30 , March 2018

Madhya Pradesh has won the Geographical Indication (GI) tag for Kadaknath, a black-feathered chicken known for its flavourful meat. The GI tag will ensure that no one else can use the name Kadaknath while selling any other black chicken and will also translate into higher prices for producers.

It is found mainly in the tribal district of Jhabua. Kadaknath is in demand not only because of its taste but also due to its low cholesterol and high protein content.

1.Cabinet approves education reforms
Source: PIB

Minister of Human Resource Development announced that the Cabinet has approved a slew of reforms for school education in the country, in what could be considered as the SarvaShiksha Abhiyan-2 project

Integrated Scheme:

Schemes to be integrated: The SSA, the Rashtriya MadhyamikShiksha Abhiyan and teacher training would be integrated into a single scheme from Classes 1 to 12

Timeline of the scheme: The integrated scheme will be in place from April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2020, with an estimated allocation of Rs. 75,000 crore over the period, a 20% increase over the current allocation.

Aim of the scheme:

  • Universalizing access to school education: It aims to support the States in universalising access to school education from pre-nursery to Class 12 across the country
  • Focus on educationally backward: The government would focus on educationally backward districts, disabled students and women.
  • Digital Blackboards in the classroom: There would be a shift to digital blackboards from Class 9 to college education in the next five years
  • Learning based outcome incentive: The government will provide a 20% incentive to the States for a learning-outcome based education.
  • Early introduction of skill courses: Now functional from Class 9 to Class 12 — would begin from Class 6 in future. This was aimed at enhancing the employability of students.
  • Interest free education loans: The Centre has also approved an increase in the outlay for making educational loans interest-free for students with modest financial means for studying in universities and colleges charging high fees

2.Rajasthan’s first mega food park at Ajmer
Source: PIB

Union Minister for Food Processing Industries inaugurated M/s Greentech Mega Food Park Private Ltd -the first mega food park in Rajasthan at Roopangarh Village in Ajmer. The Park has been set up at a cost of Rs 113.57 crore and will benefit around 25,000 farmers in this as well as neighbouring districts.

  • The Scheme of Mega Food Park aims at providing a mechanism to link agricultural production to the market by bringing together farmers, processors and retailers so as to ensure maximizing value addition, minimizing wastages, increasing farmers’ income and creating employment opportunities particularly in rural sector.
  • These food parks give a major boost to the food processing sector by adding value and reducing food wastage at each stage of the supply chain with particular focus on perishables.
  • A maximum grant of R50 crore is given for setting up a MFP, in minimum 50 acres of contiguous land with only 50% contribution to the total project cost.
  • The Scheme has a cluster based approach based on a hub and spokes model. It includes creation of infrastructure for primary processing and storage near the farm in the form of Primary Processing Centres (PPCs) and Collection Centres (CCs) and common facilities and enabling infrastructure at Central Processing Centre (CPC).
  • The PPCs are meant for functioning as a link between the producers and processors for supply of raw material to the Central Processing Centres.
  • CPC has need based core processing facilities and basic enabling infrastructure to be used by the food processing units setup at the CPC. The minimum area required for a CPC is 50 acres.
  • The scheme is demand-driven and would facilitate food processing units to meet environmental, safety and social standards.

3.GSAT-6A gives India bigger eye in the sky
Source: The Hindu

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully placed a communication satellite GSAT-6A in a geosynchronous transfer orbit.
  • It was carried on board the GSLV F-08 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre.
  • The GSAT-6A is a communication satellite that incorporates the high-thrust Vikas engine.
  • It will complement the GSAT-6, which is already in orbit. The GSAT-6A’s antenna has a diameter of six metres — it can be unfurled and opened like an umbrella once it reaches its prescribed orbit.
  • The ISRO team at Mission Control appeared pensive waiting for the indigenous cryogenic upper stage to fire and take the satellite into its initial orbit.
  • The satellite will be placed at a height of 36,000 km in a geostationary orbit, and the antenna will be unfurled in the coming days.

Vikas (rocket engine):

  • The Vikas (an acronym for VIKram Ambalal Sarabhai) is a family of liquid fuelled rocket engines conceptualized and designed by the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre in the 1970s
  • The design was based on the licensed version of the Viking engine with the chemical pressurisation system
  • The early production Vikas engines used some imported French components which were later replaced by domestically produced equivalents
  • It is used in the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) series of expendable launch vehicles for space launch use
  • Vikas engine is used to power the second stage PSLV, boosters and second stage of GSLV Mark I and II and the first stage of GSLV Mark III. The propellant loading for Vikas engine in PSLV, GSLV Mark I and II is 40 tons, while in GSLV Mark III it is 55 tons

‘Unfurlable Antenna’:

  • ISRO’s ‘unfurlable antenna’ is a six-meter-wide antenna which looks somewhat like an umbrella. This will be ‘unfurled’ once the GSAT-6A satellite has been put in orbit.
  • This antenna, specially designed for the mission, is three times as broad as the antennas that are usually used by ISRO.
  • This antenna will allow mobile communication from anywhere via hand-held ground terminals. Apart from communications, the GSAT-6A satellite is believed to be designated for military use as well.


  • S-band is an electromagnetic spectrum covering frequencies from 2 to 4 gigahertz (GHz).
  • It crosses the conventional boundary between the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) and Super High Frequency (SHF) bands at 3.0 GHz.
  • S-band is used by weather radars, surface ship radar, and some communications satellites. S-band is very useful because the 2.5 Ghz band is used globally for 4G services, and is worth billions of dollars. The S-band spectrum is extremely valuable for mobile broadband services.

4.Seychelles says no to India’s proposal for naval base
Source: The Hindu

India’s plans to get a foothold in the Indian Ocean islands of Seychelles received a setback after its President Danny Faure told Parliament earlier this week that he will not take up the Assumption island project deal with India for ratification

This announcement came after Wavell John Charles Ramkalawan, the leader of the Opposition of Seychelles (an ethnic Indian), said that he would oppose the deal.

Assumption island oversees the main energy route between the major Asian economies and the Gulf region.

Assumption island project was expected to host a naval facility.

Failed outreach: Significantly, the leader of the Opposition was hosted here in January as India tried to get him on board for the key project, which was rejected by the Indian Ocean country earlier this week.

5.India and Japan commit to Indo-Pacific strategy
Source: The Hindu

India is Japan’s “most important” partner in its “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy,” said Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, as both countries agreed to step up cooperation in their “Special Strategic and Global Partnership” during annual consultations and exchanged yen loan agreements for $1.4 billion.

Countries exchange loan agreements worth $1.4 billion

Both the leaders witnessed the exchange of documents for loans from Japan to India for projects including the Mumbai metro line from Cuffe Parade, a sea water desalinisation plant and a intelligent transport system to reduce traffic congestion in Chennai, tree-planting schemes in Himachal Pradesh as well as loans for the North East connectivity project.

6.Stay on trial will be valid only for six months: SC
Source: The Hindu

An indefinite freeze on corruption and criminal trials granted by constitutional courts, especially High Courts in the cases of the rich and powerful, have often led to delay and denial of the fundamental right to speedy justice, the Supreme Court has observed

The Supreme Court has held that any stay of a criminal or corruption trial, or even a civil case, will be valid only for six months

Even if a stay is granted for six months, the trial court should fix a date for the trial to commence immediately after the expiry of the stay. Trial proceedings will, by default, begin after the period of stay is over

The order to stay trial will be extended after six months only in “exceptional cases” and that too in a judicial order which fully explains the reasons for the extension


7.K2-229b: Hot, metallic Earth-sized planet discovered
Source: The Hindu

Scientists using Kepler 2 telescope have discovered hot, metallic, Earth-sized planet named K2-229b orbiting dwarf star located 260 million light years away. They had employed Doppler spectroscopy technique also known as ‘wobble method‘to discover and characterise this faraway planet.

  • K2-229b planet is almost 20% larger than Earth but has mass which is over two-and-a-half times greater.
  • It is located very close to its host star (0.012 AU, around a hundredth of the distance between Earth and Sun), which itself is medium-sized active K dwarf in Virgo Constellation.
  • K2-229b orbits its star every fourteen hours. Its day side temperature reaches over 2000 degrees Celsius.
  • Scientists calculated size, position and mass of K2-229b by measuring radial velocity of star and finding out starlight ‘wobbles’ during orbit, due to gravitational tug from planet, which changes depending on planet’s size.
  • K2-229b has same high density that of Mercury-like planets. It is also innermost planet in system of at least three planets, though all three orbit much closer to their star than Mercury.


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