Facts Corner-Part-152


  • Odisha Chief Minister announced a new programme “PEETHA” for transparency and awareness on various government schemes.
  • The programme, the Peoples Empowerment Enabling Transparency and Accountability or PEETHA aims to improve transparency in the distribution of individual and social benefits.

TROPEX- 2019 Exercise

  • Indian Navy will conduct its flagship large-scale coastal defence exercise “Theatre Level Operational Readiness Exercise” (TROPEX) from next year to test the robustness of entire coastal security apparatus.
  • It is an annual exercise that takes place on Western Seaboard.
  • It is a tri-service exercise in which troops from the Indian Army and fighter aircraft from Indian Air will also participate.
  • It is conducted to test various aspects of not only joint combat capabilities but also to test the war capabilities of three services in a war-like situation.


  • Swadesh Darshan scheme is one among the flagship schemes of the Ministry of Tourism for development of thematic circuits in the country in a planned and prioritized manner.
  • The scheme was launched in 2014 -15.
  • Under this scheme, the Government is focussing on the development of quality infrastructure in the country with the objective of providing better experience and facilities to the visitors on one hand and on other hand fostering the economic growth.

One World One Sun One Grid

  • 24thmeeting of Conference of Parties (COP-24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was held at Katowice, Poland.
  • This year the theme of the Indian Pavillion was “One World One Sun One Grid”.
  • India will try for achieving 175 GW target for installed Renewable Energy capacity by 2022.
  • India stands 4th in wind power 5th in renewable power and 5th in solar power.    
  • Under Ujjwala scheme, 58 million households are already covered under and it will not only contribute to improved health of women and children but also help on reducing deforestation.
  • India also pledged to get rid of single-use plastic by 2022 across the country.
  • India’s leadership in global climate action has been recognized and PM Narendra Modi has been awarded the “champions of Earth Award” this year by the United Nations in promoting International Solar Alliance and resolve to make India plastic free by 2022.

Rihand Dam

  • Rihand Dam, also known as Govind Ballabh Pant Sagar, is the country’s largest reservoir by volume and largest artificial lake, located on the Rihand River.
  • It’s catchment area spread over Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh
  • The largest floating solar plant to date is a 2MW one in Vishakhapatnam.
  • Another is a 500-kWh plant built by the Kerala State Electricity Board at the Banasura Sagar Dam.
  • Recently a 50 Mega Watt floating solar plant will be set up in the country’s largest reservoir Rihand dam in Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh.

PRASAD (Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive) Scheme

  • The scheme was launched by Ministry of Tourism in 2014-15.
  • The scheme aimed at infrastructure development such as entry points (road, rail, and water transport), last mile connectivity and basic tourism facilities.
  • Under the scheme ‘Prasad’, the Ministry of Tourism provides Central Financial Assistance (CFA) to State Governments/Union Territory Administrations for development and beautification of the identified pilgrimage destinations.
  • It is a 100% Central Government funded scheme.
  • Initially, Twelve cities were identified, namely Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh), Gaya(Bihar), Dwaraka(Gujarat), Amritsar(Punjab), Ajmer(Rajasthan), Kanchipuram(Tamil Nadu), Vellankani(Tamil Nadu), Puri(Odisha), Varanasi(Uttar Pradesh), Mathura(Uttar Pradesh), Kedarnath (Uttarakhand) and Kamakhya (Assam) for development under PRASAD by the Ministry of Tourism.
  • To implement the PRASAD scheme a Mission Directorate has been set up in the Ministry of Tourism.
  • Recently, Centre has included Gangotri and Yamunotri in Uttarakhand, Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh and Parasnath in Jharkhand under this central scheme to develop pilgrimage and heritage destinations in the country.
  • With the new additions, the number of sites under the Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) scheme has now become 41 in 25 states.


  • Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said that a ban on the use of the antibiotic colistin would be a step in the right direction.
  • India’s highest drug advisory body, the Drug Technical Advisory Board had recommended a stoppage on the use of colistin by poultry farmers.
  • Colistin is a last resort antibiotic which is administered to human beings when most other antibiotics fail to function.
  • However, it is indiscriminately used by the poultry industry to promote growth and prevent the occurrence of infections in chicken.
  • Increasing evidence has linked this to the development of resistance against colistin in humans.


  • NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft completed its journey to arrive at the asteroid Bennu on 3 December 2018.
  • The primary goals of this survey are to refine estimates of Bennu’s mass and spin rate and to generate a more precise model of its shape.
  • The mission will help scientists investigate how planets formed and how life began, as well as improve our understanding of asteroids that could impact Earth.

