1) UPI Pay Linkages: As part of an agreement, India’s UPI will be linked to Singapore’s PayNow
- Singapore is the first country with which cross border Person to Person (P2P) payment facility has been launched.
- Unified Payments Interface (UPI): It is an advanced version of Immediate Payment Service (IMPS)- round–the–clock funds transfer service to make cashless payments faster, easier and smoother. It integrates multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application, merging several banking features, seamless fund routing & merchant payments into one hood.
- Operator: National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). NPCI launched UPI with 21 member banks in 2016.
2) HD-3385: The IARI scientists have developed three varieties of wheat, all of them incorporating genes that are responsible for the mild vernalization requirement preventing premature flowering and early heading- HDCSW18, HD-3410 and HD-3385.
- HD-3385 looks most promising. With the same yields as HD-3410, plant height of just 95 cm and strong stems, it is least lodging-prone and most amenable for early sowing.
3) AstroSat: It is India’s first dedicated multi-wavelength space observatory.
- It is the first dedicated Indian astronomy mission aimed at studying celestial sources in X-ray, optical, and UV spectral bands simultaneously.
- AstroSat, was launched by PSLV from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota in 2015, into a 650 km orbit inclined at an angle of 6 degrees to the equator.
- One of the unique features of AstroSat mission is that it enables the simultaneous multi-wavelength observations of various astronomical objects with a single satellite.
- The Ground Command and Control Centre for ASTROSAT is located at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC), Bangalore, India. The minimum useful life of the AstroSat mission is around 5 years.
4) Pink Dolphin: It is the Amazon River dolphin which is also known as the pink river dolphin or boto and lives only in freshwater. The river dolphin is smaller than other types of saltwater dolphins.
- Pink dolphins must live in warm, shallow water areas because they have very little blubber.
- Unlike ocean-dwelling dolphins, pink dolphins have a hump instead of a dorsal fin.
- Generally, these dolphins become more pink as they age, which has led to the species becoming known as the ‘pink dolphin.’ Conservation status: IUCN: Endangered
5) WHALE STRANDING: It is a phenomenon in which whales are stuck on land, usually on a beach.
- Other aquatic animals like dolphins and porpoises are also known to beach.
- Most of the stranding events involve single animals but mass strandings occur too.
- Major hotspots: Tasmania, New Zealand‘s Golden Bay and Massachusetts’s Cape Cod in US
- The latest whale beaching event in Sri Lanka might have been caused due to the “recent seismic activity in the Indian Ocean”.
- Several studies have shown that noise from large commercial ships, military sonars or offshore drilling severely impacts whales’ and other marine animals’ ability to use sound to navigate, find food and protect themselves. This can drive them ashore by deafening, disorienting, or frightening them.