Cope India 2019
- The air forces of India and the US will participate in a joint exercise, Cope India 2019 (CI19) in Bengal.
- The exercise has evolved to incorporate subject matter expert exchanges, air mobility training, airdrop training and large-force exercises, in addition to fighter-training exercises.
- The first Cope India was held at the IAF station in Gwalior in February 2004.
- Cope India had grown in scope with the involvement of fighter aircraft and force multipliers such as the Airborne Warning and Control System.
- Recently, Yudh Abhyas 2018- India and US joint military training exercises took place in the foothills of the Himalayas at Chaubattia in September 2018.
- It is a bilateral air exercise between the Japanese Air Self Defence Force (JASDF) and Indian air force.
- The theme of the exercise is joint Mobility/Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Relief (HADR) on Transport aircraft.
- The JASDF C2 aircraft along with aircrew/observers are part of this first air exercise between the two Air Forces.
- JIMEX-18, a bilateral maritime exercise between India and Japan in Visakhapatnam
- ‘Dharma Guardian -2018’ is a joint military exercise between India and Japan.
- It is a part of ISRO’s new satellite fleet for high-speed Internet services
- The GSAT-11 satellite launched by ISRO which will ride on European launch vehicle Ariane 5 ECA, numbered VA246.
- The 5,854-kg satellite almost doubles the biggest one built or launched by ISRO to date.
- Its co-passenger is South Korea’s GEO-KOMPSAT-2A, a meteorology satellite.
- GSAT-11 is part of ISRO’s new family of high-throughput communication satellite (HTS).
- This satellite will help to drive the country’s Internet broadband from space to untouched areas.
- ISRO already has launched two HTSs — GSAT-29 and GSAT-19 which will provide high-speed Internet data services at the rate of 100 Gbps (Gigabits per second) to Indian users.
- The HTSs will also be the backbone of pan-India digital or easy Internet-based programmes and services — such as Digital India, BharathNet for rural e-governance, and commercial and public sector VSAT Net service providers.
- Climate neutrality means your emissions are balanced by methods of removing warming gases from the atmosphere.
- So the warming emissions that are created by cars and power plants should be counteracted by the greenhouse gases removed from the air by the planting of new forests or through carbon capture technologies which would see the CO2 buried underground.
- The European Union says it is aiming to become the first major economy to go “climate neutral” by 2050.
- The EU says the move will also cut premature air pollution deaths by 40%.
- Under the plan, emissions of greenhouse gases after that date would have to be offset by planting trees or by burying the gases underground.
- Scientists say that net-zero emissions by 2050 are needed to have a fighting chance of keeping global temperatures under 1.5 degree Celsius for this century.
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
- Recently Qatar will leave the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) next month in order to focus on gas production.
- It is an intergovernmental organization of 15 nations, founded in 1960 in Baghdad by the first five members (Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela).
- Its headquarter is in Vienna, Austria.
- These 15 countries accounted for an estimated 44 percent of global oil production and 81.5 percent of the world’s “proven” oil reserves.
- The current OPEC members are the following: Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, the Republic of the Congo, Saudi Arabia (the de facto leader), United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.
- Indonesia is a former member, and Qatar will no longer be the member of OPEC starting on 1 January 2019.
- The government put the imports of gold dore in the restricted category.
- This restriction implemented by the directorate general of foreign trade which works under the Ministry of Industries and commerce.
- The restricted category means now, an importer needs a license to import this commodity.
- Gold dore is a semi-pure alloy which is refined for further purification.
- Refined gold bars are manufactured from gold dore bar.
- India, the world’s second-biggest gold consumer after China, imports about 900 tonnes of gold a year.
- In value terms, gold imports fell by about 43 percent to USD 1.68 billion in October.
- The imports mainly take care of the demand for the jewelry industry.
Indian Owl Festival
- The Indian Owl Festival, the country’s first owl festival will be held at Pingori village in Pune.
- It is a first-of-its-kind festival in the country that is being organised with the intention of creating awareness about owl as a bird and debunking numerous superstitions associated with it
- It is organised by Ela Foundation, an NGO working towards nature education and conservation.
- Of the 262 species of owls that are found in the world, 75 feature in the red data book meaning they are threatened.
- Major causes behind this are superstitions and habitat loss.
- According to a report published by Traffic India, a wildlife trade monitoring body, and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 2010:
Owls were found to be “consumed and traded for a wide variety of purposes, including black magic, street performances, taxidermy, food and in folk medicines”.
- Owls are protected under the Wildlife (Protection) Act of India.
- Hampi, also referred to as the Group of Monuments at Hampi, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in east-central Karnataka, India.
- It became the centre of the Hindu Vijayanagara Empire capital in the 14th century.
- Chronicles left by Persian and European travellers, particularly the Portuguese, state Hampi was a prosperous, wealthy and grand city near the Tungabhadra River.
- Hampi continues to be an important religious centre, housing the Virupaksha Temple, an active Adi Shankara-linked monastery and various monuments belonging to the old city.
- Hampi Utsav, also known as the Vijaya Utsav the largest festival of Hampi has been celebrated from the times of the Vijayanagar reign.
- This event has been reiterated as the “Nada Utsava“ by the Government of Karnataka.
- Recently, Karnataka Government has announced the Hampi Utsav will not be held this year owing to drought in Ballari.
- Kimberley Process is a joint initiative of different countries, industry and civil societies to control the flow of conflict diamonds, which are used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments in the world.
- India is the founding member of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) and is actively involved in KP activities to ensure that almost 99 per cent of the diamond trade in the world is conflict free.
- India took over the chairmanship of Kimberley Process from EU during the four-day 15th Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) Plenary 2018.
- Recently the Indian Railways launched a software named- ‘eDrishti’, that will enable the Union Railway Minister to keep track of punctuality of trains as well as freight and passenger earnings from anywhere in the country.
- The ‘eDrishti’ software has been developed by the Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS) to help the Minister keep track of all information related to Indian Railways.
- The software has also been connected with the base kitchens of the Indian Rail Catering and Tourism Corp (IRCTC) as many complaints come regarding the quality of food served on trains.
- Recently, Kashmiri Pandits took out a protest march in Anantnag demanding that a passage on the lines of the Kartarpur Corridor for Sikhs be opened to facilitate devotees to visit the Sharda Devi temple in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
- Sharda Peeth is an abandoned temple in Sharda village along the Neelam river across the Line of Control in Pak Occupied Kashmir region.
- It was a major centre of learning and is regarded as one of the 18 highly-revered temples in South Asia.
- Sharada Devi is the principal deity for Kashmiri Pandits.
- During the reign of Kanishka I, Sharada was the largest academic institution in entire Central Asia.