25th Nov, 2020

UMANG app’s international version launched

UMANG’s international version was recently launched to mark the occasion of its 3 years.

It is launched in select countries that include USA, UK, Canada, Australia, UAE, Netherlands, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.

Primary Ministry: Ministry of IT

Version launched in coordination with: Ministry of External Affairs 

 It will help Indian international students, NRIs and Indian tourists abroad, to avail Government of India services, anytime. 

It will also help in taking India to the world through ‘Indian Culture’ services available on

UMANG and create interest amongst foreign tourists to visit India.

 The UMANG mobile app (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) is a Government of India all-in-one single multi-lingual, multi-service Mobile App. 

It provides access to high impact services of various Government of India Departments and State Governments.

Aim: To fast-track mobile governance in India.

Developed by: National e-Governance Division (NeGD), Ministry of Electronics & IT.

UMANG enables ‘Ease of Living’ for Citizens by providing easy access to a number of Indian government services such as Healthcare, Finance, Education, Housing, Energy, etc.

Key partners of UMANG: Employee Provident Fund Organization, Direct Benefit Transfer scheme departments, Employee State Insurance Corporation, Ministries of Health, Education, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Staff Selection Commission (SSC).

It is a ‘Digital India’ initiative.

UMANG attained ‘Best m-Government service’ award at the 6th World Government Summit held at Dubai, UAE in February 2018.

China’s Chang’e-5 lunar mission

China’s Chang’e-5 lunar mission recently became the first probe in over four decades to attempt to bring back samples of lunar rock from unexplored portion of the Moon. 

The spacecraft is set to return to Earth around December 15, 2020.

Chang’e-5 probe is the Chinese National Space Administration’s (CNSA) lunar sample return mission. 

Goal: To land in the Mons Rumker region of the moon, where it will operate for one lunar day, which is two weeks long and return a 2 kg sample of the lunar rock possibly by digging about 2 metres deep into the surface of the Moon.

The mission comprises a lunar orbiter, a lander and an ascent probe that will lift the lunar samples back into orbit and return them back to Earth.

The probe is named after the Chinese Moon goddess who is traditionally accompanied by a white or jade rabbit.

Early in 2019, China’s Chang’e-4 probe successfully transmitted images from the far side of the Moon, also referred to as the dark side.

This was the first probe to land in this portion of the Moon.

China sells Negative-Yield Bonds

Recently, China sold negative-yield debt for the first time, and this saw a high demand from investors across Europe.

As yields in Europe are even lower, there was a huge demand for the 4-billion-euro bonds issued by China.

Negative-yield bonds are debt instruments that offer to pay the investor a maturity amount lower than the purchase price of the bond.

These are generally issued by central banks or governments, and investors pay interest to the borrower to keep their money with them.

Negative-yield bonds attract investments during times of stress and uncertainty as investors look to protect their capital from significant erosion.

At a time when the world is battling the Covid-19 pandemic and interest rates in developed markets across Europe are much lower, investors are looking for relatively better-yielding debt instruments to safeguard their interests.

Mount Vesuvius

The Italian Culture Ministry announced the discovery of well-preserved remains of two men, who perished during the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. 

Vesuvius is located in southern Italy near the coastal city of Naples. 

It is the only active volcano in mainland Europe.

Vesuvius has been classified as a complex volcano, one that consists of a complex of two or more vents.

It is considered among the most dangerous volcanoes in the world due to its proximity to Naples and surrounding towns.

Katchal Island

Recently, Katchal Island was in news.

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) towed a fuel tanker back to safe waters which was dangerously drifting towards the pristine Katchal Island in Nicobar due to power failure.

Katchal Island was previously known as Tihanyu.

It is inhabited by Nicobari Tribes and Migrated Tamilians (For Rubber plantation workers under Sastri-Srimao Bandaranayaka Pact of 1964).

Cyclone ‘Nivar’

According to the meteorological department,  Cyclone ‘Nivar’ may make a landfall on Wednesday in Tamil Nadu. 

The Bay of Bengal will see its second Severe Cyclone of 2020, after Super Cyclone Amphan formed in May. 

After cyclone Gaja in 2018, this will be the second cyclone to cross Tamil Nadu in the last two years.

Its name ‘Nivar’ has been proposed by Iran.