1. Project Sashakt
- Project Sashakt is a five-pronged strategy to resolve bad loans.
- With the larger ones going to an asset management company (AMC) or an alternative investment fund (AIF).
- It was proposed by a panel led by PNB chairman Sunil Mehta.
- According to the committee, banks will have to set up an AMC under which there will be multiple sector-specific AIFs.
- These funds will invest in the stressed assets bought by existing ARCs, such as ARCIL.
Alternative Investment Fund(AIF)
- AIF means any fund established or incorporated in India via privately pooled investment.
- These funds do not happen via the traditional modes of investment such as stocks, bonds, cash, property etc.
- Alternative investments include private equity, hedge funds, managed futures, real estate, commodities and derivatives contracts.
- It comes under Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
2. Eight avian species declared “extinct” in the new study
- The study was conducted by the non-profit “BirdLife International”.
- Some of the 8 avian species declared extinct are:
- The Spix’s macaw- A type of parrot, was last sighted in the wild in 2000.
- The Alagoas Foliage-gleaner- A small forest bird, became extinct in 2011.
- The cryptic tree-hunter- Has not been seen in the wild since 2007.
- The Pernambuco pygmy-owl- A 15cm-tall owl that eats insects and hasn’t been seen in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco since 2002.
- The glaucous macaw- Once found in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil before its palm grove habitat was destroyed to make space for farming.
- The poo-uli, or black-faced honeycreeper- Found on the island of Maui in Hawaii but was last sighted in 2004.
- BirdLife International is a worldwide alliance of nongovernmental organizations.
- It promotes the conservation of birds and their habitats.
- Founded in 1922 as the International Council for Bird Preservation.
- Headquarters in Cambridge, United Kingdom.
- It is the official Red List authority for birds, for the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
- BirdLife International publishes a quarterly magazine, World Birdwatch
Source- The Hindu
3. Trust status has been granted to ‘Bharat Ke Veer’
- The government granted the status of a trust to ‘Bharat Ke Veer’, a private initiative promoted by actor Akshay Kumar.
- Contributions to Bharat Ke Veer has been exempted from Income Tax.
Bharat Ke Veer
- Bharat Ke Veer is a fund-raising initiative by the Ministry of Home Affairs, on behalf of members of the Indian Armed Forces.
- It aids families of paramilitary personnel killed in action.
- It allows donations of up to ₹ 15 lakhs to an individual’s account and donations to the “Bharat Ke Veer” corpus.
Source- The Hindu
4. Leptospirosis: preventive measures stepped up in the Nilgiris.
- It is a rare bacterial infection.
- Caused by corkscrew-shaped bacteria called Leptospira.
- If the infection causes the person to turn yellow, have kidney failure and bleeding, it is then known as Weil’s disease.
- If it also causes bleeding into the lungs then it is known as severe pulmonary hemorrhage syndrome.
- It is transmitted by both wild and domestic animals.
- The most common animals that spread the disease are rodents.
Source- The Hindu
5. China launches new marine satellite HY-1C on Long March-2C rocket
- HY-1A, in May 2002.
- HY-1B, in April 2007.
- It is a marine remote sensing satellite.
- HY-1C is expected to improve China’s ocean remote sensing capability.
- Operated by NSOAS (National Satellite Ocean Application Service).
- HY-1C can detect chlorophyll and suspended sediment concentrations and dissolved organic matter.
- It can affect ocean color, as well as temperatures on the sea surface.
Source- Financial Express
6. Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest living structure, may be recovering
Great Barrier Reef
- The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia.
- It is the world’s largest coral reef.
- The 2,300km-long ecosystem comprises thousands of reefs and hundreds of islands made of over 600 types of hard and soft coral.
- It is a world heritage site.
Source- Business Standard
7. Elusive snow leopard spotted in Himachal wildlife sanctuary
- A snow leopard was spotted at a height of about 4,000 meters in Lippa-Asra wildlife sanctuary in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh.
- The snow leopard is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia.
- The snow leopard inhabits alpine and subalpine zones at elevations from 3,000 to 4,500 m (9,800 to 14,800 ft), ranging from eastern Afghanistan to Mongolia and western China.
- Schedule I under Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.
- Appendix I of Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES).
- Appendix I Convention on Migratory Species (CMS).
- It has been improved from “endangered” to “vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Source- The Hindu
8. Treatment of child-cancer to be covered under Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana.
The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana
- The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana or Ayushman Bharat scheme will be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the birth anniversary of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay on September 25, 2018.
- It is the world’s largest government-funded programme.
- It will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families.
- Providing coverage up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.
- The beneficiaries will be decided on the basis of the Socio-Economic and Caste Census 2011 (SECC) database.
9. Scientists discover first omnivorous shark species which doesn’t eat just meat
- It is shark species which feeds on seagrass for 60 percent of its food requirements.
- Bonnethead sharks eat seagrass along with snails, crabs, bony fish, and shrimp.
- It is the only known case of plant-feeding in sharks.
- This species occurs off the American coast, in regions where the water is usually warmer than 70 °F (21 °C).
- It ranges from New England, where it is rare, to the Gulf of Mexico and Brazil, and from southern California to Ecuador.
- The bonnethead is an abundant species and is currently classified as a least concern species by the IUCN.
- It is heavily targeted by commercial and recreational fisheries.
10. NASA’S Cassini finds six-sided vortex in the atmosphere above Saturn’s north pole
- The Vortex is hundreds of miles above the clouds, in the stratosphere.
- It is similar to the famous hexagon seen deeper down in Saturn’s clouds.
- The edges of this newly-found vortex appear to be hexagonal, precisely matching a famous and bizarre hexagonal cloud pattern we see deeper down in Saturn’s atmosphere.
- The Cassini–Huygens mission, commonly called Cassini.
- Launched in 1997.
- It was a collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Italian Space Agency (ASI).
- To send a probe to study the planet Saturn and its system.
- Including its rings and natural satellites.
- The Flagship-class robotic landed on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan in 2005.
- Cassini was the fourth space probe to visit Saturn and the first to enter its orbit.