Facts Corner-Part-21


  • The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the world’s smallest rocket with the ability to put a tiny satellite into orbit. The rocket lifted off from the Uchinoura Space Center.
  • It carried a microsatellite TRICOM-1R, a three-unit CubeSat weighing about 3 kilograms. This satellite launch was a re-flight of the TRICOM-1 mission, which was lost in SS-520’s failure in 2017.

Global Democracy Index:

i. India has slipped to 42nd place on an annual Global Democracy Index according to the data compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). India has moved down from 32nd place last year.
The top 5 Countries in the list are- 
  1. Norway, 
  2. Iceland, 
  3. Sweden,
  4. New Zealand and
  5. Denmark.
ii. The index ranks 165 independent states. The list has been divided into four broad categories- full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime and authoritarian regime. North Korea is ranked the lowest at 167th, while Syria is a notch better at 166th place.


i. The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Mr Arun Jaitley launched CriSidEx, India’s first sentiment index for micro and small enterprises ( MSEs) developed jointly by CRISIL & SIDBI.

ii. CriSidEx is a composite index based on a diffusion index of 8 parameters and measures MSE business sentiment on a scale of 0 (extremely negative ) to 200 ( extremely positive).

iii. CriSidEx will have 2 indices, one for the ‘survey quarter’ and another for the ‘next quarter’ once a trend emerges after few rounds of the survey, providing independent time series data.

India joins Ashgabat agreement:

  • India has joined the Ashgabat agreement which envisages setting up of an international transport and transit corridor linking central Asia with the Persian Gulf to significantly ramp up trade and investment.
  • “Turkmenistan, as depository State of Ashgabat Agreement, informed India today that all the four founding members have consented to the accession of India (to the agreement),” the external affairs ministry said.
  • Besides Turkmenistan, the other founding members of the agreement are Iran, Oman and Uzbekistan and these countries had signed the pact on April 25, 2011.
  • Accession to the Agreement would diversify India’s connectivity options with central Asia and have a positive influence on India’s trade and commercial ties with the region

Green Good Deeds:

Union Ministry for Environment, Forest and Climate Change launched  ‘Green Good Deeds’ campaign. The campaign launched by the ministry aims to sensitise the people and students, in particular, about climate change and global warming.

  • Environment Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan appealed to the teaching community to join the campaign. He said, a mobile application named Dr Harsh Vardhan developed to reach out to people across India on the campaign, has also been launched recently.

UN Development Partnership Fund:

India has contributed an additional $1 million to the India-UN Development Partnership Fund earmarked for South-South cooperation.

  • India has pledged a multi-year contribution of $100 million to the fund established in June 2017, according to the UNOSSC, and has already provided $6 million within the seven months since its launch.
  • The fund focuses on the Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States.

World Wetlands Day :

World Wetlands Day occurs annually on February 2nd, marking the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on February 2, 1971.

  • Established to raise awareness about the value of wetlands for humanity and the planet, WWD was celebrated for the first time in 1997 and has grown remarkably since then.
  • The theme of World Wetlands Day 2018 is “Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future”.

Neknampur lake:

  • With February 2 being observed as World Wetlands Day, the floating treatment wetland (FTW), a joint effort of Dhruvansh, the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority and the Ranga Reddy district administration, supported by other organisations, was inaugurated in Hyderabad, Telangana. 
  • The India Book of Records recognised it as the largest FTW in the country.

Transgender Welfare Board:

  • The Maharashtra government has decided to set up a Transgender Welfare Board to protect their Constitutional and human rights
  • This will make Maharashtra the first Indian state to have such a board. 
  • An amount of ₹5 crore has also been set aside to provide education, housing, and employment for the transgender community.

Global Terrorism Index:

  • The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) is a report published annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP)
  • Two third of the countries experienced a terrorist attack in 2016
  • India is one among the ten most impacted countries by terrorism
  • Five countries account for three quarters of all deaths from terrorism: Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Nigeria and Pakistan.
  • The major reason for terrorism in most impacted countries is internal conflict.

Shigmo Festival

  • Shigmo is the traditional spring festival celebrated by farmers in rural Goa.
  • It is an annual float parade held in major cities of the state.
  • The Goan folk art such as GhodeModni, Goff, and Fugdi are performed.
  • It was traditionally celebrated as the homecoming of the warriors who had left their homes and families at the end of Dusshera to fight invaders.

Samakka Saralamma jatara:

  • ‘Sammakka – Saralamma Jatara’ at Medaram in Telangana
  • Sammakka-Sarakka Jatara held by forest dwelling Koya tribe of Telangana and surrounding States, is the biggest Tribal festival in Asia which is attended by one crore people on an average.
  • Medaram is a remote place in the Eturnagaram Wildlife Sanctuary, a part of Dandakaranya, the largest surviving forest belt in the Deccan.

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