#1 Which country has officially withdrawn from Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF)?
The United States has officially withdrawn from Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia. The INF Treaty is a Cold War-era missile treaty that was signed by then US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987. The treaty banned both countries from deploying land-launched cruise missiles in the 500- to 5,500-km range. It was a key to ending the arms race between the (then) two super powers and helped protect the U.S.’s NATO allies in Europe from Soviet missile attacks. The reasons for withdrawal are as follows: the Trump and Obama administrations have repeatedly alleged that Russia was violating the treaty by fielding a ground-based cruise missile – the Novator 9M729 (“SSC-8” in NATO terminology) that could strike Europe at a short notice, an allegation that Russia has repeatedly denied.
#2 Which bank has become the first Indian bank to link up with China’s National Advance Payment System (CNAPS)?
The State Bank of India’s (SBI) Shanghai branch has become the first Indian bank to link up with China’s National Advance Payment System (CNAPS). After being a member of the CNAPS, SBI Shanghai can also offer real time transfer of local funds within China by routing them through the PBOC. It eliminates the need of tie up and maintenance of accounts with multiple Banks for fund transfer. The CNAPS provides real-time settlement services for all payments cleared in mainland China, as well as in all clearing banks in offshore yuan centers, such as Hong Kong. The CNAPS system is complemented by its international System or Cross-Border Inter-Bank Payment System), launched in 2015 with the aim of boosting international use of the Chinese currency, yuan.
#3 The Census 2021 will be conducted in how many scheduled languages?
The 16th edition of Census 2021 will be conducted in 18 languages out of the 22 scheduled languages, while Census 2011 was in 16 of the 18 scheduled languages declared at that time. It also will introduce a code directory to streamline the process. Importantly, the latest census, as per the existing plan, will not collect caste data. The option of “Other” under the gender category is now “Third Gender”. It will be conducted in two phases: the houselisting phase with 34 parameters from April 2020 to September 2020 and the population enumeration phase with 28 parameters from February 9 2021 to February 28 2021.
#4 As per which article of the constitution, Supreme Court has ruled that a judicial magistrate has power to direct accused to give voice samples?
In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court has recently held that a judicial magistrate can order an accused to give his voice samples even against his consent in the course of a criminal investigation. This judgment was rendered by a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna. The bench dealt with the issues, including that whether in the absence of any provision in the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPc), can a magistrate authorise the investigating agency to record the voice sample of the person accused of an offence.
#5 The researchers at which IIT has developed Hydro Thermal Carbonization (HTC) technology for solid waste management?
A research team at IIT Kharagpur has developed a technology which can generate energy from solid waste with high moisture content. The new technology – Hydro Thermal Carbonization (HTC) – can convert municipal solid waste to biofuel, soil amendment and absorbents. The technology converts organic fraction of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) into Hydrochar by using a batch reactor. The moisture in the waste is used to the advantage of the process which uses water for the reaction.