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Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park (PNHZP)

The Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park (PNHZP) is a zoo in Darjeeling, India. It's also known as the Darjeeling Zoo and is the largest high-altitude zoo in the country. The zoo is dedicated to wildlife conservation and is known for its breeding programs for red pandas, Himalayan salamanders, Tibetan wolves, and snow leopards. World Association for Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) has recently annpunced that it has the world’s largest number of snow leopard

31 January, 2024 GS-III Biodiversity & Environment

Gut Microbiota and Human Health

Scientists are finding that the gut microbiota may be linked to heart health, some cancers, and even the colour of urine. Gut Microbiota The human gut microbiota refers to the trillions of microbes, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites, that live in the human gut. Previously, people referred to the gut microbiota as the microflora of the gut. The gut microbiome is the environment they live in. Establishment of the human gut microbiota: Infants inherit t

31 January, 2024 GS-III S&T

Windfall tax – Petroleum

India cut its windfall tax on petroleum crude to 1,700 rupees ($20.53) a tonne from 2,300 rupees a tonne, according to a recent government notification. Windfall Tax It is a tax levied by governments against certain industries when economic conditions allow those industries to experience significantly above-average profits. The term “windfall” refers to an unexpected rise in profits, and the tax on windfall gains is known as the windfall tax. 

31 January, 2024 GS-III Economic Issues

Tibetan brown bear-SIKKIM

A rare and elusive bear, the Tibetan brown bear, has been recently sighted in Sikkim, making it the first confirmed record of the animal being sighted in India. Tibetan Brown Bear The Tibetan brown bear, also known as the Tibetan blue bear, is one of the rarest subspecies of bears in the world and is rarely sighted in the wild. Scientific Name: Ursus arctos pruinosus Distribution: Historically found mainly on the alpine eastern Tibetan platea

31 January, 2024 GS-III Biodiversity & Environment

Gentoo penguin-Chilean Antarctica

Recently, a photographer has spotted an extremely rare all-white Gentoo penguin in Chilean Antarctica. Gentoo penguin It is exclusively found in the Southern Hemisphere between 45 and 65 degrees south latitude. Within this range, gentoos are found on the Antarctic Peninsula as well as many sub-Antarctic islands. One of the most predominant locations gentoos inhabit is the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic Ocean. Habitat: Gentoo penguins typically are found a

31 January, 2024 GS-III Biodiversity & Environment

Paramyrothecium indicum- Fungus

Scientists recently discovered a new species of fungus in Kerala, named ‘Paramyrothecium indicum’. Paramyrothecium indicum It is a new species of phytopathogenic fungus. Phytopathogens are parasites surviving on a plant host. Most of Paramyrothecium are phytopathogens. They are responsible for “serious plant diseases which might negatively affect crop productivity. Paramyrothecium leaf spots are a type of fungal disease that can affect

31 January, 2024 GS-III Biodiversity & Environment

W1935

W1935 is a brown dwarf star that is 47 light-years away from Earth. It is the 1st auroral candidate outside of the solar system that has been identified through methane emission signatures. It is also the coldest auroral candidate outside of our solar system, with a temperature of about 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius). Astronomers using NASA's James Webb Space Telescopediscovered W1935.

30 January, 2024 GS-III S&T

Vondy

It is an all-in-one AI platform that can create content as well as enhance productivity. The application has been developed by New York-based software engineer Rohit Das and New Jersey-based software engineer David Laub. Vondy is free and there are no message limits unlike ChatGPTand also has an AI assistant that’s a social media influencer.

30 January, 2024 GS-III S&T

Green Hydrogen from Whisky Distillery

Researchers at the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh used wastewater from the whisky distilling industry to produce green hydrogen, which is a type of sustainable fuel. They did this by developing a new nanoscale material, nickel selenide that allowed distillery wastewater to replace fresh water in the green hydrogen production & it treats the wastewater.

