The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved implementation of an umbrella scheme ‘Ocean
Services, Technology, Observations, Resources Modelling and Science (O-SMART)’.
The scheme will cover a total of 16 sub-projects, which will address ocean development activities such
as services, technology, resources, observations and science.
The services provided under the O-SMART scheme will provide a number of economic benefits to the user
communities in the coastal areas
• The implementation of the scheme will help address issues related to Sustainable Development Goal-14, which emphasises on the conservation of the oceans and marine resources.
-India has also signed the Antarctic Treaty System and joined the Commission of Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) for harnessing the resources.
34. Wind-sensing satellite Aeolus:
European Space Agency launches world’s first wind-sensing satellite Aeolus
• European Space Agency (ESA) successfully launched wind-sensing satellite named ‘Aeolus’ into orbit
on board of Vega rocket from French Guyana.
• It is world’s first wind-sensing satellite dedicated to map Earth’s wind on global scale
.• It will be placed at altitude of 320km above the Earth.
• It is part of the Copernicus project, a joint initiative of European Union (EU) and European Space
Agency (ESA) to track environmental damage and aid disaster relief operations.
33. Thematic Reports on Sustainable Development:
The NITI Aayog on August 23, 2018 released the five Thematic Reports on Sustainable Development in e
Indian Himalayan Region (IHR), listing the challenges in all the defined 5 thematic areas.
The reports discuss the significance, the challenges, the ongoing actions and a future roadmap.
Earlier in June 2017, the NITI Aayog had set up 5 Working Groups to prepare a roadmap for actions in
5 thematic areas that are quite significant for the Himalayas. These areas were:
• Inventory and Revival of Springs in Himalayas for Water Security
• Sustainable Tourism in Indian Himalayan Region
• Transformative Approach to Shifting Cultivation
• Strengthening Skill & Entrepreneurship Landscape in Himalayas
• Data/Information for Informed Decision Making
32. International Nitrogen Initiative:
The International Nitrogen Initiative (INI) is an international program, set up in 2003 under
sponsorship of the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) and from the
International Geosphere-Biosphere Program (IGBP).
Role of new Chairs of INI
• The other INI projects under their purview include the “N-print” activity on nitrogen
foot-printing and cooperation with the Global Carbon Project on establishment of a global nitrous
• The INI holds a conference once in every three years, inviting members of the international nitrogen
community to meet up and discuss ideas and exchange knowledge on nitrogen issues.
EPC (ENGINEERING –PROCUREMENT CONSTRUCTION ) :It is a PPP model in which a private entity is required
to design, procure material & construct the project
BLT (BUILD LEASE TRANSFER) : It is a form of PPP in which a private entity builds a complete project &
leases it to the government
BOOT ( BUILD OWN OPERATE TRANFER) : It is a form of PPP in which a private entity builds the project ,
operates the project to recover its costs & thereafter handovers the project to the government
BOO (BUILD OWN OPERATE ) : It is a form of PPP in which ownership of the project remains with the
30. Insolvency & Bankruptcy code 2016
-The code will apply companies, partnerships, limited liability partnerships, Individuals & other body
specified by the government
-Insolvency resolution process could be initiated either by the debtor or creditor
-As per the code, debtor could be jailed for upto 5 years for concealing property or defrauding
-Resolution process will have to be completed within 180 days with an extension of upto 90 days if
75% of creditors agree
29. Debt Recovery Tribunals
Debt Recovery Tribunals were established under the Recovery of Debts Due to Banks & Financial
-DRT is presided over by presiding officer who is generally a judge of the rank of district & session
-DRT is fully empowered to pass comprehensive orders like civil courts
-Tribunal can hear cross suits , counterclaims & allow set offs
28. What is the difference between Bitcoin and Libra cryptocurrency?
Though popular, Bitcoin cryptocurrency has been known to be volatile, especially in recent years.
Unlike Bitcoin, Libra will be backed by a reserve of real assets, meaning that the value of the
currency will be linked to something with intrinsic value rather than driven by demand or scarcity.
The Libra reserve will include bank deposits and government bonds in several international currencies.
The reserve will be administered by a non-profit associated headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
What is Libra Cryptocurrency?
The Libra cryptocurrency is a digital currency, built on a blockchain designed with security in mind.
It will be stored in a digital wallet called ‘Calibra’, which will be available as an app, as well as
within Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp as an integrated payments system. This will enable users to
send and receive money through messages.
Will the Libra cryptocurrency work offline as well?
Facebook aims for Libra to be used for offline payments as well including for public transport, buying
groceries or paying bills. Facebook also plans to make its cryptocurrency available for exchange from
traditional currency through physical ATM machines.
Who will be able to access the Libra cryptocurrency?
The Libra cryptocurrency will be accessible to anyone with an entry-level smartphone and data
Who will manage the Libra cryptocurrency project ?
Facebook will not be governing the services of the Libra cryptocurrency. The social media giant has
created an independent organisation called the Libra Association, which will build applications
related to the new digital currency.
Where is Bitcoin legal and illegal?
Introduced in 2009, Bitcoin cryptocurrency is popularly used for transactions in many nations across
the world including the United States, European Union, Canada and Australia. However, the
cryptocurrency is considered illegal in many nations such as China, Russia, Vietnam and Bolivia.
27. UNGA 2019: What is UNGA?
UNGA 2019: What is UNGA?
Who gets to vote at UNGA?
Each sovereign state gets one vote and the votes are not binding on the membership, except in budgetary matters.
The UN General Assembly has no binding votes or veto powers like the UN Security Council.
What are the powers of UNGA?
The UNGA can express world opinion, promote international cooperation in various fields and make recommendations to the UNSC and elect the Security Council’s non-permanent members.
Who is the current UNGA President?
The current UNGA President is Tijjani Muhammad-Bande of Nigeria, who was elected to the post on June 4, 2019. He succeeds María Fernanda Espinosa of Ecuador, whose term ends in September 2019.
There are how many countries in the UN General Assembly?
All the 193 UN member states have equal representation in the UN General Assembly.
Which countries are not a part of UNGA?
Among the world’s 196 countries, 193 are UN member states and
three nations- Palestine, the Vatican City and Taiwan are not a part of the international organization as their country status is not recognized globally due to political and religious reasons.
Is North Korea a UN member state?
The two Koreas-North and South Korea were admitted as members of the United Nations in 1991.
Which country always speaks first at the UNGA?
Brazil has always spoken first at the UN General Assembly since the 10th UNGA in 1955.
26. What is UMMID Initiative?
UMMID initiative to tackle inherited genetic diseases of newborn babies
UMMID initiative aims to create awareness about genetic disorders and establish molecular
diagnostics in hospitals.
25. What is NIRVIK scheme? How will it help exporters?
NIRVIK scheme: The ECGC has introduced ‘NIRVIK’ scheme to enhance loan availability for exporters and
ease the lending process.
Under the ‘NIRVIK’ scheme, the gems, jewellery and diamond(GJD) sector borrowers with limit of over
Rs 80 crore will have a higher premium rate in comparison to the non-GJD sector borrowers of this
category due to the higher loss ratio.
The Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (ECGC) is a fully government-owned company that was
established in 1957 to promote exports by providing credit insurance services.