Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | 12 May, 2021

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New Findings Related to Venus

What is the News?

Scientists have obtained new data about atmosphere and other aspects of Venus. This was done by transmitting radio waves towards Venus 21 times from 2006 to 2020 from NASA’s Goldstone Antenna in the Mojave Desert of California. These radio waves studied the radio-echo which provided information on certain Venus traits.

Key Findings:

Longest Day:

  • It was known that Venus has the longest day — the time the planet takes for a single rotation on its axis — of any planet in our solar system.
  • The study found that a single Venusian rotation takes 243.0226 Earth days. That means a day lasts longer than a year on Venus, which makes a complete orbit around the sun in 225 Earth days.

Venus Atmosphere:

  • The Venusian planetary core has a diameter of about 7,000 km comparable to Earth’s core which is about 6,970 km.
  • Venus core is almost certainly cosists of iron and nickel, though it is unclear whether it is solid or molten.
  • Venus spins on its axis almost upright – meaning it lacks noticeable seasons — while Earth has more of a tilt. The study calculated the Venusian tilt at about 2.64 degrees. Earth’s is about 23.5 degrees.

About Venus:

  • Venus is the second planet from the sun. It is similar in structure but slightly smaller than Earth (Earth’s Twin).
  • Venus has a thick and toxic atmosphere that consists primarily of carbon dioxide, with clouds of sulfuric acid droplets.
  • Temperature: The planet’s surface temperature is about 900 degrees Fahrenheit (465 degrees Celsius)—hot enough to melt lead.
  • Venus is one of just two planets that rotate from east to west. Only Venus and Uranus have this “backward” rotation.
  • Life on Venus: Venus’s extreme temperatures and acidic clouds make it an unlikely place for life.
  • Venus does not have any moons, a distinction it shares only with Mercury among the planets in the Solar System.
  • On Venus, one day-night cycle takes 117 Earth days because Venus rotates in the direction opposite to its orbital revolution around the Sun.

Source: The Hindu

“National Bamboo Mission” launches MIS module for Agarbatti industry

What is the News?

National Bamboo Mission has launched an MIS (Management Information Systems) based reporting platform for strengthening the domestic agarbatti industry.

About MIS System for agarbatti industry:

  • MIS (Management Information Systems) has been launched to help collate data on
    • Agarbatti stick production,
    • The locations of stick making units,
    • Availability of raw material,
    • Functioning of the units, production capacity, marketing among others.

About National Bamboo Mission:


  • National Bamboo Mission(NBM) was initially started as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme in 2006-07.
  • The mission was later subsumed under Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture(MIDH) during 2014-15 and continued till 2015-16.

Restructured National Bamboo Mission:

  • The restructured National Bamboo Mission(NBM) was launched in 2018-19 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.

Objectives of the mission:

  • To increase the area under bamboo plantation in non-forest Government and private lands. This is to supplement farm income and contribute towards resilience to climate change.
  • To improve post-harvest management through the establishment of innovative primary processing units. These units were particularly located near the source of production, primary treatment, and seasoning plants, and market infrastructure.
  • Further, to promote product development at micro, small and medium levels and feed bigger industry.
  • To rejuvenate the underdeveloped bamboo industry in India.
  • Also, to promote skill development, capacity building, awareness generation for the development of the bamboo sector.
  • Lastly, to re-align efforts to reduce dependency on the import of bamboo and bamboo products.

Key Features of the mission:

  • Hub and Spoke Model: The Mission is being implemented in a hub (industry) and spoke model. The main goal is to connect farmers to markets. This enables farmers to get a ready market for the bamboo.
  • Subsidy: Under the mission, a direct subsidy of 50% is given to farmers at Rs 1.00 lakh per ha. The Direct subsidy is provided 100% to Government agencies. There is also a subsidy for entrepreneurs to set up various product development units.
  • Implementation: The Mission is presently implemented by 21 States. This includes all the 9 States of the North Eastern Region(NER). In NER the Mission is implemented through the respective State Bamboo Missions.

Source: PIB

“2-deoxy-D-glucose” – DRDO’s Anti-COVID drug

What is the News?

Recently, the Drugs Controller General of India(DCGI) has approved an anti-COVID drug named 2-deoxy-D-glucose(2-DG). The Defence Research and Development Organization(DRDO) developed this medicine for emergency use.

However, independent experts have raised questions about the efficacy of the drug.

About 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG):

  • 2-DG drug has been developed by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS)- a lab of DRDO in collaboration with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories(DRL).
  • The drug comes in powder form in the sachet. One has to take it orally by dissolving the powder in water.

Working Mechanism of the drug:

  • The basic mechanism of the drug involves inhibiting glycolysis or one of the ways in which cells break down glucose for energy.
  • This approach can starve and kill cancer cells, but in theory, work in inhibiting virus cells too, that are almost entirely dependent on glycolysis for replication.

Questions over 2-deoxy-D-glucose: Independent experts have raised questions over the utility of the drug based on the following reasons:

  • Lack of published data on its performance in human trials,
  • Questions on whether the phase-3 trial objectively evaluated the benefits of the drug and it’s side effects
  • Drug’s history of being an unapproved anti-cancer drug.

Source: The Hindu

IREDA bags “Green Urja Award”

What is the News?

Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency(IREDA) has been conferred with “Green Urja Award”.

About Green Urja Award:

  • The Green Urja Award has been launched by the Indian Chamber of Commerce(ICC).
    • ICC was founded in 1925. It is a premier body of business and industry in Eastern and North-Eastern India.
  • The award has been conferred to the IREDA for being the Leading Public Institution in Financing Institution for Renewable Energy.

