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Polity  &  Governance

‘Mo Sarkar’ initiative

  • Context: Odisha has launched a new governance initiative- ‘Mo Sarkar’- on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti
  • What is it?
  • The ‘Mo Sarkar’ was launched at all police stations across the State along with 21 district headquarters hospitals and three government-run medical college hospitals at Cuttack, Berhampur and Sambalpur.
  • The programme will be effective at all the 30 district headquarters hospitals of the State by October 30.
  • The objective of the programme is to provide service with dignity to people who are coming to government offices for different purposes.

National e-Assessment Scheme (NeAC)

  • Context: National e-Assessment Centre of IT Department inaugurated recently.
  • About NeAC:
  • NeAC will be an independent office that will look after the work of e-Assessment scheme which is recently notified for faceless e-assessment for income tax payers.
  • There would be a NeAC in Delhi to be headed by Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (Pr.CCIT).
  • There are 8 Regional e-Assessment Centres (ReAC) set up at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata Ahmedabad, Pune, Bengaluru and Hyderabad which would comprise Assessment unit, Review unit, Technical unit and Verification units.
  • Each ReAC will be headed by Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (CCIT).
  • Cases for the specified work shall be assigned by the NeAC to different units by way of automated allocation systems.

Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Programme “DHRUV” 

  • Context: Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Programme- ‘DHRUV’, a 14 day learning programme, was launched recently from Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Headquarters at Bengaluru.
  • About DHRUV:
  • The programme is called DHRUV (after the Pole Star) and every student to be called ‘DHRUV TARA’.
  • 60 students, 30 each from Science and Performing Arts discipline, have been selected for this ambitious programme in the first batch.
  • The programme begins with a tour at ISRO followed by a stay in Delhi, where the selected students will be mentored by renowned experts.
  • It is being started to identify and encourage talented children to enrich their skills and knowledge.

Food Safety Mitra (FSM) scheme

  • Context: Food Safety Mitra (FSM) scheme for strengthening and scaling up ‘Eat Right India’ movement launched.
  • What is FSM scheme?
  • A scheme to support small and medium scale food businesses to comply with the food safety laws and facilitate licensing and registration, hygiene ratings and training.

Economy :

Exchange Traded Funds

  • Context: The Further Fund Offer 2 (FFO 2) of Bharat 22 Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF), which is part of the government’s divestment programme, will shortly open for subscription for anchor investors and for non-anchor investors.
  • What are ETFs?
  • Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are mutual funds listed and traded on stock exchanges like shares.
  • Index ETFs are created by institutional investors swapping shares in an index basket, for units in the fund.
  • Usually, ETFs are passive funds where the fund manager doesn’t select stocks on your behalf. Instead, the ETF simply copies an index and endeavours to accurately reflect its performance.
  • In an ETF, one can buy and sell units at prevailing market price on a real time basis during market hours.

PRAKASH portal:

  • PRAKASH (Power Rail Koyla Availability through Supply Harmony) portal has been launched for transparency and better coordination in coal supplies to power plants.
  • Aims at bringing better coordination for coal supplies among all stakeholders viz – Ministry of Power, Ministry of Coal, Coal India, Railways and power utilities.
  • Portal is developed by NTPC and sources data from different stakeholders such as Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS) and coal companies. All reports are available in PDF/Excel format.

‘Feed our future’ cinema ad campaign

  • Context: The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) have launched a cinema advertisement campaign ‘Feed Our Future’
  • About the campaign:
  • Objective: To raise awareness and take steps against hunger and malnutrition in India.
  • Launched in collaboration with UFO Movies.
  • The ad shows the reality that millions of people facing across the world.
  • The ad shows that the world has to face great loss when children’s voices are silenced due to hunger.

Enterprise Development Centres (EDCs)

  • Context: Union micro, small and medium enterprises sector (MSME) ministry is planning to launch enterprise development centres (EDCs) in every district.
  • What are EDCs?
  • Aimed at developing a cadre of indigenous entrepreneurs in the MSMEs, the EDCs will be similar to incubators for start-ups.
  • They shall be run by special purpose vehicles in partnership with the private sector, business management organisations, local industry associations.

Society & Human Development :

National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHSRC)

  • Context: Designation of National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHSRC) as a WHO Collaborating Centre for Priority Medical Devices and Health Technology Policy.
  • About NHSRC:
  • Set up under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) to serve as an apex body for technical assistance.
  • Established in 2006.
  • Mandate is to assist in policy and strategy development in the provision and mobilization of technical assistance to the states and in capacity building for the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) at the centre and in the states.

