Current Affairs Miscellaneous

 The Kashi Mahakal Express, the 3rd private train of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), will start from today. The train service will link the three Jyotirlinga: Omkareshwar near Indore, Mahakaleshwar, in Ujjain and Kashi Vishwanath in Varanasi. This is also the first overnight journey train run by IRCTC. The train will cover 1,131 km between Varanasi and Indore via Lucknow and a distance of 1,102 km between Varanasi and Indore via Prayagraj in approximately 19 hours. Light devotional music, two dedicated private guards in every coach and only vegetarian meals are some of the features of the fully 3-AC service. The train will run thrice a week between Varanasi and Indore.

  Union Minister of State for Shipping Mansukh Laxmanbhai Mandaviya laid the foundation stone for a 50-metre high modern lighthouse at Dhanushkodi in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu. This is the 5th lighthouse in the region. The light house is to be built at a cost of Rs 7 crore rupees. The lighthouse is to be located opposite to the old church that was destroyed in a cyclone in 1964. It will facilitate navigation to 33 to 37 km from the sea shore. The lighthouse will help to guide fishermen and will also act as tourist attraction. The Light house is also important for the naval commands.There are four Naval Commands namely Western Naval Command, Eastern Naval Command, Southern Naval Command and Andaman and Nicobar Naval Command. The lighthouse complex would be of reinforcement cement concrete (RCC) structure with an octagonal shape of 50 metre height (including stilt). The lighthouse tower is attached with an annexure building for the provision of powerhouse, auxiliary equipment room, duty operators room and inspection room etc.

  The Delhi Police has integrated its “Himmat Plus App” with the app of ride hailing company “Uber” to ensure safety and security of people travelling in cabs. The Himmat Plus App was launched at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport. This app will give the real-time location of a driver or a rider during emergency. In response to it, Police Control Room (PCR) van will be assigned to provide assistance to the rider.
  • Benefits of the “Himmat Plus app”:
The integration of the App will enhance the location services and travel information to save the lives of people travelling in cabs. The initiative will also improve the efficiency of the Delhi Police to overcome the emergency situations.
  • Working of the Himmat Plus app:
When a rider scans the QR card, rider can access a driver’s details and vehicle information on the Himmat App. With the help of the app, rider can directly report their journey to the police.

  Avenue Supermarts, which is doing business as D-Mart, founder Radhakishan Damani has now become the 2nd richest Indian after Reliance Industries Ltd chairman Mukesh Ambani, with a net worth of $17.8 billion. He has left behind many heavyweights to acquire the coveted spot including the likes of philanthropist Shiv Nadar, banker Uday Kotak, and industrialists Gautam Adani and Lakshmi Mittal.

  The first ‘Jerusalem-Mumbai Festival’ will be held in the Mumbai, Maharashtra. This festival is organised to showcase the special links between the two cities and to promote ties between India and Israel. Famous Israeli cinema, The Mossad, will be screened at the festival in the presence of the movie director Alon Gur Arye. The two-day festival will promote artistic cooperation in the fields of culture, such as culinary art, music and dance. The event is also an opportunity to promote collaborations between Jerusalem and Maharashtra in the cultural domain and will serve as another milestone in the growing partnership between the two countries.

  The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) has organized the workshop on “Van Dhan and Entrepreneurship Development” under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs in New Delhi. The workshop on “Van Dhan and Entrepreneurship Development” was inaugurated by Union Minister for Tribal Affairs, Arjun Munda. During the workshop, the Tribal Minister stressed upon the Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana (PMVDY) which aims to use the tribals’ traditional knowledge and skills along with add branding, packaging and marketing skills to optimize their income through a market led enterprise model by setting up of Van Dhan Kendras (VDVKs). It is an initiative which targets the livelihood generation for tribals by harnessing the wealth of the forest i.e. Van Dhan.

  India to include the Asian Elephant and the Great Indian Bustard in the list of species that merit heightened conservation measures. The list will be debated at the 13th Conference of Parties (COP) of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), an environment treaty under the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Along with these, seven species that include Dugong, Whale Shark, Marine Turtle (two species), have been identified for preparation of Conservation and Recovery Action Plan. The COP is scheduled to be organised from February 17 to 22 in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. here are 130 parties to the convention and India has been a member since 1983.

  Ahead of the Conservation of Migratory Species Conference of Parties-13 (CMS COP-13), the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has introduced a draft Visionary Perspective Plan (2020-2030) to conserve ecosystems, habitats, avian diversity and landscapes in the country.
Visionary Perspective Plan (2020-2030)
  • According to the draft, there are 1,317 bird species in India. Out of these 72 are endemic, 100 are threatened, 17 are critically endangered, 63 are vulnerable and 20 are endangered. Around 270 species of avifauna fall under “rare” category. It includes pheasants, hornbills, bustards, storks and cranes.
  • The birds are prone to extinction mainly due to poaching, fragmentation of ecosystem, habitat loss and epidemics. The draft also says that stray dog population has increased due to catastrophic decline in population of vultures.
  • The draft says that around 219 bird bio-diversity areas are under severe anthropogenic pressure.
  • The draft also says that 2,01,503 wetlands spread across 2.25 hectares in India are under stress. This is mainly due to agricultural run-offs and urbanization.

 Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar released the first look of a biopic on former President APJ Abdul Kalam in New Delhi. Javadekar along with Producer and Director Madhur Bhandarkar and Hollywood Producer and Director Johnny Martin released a poster of the film on the occasion. Hollywood actor Muhammad Ali is playing Dr Kalam’s role in the movie.

  The Northern Coalfields Ltd (NCL) has established a research and development centre, named ‘Science and Applied Research Alliance and Support (SARAS)’. This research and development centre focuses on the sustainable model for development in coal mining. The R&D centre will be the centre of excellence, infrastructure up-gradation and IT initiatives for the subsidiary of the Coal India Ltd. NCL has come up with a unique concept/model ‘SARAS’ to ensure advance preparation with current and future challenges of the mining sector.


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