3D Printed Reef
- World’s largest 3D-printed reef was installed in Maldives to help save corals.
- The artificial reef was developed using computer modelling and a 3D printer at a lab in Melbourne, Australia,.
- It was designed to resemble reef structures typically found in the Maldives.
- It aims to help coral reefs survive the ravages of climate change and warming waters.
- 3D printing technology offers a new way of saving the corals to fight with global warming, bleaching and environmental pollution.
The Haitian revolution
- The night of August 22-23, 1791, in Saint-Domingue, in what is Haiti and the Dominican Republic today, saw the beginning of the uprising that would play a crucial role in the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade.
- Men and women sold into slavery, revolted against the slave system to obtain freedom and independence for Haiti. The rebellion weakened the Caribbean colonial system, sparking an uprising that led to abolishing slavery and giving the island its independence.
- It marked the beginning of the destruction of the slavery system, the slave trade, and colonialism. The large and well-organized uprising, better known as the Haitian Revolution, lasted 13 years and ended with the independent nation of Haiti.
- In 1888, nearly 85 years later, Brazil became the last nation in America to abolish slavery.
- The United Nations’ International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition is observed every year on August 23 to remind people of the tragedy of the transatlantic slave trade, the largest deportation in history.
- To honour the history of the slave trade and its abolition, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in 2017, added to its World Heritage List the Mbanza Kongo, Vestiges of the Capital of the former Kingdom of Kongo (Angola) and the Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site (Brazil), as an acknowledgement of their “outstanding universal value.”
- UNESCO also started an initiative in 1994 known as the ‘Slave Route’ project to contribute to a better understanding of the causes, forms of operation, issues and consequences of slavery in the world.
SCO Peace Mission Exercise
- As part of the SCO initiatives, the SCO Peace Mission Exercise is conducted biennially for the SCO member states.
- The exercise will involve tactical level operations in an international counter insurgency or counter-terrorism environment under the SCO Charter.
- At least 3,000 soldiers from China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, India and Pakistan are participating in the drill.
- Recently the 2018 SCO Peace Mission Exercise is being held in Russia.
- The 2018 exercise will be the first for India and Pakistan since becoming full members of the SCO in 2017. It also will be the first time India and Pakistan take part in a military exercise together since their independence, though their militaries have previously worked on United Nations peacekeeping missions.
- Jatropha is a flowering plant.
- It is a drought-resistant plant.
- It can be grown in rugged terrain, marginally poor soil and can survive with minimum inputs.
- Jatropha also has medicinal properties and is used for diseases like cancer, piles, snakebite, paralysis, dropsy etc.
- It has been tested successfully as fuel for simple diesel engine.
- Its oil also acts as an insecticide.
- It is the largest wildlife sanctuary of Madhya Pradesh state in India.
- It is a potential site for the Cheetah Reintroduction in India.
- The protected area sits astride two major river basins of India, namely the Narmada, flowing west to the Arabian Sea and the Ganges, flowing east to the Bay of Bengal.
- 3/4th of the wildlife sanctuary falls in the basin of Ganges tributary, the Yamuna River, of which the Ken River is a tributary.
- 1/4th of the sanctuary falls in the Narmada basin.
- The north-flowing Kopra River, Bamner River, Vyarma River and Bearma River, which are tributaries of the Ken River, are the major rivers of this protected area.
- The forest is spread over the southern area of the Vindhya Range of hills in which the Bandhavgarh National Park and Panna National Park are also located.
FAME India Scheme (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India)
- FAME was launched in 2015.
- The objective of the scheme is to support the hybrid / electric vehicles market development and Manufacturing eco-system.
- The Scheme is aimed at incentivising all vehicle segments i.e. 2 Wheeler, 3 Wheeler Auto, Passenger 4 Wheeler Vehicle, Light Commercial Vehicles and Buses.
- It has 4 focus areas i.e.
(a) Technology development
(b) Demand Creation
(c) Pilot Projects and
(d) Charging Infrastructure.
- The phase I of the scheme expired on March 31, 2018.
- The scheme is a part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan by Government of India.
The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx)
- Launched on 8 September 2016, its mission is to study asteroid 101955 Bennu.
- If successful, OSIRIS-REx will be the first U.S. spacecraft to return samples from an asteroid.
