100 Important Current Affairs Topics of January, 2017 for UPSC Civil Services Prelims Examination:
We have compiled 100 most important current affairs related topics of January, 2017 especially for the UPSC Civil Services Prelims Exams. These topics cover all subjects of Prelims General Studies paper -1, which are Polity, Economics, Environment, Science and Technology and General science. These topics are very important for Civils prelims exams.
1. First fully Organic State in India:
- Sikkim, after India’s cleanest title, it also becomes the first fully organic state.
- Agricultural lands in the state were gradually converted to certified organic land by implementing practices and principles according to guidelines laid down in National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP).
- The National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) standards for production and accreditation system has been recognized by European Commission and Switzerland.
- Agni-IV also called as Agni Prime will be flight tested from a road-mobile launcher on the Abdul Kalam Island (earlier called as Wheeler Island).
- Agni – IV is a two-stage, surface-to-surface missile that is 20 metres long and weighs 17 tonnes.
- It can carry a one-tonne nuclear warhead over a distance of 4,000 km.
- The army has already deployed the missile.
3. Climate-smart villages:
- Madhya Pradesh has started an ambitious plan to develop 1100 climate-smart villages with an aim to prepare farmers to manage the climate change risks.
- The villages in the agro-climatic zones will be taken up under the National Agriculture Development Programme and Indian National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture.
- The focus on Climate-smart villages will be on integrated agriculture which comprises animal husbandry, fisheries in addition to traditional farming.
4. ISRO in 2016:
- ISRO has launched seven vehicle missions in 2016. All were successful. Eight ISRO satellites, four student satellites and 22 foreign satellites were launched by these missions.
- The year 2016 also saw two successful advanced launch vehicle technology initiatives of ISRO – the Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) and Scramjet technology demonstrator.
- India’s first winged-body aerospace vehicle, RLV-TD, with critical technologies such as autonomous navigation, guidance & control, reusable thermal protection system and re-entry mission management was launched.
- With the Scramjet technology demonstrator, India is the fourth country to demonstrate the flight testing of Scramjet engine.
- NAVIC – Navigation Indian Constellation
- Successful launch of IRNSS 1E and 1F with the PSLV-C31 and PSLV-C32 marks the completion of Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS).
- PSLV-C34 successfully launched 20 satellites in a single mission. It included India’s CARTOSAT-2 series of satellite as primary payload and two academic institutes’ satellites, namely, SWAYAM and SATHYABAMA SAT and 17 satellites of foreign customers from Canada, Germany, Indonesia and the US as co-passengers.
- GSLV-F05, India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, equipped with the indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage, successfully launched the country’s weather satellite INSAT-3DR.
- INSAT-3DR is a follow-on meteorological satellite to INSAT-3D. This launch is significant, considering the fact that this is the third consecutive success of the indigenous CUS (Cryogenic Upper Stage), which signified the country’s successful assimilation of the complex cryogenic rocket propulsion.
- This was followed by SCATSAT-1, Resourcesat-2A, GSAT-18 launches.
5. Kala Academy:
- Country’s folk and handicrafts Fest is scheduled to be held at Kala Academy.
- An exquisite mixture of folk art forms and handicrafts from across the world will be on display at the Darya Sangam Kala Academy.
- Kala Academy (Academy of the Arts) situated at Campal, Panjimis a prominent cultural centre run by the Government of Goa.
- It is registered as a society, and was started in February 1970.
- It plays the role of being an “apex body to develop music, dance, drama, fine art, folk art, literature, etc. and thereby promote (the) cultural unity of Goa.
6. India and Mercosur bloc:
- Mercosur bloc comprises Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.
- India and the Mercosur bloc have stepped up efforts to expand their preferential trade agreement (PTA) to make greater inroads into the other’s market.
- A PTA is a limited free trade agreement where partner countries reduce import duties on a few identified products for the other.
7. Paying ‘service charge’ at restaurants is discretionary:
- The consumer affairs department has ruled out that the services charges at restaurants are deemed to be accepted voluntarily and if a customer is dissatisfied with the dining experience he/she can have it waived off.
- The Department has asked State governments to sensitise companies, hotels and restaurants regarding these provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
- Under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, “A trade practice which, for the purpose of promoting the sale, use or the supply of any goods or for the provision of any service, adopts any unfair method or deceptive practice, is to be treated as an unfair trade practice and that a consumer can make a complaint to the appropriate consumer forum established under the Act against such unfair trade practices.”
8. NASA mission to study black holes
- Black holes can heat surrounding gases to more than a million degrees. The high-energy X-ray radiation from this gas can be polarised and vibrating in a particular direction.
- The mission named The Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) with three space telescopes will measure the polarisation of Cosmic X-rays of surrounding gases.
- The mission set for launch in 2020. For the first time it allows astronomers to explore astronomical objects such as stellar and supermassive black holes, neutron stars and pulsars.
- This will allow scientists to find the causes for rise of black holes.
- Historically the disease is known as “Aleppo boil”. Recently it becomes a problem among Syrian refugees.
- It is caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Leishmania and is spread by the bite of the sandfly.
- The disease will result in skin ulcerations and then presents with fever, low red blood cells, and enlarged spleen and liver.
- It may occasionally spread to internal organs with fatal consequences.
10. New technique to detect jaundice
- Jaundice, also known as icterus, is a yellowish or greenish pigmentation of the skin and whites of the eyes due to high Bilirubin levels.
- Levels of Bilirubin in blood are normally below 1.0 mg/dL and levels over 2-3 mg/dL typically results in jaundice.
- Bilirubin is a yellow compound that occurs during the body’s clearance of waste products that arise from the destruction of aged red blood cells.
- High Bilirubin levels may be due to excess red blood cell breakdown, new born jaundice, thyroid problems, liver diseases such as cirrhosis or hepatitis or blockage of the bile duct.
- IIT-Guwahati researchers devised a new technique that uses thumb imprint to detect Bilrubin levels and thereby diagnose Jaundice.
11. Oropouche fever:
- It is caused by the Oropouche virus and transmitted in humans primarily through the bite of Culex Mosquitoes.
- No direct transmission of the virus from human to human has been documented.
- The incubation period of this disease varies from 4-8 days.
- Symptoms include the sudden onset of high fever, headache, joint pain, and vomiting.
- The outbreaks are reported in the American Countries which includes Brazil, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago.
12. Indian Skill Development Services (ISDS):
- The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) has issued the notification of setting up of Indian Skill Development Services (ISDS).
