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Indian Polity

Indian Enterprise Development Services: IEDS will be formed under the Ministry of Micro, Medium and Small Industries. It aims at strengthening the organization of micro, medium and small industries besides it will also help in recent government initiatives like Start-Up India, Stand-Up India and Make In India.

National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS): The Prime Minister has launched National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme recently in Kanpur. The scheme will be implemented by Director General of Training under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. The scheme aims to provide apprenticeship training to over 50 lakh youths along with financial incentive to the employers to engage actively in apprenticeship programme.

Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojana (PMUY): It was published that the scheme has met its anticipated target this week. The tagline of the scheme is Swatchh Indhan, Behtar Jeevan. This is the first ever social welfare scheme by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. The scheme considered the woman as the head of the household and relied on Socio-Economic Caste Census Data. The social welfare dimension of the scheme can be seen in the fact that SCs and STs households have been given the largest share of the scheme besides woman being considered the head of the household.

Payment of Wages (Amendment) Ordinance 2016: The ordinance enables industries to pay wages through cheque or credit into the accounts of the worker. This is a move towards cashless economy and will amend the Payment of Wages Act, 1936. The ordinance allows the industires to directly pay the wages into the bank accounts of the workers earning up to Rs 18,000 per month without their prior consent.

Swatch Swasth Sarvatra Initiative: Lauched as part of Union Government’s flagship Swachh Bharat Mission, the intiative focuses on strengthening of health centres in open defecation-free (ODF) blocks to enable them to achieve higher levels of cleanliness and hygiene. Under it, financial assistance of 10 lakh rupees will be given to the community health centres so that they can be strengthened to meet the standards of sanitation, hygiene and infection control.

 

Science & Tech

Epsilon-2: It is a solid fueled rocket launched by Japan to study radiation belts around earth. This function will be performed by the payload i.e. satellite - Exploration of energization and Radiation in Geospace (ERG) satellite. The satellite is aimed to study earth's Van Allen Radiation Belt and for that purpose the orbit of the satellite had to be very elliptical. Keeping in mind this requirement the satellite will have a perigee of 350 kilometers and apogee of 30,000 kilometers

Amniotic Fluid: It is the fluid that surround the foetus within the amnion. Recently, the scientists have found out that the stem cells derived from the amniotic fluid are capable of strengthening weak bones. This discovery has a potential of treating astronauts who lose their bone mass in space. An astronaut is expected to lose bone mass density at the rate of 2.5% per month in space.

BHIM App: BHIM is acronym for Bharat Interface for Money. It is an app developed based on UPI - Unified Payments Interface - and Aadhar by National Payment Corporation of India. The significance of this app is that it can work even on basic cellular phones as it supports USSD - Unstructured Supplementary Service Data. This is a direct account to account transfer application and is a software based replacement for debit cards.

Agni V: It is India's Inter Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) developed by DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). The missile was in news recently as it was successfully test fired. The missile has a range of more than 5,500 kilometers and is capable of carrying both conventional as well as nuclear warhead. It has a carrying capacity of over 1 tonne. It operates on fire and foreget principle as it is a ballistic missile. It is kept under the Strategic Force Command that deals with India's strategic and tactica nuclear stockpile.

Hafnium Carbide (HfC): It has been identified by scientists as world's most heat resistant material. Hafnium Carbide is refactory ceramic and can withstand temperature as high as 3958 degree celcius.

Person in News

Anil Baijal: Anil Baijal has been appointed as the 21st Lieutenent Governor of Delhi replacing 20th LG - Najeeb Jung. He is 1969 batch IAS officer of UT Cadre. He has held various important positions under the Government of India that includes Union Home Secretary under Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, Secretary to Urban Development Ministry, designing of JNNURM among others.

Viral V Acharya: Mr. Acharya has been appointed as the youngest Deputy Governor of RBI by the Government of India. He will honour the post which has regular tenure of three years. He is an IIT Mumbai alumnus and did his PhD in Finance from NYU-Stern 2001. He is known for his research in theoretical and empirical analysis of systemic risks of the financial sector, its regulation and genesis in government-induced distortions. His research areas also span across agency-theoretic foundations, credit and liquidity risks as well as their general equilibrium consequences. He once called himself as "poor man's Raghuram Rajan".

Environment

Antlers: Antlers are the extension of skull of some deer varieties. There are three varieties of deer that have antlers: Spotted deer, Sambhar and Barking deer. The Kerala SBWL had approved a request from the state-run Oushadhi to collect and use antlers shed by spotted deer and sambars in zoos for preparing ayurvedic medicines. However, the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 prohibits (bans) sale and use of antlers in India. Tonnes of antlers are kept in the stores of Department of Museums and Zoos as the sale and use of antlers are banned.

Ken-Betwa Link Project: Ken-Betwa River Linking Project was recently in news as it got a go ahead nod from the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL). The project will link the water surplus Ken basin to the water deficit Betwa basin. Both the rivers are tributaries of Yamuna. The nod of NBWL was required as the project required diversion of certain territory beloning to Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh. Betwa river has been a popular river in Indian Mythological epic - Mahabharat - and also referred to by names like Shutimati and Vetravati.

 

Economic Affairs

National Industrial Corridor Development & Implementation Trust (NICDIT): NICDIT will be the apex body to oversee integrated development of all industrial corridors across the country. It will implement all the five proposed industrial corridors, together covering 15 States. NICDIT will function under the administrative control of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) i.e. Ministry of Commerce & Industry. It is a re-designed version of Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project Implementation Trust Fund (DMICPTF).

Char Dham Highway Development Project: The Chardham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojna is an ambitious initiative to improve connectivity to the Char Dham pilgrimage centres in the Himalayas. It will provide uninterrupted access for pilgrims to the four Himalayan Shrines - Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri in Uttarakhand. It will include all weather road connectivity besides tunnels, bridges, fly-overs. It also intends to provide employment in the region.