- The Ambubachi Mela symbolises the fertility cult of goddess Kamakhya.
- There is no idol in the temple, the goddess is worshipped in the form of a yoni-like stone over which a natural spring flows.
- Also known as Siddha Kubjika, the goddess is a Hindu tantric goddess of desire who evolved in the Himalayan hills. She is also identified as Kali and Maha Tripura.
- The festival is also known as ‘Mahakumbh of the East’ as it draws lakhs of devotees from all over the world.
James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)
- The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a space telescope developed in collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency that will be the scientific successor to the Hubble Space Telescope.
- It will be bigger than Hubble.
- Webb will not orbit Earth as Hubble does.
- Webb will orbit the sun in a spot on the other side of the moon.
- The Webb telescope will be able to see a different kind of light than the light Hubble sees.
India and Chabahar Port:
- The first and foremost significance of the Chabahar port is the fact that India can bypass Pakistan in transporting goods to Afghanistan. Chabahar port will boost India’s access to Iran, the key gateway to the International North-South Transport Corridor that has sea, rail and road routes between India, Russia, Iran, Europe and Central Asia.
- Chabahar port will be beneficial to India in countering Chinese presence in the Arabian Sea which China is trying to ensure by helping Pakistan develop the Gwadar port. Gwadar port is less than 400 km from Chabahar by road and 100 km by sea.
- With Chabahar port being developed and operated by India, Iran also becomes a military ally to India. Chabahar could be used in case China decides to flex its navy muscles by stationing ships in Gwadar port to reckon its upper hand in the Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf and Middle East.
- With Chabahar port becoming functional, there will be a significant boost in the import of iron ore, sugar and rice to India.
- The import cost of oil to India will also see a considerable decline. India has already increased its crude purchase from Iran since the West imposed ban on Iran was lifted.
- Chabahar port will ensure in the establishment of a politically sustainable connectivity between India and Afghanistan.
- This is will, in turn, lead to better economic ties between the two countries.
- From a diplomatic perspective, Chabahar port could be used as a point from where humanitarian operations could be coordinated.
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
- The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral development bank that aims to support the building of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region.
- The bank currently has 56 members states.
- Currently, It has 86 approved members from around the world.
- It is headquartered in Beijing, China.
- India is hosting the annual meeting of AIIB for the first time in June 2018.
- India is the second largest shareholder in AIIB after China and is also the largest recipient of funds from the multilateral agency.
- Nearly 25% of the total funds committed by AIIB have been committed for projects in India, both in the government sector and the private sector.
Sustainable Development Goals
- The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations in 2015 and are to be achieved by 2030.
- The SDGs cover social and economic development issues including poverty, hunger, health, education, climate change, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, urbanization, environment and social justice.
- The formal name for the SDGs is: “Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” That has been shortened to “2030 Agenda”.
- The resolution is a broad intergovernmental agreement that acts as the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
- This was a non-binding agreement as a result of Rio+20 Conference held in 2012.
- NITI Aayog is set up in line with attaining these SDGs.
United Nations Commission on International Trade Law
- UNCITRAL was established in 1966 with the recognition that international trade cooperation among States is an important factor.
- When world trade began to expand dramatically in the 1960s, national governments began to realize the need for a global set of standards and rules to harmonize national and regional regulations, which until then governed international trade.
- UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency was a model law issued by the Secretariat of UNCITRAL in 1997 to assist states in relation to the regulation of corporate insolvency and financial distress involving companies which have assets or creditors in more than one state.
- The Model Law is designed to provide a model framework to encourage cooperation and coordination between jurisdictions.
Bureau of Energy Efficiency:
- Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) was established in March 2002, as a statutory body by the Government of India under the Energy Conservation Act 2001.
- It is responsible for spearheading the improvement of energy efficiency of the economy through various regulatory and promotional instruments.
- The primary goal of BEE is to reduce the energy intensity in the Indian economy.
- It coordinates with State level agencies and energy consumers to perform functions and exercise powers that may be necessary for efficient use of energy and its conservation in India.
Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT)
- India and Bangladesh have agreed to institute a Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) as an annual feature between the two Navies.
- The commencement of CORPAT is a major step towards the enhanced operational interaction between both Navies.
- It is aimed to consolidate bilateral defense relations between India and Bangladesh and to explore new avenues for naval cooperation.
- The Navy regularly conducts CORPATs with Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand. It also conducts EEZ surveillance of Maldives, Mauritius, and Seychelles on their request.
International Asteroid Warning Network
- The International Asteroid Warning Network (IAWN) was established in 2014 to address the recommendations for an international response to the near-Earth Object impact threat
- It was endorsed by the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of
Outer Space and the General Assembly resolution 68/75
- It forms an international association of institutions involved in detecting, tracking, and characterizing NEOs (Near Earth Objects) to provide the best information available on the NEO hazard and any impact threat
- The IAWN is also tasked to use well-defined communication
plans and protocols to assist Governments in the analysis of asteroid impact
consequences and to support the planning of mitigation responses
- IAWN serves the global community as the authoritative source of accurate and up-to-date information on near-Earth objects and NEO impact risks. Information is freely available to all interested parties
Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission
- The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission is directed by NASA to the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) with support from NASA centers: the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), and Johnson Space Center (JSC).
- DART will be the first demonstration of the kinetic impact technique to change the motion of an asteroid in space.
- DART is a planetary defense-driven test of one of the technologies for preventing the Earth impact of a hazardous asteroid: the kinetic impactor. DART’s primary objective is to demonstrate a kinetic impact on a small asteroid. The binary near-Earth asteroid (65803) Didymos is the target for DART. While Didymos’ primary body is approximately 800 meters across, its secondary body (or “moonlet”) has a 150-meter size, which is more typical of the size of asteroids that could pose a more common hazard to Earth.
- The DART spacecraft will achieve the kinetic impact by deliberately crashing itself into the moonlet at a speed of approximately 6 km/s, with the aid of an onboard camera and sophisticated autonomous navigation software. The collision will change the speed of the moonlet in its orbit around the main body by a fraction of one percent, enough to be measured using telescopes on Earth.
- The DART spacecraft will utilize the NASA Evolutionary Xenon Thruster – Commercial (NEXT-C) solar electric propulsion system as its primary in-space propulsion system.
- NEXT-C is the next generation system that is based on the Dawn spacecraft propulsion system and was developed at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. By utilizing electric propulsion, DART is able to gain significant flexibility to the mission timeline and widen the launch window, as well as decrease the cost of the of the launch vehicle that gets the mission off Earth and into orbit.
- NASA’s DART spacecraft’s launch window range begins in late December 2020 and runs through May 2021. It will intercept Didymos’ moonlet in early October 2022, when the Didymos system is within 11 million kilometers of Earth, enabling observations by ground-based telescopes and planetary radar to measure the change in momentum imparted to the moonlet.
Tight oil & Shale Oil
- It is also known as shale oil, shale-hosted oil or light tight oil, abbreviated LTO) is light crude oil contained in petroleum-bearing formations of low permeability, often shale or tight sandstone.
- Relative to conventional sources, shale oil typically produces more pollution to extract, though the extent depends on whether or not the operators avoid wasteful and unnecessary emissions.
- RemoveDebris is an EU (European Union) research project to develop and fly a low cost in-orbit demonstrator mission that aims to de-risk and verify technologies needed for future ADR (Active Debris Removal) missions.
- RemoveDebris is aimed at performing key ADR technology demonstrations (e.g., capture, deorbiting) representative of an operational scenario during a low-cost mission using novel key technologies for ADR. The project is based on and aimed at contributing to global/European ADR roadmaps.