Why in News?
- The RBI has announced that the National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT) will be available round-the-clock from December 16.
- NEFT is an electronic funds transfer system maintained by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Started in November 2005, the setup was established and maintained by Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT).
- NEFT enables bank customers in India to transfer funds between any two NEFT-enabled bank accounts on a one-to-one basis. It is done via electronic messages.
- Unlike Real-time gross settlement (RTGS), fund transfers through the NEFT system do not occur in Real-Time Basis.
- RTGS are specialist funds transfer systems where the transfer of money or securities takes place from one bank to any other bank on a “real time” and on a “gross” basis.
- Settlement in “real time” means a payment transaction is not subjected to any waiting period, with transactions being settled as soon as they are processed.
2. Study on Antivenom Therapy
Why in News?
- Recently Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore has revealed a new study on Antivenom Therapy.
- The study reports that India is the snakebite capital of the world.
- It is about 46,000 people die and 1,40,000 others are disabled annually in the country because of snakebites.
- In India, a polyvalent antivenom is produced against the so-called ‘big four’ snakes.
- They are spectacled cobra, the common krait, Russell’s viper, and the saw-scaled viper.
- India is home to many other species of Venomous Snakes.
- There is no specific antivenom produced to combat the poison of other snakes, and the ‘big four’ antivenom is routinely used to treat bites from all snakes.
About Antivenom Therapy:
- It is made by collecting venom from the relevant animal and injecting small amounts of it into a domestic animal. The antibodies that form is then collected from the domestic animal’s blood and purified.
3. Blue Notice
Why in News?
- Recently Interpol has issued Blue Notice against 5 youths.
- Four Keralites and one Karnataka native who are suspected to joined terror group in Syria.
- It is issued against these persons to get details about them from Syria.
- National Investigation Agency (NIA) initiated steps to attach the properties of Five Accused Persons.
About | Blue Notice:
- It is issued to the country which the criminal belongs to and to collect more information about a person’s identity or activities related to the crime.
About | Other INTERPOL’S Notice:
- INTERPOL’s General Secretariat at the request of National Central Bureaus (NCBs) and authorized entities issue 8 types of notices
- It is published in four official languages of the INTERPOL, that is English, French, Arabic and Spanish.
Red Corner Notice:
- It is issued to seek the arrest or provisional arrest of wanted criminals, with the intention of extradition of the culprits.
- It is a request to locate and provisionally arrest an individual who is convicted in a criminal case. But just issue of red corner notice does not mean the person is guilty; he should be proven guilty by the court.
- It is issued by the General Secretariat at the request of a member country or an international tribunal based on a valid National Arrest Warrant.
- It is not an International Arrest Warrant.
- It cannot put pressure on any member country to arrest an individual who is served a Red corner Notice. Each member country is free to decide the value of a Red corner Notice within their borders.
- It is issued to locate missing persons, often minors or to seek help in identifying persons who are unable to identify themselves (in case of minors and people of unsound mind).
- It is a valuable law enforcement tool that can increase the possibility of getting the location of the missing persons.
- It is to raise global alert to help locate missing persons, or to identify those persons who are unable to identify themselves.
- It is published for victims of criminal abductions (kidnappings), parental abductions or unexplained disappearance of the persons.
- It is issued to seek information of unidentified bodies.
- Here unidentified bodies mean the dead body of a person whose identity cannot be revealed by police and medical examiners.
- It is issued to tackle environmental criminals.
- It is issued for those criminals who hunts wild animals and sell their body parts in International Market.
- It is issued to provide warnings and intelligence about persons who have committed criminal offences and are likely to repeat these crimes in other countries as well.
- It is issued to many serial sex offenders.Interpol-United Nations Security Council Special Notice. It is issued for groups and individuals who are the targets of UN Security Council Sanctions Committees. This type of notice is issued to terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
- It is issued to set alert about a person, an object, parcel bombs, disguised weapons and other dangerous and explosive materials; representing a serious and imminent threat to public safety.
4. Hera Mission
Why in News?
- European Space Agency has recently Planed for humankind’s first mission to a binary asteroid system.
About Hera Mission-ESA:
- It is the first spacecraft to explore a binary asteroid.
- It is named after the Greek goddess of marriage.
- It will travel to a binary asteroid system that is the Didymos pair of near-Earth asteroids.
- It won’t be the first to reach Didymos.
- It will be launched to asteroid 65803 Didymos, in 2023.
- It is as nicknamed Didymoon.
About Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) -NASA
- It is a planetary Defense-Driven test of one of the technologies for preventing the Earth impact of a hazardous asteroid.
- Its aim is to demonstrate a kinetic impact on a small asteroid.
- It will be the first demonstration of the kinetic impact technique to change the motion of an asteroid in space
- It will target Didymoon as part of its planetary defence programme.
- It will deliberately crash itself into the moonlet at a speed of approximately 6 km per second, using an onboard camera and autonomous navigation software.
- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in USA plans to launch the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) between 2020 and 2021.
About | Didymoon:
- It is chosen because of its close proximity to Earth and its size.
- It is small and in a tight enough 12-hour orbit around its parent, that its orbital period can indeed be shifted in a measurable way.
- Its primary body has a diameter of around 780 m and a rotation period of 2.26 hours.
- Its secondary body has a diameter of around 160 m and rotates around the primary at a distance of around 1.2 km from the primary surface in around 12 hours.
Need | Planetary Defence Mechanism:
- There are around 25,000 near-Earth objects (NEOs) that orbit the Sun on a trajectory that brings them close to our planet’s orbit. Certain near-Earth objects have been classified as “potentially hazardous” which are 140 meters or more in size and come within 0.05 AU (astronomical unit) to Earth.
- There are about 900 near-Earth objects measuring more than 1 km. An impact from one of these NEOs can bring devastating effects to Earth.So, only scientists are working on a number of planetary protection initiatives to deflect asteroids if they threaten to impact the Earth.
5. National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF)
Why in News?
- Recently Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has agreed to invest about $600 million in National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) through the NIIF Master Fund.
- It is India’s first sovereign wealth fund set up by government of India in 2015.
- It is a fund manager that invests in infrastructure and related sectors in India.
- It is created with the objective to maximize economic impact especially by infrastructure investment in commercially viable projects.
- It mandates to invest in areas such as energy, transportation, housing, water, waste management and other infrastructure-related sectors in India.
- It is mandate to seek equity participation from strategic anchor partners like quasi-sovereign, overseas sovereign, bilateral/multilateral investors, as one of the key sources of funds.It is currently managing three funds each with its distinctive investment mandate.
- Master Fund is an infrastructure fund with the objective of primarily investing in operating assets in the core infrastructure sectors such as roads, ports, airports, power etc.
- Fund of Funds is managed by fund managers who have good track records in infrastructure and associated sectors in India. Some of the sectors of focus include Green. Infrastructure, Mid-Income & Affordable Housing, Infrastructure services and allied sectors.
- Strategic Investment Fund is registered as an Alternative Investment Fund II under SEBI in India. The objective is to invest largely in equity and equity-linked instruments. It will focus on green field and brown field investments in the core infrastructure sectors.
- It is operationalised by establishing three alternative investment funds (AIFs) under SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) regulations.
- The government had set up the 40,000 crore NIIF in 2015 as an investment vehicle for funding commercially viable greenfield, brownfield and stalled infrastructure projects.
- The Indian government is investing 49% and the rest of the corpus is to be raised from third-party investors such as sovereign wealth funds, insurance and pension funds, endowments, etc.