Utttarakhand to use drones to survey crocodiles, gharials
Uttarakhand may become the first state in the country to use drones for conducting a census on crocodiles and gharials.
The last census of the two reptile species in the state was conducted around 11 years ago. Then, a manual count was undertaken in which 232 gharials and 123 crocodiles were said to be found. Now, the latest survey will have drones deployed for videography and photography, based on the flow of water in the river. At the same time, photographs will be clicked randomly and analysed by experts.
The survey will commence from Sharda River on the Nepal border to Ganga River in Haridwar. All the four forest circles – Western, Shivalik, Rajaji and Corbett Tiger Reserve — have a significant population of these two species of reptiles.
Incidentally, drones are frequently used by the experts of the Doon-based Wildlife Institute of India in their advance surveys.
International Astronomical Union names new star as ‘Sharjah’
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) announced the names of the newly discovered stars and planets, where the name “Sharjah” was chosen for a star with “Barjeel” being the name of one of its planets.
The announcement was made during a press conference of the IAU in the French capital, Paris, celebrating the centennial of the union.
During the announcement, the organisers lauded the efforts and contributions of the Emirate of Sharjah to the global scientific community.
Afghanistan recognizes Indian Pharmacopoeia
The National Department of Regulation of Medicines and Health Products of the Ministry of Public Health of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan organized the Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP). Afghanistan became the first country to recognize IP pursuant to the efforts of the Department of Commerce, and the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. It will also be used based on the requirement as reputable pharmacopoeia in the laboratory of medicines and health products quality.
IP is an officially recognized book of standards as per the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, and Rules 1945 thereunder
It specifies the standards of drugs manufactured and marketed in India in terms of their purity, identity, and strength
It ensures the quality of medicinal products, the legal and scientific standards that are provided by the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC)
Upgraded version of Pinaka guided rocket system, QR-SAM successfully test fired
India had successfully test-fired two missiles from Chandipur in Odisha.
The upgraded version of Pinaka guided rocket system was test-fired from the DRDO’s Proof and Experimental Establishment firing test range while the all-weather tracked-chassis Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile (QR-SAM) tested from a mobile launcher at a launch complex of the Integrated Test Range.
The indigenously developed Pinaka and QR-SAM weapon system test achieved the desired accuracy by hitting the intended target with a high degree of precision and met all mission objectives.
Pinaka system has a maximum range of 75 km for Mark-II variant and can fire a salvo of 12 rockets in less than 45 seconds.
NITI Aayog to draft roadmap to achieve the population stabilization
NITI Aayog, the policy think tank of the Indian Government, organized a national consultation titled “Realising the vision of population stabilization: leaving no one behind” on 20 December 2019 at NITI Bhavan, New Delhi. It plans to draft a roadmap to achieve population stabilization.
The consultative meeting is organized by NITI Aayog in partnership with Population Foundation of India (PFI).
The recommendations from the meeting will contribute to a NITI Aayog working paper. It will help in achieving India’s vision of attaining population stabilization.
It suggested ideas to address existing socio-cultural barriers towards contraception by investing extensively in innovative behaviour-change communication strategies.
It recommended strengthening the quality of care, including counselling services, managing side effects, and family planning support.
Railway Ministry signed MoU with Birmingham University to establish Centre of Excellence
The National Rail Transport Institute (NRTI) signed an MoU with the University of Birmingham in New Delhi. The aim is to set up the first Centre of Excellence for Next-Generation Transportation Systems in Railways.
As per the MoU, it will provide proprietary data, spare equipment, professional expertise, and other available resources directly or through the Centralised Training Institutes and research organizations.
The centre will invite partnerships from other industry and academic organizations in the future.
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