1) North Star: also known as Pole Star, it is a very bright star, around 2,500 times more luminous than the Sun. It is part of the constellation Ursa Minor and is 323 light years away from the Earth.
- The North star is less than 1° away from the north celestial pole, almost in direct line with the Earth’s rotational axis. It appears to sit motionless in the northern sky, with all the other stars appearing to rotate around it.
- The elevation of the star above the horizon gives the approximate latitude of the observer and thus helped in navigation.
- Upon crossing the equator to the south, however, the North Star is lost over the horizon and hence stops being a useful navigational aid.
2) Dhamaal: it is a mix of Sufi and African musical and dance, referring particularly to the spiritual practices of the Siddis of Gujarat- performed to celebrate the anniversary of the birth and death of spiritual leaders. They are performed in two ways
- Dance Dhamaal: It is performed in both sitting and dance positions and the focus is more on the sounds of the instruments.
- Baithaaki Dhamaal: is performed in the sitting position and the focus is more on the lyrics and less on the musical instruments.
- The spiritual songs that are sung during the Dhamaals are known as zikrs.
3) Muons: these are subatomic particles raining from space. They are created when the particles in Earth’s atmosphere collide with cosmic rays — clusters of high-energy particles that move through space at just below the speed of light. It is claimed that “about 10,000 muons reach every square meter of the Earth’s surface a minute”.
- Muography is conceptually similar to X-ray but capable of scanning much larger and wider structures, owing to the penetration power of muons.
- Researchers are using muons to study the fortress wall of Xi’an, an ancient city in China.
4) Large Exposure Framework (LEF) guidelines of RBI: LEF are guidelines aimed to monitor and limit losses of a bank from a client or corporation. It is based on the 2014 Basel guidelines.
- The RBI has a Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC) database system where the banks report their exposure of ₹5 crores and above which is used for monitoring purposes.
- An exception to LEF: Banks need not report exposure if the loans are taken from RBI, is guaranteed by the Government of India or have Intra-day interbank exposures or deposits are maintained by NABARD (due to shortfall in target for Priority sector Lending)
5) Dearness Allowance (DA): DA is a cost of living adjustment that the Government pays to public sector employees and pensioners to curb the effect of inflation. It is calculated as a percentage of the basic salary. DA is fully taxable for individuals who are salaried employees.
- It is compulsory to declare the tax liability concerning DA when filing an ITR.
- Since DA is based on the cost of living, this salary component is not fixed.
- Variable Dearness Allowance (VDA) applies to Central government employees and undergoes revision every six months based on the changes in the Consumer Price Index
- Industrial Dearness Allowance (IDA) applies to the Public sector employees of the Central Government and is revised every quarter based on the changes in CPI.