- Starting from next year, in 2019, a new intercontinental strategic system Avangard will enter service in the Russian army and the first regiment in the Strategic Missile Troops will be deployed.
- Avangard, also known as “Objekt 4202,” is a hypersonic boost-glide missile system that is supposed to combine a high-performance ballistic missile with an unmanned glider vehicle for significant improvements in maneuverability and sustained top speed.
- Mount Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe and one of the world’s most frequently erupting volcanoes. It is also the volcano with the longest record of continuous eruption.
- Located near the east coast of the island of Sicily in Italy, Mount Etna is 10,900 feet tall.
- The mountain’s largest feature is the Valle del Bove (Valley of the Ox), a large horseshoe-shaped caldera on the eastern slope.
- Etna sits on the active fault between the African plate and the Ionian microplate, which are both being subducted together beneath the Eurasian plate.
- In June 2013, it was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
- Due to its history of recent activity and nearby population, Mount Etna has been designated a Decade Volcano by the United Nations.
- Polavaram Project is a multi-purpose irrigation project.
- The dam across the Godavari River is under construction located in West Godavari District and East Godavari District in Andhra Pradesh state and its reservoir spreads in parts of Chhattisgarh and Orissa States also.
- The project is multipurpose major terminal reservoir project on river Godavari for development of Irrigation, Hydropower and drinking water facilities to East Godavari, Vishakhapatnam, West Godavari and Krishna districts of Andhra Pradesh.
- The project is likely to displace over 1.88 lakh people across 222 villages and so far, 1,730 persons in six villages have been rehabilitated by the government.
- Buddhist site museum has been inaugurated at Lalitgiri in Odisha. Excavations at Lalitgiri have yielded ancient seals and inscriptions.
- Located in Cuttack district, it will be the third site museum of the Bhubaneswar circle of the Archaeological Survey of India after Ratnagiri and Konrak.
- It is a major Buddhist complex in the Indian state of Odisha comprising major stupas, ‘esoteric’ Buddha images, and monasteries (viharas), one of the oldest sites in the region.
- Together with the Ratnagiri and Udayagiri sites, Lalitagiri is part of Puspagiri University located on top of hills of the same names. The three complexes are known as the “Diamond Triangle”. Tantric Buddhism was practiced at this site.
- Excavations at Lalitgiri have yielded the remains of four monasteries, showing cultural continuity from the post-Mauryan period till the 13th century CE. The centre of attraction is a relic casket containing corporal remains found inside the Mahastupta.
- It is hemmed between the Parabhadi and Landa sandstone hills in the standalone Assian hill range. It is situated in the Mahanga Tahsil in Cuttack district.
- Angel Tax is a 30% tax that is levied on the funding received by startups from an external investor. However, this 30% tax is levied when startups receive angel funding at a valuation higher than its ‘fair market value’. It is counted as income to the company and is taxed.
- The tax, under section 56(2)(viib), was introduced by in 2012 to fight money laundering. The stated rationale was that bribes and commissions could be disguised as angel investments to escape taxes. But given the possibility of this section being used to harass genuine startups, it was rarely invoked.
- NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, the same craft that made humanity’s first-ever visit to Pluto in 2015, is approaching its next target, a Kuiper Belt object a billion miles beyond Pluto, nicknamed Ultima Thule.
- It will be another first for New Horizons, the farthest planetary flyby in human history.
- Ultima Thule is located in the Kuiper belt in the outermost regions of the Solar System, beyond the orbit of Neptune.
- It measures approximately 30 km in diameter, and is irregularly shaped.
- Ultima Thule has a reddish color, probably caused by exposure of hydrocarbons to sunlight over billions of years.
- Ultima Thule belongs to a class of Kuiper belt objects called the “cold classicals”, which have nearly circular orbits with low inclinations to the solar plane.
- China has launched its first communication satellite to provide broadband internet services worldwide. The satellite is the first in the Hongyun project planned by China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp (CASIC).
- The spacecraft is tasked with verifying basic designs of Hongyun satellite and demonstrating low-orbit broadband communications technologies.
- The Hongyun project, started in September 2016, aims to build a space-based communications network to provide broadband internet connectivity to users around the world, especially those in the underserved regions.
- When the Hongyun project is complete, it will cover the whole world and offer round-the-clock communication services to users in polar regions, who now have difficulties accessing telecommunication and internet services, even from on board an aircraft or a ship or in a remote area.
- The Hongyun system will feature lower production and operational costs and fewer occurrences of data transmission delays compared with existing communication satellite networks.