70 Days WAR Plan

Day#51 Current Affairs Flash Cards [70 Days WAR Plan]

Exomoon; United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA); Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP); Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK); Polavaram Project; UMANG app; Periyar National Park; DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018; United Nations Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics;Eta Carinae; ‘Beijing Treaty on Audio-visual Performances’;
By IT's Core Team
May 11, 2019




What is ‘Beijing Treaty on Audio-visual Performances’?

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  • Beijing Treaty on Audio-visual Performances is a multilateral treaty.
  • It regulates copyright for audio-visual performances and expands the performers’ rights.
  • It was adopted on 24 June 2012 by the Diplomatic Conference on the Protection of Audio-visual Performances of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
  • 156 WIPO member states, six intergovernmental, and six non-governmental organizations participated in this conference.
  • Forty-eight countries signed the treaty on 26 June, followed by 19 other countries in 2012 and 2013. 20 states have ratified or acceded to the treaty.
  • The treaty will not enter into force until it has been ratified or acceded to by at least 30 parties.
  • It grants performers four kinds of economic rights for their performances fixed in audio-visual fixations, such as motion pictures:
    • the right of reproduction;
    • the right of distribution;
    • the right of rental; and
    • the right of making available.
  • The treaty has been praised by artists’ and performers rights advocates around the world.
  • It is also being criticized by some digital rights and free culture activists as an infringement on free speech, and aiding censorship schemes.
  • The Beijing Treaty modernizes and updates for the digital era the protection for singers, musicians, dancers and actors in audio-visual performances contained in the Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations (1961).
  • It encompasses the performances of actors in different media, such as film and television, and also includes musicians when their musical performances are recorded in a DVD or any other audio-visual platform.
  • It grants performers economic rights in fixed and unfixed performances, as well as certain moral rights.




What is Eta Carinae?

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About Eta Carinae:

  • Eta Carinae formerly known as Eta Argus, is a stellar system containing at least two stars with a combined luminosity greater than five million times that of the Sun.
  • It is the most luminous and massive stellar system within 10,000 light-years of Earth.
  • It is located in the constellation Carina.
  • It is known for its surprising behaviour, erupting twice in the 19th century for reasons scientists still don’t understand.
  • New findings include Hubble Space Telescope images that show decade-old shells of ionized gas racing away from the largest star at a million miles an hour, and new 3-D models that reveal never-before-seen features of the stars’ interactions.
  • Eta Carinae comprises two massive stars whose eccentric orbits bring them unusually close every 5.5 years.
  • At closest approach, or periastron, the stars are 140 million miles (225 million kilometres) apart, or about the average distance between Mars and the sun.
  • Both produce powerful gaseous outflows called stellar winds, which enshroud the stars and stymy efforts to directly measure their properties.
  • It is thought that the star has about 30 solar masses and emits a million times the sun’s light.
  • Eta Carinae is circumpolar south of latitude 30°S, so it is never visible north of about latitude 30°N.




What are the United Nations Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics?

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About United Nations Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics:

  • United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) adopted the fundamental principles of official statistics in the UNECE region in 1992.
  • The United Nations Statistical Commission adopted these principles in 1994 at the global level.
  • The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) endorsed the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics in 2013.
  • It was adopted by UN General Assembly in 2014.
  • India adopted United Nations Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics in 2016.
  • It will bring professional independence, impartiality, accountability and transparency in methods of collection, compilation and dissemination of official statistics, besides adopting international standards.
  • The adoption will also pave way for devising a National Policy on Official Statistics for improving systems, procedures and institutions consistent with these principles.
  • Adoption of these Principles by Government of India is a basic requirement for their implementation and for reporting compliance to international obligation.

Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics:

  • Relevance, impartiality and equal access:
    • Official statistics provide an indispensable element in the information system of a democratic society, serving the government, the economy and the public with data about the economic, demographic, social and environmental situation.
    • To this end, official statistics that meet the test of practical utility are to be compiled and made available on an impartial basis by official statistical agencies to honour citizens’ entitlement to public information.
  • Professional standards and ethics:
    • To retain trust in official statistics, the statistical agencies need to decide according to strictly professional considerations, including scientific principles and professional ethics, on the methods and procedures for the collection, processing, storage and presentation of statistical data.
  • Accountability and transparency:
    • To facilitate a correct interpretation of the data, the statistical agencies are to present information according to scientific standards on the sources, methods and procedures of the statistics.
  • Prevention of misuse:
    • The statistical agencies are entitled to comment on erroneous interpretation and misuse of statistics.
  • Sources of official statistics:
    • Data for statistical purposes may be drawn from all types of sources, be they statistical surveys or administrative records.
    • Statistical agencies are to choose the source with regard to quality, timeliness, costs and the burden on respondents.
  • Confidentiality:
    • Individual data collected by statistical agencies for statistical compilation, whether they refer to natural or legal persons, are to be strictly confidential and used exclusively for statistical purposes.
  • Legislation:
    • The laws, regulations and measures under which the statistical systems operate are to be made public.
  • National coordination:
    • Coordination among statistical agencies within countries is essential to achieve consistency and efficiency in the statistical system.
  • Use of international standards:
    • The use by statistical agencies in each country of international concepts, classifications and methods promotes the consistency and efficiency of statistical systems at all official levels.
  • International cooperation:
    • Bilateral and multilateral cooperation in statistics contributes to the improvement of systems of official statistics in all countries.

