- As a part of Fit India Movement the Minister of State for Culture & Tourism lead a morning walk at Humayun Tomb Complex in New Delhi, also opened the entry for Nila Gumbad at Humayun Tomb Complex for general public during his visit.
- The Nila Gumbad is considered to be one of the earliest Mughal era structure.
- This was built on an island in the Yamuna, and later, just abutting to it, when Humayun’s Tomb was built in the year 1569-70.
- Historians are unsure about the identity of the person who has been buried.
- Some claims that it houses the tomb of an attendant of a Mughal noble and was buried during the reign of Jahangir.
- According to others, the tomb existed much before the Humayun’s tomb was constructed.
- At the time of construction, it was covered with glazed tiles most of which have been destroyed.
- The Samarkand-style architecture of Nila Gumbad – with blue tile work on the northern fade and the shape of the dome – suggests that it came up before Mughal architecture got influenced by the local styles.
- Excavation work around Nila Gumbad has shown that it originally stood on a raised island in river Yamuna, the course of which has since shifted further eastwards.
- Biomagnification refers to increase in concentration of the toxicant at successive trophic levels.
- This happens because a toxic substance accumulated by an organism cannot be metabolised or excreted, and is thus passed on to the next higher trophic level.
- This phenomenon is well known for mercury and DDT.
World Heritage Site
- A World Heritage Site is a place on earth having a special cultural or physical significance and outstanding universal value to the humanity.
- They have been inscribed on the World Heritage List to be protected for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.
- A world Heritage site is listed by the UNESCO.
- The International World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee establishes the sites to be listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
- The World Heritage Committeeis responsible for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention.
- The ASI is the nodal agency for forwarding any request for World Heritage status to any Indian site whether cultural or natural.
- India now has 35 sites, including 27 cultural properties, seven natural sites and one mixed site, notified as World Heritage Sites.
Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme (ITHPC)
- Union Environment Minister, Shri Prakash Javadekar released a report on Status of Tiger Habitats in high altitude ecosystems today in New Delhi.
- This study, led by the GTF, with range country governments of Bhutan, India and Nepal, along with conservation partners (WWF and country specific collaborators), has been supported by the Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme (ITHPC) of the IUCN.
- Yet most of the high-altitude habitats, within the range have not been surveyed for an appraisal of tiger presence, prey and habitat status.
- Tiger habitats in high altitude require protection through sustainable land use, as they are a high value ecosystem.
- The Programme was launched by IUCN
- Tiger populations have plummeted from around 100,000 individuals in 1910 to 3,200 individuals in 2010, occupying 7% of their original range.
- Poaching, habitat destruction and human-wildlife conflict are to blame. Effective policy and conservation programmes are imperative for tiger survival.
- Initiated in 2014, the Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme (ITHCP) or ‘Tiger Programme‘ is a grant-making initiative which contributes to the Global Tiger Recovery Programme (GTRP), a global effort to double tiger numbers in the wild by 2022.
- The programme consists of a portfolio of 12 large-scale projects in key Tiger Conservation Landscapes across Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Nepal and Myanmar.
- The Tiger Programme is based on three pillars:
- Protecting tiger species and their prey from the threat of poaching.
- Preserving tiger habitats, including core habitats, buffer zones and corridors.
- Supporting human populations living in tiger landscapes.
- Around 50,000 community members living in park buffer zones or corridor areas benefit from the Tiger Programme, through reduced human-animal conflict and more sustainable income sources.
- In Nepal, there has been a decrease of over 70% in human-tiger conflict incidents and a 50% decline in livestock deaths.
- The initiative is funded by The German Cooperation via KfW Development Bank, over two phases. The first phase is being implemented from 2014 to 2020 and the second one from 2019 to 2023.
Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY)
- PMKSY is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme launched in 2015.
- Funding: Centre- States will be 75:25 per cent, in the case of the north-eastern region and hilly states, it will be 90:10.
- Major objectives of the scheme are Convergence of investments in irrigation at the field level and to expand the cultivable area under assured irrigation (Har Khet ko pani).
Institutions of Eminence
- The Ministry of HRD has taken various steps to implement the scheme of Institutions of Eminence (IoEs).
- Ministry of Human Resource Development, on the advice of UGC and the Empowered Expert Committee issued orders to 5 public Universities conveying their declaration as Institutions of Eminence (IoE).
- These are IIT Madras, Banaras Hindu University, IIT Kharagpur, University of Delhi and University of Hyderabad.
- In addition, Letters of Intent were issued to 5 Private Universities for accepting and sending their preparedness for being declared as Institutions of Eminence.
- The scheme of IoE was rolled out by University Grants Commission (UGC).
- It aims to help 20 higher education (10 public and 10 private) institutions from country break into top 500 global rankings in 10 years, and then eventually break into top 100 over time.
- Empowered Expert Committeeto select IOEs is headed by former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) N Gopalaswami.
- The Sentinelese is a pre-neolithic, negrito tribe who live in North Sentinel Island of the Andamans.
- They are completely isolated with no contact to the outside world.
- Census 2001conducted using photographs counted them at 39.
- Surveys of North Sentinel Island have not found any evidence of agriculture. Instead, the community seems to be hunter-gatherers, getting food through fishing, hunting, and collecting wild plants living on the island.
