Current Affairs Current Affairs - 10 December 2014 - Vikalp Education

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Current Affairs - 10 December 2014

Pinaka Mark-II rocket successfully test-fired

  • An advanced version of the indigenously developed Pinaka Mark-II rocket was successfully test-fired on Tuesday from a defence base in Odisha using a multi-barrel launcher.
    The tests were conducted from the Proof & Experimental Establishment (PXE) at Chandipur firing range No. 2, about 15-km from Balasore, defence sources said.
    “Four rounds of extended range, Mark-II version of Pinaka rockets with more than 60-km range were successfully tested today,” PXE director, R. Appavu Raj, told PTI, adding that “some more rounds of test will be conducted in the next four days”.
    The sources said that the Pune-based Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) of DRDO conducted the tests with logistical support from the PXE labs.
    Pinaka, the unguided rocket system meant to neutralise large areas with rapid salvos, has undergone several tough tests since 1995. It has been inducted into the Army and the present trials were conducted with some improvements.
    The advanced version Mark-II rocket with a range of more than 60-km and capable of acting as a force-multiplier, was developed to supplement artillery guns, the sources said.

Climate finance needs equity: report

  • A new report from the World Resources Institute (WRI) on equity and finance says by focusing on the capabilities of countries and communities, there can be progress on the equity concerns that have impeded climate negotiations for decades. The report Building Climate Equity, draws on 30 real-world examples from developing and developed countries that demonstrate how this “capabilities approach” can achieve ambitious low-carbon and adaptation goals.
    According to David Wascow, who authored the report, climate actions in reducing emissions are not done in an equitable manner. Mr Wascow, Director, International Climate Initiative, World Resources Institute, told The Hindu that there were two pillars in equity, one was deciding the capabilities according to certain criteria and the second was taking adequate action to reduce impacts in an equitable way.
    Looking at climate policies and interweaving climate action and equity is gaining importance. For instance Indonesia shifted from fossil fuels and focused on renewable energy, he said. India too has had success in distributed renewable energy provided to communities off the grid. But sometimes adaptation actions can have adverse impacts if they are not thought out properly. For instance where you start to shift fossil fuel subsidy there could be an impact on consumers and some policy and consumer impact funds are needed to support that transition.

Second orbit raising manoeuvre of GSAT-16 performed

  • BENGALURU: The second orbit raising manoeuvre of the country's latest communication satellite GSAT-16 was successfully performed today, Indian Space Research Organisation said. 
    "The second orbit raising operation of GSAT-16 is successfully completed by firing the Apogee Motor for 2203 seconds, at 13:05 hrs (IST)," Isro said on its website. 
    A day after the successful launch of GSAT-16, its Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) was fired yesterday, in the first orbit raising manoeuvre. 
    The orbit of the satellite will be raised to Geostationary Orbit of about 36,000 km altitude through three orbit raising manoeuvres by firing of GSAT-16's LAM Engine. 
    The satellite will be placed in the Geostationary Orbit by December 12. Subsequently, its communication transponders will be switched on for in-orbit testing, according to Isro. 
    GSAT-16 will boost public and private TV and radio services, large-scale Internet and telephone operations. 
    After its launch was deferred twice due to bad weather, GSAT-16 was placed in orbit by Ariane 5 rocket in the early hours on Sunday from the space port of Kourou in French Guiana.

Inequality worst in decades in range of countries: OECD

  • The gap between the rich and poor in a range of countries has reached its widest in 30 years and the trend has harmed growth, the OECD said today.
    The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said in a new report that most of its 34 member countries had seen a growing widening in the inequality gap.
    “In most OECD countries, the gap between rich and poor is at its highest level since 30 years,” the report said.
    “Today, the richest 10 per cent of the population in the OECD area earn 9.5 times the income of the poorest 10 per cent; in the 1980s this ratio stood at 7:1 and has been rising continuously ever since.”
    The OECD counts both developed and developing countries as members, including nations from the European Union as well as the United States, Turkey, Mexico and Japan. China, Brazil and India are not members.
    In the couple of decades leading up to the global economic crisis, average household income grew for all OECD countries by about 1.6 per cent annually.
    “However, in three quarters of OECD countries household incomes of the top 10 per cent grew faster than those of the poorest 10 per cent, resulting in widening income inequality,” the report said.

