Daily GK Update: 5th January 2020

Isro signs a pact with the astrophysics institute to install optical telescopes

  • New Delhi has signed a pact with the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) to pave the way for collaboration in the establishment of optical facilities under the NETRA Project to track space objects. The agency has also partnered with NIT-Karnataka to establish a regional academic center for space to promote space technology research.
  • Under the Rs 400-crore NETRA project, an early warning system is being established in space to detect debris and other hazards that could pose a danger to India’s space assets, such as satellites and experimental platforms. Like other space powers, NETRA will give the country its own capacity to know the spatial situation.


Eight states finalise action plan to boost agriculture export

  • Eight states have finalised their action plan to set up agri-product clusters to boost agriculture export, working in line with the Central government’s plan to double export and farmer’s income as well.
  • Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Punjab, and Karnataka have finalised the state action plan while others are at different stages of finalisation of the action plan, said the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) in a statement.

Source: Business Standard

National Pension Scheme for traders fails to gain traction

  • The National Pension Scheme for Traders and Self-Employed Persons has failed to gain traction as only about 25,000 persons have opted for the scheme as against the government’s target to enrol 50 lakh by March-end.
  • As per government data, only 84 traders and self-employed persons from Delhi have registered for the scheme so far, while 59 persons from Kerala, 54 from Himachal Pradesh, 29 from Jammu and Kashmir and two from Goa have registered.

Source: The Economic Times

Bhitarkanika census finds an increase of 15 saltwater crocodiles from last year

  • The population of the saltwater or estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) has increased in the water bodies of Odisha’s Bhitarkanika National Park and its nearby areas in Kendrapara district, with forest officials counting 1,757 individuals in this year’s annual reptile census on January 3, 2020.
    Last year, they had counted 1,742 crocodiles in the area.
  • “We formed 22 teams to count the crocodiles in all the creeks and rivers within the park and its nearby areas. The peak winter, exposure of more than fifty per cent of mud banks and the lunar cycle made January 3 an excellent date for the counting of the reptiles,” Bikasah Ranjan Dash, the divisional forest officer of Bhitarkanika National Park, said.

Source: DownToEarth

First-of-its kind turtle rehab centre comes up in Bihar

  • A first-of-its-kind rehabilitation centre for freshwater turtles will be inaugurated in Bihar’s Bhagalpur forest division in January 2020. The rehab centre, spread over half a hectare, will be able to shelter 500 turtles at a time.
  • Forest department officials said the need to build such a centre was felt after several turtles were found severely wounded and sick when rescued from smuggles by rescue teams.

Source: DownToEarth

PM Modi inaugurates 107th edition of Indian Science Congress in Bengaluru

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called upon scientists to follow four steps – innovate, patent, produce and prosper to lead the country towards faster development.
  • Stressing the need to transform the landscape of Indian science, technology and innovation, PM Modi said, the growth story of India depends on its success in Science and Technology sector.
  • Prime Minister was inaugurating the 107th Indian Science Congress (ISC) at University of Agricultural Sciences in Bengaluru today.
  • PM Modi said, India must also develop a long-term roadmap to sustainable and environment-friendly transportation and energy-storage options.
  • He said, the energy sector has become increasingly significant for grid-management as the country expand its energy-management supply.

Source: DD News

NHRC issues notice to Rajasthan govt over reported deaths of over 100 children

National Human Rights Commission, NHRC has issued notice to  Rajasthan Government over the reported deaths of over 100 children in Kota Government Hospital. Taking suo motu cognizance of media reports, the commission asked the State Chief Secretary to submit a detailed report within four weeks in the matter including the steps being taken to address the issue. It also directed the State Government to ensure that such deaths do not recur in future due to lack of infrastructure and health facilities at the hospitals.

Source: News Services Division