Essential Facts (Prelims): 13 March, 2019


Category: Defence & Security

  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation successfully tested-fired
  • Pinaka is an indigenously developed guided rocket system.

Boeing 737 MAX 8

Category: Security

  • DGCA bars Boeing 737 MAX 8 after global alarm.
  • SpiceJet is the only Indian airline that operates Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.
  • The move came after European aviation regulator EASA, the U.K, France, Germany, Australia and Singapore joined a growing number of countries that have barred the aircraft from their airspace following crash of an Ethiopian Airlines plane


Category: Economy

  • Markets regulator SEBI withdrew the 20% limit on investments by Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) in corporate bonds of an entity.
  • In June last year, SEBI had mandated that no FPI shall have an exposure of more than 20% of its corporate bond portfolio to a single corporate.


Category: Biodiversity

  • Human impacts on species occur across 84% of the earth’s surface.
  • India ranks 16th in such human impacts, with 35 species impacted on average.
  • Malaysia ranks first among the countries with the highest number of impacted species (125).
  • Southeast Asian tropical forests — including those in India’s Western Ghats, Himalayas and north-east — are among the ‘hotspots’ of threatened species.
  • However, these areas are also ‘cool-spots’.
  • Cool-spots are the world’s last refuges where high numbers of threatened species still persist.
  • Cool-spots could be the result of protection or because of intact habitat.

Astrobatrachus kurichiyana

Category: Biodiversity

  • A starry dwarf frog has been discovered in Kerala.
  • It is a nocturnal amphibian that lives under leaf litter on a mountaintop in Kerala’s Wayanad.
  • It has been named the Astrobatrachus kurichiyana.
  • It is not only a new species but different enough to be assigned to a new ‘subfamily’.
  • The species is at least 60 million years old.

Essential Facts (Prelims): 11 & 12 March, 2019

Essential Facts for Prelims – CSE 2019. Daily Compilation of Important Factual Information from Relevant News Sources for Civil Services Prelims Exam (UPSC)


Category : Miscellaneous

  • F103 is a Royal Bengal tigress, F103.
  • It strayed out of north-central Assam’s Orang National Park.

Cloud seeding

Category: Science & technology

  • The Karnataka government is hoping to influence the upcoming monsoon and capture as much water as possible from the rain clouds by cloud seeding.
  • Cloud seeding uses planes to spray clouds with chemicals to condense smaller particles into larger rain droplets.

Wood snake

Category: Biodiversity

  • A species of wood snake that wasn’t seen for 140 years has resurfaced in a survey conducted by scientists in the Meghamalai Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • The species is endemic to the Meghamalai forests and the Periyar Tiger Reserve landscape.
  • The snake is a ‘point endemic’ (found only in Meghamalai).

Arms import

Category: International

  • India was the world’s second largest arms importer from 2014-18 and accounted for 9.5% of the global total.
  • Saudi Arabia is the largest importer which accounted for 12% of the total imports during the period.
  • However, Indian imports decreased by 24% between 2009-13 and 2014-18.
  • Russia accounted for 58% of Indian arms imports in 2014–18, compared with 76% in 2009-13.
  • Israel, the U.S. and France all increased their arms exports to India in 2014-18.

Gold holding

Category: Economy

  • India, which is the world’s largest consumer of gold, has the 11th largest gold reserve, with the current holding pegged at 607 tonnes, as per the latest report by the World Gold Council (WGC).
  • India’s overall position in terms of total gold holding would have been tenth had the list included only countries.
  • Whereas, International Monetary Fund (IMF) is included and is third on the list with total gold reserves of 2,814 tonnes.
  • The top slot is occupied by the U.S. followed by Germany.

UN environment

Category: Environment

  • Thousands of delegates, business leaders and campaigners are in Nairobi for the five-day UN Environment Assembly, the top annual forum on the planet’s environmental crisis.
  • The UN wants individual countries to sign up to “significantly” reduce plastic production, including a phasing out of single-use plastics by 2030 — a goal inspired by the 2015 Paris Agreement on voluntary reductions of carbon emissions.
  • In the field of plastic pollution we don’t have such agreements. This is the first time UN Environment wants to convince member states to make international commitments.
  • The world currently produces more than 300 million tonnes of plastics annually, and there are at least five trillion plastic pieces floating in our oceans.
  • Microplastics have been found in the deepest sea trenches and high up the earth’s tallest peaks.


Category: international

  • The World Health Organization launched a strategy to protect people worldwide over the next decade against the threat of influenza.
  • Influenza epidemics, largely seasonal, affect around one billion people and kill hundreds of thousands annually.
  • WHO’s new strategy, for 2019 through 2030, aims to prevent seasonal influenza, control the virus’s spread from animals to humans and prepare for the next pandemic.


 Category: International

  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989.
  • 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.
  • The FATF is therefore a “policy-making body” which works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas.
  • The FATF’s decision making body, the FATF Plenary, meets three times per year.