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India Meteorological Department

Why in news?

With the southwest monsoon running late, the country faces a 38% current rainfall deficit, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

About the news

  • The IMD received 70.9 mm rainfall so far this monsoon season, whereas the long period average is 114.2 mm.

What is Long Period Average?

  • LPA is the average rainfall received by the country as a whole during the south-west monsoon, for a 50-year period.
  • This acts as a benchmark against which the rainfall in any monsoon season is measured.
  • Deficient rainfall - actual rainfall falls below 90 per cent of LPA.
  • ‘Below normal’ - actual rainfall received falls between 90 and 96 per cent of LPA.
 
  • ‘Normal’ - actual rainfall received falls between 96 and 104 per cent of LPA.
  • ‘Above Normal’ - actual rainfall received falls between 104 and 110 per cent of LPA.
  • Excess rainfall – actual rainfall is greater than 110 per cent of LPA.

About IMD

  • India Meteorological Department is the National Meteorological Service of the country.
  • It is the principal government agency in all matters relating to meteorology, weather forecasting, seismology and allied subjects.
  • It was established in 1875.
  • It is an agency of the Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Government of India.
  • IMD is headquartered in Delhi.
  • IMD is also one of the six Regional Specialised Meteorological Centres of the World Meteorological Organization.

Functions

  • It provides current and forecast meteorological information for optimum operation of weather-sensitive activities like agriculture, irrigation, shipping, aviation, offshore oil explorations, etc.
  • It warns against severe weather phenomena like tropical cyclones, norwesters, dust storms, heavy rains and snow, cold and heat waves, etc., which cause destruction of life and property.
  • It detects and locates earthquakes and evaluates seismicity in different parts of the country for development projects.
  • It has the responsibility for forecasting, naming and distribution of warnings for tropical cyclones in the Northern Indian Ocean region, including the Malacca Straits, the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf.

Science and Technology

Curiosity

Why in news?

Curiosity detects unusually high Methane levels.

Why methane matters?

  • At least 90 percent of the methane in Earth's atmosphere is biologically derived.
  • As a result, many researchers regard Martian methane as a possible indicator of Red Planet life.

About Curiosity

  • Curiosity is a car-sized rover designed to explore the crater Gale on Mars as part of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission (MSL).
  • Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) is a robotic space probe mission to Mars.
  • It is launched by NASA in 2011.
  • It successfully landed Curiosity, a Mars rover, in Gale Crater in 2012.
  • The overall objectives include investigating Mars' habitability, studying its climate and geology, and collecting data for a manned mission to Mars.
Chikungunya

Why in news?

The Institute of Life Sciences (ILS), which functions under the Department of Biotechnology, have successfully developed antibodies against the Chikungunya viral (CHIKV) infection.

What is an Antibody?

 
  • An antibody is a protein produced by the immune system that is capable of binding with high specificity to an antigen.
  • These antigens are typically other proteins, but may be carbohydrates, small molecules or even nucleotides.
  • Antibodies are powerful research tools because they bind specifically to a unique epitope on the antigen, thereby allowing the detection of a specific protein in an assay while avoiding detection of unrelated proteins.
  • This specific binding capability also allows antibodies to be used in diagnostic applications.
  • The antibody itself is a Y-shaped protein that contains a constant region common to all antibodies produced by a particular species and a variable region that is unique and specific to a particular epitope.

About Chikungunya

  • Chikungunya is a viral disease (genus Alphavirus) which is transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes.
  • It is an infection caused by the chikungunya virus (CHIKV).
  • The virus is spread between people by two types of mosquitos, Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti.
  • They mainly bite during the day.
  • The name chikungunya originates from a verb in the Kimakonde language, meaning 'to become contorted'.
  • This refers to the 'stooped' appearance of those suffering with joint pain.

Symptoms

  • High fever (40°C/ 104°F)
  • Joint pain (lower back, ankle, knees, wrists or phalanges)
  • Joint swelling
  • Rash
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue

Prevention

  • Overall mosquito control

Economy

Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana and Mudra Bank

Why in news?

