1) Endosulfan: it is an organochlorine insecticide which was first introduced in the 1950s and is commonly known by its trade name Thiodan.
- It is linked to a slew of grave medical conditions, such as neurotoxicity, physical deformities, poisoning and more.
- It is sprayed on crops like cotton, cashew, fruits, tea, paddy, tobacco etc. for control of pests such as whiteflies, aphids, beetles, worms etc.
- Endosulfan is listed under both the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.
2) Megalodon: It is an extinct species of mackerel shark which used to exist at an estimated 23 million to 2.6 million years ago.
- It was the largest shark to ever swim through Earth’s oceans.
- The giant transoceanic predator would have weighed around 70 tonnes — or as much as 10 elephants.
- It had an average cruising speed faster than sharks today. It had the ability to migrate across multiple oceans. It was bigger than a school bus at around 50 feet from nose to tail.
3) Photobombing Effect: it would also impact a space telescope’s ability to observe habitable exoplanets.
- According to a new NASA study, when a telescope is pointed at an exoplanet, the light reflected by the planet could be contaminated by light from other planets in the same system.
- This phenomenon stems from the “point-spread function” of the target exoplanet.
- PSF is the image created due to the diffraction of light coming from the source and becomes larger than the source for very distant objects, like an exoplanet.
- The PSF’s size depends on the aperture of the telescope and the wavelength at which the image was captured.
4) Pandemic Treaty: In December 2021, the Health Assembly adopted a decision titled “The World Together” at its second special session since it was founded in 1948.
- Under the decision, WHO established an intergovernmental negotiating body (INB) to draft and negotiate the contents of the pandemic treaty in compliance with Article 19 of the WHO Constitution.
- The pandemic treaty is expected to cover aspects like data sharing and genome sequencing of emerging viruses and equitable distribution of vaccines and drugs and related research throughout the world.
5) Modified Interest Subvention scheme (MISS): Under this, bank provides short term loans upto 3 lakh for all agriculture and allied activities at 7% per annum.
- For prompt repayment of loans: Farmers repaying loans before due data are given extra 3% subventions (i.e., they will have to pay just 4% interest rate
- Funding: 100% by centre
- Nodal agency: NABARD and RBI