ICEGATE and e-SANCHIT
- ICEGATE stands for the Indian Customs Electronic Commerce/Electronic Data interchange (EC/EDI) Gateway.
- The national gateway is under Central Board of Customs and Exercise (CBEC).
- It is an ecommerce portal of the Indian Customs that provides e-filing services to the trade and cargo carriers and other clients of Customs Department.
- By this facility, the department offers electronic filing of the Bill of Entry, Shipping Bills and related electronic messages between Customs and the Trading Partners.
- e- SANCHIT was launched on a pilot basis by the Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC).
- It is mainly for paperless processing, uploading of supporting documents, to facilitate the trading across borders which will reduce the precious time and provide digital easing.
- Department of Biotechnology in the Ministry of Science and Technology has constituted a Field Inspection and Scientific Evaluation Committee (FISEC) to investigate the matter of illegal cultivation of HT cotton.
- The cultivation of BG-III or HT cotton has not been approved by Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) of Ministry of Environment. However, there are several media reports and complaints regarding the illegal or unauthorized cultivation of HT cotton in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
- BG Cotton – III, also known as Herbicide-Tolerant Cotton, contains Round-up Ready and Round-up Flex (RRF) gene. HT cotton in an innovation in Bt cotton as it takes care of the weeds problem at a much lower cost than the labour farmers have to engage for weeding.
- As the herbicide tolerant cotton is not approved by the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) for commercial cultivation in India, its sale, cultivation and seed production is also punishable offence under Seeds Act 1966, Seed Rule 1968, Seeds (Control) Order 1983 with regard to Environmental Protection Act 1986 and Environmental Protection Rules, 1989.
- The first-ever multi-nation naval exercise at sea, MILES-18, began at the Andaman Sea.
- 11 naval ships of 8 countries and nine Indian ships are participating in the three-day exercise.
- The exercise aims to hone search and rescue procedures, maritime interdiction operations, and core operational skills and exercise a variety of maritime security scenarios.
Northern River Terrapin
- In Bengal, U.P., M.P. and Assam conservation steps are taken to save the Northern River Terrapin.
- The terrapin is one of the most threatened freshwater turtles among the world’s 50 most-threatened turtles.
- The terrapin is also called as Batagur and Four-toed Terrapin.
- Turtle Conservation Coalition, a consortium of conservation organizations, accounted its fragile state in the ‘Turtles in Trouble’ Document.
|Northern River Terrapin (Batagur baska)||Sunderbans||Critically Endangered|
|Red-Crowned Roof Turtle (Batagur kachuga)||National Chambal Sanctuary, spread across Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.||Critically endangered|
|South Asian Narrow-Headed Softshell Turtle (Chitra indica)||Gangetic river system||Endangered|
|Black Softshell Turtle (Nilssonia nigricans)||Temple ponds in Assam and Bengal.||Extinct in Wild|
|Asian Giant Softshell Turtle (Pelochelys cantorii)||In the eastern part of the country||Critically Endangered|
Cell for IPR Promotion and Management-CIPAM
- CIPAM has been created as a professional body under the aegis of DIPP to take forward the implementation of the National IPR Policy that was approved by the Government in May 2016, with the slogan – “Creative India; Innovative India”.
- Functions: CIPAM is working towards creating public awareness about IPRs in the country, promoting the filing of IPRs through facilitation, providing inventors with a platform to commercialize their IP assets and coordinating the implementation of the National IPR Policy in collaboration with Government Ministries/Departments and other stakeholders.
- Gallium is a metal with a low melting point. It has a low melting point of just below 30° C (86° F). That makes it a great candidate for applications that need liquid metals at roughly room temperature.
- Unlike graphene and many other 2-D structures, it cannot yet be grown with vapor phase deposition methods.
- It also has a tendency to oxidize quickly.
- Gallenene comes in zigzag and hexagonal structures, and has the unusual ability to change the properties of its solid support material, making it promising as a contact material in 2D devices.
- Gallenene strongly interacts with its solid support and even converts semiconducting molybdenum disulfide into a fully conducting metal. This could make it useful as electrical connector in ultra-flat electronics.
- Since gallenene binds well to semiconductors and can now be created using a relatively simple technique, it could be used as an efficient metal contact in nanoscale electronics, a field which currently doesn’t have many 2D metal options for these kinds of applications.
- The CleanSeas campaign was launched by the UN Environment in February 2017.
- The campaign aims to engage governments, the general public, civil society and the private sector in the fight against marine plastic by reducing the use of non-recoverable and single-use plastics.
- It addresses the root-cause of marine litter by targeting the production and consumption of non-recoverable and single-use plastic.
- The campaign contributes to the goals of the Global Partnership on Marine Litter, a voluntary open-ended partnership for international agencies, governments, businesses, academia, local authorities and non-governmental organizations hosted by UN Environment.
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
- India has emerged as the largest importer of major arms according to a latest research released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
- India became the world’s largest importer of major arms in 2013-17 accounting for 12% of the total global import.
- The country that accounts for the maximum arms import of India is Russia with 62%.
- America is the second largest arms supplier to India.
- The US emerged as the world’s top exporter of weapons accounting for 34% of global arms sales in the last five years.
- Russia accounted for 20% of the export ranking second in the list.
International Criminal Court
- The International Criminal Court (ICC), located in The Hague, is the court of last resort for prosecution of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
- It is the first permanent, treaty based, international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.
- Its founding treaty, the Rome Statute, entered into force on July 1, 2002.
- Although the Court’s expenses are funded primarily by States Parties, it also receives voluntary contributions from governments, international organisations, individuals, corporations and other entities.
- The Court’s management oversight and legislative body, the Assembly of States Parties, consists of one representative from each state party.
- Each state party has one vote and “every effort” has to be made to reach decisions by consensus. If consensus cannot be reached, decisions are made by vote. The Assembly is presided over by a president and two vice-presidents, who are elected by the members to three-year terms.
Meteorites & Carbonaceous chondrite:
- Meteorites mostly originate from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
- Carbonaceous meteorite may contain clues to the formation of early life. This is a rare type, since carbonaceous meteorites constitute only 3%-5% of all meteorite falls.
- Also, this meteorite could be carrying some of the most pristine primordial matter recovered from space as it is made up of materials which were formed during the early stages of the formation of the solar system.
- A detailed analysis could provide clues about the origin of life and the formation and evolution of the solar system.
- Carbonaceous chondrite meteorites, unlike other meteorites, contain very primitive traces of carbon. And carbon forms the backbone of all life on earth.
- They represent some of the most pristine matter known, and their chemical compositions match the chemistry of the Sun more closely than any other class of chondrites.
- They are formed in oxygen-rich regions of the early solar system so that most of the metal is not found in its free form but as silicates, oxides, or sulfides.
- Most of them contain water or minerals that have been altered in the presence of water, and some of them contain larger amounts of carbon as well as organic compounds.
- This is especially true for the carbonaceous chondrites that have been relatively unaltered by heating during their history.