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Friday, December 13, 2019

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - 12,13 December,2019

Shore temple

  • The shoreline on the northern side of the Shore Temple in Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu is facing severe sea erosion.
  • The Public Works Department is awaiting funds to construct groynes for coastal protection at a cost of ₹95.95 crore.
  • A groyne is a shore protection structure built perpendicular to the shoreline of the coast (or river), over the beach to reduce longshore drift and trap sediments. A groyne functions as a physical barrier by intercepting sand moving along the shore. 
River Pollution
  • Samples taken from two-thirds of the water quality stations spanning India’s major rivers showed contamination by one or more heavy metals, exceeding safe limits set by the Bureau of Indian Standards.
  • Source of metal pollution: Mining, milling, plating and surface finishing industries that discharge a variety of toxic metals into the environment.
  • The presence of metals in drinking water is to some extent unavoidable and certain metals, in trace amounts, required for good health.
  • India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its 50th flight (PSLV-C48), successfully launched RISAT-2BR1, an earth observation satellite, along with nine commercial satellites of Israel, Italy, Japan and USA from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota.
  • It is a radar imaging earth observation satellite weighing about 628 kg. 
  • The satellite will provide services in the field of Agriculture, Forestry and Disaster Management. 
United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement(USMCA) trade deal
  • The US, Mexico and Canada have finalised the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) that will replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
  • But the deal needs approval by legislatures in the three countries before it can move forward.
  • USMCA is intended to last 16 years and will be reviewed every 6 years.
Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme
  • It allows for purchase of high-rated pooled assets from financially-sound non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and housing finance companies (HFCs) by public sector banks (PSBs).
  • The scheme would cover NBFCs and HFCs that might have slipped into “SMA-0” category during the one-year period prior to August 1, 2018, and asset pools rated “BBB+” or higher.
  • The window for one-time partial credit guarantee offered by the government would remain open till June 30, 2020 or till such date by which Rs 1 lakh crore worth of assets get purchased by the banks, whichever is earlier.
  • The Finance Minister would have the power to extend the validity of the scheme by up to three months by taking into account its progress.
Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT)
  • Cabinet authorises National Highways Authority of India(NHAI) to set up Infrastructure Investment Trust and monetize National Highway projects.
  •  NHAI will set up the Infrastructure Investment Trust(s) (InvIT) as per InvIT Guidelines issued by SEBI.
  • Under InvIT, highway projects will be bundled to form a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to be offered to investors.
  • The SPV would then be traded on the stock exchanges, and returns will be linked to the InvIT’s performance in the capital market.
  • International technology companyIBM plans to make a high-resolution weather forecast model that will also rely on user-generated data to improve the accuracy of forecasts available in India.
  • IBM GRAF, as the forecast system is called, can generate forecasts at a resolution of 3 kilometres.
  • For its forecasts, IBM relies on a global network of sensors — automatic weather station, data bouys and barometric pressure data from cellphones of users who’ve downloaded the application.
  • Weather forecasts will be available to individuals for free download and can be used by farmers.
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
  •  The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has added about 1,840 new species to its updated “Red List of Threatened Species”.
  • It is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species.

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