House panel adopts report on Insurance Amendment Bill

  • Amid opposition from four parties, the Rajya Sabha Select Committee on Monday adopted its report on the Insurance Amendment Bill with a recommendation to keep ownership and control of the firms with Indian companies, while capping foreign investment through any route at 49 per cent.
    The report will be tabled in the Upper House on Wednesday, along with dissent notes from the CPM, Janata Dal (United), Samajwadi Party and Trinamool Congress members. The opposing MPs have been given time till Tuesday evening to submit their notes.
    In a statement, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said he hoped that market expansion would take place once the Insurance Amendment Bill was passed in Parliament.

INDCs should be exclusively devoted to mitigation: EU

  • Lima:  The EU today said the intended nationally determined contributions of all nations on climate should be exclusively devoted to mitigation, a stand opposed by India which want more adaptation elements to be included in the INDCs.
    Miguel Arias Canete, the EU Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action, said the European Union and other developed countries must take into account the concerns of developing countries that want more adaptation, finance and technology sharing elements, but that it should be in a mechanism or process outside of the INDCs.
    “Countries’ intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) should be exclusively devoted to mitigation,” he said, as negotiators at a climate summit here tried to reach a historic deal to be signed next year in Paris.
    Canete said the EU must “redouble efforts” to understand the positions of other countries because the negotiations process is about “active listening”.
    India has been insisting on the need for a balanced inclusion of adaptation efforts in the 2015 Paris agreement and less focus on mitigation.

World’s first herbal Koran unveiled in Dubai

  • The world’s first handcrafted herbal Holy Koran, made from about 200 medicinal plants, has been unveiled here.
    The Koran has been made by the Islamic arts and calligraphy company, Heddem Arts and has been crafted over 23 years from 1957 to 1979 by Turkish Unani Doctor Hamdi Taher.
    The Koran is made of high potency herbal mixtures prepared as per Unani medical system.
    “Herbal sheets of the Holy Koran have many therapeutic properties when the reader moves his fingers on the letters or in and around the pages, the herbal mixture seeps through the pores in the fingers, providing health benefits,” Heddem Arts said in a statement.
    The herbal-cream-written Koran includes 606 pages and weighs about 7.5 kg.
    “Patiently handcrafted over the years, every word and design in the Holy Koran is made without using any printing technology, tools or machinery because of which it is truly one of a kind,” Abdul Azeaz Bin Hassan, Islamic religious adviser at Heddem Arts, said.

Climate summit: Responsibility of developed nations stressed

  • Both India and the United States stuck to their respective stand on the differentiation of countries according to the Kyoto Protocol  which had clear divisions for the developed countries as annexe one and developing countries as non annexe one.
    Union Minister of State for Environment Prakash Javadekar on Monday said that this  differentiation should remain as it is.  India is not in favour of rewriting the Protocol to change the categorisation of countries, he pointed out in a clear indication that historical responsibilities of the developed countries would continue to be a determining factor in funding adaptation and technology transfer. .
    The BASIC or Brazil, South Africa, India, and China group of countries will meet this week and he said the countries are all on the same page on several issues. They also agreed that the intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) should have a strong adaptation focus.  "What carbon space have you released for us to grow?" Mr. Javadekar asked, adding that adaptation needs to be an essential part of the INDCs of developed countries.  BASIC also wants developed

