PIB News 1st Oct, 2020

(General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management, Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.)


Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to inaugurate the Atal Tunnel
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi shall inaugurate Atal Tunnel, Rohtang at 10 AM on 3rd October 2020.

Atal Tunnel is the longest highway tunnel in the World. The 9.02 Km long tunnel connects Manali to Lahaul-Spiti valley throughout the year. Earlier the valley was cut off for about 6 months each year owing to heavy snowfall.

The Tunnel is built with ultra-modern specifications in the Pir Panjal range of Himalayas at an altitude of 3000 Mtrs (10,000 Feet) from the Mean Sea Level (MSL).

The tunnel reduces the road distance by 46 Kms between Manali and Leh and the time by about 4 to 5 hours.

The South Portal (SP) of Atal Tunnel is located at a distance of 25 Km from Manali at an altitude of 3060 Mtrs, while the North Portal (NP) of the tunnel is located near village Teling, Sissu, in Lahaul Valley at an altitude of 3071 Mtrs.

It is horse shoe shaped, single tube double lane tunnel with a roadway of 8 Mtrs. It has an overhead clearance of 5.525 Mtrs.

It is 10.5-metre wide and has a 3.6 x 2.25 Mtrs fire proof emergency egress tunnel built into the main tunnel itself.

Atal Tunnel has been designed for traffic density of 3000 cars per day and 1500 trucks per day with max speed of 80 km/hr.

It has the state of the art electromechanical system including semi transverse ventilation system, SCADA controlled firefighting, illumination and monitoring system.  

The Tunnel has ample safety features built into it. Some of the key safety features are

(a) Tunnel entry barriers at both portals.

(b) Telephone connections at every 150 Mtrs for emergency communication.

(c) Fire hydrant mechanisms at every 60 Mtrs.

(d) Auto incident detection system with CCTV cameras at every 250 Mtrs.

(e) Air quality monitoring at every 1 Km.

(f) Evacuation lighting / exit signs at every 25 Mtrs.

(g) Broadcasting system throughout the tunnel.

(h) Fire rated Dampers at every 50 Mtrs.

(i)  Cameras at every 60 Mtrs.

The historic decision to construct a strategic tunnel below the Rohtang Pass was taken on June 03, 2000 when late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister. The foundation stone for the Access Road to the South Portal of the tunnel was laid on May 26, 2002.

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) worked relentlessly to overcome major geological, terrain and weather challenges that included the most difficult stretch of the 587-metre Seri Nalah Fault Zone. The breakthrough from both ends was achieved on October 15, 2017.

The Union Cabinet met under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 24th December 2019 and decided to name the Rohtang Tunnel as Atal Tunnel to honour the contribution made by the former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

After attending the inauguration function of the Atal Tunnel at South Portal, Manali, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi shall be participating in public functions at Sissu in Lahaul Spiti and at Solang Valley.  


(General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management, Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.)


A new study by ARIES of DST suggests new formula to help estimate the mass of Black Hole
A new study has suggested a formula that can help probe black holes. Black holes (BH) cannot be observed directly, but their presence can be detected by the huge amount of energy that is liberated through temporary accumulation of matter outside the BH, before it dives into the BH, a process called accretion.

Scientists have found the formula that can assess the spectrum emitted from the accretion discs around black holes. Spectra of accretion discs can help estimate the mass of the black hole. 

Accretion flow around BH is composed of ionised plasma, which is a soup of bare electrons and protons. Since electrons are more prone to radiative losses than the protons, it is expected that around a BH, electrons and protons would settle down into two separate temperature distributions. Therefore, the two-temperature equations are generally solved to obtain the emitted spectrum from the electron temperature distribution. This is known as two-temperature modeling of accretion flows.

Scientists from Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of India, investigated the nature of these two-temperature flows.

The research led by Shilpa Sarkar and Indranil Chattopadhyay from ARIES along with Philippe Laurent from IRFU / Service d’ Astrophysique and Laboratoire Astroparticule et Cosmologie, which has been recently accepted for publication in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A), found that the number of unknown variables in the two-temperature regime exceeds the number of equations present. Hence, we get multiple solutions for the same set of constants of motion, like total energy or mass-inflow rate.

Looking for a unique solution, scientists have developed a new formula called the Sarkar & Chattopadhyay form of entropy formula that can only be applied near the horizon where gravity overpowers any other interactions like energy exchange terms between ions and electrons. This novel approach helped in selecting a unique solution out of the multiple solutions of accretion disc spectrum emission around a BH. Entropy is the measure of randomness in any system. In two temperature solutions, the formula for measure of entropy does not exist. This new formula allows to measure the entropy of the flow close to the black hole horizon. According to the second law of thermodynamics, nature selects or prefers those processes which maximize entropy. ARIES team showed that there exists one solution for which the entropy is maximum and thereby broke the multiplicity of solutions.

Using this formula, they found that with the increase of the mass supply to the central BH, the accretion disc becomes brighter and more high energy photons are emitted. With the increase of mass of the BH, luminosity increases, and the bandwidth of the emitted spectrum, both in the high energy and low energy range, increases, but the spectral shape does not change. In other words, matter around a massive BH will produce a lot of photons in the low energy and high energy band, but around a smaller BH, it will emit predominantly in the X-rays.

According to the ARIES team, this is the first time any approach of removing degeneracy from two-temperature theory has been proposed. It is necessary to obtain a correct solution, and hence a correct spectrum for any accretion flow around BH as any arbitrary choice of solution would give us a wrong picture of the system. The results could contribute in the understanding of physical processes around extreme objects like BHs.


