- CriSidEx is a composite index based on a diffusion index of 8 parameters and measures MSE business sentiment on a scale of 0 (extremely negative) to 200 (extremely positive).
- CriSidEx will have 2 indices, one for the ‘survey quarter’ and another for the ‘next quarter’ once a trend emerges after few rounds of the survey, providing independent time series data.
- The crucial benefit of CriSidEx is that its readings will flag potential headwinds and changes in production cycles and thus help improve market efficiencies.
- And by capturing the sentiment of exporters and importers, it will also offer actionable indicators on foreign trade.
NABH Nirman initiative
- The government in February announced a new initiative — NABH Nirman— under which it proposes to expand airport capacity in the country by more than five times to handle a billion trips a year.
- The three key aspects of NABH Nirman are (1) fair and equitable land acquisition, (2) long-term master plan for airport and regional development and (3) balanced economics for all stakeholders.
- For the conservation of Indus dolphins – one of the world’s rarest mammals – the Punjab government along with WWF-India are conducting the first organised census on their population.
- It is found only in India and Pakistan, the Indus dolphins are confined to only a 185 km stretch between Talwara and Harike Barrage in India’s Beas river in Punjab.
- The most flourishing population of the Indus dolphin, platanista gangetica minor, is found across.
- In India, a tiny population survives in this small stretch of the Beas river.
- Dolphins are a key indicator of river health.
- A blind species that communicates through echo like bats do, Indus dolphins are one of the seven freshwater dolphins found across the world.
- It is categorized as Endangered in RED data list of IUCN.
- The minor invasive laparascopic technique involves passing a rigid fibre-optic laparoscope into the abdomen through a small incision.
- The reproductive tract is located through camera and the frozen semen is deposited into the uterus.
- It has resolved the difficulties involved in freezing of semen and inability to transit the tortuous reproductive tract of the ruminant mammals kept as livestock. It would be of great help in the breed improvement programmes.
- The new technique would help achieve up to 60% survival in the birth of lambs and would have an immense potential for rapid multiplication of elite germplasm. As many as 40 females can be inseminated from a single ejaculate using the technique.
- Trans fatty acids (TFAs) or Trans fats are the most harmful type of fats which can have much more adverse effects on our body than any other dietary constituent. These fats are largely produced artificially but a small amount also occurs naturally. Thus in our diet, these may be present as Artificial TFAs and/ or Natural TFAs.
- Artificial TFAs are formed when hydrogen is made to react with the oil to produce fats resembling pure ghee/butter.
- In our diet the major sources of artificial TFAs are the partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (PHVO)/vanaspati/ margarine while the natural TFAs are present in meats and dairy products, though in small amounts.
Hague Abduction Convention
- The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction or Hague Abduction Convention is a multilateral treaty developed by the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) that provides an expeditious method to return a child internationally abducted by a parent from one member country to another. The Convention entered into force between the signatories on 1 December 1983.
- The Convention was drafted to ensure the prompt return of children who have been abducted from their country of habitual residence or wrongfully retained in a contracting state not their country of habitual residence.
- The primary intention of the Convention is to preserve whatever status quo child custody arrangement existed immediately before an alleged wrongful removal or retention thereby deterring a parent from crossing international boundaries in search of a more sympathetic court.
- The Convention applies only to children under the age of 16.
Brown peach aphid
- Aphids feed on the saps of plants, attacking plant tissues that transport food to all different plant parts.
- The brown peach aphid Pterochloroides persicae is a notorious pest of peach and almond trees in the Mediterranean regions.
- In India, the aphid was recorded for the first time in the 1970s from Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.
- The tiny (nearly 3 mm long) aphids thrived best during the months of April, May, September and October. The spread of the aphid could affect the local economy which is dependant on fruit trees to a large extent. But if the infestation is not controlled, the invasive aphid can spread fast.
- InSight is part of NASA’s Discovery Program, managed by the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
- It will be the first mission to peer deep beneath the Martian surface, studying the planet’s interior by measuring its heat output and listening for marsquakes, which are seismic events similar to earthquakes on Earth.
- It will use the seismic waves generated by marsquakes to develop a map of the planet’s deep interior.
- China has launched the APStar-6C communications satellite on a Long March-3B/G2 ‘Chang Zheng-3B/G2’ launch vehicle.
- APSTAR-6C is based on CASC DFH-4 platform equipped with 45 transponders in C, Ku, and Ka bands, with a designed service life of 15 years.
- The satellite will replace the in-orbit APSTAR-6 satellite in 2018, providing high power transponder services to customers across the Asia-Pacific region for VSAT, video distribution, DTH and cellular backhaul applications.
