1) Agni V: India has successfully conducted night trials of nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni V.
- It has been indigenously developed by DRDO. it is a surface-to-surface Nuclear Capable Ballistic missile. It can carry both nuclear and traditional weapons.
- Range: Agni-V, with a range of over 5,000 km, is India’s longest-range ballistic missile and can reach most parts of China
- Agni-V is the most advanced missile in the Agni series featuring many new technologies, including the very high accuracy Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System (RINS) and Micro Navigation System (MINS) which improves the accuracy of the missile.
- With the Agni-V, India joins an elite club of countries like US, Russia, the UK, France and China, which boast Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) capabilities.
2) Social Progress Index (SPI): The report has been prepared by Institute for Competitiveness, and the Social Progress Imperative. It was mandated by Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India. The report aims to provide a systematic account of the social progress made at all levels in the country with state and district-wise rankings and scorecards.
- SPI assesses the performance of states and districts on three dimensions of social progress: Basic Human Needs, Foundations of Wellbeing, and Opportunity. Within each dimension, there are four components.
3) IUCN Updated Red List of Threatened Species: IUCN Red List or Red Data Book, founded in 1964, is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species. It has 9 categories
- White-Cheeked Dancing Frog: Endangered. It is Found only in the Western Ghats of Karnataka
- Andaman Smoothhound Shark: Vulnerable. Only found in the Andaman Sea (Endemic to India)
- Yellow Himalayan Fritillary plant: Vulnerable. Threats – It is harvested and traded in disguise with a new trade name ‘Jangli lehsun’
4) Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm: An aneurysm is a localised weakening of the wall of a blood vessel, which causes the vessel to bulge in that area — as a result of which the vessel may widen to more than 50 percent of its usual diameter. Aneurysms are more commonly seen in arteries than in veins.
- The aorta is the main artery that carries oxygenated blood from the heart to the rest of the body; it is also the body’s largest blood vessel.
- An aortic aneurysm is a weakening and bulging in a portion of the aorta; “thoracic” refers to that section of the blood vessel that passes through the chest.
5) Vacation Benches of the Supreme Court: A Vacation Bench of the Supreme Court is a special bench constituted by the Chief Justice of India. The Supreme Court takes two long vacations each year, the summer and winter breaks, but is technically not fully closed during these periods.
- Litigants can still approach the Supreme Court during vacations and, if the court decides that the plea is an “urgent matter”, the Vacation Bench hears the case on its merits.
- While there is no specific definition as to what is an “urgent matter”, during vacations the court generally admits writs related to habeas corpus, certiorari, prohibition and quo warranto matters for enforcement of any fundamental right.