1. The Xingkong-2 or Starry Sky-2 is China’s first hypersonic aircraft which can carry nuclear warheads and penetrate any current generation anti-missile defence systems. Read more at The Hindu.
  2. PAC is a financial committee of the Parliament. The primary function of the PAC is to hold the executive to account for its use of public money. The PAC comprises of both the members of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, however, out of 22 members of the PAC, 15 are from the Lok Sabha and 7 are from the Rajya Sabha as per the current rules. Read more at: Loksabha Website.
  3. (Answer – Only 1, 2 and 4). RuPay is a product of NPCI, the umbrella organisation that powers retail payments in the country. National Financial Switch (NFS) and Cheque Truncation System (CTS) are other flagship products of NPCI. Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS), also a product of NPCI has also been launched in pilot mode. The two apps developed by National Highway Authority of India — MyFASTag and FASTag Partner — will facilitate the availability of FASTags for electronic toll collection making it possible to buy or recharge FASTags online. While MyFASTag is a consumer app where one can purchase or recharge FASTags, FASTag Partner is a merchant app. Read more at: NPCI and Economic Times.
  4. NPCI is an umbrella organisation for operating retail payments and settlement systems in India. NPCI has been incorporated as a “Not for Profit Company under the provisions of Section 25 of Companies Act 1956 (now Section 8 of Companies Act 2013), with an intention to provide infrastructure to entire banking system in India for physical as well as electronic payment and settlement systems. NPCI is an initiative of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) under the provisions of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007.
  5. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands comprise of islands, numbering around 572, which are covered with dense rain-fed, damp and evergreen forests and endless varieties of exotic flora and fauna. Great Nicobar is situated at the southernmost tip of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Indian Citizens do not require a Restricted Area Permit to visit the inhabited areas of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This facility is soon going to be extended to foreigners as well to visit 29 inhabited islands in the Andaman and Nicobar chain. This is being done to boost tourism. However, citizens of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan and foreign nationals having their origin in these countries would continue to require RAP. Source: A&N Tourism. Also read: The Hindu.
  6. A study of trombiculid mites in eastern Uttar Pradesh by Chennai’s Vector Control Research Centre (VCRC) has found that the mites carried Orientia tsutsugumashi, the bacterium which causes scrub typhus. This disease has been in news as data from Gorakhpur’s Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College has confirmed that the majority of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) patients admitted to the hospital between August and October each year have scrub typhus. Therefore, AES can be prevented if detected and cured at the scrub typhus stage. Also read: The Hindu.
  7. The correct pairings are EADS CASA: Spain & Dassault Aviation: France. Boeing and EADS CASA have been in news as a result of a recently tabled report in which the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has pulled up the UPA government for changing the parameters of the deal for the procurement of Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance Anti-Submarine Warfare (LRMRASW) aircraft to unduly favour Boeing of the U.S over EADS CASA: Spain. Dassault Aviation based in France in the manufacturer of Rafale jets which have been in news recently for allegations of mismanagement of funds. Also read: The Hindu.
  8. GST is a destination based tax and is divided into three categories – State Goods and Services Tax (SGST), Central Goods and Services Tax and Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST). While both Central GST and State GST is applicable on intra- State transactions, only Integrated GST is applicable on inter-state transactions. Also read: The Hindu.
  9. LPA is the average rainfall received by the country as a whole during the south-west monsoon, for a 50-year period. The current LPA is 89 cm, based on the average rainfall over years 1951 and 2000. This acts as a benchmark against which the rainfall in any monsoon season is measured. The country is said to have received deficient rainfall if the actual rainfall falls below 90 per cent of LPA. Similarly, the country is said to have received excess rainfall if the rainfall is greater than 110 per cent of LPA. It is deemed ‘normal’ when the actual rainfall received falls between 96 and 104 per cent of LPA. Source: The Hindu Business Line.
  10. The Director General of Meteorology is the head of the IMD. There are six Regional Meteorological Centres each under a Deputy Director General with headquarters at Mumbai, Chennai, New Delhi, Calcutta, Nagpur and Guwahati. The IMD is under the Ministry of Earth Science. Source: IMD Website.

Categories: POINT IAS

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