Facts Corner-Part-44

Udyam Sakhi Portal

  • The Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises launched Udyam Sakhi Portal (www.udyamsakhi.org) for women entrepreneurs on the occasion of the International women’s day.
  • It will provide assistance to women entrepreneurs through its platform for entrepreneurship learning tools, training programs for fundraising, incubation facility, mentors, market survey facility, and technical assistance.
  • It primarily aims to create a  network to nurture entrepreneurship and create business models for low-cost products and services in order to empower women and make them self-sufficient and Self-reliant.

I – Metros

  • “I-Metros” is proposed to be a platform to provide a forum for exchange of ideas, pooling of knowledge and sharing of experience, best practices, innovations etc. among the Indian Metro rail companies to nurture excellence in performance.
  • This society will be registered under Society Registration Act-1860.
  • The objective of forming this association is to provide a common platform for all Metro rail companies for sharing experience, information, best practices, innovations etc.
  • This association will also undertake and promote techno-economic studies and research. It will safeguard the interest and rights of metro rail companies and will be resource tank of information for decision making.

Reciprocal logistics support deal

  • A reciprocal logistics support deal has been signed between the respective armed forces of India and France.
  • The deal will facilitate the French and Indian armed forces to receive logistical support, supplies and services from each other during authorised port visits, joint exercises, joint training, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.
  • The deal, which is similar to the logistical support pact with the US, is an indicator of the strategic depth and maturity in defence ties between the two countries.

Rydberg polarons

  • An international team of physicists have successfully created a “giant atom” and filled it with ordinary atoms, creating a new state of matter termed “Rydberg polarons”. These atoms are held together by a weak bond and is created at very cold temperatures.
  • It uses ideas from two different fields: Bose Einstein Condensation and Rydberg atoms.
  • A BEC (Bose Einstein Condensate) is a liquid-like state of matter that occurs at very low temperatures. A BEC can be perturbed to create excitations which are akin to ripples on a lake. Here, researchers have used a BEC of strontium atoms.
  • Electrons in an atom move in orbits around the nucleus. A ‘Rydberg atom’ is an atom in which an electron has been kicked out to a very large orbit. These have interesting properties and have been studied for a long time.
  • In this work, researchers used laser light on a BEC of strontium atoms so that it impinges on one strontium atom at a time. This excites an electron into a large orbit, forming a Rydberg atom. This orbit is large enough to encircle many other strontium atoms inside it.
  • As the electron moves around many strontium atoms, it generates ripples of the BEC. The Rydberg atom becomes inextricably mixed with these ripples and forms a new super-atom called a ‘Rydberg polaron’.
  • A particularly interesting implication is for cosmology. Our universe is believed to be filled with a mysterious ‘dark matter’ which exerts a gravitational force on other matter.
  • Some theories of dark matter postulate that it is a cosmic Bose Einstein Condensate, perhaps composed of an as-yet-unknown type of particle. If we are indeed living in an invisible all pervading Bose Einstein Condensate, this experiment can suggest ways to detect it.

Air-Breathing Electric Thruster

  • The European Space Agency (ESA) is building Air-Breathing Electric Thruster (ABET) that can possibly extend the working life of satellites by years and even help with interplanetary travel using just the air around it as a propellant.
  • This Air-Breathing Electric Thruster (ABET) does not operate in complete vacuum, but works in low Earth orbit (LEO) – altitude of 2,000 km or less– notes the ESA.
  • At LEO, the air is scarce, but not entirely absent. In fact, there is enough air to cause a drag on spaceships and satellites. This is why there are on-board engines installed on satellites to correct course every time it moves out of position.
  • An air-breathing engine works by collecting the sparse air at the edge of the atmosphere and compresses it to a point that it becomes thermalised ionised plasma.
  • It then fires out the plasma using an electric charge to achieve thrust. An air breathing thruster could keep a satellite operational for extended periods of time if it only uses the air around it for fuel instead of propellants.

National E-Mobility programme

  • The Programme aims to provide an impetus to the entire e-mobility ecosystem including vehicle manufacturers, charging infrastructure companies, fleet operators, service providers, etc.
  • The Programme will be implemented by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) which will aggregate demand by procuring electric vehicles in bulk to get economies of scale.
  • Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) will issue a fresh tender for additional 10,000 e-vehicles. These electric vehicles will replace the existing fleet of petrol and diesel vehicles.
  • India has embarked on an ambitious e-mobility plan and the government has taken the leadership in enabling e-mobility in India.
  • The National E-Mobility Programme is a step towards ushering in an era of clean, green and future-oriented technologies in the country.

Animal Welfare Board of India

  • The headquarters of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has been shifted from Chennai to Haryana’s Ballabhgarh for “better coordination” between the environment ministry and the board.
  • It is a statutory advisory body on Animal Welfare Laws and promotes animal welfare in the country.  It was established in 1962 under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
  • The Animal Welfare Board of India was started under the stewardship of Late Smt. Rukmini Devi Arundale, well known humanitarian.
  • From ensuring that animal welfare laws in the country are diligently followed, to provide grants to Animal Welfare Organizations and advising the Government of India on animal welfare issues, the Board has been the face of the animal welfare movement in the country for the last 50 years.


  • Cybersecurity agencies have detected a new malware called Saposhi that can take over electronic devices and use them for Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.
  • Saposhi Malware is capable of taking over electronic devices and turning them into bots (device take over by malware) which can then be used for any purpose including DDoS attacks which, with enough firepower, can cripple entire industries.

World’s first legal tender cryptocurrency

  • The Marshall Islands will launch the world’s first legal tender cryptocurrency. A law in this regard has been passed by the parliament
  • The Marshall Islands has partnered with Israeli company Neema to issue 24 million units of the Sovereign (SOV) digital currency.
  • The SOV will require users to identify themselves, thus avoiding the anonymity that has kept bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from gaining support from governments.
  • Venezuela had launched the Petro cryptocurrency in February. Unlike the Petro, the Sovereign (SOV) will be recognized in law as legal tender, holding equal status as the US dollar, which is the Pacific island nation’s current currency.
  • SOV is based on permissioned protocol, dubbed “‘Yokwe” (meaning “hello” in local island language), which requires blockchain users of this digital currency to authenticate and identify themselves, thus avoid anonymity that has kept other cryptocurrencies from gaining support from governments.

IMPRINT India programme

  • IMPacting Research INnovation and Technology (IMPRINT)-India has been launched in India to boost original scientific and technological research in the country. 
  • It is a joint initiative of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc). It is Supported by Ministry of Human Resource Development.
  • Developing new engineering education policy
  • Creating a roadmap to pursue engineering challenges
  • IMPRINT provides the overarching vision that guides research into areas that are predominantly socially relevant.

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