Essential Facts (Prelims): 15th November, 2018


  • Launched on GSLV-MKIII
  • Placed in geo-synchronous transfer orbit
  • Took 17 minutes to reach orbit
  • Weighs 3423 kg
  • It will provide communication services to northeast and Jammu & Kashmir
  • It carries Ku/Ka band transponders


  • Heaviest rocket of ISRO
  • Can carry satellites weighing around 4000kg in Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit ( GTO)
  • Can carry satellites weighing around 4000kg in Low Earth Orbit ( GTO)
  • It carries cryogenic C25 engine
  • It is a three-stage rocket: solid, liquid and cryogenic
  • Cryogenic stage is much more efficient than solid and liquid stages
  • It will also be used in Chandrayan-2 mission and India’s first human space flight

Konark Sun Temple

  • Located in Odisha
  • Built in 13th century
  • Consists of a solar chariot and 12 pairs of wheels
  • Is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • 40% of the artistic stone carvings of the temple have been replaced by ASI with plain stones, Odisha has complained.
  • UNESCO guidelines on restoration of World Heritage Sites mandate that when an original stone carving is lost, it cannot be replicated.

MFN ( Most Favoured Nation) status

  • As per WTO rule, every member of WTO is required to this status to other member countries.
  • India has already granted MFN status to all WTO members including Pakistan.
  • Under MFN status, a WTO member country is obliged to treat other trading nations in a non-discriminatory manner, especially with regard to customs duty and other levies.
  • Pakistan has still not granted MFN status to India. Pakistan allows only 137 products to be exported from India through the Wagah Border land route.


  • Southern states- Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh account for a share of 46% of total remittances that India receives.
  • If Maharashtra is included, the 5 states account for a share of 59 %.
  • India receives remittances of $69 billion from abroad.
  • Kerala receives highest remittances followed by Maharashtra.
  • India is the top recipient of remittances in the world.
  • More than 80% of total remittances received by India originated from 7 countries-US, UK, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman.
  • Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries account for more than 50% of the remittances.
  • After skilled and semi-skilled workers, India diaspora is the second largest contributor of remittances.
  • More than half of the remittances received by India are used for family maintenance( consumption).
  • Rupee Drawing Arrangement ( RDA) is the most preferred mode of receiving remittances. The second most popular channel is SWIFT.
  • RDA enables tie-up between banks and non-resident exchange houses for opening and maintaining their vostro accounts.


  • The Kilogram is to be redefined.
  • Now, Kilogram will be defined in terms of Planck’s constant.
  • At present, it is defined by a platinum-iridium cylinder.

RCEP( Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership )

  • RCEP meeting was held in Singapore recently.
  • Involves 10 ASEAN members.
  • Also involves non-ASEAN members- India, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea.