Related Topics: Physical Geography, Biodiversity
Why in News
The discovery of a lesser-known plant species from the Andaman Islands could help scientists reconstruct the Andaman’s relation to peninsular India.
During an exploration in the semi evergreen forests of Wright Myo in the southern islands of the Andaman group in 2003, scientists from the Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI) came across an interesting species belonging to the Eugenia genus.
Scientists collected two seedlings of the species and introduced them at the field gene bank of JNTBGRI.
Detailed taxonomical studies established the species as Eugenia mooniana, a plant that is hitherto known to occur only in Assam, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka.
The plant flowers during February and is characterised by profuse, slender branches, slightly crimson leaves and white flowers with elliptic petals.
The finding has been published in the latest issue of Nelumbo, the bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India.
There are 1,026 common species for the Andaman-Nicobar islands and the Western Ghats of peninsular India.
The fragmented distribution of these floral species demonstrates the geological connection of these widely- separated regions in the remote past.
The Biodiversity acts as a major indication to establish connection between two geographical regions.
DIRECTED ENERGY WEAPONS (DEWs)
Related Topics: DRDO, Mission Shakti
DRDO Chairman said that Directed energy weapons or DEWs are among the next bunch of military technologies that the organisation is working on.
The DRDO’s Hyderabad-based lab, Centre for High Energy Systems and Sciences (CHESS) is the node for all related activities.
DEWs are weapons that produce a beam of concentrated electromagnetic energy.
There are mainly two types of DEWs: high powered lasers and microwaves.
DEWs are anti-personnel as they can cause intolerable burning of an area in the body and blindness, and anti-material as it can be used to destroy missiles, ships, UAVs and fry circuitry of equipment deployed in a battlefield.
Laser-based or microwave-based high-power DEWs can quietly disable enemy drones or missiles temporarily or permanently without leaving physical debris.
In contrast, the ASAT or anti-satellite missile that the DRDO tested on March 27,2019 killed an orbiting Indian target satellite and left hundreds of small pieces as debris for a few months.
DEWs, which could have a major deterrence capability, would be crucial for Indian forces to take on and engage threats from missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) was established in 1958 by amalgamating the Technical Development Establishment and the Directorate of Technical Development and Production with the Defence Science Organisation.
It works under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence, Government of India headquartered in New Delhi.
It works with a network of 52 laboratories, which are engaged in developing defence technologies covering various fields, like aeronautics, armaments, electronics, land combat engineering, life sciences, materials, missiles, and naval systems.
PRADHAN MANTRI KISAN MAAN DHAN YOJANA
Related Topics: Farmers Welfare, Social Security, Government Schemes
Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare initiated the process of registration for the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana (PM-KMY).
It is an old-age pension scheme to all Small and Marginal Farmers in the country.
The scheme was announced during the Budget 2019-20.
Salient features of the Scheme
It is voluntary and contributory for farmers in the entry age group of 18 to 40 years and whose cultivable land is 2 hectares or less.
A monthly pension of Rs. 3000/- will be provided to them on attaining the age of 60 years.
The farmers have to make a monthly contribution of Rs.55 to Rs.200, depending on their age of entry, in the Pension Fund till they reach the retirement date (60 years). The Central government will also make an equal contribution of the same amount in the pension fund. Spouse is also eligible to get a separate pension of Rs 3,000 upon making separate contribution to the fund.
The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) shall be the Pension Fund Manager and responsible for Pension pay out.
The initial enrolment to the PM-KMY is being done through the Common Service Centres (CSCs).
For beneficiaries of the PM-KISAN scheme
They will have the option to allow their contribution debited from the benefit of that scheme directly.
In case of default
In case of default in making regular contributions, the beneficiaries are allowed to regularise the contribution by paying the outstanding dues, along with prescribed interest.
Transfer of Pension
In case of death of the farmer before the retirement date, the spouse may continue with the scheme.
If the spouse does not wish to contribute, the total contribution made by the farmer along with interest will be paid to the spouse. In the absence of any spouse, total contribution along with interest will be paid to the nominee. If the farmer dies after the retirement date, the spouse will receive 50 per cent of the pension as family pension. After the death of both the farmer and spouse, the accumulated corpus will be credited back to the pension fund.
Option For Exit
The beneficiaries may opt voluntarily to exit the scheme after a minimum period of five years of regular contributions. On exit, their entire contribution will be returned by pension fund manager Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) with an interest equivalent to prevailing saving bank rates.
Indian National Science Academy (INSA)
Related Topics: Science & Technology, Appointments
Biologist Chandrima Shaha became the first woman to head the Indian National Science Academy (INSA).
Ms. Shaha was formerly the Director of the National Institute of Immunology, Delhi.
It is the apex body of Indian scientists representing all branches of science and technology.
It was established in January 1935 with the object of promoting science in India and harnessing scientific knowledge for the cause of humanity and national welfare.
In October 1945, the then Government of India recognized the institute as the premier scientific society of India, representing all branches of science.
It is headquartered in New Delhi.
FACTS OF THE DAY
- Private sector bank,RBL Bank and digital healthcare platform Practo have partnered to launch India’s first health-focused credit card.
- Barcelona’s Lionel Messi has been awarded UEFA’s Goal of the Season award 2018-19.
- Bajrang Punia has won gold at Tbilisi Grand Prix in the 65 kg final of the men’s freestyle competition held in Tbilisi, Georgia.
- The International Youth Day (IYD) is observed on 12 August to bring issues of the youth to attention of international community and to celebrate the potential of youth as partners in today’s global society. The theme for IYD 2019 is ‘Transforming education’.
- Indian Army has launched Mission Reach Out in Jammu to ensure that basic essential services and necessities are available in region after the abrogation of Article 370 provisions and reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir.