9 PM Current Affairs Brief – February 28th, 2020

What is 2020 CD3, a mini-moon?

News:Astronomers have observed a small object orbiting Earth, which they have dubbed a “mini-moon” or the planet’s “second moon”. It has been named 2020 CD3.

Facts:

2020 CD3

  • It is a Temporarily Captured Object (TCO) with a diameter of 1.9-3.5 m.
  • It was discovered by Kacper Wierzchos and Teddy Pruyne of the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) in Arizona

Temporarily Captured Object (TCO)

  • When an asteroid’s orbit crosses Earth’s orbit, it can sometimes be captured into the latter and is called a Temporarily Captured Object (TCO).The orbit of such objects is unstable.

Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation 

News:The Mizoram government has sought the revision of the boundary with Assam, based on the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR) of 1873 and the Inner Line of the Lushai Hills Notification of 1993.

Facts:

Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation

  • The  Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act 1873 was framed by the Britishers to restrict “British subjects” (Indians) entry in certain designated areas.
  • The BEFR allows Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland not to let non-resident Indians in without an inner-line permit for a temporary stay.

Inner Line permit: is a travel document that is required by non-natives to visit Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland.

Additional Information:

Mizoram -Assam Dispute:

  • Mizoram used to be the Lushai Hills district of Assam before being made a Union Territory in 1972 and a State in 1987.
  • At present, Mizoram shares a 123-km border with southern Assam and has been claiming a 509-square mile stretch “occupied” by the neighbouring State.

New Age Satellite to monitor India continuously to be launched on March 5

News:The Indian Space Research Organisation on Tuesday said it is scheduled to launch its geo imaging satellite ‘GISAT-1’ on March 5.

Facts:

GISAT-1

  • It is the first state-of-the-art agile Earth observation satellite which will be placed in a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit by GSLV-F10.
  • GISAT-1 will facilitate near real time observation of the Indian subcontinent, under cloud free condition, at frequent intervals.

Additional Information

Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV): They are used to launch satellites and other space objects into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbits. GSLV has the capability to put a heavier payload in orbit than the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

Important Earth Observation Satellite series by ISRO: IRS series, RISAT series, RESOURCESAT series.

Counter Cyclical Fiscal Policy

News:Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy V Subramanian advocated adoption of counter cyclical fiscal policy to create additional fiscal headroom.

Facts:

Counter Cyclical Fiscal Policy

  • Countercyclical fiscal policy is one which moves against the business cycle i.e., it is contractionary during booms and expansionary during recessions.
  • At times of recession, it  aims at reducing taxes and increasing expenditure. 
  • While, in the case of boom, it is directed towards increasing taxes and reducing public expenditure

Additional Information:

Pro Cyclical Fiscal Policy: A fiscal policy is said to be procyclical if it moves with the business cycle, i.e., it is expansionary during economic booms and contractionary during economic recessions.

Note: Cyclicality of fiscal policy refers to the direction in which the government’s revenues and expenditures move in relation to output. 

NITI Aayog, AIM and NASSCOM launch AI-based Module for students

News:NITI Aayog, Atal Innovation Mission(AIM) in collaboration with the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) has launched an AI-based Module rolled out for students in Indian schools.

Facts:

About the AI-based module:

  • Aim:To leverage the full potential of AIM’s Atal Tinkering Lab(ATL) and further empowers them to innovate and create valuable solutions benefiting societies at large. 
  • Under this,artificial intelligence-based modules will be implemented across 5000 Atal Tinkering Labs in the country.
  • The module will contain activities, videos, and experiments that enable students to work through and learn the various concepts of AI.

About Atal Tinkering Labs(ATL):

  • Atal Tinkering labs(ATL) have been established under the Atal Innovation Mission(AIM).
  • Objective:To foster curiosity, creativity and imagination in young minds; and inculcate skills such as design mindset, computational thinking, adaptive learning, physical computing etc.
  • Funding:AIM will provide grant-in-aid that includes a one-time establishment cost of Rs.10 lakh and operational expenses of Rs. 10 lakh for a maximum period of 5 years to each ATL.
  • Eligibility:Schools (minimum Grade VI – X) managed by Government, local body or private trusts/society can set up ATL.

Additional information:

About Atal innovation mission(AIM):

  • The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) was set up by NITI Aayog in 2016.
  • It aims to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.It also seeks to create institutions and programs that enhance innovation in schools, colleges, and entrepreneurs in general.

India-Myanmar Relations

News:The President of Myanmar has visited India.During his visit,several agreements were signed between both the countries.

Facts:

About the MoUs signed:The two countries signed agreements in various fields such as:

  • MoU on Cooperation for Prevention of Trafficking in Persons
  • Agreement regarding Indian Grant Assistance for Implementation of Quick Impact Projects (QIP)
  • Project Agreement for construction of pre-schools under Rakhine State Development Programme
  • India reiterated its commitment for construction of the Integrated Check Post in Tamu, Myanmar among others.

