Facts in News


    Facts in News

    Olive Ridley Turtles

    • Major nesting sites: Rushikulya rookery coast (Odisha), Gahirmatha beach (Bhitarkanika National park) and mouth of the Debi River.

    Image Courtesy: DTE

    • Scientific name: Lepidochelys olivacea; also known as the Pacific ridley sea turtle.
    • They are the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world.
    • Presence: Found in warm waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.
    • Conservation Status 
      • IUCN Red List: Vulnerable
      • Schedule I of Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
      • CITES Appendix I 
    • Features: 
      • Known for their unique mass nesting called Arribada, where thousands of females come together on the same beach to lay eggs. 
      • These are carnivores and feed mainly on jellyfish, shrimp etc. 
      • The eggs hatch in 45 to 60 days, depending on the temperature of the sand and atmosphere during the incubation period.
    • Threats: Hunted for meat, shell and other anthropogenic factors like fishing trawlers etc.
    • Government Initiatives: Placed under Schedule I Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
      • Making mandatory use of Turtle Excluder Devices, a net specially designed to allow them to escape during the catch.
      • ‘Operation Oliva’ Exercise of Coast guard.


    • Experts say Olive Ridley turtles staying away from Rushikulya rookery in Odisha’s Ganjam is a natural phenomenon and is not unusual.

    Operation Samundra Setu II

    • It is initiated by the Indian Navy to aid in the faster transportation of medical oxygen and other supplies from other countries in view of the surge in cases of Covid-19.
    • Under the mission, the deployed warships will undertake shipment of liquid Oxygen filled cryogenic containers & associated medical equipment in support of the nation’s fight against Covid-19.
    • Earlier, Operation Samudra Setu under the Vande Bharat Mission was launched last year by the Navy to rescue Indian citizens stranded in neighbouring countries amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
      • Vande Bharat Mission was the biggest evacuation exercise to bring back Indian citizens stranded abroad amidst the coronavirus-induced travel restrictions.

    State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF)

    • It was constituted under Section 48 (1) (a) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
    • It is the primary fund available with State Governments for responses to notified disasters.
      • An order issued recently by the MHA treats COVID-19 as a “notified disaster” for the purpose of providing assistance under the SDRF.
      • SDRF shall be used only for meeting the expenditure for providing immediate relief to the victims.
    • The Central Government contributes 75% of SDRF allocation for general category States/UTs and 90% for special category States/UTs (NE States, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir). 
    • Recently, the Ministry of Finance on the recommendation of the Ministry of Home Affairs has released the 1st instalment (i.e. Rs.4436.8 crore) of the Central Share of the SDRF for the year 2021-22 to all the States. 
      • Up to 50% of the amount released i.e. Rs.4436.8 crore can be used by the States for COVID-19 containment measures.

    Tianhe (Harmony of the Heavens)

    • It is an unmanned module launched on the Long March 5B, China’s largest carrier rocket, from the Wenchang Space Launch Centre, Hainan (China).
    • It is one of three main components of what would be China’s first self-developed space station.
      • It will be rivalling the International Space Station (ISS), which is backed by the US, Russia, Europe, Japan and Canada.
      • China was barred from participating by the US.
    • Its launch was the first of 11 missions needed to complete the space station, which will orbit Earth at an altitude of 340 to 450 km.
      • The space station programme began with the launch of a space lab Tiangong-1 in 2011, and later, Tiangong-2 in 2016.
    • China aims to become a major space power by 2030.

    (Image Courtesy: BBC)

    P-8I Patrol Aircraft

    • It is a long-range, multimission maritime patrol aircraft manufactured by Boeing for the Indian Navy.
      • It replaced the ageing fleet of the Indian Navy’s Tupolev Tu-142 aircraft.
    • The P-8I is based on the Boeing 737 commercial aircraft and India was its first international customer.
    • In November 2019, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved the procurement and the US has approved its sale and related equipment.
    • The deal is estimated to cost USD 2.42 billion.
    • With India having signed the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) foundational agreement with the US, the six aircraft will come fitted with encrypted systems.
    • It can conduct anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (AsuW), intelligence, maritime patrol and surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

    (Image Courtesy: NT)

    Pox 186 in Blowing Away State

    • Pox 186 is the first ever galaxy to be found in a “blow-awaystate.
      • It has been observed using data from the Gemini telescope.
    • Blowing away means that the hydrogen clouds around the galaxy have been removed, allowing the high energy light to escape. 
    • Pox 186 is so small that it could fit inside the Milky Way and its compact size, coupled with its large population of stars, which amount to a hundred thousand times the mass of the sun, made the blow-away possible.
    • The blow-away is believed to be caused by many supernovas, or dying stars, exploding in a short period of time.
    • The findings confirm that a blow-away is possible, furthering the idea that small galaxies were primarily responsible for the reionization of the Universe and giving more insight into how the Universe became what it is today.
      • Reionization is the process in which a predominantly neutral intergalactic medium was ionized by the emergence of the first luminous sources.
      • These sources may have been stars, galaxies, quasars, or some combination of the above. 

    SUTRA model 

    • First released in 1984, is a three-dimensional groundwater model that simulates solute transport (i.e. salt water) or temperature in a subsurface environment.
    • The model employs a weight grid that is based on a finite element and integrated finite difference hybrid method framework
    • The program then computes groundwater flow using Darcy’s law equation, and solute or transport modeling use similar equations. S
    • SUTRA has been used to simulate the effects of saltwater intrusion, contaminant transport, and thermal pollution.
    • A group of scientists working on these mathematical models to forecast the surge of coronavirus cases.

    Image Courtesy: Absolute Digital