9 PM Current Affairs Brief – February 16th, 2020

Basmati rice genome sequenced

News:Recently,Scientists have mapped the complete genome of two basmati rice varieties.

Facts:

About the findings:

  • Basmati 334: It comes from Pakistan known to be drought tolerant and resistant to rice-killing bacterial blight.
  • Dom Sufid: It comes from Iran, an aromatic long-grain rice that is one of the most expensive on the market.
  • Further,the most genetic material in basmati comes from a) japonica —a rice group found in East Asia followed by b) aus rice group found in Bangladesh.

About Genome Sequencing:

  • Genome sequencing means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks called bases that make up the DNA molecule.
  • It is an important tool for studying plants and improving crop varieties.

Kambala

News:Recently,Srinivas Gowda competing in a kambala event has covered 100m in 9.55 seconds ahead of Jamaican Usain Bolt’s world record of 9.58 seconds.

Facts:

About Kambala:

  • Kambala is an annual festival celebrated in the Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka.
  • The festival involves the traditional buffalo race generally held from November to March.
  • The buffaloes are made to race one after another in paddy fields as a thanksgiving to the Gods for protecting the animals from diseases.

Lui-Ngai-Ni Festival

News:The Naga tribes of Manipur celebrated it’s seed sowing festival Lui-Ngai-Ni under the theme Oneness through Culture in Ukhrul, Manipur.

Facts:

About the festival:

  • Lui Ngai Ni is the seed-sowing festival celebrated by the Naga clans of Manipur India.
  • The celebration is celebrated every year on 14–15 February toward the beginning of the spring season.
  • The festival commemorates the season of seed sowing and is also embarks the beginning of the new year for the people of Naga clan.

Canary Islands

News:Recently,Spanish authorities have rescued a group of 86 migrants that included a baby who was born near the Canary Islands.

Facts:

About Canary Islands:

  • The Canary Islands are a Spanish archipelago and the southernmost autonomous community of Spain.
  • The Island is located in the Atlantic Ocean,west of Morocco at the closest point.

Conference of Central Administrative Tribunal 2020

News:The annual All India Conference of the Central Administrative Tribunal was held at Vigyan Bhawan,New Delhi held on 16th February 2020.

Facts:

About CAT:

  • The Central Administrative Tribunal has been established by an Act of Parliament namely Administrative Tribunals Act,1985 under Article 323-A of the Constitution.
  • Mandate:To adjudicate disputes and complaints with respect to recruitment and conditions of service of persons appointed to public services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or other authorities under the control of the Government.

Features of the Tribunal:

  • The Tribunal is headed by the Chairman and 65 Members, 33 from Judicial (including Chairman) and 33 from the Administrative stream.The Chairman is normally a sitting or retired Judge of a High Court.
  • Tribunal has been conferred with the power to exercise the same jurisdiction and authority in respect of contempt of itself as a High Court.
  • The Tribunal is guided by the principles of natural justice in deciding cases and is not bound by the procedure prescribed by the Civil Procedure Code.

Explained:How does India’s Railways’ corporate train model work?

News:Recently, Kashi Mahakal Express has been inaugurated as the country’s third ‘corporate’ train after the two Tejas Express trains between Delhi-Lucknow and Mumbai-Ahmedabad.

Facts:

About the Corporate Train Model:

  • In this model, the physical infrastructure of the train such as locomotives, coaches, loco pilots among others will remain in the Indian Railways’ hands.
  • However, the services provided including ticketing and refunds, parcels, catering and housekeeping will be outsourced to Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation(IRCTC).
  • This will allow Indian Railways to be free from encumbrances and gets to earn from IRCTC a pre-decided amount being the owner of the network.

Explained: What is Hope spacecraft?

News:The United Arab Emirates has used a novel approach to build the Hope spacecraft which will be launched in July,2020.

Facts:

About HOPE:

  • HOPE Spacecraft is also known as the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM).It will be Arab world’s first spacecraft to Mars.
  • Aim:To collect information on Mars and meteorological layers.It also seeks to study the causes of loss of hydrogen and oxygen gases from the upper layer of the Martian atmosphere.
  • The mission will become the first space exploration programme to take a picture of the Mars atmosphere.
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