Art and Culture
Petroglyphs - Mekala Benchi
Why in news?
Andhra Pradesh’s second largest petroglyph site, containing about 80 petroglyphs, has been discovered at Mekala Benchi, near Aspari town, north of the Kurnool-Ballari highway in Kurnool district.
· These petroglyphs, or rock carvings, underscore Kurnool’s importance as a major site of Neolithic settlements in south India.
· Kandanathi, with 200 petroglyphs, is also in Kurnool district.
· While Mekala Benchi has rock carvings dating back from the Neolithic to the Megalithic period, Kandanathi’s carvings range from the prehistoric to the historic period.
· Two boulders, one known locally as ‘Boodida Konda’ (ash-coloured hill) and the other an unnamed granite hillock, mostly have images of bulls or bull-riding, in addition to human figures, an elephant, tiger-like animals and cupules.
· Interestingly, native bulls of western Kurnool are known for their ‘long horns’, as depicted in the petroglyphs.
About the Neolithic age
· Settled village life and the finished stone axe are salient features of the Neolithic age.
· Neolithic communities settled on top of granitoid hills or levelled terraces on hillsides or on valley floors.
· The current archaeological site, at the granite foothills of Boodida Konda, fits the description of a Neolithic settlement.
Keywords: Petroglyphs, Neolithic age, Mekala Benchi, Kandanathi, Boodida Konda, Kurnool, Gollas.
Science and Tech
Why in news?
· China has named its lunar rover as ‘Yutu 2’.
· The rover was successfully deployed to carry out a string of experiments on the unexplored far side of the moon.
· The rover’s touchdown is part of China Chang’e-4 lunar probe.
· Analysts say that China’s lunar probe is part of its ‘Made in China-2025’ project, which focuses on advanced technology, including space applications.
· The rover has been programmed to launch ground penetration radar that would help map the moon’s inner structures.
· It would also analyse soil and rock samples for minerals, apart from activating a radio telescope to search for possible signals from deep space.
· It follows the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System — China’s homegrown Global Positioning System that started worldwide service in December.
· Next year China plans to launch its Mars explorer mission. In 2022, it hopes to complete its own earth-orbiting space station.
· Beijing is moving forward with plans to build a research base on the moon. It is also said to be considering mining there for helium-3, a rare substance on earth that can be used as a fuel in nuclear fusion power generation.
Keywords: Yutu 2, Made-in-China 2025, BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, Chang’e-4.
Norms for Commodity Exchanges
Why in news?
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) directed commodity derivatives exchanges to disclose the open interest and turnover of various categories of participants like farmers, farmers producer organisations (FPOs), value chain participants, proprietary traders, foreign participants, and domestic financial institutional investors.
· Value chain participants include processors, commercial users like dal and flour millers, importers, exporters, physical market traders, stockists, cash and carry participants, produces and wholesalers among others.
· Currently, commodity derivatives exchanges disseminate turnover data for only two broad categories of participants — clients and proprietary.
· SEBI move assumes significance also because a large section of market players believe that the commodity market turnover is largely dominated by speculators and other participants that are not genuinely connected with the commodity segment.
· Transparency in the commodities derivatives markets is paramount for price signals as well as its correlation with the underlying physical market activities.
· To begin with, stock exchanges shall make the disclosures on a weekly basis for every Wednesday by next Wednesday by October 1, 2019.
· By April 1, 2020 onwards, such disclosures shall be made on daily basis by 6 p.m. on T+1 day, SEBI said in the circular.
Keywords: commodity derivatives exchanges, SEBI, farmers producer organisations (FPOs), value chain participants.
Liability of fraudulent transactions
Why in news?
The Reserve Bank of India has decided to limit the liability of customers in case of unauthorised electronic payment transactions in Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs) issued by non-banks.
· Under new norms on customer liability, the regulator said frauds due to third-party breach where neither the customer nor the PPI issuer is at fault, there cannot be any liability for the customer, in case the incident in reported within three days.
· If the fraud is reported between three and seven days, customer liability will amount to the transaction value or ₹10,000, whichever is lower.
· For over seven days, the liability of the customer will be according to the board-approved policy of the PPI issuer.
· After the customer reports the fraud, the PPI issuer has to credit the amount involved in the unauthorised transaction to the customer’s PPI within 10 days.
Proof of liability
· The burden of proving customer liability in case of unauthorised electronic payment transactions shall lie on the PPI issuer, RBI said.
· There will be no liability to the customer if fraud is due to negligence or deficiency of the PPI issuer, irrespective of whether or not the transaction is reported by the customer.
Keybords: Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs), RBI
Why in news
Five-year-old Yamini Patibandla from Vijayawada is all set to represent India in the third edition of the ‘World Rising Stars 2019’ international beauty, talent and fashion awards scheduled to start in Georgia from January 8.
· Yamini will participate in the juniors’ category.
· Yamini is the first child to be selected for the event from India and she was selected by Valentina Mishra, national director of the event. The selections were conducted online.
· She has participated in many fashion events and is the winner of the ‘Little Princess’ title in one such event held last year.
About the Event
The event would comprise six sequences — jury interview, classical fashion round, national costumes round, ‘Evening of Friendship’ and a talent round.
Yamini will compete with children participating from over 40 countries across the world.
Keywords: Yamini Patibandla, World rising stars 2019, Georgia, Delhi Public School.
Why in news?
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu gave away 30 cars to the unemployed youth under the ‘Chanakya’ self-employment scheme of the A.P. Brahmin Welfare Corporation.
About the Corporation
· The A.P. Brahmin Welfare Corporation was set for the first time in the country in Andhra Pradesh in December 2014.
· It was allocated a total budget of ₹285 crore in five years.
· The corporation designed schemes to help poor Brahmins of all age groups by providing financial assistance towards education, coaching, skill development, entrepreneurship and welfare and culture.
· Corporation chairman is Vemuri Ananda Surya.
Keywords: Chanakya scheme, A.P. Brahmin Welfare Corporation, A.P. Brahmin Cooperative Credit Society, Vemuri Ananda Surya.