The Yucca Brevifolia grows from Southern California to Utah in the USA. What is the common name of this tree, familiar to music fans? ( Hint’ U2’s upcoming
The World Sanskrit Day is celebrated on 3rd August 2020. Every year, Sanskrit Diwas, also known as ‘Vishvasamskritadinam’ is celebrated to commemorate one of the oldest languages in the world. This day is celebrated on poornima (full moon) of the ‘Shravana’ month. It promotes the revival of this ancient Indian language. Sanskrit is said to be the most computer-friendly language
National Handloom Day is observed on 7th August each year to create awareness about the importance of handloom industry. The day was declared by the Union Government and was inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi at the Centenary Hall of Madras University, Chennai in 2015. During this year’s National Handloom Day, Textiles Minister Smriti Irani launched a mobile app and a portal to propagate the handloom industry.
National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation announced that Namami Gange project has been included in the Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Administration 2020. This is according the decision taken by National Ganga Council meeting chaired by PM Modi on December last year. The project involves cleanliness and renovation of tributaries of the Ganges.
Health & Lifestyle
Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) partnered with GAVI, the vaccine alliance, and the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation to hasten manufacturing and delivering of up to 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for India and other third world countries. India’s drug regulator, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has earlier granted permission to SII for conducting phase 2 and 3 human clinical trials of the vaccines.
In a year following the scrapping of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, 2,273 infrastructure projects worth Rs.5,979 crore, which have been pending for the past 5 to 10 years, were sanctioned and 506 completed. Some of the works done include strengthening of Panchayat infrastructure, creation of 10,000 jobs, opening up 50 new degree colleges, among others.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the government would soon come out with a new public enterprise policy that would define strategic sectors having no more than four Public Sector Undertakings. This is a part of the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ package that was announced by the finance minister in May. The maximum of 4 PSUs can be ensured by merger or privatisation of the existing state-owned enterprises.
Science & Technology
China has completed its BeiDou Navigation Satellite System that could rival the United States’ Global Positioning System (GPS). It can significantly enhance China’s security and geopolitical power by providing navigation aid and enabling communication and image transmission. It was officially commissioned by Chinese President Xi Jinping at a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju chaired the 1st General Council meeting of the Khelo India scheme. The minister, during the meeting, urged the states to organise State-level Khelo India Games annually to identify a larger number of grassroot-level talents. He asked the states to organise competitions at the district, block and Panchayat-level to identify young talent.
The United States announced a five-pronged ‘Clean Network’ initiative to further reduce Chinese access to Americans’ data. It is an expanded version of the ‘Clean Path’ initiative. It would involve removing “untrusted” Chinese apps like TikTok and WeChat from American stores. The programme has 5 facets – Clean Carrier, Clean Apps, Clean Store, Clean Cloud and Clean Cable.