Facts in News


    Facts in News

    Jagannath Temple

    The Jagannath Temple has been closed due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in Odisha.


    Key Points

    • Constructed by: King Anatavarman Chodaganga Deva, the first king of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty in the 12th century.
    • It is dedicated to Lord Jagannath, a form of Lord Vishnu.
    • It is well known as ‘Yamanika Tirtha’.
      • The power of ‘Yama’, the god of death, has been nullified in Puri due to the presence of Lord Jagannath.
    • It is also called the “White Pagoda”.
      • This temple is part of Char Dham pilgrimages (Badrinath, Dwaraka, Puri, Rameswaram).
    • Architecture:
      • Structure:
        • Garba griha
        • Mukhashala
        • Nata mandir 
        • Bhoga Mandapa
      • Four gates: 
        • Eastern ‘Singhdwara’ 
        • Southern ‘Ashwadwara’ 
        • Western ‘Vyaghra Dwara’ and 
        • Northern ‘Hastidwara’. 
      • In front of the entrance stands the Aruna stambha or sun pillar, which was originally at the Sun Temple in Konark.

    Image Courtesy: LiveMint

    Kangaroo Mother Care

    May 15 has been celebrated as International Kangaroo Mother Care Awareness Day.

    Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC)

    • It refers to the practice of providing continuous skin-to-skin contact between the mother and the baby.
    • Benefits:
      • It is the most feasible, readily available, and preferred intervention for decreasing neonatal morbidity and mortality in developed and developing countries.
      • KMC is extremely beneficial for babies who are born prematurely and have low birth weights.
      • It has also reduced severe infections/ sepsis, nosocomial infections, hypothermia, severe illness, and respiratory tract disease in low birth weight babies
      • It creates an optimal environment for the adaptation of preterm babies to extra-uterine life.

    Image courtesy: Healthy Newborn

    National Investigation Agency (NIA)

    The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is conducting the probe related to terrorist organizations.

    National Investigation Agency (NIA)

    • Founded in: 2008
    • Headquarters: New Delhi
    • It is a statutory body created by an act of Parliament.
    • Objective:
      • It is India’s counter-terrorism task force, which is empowered to investigate terror-related crimes in any part of the country without special permission from the states.
    • NIA (Amendment) Act 2019:
      • It empowers the NIA to probe terror attacks targeting Indians and Indian interests abroad.
      • Investigation can also be conducted in other offenses such as human trafficking; circulation of fake currency; manufacture and sale of prohibited arms; and cyber-terrorism.

    Elephant Seals

    Recently, Scientists have conducted research on the feeding behavior of northern elephant seals.


    Key Points:

    • Elephant seals get their name from the prominent noses of the males that resemble an elephant’s trunk
    • Species: the northern elephant seal and southern elephant seal. 
      • The two are the world’s biggest seals and the largest marine mammals other than whales.
      • The males feed only in coastal waters.
    • Size: 10 feet (male) to 13 feet (female).
    • Diet: Carnivores
    • Native Areas: Pacific coast of the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
    • Life Span: 
      • Northern Elephant Seal is 9 years
      • Southern Elephant Seal is 21 years old.
    • IUCN Status: Least Concern (for both species)
    • Threats: Entanglement in marine debris, fishery interactions, and boat collisions.

    Image Courtesy: National Geographic

    Convalescent Plasma Therapy (CPT)

    Recently, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) dropped convalescent plasma therapy (CPT) from the national clinical management protocol for Covid-19.

    Convalescent Plasma Therapy (CPT): 

    • CPT (also called immunoglobulins) uses blood from people who’ve recovered from an illness to help others recover.
      • Blood donated by people who’ve recovered from COVID-19 has antibodies to the virus that causes it. 
      • The donated blood is processed to remove blood cells, leaving behind liquid (plasma) and antibodies. 
      • These can be given to people with COVID-19 to boost their ability to fight the virus.
    • Plasma is the clear liquid portion of the blood that remains after red and white blood cells, platelets, and other cellular components have been taken from it.
    • Immunoglobulins are a class of proteins present in the serum and cells of the immune system, which functions as antibodies.

    National Crisis Management Committee

    Recently, the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) has reviewed the preparedness of concerned authorities to tackle Cyclone Tauktae.

    National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC):

    • The Committee is headed by the Cabinet Secretary and secretaries of all concerned ministries/ departments.
    • It functions under the Ministry of Home Affairs and is an integral part of the National Disaster Management System.
      • It is the country’s apex body to handle any emergency
    • Objective: Effective coordination and implementation of relief measures and operations in the wake of natural calamity.

    Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients

    Due to the shortage of vaccines amid pandemic, the demand for the use of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) increased a lot.

    Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API)/Bulk Drugs 

    • It is the biologically active component of a drug product (tablet, capsule, cream, injectable) that produces the intended effects. 
      • For example, paracetamol is a bulk drug that is mixed with binding agents or solvents to prepare the finished pharmaceutical product.
      • APIs are prepared from multiple reactions involving chemicals and solvents. 
      • The primary chemical or the basic raw material which undergoes reactions to form an API is called the key starting material, or KSM
      • Chemical compounds formed during the intermediate stages during these reactions are called drug intermediates or DIs.
    • Currently India is dependent on China for its 70 percent of the API imports.
    • Under the Ama Nirbhar Bharat, India has set up three  bulk drug parks in partnership with the states, and even the Environment Ministry has exempted Green Impact Assessment for these.


    Recently, the Punjab Government declared Malerkotla as the 23rd district of the State

    Key Points

    • Creation of New Districts: 
      • The power to create new districts or alter or abolish existing districts rests with the State governments.
      • This can be done either through an executive order or by passing a law in the State Assembly. 
      • Many states prefer the executive route by simply issuing a notification in the official gazette.
    • Benefits:
      • The smaller districts lead to better administration and governance.
      • The formation of new districts would be better served by local bodies with more powers.
      • Districts are the three-tier of India’s governance after union and state.
    • Role of Central Government: 
      • The Centre has no role to play in the alteration of districts or creation of new ones
      • The Ministry of Home Affairs comes into the picture when a State wants to change the name of a district or a railway station.

    Additional Information:

    • According to the 2011 Census, there were 593 districts in the country.
      • Between 2001-2011, as many as 46 districts were created by the States. 
    • Till 2020, there are 741 districts in the country.
    • States with Most Districts: Uttar Pradesh (75), Madhya Pradesh (52), Bihar (38), Tamil Nadu (37), Maharashtra (36), 33 each in Assam, Rajasthan, and Gujarat, Telangana (31), 30 each in Karnataka and Odisha.
    • State with Lowest Districts: Goa (2).

    Image Courtesy: Indian Express