● Cabinet approves creation of ‘Indian Enterprise Development Service (IEDS)’ in the Office of Development Commissioner (MSME) under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
● Udyog Aadhaar Memorandum (UAM) launched and 3734738 till now
● Foundation Stone Laid for MSME Technology Centre at Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh under Technology Centre Systems Programme (TCSP) & National Vendor Development Programme
● National SC/ST Hub launched in Ludhiana
● MSME Databank and Finance Facilitation and Online Census of MSMEs and Finance Facilitation Centres Launched
● Giant Charkha unveiled at IGI Airport, Delhi. 42 carpenters from Ahmedabad built the Charkha in 55 days
● Incubation cell at IIFT Delhi Launched
● Mauritius to exclusively offer Biofarming Technology to India
● National MSME Policy to be formulated for the First Time in India
● India concludes MoU on MSME Cooperation with Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Member Countries. IORA Special Fund Created to Carry Out Activities Under this MoU
● Cabinet approves MOU between India and United Arab Emirates for cooperation in the field of Small and Medium Enterprises and Innovation
● Micro and Small Enterprise Facilitation Council (MSEFC) Portal and MyMSME Mobile App Launched
● Financial Support to MSMEs in ZED Certification Scheme launched.
● MSME Delayed Payment Portal – MSME Samadhaan Launched
The existing mechanism for addressing revival, rehabilitation and exit of small enterprises is very weak in the country.
The most recent Doing Business (DB) Report ranks India 137 out of the 189 economies for resolving insolvencies.
It notes that resolving insolvency takes 4.3 years on average and costs 9.0% of the debtor’s estate, with the most likely outcome being that the company will be sold as piecemeal sale.
Context: NASA’s planet hunting Kepler space telescope — which has led to the discovery of over 2,300 planets so far – has woken up from sleep mode and has restarted its scientific operations. NASA has been closely monitoring the probe since it is expected to run out of fuel soon.
The Kepler team is planning to collect as much science data as possible in its remaining time and beam it back to Earth before the loss of the fuel-powered thrusters that would make it difficult to aim the spacecraft for data transfer.
Background: The space telescope, originally launched in March 2009, has had a tumultuous year. The team placed Kepler into hibernation in July, as their new planet-hunter, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), began testing for its own mission. The hibernation-like state was to ensure that the data from Kepler’s 18th mission, stored onboard the spacecraft, would be able to make its way back to Earth.
Accomplishments: In total, the Kepler mission has confirmed the existence of 2,652 exoplanets and 30 of those exist within the Small Habitable Zone, the area of space surrounding a star where a planet could theoretically support a surface of liquid water (and potentially extraterrestrial life).
About Kepler Mission: Launched in 2009, the Kepler mission is specifically designed to survey our region of the Milky Way galaxy to discover hundreds of Earth-sized and smaller planets in or near the habitable zone and determine the fraction of the hundreds of billions of stars in our galaxy that might have such planets.
About TESS mission: The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is a NASA mission that will look for planets orbiting the brightest stars in Earth’s sky. It was led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with seed funding from Google.
Mission: The mission will monitor at least 200,000 stars for signs of exoplanets, ranging from Earth-sized rocky worlds to huge gas giant planets. TESS, however, will focus on stars that are 30 to 100 times brighter than those Kepler examined. This will help astronomers better understand the structure of solar systems outside of our Earth, and provide insights into how our own solar system formed.
Orbit: TESS will occupy a never-before-used orbit high above Earth. The elliptical orbit, called P/2, is exactly half of the moon’s orbital period; this means that TESS will orbit Earth every 13.7 days. Its closest point to Earth (67,000 miles or 108,000 kilometers) is about triple the distance of geosynchronous orbit, where most communications satellites operate.
How it works? It will use transit method to detect exoplanets. It watches distant stars for small dips in brightness, which can indicate that planet has passed in front of them. Repeated dips will indicate planet passing in front of its star. This data has to be validated by repeated observations and verified by scientists.
Scientists have declared eight species of birds to be extinct in what are being seen as the first avian extinctions of the 21st century. The study was conducted by non-profit “BirdLife International”. It assessed 51 species judged “critically endangered” on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) “Red List” by using a new statistical method.
Key facts: The species gone extinct include Spix’s macaw, the Alagoas foliage-gleaner, the cryptic treehunter, the Pernambuco pygmy-owl, the poo-uli, or black-faced honeycreeper and the glaucous macaw. Five of these new extinctions have occurred in South America and have been attributed by scientists to deforestation. Four out of the eight species declared extinct belong to Brazil.
About Birdlife International: BirdLife International (formerly the International Council for Bird Preservation) is a global partnership of conservation organisations that strives to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, working with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources. It is the world’s largest partnership of conservation organisations, with over 120 partner organisations.
BirdLife International publishes a quarterly magazine, World Birdwatch, which contains recent news and authoritative articles about birds, their habitats, and their conservation around the world. BirdLife International is the official Red List authority for birds, for the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs): The IBAs are “places of international significance for the conservation of birds and other biodiversity” and are “distinct areas amenable to practical conservation action,” according to BirdLife International.
Declaring a site as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area does not ensure that the site gets legal protection or becomes inaccessible to people. Instead BirdLife International encourages national and State governments to recognise the areas as sites of vital importance for conservation of wildlife and to empower local community-based conservation initiatives.
Key facts: 60% of its diet consists of seagrass. The species graze upon seagrass, in addition to eating bony fish, crabs, snails and shrimp. The bonnethead shark is abundant in the shallow waters of the Western Atlantic, and the Gulf of Mexico.
Though small by shark standards, adult females — the larger of the sexes —can still reach an impressive five feet long.
Lacking the kind of teeth best suited for mastication, the shark may rely on strong stomach acids to weaken the plants’ cells so the enzymes can have their digestive effects