30 January, 2024 GS-III Biodiversity & Environment

Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee- Bio pollution

The Supreme Court recently questioned the Centre on why reports of the court-appointed Technical Experts Committee (TEC) on the biosafety of genetically modified (GM) crops were not looked into by the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC). GEAC It is the statutory committee constituted under the “Rules for the Manufacture, Use/Import/Export and Storage of Hazardous Microorganisms/Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cells (Rules, 1989)” framed under Environmen

30 January, 2024 GS-III Biodiversity & Environment

Astra Missile- Indian Missile development

The Minister of State for Defence recently flagged off the indigenously developed Astra Missiles for supply to the Indian Air Force (IAF) at Bharat Dynamics in Hyderabad. Astra Missile Astra is a beyond-visual-range (BVR) air-to-air missile designed to be mounted on fighter aircraft. It is indigenously developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Ltd. (BDL) for the Indian Air Force (IAF). The miss

30 January, 2024 GS-III S&T

Zero Defect, Zero Effect Scheme

Zero Defect Zero Effect (ZED) is a certification scheme for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The scheme's goal is to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of MSMEs, and to help them become national and international champions. The ZED scheme has 3 levels of certification - Bronze, Silver, and Gold. The certification is based on parameters such as quality, safety, production, cleanliness, energy, and the environment.

29 January, 2024 GS-III Economic Issues

‘Swayam Siddha’

Swayam Siddha is a financial product from the State Bank of India (SBI) that provides loans to women entrepreneurs from Self Help Groups (SHGs). The loans can be up to 5 lakh rupees.

29 January, 2024 GS-III Economic Issues

Himalayan Wolf

Himalayan Wolf has been assessed for the first time in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s Red List and categorised as ‘Vulnerable’. Himalayan Wolf The Himalayan Wolf (Canis lupus chanco), a prominent lupine predator found across the Himalayas. It is also called Tibetan wolves, which live at more than 4,000 metres altitudes and are genetically distinct from grey wolves. Living at such high altitudes, these wolves have genetically&nb

29 January, 2024 GS-III Biodiversity & Environment

Punganur cows

Standing at just around 70-90 cm tall and weighing less than 200 kg, it is among the world’s most dwarf cattle breeds. It is native to Punganur village in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. It has high resilience to drought and can adapt to low-quality feed. It is also prized for its milk, which boasts a higher fat content, making it ideal for producing ghee. A Punganur cow can give around 1 to 3 litres a day

29 January, 2024 GS-III Economic Issues

Ugram

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) lab and a Hyderabd based private firm launched an indigenous assault rifle named Ugram recently. The rifle is weighing less than 4 kg with a 500-meter firing range. It is designed and developed to meet the operational requirements of the Indian armed forces, Para military forces, and state police forces.

28 January, 2024 GS-III S&T

“PM-eBus Sewa”

Cabinet approves “PM-eBus Sewa” for augmenting city bus operations; priority to cities having no organized bus service 10,000 e-Buses to be deployed on PPP model in 169 cities; Infrastructure to be upgraded in 181 cities under Green Urban Mobility Initiatives Total estimated cost of the scheme to be Rs.57,613 crore Expected direct employment generation over 45,000 PM-eBus Sewa Scheme Under the PM-eBus Sewa Scheme, 10,000 e-buses will be deployed across cities

28 January, 2024 GS-III Economic Issues

Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT)

Recently, an official delegation from the Department of Science and Technology visited Mauna Kea to discuss “challenges” to the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project. Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) It has been conceived as a 30-metre diameter primary-mirror optical and infrared telescope that will enable observations into deep space. It is proposed as a joint collaboration involving institutions in the U.S., Japan, China, Canada, and India. It will b

28 January, 2024 GS-III S&T

Conjoined Silverline (Cigaritis conjuncta)

Researchers from the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) found a new butterfly species in Karnataka’s Bramhagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, Kodagu. Conjoined Silverline butterfly The butterfly species -- Conjoined Silverline (Cigaritis conjuncta) found from the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot, India. Features The new butterfly is the size of a one rupee coin but is invaluable to conservationists. It is endemic to mid-elevation evergreen&n

28 January, 2024 GS-III Biodiversity & Environment

MSMEs in India

A recent report of CBRE-CREDAI says that Maharastra, TamilNadu and Uttar Pradesh (top 3 States) contribute 40% of registered MSMEs in India. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises are known by the acronym MSME.

