22 September Current Affairs


Multidimensional Poverty Index 2018

In News:

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) have released the 2018 Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI).

About Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI):

The MPI provides the most comprehensive view of the various ways in which 1.3 billion people worldwide experience poverty in their daily life.

The MPI looks at the multifaceted nature of poverty. It identifies people’s deprivations across three key dimensions – health, education and living standards, lacking amenities such clean water, sanitation, adequate nutrition or primary education. Those who are left behind in at least a third of the MPI’s components are defined as multidimensionally poor.

How is the global MPI2018 aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals?

Rather than viewing challenges one by one, in silos, the MPI shows how deprivations related to SDGs 1,2,3,4,6,7, and 11 are concretely interlinked in poor people’s lives. Rather than providing only national headlines, the global MPI is disaggregated by subnational region, area, ethnicity, or age cohort. The indicators underlying the global MPI 2018 have been revised to better align with the SDGs.

Performance of India:

India has made giant strides in reducing multidimensional poverty, bringing down its poverty rate from 55% to 28% in ten years.

Between 2005-06 and 2015-16, more than 271 million people have come out of the clutches of poverty in India. However, India still has the largest number of people living in multidimensional poverty in the world- around 364 million people. 156 million out of 364 million people who are MPI poor in 2015/2016 are children.

India’s scale of poverty reduction has parallels with the phenomenal level of poverty reduction achieved in China a decade or so earlier. India’s scale of multidimensional poverty reduction over the decade from 2005/6 to 2015/16 – from 635 million poor persons to 364 million– can be compared to the speedy pace of China’s poverty reduction, which occurred over more than 20 years.

Across nearly every state, poor nutrition is the largest contributor to multidimensional poverty. Not having a household member with at least six years of education is the second largest contributor. Insufficient access to clean water and child mortality contribute least.

State- wise data:

Among states, Jharkhand had the greatest improvement, with Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, and Nagaland only slightly behind. However, Bihar is still the poorest state in 2015/16, with more than half of its population in poverty.

In 2015/16, the four poorest states – Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh – were still home to 196 million MPI poor people – over half of all the MPI poor people in India. Delhi, Kerala and Goa have the lowest incidence of multidimensional poverty.

India’s relative performance:

Among the South Asian countries, only Maldives boasts lower MPI of 0.007 than India (0.121). Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan and Afghanistan all boast higher incidences of multidimensional poverty.

After India (364 million people), the countries with the largest number of people living in multi-dimensional poverty are Nigeria (97 million), Ethiopia (86 million), Pakistan (85 million), and Bangladesh (67 million).

Global performance:

The global MPI covers 105 countries in total, home to 75% of the world’s population, or 5.7 billion people. Of this proportion, 1.3 billion are identified as multidimensionally poor, and half of them are younger than 18 years old.

83% of the world’s poor live in South Asia and Africa. The latest data further reveals the vast majority of the multidimensional poor – 1.1 billion people – live in rural areas around the world, where poverty rates are four times higher than among those living in urban areas.

Source: The Hindu

Child Adoption Regulatory Authority (CARA)

In News:

Child Adoption Regulatory Authority (CARA) has allowed individuals in a live-in relationship to adopt children from and within India.



CARA has barred applicants in a live-in relationship from adopting a child on the ground that “the Authority would like the children to be placed only with a stable family and individuals in a live-in relationship cannot be considered as stable family.”


The eligibility criteria under Adoption Regulations, 2017, permit single women to adopt a child of any gender, while single men can adopt only boys. When a married couple seeks to adopt a child, it needs to give its consent for adoption and should be stable marriage for at least two years. Applicants have to be physically, mentally and financially stable to raise a child.

About CARA:

Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is a statutory body of Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India.

It functions as the nodal body for adoption of Indian children and is mandated to monitor and regulate in-country and inter-country adoptions.

CARA is designated as the Central Authority to deal with inter-country adoptions in accordance with the provisions of the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption, 1993, ratified by Government of India in 2003.

CARA primarily deals with adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children through its associated /recognised adoption agencies.

Source: PIB

NASA balloon mission

In News:

Scientists have begun to analyse the photos captured by the NASA balloon mission.


