- 84,000 households sans toilets in Uttarakhand: Survey
- Almost a year and half since the state was declared Open Defecation Free(ODF), a district-level survey conducted in Uttarakhand shows that there are still around 84,000 households without toilets. The survey revealed that more than half of these households were concentrated in seven districts (Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag, Chamoli, Tehri Garhwal, Pauri Garhwal, Haridwar and Dehradun).
- While the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) website mentions that Uttarakhand has constructed around 4.8 lakh toilets since 2014, achieving 100% progress in construction of IHHLs (Individual Household Latrines), the survey by respective district administration in 13 districts found that 84,000 households did not have toilets.
- According to estimates, the state needs around Rs 100 crore to build toilets for remaining households.
- SpiNNaker: Largest brain-mimicking supercomputer switched on for first time
- The world’s largest supercomputer Spiking Neural Network Architecture (SpiNNaker) machine designed to work in same way as human brain was switched on for the first time.
- It designed and built at University of Manchester in UK. It can model more biological neurons in real time than any other machine on planet. Biological neurons are basic brain cells present in nervous system that communicate by emitting ‘spikes’ of pure electro-chemical energy.
- It is capable of completing more than 200 million actions per second, with each of its chips having 100 million transistor.
· Central govt approved renaming of 25 places in past 1 year
- The proposals to change the names of Allahabad to Prayagraj and Faizabad to Ayodhya are yet to be received by the ministry from the Uttar Pradesh government.
- Several proposals, including the renaming of West Bengalas ‘Bangla‘, are pending with the central government.
- Recently, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced that the state government was considering renaming Ahmedabadas Karnavati and the name change could be effected before next year’s Lok Sabha elections.
- The name of a state was changed the last time in 2011, when Orissa became Odisha. Bombay was changed to Mumbai in 1995, Madras to Chennai in 1996 and Calcutta to Kolkata in 2001.
- The central government had approved the renaming of 11 cities of Karnataka, which included renaming Bangalore as Bengaluru, in 2014.
· UIDAI said biometrics cannot identify bodies
- The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) said to theDelhi High Court that identifying the unidentified bodywith the biometrics is technically not possible. The UIDAI submitted that matching of biometrics, including fingerprints and iris, is done on an 1:1 basis and Aadhaar number is required for it.
- This is after a petition filed by social activist Amit Sahni who sought direction to the Centre and the UIDAI to utilise Aadhaar biometrics to identify unidentified bodies.
· PM Modi inaugurated India’s 1st Multi-Modal Terminal on Ganga
- Prime Minister Narendra Modiinaugurated the country’s first Multi-Modal Terminal on Ganga River in his parliamentary constituency, Varanasi.
- It was the first of the four multi-modal terminals being constructed on the National Waterway-1 (river Ganga) as part of the World Bank-aided Jal Marg Vikasproject of the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI).
- The total estimated cost of the project is Rs 5,369.18 crore, which will be equally shared between the Government of India and the World Bank.
- The Jal Marg Vikas project involves construction of three multi-modal terminals – at Varanasi, Sahibganj and Haldia, two inter-modal terminals and five roll-on-roll-off or Ro-Ro terminal pairs.
· ISRO to launch modern communication satellite GSAT-29 onboard rocket GSLV-Mark-Three
- The flight would take place from the second launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota at five in the evening tomorrow. This would be the second development flight of the heavier launch vehicle GSLV Mark-III.
- It has the capacity to lift satellites of about four-tons into a geostationary transfer orbit.
· Bangalore Ranked Indias Most Congested City: NBER
- Bangalore tops the index for the most congested city, and Mumbai in the second position, while Pune follows in the seventh place, according to a recent research published under the US-based organization, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).
- A team of researchers conducted research at the University of California, Berkeley and three other U.S. universities, the research studies the current status of mobility in urban India, using Google maps.
- In another index of traffic speed, Kolkata has been found to be the slowest city.
- CNG, PNG coverage set to expand to 70% population
- The government is offering 50 more ‘geographical areas’ for setting up city gas service in 124 districts in 14 states with the aim of expanding the CNG and PNG service coverage to 70% of the country’s population.
- The 50 areas to be offered in upcoming round will cover 24% of the country’s population and 18% of the area. In the ninth round, 86 areas spread over 174 districts in 22 states and Union Territories were offered to cover 26% of the population and 24% of area.
- The government is targeting raising share of natural gas in the primary energy basket to 15% from 6.5% in the next few years and the bid rounds are aimed at fulfilling that objective.
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