Facts for Prelims – 9th and 10th April 2024

 Glycaemic index (GI)

  • The glycaemic index (GI) is a rating system for foods containing carbohydrates.
  • It shows how quickly each food affects your blood sugar (glucose) level when that food is eaten on its own.
  • The GI is based on a scale of 0–100, with pure glucose as the reference food, which has a GI of 100. The lower the GI of a food, the less it may affect blood sugar levels. 
  • The three GI categories are:
    • Low: 55 or less
    • Medium: 56–69
    • High: 70 and higher

International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)

  • The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that was established in 1944 to promote the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation throughout the world. Its headquarters are located in Montreal, Canada.
  • The organization was established on December 7, 1944, through the signing of the Chicago Convention, officially known as the Convention on International Civil Aviation.
  • ICAO sets international standards and regulations for aviation safety, security, efficiency, and environmental protection. It also provides technical assistance and training to its member states to help them comply with these standards. Additionally, ICAO facilitates cooperation and collaboration among its 193 member states and works to resolve aviation-related conflicts and issues.
  • India is a member state of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) but not a founding member of ICAO. India joined ICAO as a member state in April 1947,

Industrial Alcohol

  • Industrial alcohol, also known as ethanol or ethyl alcohol, is a type of alcohol that is primarily used for industrial purposes rather than for human consumption. It is a versatile chemical compound with various applications across different industries.

Higgs Boson

  • Higgs boson is an elementary particle like electrons, quark, photons or neutrinos. Higgs boson, is known to impart mass to every other particle.
  • Boson is the name given to a family of elementary particles that are known to be carriers of fundamental forces like electromagnetism. Photon, which carries the electromagnetic force, is a boson. On the other hand, the matter particles, like electron or protons, belong to the class called fermions.
  • Its existence was predicted in the 1960s, but it was found only in 2012 through elaborate experiments carried out at the Large Hadron Collider, located on the border of France and Switzerland, the world’s biggest and most expensive machine till then.
  • The discovery of the Higgs boson completed what is known as the Standard Model of Particle Physics, which describes all the fundamental particles, like electrons and protons, and the forces, like electromagnetism, gravitation or nuclear forces, that build up the material part of the world.

Invasive Alien Species

  • The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) defines invasive alien species (IAS) as “species whose introduction and/or spread outside their natural past or present distribution threatens biological diversity”. These include animals, plants, fungi, and even microorganisms, and can influence all kinds of ecosystems.
  • The CBD, the United Nations’ global treaty on safeguarding biological diversity, sums up characteristics of IAS as follows: “arrive, survive and thrive.” This means that these species need an introduction either through natural or human intervention, survive on native food resources, reproduce at a fast rate, and edge out native species in the competition over resources.
  • In India, the legal definition of IAS under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 (amended in 2022), is narrower. They are defined as “species of animal or plant which is not native to India, and whose introduction or spread may threaten or adversely impact wildlife or its habitat.” Crucially, this leaves out species within India which might be invasive to a particular region — like the chital in Andamans, which are protected in mainland India, but have become a menace in the island chain.
  • The list of invasive wildlife in India is dominated by certain species of fish such as the African catfish, Nile tilapia, red-bellied piranha, and alligator gar, and turtle species such as the red-eared slider.

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