Essential Facts (Prelims): 8 & 9 March, 2019

Chakra III

Category: Defence & Security

  • India sealed a $3-billion deal with Russia for leasing a nuclear-powered attack submarine for the Indian Navy for a period of 10 years.
  • Under the pact, Russia will have to deliver the Akula class submarine, to be known as Chakra III, to the Indian Navy by 2025.
  • It will be the third Russian submarine to be leased to the Navy.

Coins for blind

Category: social sector

  • Prime Minister released a new series of coins meant for the visually challenged coins.
  • The ₹1, ₹2, ₹5, ₹10 and ₹20 coins increase in size and weight from lower to higher denominations.
  • The ₹20 coin will be 12-sided with no serrations.
  • The rest of the denominations are round in shape.

BSE Midcap and BSE Smallcap

Category: Economy

  • BSE introduced the new index series called ‘BSE MID-Cap’ index and ‘BSE Small-Cap’ index to track the performance of companies with relatively smaller market capitalization.
  • BSE-500 Index – represents more than 93% of the listed universe.
  • Companies with large market capitalization bias the movement of BSE-500 index.
  • This necessitated construction of a separate indicator to capture the trend in companies with lower market capitalization.
  • Companies with more than Rs 10,000 crores of market cap are large cap companies.
  • Companies with market caps between Rs 500 to 10,000 crores are mid cap companies.
  • Companies with market cap of less than Rs 500 crores are small cap companies.

Large hydro projects

Category: Energy

  • According to the new policy, large hydro projects will also be designated as renewable energy projects.
  • So far, only smaller projects of less than 25 MW in capacity were categorised as renewable energy.
  • With the removal of this distinction, large hydro projects will be included as a separate category under the non-solar renewable purchase obligation policy.

MSME jobs

Category: Economy

  • The number of net jobs created in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector in the last four years stood at just 3,32,394.
  • The survey shows just three States — Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Telangana — accounted for over 50% of the jobs created in this period (2015-16 to 2018-19).
  • It also shows that 73% of the jobs were created by micro enterprises.
  • “‘Net jobs created’ is defined as recruitment, less exits,”.


Category: Polity & Governance

  • Rajasthan has amended the Lokayukta Act to reduce the Lokayukta’s tenure from eight years to five years.
  • The decision has led to an abrupt end of the term of the present Lokayukta.

Forest survey

Category: Environment

  • A committee constituted by the govt has recommended that forest surveys — the biennial exercise by the government to estimate forest cover — explicitly demarcate trees grown in forests from those grown outside, that is, in plantations and private lands.
  • Currently, the government counts both towards estimating the portion of India’s geographical area covered by forest.
  • India posted a marginal 0.21% rise in the area under forest between 2015 and 2017.
  • India has about 7,08,273 sq. km. of forest, which is 21.53% of the geographic area of the country (32,87,569 sq. km.).
  • Getting India to have at least 33% of its area under forest has been a long-standing goal of the government since 1988.


Category: Geography

  • The Supreme Court cautioned the Haryana government against doing “anything” to harm the ecologically fragile Aravali range.
  • The Aravalli Range is a range of mountains running approximately 692 km in a southwest direction, starting in North India from Delhi and passing through southern Haryana, through to Western India across the states of Rajasthan and ending in Gujarat.


Category: Economy

  • In a first of its kind, State Bank of India has decided to link the interest rate paid on savings bank balance of over ₹1 lakh to the repo rate — the key policy rate set by Reserve Bank of India.
  • Also, the bank will link cash credit accounts and overdrafts, with limits above ₹1 lakh, to the repo rate.
  • The move comes ahead of the April 1 deadline for banks to link the lending rate to the external benchmark which is aimed at increasing the effectiveness of monetary transmission.
  • Most banks are likely to link their lending rates to the repo rate.

White label ATM

Category: Economy

  • In a step to boost activities of white label automated (WLA) teller machine operators, the RBI has allowed such entities to buy wholesale cash, above a threshold of 1 lakh pieces of any denomination, directly from the RBI and currency chests against full payment.
  • WLAs are also allowed to source cash from scheduled banks, including cooperative banks and regional rural banks.


Category: Geography

  • California is experiencing its second super bloom in two years as a wave of rain-fed bright purple, yellow, and orange wild flowers pops up across its deserts.
  • The occurrence happens only when rain and warm temperatures set conditions for mass concentrations of wild flowers.