- The DFH-4 (DongFangHong-4) platform is a large telecommunications satellite platform from a new generation that keeps high capability in output power and communication capacity ranking with international advanced satellite platforms. The DFH-4 satellite also features strong capabilities against hostile disturbance and jamming.
- The applications for the DFH-4 platform aren’t limited to high capacity broadcast communication satellites and can be used for tracking and data relay satellites, regional mobile communication satellites, etc.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India
- It has been established under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 which consolidates various acts & orders that have hitherto handled food related issues in various Ministries and Departments. FSSAI has been created for laying down science based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.
- Various central Acts like Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 , Fruit Products Order , 1955, Meat Food Products Order , 1973, Vegetable Oil Products (Control) Order, 1947,Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation)Order 1988, Solvent Extracted Oil, De- Oiled Meal and Edible Flour (Control) Order, 1967, Milk and Milk Products Order, 1992 etc are repealed from 5th August 2011 after commencement of FSS Act, 2006.
- Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India is the Administrative Ministry for the implementation of FSSAI. The Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) have already been appointed by Government of India. The Chairperson is in the rank of Secretary to Government of India.
- It is a malware allegedly designed by Pakistani hackers. The RAT was first detected by Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, CERT-In, on various computers in 2017.
- It is designed to infliltrate computers and steal the data of users, and relay the stolen data to Command and Control centres in other countries.
- The ‘RAT’ in its name stands for Remote Access Trojan, which is a program capable of being controlled remotely and thus difficult to trace.
- It has recently been updated further and equipped with anti-malware evasion capabilities.
- The latest update to the program by its developers is part of GravityRAT’s function as an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT), which, once it infiltrates a system, silently evolves and does long-term damage.
- POSHAN Abhiyaan was launched on International Women’s day (March 8) in 2018 to boost nutrition among children and women.
- The target of the mission is to bring down stunting among children in the age group 0-6 years from 38.4% to 25% by 2022.
- Prevent and reduce stunting in children (0-6years): By 6% @ 2% p.a.
- Prevent and reduce under-nutrition (underweight prevalence) in children (0-6 years): By 6% @ 2% p.a.
- Reduce the prevalence of anemia among young Children(6-59 months): By 9% @ 3% p.a.
- Reduce the prevalence of anemia among Women and Adolescent Girls in the age group of 15-49 years: By 9% @ 3% p.a.
- Reduce Low Birth Weight (LBW): By 6% @ 2% p.a.
Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development
- The Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) was established in 1977 under the auspices of UNESCO.
- It is hosted by the Government of Malaysia and the secretariat is located in Kuala Lumpur.
- The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) are founding organisations of the Institute and they are non-voting members of the General Conference.
- The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) is a founding organisation of the Institute and is a non-voting member of the General Conference.
- Full membership of the AIBD is confined to sovereign states and they are invited to designate the broadcasting authority of the country to be the beneficiary.
- The AIBD currently has 26 Full Members (countries), represented by 34 organisations, and 67 Affiliate Members (organisations) with a total membership of 101 representing 48 countries and regions and over 50 partners in Asia, Pacific, Europe, Africa, Arab States and North America.
Cochlear Implant Programme
- Cochlear Implant is a modern technology to help young children who have severe to profound deafness in both ears.
- Because of hearing impairment, they are not able to speak.
- Cochlear Implant provides such children to hear normally in one ear and with post-surgical rehabilitation, they are able to speak also.
- The government has introduced Cochlear Implant programme under revised Scheme of Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/Fitting of Aids and Appliances (ADIP) for the poor and needy young children.
- National Fertilizer Ltd (NFL) has won an order from the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to supply di-Nitrogen tetroxide (N2O4).
- Nitrogen tetroxide forms an integral part of the liquid propellant used in launching space rockets.
- N2O4 is a powerful oxidiser and an ideal liquid propellant component for satellite launch vehicles.
- As the number of satellites launch are increasing, the demand for propellant is also increasing.
- NFL is a Schedule ‘A’ and a Mini Ratna (Category-I) Company.
- A team from the Tohoku University in Japan found the mineral, called moganite, in a lunar meteorite discovered in a desert in northwest Africa.
- It points to the presence of abundant hidden reserves of water ice under the surface of the moon.
- It could be potentially useful for future human exploration.
- Moganite is a crystal of silicon dioxide.
- The mineral is known to form on the earth in specific circumstances in sedimentary settings from alkaline fluids.
- It has never before been detected in samples of lunar rock.
- The mineral formed on the surface of the moon in the area called Procellarum Terrane.
- As water originally present in lunar dirt evaporated due to exposure to strong sunlight water remains as ice in the subsurface.