The mission recently captured the images of noctilucent clouds or polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs). These images may help scientists better understand turbulence in the atmosphere, as well as in oceans, lakes and other planetary atmospheres.

About the Mission:

NASA’s polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs) Turbo mission launched a giant balloon on July 8 to study PMCs at a height of 50 miles above the surface. For five days, the balloon floated through the stratosphere from its launch at Esrange, Sweden, across the Arctic to Western Nunavut, Canada. During its flight, cameras on board the balloon captured six million high-resolution images filling up 120 terabytes of data storage — most of which included a variety of PMC displays, revealing the processes leading to turbulence.

Objectives of the mission:

The mission aimed at studying atmospheric motions, such as airflow over mountains or the motions caused by thunderstorms, which can cause disturbances in the atmosphere which are generated through something called gravity waves.

Besides, with this mission, scientists want to understand the processes of matter in near-Earth space, including how matter there interacts with Earth’s atmosphere and weather.

What are PMCs?

Polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs) form 50 miles above the poles during summer. They’re mostly made up of ice crystals and appear like faint lines in the sky. The clouds are only visible during twilight, when the angle of the sun reflects off them and causes them to shine a bright electric blue or white colour.

These clouds are affected by what is known as atmospheric gravity waves – caused by the convecting and uplifting of air masses, such as when air is pushed up by mountain ranges.

The waves play major roles in transferring energy from the lower atmosphere to the mesosphere.

Source: the hindu

Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite

In News:

Nasa’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, better known as TESS, has discovered “super-Earth” and “hot Earth” planets in solar systems at least 49 light-years away, marking the satellite’s first discovery since its April launch.

Key findings:

The two newly discovered planets are Pi Mensae c, a “super-earth” planet 60 light-years away orbiting its sun every 6.3 days and LHS 3844 b, a “hot-earth” planet 49 light-years away that orbits its sun every 11 hours.

About TESS mission:

The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is a NASA mission that will look for planets orbiting the brightest stars in Earth’s sky. It was led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with seed funding from Google.

Mission: The mission will monitor at least 200,000 stars for signs of exoplanets, ranging from Earth-sized rocky worlds to huge gas giant planets. TESS, however, will focus on stars that are 30 to 100 times brighter than those Kepler examined. This will help astronomers better understand the structure of solar systems outside of our Earth, and provide insights into how our own solar system formed.

Orbit: TESS will occupy a never-before-used orbit high above Earth. The elliptical orbit, called P/2, is exactly half of the moon’s orbital period; this means that TESS will orbit Earth every 13.7 days. Its closest point to Earth (67,000 miles or 108,000 kilometers) is about triple the distance of geosynchronous orbit, where most communications satellites operate.

It will use transit method to detect exoplanets. It watches distant stars for small dips in brightness, which can indicate that planet has passed in front of them. Repeated dips will indicate planet passing in front of its star. This data has to be validated by repeated observations and verified by scientists.

Significance of the mission:

TESS is designed to build on the work of its predecessor, the Kepler space telescope, which discovered the bulk of some 3,700 exoplanets documented during the past 20 years and is running out of fuel.

Nasa expects to pinpoint thousands more previously unknown worlds, perhaps hundreds of them Earth-sized or “super-Earth” sized – no larger than twice as big as our home planet.

Those are believed the most likely to feature rocky surfaces or oceans and are thus considered the best candidates for life to evolve. Scientists have said they hope TESS will ultimately help catalog at least 100 more rocky exoplanets for further study in what has become one of astronomy’s newest fields of exploration.

Source: ToI

Hayabusa 2

In News:

Hayabusa2, a Japanese space probe has released a pair of exploring rovers towards an egg-shaped asteroid- the Ryugu asteroid, to collect mineral samples that may shed light on the origin of the solar system.

The mission:

If the mission is successful, the rovers will conduct the world’s first moving, robotic observation of an asteroid surface.

Taking advantage of the asteroid’s low gravity, they will jump around on the surface — soaring as high as 15 metres and staying in the air for as long as 15 minutes — to survey the asteroid’s physical features with cameras and sensors.

About Hayabusa 2:

Hayabusa 2 is an unmanned explorer. It was launched in 2014 aboard Japan’s main H-IIA rocket from Tanegashima Space Centre for its six-year mission to bring back mineral samples from the asteroid.

The probe will also release a French-German landing vehicle named Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) for surface observation.

Hayabusa2, about the size of a large fridge and equipped with solar panels, is the successor to JAXA’s first asteroid explorer, Hayabusa — Japanese for falcon.

If all goes well, soil samples will be returned to Earth in late 2020.

Source: The Hindu


In News:

RemoveDebris system has successfully completed its capture test.


Back in June, the RemoveDEBRIS system was deployed from the International Space Station. On September 16th, the group began to proceed with in-space testing.

Operating over 186 miles (30o km) above the Earth, the RemoveDEBRIS system set out to capture a tiny satellite known as a CubeSat. With a net shooting off at around 44 MPH (20 meters per second) and a vision based navigation including cameras and LiDAR, the net was able to quickly capture the runaway CubeSat.

About RemoveDebris mission:

RemoveDebris is an EU (European Union) research project to develop and fly a low cost in-orbit demonstrator mission that aims to de-risk and verify technologies needed for future ADR (Active Debris Removal) missions.

RemoveDebris is aimed at performing key ADR technology demonstrations (e.g., capture, deorbiting) representative of an operational scenario during a low-cost mission using novel key technologies for ADR. The project is based on and aimed at contributing to global/European ADR roadmaps.

A microsatellite called here RemoveSAT, will release, capture and deorbit two space debris targets, called DebrisSats, in sequence using various rendezvous, capture and deorbiting technologies thus demonstrating in orbit, key ADR technologies for future missions in what promises to be the first ADR technology mission internationally.


Space junk is an ever-growing problem with more than 7,500 tonnes of redundant hardware now thought to be circling the Earth. Ranging from old rocket bodies and defunct spacecraft through to screws and even flecks of paint – this material poses a collision hazard to operational missions.

The rising population of space debris increases the potential danger to all space vehicles, but especially to the International Space Station (ISS), space shuttles, satellites and other spacecraft.

Source: The Hindu


In News:

The fossils of this animal were recently discovered.


It is the earliest animal on geological record — a strange oval creature with rib like segments running along its body that lived on Earth 558 million years ago.

Researchers found the fossil in a remote area near the White Sea in the northwest of Russia.

Key facts:

Dickinsonia grew up to 1.4 metres in length.

It was part of the Ediacara Biota that lived on Earth 20 million years prior to the ‘Cambrian explosion’ of modern animal life.

The ‘Cambrian explosion’ was when complex animals and other macroscopic organisms — such as molluscs, worms, arthropods and sponges — began to dominate the fossil record.

Source: PIB

India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline Project

  • This project was recently inaugrated jointly by India and Bangladesh.
  • This 130-kilometre pipeline project will connect Siliguri in West Bengal in India and Parbatipur in Dinajpur district of Bangladesh.
  • The capacity of the pipeline will be one million metric tonnes per annum.
  • This project will fulfil energy needs at a cheaper rate to Bangladesh’s northern part.

Launch Pad for Gaganyaan

  • ISRO is setting up a third launch pad at Sriharikota to undertake the Gaganyaan manned space flight programme.
  • Gaganyaan is India’s ambitious manned spaceflight mission.
  • It aims to send a three-member crew to space for a period of five to seven days.
  • It will be launched by ISRO by 2022.
  • It will make India the fourth nation in the world to launch a Human Spaceflight Mission after USA, Russia and China.
  • ISRO has developed some critical technologies through demonstrations like Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE-2007), Crew module Atmospheric Reentry Experiment (CARE-2014) and Pad Abort Test (2018).
  • The spacecraft will be placed in a low earth orbit of 300-400km.
  • GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle will be used to for the mission. It has the payload capacity of 4000 kg satellites in Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) and 8000 kg payload to Low Earth Orbit.
  • The crew will be selected by Indian Air Force (IAF) and ISRO jointly after which they will undergo training for two-three years.
  • Crew Escape System – It is an emergency escape measure to quickly pull the astronaut crew out to a safe distance from launch vehicle during a launch abort.
  • Pad Abort test was conducted earlier to demonstrate this to ascertain the efficiency of crew escape system.


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By Naveen