Eastern Peripheral Expressway
- The Prime Minister inaugurated the two expressways in the Delhi NCR Region- Phase-I of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway and Eastern Peripheral Expressway.
- The Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE) will contribute towards the twin objectives of decongesting and de-polluting the national capital by diverting traffic not destined for Delhi.
- It is expected to reduce pollution levels in the national capital by 50 percent.
- The 135-km Eastern Peripheral Expressway envisages signal-free connectivity between Ghaziabad, Greater Noida, Faridabad and Palwal.
- It is the country’s first highway lit by solar power with provisions of rain water harvesting.
- For the first time, entry points at an expressway have ‘weigh-in-motion’ sensors to keep a check on overloading in trucks.
Governors of States in India
- Governor is the head of the Executive power of any state in India, just like the President who is the head of the executive power in the Union. But, Governor is the nominal head of a state, unlike the Chief Minister who is the real head of a state in India. According to an amendment in the Constitution of India, brought about in 1956, the same person can be the Governor of two or more states.
- The governors and lieutenant-governors are appointed by the president for a term of 5 years.
- The term of governor’s office is normally 5 years but it can be terminated earlier by: Dismissal by the president on the advice of the prime minister of the country, at whose pleasure the governor holds office or Resignation by the governor.
- There is no provision of impeachment, as it happens for the president. Article 157 and Article 158 of the Constitution of India specify eligibility requirements for the post of governor.
- Like the President of India, the Governor of any state in India is vested with certain executive, legislative and judicial powers. He or she also possesses certain discretionary or emergency powers.
- But one major difference in the powers enjoyed by the President and those enjoyed by the Governor is, the Governor does not have any diplomatic or military powers. (Read Article-161 in Laxmikanth)
Global Wind Summit
- The first edition of the Global Wind Summit will be held in Hamburg, Germany.
- The conference on wind is the largest and most important meeting of the wind industry worldwide. The event combines two conferences, WindEnergy Hamburg and WindEurope.
- The event will provide a platform for experts from across the globe to discuss innovative and green technologies for harnessing wind energy making.
- The focus of the conferences would be on three major subjects. Dynamic markets, cost efficiency and smart energy. How to develop new markets, make product competitive in auctions and use wind power for all energy applications.
- India is fourth largest country — after China, the US and Germany — in terms of wind energy installation capacity at around 33 GW. The government has set a target of achieving 60 GW by 2022.
- Baduli Kurung is a bat cave in the Bamuni hill, 17 km south of Nagaon town in central Assam.
- It is home to a number of colonies of both fruit- and insect-eating bats.
- The people believe that the bats watch over the hills that provide them firewood and a life-saving spring (much of the groundwater in the area is contaminated with fluoride), which flows out of the cave.
Unique telescope link
- Scientists in South Africa on Friday launched the world’s first optical telescope linked to a radio telescope, combining “eyes and ears” to try to unravel the secrets of the universe.
- The device forms part of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project in the remote Karoo desert, which will be the world’s most powerful radio telescope system.
- The latest move combines the new optical telescope MeerLITCH — Dutch for ‘more light’ — with the recently-completed 64-dish MeerKAT radio telescope, located 200 kilometres away.
- The project has been six years in the making by a joint-team of South African, Dutch and British scientists.
- Among the priorities for MeerLICHT, which cost about $1.1 million, is the study of black holes, neutron stars and stellar explosions.
- The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a large multi radio telescope project aimed to be built in Australia and South Africa.
Patratu Super Thermal Power Project
- The Prime Minister of India laid the foundation stone today for the 2400MW first phase of NTPC’s Patratu Super Thermal Power Project in Jharkhand.
- The project has salient features of Dry Ash disposable system (second to NTPC Dadri), zero liquid discharge system, Air-cooled condenser technology (only second to North Karanpura STPP) and rail loading facility for transportation of ash.
- The Engineering, Procurement & Construction contract of the project has been awarded to BHEL.
- This project will allocate 85 per cent of the power to Jharkhand that will benefit the state in the long run and help in the economic growth of the region.
- Under the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya) scheme, this project will ensure providing 24×7 power availability to the households.
World Elephant Day
- World Elephant Day is an annual global event celebrated across the world on August 12, dedicated to the preservation and protection of elephants.
- The goal of World Elephant Day is to create awareness about the plight of elephants and to share knowledge and positive solutions for the better care and management of captive and wild elephants.
- African elephants are listed as “vulnerable” and Asian elephants as “endangered” in the IUCN Red List of threatened species.
- As per the available population estimates, there are about 400,000 African elephants and 40,000 Asian elephants.
- World Elephant Day is celebrated to focus the attention of various stakeholders in supporting various conservation policies to help protect elephants, including improving enforcement policies to prevent illegal poaching and trade in ivory, conserving elephant habitats, providing better treatment for captive elephants and reintroducing captive elephants into sanctuaries.
Inner Line Permit (ILP)
- An official travel document issued by the Government of India to grant inward travel of an Indian citizen into a protected area for a limited period. It is obligatory for Indians residing outside those states to obtain permission prior to entering the protected areas.
- Currently, the Inner Line Permit is operational in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland.
- The document has been issued under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 and the conditions and restrictions vary from state to state.
- It can be issued for travel purposes solely. Visitors are not allowed to purchase property in these regions. However, there might be a different set of rules for long term visitors, though they are not valid for central government employees and security forces.
S-400 Triumf missile system
- India’s decision to augment its air defence with the Russian S-400 Triumf missile system (NATO code: SA-21 Growler) can change the entire military dynamics of the subcontinent.
- The S-400 Triumf air defence missile, which has been in service with the Russian forces since 2007, is considered to be the best in the world and is much more advanced than any western system.
