- Pakistan’s Buddha of Swat smiles restored to original form
- The iconic Buddha of Swat, carved on a cliff in the 7th century, has been restored to its almost original form with Italian assistance in northwestern Pakistan, nearly 11 years after it was dynamited by Taliban.
- The holy figure depicted in a lotus position at the base of a granite cliff in northern Pakistan.
- The Buddha seated in a meditative posture considered one of the largest rock sculptures in South Asia.
- The Swat Valley in Pakistan has many Buddhist carvings and stupas, and Jehanabad contains a Seated Buddha statue.
- Kushan era Buddhist stupas and statues in Swat valley were demolished by the Taliban.
- Only the Bamiyan Buddhas (Afghanistan) were larger than the carved giant Buddha statue in Swat near Mangalore which the Taliban attacked.
Source- The Hindu
- Telangana govt puts restrictions on glyphosate sale
- The Telangana government’s Department of Agriculture Cooperation and Family Welfare put restrictions on the sale of glyphosate on July 10, 2018.
- It is India’s most popular broad-spectrum herbicide, in a bid to curb the illegal use of herbicide-tolerant BT cotton.
- Though the herbicide is recommended for use only in tea plantations and non-crop areas, it is used across India to kill weeds.
- In India, the health impact has not been studied.
- However, the states have taken this action due to well-known adverse health impacts across the world.
- Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide and crop desiccant.
- It is an organophosphorus compound, specifically a phosphonate.
- It is used to kill weeds, especially annual broadleaf weeds and grasses that compete with crops.
- It was discovered to be a herbicide by Monsanto chemist John E. Franz in 1970.
- Efforts to ban this chemical labelled carcinogenic, are on across the world.
Source- Down to Earth
- The first round of bidding under new Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) completed
- The Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) announced the completion of the first round of bidding under its new Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP), a part of the revamped Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP).
Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP)-
- Four main facets of this policy are:
- Uniform license for exploration and production of all forms of hydrocarbon,
- An open acreage policy,
- Easy to administer revenue sharing model and
- Marketing and pricing freedom for the crude oil and natural gas produced.
- The uniform licence will enable the contractor to explore conventional as well as unconventional oil and gas resources including CBM, shale gas/oil, tight gas and gas hydrates under a single license.
- The concept of Open Acreage Policy will enable E&P companies to choose the blocks from the designated area.
Source- The Hindu
- Railways launched its first consolidated Bridge Management System
- The Railways has launched its first consolidated Bridge Management System, a web-enabled IT application to store data on its one lakh 50 thousand bridges.
- Railways Minister launched the service in New Delhi for “meaningful assimilation, analysis and dissemination of information related to various activities” about its bridges.
Source- The Hindu
- SpiNNaker: Novel computer mimics human brain networks
- Scientists have developed a computer “SpiNNaker” that mimics the brain’s neural networks and could overcome the speed and power consumption problems of conventional supercomputers.
- The researchers compared the accuracy, speed and energy efficiency of SpiNNaker with that of NEST – a specialist supercomputer software currently in use for brain neuron-signalling research.
- The system may help advance our knowledge of neural processing in the brain, to include learning and disorders such as epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.
- The ability to run large-scale detailed neural networks quickly and at low power consumption will advance robotics research and facilitate studies on learning and brain disorders.
- The human brain is extremely complex, comprising 100 billion interconnected brain cells.
Source- India Today
- Eight endangered black rhinos die in Kenya in botched relocation
- Eight black rhinos have died in Kenya while being transported by the state wildlife service between two national parks.
- The rhinos, who are part of a critically endangered species, died at Tsavo East National Park.
- Kenya had a rhino population of 1,258 in 2017 of which 745 are black rhinos, 510 are southern white rhinos and three were northern white rhinos, having grown from less than 400 rhinos in the 1980s.
- The white rhino is a near threatened species.
Source- DD News
- Indian naval ship INS Sumitra became the first-ever warship to enter the port of Sabang in Indonesia
- Indian naval ship INS Sumitra became the first-ever warship to enter the port of Sabang in Indonesia.
- The warship was deployed in Malacca Straits.
- During Indian Prime Minister visit to Jakarta in May 2018, in a meeting with Indonesian President, it was decided that New Delhi will develop the strategically important Indonesian port Sabang in the Indian Ocean, close to the Andamans.
- INS Sumitra is the fourth and last Saryu class patrol vessel of the Indian Navy, designed and constructed by Goa Shipyard Limited.
Saryu-class patrol vessel
- The Saryu class of offshore patrol vessels (OPV) are advanced patrol ships of the Indian Navy built at the Goa Shipyard Limited.
- Ships of Saryu-class-
(a) INS Saryu
(b) INS Sunayna
(c) INS Sumedha
(d) INS Sumitra