India the brightest spot in Asia Pacific region

  • India has emerged as the brightest spot in the Asia Pacific region as reform has picked up pace in the country in recent months, a top credit rating agency has said.
    “India has been the region’s brightest spot since our last report. After a modest beginning, Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi’s government has picked up the pace of reform, eliminating the diesel subsidy in early November, liberalising foreign investment into the insurance sector, and curbing discretionary government spending for the second half of the current fiscal year,” the Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said.
    Confidence has improved and growth momentum is now at around seven per cent, S&P said in its latest quarterly updates on credit conditions in North America, the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America and Europe.
    In the Asia Pacific region, Australia’s GDP growth continues to trend at around three per cent, buoyed by reasonably solid consumption and still-strong real exports, despite falling iron ore prices, it said.

Palestine gets ICC observer status

  • Ramallah: Palestine has secured observer status at the International Criminal Court (ICC), paving the way for the Palestinians to sue senior Israeli officials for war crimes.
    The position was granted to Palestine at the summit meeting of the 122 ICC member states in New York Monday, Press TV reported Tuesday.
    Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador to the UN, said the move paved the way for Palestine membership of the ICC, adding that the Palestinian government is moving in that direction “but that’s another step in that process”.
    The Palestinian envoy called the move “a further enhancement of our status” in the court, whose headquarters are at The Hague (Netherlands), and in the international arena.
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had threatened to join the court to sue Israel over crimes against Palestinians.
    On Nov 29, 2012, the 193-member UN General Assembly had voted to upgrade Palestine’s status to non-member observer state.
    Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, East Al Quds and the Gaza Strip and are demanding withdrawal of Israel from the occupied Palestinian territories.
    Tel Aviv, however, has refused to return to the 1967 borders and is unwilling to discuss the issue of Al Quds.

New evidence of water on Mars: NASA

  • Led by a team of scientists of Indian-origin, NASA’s Curiosity rover has found new evidence of water on Mars, indicating that the planet most like Earth in the solar system was suitable for microbial life.
    Pictures and other data collected by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity show that rivers once flowed into a lake or lakes at the bottom of Gale Crate, an enormous dimple carved out by an incoming space rock.
    NASA said its interpretation of Curiosity’s finds in Gale Crater suggests ancient Mars maintained a climate that could have produced long-lasting lakes at many locations on the Red Planet.
    The American space agency said Mars’s Mount Sharp was built by sediments deposited in a large lake bed over tens of millions of years.
    “If our hypothesis for Mount Sharp holds up, it challenges the notion that warm and wet conditions were transient, local, or only underground on Mars,” said Indian- American Ashwin Vasavada, who is the Curiosity deputy project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.