27 January, 2024 GS-III Economic Issues

Peregrine & Vulcan

The Peregrine lander was built by Pittsburgh-based space robotics firm Astrobotic and aimed to become the first lunar lander constructed by a private company. This is also the first mission to fly under NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative, where NASA pays private companies to send scientific equipment to the moon. Vulcan Centaur is a two-stage-to-orbit, heavy-lift launch vehicle developed by United Launch Alliance (ULA).

27 January, 2024 GS-III S&T

Sisal

Sisal is a species of flowering plant native to southern Mexico. Sisal, (Agave sisalana), plant of the family Asparagaceae and its fibre, the most important of the leaf fibre group. The leaves have been used to make twine, cloth, carpets and mezcal, a distilled alcoholic beverage. A recent study suggests that the sisal leaves could make sanitary napkins more sustainable in India.

27 January, 2024 GS-III Biodiversity & Environment

Poppy straw

Over 10,000 kg of poppy straw, under the cover of cattle feed, has been seized by the Central Bureau of Narcotics in the last 1 year. Poppy straw – It is the husk left after the opium is extracted from the pods which also contains a very small morphine content. Drug – It is one of the narcotic drugs under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS). India is one of the few countries that legally cultivate opium poppy and

27 January, 2024 GS-III Internal security

National Mission for Clean Ganga- River Conservation

On 12th August 2011, the NMCG was listed as a society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. It acted as the implementation arm of the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) which was constituted under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act (EPA),1986. NGRBA was dissolved in 2016 and replaced by the National Council for Rejuvenation, Protection, and Management of River Ganga. Objective: The objective of the

27 January, 2024 GS-III Biodiversity & Environment

India’s First Dark Sky Park

The Pench Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra has been designated as India's first Dark Sky Park and the fifth in Asia, protecting the night sky and preventing light pollution. India’s First Dark Sky Park The Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Maharashtra is India's first Dark Sky Park within a tiger reserve for earmarking areas around the park that restrict light pollution for stargazers to access pristine dark skies. Dark Sky Place certification focuses on light

27 January, 2024 GS-III Biodiversity & Environment

Light Detection and Ranging – LiDAR

Lidar, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the Earth. These light pulses—combined with other data recorded by the airborne system — generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape of the Earth and its surface characteristics. A lidar instrument principally consists of a laser, a scanner, and a specialized GP

27 January, 2024 GS-III S&T

Cervical Cancer Vaccine

Indian government is set to roll out a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination campaign for girls in the 9-14 years age group. Cervavac is an indigenously developed quadrivalent vaccine by the Serum Institute of India (SII) in Pune, is already available commercially. Immunisation drive – It will be conducted through schools and existing vaccination points, planned in 3 phases over 3 years and is likely to start from the 2nd quarter of 2024 for fre

26 January, 2024 GS-III S&T

Up skilling Rural Youth of India

In a recent group discussion held by Life Skills Collaborative, most of the rural youth preferred to stay in their village which necessitates the importance of upskilling them. Why is upskilling necessary for the rural youth? UN projects that almost 50% of the Indian population will be living in urban areas by 2047. To overcome agrarian crisis ­– Farming is the main source of rural livelihoods including children who work on family-owned farms. But the rural economy i

25 January, 2024 GS-III Economic Issues

Swachh Survekshan Awards 

Recently Union government announced the Swachh Survekshan Awards 2023. An annual cleanliness ranking for urban areas since 2016. Released by – Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. Coverage – Originally 73 cities in 2016, now has increased along with 4,416 urban local bodies, 61 cantonments and 88 Ganga towns. About 1.58 crore online citizen feedback and 19.82 lakh face-to-face views were received as a part

25 January, 2024 GS-III Biodiversity & Environment

TM Module-2 in ICD-11

Recently ICD-11 was launched with the inclusion of Traditional Medicine Module 2. ICD-11 – International Classification of Diseases 11th Revision, the global standard for diagnostic health information. Launched by – World Health Organisation (WHO). Prepared by – WHO in collaboration with Ministry of AYUSH. Aim - To modernize Ayush medicine by integrating it with global standards in India as well as across the world.

24 January, 2024 GS-III S&T

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