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Prelim Bits 16-03-2017

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March 16, 2017

Madhukar Gupta Committee

  • A committee under the Chairmanship of Madhukar Gupta was constituted to give a report on border protection and address vulnerabilities in fencing along the Indo-Pakistan border.
  • The committee has summited its report.
  • It recommended measures on the issues of threats and border protection, infrastructure and technology issues for protection of border and administrative issues, assessment and deployment of forces on the border etc.

Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES)

  • Ministry of Commerce and Industry has proposed a new scheme “Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES)” to enhance export competitiveness.
  • The scheme focus on bridging gaps in export infrastructure, creating focussed export infrastructure, first mile and last mile connectivity for export oriented projects and addressing quality certification measures.
  • The scheme replaces a centrally sponsored scheme – Assistance to States for creating Infrastructure for the Development and growth of Exports (ASIDE).
  • The Central Government funding will be in the form of grant-in-aid, normally not more than the equity being put in by the implementing agency or 50% of the total equity in the project.
  • In case of projects located in North Eastern States and Himalayan States including J&K, this grant can be upto 80% of the total equity.

Oldest fossil on Earth

  • The oldest fossils on Earth were recently discovered in Quebec.
  • The rocks might be as old as 4.3billion years old.
  • These fossils are tiny filaments and tubes, made of haematite, a type of iron oxide known as jasper.
  • Those tubes and filaments are thought to be the remains of bacteria that lived on iron and dwelt around hydrothermal vent systems and mineral-rich hot springs on the seafloor.
  • The structures were also found to contain graphite as well as the minerals apatite and carbonate. They are generally associated with biological matter.
  • Thus the discovery shows that sophisticated microbes might have been around as early as 4.3billion years ago.
  • The finding also supports the idea that other bodies in the solar system, such as Mars, Jupiter’s moon Europa might also support life.
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