1. Hope Mars Mission
The Hope Mars Mission or Emirates Mars Mission
- It is a space exploration probe mission to Mars.
- Set to be launched by the United Arab Emirates in 2020.
- It will become the first mission to Mars by any Arab or Muslim country upon its launch.
- The mission was announced in July 2014.
- This spacecraft orbiter is a planned uncrewed mission to Mars by the United Arab Emirates to study the Martian atmosphere and climate.
- The mission is being carried out by a team composed solely of Emirati engineers.
- The probe has been named Hope probe or ‘Al-Amal’ and it is scheduled to reach Mars in 2021.
- The Hope probe will be compact and hexagonal in shape and structure, with a mass of approximately 1,500 kg (3,300 lb) including fuel.
- The launch will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the United Arab Emirates’ formation.
Source- Gulf News
2. Cabinet approves the continuation of the Centrally Sponsored Umbrella Scheme of Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats beyond 12th Plan from 2017-18 to 2019-20
- The Scheme consists of Centrally Sponsored Scheme of:
- Project Tiger (CSS-PT)
- Development of Wildlife Habitats (CSS-DWH)
- Project Elephant (CSS-PE)
Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats(IDWH)
- IDWH is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
- Launched during the 11th Plan period.
- To provide technical and financial assistance to States/UTs for protection of wildlife habitat.
- Financial assistance is also provided to States.
- Project Tiger is a tiger conservation programme.
- Launched in 1973.
- The project aims at ensuring a viable population of Bengal tigers in their natural habitats, protecting them from extinction, and preserving areas of biological importance.
- The project was launched in the Corbett National Park of Uttarakhand.
- Project Tiger is administered by the National Tiger Conservation Authority.
- Project Elephant was launched in 1992.
- It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme
- Under the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
- For providing financial and technical support of wildlife management efforts by states for their free-ranging populations of wild Asian Elephants.
3. PM Jan Dhan Yojna to be the open-ended scheme with more incentives
New Changes in PM Jan Dhan Yojana
- The overdraft facility has been doubled from Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 10,000.
- The age limit for availing overdraft facility has been revised to 18 to 65 years from the earlier 18 to 60 years.
- Accidental insurance cover for new RuPay Cardholders has been raised from 1 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh.
Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY)
- PMJDY is a National Mission for Financial Inclusion.
- To ensure access to financial services in an affordable manner.
- Launched in 2014.
- Run by the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance.
- The account can be opened in any bank branch or Business Correspondent (Bank Mitr) outlet.
- The accounts opened under PMJDY are being opened with Zero balance.
4. The government released the curriculum on Experiential Learning – Gandhiji’s Nai Talim in New Delhi
- This curriculum was brought out in 13 languages i.e., Assamese, Tamil, Bengali, Odiya, Kannada, Malayalam, Punjabi, Marathi, Telugu, Gujarati, Urdu, Hindi and English.
- It is a joint effort of the Universities in the state, state SCERT and Mahatma Gandhi National Council of Rural Education (MGNCRE).
- Gandhiji’s Nai Talim or basic education was a holistic approach of developing body, mind, and soul (hand, head and heart), by making a productive art, craft or community engagement activity.
Mahatma Gandhi National Council of Rural Education (MGNCRE)
- MGNCRE, formerly known as National Council of Rural Institutes (NCRI).
- Established on 19th October 1995.
- It is an independent body.
- Funded by the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
- The headquarters of the Institute is at Hyderabad.
- The main objective is to promote and facilitate higher education in the rural areas to develop the livelihoods of the rural people.
- It aims at educating the rural people following the path is shown by Mahatma Gandhi and his revolutionary concept namely “Nai Talim.
5. Pak allows inspection of Kotri barrage by India: report
- Kotri Barrage is a barrage on the Indus River.
- Between Jamshoro and Hyderabad.
- In the Sindh province of Pakistan.
- The barrage was completed in 1955.
- Kotri Barrage is used to control water flow in the River Indus for irrigation and flood control purposes.
- It provides additional water to Karachi city.
Source- The Times of India
6. Indian Roofed Turtles (Pangshura tecta)
Indian Roofed Turtles
- It can be distinguished by the distinct “roof” at the topmost part of the shell.
- It is found in the major rivers of South Asia.
- It is a common pet in the Indian Subcontinent.
- Inhabits the Ganges, Brahmaputra, Indus, and Mahanadi river drainages in Pakistan, northern and peninsular India, and Bangladesh.
- Classified as Least Concern by IUCN.
- Listed on CITES Appendix I.
- Protected under Schedule 1 of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
Source- The Hindu
7. Japan to test mini ‘space elevator’
- This test is the first exploring the movement of a container on a cable in space.
- It’s the world’s first experiment to test travel between two mini-satellites in space.
- The test equipment will be launched on board of H-2B rocket by Japan’s space agency from the southern island of Tanegashima.
- The test involves a miniature elevator stand-in — a box just 6 cm long, 3 cm wide, and 3 cm high.
- The idea was first proposed in 1895 by Russian scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky after he saw the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and was revisited nearly a century later in a novel by Arthur C. Clarke.
Source- The Hindu
8. Cyient JV bags Army order for UAV systems
- Cyient Solutions & Systems Pvt. Ltd., a joint venture between IT firm Cyient and BlueBird Aero Systems of Israel, has bagged an order from the Indian Army to supply mini UAV(unmanned aerial vehicle) systems for high altitude aerial surveillance.
- The order is for the SpyLite mini UAV systems.
- SpyLite is an advanced, combat-proven, electric, mini unmanned aerial system.
- It is fully autonomous.
- From launch to accurate parachute recovery, it delivers enhanced reliability.
- Even in severe weather conditions, assuring long endurance and high operational availability.
Source- The Hindu
9. Ministry of Tourism sanctioned Malanad Malabar Cruise Tourism Project under Swadesh Darshan Scheme for development of a rural circuit in Kerala
- The project will be focusing on the development of water-based thematic cruise experiences in and around Valapattanam and Kuppam Rivers of Kannur District.
- Three thematic cruises being developed under this project will be on Valapattanam and Kuppam River.
- 3 approved cruises are:
- Malabari Cuisine and Culinary Cruise (Muthappan Cruise) – It will start from Valapattanam and will cover a distance of 40 Km to reach Munambu Kadavu in Valapattanam River.
- Theyyam Cruise- It will begin from Valapattanam and will go up to Pazhayangadi in Valapattanam River.
- Mangrove Cruise- In Kuppam River covering a distance of 16 Km from Pazhayangadi to Kuppam.
Swadesh Darshan Scheme
- Launched by the Ministry of Tourism.
- It is a Central Sector Scheme.
- Launched in 2014-15.
- For the integrated development of theme-based tourist circuits in the country.
- It also has provision for voluntary funding under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
- The scheme has identified 13 thematic circuits for development:
- Buddhist Circuit
- North-East India Circuit
- Coastal Circuit
- Himalayan Circuit
- Krishna Circuit
- Desert Circuit
- Eco Circuit
- Wildlife Circuit
- Tribal Circuit
- Rural Circuit
- Spiritual Circuit
- Ramayana Circuit
- Heritage Circuit
Source- Business Standards
10. IAF carries out first ever mid-air refueling of Tejas combat jet
- A Russian-built IL-78 MKI tanker transferred fuel to the jet.
Light combat aircraft Tejas (LCA Tejas)
- It is the smallest and lightest multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft in its class.
- Designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
- The aircraft has a digital computer-based attack system and autopilot mode.
- It can fire air-to-air missiles, carry bombs and precision guided ammunition.
Source- Times of India