- The service has been instituted as a formal service in Group ‘A’ category and created for the Training Directorate of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
- The Academy for training of the cadre will be National Institute of Skill Development.
13. Developing Smart cities in India by world countries:
Leading countries has decided to associate with the development of smart cities in India.
|Japan||Chennai, Ahmedabad and Varanasi.|
|USA||Visakhapatnam, Ajmer and Allahabad.|
|UK||Pune, Amaravati(Andhra Pradesh) and Indore.|
|France||Chandigarh, Puducherry and Nagpur.|
|Germany||Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore and Kochi.|
14. Gandhinagar – First Model Smart city in the Country:
- Under Smart Cities Mission, Ministry of Urban Development has shortlisted Gandhinagar as the first model city in the country to go smart.
- The first phase of the smart city project has been rolled out in the city which has many features from seamless Wi-Fi connectivity to smart sensor-enabled traffic lights based on vehicular traffic density.
- The smart cities mission is to promote cities that provide core infrastructure and give a decent quality of life, sustainable environment and application of smart solution for sustainable and inclusive development.
15. Penitentes on Pluto:
- Penitentes are snow and ice features formed by erosion and characterized by bowl-shaped depressions.
- Scientist has found the evidence of penitentes on Pluto using the images from the NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft in 2015.
- Until now, Earth is the only planet in the solar system to have Penitentes.
- Unlike in Earth, Penitentes in Pluto are mainly made from methane and nitrogen due to its different environment i.e. thinner air, dimmer sun and much colder conditions. They are much larger than earth’s counterparts.
16. Mayoro disease:
- Mayaro virus disease is zoonotic pathogen endemic to certain humid forests of tropical South America.
- It is considered as distant relative of Chikungunya and spread by Aedes Mosquitoes.
- It is characterized by fever, aches and pains and a rash.
- It recently had its appearance in Haiti and it was given the title of “The next Zika”.
17. Laughing thrushes in Western Ghats:
- The avian species Montane laughing thrushes are found only in the peaks of Western Ghats, which are popularly called as Sky islands.
- BirdLife International, an organisation which assesses the conservation status of birds globally, has newly identified two sub-species Banasura Laughing thrushes (Endangered) and Travancore laughing thrushes (Vulnerable).
- The two original species of the family were Nilgiri laughing thrushes (Endangered) and Palani laughing thrushes (Near threatened).
18. Bhutan & BBIN Pact:
- The SAARC declaration at the Kathmandu Summit in Nov, 2014 encouraged Member States to initiate regional and sub-regional measures to enhance connectivity.
- Accordingly, a sub-regional Motor Vehicle Agreement among Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) was pursued.
- The pact will regulate the passenger, personal and cargo vehicular traffic among BBIN and will promote seamless movement of the same across borders for the overall economic development of the region.
- The ratification of BBIN pact is still pending in Bhutan and it is expected to be ratified this month.
19. New species of Ginger:
- The Botanical Survey of India has found a new species of Zingiber (Commonly referred as Ginger) from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- The species Zingiber pseudo squarrosum belongs to genus Zingiber and it possess ethno-medicinal uses such as treating abdominal pain and anti-helminthic troubles.
20. Measles – Rubella Vaccine:
- Measles Rubella is also called as German Measles.
- The Measles – Rubella Vaccine is one of the ten vaccines under Universal Immunisation Program (UIP) and it is set to be introduced from next month in few states and UT.
- In addition to it, Pneumococcal Pneumonia vaccine will also become a part of Universal Immunisation Program (UIP) from March.
- The UIP has already twelve vaccines such as BCG (Bacillus Calmette Guerin), DPT (Dipththeria, Pertussis and Tetanus), OPV (Oral Polio Vaccine), Hepatitis B, Measles, TT (Tetanus Toxoid), Japanese Encephalitis, Pentavalent Vaccine, Rotavac (Rotavirus), Measles – Rubella, Adult Japanese Encephalitis and Inactivated Polio Vaccine.
21. Green Police Force:
- China has set up a new environment police called as “Green Police Force” to combat problems of heavy smog in the cities.
- They will focus on garbage incineration, open air barbeques and burning of wood and other biomass.
22. Polar Bear Recovery Plan:
- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the agency that oversees polar bears and various main threats facing by the polar bears.
- The agency has released the final polar bear recovery plan, which includes provisions for tertiary threats, such as oil spills and excessive hunting.
- The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is an agency of federal government of U.S. which is dedicated to the management of fish, wildlife, and natural habitats.
- The agency had no jurisdiction over greenhouse gas emissions linked to the warming.
23. Rift Valley Fever:
- Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a viral zoonosis that primarily affects animals but can also infect humans.
- RVF virus is a member of the Phlebovirus genus. The virus was first identified in 1931 in the Rift Valley of Kenya.
- The incubation period for RVF varies from 2 to 6 days.
- The majority of human infections results from contact with the blood or organs of infected animals and from the bites of infected mosquitoes
- Till date, no human-to-human transmission of RVF virus has been documented.
- Elizabethkingia is a genus of bacteria commonly found in the environment worldwide.
- It has been detected in soil, river water and reservoirs.
- It has caused meningitis in newborn babies and meningitis or bloodstream and respiratory infections in people with weakened immune systems.
25. Street Light Replacement Programme:
- Under this Programme, Ministry of Power has undertaken steps to replace all the street lights with LED’s to reduce the greenhouse gas emission.
- It is the World’s Largest Street Light Replacement Programme.
- It is being implemented by the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture under the Ministry of Power, Government of India.
- EESL has also employed Centralised Control and Monitoring System (CCMs) for real-time information on energy consumption and remote monitoring of the street lights.
26. National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange (NCDE):
- NCDEX is an online commodity exchange based in India.
- It provides a commodity exchange platform for market participants to trade in commodity derivatives.
- It is a public limited company, incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956 and is regulated by the SEBI.
- It offers futures trading in 31 agricultural and non-agricultural commodities.
- An exocomet or extrasolar comet is a comet outside the Solar System i.e those that orbit stars other than the Sun.
- They are significant because they are considered fossil bodies that have seen the physical and chemical conditions prevailing at the time of planet formation.
28. Rogue Planet:
- A rogue planet or starless planet is a planetary-mass object that orbits the galaxy directly.
- They have either been ejected from the planetary system in which they formed or have never been gravitationally bound to any star or brown dwarf.
