Prelim Snippets 13-09-2019

1.India Urban Data Exchange (IUDX)

Why in News?
  • Starting with an open data platform for the 100 cities of the Smart Cities Mission by 2020, the government is planning to make a wide range of data — from health, education to finances, public by 2024.
India Urban Data Exchange (IUDX):
  • IUDX is a research project under smart cities mission being implemented by Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) in collaboration with Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru.
  • The India Urban Data Exchange set up by the MoHUA for its Smart Cities would be expanded, eventually leading to a “marketplace”.
  • IUDX will be an open source software platform for cities, industry and researchers to share Smart City data with each other that could be monetised in the future, similar to the UPI for bank accounts and digital payments.
Facilities Provided:
  • MoHUA said that the open data platform for the 100 cities would be expanded to cover 500 cities by 2022 and all urban centres in the country by 2024.
  • It will facilitate secure, authenticated and managed exchange of data amongst various data platforms, third-party authenticated and authorized applications and other data sources, data producers and consumers, both within a city to begin with and scaled up across cities eventually at a national level, in a uniform and seamless way.

2.PM Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana

Why in News:
  • PM launched ‘Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana’ from Ranchi
About the Scheme:
  • It is an old age pension scheme for all land holding Small and Marginal Farmers (SMFs) in the country launched by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
Salient Features:
  • It is voluntary and contributory for farmers in the entry age group of 18 to 40 years and a monthly pension of Rs. 3000/- will be provided to them on attaining the age of 60 years.
  • The farmers will 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 i.e. the age of 60 years.
  • The spouse is also eligible to get a separate pension of Rs.3000/- upon making separate contributions to the Fund.
  • The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) shall be the Pension Fund Manager and responsible for Pension pay out.
  • Small and Marginal Farmer (SMF) – a farmer who owns cultivable land upto 2 hectare as per land records of the concerned State/UT.
  • Age of 18- 40 years.

3.Exercise Maitree – 2019

Why in News?
  • Joint Military Exercise MAITREE-2019 between India and Thailand will be conducted at Foreign Training Node, Umroi (Meghalaya).
  • Exercise MAITREE is an annual training event which is being conducted alternatively in Thailand and India since 2006.
  • Notably, in the series of military training exercises undertaken by India with various countries,
  • Exercise MAITREE with Thailand is significant in terms of the security challenges faced by both the nations in the backdrop of changing facets of global terrorism.
  • The scope of this exercise covers company level joint training on counter-terrorism operations in jungle and urban scenario.
  • The joint military exercise will enhance the level of defence co-operation between Indian Army (IA) and Royal Thailand Army (RTA) which in turn will further foster defence cooperation and bilateral relations between the Two Nations.
Other Exercises with Thailand:
  • At present Indian Navy is conducting the 28th edition of India-Thailand Coordinated Patrol (Indo-Thai CORPAT) with the Royal Thai Navy (RTN)
  • Indian Navy ships and aircraft of Andaman and Nicobar Command have been participating in the biannual Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) with the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) since 2003.

4.GAFA Tax

Context: US tech giant Google has agreed to pay 500 million euro (around $550 million) in fines to settle a fiscal fraud probe initiated in 2015

About GAFA Tax:
  • France has been pushing hard for a new so-called “GAFA tax”, named after Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, to ensure the global giants pay a fair share of taxes on their massive business operations in Europe.


Why in News?
  • NATGRID wants to link social media accounts to central Database
About Natgrid :
  • The project, initially started in 2009 with a budget of ₹2,800 crore, is an online database for collating scattered pieces of information and putting them on one platform.
  • It would stream sensitive information from 21 sets of data sources such as banks, credit cards, visa, immigration and train and air travel details, as well as from various intelligence agencies.
  • At least 10 central agencies like Intelligence Bureau (IB), Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) and others will have access to the data on a secured platform.

6.LEADS Index

Why in News?
  • LEADS Index – 2019 was released by Commerce and Industry Minister
About the Index:
  • Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) is a composite indicator to assess international trade logistics across States/UTs. It is based on stakeholders’ survey conducted by Deloitte for Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • The LEADS Index is an effort by the Commerce and Industry Ministry to establish the base line of performance in the logistics sector based on the perception of users and stakeholders at the State level.
  • The top-ranking state in the logistics sector is Gujarat followed by Punjab and Andhra Pradesh. Among the hilly Eastern States Tripura is the top performer and among Union Territories (UTs) Chandigarh was selected as the best performing UT.

7.LIBRA Currency

Context: France to block Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency in Europe

About Libra:
  • Libra is a permissioned blockchain digital currency proposed by the American social media company Facebook.
  • The project, currency and transactions are to be managed and cryptographically entrusted to the Libra Association, a membership organization founded by Facebook’s subsidiary Calibra and 27 others across payment, technology, telecommunication, online marketplace, venture capital and nonprofits.
  • The currency and network do not yet exist, and only rudimentary experimental code has been released.
  • The launch is planned to be in 2020.


  • Context: About 110 light years from Earth, an exoplanet eight times the mass of Earth orbits a star. Called K2-18b, it was discovered in 2015 by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft.
About K2-18b:
  • It resides in a habitable zone — the region around a star in which liquid water could potentially pool on the surface of a rocky planet.
  • The planet orbits the cool dwarf star K2-18, which is about 110 light years from Earth in the Leo constellation.
  • Now, scientists have found signatures of water vapour in the atmosphere of K2-18b, making it the only planet orbiting a star outside the Solar System that is known to have both water and temperatures that could support life.
  • K2-18b is not ‘Earth 2.0’ as it is significantly heavier and has a different atmospheric composition.
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