1) Red Planet Day: Red Planet Day commemorates the launch of the Mariner 4 spacecraft which is a robotic interplanetary probe, launched by NASA on November 28, 1964. It was the fourth of a series of spacecraft designed to fly past planets, and it became the first to fly past Mars.
- The gravitational pull of the Red Planet is roughly one-third that of Earth
- It’s red because of rusty iron in the ground. It has two small moons, Phobos and Deimos.
2) SARAS 3 Telescope: SARAS is a niche high-risk high-gain experimental effort of RRI (Raman Research Institute). It was deployed over Dandiganahalli Lake and Sharavathi backwaters, located in Karnataka, in early 2020.
- SARAS aims to design, build and deploy in India a precision radio telescope to detect extremely faint radio wave signals from the depths of time, from our “Cosmic Dawn” when the first stars and galaxies formed in the early Universe.
- SARAS 3 had improved the understanding of astrophysics of Cosmic Dawn by telling astronomers that less than 3% of the gaseous matter within early galaxies was converted into stars, and that the earliest galaxies that were bright in radio emission were also strong in X-rays, which heated the cosmic gas in and around the early galaxies.
3) National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC): The National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) was a constitutional body proposed to replace the present Collegium system of appointing judges.
- It consist of six people: Chief Justice of India, Two most senior judges of the Supreme Court, Law Minister, Two ‘eminent persons’ nominated for a three-year term by a committee consisting of the Chief Justice, the Prime Minister, and the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, and are not eligible for re-nomination.
- The NJAC was established by amending the Constitution [Constitution (Ninety-Ninth Amendment) Act, 2014] passed by the Lok Sabha on August 13, 2014 and by the Rajya Sabha on August 14 2014. The Supreme Court rejected the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act and the 99th Constitutional Amendment.
4) Jeypore Ground Gecko: The proposal to include the gecko in Appendix II was made by India at the recently-concluded 19th Conference of Parties (COP19) to CITES in Panama City
- IUCN status: ‘endangered’. This reptile is endemic to India.
- The wild reptile species is found in the Eastern Ghats and is known to be present in four locations including southern Odisha and northern Andhra Pradesh.
5) Dhamma Dipa International Buddhist University: In Tripura, DDIBU is expected to become the first Buddhist-run university in India to offer Buddhist education along with courses in other disciplines of modern education as well. It will be the first Buddhist University in India to be headed by Buddhist monastics and run and monitored by Buddhists.
- The word, Dhammadipa, describes both a core principle and a guiding force, which seeks the light of Dharma, its international scope and measure.
- Although the Bahujana Hitaya Education Trust will run the proposed Buddhist university, the state government will have a “control” over it.