Facts Corner-Part-167

UNNATI– Unispace Nano-satellite Assembly & Training program

  • Union Minister of State for Atomic Energy and Space Development  inaugurated Unispace Nanosatellite Assembly & Training program of ISRO recently.
  • UNNATI is a capacity building program on Nanosatellite development.
  • It is an initiative by ISRO to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first United Nations conference on the exploration and peaceful uses of outer space (UNISPACE-50+).
  • The program provides opportunities to the participants from developing countries to strengthen in assembling, integrating and testing of Nanosatellite.

Defining Economically Weaker Section under 10% Quota:

  • Annual household income below Rs 8 lakh.
  • Agriculture land below 5 acres.
  • Residential house below 1000 sqft.
  • Residential plot below 100 yards in notified municipality.
  • Residential plot below 200 yards in non-notified municipality area.

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

  • India has proposed to remove rosewood (Dalbergia sissoo) from Appendix II of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), a multilateral treaty to protect endangered plants and animals.
  • The species is currently part of Appendix II of CITES that has species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be controlled to avoid utilisation incompatible with their survival. But, India doesn’t want that for rosewood.
  • It is an International agreement to regulate worldwide commercial trade in wild animal and plant species. It also restricts trade in items made from such plants and animals, such as food, clothing, medicine, and souvenirs
  • It was signed on March 3, 1973 (Hence world wildlife day is celebrated on march 3).
  • It is administered by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
  • Its Secretariat is at Geneva (Switzerland).
  • CITES is legally binding on state parties to the convention, which are obliged to adopt their own domestic legislation to implement its goals.
  • Appendix I: It lists species that are in danger of extinction. It prohibits commercial trade of these plants and animals except in extraordinary situations for scientific or educational reasons.
  • Appendix II species: They are those that are not threatened with extinction but that might suffer a serious decline in number if trade is not restricted. Their trade is regulated by permit.
  • Appendix III species: They are protected in at least one country that is a CITES member states and that has petitioned others for help in controlling international trade in that species.

Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (Tess)

  • Nasa which launched Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (Tess) for searching exoplanets in April, 2018 has discovered a third small planet outside our solar system.
  • The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is a NASA mission that will look for planets orbiting the brightest stars in Earth’s sky. It was led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with seed funding from Google.
  • The mission will monitor at least 200,000 stars for signs of exoplanets, ranging from Earth-sized rocky worlds to huge gas giant planets. TESS, however, will focus on stars that are 30 to 100 times brighter than those Kepler examined. This will help astronomers better understand the structure of solar systems outside of our Earth, and provide insights into how our own solar system formed.
  • TESS will occupy a never-before-used orbit high above Earth. The elliptical orbit, called P/2, is exactly half of the moon’s orbital period; this means that TESS will orbit Earth every 13.7 days. Its closest point to Earth (67,000 miles or 108,000 kilometers) is about triple the distance of geosynchronous orbit, where most communications satellites operate.
  • It will use transit method to detect exoplanets. It watches distant stars for small dips in brightness, which can indicate that planet has passed in front of them. Repeated dips will indicate planet passing in front of its star. This data has to be validated by repeated observations and verified by scientists.

Transport Subsidy Scheme

  • In order to facilitate the process of industrialization in hilly, remote and inaccessible areas, transport incentive is provided to the states of North Eastern Region (including Sikkim) under North Eastern Industrial Development Scheme (NEIDS) – 2017, Jammu & Kashmir under Industrial Development Scheme – 2017 and Lakshadweep and A&N Islands under Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar Island Development Scheme – 2018. Under these schemes, all eligible industrial units can avail incentive on transportation of only finished goods through Railways or the Railway Public Sector Undertakings, Inland Waterways or scheduled airline (shipping for Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands also) for a period of five years from the date of commencement of commercial production / operation.
  • The Freight Subsidy Scheme (FSS), 2013, whichreplaced the Transport Subsidy Scheme, 1971, was in operation in all 8 States of North Eastern Region, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, J&K, Darjeeling District of West Bengal, Andaman &Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep islands. The Freight Subsidy Scheme (FSS), 2013 has been discontinued with effect from 22.11.2016. However, the industrial units registered under these schemes during their currency, are eligible for the benefits of the scheme for the period specified therein.

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)

  • It is a political and economic alliance of six Middle Eastern countries—Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman.
  • The GCC was established in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in May 1981. The purpose of the GCC is to achieve unity among its members based on their common objectives and their similar political and cultural identities, which are rooted in Arab and Islamic cultures. Presidency of the council rotates annually.
  • All current member states are monarchies, including three constitutional monarchies (Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain), two absolute monarchies (Saudi Arabia and Oman), and one federal monarchy (the United Arab Emirates, which is composed of seven member states, each of which is an absolute monarchy with its own emir).

Democracy Index 2018 

  • Recently Democracy Index 2018 has been released. It is released annually by The Economist.
  • The EIU Democracy Index provides a snapshot of the state of world democracy for 165 independent states and two territories.
  • The Democracy Index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture. Based on their scores on 60 indicators within these categories, each country is then itself classified as one of four types of regime: full democracy; flawed democracy; hybrid regime; and authoritarian regime.
  • India is ranked at 41 – a notch above last year. It is still classified as a ‘flawed democracy’ according to the index. India achieved a score of 7.23 on the index to maintain its position – the same it did last year. This is the lowest ever score attributed to India in the index ever since its publication.
  • India ranks below the US (ranked 25th in the index) and other so called ‘flawed democracies’ like Italy, France, Botswana and South Africa.

Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS)

  • DDRS is a Central Sector Scheme of Government of India.
  • It is implemented by Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities.
  • It is being implemented since 1999 for providing financial assistance to NGOs working for education and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities and was revised in 2018.
  • According to Census 2011, there were about 2.68 crore persons with disabilities in India, constituting 2.21% of the total population in the country.
  • The objectives of the scheme are:
  1. To create an enabling environment to ensure equal opportunities, equity, social justice and empowerment of persons with disabilities.
  2. To encourage voluntary action for ensuring effective implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016.

Losar Festival

  • Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Bhopal organized the Losar Festival in its premises.
  • The Tibetan New Year is referred to as Losar.
  • The Tibetan Calendar is based on the lunar calendar and consists of twelve (or thirteen) months.
  • Losar starts on the first day of the first month of the Tibetan Calendar when the new moon is sighted.
  • Oftentimes, Losar and the Chinese New Year begin on the same date, but sometimes they might have a difference of a day, or even a lunar month.
  • To mark the Losar, a three-day festival is celebrated by Tibetans worldwide with prayers, hanging prayer flags, ceremonies, folk dances, passing fire torches among gatherings, and friends and family reunions.
  • Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, also known as National Museum of Humankind or Museum of Man is an anthropology museum located in Bhopal, India.
  • It represents an integrated story of the evolution of man and culture with special reference to India