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Kurukshetra Magazine January 2020 Summary
Kurukshetra Summary

Daily MCQ
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29 January 2019 MCQs Test

10 Questions 20 Minutes

Current Affairs
Jan. 29, 2020

AFRICAN CHEETAH
The Supreme Court allowed the Centre to introduce the African cheetah to suitable habitat in India.
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About:

  • The apex Court's decision followed a petition filed by National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) seeking permission for the introduction of the African cheetah from Namibia as rare Indian cheetah is almost extinct in the country.

  • The Court also set up a three-member committee, comprising former Director Wildlife of India Ranjit Singh, Director General of Wildlife of India Dhananjay Mohan and Deputy Inspector General, Wildlife, Ministry of Environment to guide the NTCA in taking a decision on the issue. 

Important Info :

Cheetah?

  • Family: It is a large cat of the subfamily Felinae
  • Scientific name: Acinonyx jubatus.
  • The 4 subspecies are: Southeast African cheetah, Asiatic cheetah, Northeast African cheetah and Northwest African cheetah.
  • Distribution: it is found in North, Southern and East Africa, and a few localities in Iran.
  • Habitat: It inhabits a variety of mostly arid habitats like dry forests, scrub forests, and savannahs.
  • Conversation Status: The cheetah has been
    • classified as endangered by the IUCN; and
    • listed under Appendix I of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species).
  • Speed: The cheetah is the fastest land animal. 
Source : All India Radio
Environment

Current Affairs
Jan. 29, 2020

RAMSAR SITES
Ramsar has declared 10 more wetland sites from India as sites of international importance for the conservation of global biological diversity.
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About:

  • Maharashtra gets its first Ramsar site (Nandur Madhameshwar), Punjab added 3 more (Keshopur-Miani, Beas Conservation Reserve, Nangal) and UP has added 6 more (Nawabganj, Parvati Agra, Saman, Samaspur, Sandi and SarsaiNawar).

  • With this, the numbers of Ramsar sites in India are now 37 and the surface area covered by these sites is now 1,067,939 hectares. 

Important Info :
  • The Ramsar Convention was signed in 1971 to maintain an international network of wetlands which are important for the conservation of global biological diversity.
  • Wetlands declared as Ramsar sites are protected under strict guidelines of the convention.
Source : The Hindu
Environment

Current Affairs
Jan. 29, 2020

SPITZER SPACE TELESCOPE
On January 30, 2020, NASA’s Spitzer Mission, which studied the universe in infrared light for more than 16 years, will come to an end since it is low on fuel and has been drifting away from Earth for a few years now.
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About:

  • The Spitzer Space Telescope (SST) is an infrared space telescope. It was launched in 2003 and is planned to be retired on 30 January 2020.

  • This telescope by NASA is named in honor of astronomer Lyman Spitzer, who had promoted the concept of space telescopes in the 1940s.

  • It is one of the elements of NASA’s Great Observatories that include the Hubble Space Telescope and the Chandra X-Ray. Using different infrared wavelengths, Spitzer was able to see and reveal features of the universe including objects that were too cold to emit visible light.

  • Spitzer could also see through large amounts of gas using infrared wavelengths to find objects that may otherwise have been invisible to human beings. These included exoplanets, brown dwarfs and cold matter found in the space between stars.

Source : Indian Express
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Jan. 29, 2020

SIS-DP PROJECT
Union Minister of State for Department of Space inaugurated the 'National Workshop on Space based Information Support for Decentralised Planning (SISDP)-update.' He also launched the Bhuvan Panchayat V 3.0 web portal in Bengaluru.
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About:

  • ISRO had launched 'SISDP' project to assist gram panchayats at grassroots level with basic planning inputs derived from satellite data for preparing developmental plans, its implementation and monitoring of activities.

  • National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), located in Hyderabad, is the lead centre to execute the project. NSRC is one of the centres of ISRO.

  • SISDP phase-I project was successfully concluded in 2016-17. Based on the experience of SISDP phase-I, 'SISDP-Update' has been initiated.

