Sri Lanka: 120 whales rescued after mass stranding

Who saved 120 whales?

Sri Lankan Navy and some volunteers from the villagers have rescued 120 pilot whales on November 3 after mass stranding. 2 injured animals have been found dead. Only around 110 of whales on the Australian Island could have been saved despite efforts.


The short-finned pilot whales were coming ashore at Panera 25 kilometre south of Colombo in a mass stranding of whales on the island. Sri Lankan Marine environment protection authority confirmed the scene noticed by Panadura of the largest single pod of whales that were stranded in the South Asian country.


The causes of the mass strandings are unknown although scientists have been doing research for decades.



8th meeting of the India-UAE High-Level Joint Task Force on Investments hosted by India

About the meeting:

India hosted the eighth meeting of the India-UAE high-level joint task force on investments on November 3, 2020 virtually. Piyush Goyal Union Minister of Railways, Commerce and Industry, and Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Government of India co-chaired the meeting. Also, senior officials from both countries participated.

Terms agreed in the meeting by India and UAE:

Both countries are going to explore ways to facilitate investments and cooperation in the sectors of mutual interest to strengthen the economic ties. They are addressing barriers to trade. Also, they agree to continue the dialogue.



Rice Fortification Scheme


The pilot scheme has been approved for 3 years period after outlaying the total budget of Rs 174.6 Crore. 15 states are noticed to implement a Centrally Sponsored Pilot Scheme on Fortification of Rice and its distribution through the Public Distribution System. The special focus is decided to place on 112 specially identified Aspirational Districts of the country to supply fortified rice.

What is Rice Fortification?

Fortification refers to the increase in the number of essential micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals in food to enhance the nutritional quality of the food supply for the public health benefit.

Why Rice Fortification?

Rice is the world’s essential staple food and around 2 billion people consume it every day across Asia and Africa. As regular milled rice are low in micronutrients, fortification is the need.

NCAER Report on the estimations of economic benefits of investment in NMM and HPC

About the Report:

Harsh Vardhan, the Union Minister for Earth Science has released the report that estimate the economic benefits of investment in High-Performance Computing Facilities (HPC) and National Monsoon Mission (NMM) on November 3 2020. MoES commissioned the report.

Objectives of the report:

objectives of the report includes estimating the economic benefits along with gender perspective, examining the role of improved accuracy of weather prediction, and the importance of weather-based advisories.

Results of the report:

It is found that country gains economic benefit of 50 times more on investment.



India’s Innovation Raising the Bar

India’s first solar-powered miniature train ever to have been was officially launched at the Veli Tourist Village in Kerala by CM Pinarayi Vijayan. The train, that is going to be an experience for children in particular, was subject to a series of major projects Rs 60 Cr, absorbed to lift the amenities at the wide-angle destinations to global standards.

More about the train:

  • It spans a range of 2.5 km and has 3 bogies that can hold about 45 people at the same time.
  • It includes a robust fitted rail system, along with a tunnel, a train station as well as a ticket office.
  • The miniature rail system seems to have all the characteristics of a properly staffed train system, along with a tunnel, a platform and a ticket office.
  • The eco-friendly, 2.5 km miniature railway will allow residents to experience the wonders of nature. The Rs 10 Cr. project is unique in the world.

More Developments:

Vijayan also devoted “Natural Park” and a pool house to the eco-friendly tourist village on the suburbs of the capital city, where Lake Veli joins the Arabian Sea.

The station house has also been built in a conventional style. The surplus energy produced by the system would be redirected to the Kerala State Electricity Board network, Vijayan said.

The Visitor Facilitation Centre, the Convention Center and the Art Cafe will shortly be opened in Veli. The convention centre will include an Art Museum, a multimedia exhibition to feature major national tourism and cultural centres and an open-air theatre.

These world-class facilities would give Veli a fresh look, the Chief Minister said.



Airavat on a Mission

As part of Project Sagar-II, the Indian Naval Ship (INS) Airavat has arrived Sudan carrying 100 tonnes of food assistance. Under Mission Sagar-II, INS Airavat would provide food assistance to Sudan along with, South Sudan, Djibouti as well as Eritrea in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. The Government of India has initiated this programme to offer assistance to supportive foreign countries to resolve natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic.

About the Sagar-II Mission:

Mission Sagar-II succeeds the Sagar-I mission, which had been launched in May-June 2020, one where India offered food and medical supplies to the Maldives, Mauritius, as well as Seychelles, Madagascar along with Comoros. This is following the PM’s vision of Security and Growth for Everyone in the Region (SAGAR) and underlines the importance that India attaches to relations with its maritime counterparts and thus further strengthens the current relationship.

