Sikkim state fish Katley
- The Sikkim government has declared ‘Copper Mahseer’ locally named ‘Katley’ as the State fish,
- Neolissochilus hexagonolepis commonly known as Copper Mahseer and locally named as ‘Katley’ is announced as a State fish to highlight the importance of the fish and to give emphasis to its conservation measures.
- In Sikkim, Katley is found in varied altitudes covering the entire state predominantly confined in Teesta and Rangit rivers and their tributaries.
- In the year 1992, ICAR-National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (ICAR-NBFGR), Lucknow had categorized Keatley fish as endangered species.
- Later on, in the year 2014, the fish was also categorized as endangered by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature)
EPFO adds new subscribers
- The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) added 14.65 lakh net subscribers in July, an increase from the 11.16 lakh net additions in June.
- According to Labour and Employment Ministry, 9.02 lakh members had joined the EPFO for the first time.
- This shows that the majority of subscribers opted to continue their membership with EPFO, by transferring their past accumulations from the previous job to the current PF account rather than applying for final withdrawal.
- With 3.88 lakh new subscribers from the 22 to 25 years age bracket and 3.27 lakh in the 18 to 21 years age group, this pointed towards first-time job-seekers joining the workforce in large numbers.
- Over 62% of the net addition came from Maharashtra, Haryana, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka.
- The Centre estimates to receive revenues worth 1,000 to 1,500 crore every month once the much-awaited Delhi-Mumbai Expressway becomes operational in 2023.
- The expressway will pass through four States apart from the national capital
- The eight-lane expressway, covering Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat, is expected to halve the commute time between the national capital and the country’s financial hub from nearly 24 hours to 12 hours.
- The Delhi-Mumbai Expressway is likely to be completed by March 2023 and is being built as part of the first phase of the ‘Bharatmala Pariyojana’.
- Against the backdrop of concerns being flagged about NHAI being saddled with a high level of debt, the nodal agency has received a ‘AAA’ rating and all its road projects are productive.
- ‘AAA’ is one of the highest credit ratings and indicates a robust financial position.
- National Highways Authority of India was set up by an act of the Parliament, NHAI Act, 1988
- The act directs to provide for the constitution of an Authority for the development, maintenance, and management of national highways and for matter connected therewith or incidental thereto.
- It has been entrusted with the National Highways Development Project, which along with other minor projects, has vested in it 50329 km of National Highways for development, maintenance, and management.
- The total length of NH (including expressways) in the country at present is 1,32,499 km.
- While Highways/Expressways constitute only about 1.7% of the length of all roads, they carry about 40% of the road traffic.
- Bharatmala Pariyojana is a new umbrella program for the highways sector that focuses on optimizing the efficiency of freight and passenger movement across the country by bridging critical infrastructure gaps through effective interventions like the development of Economic Corridors, Inter Corridors and Feeder Routes, National Corridor Efficiency Improvement, Border and International connectivity roads, Coastal and Port connectivity roads and Green-field expressways.
- The Bharatmala Pariyojana is a centrally-sponsored and funded road and Highways project of the Government of India
- It is under the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways
- Pfizer stated that the COVID-19 vaccine works for children ages 5 to 11 and that it will seek U.S. authorization for this age group soon— a key step toward beginning vaccinations for youngsters.
- The vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech already is available for anyone 12 and older.
- For elementary school-aged kids, Pfizer tested a much lower dose — a third of the amount that’s in each shot given now.
- Yet after their second dose, children ages 5 to 11 developed coronavirus-fighting antibody levels just as strong as teenagers and young adults.
- The kid dosage also proved safe, with similar or fewer temporary side effects— such as sore arms, fever, or achiness — that teens experience.
- The FDA required what is called an immune “bridging” study: evidence that the younger children developed antibody levels already proven to be protective in teens and adults.
- The study isn’t large enough to detect any extremely rare side effects, such as the heart inflammation that sometimes occurs after the second dose, mostly in young men.
- When a fast solar wind stream erupts from a coronal hole (a cooler region in the Sun’s atmosphere) and overtakes a slower moving solar wind stream, a stream interaction region (SIR) can form.
- In the SIR, a density “pileup” of compressed plasma develops upstream of the interface; typically there is a peak in pressure followed by a rarefaction region in the fast solar wind component.
- As the SIR propagates away from the Sun to distances of one astronomical unit or beyond, the compression can form a shock that efficiently accelerates charged particles.
- Thus SIRs are a major source of energetic particles in interplanetary space.
- Coronal holes, the main sources of the high-speed stream, rotate as the Sun rotates on its axis, and the SIR structures rotate with it.
- After a complete solar rotation, a SIR is reclassified as a corotating interaction region (CIR).
