretariat is located at the OECD Headquarters in Paris.

Select the correct codes from below –

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer – B

Explanation – The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 during the G7 Summit in Paris. The objectives of the FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. Its Secretariat is located at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) headquarters in Paris. As of 2020, FATF membership consists of thirty-seven member jurisdictions. India is one of the members. The FATF Plenary is the decision making body of the FATF. It meets three times per year.

3. Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct about the ‘Financial Action Task Force’?

  1. The membership of FATF extends to all the members of United Nations General Assembly.
  2. The FATF plenary meets biennially to promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering.
  3. Countries that are considered safe haven for supporting terror funding and money laundering are put in the FATF Black List.

Select the correct codes from below –

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 3 only
  4. All of the above

Answer – A

Explanation – As of 2020, FATF membership consists of thirty-seven member jurisdictions. India is one of the members. The FATF Plenary is the decision making body of the FATF. It meets three times per year. FATF has two lists – Grey List: Countries that are considered safe haven for supporting terror funding and money laundering are put in the FATF grey list. This inclusion serves as a warning to the country that it may enter the blacklist. Black List: Countries known as Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories (NCCTs) are put in the blacklist. These countries support terror funding and money laundering activities. The FATF revises the blacklist regularly, adding or deleting entries.

4. Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct about the ‘Himalayan Brown Bear’?

  1. It is the largest mammal in the Himalayan region.
  2. It is found in the Himalayan states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
  3. It is endemic to Indian Himalayas only.
  4. It is classified as ‘critically endangered’ in IUCN list.

Select the correct codes from below –

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 3 and 4 only
  4. 1 and 4 only

Answer – D

Explanation – Himalayan Brown Bears are also known as the Himalayan red bear, Isabelline bear or Dzu-The. Himalayan Brown Bears is a subspecies of the brown bear. They are categorised as critically endangered in IUCN list. These bears are the largest mammal in the Himalayan region, males reach up to 2.2 m long while females are a little smaller. They are omnivorous and hibernate in a den during the winter. In India, these are found in 23 protected areas of the northern states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand. In J&K, they are found in Suru, Zanskar, Drass and Kargil in the Ladakh region. These bears also found in northern Afghanistan, northern Pakistan, Nepal and Tibet.

5. Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct about the ‘Indus Valley Civilisation’?

  1. It established around 3300 BC in the Indian subcontinent limited to the extent of India and Pakistan.
  2. There is no trace of any Harappan civilisational site in the southern India yet.
  3. Recent studies indicate the production of dairy products by the Harappans as far back as 2500 BC.

Select the correct codes from below –

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 3 only
  4. All of the above

Answer – C

Explanation – The Indus Valley Civilisation was established around 3300 BC. It flourished between 2600 BC and 1900 BC (Mature Indus Valley Civilisation). It started declining around 1900 BC and disappeared around 1400 BC. This is also called Harappan Civilisation after the first city to be excavated, Harappa (Punjab, Pakistan). Pre-Harappan civilisation has been found at Mehrgarh, Pakistan which shows the first evidence of cotton cultivation. Geographically, this civilisation covered Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Western Uttar Pradesh. It extended from Sutkagengor (in Baluchistan) in the West to Alamgirpur (Western UP) in the East; and from Mandu (Jammu) in the North to Daimabad (Ahmednagar, Maharashtra) in the South. Some Indus Valley sites have also been found in as far away as Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. The year 2020 marks 100 years of discovery of Indus Valley Civilisation, and a new study has shown that dairy products were being produced by the Harappans as far back as 2500 BCE. 

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