Category: Defence & Security
- The govt is to inaugurate the project BOLD-QIT (Border Electronically Dominated QRT Interception Technique) under CIBMS (Comprehensive Integrated Border Management system) on India-Bangladesh border in Dhubri District of Assam.
- Border Security Force is responsible for safeguarding of 4,096 Km long International Border with Bangladesh.
- At various places, it is not possible to erect Border Fence due to the geographical barriers.
- The 61 Kms of Border area in District Dhubri, Assam where River Brahmaputra enters into Bangladesh is consisting of vast char lands and innumerable river channels thus making border guarding in this area, a daunting task especially during rainy season.
- To overcome this problem, in the year 2017, Ministry of Home Affairs decided to go for technological solution besides the physical presence of manpower of BSF.
- In Jan, 2018, Information and Technology Wing of BSF undertook the project BOLD-QIT (Border Electronically Dominated QRT Interception Technique) and completed it in record time with the technical support of various manufacturers and suppliers.
- BOLD-QIT is the project to install technical systems under the Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS), which enables BSF to equip Indo-Bangla borders with different kind of sensors in unfenced riverine area of Brahmaputra and its tributaries.
- Now, the entire span of River Brahmaputra has been covered with data network generated by Microwave communication, OFC Cables, DMR Communication, day and night surveillance Cameras and intrusion detection system.
- The implementation of this project will not only help BSF to curb all type of cross border crimes but also provide respite to the troops from round the clock human surveillance.
- 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 in Delhi.
- 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.
Stronger Towns Fund
- The British government has set up a £1.6 billion fund in response to the underlying challenges of the country.
- The “Stronger Towns Fund” is meant to target areas that had not “shared in the proceeds of growth in the same way as prosperous parts of the country”.
- The funds would help job-boosting projects in these areas.
Young Scientist Programme
Category: Science & technology
- Indian Space Research Organisation has launched a special programme for School Children called “Young Scientist Programme” “YUva VIgyani KAryakram” (युविका) fromthis year.
- The Program is primarily aimed at imparting basic knowledge on Space Technology, Space Science and Space Applications to the younger ones with the intent of arousing their interest in the emerging areas of Space activities.
- The residential training programme will be of around two weeks duration during summer holidays and it is proposed to select 3 students each from each State/ Union Territory to participate in this programme every year covering CBSE, ICSE and State syllabus.
- Those who have finished 8thstandard and currently studying in 9th standard will be eligible for the programme.
Manipur is to include Meiteis, a non-tribal indigenous community, in the Scheduled Tribes list.
- The country’s first Rajdhani Express, which revolutionised Indian Railways by way of speed and luxury in the 1960s, turned 50.
- The Kolkata-New Delhi Rajdhani Express embarked on its first journey on March 3, 1969.
- It was the first train with meals included in the fares.
- The NITI Aayog has been tasked with drawing up a list of non-core assets of various CPSEs, both healthy and sick ones, as a first step towards Finance Ministry’s plan to monetise such assets and unlock value to shareholders.
- This is part of the overall plans of the government to lay down a procedure and mechanism for monetisation of non-core assets of central public sector undertakings (CPSEs), that include mainly land and building.
- The report by NITI Aayog would be taken up by the alternative mechanism on disinvestment, headed by Finance Minister.
- So far, the disinvestment process was confined to the corporate level. Now, it will go one step down and monetise non-core assets of CPSEs to unlock wealth and generate value on equity for shareholders.
- Life of the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) regime may remain only for the next 10-15 years, as the country’s entire oil and gas exploration as well as production business is shifting to Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy (HELP)-Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP).
- In India there are mainly three different categories — nomination basis: areas given prior to auction rounds; pre-NELP and NELP: where areas were given through auctions based on production sharing contracts; and HELP regime — a uniform licensing regime based on revenue sharing model and OALP.
- Since NELP was introduced in the late 1990s, 314 blocks have been offered under various auction rounds, of which 254 have been awarded.
- From 2017 all new contracts have been signed under the HELP regime. Although most of the producing blocks in the country, at present, are those that have been offered before NELP or after NELP. All these production sharing contracts have a life.
- OALP is a continuous bidding process.
- Six cities across the country have been selected as “live laboratories” for a pilot project under which 1,000 houses will be built using innovative technologies that are low-cost, sustainable and disaster-resistant.
- Six cities have been identified to serve as live laboratories for the Lighthouse Project. These are Rajkot (Gujarat), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Agartala (Tripura) and Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh).
- The Vulnerability Atlas of India is a collation of the existing hazard scenario of the entire country.
- ‘April 2019-March 2020’ has been declared as Construction-Technology year and stress has been put on the use of advanced technology to meet the increasing demand for housing in the country caused by rapid urbanisation.
- Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is an international organization founded in 1969.
- It consists of 57 member states with 40 countries being Muslim Majority countries.
- The organisation states that it is “the collective voice of the Muslim world” and works to “safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony”.
- The OIC has permanent delegations to the United Nations and the European Union.
- The official languages of the OIC are Arabic, English, and French.
National Security Council
Category: Polity & Governance
- The National Security Council is an executive government agency tasked with advising the Prime Minister’s Office on matters of national security and strategic interest.
- It was established by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 1998.
- Prior to the formation of the NSC, these activities were overseen by the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister.