Prelim Snippets 27-09-2019

1.Boiga thackerayi

Why in News?
  • A team of biodiversity researchers have discovered a new species of cat snake in Maharashtra’s Western Ghats — making it the first such discovery in 125 years.
  • This new species is from a group of snakes commonly called cat snakes and belong to the genus Boiga.
  • It can grow to approximately three feet in length, is active at night and is known to feed on the eggs of Humayun’s Night Frog, a species endemic to the Western Ghats.
  • This behaviour was never reported in cat snakes from the Western Ghats before. Interestingly, this snake also favours only arboreal frogs, which is again a unique behaviour.
  • This new species is presently only known in a few localities near Koyna in Satara district, Maharashtra, but could be widely distributed.
  • Although snakes belong to this genus are widely distributed in India, a few species are endemic to the Western Ghats.

2.World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2019 (WDCR)

Why in News?
  • India has advanced four places to 44th position in terms of digitalcompetitiveness in the world as the country has made improvement in terms of knowledgeand future readiness to adopt and explore digital technologies.
  • The ranking list is produced by the IMD World Competitiveness Center.
  • The rankings are based on various measures including the capacity and preparedness to adopt and explore digital technologies as a key driver for economic transformation in business, government and wider society.
  • WDCR examines three factors for the evaluation of an economy. The factors namely:
    • Knowledge: the capacity to understand and learn the new technologies and
    • Technology: the competence to develop new digital innovations
    • Future-readiness: the preparedness for the coming developments.
  • The US was ranked as the world’s most digitally competitive economy, followed by Singapore in the second place. Sweden was ranked third on the list, followed by Denmark and Switzerland in the 4th and 5th place, respectively.
  • India has advanced four places to 44th position in terms of digital competitiveness in the world as the country has made improvement in terms of knowledge and future readiness to adopt and explore digital technologies, according to a global report.


Why in News?
  • On August 30, the MARGO observatory in Crimea spotted a comet which, astronomers believe, is likely to have originated from outside the Solar System, although the official confirmation has not been made yet.
  • Oumuamua is the first interstellar object known to enter oursolar system.
  • It accelerated faster away from the sun than expected. This hascreated the notion that some kind of artificial sail (force ofradiation pressure that runs on sunlight) may have pushed it.
  • This artificial sunlight known as “Light sail” may be responsiblefor the excess acceleration of the object.
  • 2I/Borisov (formerly called C/2019 Q4 (Borisov)) is the first observed interstellar cometand second observed interstellar interloper, after ʻOumuamua’.
  • Kindly note the difference of words – Object, Comet, Interloper

4.Quantum Supremacy

Why in News?
  • The Financial Times published from the UK reported that a draft research paper claimed Google researchers have achieved a long-sought-after goal in physics called “quantum supremacy”.
  • Quantum supremacy refers to a quantum computer solving a problem that cannot be expected of a classical computer in a normal lifetime. This relates to the speed at which a quantum computer performs.
  • According to the reports a quantum processor takes over 200 seconds to perform a calculation that the world’s fastest supercomputer, Summit, would have taken 10,000 years to accomplish.
  • The phrase “quantum supremacy” was coined in 2011 by John Preskill, Professor of Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology in a talk he delivered on the benefits of using quantum hardware over traditional computers.

5.3rd India Agricultural Outlook Forum 2019

Why in News?
  • The 3rd India Agricultural Outlook Forum 2019 commenced in New Delhi.
India Agricultural Outlook Forum:
  • The India Agricultural Outlook Forum was first held in 2017.
  • It is conducted by the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) under the Indian Government.
  • The first such forum was held in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
  • The theme for the 2019 edition of the Forum is ‘Universal Basic Income for Farmers’.
  • Other topics that will be discussed this year are the key challenges and opportunities before the agricultural sector, including the ways to manage excess production, price forecasting, artificial in

6.Exercise MALABAR  2019

Why in News?
  • The 23rd edition of the Trilateral Maritime Exercise MALABAR, is scheduled between the navies of India, Japan and USA from 26 Sep to 04 Oct 19 off the coast of Japan.
Exercise Malabar:
  • Exercise Malabar is a trilateral naval exercise involving the United States, Japan and India as permanent partners.
  • Originally begun in 1992 as a bilateral exercise between India and the United States, Japan became a permanent partner in 2015.
  • Past non-permanent participants are Australia and Singapore.
  • The annual Malabar series began in 1992 and includes diverse activities, ranging from fighter combat operations from aircraft carriers through Maritime Interdiction Operations Exercises.
  • Malabar 2019 would encompass conduct of complex maritime operations in the surface, sub-surface and air domains, and focus on Anti-Submarine Warfare, Anti-Air, Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO) including Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS) etc.
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