Vayoshreshtha Samman:

  • It is a Scheme of National Awards instituted by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment (D/o Social Justice & Empowerment).
  • It was upgraded to the status of National Awards in 2013.
  • The award is for institutions involved in rendering distinguished service for the cause of elderly persons especially indigent senior citizens and to eminent citizens in recognition of their service/achievements.
  • These awards are presented as part of the celebration of the International Day of Older Persons (IDOP) on 1st October.

Youth Co:Lab

  • Context: Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, UNDP India Jointly Launch Youth Co:Lab to accelerate youth-led social entrepreneurship and innovation in India.
  • How it works?
  • Youth Co:Lab will convene social innovation challenges at the national and sub-national level, which will invite young people in the age group of 18-29 years and start-ups to showcase their proposed ideas and solutions to tackle some of the region’s biggest social challenges.
  • Through Youth Co:Lab, young entrepreneurs and innovators will get a chance to connect with governments, mentors, incubators and investors, who will help equip them with entrepreneurial skills.

Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan (Suman)

  • Context: The Union Government has launched Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan (SUMAN) to provide quality healthcare at zero cost to pregnant women, new mothers and newborns.
  • About the scheme:
  • It aims to provide dignified and quality health care at no cost to every woman and newborn visiting a public health facility.
  • Under the scheme, the beneficiaries visiting public health facilities are entitled to several free services.
  • These include at least four ante natal check-ups that also includes one checkup during the 1st trimester, at least one checkup under Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan, Iron Folic Acid supplementation, Tetanus diptheria injection.
  • Eligibility:

All pregnant women, newborns and mothers up to 6 months of delivery will be able to avail several free health care

Eat Right Jacket’:

  • Launched recently by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • These jackets will be used by the field staff.
  • Features: This jacket has a smart design to hold tech devices like tablets/smart phone, a QR code and RFID tag for identification and tracking.

QS Indian University Rankings

  • Context: QS Indian University Rankings have been released recently. This is the second edition of the standalone rankings for India’s higher education institutions.
  • The rankings include public, private, higher education or deemed universities.
  • How are the institutions ranked?
  • The methodology used eight indicators to determine the institutions’ rankings. These were: academic reputation (weight of 30%), employer reputation (20%), faculty-student ratio (20%), the proportion of staff with a PhD (10%), papers per faculty from Scopus database (10%), citations per paper from Scopus database (5%), the proportion of international students (2.5%), and the proportion of international faculty (2.5%).
  • Key findings:
  • Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) dominate the list, with seven IITs figuring in the top ten
  • Like last year, IIT-Bombay leads followed by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc).
  • This year, IIT-Delhi has improved its performance by one rank to overtake IIT-Madras.
  • Delhi University, University of Hyderabad and the Indian Institute of Science are the only other non-IIT institutions in the top ten.

Kanya Sumangala Yojana

  • Context: Kanya Sumangala Yojana to be launched for girl child in UP.
  • Key features:
  • It will provide a fund worth Rs 15000 to every family where a girl child is born. The amount will be released to the family in a phased manner.
  • The scheme has been designed in a way that the parents will have to take proper care of the girl child with respect to her health and education and other aspects, in order to get the benefit.

 IR, Defence & Security :

Drone Innovators Network Summit 2019

  • Context: Drone Innovators Network Summit-2019 is being held in New Delhi.
  • Organised by the World Economic Forum under the aegis of the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
  • Drone Innovators Network (DIN):
  • Started by the World Economic Forum to hasten and contribute to healthy drone policies in need of legislation.
  • Established to help overcome common challenges regulators are facing in enabling drones and unmanned aviation, such as how to enable beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flights at scale, autonomous operations and flights over densely populated areas.
  • Composition: Government aviation agencies, academics, and established drone entities.
  • Inaugural Drone Innovators Network summit was held in Zurich in 2018.

Ex Ekuverin – 19:

  • Tenth edition of the Joint Military Exercise Ekuverin between the Indian Army and the Maldives National Defence Force will be held in Pune, Maharashtra.
  • The two Forces have been conducting Exercise Ekuverin meaning ‘Friends’ in the Dhivehi language since 2009.
  • The 14 days Joint Exercise held alternatively in India and Maldives focuses on enhancing interoperability between the two forces for carrying out counter insurgency and counter-terrorism operations in a semi-urban environment under the United Nations mandate.

