17, March 2018

1.NITI Aayog to Release SATH-E

Source: PIB

SATHE to introduce System-wide Governance Transformation in School Education

  • NITI Aayog will release comprehensive roadmaps and detailed timelines for its initiative ‘Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital in Education (SATH-E)’ project

Key facts

  • These roadmaps, which operate between 2018 to 2020, lay out detailed interventions which will taken by the three participating States- Jharkand, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha – aiming to become ‘Role Model States’ in school education. These roadmaps present the first-of-its-kind, customized, action-oriented programmes, outlining interventions at the individual, district and State level.
  • The roadmaps were jointly prepared by NITI Aayog, the three States and the knowledge partners of the SATH Initiatives, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Piramal Foundation For Education Leadership (PFEL).


2.Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES)

Source: The Hindu

The Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES), an UN-registered agency will collaborate with Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) to strengthen its quality, prediction ability and response capacity.


  • RIMES will provide technical support to OSDMA regarding analysis of data to be generated through automatic weather stations being installed in all the gram panchayats, validation of the forecast, early warning and preparedness for lightening, heat wave, flood, draught and Tsunami.
  • It would enhance the warning response capacities of the OSDMA by imparting specialized expert training. It will also help to develop a one-stop risk management system for all OSDMA needs- integration of multiple data database/servers.


  • RIMES, an inter-governmental body registered under the United Nations. It is being owned and managed by 45 collaborating countries in Asia Pacific and Africa Region. The programme unit of the agency is located in Thailand.
  • RIMES evolved from the efforts of countries in Africa and Asia, in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, to establish a regional early warning system within a multi-hazard framework for the generation and communication of early warning information, and capacity building for preparedness and response to trans-boundary hazards.
  • At present, India is chairing RIMES.


Source: The Hindu

Scientists at the ICAR-Central Institute for Research on Buffaloes (CIRB) have produced cloned calf ‘HISAR GOURAV’.

Key facts:

  • This cloned buffalo calf is distinct from the earlier clones produced in India, as this is produced from cells of ventral side of tail of superior buffalo bull, this part is least exposed to sunlight and may have less mutation rate, and can be good choice for isolation of donor cells to produce healthy clones.
  • With this achievement CIRB becomes world’s third and India’s second institute to produce cloned buffalo. This achievement has been made under the project entitled, Cloning for conservation and multiplication of superior buffalo germplasm.
  • The first successful cloning was achieved by the National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal in 2010. Samrupa is the world’s first Murrah buffalo calf cloned using a simple “Hand guided cloning technique”.


  • India has 58% the world’s buffaloes and 35% of India’s cattle are buffaloes. Buffalo milk is 70% of the total milk yield in India, with its national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) share being larger than wheat and rice combined. Buffalo meat makes up 86% of India’s total meat exports.

4.’HAMMER’ Spacecraft To Blow Up Earth-Bound Asteroid – NASA

Source: The Hindu

The spacecraft named Hammer (Hypervelocity Asteroid Mitigation Mission for Emergency Response) is an eight tonne spaceship which could deflect a giant space rock.

Preparing itself to deal with a potential asteroid impact, NASA has drawn up plans to build a huge nuclear spacecraft, named Hammer spacecraft, that is capable of shunting or blowing up dangerous space rocks and safeguarding life on Earth.

The Hammer spacecraft:

  • The spacecraft named Hammer (Hypervelocity Asteroid Mitigation Mission for Emergency Response) is an eight tonne spaceship which could deflect a giant space rock, if it happens to hit Earth.
  • It was devised by top experts, including Nasa, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), and two Energy Department weapons labs.
  • The spacecraft has two ways of dispatching an asteroid collision threat. The first involves hitting the asteroid, and then steering it off-course so it doesn’t end up hitting Earth.
  • The second – and more dangerous – would see the HAMMER detonating its on-board nuclear warhead to change the asteroid’s course.


  • Earth is hit by asteroids with surprising regularity but most are too small to do much damage or fall in unpopulated areas. NASA’s Centre for Near-Earth Object Studies now lists 73 asteroids which have a one in 1,600 chance of hitting the Earth.

Potential application of Hammer spacecraft:

  • The new spacecraft could be useful in 2035, when scientists say there is a 1 in 2,700 chance the Bennu asteroid will hit us. The space boulder is currently circling the sun at 63,000mph, and has a very slim chance of plummeting into Earth. Bennu is around 500m in diameter.
  • Every 6 years, Bennu’s orbit brings it within 200,000 miles of the Earth, which means it has a high probability of impacting Earth in the late 22nd Century.
  • Although there is little risk it could hit the Earth, it is still considered as an NEO, or Near Earth Object, which would hit the planet with 1,450 megatons of TNT. Bennu’s impact would release three times more energy than all nuclear weapons detonated throughout history.

The OSIRIS-REx Mission seeks answers to questions that are central to the human experience:

  • Where did we come from? What is our destiny? OSIRIS-REx is going to Bennu, a carbon-rich asteroid that records the earliest history of our Solar System, and will be bringing a piece of it back to Earth.
  • Bennu may contain the molecular precursors to the origin of life and the Earth’s oceans.
  • Bennu is also one of the most potentially hazardous asteroids and has a relatively high probability of impacting the Earth late in the 22nd century.
  • OSIRIS-REx will determine Bennu’s physical and chemical properties, which will be critical for future scientists to know when developing an impact mitigation mission.

5.No confidence motion

Source: The Hindu

The YSR Congress has proposed a no-confidence motion against the NDA government on the issue of granting special category status to Andhra Pradesh. The motion will be the first such move during the tenure of this NDA government.

no-confidence motion

  • A no-confidence motion is a parliamentary motion which is moved in the Lok Sabha against the entire council of ministers, stating that they are no longer deemed fit to hold positions of responsibility due to their inadequacy in some respect or their failure to carry out their obligations. No prior reason needs to be stated for its adoption in the Lok Sabha

How it works?

  • At least 50 MPs would need to stand up and support the move. If there are 50 MPs in favour, the motion is admitted and the speaker allots a date for discussion on the motion. The prime minister or ministers reply to the charges made. The mover has the right to reply. After the debate, the speaker puts question to the house and ascertains the decision of the house by voice vote or a division.
  • A Motion of No-confidence need not set out any grounds on which it is based. Even when grounds are mentioned in the notice and read out in the House, they do not form part of the no-confidence Motion.


  • The government is expected to resign if it loses a trust vote. In case its refuses to do so, the President has the power to remove the prime minister. In the history of Indian Parliament, no Prime Minister has been forcibly removed so far. After a government loses a trust vote and resigns, it continues to function, but as a caretaker government with almost the same powers as it had before the voting.
  • However, a caretaker government wouldn’t have the power to take any major policy decisions since Parliament remains dissolved. A new government gets elected after the general elections.

Key facts

  • The Rajya Sabha does not have a procedure for moving of an adjournment motion, censure motion or no-confidence motion against the Government.
  • Rule 198 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha lays down the procedure for moving a Motion of No-Confidence in the Council of Ministers.
  • There is no mention of a no-confidence motion in the constitution.

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