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News:Switzerland has expressed solidarity with India in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic by projecting the tricolour on the Matterhorn Mountain in the Swiss Alps.
- The Matterhorn is a mountain of the Alps situated on the border of Switzerland and Italy.
- It is the sixth highest mountain in the Alps and in Europe.
- The Alps are a large mountain range that lies entirely in Europe.
- It is spread over eight alpine countries: France, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, and Slovenia.
- It was formed over tens of millions of years as the African and Eurasian tectonic plates collided.
- Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps.
Covid-19: Govt sets up national vaccine task force
News:The Government of India has announced the setting up of a new task force to work on the development of vaccines and potential drugs.
- Chairman: It is co-chaired by Vinod Paul, member NITI Aayog and Professor K Vijay Raghavan, principal scientific advisor to the government.
- Other members: It will include representatives of the Ministry of Ayush, Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR), Department of biotechnology and Drug controller general of India(DGCI) among others.
- Objective: Tospeed up national and international efforts towards vaccine development to treat Covid-19.
- Coordinating agency: Department of biotechnology would act as a nodal agency to identify the pathway for vaccine development, monitor progress of efforts and provide government facilitation.
Facts:Trimeresurus Salazar is a new species of green pit viper discovered in the Pakke Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh.
- Pakke Tiger Reserve: It is also known as Pakhui Tiger Reserve.It lies in the Eastern Himalayas of Arunachal Pradesh surrounded by the Nameri National Park of Assam in the south, Pakke River to the east and Kameng River to the west.
- The Government of India has created an ‘online datapool’ of Human Resources on covidwarriors.gov.inconsisting of information on available healthcare professionals and volunteers at state and district level.
- This database can be used by the authorities to prepare the crisis management plans to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak.
- iGOT: It is an Integrated Government Online Training(iGOT) platform launched by the Department of Personnel and Training to promote capacity building among the frontline workers to handle CoVID-19 pandemic.
Demo 2 Mission: NASA will launch astronauts from US soil for the first time in nearly a decade
News: NASA and SpaceX are targeting May 27 for the launch of Demo-2.
- Demo-2 is the first crewed test flight of the Crew Dragon spacecraft. It is a part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
- The mission envisions sending a crew of two astronauts on a 14-day test mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
- The Demo-1 mission was launched in 2019. It was an uncrewed mission.
Deserted Thai beaches lure leatherback sea turtles to build most nests in 20 years
News:Thailand has found the largest number of nests of rare leatherback sea turtles in two decades on beaches
- Leatherback sea turtles are the largest turtles on Earth. They are named for their shell, which is leather-like rather than hard, like other turtles.
- Geographic Range: They are distributed across the globe with nesting sites on tropical sandy beaches and foraging ranges that extend into temperate and subpolar latitudes.
- IUCN Status: Vulnerable
India sets up high-level task force to develop vaccine for coronavirus
News: The government formed a high level task force to research on coronavirus and develop a vaccine.
- Aim:To enable COVID-19-related research by academia, industry and international community.
- create clinical cohorts focussing on long term follow-up of people for better understanding of the disease.
- collect bio-specimens which will form the basis for further trials of drugs and vaccines.
- make a list of national and international organisations working on vaccine development
- Central coordinating authority: Department of Biotechnology (DBT)
Government launches the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of India
News: Ministry of Culture launched National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of India
- Aim: To raise awareness about the various intangible cultural heritage elements from different states of India at national and international level and ensure their protection.
- Oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage;
- Performing arts;
- Social practices, rituals and festive events;
- Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe;
- Traditional craftsmanship
Intangible cultural heritage: It means the traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed through generations as a way of life.
Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage
- It was adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2003 and entered into force in 2006.
- to safeguard the expressions of intangible cultural heritage that are endangered by the processes of globalization;
- to ensure respect for the intangible cultural heritage of the communities, groups and individuals;
- to raise awareness at the local, national and international levels of the importance of the intangible cultural heritage.
Intangible Cultural Heritages from India included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
- India has a total of 13 intangible cultural heritages included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
- These include: Kutiyattam, the tradition of Vedic chanting, Ramlila, Ramman, Mudiyettu, Kalbelia folk songs and dances, Chauu Dance, Buddhist chanting of Ladakh, Sankritana, Craft of the Thatheras of Jandiala Guru, Nowruz, Yoga, and Kumbh Mela.