Factly articles for October 28, 2020

  1. The World’s Women 2020: Trends and Statistics

News: The World’s Women 2020: Trends and Statistics report has been released by the Statistics Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs(UNDESA).


  • About the report: The report has been produced every five years since 1990 and provides the latest data on the state of gender equality worldwide.
  • World’s Women 2020 Report: It provides a reality-check on the global status of women 25 years since adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (for advancing women’s rights).

Key Takeaways:

  • Gender Gap: In 2020, only 47% of women of working age participated in the labour market, compared to 74% of men – a gender gap that has remained relatively constant since 1995.
  • Unpaid domestic and care work holding women back: On an average day, women globally spend about three times as many hours on unpaid domestic and care work as men (4.2 hours compared to 1.7).
  • Women’s In terms of power and decision making: Women held only 28% of managerial positions globally in 2019 – almost the same proportion as in 1995.
  • Women in Politics: In political life, women’s representation in parliament has more than doubled globally.However, it has still not crossed the barrier of 25% of parliamentary seats in 2020.
  • Women’s participation in education on the rise worldwide: School closures related to COVID-19 are likely to set back progress on access to education.But evidence has shown that girls, once they have access to schooling, tend to do better than boys in terms of academic achievement.
    • In tertiary education, women outnumber men and enrolment is increasing faster for women than for men.
    • However, women continue to be underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, representing only slightly more than 35% of the world’s STEM graduates.
  • Violence against women and girls remains a global issue: Around one third of women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner and 18% have experienced such violence in the past 12 months.

2. India, US sign landmark defence pact BECA

News:India and the US have signed the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement(BECA) for geo-spatial cooperation.


  • What is BECA? It is a communication agreement between the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency of the US Department of Defence and the Ministry of Defence of the Government of India.
  • Purpose: It allows India and the US to share military information including advanced satellite and topographic data such as maps, nautical and aeronautical charts and geodetic, geophysical, geomagnetic and gravity data.
  • Significance: It will enable India to use US geospatial maps to enhance military accuracy of automated hardware systems and weapons such as cruise and ballistic missiles.

Additional Facts:

What were the previously signed foundational agreements between India and US?

  • Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement(LEMOA): Signed in 2016.It allows both countries to have access to each other’s designated military facilities for refueling and replenishment.
  • General Security Of Military Information Agreement(GSOMIA): Signed in 2002.It allows militaries to share the intelligence gathered by them.
    • An extension to the GSOMIA, the Industrial Security Annex (ISA), was signed at the 2+2 dialogue in 2019.ISA provides a framework for exchange and protection of classified military information between the USA and Indian defence industries.
  • COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement): Signed in 2018.It aims to provide a legal framework for the transfer of highly sensitive communication security equipment from the USA to India that will streamline and facilitate interoperability between their armed forces.

3. NASA’s SOFIA Discovers Water on Sunlit Surface of Moon

News: NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy(SOFIA) has confirmed for the first time water on the sunlit surface of the Moon.This discovery indicates that water may be distributed across the lunar surface and not limited to cold, shadowed places.


  • SOFIA: It is an airborne observatory jointly built by NASA and German Aerospace Centre.It features a reflecting telescope mounted on a modified Boeing 747SP aircraft flying into the stratosphere at 38,000-45,000 feet.
  • Purpose: It allows researchers to observe the infrared universe as many objects in space emit almost all their energy at infrared wavelengths and are often invisible when observed with visible light.
  • Significance of the discovery of water on Moon: NASA’s Artemis programme plans to send the first woman and the next man to the Moon in 2024 and hopes to establish a sustainable human presence there by the end of the decade.If space explorers can use the Moon’s resources, it means they need to carry less water from Earth.

4. National Conference on Vigilance and Anti-Corruption

News: The Prime Minister has inaugurated the National Conference on Vigilance and Anti-Corruption.


