Prelims Booster

26th May – Prelims Booster

‘Shahi Lichi’ and ‘Zardalu Mango’

Bihar Postal Circle has made an agreement with Department of Horticulture, Government of Bihar for logistics of Shahi Lichi from Muzaffarpur and Zardalu Mango from Bhagalpur and its delivery to the door step of the people.


  • Because of lockdown to contain the spread of corona virus, Litchi & Mangoes cultivators have been finding it difficult to carry/transport their fruits to the markets for sale.
  • Its supply amongst people has become big challenge and so to meet the demand of public and for giving market space directly to farmers to sell their fruits without any middlemen, the Department of Horticulture, Govt.of Bihar & Department of Posts, Govt of India have joined hands for this initiative.

About Shahi Lichi –

  • It is mostly grown in Muzaffarpur and its neighbouring districts of East Champaran, Vaishali, Samastipur and Begusarai.
  • It was accorded the Geographical Indication (GI) Tag in 2018.
  • The lychee (Litchi chinensis) is the sole member of the genus Litchi in the soapberry family, Sapindaceae.
  • It is a tropical and subtropical fruit tree native to southern China, Taiwan, Bangladesh and Southeast Asia, and now cultivated in many parts of the world.
  • Prelims Fact – A chemical in the lychee caused hypoglycemia led to a catastrophic fall in the children’s blood sugar, when consumed on an empty stomach. It became a cause of widespread deaths of children in the region.

About Zardalu Mango –

  • It was accorded the Geographical Indication (GI) Tag in 2017.
  • It is a unique product from Bhagalpur district of Bihar and it is known for its light yellow skin and special aroma.
  • It was first planted in Bhagalpur region by Maharaja Rahmat Ali Khan Bahadur of Kharagpur.

L7 (Quadricycle)

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has issued notification regarding the emission norms for L7 (Quadricycle) category for BS VI.

What is L7 category of vehicles?

  • The European Classification for vehicle category notifies vehicles with M, N and L categories.
  • L – Motor vehicles with less than four wheels and some lightweight four-wheelers.
  • L6 – A vehicle with four wheels whose unladen mass is not more than 350 kg, not including the mass of the batteries in case of BEV’s, whose maximum design speed is not more than 45 km/h, and whose power does not exceed 4 kW.
  • L7 – Other than that classified for the category L6, whose unladen mass is not more than 450 kg (650 kg for those intended to carrying goods), not including the mass of batteries in the case of BEV’s, whose power does not exceed 15 kW.
  • There are two categories of quadricycles: light quadricycles (L6e) and heavy quadricycles (L7e).

What are Bharat Stage norms?

  • Bharat Stage emission standards, introduced in 2000, are emission standards that have been set up the Central government to regulate the output of air pollutants from internal combustion engine equipment, including motor vehicles.
  • Bharat Emission Standards (BS) is standard set for automobile industry which quantifies the emission of pollutants like NO, PM etc.
  • This concept is borrowed from European Standards which are currently undergoing Euro VI standards as against our BS IV.

Difference between BS-IV and BS-VI –

  • The major difference in standards between the existing BS-IV and the new BS-VI auto fuel norms is the presence of sulphur.
  • The newly introduced fuel is estimated to reduce the amount of sulphur released by 80 per cent, from 50 parts per million to 10 ppm.
  • As per the analysts, the emission of NOx (nitrogen oxides) from diesel cars is also expected to reduce by nearly 70 per cent and 25 per cent from cars with petrol engines.
  • Current rise of pollution and life threatening breathing air in metropolitan cities have pushed government to rethink and decided to follow better standards like BS VI by even skipping BS V.

Katkari Tribe

Katkari Tribe has formed “Adivasi Ekatmik Samajik Sanstha” in Shahapur area of Thane district, which markets Giloy and other products.

What is ‘Giloy’?

Tinospora cordifolia, which is known by the common names heart-leaved moonseed, guduchi, and giloy in Ayurveda, is used in medicines which treat various kinds of fever (viral fever, malaria, etc.) as well as diabetes. It is used in extract form, powder form or cream. It is indigenous to the tropical areas of Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka.

About Katkari Tribes –

  • The Katkari are an Indian Tribe mostly belonging to the state of Maharashtra. They have been categorised as a Scheduled tribe. They are one of the 75 Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups.
  • They are bilingual, speaking the Katkari language, a dialect of the Marathi-Konkani languages, with each other; they speak Marathi with the Marathi speakers, who are a majority in the populace where they live.
  • In Maharashtra the Katkari have been designated a Particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG), along with two other groups included in this sub-category: the Madia Gond and the Kolam.
  • The Census of India 2001 (GOI 2012) indicates that Maharashtra is home to 235,022 Katkari, mainly in Raigad and Thane districts.
  • Small numbers of Katkari also live the states of Gujarat, Karnataka and Rajasthan.
  • The food habits of the Katkari are a reason for their social exclusion. The Katkari are one of only a few tribal groups in India that eat rodents, including the Little Indian Field Mouse, the Black Rat and the Greater or Indian Bandicoot.
  • They believe that their strength and long life comes from eating the meat of rodents.

What are PVTGs?

  • There are certain tribal communities who have declining or stagnant population, low level of literacy, pre-agricultural level of technology and are economically backward. They generally inhabit remote localities having poor infrastructure and administrative support.
  • These groups are among the most vulnerable section of our society as they are few in numbers, have not attained any significant level of social and economic development.
  • 75 such groups have been identified and categorised as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).

