Facts Corner-Part-195

Losharik (AS-12 or AS-31)

  • It is a highly advanced Nuclear powered submarine of Russia.
  • This week a fire accident was reported on the submarine within the Russian territorial waters.
  • It is a deep-diving special missions ship, operated by the Russian Navy.
  • It is capable of withstanding high pressures at great depths, enabling it to survey the ocean floor.
  • It’s interior hull is built using titanium spheres which makes the vessel dive up to 6000 metres. A regular submarine can go to the depth of only 600 metres.
  • It is generally carried under the hull of a larger submarine and is capable of releasing a smaller submarine itself.
  • According to Russian military the submarine was carrying out ‘bathymetric measurements’ or underwater mapping.
  • But the the US and its allies feared that Russia might be developing new, secretive ways to tap or even cut undersea Fiber-optic cables that carry transatlantic Internet traffic.
  • In recent years, U.S. and British military officials have warned that Russian submarines have been spotted close to the cables.

Ashadhi Beej

  • Ashadhi Beej or Ashadhi Duj is considered as an auspicious day for farming communities in North India especially Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and some other places.
  • Kutchhi community celebrate new year on this day.
  • New Year is celebrated in a traditional way by organizing satsangs, musical competitions and other cultural programmes.
  • Ganesha, Goddess Lakshmi and other regional deities are worshipped on the day.
  • As for the people of Kutch Region, this day is associated with beginning of rains in Kutch, which is largely a desert area.
  • On this day, monsoon is being predicated and people check the moisture in the atmosphere to help predict which crop would do best in coming monsoon.

Jaipur gets UNESCO World Heritage tag

  • Jaipur is a fortified city in Rajasthan.
  • It is known for its iconic architectural legacy and vibrant culture.
  • It is also known as the Walled City, the Pink City.
  • It was founded in 1727 by Sawai Jai Singh II.
  • Unlike other cities in the region located in hilly terrain, Jaipur was established on the plain and built according to a grid plan interpreted in the light of Vedic architecture.
  • The city’s urban planning shows an exchange of ideas from ancient Hindu and modern Mughal as well as Western cultures.
  • Its iconic monuments such as the Govind Dev temple, City Palace, Jantar Mantar and Hawa Mahal excel in artistic and architectural craftsmanship of the period.
  • Jaipur is an expression of the astronomical skills, living traditions, unique urban form.
  • The city was nominated for its value of being an exemplary development in town planning and architecture and got UNESCO World Heritage tag.
  • With this inclusion, the number of UNESCO World Heritage sites across India has grown to 38, including 30 cultural properties, 7 natural properties and 1 mixed site.
  • Ahmedabad became the first Indian city to get into the list.

Buyback tax

  • Union Budget has proposed to tax buyback of shares by companies at 20%. .
  • Currently buyback tax is applicable only for unlisted companies.
  • A buyback is essentially a scheme by which a company repurchases a certain amount of its outstanding shares.
  • It was felt that many companies were avoiding dividend payouts because of the ‘dividend distribution tax’ (DDT).
  • So, the companies were returning cash to shareholders through share buybacks.
  • The proposed tax on share buybacks is aimed at plugging this loophole.
  • Instead of declaring dividends, the promoters were using the buyback route to enhance their wealth and effectively increasing their shareholding in the company.
  • In this process, the government loses, as it was not getting paid the DDT.
  • So the proposed tax may nudge companies to payout surpluses through dividends rather than resort to buybacks.
  • This would plug the loophole and promoters now have to pay tax whichever way they go, be it dividend payout or the buyback.

Prosecco hills

  • Italy’s Prosecco hills join UNESCO World Heritage list.
  • The hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene are the home to the grapes that produce world-famous sparkling Wine ‘Prosecco’.
  • The landscape is characterized by ciglioni, a small plots of vines on narrow grassy terraces, forests, small villages and farmland.
  • Its the ancient tradition of wine-making and the territory is known for its well-preserved early settlements.

Kolleru Lake
  • Kolleru Lake is one of the largest freshwater lakes in India located in state of Andhra Pradesh and forms the largest shallow freshwater lake in Asia, 15 kilometers away from the city of Eluru. Kolleru is located between Krishna and Godavari deltas.
  • Kolleru spans into two districts – Krishna and West Godavari. The lake is fed directly by water from the seasonal Budameru and Tammileru streams, and is connected to the Krishna and Godavari irrigation systems by over 67 major and minor irrigation canals.
  • This lake is a major tourist attraction. Many birds migrate here in winter, such as Siberian crane, ibis, and painted storks.
  • The lake was an important habitat for an estimated 20 million resident and migratory birds, including the grey or spot-billed pelican (Pelecanus philippensis).

CEIR

  • Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) is a database of International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers.
  • Every mobile network provider in India has an Equipment Identity Register (EIR), or a database of the phones connected to its network.
  • These EIRs will now share information with a single central database, the CEIR.
  • It will be a repository of information on all mobile phones connected to networks across India.
  • The CEIR will have information on the device’s International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number, model, version, and “other information”.
  • It will also know if the phone is blacklisted, and the reason why it has been blacklisted.
  • The concept of a central identity register is advocated by the GSM Association (GSMA), a body representing mobile operators, equipment manufacturers, software and internet companies, among other stakeholders in the telecom ecosystem.
  • The CEIR will also have access to GSMA’s global IMEI database, allowing comparison of IMEI numbers to identify counterfeit devices.

Kharchi puja
  • Kharchi puja is a Hindu festival celebrated in the Indian state of Tripura.
  • The festival lasts for seven days and 14 gods are worshipped at the Chaturdasha temple near Old Agartala.

Sasthamcotta Lake

  • Sasthamkotta Lake, also categorized as a wetland, is the largest fresh water lake in Kerala, a state of India on the south of the West Coast.
  • The lake is named after the ancient Sastha temple (a pilgrimage centre) located on its bank.
  • The purity of the lake water for drinking use is attributed to the presence of large population of larva called cavaborus that consumes bacteria in the lake water.

LaCONES

  • Laboratory for the Conservation of Endangered Species (LaCONES), is a Council of Scientific and Industrial Research lab located in Hyderabad.
  • It is India’s only research facility engaged in conservation and preservation of wildlife and its resources.
  • Effective conservation measures include both in situ habitat preservation, species protection and ex situ conservation.
  • Project LaCONES was established in 1998 with the help of
  • of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt. of India
  • Central Zoo Authority of India (CZA), New Delhi
  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi
  • Government of Andhra Pradesh.
  • The laboratory was itself established in 2007.
  • This lab would strive to promote excellence in conservation biotechnology and serve for conservation of endangered wildlife in India.
  • It is a part of CCMB (centre for cellular and molecular biology).
  • India’s 1st genetic bank for wildlife conservation NWGRB (National Wildlife Genetic Resource Bank) was established by the Government in LaCONES.

Aral sea
  • It was a lake lying between Kazakhstan in the north and Uzbekistan, in the south.
  • It was fed by Amu Darya and Syr Darya river basins.
  • Aral Sea has been steadily shrinking since the 1960s after the rivers that fed it were diverted by Soviet irrigation projects.
  • Today, the lake has reduced to a mere 25 per cent of its original size.

PHEIC

  • A Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) is defined as an extraordinary event which is determined to constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease and to potentially require a coordinated international response.
  • This definition implies a situation that is
  • Serious, sudden, unusual or unexpected
  • Carries implications for public health beyond the affected State’s national border
  • May require immediate international action
  • It is a formal declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • The declaration is promulgated by WHO’s Emergency Committee operating under International Health Regulations (IHR).
  • It was first introduced in 2005.
  • As a legally binding international instrument on disease prevention, surveillance, control, and response adopted by 194 countries, a PHEIC was first issued in April 2009.
  • A declaration of a global health emergency often brings greater international attention and aid, along with concerns that nervous governments might overreact with border closures.

Didwana lake
  • The Didwana playa, the second largest playa in the eastern part of the Thar desert, is 5.6 km long and 2.4 km wide and supports commercial salt production.
  • The thickness of lake sediment package is reported to be 20 m and comprises fine grained clays and silts, with abundant calcite, gypsum, and halite,associated with hypersaline water

FASTags

  • FASTags are cards launched by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to allow cashless payment of toll fee and facilitate near non-stop movement of vehicles through toll plazas.
  • It employs RFID technology for making toll payments directly from the prepaid account linked to it.
  • It is affixed on the windscreen of vehicle and enables the commuter to drive through toll plazas, without stopping.
  • The tag on windshield will be read by readers fitted in dedicated Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) lanes of toll plazas after vehicles passes through toll plazas.
  • Customer will receive SMS alerts on his registered mobile numbers for all the transactions done in his tag account.
  • FASTag has a validity of 5 years and after purchasing it, one only need to recharge/ top up the FASTag as per requirement.