29. Babur – 3:
- Pakistan launched a Submarine Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM), Babur-3, having a range of 450 kilometers.
- It is fired from an underwater, mobile platform and hit its target with precise accuracy.
- It completes Pakistan’s nuclear triad i.e a nuclear-armed nation’s ability to deliver nuclear warheads from launch systems based on land, in the air and from sea.
30. INS Khanderi:
- INS Khanderi is a submarine and second of the navy’s six scorpene-class stealth submarines.
- The six scorpene class stealth submarines are built under the Project – 75.
- The first one under project – 75 was INS Kalvari and it was launched in 2015.
31. Guided Pinaka:
- The multiple rocket launcher Pinaka was transformed into a short-range guided missile and thus renamed as Guided Pinaka.
- The guided Pinaka is equipped with a navigation, guidance and control system with a range of 60-65 km.
- Multi-barrel rocket Vs Guided Missile
- A Multiple rocket launcher is a type of rocket artillery system with multiple warheads and it was launched simultaneously by an unguided system.
- Guided Missile is a self propelled and launched by a precision guided system and it has 4 components such as targeting/missile guidance, flight system, engine and warhead.
32. Hope Island:
- In addition to Gahirmatha coast in Odisha, Hope Island also becomes the destination for olive ridleys breeding area.
- Hope Island is a small island situated off the coast of Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh State.
33. Gender literature festival:
- The world’s first “Gender literature festival” will be held in Patna, Bihar.
- It will be organized by the gender resource centre of Bihar’s Women Development Corporation.
34. Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC):
- Niti Aayog had setup a panel headed by Sumit Bose, to define poverty line and to identify the beneficiaries for various anti-poverty schemes.
- According to the panel’s recommendation, Socio-Economic Caste Census will replace the existing poverty line and the central government has accepted the recommendations.
- Socio-Economic Caste Census was begun in 2011, the first national census to collect caste-based data since 1931.
- Existing Poverty lines
- Suresh Tendulkar poverty line – Those spending at least Rs.27 in rural and Rs.33 in urban areas in 2011-12 were identified as being above the poverty line.
- Rangarajan Poverty line – It raised the limit to Rs.32 and Rs.47 for rural and urban areas, respectively.
35. 7th Pay Commission:
- The 7th Pay Commission revision will not directly apply to autonomous bodies.
- The autonomous organizations manage their affairs without financial support from the central government.
- Pay Commission is setup intermittently by Government of India to give recommendation regarding changes in salary structure of its employees.
- Justice A.K.Mathur headed the Seventh Pay Commission and suggested 2.5 times hike in basic salary and rate of 3% increment in annual term.
- The pay commission submits its report within four months of its formation to Union Finance Minister and suggestions on allowance shall be referred to committee headed by Finance secretary.
36. World Record in Carbon Storing:
- The Scandinavian bay in Denmark has the world record in carbon storing due to the presence of potential sea grasses. The carbon stored by them is called Blue carbon.
- Why Denmark bay? – Sea grasses in this bay are more protected and productive. So when the plants die, they remain in the sea and carbon stored by it remains in the meadow itself in the form of sediments.
- Sea grass is not seaweed, but a plant with flowers, leaves and roots. Denmark eelgrass – Zostera Marina is the most common sea grass.
- It needs light and grows only in shallow water.
- Importance of Sea grass:
- Sea grasses are home for many small and large animals including commercial species such as Shrimps, cod and flatfish.
- Sea grasses function as particle filters, keeping the water clean.
37. Highest altitude telescope:
- China has started the construction of the world’s highest altitude gravitational wave telescope – Ngari N0 1, in Tibet to detect primordial gravitational waves, which have never been detected.
- Tibet is considered as the best location in the northern hemisphere to detect the G-waves due to thin air and its dry climate, which reduces the influences of moisture on the primordial sub millimeter G-waves.
- The primordial gravitational waves were created about 13.8 billion years ago by the Big Bang explosion.
- Gravitational waves are ripples in the space-time caused by the disruptive waves from the massive accelerating objects such as neutron stars or black holes orbiting each other.
- The ripples travel at the speed of light through the universe, carrying information about its origin and nature of gravity.
38. Health Insurance Schemes:
- The government of Karnataka has initiated various health insurance schemes to provide ”Tertiary Health Care” for treatment of catastrophic illness through an identified network of super-speciality hospitals.
- Rajiv Arogya Bhagya Scheme – The scheme is specially designed for Above Poverty Line (APL).
- Jyoti Sanjeevani Scheme – The scheme is to provide health services for the Government Employees.
- Vajpayee Arogyashree Scheme – This Scheme is to provide Health Protection to families living below Poverty line.
39. Saksham – 2017:
- Saksham is a month long awareness programme by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
- It is aimed to create awareness towards judicious utilization and conservation of petroleum products and switching to cleaner fuels.
- It is organized by PCRA- Petroleum Conservation Research Association and other oil & gas PSU’s under the aegis of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
40. Sonic Boom:
- It is the sound associated with the shock wave created by an object travelling through the air faster than the speed of sound.
- When an aircraft passes through the air, it creates pressure waves that travel at the speed of sound. If the plane is traveling slower than the speed of sound, then these waves can propagate ahead of the plane.
- If the plane flies faster than the speed of sound, all of these waves that would have normally propagated ahead of the plane are combined together and enormous amounts of sound energy is generated, sounding much like an explosion.
- It may increase the incidence of vibroacoustic disease i.e a thickening of heart tissue.
41. The Great Wall of India:
- The Wall that runs for 80 km in Madhya Pradesh.
- It is the India’s longest fortification and second to China’s great wall worldwide.
- The barrier runs between Bhopal and Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh and cuts through Vindhyan valleys.
- It is called as ‘diwaal’ among the locals. It might have been constructed during the Parmar Kingdom of 10th-11th century.
42. Inclusive Development Index (IDI):
- The index is computed by World Economic Forum to provide a more complete measure of economic development than GDP growth alone.
- The index has 3 pillars – Growth and Development, Inclusion and Intergenerational Equity and Sustainability.
- IDI scores are based on the scale of 1-7 and it is computed separately for developed and developing countries and is not comparable.
- Lithuania tops the list of 79 developing economies, Azerbaijan and Hungary at 2nd and 3rdpositions respectively.
- India is placed at 60th place, much lower than the neighbouring countries. China (15th), Nepal (27th), Bangladesh (36th) and Pakistan (52nd).
- Norway tops the list in developed economies followed by Luxembourg and Switzerland.
