Facts Corner-Part-55


  • Kalamkari is an ancient style of hand painting done on cotton or silk fabric with a tamarind pen, using natural dyes. The word Kalamkari is derived from a Persian word where ‘kalam‘ means pen and ‘kari‘ refers to craftsmanship.

There are two identifiable styles of Kalamkari art in India – Srikalahasti style and Machilipatnam style.

  • In the Machilipatnam style of Kalamkari, motifs are essentially printed with hand-carved traditional blocks with intricate detailing painted by hands.
  • On the other hand, Srikalahasti style of painting draws inspiration from the Hindu mythology describing scenes from the epics and folklore. This style holds a strong religious connect because of its origin in the temples.

Fast track task force:

Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) formed a Fast Track Task Force to re-establish growth in the country’s mobile handset and component manufacturing eco-system.

  • It has members from industry and government.
  • It promotes large-scale manufacturing/assembling activity to achieve production of 500 million units by 2019. This can create additional employment opportunities for 1.5 million approximately.
  • The task force has to create a roadmap to align technology, demand, standards and regulations for enhancing the competitiveness of domestic manufacturing across the supply chain for manufacturing mobile phone.


  • Phthalates are a group of chemicals used in food packaging and processing materials.
  • Phthalates are used to soften and improve the flexibility and durability of plastics.
  • They are known to disrupt hormones in humans and their exposure linked to breast cancer, developmental issues, decreased fertility, obesity and asthma.
  • Pregnant women, children and teens are more vulnerable to the toxic effects of hormone-disrupting chemicals.
  • Dining out more at restaurants, cafeterias and fast-food outlets may boost total levels of “phthalates” in the body.
  • Adolescents who were high consumers of fast food and other food purchased outside the home had 55 per cent higher levels of phthalates compared to those who only consumed food at home.

National Register of Citizens (NRC)

  • The NRC was introduced to identify illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and recognise the Indian citizens in Assam.
  • It was first prepared in 1951 and Assam is the only state having this arrangement. 
  • Under NRC, immigrants who have documents proving that they entered Assam before 1971 will be considered Indian citizens and others have to show that they their ascendants have lived in Assam even before 1971.

Bharatmala project

  • Bharatmala Project is the second largest highways construction project in the country since NHDP, under which almost 50,000 km or highway roads were targeted across the country.
  • Bharatmala will look to improve connectivity particularly on economic corridors, border areas and far flung areas with an aim of quicker movement of cargo and boosting exports.
  • Bharatmala includes economic corridors of around 9,000 km, inter-corridor and feeder routes of around 6,000 km, 5,000 km roads under the National Corridors Efficiency Program, border and international connectivity roads of around 2,000 km, coastal and port connectivity roads of around 2,000 km, expressways of around 800 km and 10,000 km of NHDP roads.
  • The total length in phase 1 comes to around 34,800 km.

RemoveDebris mission:

  • RemoveDebris is an EU (European Union) research project to develop and fly a low cost in-orbit demonstrator mission that aims to de-risk and verify technologies needed for future ADR (Active Debris Removal) missions.
  • RemoveDebris is aimed at performing key ADR technology demonstrations (e.g., capture, deorbiting) representative of an operational scenario during a low-cost mission using novel key technologies for ADR.
  • The project is based on and aimed at contributing to global/European ADR roadmaps.
  • Kessler effect or syndrome is related to the space debris.
  • China’s first space station, Tiangong-1 is crashing down in to Earth.

Point Nemo:

  • Point Nemo, or “ocean point of inaccessibility,” is a region in the South Pacific that is the loneliest place on the planet.
  • It is used as a graveyard for controlled re-entries and a place where space junk can be dropped safely.
  • Point Nemo, named after the submarine captain in Jules Verne’s classic science fiction novel 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, is about 2,688 kilometers from the nearest land – Pitcairn Islands – which lies to the north of this point.
  • Also, Motu Nui — one of the Easter Islands — lies to the northeast and Maher Island, part of Antarctica, to the south.

GRACE—FO mission:

  • The term “cryosphere” comes from the Greek word, “krios,” which means cold.
  • Ice and snow on land are one part of the cryosphere.
  • This includes the largest parts of the cryosphere, the continental ice sheets found in Greenland and Antarctica, as well as ice caps, glaciers, and areas of snow and permafrost.
  • The other part of the cryosphere is ice that is found in water.
  • This includes frozen parts of the ocean, such as waters surrounding Antarctica and the Arctic.
  • NASA and the German Research Centre for Geosciences are scheduled to launch the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow—On (GRACE—FO) mission.
  • It will track fluctuations in Earth’s gravity field in order to detect changes in mass, including the mass of ice sheets and aquifers.
  • NASA is also scheduled to launch the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat—2).
  • This satellite will use a highly advanced laser instrument to measure the changing elevation of ice around the world, providing a view of the height of Earth’s ice with greater detail than previously possible.


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