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Prelim Bits 09-11-2019

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November 09, 2019

Shilpostav- 2019

  • It is the annual fair of artisans belonging to the weaker sections of the society from across the country.
  • It is organized by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • Artisans are assisted by the apex corporations of the ministry such as
  1. National Backward Classes Finance & Development Corporation,
  2. National Scheduled Caste Finance & Development Corporation,
  3. National Handicapped Finance & Development Corporation and
  4. National Safai Karamchari Finance & Development Corporation

Maternal Mortality Ratio

  • According to the recent special bulletin on MMR released by the Registrar General of India, MMR of India has declined by 8 points in one year.
  • MMR has declined from 130 per lakh live births in 2014-16 to 122 per lakh live births in 2015-17 (6.2% decline).
  • Under the National Health Policy 2017, India has set the ambitious target of MMR of 100 lakh live births by 2020.
  • Currently, 11 states in India have achieved the target - Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Telangana, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Karnataka and Haryana.
  • Four states namely Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are behind in containing MMR.
  • India is on the track of achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target for reducing MMR by 2025, five years ahead of timeline of 2030.
  • Initiatives such as LaQshya, POSHAN Abhiyan and SUMAN (Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan Initiative) are launched for reducing MMR.

NASA Artemis mission

  • NASA’s ongoing Artemis program aims to send astronauts to the Moon by 2024 with the ultimate goal to land humans on Mars.
  • The astronauts will be first sent to the Orion spacecraft using the new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.
  • The spacecraft will take the crew to the lunar orbit and will return them to Earth as well.
  • The Orion spacecraft will be docked at the Gateway, from where the astronauts will take expeditions to the surface of the Moon in the human landing system.
  • For the mission, NASA announced it will also be accepting proposals from private space corporations to use their technologies for the exploration program.
  • Boeing has submitted a proposal to NASA about its integrated Human Lander System (HLS) that will minimise mission complexity with its ‘Fewest Steps to the Moon’ approach.

Housing Projects

  • The Union Cabinet has recently approved the establishment of a 'Special Window' fund for housing projects.
  • The fund will provide priority debt financing for the completion of stalled housing projects that are in the Affordable and Middle-Income Housing sector.
  • For the purposes of the fund, the government shall act as the Sponsor and the total commitment to be infused by the Government would be upto INR 10,000 crore.
  • It will be set up as a Category-II AIF (Alternate Investment Fund) debt fund registered with SEBI and would be professionally run.
  • It would provide relief to developers that require funding to complete a set of unfinished projects and consequently ensure delivery of homes to the home-buyers.

Lunar Exosphere

  • The thin gaseous layer encompassing the Moon is the ‘Lunar exosphere’, due to the gas atoms present in it very rarely collide with each other, thus making up a very tenuous structure.
  • Chandrayaan-2 currently orbiting the Moon has detected Argon-40 from an altitude of about 100 km in the lunar exosphere.
  • It has been able to do that with the help of its Chandra’s Atmospheric Composition Explorer-2 (CHACE-2) payload.
  • Argon-40 also known as 40Ar is an isotope of the noble gas Argon.
  • Argon is third most abundant gas in the Earth’s Atmosphere.
  • According to ISRO, Argon-40 originates from the radioactive disintegration of Potassium-40.


Source: PIB, The Indian Express

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