C40 Cities Climate Summit:

  • Context: C40 Cities World Mayors Summit is being held in Copenhagen.
  • Key facts:
  • C40 is a network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change.
  • The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) is a group of 94 cities around the world.
  • C40 is focused on tackling climate change and driving urban action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks, while increasing the health, wellbeing and economic opportunities of urban citizens.
  • Composition: While C40 originally targeted megacities for their greater capacity to address climate change, C40 now offers three types of membership categories to reflect the diversity of cities taking action to address climate change, i.e, Megacities, Innovator cities and Observer cities.
  • Criteria: The categories consider such characteristics as population size, economic output, environmental leadership, and the length of a city’s membership.

DHARMA GUARDIAN – 2019:

  • It is a Joint Military Exercise between India and Japan.
  • Exercise DHARMA GUARDIAN is an annual training event which is being conducted in India since 2018.

Danx- 19:

  • Second edition of Defence of Andaman & Nicobar Islands 2019 (DANX-19), a large scale joint services exercise, was recently conducted by Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC).
  • Carried out by Indian Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.

Interpol

  • Context: The Central Bureau of Investigation will host the 91st General Assembly of Interpol in 2022 as part of the 75th anniversary celebrations of India’s Independence.
  • What is Interpol?
  • The International Criminal Police Organisation, or Interpol, is a 194-member intergovernmental organisation.
  • headquartered in Lyon, France.
  • formed in 1923 as the International Criminal Police Commission, and started calling itself Interpol in 1956.
  • India joined the organisation in 1949, and is one of its oldest members.
  • Interpol’s declared global policing goals include countering terrorism, promoting border integrity worldwide, protection of vulnerable communities, providing a secure cyberspace for people and businesses, curbing illicit markets, supporting environment security, and promoting global integrity.

Defence Technologies and Trade Initiative (DTTI):

  • It came about to expedite scope of cooperation between partner countries on defence technology that become narrow due to presence of differing bureaucratic processes and legal requirements.
  • Essentially, DTII is an initiative to provide increased US senior level oversight and engagement to get beyond these obstacles.
  • DTTI initiative is led by Undersecretary of Defence for Acquisition and Sustainment from US and Secretary for Defence Protection from India.
  • The aim of DTTI is to bring sustained leadership focus to the bilateral defence trade relationship and create opportunities for co-production and co-development of defence equipment.

Palm oil imports:

  • Context: India’s apex oil trade body Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) has issued a short advisory asking its members, including importer-crushers and processors, to avoid importing palm oil from Malaysia.
  • This is in line with the Union Government’s strong objections to Malaysia’s “unprovoked” remarks and criticism on India’s move to abrogate Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.

Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)

  • Context: The 19th IORA Council of Ministers meeting will be held on November 7 in Abu Dhabi with the theme of “Promoting a Shared Destiny and Path to Prosperity in the Indian Ocean”.
  • The meeting is important as two of India’s important partners, the United Arab Emirates and Bangladesh, will take charge as the new chair and vice-chair of one of the largest regional maritime organisations for the duration of 2019-21.
  • About IORA:
  • The Indian Ocean Rim Association was set up with the objective of strengthening regional cooperation and sustainable development within the Indian Ocean Region.
  • Setup in 1997, it Consists of 22 coastal states bordering the Indian Ocean.
  • The IORA is a regional forum, tripartite in nature, bringing together representatives of Government, Business and Academia, for promoting co-operation and closer interaction among them.
  • It is based on the principles of Open Regionalism for strengthening Economic Cooperation particularly on Trade Facilitation and Investment, Promotion as well as Social Development of the region.

Geography, Environment & Biodiversity:

D28 iceberg:

  • Context: A more than 1,500 sq.km. D28 iceberg recently broke off Antarctica.
  • It is about 210 metres thick and contains 315 billion tonnes of ice.
  • The east of Antarctica — where D28 broke off — is different from the west of the continent and Greenland, which are rapidly warming due to climate change.

India’s first e-waste clinic:

  • India’s first e-waste clinic for segregating, processing and disposal of waste from household and commercial units will be set-up in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
  • In this regard, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) for its establishment.
  • Electronic waste will either be collected door-to-door or could be deposited directly at the clinic by individuals.
  • The clinic is being conceived in compliance with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.

Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP)

  • Context: Soon, some stricter measures to fight air pollution will come into force in Delhi’s neighbourhood, as part of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).
  • As per the plan:
  • Measures aimed at stopping the use of diesel generator sets will extend beyond Delhi to the NCR, where many areas see regular power cuts.
  • Measures will be incremental. As pollution rises, and it is expected to as winter approaches, more measures will come into play depending on the air quality.
  • What is GRAP?
  • Approved by the Supreme Court in 2016.
  • It works only as an emergency measure.
  • As such, the plan does not include action by various state governments to be taken throughout the year to tackle industrial, vehicular and combustion emissions.
  • When the air quality shifts from poor to very poor, the measures listed have to be followed since the plan is incremental in nature.

‘Green wall’ of India

  • Context: The Centre is mulling an ambitious plan to create a green wall on North-Western part of India.
  • About the proposed wall:
  • It will be a 1,400km long and 5km wide green belt from Gujarat to the Delhi-Haryana border, on the lines of the “Great Green Wall” running through the width of Africa, from Dakar (Senegal) to Djibouti, to combat climate change and desertification.
  • If approved, this may turn out to be a legacy programme in India’s efforts to deal with land degradation and the eastward march of the Thar desert.
  • India seeks replicate the idea as a national priority under its goal to restore 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030.
  • The green belt may not be contiguous, but would roughly cover the entire degraded Aravali range through a massive afforestation exercise.

C40 Clean Air Cities Declaration

  • Context: ‘Clean Air Cities Declaration’ was unveiled at the C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen, an event that occurs once every three years and is designed to implement “substantive clean air policies by 2025”.
  • About C40 Clean Air Cities Declaration:
  • Through this Declaration, mayors commit to using their power and influence to reduce air pollution and work towards meeting the World Health Organization’s Air Quality Guidelines.
  • This means cities will continually reduce their local emissions, and advocate for reductions in regional emissions, resulting in continuous declines in air pollution levels that move towards the WHO guidelines.

Hagibis Typhoon:

  • It is the latest typhoon and is said to be Japan’s worst storm in decades.
  • What’s the difference between hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons?
  • Hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons are all tropical storms. They are all the same thing but are given different names depending on where they appear. When they reach populated areas they usually bring very strong wind and rain which can cause a lot of damage.
  • Hurricanes are tropical storms that form over the North Atlantic Ocean and Northeast Pacific. Cyclones are formed over the South Pacific and Indian Ocean. Typhoons are formed over the Northwest Pacific Ocean.

LOTUS-HR project:

  • Context: The launch of the second phase of the Local Treatment of Urban Sewage streams for Healthy Reuse (LOTUS-HR) program was recently held. It is located in Delhi.
  • The LOTUS-HR project is jointly supported by Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India and Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research.
  • The project was initiated in July 2017 and aims to demonstrate a novel holistic (waste) water management approaches that will produce clean water which can be reused for various purposes.

Thylacine:

  • Popularly known as the Tasmanian tiger, it is a large striped carnivore.
  • Why in News? It was believed to have gone extinct over 80 years ago — but newly released Australian government documents show sightings have been reported as recently as two months ago.

Global mobility report

  • Context: Global Mobility Report has been released by Sustainable Mobility for All (SuM4All) initiative.
  • What is SuM4All?
  • The SuM4All initiative, launched in 2017, is an umbrella platform that brings together 55 public and private organisations and companies to act collectively to implement the SDGs and transform the transport sector.
  • Key findings:
  • Not a single country — developed or developing — is on track to achieve sustainability in the transportation sector and attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) mandated by the United Nations.
  • Developed countries outperformed developing countries on all mobility policy goals, except per capita transport-related greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The gap is more striking on safety and air pollution, placing a higher burden on developing countries compared with the developed countries.
  • Other indicators also showed wide disparities between developed and developing countries.
  • With growing urbanisation, increasing world trade and new technologies, the global mobility system is stressed.
  • More than one billion people or one-third of the global rural population, lack access to all-weather roads and transport services.

Kyarr

  • Kyarr is the ninth super cyclone to have developed in the North Indian Ocean, after Super Cyclone Gonu in 2007.
  • It is the first Super Cyclonic storm in Arabian Sea in last 12 years after Cyclone Gonu ravaged the Oman coast in 2007.
  • What is Super Cyclonic Storm?
  • Intense low pressure system represented on a synoptic chart by more than four closed isobars at 2 hPa interval and in which the wind speed on surface level is 120Kts. And above.

National Crisis Management Committee(NCMC):

  • For effective implementation of relief measures in the wake of natural calamities, the Government of India has set up a National Crisis Management Committee.
  • Cabinet Secretary is it’s Chairman.
  • Other members: Secretaries of all the concerned Ministries /Departments as well as organizations are the members of the Committee.
  • The NCMC gives direction to the Crisis Management Group as deemed necessary.

