Essential Facts (Prelims): 2 December, 2018


  • The Maternity Benefit Amendment Act, 2017, enhancing paid maternity leave from a period of 12 weeks to 26 weeks.
  • The law is applicable to all institutions with 10 or more employees.
  • It also makes it mandatory for every organisation with 50 or more employees to have a crèche.
  • New guidelines by the govt. recommend that a crèche be either at the workplace or within 500 metres of it. Alternatively, it could also be in the beneficiaries’ neighbourhood.
  • The facility should be open for eight to 10 hours.
  • A crèche must have a minimum space of 10 to 12 square feet per child to ensure that she or he can play, rest and learn.
  • There should also be a grievance redressal committee for inquiring into instances of sexual abuse. The guidelines are not mandatory but are a yardstick for NGOs and organisations for setting up of creches.


  • There are 13 tiger-range countries.
  • Signatories to the Global Tiger Recovery Program have set up a goal to double tiger numbers from about 3,200 to about 6,000 by 2022.


  • Rotavirus infection is one of the leading causes of gastroenteritis in children under five years worldwide.
  • Babies in 10 Indian states are immunised against rotavirus.


  • The H1-B visa has an annual numerical limit cap of 65,000 visas each fiscal year.
  • The H1B visa, popular among Indian IT companies and professionals, is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.


  • Companies launching new cosmetics will be required to submit safety data to the regulator for seeking approval.
  • Cosmetics will also have to comply with packaging standards prescribed by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and cannot use animals for testing.
  • At present, cosmetics are covered under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act but there were no separate regulations for cosmetics.


  • The missile can be launched from land, sea, sub-sea, and air against surface and sea-based targets.
  • Initially, the range was capped ta 290 km to meet obligations of MTCR.
  • After India Joined MTCR in 2006, the range was extended to 450 km.

Living Planet Index

  • The Living Planet Index (LPI) is a measure of the state of the world’s biological diversity based on population trends of vertebrate species from terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats. The LPI has been adopted by the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) as an indicator of progress towards its 2011-2020 target to ‘take effective and urgent action to halt the loss of biodiversity’.
  • The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) manages the index in cooperation with the World Wildlife Fund.
  • It recognizes five types of threats.
  • Habitat loss is the most commonly recorded threat, followed by overexploitation.


  • It is a telescope located in Chile.