India-Myanmar Relations:

  • India and Myanmar relationship officially started after the Treaty of Friendship was signed in 1951.
  • Myanmar shares a long 1,643 km border with 4 Indian states namely Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh in Northeast India.
  • India is the fifth largest trading partner of Myanmar – its fifth largest destination for exports and sixth largest source of imports.
  • Myanmar is also the beneficiary of a duty-free tariff preference scheme for least developed countries (LDCs).
  • Myanmar’s membership of ASEAN, BIMSTEC and Mekong Ganga Cooperation has introduced a sub-regional dimension to bilateral relations with India.
  • The exercises between India and Myanmar are a) IMBAX- It is a bilateral army exercise between India and Myanmar and b) IMNEX- It is a bilateral annual naval exercise between India and Myanmar.

Finance minister launches EASE 3.0 for tech-enabled banking

News:The Finance Minister has launched Enhanced Access and Service Excellence (EASE 3.0).

Facts:

About EASE:

  • EASE are a set of banking reforms which aims to incorporate technological aids for ensuring better banking experience, wider financial inclusion and easier credit distribution.

About EASE 3.0:

  • EASE 3.0 aims to provide advanced solutions that will make the public sector banking smart and technology-enabled.
  • It will include facilities like Palm Banking for End-to-end digital delivery of financial service, Banking on Go via EASE banking outlets, digitalised branch experience, tech-enabled agriculture lending among others.

Capacity Building Programme for Scheduled Tribe Pri Representatives and 1000 Springs Initiatives

News:Union Tribal minister has launched the ‘Capacity Building Programme for Scheduled Tribe Pri Representatives’ and ‘1000 Springs Initiatives’.

Facts:

About Capacity Building Initiative:

  • Aim:To empower tribal Panchayati Raj institutions(PRI) representatives by improving their decision making capabilities at the local government level.
  • It also focuses on constitutional and legal provisions that protect and promote the rights and welfare of the tribal population and ensures greater participation of ST PRIs representatives in planning, execution and monitoring of government policies and programmes.

About Spring Atlas:

  • Springs are natural sources of groundwater discharge and have been used extensively in the mountainous regions across the world, including India.
  • However, in the central and eastern Indian belt with more than 75% tribal population, it remains largely unrecognized and under-utilized.
  • An online portal on GIS-based Spring Atlas has been developed to make this data easily accessible from an online platform.Presently, data of more than 170 springs have been uploaded on the Spring Atlas.

About 1000 Springs Initiative:

  • Aim:To improve the accessibility of safe and adequate water for the tribal communities who are living in difficult and inaccessible areas of rural India.
  • The initiative includes provision of infrastructure for piped water supply for drinking; provision of water for irrigation; community-led total sanitation initiatives and provision for water for backyard nutrition gardens, generating sustainable livelihood opportunities for the tribal people.

Henneguya salminicola

News:Recently,Scientists have discovered an animal Henneguya Salminicola which does not need oxygen to produce the energy needed for its survival.

Facts:

About:

  • Henneguya salminicola is a parasite that lives in the Salmon muscle cells of fish.
  • It relies on anaerobic respiration through which cells extract energy without using oxygen.
  • It also does not not have a mitochondrial genome.Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell where oxygen is captured to make energy so its absence indicates that the animal was not breathing oxygen.

Significance of the discovery:

  • The discovery changes one of science’s assumptions about the animal world that all animals use aerobic respiration and therefore,oxygen.

6th Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Vessel “VAJRA” launched

News:Minister of State for Shipping(I/C) has launched the 6th Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Vessel(OPV-6) ’VAJRA’  at Chennai.

Facts:

About VAJRA:

  • VAJRA is the 6th vessel in the series of seven Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) projects. 
  • It has been built by L&T Shipbuilding under the ‘Make in India’ policy. 
  • The vessel would be utilised for day and night surveillance along with anti-terrorist, anti-smuggling operations in the exclusive economic zone.
  • It is empowered with two Navigation Radars along with ultra-modern technology, Sophisticated navigational and latest communication systems.

Additional information:

About OPV:

  • Offshore patrol vessels(OPVs) are patrolling vehicles which are deployed by Indian coast guards to patrol the maritime boundary of India.

Kudumbashree

News:Kudumbashree will organise the campaign in Kerala aimed at taking Kudumbashree products to each household in the State.

Facts:

About Kudumbashree:

  • Kudumbashree is the poverty eradication and women empowerment programme implemented by the State Poverty Eradication Mission (SPEM) of the Government of Kerala in 1997.
  • The name Kudumbashree in Malayalam language means ‘prosperity of the family’.
  • The mission aims at the empowerment of women through forming self-help groups and encouraging microcredit and entrepreneurship among women.
  • It consists of a three tier structure with Neighbourhood Groups (NHGs) as primary level units, Area Development Societies (ADS) at the ward level and Community Development Societies (CDS) at the local government level.
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