Essential Facts (Prelims): 27 November, 2018

RBI reserves

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has “more than adequate” reserves.
  • Therefore, it can transfer over ₹1 trillion to the government.
  • Capping the overall reserves at 20% of the RBI’s book will be able to release more than ₹3 trillion.
  • At present the capping is 28.3% which is higher than 18% recommended by the Usha Thorat panel .

RBI hedging norms

  • RBI has eased hedging norms for companies that raise funds through external commercial borrowings (ECB), a move that will lower the cost of hedging
  • Hedge coverage has been reduced from 100% to 70% under Track I of the ECB framework.
  • Track I refers to medium-term foreign currency-denominated ECBs with a minimum average maturity of 3-5 years.
  • The move will help reduce costs for companies that raise foreign funds.

Fiscal deficit

  • Lower than expected indirect tax and non-tax revenue will result in the government likely missing its fiscal deficit target for the year.
  • Fiscal deficit in FY19 is estimated to be ₹6.67 lakh crore as against the budgeted ₹6.24 lakh crore. This translates into fiscal deficit/GDP of 3.5% for FY19 compared to the budgeted estimate of 3.3%.
  • This means that FY19 will be the third consecutive year in which fiscal deficit/GDP will be 3.5%.

NASA’s Insight

  • It is an unmanned spacecraft.
  • It is NASA’s first to attempt to touch down on Mars since the Curiosity rover arrived in 2012.


  • Mars Insight’s goal is to listen for quakes and tremors .
  • To unveil the Red Planet’s inner mysteries, how it formed billions of years ago,.
  • How other rocky planets like the earth took shape.


  • Hantaviruses cause severe and sometimes fatal respiratory infections and are known to infect lung cells.
  • Infections caused by them are expected to increase in the coming decades as temperatures across the globe rise due to climate change.
  • The danger is that we are totally unprepared for this possibility.


  • CRISPR-Cas9 is a gene-editing technology.
  • CRISPR-Cas9 is a technology that allows scientists to essentially cut-and-paste DNA, raising hope of genetic fixes for disease.


  • About 8,000 light years away, Apep is a supernova that ejects powerful, narrow jets of plasma.