National Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Conclave-2022
⇒ The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated National Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Conclave-2022 on 23 February 2022.
The three-day virtual Conclave on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) was organised by the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Hyderabad in association with the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, UNICEF and other development partners.
The Conclave was focused on ‘advancing water, sanitation and hygiene at Panchayats’.
» Addressing the National WASH Conclave-2022, the Vice President underlined the importance of basic amenities like safe drinking water and sanitation in preventing diseases and contributing towards the overall well-being of people.
Rural Connectivity GIS Data in Public Domain
⇒ Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Shri Giriraj Singh released Rural Connectivity GIS Data in Public Domain on 22 February 2022.
This includes GIS data for 800,000+ rural facilities as points, 1 Million+ habitations and 25,00,000+ km of rural roads which have been collected and digitised using the GIS platform developed for the PMGSY scheme.
NRIDA, the nodal implementation agency of the PMGSY scheme signed MoU with 3 renowned GIS Firms ESRI India, MapmyIndia, DataMeet & collaborated with Gati Shakti for releasing the Rural Connectivity GIS Data in Public Domain.
Demonstration of Quantum Key Distribution Link
⇒ A joint team of scientists from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, for the first time in the country successfully demonstrated Quantum Key Distribution link between Prayagraj and Vindhyachal in Uttar Pradesh, a distance of more than 100 kilometres.
- This technological breakthrough was achieved over a commercial grade optical fibre already available in field.
- With this success, the country has demonstrated indigenous technology of secure key transfer for bootstrapping military grade communication security key hierarchy.
- The performance parameters have been measured and have been found to be repetitively within the reported international standards at sifted key rates of up to 10 KHz.
- This technology will enable security agencies to plan a suitable quantum communication network with indigenous technology backbone.
COVID-19 vaccine, CORBEVAXTM
⇒ India’s first indigenously developed Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) protein sub-unit vaccine for COVID-19, CORBEVAXTM has received approval for Emergency Use Authorization from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for 12-18 years age group.
CORBEVAXTM is developed by Biological E Limited. It is approved to be administered in humans including Children and adults 12 years and above.
- CORBEVAXTM is a 2-dose vaccine administered intramuscularly and can be stored at 2ºC to 8ºC.
» The Department of Biotechnology and its Public Sector Undertaking, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), have supported Biological E’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate from pre-clinical stage through Phase III clinical studies.
⇒ Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Shri Giriraj Singh launched Ombudsperson App for Mahatma Gandhi NREGA on 24 February 2022.
Addressing the event, the Minister said that the Ombudsperson App is a step towards e-governance, this will be helpful in ensuring transparency and accountability.
» Ministry of Rural Development has developed an Ombudsperson App.
- The App has been developed for smooth reporting and categorization of grievances by Ombudsperson based on complaints he received from various sources such as physical, digital and mass media, related to the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi NREG Scheme in the States/UTs.
MoU between WEF and NIUA
⇒ The World Economic Forum and the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on a jointly designed ‘Sustainable Cities India program’ on 24 February 2022.
- It aims to create an enabling environment for cities to generate decarbonization solutions across the energy, transport, and the built environment sectors.
- The ‘Sustainable Cities India program’ intends to enable cities to decarbonize in a systematic and sustainable way that will reduce emissions and deliver resilient and equitable urban ecosystems.
- The Forum and NIUA will adapt the Forum’s City Sprint process and Toolbox of Solutions for decarbonization in the context of five to seven Indian cities across two years.
- This initiative is particularly noteworthy as India is committed to become Net Zero by 2070, aligning with its vision for a ‘future ready’ India set by the Honorable Prime Minister during the COP26 summit in Glasgow.
The National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) is India’s leading national think tank on urban planning and development and was established in 1976.
3rd anniversary of National War Memorial
⇒ The National War Memorial (NWM) celebrated its third anniversary on February 25, 2022.
- The NWM was dedicated to the Nation by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on February 25, 2019.
- It stands testimony to the sacrifices made by the gallant soldiers since Independence. The monument houses the eternal flame which exemplifies the supreme sacrifice made by a soldier in the line of duty thus making him immortal.
Third Indian to beat Magnus Carlsen
⇒ 16-year-old Indian Grandmaster, Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa defeated world champion, Magnus Carlsen, in the eighth round of the Airthings Masters, a prestigious rapid chess tournament held online.
The chess sensation became only the third Indian after Viswanathan Anand and P Harikrishna to beat Carlsen.
Magnus Carlsen won the first event of the 2022 Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, the Airthings Masters, after overcoming Ian Nepomniachtchi with a classy display.
Noted Gandhian, Shakuntala Choudhary
⇒ Noted Gandhian social worker and freedom fighter, Shakuntala Choudhary passed away in Guwahati on 20 February 2022. She was 102.
She was popularly known as Shakuntala Baideo and hailed from Kamrup in Assam. She worked for the wellbeing of villagers, especially women and children. She was conferred with the Padma Shri award for her service in the field of social work this year.