1) Elaliite and Elkinstantonite: Researchers in Canada have discovered two new minerals in a meteorite that landed in Somalia. The 15-tonne El Ali meteorite was unearthed in Somalia in 2020.
- The meteorite came from an asteroid in the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter.
- The 2-metre-wide meteorite has been well known to generations of people who live in the area, where it was named Nightfall.
2) China-Indian Ocean Region Forum: China’s top development aid agency convened the first “China-Indian Ocean Region Forum” in the southwestern Chinese city of Kunming.
- The forum was “the first high-level official development cooperation forum jointly held by China and countries in the Indian Ocean Region”. The forum underlines China’s growing strategic interests in a region where its economic footprint has been deepening.
- During the forum, China “proposed to establish a marine disaster prevention and mitigation cooperation mechanism between China and countries in the Indian Ocean region”.
- All parties agreed to strengthen policy coordination, deepen development cooperation, increase resilience to shocks and disasters etc.
- The meet was organised by the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA).
3) Strep A bacterial infection: also known as Group A Streptococcus, is a bacterium found in the throat and on the skin. These are communicable and can spread through coughs, sneezes.
- These infections usually tend to be fairly harmless but in very rare circumstances when the bacterium produces a toxin it can gain access to the bloodstream and cause really serious illness.
- Antibiotics are usually effective at treating Strep A or iGAS infections. Currently, there is no vaccine available to prevent them.
4) Oceansat-3: ISRO’s PSLV-C54 rocket launched the Oceansat-3 along with eight nano satellites, including the Bhutan-SAT, from Sriharikota.
- Oceansat-3 is the third in its set of ocean satellites that are part of India’s ocean observation programme. It is a multi-sensor observation satellite, which is expected to operate till 2027.
- The Oceansat-3 is envisaged to observe ocean colour data, sea surface temperature (SST) and wind vector data to use in oceanography, climatic and meteorological applications. It also supports value-added products such as potential fishing zones.
5) First Loss Default Guarantee (FLDG) system: is a lending model between a fintech and a regulated entity in which a third party guarantees to compensate up to a certain percentage of default in a loan portfolio of the regulated entities (RE).
- Under these agreements, the fintech originates a loan and promises to compensate the partners up to a pre-decided percentage in case customers fail to repay.
The bank/NBFC partners lend through the fintech but from their own books. FLDG helps expand the customer base of traditional lenders but relies on the fintech’s underwriting capabilities. A report by an RBI-constituted working group on digital lending has laid down risks of FLDG agreements with unregulated entities. The other concern is that FLDG costs are often passed on to customers.