Accelerate Vigyan Scheme: SERB
•Recently, the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), has launched a scheme called Accelerate Vigyan (AV) to strengthen scientific research mechanisms in the country
•It aims to give more thrust on encouraging high-end scientific research and preparing scientific manpower, which can lead to careers in research and knowledge-based economy.
•ABHYAAS Programme: Under it, AV is inviting applications for the winter season (December 2020-January 2021).
•It is an attempt to boost research and development in the country by enabling and grooming potential PG/PhD students by means of developing their research skills in selected areas across different disciplines or fields
•SAMMOHAN: It has been sub-divided into SAYONJIKA and SANGOSHTI.
1. SAYONJIKA is an open-ended program to catalogue the capacity building activities in science and technology supported by all government funding agencies in the country.
2. SANGOSHTI is a pre-existing program of SERB for the organisation of workshops.
Two New Species of Butterfly found in Arunachal Pradesh
•Recently, the lepidopterists have discovered the two new species of butterfly in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh
1. Striped Hairstreak
•Scientific Name: Yamamotozephyrus kwangtugenesis
•It is found in Vijaynagar village of Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh, bordering Myanmar.
•It was first recorded in Hainan province of China.[It is also found in North America, from the Rocky Mountains]
2. Elusive Prince
•Scientific Name: Rohana tonkiniana
• It is found in Miao subdivision situated on the periphery of the Namdapha National Park.
•In India only a male specimen of the Elusive Prince was found.
[Namdapha National Park :It lies at the international border between India and Myanmar within Changlang District in the state of Arunachal Pradesh]
•It is a snake endemic to Assam, has been found 129 years after it was last spotted by British tea planter Samuel Edward Peal in 1891.
[The snake was considered a lost species since no sighting had been reported since its discovery in 1891.]
•In 2018, it was found in the Poba Reserve Forest (RF),Assam by a team of scientists from the Wildlife Institute of India (WWI), who were retracing the steps of the Abor Expedition
•It is small — about 60 cm long, brownish, with a patterned belly.
•It has a unique genus (Herpetoreas) belonging to a smaller group of four species, found in Eastern and Western Himalayas, South China and Northeast India.
•It is categorised as ‘data deficient’ in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list
[This is the worst category because there is practically no information available about it and it is difficult to determine its status.]
•The species has been found near the Teesta river valley region after a gap of nearly 136 years.
•The plant, known commonly as ‘dancing ladies’ or ‘swan flowers’ was thought to have been extinct until its “re-collection”, for the first time since 1875
•The species has been listed as “
Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
•The Maharashtra Government has declared 29.53 sq km area of Dodamarg forest range in Sindhudurg district as ‘Tillari Conservation Reserve’.
•Tillari is the seventh wildlife corridor in the state to be declared as a ‘conservation reserve’ (Maharashtra)
•The area covering nine villages in the forest range is known to serve as a corridor and even as a habitat for the population of tigers and elephants moving between the three states of Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
•It connects Mhadei sanctuary in Goa and Bhimgad in Karnataka.
•It has semi-evergreen forest, tropical moist deciduous forests, and a number of unique trees, butterflies, and flowers
Central Zoo Authority (CZA)
•The CZA is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. It was constituted in 1992 under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
•It is chaired by the Environment Minister and has 10 members and a member-secretary.
•The main objective of the authority is to complement and strengthen the national effort in conservation of rich biodiversity.
•It lays down guidelines and prescribes rules under which animals may be transferred among zoos nationally and internationally.
【Recently, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has reconstituted the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) to include an expert from the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, and a molecular biologist】
Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA)
•It is planning to highlight the work of artists who have been entertaining and boosting the public’s morale during the Covid-19 pandemic (referred as silent Covid warriors)
•Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) was established in 1987 as an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Culture, as a centre for research, academic pursuit and dissemination in the field of the arts.
•It is a research unit under Project Mausam.
•Project ‘Mausam’ is a Ministry of Culture project with Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), New Delhi as the nodal agency.
•The central themes that hold Project ‘Mausam’ together are those of cultural routes and maritime landscapes that not only linked different parts of the Indian Ocean littoral, but also connected the coastal centres to their hinterlands.
Diana Memorial Award for humanitarian efforts
•13-year-old schoolgirl from Delhi has been selected among the recipients of the 2020 Diana Award, an honour given on the birth anniversary of Princess Diana (of Wales) to youngsters for humanitarian efforts.
•She received the award for developing Recycler App, a web-based mobile application to connect users with waste-handlers.
• The door-to-door pick up service helps in easy disposal of recyclable waste for those who may not have the means or time to travel to drop their waste.
•The app also claims to be helpful for waste-handlers, whose earnings are usually low and are vulnerable to health issues because of improper handling of waste
•Diana Awards were established in 1999 and it is considered one of the highest accolades a young person can receive for social action or humanitarian efforts.
•The Diana Award is now a UK-based charity, operating across the United Kingdom and beyond