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Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | 5 Apr, 2021

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“NASA’s InSight lander” Detects Massive Quakes on Mars

What is the News? 

NASA’s InSight lander detects two strong quakes on Mars. The lander is a part of NASA’s InSight mission to Mars, launched in 2018.

About NASA’s InSight Mission 

  • InSight short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport is a NASA Mission.
  • This Mission aims at studying the deep interiors of Mars. It is the first program to analyze the interior of the Red Planet, beneath its surface i.e. its crust, mantle, and core.
  • Part of: InSight mission is part of NASA’s Discovery Program (1992).
    • Discovery Program is a series of Solar System exploration missions. NASA funds these missions through its Planetary Missions Program Office.

About InSight Mission Lander:

  1. NASA launched the lander under NASA’s InSight mission in 2018.
  2. Purpose: It is a robotic lander designed to study the deep interior of Mars to learn how all celestial bodies with rocky surfaces, including Earth and the Moon, formed.
  3. Manufactured by: The lander was manufactured by Lockheed Martin Space Systems. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages it. Further, European agencies built most of its scientific instruments.
  4. Scientific Instruments: The scientific instruments used for the mission are:
    • seismometer for detecting quakes;
    • sensors for gauging wind and air pressure;
    • magnetometer and a heat flow probe designed to take the planet’s temperature.

Source: Hindustan Times


Unique Land Parcel Identification Number (ULPIN) Scheme

What is the News? The Department of Land Resources informs the Standing Committee on Rural Development about the Unique Land Parcel Identification Number (ULPIN) Scheme.

About Unique Land Parcel Identification Number(ULPIN) Scheme:

  • The Unique Land Parcel Identification Number(ULPIN) scheme was launched in 10 States in 2021. It will roll out across the country by March 2022.
  • Key Features of the Scheme:
    • Under the scheme, authorities issue a 14-digit identification number to every plot of land in the country.
    • Also known as “the Aadhaar for land”, It is a unique number to identify every surveyed parcel of land. It will prevent land fraud, especially in rural India where proper land records are not available.
    • The longitude and latitude of a land parcel will be the basis for its identification. It will depend on detailed surveys and geo-referenced cadastral maps.
    • The land records database will gradually integrate with the records of revenue courts and bank on a voluntary basis.
  • Significance: The scheme might also be the next step in the Digital India Land Records Modernisation Programme(DILRMP). It began in 2008.
  • Benefits of the Scheme:
    • Thus, the single source of information can authenticate the ownership and in turn, it can end the dubious ownership.
    • The scheme will also help to identify the government lands easily and protect the land from dubious land transactions.

Source: The Hindu


“HSN code” Made Mandatory for Certain Category of GST Taxpayers

What is the News?

The Government makes the 6 digit HSN (Harmonized System of Nomenclature) code mandatory for a GST taxpayer having a turnover of more than Rs 5 crore in a financial year. This rule comes into effect from April 1,2021.

About HSN Code:

  • The HSN Code is a six-digit identification code. The World Customs Organization (WCO) developed this code in 1988.
  • Purpose: It is an international nomenclature for the classification of products. It allows participating countries to classify traded goods on a common basis for customs purposes.
  • The code is also called the universal economic language for goods. It is a multipurpose international product nomenclature.
  • The HSN code currently comprises around 5,000 commodity groups. Each Code is a unique six-digit code that has numbers arranged in a legal and logical structure. There are well-defined rules to achieve uniform classification.
    • Of the six digits, the first two denote the HS Chapter, the next two give the HS heading, and the last two give the HS subheading.
  • Significance: HSN Code helps in harmonizing customs and trade procedures. Thus, it reduces the costs of international trade.

Source: Livemint


SC Judgment on Rejection of Candidate Acquitted of Serious Crime

What is the News?

The Supreme Court held that a public employer can reject a candidate if the candidate is unsuitable. Thus, a person acquitted of a serious crime merely on the benefit of the doubt can be rejected.

What was the case?

  • A man cleared the recruitment exam of a constable in the Rajasthan Police Service.
  • However, he was not appointed to the post. He was acquitted of murder after witnesses turned hostile in Rajasthan in 2009.

Supreme Court Observations:

  • The Supreme Court observes that acquittal in a criminal case does not automatically qualify a candidate for appointment to the post.
  • The person should be honorably acquitted of a heinous crime and not on the benefit of the doubt. Then only a person is considered eligible for public employment.
  • An honorable acquittal is when the accused is acquitted after full consideration of the evidence. Also, if the prosecution miserably fails to prove the charges leveled against the accused.
  • However, if this parameter is not met, the acquittal is based on the benefit of the doubt.
  • The present case can hardly fall under the category of an honorable acquittal. The witnesses had turned hostile. Hence, the appointment was rejected.

Source: The Hindu


Impacts of Desert Dust Particles on “Indian Summer Monsoon”

What is the News?

 A new study shows the impacts of desert dust coming from the West, Central, and East Asia in the Indian Summer Monsoon.

Impacts of Desert Dust Particles on Indian Summer Monsoon:

  • Strong winds carry the dust particles from the Middle East into the atmosphere. Dust particles absorb solar radiation and become extremely hot.
  • This causes heating of the atmosphere. Heat decreases the air pressure and changes wind circulation patterns. Further, it increases the moisture transport capacity of air and increases precipitation and rainfall.
  • This phenomenon is termed an “elevated heat pump”. It is responsible for driving moisture from the sea to the Indian subcontinent.

Positive Feedback Loop:

  • Positive Feedback Loop is a loop where the result of a reaction leads to an enhancement of that very reaction.
  • In this case too, a positive feedback loop plays a role when the dust particles from the Middle East boost the power of Indian monsoons.
  • In turn, the monsoons increase the winds in the Middle East and subsequently produce more dust aerosols.

Role of Iranian Plateau on Indian Summer Monsoon:

  • Iranian Plateau also influences the Indian Summer Monsoon. The hot air over the Iranian Plateau can heat the atmosphere over the plateau. It further strengthens the circulation over the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula and increases dust emission from the Middle East [West Asia].

Influence of Aerosols on Indian Summer Monsoon:

  • Aerosol is a suspension of fine solid particles or liquid droplets in air or another gas. Aerosols can be natural or anthropogenic:
    • Examples of natural aerosols are fog, mist, dust, forest exudates, and geyser steam.
    • Examples of anthropogenic aerosols are particulate air pollutants and smoke.
  • Some studies have found that anthropogenic aerosols, emitted from the Indian subcontinent, can decrease summer monsoon precipitation.
  • While other studies have found that absorbing aerosols such as dust can strengthen the monsoon circulation.
  • However, in this study, it was found that anthropogenic aerosols can strengthen Indian summer monsoon rainfall.

Influence of Dust Particles across the Globe: Dust Particles from deserts across the globe play important role in monsoons:

  • The dust aerosols from deserts in West China such as the Taklamakan Desert and the Gobi Desert can be transported eastward to eastern China and can influence the East Asia summer monsoon.
  • The small deserts in the southwest United States are known to influence the North African monsoon.

Source: The Hindu


Govt. Extends “Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme”

What is the News? Government extends the Rs. 3-lakh-crore Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) until 30th June 2021. It also widens its scope to new sectors, including hospitality, travel and tourism.

About Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS):

  • Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme(ECLGS) launched as part of the Covid-19 relief package called the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
  • Aim: To provide Rs 3 lakh crore worth of collateral-free, government guaranteed loans to micro, small and medium enterprises(MSMEs) across India. It aimed to mitigate the distress caused by the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
  • National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company(NCGTC) is the guarantee provider under the ECLGS scheme.

ECLGS 1.0:

  • Purpose: It aims to provide fully guaranteed and collateral free additional credit to MSMEs, business enterprises, MUDRA borrowers and individual loans for business purposes. The credit provided to the extent of 20% of their credit outstanding as of 29th February, 2020.
  • Eligibility: MSMEs with up to Rs 25 crore outstanding and Rs.100 crore turnover were eligible.
  • Duration: It had a 1-year moratorium period and a 4-year repayment period.

ECLGS 2.0:

  • Purpose: It aims to extend the ECLGS Scheme to the 26 stressed sectors identified by the Kamath Committee and the healthcare sector.
  • Eligibility: Companies with dues of Rs 50-500 crore as of February 29, 2020 were eligible.
  • Duration: The tenor of the credit under the ECLGS 2.0 was five years including a one-year moratorium.

ECLGS 3.0:

  • Under ECLGS 3.0, business enterprises in the hospitality, travel and tourism, leisure and sporting sectors would be able to avail credit.
  • Extension of Credit: It involves the extension of credit of up to 40% of the total credit outstanding from 20% earlier.
  • Duration: The tenor of loans granted under ECLGS 3.0 is six years, including a moratorium period of two years.
  • Eligibility: The scheme will only consider loans less than 60 days overdue as on February 29, 2020, with total credit outstanding not exceeding Rs 500 crore.

Note: The validity of ECLGS that is ECLGS 1.0, ECLGS 2.0 & ECLGS 3.0 has been extended upto 30 June 2021 or till guarantees for an amount of Rs. 3 lakh crore are issued.

About National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company(NCGTC):

  • NCGTC was set up in 2014 as a private limited company. The Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance established it under the Indian Companies Act,1956.
  • Purpose: To act as a common trustee company to manage and operate various credit guarantee trust funds.

Source: Livemint

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