The world is seeing a rise in cyclonic formations and in cases of cyclones merging to form megacyclones, what is known as the Fujiwhara Effect.
- The Fujiwhara Effect is any interaction between tropical storms formed around the same time in the same ocean region with their centres or eyes at a distance of less than 1,400 km, with intensity that could vary between a depression (wind speed under 63 km per hour) and a super typhoon (wind speed over 209 km per hour).
- The interaction could lead to changes in the track and intensity of either or both storms systems.
- In rare cases, the two systems could merge, especially when they are of similar size and intensity, to form a bigger storm.
Topic: Polity & Governance
Supreme Court launches online portal for RTI
An online portal for filing Right to Information (RTI) applications about the Supreme Court has been operationalized.
- The online portal will streamline responses of the Supreme Court under the Right to Information Act.
- Earlier, RTI applications with respect to the top court were being filed through post only.
Right to Information
- RTI means that any Indian citizen can request any information (which is supposed to be public knowledge) from the offices and departments of the state or central governments.
- The RTI Act mandates that the said offices and departments must process such requests in a timely manner.
Topic: Polity & Governance
Centre widens ED power
The Government amended a 2006 notification to add 15 bodies to a list of entities bound to share information with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
- The agencies added to the list are the:
- National Investigation Agency
- Serious Fraud Investigation Office
- State Police Department
- Director General of Foreign Trade
- Ministry of External Affairs
- Competition Commission of India
- Special Investigation Team
- National Intelligence Grid
- Central Vigilance Commission
- Defence Intelligence Agency
- National Technical Research Organisation
- Military Intelligence
- An inquiry authority
- Wildlife Crime Control Bureau
- Prior to this, only Director (Financial Intelligence Unit), Cabinet Secretariat (Research and Analysis Wing), Ministry of Home Affairs or National Security Council Secretariat or Intelligence Bureau, Economic Offenses Wing of Central Bureau of Investigation, Chief Secretaries of State Governments, RBI, Department of Company Affairs, SEBI — were bound to share information with the ED.
Topic: Polity and Governance
Odisha’s Kutia Kondh tribe
Kutia Kondh tribals’s is now getting into limelight for its contribution to the millet’s survival and subsequent mainstreaming.
Kutia Kondh tribe:
- The Kutia Kondhs are particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTGs) in Kalahandi district, Odisha.
- They live in Lanjigarh, Thuamul Rampur, Madanpur Rampur and Bhawanipatna blocks.
- The Kondhs worship ‘nature’ like many other tribal groups in the country.
- Kutia kondh are mostly dependent on shifting cultivation, cultivation of minor agriculture products and collection of NTFP.
- The practice of youth dormitory are though gradually losing its importance but still prevalent among Kutia kondh villages.
- Dhap, Salap baja are the important musical instruments of Kutia Kondhs.
Topic: International Relations
India, France discussion on defence industrial cooperation
During the 4th India-France annual defence dialogue, both countries discusses defence industrial cooperation with a focus on ‘Make in India’ and to strengthen maritime cooperation and increase the scope and complexity of bilateral exercises.
Assessing India-France Bilateral Relations:
- France was one of the first countries with which India signed a “strategic partnership” after the end of the Cold War, in January 1998.
- France was one of the very few countries to support India’s decision to test nuclear weapons in 19+98.
- Defence Cooperation:
- Both countries have a defence dialogue at the Ministerial level.
- The three services have regular defence exercises; viz.
- Exercise Shakti (Army)
- Exercise Varuna (Navy)
- Exercise Garuda (Air Force)
- Recently, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has inducted French Rafale multi-role combat aircraft.
- There is an Agreement regarding the Provision of Reciprocal Logistics Support.
- This agreement aims to help to facilitate the replenishment of fuel, rations, spares, and berthing and maintenance for the other nations’ warships, military aircraft and troops during routine port calls, as well as during Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR).
Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA):
IORA is a dynamic inter-governmental organisation aimed at strengthening regional cooperation and sustainable development within the Indian Ocean region through its 23 Member States and 10 Dialogue Partners.
Private equity funds
- IRDAI allowed insurers to invest for Private equity funds
What are Private Equity funds?
- Similar to a mutual fund or hedge fund, a private equity fund is a pooled investment vehicle where the adviser pools together the money invested in the fund by all the investors and uses that money to make investments on behalf of the fund.
- Difference: Unlike mutual funds or hedge funds, however, private equity firms often focus on long-term investment opportunities in assets that take time to sell with an investment time horizon typically of 10 or more years.
- Although a private equity fund may be advised by an adviser that is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), private equity funds themselves are not registered with the SEC.
- As a result, private equity funds are not subject to regular public disclosure requirements.
- A private equity fund is typically open only to accredited investors and qualified clients, they include;
- Institutional investors, such as insurance companies, university endowments and pension funds, and high income and net worth individuals.
- The initial investment amount for a private equity investment is often very high.
Topic: Science & Technology
A close-up of the Moon
- NASA's Orion spacecraft has sent back close-up pictures of the Moon as the Artemis 1 mission made its closest approach to the lunar body.
- This was the first time that such close images of the Moon were snapped by a "human-rated vessel since Apollo - 80 mi (128 km) above the lunar surface.
- The Apollo program had ended in 1975.
- Orion is part of NASA’s Artemis program.
- Artemis I is an un-crewed mission and aims to test NASA's Space Launch System rocket and the Orion spacecraft before it sends humans to the Moon in future.
- If this mission is successful, NASA will then conduct a human trip around the moon in 2024, which will be known as Artemis II.
India's proposal for enhance protection to Leith's softshell turtle adopted
- CITES adopted India's proposal for enhancing protection status to Leith's softshell turtle.
- Aim: The transfer of Leith's softshell turtle from CITES Appendix II to Appendix I would ensure that legal international trade in the species does not take place for commercial purposes.
- Leith's softshell turtle is a large freshwater soft-shelled turtle which inhabits rivers and reservoirs. It is endemic to peninsular India.
- Protection Status:
- Critically endangered – by IUCN
- The species is listed on Schedule IV of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, which gives it protection from hunting and trade. ‘