UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelim Bits 08-03-2021

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March 08, 2021


  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) plans to launch GISAT-1 into space using GSLV-F10 rocket.
  • Geo Imaging Satellite-1 or GISAT-1 is India’s first earth observation satellite in a geostationary orbit.
  • The rocket will place GISAT-1 in geosynchronous orbit, and subsequently in geostationary orbit, using its onboard propulsion system.
  • GISAT-1 will facilitate near real-time observation of the Indian sub-continent, under cloud-free condition, at frequent intervals.
  • With onboard high resolution cameras, the satellite will allow India to monitor the Indian land mass and the oceans, particularly its borders.
  • It would help in quick monitoring of natural disasters, episodic and any short-term events.
  • It will obtain spectral signatures of agriculture, forestry, mineralogy, disaster warning, cloud properties, snow and glacier and oceanography.

Earth Observation Satellites

  • It is a remote sensing satellite designed for Earth observation (EO) from orbit, including spy satellites and those used for non-military uses.
  • Starting with IRS-1A (1988), ISRO has launched many operational remote sensing satellites.
  • 13 satellites in Sun-synchronous orbit - Resourcesat-1, 2, 2A; Cartosat-1, 2, 2A, 2B; RISAT-1,2; Oceansat-2; Megha-Tropiques; SARAL; SCATSAT-1.
  • 4 satellites in Geostationary orbit – Kalpana; INSAT 3A, 3D, 3DR.
  • These satellites provide data in diversified spatial, spectral and temporal resolutions to cater to different user requirements - agriculture, water resources, urban planning, mineral prospecting, environment, etc.

Small Satellite Launch Vehicle

  • The maiden flight of Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) - ISRO’s compact launcher - will be made soon.
  • SSLV will meet the “launch on demand” requirements in a cost-effective manner for small satellites in a dedicated and ride-share mode.
  • It is a three-stage all solid vehicle that can launch up to 500 kg satellite into 500 km Low Earth Orbit and 300 kg into Sun Synchronous Orbit.
  • With lower per kg launch cost, the mini launcher will have multiple satellite mounting options for nano, micro and small satellites.
  • SSLV can be assembled in 3 days (PSLV needs 60 days).

Exotic Earthworm

  • An exotic and highly invasive earthworm Amynthas alexandri has been collected and reported for the first time from Karnataka.
  • They are medium-to-large-sized, fast-moving worm, which has practically inhabited all the districts of Kerala.
  • Earlier, it was recorded in 15 States/Union Territories in India - Himachal Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Assam, Haryana, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, etc.
  • Their original home is Southeast Asia. Earlier, their distribution was in China, Myanmar, Pakistan, Thailand, Europe and England.


  • Cicadas are insects, which are physically distinguished by their stout bodies, broad heads, clear-membraned wings, and large compound eyes.
  • They are famous for their penchant for disappearing entirely for many years, only to reappear in force at a regular interval.  
  • The species of cicadas fall into roughly two categories:
    1. Annual cicadas (Spotted every year, but lives for 2 to 5 years)
    2. Periodical cicadas (Spend most of their lives underground and only emerge once in a decade or two.)
  • While annual cicadas can be found throughout the world, periodical cicadas are unique to North America.
  • The cicada life cycle has three stages - Eggs, nymphs and adults.
  • Cicada nymphs spend their developmental period in underground to suck the liquids of plant roots before molting their shells and surfacing as adults to lay eggs.
  • Unlike locusts, cicadas don’t eat vegetation but rather drink the sap from tree roots, twigs, and branches.
  • They are known for their buzzing and clicking noises.

India Science Research Fellowship

  • The India Science Research Fellowship (ISRF) is given for Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand researchers to work in Indian Universities and Research Institutions.
  • It was launched by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), and it is implemented since 2015.
  • ISRF programme acts as a platform to establish research cooperation with neighbouring countries of India.
  • The scholars have been selected based on research proposal, experience, academic merit and publication record.

Government Security

  • Government Security (G-Sec) yields could soften temporarily as the Indian government’s fiscal deficit may undershoot FY2021 Revised Estimate (RE) by Rs.50,000 crore to Rs.90,000 crore.
  • G-secs are tradable government debt issuances issued by the Central Government or the State Governments.
  • They guarantee the full repayment of invested principal at the maturity of the security and often pay periodic coupon or interest payments.
  • Types - Such securities are short term or long term. They are,
    1. Short term securities are called treasury bills with original maturities of less than 1 year. Now, they are issued in 3 tenors (91 day, 182 day and 364 day)
    2. Long term securities are usually called Government bonds or dated securities with original maturity of 1 year or more.

Bond Type


3-year Gsec


5-year Gsec


10-year GSec


  • They are a distinct asset class, and also risk-free gilt-edged instruments as they have government backing.
  • But they tend to pay a lower rate of interest than corporate bonds.
  • They are used to fund daily operations, and special infrastructure and military projects.


Source: PIB, The Hindu, Down To Earth, Business Line

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