Prelims Booster

17th April – Prelims Booster

PRELIMS BOOSTER

US freezes WHO funding

US President Donald Trump has ordered a freeze on funding for the World Health Organisation (WHO) for ‘mismanaging’ the coronavirus crisis.

About World Health Organisation –

  • World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations’ specialised agency for Health was founded in 1948.
  • Its headquarters are situated in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • There are 194 Member States, 150 country offices, six regional offices.
  • It is an inter-governmental organisation and works in collaboration with its member states usually through the Ministries of Health.
  • The WHO provides leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.
  • It began functioning on April 7, 1948 – a date now being celebrated every year as World Health Day.

Funding for WHO –

World Health Organisation is funded through –

  1. Assessed Contributions
  • These are the dues countries pay in order to be a member of the Organization.
  • The amount each Member State must pay is calculated relative to the country’s wealth and population.
  • These contributions have declined, and now account for less than one-fourth of its funding.
  1. Voluntary Contributions –
  • These come from Member States (in addition to their assessed contribution) or from other partners (organisations & individuals) 
  • They can range from flexible to highly earmarked.
  • Top funders include Bill and Melinda Gates (USD 367.7 million), GAVI Vaccine Alliance, World Bank, Rotary International and the European Commission.

Monsoon 2020

The monsoon is arriving late in many States and exiting even later, the Indian Meteorological Department said at its annual monsoon forecast monsoon. It also said that India is likely to have a normal monsoon, with a chance of ‘above normal’ rain in August and September.

What is ‘monsoon’?

Out of a total of 4 seasonal divisions of India, monsoon occupy 2 divisions, namely.

  • The southwest monsoon season – Rainfall received from the southwest monsoons is seasonal in character, which occurs between June and September.
  • The retreating monsoon season – The months of October and November are known for retreating monsoons.

Monsoon prediction by IMD –

  • IMD brands the monsoon as ‘normal’ or ‘deficient’ based on how it fares against its benchmark Long Period Average (LPA).
  • LPA is the average rainfall received by the country as a whole during the south-west monsoon, for a 50-year period.
  • Deficient rainfall – The country is said to have received deficient rainfall if the actual rainfall falls below 90 per cent of LPA.
  • Excess rainfall – The country is said to have received excess rainfall if the rainfall is greater than 110 per cent of LPA.
  • Normal rainfall – It is deemed ‘normal’ when the actual rainfall received falls between 96 and 104 per cent of LPA. The IMD has recently changed the definition of a “normal” monsoon by reducing average rainfall received during rainy season from 89 cms to 88 cms.

About Indian Meteorological Department – 

  • IMD was established in 1875.
  • It is an agency of the Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Government of India.
  • It is the principal agency responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting and seismology.

Nihangs

Recent Patiala incident in which a group of Nihangs attacked a Punjab police party has put the spotlight on the Nihangs.

Who is a Nihang?

  • Nihang is an order of Sikh warriors.
  • They are characterised by blue robes, antiquated arms such as swords and spears, and decorated turbans surmounted by steel quoits.

What does the word ‘Nihang’ mean?

The characteristics of the word ‘nihang’ stem from the Sanskrit word nihshank which means without fear, unblemished, pure, carefree and indifferent to worldly gains and comfort.

Origin –

  • Sources trace their origin to Guru Gobind Singh’s younger son, Fateh Singh (1699-1705), who once appeared in the Guru’s presence dressed in a blue chola and blue turban with a dumala (piece of cloth forming a plume).
  • On seeing his son look so majestic, the Guru remarked that it shall be the dress of Nihangs, the reckless soldiers of the Khalsa.

Historical background –

  • Nihangs had a major role in defending the Sikh panth after the fall of the first Sikh rule (1710-15) when Mughal governors were killing Sikhs, and during the onslaught of Afghan invader Ahmed Shah Durrani (1748-65).
  • Nihangs also took control of the religious affairs of the Sikhs at Akal Bunga (now known as Akal Takht) in Amritsar. They did not consider themselves subordinate to any Sikh chief and thus maintained their independent existence.
  • Their clout came to an end after the fall of Sikh Empire in 1849 when the British authorities of Punjab appointed a manager (sarbrah) for the administration of the Golden Temple in 1859.

Daily MCQs

1. 'CollabCAD' is an initiative of -

Correct! Wrong!

It is a joint initiative of Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog and National Informatics Centre (NIC). It is a collaborative network, computer enabled software.

2. Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct about ‘CollabCAD’? 1. It is a joint initiative of Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog and National Informatics Centre. 2. It aims to provide a total engineering solution from 2D drafting and detailing to 3D product design. 3. It will allow the students to create date across the network and concurrently access the same design data for storage and visualisation.

Correct! Wrong!

Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog and National Informatics Centre (NIC) has jointly launched CollabCAD. It is a collaborative network, computer enabled software system, providing a total engineering solution from 2D drafting & detailing to 3D product design. The aim of this initiative is to provide a great platform to students of Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs) across country to create and modify 3D designs with free flow of creativity and imagination. This software would also enable students to create data across the network and concurrently access the same design data for storage and visualisation.

3. Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct about Sikh ‘Nihangs’? 1. They are Sikh warriors. 2. They had a major role in defending the Sikh panth during the onslaught of Ahmed Shah Durrani.

Correct! Wrong!

Nihang is an order of Sikh warriors. They are characterised by blue robes, antiquated arms such as swords and spears, and decorated turbans surmounted by steel quoits. Nihangs had a major role in defending the Sikh panth after the fall of the first Sikh rule (1710-15) when Mughal governors were killing Sikhs, and during the onslaught of Afghan invader Ahmed Shah Durrani (1748-65).

4. Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct about the Indian Meteorological Department? 1. It is an agency of the Ministry of Science and Technology. 2. According to the IMD, the normal monsoon is a situation when the country receives rainfall between 96 and 104 percent of the Long Period Average (LPA).

Correct! Wrong!

IMD was established in 1875. It is an agency of the Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Government of India. Monsoon is deemed ‘normal’ when the actual rainfall received falls between 96 and 104 per cent of LPA. The IMD has recently changed the definition of a “normal” monsoon by reducing average rainfall received during rainy season from 89 cms to 88 cms.

5. Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct about the World Health Organisation? 1. It was formed in the year 1925 as a part of the ‘League of Nations’ legacy. 2. It is situated in Geneva, Switzerland. 3. The voluntary contributions form the major chunk of WHO funding.

Correct! Wrong!

World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations’ specialised agency for Health was founded in 1948. Its headquarters are situated in Geneva, Switzerland. Assessed Contributions are made by the member states which have declined successively and now account for less than one-fourth of the total funding. Voluntary contributions form the remaining chunk of the funds of the WHO.

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