Prelims Exam

Short Notes or Revision Notes 


Panhala Fort

Context: Celebrated World Heritage Day by ASI, Mumbai Circle

Location: Panhala, Kolhapur, Maharashtra (Strategically near trade routes)


  • Built between 1178-1209 CE by Shilahara ruler Bhoja II.
  • Reflects rule changes – Yadavas, Bahamanis, Adil Shahis, Marathas, Mughals.


  • 3 Double-Walled Gates: Chaar Darwaja, Teen Darwaja, Wagh Darwaja
  • Water Bodies: Someshwar Tank, Sadhoba Tank, Khokad Tank, Idgah Tank
  • Nayikinicha Sajja (3-story dancing girl’s tower) – Built under Ibrahim Adil Shah II
  • Sajja Kothi (Double-storied structure with upper gallery – Highest point on the hill)


  • Declared a Monument of National Importance in 1954.
  • Nominated by ASI for UNESCO World Heritage List under “Maratha Military Landscapes” title.



IRDAI Celebrates 25th Anniversary (Silver Jubilee)


  • Established in 1999 (as per Malhotra Committee recommendations).
  • Incorporated as a statutory body under Ministry of Finance in 2000.
  • Objective: Regulate & develop insurance industry, protecting policyholders.

Recent Initiatives:

  • Age Limit Removed for Health Insurance (April 1, 2024):Individuals can now buy health insurance policies beyond age 65.
  • Bima Sugam:A one-stop platform connecting all insurance stakeholders (companies, policyholders, intermediaries etc.) using advanced technology.
  • Regulatory Consolidation:Replaced 34 regulations with 6 for better clarity and coherence.
  • Mandatory E-Insurance:Digitization of insurance policies for streamlined processes and improved accessibility.
  • Reduced Health Insurance Waiting Period:From 48 months to 36 months (pre-existing conditions).

Concluding Remarks:

  • IRDAI has played a key role in:
    • Fostering innovation.
    • Safeguarding consumer interests.
    • Propelling industry advancement.
  • It has revolutionized the sector by prioritizing policyholder well-being.



Mount Ruang Eruption and Ring of Fire

Indonesia Eruption:

  • Mount Ruang volcano erupted in Indonesia, triggering a tsunami alert.
  • Indonesia faces frequent volcanic activity due to its location on the Ring of Fire (120 active volcanoes).

Volcanic Eruptions:

  • Volcano: Vent or fissure in Earth’s crust where lava, ash, rocks, and gases erupt.
  • Types: Active, dormant, extinct.
  • Magma: Lighter than rock, rises through vents and becomes lava on eruption.

Ring of Fire:

  • Also called Circum-Pacific Belt.
  • Path along Pacific Ocean with frequent volcanic and earthquake activity.
  • Borders tectonic plates (Pacific, Cocos, etc.)
  • 75% of world’s volcanoes and 90% of earthquakes.


  • Subduction of oceanic plates under continental plates.
  • Subduction zone: Area where plates meet, causing lower plate to melt and become magma.




Bird Flu (H5N1) Outbreak in Kerala

Recent Event: Alappuzha district, Kerala, hit by bird flu outbreak (April 2024).

Bird Flu (Avian Influenza):

  • First detected in India (Maharashtra) in 2006.
  • Caused by H5N1 virus (Orthomyxoviridae family).
  • Primarily affects birds.


  • Rare human transmission (person-to-person even rarer).
  • Safe to consume properly cooked poultry and eggs.

Symptoms in Birds:

  • Nervousness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Tremors
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling and redness around head/eyes

Symptoms in Humans (Rare):

  • Cough
  • Muscle aches
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat


  • Antiviral medication (Oseltamivir) can lessen symptom severity and duration.


Rodenticide Poisoning & Yellow Phosphorus

In the News:

  • Multiple states facing deaths due to ingesting yellow phosphorus-based rat poison.
  • Tamil Nadu (2019 survey):
    • 450 cases of liver toxicity from rat poison ingestion.
    • TN government using plasma exchange for treatment.

About Yellow Phosphorus:

  • One of three forms of phosphorus (white, red, black).
  • Discolored white phosphorus (red phosphorus mixed in).
  • General protoplasmic toxin.
  • Used in fireworks, rodenticides, fertilizers.



DURGA-2 Laser Defense System (DRDO)

In News: DRDO testing prototype of DURGA-2 laser defense system.

Function: Destroys targets with focused energy (lasers, microwaves, particle beams).

Global Context:

  • Russia, France, Germany, UK, Israel, China have similar systems.
  • Laser beams not affected by gravity or atmosphere.


  • Neutralizes drones, missiles at launch or in flight (speed of light).
  • Deflects missiles, destroys fighter aircraft.
  • 100% kill probability (compared to current systems).




Olive Ridley Sea Turtles

Delayed Nesting:

  • Annual mass nesting near Rushikulya river (Odisha) delayed by over a month.

Habitat: Warm waters of Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans.

Unique Nesting:

  • Arribada: Thousands of females gather on beaches to lay eggs.
  • Hatch in 45-60 days.
  • Gender determined by egg temperature:
    • Below 29°C = Male
    • Above 29°C = Female


  • Smallest sea turtles.
  • Olive green shell.
  • Up to 2.5 ft long, 30-45 kg weight.

Diet: Shrimp, crab, molluscs, fish.

Nesting Sites (India):

  • Rushikulya rookery coast (Odisha)
  • Gahirmatha beach (Bhitarkanika National Park)
  • Mouth of Devi River


  • Increased flooding and cyclones.
  • Skewed sex ratio due to global warming.
  • Hunting for meat and shell.
  • Fishing trawlers.

Conservation Status:

  • Vulnerable (IUCN Red List)
  • Schedule I (Wildlife Protection Act, 1972)
  • Appendix I (CITES)░



Science & Tech.

Meta Unveils Powerful LLM: Llama 3

Context: Meta introduces its most advanced Large Language Model (LLM), Llama 3.

Key Feature: Image generation that updates in real-time based on user input.

What is Llama 3?

  • Family of LLMs developed by Meta AI (introduced in 2023).
  • Latest version (Llama 3) comes in two sizes: 8B and 70B parameters.
  • More parameters indicate a more complex and powerful AI model.

Large Language Models (LLMs):

  • AI algorithms using deep learning to process massive data sets.
  • Analyze unstructured data (text, code, etc.) to understand and generate content.
  • Deep learning helps identify patterns and relationships within data.

In essence, Llama 3 is a powerful AI tool that can understand, summarize, and create new content based on vast amounts of data.


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