- VELA the fourth Scorpene class submarine has been inducted into Indian Navy.
- It is a diesel-electric attack submarine of Kalvari-class.
- The Scorpene class of submarines can undertake multifarious tasks typically undertaken by any modern submarine which include anti-surface as well as anti-submarine warfare.
- INS Vela was first commissioned in 1973 in the Indian Naval Service and continued to serve for 37 years.
- It was the country’s oldest submarine when it was decommissioned on June 25, 2010.
Ross Ice Shelf
- Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf is the world’s largest ice shelf roughly the size of France, is melting rapidly.
- Recently it is found that the ice cap is melting rapidly leading to global sea-level rise of around 13.8 millimetres over the last 40 years.
- The ice shelf is melting 10 times faster than the overall average, due to solar heating of the surrounding ocean surface.
- Antarctica comprises 90 per cent of the world’s ice, thus whatever happens to its ice and snow is a matter of serious concern, and if this situation continues, sea-levels would rise up to 60 meters by 2050 and the ocean would engulf coastal cities across the globe.
- It is a bilateral naval exercise between India and France.
- It was initiated in the year 1983 and it form a vital part of the Indo-French strategic partnership.
- It will be held in two phases with the 1st part in Goa Coast and other part in Djibouti.
- NASA has recently recorded tremblings in Mars for the first time ever.
- It appears to have come from inside the planet, as opposed to being caused by forces above the surface.
- It was recorded by NASA’s Insight lander and its specially designed seismometer picked up the fainted trembles.
- Insight’s core mission is to study the interior of Mars by looking for seismic waves, studying the planet’s wobble as it moves in its orbit around the Sun.
- Charminar (Four Minarets) is a historic monument in Hyderabad.
- It was built by Mohammad Quli Qutb Shah, 5th king of the Qutb Shahi dynasty (Golconda Sultnates).
- He shifted the capital from Golconda to Hyderabad at the time of devastating plague.
- He commemorated the end of plague by building mosque, which became known as Charminar because of its four towering and distinctive minarets, one on each of the building’s four corners.
- It is a grand architectural composition in Indo-Saracenic style.
- It is built of granite and lime mortar with stucco ornamentation.
- It has recently suffered damage after a piece of lime stucco work on one of its minarets fell off.
World Customs Organisation
- The 20th Conference of the Regional Heads of Customs Administration of Asia Pacific Region of the WCO was recently organised in Kochi.
- WCO established in 1952, is an independent intergovernmental body whose mission is to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Customs administrations.
- WCO is the only international organization with competence in Customs matters.
- It represents 182 Customs administrations across the globe that collectively process approximately 98% of world trade.
- The organisation has divided its membership into six regions. Each of the regions is represented by an elected vice-chairperson to the WCO council.
- It is considered as the voice of the International Customs community.
- India has become the Vice-Chair (Regional Head) of the Asia Pacific Region of WCO for a period of two years (2018-2020).
Terra and Aqua Satellites
- NASA Satellites Terra and Aqua have tracked the movement of cyclone Fani through Infrared, microwave and visible imagery of it.
- Both are Earth Observing satellites, studying the precipitation, evaporation, and cycling of water.
- Both employed MODIS (or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) as a key instrument, which image the same area on Earth approximately three hours apart.
- Terra’s orbit around the Earth is timed so that it passes from north to south across the equator in the morning, while Aqua passes south to north over the equator in the afternoon.
- Terra MODIS and Aqua MODIS are viewing the entire Earth’s surface every 1 to 2 days, acquiring data in 36 spectral bands, or groups of wavelengths.
Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS)
- The Reserve Bank of India has increased the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) time window for customer transactions (initial cut-off) from 4.30 pm to 6 pm.
- It is a system where there is continuous and real-time settlement of fund-transfers, individually on a transaction by transaction basis (without netting).
- The acronym ‘RTGS’ stands for Real Time Gross Settlement.
- ‘Real Time’ means the processing of instructions at the time they are received.
- ‘Gross Settlement’ means that the settlement of funds transfer instructions occurs individually.
- The payments under RTGS are final and irrevocable.
- RTGS is not a 24×7 system.
- Currently, the RTGS service window for customer transactions is available to banks from 8 am to 4.30 pm on a working day for settlement at the RBI end, which now will be extended to 6 PM.
- The RTGS system is primarily meant for large value transactions.
- The minimum amount to be remitted through RTGS is ₹2, 00,000/-.
- There is no upper or maximum ceiling.
- National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) is an electronic fund transfer system in which the transactions received up to a particular time are processed in batches.
- Contrary to this, in RTGS, the transactions are processed continuously on a transaction by transaction basis throughout the RTGS business hours.
- The term ‘Anthropocene’ denotes the present geological time interval in which human activity has profoundly altered many conditions and processes on Earth.
- It was coined in 2000 by Nobel Laureate Paul Crutzen and Eugene Stoermer.
- It signals the end of the Holocene Epoch, which began 11,700 years ago.
- The phenomena associated with the Anthropocene include an
- Increase in erosion and sediment transport associated with urbanisation and agriculture.
- Marked and abrupt anthropogenic perturbations of the cycles of elements such as carbon, environmental changes generated by these perturbations.
- Rapid changes in the biosphere and finally proliferation and global dispersion of many new ‘minerals’ and ‘rocks’.
- The focus is now on identifying a definitive geologic marker or golden spike (technically called Global boundary Stratotype Section and Point) to signal the beginning of the Anthropocene Epoch.
- The golden spike must be present globally and should be a part of deposits for geological record.
DRDO NETRA AEW&CS
- The DRDO Netra is an Indian, light-weight, autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for surveillance and reconnaissance operations.
- It is a project of Defence Research and Development Organisation to develop an airborne early warning and control system for the Indian Air Force.
- An airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system is an airborne radar picket system designed to detect aircraft, ships and vehicles at long ranges.
- Based on this it performs command and control of the battle spacein an air engagement by directing fighter and attack aircraft strikes.
- They are also used in surveillanceand command and control, battle management (C2BM) functions.
- It is also an Israeli developed airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) radar system.
- Its primary objective is to provide intelligence to maintain air superiority and conduct surveillance.
- The system is currently in-service with the Indian Air Force.
- It is described as the most advanced AEW&C system in the world.
National parks of west bengal
- Sundarban NationalPark
- Jaldapara NationalPark
- Gorumara NationalPark
- Neora Valley NationalPark
- Singalila NationalPark
- Buxa Tiger Reserve