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Prelim Bits 20-10-2017

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October 20, 2017


  • The first sawfish day was recently observed across worldwide.
  • Marine scientists have reported that sawfish appears to be more threatened than tigers.
  • Sawfish is included in the Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.
  • Skeleton of sawfish is made of cartilage, instead of bone. Thus they belong to Elasmobranchs.
  • They are closely related to sharks and have shark-shaped bodies and, hence, are also called flat sharks.
  • There are only five species of the sawfish ever identified — dwarf sawfish, knifetooth sawfish, smalltooth sawfish, largetooth sawfish and green sawfish.

Discovery of new lizard

  • A new species of large Gecko or house lizard was recently discovered in the Eastern Ghats region.
  • It is named after Kanger Ghati National park in Chhattisgarh as gecko “Hemidactylus kangerensisis”.
  • It is also found in Sukma in Chhattisgarh and in the adjoining State of Telangana, which are part of the Eastern Ghats.

Kanger Ghati National Park

  • It is located near Jagdalpur in the Bastar region of Chhatisgarh.
  • It is known for Hill Myna, the state bird of Chhatisgarh.
  • It is noted for its highly heterogeneous land formations ranging from low flat and gentle areas to steep slopes, plateaus, valleys and stream courses.
  • The park is located in the catchment area of Godavari River.

Global Ayurveda Meet

  • The Kerala government is set to organize an international seminar and ayurveda expo in Kochi in February next year.
  • The meet will showcase Kerala's achievements in health tourism, healthcare and ayurveda.
  • The State government is moving ahead with the plan to set up International Research Institute of Ayurveda (IRIA) for conducting research in ayurveda.

Times Higher Education Ranking

  • According to the recent Times Higher Education subject wise ranking, IISc in Bangalore and IIT Bombay are among the world’s top 200 institutions for engineering and computer science.
  • The ranking scored 500 institutions worldwide, as opposed to 100 last year.
  • The ranking is based on performance parameters such as industry income, international outlook, teaching and research.
  • It highlights the educational institutions that are leading in electrical, mechanical, civil, chemical and general engineering courses
  • Overall, Stanford University is number one, followed by California institute of Technology, Oxford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Cambridge University.
  • China’s Peking University and National University of Singapore are among the top ten and top performers from Asia.

Bharatmala project

  • Under the programme, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is set to get the power to approve projects with a construction cost of more than Rs 1,000 crore.
  • Currently, all such highway projects need to be approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).
  • Only Build Operate Transfer (BOT) projects requiring viability gap funding will need CCEA approval.
  • It is mainly to ensure faster implementation of the Bharatmala programme.
  • Bharatmala is an umbrella program under the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways that will subsume unfinished parts of National Highway Development Program (NHDP).
  • It focuses on the new initiatives like development of Border and International connectivity roads, Coastal & port connectivity roads, National Corridors Efficiency improvements, Economic corridors development and others.

INS Shardul and ICGS Sarathi

  • INS Shardul and ICGS Sarathi are visiting Jakarta, Indonesia to expose the trainees to the conduct of IN warship in foreign waters, port familiarisation and foster bridges of friendship between the two countries.
  • INS Shardul, also known as Royal Bengal Tiger is the lead ship of the Shardul-class amphibious warfare vessels.
  • Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘Sarathi’, third ship in the series of 6 Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) was commissioned last year.


Source: PIB, The Hindu, BusinessLineHHHhh

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