43. Reclamation of Saline lands in Maharashtra:
- The World Bank will fund the reclamation of saline lands in Vidharba region under the “Climate Resilient Agriculture” Project.
- National Initiative on Climate Resilient Agriculture was launched by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in 2011 to enhance the resilience of agriculture to climate change.
- Under this project, efforts would be made revive the natural drainage systems since the topography of the region does not allow the rain water to get drained easily.
- The Majority of the region is in cotton producing districts of Maharashtra and in close proximity to Purna River, which is a tributary of Godavari.
44. Age of Moon:
- The new research on the minerals brought by the “Apollo Mission” to the Moon reveals the new age of Moon. The minerals are called as “Zircons” and it is the best mineral in preserving the geological history of moon.
- The research found that the moon formed only about 60 million years after the birth of solar system.
- The moon was formed by a violent, head-on collision between the early Earth and a planetary embryo called “Theia”.
- The Earth’s collision with Theia created a liquefied moon, which then solidified and most of the moon’s surface was covered with magma right after its formation.
45. Raisina Dialogue 2017:
- It is an annual conference held in New Delhi and India’s flagship conference of Geopolitics and geo-economics.
- It is organized by Ministry of External Affairs in partnership with Observer Research Foundation, an independent think tank in India.
- The first inaugural session was held in March 2016 with the theme “Connecting Asia”.
- The second edition is being held in Delhi with the theme “The New Normal: Multilateralism with Multi-Polarity”.
46. Google Tax:
- The Google Tax was announced to introduce a tax on the income as accrue to a foreign e-commerce company outside of India.
- Any person or entity that makes a payment exceeding Rs 1 lakh in a financial year to a non-resident technology company will need to withhold 6% tax on the gross amount being paid as an equalisation levy or Google tax.
- This tax, however, is only applicable when the payment has been made to avail certain B2B services from these technology companies.
47. 5D technique to detect Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease:
- Proteins are essential to the function of every cell. Sometimes proteins don’t form properly called as amyloids.
- The amyloids can clump together into masses in the brain and block normal cell function, leading to brain cell degeneration and disease – Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
- 5D finger printtechnique helps to identify theprocesses of how amyloids form and clump together.
- The technique uses a nanopore 10-30 nanometers wide filled with a salt solution and passed an electric current through the solution.
- As a protein molecule tumbles through the nanopore, its movement causes measurable fluctuations in the electric current whichreveals the 5 dimensional signatures of protein.
- Thus, individual protein’s shape, volume, electrical charge, rotation speed and propensity for binding to other molecules is measured to identify the process of formation of clumps.
48. International Vaccine Institute:
- Cabinet approves India’s full membership of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) Governing Council.
- IVI, an International Organisation is headquartered at Seoul, South Korea and established based on the initiatives of UNDP.
- It is devoted to developing and introducing new and improved vaccines to protect the people against infectious diseases.
- India is a long-term collaborator and stakeholder of IVI since 2007. With the change in governance structure in 2012, India becomes a full member of its governing council with the cabinet approval.
- It is the Indo-Oman Air Exercise.
- The fourth edition of BRIDGE is going to be held at Air Force Station at Jamnagar.
- The Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) is participating with its F-16 Air defence fighters and this is the first time that RAFO F-16s are participating in an air exercise outside the Gulf Countries.
- It is the dedicated web portal launched by Union HRD ministry for the “Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan”.
- It aims to capture and showcase innovation and progress in the Elementary Education Sector.
51. Second capital of Himachal Pradesh:
- Dharamshala is declared as the second capital of Himachal Pradesh.
- Dharamshala is located in the Kangra Valley, in the shadow of the Dhauladhar mountains.
- The major water body at Dharamshala is Dall Lake and Kakeri Lake.
- It is the ‘Capital in exile’ of The Dalai Lama and also serves as the headquarters for Tibetan government in India.
- It is predominantly influenced by the Tibetan culture and the Namgyal Monastery serves the devotees of Buddhism.
- The famous festival is Hindu Lohri festival and folk dance is called as “Lhamo”.
52. Primate Species:
- Primate is a biological order that included all the species commonly related to the lemurs, monkeys, apes and humans.
- The most distinguishing feature of primates is fingernails.
- Primates have large brains relative to other mammals, five fingers, a generalized dental pattern, and a primitive body plan.
- Though primates are found all over the world, they are mainly in regions of Africa, South America, Madagascar and Asia.
- Worldwide, around 60 per cent of the 500 known primate species are threatened with extinction.
- Golden snub-nosed monkey, ring-tailed lemur, Javan slow loris, Azara’s night monkey are the important primate species in the tropical and sub-tropical regions.
53. Cryogenic engine and GSLV MkIII:
- CE20is the new cryogenic rocket engine recently passed the high altitude flight acceptance test.
- It is being developed to power the upper stage for the first flight of the country’s most powerful satellite launcher GSLV-Mark III.
- The cryogenic stage is vital for a GSLV rocket as it gets its final and biggest push in space in this stage.
- GSLV MkIII, will double ISRO’s lifting power for communications satellites by lifting a four-tonne satellite to Geostationary Transfer Orbit (36,000 km high).
- ISRO plans to launch 3,200 kg communication satellite, GSAT-19 via GSLV MKIII.
54. Disinvestment in Central PSUs:
- The Government has created a ‘National Investment Fund’ in 2005
- The funds from the disinvestment of Central Public Sector Enterprises are added to NIF.
- This was done to uphold the principle that the funds from disinvestment should go back to investment and not to fill fiscal deficit.
- Earlier NIF was under the Department of Disinvestment under Union Finance Ministry which was renamed as Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM).
- Now, the government has transferred the role of DIPAM to Department of Economic Affairs.
- It is now responsible for advising the government on quantum of disinvestment in CPSE and utilization of those funds, if Government retains 51% equity and management control.
55. MoU on MSME Cooperation with IORA:
- The Indian Ocean Rim association (IORA) is an international organization to promote sustainable development and economic cooperation and liberalization among the member countries bordering the Indian Ocean.
- Its headquarters is in Mauritius.
- A MoU on MSME cooperation is now finalized with IORA and GOI.
- IORA special fund was created to carry out the activities under the MoU.
- The focus areas of MoU are,
- Finalizing linkages among various MSME organizations and associations in their respective countries.
- Exchange best practices and greater involvement of MSME in the global supply chain.
