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World Customs Organisation

Why in news?

Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) organised a meeting of the Regional Heads of Customs Administration of Asia Pacific Region of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) in Kochi.

About WCO

  • The World Customs Organization (WCO) is an independent intergovernmental body whose mission is to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Customs administrations.
  • It was established in 1952 as the Customs Co-operation Council (CCC).
  • WCO represents 183 Customs administrations across the globe that collectively process approximately 98% of world trade.
  • WCO is the only international organization with competence in Customs matters and can rightly call itself the voice of the international Customs community.
  • The WCO maintains the international Harmonized System (HS) goods nomenclature, and administers the
 
  • technical aspects of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreements on Customs Valuation and Rules of Origin.
  • It also put efforts to combat fraudulent activities.
  • It is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.

Governance

  • The WCO’s governing body is the Council.
  • It relies on the competence and skills of a Secretariat and a range of technical and advisory committees to accomplish its mission.

Science and Technology

MODIS

Why in news?

China and India are leading the increase in “greening efforts” across the world, says NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data.

About the news

  • China alone accounts for 25% of the global net increase in leaf area.
  • India has contributed a further 6.8%.
  • The greening in China is from forests (42%) and croplands (32%) but in India is mostly from croplands (82%) with minor contribution from forests (4.4%).

What is MODIS?

  • The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) is a payload imaging sensor.
  • It was launched into Earth orbit by NASA in 1999 on board the Terra (EOS AM) Satellite, and in 2002 on board the Aqua (EOS PM) satellite.
  • MODIS is a key instrument aboard the Terra (originally known as EOS AM-1) and Aqua (originally known as EOS PM-1) satellites.
  • Terra's orbit around the Earth is timed so that it passes from north to south across the equator in the morning, while Aqua passes south to north over the equator in the afternoon.
  • The data will improve our understanding of global dynamics and processes occurring on the land, in the oceans, and in the lower atmosphere.
  • MODIS is playing a vital role in the development of validated, global, interactive Earth system models able to predict global change accurately enough to assist policy makers in making sound decisions concerning the protection of our environment.
Chandrayaan 2

Why in news?

Chandrayaan-2, the lunar lander mission planned to be launched during July 9-16, will have 14 Indian payloads or study devices, a mission update of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

About the news

  • The payloads will collect scientific information on lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, lunar
 
  • exosphere and signatures of hydroxyl and water-ice.
  • If successful, Chandrayaan-2 will be the first mission to land a rover near the lunar South Pole.
  • Chandrayaan-2 will make India the 4th country in the world to soft-land on the moon, a feat achieved only by US, USSR and China till now.

About Chandrayaan 2

  • It’s India’s second mission to the moon which is a totally indigenous mission comprising of an Orbiter, Lander and Rover.
  • The 3,800-kg spacecraft includes an orbiter, lander and a robotic rover.
  • The spacecraft will be send on ISRO’s heavy lift booster, the MkIII, from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
  1. Orbiter
  • It will orbit the moon at a distance of 100 km from the lunar surface.
  • After reaching the 100 km lunar orbit, the Lander housing the Rover will separate from the Orbiter.
  • The structure of the orbiter was manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
  1. Lander
  • The lander will detach from the orbiter, descend to a lunar orbit, before attempting to land on the surface.
  • The Lander will soft land on the lunar surface at a specified site and deploy a Rover.
  • It is a five-legged lander called by the name, Vikram that will descend on the moon.
  1. Robotic Rover
  • The mission will carry a six-wheeled Rover called by the name,
  • It will move around the landing site in semi-autonomous mode as decided by the ground commands.
  • The instruments on the rover will observe the lunar surface and send back data, which will be useful for analysis of the lunar soil.
Monkey pox virus

Why in news?

Singapore reports first case of rare monkey pox virus.

About the virus

  • Monkeypox is a rare viral zoonotic disease that occurs primarily in remote parts of central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests.
  • It is an orthopoxvirus that causes a viral disease with symptoms in humans similar, but milder, to those seen in smallpox patients.
 
  • Smallpox was declared eradicated in 1980, whereas human monkey pox is endemic in villages of Central and West Africa.

Transmission

  • The occurrence of cases is often found close to tropical rainforests where there is frequent contact with infected animals.
  • The monkeypox virus is mostly transmitted to people from various wild animals such as rodents and primates.
  • It has limited secondary spread through human-to-human transmission.

Treatment

  • There is no specific treatment or vaccine available although prior smallpox vaccination was highly effective in preventing monkeypox as well.

Economy

Index of Industrial Production

Why in news?

Industrial output contracts 0.1% in March 2019, hits lowest in 21 months.

What is Index of Industrial Production (IIP)?

  • The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is an index for India which details out the growth of various sectors in an economy.
  • It is compiled and published monthly and measures the short-term changes in the volume of production of a basket of industrial products.
  • The aim of IIP is to capture the direction and the trend of industrial production in the country, not the absolute value of industrial production.

Who releases IIP?

  • Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
  • IIP is published monthly, six weeks after the reference month ends.
  • The base year is 2011-12.

Components of IIP

  • The IIP is basically divided into three sectors though a use-based classification is also provided by the CSO.
  1. Mining (373)
  2. Manufacturing (77.633)
  3. Electricity as in the old series (994)
  • Besides the main classification of the index into three sectors, the IIP is also prepared based on six Use based classification.
  1. Primary Goods
  2. Capital Goods
  3. Intermediate Goods
  4. Infrastructure/ Construction goods
  5. Consumer durables
  6. Consumer nondurables
  • The Eight Core Industries comprise 40.27 % of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
  1. Coal
  2. Crude Oil
  3. Natural Gas
  4. Refinery Products (Highest Weightage)
  5. Fertilizers (Least)
  6. Steel
  7. Cement
  8. Electricity

Map Aided Programme

Steel Industries India
  • Jharkhand Jamshedpur (TISCO), Bokaro
  • West Bengal Durgapur, Burnpur
  • Odisha Rourkela
  • Chhattisgarh Bhilai
  • Andhra Pradesh Vishakhapatnam
  • Karnataka Vishveshwarya
  • Tamil Nadu Salem

Previous Year Questions Revision Series (Pqrs)-(2018)

  1. What does venture capital mean?
  • A short-term capital provided to industries
  • A long-term start-up capital provided to new entrepreneurs
  • Funds provided to industries at times of incurring losses
  • Funds provided for replacement and renovation of industries