About IREDA:

  • Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency(IREDA) is a Mini Ratna Enterprise of the Government of India. It was founded in 1987.
  • Purpose: IREDA promotes, develops, and extends financial assistance for setting up projects relating to new and renewable sources of energy.
  • Nodal Ministry: It comes under the administrative control of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
  • Registered under: IREDA has been notified as a Public Financial Institution under Companies Act,1956. It is registered as Non-Banking Financial Company(NFBC) with Reserve Bank of India(RBI).
  • Motto: IREDA’s Motto is “Energy for Ever.”
  • Significance: It is the only dedicated institution for financing Renewable Energy (RE) & Energy Efficiency (EE) projects in India.

Source: PIB

Israel-Palestine “Jerusalem Dispute”

What is the News?

Israeli armed forces have penetrated Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Haram esh-Sharif in Jerusalem. The event occurred ahead of a march by Zionist nationalists commemorating Israel’s capture of the eastern half of the city in 1967.

Jerusalem Dispute:

  • Jerusalem City has been at the centre of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • According to the original 1947 UN partition plan, Jerusalem was proposed to be an international city.
  • But during the first Arab Israel war of 1948, the Israelis captured the western half of the city. Similarly, Jordan took the eastern part including the Old City that houses Haram esh-Sharif.
    • Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third-holiest site. The Al-Aqsa is located on a plaza at Temple Mount, which is known in Islam as Haram-esh-Sharif.
    • The Temple Mount is also Judaism’s holiest site.
    • The Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall is sacred to Jews. This wall is one side of the retaining wall of the Al-Aqsa compound.
  • However, Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed it later.
  • Since its annexation, Israel has expanded settlements in East Jerusalem. At present, it is home to some 220,000 Jews.
  • Jews born in East Jerusalem are Israeli citizens. The Palestinians in Jerusalem are given conditional residency permits. But Palestinians in East Jerusalem, unlike other parts of the occupied West Bank, can apply for Israeli citizenship.

Current Status of Jerusalem Dispute:

  • Israel: Israel considers a unified Jerusalem city as the capital of Israel.
    • This move has never been internationally recognized by most of the countries. But this move had been endorsed by Donald Trump when he was U.S. President.
  • Palestine: Palestinian leadership have maintained that they would not accept any compromise formula for the future Palestinian state unless East Jerusalem is its capital.

Source: The Hindu

“CSIR-CMERI” Celebrates the National Technology Day- 2021

What is the News?

CSIR-CMERI has celebrated National Technology Day- 2021 by interacting with the MSME Representatives.


  • Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (also known as CSIR-CMERI) is a public engineering research and development institution. It was founded in 1959.
  • Part of: The institute is a constituent laboratory of the Indian Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
  • Purpose: The institute was founded to develop national mechanical engineering technology, particularly in order to help Indian industries.
    • Currently, the Institute is making R&D efforts in areas such as Robotics, Mechatronics, Cybernetics, Manufacturing, Precision agriculture, embedded system.
  • Located at: Durgapur, West Bengal
  • Significance: This institute is the only national-level research institute in the field of mechanical engineering in India.

National Technology Day:

  • National Technology Day has been celebrated every year on May 11 since 1999.
  • Aim: The day aims to commemorate the scientific and technological achievements of Indian scientists and engineers.
  • Theme: Technology Development Board(TDB) selects a theme for each year’s event. The theme of 2021 is “Science and Technology for a Sustainable Future”.
  • Significance of this day:
    • Firstly, on this day, on May 11, 1998, India conducted 3 successful nuclear tests at the Indian Army’s Pokhran Test Range in Rajasthan under Operation Shakti.
    • Secondly, the day also commemorates the flight of “Hansa-3″. It was India’s first-ever indigenous aircraft developed by the National Aerospace Laboratories.
    • Lastly, the Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) test-fired the Trishul missile on this day. It is a surface-to-air short-range missile.

Source: PIB

PM pays tribute to “Gopal Krishna Gokhale” on his Birth Anniversary

What is the News?

The Prime Minister has paid tribute to freedom fighter Gopal Krishna Gokhale on his Birth Anniversary.

About Gopal Krishna Gokhale:

  • Gopal Krishna Gokhale(1866 –1915) was an Indian liberal political leader and a social reformer during the Indian Independence Movement. He was born on 9 May 1866

Contributions of Gopal Krishna Gokhale:

Role in Indian a National Congress(INC):

  • Gokhale became a member of the Indian National Congress(INC) in 1889.
  • He was associated with the Moderate Group of Indian National Congress.
  • He became president of INC in 1905 in the Banaras session.

Role in Legislatures:

  • In 1899, Gokhale was elected to the Bombay Legislative Council.
  • He was also elected to the Imperial Council of the Governor-General of India in 1901.
  • He also played a key role in framing the Morley-Minto reforms of 1909.

Related Societies:

  • He served as Secretary of the Deccan Education Society.
  • He established the Servants of India Society in 1905. This society trained people to be selfless workers so that they could work for the common good of the people. 
  • Gokhale was a mentor to both Mohammed Jinnah and Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi even wrote a book called, ‘Gokhale, My Political Guru’. 
  • In 1908, he founded the ‘Ranade Institute of Economics’.


  • He started an English weekly newspaper, The Hitavada (The people’s paper).
  • Gokhale also published a daily newspaper Jnanaprakash
  • He was also associated with the Sarvajanik sabha journal started by Govind Ranade.

Source: PIB


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