- SIRs and CIRs are large-scale, often long-lived structures that, like the solar wind itself, can trigger geomagnetic storms on the Earth and affect its ionosphere and thermosphere.
- These structures and their associated shocks can modulate the intensity of incoming galactic cosmic rays.
- SIRs and CIRs vary temporally and spatially, and astronomers are working to understand how they form, evolve, and persist for multiple solar rotations.
- Doing so requires a robust database of observations at small heliospheric distances together with complementary measurements from other space observatories.
- The goal of this program is to develop a “living catalog” of SIR and CIR events with strict identification criteria.
- These results represent the first iteration in a series of observations that will enable case studies of these structures as well as statistical analyses to understand their properties and evolution.
- Mumbai’s Byculla Zoo announced the addition of two new Humboldt penguin chicks this year.
- The two join seven adult Humboldt penguins at Byculla Zoo — Popeye, Flipper, Bubble, and the new parents.
- Humboldt penguins are medium-sized species among at least 17 species.
- The largest, the Emperor penguin, stands at over 4 ft tall while the Little penguin has a maximum height of 1 ft.
- Humboldt penguins have an average height of just over 2 ft
- The Humboldt penguin (Spheniscus humboldti) belongs to a genus that is commonly known as the ‘banded’ group.
- Humboldt penguins are endemic to the Pacific coasts of Chile and Peru.
- They are so named because their habitat is located near the Humboldt Current, a large oceanic upwelling characterized by cold waters.
- Humboldt penguins have large, bare skin patches around their eyes, an adaptation to help keep them cool
General Sherman the world’s largest tree
- The General Sherman Tree is the world’s largest in terms of volume and exists in the Giant Forest sequoia grove of the national park.
- As per recent estimates, General Sherman is about 2,200 years old.
- It stands at a height of 275 feet (taller than the leaning tower of Pisa) and has a diameter of 36 feet at the base.
- Even 60 feet above the base, the tree has a diameter of 17.5 feet.
- These groves are getting destroyed in forest fires
- Stablecoins offer a combination of the traits of cryptocurrencies and a fixed real-world asset, often fiat.
- The most popular use for stablecoins is to provide users the advantages of cryptocurrency and the blockchain, such as decentralization and quick, low-cost transactions, but with the stability of its fiat peg.
- For example, popular stablecoins USDC, USDT, and GUSD will, in theory, always equal $1.00. However, in execution, stablecoin value may differ by 1 to 5% in either direction.
Stablecoins Get Inspiration From Fiat
- The strategies used to maintain stable coin value are similar to how governments and central banks control the prices of fiat.
- The primary method is the use of reserves to back the fiat.
- The controlling authority, similar to a central bank, takes actions to control the supply and demand. An example of the latter is when the central bank prints more money in what is called quantitative easing.
- However, instead of being used to manipulate economies, stable coins serve the goal of providing cryptocurrency holders the ability to escape volatility while remaining in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
- India virtually participated in the G-33 Informal Ministerial Conference on September 16, hosted by Indonesia, to discuss the agricultural priority issues and the way forward for the Twelfth Ministerial Conference (MC-12) scheduled during November 30–December 3, 2021.
- India has finally decided to co-sponsor a proposal made by the G-33 group of developing countries on a permanent solution for allowing public stockholding subsidies without limits at the WTO.
- In a revised G-33 proposal on public stockholding submitted to the WTO India too became a signatory
- Many are of the opinion that it was a good decision by the Indian government to stick to the G-33 alliance as the grouping has served its interests well over the last many years.
- India stressed that the WTO Agreement on Agriculture was tilted in favor of developed countries and said that the G-33 must strive for positive outcomes on a permanent solution to public stockholding for food security purposes which is of utmost importance, finalization of a Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) and a balanced outcome on Domestic Support.
National Florence Nightingale Award 2020
- President Ram Nath Kovind conferred the National Florence Nightingale Award 2020 on Deputy Director-General of Military Nursing Service (MNS) Brig. S.V. Saraswati for her immense contribution to the MNS as a nurse administrator
- As a renowned operation theatre nurse, she has assisted in over 3,000 lifesaving and emergency surgeries.
- National Florence Nightingale Award is the highest national distinction a nurse can achieve for selfless devotion and exceptional professionalism.
- Brig. Saraswati hails from the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh and was commissioned into the MNS on December 28, 1983.
- Raja Rithvik of Telangana has become a Grandmaster after crossing the ELO 2,500 mark in the Vezerkepzo GM chess tournament in Budapest.
- The 17-year-old, a 12th standard student crossed the mandatory ELO 2,500-mark to earn a GM title.
- He achieved four rating points after the fourth round in the tournament when he defeated FIDE Master Finek Vaclav of Czechoslovakia.