Essential Facts (Prelims) – September 06 & 07 , 2019

Rooftop Solar Attractiveness Index

Category: Environment

  • Karnataka has been given the first rank in the State Rooftop Solar Attractiveness Index (SARAL).
  • This index encourages each State to assess the initiatives taken so far, and what it can do to improve its solar rooftop ecosystem.
  • The index captures five key aspects — robustness of policy framework, implementation environment, investment climate, consumer experience and business ecosystem.

New CBI unit to help investigators share info

Category: Polity

  • Centralised Technology Vertical (CTV) would be set up under the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to facilitate real-time information sharing with investigators across the country.
  • India has the second largest users of Internet in the world..

WHO SE Asia Region plans to banish measles, rubella by 2023

Category: Science/tech

  • Member-countries of the World Health Organisation (WHO) South-East Asia Region have resolved to eliminate highly infectious childhood killer diseases measles and rubella by 2023.
  • A resolution to eliminate the diseases was adopted at the 72nd session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia in Delhi.
  • Measles is particularly dangerous for the poor, as it attacks malnourished children and those with reduced immunity. It can cause serious complications, including blindness, encephalitis, severe diarrhoea, ear infection and pneumonia, while rubella/congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) causes irreversible birth defects.
  • Measles elimination and rubella control has been a regional flagship priority since 2014.
  • Bhutan, North Korea, the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Timor-Leste have eliminated measles. Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Timor-Leste have controlled rubella.

Institute of Eminence tag for five

Category: Education

  • The Human Resource Development Ministry has awarded the status of Institute of Eminence to IIT-Madras, IIT-Kharagpur, Delhi University, Banaras Hindu University and University of Hyderabad..
  • Four private universities — Vellore Institute of Technology, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Jamia Hamdard and Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology — were issued Letters of Intent to grant them the status.
  • Each university will be required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry, laying out its plan to achieve the objective of becoming a world-class institution.
  • The public institutions on the list will then be eligible for a government grant of ₹1,000 crore.
  • These institutions will not be subject to UGC inspections, and are free to set their own courses and curriculum, fee structure and merit-based admission systems. They will have complete academic, administrative and financial autonomy.

Opposition questions aid to Russia

Category: International

  • The Opposition on Friday questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of a $1-billion (₹7,167 crore) line of credit (LOC) to Russia for the development of the Russian Far East.
  • This is the first time India has extended an LOC to another developing country (so far, such assistance has gone only to least developed countries).
  • The External Affairs Ministry said the decision was based on a number of reasons, including the fact that there were large Chinese, Japanese and Korean investments in the region. “The Indian line of credit will attract more Indian businesses to the Russian Far East,” said a Ministry note in response to The Hindu’s queries. It said that trade resulting from the line of credit would contribute to the target set by both countries of achieving $30 billion of annual bilateral trade by 2025, which at present is less than $11 billion.

Decline in cotton yarn exports worries mills

Categoy: Economy

  • The continuing decline in cotton yarn exports from April this year has left textile mills worried.
  • Exports to China, Korea and Bangladesh are down.
  • Cotton yarn exports are at a five-year low.
  • India’s share in global textile and clothing exports has also seen a downfall.
  • While India was the second largest exporter of textile and clothing in 2014-2017, it has come down to the fifth position now.
  • The space vacated by China in textile and clothing products has been largely consumed by Bangladesh, Vietnam, Pakistan and other least developed countries.
  • While Indian yarn incurs 3.5% to 4% duty in China, the levy is nil for yarn exported to China from Vietnam, Bangladesh and Pakistan.