- Promote access to finance innovation and explore trade and investment opportunities and participate in trade fairs.
56. Nizamuddin Auliya:
- The 713th death anniversary of Sufi saint Nizamuddin Auliya was was recently observed by reciting qawwals in the Nizamuddin dargah.
- Nizamuddin Auliya is a sufi saint belonging to the Chisti order.
- Nizamuddin Auliya’s predecessors were Qutbuddin Bakhthiyar Kaki, Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti. His notable disciple was Amir khusrow.
- Qawwali is the form of sufi devotional music popular in South Asia and ghazal is a form of Qawwali.
57. Chishti Order:
- The Chisti order is a Sunni Sufi order within the Sufi tradition of Islam. The order believed in drawing close to God through renunciation of the world and service to humanity.
- This order is primarily followed in Afghanistan and Indian Subcontinent.
- The Chisti order is the first of the four main Sufi orders – Chisti, Qadiriyya, Suhrawardiyya and Naqshbandi order.
58. Rescue plan for the Vaquita:
- The Vaquita (Phocoena sinus) is a rare species of porpoise.
- They are small toothed whales that are very closely related to oceanic dolphins.
- It is endemic to the northern part of the Gulf of California.
- It is the most endangered marine mammal species in the world.
- IUCN status – Critically Endangered.
- International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita (CIRVA) was created by the Mexican Ministry of Environment to eliminate illegal fishing, removing gill nets and relocating remaining Vaquita to a temporary sanctuary and thereby conserving the species.
59. Habitable exoplanet next to Earth:
- The exoplanets are planets that exist outside Earth’s solar system.
- The term “habitable zones” refers to a planet where water could exist in a liquid state on a planet’s surface if there’s sufficient atmospheric pressure.
- Astronomers have located the habitable zone “The Wolf 1061”, a planetary system that is 14 light years away from the Earth.
- One of the planets in the wolf planetary system, Wolf 1061c, is entirely within the habitable zone.
- It has an atmosphere more similar to Venus.
- But the climate of Wolf 1061c is quite chaotic compared to earth, since the orbit around its star changes at a much faster rate than earth. The earth also experiences climate change due to change in its orbit around the sun which resulted in ice age previously.
- Now the earth is in interglacial period.
60. Warmest Year:
- The year 2016 was the warmest year since record-keeping began in 1880.
- The global average surface temperature last year was 0.94°C higher than the 20th century average and July was the warmest month ever recorded.
- Two phenomena were responsible for this. One was climate change and other was El Nino.
- Previously 2014 was the warmest year and the record was broken in 2015 and subsequently now in 2016 showing a continuous rise in the earth’s temperature.
- This is only the second time that the annual temperature record has been broken three years in a row. The previous trio was during World War II.
- All 16 years in our current century rank among the 17 warmest on record.
61. Three-spined stickleback fish:
- The three-spined stickleback fish is endemic to most inland coastal waters north of 30°N.
- It is very tolerant of changes in salinity and most populations are Anadromous.
- It is found abundant in Alaska Lake–Aleknagik.
- Recent Global Climate change prompts the fish to change its breeding behavior.
- It breeds earlier and more often each season in response to earlier spring ice breakup and longer ice-free summers. Thus it breeds more often in a single year.
- Thus the emergence of multiple breeding in a vertebrate as a response to climate change is seen for the first time.
- An Anadromousfish lives in seawater but migrates to freshwater for spawning i.e breeding.
- Catadromous fish migrate from fresh water down into the sea to spawn.
62. City Momentum Index:
- It is released by Jones Lang LaSalle, a real estate services firm headquartered at Illinois, US.
- The Index identifies dynamic cities across the world and it is being discussed at World Economic Forum held at Davos this year.
- Dynamic cities are those that share the ability to embrace technological change, absorb rapid population growth and strengthen global connectivity.
- It also considers socio-economic factors of GDP, population, air traffic, foreign direct investment, growth of commercial real estate, innovation capacity and technological process, access to education, and environment quality.
- According to the index, Bengaluru has been ranked the most dynamic city in the world. It is followed by Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and Silicon Valley in the United States.
- The only other Indian city in the top 10 with Hyderabad at the fifth spot.
63. Theme of various states in Republic day parade:
|Odisha||DolaJatra||A popular festival celebrated in the state which signifies the journey of Goddess Radha& Lord Krishna for ultimate union in the tradition of Bhakti cult.|
|Arunachal Pradesh||Yak dance||It is one of the most famous pantomimes of the Mahayana sect of Buddhist Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh|
|Manipur||Lai Haroba||It is one of the oldest ritualistic theatres of the world preserved by the Meitei community of Manipur.|
It is celebrated to worship local deities to bring prosperity and well-being. It is translated as ‘Happiness of the Gods’.
|Gujarat||The Art and Lifestyle of Kutch|
|Gujarat’s Kutch district is renowned all over the world for its 16 different types of embroidery.|
The notable ones include the Rogan artand the art of making Bhunga.
|Karnataka||Folk Dances||The folk dance of Goravas, the worshippers of Lord Shiva engaged in the traditional ritualistic dance.|
|Himachal Pradesh||Chamba Rumal||It is the finest specimen of Pahari art flourishing in Chamba town of Himachal Pradesh during late 18th century.|
Scenes from Rasleela, Astanayikaare
Generally depicted on Rumal.
|West Bengal||Sharod Utsav||It signals the advent of festive season of “Durga Puja” and it involves displaying elaborate interior and exteriors of Puja pandals, executed by trained artists.|
|Punjab||Jago Aaiya||Jago is a festive dance performed during Punjabi Weddings.|
|Tamil Nadu||Karakattam||It is a popular folk dance of Tamil Nadu performed in temple festival celebrations in the rural areas of Tamil Nadu.|
|It is a popular dance form of Reang Tribe.|
It is performed during bihu, the most popular festival of reang tribes
|Assam||Kamakhya Temple||Kamakhya temple is different from other temples as it has no image or idol for worship.|
The meaning of Ka-Mai-Kha is the mother progenitor and she is worshipped.
64. Doha amendment to Kyoto protocol:
- The Kyoto Protocol signed in 1997, is an international treaty that commits state parties to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Under the Kyoto Protocol, industrialized nations agreed to cut their greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels.
- It is operational since 2005.
- A group of rich and industrialized countries were assigned emission reduction targets with the first commitment period of 2005-2012.
- The Doha amendment was made to Kyoto protocol in 2012 to extend the obligations of the developed countries for the second commitment period of 2012-2020.