Lipulekh Pass
  • Lipulekh pass (elevation 5,200 m) is a Himalayan pass on the border between Uttarakhand and China. It is in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand
  • Connects the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand with the old trading town of Taklakot in Tibet.
  • It is the first Indian border post to be opened for trade with China in 1992.
  • It is one of the routes taken to complete the Mansarovar Yatra, the other being the Nathu La Pass in Sikkim.

CHPV

  • Chandipura vesiculovirus (CHPV) is a member of the Rhabdoviridae family that is associated with an encephalitic illness in humans.
  • It was first identified in 1965 after isolation from the blood of two patients from Chandipura village in Maharashtra state and is named after the same place.
  • The likely vector (carrier) of the virus is the female phlebotomine sandfly.
  • The virus predominantly infects children between the ages of 2-16, spreading through the bite of a sandfly, and in some cases, even the mosquito during the monsoon and pre-monsoon season.
  • It has been detected in sand flies in Senegal and Nigeria, apart from India.
  • The virus is known to cause inflammation of the brain, and progresses rapidly from an influenza-like illness to coma and death.
  • There is no known vaccine to treat or prevent the Chandipura virus.

Lonar Lake
  • The lake is notified National Geo-heritage Monument, saline, soda lake, located at Lonar in Buldhana district, Maharashtra.
  • The water in the lake is both saline and alkaline.
  • Lonar Lake was created by a meteor impact during the Pleistocene Epoch.
  • Lonar Lake has a mean diameter of 1.2 kilometres (3,900 ft) and is about 137 metres (449 ft) below the crater rim. The meteor crater rim is about 1.8 kilometres (5,900 ft) in diameter.

Operation Thirst

  • The ‘Railway Protection Force’(RPF), Ministry of Railways launched “Operation Thirst”.
  • It is an all India Drive to crack down selling of unauthorised Packaged Drinking Water.
  • Almost all major stations over Indian Railway were covered during this operation.
  • The bottles of unauthorised Packaged Drinking Water (PDW) have been seized under section 144 and section 153 of Indian Railway Act.

LaQshya

  • “LaQshya” (Labour room Quality improvement Initiative) is to improve quality of care in labour room and maternity operation theatres in public health facilities.
  • It’s under the ‘Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’.
  • It aims to give qualitative care to the pregnant mother in the Labour Room to minimize the risks associated with childbirth.

Cooperative Societies

  • A Co-operative Society can be formed as per the provisions of the Co-operative Societies Act, 1912.
  • It is a Central Act. However, ‘Cooperative Societies’ is a State Subject.
  • Right to form a ‘Cooperative Society’ is made a ‘Fundamental Right’ under 97th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2011.
  • At least ten persons above of 18 years, having the capacity to enter into a contract with common economic objectives, like farming, weaving, etc. can form a Co-operative Society.
  • At the State level, the Registrar of Cooperative Societies (RCS) of respective States exercises control over the Cooperative Banks.
  • However, the banking functions of the Cooperative Banks are regulated by RBI under the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
  • The Government has taken the following measures to revive the Short Term Cooperative Credit Structure (STCCS),
  1. Based on the recommendation of Vaidyanathan Committee, government implemented a revival package for STCCS.
  2. It encompasses legal and institutional reforms, measures to improve the quality of management and financial assistance as necessary for their democratic, self-reliant and efficient functioning.
  3. Recognizing the need to revamp ailing Cooperative Banks so that they are able to cater to the needs of farmers at their doorstep.
  • To enable Cooperative Banks to meet the crop loan and term loan requirements of farmers, Government has set up two Funds in NABARD.

INS Sagardhwani

  • It is the Oceanographic research vessel of DRDO.
  • It is maintained and operated by the Indian Navy.
  • It is a ‘Marine Acoustic Research Ship’ (MARS) designed and developed by ‘Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory’ (NPOL), Kochi.
  •  NPOL is a premier systems laboratory of DRDO.
  • The ship is fitted with state-of-the-art equipments like the latest wave height measuring radars, marine radio etc.
  • It is exclusively used for the scientific and research programmes of NPOL.

Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana (ABVKY)

  • It is to financially support those who lost their jobs and were covered under the Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948.
  • It benefits mainly to formal sector Insured Persons’ (IP).
  • It was launched by ‘ESI Corporation’ under ‘Ministry of Labour & Employment’.
  • The cash benefit will be of 25% of the average per day earning during the previous four contribution periods.
  • It is payable in case of unemployment or during a search for new engagement.
  • The scheme will be funded by the employees themselves from their ESI contribution.
  • It is to be paid up to maximum 90 days of unemployment once in lifetime.
  • It will be applicable to all factories and establishments employing at least 10 workers.