1. The RTI Act fixes the tenure of information commissioners at five years, subject to the retirement age of 65 years. However, the recent amendments proposed to the RTI Act seek to empower the Central government to decide the tenure, salaries, allowances and other terms of service of all Information Commissioners in the country. Read more at The Hindu. Also, the Election Commission is a constitutional body while Information Commissions are statutory bodies.
  2. The TTZ is spread over 6 Districts: Agra, Mathura, Etah, Firozabad, Hathras in the State of Uttar Pradesh and Bharatpur in the State of Rajasthan. The Taj Trapezium zone also includes small parts of Aligarh and Dholpur. The region as a whole encompasses an area of 10,400 sq. kms. Source: CPCB. The TTZ comprises of 40 protected monuments including three World Heritage Sites – Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. UNESCO.
  3. Edge TPU is Google’s purpose-built application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) designed to run AI at the edge. It delivers high performance in a small physical and power footprint, enabling the deployment of high-accuracy AI at the edge, according to the company; ‘Cloud IoT Edge,’ a software stack that extends Google Cloud’s powerful AI capability to gateways and connected devices. Read more at The Hindu.
  4. The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) functions in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC). As per Rules, 1989, it is responsible for appraisal of activities involving large scale use of hazardous microorganisms and recombinants in research and industrial production from the environmental angle. The committee is also responsible for appraisal of proposals relating to release of genetically engineered (GE) organisms and products into the enviornment including experimental field trials. Read more at: GEAC. The Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 prohibits import, manufacture, use or sale of ‘genetically modified’ food without FSSAI approval. Also, Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 mandates that GM must be declared on food package.
  5. Uganda is known as the pearl of Africa.
  6. India had launched Project Tiger in 1973 to conserve tigers.  Till now, the coverage of “Project Tiger” has increased from 9 reserves to 50 tiger reserves spread across 18 states.  Read more at PIB.
  7. Bamboo has the potential to become the wood substitute in many ways, as modern industrial techniques enable its use to provide flooring, plywood, laminates and furniture. Design handbooks for steel reinforced concrete are being replaced with those for bamboo reinforced concrete, and are becoming the norm in several countries across the globe. Bamboo is now used in walls, beams, columns, doors, windows, furnishings and furniture. It can be used as composites in various industries, apart from bamboo lumber being useful in partitions and the ply for floorings. Even the blades for wind energy make use of bamboo. There are 2,500 applications for the material today in the industry. Read more at The Hindu.
  8. Common Service Centres (through the ‘Stree Swabhimaan Scheme’) are empowering its women entrepreneurs to not only provide sanitary pads at their centres but also to educate women of their society to overcome this social taboo and encourage the usage of sanitary pads. The project focuses on training and establishing a sanitary napkin unit for women and girls to promote menstrual hygiene and to support village level entrepreneurs and SHG groups. It is an initiative under Ministy for Electronics & Information Technology. Read more at CSC.
  9. The town of ‘Badme’ has been in news due to the conflict between the two African nations. The two neighbours remain deadlocked in a conflict that has over time claimed more than 50,000 lives. Also read The Hindu.
  10. The 2018 BRICS summit has been held in Johannesburg, South Africa and this was the 10th edition of the summit. This year’s theme was “BRICS in Africa”. The theme “BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future” was associated with the 9th BRICS summit held in Xiamen, China. South Africa is the last to join the BRICS group.

Categories: POINT IAS

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