Science & Technology :

RUCO (Repurpose Used Cooking Oil) initiative

  • Context: To mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on 2nd October as Rashtriya Swachhta Diwas, publicity vans were flagged off in Delhi, to generate awareness among the people about the OMCs’ initiative of converting Used Cooking Oil to Biodiesel.
  • The publicity involves wide social media campaign to spread awareness and educate people about the ill effects of used cooking oil and ways to dispose it off for converting it to biodiesel.
  • Concerns associated with the consumption of used cooking oil (UCO):
  • During frying, several properties of oil are altered, Total Polar Compounds(TPC) are formed on repeated frying.
  • The toxicity of these compounds is associated with several diseases such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, liver diseases.

The Gandhian Challenge

  • Context: On the 150th birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, AIM, NITI Aayog’s Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) and UNICEF India, including Generation Unlimited, have launched ‘The Gandhian Challenge’.
  • What is it?
  • This innovation challenge provides a platform for every child across India to ideate innovative solutions for a sustainable India of their dreams, using Gandhi’s principles.
  • The winners of The Gandhian Challenge will be awarded in New Delhi by NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission and UNICEF on the occasion of Children’s Day in November.
  • The contest – open for every child in India from 2 October to 20 October – also celebrates 70 years of partnership between Government of India and UNICEF India to enable Every Right for Every Child.
  • Ideas and solutions to the Gandhian Challenge may be expressed through broad categories: Art & Innovation (Letters, poems, painting, videos and photos, among others) and Science, Technology & Innovation (Robotics, IoT, sensors and 3D printers, among others).

Deep Carbon Observatory

  • Context: Deep Carbon Observatory (CDO) has released a report on Carbon, it’s emissions and availability.
  • The study’s results are concerning due to past extinction events linked to the mass release of atmospheric CO2.

eDantseva:

  • It is the first ever national digital platform on oral health information and knowledge dissemination.
  • Launched recently by the Health and Family Welfare Ministry in collaboration with AIIMS and other stakeholders.
  • Aim: To sensitize the public about the significance of maintaining optimum oral health and equips them with the tools and knowledge to do so, including awareness on the nearest oral health service facility.
  • Components:
  • e-DantSeva contains information about the National Oral Health Program, detailed list of all the dental facility and colleges, Information, Education and Communication (IEC) material and a unique feature called the ‘Symptom Checker’.
  • The website also provides GPRS route/images/satellite images of the facility for easier access to the general population.

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)

  • Context: Ten years ago (Oct. 9), NASA slammed a hunk of space junk into the moon, forever changing our perception of Earth’s nearest neighbour.
  • Background:
  • The space agency’s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) missions launched together on June 18, 2009, riding atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.
  • LRO sped to lunar orbit, where it continues to operate today. But LCROSS remained attached to the Atlas V’s Centaur upper stage and went into a long, elliptical path around Earth that put it on an intentional collision course with the moon.

Phazolicin:

  • It is a new antibiotic discovered in the soil of a tropical rainforest.
  • It was recently isolated deep in the tropical forests of Los Tuxtlas, Mexico.
  • Found in the root nodules of wild beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), this unusual antibiotic is produced by a symbiotic soil bacteriumthat fixes nitrogen for the plant and keeps harmful microbes away.
  • The antibiotic phazolicin is a class of peptide produced in the ribosome, and is part of a diverse class of natural products with a variety of biological uses.

Microbial fuel cells

  • Context: Microbial fuel cells have been installed at a zoo in London.
  • Using these cells, a plant has taken the botanical world’s first selfie.
  • What are microbial fuel cells?
  • A device that converts chemical energy to electrical energy by the action of microorganisms.
  • How it works?
  • Under sunlight, plants produce sugars and oxygen from water and CO2 (photosynthesis).
  • These sugars do not remain in the leaves, but are transported throughout the plant to the stem and roots.
  • Some of these sugars are excreted by the roots as a waste product from the plant.
  • Soil micro-organisms break this down further, releasing energy.
  • This energy is captured using an anode (minus) and a cathode (plus) and charge a supercapacitor.
  • When the supercapacitor is full, the power is discharged and a photo is taken.

