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Important Facts For Prelims

Important Facts For Prelims (13th May 2019)

  • 13 May 2019
  • 4 min read

Apache Helicopter

  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) has received the first AH-64E (I)-Apache Guardian helicopter at the Boeing production facility in Mesa, Arizona, USA.
  • The Indian government has signed a contract for 22 Apache helicopters with the US government and M/s Boeing Ltd.
  • Better known as an ‘attack helicopter’, Apache will lead to the modernisation of the IAF’s attack helicopter fleet which at present is equipped with Russian origin MI-35 helicopters that are on the verge of retirement.
  • The helicopter has been customized to suit IAF’s future requirements and would have significant capability in mountainous terrain.
    • The helicopter has the capability to carry out precision attacks at standoff ranges and operate in hostile airspace with threats from ground.
    • The helicopter also has the ability to transmit and receive battlefield picture through data uplinking and networking.

Lecanorchis taiwaniana

  • Lecanorchis taiwaniana has been recently discovered in Assam.
  • It is one of India’s smallest orchids in terms of size and duration of bloom to be recorded botanically.
  • The orchid, discovered earlier in Japan, Taiwan, and Laos, is found to have a maximum height of 40 cm and a blossoming period of five-six days.
  • Lecanorchis taiwaniana is a myco-heterotroph – one of the parasitic plants that have abandoned photosynthesis.

Abandoning Photosynthesis

  • There are a number of flowering plants that have abandoned photosynthesis, and these fall into two categories: haustorial parasites and myco-heterotrophs. (It is also called, parasitic plant, as both these groups derive their nutrients from another plant).
  • The difference is that haustorial parasites feed directly on another plant via a modified root called the haustorium.
  • Mycoheterotrophs obtain their nutrition indirectly from the plant via a mycorrhizal fungus. The mycorrhizal fungus, attached to the roots of a photosynthetic plant, thus acts as a bridge between that plant and the mycoheterotroph, such that nutrients (carbon) flow from plant root, to mycorrhizal fungus to the myco-heterotroph.

Ganga Jatara

  • Tirupati Ganga Jatara is the annual folk festival of Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. It is a weeklong event which falls between the first and second weeks of May every year.
  • This festival is to offer prayers to the goddess Gangamma, the Gramadevata (the goddess looking after the village) of Tirupati.
  • Tirupati Balaji temple has its origins in Vaishnavism, which advocates the principles of equality and love, and prohibits animal sacrifice. The sanctum sanctorum, which houses the awe-inspiring idol of the Lord of the Seven Hills, is situated in the main temple complex of Tirumala.
  • The ancient and sacred temple of Sri Venkateswara is located on the seventh peak, Venkatachala (Venkata Hill) of the Tirupati Hill, and lies on the southern banks of Sri Swami Pushkarini what is known popularly today as Tirupati Balaji Temple.
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