Why in news?

  • On 9th July 2018, the Union Minister of Statistics and Programme Implementation stated that government will soon come out with a National Policy on Official Statistics to bring the Indian system in line with the fundamental principles for official statistics adopted by the United Nations in 2014.
  • The new policy will help enhance people’s faith official data and prevent the kind of recent controversies over the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) figures and other data.




What is Exomoon?

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About Exomoon:

  • An exomoon or extra solar moon is a natural satellite that orbits an exo-planet or other non-stellar extra solar body.
  • The study of natural satellites in the Solar System suggests that they are likely to be common elements of planetary systems.
  • The majority of detected exoplanets are giant planets.
  • In the Solar System, the giant planets have large collections of natural satellites.
  • Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that exomoons are equally common.
  • Though exomoons are difficult to detect and confirm using current techniques, observations from missions such as Kepler have observed a number of candidates, including some that may be habitats for extra-terrestrial life and one that may be a rogue planet.




What are the salient features of the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018?

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About the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018:

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister on July 4th, has approved The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill 2018.
  • The main objective behind the enactment of the bill is to expand the application of DNA-based forensic technologies to support and strengthen the justice delivery system of the country.


  • The use of DNA based technologies for solving crimes and to identify missing persons is well recognised across the world.
  • It will greatly help to solve sexual violence cases.
  • It will help in solving crimes and in tracing missing people.
  • The bill provides for compulsory accreditation and regulation of labs that provide DNA testing and analysis facilities.
  • The primary intended purpose of the Bill is for expanding application of DNA based forensic technologies to support and strengthen the justice delivery system of the country.
  • It will help in establishing the identity of victims in mass disasters.
  • It ensures that the proposed expanded use of this technology in the country.
  • It will enable cross matching between persons who have been reported missing and unidentified dead bodies found in various parts of the country.
  • The bill also seeks to ensure speedier justice delivery and increased conviction rate.
  • There is also the assurance that the DNA test results are reliable, and the data remain protected from misuse or abuse in terms of the privacy rights of the country’s citizens.


  • DNA based evidence is already used to a limited extent in criminal cases, but regulation has not kept pace with its use.
  • Concerns have been raised about the reliability of the DNA evidence and privacy and about abuse and misuse of DNA data.


  • Forensic DNA profiling is of proven value in solving cases involving offences that are categorized as affecting the human body (such as murder, rape, human trafficking, or grievous hurt), and those against property (including theft, burglary, and dacoity).
  • The aggregate incidence of such crimes in the country, as per the statistics of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) for 2016, is in excess of 3 lakhs per year.




Give the location of Periyar National Park.

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About Periyar National Park:

  • Periyar National Park is located in is in the mountainous Western Ghats of Kerala.
  • It was established in 1982.
  • Periyar National Park, also known as Periyar Tiger Reserve and a wild life sanctuary.
  • It is notable as an elephant reserve and a tiger reserve.
  • It is home to tigers and a significant elephant population, as well as rare lion-tailed macaques, sambar deer, leopards and Indian bison.
  • The park is a repository of rare, endemic and endangered flora and fauna and forms the major watershed of two important rivers of Kerala, the Periyar and the Pamba.




What is UMANG app? And what are the services provided by the app?

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About UMANG app:

  • Umang is also known as Unified Mobile Application.
  • It aims to encourage more people to adopt digital payment transactions in the country.
  • It provides people access to more than 100 services, from both the state and central government.
  • The government aims to promote e-governance and adopt a new-age governance policy as part of Digital India initiative.
  • Umang has been developed by the National e-Governance Division (NeGD) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
  • This e-governance application can also be used from other channels such as through the web, SMS, or IVR.

Services provided by the app:

It is a unified application that can be used to avail a number of pan India e-government services such as:

  • Filing income tax,
  • Employee’s Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) services
  • Aadhar,
  • Pension,
  • ePathshala,
  • CBSE,
  • e-Dhara Land Records,
  • Digi Seva,
  • Crop Insurance,
  • Pharma Sahi Daam,
  • Driving licence,
  • Booking a gas cylinder,
  • Passport Seva, etc.




What do you know about the Polavaram Project? And what are the concerns raised on this project?

