Gulf Shield 1
- Royal Saudi Navy is holding exercises “Gulf Shield 1” in the Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, and Oman Sea.
- The drill, which is considered the largest military drill in the region in terms of diversity of expertise and quality of weapons, aims at raising the military readiness of the participating countries, modernizing the joint mechanisms and enhancing coordination and cooperation.
- “Gulf Shield 1” is part of a series of exercises the fleet has carried out in the area aiming to raise combat readiness, gain the necessary skills, and improve ability to perform the essential leadership services.
Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan
- Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS), launched in 2013 aims at providing strategic funding to eligible state higher educational institutions.
- The central funding (in the ratio of 60:40 for general category States, 90:10 for special category states and 100% for union territories) would be norm based and outcome dependent.
- The funding would flow from the central ministry through the state governments/union territories to the State Higher Education Councils before reaching the identified institutions.
- The funding to states would be made on the basis of critical appraisal of State Higher Education Plans, which would describe each state’s strategy to address issues of equity, access and excellence in higher education.
Lingayat and Veerashaiva
- Recently,Karnataka government decided to recommend religious minority status to the Lingayat and Veerashaiva community.
- The tradition of Lingayatism has been founded by social reformer and philosopher Basavanna in 12th century Karnataka.
- Basavanna’s vision of a societal order was based on human freedom, equality, rationality, and brotherhood.
- Emergence of the Lingayat sect can be located within Bhakti movements that had swept across South India from the 8th century AD onwards.
- Veerashaivism is a Shaiva sect within Hinduism and is predominantly located in Karnataka.
- Veerashaivas claim that Basavanna was not the founder of the Lingayat tradition, but rather a reformer of an already existing religious tradition which they call Veerashaivism.
- A recent research by the Australia’s Antarctica Program revealed that more of Totten Glacier is floating.
- As the glacier is in direct contact with warming ocean temperatures it could have a significant impact on the rise of global sea levels(about 3 meters if this glacier melts).
- Totten glacier is one of the fastest-flowing and largest glaciers in Antarctica east
Indian Resource Panel
- The new Indian Resource Panel (InRP) was officially unveiled in 2016, making India one of the first emerging economies to set up a national advisory body on resource efficiency.
- The InRP was created with support from the International Climate Initiative as part of the project ‘Resource efficiency and secondary raw materials management as a contribution to climate change mitigation’.
- The InRP will issue recommendations to Indian businesses and policy-makers on improving the general conditions for resource efficiency.
Okhla Bird Sanctuary
- Okhla Bird Sanctuary is a bird sanctuary at the Okhla barrage over Yamuna River.
- Okhla Bird Sanctuary is located close to New Delhi and is one of the 467 Important Bird Areas (IBA) of the country and is home to a large number of resident, as well as migratory birds like grey-headed fish eagle, Baikal teal, Baer’s pochard and Sarus crane.
- Two critically endangered (CR) species (white-rumped vulture and Indian vulture)
- Nine vulnerable (VU) species (Baikal teal, Baer’s pochard, sarus crane, sociable lapwing, Indian skimmer, Pallas’s fish eagle, lesser adjutant, bristled grassbird and Finn’s weaver)
- Seven near threatened (NT) species (ferruginous pochard, black-bellied tern, grey-headed fish eagle, erratically east to West Bengaland south to Kerala and Sri Lanka.
BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile
- Supersonic cruise missile BrahMos was recently successfully flight-tested for the first time with an indigenous seeker. So far, the seeker, a critical technology in missiles, had come from Russia. The seeker technology determines the accuracy of a missile.
- The BrahMos is the fastest cruise missile of its class in the world.
- BrahMos missile flies almost three times the speed of sound at Mach 2.8 and has a range of 290 km.
- The missile has been jointly developed with Russia and is named after the rivers Brahmaputra and Moskva in Russia.
- BrahMos missile is the heaviest weapon to be deployed on India’s Su-30 fighter aircraft.
- Since India’s entry into the MTCR, the range has been extended to 450 km and the plan is to increase it to 600km.
- An instrument to measure traces of uranium in water has been developed by a unit of the Department of Atomic Energy
- The instrument, “Fluorimeter”, has been developed by the Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT), an Indore-based unit of the DAE.
- The instrument is capable of examining traces of uranium in a sample of water from 0.1 PPB (Parts-per-billion) unit to 100 PPB.