News: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has launched a mobile app called MANI’ (Mobile Aided Note Identifier)
About MANI’ (Mobile Aided Note Identifier)
- It seeks to aid visually impaired persons in identifying denomination of currency notes.
- It can scan currency notes using the camera of the mobile phone and gives audio output in Hindi and English. It can work in offline mode too.
- However, the app cannot authenticate a currency note as being genuine or counterfeit.
News: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has dedicated 5 DRDO Young Scientist Laboratories (DYSLs) to the nation.
About DRDO Young Scientist Laboratories (DYSLs)
- The DYSLs are located in five cities: Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad.
- These labs will work on a key advanced technology of importance to the development of futuristic defence systems. This includes Artificial intelligence, Quantum technologies, Cognitive technologies, Asymmetric technologies and Smart materials.
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
- DRDO is India’s premier organization for research related to defence technology.
- It is under administrative control of Department of Defence Research and Development, Ministry of Defence.
- It was established in 1958 and is headquartered in New Delhi.
News: The Assam State Zoo and Aaranyak has jointly bred a pair of Greater Adjutant (Hargila) chicks in an artificial platform within the zoo enclosure. It is a first ever experiment of this kind.
About Greater Adjutant Stork (Hargila):
- It is found in a few isolated pockets in Assam and Bihar in India and PrekToal in Cambodia.
- It is listed as Endangered under the IUCN Red List.
- It is listed under schedule IV of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
News: The WHO has designated as the “Year of the Nurse and midwife”, in honour of the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale.
- Year of the Nurse and midwife highlights the importance of nurses and midwives in achieving universal health coverage.
- It also advocates for increased investments in the nursing and midwifery workforce.
Universal Health Coverage (UHC): It is defined as ensuring that all people have access to needed health services of sufficient quality without suffering financial hardship.
UHC and Sustainable Development Goal: SDG 3.8 calls for achieving universal health coverage.
Nursing Now! Campaign:
- It is a three-year global campaign (2018-2020) to improve health globally by raising the status of nursing.
- WHO runs the campaign in collaboration with International Council of Nurses.
- It is based on the Triple Impact Report (2016) which states how developing nursing will improve health (SDG 3), promote gender equality (SDG 5) and support economic growth (SDG 8).
Florence Nightingale: She was an English social reformer and is regarded as the founder of modern nursing.
News: Palau has become the first country to ban sun cream that is harmful to corals and sea life.
- The ban covers chemicals such as oxybenzone and octinoxate used in sunscreen
- These chemicals are toxic to wildlife species such as corals, fish, and macroalgae. They can cause:
- corals to become more susceptible to coral bleaching,
- damage the DNA of coral, and
- deform and kill juvenile corals
- It is an island country located in the western Pacific Ocean.
- Rock Islands Southern Lagoon of Palau is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Palau created world’s first shark sanctuary in 2009.
News: Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas signed contracts for 7 blocks, awarded under Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP) Bid Round – IV.
Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP):
- Launched in 2016, OALP, is a part of Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP).
- It is aimed at enabling faster survey and assessment of areas with oil and gas potential.
- It enables companies apply for particular areas they deem to be attractive to invest in, and the Centre then put those areas up for bids.
Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP):
- Introduced in 2016, it is a contractual and fiscal model for award of hydrocarbon acreages towards exploration and production (E&P).
Major Characteristic Features:
- Single License for both conventional and unconventional Hydrocarbons
- Transition from Cost Recovery mechanism to Revenue Sharing mechanism.
- Full Marketing & Pricing Freedom
- Low regulatory burden
- Fiscal incentives provided to investors
Implementing Agency: Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH), Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas
National Data Repository: It is an integrated data repository of Exploration and Production (E&P) data of Indian sedimentary basins.
News: The Election Commission has launched Political Parties Registration Tracking Management System (PPRTMS).
Political Parties Registration Tracking Management System (PPRTMS):
- It is an online system that will allow political parties to track their applications for registration with the ECI on a real-time basis.
Registration of Political Parties
- Registration of political parties in India is governed by the section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
- An association seeking registration has to submit an application to the ECI within a period of 30 days from the date of its formation.
News: Northeast monsoon ended with an overall surplus
About North east monsoon season
- It is a season of winter rainfall experienced in south-eastern peninsular India.
- Time for NE Monsoon: October to December
- Regions: Tamil Nadu (including Puducherry), Kerala, Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema and South Interior Karnataka.
- The northeast trade winds prevail over India during winters. They blow from land to sea and hence are dry and does not bring rainfall.
- A part of the NE trade winds blow over the Bay Bengal which gathers moisture from the sea and bring rainfall over the Tamil Nadu coast.
- It contributes only 11% to India’s annual rainfall of 1,187 mm.
- However, it is particularly important for Tamil Nadu, which receives almost half its annual rainfall from this season.