1. Tunnels in Jammu and Kashmir
- The all-weather connectivity between Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh is a step closer to reality with an “escape tunnel” with a Rs 2,300-crore Z-Morh tunnel.
- This would connect Srinagar to Sonamarg during the winter months
- It is another technological feat that would be achieved with the Rs 4,600-crore Zojila Tunnel that would further connect to Leh in the Ladakh region.
- Strategically built at 11,578 feet high altitude, the Zojila tunnel uses New Austrian Tunnel Method (NATM) technology that allows for ventilation and evacuation.
- The government-owned NHIDCL is the nodal agency for Z-Morh and Zojila tunnel projects.
- The 11,500 feet high Zojila tunnel is being vertically constructed because of the altitude.
- The Zojila project has a 5-km approach road and a 6.5-km tunnel.
- The tunnels also integrate Kargil to Kashmir valley.
- The Zojila tunnel is 14.15 km long, which is India’s longest road tunnel and Asia’s longest bi-directional tunnel.
2. National Mission on Cultural Mapping
- It was launched in 2017
- It has now been handed over to the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), which is gearing up for a trial run in 75 villages in October.
- The Culture Ministry had approved the mission in 2017 with a 469 crore budget from 2017-2018 to 2019-2020. However, the project had been slow to take off.
- No direct benefits or assistance has been extended through this Mission to the registered artists/institution.
- One village in each State and UT will be selected
3. PM CARES Fund
- The PM CARES Fund is not a Government of India fund and the amount collected by it does not go to the Consolidated Fund of India.
- Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is discharging his functions in the PM Cares Trust on an honorary basis
- Its funds are audited by an auditor a chartered accountant drawn from the panel prepared by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.
- The Fund is a public charitable trust with the Prime Minister as its Chairman. Other Members include Defence Minister, Home Minister, and Finance Minister.
- The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has clarified that contributions by companies towards the PM-CARES Fund will count towards mandatory Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) expenditure.
- Under the Companies Act, 2013, companies with a minimum net worth of Rs 500 crore or turnover of Rs 1,000 crore, or net profit of Rs 5 crore are required to spend at least 2% of their average profit for the previous three years on CSR activities every year.
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4. Weaver Services and Design Resource Centre
- Weaver Services and Design Resource Centre is to be set up in Kullu to encourage attractive handicraft products of Himachal
- It also aims to provide a better platform for the export of these products in the international market.
- It is announced during Seva and Samarpan campaign on the occasion of the golden jubilee of the statehood of Himachal Pradesh at Kullu.
- More attention is needed to modernize the design, quality, packaging, and marketing so that the weavers get better prices for their products in the international market.
- In order to facilitate online sales platforms for weavers, MoU had been signed with Flipkart for doing online sales of products
5. Multi-member ward system
- The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government took a decision to reintroduce the multi-member ward system for all municipal councils and corporations instead of the existing single-member ward system.
- The decision comes ahead of the municipal council and corporation elections to be held later this year and early next year.
- There will be a three-member ward system in municipal corporations and a two-member ward system in municipal councils.
- There will be no change in the number of wards or corporators; the wards will be bunched together only for the purpose of the election
6. Electronic Park
- Uttar Pradesh government is gearing up to develop an ‘Electronic Park’ for electronic devices and accessories along the Yamuna Expressway near Noida,
- The Expressway already have seen the development of Toy Park, Film City, Medical Device Park, and Leather Park
- The park is expected to attract an investment of Rs 50,000 crore and will provide employment to thousands of local youths
- The park is likely to be developed in an area of 250 acres either in Sector 14 or Sector 10 of the YEIDA near Jewar Airport
- National and international companies making mobile phones, TVs, and other electronic goods will establish their units in the park.
7. Dark energy
- Dark energy, the mysterious form of energy that makes up about 68% of the universe
- It has been noted as “the most profound mystery in all of science”.
- The XENON1T experiment is the world’s most sensitive dark matter experiment and was operated deep underground at the INFN Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso in Italy.
- Everything we see – the planets, moons, massive galaxies make up less than 5% of the universe.
- About 27% is dark matter and 68% is dark energy.
- While dark matter attracts and holds galaxies together, dark energy repels and causes the expansion of our universe.
8. Decision Support System (DSS)
- A newly developed DSS will attempt to determine the source of air pollutants in Delhi-NCR
- It will be a part of the existing air quality forecasting system this year.
- An air quality early warning system, developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, has been operational in Delhi-NCR since 2018.
- Based on forecasts, the system provides warnings on severe air quality events.
- The DSS, which is likely to be introduced for the first time this year, is an extension of the existing system.
9. Rajaji Tiger Reserve issue on relaxations
- A Supreme Court-appointed committee has questioned relaxations given for the upgrade of a 4.7-km road in the buffer zone of Rajaji Tiger Reserve.
- The Central Empowered Committee (CEC) asked the state government why the length of an elevated road for the movement of animals was reduced to 400 meters from 1,410 meters
- 1,410 meters was suggested by an expert committee with members from the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and Wildlife Institute of India (WII).
- The height of the passage was also revised down to 6 meters from 8 meters.
- The state government and MoEFCC have to reply to CEC’s questions within 15 days
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10. Judima Wine
- The Dimasa community prepares the beverage from rice and a certain herb
- Judima, the wine brewed by the Dimasa community in Assam, has been awarded the geographical indication (GI) tag.
- This wine made from rice and a certain herb is the first beverage from the northeast to earn this label.
- Judima is intrinsic to the social and cultural life of the Dimasas.
- The GI tag for the drink came 14 years after the ginger of the adjoining Karbi Anglong district received its geographical indication.
- Manipur saw two of its indigenous products get the GI tag. These were the Tamenglong orange and Hathei chilli grown in the hills.
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11. Naga Cucumber
- It is from Nagaland that gets the GI tag
- Naga cucumbers are juicy, soft, and sweet and are grown completely organically.
- They are low in calories but high in potassium and contain a high level of water & can serve as an alternative to consuming sports drinks.
- Cucumber has been traditionally cultivated by Naga farmers in their Jhum fields as a mixed crop mainly during the Kharif season (April –May).
- It is one of the important component crops in jhum cultivation.
- This is primarily grown as a cash crop along with paddy
- Some tribes like Konyak are found to grow cucumber all throughout the year by seed to seed method depending upon the soil type.
- Naga cucumbers are a kind of fruit that differ in taste, shape, and size from those available in other
12. Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar (SSB) prize
- It is given by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)
- Every year, CSIR presents this award to scientists below 45 years of age for their contributions in biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, medicine, engineering, and earth, atmosphere, ocean, and planetary sciences.
- The award comprises a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh.
- The 2021 SSB winner list did not feature any woman scientists.
- City-based astrophysicist Kanak Saha was among the 11 recipients of 2021
- Anish Ghosh, a member of the Indian Academy of Sciences and recipient of the award under mathematics
- The awardee from the engineering sciences category is Debdeep Mukhopadhyay, a faculty at IIT-Kharagpur.
- The awardees of biological sciences are Amit Singh from the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, and Arun Kumar Shukla of IIT-Kanpur.
13. World Oldest living twins
- Two Japanese sisters have been confirmed as the world’s oldest living identical twins and the oldest ever identical twins at the age of 107.
- Umeno Sumiyama and Koume Kodama were 107 years and 300 days old as of September 1.
- The oldest male identical twins ever verified by Guinness World Records were Dale and Glen Moyer, from the US, who both reached the age of 105.