Facts Corner-Part-56

A Galaxy teeming with black holes

  • The centre of the Milky Way is filled with caramel and nougat. The centre of the actual Milky Way galaxy is filled with tens of thousands of black holes, according to a new study published in the journal Nature.
  • Till now, we had found only around 60, including Sagittarius A, the Supermassive Black Hole at the centre of our galaxy.
  • For more than two decades, astronomers had been looking for the strong burst of X-rays that are emitted when a black hole merges with a star. But this occurs only once in 100 to 1,000 years.
  • So instead, they began looking for, and have found, faint but consistent post–initial burst x-rays, from 12 black hole binaries around Sagittarius A.
  • This is going to help majorly in discovering secrets about the universe, including what makes the Milky Way so tasty.

A four-eyed extinct reptile

  • Not that reptiles in the past may have been the nerdy type, but researchers suggest that you wouldn’t have been wrong to call them “four-eyes”.
  • Turns out, 49 millions years ago, there walked a monitor lizard species that had four eyes, called Saniwa ensidens.
  • A CT scan of bones unearthed in 1871 showed that the lizard had two holes in the head that would have held eyelike structures called the pineal and parapineal organs, that were light-sensitive.
  • The only four-eyed species living today is the jawless lamprey, which actually sucks (the blood and tissue of prey), unlike any nerdy reptile.

How Life on earth may have begun

  • Four billion years ago, the Earth had no life, no oxygen, and was constantly bombarded by space rocks and volcanic emissions. Scientists have long wondered how life ever began in such a harsh environment.
  • Now, planetary researchers have reworked the question as “What was abundant enough in that era to have helped spark life?” The answer: Sulfidic Anions. MIT researchers found that volcanoes would have spat out huge amounts of sulfur dioxide into the air, which settled and dissolved in shallow lakes and rivers, breaking down into sulfites and biosulfites, which may catalyse formation of RNA, the building block of life.
  • They clarify, however, that this does not mean you should drink sulfur dioxide as a pick-me-up.

Particularly Vulnerable Tribal groups (PVTG)

  • PVTGs are less developed groups with in Tribal groups who need special and focused attention.
  • There are 75 Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) notified as on date in the country.
  • The criteria followed for determination of PVTGs are as under:
  1. A pre-agriculture level of technology
  2. A stagnant or declining population
  3. Extremely low literacy
  4. A subsistence level of economy
  • The Ministry of Tribal Affairs is implementing a scheme namely “Development of PVTGs”.
  • The scheme covers the 75 identified PVTGs among Scheduled Tribes in 18 States/ UT of Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

National Culture Fund scheme (NCFS)

  • National Culture Fund (NCF) set up as a Trust under the Charitable Endowment Act, 1890 on 1996 by the Government.
  • The Fund aims at inviting the participation of the corporate sector, non-government organizations, private/public sector as well as individuals in the task of promoting, protecting and preserving India’s cultural heritage.
  • It enables institutions and individuals to support arts and culture directly as partners with its government.
  • It is managed and administered by a council headed by Culture Minister to decide the policies and an Executive Committee headed by Secretary, Culture to actualize those policies.
  • The projects under NCF cover both tangible and non tangible heritages.
  • Some of the successfully completed projects are Humayun Tomb, Shaniwarwada in Pune.


  • SIDBI launched Samridhhi- the virtual assistant on banks revamped universal loan portal (www.udyamimitra.in) which will answer standard queries of aspirants 24*7.
  • A ‘Bankability Kit’ (brought in partnership with Bank of Baroda and IDBI Bank) was launched.
  • It is a step to look beyond financial literacy and be a trusted guide for aspirants and existing entrepreneurs to know entrepreneurial self, know banker & know banking.
  • Other Initiatives of SIDBI includes MSME Pulse-health tracker of MSME, CRISIDEX-to gauge the MSME aspirations and SMILE LOANS.


  • In 2016, blue waves were spotted in the Juhu beach, Mumbai.
  • Though popularly called blue waves, the rare natural phenomena are referred to as bio-luminescence.
  • Bioluminescence is the emission of light by an organism or by a laboratory biochemical system derived from an organism.
  • It results from a chemical reaction in which the conversion of chemical energy to radiant energy is direct and virtually 100 percent efficient.
  • The biological light, or bioluminescence, in the waves is the product of marine microbes called phytoplankton.
  • The presence of phytoplankton known as dinoflagellates in the water is the most common reason for marine bioluminescence.
  • Dinoflagellates have a tail-like structure called flagella that produces light when disturbed, stressed or in high-pollution levels.

Sand Fish

  • The sand fish is a small, robust lizard that prefers to stay under the sand rather than above it.
  • The name sandfish originated because of its ability to move through sand as if it were swimming.
  • A streamlined body and paddle like feet enable it to move through the sand as easily as a fish moves through water.
  • The species is generally found in the North African desert and also in Arabian Desert.
  • A species of sand fish is found in Rajasthan.
  • The sandfish is an insectivore that can detect vibrations the insects in its vicinity create while moving.

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