- Sentinelese are also listed under Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) by the government of India.
- It is state animal of Tamil Nadu.
- It is endemic to Western Ghats from the Nilgiris to Kanyakumari.
- Listed in Schedule I of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and as Endangered on IUCN Red List.
- The Nilgiri tahr inhabits the open montane grassland habitats at elevations from 1200 to 2600 m (generally above 2000 m) of the south western ghats.
- An estimated 700-800 Nilgiri Tahr inhabit Eravikulam National Park (Kerala), making it the largest wild population in the world.
- Payment Bank was established to provide payments/remittance services to migrant labour workforce, low income households, small businesses and other unorganized sector entities.
- Nachiket Mor Committee recommended creation of Payment Banks.
- India’s first payments bankwas launched by Airtel.
- It cannot offer all the services that a commercial bank offers.
- It can take deposits upto 1 lakh per account and it can issue debit cards but not credit cards.
- It cannot lend.
- It has to maintain Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR).
- RBI has mandated the minimum paid-up equity capital for payments bank at 100 crore.
- These entities have to invest a minimum 75% of demand deposit balances in Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) – eligible government securities or treasury bills with maturity of up to one year.
- It can hold a maximum of 25% in current and time/fixed deposits with other commercial banks for operational purposes and liquidity management.
- A payments bank can work as a business correspondent (BC) of another bank.
- They can also distribute simple financial products like mutual fund units and insurance products.
National Cancer Tissue Biobank (NCTB)
- National Cancer Tissue Biobank (NCTB), a state-of-the-art non-profit community based tissue bank, is a joint initiative of Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India and Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM).
- NCTB is the first of its kind facility in India and is aiming to provide researchers with high quality of cancer tissues and the patient data in order to facilitate cancer research that will lead to improvements in cancer diagnosis and treatment.
- The biobank collects cancer tissue samples with consent from patients diagnosed with cancer.
- Information about the previous medical history and treatment of the donors is also documented along with the tissue samples.
- Tissue samples collected following surgery is in excess of what is required for diagnosis and would otherwise be discarded.
James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)
- NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has been fully assembled.
- It is the successor to the ‘Hubble observatory’ and is scheduled to launch into space in March 2021.
- The JWST won’t just replace Hubble, it will massively expand our ability to observe distant objects.
- Once put in space, the telescope will explore the cosmos, planets and moons within our solar system.
- It will also explore the most ancient and distant galaxies using infrared light.
- It is funded by NASA in conjunction with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).
- It will also have the power to analyse the atmospheres of many the new planets, for the potential for life.
- The ‘Mid-Monsoon 2019 Lightning Report’ released by ‘Climate Resilient Observing Systems Promotion Council’ (CROPC).
- CROPC, a non-profit organisation works closely with India Meteorological Department (IMD).
- It also convened, ‘Lightning Resilient Campaign’.
- The report is prepared using IMD’s lightning forecasts including Nowcast, IITM-Pune’s lightning network data, NRSC, ISRO inputs and ground-based impacts reports.
- For the first time, a report has mapped lightning strikes across the country, and the lives they have claimed.
- This is part of effort to prepare a lightning risk map of India and identify lightning hotspots.
Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA)
- ARIIA is an initiative of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), to systematically rank all major higher educational institutions and universities in India on indicators related to “Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development” amongst students and faculties.
- ARIIA will focus on quality of innovations and will try to measure th
- e real impact created by these innovations nationally and internationally.
- ARIIA ranking will certainly inspire Indian institutions to reorient their mind-set and build ecosystems to encourage high quality research, innovation and entrepreneurship.
- ARIIA will set tone and direction for institutions for future development for making them globally competitive and in forefront of innovation.
- Budget Expenses and Revenue generated through Innovation and entrepreneurship development
- Facilitating access to advance centres / facilities and entrepreneurial support system
- Idea to Entrepreneurship
- Development of Innovation Ecosystems Supported through Teaching & Learning
- Best innovative solutions Developed In-house for Improving Governance of Your Institution
- All recognized Indian education institutions are eligible to participate in the ARIIA ranking.
Pangong Tso Lake
- Indian, Chinese troops’ face-off near Ladakh’s Pangong Lake ends after talks.
- Pangong Tso is a long narrow, deep, endorheic (landlocked) lake situated at a height of more than 14,000 ft in the Ladakh Himalayas.
- It is also known as “High Grassland Lake”.
- The brackish water lake freezes over in winter, and becomes ideal for ice skating and polo.
- USFDA finds Salmonella bacteria in MDH sambar masala.
- Salmonella is a gram negative rods genus belonging to the Enterobacteriaceae
- 2 species, Salmonella bongori and Samonellaenterica.
- Salmonella is a ubiquitous and hardy bacteria that can survive several weeks in a dry environment and several months in water.
- Salmonellosis is a disease caused by the bacteria Salmonella, usually live in animal and human intestines.
- Salmonella infection called salmonellosis is a common bacterial disease that affects the intestinal tract.
- WHO identifies Salmonella as one of the four key global causes of diarrhoeal diseases.
- Symptoms:It is usually characterized by acute onset of fever, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, nausea and sometimes vomiting.
- The bacteria are generally transmitted to humans through consumption of contaminated food of animal origin, mainly meat, poultry, eggs and milk.