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Insights Learning (I-Learning) TEST 28 : 18-25 March 2018

Insights Learning (I-Learning) TEST 28 : 18-25 March 2018

  1. Soil colour

The soil colour gives an indication of the various processes going-on in the soil as well as the type of minerals in the soil.  

  • The red colour in the soil is due to the abundance of iron oxide under oxidised conditions (well-drainage) in the soil; dark colour is generally due to the accumulation of highly decayed organic matter; yellow colour is due to hydrated iron oxides and hydroxide; black nodules are due to manganese oxides; mottling and gleying are associated with poor drainage and/or high water table.
  • Abundant pale yellow mottles coupled with very low pH are indicative of possible acid sulphate soils.
  • Colours of soil matrix and mottles are indicative of the water and drainage conditions in the soil and hence suitability of the soil for aquaculture.


Soil colour is described by the parameters called hue, value and chroma. Hue represents the dominant wave length or colour of the light; value, refers to the lightness of the colour; chroma, relative purity or strength of the colour.

Source: Additional Research: Chapter 9: 7th NCERT Science


  1. North East Rural Livelihood Project (NERLP)

Supported by World Bank, NERLP is a major initiative for addressing the needs of employment, income and natural resource sustainability of the rural population of the NE Region.

Objectives of NERLP are:

  1. Create sustainable community institutions around women Self-Help Groups (SHGs), Youth Groups of men and women (YG) and Community Development Groups (CDG).
  2. Build capacity of community institutions for self governance, bottom up planning, democratic functioning with transparency and accountability.
  3. Increase economic and livelihood opportunities by
  • Managing natural resources and improving agriculture for food security and income enhancement from farming and allied activities
  • Skill development of youth for employability and establishment of self and/or group managed enterprises
  • Establishing backward and forward linkages for economic enterprises
  • Creating access to finance through linkages with banks and other financial institutions
  • Creating critical infrastructures
  1. Develop partnership of community institutions for natural resource management, microfinance, market linkages, and sectoral economic services.

The project is for a period of five years. It covers two districts each in Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and 5 districts in Tripura.

Recent Context: Online marketplace and hospitality service provider Airbnb has signed four MoUs to boost tourism North East India.

  • The MoUs were singed under aegis of Ministry of Development of North East Region (DoNER).
  • They were signed on behalf of North Eastern Council (NEC), North East Tourism Development Council (NETDC), North East Rural Livelihood Project (NERLP) and North Eastern Region Community Resource Management Project (NERCORMP).

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  1. Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)
  • Digital Signature Certificates (DSC) are the digital equivalent (that is electronic format) of physical or paper certificates.
  • A digital certificate can be presented electronically to prove one’s identity, to access information or services on the Internet or to sign certain documents digitally.
  • Digital Signatures are legally admissible in a Court of Law, as provided under the provisions of IT Act, 2000.

Procedure and types

A licensed Certifying Authority (CA) issues the digital signature. Certifying Authority (CA) means a person who has been granted a license to issue a digital signature certificate under Section 24 of the Indian IT-Act 2000. 

The different types of Digital Signature Certificates are:

  • Class 2: Here, the identity of a person is verified against a trusted, pre-verified database.
  • Class 3: This is the highest level where the person needs to present himself or herself in front of a Registration Authority (RA) and prove his/ her identity.

The Certifying Authorities are authorized to issue a Digital Signature Certificate with a validity of one or two years.




  1. Advantage(s) of Tissue Culture

It is a collection of techniques used to maintain or grow plant cells, tissues or organs under sterile conditions on a nutrient culture medium of known composition.

It is widely used to produce clones of a plant in a method known as micropropagation.

Advantages over traditional methods of propagation:

  • The production of exact copies of plants that produce particularly good flowers, fruits, or have other desirable traits.
  • To quickly produce mature plants.
  • The production of multiples of plants in the absence of seeds or necessary pollinators to produce seeds.
  • The regeneration of whole plants from plant cells that have been genetically modified.
  • The production of plants in sterile containers that allows them to be moved with greatly reduced chances of transmitting diseases, pests, and pathogens.
  • The production of plants from seeds that otherwise have very low chances of germinating and growing, i.e.: orchids and Nepenthes.
  • To clean particular plants of viral and other infections and to quickly multiply these plants as ‘cleaned stock’ for horticulture and agriculture.

Plant tissue culture relies on the fact that many plant cells have the ability to regenerate a whole plant (totipotency).

Source: Additional Research: Page 177: Chapter 10: NCERT XIIth: Biology


  1. The Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP)

It is a partnership under the auspices of the International Council for Science (ICSU) for the integrated study of the Earth system, the ways that it is changing, and the implications for global and regional sustainability. It includes Diversitas (an integrated programme of biodiversity science), IGBP, WCRP and IHDP.

The central activities of the ESSP are Joint Projects on issues of global sustainability, designed to address the global environmental change aspects of four critical issues for human well-being: energy and the carbon cycle (GCP), food security (GECAFS), water resources (GWSP) and human health (GEC&HH).

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It is the International Programme of Biodiversity Science.

DIVERSITAS provides an international framework for scientists around the world to address the questions posed by biodiversity loss.


  • Develop common international frameworks for collaborative research;
  • Form research networks to tackle focused scientific questions;
  • Promote standardised methodologies;
  • Guide and facilitate construction of global databases;
  • Facilitate efficient patterns of resource allocation, and undertake analysis, synthesis and integration activities on particular biodiversity themes;
  • Promote practical application of cutting-edge science to support policy and contributing to the Convention on Biological Diversity.