- The basic idea of the Aadhaar Payment Bridge System (ABPS), an offspring of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), is that a person’s Aadhaar number becomes her financial address. Instead of having to provide multiple account details (say, her name, bank account number and IFSC code) to receive a bank transfer, she only has to provide her Aadhaar number. Induction of a bank account into APBS involves two distinct steps, both of which are meant to be based on informed consent. First, the account must be “seeded” with the customer’s Aadhaar number. Second, it must be connected to the NPCI mapper — a step known as “mapping”. In cases of multiple accounts for the same person, the APBS automatically sends money to the latest-mapped account.
- As per its commitments to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, India has promised to reduce the emissions intensity of its economy by 2030, compared to the 2005 levels. It has also committed to having 40% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030 and, as part of this, install 100 GW of solar power by 2022.
- On March 1, 2019, the 77th and 103rd constitutional amendments were extended to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) by a presidential order, with the concurrence of the J&K Governor. These relate to reservations in promotions for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the State services and special provisions for the advancement of economically weaker sections, respectively.
- As in Article 370, the provisions of the Indian Constitution do not automatically apply to J&K. To extend constitutional provisions and amendments to the State, a presidential order to that effect has to be passed. This order requires the concurrence of the State government, where the subject matter does not relate to the subjects specified in the Instrument of Accession (defence, external affairs, and communications). For other cases, only consultation is required.
- NOTA is an option given to voters to exercise a negative vote by not choosing any of the candidates who are contesting in a local, Assembly or general election. It came into force in 2013. The NOTA symbol is of a ballot paper with a black cross mark. Even if the maximum number of votes cast in a constituency is for NOTA, the candidate winning the next highest number of votes is declared the winner. At the local level, there have been attempts to expand its scope — last year, the Maharashtra and Haryana State Election Commissions announced that if NOTA garners the most number of votes, then none of the candidates would be declared the winner and a fresh election would be held instead. In the 2014 general election, 1.08% of the electorate chose the NOTA option.
- India successfully conducted an Anti-Satellite (ASAT) missile test, named Mission Shakti, becoming the fourth country in the world to demonstrate the capability to shoot down satellites in orbit. So far, only the United States, Russia and China have this prowess. The satellite downed by the ASAT missile was Microsat-R, an imaging satellite which was launched into orbit on January 24, 2019 using a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). India has built the broad capabilities and building blocks to develop ASAT missiles for some time as part of its Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) programme. A DRDO official claimed that the ASAT missile was a modified exo-atmospheric interceptor missile of the BMD. A LEO of 300 km was chosen to “minimise” debris and it also won’t last more than a few months. Anti-satellite weapons provide the capability to shoot down enemy satellites in orbit thereby disrupting critical communications and surveillance capabilities. ASAT missiles also act as a space deterrent in dissuading adversaries from targeting the country’s satellite network. The Indian satellite that was shot down was a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite. These are satellites roughly at an altitude of 2,000 kilometres from the earth and that’s the region where the majority of satellites are concentrated.
- Resolution 2462 on terrorism financing highlights the obligation states have that prohibit them from making financing available for the benefit of terror organizations “even in the absence of a link to a specific terrorist act.”
- Industry 4.0 is a name given to the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. It includes cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things, cloud computing and cognitive computing. Industry 4.0 is commonly referred to as the fourth industrial revolution. From the first industrial revolution (mechanization through water and steam power) to the mass production and assembly lines using electricity in the second, the fourth industrial revolution will take what was started in the third with the adoption of computers and automation and enhance it with smart and autonomous systems fueled by data and machine learning.
- Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags – RFID uses radio communication between the tag and the reader to identify the object that has the tags attached to it. RFID has been around for decades. Its use dates back to the WWII, when radar technology, technically RFID now, was used to identify whether an aircraft belonged to the enemy or not. Since then, it is being implemented across various industries, such as at toll collection booths; tracking of baggage at airports; by pharmaceutical companies to track their stock in warehouses; and in automobile production to track the progress of a part in the assembly line. It is also used in hospitals to prevent the mixing up of newborn babies.
- The Government of India through a resolution dated 1st June, 2005 set up the National Statistical Commission (NSC). The setting up of the NSC followed the decision of the Cabinet to accept the recommendations of the Rangarajan Commission, which reviewed the Indian Statistical System in 2001. The NSC was constituted with effect from 12th July 2006 with a mandate to evolve policies, priorities and standards in statistical matters. The Commission has a part-time Chairperson, four part-time Members and an ex-officio Member. The Chief Statistician of India, the post created specifically as the Head of the National Statistical Office is the Secretary of the Commission. He is also the Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
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