Facts in News

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    Facts in News

    245th Independence Day of USA

    Recently, the Prime Minister of India has greeted the President and the people of the USA on their 245th Independence Day.

    • American Independence Day is observed on 4th July and is also called the Fourth of July.
    • It honours the signing of the American Declaration of Independence by the founding fathers of the US on 4th July 1776.
    • The declaration was originally drafted by Thomas Jefferson, a renowned statesman and diplomat, in consultation with fellow committee members and political philosophers like John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman and William Livingston.
    • They renounced the British Empire and pronounced 13 American colonies as free states.
    • Many towns carried out mock funerals for King George III, whose “death” symbolized the rebirth of liberty and the end of monarchy and tyranny.
    • Philadelphia commemorated the first annual independence day in 1777, starting the tradition to set off fireworks, which are considered to be a very important part of the celebration in history and tradition.
    • The initial year celebrations played an important role in the development of the federal political system and provided the informal political parties with a venue to tie local and national contests to independence.
    • The day now marks the strong symbol of national power for the US and of specifically American qualities of democracy, freedom and liberty.
    • As vibrant democracies, India and the US share values of freedom and liberty and the strategic partnership has a truly global significance.

    Bamboo Oasis on Lands in Drought (BOLD) Project

    Recently, the Bamboo Oasis on Lands in Drought (BOLD) project has been initiated by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).

    • It was launched as part of KVIC’s Khadi Bamboo Festival to celebrate 75 years of independence, “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav”.
    • Under it, 5000 saplings of special bamboo species (Bambusa tulda and Bambusa polymorpha), specially brought from Assam, have been planted over approximately 16 acres of vacant arid Gram Panchayat land. 
      • KVIC has thus created a world record of planting the highest number of bamboo saplings on a single day at one location.
    • The unique scientific exercise is a first of its kind in India and has been launched from the tribal village NichlaMandwa in Udaipur, Rajasthan.
      • KVIC is set to replicate it at Dholera village, Ahmedabad (Gujarat) and Leh-Ladakh region.
    • Significance
      • The project seeks to create bamboo-based green patches in arid and semi-arid land zones.
        • Bamboos grow very fast and could be harvested in about three years’ time.
        • Bamboos are also known for conserving water and reducing evaporation of water from the land surface, which becomes significant for arid and drought-prone regions.
      • It serves the combined national objectives of reducing land degradation and desertification and providing livelihood and multi-disciplinary rural industry support.
      • It will boost self-employment and benefit a large number of women and unemployed youths in the region by connecting them to skill development programmes.
      • These green patches will be havens of sustainable development and food security.

    Panchmuli Lake

    Recently, authorities have carried out the relocation of crocodiles from Panchmuli lake near the Statue of Unity in Narmada district, Gujarat.

    • In 2019-20, 73 rescued crocodiles were released into the Sardar Sarovar reservoir.
    • A large number of crocodiles posed a threat to visitors so authorities decided to relocate crocodiles from the water body to prevent any harm to tourists.
    • The Panchmuli lake, also known as ‘Dyke-3’ of the Sardar Sarovar Dam, was developed for tourists visiting the Statue of Unity.
      • The 182-metre tall statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Kevadia is a major tourist attraction.
      • It is located near the Narmada river basin and was inaugurated on 31st October 2018.
    • In 2019, the Gujarat State Forest Development Corporation Ltd (GSFDC) started the boat ride in the lake, which is rich in flora and fauna and surrounded by lush green forests, as part of the eco-tourism activity in the region surrounding the Statue of Unity.
    • Sardar Sarovar Dam
      • It is a 1,210m long concrete gravity dam with a proposed final height of 163m above the deep foundation.
      • The terminal dam is built on the Narmada river at Kevadia in Gujarat’s Narmada district. 
      • It is called the ‘lifeline of Gujarat’ and part of the Narmada Valley Development Project, a major plan to generate power and supply water for drinking and irrigation.
      • The scheme was initially conceived by the late Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in 1946-1947.

    (Image Courtesy: DTE)

    • River Narmada
      • It is the fifth-largest river in India, traversing 1,312km from the Amarkantak region in Madhya Pradesh to drain into the Arabian Sea at the Gulf of Cambay.
      • It has a basin area of 97,410 square kilometres.
      • It is a classic case of Integrated River Basin Planning, Development, and Management, with water storage available in all major, medium, and minor dams on the main river and its tributaries, shared amongst four party states (Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra) in the ratio stipulated by the 1979 award of the Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal.

    Goldilocks Supernova

    • Scientists have discovered the first convincing evidence for electron-capture supernova– a new type of stellar explosion.
      • Electron-capture supernovae have been theorized for four decades, but their real-world examples remained elusive.

    Key Points

    • Supernovae have categorized into two main types:
      • Thermonuclear
      • Iron-core collapse.
    • A Thermonuclear Supernova is the explosion of a white dwarf star after it gains matter in a binary star system.
      • These white dwarfs are the dense cores of ash that remain after a low-mass star (one up to about 8 times the mass of the sun) reaches the end of its life.
    • An Iron core-collapse supernova occurs when a massive star—one more than about ten times the sun’s mass—runs out of nuclear fuel, and its iron core collapses, creating a black hole or neutron star.
    • Between these two main types of supernovae are electron-capture supernovae. When the star is not light enough to avoid collapsing under its own core mass, and not heavy enough to prolong its life and die in some other way later, it forms an electron-capture supernova.
    • These stars stop fusion when their cores are made of oxygen, neon and magnesium; they aren’t massive enough to create iron.

    NIPUN Bharat

    • National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy (NIPUN Bharat).
    • Implemented by: Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSEL), the Ministry of Education. 
    • Vision: To create an enabling environment to ensure universal acquisition of foundational literacy and numeracy, so that every child achieves the desired learning competencies in reading, writing and numeracy by the end of Grade 3, by 2026-27. 
    • Implementation mechanism: A five-tier implementation mechanism will be set up at the National- State- District- Block- School level in all States and UTs, under the aegis of the centrally sponsored scheme of Samagra Shiksha.

    Fly Ash

    • NTPC Ltd, in its endeavour towards 100% utilization of fly ash has invited Expression of Interest (EOI) for sale of fly ash from the designated ports of the Middle East and other regions. 

    About

    • Popularly known as Flue ash or pulverised fuel ash, it is a coal combustion product.
    • Fly Ash is a by-product of power generation with coal. 
    • Use: In the manufacture of Cement, Concrete, Concrete Products, Cellular Concrete products and for Bricks / Blocks / Tiles. 
    • Sustainable Ash utilization is one of the key concern areas.
    • Over the last five years the fly ash utilisation has grown up by 80% in India.

    Initiatives Taken

    • Draft Fly Ash Utilization Policy
    • ASH TRACK Mobile App
    • Initiatives by NTPC Ltd: It is leveraging Indian Railways’ sprawling network to transport Fly Ash in an economical and environment-friendly manner. 
    • Fly Ash Brick Manufacturing Plants: To promote the use of Fly Ash bricks in building construction.