Essential Facts (Prelims): 30 November, 2018


  • PSLV-C43 successfully launched 31 satellites.
  • from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) today in Sriharikota.
  • It injected India’s Hyper-Spectral Imaging Satellite (HysIS) into a 645 km sun-synchronous polar orbit.
  • It took 17 minutes and 19 seconds after the lift-off.
  • PSLV is a four stage launch vehicle with a large solid rocket motor forming the first stage, an earth storable liquid stage as the second stage, a high performance solid rocket motor as third stage and a liquid stage with engines as fourth stage.
  • It was the 45th flight of PSLV and 13th one in the Core Alone configuration.
  • So far, the PSLV has launched 44 Indian and nine satellites built by students from Indian universities. The vehicle has also launched 269 international customer satellites.
  • HysIS is an earth observation satellite built around ISRO’s Mini Satellite2 (IMS-2) bus weighing about 380kg. The mission life of the satellite is five years.


  • The primary goal of HysIS is to study the earth’s surface in both the visible, near infrared and shortwave infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • Data from the satellite will be used for a wide range of applications including agriculture, forestry, soil/geological environments, coastal zones and inland waters, etc.
  • The main purpose of the HysIS is to exactly identify the objects on the surface of the earth with high precision and resolution.


  • The organisation for Economic Cooperation Development (OECD) has agreed to tweak the PISA test questions to fit the Indian context.
  • India has decided to end its decade-long boycott of the examination..
  • PISA or Programme for International Student Assessment — introduced in the year 2000 by OECD — tests the learning levels of 15-year-olds in reading, mathematics and science.
  • The test is carried out every three years.
  • India stayed away from PISA in 2012 and 2015 on account of its dismal performance in 2009.
  • The government had blamed “out of context” questions for the poor show in 2009.


  • RBI has decided to relax the Minimum Holding Period (MHP) requirement for originating NBFCs.
  • They are now allowed to securitise loans with maturity of more than five years as compared to one year earlier.
  • This move of RBI aims to make more liquidity available to non-banking finance firms.
  • The NBFC sector is facing liquidity shortage after Infrastructure Leasing & Finance Services, a core investment company, started defaulting on loans.


  • RBI has decided to make Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) code mandatory for all market participants regulated by the central bank.
  • The LEI code has been conceived of as a key measure to improve the quality and accuracy of financial data systems for better risk management post the global financial crisis.
  • The LEI is a 20-character unique identity code assigned to entities who are parties to a financial transaction.
  • Globally, use of LEI has expanded beyond derivative reporting and it is being used in areas relating to banking, securities market, credit rating and market supervision.

Mini placenta

  • Scientists have successfully created ‘mini-placentas’ that can provide a window into early pregnancy and help transform our understanding of reproductive disorders such as still-birth and miscarriage.
  • The placenta supplies all the oxygen and nutrients essential for growth of the foetus.
  • It may also be used for screening the safety of drugs.


  • KONKAN is a bilateral exercise between navies of India and UK.
  • The KONKAN series of exercises commenced in 2004.