February 11, 2019
6 months


  • Chandrayaan-2 is scheduled to launch in April 2019 and will attempt to soft land a lander and rover in a high plains of the moon.
  • According to ISRO, this mission will use and test various new technologies and conduct new experiments.
  • The mission is planned to fly on a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre on Sriharikota.
  • The mission’s lander is known as Vikram, it will then perform a comprehensive check of all its on-board systems before attempting to land on the lunar surface.
  • The mission's rover is called Pragyanwhich will operate on solar power and perform on-site chemical analysis and send the data to the orbiter above, which will relay it to the Earth station.

Small Grants Program (SGP)

  • Small Grants Program (SGP) is implemented by UNDP on behalf of the GEF (Global Environment Facility) partnership.
  • SGP provides financial and technical support to communities and Civil Society Organizations to meet the overall objective of global environmental benefits secured through community-based initiatives and actions.
  • Through a decentralized, national-level delivery mechanism, SGP finances community-led initiatives to address global environmental issues.
  • The Program is specifically designed to mobilize bottom-up actions by empowering local civil society organizations, and poor and vulnerable communities, including women and Indigenous Peoples.

Sangeet Natak Akademi

  • Sangeet Natak Akademi is national academy for music, dance and drama is the first National Academy of the arts set-up by the Republic of India.
  • It was created by a resolution of Government of India.
  • The academy functions as the apex body of the performing arts in the country to preserve and promote the vast cultural heritage of India expressed in music, dance and drama.
  • It also works with governments and art academies in states and territories of the country.
  • Each year the Academy awards SangeetNatakAkademi Fellowships, Ratna Sadsya, to distinguished individuals for their contribution to the field of arts, music, dance and theatre.
  • UstadBismillah Khan Award is given to young artists for their talent in the fields of music, dance and drama.

River Information System

  • River Information System is a combination of modern tracking equipment related hardware and software designed to optimize traffic and transport processes in inland navigation.
  • RIS is being implemented under the overall responsibility of Inland Waterway Authority of India, a statutory body administered by the Ministry of Shipping.
  • The system enhances swift electronic data transfer between mobile vessels and shore (Base stations) through advance and real-time exchange of information.

Shark Bay

  • Shark Bay is the World Heritage-listed marine ecosystem situated in Australia.
  • Since 2011 it has been devastated by extreme temperatures, when a brutal marine heatwave struck off Western Australia.
  • According to World Heritage Advisory Committee Shark Bay is classifiedas the highest category of vulnerability to future climate change.
  • Shark Bay hosts the world’s most extensive population of Stromatolites – stump-shaped colonies of microbes that date back billions of years.


  • Recently Balkan nation Macedonia has signed accession papers with NATO.
  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization or North Atlantic Alliance (NATO) is an intergovernmental military alliance.
  • It constitutes a system of collective defense whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party.


Source: The Hindu, Down to Earth, PIB

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