- Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay wrote the national song Vande Mataram.
- The 19th century author’s novel Anandamath — which was set in the background of the Sanyashi Bidroho (rebellion of monks in late 18th century) — is considered to be one of key works on Bengal’s nationalism.
- His first Bengali fiction is called ‘Durgeshnondini’ published in 1865.
- He also wrote other famous novels like Kapalkundala in 1866, Mrinalini in 1869, Vishbriksha in 1873, Chandrasekhar in 1877, Rajani in 1877, Rajsimha in 1881 and Devi Chaudhurani in 1884.
- He brought out a monthly magazine called Bangadarshan in 1872.
UNHRC (United Nations Human Rights Council)
- It is a United Nations System inter-governmental body responsible for promoting and protecting human rights around the world.
- The headquarters of UNHRC is in Geneva, Switzerland.
- There are 47 countries in the Human Rights Council, elected by the U.N.’s General Assembly with a specific number of seats allocated for each region of the globe.
- Members serve for three-year terms and can serve only two terms in a row.
New York Declaration for refugees (UN comprehensive refugee response framework)
- In September 2016, the UN General Assembly adopted a non-binding political declaration, the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, pledging to uphold the rights of refugees, help them resettle and ensure they have access to education.
- In December 2017, US announced to withdraw from a United Nations pact to improve the handling of migrant and refugee situations, deeming it “inconsistent” with its policies.
OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries)
- It is an intergovernmental organization of 14 nations, founded in 1960 in Baghdad by the first five members (Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela).
- It is headquartered in Vienna since 1965.
- As of May 2017, OPEC’s members (14 countries) are Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia (the de facto leader), United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela, while Indonesia is a former member.
- Asian Premium is the extra charge being collected by OPEC countries from Asian countries when selling oil.
Central Vigilance Commissioner
- It is the apex vigilance institution.
- It was created via executive resolution (based on the recommendations of Santhanam committee) in 1964 but was conferred with statutory status in 2003.
- It submits its report to the President of India.
- Presently, the body consists of central vigilance commissioner along with 2 vigilance commissioners.
- They are appointed by the President of India on the recommendations of a committee consisting of Prime Minister, Union Home Minister and Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha (if there is no LoP then the leader of the single largest Opposition party in the Lok Sabha).
- Their term is 4 years or 65 years, whichever is earlier.
- The Central Vigilance Commissioner or any Vigilance Commissioner can be removed from his office only by order of the President on the ground of proved misbehavior or incapacity after the Supreme Court, on a reference made to it by the President, has, on inquiry, reported that the Central Vigilance Commissioner or any Vigilance Commissioner, as the case may be, ought to be removed.
SAARC Development Fund
- In 1996, a first funding mechanism was created in SAARC, ‘South Asian Development Fund (SADF), merging the SAARC Fund for Regional Projects (SFRP) and the SAARC Regional Fund.
- A primary reason for establishing SDF was that the existing South Asian Development Fund (SADF) was found to be inadequate i.e. in terms of required quantum of funds and its limited scope of work.
- In 2005, SAARC Financial Experts decided to reconstitute SADF as SAARC Development Fund (SDF).
- SDF was established by the Heads of the eight SAARC member states in April 2010 and its Governing Council comprises finance ministers of these eight countries.
- The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is the regional intergovernmental organization and geopolitical union of nations in South Asia.
- Its member states (8 countries) include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, the Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
SAARC has six Apex Bodies, they are
(1) SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI)
(2) South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation in Law(SAARCLAW)
(3) South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA)
(4) South Asia Foundation (SAF)
(5) South Asia Initiative to End Violence Against Children (SAIEVAC)
(6) Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature (FOSWAL)
- Scientists from ISRO have spotted for the first time a distant planet six times bigger than Earth and revolving around a Sun-like star about 600 light years away.
- The planet has been named EPIC 211945201b (or K2-236b). The host star is named EPIC 211945201 or K2-236.
- The planet is smaller in size than Saturn and bigger than Neptune. Its mass is about 27 times Earth’s and six times that of Earth at radius. The scientists estimate that over 60% of its mass could be made up of heavy elements like ice, silicates and iron.
- With this discovery India has joined a handful of countries which have discovered planets around stars.
- The discovery was made using a PRL-designed spectrograph, PARAS, to measure and confirm the mass of the new planet.
RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership)-
- RCEP aims at liberalising norms for trade in goods and services and boost investment among 16-member countries.
- The members comprise 10 ASEAN members and their six FTA partners – India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
- RCEP negotiations were formally launched in November 2012 at the ASEAN Summit in Cambodia.
- RCEP is viewed as an alternative to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
- Established in 1967 in Bangkok via Bangkok Declaration.
- Currently, there are 10-member states and 2 observer states are part of it.
- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional intergovernmental organisation comprising ten Southeast Asian states which promotes intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, military, educational and cultural integration amongst its members and Asian states.
- Its headquarter is in Jakarta, Indonesia.
- India is not the member of it.
- The 10-member states of ASEAN are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.
Military bases of India in other country
- Recently, Seychelles President Danny Faure said that the development of a military base on Assumption Island by India “will not move forward”.
- The Assumption Island is situated southwest of the Seychelles main island of Mahe and falls in the Indian Ocean maritime routes.
- In early 2018, Seychelles and India signed an agreement to build and operate a joint military facility on a portion of the island.
Other Projects by India
- Port Duqm in Oman
- Port Chabahar in Iran
- Agalega Islands- in Mauritius
- The Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP) mission will help researchers better understand the boundary of the heliosphere, a sort of magnetic bubble surrounding and protecting our solar system. This is the fifth mission in NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Probes (STP) Program portfolio.
- Another objective of the mission is to learn more about the generation of cosmic rays in the heliosphere. Cosmic rays created locally and from the galaxy and beyond affect human explorers in space and can harm technological systems, and likely play a role in the presence of life itself in the universe.
- The spacecraft will be positioned about one million miles (1.5 million kilometers) away from Earth towards the Sun at what is called the first Lagrange point or L1.
- This will allow the probe to maximize use of its instruments to monitor the interactions between solar wind and the interstellar medium in the outer solar system.
- Bhavani River, is a tributary of the River Cauvery originating from the South West Corner of the Nilgiri hills of the Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu.
- It drains Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.
- It is the second longest river in Tamil Nadu.
- It enters kerala through Palakkad district.
- It passes through the Silent Valley National Park in Kerala.
- Twelve major rivulets including West and East Varagar rivers join Bhavani draining the southern Nilgiri slopes.