- Once deployed on the borders with China and Pakistan, the Indian forces will gain the capability of shooting down aerial targets emerging from the two countries before they pose any threat to our country.
- The missiles deployed with the S-400 Triumf are capable of travelling at a rate of 4.8 kilometres per second (17,000 km/h; Mach 14).
- The S-400 Triumf missile system, which can engage targets independently as well as after receiving data from others radars, is the fourth generation of long-range Russian Surface-to-Air-Missiles (SAMs).
- The highly mobile, ground-based S-400 Triumf can detect, track and shoot down multiple targets including cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, aircraft, drones, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
- It can target ballistic missiles in their terminal (descent or reentry) phase.
- The entire system consists of a multifunction radar, autonomous detection and targeting systems, anti-aircraft missile systems, launchers, command and control centre.
National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
- The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), India is a quasi-judicial commission in India which was set up in 1988 under the Consumer Protection Act of 1986.
- The commission is headed by a sitting or retired judge of the Supreme Court of India.
- Section 21 of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 posits that the National Consumer shall have jurisdiction to entertain a complaint valued more than one crore and also have Appellate and Revisional jurisdiction from the orders of State Commissions or the District fora as the case may be.
- Section 23 of Consumer Protection Act, 1986, provides that any person aggrieved by an order of NCDRC, may prefer an Appeal against such order to Supreme Court of India within a period of 30 days.
- A Web portal and an App namely PRAAPTI (Payment Ratification And Analysis in Power procurement for bringing Transparency in Invoicing of generators), www.praapti.in, has been officially launched by Hon’ble Minister of State (I/C) for Power.
- It has been developed to bring transparency in power purchase transactions between Generators and Discoms.
- It will help the stakeholders in getting month-wise and legacy data on outstanding amounts of Discoms against power purchase.
- The app will also allow users to know the details related to the payments made by the Discoms to the power generation company and when they were made.
- PRAAPTI will also enable the consumers to evaluate the financial performance of their Discoms in terms of payments being made to the generation companies.
- The Portal would also help DISCOMs to reconcile their outstanding payments.
New state symbols of Andhra Pradesh
- State bird: Rose-ringed parakeet.
- State animal: Black-buck.
- State tree:-Neem
- State Flower:-Flower
- Indian botanist Kamaljit S. Bawa, president of Bengaluru-based non-profit Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), received the prestigious Linnean Medal in Botany from the Linnean Society of London
- Bawa is the first Indian to win the award ever since it was first constituted in 1888.
- He is being recognised for his pioneering research on the evolution of tropical plants, tropical deforestation, non-timber forest products and for decades of work on the biodiversity of forests in Central America, the Western Ghats and the Eastern Himalaya.
- The Linnean Medal is awarded to a biologist every year by the Linnean Society of London (the world’s oldest active biological society founded in 1788 and named after famous Swedish biologist Carl Linnaeus who gave us one of the systems of naming plants and animals).
Singchung Bugun Village Community Reserve
- Arunachal Pradesh-based NGO Singchung Bugun Community Reserve (SBVCR) won the India Biodiversity Award 2018 in the “Conservation of wildlife species” category.
- It was awarded for its efforts to conserve rare critically endangered bird Bugun Liocichla.
- The reserve is home to Bugun Liocichla, which is not reported anywhere else in the world.
- It lies right next to Eaglesnest Wildlife sanctuary, a biodiversity hotspot, which is also home to the bird species.
- A database of ‘Ganga Praharis’, created by Wildlife Institute of India (WII) was launched recently.
- The Ganga Praharis’ is a self-motivated volunteer cadre from local communities that have been trained and taken on board by National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and Wildlife Institute of India (WII) to make Clean Ganga Mission a mass movement.
- This cadre has been created to ensure the sustainability of efforts in conservation of the biodiversity in river Ganga.
- So far, 427 Ganga Praharis across five main Ganga basin states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal have been involved in this project.
- A platinum-group chemical element called ruthenium (Ru) is the fourth single element to have unique ferromagnetic properties at room temperature.
- Ruthenium is a chemical element with symbol Ru and atomic number 44. It is a rare transition metal belonging to the platinum group of the periodic table. Like the other metals of the platinum group, ruthenium is inert to most other chemicals.
- Most ruthenium produced is used in wear-resistant electrical contacts and thick-film resistors. A minor application for ruthenium is in platinum alloys and as a chemistry catalyst. A new application of ruthenium is as the capping layer for extreme ultraviolet photomasks.
- Ruthenium is generally found in ores with the other platinum group metals in the Ural Mountains and in North and South America. Small but commercially important quantities are also found in pentlandite extracted from Sudbury, Ontario and in pyroxenite deposits in South Africa.
- From an application perspective, Ru is interesting because it does not oxidize easily and theoretical predictions indicate it is particularly temperature-stable, which is an important property allowing scaling of magnetic memories.
- The discovery could be used to improve sensors, devices in the computer memory and logic industry, or other devices using magnetic materials.
Corbett Tiger Reserve
- Corbett National Park is situated in the foothills of the Sub- Himalayan belt in Nainital districts of Uttarakhand state in India.
- Established in the year 1936 as Hailey National Park, Corbett has the glory of being India’s oldest and most prestigious National Park. It is also being honored as the place where Project Tiger was first launched in 1973. This unique tiger territory is best known as the father who gave birth of the Project Tiger in India to protect the most endangered species and the Royal of India called Tigers.
- Corbett National Park covers an area of 521 sq. km and together with the neighboring Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary and Reserve Forest areas, forms the Corbett Tiger Reserve.
- Corbett is one of the richest bird regions of the Country and has been declared as an ‘Important Bird Area’ (IBA) by Birdlife International.