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Important Facts For Prelims (15th April 2019)

  • 15 Apr 2019
  • 4 min read

Blockchain Technology

  • The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) is considering using highly scalable blockchain solution to further strengthen digital payments, which have seen an exponential growth in recent times.
    • A blockchain is a list of records, linked using cryptography. Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp, and transaction data.
    • At the basic level, a blockchain is an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable manner.
    • Data security is there as data stored in a block cannot be changed without altering subsequent blocks.
    • As per a recent report of global consultancy firm PwC, India would be one of the world's blockchain leaders by 2023.
  • NPCI, an umbrella organisation for operating retail payments and settlement systems in India, is an initiative of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) under the provisions of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007, for creating a robust Payment & Settlement Infrastructure in India.
    • The Indian Banks' Association (IBA) was formed on 26th September, 1946 with 22 members. As on April, 2018 the total Membership of the Association is 249. It's vision is to work proactively for the growth of a healthy, professional and forward-looking banking and financial services industry, in a manner consistent with public good.

Yangtze Giant Softshell Turtle

  • The last female of rare Yangtze Giant Softshell turtles died in China.
  • This was one of four Yangtze giant softshell turtles known to be remaining in the world. The same zoo also houses a male Yangtze giant softshell turtle. The other two live in Vietnam, but their genders are unknown.
  • The species is one of the most endangered turtle in the world.
    • Loss of habitat and poaching are among the reasons for the decline of the species’ population

Higher School Enrolment Rate of Girls: UNFPA

  • According to the State of World Population 2019 report of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the enrolment rate of girls is higher than that of boys in Indian schools at both primary and secondary levels.
  • Worldwide, the rate of enrolment of girls is lower than that of boys at primary school, and equal at secondary level.
  • In India, 98% of primary school-age girls were actually enrolled, as opposed to 97% boys, according to figures adjusted for 2009-18.
    • Worldwide, this compares with 90% female enrolment and 92% male enrolment, so that India’s gender parity index is 1.01 to the world’s 0.98.
  • At secondary school level, India’s female and male enrolment rates are lower than the worldwide 66% for both genders.
    • However, India’s female enrolment (62%) is once again higher than male enrolment (61%), giving it a gender parity index (1.01) that is higher than the worldwide index of 1.0.

World’s Largest Plane

  • World’s largest airplane built by the US-based Stratolaunch Systems has made its first test flight in the Mojave Desert in California.
  • The plane, made of carbon composites, is named as Roc.
  • It was financed by Paul Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975.
  • The plane can be used to launch satellites.

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