(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)


In a Path breaking Initiative, Shri Arjun Munda to Launch Largest Market of Tribal Products ‘Tribes Indiae-Marketplace’ Tomorrow
2 New Tribes India Outlets in Kolkata and Rishikesh also to be Launched
Pakur Honey by TRIFED will also be Launched by Tribal Affairs Minister
New TRIFED Initiatives to Showcase Tribal Produce and Handicrafts will Connect Tribal Forest Dwellers and Artisans with National and International Markets

Shri Arjun Munda, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs will virtually launch India’s largest handicraft and organic products marketplace, Tribes India E-Marketplace (market.tribesindia.com) on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti(October 2, 2020) in the presence of Smt Renuka Singh, Minister of State, Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Shri Deepak Khandekar, Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs. Keeping in line with the vision of the Prime Minister of making India Aatmanirbhar and self-reliant,this pathbreaking initiative of TRIFED under Ministry of Tribal Affairs will showcase the produce and handicrafts of tribal enterprises from across the country and help them market their produce/ products directly, is also a major leap towards the digitisation of tribal commerce.On this occasion, Shri Munda will also flag off several other TRIFED initiatives that are aimed to support the tribal brethren. These include the inauguration of Tribes India’s 123rd and 124th outlets in Rishikesh and Kolkata; inclusion of new tribal product ranges from the states of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh; partnership of TRIFED/ Tribes India with Amazon in their Seller Flex program. Sh Arjun Munda will also launch Pakur Honey by Trifed & Tribes India. It is 100% natural honey which is Multi Floral , Forest Fresh, gathered by Santhal  Tribals and Vulnerable Pahadhiya tribes from Pakur, Jharkhand.

Tribes India e-Marketplace is an ambitious initiative through which TRIFED aims to onboard 5 lakh tribal producers for sourcing of various handicraft, handloom, natural food products across the country and brings to you the best of tribal produce. The suppliers comprise of individual tribal artisans, tribal SHGs, Organisations/ Agencies/ NGOs working with tribals. The platform provides the tribal suppliers with an Omni-channel facility to sell their goods through their own retailers and distributors, TRIFED’s network of Outlets and eCommerce partners as well as their own account in e-Marketplace. 

“The E-Marketplace will help us in onboarding large number of Tribals and Artisans and give them the immediate benefits of online trade. It will also facilitate B2B trade connecting tribals dependent on Minor Forest Produces and Medicinal plants to large buyers /manufacturers. This in turn will help ensure livelihoods for the tribal populations of our country and go a long way in making them self-reliant.” said Pravir Krishna, Managing Director, TRIFED.

Showcasing tribal products (produce and handicrafts) from all over India one place, the E-marketplace is a state-of-the-art e-commerce platform which can be accessed on the web and also mobile (Android and iOS) for both customers and the tribal vendors registered.

The occasion also will witness the launch of several other TRIFED initiatives and partnerships which will go a long way in furthering the inclusive growth and empowerment of the tribal artisans and suppliers.

Two new Tribes India Outlets in Rishikesh and Kolkata: Taking the Prime Minister’s message forward to “Be Vocal for Local” and to promote the livelihood of the tribal artisans through marketing, TRIFED is continuing to expand its retail operations across the country. Two new outlets, Tribes India’s 123rd and 124th outlets, will be inaugurated in Rishikesh and Kolkata respectively.

Besides stocking products – arts and crafts from all the 27 Indian states, the outlets will also focus on Van Dhan essentials and immunity boosters – essential products during the ongoing pandemic.

New product ranges from Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh: In addition to these initiatives, two new Tribal product ranges from the states of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh will be included in the Tribes India product line-up. Tribes India also introduces attractive handicrafts and decorative items, all made by tribal artisans from Chhattisgarh. Besides these, there are spices such as turmeric and coriander powder, pickles and tangy drinks like Imli chuski processed from tamarind in Sukna! 

Pakur Honey:The tribal Santhal community of Pakur District, Jharkhand  have set an example by exploring the potential of beekeeping commercially. The collection of honey is carried out in an eco-friendly manner on sustainable basis by the local youth. Pure Multiflora Honey is collected from a variety of flowers and floras. It is 100% natural made from pollen and nectar collected by bees. Natural Multiflora honey is a good source of anti-oxidants and antiseptic vitamins, nutrients, enzymes and other herbal properties that no other super-food can provide.

It will be available in two different tastes, i.e., Karanj and Multifloral (Wild)

TRIBES INDIA joins Amazon Seller Flex program - As a step further in its long standing partnership with Amazon, which has enabled sellers and artisans to sell Tribes India products across India and the world, and to accelerate the growth of tribal owned and run handicraft businesses, TRIFED (Tribes India) will now be associated with Amazon’s Seller Flex Program. This program is intended to share Amazon’s best practices in warehousing, inventory management, and shipping with sellers. With Tribes India now a part of the Seller Flex program, the cost of transporting TRIBES India goods to Amazon’s warehouses will be minimized which will allow our artisans and sellers greater control over their inventory. With Seller Flex, Tribes India will be able to run its processes from end to end. The support and expertise from Amazon will help empower thousands of artisans and weavers who are part of Tribes India.

TRIFED is striving in its mission to make these initiatives a huge success, which will further enable the economic welfare of these communities and bring them closer towards mainstream development.




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