Essential Facts (Prelims): 12th January 2019



  • ‘Gaganyaan’ would send a manned mission to space by 2022.
  • The Human Space Flight Centre [based in Bengaluru] will carry out all activities related to the human programme. Under it will function the Gaganyaan Project.
  • Gananyaan wil be launched aboard the GSLV-MkIII.

Industrial growth

  • Industrial output growth dropped to a 17-month low of 0.5% in November.
  • The drop is on account of contraction in manufacturing sector.
  • Factory output is measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
  • The manufacturing sector constitutes 77.63% of the index.

Ocean heating

  • Ocean heating is a very important indicator of climate change.
  • A new analysis found that the oceans are heating up 40 percent faster on average than a UN panel estimated five years ago.
  • About 93% of excess heat — trapped around the Earth by greenhouse gases that come from the burning of fossil fuels — accumulates in the world’s oceans.
  • A key factor in the more accurate measurement of ocean heating is an ocean monitoring fleet called Argo, which includes nearly 4,000 floating robots that “drift throughout the world’s oceans to measure its temperature, pH, salinity and other bits of information,”.

Bhartiya Shiksha Board (BSB)

  • It will be the country’s first national school board for Vedic education.
  • It will be a fully-funded autonomous body under the HRD Ministry.
  • Apart from affiliating traditional pathshalas, BSB will also be assigned the responsibility of evolving new kinds of schools that offer a blend of Vedic and modern education.


  • Mauritius, the favourite hotspot of foreign investors to route their investments to India, has witnessed a 70 per cent decline in foreign direct investment (FDI).
  • Singapore which overtook Mauritius has turned out to be the preferred country for routing FDI with a 78 per cent jump in investments.
  • FDI equity flows routed through Mauritius declined sharply reflecting the impact of the amended DTAA (double tax avoidance agreement).
  • After the DTAA amendment, India gets taxation rights on capital gains arising from alienation of shares acquired on or after April 1, 2017, in a company resident in India with effect from financial year 2017-18.
  • Japan came third in the FDI chart .
  • FDI inflows since 2000 has been routed through Mauritius and Singapore which enjoyed special status under the DTAA signed with India in 1982 and 1994, respectively.
  • The DTAA provided for a capital gains tax exemption to resident entities of these countries on transfer of Indian securities. These agreements were amended in 2016 with the purpose of source-based taxation of capital gains on shares, preventing round tripping of funds, curbing revenue loss and preventing double non-taxation.
  • In 2017-18, Mauritius was the top source of FDI into India with $13.41 billion investments followed by Singapore.


  • Having committed $3.03 billion in loans to India in 2018, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) plans to scale up its lending to $4 billion annually.
  • ADB committed the highest ever annual lending to India in 2018.
  • The bank’s lending commitment included $557 million in loans for the private sector.


  • Among all the Gulf nations, the largest outflow of Indian workers in 2018 was to UAE, with about 1 lakh (or 35%) of the total workers being granted emigration clearances.
  • It was followed by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait with 65,000-odd and 52,000-odd workers headed to these countries.
  • In 2017, Saudi Arabia had relinquished its position as being the most attractive destination among Gulf countries for Indian workers. the Nitaqat scheme for protection of local workers — the decline in expat workers, including from India is attributed to this scheme and the economic conditions.
  • Qatar stands out by being the only country in the Gulf region, where the number of workers shows an increase in 2018 as compared to the previous year.
  • there are an estimated 6 to 7.50 lakh Indian migrant workers in Qatar, constituting the largest expatriate community and nearly double the number of native Qataris.