- It requires ratification from a total of 144 of the 192 parties of the Kyoto Protocol to become operational.
- As only 75 countries have so far ratified the Doha amendments it could not be enforced.
- China, Poland, Australia, Mexico, South Africa, Indonesia are some of the countries that ratified Doha amendments.
- India is expected to ratify it this month.
- US have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol and Canada withdrew from Kyoto protocol in 2012.
65. ATM machine on Warship:
- INS Vikramaditya is the largest warship and latest aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy.
- INS Vikramaditya has a new ATM machine with other transaction facilities like deposit and transfer, installed onboard by SBI.
- This is to enable 1500 personnel of the ship to manage their domestic financial requirements and money transactions at their own convenience
66. New Programme under National Health Mission:
- The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is launching population based prevention, screening and control programme for five common non-communicable diseases i.e Hypertension, Diabetes, and Cancers of oral cavity, breast and cervix.
- There are many prevention strategies.
- Population based prevention strategies target the whole population e.g a mass-media anti-smoking campaign.
- These interventions are a one size fits all type, with no allowance for targeting specific populations.
- While these programs are usually expensive, they are quite economic when calculated on a cost-per-person basis.
- Population-based prevention strategies include:
- media-based strategies (including mass media campaigns and reduction in the advertising and promotion of alcohol and tobacco)
- drug education (including school drug education)
67. Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana
- It is a part of Government’s commitment for financial inclusion and social security.
- The scheme will be implemented through Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC).
- It is to provide social security to elderly persons aged 60 years and above by giving an assured pension at a guaranteed rate of 8% per annum for 10 years.
- The differential return, i.e., the difference between the return generated by LIC and the assured return of 8% per annum would be borne by Government of India as subsidy on an annual basis.
68. Industrial Licensing
- The Ministry of Home Affairs will issue the industrial licences for defence manufacturing which includes electronic aerospace and defence equipment.
- Previously it was issued by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) under Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
- The participation of private sector in defence manufacturing was allowed since 2001 subject to licensing from DIPP under Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951.
- However with the notification of Arms Rule, 2016, Items configured for military use will be handled by Home Ministry instead of DIPP.
69. Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP)
- The department is responsible for formulation and
- Implementation of India’s Industrial Policy.
- Amendment of the FDI policy.
- Industrial Promotion by Implementing Infrastructure Up gradation Scheme (IIUS).
- Implementation of Intellectual property Rights Policy.
- It is also the nodal Department for coordinating and implementing programmes with United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in India.
- The Statutory bodies under DIPP
- Intellectual Property Appellate Board
- Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO)
- The following are the 6 industries which require compulsory licensing
- Arms and ammunition, explosives and allied items of defence equipment,
- Defence aircraft and warships,
- Atomic substances,
- Narcotics and psychotropic substances,
- Hazardous chemicals, distillation and brewing of alcoholic drinks,
- Cigarettes/cigars and manufactured tobacco substitutes.
70. Coal Cess
- In order to financially support clean energy initiatives, Coal Cess on domestically produced and imported coal, lignite and peat production was introduced by the Government.
- The National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF) was created in 2010, under the Ministry of Finance by pooling the collected Coal Cess.
- An Inter Ministerial Group (IMG) chaired by Finance Secretary approves the projects/schemes eligible for financing under the NCEF.
- The major share of the NCEF fund was allocated to Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and it also includes funding projects from other ministries such as Namame Gange, Climate Change Action Plan and conservation of ecosystem, wildlife habitats, conservation of tigers & elephants, etc.,
- NCEF was renamed as “Clean Environment Fund” during 2015-16 budget.
71. Investor – State Dispute Settlement (ISDS)
- ISDS is an instrument of international public law, it is a neutral international arbitration procedure.
- ISDS seeks to provide an impartial, law-based approach to resolve conflicts.
- It is a system through which individual companies can sue countries for alleged discriminatory practices.
- It is contained in a number of bilateral investment treaties, in certain international trade treaties, such as NAFTA (chapter 11), and the proposed TPP (chapters 9 and 28) and CETA(sections 3 and 4) agreements.
- ISDS is also found in international investment agreements, such as the Energy Charter Treaty.
- If an investor from one country (the “home state”) invests in another country (the “host state”), both of which have agreed to ISDS, and the host state violates the rights granted to the investor under public international law, then that investor may bring the matter before an arbitral tribunal.
72. Trade Facilitation Agreement
- The Trade Facilitation Agreement contains provisions for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit.
- It also sets out measures for effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues.
- It further contains provisions for technical assistance and capacity building in this area.
- In December 2013, WTO members concluded negotiations on a Trade Facilitation Agreement at the Bali Ministerial Conference, as part of a wider “Bali Package”.
- In line with the decision adopted in Bali, WTO members adopted on 27 November 2014 a Protocol of Amendment to insert the new Agreement into Annex 1A of the WTO Agreement.
- The Trade Facilitation Agreement will enter into force once two-thirds of members have completed their domestic ratification process.
- India has ratified the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) of the World Trade Agreement (WTO) and is the 76th WTO member to accept the TFA.
73. Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS)
- It is a tax avoidance strategy used by multinational companies, wherein profits are shifted from jurisdictions that have high taxes (such as the United States and many Western European countries) to jurisdictions that have low (or no) taxes (so-called tax havens).
- BEPS can be achieved through the use of “transfer mispricing” (contracting between subsidiaries in different jurisdictions at prices that are not arm’s length).
- The term is used in a project headed by the OECD which produced detailed reports in September 2014 in response to seven actions agreed previously.
74. RCEP, FTAAP and TPP:
- Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is the agreement first mooted in 2011 among 10 countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations.
- The core of this agreement is Free trade among the member countries.
- Besides South East Asian nations, India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand are part of the arrangement.
- Free Trade Agreement of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) is a trade deal involving 21 economies that are part of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). The trade deal was first mooted in 2006 and the talks were renewed by Beijing in APEC meet in 2014.
- 21 Pacific Rim nations that are part of the APEC were involved in this deal. APEC is a forum created in 1989 to promote free trade in the Asia Pacific.
- Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the proposed trade deal among the 12 Pacific Rim nations excluding China.
- Following the exit of US, the future of TPP has become uncertain.
- RCEP Vs TPP – RCEP is expected to cover standard items such as trade in goods and services, investments and dispute settlements whereas TPP is expected to cover extended areas such as Environment, labour and food safety standards.
- 7 of the 16 signatories of RCEP are members of TPP. They are Australia, Brunei, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam.
75. Record trade in Renewable Energy Certificates:
- Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) are instruments awarded electronically in demat form to renewable energy companies to sell the electricity they produce through renewable sources.
- The policies framed under the Electricity Act, 2003, provides framework for the creation of Renewable Energy Certificate to mainly address the mismatch in the availability of Renewable Energy sources and the requirement of distributed licensee to meet the renewable purchase obligation.
- There is a designated central agency that will issue the REC to Renewable Energy (RE) generators.
- The REC will be exchanged only in the Power Exchanges approved by Central Electricity Regulatory Commission.
- The distribution companies, open access companies, Captive power plants will have the option of purchasing the REC to meet the requirement of RPO.
- Renewable Purchase Obligation is mandated by the State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) to purchase minimum level of renewable energy out of the total consumption.
76. Europe’s first underwater Museum:
- The first underwater museum in the Canary Island, Spain has officially opened.
- The Museum is submerged 14 metres (46 feet) under the Atlantic Ocean.
- The Sculptures in the museum are made from pH-neutral materials that will attract plant and animal life just like artificial reefs.
- Artificial reefs are created using Electro Mineral Accretion (EMA). It involves applying a low voltage current to a metallic structure to cause limestone to crystallize to which the corals can attach and grow.
77. NASA’s new robotic missions:
- Lucy and Psyche are two robotic missions to explore asteroids. The Mission will open new windows to the history of our Solar System.
- The Psyche mission will explore 16 Psyche, a giant metal asteroid about three times farther away from the Sun than is the Earth.
- The Psyche mission is targeted to be launched in October of 2023.
- The Lucy Mission will explore the environment of Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids and is scheduled to launch in 2021.
78. Japan launches first military communications satellite:
- The Kirameki-2 satellite is the first military communication satellite launched by H-2A rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan.
- It is the first of three satellites that will replace three civilian ones currently used by Japan’s military.
- The new satellites will allow military units to communicate on a high-speed and high-capacity network.
79. Super Wheat:
- Researchers in the UK have announced genetically modified “superwheat” that increases the efficiency of photosynthesis to boost yields by 20 to 40 percent. Field trials are expected in 2017.
- The researchers focused on improving the efficiency of photosynthesis, by adding genes from a grass called stiff brome.
- The new GM wheat was found to assimilate carbon dioxide better than conventional wheat.
80. Keystone species:
- A keystone species is a plant or animal that plays a unique and crucial role in the way an ecosystem functions.
- Without them, the ecosystem would be dramatically different or cease to exist altogether.
- Its disappearance could affect other species that rely on it for survival.
- Example for keystone species is sea otter. It feed on sea urchins and controls their population. If sea urchins population is not controlled, it would eat up the seaweed, which is a major source of food for the ecosystem
- A keystone species is often, but not always, a predator. Herbivores can also be keystone species.
- For example, In African savannas, elephants are a keystone species. It controls the tree population which makes the grasses thrive and sustain grazing.
81. Foundation Species:
- It refers to the species that creates or maintains an ecosystem.
- It has a strong role in structuring a community and can occupy any trophic level in a food web.
- Corals are one example of a foundation species. It produce the reef structures on which countless other organisms, including human beings, live.
- Other examples of foundation species are hardwood forests, kelp beds, and seagrass meadows.
82. Umbrella Species:
- An umbrella species is a large animal or other organism on which many other species depend.
- Umbrella species are very similar to keystone species, but umbrella species are usually migratory and need a large habitat.
- Protecting umbrella species automatically protect a host of other species.
- Tigers are an example of an umbrella species. Efforts to save wild tigers in forests also accomplish the goal of saving other species there, such as leopards, boars, hares, antelopes, and monkeys.
83. Indicator Species:
- An indicator species is a plant or animal that is very sensitive to environmental changes in its ecosystem.
- Indicator Species gets affected almost immediately by damage from external influences such as water pollution, air pollution, or climate change to the ecosystem and gives early warning.
- Examples of Indicator species
- Lichens are indicators of air pollution, especially sulfur dioxide.
- Adult frogs and toads are good indicator species since the skin of the adults is moist and permeable, allowing numerous pollutants entry into their bodies. Tadpoles live in water and indicate water quality issues.
- Salmons are an indicator species for wetland ecosystems.
84. Ecosystem Engineers:
- These are organisms that create, modify and maintain habitats.
- Ecosystem engineering can alter the distribution and abundance of large numbers of plants and animals, and significantly modify biodiversity.
- The best known examples of ecosystem engineers are humans (Homo sapiens).
- Two types of Ecosystem Engineers
- Allogenic engineers – change the environment by transforming living or nonliving materials around them.
e.g Beavers create dams in the streams, which slows the movement of water. Behind the beaver dam, a pond of still water is formed. This pond is then colonized by animals and plants that typically live in lakes rather than streams.
- Autogenic engineers – change the environment via their own physical structures, i.e. their living and dead tissues create habitats for other organisms to live on or in.
e.g. Trees, corals, and giant kelps are good examples of autogenic engineers.
85. Gibraltar Arc:
- The Gibraltar Arc is a geological region corresponding to an arc like mountain belt surrounding the Alboran Sea, between the Iberian Peninsula and Africa.
- It consists of the Betic Ranges in southern Spain, and the Rif mountains in North Morocco.
- It is as considered one of the narrowest landforms on Earth.
- A team of scientists recently reconstructed for the first time what the Gibraltar Arc was like 9 million years ago.
- Theatre Readiness Operational Exercise (TROPEX) is an annual inter-service exercise.
- The month-long exercise will have ships and aircraft of both the Western and Eastern Naval Commands, as also assets from the Indian Air Force, Indian Army and the Indian Coast Guard exercising together.
- It will also strengthen inter-operability and joint operations in a complex environment.
- A guyot, also known as a tablemount, is an isolated underwater volcanic mountain with a flat top over 200 m below the surface of the sea.
- The diameters of these flat summits can exceed 10 km.
- Guyots are most commonly found in the Pacific Ocean.
- It is formed by gradual subsidence through stages from fringed reefed mountain, coral atoll, and finally a flat topped submerged mountain.
88. Vanadium dioxide (VO2):
- Vanadium dioxide (VO2) is a metal with ability to switch from insulator to conductive metal at the temperature of 67 °C.
- Researchers now found that this metal would conduct electricity without conducting heat.