About INS Airavat:

  • INS Airavat seems to be the 3rd Shardul-class amphibious warship of the Indian Navy.
  • Sea tests began in July 2008 following the conclusion of the basin tests in May.
  • She became commissioned by the Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam on 19th May 2009.

Built for the following:

  • Amphibious attack operation
  • Humanitarian Aid & disaster relief (HADR) after natural disasters
  • Stern recharging with other military boats.

Features and Advancement:

Security functionality shall involve:

  • Anti-roll flume stabilisation device,
  • Fumes curtains to deter the transmission of smoke and poisonous gases in the event of a fire.
  • Control systems for Battle Damage.
  • Completely loaded, it will operate autonomously in the high seas for more than 45 days.

Deployments Task

  • INS Airavat paid a friendly visit to Sihanoukville in Cambodia on 11th July 2011.
  • Between 19th and 28 July 2011, she sent a friendly visit to Nha Trang and Hai Phong in Vietnam.
  • On 1st May 2016, INS Airavat arrived in Brunei to engage in the ADMM Plus Maritime Security and Counter-Terrorism activity.

Panna Tiger Reserve- UNESCO’s biosphere reserve

The Panna Tiger Reserve in MP has been added in the UNESCO’s World Biosphere Reserve Network list. This would be the twelfth Biosphere Reserve from India to have been added in the World Biosphere Reserve Network, and the seventh from MP to Pachmarhi and Amarkantak. At present, the Panna Tiger Reserve is host to 54 tigers.


  • Panna National Park has been included as a biosphere reserve by the MoEF.
  • UNESCO however has identified the National Park as just a vital tiger reserve and pointed out that the area is host to the Khajura temples major tourist attraction.

The national park of Panna:

The national park is situated in the regions of Panna and Chhatarpur, MP. It is distributed over a region of 542,67 km2. The park was named the 22nd Indian Tiger Reserve as well as the 5th in MP in 1993. The Biosphere Reserve was classified as a Biosphere Reserve on 25th August 2011. Plants like salt, crocodile bark, Arjun, Jamun, etc. seem to be available in the forest. Tiger, leopard, along with chital, chinkara, nilgai, and sambhar, as well as sloth bear, are present in the forest. It is also habitat to even more than 200 types of birds like the bare-headed goose, honey buzzard, along with head parakeet, king vulture, hawk-eagle bloom and Indian vulture. The area was designated one of the Indian Tiger Reserves in 1994-95.


There is doubt about the contentious Ken-Betwa River connexion scheme. The Government of India, along with the Government of Madhya Pradesh and the Government of UP, has intended to connect the Ken River to the Betwa River. This also involves the construction of the 283 km long Daudhan Dam. The goal of the project is to move the wastewater from the Ken Basin to the Betwa Basin. The project will, however, provide water access to the drought-prone area of Bundelkhand. But the construction will lead to the effusion of 400 hectares of the Panna Tiger Reserve. Activists worry that this would have an effect on the tiger population in the area.

Benefits of membership in the World Biosphere Reserve Network?

The World Biosphere Reserve Network comprised of a variety and the interactive number of networks of quality. It refers to the convergence of humans and nature for sustainable growth.



Mandatory to wear mask- Rajasthan

On Monday, the Rajasthan Assembly approved a bill rendering it compulsory for individuals to wear face masks across both personal and community means of transport when visiting any social or political activity.

The Assembly allowed for a new anti-COVID initiative by modifying the Rajasthan Epidemic Act, including Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot saying that face masks are now the only anti-COVID vaccine.

The House approved the Rajasthan Epidemic (Amendment) Bill 2020 by voting through voice. The Bill has allowed the latest provision by trying to add a new clause to section 4 of the Act.

On the Current Clause:

The new provision seeks to forbid the movement of any person in public without adequately covering his or her mouth and nose with a face mask.


The Declaration of Reasons and Artifacts of the Bill claimed that health experts around the globe are of the view that the use of masks will help to monitor the spreading of Covid-19 and also save thousands of lives.

Meanwhile, the number of COVID cases crossed 2 lakhs in Rajasthan after 1,000 748 new cases were registered yesterday. AIR correspondent estimates that more than one lakh 82 thousand people are being rescued from the disease in the region so far. Yesterday, only 1,000 105 patients recovered from pneumonia, the lowest of the last 51 days. As a result, the number of involved patients has also risen.

The much more impacted are Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Alwar, Nagaur and Ajmer districts. More than 300 people are now contaminated in Jaipur every day. A significant no. of new cases is registered daily in Jodhpur, too.