Prelims Revision

  1. SpaceX’s new Dragon capsule recently successfully docked on the International Space Station.
  2. India is the second-largest consumer of gold and the largest importer of the yellow metal, importing about 700-800 tonnes annually. According to estimates, temples and households in India have more than 24,000 tonnes of gold, large parts of which are stored in vaults and used on a need basis.
  3. The government recently launched the indigenously-developed National Common Mobility Card to enable people to streamline payments of multiple kinds of transport charges. Dubbed as ‘One Nation One Card’, the inter-operable transport card would allow the holders to pay for their bus travel, toll, parking, retail shopping and money withdrawal.
  4. India will collaborate with Bhutan, Nepal, Indonesia and Malaysia to increase the population of three species of Asian rhinos, including the Greater one-horned rhinoceros found in the Indian sub-continent. The five rhino range nations signed a declaration ‘The Declaration on Asian Rhinos 2019’ for the conservation and protection of the species at the recently held Second Asian Rhino Range Countries meeting. The declaration was signed to conserve and review the population of the Greater one-horned, Javan and Sumatran rhinos every four years to reassess the need for joint actions to secure their future.
  5.  SWIFT is the global messaging software used for transactions by financial entities.
  6. A digital ‘barrier’ has finally filled a 61 km gap on the 4,096.7 km India-Bangladesh border fence three decades after the project kickstarted. Assam shares a 263 km border with Bangladesh. Much of the border was fenced, but a 61 km stretch in Dhubri district remained open owing to the terrain dictated by the Brahmaputra. Comprising microwave communication, optical fibre cables, cameras, and an intrusion detection device, this system is called BOLD-QIT (Border Electronically Dominated QRT Interception Technique) and was established under the Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System.
  7. The Narendra Modi Government has constituted a high power committee to advise it on policy matters related to science, technology and innovation. Named as PM-STIAC (Science, Technology, Innovation Advisory Committee), the 21-member committee, including a dozen special invitees, will be chaired by K Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government. PM-STIAC will effectively supersede the SAC-Cabinet and SAC-PM which will now stand dissolved.
  8. The Niyamgiri is a hill range situated in the districts of Kalahandi and Rayagada in the south-west of Odisha, India. These hills are home to Dongria Kondh indigenous people. The hills have one of India’s most pristine forests in the interior.
  9. ‘Matuas’ trace their ancestry to East Bengal, and many of them entered West Bengal after Partition and after the formation of Bangladesh.
  10. Indore was adjudged India’s cleanest city for the third year in a row in the Centre’s ‘Cleanliness Survey’ announced on Wednesday. The second and third positions were bagged by Ambikapur in Chhattisgarh and Mysuru in Karnataka. Swachh Survekshan covered all urban local bodies in the country, making it the largest such cleanliness survey in the world.