Centre to review list of monuments under ASI
The number of monuments under the Centre’s protection could increase as the government is planning to conduct a review of those under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the ones protected by the State governments.
The list of the Centrally protected monuments had not seen a substantial increase in many years, and important sites under the State governments could be added to the list. On the other hand, there were some monuments that could be removed from the Central list and placed under the State governments.
About Archaeological Survey of India –
- ASI is the premier organisation for the archaeological research, scientific analysis, excavation of archaeological sites, conservation and preservation of protected monuments.
- It is an attached office under the Department of Culture (Ministry of Culture).
- ASI was founded in 1861 by Alexander Cunningham who became its first Director-General.
Water crisis looms large in Himalayan regions, study finds
Eight towns in the Himalayan region of Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Pakistan were nearly 20%-70% deficient in their water supply, says a survey that appears in the latest edition of the journal Water Policy.
- The researchers surveyed 13 towns across these countries to understand the challenges of the urban inhabitants of these regions.
- Unplanned urbanisation and climate change are the key factors responsible for the state of affairs, the study underlines.
- The places surveyed are extremely dependent on springs (ranging between 50% and 100%) for their water, and three-fourths were in urban areas.
- Under current trends, the demand supply gap may double by 2050, the researchers warn.
- Although only 3% of the total Hindu Kush Himalayan population lives in larger cities and 8% in smaller towns, projections show that over 50% of the population will be living in cities by 2050, placing “tremendous stress” on water availability.
1000 springs initiative
Union Tribal Affairs Ministry has launched “1000 Spring Initiatives” and an online portal on GIS-based spring Atlas with Hydrological and chemical properties of the springs on the occasion.
What is a ‘spring’?
A Spring is a point at which water flows from an aquifer to the Earth’s surface.
What is the initiative?
The “1000 springs initiative” aims at improving access to safe and adequate water for the tribal communities living in a difficult and inaccessible part of rural areas in the country. It is an integrated solution around natural springs. It includes the provision of –
- Infrastructure for piped water supply for drinking;
- Water for irrigation;
- Community-led total sanitation initiatives;
- Provision for water for backyard nutrition gardens,
- Generating sustainable livelihood opportunities for the tribal people.
It will help in harnessing the potential of perennial springs’ water to address the natural scarcity of water in tribal areas.
Recently, New explosive detection device developed by DRDO & IISC Bangalore, unveiled in Pune recently.
What is it?
- RaIDer-X, a new explosive detection device, was unveiled at the National Workshop on Explosive Detection (NWED-2020) in Pune.
- It has the capability to detect explosives from a stand-off distance. The data library can be built in the system to expand its capability to detect a number of explosives in pure form as well as with the contaminants.
- Bulk explosive in concealed condition can also be detected by the device.
- It has been co-developed by High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) Pune and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
Union Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment inaugurated the week long Exhibition-cum-Fair “EKAM Fest” in New Delhi.
- EKAM Fest is being organised by National Handicapped Finance Development Corporation (NHFDC) under M/o Social Justice & Empowerment.
- The term ‘Ekam’ stands for Entrepreneurship, Knowledge, Awareness, and Marketing.
- It also represents the inclusiveness, oneness and unity.
- EKAM Fest is an effort for promoting entrepreneurship and knowledge among Divyangjan community, generating awareness among society about potentialities of PwDs; providing a major marketing opportunity to PwDs entrepreneurs.
- Ekam Fest aims to promote Craftsmanship & Products of Divyang/Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) Artisans and Entrepreneur.
The government has announced the mega event, RAISE 2020- – ‘Responsible AI for Social Empowerment 2020’, to be held in April in New Delhi.
What is it?
- RAISE 2020 is a first of its kind, a global meeting of minds on Artificial Intelligence to drive India’s vision and roadmap for social empowerment, inclusion and transformation through responsible AI.
- It is India’s first Artificial Intelligence summit to be organised by the Government in partnership with Industry and Academia.
- It is being organised by Ministry of Electronics & IT.
- The summit will be a global meeting of minds to exchange ideas and charter a course to use AI for social empowerment, inclusion and transformation in key areas like healthcare, agriculture, education and Smart Mobility amongst other sectors.
- It will facilitate an exchange of ideas to further create a mass awareness about the need to ethically develop and practice AI in the digital era.