Facts in News



    Facts in News

    Axiom Space-1

    • The Axiom Mission 1 (AX 1) is the first private orbital space mission onboard a commercially built spacecraft, the SpaceX Dragon 2.
      • Launch Year: 2022
      • It is organised by Houston-based spaceflight firm Axiom
      • This mission will be held under a commercial agreement with NASA.
    • Under this mission, humans will be travelled into space e.g; International Space Station for a 8-day stay.

    Image Courtesy: Space News

    International Nurses Day

    Every year, the International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world on May 12.

    Theme for 2021: Nurses: A Voice to Lead – A Vision for Future Healthcare


    • The International Nurses Day is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.
      • Nightingale was a social reformer and a statistician. 
      • During the Crimean War, she played a pivotal role in organising care for wounded soldiers.
      • She was called “The Lady with the Lamp”. 
      • She took care of wounded soldiers at Constantinople. Also, the reputation for nurses in the Victorian culture began to increase because of her.
      • Victorian culture is the period of reign of Queen Victoria, that is, between 1837 and 1901.
    • On this day, the people around the globe appreciated the contributions of nurses towards the betterment of society.

    Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme

    • Launched in: November, 2015.
    • Objective: To reduce the demand for physical gold and shift a part of the domestic savings (to purchase of gold) into financial savings.
    • Issuance: The Gold Bonds are issued as Government of India Stock under the Government Securities (GS) Act, 2006.
      • These are issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on behalf of the Government of India.
      • These bonds will be sold through various Commercial banks, Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL), designated post offices (as may be notified) and recognised stock exchanges viz., National Stock Exchange of India Limited and Bombay Stock Exchange, either directly or through agents.
    • Eligibility: It is restricted for sale to resident individuals, Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs), trusts, universities and charitable institutions.
    • Price: The price is calculated based on the spot price of gold as provided by the Mumbai-based India Bullion and Jewellers Association (IBJA).
    • Term: Maturity period is 8 years, with an option to exit the investment after the first five years.
    • Investment Limit: Gold bonds can be purchased in the multiples of one unit.
      • The upper limit for retail (individual) investors and HUFs is 4 kilograms (4,000 units) each per financial year. 
      • For trusts and similar entities, an upper limit of 20 kilograms per financial year is applicable.
      • Minimum permissible investment is 1 gram of gold.
    • Interest Rate: A fixed rate of 2.5% per annum is applicable on the scheme, payable semi-annually.
      • The interest on Gold Bonds shall be taxable as per the provision of Income Tax Act, 1961.

    Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS)

    • Launch Year: 2014
    • Implemented by: Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
      • Under the Scheme, the ministry will identify those athletes who are potential medal winners in Olympics and Paralympics.
    • Aim: To provide assistance to India’s top athletes (including junior and sub-junior athletes) and boost their preparations so that they can win medals in future Olympics (Tokyo: 2021, Paris: 2024 and Los Angeles: 2028) and Paralympics.
      • Also, this scheme is to keep an eye in the future and fund a Developmental Group of Athletes who are medal prospects for the future Olympic Games.
    • Each athlete will be provided with foreign training, international competition, equipment and coaching camp besides monthly stipend of Rs.50,000/-.

    Image Courtesy: Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs

    Iron Dome

    • It is a mobile all-weather air defence system developed by Israel (with financial and technical support from the United States) to intercept and destroy short-range rockets (in mid-air) and artillery shells fired from short distances.
    • Range: 4 to 70 km
    • Operationality: Can operate day and night, under adverse weather conditions, and can respond to multiple threats simultaneously. 
    • Three central components: detection and tracking radar, the weapon control system and missile firing unit.

    Image Courtesy: TheNational

    Other Air Defence Systems

    S-400 missile system

    • S-400 is an all in missile defence system that is capable of intercepting missiles (long, medium and short range).
    • It can intercept 5th generation fighter aircrafts and also drones, cruise and ballistic missiles.
    • Range: 300-400 kms. 

    Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)

    • It is an American anti-ballistic missile defense system designed to shoot down short, medium, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles.
    • Range: Greater than 200 km

    Grey Wolf (Canis lupus)

    Recently, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has declared that the grey wolf will become a fully protected species in Slovakia (also known as Green Heart of Europe).

    Key Points

    • Grey wolf is a large canine native to Eurasia and North America.
      • Largest member of the dog family.
    • Family: Canidae
    • Life Span: 6 to 8 years
    • Diet: Carnivore
    • IUCN status: Least Concern.
    • Threats: Disease, prey depletion, and habitat loss.

    Image Courtesy: Britannica

    Indian Wolf

    • Subspecies of grey wolf.
    • Area: Southwest Asia to Indian Subcontinent
    • Conservation Status: Endangered (India Wildlife Protection Act, 1972).


    About World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

    • Establishment Year: 1961
    • Headquarters: Gland, Switzerland
    • Logo: Giant Panda
    • It is the world’s largest conservation organization.
    • Aim: protection of endangered species, preservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of natural resources, the reduction of pollution, and climate change.

    Kenyan Tea

    Recently, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in its report mentioned that black tea of Kenya is under threat from climate change.

    • Kenya is the largest producer and top- exporter of black tea in the world while China produces the maximum green tea in the world.
    • Other tea producing countries: India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia.


    Tea Production in India

    • Overall, India is the 2nd largest tea producing country in the world.
    • Tea cultivation is an example of plantation agriculture.
    • Climatic Conditions:
      • Tropical and subtropical climate
      • Deep and fertile well-drained soil, rich in humus and organic matter. 
      • Warm and moist frost-free climate throughout the year.
      • Rainfall: 1500mm.
      • Temperature: less than 15 degree celsius
    • Tea is a labour intensive industry.
    • Major tea producing states are Assam, hills of Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.


    Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

    • Establishment Year: 1945
    • Headquarters: Rome, Italy
    • Parent Agency: United Nations Economic and Social Council.
    • Aim: Led international efforts to defeat hunger and improve nutrition and food security.