1. Census 2021 will for the first time collect data on Other Backward Classes (OBC). The exercise will involve 25 lakh trained enumerators and the use of maps/geo-referencing at the time of house listing is also under consideration. The 2011 Census collected information in 29 categories that included a separate column for Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes. The Census Organisation was set up on an ad-hoc basis for each Census till the 1951 Census when the Census Act was enacted in 1948 to provide for the scheme of conducting population census with duties and responsibilities of census officers. For the first time, the data collected during 2021 Census would be stored electronically.
  2.  Red sanders, predominantly found in Andhra Pradesh, is a species endemic to the southern Eastern Ghats mountain range of South India. This tree is valued for the rich red color of its wood. The wood is not aromatic. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), has in July 2018, reclassified red sanders as ‘near threatened’ from the earlier ‘endangered’. As the species is endemic to India and had been considered endangered, the Foreign Trade Policy of India doesn’t allow its export.
  3. Inland Waterways Authority of India had launched a dedicated portal called FOCAL to connect cargo owners and shippers with real time data on availability of vessels.
  4. Fly ash is a major by-product from thermal power plants. Fly ash is in demand as raw material in cement and brick industry and is also used for the purpose of land filling.
  5. Exercise Peace Mission 2018, the joint military exercise of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). In this exercise, the eight-member states undertake joint training on combating terrorism. This is the first time India and Pakistan participated in the exercise. SCO was founded in 1996.
  6. O-SMART (Ocean Services, Technology, Observations, Resources Modelling and Science) is a programme being piloted by the Union earth sciences ministry. O-SMART will provide economic benefits to a number of user communities in the coastal and ocean sectors, namely, fisheries, offshore industry, coastal States, defence, shipping, ports, etc. Other key missions under O-SMART include, strengthening of Ocean Observations and Modelling, strengthening of Ocean Services for fishermen, setting up marine observatories for monitoring marine pollution, setting up Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Plant (OTEC) in Kavaratti, acquiring two coastal research vessels, continuation of ocean survey and exploration of minerals and living resources, technology development for Deep Ocean Mining and manned submersibles and the setting up six desalination plants in Lakshadweep. It will also enable better disaster warning systems along the coasts.
  7. The Type 002 aircraft carrier is a second generation Chinese aircraft carrier design. The Type 002 will be the first Chinese carrier to feature an integrated electric propulsion system. This will allow the operation of electromagnetic launch catapults.
  8. State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has made oil and gas discoveries in Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal. The firm has found gas deposits in a block in Vindhyan basin in Madhya Pradesh and 24 Paragans district of West Bengal. ONGC had previously opened six out of India’s seven producing basins for commercial production. Kutch, which is to be opened shortly, would be the eighth. Kutch would be India’s eighth sedimentary basin. Cauvery was the last Category-I producing basin which was discovered in 1985. India has 26 sedimentary basins, of which only seven have commercial production of oil and gas. Except for the Assam shelf, ONGC opened up for commercial production all the other six basins, including Cambay, Mumbai Offshore, Rajasthan, Krishna Godavari, Cauvery, and Assam-Arakan Fold Belt. 
  9. The Pakal Dul Dam is a proposed concrete-face rock-fill dam on the Marusadar River, a tributary of the Chenab River, in Kishtwar district of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The primary purpose of the dam is hydroelectric power generation to the tune of 1000 MW.
  10. Lower Kalnai hydro project is a 43 MW project on Lower Kalnai Nalla, a tributary of river Chenab.

Categories: POINT IAS

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