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Insights Learning (I-Learning) TEST 17 : 10-17 December, 2017

Insights Learning (I-Learning) TEST 17 : 10-17 December, 2017


  1. Blue Glaciers


Blue ice occurs when snow falls on a glacier, is compressed, and becomes part of the glacier. Air bubbles are squeezed out and ice crystals enlarge, making the ice appear blue.

  • Small amounts of regular ice appear to be white because of air bubbles inside them and also because small quantities of water appear to be colourless.
  • In glaciers, the pressure causes the air bubbles to be squeezed out, increasing the density of the created ice.
  • Large quantities of water appear to be blue, as it absorbs other colours more efficiently than blue. Therefore, a large piece of compressed ice, or a glacier, would appear blue.

Not Rayleigh:

The blue color is sometimes wrongly attributed to Rayleigh scattering, which is responsible for the color of the sky.

  • Rather, water ice is blue for the same reason that large quantities of liquid water are blue: it is a result of an overtone of an oxygen–hydrogen (O−H) bond stretch in water, which absorbs light at the red end of the visible spectrum.
  • Water molecules absorb other colors more efficiently than blue.
  • In the case of oceans or lakes, some of the light hitting the surface of water is reflected back directly, but most of it penetrates the surface, interacting with its molecules. The water molecule can vibrate in different modes when light hits it.

The red, orange, yellow, and green wavelengths of light are absorbed so that the remaining light is composed of the shorter wavelengths of blue and violet. This is the main reason why the ocean is blue.

So, water owes its intrinsic blueness to selective absorption in the red part of its visible spectrum.

Source: Additional Research: Glossary (Glaciers): 11th NCERT: India Physical Environment


  1. Food Safety Display Boards (FSDBs)


These are informative board which primarily display food safety and hygiene practices to be followed by food business operator (FBO) in their establishment.

As per the FSS Regulation, there is a mandatory requirement of displaying FSSAI License/Registration Number at food premises. Usually, the FSSAI license number is not visible to the consumers.

Thus, to change the overall consumer perceptibility and to strengthen food safety, FSSAI has introduced Food Safety Display Boards (FSDBs) for various food businesses.

Henceforth, in addition to the existing mandatory requirement of displaying FSSAI License/ Registration Number, it will also be mandatory (in a phased manner) for FBOs to display these Food Safety Display Boards at FBO premise.


The FSDBs are colour coded for different kind of food businesses for ease of recognition by the consumers. The colour designation as per kind of business is as follows :-

  • Restaurant (Purple)
  • Fruit & Vegetable Retail (Green)
  • Meat Retail (Red)
  • Milk Retail (Blue)
  • Street Food (Purple)
  • Retail Store (Grey)

Three important elements of FSDBs are:

  • Display of FSSAI registration/license number of the FBO, which the customer can verify at FSSAI website.
  • Food Safety and Hygiene Requirements – Inform the consumers, the food handlers and the regulatory staff about these important requirements, thus getting 360 degree assurance on food safety.
  • An effective consumer feedback system that provides various options to consumers for sending feedback through WhatsApp, SMS or give feedback on FSSAI App.

Source: Additional Research: Q on FSSAI Regulations: CSP 2016


  1. The Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region

 It is one of the greatest mountain systems in the world, encompassing an area of over 4.3 million km2.

Outside of the North and South Poles, the region contains the largest area of permanent ice cover in the world, which is why it is sometimes referred to as the ‘Third Pole’ of the earth.

Its terrain encompasses the source of 10 major river systems, 4 global biodiversity spots, 330 important bird areas, and hundreds of mountain peaks over 6,000 masl. The region provides water, ecosystem services, food, energy, and livelihood to 210 million people directly.

  • The region extends 3,500 km over all or part of eight countries from Afghanistan in the west to Myanmar in the east.
  • The ten large Asian river systems that it includes are -– the Amu Darya, Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra (Yarlungtsanpo), Irrawaddy, Salween (Nu), Mekong (Lancang), Yangtse (Jinsha), Yellow River (Huanghe), and Tarim (Dayan) – basins of these rivers provide water to 1.3 billion people, a fifth of the world’s population.
  • Everest, K2, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna are some of the highest peaks in the Hindu Kush region.

It has been predicted that this vital Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region will suffer a loss of 33 per cent of total ice volume in the by the end of the century, leading to dire consequences for people living there.



  1. Transcriptome


It is the full range of messenger RNA, or mRNA, molecules expressed by an organism.

In contrast with the genome, which is characterized by its stability, the transcriptome actively changes.

In fact, an organism’s transcriptome varies depending on many factors, including stage of development and environmental conditions.

Applications: The transcriptomes of stem cells and cancer cells are of particular interest to researchers who seek to understand the processes of cellular differentiation and carcinogenesis.

  • Analysis of the transcriptomes of human oocytes and embryos is used to understand the molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways controlling early embryonic development, and could theoretically be a powerful tool in making proper embryo selection in in vitro fertilisation.
  • Transcriptomics is an emerging and continually growing field in biomarker discovery for use in assessing the safety of drugs or chemical risk assessment.
  • Transcriptomes may also be used to infer phylogenetic relationships among individuals.

Source: Additional Research: Q on transcriptome: CSP 2016


  1. Scheme for Voluntary Certification of Yoga Professionals

The Ministry of AYUSH in pursuance of the above and in the wake of declaration of International Day of Yoga recognizes there is a huge demand for Yoga experts at national and international level.

  • QCI has designed the Yoga Professional Certification Scheme. It is not a yoga course or teachers training program. The Scheme is to validate the competence of Yoga Professionals for their knowledge and skill as per the Syllabus mentioned in the Scheme document.
  • There is no restriction on age, qualification, training or experience.
  • The certificate is valid for 3 years only. It can be renewed.

Benefits are:

  • Ministry of External Affairs body, the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) has recognized the YP Level 2 certification and made it as a pre-requisite for foreign deputation for promotion of Yoga.
  • Probability of higher employment opportunities in government schools, colleges, Yoga institutions.
  • List of successful candidates will be displayed on AYUSH website for providing any further opportunities arising
  • It will assist the learners in seeking qualified Yoga teachers.

Source: Additional Research: Q on Quality Council of India: CSP 2017




  1. The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)

It is a regional intergovernmental learning and knowledge sharing centre serving the eight regional member countries of the Hindu Kush Himalayas – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan – and based in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Globalization and climate change have an increasing influence on the stability of fragile mountain ecosystems and the livelihoods of mountain people.

  • ICIMOD aims to assist mountain people to understand these changes, adapt to them, and make the most of new opportunities, while addressing upstream-downstream issues.
  • It supports regional transboundary programmes through partnership with regional partner institutions, facilitate the exchange of experience, and serve as a regional knowledge hub.
  • It also strengthens networking among regional and global centres of excellence.