MUDRA bad loans rise in FY19, even as NPAs decline across banking system.

About Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana

  • Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) is a flagship scheme to “fund the unfunded” by bringing such enterprises to the formal financial system and extending affordable credit to them.
  • MUDRA stands for Micro Units Development & Refinance Agency.
  • It enables a small borrower to borrow from all Public Sector Banks, Private Sector Banks, Foreign Banks, Micro Finance Institutions (MFI) and Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFC) for loans upto Rs 10 lakhs for non-farm income generating activities.
  • These loans are refinanced by MUDRA, with allocation from the Centre.
  • Any Indian Citizen who has a business plan for a non-farm sector income generating activity such as manufacturing, processing, trading or service sector is eligible for loans under this scheme.
  • It is under the aegis of Ministry of Finance.
 

Major Objectives

  • Funding the unfunded
  • Financing “Last Mile Financiers” of small/micro businesses
  • Priority lending to SC/ST enterprises

Types of loans under PMMY

  1. Shishu : covering loans upto 50,000/-
  2. Kishor : covering loans above 50,000/- and upto 5 lakh
  3. Tarun : covering loans above 5 lakh and upto 10 lakh

About MUDRA Bank

  • It is a statutory refinancing bank set up as the vehicle to implement PM Mudra Yojana.
  • The MUDRA refinances the loans which are offered through commercial banks.
  • It will regulate and refinance all Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) who lend to MSME engaged in small manufacturing, trade or services.
  • It will partner with all state/regional level coordinators to provide easy finance.
  • MUDRA Bank has classified the borrowers into
  1. The starters
  2. The mid-stage finance seekers
  3. The next level growth seekers

Functions of MUDRA Bank

  • It registers, regulates and frame policy guidelines for, accredits and rates micro/small enterprise MFIs.
  • Promoting and regulating responsible finance, right technology solutions, a robust architecture for Last Mile Credit Delivery.

Security

Spike

Why in news?

India has scrapped a $500-million deal with Israel for the purchase of Spike anti-tank missiles from Israel after indigenous developer Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) claimed that it could deliver an alternative within two years.

About the news

  • The DRDO offered to deliver thousands of indigenous MPATGM by 2021, almost the time it would take Rafael to deliver its Strike missiles,

About Spike Missile

  • Spike is an Israeli fourth-generation fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile and anti-personnel missile with a tandem-charge HEAT warhead.
  • It was developed and designed by the Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
  • It is available in man-portable, vehicle-launched, and helicopter-launched variants.

About Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile

  • It is a third generation anti-tank guided missile
  • It was developed by DRDO in partnership with VEM Technologies Ltd.
  • It is fitted with a high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT).
  • It claims a top attack capability and an engagement range of about 2.5 kilometers.
  • It is expected to supplement the SPIKE missile system.
 

Current Affair Capsules

PNS Saad
  • PNS/M Saad is a fast-attack submarine powered with an air-independent propulsion system and the second of the Agosta-/Khalid-class submarines jointly designed and constructed by France and Pakistan.
  • Post-Balakot air strike, Indian Navy hunted for this Pakistani submarine for 21 days.

Map Aided Programme     

MAJOR CROPS  IN  INDIA

Rice:

  • India is one of the world’s largest producers of rice and brown rice, a ccounting for 20% of all world rice production.
  • It is a kharif crop which requires high temperature, (above 25°C) and high humidity with annual rainfall above 100 cm.
  • In the areas of less rainfall, it grows with the help of irrigation.
  • Varieties  :   Aman, Sali, Afghani, Aus, Boro.
  • Soil type :   Clay or Loamy soil
  • Top three producer states are West Bengal, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Rice is grown in the plains of north and north-eastern India, coastal areas and the deltaic regions.
  • Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh and parts of Rajasthan.

Previous Year Questions Revision Series (Pqrs)

  1. Recently, linking of which of the following rivers was undertaken?
  • Cauvery and Tungabhadra.
  • Godavari and Krishna
  • Mahanadi and Sone
  • Narmada and Tapti