About Pradhan Mantri Van Dhana Yojana –

  • Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana (PMVDY) is a retail marketing led value addition plan for Minor Forest Produce (MFP), meant for forest-based tribes to optimise the tribal income, locally.
  • Under the program, MFP-based tribal groups/enterprises of around 300 members are formed for collection, value addition, packaging & marketing of Minor Forest Produces (MFPs).
  • These tribal enterprises will be in the form of Van Dhan SHGs which will be a group of 15-20 members and such 15 SHG groups will further be federated into a larger group of Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVKS) of around 300 members.
  • TRIFED will support the VDVKs through providing them with model business plans, processing plans & tentative list of equipment for carrying out the value addition work of MFPs.

Ramkinkar Baij

Ministry of Culture’s National Gallery of Modern Art has organised a virtual tour titled ‘Ramkinkar Baij’ to commemorate the 115th Birth Anniversary of Ramkinkar Baij on 26th May, 2020.

Who is Ramkinkar Baij?

  • Ramkinkar Baij was the earliest Indian artist to experiment with abstract sculptural forms. His oil on canvas paintings have a singular experimenting quality going beyond its time, unregimented by dogmas and with only one commitment – to be unstintingly creative.
  • Born in Bankura in West Bengal in 1910, Ramkinkar Baij studied at the Kala Bhavan, Vishwa Bharati University, Santiniketan in 1925.
  • Trained by two European sculptors, one of whom was a disciple of Bourdelle, who were on a visit to Santiniketan on an invitation by Tagore, his style was still uniquely his own. Groomed by his mentors, Nandalal Bose and Tagore, the clay modeler turned artist.
  • Working at a time when traditional art was transitioning to modern art, Baij’s work proved to be crucial to Indian art history. Nature and Baij’s own folk background turned out to be the crucial influences in the formation of his own style. Later, he headed the Department of Sculpture at the Kala Bhavan.
  • He believed that it is only momentum that creates tension in a work of art. His work is characterised by a tremendous energy; his art is joyous, vital and reaching out to light. It is earthy and dynamic while showing a surging movement or growth.
  • His path-breaking work in sculpture has been both acknowledged and respected, first in Santiniketan, then across the country, and internationally as well. His sand and pebble sculptures are noted for a typical, lyrical, metrical sensuality, which has an amazing oneness with nature. Indian sculpture, hitherto limited to academic naturalism, was transformed by this artist.
  • He integrated elements of Santhal tribal art and life into his own work and enhanced them by an understanding of Western expressionism that was gleaned from books at the library of the Kala Bhavan.
  • Although primarily known for his expressionistic sculpture, he was a gifted painter. This sense of rhythm that his sculpture is noted for is manifest brilliantly in his watercolors. The fluidity of this medium lent itself to his style.
  • His works in the Kalighat tradition interconnected with Cubism to achieve a peculiarly personal idiom. Both his sculpture and his paintings are unprompted and bold. 
  • Awards and Honours – He was invited to participate in the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles in 1950 and in the Salon de Mai in 1951. In the national honours began to come his way one after the other. In 1970, the Government of India honoured him with the Padma Bhushan for his irrefutable contribution to Indian art. In 1976 he was made a Fellow of the Lalit Kala Akademi. In 1976, he was conferred the honorary Doctoral Degree of ‘Desikottama’ by Visva Bharati, and in 1979 an honorary D.Litt by Rabindra Bharati University.
  • Baij died on August 2, 1980, in Kolkata.

Grand Renaissance Dam

Africa’s longest river, Nile has been at the centre of a decade-long complex dispute involving several countries in the continent who are dependent on the river’s waters.

What is the dispute?

  • When completed, the Grand Rennaissance Dam hydropower project being constructed by Ethiopia, will be Africa’s largest. While the main waterways of the Nile run through Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan and Egypt, its drainage basin runs through other countries in East Africa, including Ethiopia.
  • Ethiopia’s mega project on the Nile may just allow the country to control the river’s waters, and this is essentially what concerns Egypt because it lies downstream.
  • Egypt has objected to these plans and has proposed a longer timeline for the project because it does not want the water level of the Nile to dramatically drop as the reservoir fills with water in the initial stages.
  • For the past four years, tripartite talks between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have been unable to reach agreements. Egypt isn’t alone in its concerns. Sudan is hardly a passive observer caught in the conflict just because of its location. It too believes Ethiopia having control over the river through the dam may affect its own water supplies.

Background –

  • Ethiopia began construction of the dam in 2011 on the Blue Nile tributary that runs across one part of the country.
  • Egypt has objected to the construction of this dam and in Sudan has found itself caught in the midst of this conflict.
  • Due to the importance of the Nile as a necessary water source in the region, observers are concerned that this dispute may evolve into a full-fledged conflict between the two nations. The US has stepped in to mediate.


Cicadas are insects that spend most of their lives underground and emerge from the soil mainly to mate. Once out of the ground, their life span is fairly short, somewhere between two-four weeks.

What happens when they emerge?

  • After emerging from the ground in billions, the cicadas shed their exoskeletons or outer skins to take their winged form.
  • Their exoskeletons are frequently found attached to tree trunks and twigs.
  • Male cicadas “sing” to attract the females, the collective chorus of these male cicadas is very loud and can reach up to 100 decibels, which is as much as a powered lawnmower.
  • After mating, the females lay their eggs in twigs that are ½ to ¼ in diameter. 

What is the issue?

The egg-laying by the cicadas causes significant damage to small twigs. They damage many ornamental and hardwood trees, especially newly planted fruit and ornamental trees such as apple, dogwood, peach, cherry and pear among others, which are the most seriously damaged.

Daily MCQs

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