    [1] Anshi National Park ——— Karnataka
    [2] Bandipur National Park ———– Karnataka
    [3] Bannerghatta National Park ——— Karnataka
    [4] Balphakram National Park ——- Meghalaya
    [5] Bandhavgarh National Park ——— Madhya Pradesh
    [6] Betla National Park ——— Jharkhand
    [7] Bhitarkanika National Park ——- Odisha
    [8] Blackbuck National Park, Velavadar ——– Gujarat
    [9] Buxa Tiger Reserve ——– West Bengal
    [10] Campbell Bay National Park ——— Andaman and Nicobar Islands
    [11] Chandoli National Park ——— Maharashtra
    [12] Dachigam National Park ——- Jammu and Kashmir
    [13] Darrah National Park ——— Rajasthan
    [14] Desert National Park ——– Rajasthan
    [15] Dibru-Saikhowa National Park ——— Assam
    [16] Dudhwa National Park ——— Uttar Pradesh
    [17] Eravikulam National Park ——– Kerala
    [18] Galathea National Park ——— Andaman and Nicobar Islands
    [19] Gangotri National Park ——— Uttarakhand
    [20] Gir Forest National Park ——— Gujarat
    [21] Gorumara National Park ——– West Bengal
    [22] Govind Pashu Vihar Wildlife Sanctuary —— Uttarakhand
    [23] Great Himalayan National Park ——- Himachal Pradesh,
    [24] Gugamal National Park ——– Maharashtra
    [25] Guindy National Park ——– Tamil Nadu
    [26] Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park ———- Tamil Nadu
    [27] Hemis National Park ——— Jammu and Kashmir
    [28] Harike Wetland ——- Punjab
    [29] Hazaribagh National Park ——- Jharkhand
    [30] Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park ——– Tamil Nadu
    [31] Indravati National Park ——- Chhattisgarh
    [32] Jaldapara National Park ——- West Bengal
    [33] Jim Corbett National Park ——– Uttarakhand
    [34] Kalesar National Park —— Haryana
    [35] Kanha National Park ——- Madhya Pradesh
    [36] Kanger Ghati National Park ——– Chhattisgarh
    [37] Kasu Brahmananda Reddy National Park ——– Telangana
    [38] Kaziranga National Park —— Assam
    [39] Keibul Lamjao National Park —— Manipur
    [40] Keoladeo National Park ——— Rajasthan
    [41] Khangchendzonga National Park ——- Sikkim
    [42] Kishtwar National Park ——— Jammu and Kashmir
    [43] Kudremukh National Park ——- Karnataka
    [44] Madhav National Park ——- Madhya Pradesh
    [45] Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park ——- Andaman and Nicobar Islands
    [46] Mahavir Harina Vanasthali National Park ——- Telangana
    [47] Manas National Park —— Assam
    [48] Mandla Plant Fossils National Park ——– Madhya Pradesh
    [49] Marine National Park, Gulf of Kutch ——- Gujarat
    [50] Mathikettan Shola National Park ——- Kerala

List of Air-ports in India

  • 1. Kolkata – Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport
    2. New Delhi – Indira Gandhi International Airport
    3. Mumbai – Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport
    4. Chennai- Chennai International Airport (Meenambakkam Airport)
    5. Hyderabad – Rajiv Gandhi International Airport
    6. Amritsar – Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport/Raja Sansi
    7. Guwahati – Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport
    8. Ahmedabad – Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport
    9. Bhopal – Raja Bhoj Airport
    10. Indore – Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport
    11. Nagpur – Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport
    12. Lucknow – Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport/Amausi Airport
    13. Varansi – Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport
    14. Patna- Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Airport
    15. Raipur- Swami Vivekananda Airport
    16. Ranchi- Birsa Munda Airport
    17. Bhubaneswar- Biju Patnaik Airport
    18. Chandigarh- Shaheed Bhagat Singh International Airport
    19. Port Blair- Veer Savarkar International Airport
    20. Vasco Da Gama in Goa- Dabolim International Airport

First Ranked States in Mineral Wealth in India

  • First Ranked States in Mineral Wealth (INDIA)
    1. Coal—–Jharkhand
    2. Bauxite (Aluminium Ore)—–Orissa
    3. Chromite (Chromium ore)—–Orissa
    4. Iron Ore—–Orissa
    5. Manganese—–Orissa
    6. Lead & Zinc—–Rajasthan
    7. Calcite (source of marble)—–Rajasthan
    8. Gypsum (used in fertiliser, plaster of paris etc.)—–Rajasthan
    9. Quartz—–Rajasthan
    10. Asbestos—–Andhra Pradesh
    11. Limestone—–Andhra Pradesh
    12. Mica —–Andhra Pradesh
    13. Barytes (used as weighting agent for drilling fluids in oil & gas exploration, barium is used in CT Scan)—–Andhra Pradesh
    14. Diamond—–Madhya Pradesh
    15. Copper Ore—–Madhya Pradesh
    16. Gold—–Karnataka
    17. Corundum (source of ruby, sapphire)—–Maharashtra
    18. Rock Salt—–Himachal Pradesh
    19. Crude Oil—–Gujarat
    20. Natural Gas—–Assam/Nagaland

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