Current Affairs English: 21-Mar-2018 (English Medium)
Category : Current Affairs
Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BRIAC)
- BIRAC celebrated its 6th Foundation Day recently with the theme as ‘Sustaining Innovation – A Market Driven Pathway’.
- It is a not-for-profit Public Sector Enterprise, set up by Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology Government of India.
- Its aim is to empower the emerging biotech industry to undertake strategic research and innovation.
- It is a new industry academia interface and implements its mandate through a wide range of impact initiatives.
- BIRAC had launched the National Biopharma Mission.
- In addition, Grand Challenges India (GCI) program is the flagship program managed by the Program Managing Unit at BIRAC for the Department of Biotechnology and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation partnership.
National Cultural Audiovisual Archives (NCAA)
- NCAA has been certified recently, as the world’s first Trusted Digital Repository as per ISO standard, granted by Primary Trustworthy Digital Repository Authorization Body Ltd. (PTAB), U.K.
- It is a project of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, implemented by Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA).
- NCAA’s primary objective is to identify and preserve the cultural heritage of India available in audiovisual form through a process of digitization and making it accessible to the people.
- NCAA digital repository is established with and powered by DIGITALAYA which is developed by Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC),Pune.
- IGNCA is set up by the Government of India, as a premier research institute dedicated to holistic understanding and expression of Indian arts in their inter and multi-disciplinary nature.
- The dargha is a sufi shrine of sufi saint Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty at Ajmer, Rajasthan.
- Khwaja Chishti is also known by different names as, Khawaja Gharib Nawaz, “Sultan-Ul-Hind”.
- Khwaja Chisti established the Chishti order of ‘fakirs’ in India.
- The Dargah Khawaja Gharibnawaz has several tombs, buildings, Daalaans and courtyards are of Mughal architecture.
- The annual Urs festival is celebrated to mark the death anniversary of the Sufi saint, his symbolic union with God.
Lingayat and Veerashaiva
- Recently,Karnataka government decided to recommend religious minority status to the Lingayat and Veerashaiva community.
- The tradition of Lingayatism has been founded by social reformer and philosopher Basavanna in 12th century Karnataka.
- Basavanna’s vision of a societal order was based on human freedom, equality, rationality, and brotherhood.
- Emergence of the Lingayat sect can be located within Bhakti movements that had swept across South India from the 8th century AD onwards.
- Veerashaivism is a Shaiva sect within Hinduism and is predominantly located in Karnataka.
- Veerashaivas claim that Basavanna was not the founder of the Lingayat tradition, but rather a reformer of an already existing religious tradition which they call Veerashaivism.
- A recent research by the Australia’s Antarctica Program revealed that more of Totten Glacier is floating.
- As the glacier is in direct contact with warming ocean temperatures it could have a significant impact on the rise of global sea levels(about 3 meters if this glacier melts).
- Totten glacier is one of the fastest-flowing and largest glaciers in Antarctica east
- NASA found that between 2002 and 2016, Antarctica lost 125 giga tons of ice annually, causing global sea levels to rise by 0.35mm a year.
- The amount of ice sitting behind the Totten is comparable to that which is contained within the whole West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS).
Dog-faced Bat Species
- International team of scientists has succeeded in recognizing two more species of dog-faced bats.
- The dog-faced bats are a fast-flying, insectivorous species.
|Cynomops freemani||Canal Zone region of Panama.|
|Cynomops tonkigui||Eastern Andes of Ecuador and Colombia.|
- The freemani species was named in honour of scientist Patricia W. Freeman.
- In the case of tonkigui species, the word ‘tonkigui’ means bat in Waorani, a language spoken in Ecuador, where the species is found.
Map of the day
Africa –Physical Features
- Okavango Delta is a large low gradient alluvial fan or ‘Inland Delta’ located in north-western Botswana.
- Okavango Delta became the 1000th site to be officially inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
- The system consists of two branches- the main branch, the Eastern Rift (or Albertine) Valley and the western branch of the system, the Western Rift Valley.
- Lake Victoria is not a part of the Rift valley system.
- Lakes such as Tannayaka, Nayasa, Albert are part of the rift valley system.
Source: PIB, The Hindu, Business Standard