21st Nov, 2020

Willow Warbler sighted for the first time in India

Recently, Willow Warbler has been sighted for the first time in India at Vellayani-Punchakkari paddy fields, Kerala.

 Willow Warbler

Scientific Name: Phylloscopus trochilus.

They breed throughout northern and temperate Europe and the Palearctic.

They migrate to sub-Saharan Africa during early winter.

It is one of the longest migrating small birds.

It weighs only around 10 grams and its long wing feathers help it fly long distances.

Warblers are generally difficult to identify due to the small size and change in plumage twice a year. 


(1) Drought conditions in its wintering quarters;

(2) Habitat alterations due to human population expansion.

IUCN Red List status: Least Concern.

Palearctic ecozone is one the Earth’s 8 ecozones and covers Asia north of the Himalayas, with parts of western Asia and most of East Asia and Africa north of the Sahara.

Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System Project

Recently, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, National Capital Region Transport Corporation Limited (NCRTC) and the New Development Bank (NDB) signed a loan agreement for lending $500 million for the ‘Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System Project’.

It is an 82.15 km long, under-construction, semi-high speed rail corridor connecting Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut.

It is one of the three rapid-rail corridors planned under Phase-I of Regional Rapid Transport System (RRTS) project of National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC).

The Rapid Transit System will provide a fast, reliable, safe and comfortable public transport system in the National Capital Region.

High-speed connectivity will result in balanced economic development across the region, leading to economic benefits to all strata of society and many nodes of development rather than all economic activity happening at one place.

It will help in reducing traffic congestion and total emissions from the transport sector in NCR.


New Development Bank

It is a multilateral development bank. 

Jointly founded by: BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) at the 6th BRICS Summit in Fortaleza, Brazil in 2014.

Objective: To support infrastructure and sustainable development efforts in BRICS and other underserved, emerging economies for faster development through innovation and cutting-edge technology.

Headquarter: Shanghai, China.

In 2018, the NDB received observer status in the United Nations General Assembly.

LNG Fuelling Stations across the golden quadrilateral

Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel recently laid the foundation stone for the first 50 LNG fuelling stations, across the golden quadrilateral and major National Highways.

Government will set up LNG stations at the distance of 200-300 km on golden quadrilateral, and within 3 years, 1000 LNG stations on all major roads, industrial hubs and mining areas shall be commissioned.

These fifty LNG stations will be set up and commissioned in partnership by country’s Oil & Gas majors such as IOCL, BPCL, HPCL, GAIL, etc.

 Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is natural gas (predominantly methane, CH4, with some mixture of ethane, C2H6) that has been cooled down to liquid form for ease and safety of non-pressurized storage or transport.

LNG is almost 40% cheaper than diesel. 

It also causes very less pollution. 

LNG use in trucks can reduce Sulphur oxide emissions by 100% and Nitrous oxides emissions by 85%.

Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) accepted as a component of the World Wide Radio Navigation System

The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) has been accepted as a component of the World Wide Radio Navigation System (WWRNS) for operation in the Indian Ocean Region by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

This will enable merchant vessels to use IRNSS for obtaining position information similar to GPS and GLONASS to assist in the navigation of ships in ocean waters within the area covered by 50°N latitude, 55°E longitude, 5°S latitude and 110°E longitude.

IRNSS is an independent regional navigation satellite system developed by India. 

It is designed to provide accurate position information service to assist in the navigation of ships in Indian Ocean waters.

India has become the fourth country in the world to have its independent regional navigation satellite system recognised by the IMO as a part of the WWRNS. 

The other three countries that have its navigation systems recognised by the IMO are the US, Russia and China.

Lilavati Award-2020

Recently, the Union Minister of Education virtually launched the Lilavati Award-2020.

It is AICTE’s (All India Council for Technical Education) Innovative education program to empower women.

Theme: Women Empowerment

Objective: To create awareness about issues like sanitation, hygiene, health, nutrition, literacy, employment, rights among women, etc.