Uttarakhand: Experts spot 107 bird and 45 butterfly species in Gangotri
A team of experts on a week-long biodiversity tour of the Gangotri landscape spotted 107 bird, 45 butterfly species and several moths and wildflowers in the region. The second biodiversity-linked community ecotourism tour was organised in the Gangotri landscape from June 19-25, to showcase the potential of nature-linked ecotourism.
A six-member team from Bengaluru, Chennai, Kanyakumari, Jaipur, Delhi and Hong Kong visited the Gangotri landscape to watch birds, butterflies, moths and wildflowers.
The visitors were accompanied by a team of experts from Titli Trust, as part of a biodiversity assessment being done for the Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board. The visitors were lodged at homestays in Barsu, Sukhi Top and Cholmi (near Harsil). The tour was supported by MadhvendhraRawat of the eco development committee and biodiversity management committee, Harsil.
China’s biggest and most modern aircraft carrier
The newly launched aircraft carrier is most advanced and first “fully domestically built” naval vessel.
It was launched at a brief ceremony, at Shanghai’s Jiangnan Shipyard.
It is the first domestically designed and built catapult aircraft carrier.
It has a flat, straight flight deck that has been equipped with electromagnetic catapults and arresting devices.
Launch of Fujian ship was delayed by two months, because of COVID-19 lockdown of Shanghai. Spacecraft was scheduled to be launched on April 23, 2022 to mark 73rd anniversary of People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).
Liaoning was the first aircraft carrier of China. It was a refit of Soviet-era ship commissioned in 2012. This launch was followed by indigenously built 2nd aircraft carrier named ‘Shandong’, which was launched in 2019. Liaoning and Shandong carriers have also been named after provinces in China.
Iskander-M missile system
Russia has announced to transfer the “Iskander-M Missile System” to Belarus. This missile system can use ballistic or cruise missiles, in their nuclear and conventional versions.
Iskander-M missile system is codenamed as “SS-26 Stone” by NATO. Russia uses the term Iskander-M to define transporter-erector launch system as well as short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) fired by it. This system can be used to fire ground-launched cruise missiles (GLCMs) viz., SSC-7 and the SSC-8. This system has been exclusively used by Russian military. It was first launched in 1996, successfully.
Iskander-M missile has a range of 500 km. It is capable of carrying a payload of up to 700 kg. It can carry conventional as well as nuclear warheads. Conventional warheads can be equipped with bunker-buster munitions, cluster bombs and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) warheads.
Centre releases Rs 126 crore to states for modernisation of police, construction of police stations
The Centre has released 126.7 crore to various states for modernisation of police forces, construction of fortified police stations and implementation of a host of other schemes.
Under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme, an amount of Rs 22.59 crore was released to Chhattisgarh, Rs 2.63 crore to Jharkhand and Rs 14.76 crore to Odisha by the Union Home Ministry.
Further, Rs 7.5 crore was released under Special Central Assistance (SCA) scheme to Maharashtra by the home ministry, an official said.
The ministry also released Rs 8.39 crore to Jharkhand and Rs 1.61 crore to Telangana as reimbursement of claims under the Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS) including construction of fortified police stations.
The central government further released Rs 69.215 crore to various states under the centrally-sponsored scheme for modernisation of police forces.
The reimbursement for the SRE is given to the states seriously affected by the militancy or insurgency. Under it, the expenditure incurred by the states on raising of India Reserve Battalions, logistics provided to the central police forces, the army among others are being reimbursed.
The SCA is provided to the states as an additive to their Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan (SCSP). The main objective of SCA to SCSP is to give a thrust to the development programmes for Scheduled Castes.
Mayors to request state govts to implement 74th Constitutional Amendment Bill
All India Mayors Council unanimously decided to request their states to implement the 74th Constitutional Amendment Bill to strengthen local self-government in their states.
All India Mayors Council, not only demanded implementation of the Amendment Bill but also alleged that some states were not adopting it because they had an apprehension that the Bill would give more rights to mayors.
Indian startups working on software solutions for space debris management
Indian startups are now working on software solutions to manage space debris, science & technology (S&T) and space minister Jitendra Singh said after hosting a high-level joint meeting of all science ministries and departments. He added that after the unlocking of the space sector for private players, innovative startups are coming up in a big way to explore the untapped potential of this sector.
The minister said more than 50 startups are working in the space sector and about 10 of them have received funding of over Rs 50 crore or more each. He noted that apart from applications based on NavIC (India’s navigation system), startups are also working on software solutions for debris management in space with global ramifications.
The minister informed that Gujarat is the only state to have a S&T policy but after brainstorming sessions for the last four months, 11 more states, including Sikkim, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, are preparing their S&T policies.