National News

Soul of Steel’ challenge will be launched in India

  • ‘Soul of Steel’ challenge was launched in Uttarakhand which aims to test one’s high-altitude endurance.
  • The general area of the expedition would be the Nanda Devi National Park.
  • The challenge is an initiative of CLAW Global and is being supported by the Indian Army.
  • The idea behind Soul of Steel is pooling of skill sets and creating a challenge that will unlock the human ability to survive, stabilise and thrive in high altitude areas.

G20’s first Infrastructure Working Group meeting to be held in Pune

The first G20 Infrastructure Working Group meeting under G20 India Presidency will be held on 16-17 January in Pune, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

The meeting will be hosted by the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, along with Australia and Brazil as the co-chairs.

The G20 Infrastructure Working Group deliberates on various aspects of infrastructure investments, including developing infrastructure as an asset class; promoting quality infrastructure investment; and identifying innovative instruments for mobilising financial resources for infrastructure investment. The outcomes of the Infrastructure Working Group feed into the G20 Finance Track priorities and promote infrastructure development, it added.

In the Pune meeting, discussions will focus on the agenda for the Infrastructure Working Group under the Indian presidency. The flagship priority to be discussed in this meeting is “Financing Cities of Tomorrow: Inclusive, Resilient and Sustainable”.

ASI unearths two 1200-year-old miniature stupas at Nalanda

The Patna circle of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has unearthed two miniature votive stupas dating back 1200 years during landscaping work near the Sarai Tila mound within the grounds of “Nalanda Mahavihara,” a world heritage site in the state’s Nalanda district. The stupas, carved from stone, depict Buddha figures.

“These two votive stupas (offered in fulfilment of a vow) were discovered by the ASI officials during landscaping near Sarai Tila mound within the premises of ‘Nalanda Mahavihara’ on January 4. These, carved from stone depicting Buddha figures, must be around 1200 year old. Our archeologists are examining it further,” Goutami Bhattacharya, Superintending Archaeologist (ASI, Patna circle) said.
Beginning in the 7th century CE in India, small miniature terracotta stupas became popular as votive offerings. Devout pilgrims visiting various holy sites and temples throughout Asia would either purchase small votive offerings or make their own,” she added.
The Nalanda Mahavihara site houses the archaeological remnants of a monastery and academic institution that existed between the third and thirteenth centuries CE. There are stupas, shrines, viharas (residential and educational buildings), and significant stucco, stone, and metal artworks.
Bhattacharya explained that Nalanda is the most ancient university on the Indian Subcontinent and was actively involved in the structured transmission of knowledge for an uninterrupted period of 800 years.
According to her, the archaeological remnants of Nalanda Mahavihara were systematically excavated and preserved at the same time. She continued by stating that they are the most important components of the property since they show the advancement of Nalanda’s planning, architecture, and artistic history.

Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated School of Logistics

The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, along with Dr Manik Saha, Chief Minister, Tripura inaugurated the School of Logistics, Waterways and Communication here today. The school will enable the rich pool of talent of the region to become world class experts in the transportation and logistics sector. In order to unlock the promised economic potential of the Northeast, the school will be enable the innate capacity of human resources along our opulent waterways, said Shri Sonowal.

The Centre for Logistic, Communication and Waterways would facilitate in conducting studies/research, training, workshops/seminars for stakeholders like businesses, exporters/importers, Chambers of Commerce and Industries, local entrepreneurs, tourist operators etc. It has been set up under State Institute of Public Administration and Rural Development (SIPARD). SIPARD is an autonomous body funded by the Government of Tripura and partially by the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India.

PM Modi launches World’s Longest River Cruise-MV Ganga Vilas at Varanasi

  • PM Narendra Modi launched the World’s Longest River Cruise-MV Ganga Vilas at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh via video conferencing on 13th Jan 2023.

About Cruise:

    • It will begin its journey from Varanasi to Dibrugarh in Assam via Bangladesh.
    • It will sail around 3,200 km in 51 days.
    • It will cover major cities of India and Bangladesh – Patna (Bihar), Sahib Ganj (Jharkhand), Kolkata (WB), Dhaka (Bangladesh), and Guwahati (Assam).

Petta Thullal held with ritualistic fervour in Kottayam

Petta Thullal, the ritualistic sacred dance by Ambalappuzha group to celebrate victory of Lord Ayyappa over demon princess Mahishi was held at Erumeli town in Kottayam district this afternoon.

The event marks the beginning of the last leg of the annual Sabarimala pilgrimage season.

The devotees started the ceremonial dance after sighting the sacred eagle (Krishna Parunthu) in the sky from Kochambalam. The team danced its way to Nainar mosque to pay obeisance to Lord Ayyappa’s trusted lieutenant Vavar and were received by Erumeli Mahallu Jamaat Committee leaders, who accompanied them to the Sree Dharma Shastha temple.

Axis Bank, IISc sign MoU to set up Centre for Mathematics and Computing

Axis Bank announced signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru to establish a Centre for Mathematics and Computing at the Institute.

The centre spread over 1.6 lakh square feet will have labs and programmes benefitting faculty and students. Additionally, it will host the new IISc BTech programme in Mathematics and Computing and the ongoing Interdisciplinary PhD programme in Mathematical Sciences. Over 500 engineers and scientists are estimated to be benefited annually.

PM Narendra Modi inaugurates Global Investors Summit in Indore

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has virtually inaugurated the two-day Global Investors Summit in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
  • The inaugural session of summit was attended by Chandrika Prasad Santokhi (President of Suriname) and Dr Mohammed Irfan Ali (President of Guyana).
  • Theme is ‘Madhya Pradesh – a future-ready state’.
  • Environmental protection has been taken care of in this summit that will be completely based on Carbon Neutral and Zero Waste.

Kerala becomes country’s first fully digital banking state

  • Kerala Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan has declared Kerala as the first state in the country to go fully digital in its banking service.
  • It was possible due to social interventions through local self-government institutions along with infrastructure development and technological advances in the banking sector.
  • Last year in July, Kerala had also become the first and only state in the country to have its own internet service.

The Chief Minister also said the ambitious Kerala Fibre Optic Network (K-FON) project of the state government, which was almost 90% completed, will reduce the digital divide.

The K-FON will ensure internet facility to everyone in the state and 17,155 km-long optic fibre cable network has been laid. Once the K-FON project gets completed, internet will be available to everyone in the state either for a cheaper price or for free of cost.

India’s First Festival of Inclusion, Purple Fest kicks off

  • The India’s first-of-its-kind inclusivity, ‘Purple Fest: Celebrating Diversity’ has been started in Panjim, Goa from January 6–8, 2023.
  • The event was attended by Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Dr. Virendra Kumar; Goa CM, Dr Pramod Sawant; and Minister for Social Welfare, Goa government Subhash PhalDessai.
  • Aim: To showcase how we can come together to create a welcoming and inclusive world for everyone.