Geosynchronous satellite

  • A geosynchronous satellite is a satellite in geosynchronous orbit, with an orbital period the same as the Earth’s rotation period.
  • A satellite in such an orbit is at an altitude of approximately 36000 km above mean sea level.
  • A special case of the geosynchronous satellite is the geostationary satellite, which has a geostationary orbit– a circular geosynchronous orbit directly above the Earth’s equator.
  • Geostationary satellites have the special property of remaining permanently fixed in exactly the same position in the sky, as viewed from any location on Earth, meaning that ground-based antennas do not need to track them but can remain fixed in one direction.
  • Such satellites are often used for communication purposes.


  • ISRO’s heaviest and most-advanced high throughput communication satellite GSAT-11 was successfully launched from the Spaceport in French Guiana on December 5, 2018.
  • The launch vehicle Ariane 5 VA-246 lifted off from Kourou Launch Base, French Guiana carrying India’s GSAT-11 and South Korea’s GEO-KOMPSAT-2A satellites, as scheduled.
  • Ariane 5 is one of three launch vehicles operated by Arianespace along with Soyuz and Vega.
  • The 5,854-kg GSAT-11 will provide high data rate connectivity to users of Indian mainland and islands through 32 user beams in Ku-band and 8 hub beams in Ka-band.
  • GSAT-11 will boost the broadband connectivity to rural and inaccessible Gram Panchayats in the country coming under the Bharat Net Project, which is part of Digital India Programme.
  • GSAT-11 will be positioned at 74-degree east longitude in the geostationary orbit.
  • Subsequently, the two solar arrays and four antenna reflectors of GSAT-11 will be deployed in orbit.

Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana

  • Under the scheme, any resident of Delhi above 60 years of age will be eligible for the scheme and those above 70 years can have one attendant.
  • The scheme does not have any income criterion, but preference will be given to those who are from the economically weaker section.
  • The applicant should not be an employee of the central, state, local government or autonomous bodies.
  • The journey will be performed through Indian Railways.
  • A total of 77,000 pilgrims will be able to avail this facility every year.
  • The pilgrimage duration will be of three days and two nights and will be for any of the following routes: 
    (a) Delhi-Mathura-Vrindavan-Agra-Fatehpur Sikri-Delhi; 
    (b) Delhi-Haridwar-Rishikesh-Neelkanth-Delhi; 
    (c) Delhi-Ajmer-Pushkar-Delhi; 
    (d) Delhi-Amritsar-Wagah border-Anandpur Sahib-Delhi; 
    (e) Delhi-Vaishno Devi-Jammu-Delhi.
  • The Scheme will help and promoting communal harmony and brotherhood in society.

Shahpurkandi Dam

  • The Union Cabinet has approved implementation of Shahpurkandi Dam Project, Punjab on river Ravi.
  • Central Assistance of Rs. 485.38 cr (for irrigation component) would be provided over five years from 2018-19 to 2022-23.
  • Implementation of this project would help to minimize some of the water of the River Ravi which at present is going waste through the MadhopurHeadworks downstream to Pakistan whereas there is a requirement for the same for use in Punjab and J&K.
  • Funding for Central Assistance to Shahpurkandi Dam project shall be made through NABARD under the existing system for funding of 99 PMKSY-AIBP projects under LTIF.
  • The project would be implemented by Govt. of Punjab with Central Assistance of Rs. 485.38 crore The project would be completed by June 2022.

Digital Sky Platform

  • The DGCA announced the Civil Aviation Regulations (CAR) to enable safe flying of Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS) popularly referred to as drones in India.
  • It specified the obligations of operators, remote pilots/ users and manufacturers/ OEM for safe operations of RPAS and co-operative use of airspace.
  • It also announced Digital Sky Platform, a first of its kind that implements ‘no permission, no take-off’ (NPNT) – a novel system of software based self-enforcement to minimize deviations from the CAR.
  • The Digital Sky Platform will register and monitor the drones, pilots, and operators for online permission before the take-off.
  • This platform is built to evolve with the needs of the rapidly changing industry with Digital Sky Service Providers (DSPs) by extending the functionality of the platform through Application Program Interfaces (APIs).

Emergency Response Support System (ERSS)

  • The Union Home Minister launched Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) for the State of Nagaland at Kohima.
  • Nagaland is the first amongst the North-Eastern States and the second State in India to launch Pan-India single emergency number ‘112’ under ERSS.
  • Under this project, one Emergency Response Centre (ERC) has been established in Kohima along with 3 District Command Centers (DCCs), namely Kohima, Dimapur and Mokokchung.
  • The Emergency Response Centre is capable of receiving emergency calls through voice call to 112, email, panic buttons activated calls and 112 India mobile App.
  • State of Nagaland has integrated ERSS with Tourist Police and Highway patrol and will expand to interior districts subsequently.
  • As a special feature, to ensure safety of women, a unique ‘SHOUT’ feature exclusively for women has been introduced in 112 India mobile App.
  • This feature allows victims to seek immediate assistance from registered volunteers in the vicinity apart from contacting Emergency Response Centre.

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