1. ISRO launches ‘Samwad with Students’
  • As part of the enhanced outreach programme of ISRO, a platform named “Samwad with Students” has been launched.
  • The Samwad with Students aims to constantly engage youngsters across India to capture their scientific temperament.
  • The new conversation mission will inspire students cutting across schools and colleges.
  • The first SwS event saw 40 wards and 10 teachers from selected schools.

Related Information

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)

  • Its headquartered in the city of Bengaluru.
  • Its vision is to “harness space technology for national development while pursuing space science research and planetary exploration.”
  • It is managed by the Department of Space, which reports to the Prime Minister of India.
  • Its Motto is – Space technology in the service of humankind

Topic- GS Paper 2 –Governance


  1. Export Promotion Council Cell Established for MSME Sector
  • Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) has established an Export Promotion Cell.
  • It will:
    (i) create a sustainable ecosystem for entire MSME development.
    (ii) Evaluate readiness of MSMEs to export their products and services.
    (iii) Recognize areas where improvements are required in order to be able to export effectively and efficiently
    (iv) Integration of MSME into the global value chain.


  • It will be chaired by Secretary, M/o MSME and Co-chaired by Development Commissioner, M/o MSME.
  • The council will comprise of senior officials and members from M/o MSME, Commerce, MSME Export Promotion Councils, Export Development Authorities, Commodity Boards, and other bodies.


  • Target of USD 100 billion of exports from India by 2020.
  • Evaluate readiness of MSMEs to export their products and services.
  • Recognize areas where improvements are required in order to be able to export effectively and efficiently.
  • Integration of MSMEs into Global Value Chain.

Topic- GS Paper 3 – Economics

Source- The Hindu

  1. NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft became the first explorer to fly past the “Ultima Thule”
  • NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft became the first explorer to fly past the mysterious object called “Ultima Thule” which is located some 4 billion miles from Earth.

Related Information

Ultima Thule

  • Ultima Thule is located in the Kuiper belt in the outermost regions of the Solar System, beyond the orbit of Neptune.
  • Ultima Thule means ‘beyond Thule’, beyond the borders of the known world, symbolizing the exploration of the distant Kuiper Belt and Kuiper Belt objects.
  • It is the farthest and quite possibly the oldest, a cosmic body ever photographed by humankind.
  • It measures approximately 30 km in diameter and is irregularly shaped.

New Horizons

  • It was launched in 2006 and has been traveling through space for the past nine years.
  • New Horizon’s core science mission is to map the surfaces of Pluto and Charon, to study Pluto’s atmosphere and to take temperature readings.

Topic- GS Paper 3 – Science and Technology

Source- Indian Express

    4. SlDEAD35: Gene that helps tomato fight viral infection, heat stress

  • Scientists at New Delhi-based National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR) have deciphered the critical role of a single gene—SlDEAD35—in tomato plant whose expression controls its response to both heat stress and viral infection.
  • Developing systems for tolerance or resistance against combined stresses is important for future crop production.

Related Information

  • It has been known that RNA helicases, one of the largest gene families that function in almost all aspects of RNA metabolism, play a role in growth, development and stress response of a species.
  • They are present in most of the organisms ranging from bacteria to humans, as well as plants.
  • However, its role in the tomato plant’s response to environmental stresses was not known.
  • Now team observed that two genes (SlDEAD23 and SlDEAD35) help plants withstand biotic and abiotic stresses.

Topic- GS-3- Science and Technology

Source- Down to Earth

  1. Pakistan Cabinet approves the issuance of panda Bond in Chinese Currency
  • The government of Pakistan has decided to launch Panda Bonds to raise loans from Chinese capital markets.
  • It will help Pakistan’s to move towards giving the Chinese currency, a status at par with that enjoyed by the US dollar.
  • The Panda Bonds are part of its multipronged approach for bridging the foreign financing needs and building foreign exchange reserves.
  • Panda Bonds will help Pakistan to diversify the investor base of capital market issuance and provide a source of raising renminbi.
  • China is Pakistan’s largest trading partner.
  • The raising of capital in Chinese currency will aid Pakistan to bridge the deficit.

Related Information

Panda Bonds

  • These bonds are Chinese renminbi-denominated bonds from a non-Chinese issuer, sold in the People’s Republic of China.
  • The Philippines issued its inaugural Panda bonds in 2018. It was the first ASEAN member to issue Panda bonds.

Topic- GS Paper 2 – International Relations

Source- The Hindu

  1. Government to achieve 100% household electrification ahead of Republic Day
  • Ministry of Power said that India is likely to achieve 100 percent household electrification before 2019 Republic Day.

Recent Scenario

  • India has already provided electricity access to 2.39 crore out of the targeted 2.49 crore households under the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, Saubhagya scheme.
  • Status of Electrification India has achieved the hundred percent electrification of the households in 25 states by December 2018.
  • About 10.48 lakh households are left to be electrified in 4 states of Assam, Rajasthan, Meghalaya, and Chhattisgarh.

Related Information

 SAUBHAGYA or ‘Power for all’ scheme

  • Prime Minister launched ‘Power for all’ scheme to mark the birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya on September 25, 2017.
  • The scheme is named as ‘Saubhagya’ and provide subsidy on equipment like transformers, meters, and wires.
  • The scheme also promises on-the-spot registration of applicants.
  • Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (REC) is the nodal agency for coordinating the implementation of the scheme.
  • The prospective beneficiary households for free electricity connections under the scheme identify using Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC), 2011 data.


Topic- GS Paper 2 – Governance

Source- AIR

  1. Robust GDP growth to continue: CII
  • According to the Confederation of Indian Industry, India will continue to be the fastest-growing major economy, with robust GDP growth expected to continue through 2019.
  • The Confederation of Indian Industry gave this statement based on strong drivers from the services sector, infrastructure activity, and better demand conditions.

The factor which contributes in sustain the robust GDP growth in the range of 7.5% in 2019.

  • “Better demand conditions
  • Settled GST implementation
  • Capacity expansion resulting from growing investments in infrastructure
  • Continuing the positive effects of the reform policies are undertaken and improved credit offtake especially in the services sector at 24%

CII has identified seven key drivers of growth that need to be encouraged in 2019

  • Lowering the number of GST rate slabs
  • Bolstering the insolvency
  • Bankruptcy framework
  • Simplifying business procedures
  • Improving agricultural productivity, among others.

Topic- GS Paper 3 – Economics

Source- The Hindu

  1. Cinereous vulture
  • Recently, Cinereous Vulture is spotted in Hazaribagh, Jharkhand.

Related Information

  • The cinereous vulture is a large raptorial bird that is distributed through much of Eurasia.
  • It is also known as the black vulture, monk vulture, or Eurasian black vulture.
  • It is one of the two largest Old World vultures
  • IUCN status: Near threatened

Topic- GS Paper 3 – Environment

Source- The Hindu

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