Essential Facts (Prelims): 24 January, 2019

Important Terms and Related Facts for IAS Prelims.

Monkey Fever

Category: Science & Technology

  • Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD) is also known as monkey fever.
  • It is a viral disease.
  • It is transmitted to humans through a species of ticks usually found on monkeys.
  • It even leads to death.

Sea Vigil

Category: Defence & Security

  • India conducted its largest coastal defence drill, Exercise Sea Vigil, to test its preparedness along the entire 7,516.6 km-long-coastline and exclusive economic zone of the country.
  • Exercise Sea Vigil aims to comprehensively and holistically validate the efficacy of the measures taken since 26/11.
  • It aims to simultaneously activate the coastal security mechanism across all 13 coastal States and Union Territories.
  • Post 26/11, the Navy was designated as the agency responsible for overall maritime security, including offshore and coastal security, while the Coast Guard was designated as the agency responsible for coastal security in territorial waters.


Category: Science & Technology

  • ISRO’s first mission of 2019 will put into space a 130-kg military imaging satellite, Microsat-R.
  • The satellite would be placed in a polar orbit 274 km away from Earth. This is much lower than any of its civil Earth observation spacecraft, which fly pole to pole over the globe at between 400 km and 700 km.
  • Microsat-R is meant for military use.

Autonomous Councils

Category: Constitution & Polity

  • The Union Cabinet approved a constitutional amendment to increase the financial and executive powers of the 10 autonomous councils in the Sixth Schedule areas of the northeast.
  • The amendment would impact a population of about 1 crore tribals living in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
  • The Finance Commission would be mandated to recommend devolution of financial resources to the councils, the government said in an official statement.
  • Till now, the autonomous councils have depended on grants from Central Ministries and the State governments for specific projects.
  • At least one third of the seats would be reserved for women in the village and municipal councils in the Sixth Schedule areas of Assam, Mizoram and Tripura.
  • The proposed amendments provide for elected village municipal councils, ensuring democracy at the grass-roots level.
  • The State Election Commissions would hold elections to the autonomous councils, village and municipal councils in the areas of Assam, Mizoram and Tripura.


Category: Indian Economy

  • The Union Cabinet approved the creation of a National Bench of the Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal (GSTAT).
  • GSTAT would serve as the forum of second appeals to do with the applicability of GST, and will also be the first common forum of dispute resolution between the Centre and the States.
  • GSTAT will consist of a technical member from the Centre and a representative of the States.
  • CGST Act empowers the Centre to constitute, on the recommendation of the GST Council, an appellate tribunal for hearing appeals against the orders passed by the Appellate Authority.


Category: International Relations

  • Indian Africa Field Training Exercise (IAFTX)-2019 is being conducted at Pune.
  • The joint training exercise is being conducted with more than a dozen African countries & India.
  • It aims at synergysing humanitarian mine action and joint peace operations.