- While a plate piled high with hairy, palm-sized tarantulas is the stuff of nightmares for some, these garlic fried spiders are a coveted treat in Cambodia, where the only fear is that they may soon vanish due to deforestation and unchecked hunting.
- Taking a bite out of the plump arachnids has become a popular photo-op for squealing tourists who pass through Skun, the central Cambodian town nicknamed “Spiderville”. But the bulk of the clientele are locals who are there to load up on a traditional snack known as “aping” that vendors say is becoming scarce — and more expensive. Aping are famous in Cambodia but now they are not abundant, they have become rare.
World Hindi Conference
- The event, held once in three years, is dedicated to Hindi language. It sees participation from Hindi scholars, writers and laureates from different parts of the world who contribute to the language.
- The decision to organize the 11th edition of the Conference in Mauritius was taken at the 10th World Hindi Conference held in Bhopal, India in September 2015.
- The first World Hindi Conference was held in 1975 in Nagpur, India. Since then, ten such Conferences have been held in different parts of the world.
- The main theme of the Conference is “Vaishvik Hindi Aur Bharatiy Sanskriti”.
- The MEA has also set up the World Hindi Secretariat in Mauritius. The main objective of the WHS is to promote Hindi as an international language and further its cause for recognition at the United Nations as an Official Language.
The Headquarters Agreement
- The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for entering into Headquarters (Host country) Agreement between India and the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and authorizing the Ministry of External Affairs for signing the Headquarter Agreement.
- The Headquarters Agreement will institutionalize the functional arrangements between India and ISA.
- It will help in smooth transition of ISA as international inter-governmental organization. Creation of ISA will lead to accelerated solar technology development and deployment in ISA member countries including India.
- The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (The Partnership, PMNCH) is an alliance of more than 1000 organizations in 77 countries from the sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health communities, as well as health influencing sectors.
- The Partnership is governed by a Board, and administered by a Secretariat hosted at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.
- The Partnership provides a platform for organizations to align objectives, strategies and resources, and agree on interventions to improve maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health.
- The Partnership’s role complements the work and accountability processes of its individual members, enabling them to deliver more collectively than they would alone.
- This Partner-centric approach mobilizes, engages and empowers different implementing partners. It allows them to coordinate their actions and activities, and encourages and promotes mutual accountability.
- Multiple-input multiple-output, or MIMO, is a radio communications technology or RF technology that is being mentioned and used in many new technologies these days.
- Wi-Fi, LTE; Long Term Evolution, and many other radio, wireless and RF technologies are using the new MIMO wireless technology to provide increased link capacity and spectral efficiency combined with improved link reliability using what were previously seen as interference paths.
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched the IRNSS-1I satellite through its PSLV-C41. It was the 20th flight of PSLV-XL version.
- This satellite will transmit signals for the accurate determination of position, navigation and time.
- Like all other IRNSS satellites, IRNSS-1I will also carry two payloads – navigation payload and ranging payload – the former to transmit signals for determining position, velocity and time and the latter for determining the frequency range of the satellite.
- Navigation satellite IRNSS-1I has been launched to replace India’s first navigation satellite IRNSS-1A, whose three Rubidium atomic clocks had stopped working two years ago.
- The malfunctioning of the Europe-imported atomic clocks in IRNSS-1A made it difficult to measure precise locational data from the satellite. When the time signal is missing, getting true positional accuracy becomes a problem.
- Therefore, Isro felt a need to replace faulty satellite IRNSS-1A.
- These satellites help not just in land navigation but also in marine and aerial navigation. The data from these satellites can be used to give vehicle drivers visual and voice navigation assistance. They also help in disaster management and in proper time-keeping.
Defence, aerospace SME fund:
- Department of Defence Production has announced the creation of a dedicated defence and aerospace small and medium enterprises (SME) fund.
- The fund will be registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), where a minority stake could be taken by investors.
- This fund would help channelise investments into the two defence corridors announced by the Government in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.
Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary
- Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary and estuary located in Andhra Pradesh, India.
- It is one of the rarest eco-regions of the world because it harbors vast tracts of pristine mangrove forests. It is believed by conservationists to be one of the last remaining tracts of thick primary mangrove forests of South India, which is rapidly disappearing due to absence of protective measures.
- The sanctuary is a part of the mangrove wetland in Andhra Pradesh and are located in the coastal plain of Krishna delta.
- The estuary of Krishna River passes through the sanctuary, and the mangroves line the estuary.
- The area has the potential to become world’s first reserve for a few of the IUCN identified endangered species including the fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) or better known locally as bavuru pilli.
Gir National Park
- Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as Sasan Gir, is a forest and wildlife sanctuary near Talala Gir in Gujarat, India.
- It is part of the Kathiawar-Gir dry deciduous forests ecoregion.
- At the end of the 19th century, only about a dozen Asiatic lions were left in India, all of them in the Gir Forest, which was part of the Nawab of Junagarh’s private hunting grounds. Today, it is the only area in Asia, where Asiatic lions occur, and is considered one of the most important protected areas in Asia due to its supported species.
- The seven major perennial rivers of the Gir region are Hiran, Shetrunji, Datardi, Shingoda, Machhundri, Godavari and Raval. The four reservoirs of the area are at four dams, one each on Hiran, Machhundri, Raval and Shingoda rivers, including the biggest reservoir in the area, the Kamleshwar Dam, dubbed ‘the lifeline of Gir’.
Index of Economic Freedom
- Index of Economic Freedom is published by Heritage Foundation, an American think-tank.
- The Index covers 12 freedoms – from property rights to financial freedom – in 186 countries.
- The Index of Economic Freedom documents the positive relationship between economic freedom and a variety of positive social and economic goals.
- Economic freedom is measured based on 12 quantitative and qualitative factors, grouped into four broad categories of economic freedom:
- Rule of Law (property rights, government integrity, judicial effectiveness)
- Government Size (government spending, tax burden, fiscal health)
- Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom)
- Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom)
- India moved up to the 130th spot, up from 143 in 2017.
- India’s overall score increased by 1.9 points, led by improvements in judicial effectiveness, business freedom, government integrity, and fiscal health.
- Economic freedom is the fundamental right of every human to control his or her own labor and property.
- Prime Minister paid tributes to Mahatma Phule on his birth anniversary recently.
- Phule was India’s first Dalit reformer who offered a systematic theory of caste.
- In the 19th century, Jyotiba Phule was the most radical opponent of untouchability and the caste system as he called for the complete demolition of its oppressive structure.
- The Maharashtrian reformer and his wife Savitrirao Phule opened the first-ever school for Dalit girls in 1848 in Pune.
- Gulamgiri (slavery) is one of the 16 books written by him which was dedicated to the African-American movement to end slavery.
- Phule led the foundation of Satyashodhak Samaj (‘Seekers of Truth’) in 1848 in a bid to attain equal social and economic benefits for the lower castes in Maharashtra.
- To intensify the efforts further for promotion of breastfeeding, the Health Ministry has initiated a nationwide programme called “MAA-Mother’s Absolute Affection’’ to bring undiluted focus on promotion of breastfeeding and provision of services towards supporting breastfeeding, along with ongoing efforts of routine health systems.
- The key components of the MAA programme are awareness generation, promotion of breastfeeding & inter personal counselling at community level, skilled support for breastfeeding at delivery points and monitoring and Award/ recognition of health facility.
- Under this programme, ASHA has been incentivized for reaching out to pregnant and lactating mothers and provide information on benefits and techniques of successful breastfeeding during interpersonal communication. ANMs at all sub-centres and health personnel at all delivery points are being trained for providing skilled support to mothers referred with issues related to breastfeeding.
- Under NHM, funding support has been recommended for all States and UTs for successful implementation of the MAA programme.