Prelim Snippets- 27.02.2020

1.Masala Bonds

  • Recently, Asian Development Bank (ADB) has listed its 10-year masala bonds worth Rs 850 crore on the global debt listing platform of India INX.
  • India INX is the country’s first international exchange, located at International Financial Services Centre, GIFT City in Gujarat. ADB’s masala bonds are listed on both Luxembourg exchange and India INX.
  • The proceeds would be used to support local currency lending and investment in India.
About Masala Bond:
  • It is a bond issued outside India by an Indian entity or corporate. These bonds are issued in Indian currency than local currency.
  • It is issued by Indian corporates to raise funds from foreign investors. As it is pegged into Indian currency, if the rupee rates fall, investors bear the risk.
  • In simpler words, as Masala Bonds are rupee-denominated bonds, the risk goes directly to the investor.
  • The first Masala bond was issued in 2014 by IFC for the infrastructure projects in India.
  • Investors from outside of India who would like to invest in Indian assets can invest in Masala bonds.

2.Mukundara Hills Tiger Reserve

Why in News?
  • Mukundara Hills Tiger Reserve has recently seen in news.
About Mukundara Hills Tiger Reserve:
  • It is located near Kota, Rajasthan.
  • It is situated in a valley formed by two parallel mountains viz. Mukundra and Gargola.
  • There are 4 rivers Ramzan, Ahu, Kali and Chambal which form the boundary of the valley.
  • It is located on the eastern bank of the Chambal River and is drained by its tributaries.
  • It was notified as a Tiger Reserve in 2013 under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and became the 3rdTiger Reserve of Rajasthan in the form of the Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve.
  • It constitutes 3 Wildlife Sanctuaries i.e., Darrah, Jawahar Sagar and Chambhal. The forest of the reserve is very thick and dense.
  • Other Tiger Reserves in Rajasthan are Ranthambore and Sariska.

3.National Technical Textile Mission

Why in News?
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has recently approved the setting up of a National Technical Textiles Mission.
About National Technical Textile Mission:
  • It aims to position the country as a global leader in technical textiles and increase the use of technical textiles in the Domestic Market.
  • It will be implemented for four years from 2020-2021and will have four components.
  • First component: Research, Innovation and Development
  • Second component: Promotion and Market Development
  • Third component: Export Promotion
  • Fourth component: Education, Training, Skill Development
  • An export promotion council for technical textiles will be set up. A Mission Directorate will be operational in the Ministry of Textiles.

4.Ensemble Methods in Modelling and Data Assimilation

Why in News?
  • A three-day international conference on “Ensemble Methods in Modelling and Data Assimilation (EMMDA)” has been organised by National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF), Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) from February 24, 2020 at Noida, India.
  • To provide a platform for discussions and deliberations on the present status, future prospects and optimum use of Ensemble Prediction System (EPS).
Ensemble Prediction System:
  • Though remarkable success has been achieved in improving forecast by prediction systems and adopting latest data assimilation techniques, but some amount of uncertainty is associated with numerical weather prediction.
  • In order to quantify the forecast uncertainty, leading Weather forecasting centres of the world including India have developed ‘Ensemble Prediction System’ (EPS) which provides probabilistic forecasting of weather.
  • In an EPS, a number of similar models, called the ensemble members, are run from slightly different initial conditions.
  • It requires high computational resources and in turn provides the flow dependent forecast uncertainty in terms of probability.
  • The probabilistic forecasts help the end users in making decisions and plan their actions suitably.
  • The forecasts from high resolution global and regional EPS provide more accurate probabilistic forecasts of extreme weather events and help the planners and administrators in taking timely actions.
  • India has recently operationally implemented two global EPS which have highest resolution in the world and also a regional EPS of horizontal resolution 4 km which covers the Indian region.
  • A well-coordinated collaborative research and development work between national and international centres are further required for progressively improving the skill of EPS.
  • The Major Themes of the Conference are:
    • Ensemble methods in Global Weather Prediction
    • Ensemble methods in Data Assimilation
    • Ensemble methods in Monthly and Seasonal Forecasting
    • Convection Permitting Ensemble Prediction Systems
    • Verification of Ensemble weather forecasts
    • Applications of Ensemble weather forecasts.
  • Leading International experts and scientists from UK, USA, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, etc. will present papers along with distinguished Indian scientists from different lead organizations on latest developments in the field of ensemble data assimilation and modelling.
  • About twenty young scientists and researchers will present their research outcomes. Besides them about 100 participants which include forecasters, stake holder from various sectors and young research scholars will attend this conference.
  • The latest techniques used in Data Assimilation, Ensemble Methods, and use of Probabilistic Forecasts for developing new applications from Ensemble Products will be discussed.
  • The discussions will lead to development of newer algorithms and will be useful for societal applications related to weather/climate.

5.Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System

Why in News?
  • The Union Minister for Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions has recently launched the Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) 7.0 version.
  • CPGRAMS is one of the flagship initiatives for the reformation in governance started by the Indian central government through addressing the grievances of general public.
  • The system has been designed in-house by the National Informatics Centre team.
  • It was created in June 2007 by the Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances.
  • Under the public grievance mechanism, any citizen of India can raise their problems, grievance or pleas to the central govt and state government Ministries and Departments.
  • Grievances can be submitted to all-important portfolio ministers and departments. It has a telephonic feedback feature also.

6.Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited (MIDHANI)

Why in News?
  • Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh reviewed the performance of Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited (MIDHANI) recently.
  • The officials of the Defence Public Sector Undertaking (DPSU) briefed Raksha Mantri and senior officials of Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence about their ongoing projects and Future Plans.
  • Defence Minister commended MIDHANI’s contribution towards indigenisation in defence manufacturing and lauded the DPSU for diversifying its business to other sectors like space, energy and railways.
  • Stressing that it can play a major role in making India self-reliant in special alloys and materials, he asked the officials to focus more on innovation and R&D.
  • He said that the DPSU has a unique place among the Defence companies with its specialized product profile and customers, with a lot of potential for exports.
  • Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited, abbreviated as MIDHANI, is a specialized metals and metal alloys manufacturing facility in India, located in Hyderabad, Telangana.
  • It is a Public Sector Undertaking, under the administrative control of Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence, Government of India.
  • MIDHANI has performed well over the last five years. The company’s value of production has increased by around 27 % from Rs 640 crore in FY 14-15 to Rs 815 crore in FY 18-19.
  • Import substitution of high-pressure discs for compressor of Adour MK 811 engines for Jaguar fighter plane and 74 kg titanium casting for naval application are some of the Prominent Achievements.
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