11th Nov, 2020

India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2020 to be held virtually

The fourth edition of the India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2020 is scheduled to be held in December.

It will be held virtually this year given the ongoing pandemic.

Ministry: Minister of Information Technology 

Jointly organized by: The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and Cellular Operators Association of India (COAT).

The event will see 50+ participating countries, 110 + Global Speakers, Start-ups over the three day programme.

Theme: “Inclusive Innovation – Smart, Secure, Sustainable”

IMC is considered the largest Digital Technology Forum in Asia for bringing together the industry, Government, academia, and other ecosystem players to discuss the latest industry technology trends around major themes such as SG, Artificial Intelligence (Al), Internet of things (loT) etc.

COAI was constituted in 1995 as a registered, non-governmental society. 

Vision: To establish India as the global leader of mobile communications infrastructure, products and services and achieving a national tele density of 100%, including broadband.

All the Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOMs) to be covered under the Energy Conservation (EC) Act, 2001

The Union Ministry of Power, Government of India has issued a notification to cover all the Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOMs) under the preview of the Energy Conservation (EC) Act, 2001.

The notification was formulated in consultation with Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE).

According to it, all entities having issued distribution license by State/Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission under the Electricity Act, 2003 (36 of 2003)” are notified as Designated Consumers (DCs).

After this notification, all the DISCOMs will be governed under the various provisions of EC Act, such as Appointment of Energy Manager, Energy Accounting & Auditing etc. for each DISCOMs.

Earlier, the DISCOMs whose annual energy losses were equal to or above 1000 MU were only covered as DCs.

Now with this notification, the number of DISCOMs covered under the EC Act will increase from 44 to 102.

Bureau of Energy Efficiency

It is a statutory body under the Ministry of Power, Government of India.

It assists in developing policies and strategies. 

Objective: Reducing the energy intensity of the Indian economy.

Saffron bowl to expand to the North East soon

The saffron bowl, which was so far confined to Kashmir, may soon expand to the North East of India.

Plants which were transported from Kashmir to Sikkim, acclimatized there and are now flowering in Yangyang in the Southern part of Sikkim. 

Saffron production has long been restricted to a limited geographical area in the Union territory of J&K.

Though the National Mission on Saffron focused on several measures to improve its farming, the measures were still limited to the specified areas of Kashmir.

North East Centre For Technology Application and Reach (NECTAR), an autonomous body under the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India supported a pilot project to explore the feasibility of growing saffron in North East region of India, with the same quality and higher quantity.

The Botany and Horticulture department of Sikkim Central University carried out tests to understand the soil and actual pH conditions of Yangyang of Sikkim and found it comparable to saffron growing places of Kashmir.


It is a plant whose dried stigmas (thread-like parts of the flower) are used to make saffron spice.

Saffron cultivation is believed to have been introduced in Kashmir by Central Asian immigrants around the 1st Century BCE.

  • It represents the rich cultural heritage of the J&K region.
  • It is a very precious and costly product.
  • It is referred to as ‘bahukam’ in ancient Sanskrit literature.
  • It is cultivated and harvested in the Karewa (highlands) of J&K.


(1) It rejuvenates health;

(2) It is used in cosmetics and for medicinal purposes.

It is usually cultivated during June and July and at some places in August and September.

Saffron grows well at an altitude of 2000 meters above sea level. 

It needs 12 hours of sunlight.

It grows in many different soil types but thrives best in calcareous (soil that has calcium carbonate in abundance), humus-rich and well-drained soil with a pH between 6 and 8.

Temperature: Ranging from 35 or 40 degree Celsius in summer to about –15 or –20 degree Celsius in winter.

It also requires adequate rainfall that is 1000-1500 mm per annum.

Pampore region, in India, commonly known as Saffron bowl of Kashmir, is the main contributor to saffron production, followed by Budgam, Srinagar, and Kishtiwar districts.

Denmark records SARS-CoV-2 infections that are associated with farmed minks

Denmark, which has recorded more than 55,000 cases of COVID-19, has also recorded over 200 human cases infected with SARS-CoV-2 variants that are associated with farmed minks.


These are dark-colored, semiaquatic, carnivorous mammals. 

Genera: Neovison and Mustela. 

Family: Mustelidae. 

This family also includes weasels, otters and ferrets.

There are two extant species referred to as “mink”: the American mink and the European mink.

The European mink is listed by the IUCN as Critically Endangered due to an ongoing reduction in numbers.

Denmark is the world’s largest mink producer, with a 15-17 million strong mink population across 1,100 farms. 

Peace Deal brokered Between Armenia And Azerbaijan

Russia brokered a new peace deal between Armenia and Azerbaijan. 

The two countries have been in a military conflict for over six weeks over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the South Caucasus.

As per the new peace deal, both sides will now maintain positions in the areas that they currently hold. 

It means a significant gain for Azerbaijan as it has reclaimed over 15-20% of its lost territory during the recent conflict. 

Further, under this agreement, all military operations are suspended. 

Russian peacekeepers will be deployed along the line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Lachin corridor that connects the region to Armenia.

Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO)

Russia’s role in the conflict has been somewhat opaque since it supplies arms to both countries and is in a military alliance with Armenia called the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO).

CSTO is an intergovernmental military alliance that was signed on 15 May 1992.

In 1992, six post-Soviet states belonging to the Commonwealth of Independent States signed the Collective Security Treaty (also referred to as the “Tashkent Pact” or “Tashkent Treaty”).

Members: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.

Headquarters: Moscow, Russia.

Thirty Meter Telescope

2020 Physics Nobel Laureate Prof. Andrea Ghez had worked closely with Indian astronomers on the design of back-end instruments and possible science prospects of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project being installed at Maunakea in Hawaii.

TMT project is an international partnership between CalTech, Universities of California, Canada, Japan, China, and India. 

“Thirty Metre” refers to the 30-metre diameter of the mirror, with 492 segments of glass pieced together.

Once completed, it would be three times as wide as the world’s largest existing visible-light telescope. 

The larger the mirror, the more light a telescope can collect, which means, in turn, that it can “see” farther, fainter objects.

It would be more than 200 times more sensitive than current telescopes. 

It would be able to resolve objects 12 times better than the Hubble Space Telescope.

Application: The study of exoplanets

Already the site of a number of observatories and 13 large telescopes, Mauna Kea is considered sacred by native Hawaiians who believe that such constructions defile the Mauna Kea Mountain.

If the Thirty Metre Telescope cannot be built on Mauna Kea Mountain in Hawaii, Spain’s Canary Islands is a backup site.