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PRELIMS FACTS 12-06-2018

FACT # 1


Why in news? Indian PRL scientists have discovered an ‘EPIC’ planet Recently.

‘EPIC’ planet:

  • A team from the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, has spotted for the first time a distant planet six times bigger than Earth.
  • It is found to be revolving around a Sun-like star about 600 light years away.
  • Both the planet and the star have been named EPIC.
  • With this discovery India has joined a handful of countries which have discovered planets around stars.
  • EPIC 211945201b (or K2-236b) is the name given to the planet by the discovery team.
  • The host star is named EPIC 211945201 or K2-236.
  • The spectrograph is the first of its kind in the country which can measure the mass of a planet going around a star.
  • Very few such spectrographs exist around the world (mostly in the USA and in the Europe) that can do such precise measurements.
  • Such a discovery is of importance for understanding the formation mechanism of such super-Neptune or sub-Saturn kind of planets that are too close to the host star.
  • There are also 22 other confirmed exoplanet systems that have a mass and radius in this range.
  • EPIC circles very close to the Sun-like star, goes around it once in about 19.5 days.
  • It is unlikely to be inhabitable because of its high surface temperature of around 600°C.
  • The planet is smaller in size than Saturn and bigger than Neptune.
  • Its mass is about 27 times Earth’s and six times that of Earth at radius.
  • The scientists estimate that over 60% of its mass could be made up of heavy elements like ice, silicates and iron.

FACT # 2

WIFI Choupals

Why in news? DoT has launched 5,000 WiFi choupals in partnership with CSC.

CSC WiFi-Choupal:

  • It aims to provide last mile connectivity leveraging BharatNet infrastructure for providing broadband services in Gram Panchayats (GPs) and villages.
  • USP shall set up Wi-Fi Choupal at 5000 Gram Panchayats (GP) using BharatNet end-points at GPs and extending it over a Wi-Fi network to nearby villages.
  • This project aims to:
    • Create a Wi-Fi coverage zone in GPs and villages so as to cover inhabited areas of the villages.
    • The target end-user devices would be smartphones and tablets.
    • Consider alternate modes of powering (solar) for the Wi-Fi and associated equipment.
    • Test the robustness of the model which would provide inputs to other service providers for entry in rural markets and develop their own models for provision of services in rural areas.
  • USOF shall provide financial support as per the Financial Conditions of the Agreement.



  • BharatNet is a project of national importance to establish a highly scalable network infrastructure accessible on a non-discriminatory basis.
  • It will provide on demand, affordable broadband connectivity of 2 Mbps to 20 Mbps for all households and to all institutions.
  • It works in partnership with States and the private sector.
  • The entire project is being funded by Universal service Obligation Fund (USOF).
  • USOF was set up for improving telecom services in rural and remote areas of the country.
  • The objective is to facilitate the delivery of e-governance, e-health, e-education, e-banking, Internet and other services to the rural India.


Department of Telecom (DoT):

  • The Department of Telecommunications, abbreviated to DoT, is a departmentof the Ministry of Communications of the executive branch of the Government of India.
  • It aims to:
    • develop a robust and secure state-of-the-art telecommunication network providing seamless coverage with special focus on rural and remote areas for bridging the digital divide and thereby facilitate socio- economic development
    • create an inclusive knowledge society through proliferation of affordable and high quality broadband services across the nation
    • reposition the mobile device as an instrument of socio-economic empowerment of citizens
    • make India a global hub for telecom equipment manufacturing
    • promote development of new standards to meet national requirements
    • attract investment, both domestic and foreign
    • promote creation of jobs

FACT # 3

World Hindi Conference

Why in news? The 11th World Hindi conference is scheduled to be held in Mauritius in August.

World Hindi Conference:

  • World Hindi Conference, in Hindi: Vishva Hindi Sammelanis a world conference on Hindi language.
  • The conference consists of several Hindi scholars, writers and laureates from different parts of the world to contribute the language.
  • First World Hindi Conferencewas inaugurated on 10 January 1975 by then Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi.
  • The first conference held from 10 to 12 January 1975 in Nagpur.
  • The 11th Hindi conference is scheduled to be held in Mauritius in August.

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