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Hindu Notes from General Studies-01

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Greenland s melting ice sheet releasing tons of methane

News

  • The Greenland ice sheet emits tons of methane according to a new study, showing that subglacial biological activity impacts the atmosphere far more than previously thought, say researchers.

Findings

  • The study reported that ice sheet beds, which hold large reserves of carbon, liquid water, microorganisms and very little oxygen the ideal conditions for creating methane gas are also atmospheric methane sources.
  • Using novel sensors to measure methane in meltwater runoff in real time, they observed that methane was continuously exported from beneath the ice.
  • They calculated that at least six tons of methane was transported to their measuring site from this portion of the Ice Sheet alone, roughly the equivalent of the methane released by up to 100 cows.
  • This is the first time that meltwaters produced in spring and summer in large ice sheet catchments have been reported to continuously flush out methane from the ice sheet bed to the atmosphere.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

10% reservation for the poor gets LS approval

News

  • The Lok Sabha passed a Bill allowing 10% quota in employment and education for the general category candidates who belong to the economically weaker sections.

Beyond News

  • The Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill, 2019, introduced by Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, was cleared with a majority of the members (319) voting for it, and four against.
  • The 10% reservation will be over and above the 50% stipulated by the Supreme Court and is expected to benefit a huge section of upper castes, including Brahmins, Rajputs (Thakurs), Jats, Marathas and Bhumihars and trading castes such as Kapus and Kammas.
  • The economically deprived among the poor in the other religions will also benefit.

Lok Sabha passes DNA technology Bill

News

  • The Lok Sabha passed a Bill that allows regulated use of DNA technology to establish the identity of certain defined categories of persons, including offenders, suspects, and undertrials.

Beyond News

  • The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill allows the use of the technology to establish the identity of persons in matters of crime, parentage dispute, emigration or immigration and transplantation of human organs.
  • The Bill provides for establishment of national and regional DNA data banks and each data will maintain the indices, including crime scene index, suspects’ or undertrials’ index and offenders’ index.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

NASA’s probe discovers a new planet

News

  • NASA’s latest planet-hunting probe has discovered a new world outside our solar system, orbiting a dwarf star 53 light years away.

Beyond News

  • This is the third new planet confirmed by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) since its launch.
  • The planet, named HD 21749b, orbits a bright, nearby dwarf star about 53 light years away, in the constellation Reticulum, and appears to have the longest orbital period of the three planets so far identified by TESS.
  • HD 21749b journeys around its star in a relatively leisurely 36 days, compared to the two other planets Pi Mensae b, a “super-Earth” with a 6.3-day orbit, and LHS 3844b, a rocky world that speeds around its star in just 11 hours.
  • All three planets were discovered in the first three months of TESS observations.
  • The planet is about three times the size of the earth, which puts it in the category of a “sub-Neptune.”
  • However, it is unlikely that the planet is rocky and therefore habitable; it’s more likely made of gas, of a kind that is much more dense than the atmospheres of either Neptune or Uranus.

Customers cannot be charged for availing tokenisation service: RBI

News

  • The Reserve of India (RBI) has allowed all card payment networks to offer tokenisation service.
  • However, the central bank has made it clear that no charges should be recovered from the customer for availing this service.

Beyond News

  • Tokenisation involves a process in which a unique token masks sensitive card details. The token is then used to perform card transactions in contact-less mode at Point Of Sale (POS) terminals, Quick Response (QR) code payments, etc.
  • The RBI has allowed card payment networks to offer card tokenisation services to any token requestor, that is, a third party app provider. A card holder can avail of these services by registering the card on the token requestor’s app and after giving ‘explicit consent’.
  • All extant instructions of Reserve Bank on safety and security of card transactions, including the mandate for additional factor of authentication (AFA) / PIN entry shall be applicable for tokenised card transactions also.
  • For additional factor of authentication, PIN entry shall be applicable for tokenised card transactions also.
  • Adequate safeguards shall be put in place to ensure that PAN cannot be found out from the token and vice versa by anyone except the card network.
  • Moreover, actual card data, token and other relevant details shall be stored in a secure mode and the token requestors are not allowed to store PAN or any other card detail.
  • The ultimate responsibility for the card tokenisation services rendered rests with the authorised card networks.

IBM gets 9,100 patents in 2018, India second highest contributor

News

  • Tech giant IBM said it had received 9,100 patents in 2018 across areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing and cybersecurity, with India being the second highest contributor to the global record tally.

Beyond News

  • In 2018, IBM employee inventors received a record number of 9,100 patents, marking the company’s 26th consecutive year of the U.S. patent leadership. IBM also led the industry in the number of AI, cloud computing, security and quantum computing-related patent grants, with more than 4,000 patents.
  • It is committed to leading the way on technologies that change the way the world works and solving problems which many people have not even thought of yet.
  • Overall, the patents were granted to a diverse group of more than 8,500 IBM inventors in over 40 countries.

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