Featured Articles

India’s Arunima Sinha becomes world’s first woman amputee to scale Antarctica’s highest peak


Arunima Sinha etched her name in history when she became the first female amputee to climb the Mount Everest in 2013. Now, she has proved her mettle yet again by climbing the highest peak of Antarctica’s, Mount Vinson in January 2019. This brings Arunima closer to her dream of climbing the highest peaks of every continent and hoist the National Flag.

She has already scaled 5 peaks- Everest in Asia, Kilimanjaro in Africa, Elbrus in Europe, Kosizko in Australia, Aconcagua in Argentina (South America) besides Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia.

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The newly appointed governor of the RBI


Shaktikanta Das is the newly appointed governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). A retired IAS officer of Tamil Nadu, Das is the 25th Governor of the RBI. Das has been handling crucial positions in his career; he is known to have worked in various capacities for the Tamil Nadu government. He succeeds Urjit Patel, who quit abruptly. Das last served as secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs where he was the spokesperson following demonetization.

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India’s first underwater museum


The Indian Navy, National Institute of Ocean Technology, National Centre for Coastal Research and an NGO called PondyCan, along with the Punducherry government, are all set to develop India’s first underwater museum. The navy has already agreed to gift the decommissioned INS Cuddalore, a modified minesweeper, for this one-of-its kind project.

INS Cuddalore was operational for 30 years and had covered 30,000 nautical miles before it was decommissioned in March 2018. To create the underwater museum, this 196 ft – long and 40ft-wide minesweeper will be sent to the seabed at a depth of 36mts, about 7kms off the coast of Punducherry. The museum will allow drivers to follow trails and routes in and out of the ship to give them a complete underwater experience. It will also serve as a great destination for scuba diving and snorkeling.

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800 trains for Kumbh Mela


In order to facilitate ease of travel for tourists and pilgrims arriving at the Kumbh Mela, the Indian railways has planned 800 additional trains. The Indian railways has also planned to operate four to five special trains as ferries that will transport 5,000 Indians to New Delhi after the mela.

Colourful images of the Kumbh Mela and various other attractions from Allahabad will be seen on 1,400 different coaches travelling between the two cities. Four enclosures with vending stalls, water booths, ticket counters, separate toilets, LCD TVs and a public-address system have been built near the Allahabad Junction railway station to accommodate at least 10,000 pilgrims. CCTV cameras will provide for additional safety.

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New Inhabitants


The botanical garden in Mumbai’s only zoo, Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan in Byculla, now has Mumbai’s first butterfly garden. The idea for a botanical garden stemmed from an aim to increase the biodiversity within the zoo’s 53-scre green space.

Both shrubs and trees are needed for butterflies to lay eggs and complete their life cycle. Hence, 50 shrubs and herbs of different species, including the Jamaican blue spike, plumbago, lantana and periwinkle have been planted to attract the butterflies. Information boards with details about plant and butterfly species have been placed around the garden to provide additional information. There are over 18,000 species of butterflies worldwide, of which 1,500 are found in the Indian subcontinent.

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World’s oldest animal drawing discovered


A new study claims that a cave in the Southeast Asian island of Borneo has the world’s oldest drawing of an animal. Researchers discovered paintings of a beast-like wild cow and believe it to be 40,000 years old. With this news, it is now believed that figurative cave art, which is regarded as the most significant innovation in human cultural history, began in Southeast Asia during the last Ice Age.

According to reports, these ancient drawings were discovered on the walls of secluded limestone caves, perched on top of mountains in the east Kalimantan province in Borneo, southeast Indonesia. Researchers collected samples of calcium carbonate to determine the date of the initial coating.

One of the researchers, Maxime Aubert, an archaeologist and geochemist at Griffith University, Australia, said his team used a technique called uranium series dating, which is achieved through radioactive decay. When rainwater seeps through limestone, it decomposes uranium, which is a radioactive element, into thorium. By analysing the ratio of uranium in the calcium-carbonate samples, the researchers were able to determine how old the painting was.

During the study, they also found that the artworks were made in three distinct periods. The first, which spanned between 52,000 to 40,000 years ago, had hand stencils of banteng, a type of wild cattle that is still present in Borneo, as well as the mysterious, unknown wild cow.

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Tricolour at Railway stations


The Railway Board circular has directed 75 of the busiest railway stations in the country to install the national flag on their premises. Stations whose annual earning exceeds Rs 50 crore, which are called A-1 category stations, have been asked to ensure that the height of the tricolour is set at precisely 100 ft. The circular has also directed that each flag should have a focus light. Once put up, it will be the task of the Railway Protection Force to safeguard it. The cost to install the flag will be around Rs 9 lakh. The deadline to unfurl the national flag at the railway stations is December 31, 2018.

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Climate change ends Indus River Valley


A new study conducted by researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA, suggests that a shift in temperature and weather patterns around 2500 BC drove Harappans to resettle far away from the Indus River Valley.

More than 4,000 years ago, the Harappa culture thrived in the Indus River Valley, which is now modern Pakistan and northwest India. They built cities, invented sewage systems and engaged in long-distance trade with settlements in Mesopotamia. By 2500 BC, the weather change caused long summers and short monsoons in cities. However, by 1800 BC, the Harappans abandoned their cities and moved to smaller villages at the foothills of the Himalayas.

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First Indian woman to win a Michelin Star


Bangkok-based restaurant Gaa became the first restaurant with an Indian woman chef to win the prestigious Michelin star. Mumbai-based chef Garima Arora studied mass media worked as a pharma journalist before leaving to pursue her culinary dreams. She went to Paris, France and then moved to Dubai and later to Copenhagen, Denmark to work in Noma, one of the most high-end restaurants in the world. She then moved to Bangkok, Thailand to work with famous Indian chef Gaggan Anand, who runs a high-end restaurant named Gaggan. His restaurant has held the number one spot among Asia’s 50 best restaurants for the last seven years.

Arora worked with Anand for a year before launching Gaa in 2017. Her kitchen has a team of 12 people from seven nationalities. It serves a fusion of Thai and Indian food.

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