- It contradicts the working of all other conductors which usually conducts heat when it conducts electricity i.e against the Wiedemann-Franz Law.
- The law states that good conductors of electricity will also be proportionally good conductors of heat, which is why things like motors and appliances get so hot when you use them regularly.
89. Ocean acidification and shell formation:
- The surface layer of the ocean is in equilibrium with the atmosphere.
- Thus any increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) in atmosphere also increases the CO2 content in the ocean which further decreases the pH and results in ocean acidification.
- Ocean acidification makes the shellfish and corals difficult to form limestone because acidification causes calcium carbonate to dissolve easily in acidic water.
CO2 + H2O H2CO3 (Carbonic acid) H++HCO3– (Bicarbonate ions)
- Now researchers found a species “single-celled shellfish foraminifera” which makes their shells better in acidic water.
- Foraminifera expel large amounts of hydrogen ions through their cell wall and take up the increased concentration of CO2 quickly through its cell wall.
- A low acidity prevails inside the organism due to the massive excretion of protons. Under these conditions the ingested carbon dioxide is again converted to carbonate, which reacts with calcium to form lime.
90. Rail Safety Fund:
- The new rail safety fund called “Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh” to be utilized for track improvement, bridge rehabilitation work, improved inspection work etc.
- It is a non-lapsable fund created by Ministry of Finance, since the union and railway budgets will be merged for the first time.
- It receives fund from this year budget allocation and also from the Central Road Fund.
- The Central Road Fund is collected by levying Cess on diesel and petrol for safety-related work.
- The Rail Safety Fund was setup based on the recommendation of a committee headed by Anil Kakodkar, former chairman of Atomic Energy Commission Chairman.
91. National Geoscience Award:
- The National Geoscience Awards are the prestigious awards given by the Ministry of Mines.
- The objective of the award is to honor individuals and teams of scientists for their achievements and contributions in the field of fundamental / applied geosciences, mining and allied areas.
- Keshav Krishna, a scientist at the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) has been selected for the National Geoscience Award for 2016.
- INSAT-3DR similar to INSAT-3D, is an advanced meteorological satellite of India launched by GSLV-F05.
- INSAT-3DR will provide service continuity to earlier meteorological missions of ISRO for Earth observation.
- The main application of this satellite includes Climate & Environment observation and Disaster Management as well as search and rescue services and configured with an imaging System and an Atmospheric Sounder.
- The Satellite has a lift-off mass of 2211 Kg and placed in Geostationary orbit.
93. Atomic metallic hydrogen:
- Scientists have created atomic metallic hydrogen which is the rarest material on the planet.
- Hydrogen is squeezed at a pressure greater than the pressure at the centre of the earth.
- At this extreme pressure solid molecular hydrogen breaks down and the tightly bound molecules dissociate to transform into atomic hydrogen, which is a metal.
- The metallic hydrogen could act as a superconductor at room temperatures.
- It can be used to increase the effectiveness of electric cars, energy production and storage, and transportation system by making magnetic levitation of high-speed trains possible, more efficient.
- When metallic hydrogen is converted back to molecular hydrogen, the energy released during the process can be used as powerful rocket propellant and has high specific impulse among all other propellants.
94. Thermal conductivity:
- Thermal conductivity is the property of a material to conduct heat and it depends on the prevailing temperature.
- Thermal conductivity is measured in watts per meter kelvin (W/m.K).
- It is high among the metals than non-metals and gases. Diamond has the highest thermal conductivity while Silica aerogel has the lowest.
- The thermal conductivity of any conductor is attributed to its electron which transfers heat between different configurations.
95. South Talpatti Island:
- South Talpatti or New Moore, was a small uninhabited offshore sandbar island in the Bay of Bengal, off the coast of the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta region and few kilometers from the mouth of the Hariabhanga River.
- It emerged in the Bay of Bengal in the aftermath of the Bhola cyclone in 1970 and disappeared at some later due to sea level rise, changes in monsoonal rain patterns which altered river flows and land subsidence.
- Both India and Bangladesh claimed sovereignty over it because of speculation over the existence of oil and natural gas in the region.
- According to Permanent Court of Arbitration’s verdict in 2014, the island will be under the jurisdiction of India, even though it is currently beneath the sea level.
96. Hatiya Island:
- Hatiya Island is an island in the northern Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh, at the mouth of the Meghna river.
- The Island falls under Noakhali District of Bangladesh. Other major offshore islands of this region are Bhola Island (which is the largest) and Manpura Island.
- All of these islands are densely populated and it is frequently subject to cyclones and destructive ocean waves.
- In 2015, Bangladesh government decided to relocate some Rohingya Muslims to Hatiya Island after the recommendation of Myanmar state-appointed body headed by Kofi Annan.
- The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions has started its Twitter Seva.
- The Twitter Handle is ‘DARPGSEVA’. The Twitter Seva aims to address issues relating to the DARPG like Public Grievances and Administrative Reforms etc.
- It promotes citizen-centric governance with emphasis on grievance redressal.
98. Central sector schemes and Centrally Sponsored Scheme
- Central sector schemes are 100% funded by the Union government and implemented by the Central Government machinery.
- Central sector schemes are mainly formulated on subjects from the Union List. They account for 11% of the Cnetral Government’s expenditure.
- In Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) a certain percentage of the funding is borne by the States and the implementation is by the State Governments.
- Centrally Sponsored Schemes are formulated in subjects from the State List to encourage States to prioritise in areas that require more attention. They account for 10% of Central government’s expenditure.
99. Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS)
- Beneficiaries of Economically Weaker section (EWS) and Low Income Group (LIG) seeking housing loans from Banks, Housing Finance Companies and other such institutions would be eligible for an interest subsidy at the rate of 6.5 % for a tenure of 20 years.
- This Scheme is being implemented through two central nodal agencies – National Housing Bank (NHB) and Housing Urban Development Corp (HUDCO).
- The CLSS is aimed at increasing the institutional credit flow to the housing needs of the urban poor as a demand side intervention.
100. Nuclear Power Generation
- Proposals for setting up of Ten indigenous Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors two Light Water Reactors each with foreign cooperation have been and finalised.
- Presently two Central Public Sector Enterprises viz. Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI) are involved in nuclear power generation.
- The Government has amended the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 to facilitate establishment of Joint Venture Companies (JVC) by NPCIL with other Central PSUs to set up nuclear power plants.
- Government does not propose to allow private sector to enter into the nuclear power sector.
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