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About Polavaram Project:

  • Polavaram Project is a multi-purpose irrigation project.
  • It has been accorded national project status by the union government of India.
  • This dam is under construction and built across the Godavari River, located in West Godavari District and East Godavari District in Andhra Pradesh
  • The project will be a one-stop solution for all the water needs of the state.
  • Its reservoir spreads in parts of Chhattisgarh and Odisha States also.
  • Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh entered into agreement which were made part of Godavari Water Disputes Tribunal (GWDT)

Concerns over the project:

  • While the agreement allows Andhra Pradesh to construct the Polavaram reservoir, there are concerns from Odisha against the design discharge capacity of the Polavaram dam spill way stating that there would be additional submergence in its territory during peak floods.
  • The proposed project would displace 276 villages and 44,574 families spread across Andhra Pradesh state mainly.
  • Tribals constitute 50% of such a displaced population.
  • Human rights activists came out against the project because of these reasons.
  • In addition, one activist pointed out that this interlinking of the rivers will harm the interests of the region in the state.
  • Thirty-two years have passed after GWDT award in 1980, Maharashtra, Odisha and Chhattisgarh have not made serious efforts to harness the major Godavari tributaries such as Sabari River, Indravati River and Pranahita River to utilise the allocated share of Godavari waters.
  • This underutilisation of water is the main reason for the very high flood flows at Polavaram dam site.


  • National River-Linking Project, which works under the aegis of the Indian Ministry of Water Resources, was designed to overcome the deficit in water in the country.
  • As a part of this plan, surplus water from the Himalayan rivers is to be transferred to the peninsular rivers of India.
  • It would be the largest ever infrastructure project in the world.
  • In this project the Godavari river basin is considered as a surplus one, while the Krishna River basin is considered to be a deficit one.




The Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) is revamped as?

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  • Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) is revamped as Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK) in May 2018.


  • Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) was identified as one of the Core of the Core Schemes under National Development Agenda.
  • The programme was launched in the year 2008-09 in 90 identified Minority Concentration Districts (MCDs).
  • The programme continued during 11th Five Year Plan.
  • It was a special area development scheme designed to address the ‘development deficits’ seen in Minority Concentration Districts.
  • The MsDP was restructured in June 2013 for implementation during 12th Five Year Plan and the area of implementation was replaced by Minority Concentration Blocks (MCB), Minority Concentration Towns (MCT) and Clusters of Villages.
  • The projects considered are additional class rooms, laboratories, school buildings, hostels, toilets, buildings for Polytechnics, ITIs, Community Health Centres, Primary Health Centres / Sub-centres, Anganwadi Centres, Rural Housing etc.

About Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK):

  • The erstwhile Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) has been restructured and renamed as Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK) by Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for effective implementation in May 2018.
  • Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK) seeks to provide better socio-economic infrastructure facilities to the minority communities.
  • It includes the field of education, health & skill development which would further lead to lessening of the gap between the national average and the minority communities with regard to backwardness parameters.
  • The restructured scheme is to be implemented during the remaining period of the 14th Finance Commissione., March 31, 2020.
  • The Programme aims to address development deficits in the identified minority concentration areas.
  • The identification of minority concentration areas has been done on the basis of presence of substantial population of notified Minority Communities based on Census, 2011.

Funding resources to the program:

  • 80% of the resources under the PMJVK would be earmarked for projects related to education, health and skill development.
  • 33 to 40% of resources under the PMJVK would be specifically allocated for women centric projects.




What are the functions of United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)?

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  • The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) is the United Nations office responsible for promoting international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.
  • UNOOSA is located at the United Nations Office at Vienna, Austria.
  • It serves as the secretariat for the General Assembly’s only committee dealing exclusively with COPUOS.
  • UNOOSA is the current secretariat of the International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG).
  • It is headed by a Director and has two sections:
    • The Space Applications Section, which organizes and carries out the United Nations Programme on Space Applications, and
    • The Committee, Policy and Legal Affairs Section, which provides substantive secretariat services to the Committee, its two subcommittees and its working groups.
  • UNOOSA leverages and forges partnerships with governmental, intergovernmental, non-governmental and private sector institutions to achieve its goals.


  • It works to promote international cooperation in the peaceful use and exploration of space, and utilisation of space science and technology for sustainable economic and social development, by helping to integrate space capabilities into national development programmes.
  • It assists any United Nations Member States to establish legal and regulatory frameworks to govern space activities and strengthens the capacity of developing countries.
  • UNOOSA is also responsible for implementing the Secretary-General’s responsibilities under international space law and maintaining the United Nations Register of Objects Launched into Outer Space.
  • It conducts international workshops, training courses and pilot projects on topics that include remote sensing, satellite navigation, satellite meteorology, tele-education and basic space sciences for the benefit of developing nations.
  • It also maintains a 24-hour hotline as the United Nations focal point for satellite imagery requests during disasters and manages the United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER).
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