India-origin woman Sirisha Bandla, is set to fly to space in private spaceflight of-
WHY IN NEWS ?
- India-origin woman Sirisha Bandla will travel to the edge of the space aboard ‘VSS Unity’ of Virgin Galactic, which is scheduled to fly off on July 11 from New Mexico. This is significant as she will be the third woman of Indian origin to go to space after Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams.
- Bandla, the vice-president of government affairs at Virgin Galactic in Washington DC, will travel alongside his boss and the group’s founder, billionaire Richard Branson and four others in the company’s spaceflight.
Karsten Warholm, who recently broke the world record in the 400m hurdles, belongs to which country?
WHY IN NEWS?
- Karsten Warholm, a 25-year-old athlete from Norway, broke the long-standing world record in the 400m hurdles during the Bislett Games. Earlier the record was held by American hurdler Kevin Young for 29 years.
- His mark of 46.78 seconds was set at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, which was finally broken with an official time of 46.70 seconds by Warholm.
The tradition of shifting the capital between Jammu and Srinagar is believed to have started in-
WHY IN NEWS?
- The LG Manoj Sinha formally put an end to a 149-year-old biannual tradition of shifting offices between summer capital Srinagar and winter capital Jammu. The administration served notice to employees to vacate the ‘Darbar Move’ related accommodations in three weeks in Jammu and Srinagar.
- Administration cancelled the residential accommodation of “darbar move” employees in Jammu and Srinagar, implying the employees will remain stationed in either Jammu or Kashmir.
- Dogra monarch Maharaja Gulab Singh is believed to have started the tradition of shifting the capital in 1872. The tradition was continued after 1947 by J&K’s political class, as it acted as a major bridge and a space for interaction between two diverse linguistic and cultural groups of Kashmir and Jammu regions.
The Bhalia variety of wheat is geographical indication wheat crop of which state ?
WHY IN NEWS?
First shipment of Geographical Indication (GI) certified Bhalia variety of wheat was exported to Kenya and Sri Lanka from Gujarat, giving a boost to wheat exports.
About Bhalia Variety of Wheat
- GI certified wheat has high protein content and has sweet taste.
- It is grown mostly across Bhal region of Gujarat. It is also grown in Ahmedabad, Kheda, Anand, Bhavnagar, Bhavnagar and Bharuch districts.
- This unique characteristic of wheat variety is grown in rainfed condition without irrigation and cultivated across two lakh hectares of agricultural land in Gujarat.
- Bhalia variety of wheat received GI certification in July, 2011.
- Registered proprietor of GI certification is Anand Agricultural University in Gujarat.
In 2020-21, wheat exports from India witnessed a significant growth of 808 %. Export of wheat increased from Rs 444 crore to Rs 4034 crore in fiscal year 2020-2021. Wheat exports increased by 778% to $ 549 million in 2020-21 in US dollar terms. India exported wheat to seven new countries like Yemen, Indonesia, Philippines, Bhutan, Iran, Cambodia and Myanmar during 2020-21.
Geographical Indication (GI) Tag
GI is an insignia on products with unique geographical origin and evolution over centuries because of its special quality or reputed attributes. GI tag marks authenticity. It also ensures that registered authorized users or those residing inside geographic territory are allowed to use popular product names. Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999 governs the GI Tag. It is issued by Geo graphical Indications Registry, Chennai.
The world’s tallest sandcastle has been recently built in-
WHY IN NEWS?
World’s tallest sandcastle was built in Denmark. It has established new Guinness World Record of 21.16 metres. Denmark’s new sandcastle is 3.5 meter taller than earlier record of 17.66-meter set by Germany in 2019.
About Denmark’s Sandcastle
Sandcastle is built in the shape of a triangle in order to avoid collapse like many others have. A wooden structure has been built around the sandcastle to allow artist to carve incredible figures in sand. It is a highly decorated monument in small seaside village of Blokhus. It was made up of 4860 tonnes of sand and is reminiscent of a pyramid.
This village is located in Jammerbugt Municipality of North Jutland in Denmark. This village is a popular beach town accounting for around 1 million visitors every year. It was originally named Hune Hvarre. In 1600s there were barely any trees this village. So, timber was imported from Norway. In order to store timber, locals constructed some houses out it. These houses are called as ‘block houses’ after which village has been given Danish name Blokhus
INS Tabar, which recently took part in naval exercise with Italian navy, is a/an-
WHY IN NEWS?
Indian Naval Ship (INS) Tabar recently participated in military exercises with frontline frigate of Italian Navy.
- INS Tabar joined Italian Navy and entered Port of Naples on July 3 as part of ongoing deployment in Mediterranean.
- Commanding officer Captain Mahesh Mangipudi called on senior officers of Prefect of Naples Authority, regional Italian navy headquarters and coast guard headquarters during the stay.
- While returning, Tabar also undertook a Maritime Partnership Exercise with ITS Antonio Marceglia in Tyrrhenian Sea on July 4 & 5.
- This exercise covered several naval operations such as air defence procedures, communication drills, replenishment at sea, and cross deck helo operations by day and night.
- Exercise was mutually beneficial for enhancing interoperability and consolidating combined operations against maritime threats.
Vembanad Lake, the second-largest Ramsar site in India, is located in-
WHY IN NEWS?
Kerala houseboats in Vembanad Lake are about to begin soon amid a robust vaccination drive.
- Vembanad Lake is also known as Vembanad Kayal, Vembanad Kol, Punnamada Lake (in Kuttanad) and Kochi Lake (in Kochi).
- Spanning several districts of Kerala and covering a territory of more than 2033.02 km2.
- The lake has its source in four rivers, Meenachil, Achankovil, Pampa and Manimala
- It is separated from the Arabian Sea by a narrow barrier island and is a popular backwater stretch in Kerala.
- Vallam Kali (i.e Nehru Trophy Boat Race) is a Snake Boat Race held every year in the month of August in Vembanad Lake.
- In 2002, it was included in the list of wetlands of international importance, as defined by the Ramsar Convention.
- It is the second-largest Ramsar site in India only after the Sundarbans in West Bengal.
- The Government of India has identified the Vembanad wetland under the National Wetlands Conservation Programme.
- The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is located on the east coast of the lake.
- In 2019, Willingdon Island, a seaport located in the city of Kochi, was carved out of Vembanad Lake.
- One of the most outstanding features of this lake is the 1252 m long saltwater barrier, Thanneermukkom, which was built to stop saltwater intrusion into Kuttanad.
WASH is an acronym that stands for-
WHY IN NEWS?
According to a new report by the Wash Institute (a global non-profit organisation), India was responsible for the largest drop in open defecation since 2015, in terms of absolute numbers.
- Universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) to achieve the United Nations-mandated Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 was also emphasised.
- WASH is an acronym that stands for the interrelated areas of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.
- The World Health Organisation (WHO) WASH Strategy 2018-25 has been developed in response to Member State Resolution (WHA 64.4) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG 3: Good Health and Well Being, SDG 6: Clean Water And Sanitation).
- It is a component of WHO’s 13thGeneral Programme of Work 2019–2023 which aims to contribute to the health of three billion through multisectoral actions like better emergency preparedness and response; and one billion with Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
- It also takes on board the need for progressive realization of the human rights to safe drinking-water and sanitation, adopted by the UN General Assembly in July 2010.