Essential Facts (Prelims): 19 January, 2019

Great Indian Bustards (GIB)

  • It is the country’s most critically endangered bird.
  • It is the State bird of Rajasthan.
  • The GIB’s last remnant wild population of about 50 in Jaisalmer district accounts for 95% of its total world population.
  • No progress has been made on the proposal for establishing a captive breeding centre in Kota district and a hatchery in Jaisalmer for conservation of the State bird of Rajasthan.

Young Scientist Scheme

  • It is ISRO’s project to reach out to students.
  • Under the YSP, three students, 8th standard pass, would be selected from each of the 29 States and seven Union Territories.
  • The students will spend one month at ISRO during which they will be given lectures, get access to research and development and will be given experience to build a satellite.

Saturn’s Rings

  • Saturn’s rings may be a relatively recent addition, according to data obtained from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.
  • The findings challenge the notion favoured by some astronomers that the rings developed soon after Saturn formed about 4.5 billion years ago along with the other planets, including the earth.
  • Others felt the rings were much younger, but lacked crucial data like their mass to estimate their age reliably.
  • The ring mass turned out to be 45% lower than previous estimates based on 1980s data from NASA’s Voyager spacecraft. Lower mass indicates a younger age.
  • Scientists suspect the rings formed perhaps when a large icy comet or moon ventured too close to Saturn and was shattered by gravitational forces or moons collided in orbit.

Artificial Intelligence

  • India ranks third in the world in terms of high quality research publications in artificial intelligence (AI).
  • China stands first.


  • Animal Welfare Board of India is a statutory advisory body on Animal Welfare Laws and promotes animal welfare in the country.
  • It was established in 1962 under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
  • It ensures that animal welfare laws in the country are diligently followed, provide grants to Animal Welfare Organizations and advises the Government of India on animal welfare issues.
  • The Board consists of 28 Members. The term of office of Members is for a period of 3 years.