- It is the third planetary science mission, after Juno and New Horizons.
- Juno- Mission to study Jupiter.
- New Horizon – Mission to study Pluto
Biodiversity Heritage Sites
- Biodiversity Heritage Sites (BHS) are well-defined areas that are unique with ecologically fragile ecosystems.
- It covers terrestrial, coastal and inland waters and, marine ecosystems having rich biodiversity.
- Under the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 (BDA).
- The State Government in consultation with the Central Government may frame rules for the management and conservation of BHS.
- The National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) issues the guidelines for selection and management of the BHS.
- Ameenpur lake in Telangana is the first water body in the country to be declared as a BHS.
Maharshi Badrayan Vyas Samman
- There are two kinds of awards given by Indian president to language scholars – a certificate of honour and Maharishi Badrayan Vyas Samman.
- Scholars in the Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit, Arabic, Persian, Classical Oriya, Classical Malayalam, Classical Kannada and Classical Telugu languages are eligible.
- A certificate of honour is for scholars aged 60 and above.
- Maharishi Badrayan Vyas Samman is for scholars between 30-45 years of age.
- This distinction is conferred once a year on the Independence Day in recognition of substantial contribution to these languages.
Global Liveability Index
- The index is released by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), research and analysis wing of “The Economist” group, headquartered in London.
- It ranks 140 global cities based on their living conditions.
- It quantifies the challenges that might be presented to an individual’s lifestyle in the cities worldwide.
- The index assigns cities scores on five broad parameters such as stability, healthcare, culture/environment, education, and infrastructure using 30 indicators.
- In this year’s Global Liveability Index 2018, Vienna displaces Melbourne as the most liveable city in the world.
- It is the first time that a European city has topped the rankings of the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) annual survey
- The other top 10 cities are Melbourne, Osaka, Calgary, Sydney, Vancouver, Tokyo, Toronto, Copenhagen and Adelaide.
- Syrian capital of Damascus continues to be ranked at the bottom, Dhaka in Bangladesh is the second worst and Karachi in Pakistan is the fourth worst.
- Indian cities Delhi and Mumbai ranked at 112 and 117 respectively.
- This index is in contrast with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs’ Ease of Living Index for 111 Indian cities wherein Mumbai ranked at number 3, far ahead of New Delhi at a low 65th rank.
Hague Adoption Convention
- The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption was adopted in the year of 1993.
- It protects children and their families against the risks of illegal, irregular, premature or ill-prepared adoptions abroad.
- It seeks to prevent the abduction, the sale of, or traffic in children.
- It reinforces Article 21 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- The convention operates through a system of national Central Authorities.
- In India, Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is the nodal agency designated to deal with the provisions of this convention.
- Recently, the government of Australia has decided to recommence the adoption programme with India as per this convention.
- The Australian government had earlier put the adoptions from India on hold citing the charges of trafficking of childs by the Indian agencies for inter-country adoption.
- Madhubani art (or Mithila painting) is practiced in the Mithila region of Bihar in India and Nepal.
- Painting is done with fingers, twigs, brushes, nib-pens, and matchsticks, using natural dyes and pigments, and is characterised by eye-catching geometrical patterns.
- There is ritual content for particular occasions, such as birth or marriage, and festivals, such as Holi, Surya Shasti, Kali Puja, Upanayana, Durga Puja.
Systematic Underwater Biogeochemical Science and Exploration Analog
- Systematic Underwater Biogeochemical Science and Exploration Analog (SUBSEA) research program was proposed by NASA in the year 2017.
- It brings together the space and ocean exploration by simulating a Space mission at sea.
- The design of SUBSEA is similar to joint human-robotic space missions in which astronauts give directions to robots in surface based on the commands from Earth based science team.
- Under this programme, under water remotely based vehicles or robots are operated by ship-based human operators, who inturn receive guidance from remote science team.
- The target of SUBSEA 2018 is Loihi seamount, an underwater volcano off Hawaii Island.
- The submarine will analyse the warm springs emanating from Loihi.
- The purpose behind this is to predict conditions in other ocean worlds such as moons of Saturn (Enceladus) and Jupiter (Europa).
- It will also help mission design teams to develop methods for doing operations in deep space environments such as Mars.