Essential Facts (Prelims): 6 Feb, 2019

LPG schemes

Category: Social sector

  • The government has two major schemes in the LPG sector.
  • PAHAL scheme, the first, involves direct cash transfers to LPG consumers for 12 numbers of 14.2 kg cylinders per year.
  • The second scheme, the Ujjwala Yojana, seeks to give free LPG connections to poor households.

 Magnetic North Pole

Category: Physical Geography

  • Earth’s north magnetic pole has been drifting so fast that scientists that past estimates are no longer accurate enough for precise navigation.
  • The magnetic north pole is wandering about 55km a year.
  • It crossed the international date line in 2017, and is leaving the Canadian Arctic on its way to Siberia.
  • The constant shift is a problem for compasses in smartphones and some consumer electronics.
  • The US and UK tend to update the location of the magnetic north pole every five years in December, but this update came early because of the pole’s faster movement.
  • The movement of the magnetic north pole is pretty fast. Since 1831, it has moved about 2300km toward Siberia. Its speed jumped from about 15kph to 55kph since 2000.
  • The reason is turbulence in Earth’s liquid outer core. There is a hot liquid ocean of iron and nickel in the planet’s core where the motion generates an electric field.
  • The magnetic south pole is moving far slower than the north.
  • Earth’s magnetic field is getting weaker, leading scientists to say that it will eventually flip, where north and south pole changes polarity. It has happened numerous times in Earth’s past, but not in the last 780,000 years.

GI Tag

Category: Human Geography

  • The right to enforce a geographical indication (GI) tag has had a new twist.
  • The Calcutta high court has ruled that Darjeeling Tea as a GI — owned by the government-run Tea Board — for tea originating from the region cannot be claimed for unrelated goods or services.
  • The order came on a case filed by the Tea Board against hotels-to-tobacco conglomerate ITC in 2010 for operating a premier lounge — ‘Darjeeling Lounge’ — at its ITC Sonar Hotel in Kolkata.
  • The plea was dismissed as the court ruled that the GI held by Tea Board is restricted to only goods (tea), and not to services such as lounges.
  • Simply put, GI are names, geographical or figurative representation conveying or suggesting the ‘geographical’ origin of the products.
  • The HC order is one of the first interpreting rights available to a GI holder, which legal experts say will help in defining the ambit of protection provided by GI law in India.
  • GIs registered in India include Darjeeling Tea, Mysore Sandal Soap, Alphonso mango and Surat Zari Craft.
  • The Tea Board was attempting to monopolise the name Darjeeling for itself for all goods and services, even though they have a registration for only tea. Such claim has been denied by court.

 Categorisation of Farmers

Category: Agriculture

  • Marginal : Below 1.00 hectare
  • Small : 1.00-2.00 hectare
  • Semi- Medium : 2.00-4.00 hectare
  • Medium : 4.00-10.00 hectare
  • Large : 10.00 hectare and above
  • The operational holdings are also classified in three social groups, viz., Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Others.

 New Scientific Standard of Kg

Category: Science & Tech

  • The previous definition of kilogram was based on the mass of the international prototype ‘kilogram’ which is an artefact, however, the new definition is based on physical constants of nature.
  • The change is in the definition of kilogram and will not have any practical implications.

Nikshay Poshan Yojana

Category: Social Sector

  • Nikshay Poshan Yojana for TB patients has been launched by the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, for distribution of incentives for nutritional support to TB patients.
  • Benefits under this scheme will be delivered through Direct Benefit Transfer to the bank account of the beneficiary.
  • It is with this objective that the scheme to provide nutritional support to every TB patient at the rate of Rs 500 per month for the duration of their treatment has been initiated from April 1, 2018

Siamese Fish

Category: Miscellaneous

  • The Siamese fighting fish was named Thailand’s national aquatic animal.
  • It is known in the West as a betta fish.