17th January – Prelims Booster


What is Saksham?

‘Saksham’ is an annual one-month long, people-centric fuel conservation mega campaign of Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) under the aegis of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

About PCRA –

  • Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) is a registered society set up under the aegis of Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India.
  • As a non-profit organisation, PCRA is a national government agency engaged in promoting energy efficiency in various sectors of economy.
  • PCRA aims at making oil conservation a national movement.
  • As part of its mandate, PCRA is entrusted with the task of creating awareness amongst the masses about the importance, methods and benefits of conserving petroleum products & emission reduction.
  • It sponsors R&D activities for the development of fuel-efficient equipment/devices and organises multi-media campaigns for creating mass awareness for the conservation of petroleum products.
  • It functions as a think Tank to the Government of India for proposing policies and strategies on petroleum conservation and environment protection aimed at reducing excessive dependence on oil.


Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) celebrated its 5th Annual Day recently.

About CARA –

  • CARA is an apex body of Government of India for promoting and facilitating In-country Adoption and is the designated Central Authority for regulating Inter-country Adoption.
  • CARA was designated as a Statutory Body on 15 Jan 2016, under the provisions of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
  • It works as an autonomous statutory body under the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  • It primarily deals with the adoption of the orphan, abandoned and surrendered children through its associated /recognised adoption agencies.

Hague Adoption Convention –

  • The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation is in respect of inter-country Adoption. It is an international convention dealing with international adoption, child laundering, and child trafficking.
  • The Convention was developed by the Hague Conference on Private International Law, the pre-eminent organisation in the area of private international law.
  • It was concluded on 29 May 1993 and entered into force on 1 May 1995.
  • 96 countries including India has signed and ratified this convention. Whereas Nepal, South Korea and Russia are yet to ratify it.

Lead exposure is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s

The Indian Council of Medical Research, India’s apex medical research body, has shown potential links between lead exposure and Alzheimer’s.

About Lead –

  • Lead is a common pollutant that can get into environment from a number of routinely used materials like paints, cosmetics, batteries, glass and low-grade toys.
  • It is present in petrol, diesel, lead batteries, paints, hair dye products etc. (affects children in particular).
  • It damages nervous system & cause digestive problems & in some cases causes cancer

About Alzheimer –

  • Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia marked by progressive degeneration of cognitive abilities.
  • Alzheimer’s disease is a neurological disorder which causes brain cells to degenerate and die. This leads to loss of memory, problems with words in speaking or writing, poor judgment, changes in mood and personality, confusion with time or place, etc.

Issue notification in 2 months to ban RO purifiers

The National Green Tribunal has directed the Environment Ministry to issue within two months a notification banning RO purifiers where total dissolved solids (TDS) in water are below 500 milligrams per litre.

Details –

The tribunal has also asked the government to make it mandatory to recover more than 60 per cent of water wherever RO is permitted across the country.


If TDS (total dissolved solids) in water is less than 500 milligrams per litre, an RO system will not be useful but will result in removing important minerals as well as cause undue wastage of water.

What is RO technique?

Reverse Osmosis (RO) is a water treatment process that removes contaminants from water by using pressure to force molecules through a semipermeable membrane.

What is TDS?

The TDS is made up of inorganic salts as well as small amounts of organic matter. As per a WHO study, TDS levels below 300 mg per litre are considered to be excellent, while 900 mg per litre is said to be poor and above 1200 mg is unacceptable.

About National Green Tribunal –

  • It is a specialised body set up under the National Green Tribunal Act (2010) for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources.
  • The Tribunal comprises of the Chairperson, the Judicial Members and Expert Members. They shall hold office for term of five years and are not eligible for reappointment.
  • The Chairperson is appointed by the Central Government in consultation with Chief Justice of India (CJI).
  • The Tribunal has jurisdiction over all civil cases involving substantial question relating to environment (including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment).
  • The Tribunal is not bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure 1908, but shall be guided by principles of ‘natural justice’.
  • The NGT deals with civil cases under the seven laws related to the environment, these include – The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974; The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977; The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980; The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981; The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986; The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991 and; The Biological Diversity Act, 2002.

Oil Ministry launches 5th bid round for oil, gas blocks

India has announced the opening of the fifth oil and gas block bid round, offering 11 areas for bidding on revamped fiscal terms.

About Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy –

  • The Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP) replacing the erstwhile New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) was approved in March 2016 and the Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP) along with the National Data Repository (NDR) were launched in June 2017 as the key drivers to accelerate the Exploration and Production (E&P) activities in India.
  • The main features of HELP are Revenue Sharing Contract, single Licence for exploration and production of conventional as well as unconventional Hydrocarbon resources, marketing & pricing freedom, etc.

About Open Acreage Licensing Policy –

  • Under the Open Acreage Licensing Programme or OALP, companies are allowed to put in an expression of interest (EoI) for prospecting of oil and gas in any area that is presently not under any production or exploration license.
  • The blocks or areas that receive EoIs (Expression of Interest) at the end of a cycle are put up for auction with the originator or the firm that originally selected the area getting a 5-mark advantage.
  • Blocks are awarded to the company which offers the highest share of oil and gas to the government as well as commits to doing maximum exploration work by seismic survey and drilling exploration wells.
  • Fields are offered under a revenue-sharing model and throw up marketing and pricing freedom for crude oil and natural gas produced.

Daily MCQs

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