Essential Facts (Prelims): 23 November, 2018


  • Softer crude oil prices, along with foreign fund inflows, helped the rupee post a gain over the dollar.
  • The gain in rupee will help lower the current account deficit. As a result, the current account deficit could be at 2.6% of the GDP against 2.8% of the GDP previously estimated.
  • The strengthening of the rupee also gives an opportunity to boost foreign exchange reserves.


  • SEBI has come out with new rules for re-classification of a promoter as a public investor.
  • An outgoing promoter will have to relinquish special rights as well as control over the affairs of the listed firm and not be allowed to hold over 10% stake.
  • The promoter would not be allowed to have any representation on the board of directors or act as a key managerial person in the listed entity.
  • Such listed firms need to be compliant with 25% minimum public shareholding requirement;

Suspended animation

  • The dissolution of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly has helped clear the way for the ratification of President’s rule.
  • If the Assembly was still in suspended animation, the NDA government would have found it difficult to get President’s rule ratified.
  • Jammu and Kashmir was placed under Governor’s rule on June 19 for six months, which expires on December 19, following which President’s rule would be imposed.
  • The ratification has to be done by both houses of Parliament within two months of imposition of President’s rule.
  • In Jammu and Kashmir, after six months of governor’s rule, President’s rule is imposed on a report from the governor.
  • If the Assembly is in suspended animation at the time of President’s rule, all the powers of the Assembly are transferred to Parliament.
  • As long as President’s rule is in effect, Parliament makes laws on the 61 subjects on the state list.
  • The money Bills of the state are also approved by Parliament during this time.

Human microbiome

  • The human body carries diverse communities of microorganisms, which are mainly bacterial. These are referred to as “human microbiome”.
  • These organisms play a key role in many aspects of host physiology, ranging from metabolism of otherwise complex indigestible carbohydrates and fats to producing essential vitamins, maintaining immune systems and acting as a first line of defense against pathogens.
  • Microbiome research is still in its infancy in India. India lacks is a national microbiome initiative similar to those in other countries.

Jute industry

  • The govt approved that “100 per cent of food grains and 20 per cent of sugar shall be packed in diversified jute bags”.
  • Earlier, it was compulsory to pack 90 per cent of food grains and 20 per cent of sugar in jute bags.
  • The jute industry is predominantly dependent on the government sector, which purchases jute bags worth more than Rs 6,500 crore every year for packing food grains.


  • The Nicobar tribes are Mongoloid; the Andaman tribes, including the Sentinelese, are Negrito — evidence for the Homo sapiens migration from East Africa some 70,000 years ago.
  • The Sentinelese are a pre-Neolithic people who have inhabited North Sentinel Island for an estimated 55,000 years without contact with the outside world.
  • They are short statured, possibly due to the “island effect” that causes genetic limitation over time. The Sentinelese and other aboriginal tribes of the archipelago are protected under The Andaman and Nicobar (Protection of Aboriginal Tribes) Regulation, 1956.
  • Due to their isolation, it is unlikely the Sentinelese have immunity against even common diseases.
  • A large chunk of the population of the 10 Great Andamanese tribes was wiped out after the indigenous peoples caught syphilis, measles, and influenza on an epidemic scale following contact with the early settlers.
  • The Sentinelese remain animistic in faith.

Procedure of declaring drought

  • The first step is to look at two mandatory indicators — rainfall deviation and dry spell.
  • In the third step, States will conduct sample survey for ground truthing in order to make a final determination of drought. The finding of field verification exercise will be the final basis for judging the intensity of drought as ‘severe’ or ‘moderate’.”
  • Once a drought is determined, the state government needs to issue a notification specifying the geographical extent. The notification is valid for six months, unless de-notified earlier.