  • Organized by: The conference is organised by the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI).
  • Aim: To raise awareness and reaffirm India’s commitment to promotion of integrity and probity in public life through citizen participation.
  • Theme: Vigilant India, Prosperous India.

Additional Facts:

  • CBI: It is the premier investigating police agency in India which functions under the Department of Personnel, Ministry of Personnel, Pension & Public Grievances.It is governed by the provisions of the DSPE Act,1946.

5. Ministry of Tourism organise a webinar on “Bundi: Architectural Heritage of a Forgotten Rajput Capital”

News: Ministry of Tourism’s Dekho Apna Desh Webinar series has organised a webinar titled “Bundi: Architectural Heritage of a Forgotten Rajput Capital”.


  • Bundi: It is an erstwhile capital of Hada Rajput province known as Hadauti located in south-eastern Rajasthan.
  • Known as: Bundi is also known as City of stepwells, blue city and also as Chotti Kashi.It was known as Chotti Kashi owing to presence of over hundred temples within and around the hada capital.
  • Temple architecture:
    • First Phase: Temples constructed in the early phase of Bundi’s growth were in classical Nagara style.
    • Second Phase: In later phases new temple typologies emerged from amalgamation of architectural form of traditional haveli with the classical Nagara style.
    • Third Phase: Jain temples formed the third type of temple type constructed in an introvert form.
    • Fourth Phase: A fourth temple type emerged in the form of a raised or elevated temple. 
    • Unique Feature: Absence of monumentality in their scale is a distinctive feature of temples in Bundi.
  • Important Places:
    • Taragarh Fort- It was constructed by Rao raja Bair Singh in 1354.The fort includes Hazari Darwaza, Haathi Pol, Nau Dhaan, Ratan Daulatkhana, Darikhana, Ratan Niawas, Chhatra mahal, Badal Mahal & Moti Mahal.
    • Sukh Mahal-  A small, two-storied palace was a summer retreat of past rulers.Located on the banks of JaitSagar lake, the palace was constructed by Rao raja Vishnu Singh in 1773 A.D.
    • Rani Ki Baori- Bundi has more than 50 stepwells and is rightly known as the city of stepwells.Raniji ki Baori also known as ‘Queen’s Stepwell’ is a famous stepwell built in 1699 by Rani Nathavati Ji of Bundi.
    • 84 Pillared Cenotaph- It is a structure supported by 84 columns. Commissioned by Rao Anirudh, the Maharaja of Bundi, this cenotaph was constructed in memory of his nurse, Deva,under whose love and guidance the prince grew up.

6. Compound conundrum: On interest waiver

News: Government of India has announced a scheme called, ‘Scheme for grant of ex-gratia payment of difference between compound interest and simple interest for six months to borrowers in specified loan accounts’.


  • Aim: To provide major relief for individuals and MSME borrowers by waiver of the compound interest on specified loans for six months period.
  • What does it mean? In simple words, the borrowers need to pay simple interest on their loan amount for the six month period between March and August as against the compound interest.
  • Categories: The loans eligible under the scheme include MSME loans, education loans, housing loans, consumer durable loans, credit card dues, automobile loans, personal loans to professionals and consumption loans.
  • Eligibility: Any borrower whose aggregate of all facilities with lending institutions is more than ₹2 crore (sanctioned limits or outstanding amount) will not be eligible for ex-gratia payment under this scheme. Also, the loan accounts should not be non-performing assets(NPA) as on the date mentioned above.
  • Lending Institutions: The lending institution has to be either a banking company, or a public sector bank, co-operative bank or a regional rural bank, or All India Financial Institution, a non-banking financial institution, housing finance company or a micro finance institution.

Additional Facts:

  • Simple and Compound Interest: Simple interest is calculated on the principal, or original, amount of a loan.On the other hand, Compound interest is calculated on the principal amount and also on the accumulated interest of previous periods and can thus be regarded as “interest on interest”.