  • The geodatabase, products and services prepared under this project are expected to be disseminated through Bhuvan geoportal, an easy to use Geo portal developed for database visualization, data analytics etc. for the benefit of Gram Panchayat members and other stake holders. 

Source : PIB
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Jan. 29, 2020

RUKUNA RATHA YATRA
During the Republic Day celebrations of 2020, the tableau of Odisha displayed the famous Rukuna Ratha Yatra of Lord Lingaraja worshipped as both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu in a sixth century built temple named 'Lingaraj Temple' at Bhubaneswar.
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About:

  • Rukuna Rath Yatra of Lord Lingaraj in Bhubaneswar is one of the biggest festival of the city.

  • The Chariot Festival of Lord Lingaraja is celebrated at Bhubaneswar on the day of Ashokastami or Basanti Durga Puja.The festival takes place in the month of Chaitra (March-April) the day preceding Ramanavami.

  • On the day of Ashokastami 3 deities i.e. Chandrasekhar – the representative of lord Lingaraja, Rukmini & Basudeva are ceremonially brought to ascend chariot.

  • After that, the chariot is drawn to Rameswara temple and remained there for four days called Gundicha Gharand on the fifth day the three deities start the return journey called Bahuda. 

Source : Outlook
Culture

Current Affairs
Jan. 29, 2020

AIR INDIA DISINVESTMENT
The newly constituted Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism (AISAM) has approved the release of the Preliminary Information Memorandum (PIM) for inviting Expression of Interest (EOI) from the Interested Bidders (IBs) for Strategic Disinvestment of Air India.
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About:

  • The Union government invited bids for a 100% stake sale of Air India (AI) and transfer of management control along with its complete share in two subsidiaries — low-cost international carrier Air India Express and ground-handling arm AISATS.

  • The government has also offered to hive off liabilities worth nearly ₹40,000 crore.

  • On the table is a 100% stake in AI, 100% stake in AI Express Limited (AIXL) and all of the government’s 50% stake in AISATS, which is a joint venture with the Singapore-based ground handling company SATS Limited.

  • The buyer will get a total of 146 aircraft, 56% of which are owned by the airline group, while the remaining are on lease. Any private or public limited company, a corporate body and a fund with a net value of ₹3,500 crore will be eligible to bid.

  • The last date for submitting interest to the transaction adviser is March 17 and the outcome of this round will be known by March 31. 

Important Info :
  • The newly constituted Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism (AISAM) is headed by Union Home Minister and comprises Union Ministers of Commerce & Industry, Finance & Corporate Affairs and Civil Aviation, as members.
  • This is the second attempt in two years by the government at privatising the national carrier. On May 31, 2018, when the deadline for bids closed, not even a single private player had shown interest.
Source : Indian Express
Economy

Current Affairs
Jan. 29, 2020

HCFC-141b
India has successfully achieved the complete phase out of Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)-141 b.
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About:

  • Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)-141 b is a chemical used by foam manufacturing enterprises and is one of the most potent ozone depleting chemical after Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

  • HCFC-141 b is used mainly as a blowing agent in the production of rigid polyurethane (PU) foams.

  • The Ministry of Environment has brought out a Gazette notification through which import of HCFC-141b is prohibited from 1st January, 2020 under Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation and Control) Amendment Rules, 2019 issued under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

  • The complete phase out of HCFC 141 b from the country in foam sector is among the first at this scale in Article 5 parties (developing countries) under the Montreal Protocol. 

Source : PIB
Environment

Current Affairs
Jan. 29, 2020

STCW CONVENTION
The Union Cabinet has approved the Model MoU with foreign countries for recognition of seafarers’ competency certificates, pursuant to STCW Convention, 1978.
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About:

  • International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978 sets minimum qualification standards for masters, officers and watch personnel on seagoing merchant ships and large yachts.

  • The Convention did not deal with manning levels: IMO provisions in this area are covered by the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974.

  • STCW was adopted in 1978 by conference at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London, and entered into force in 1984. The Convention was significantly amended in 1995.

  • One especially important feature of the Convention is that it applies to ships of non-party States when visiting ports of States which are Parties to the Convention.

Source : The Hindu
International
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