The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA)
between the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and its six FTA partners (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand).The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and its six FTA partners (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand).
RCEP negotiations were formally launched in November 2012 at the ASEAN Summit in Cambodia.
THE SOUTH ASIA FREE TRADE PACT
The South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) is an agreement among the seven South Asia countries that form the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC): Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
It came into effect on 1st January 2006, with the aim of reducing tariffs for intra regional trade among the seven SAARC members.
NASA ICON MISSION
The Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) is a satellite designed to investigate changes in the Earth’s ionosphere, the dynamic region high in our atmosphere where terrestrial weather from below meets space weather from above.
ICON studies the interaction between Earth’s weather systems and space weather driven by the Sun, and how this interaction drives turbulence in the upper atmosphere.
It is hoped that a better understanding of this dynamic will mitigate its effects on communications, GPS signals, and technology in general.
It is part of NASA’s Explorers program and is operated by UC Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory
Ionosphere is called so because it is ionized by solar radiation.
Ionosphere stretches from 50 to 1,000 km and typically overlaps both the exosphere and the thermosphere.
It has practical importance because it influences, for example, radio propagation on the Earth. It is also responsible for auroras.
COALITION FOR DISASTER RESILIENT INFRASTRUCTURE (CDRI)
The Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) is an international coalition of countries, United Nations (UN) agencies, multilateral development banks, the private sector, and academic institutions, that aims to promote disaster-resiliant infrastructure.
Its objective is to promote research and knowledge sharing in the fields of infrastructure risk management, standards, financing, and recovery mechanisms.
It was launched by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit in September 2019.
CDRI’s initial focus is on developing disaster-resilience in ecological, social, and economic infrastructure.
It aims to achieve substantial changes in member countries’ policy frameworks and future infrastructure investments, along with a major decrease in the economic losses suffered due to disasters.
MOBILE APP “MHARIYALI”:
Launched by the Ministry of housing and Urban Affairs to encourage public engagement in planting trees and Green drives.
The application provides automatic geo – tagging of plants.
It will hence enable the nodal officers to periodically monitor the plantation.
‘GREEN WALL’ OF INDIA
The Centre is mulling an ambitious plan to create a 1,400km long and 5km wide green belt from Gujarat to the Delhi-Haryana border.
The plan is inspired by Africa’s ‘Great Green Wall’ project, running from Senegal (West) to Djibouti (East), which came into effect, in 2007.
The overarching objective of India’s Green Wall will be to address the rising rates of land degradation and the eastward expansion of the Thar Desert.
SATURN IS THE PLANET WITH THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF MOONS:
On 8th October 2019, 20 new moons of Saturn were discovered.
With this Saturn has a total of 82 moons today.
Till date Jupiter had the highest number of moons. It has 79 moons.
The discovery was made at the Subaru telescope set up atop Hawaii’s Mauna Kea volcano.
This was announced by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center.
UNREPRESENTED TRIBES OF MEGHALAYA:
Recently, the Government of Meghalaya has decided to exclude ‘unrepresented tribes’ from the provisions of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.
The five minor tribes namely, Bodo-Kachari, Hajong, Koch, Mann, and Rabha are clubbed together as ‘unrepresented tribes’ for nomination in Meghalaya’s autonomous tribal councils.
These minor tribes are indigenous to Meghalaya and have been living in the state much before its creation in 1972.
CHANDRAYAAN – 2
Recently on board with Chandrayaan-2 mission, an instrument called CLASS, designed to detect signatures of elements in the Moon’s soil, and had detected charged particles during the mission.
CLASS stands for Chandrayaan 2 Large Area Soft X-ray Spectrometer. For the CLASS instrument seeking to detect element signatures, the lunar soil can be best observed when a solar flare provides a rich source of X-rays to illuminate the surface. Secondary X-ray emission resulting from this can be detected by CLASS to directly detect the presence of key elements like Na, Ca, Al, Si, Ti and Fe. MULTIDISCIPLINARY DRIFTING OBSERVATORY FOR THE STUDY OF ARCTIC CLIMATE (MOSAIC) EXPEDITION The MOSAiC mission stands for Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate.
It is a one-year-long expedition into the Central Arctic, planned to take place from 2019 to 2020.
MOSAiC will contribute to a quantum leap in our understanding of the coupled Arctic climate system and its representation in global climate models.
The focus of MOSAiC lies on direct in-situ observations of the climate processes that couple the atmosphere, ocean, sea ice, bio-geochemistry and ecosystem.