- State signs MoU with US firm to produce sex-sorted semen doses for cattle
- The Uttarakhand Livestock Development Board (ULDB) signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with US-based Inguran LLC Sexing Technology to produce sex-sorted semen doses by 2019.
- Under the scheme, the central government has selected ten top frozen semen production institutes in the country and Uttarakhand has become the first state to prepare and send the project proposal to the Centre. After the proposal was sent, the Deep Frozen Semen Production Centre in Shyampur, Rishikesh, was selected for production of sex-sorted semen and the work to upgrade the centre had begun in June.
- The Rs 47.5 crore project will be funded to the extent of 90% by the Centre under its National Mission of Bovine Productivity scheme and the remaining 10% funding will be done by the state.
- The main object of the scheme is to restrict the number of male animals and increase the number of indigenous female animals through artificial insemination so that milk production could be raised and animals of good breed could be preserved and conserved.
· NASA introduced an app to take space selfies
- NASA has introduced two virtual reality apps which will allow users to take selfies in front of gorgeous cosmic locations.
- The two apps, the Selfies app and Exoplanet Excursions virtual reality app, were released to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the launch of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope.
- The app will let you take snapshots of yourself in a virtual spacesuit, posing in front of gorgeous cosmic locations, like the Orion Nebula or the centre of the Milky Way galaxy. It also provides information about the science behind these stunning images.
· WhatsApp bats for user privacy to the Centre
- WhatsAppdisagrees with the Centre’s idea of over tracing the origin of fake messages.
- Whatsapp, the messaging platform, said it will not comply with the demands set by the government. The move by WhatsApp said it will undermine the privacy of WhatsApp users. Building traceability would undermine end-to-end encryption.
· ICOMOS launched initiative to save cultural heritage damaged in flood-hit Kerala
- The International Council on Monuments and Sites(ICOMOS), a global monument conservation body, has launched an initiative to assess the damage to the rich cultural and built heritage in flood-devastated Kerala and set up an emergency response platform.
- ICOMOS is also an advisory body to the UNESCO for cultural heritage, in particular for implementation of the World Heritage Convention.
· Indians can make calls on flights starting October
- The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has reportedly said that people will be allowed to make calls and use the internet during flights (at 30,000 ft) from October.
- The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had earlier announced that Indian and international flights be allowed voice and data services within India’s airspace above an altitude of 9,850 ft.
· Doklam effect: trade at Nathu La dips 90%
- The trade between India and China at the Nathu La border dropped by 90% in 2017 owing to the standoff at Doklam between the two countries.
- According to the figures provided by the Department of Commerce and Industries, Government of Sikkim, the value of exports from India to China in 2016 was ₹63.38 crore and the import from China was ₹19.30 crore.
- In 2017, exports dropped to ₹7.83 crore while imports from China dipped to just ₹1.02 crore.
- Trade between India and China at Nathu La started in July 2006 when the Old Silk Route was re-opened. Since then about 100 traders from both sides have been crossing the Nathu La border, at an elevation of 14,140 ft, four days a week, Monday to Thursday. The border trade is allowed seven months a year, from May to November.
· Centre asks States to conduct survey of Anganwadi beneficiaries
- The Centre has asked all State governments to carry out a survey to identify fake beneficiaries at various anganwadis after the Assam government uncovered over 14 lakh ghost beneficiaries of the scheme.
- Anganwadi services are offered under the Centre’s Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS). An anganwadi worker provides supplementary nutrition, immunisation, health check-up, pre-school education and conducts growth monitoring. There are over 14 lakh anganwadis and 10 crore beneficiaries, including children from the age group of 0-6 and pregnant and lactating mothers.
- The Centre has planned a host of activities across the country in September, which is being observed as ‘nutrition month’. Multiple stakeholders from district magistrates, self-help groups, volunteers from the National Service Scheme and National Cadet Corps, school teachers, ASHA workers to representatives from gram sabha and panchayati raj will be involved for better monitoring of the Nutrition Mission as well as for organising awareness campaigns.
- The Nutrition Mission was launched by Mr. Modi in March at Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan. The mission aims to reduce stunting, under-nutrition, and low birth weight by 2% per annum, and anaemia by 3% annually.