Facts Corner-Part-76

Umang App

  • Umang is an initiative to promote Digital India program. The term — Umang stands for Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance and is envisaged to make e-governance. The application is developed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and National e-Governance Division (NeGD) in order to drive Mobile Governance in India.
  • The key goal of launching this application is to allow the citizens of India do everything online, at just a click – be it making a passport, Aadhaar or Pan, book a gas cylinder, know about your Provident fund account or resolving an Aadhaar related. Umang app basically provides a unified approach where you can install one application to avail multiple government services — almost over 100 of them.

Buckminster fullerene

  • Bucky ball or Buckminster fullerene is a spherical allotrope of carbon.
  • Allotropes are various forms of the same element that differ from each other in terms of physical structure.
  • Fullerene is a molecule which may be spherical or cylindrical in shape.
  • The spherical fullerene was discovered first and its structure was found to resemble the geodesic dome built by the American architect Richard Buckminster Fuller, it was christened Buckminsterfullerene, ‘buckyball’ for short.
  • The buckyball consists of 60 carbon atoms arranged spherically in hexagonal or pentagonal patterns.
  • It is the most common naturally occurring fullerene and is found in soot.
  • It is used in the fields of material sciences, nanotechnology and electronics.

Asian Development Bank

  • It is a regional development bank established on 22 August 1966 and is headquartered in Philippines. It aims to facilitate economic development of countries in Asia. It also aims for an Asia and Pacific free from poverty.
  • The bank admits the members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP, formerly known as the United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East) and non-regional developed countries.
  • Currently, it has 67 members – of which 48 are from within Asia and the Pacific and 19 outside.
  • It offers both Hard Loans and Soft loans. The ADB offers “hard” loans from ordinary capital resources (OCR) on commercial terms, and the Asian Development Fund (ADF) affiliated with the ADB extends “soft” loans from special fund resources with concessional conditions.

Shieldtail Snake

  • It is a new species of shieldtail snake found recently from the Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu.
  • The snake, currently found only in the forests of the Anaikatty hills in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore district, has been named Uropeltis bhupathyi, after the late herpetologist S. Bhupathy, for his contributions to the field.
  • The reptile belongs to a family of snakes found only in peninsular India and Sri Lanka. They are non-venomous, mostly burrowing and earthworm-eating, and are called shieldtails after the large, flat tips of their tails, which make them appear almost sliced off.

Namami Gange Programme

  • Namami Gange programme was launched as a mission to achieve the target of cleaning river Ganga in an effective manner with the unceasing involvement of all stakeholders, especially five major Ganga basin States – Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal.
  • The programme envisages: River Surface Cleaning, Sewerage Treatment Infrastructure, River Front Development, Bio-Diversity, Afforestation and Public Awareness.

Peace Mission

  • Is a multi-nation counter-terror exercise that will witness the participation of India, China, Russia and Pakistan.
  • In a first, arch rivals India and Pakistan will be part of a multi-nation counter-terror exercise in Russia in September, which will also be joined by China and several other countries.
  • The military exercise will take place under the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a China-dominated security grouping which is increasingly seen as a counterweight to NATO.
  • It will be for the first time since Independence that India and Pakistan will be part of a military exercise, though the armies of the two nations have worked together in U.N. peacekeeping missions.

The Meghalaya Community Participation and Public Services Social Audit Act, 2017

  • Meghalaya recently became the first state in India to operationalise a law ‘The Meghalaya Community Participation and Public Services Social Audit Act, 2017’ that makes social audit of government programmes and schemes a part of government practice.
  • First, it will make it easier to correct course as the scheme is rolling along; the audit is not after all the money has been spent.
  • Two, it gives people a direct say in how money will be spent and fills an information gap for officers as they are directly in touch with the ground.
  • Third, social audits have been civil society initiatives rather than government-mandated. They are now part of the system (they are institutionalised).
  • The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) was the first law to mandate social audit as a statutory requirement.

Definition of Electrified Village

A village would be declared as electrified, if :

  • Basic infrastructure such as Distribution Transformer and Distribution lines are provided in the inhabited locality as well as the Dalit Basti hamlet where it exists.
  • Electricity is provided to public places like Schools,Panchayat Office,Health Centers,Dispensaries,Community centers etc.
  • The number of households electrified should be at least 10% of the total number of households in the village.
  • ‘Electricity’, under the Seventh Schedule of the Indian Constitution, is on the concurrent list.

Rural Electrification Corporation Limited

  • REC came into being in 1969 to articulate a response to the pressing exigencies of the nation. During the time of severe drought, the leaders sought to reduce the dependency of agriculture on monsoons by energizing agricultural pump-sets for optimized irrigation. 
  • Appointed as the nodal agency by the Government of India for implementation of Saubhagya (Pradhanmantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana) and DDUGJY (Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana), the schemes which aim at providing 24×7 sustainable and affordable power to all households in the country.
  • Also been entrusted with the responsibility of being the coordinating agency for rolling out UDAY (Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana) which seeks to operationally reform and financially turnaround the power distribution companies of the country.

International Consortium on Combatting Wildlife Crime

ICCWC is the collaborative effort of five inter-governmental organizations working to bring coordinated support to the national wildlife law enforcement agencies and to the sub-regional and regional networks that, on a daily basis, act in defense of natural resources. The ICCWC partners are

  • The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Secretariat,
  • the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,
  • the World Bank and
  • the World Customs Organization.
  1. This powerful alliance was formally established in 2010 in St. Petersburg, Russia during the International Tiger Forum.
  2. ICCWC’s mission is to strengthen criminal justice systems and provide coordinated support at national, regional and international level to combat wildlife and forest crime to ensure perpetrators of serious wildlife and forest crime will face a formidable and coordinated response.

Generalized System of Preferences

  • The GSP, instituted in 1971 under the aegis of UNCTAD, has contributed over the years to creating an enabling trading environment for developing countries.
  • The following 13 countries grant GSP preferences: Australia, Belarus, Canada, the European Union, Iceland, Japan, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Norway, the Russian Federation, Switzerland, Turkey and the United States of America.
  • Following the WTO Hong Kong Ministerial Decision in 2005 in which members agreed that developed countries and developing countries in a position to do so would grant duty-free and quota-free market access for exports of LDCs, improvements were made to various GSP schemes and/or new schemes for LDCs were launched.
  • The objective of UNCTAD’s support on GSP is to help developing countries – particularly LDCs – to increase utilization of GSP and other trade preferences and in turn promote productive capacity development and increased trade.
  • The USTR is currently reviewing India’s eligibility under its Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), which allows duty-free imports of certain goods. India was the largest GSP beneficiary at $5.6 billion, the USTR said in April.

World Press Freedom Index

  • The Index ranks 180 countries according to the level of freedom available to journalists. India’s ranking has fallen two places to 138th position in the latest report.
  • Published every year since 2002 by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the World Press Freedom Index is an important advocacy tool based on the principle of emulation between states. 
  • India ranked 138
  • Norway best country

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