Project Soli

  • Context: Recently launched Google Pixel 4 uses a radar-based Soli chip to introduce Motion Sense, a feature that provides similar touchless gesture-based controls.
  • What is Project Soli?
  • Google announced Project Soli in 2015. Since then, Google’s ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects) division has been developing the technology, which can be used in wearables, phones, computers, cars and IoT devices.
  • What is Google’s Soli chip?
  • Google’s Soli is a purpose-built chip to track your motion on a microscopic scale.
  • It uses miniature radar for real-time motion tracking of the human hand; it’s able to track sub-millimetre motion at high speeds with great accuracy.

Anthrax

  • Context: Anthrax scare at Assam’s Pobitora sanctuary after death of 2 buffaloes Asiatic Water Buffaloes.
  • What is anthrax?
  • A disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, a germ that lives in soil.
  • Affects animals such as cattle, sheep, and goats more often than people. People can get anthrax from contact with infected animals, wool, meat, or hides.
  • Spread: It does not spread directly from one infected animal or person to another; it is spread by spores. These spores can be transported by clothing or shoes.

Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT)

  • Context: About 70% of Indian contribution to the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) will be in the form of both hardware and software for the telescope. Indian entities are engaged in developing observatory software as well as telescope control system.
  • About TMT:
  • The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) is an astronomical observatory with an extremely large telescope (ELT).
  • It is an international project being funded by scientific organisations of Canada, China, India, Japan and USA.
  • Planned location: Mauna Kea on the island of Hawaii in the US state of Hawaii.
  • Purpose: The TMT is designed for near-ultraviolet to mid-infrared observations, featuring adaptive optics to assist in correcting image blur.

MISC:

World Cotton Day

  • Context: World Cotton Day being observed from 7th October to 11th October 2019 in Geneva.
  • About the World Cotton Day:
  • Organised by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in collaboration with the Secretariats of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC).
  • WTO is hosting the event at the request of the Cotton – 4 countries, Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali.

Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship Programme

  • Context: Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship launches Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship Programme with IIM Bangalore.
  • Details of the programme:
  • It is a two-year fellowship programme to boost skill development at the district level.
  • Designed under Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP).
  • It aims to address the challenge of non-availability of personnel for implementation of various programmes at national, state and district levels.
  • It has an in-built component of on-ground practical experience with the district administration.
  • Launched on a pilot basis in 75 districts across Gujarat, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
  • Eligibility: Eligible fellows for the programme have to be in 21-30 years age-group, have a graduation degree from a recognized university and be citizens of India. Proficiency in official language of state of fieldwork will be mandatory.

World Mental Health Day 2019:

  • Observed on October 10 every year.
  • Objective: to mobilize efforts in support of mental health and provides an opportunity for everyone to talk and discuss mental health issues, and what more needs to be done.
  • Theme: ‘Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention.’
  • It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries.

Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav:

  • Context: 10th Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav is being held in Jabalpur, MP.
  • Organised by Ministry of Culture under the Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat initiative.

World Food Day:

  • Celebrated on October 16 every year to raise awareness on the issues of poverty and hunger.
  • Established by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in November 1979.
  • The theme of World Food Day 2019 is “Our Actions Are Our Future. Healthy Diets for A #ZeroHunger World”.

Community policing scheme ‘Prahari’:

  • Launched by Delhi Police.
  • To prevent crime and maintain law and order in Delhi.
  • Under this scheme, civil personnel such as chowkidars and security guards deployed in the commercial and VIP areas will act as the eyes and ears of the police.

Vishwa Shanti Stupa

  • Context: Golden Jubilee of Vishwa Shanti Stupa in Rajgir.
  • About Vishwa Shanti Stupa (World peace pagoda):
  • Constructed atop the Ratnagiri Hill, it is the world’s highest peace pagoda.
  • Conceptualised by renowned Buddhist monk Nipponzan Myohoji and built by Japanese monk Fujii Guruji.
  • Built completely with marble, the stupa comprises four golden statues of Lord Buddha with each representing his life periods of birth, enlightenment, preaching and death.
  • There are 7 Peace Pagoda or Shanti Stupas in India, other Stupas are Global Vipassana Pagoda Mumbai, Deekshabhoomi Stupa Nagpur and Buddha Smriti Park Stupa Patna.

Ancient buried river:

  • The Union Water Ministry has excavated an old, dried-up river in Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad) that linked the Ganga and Yamuna rivers.
  • The “ancient buried river” is around 4 km wide, 45 km long and consisted of a 15-metre-thick layer buried under soil.
  • The newly discovered river was a “buried paleochannel that joins the Yamuna river at Durgapur village, about 26 km south of the current Ganga-Yamuna confluence at Prayagraj.