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News in Short

News in Short - 06-January-2021

Sunquakes may originate below surface of Sun

Date: 06 January 2021 Tags: Space
  • Scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have a new theory about the seismic activity on the Sun during solar flares, which are also known as sunquakes.
  • Earlier, scientists used to believe that the reason behind it is the magnetic forces or heating of the outer atmosphere of the Sun.
  • A new study based on data provided by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) suggests that sunquakes are a result of something that lurks beneath the surface of the Sun.
  • In July 2011, SDO observed an sunquake with unusual traits as it had sharp ripples produced from a somewhat average flare.
  • These waves were furthered tracked by the scientists using helioseismic holography, a technique that has earlier been used by scientists to measure other phenomenons with the help of SDO’s Holocaustic and Magnetic Imager.

UK announces new national lockdown

Date: 06 January 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new national COVID-19 lockdown in England, instructing people to stay at home to contain a more contagious variant of the coronavirus.
  • The measures include the closure of primary and secondary schools and will come into effect after Scotland announced similar measures.
  • Some 44 million people or three-quarters of the population of England are already living under the toughest restrictions, as Britain grapples with one of the worst mortality rates from coronavirus in the world.

Saudi Arabia to lift Qatar embargo

Date: 06 January 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Kuwait’s foreign ministry has announced that Saudi Arabia will open its air and land borders with Qatar in the first steps toward ending a diplomatic crisis.
  • Qatar’s only land border has been mostly closed since mid-2017, when Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain launched a blockade against the tiny Gulf state,
  • Qatar was accused of supporting Islamist groups in the region and of having warm ties with Iran. Kuwait has been mediating between Qatar and the four Arab states.
  • The lifting of the embargo by Saudi Arabia paves the way for Qatar’s ruler to attend a summit of Gulf leaders that will be held in the kingdom’s desert city of Al-Ula and chaired by the Saudi monarch, King Salman.

Supreme court gives go ahead for central vista project

Date: 06 January 2021 Tags: Architecture
  • The Supreme Court has approved the redevelopment plan for Central Vista that included construction of a new Parliament Building and a common Central Secretariat.
  • The three-judge bench, however, insisted that the clearance of the Heritage Conservation Committee (HCC) will be mandatory and the same should be obtained by the project consultant before proceeding with the development work.
  • The Bench also directed installation of smog guns at the project site as a measure to curb pollution and asked the Ministry of Environment and Forests to consider having smog guns while carrying out any such development work in future.
  • Apart from a new Parliament building, the Central Vista project involves constructing a common Central Secretariat along with residences of Prime Minister and vice-president, and a revamp of the 3-km-long Rajpath, from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate.

PM Modi inaugurates Kochi- Mangaluru gas pipeline

Date: 06 January 2021 Tags: Infrastructure
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the 450-km Kochi-Mangaluru natural gas pipeline via video conferencing.
  • The prime minister said that Natural gas pipeline network will be doubled in 5-6 years and CNG stations will be raised to 10,000 from current 1,500.
  • The newly built pipeline has a transportation capacity of 12 million metric standard cubic metres per day. It will carry natural gas from the liquefied natural gas regasification terminal in Kochi all the way to Mangaluru.
  • The pipeline will pass through  Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur, and Kasaragod districts, the PMO had noted in a statement. The 450 km long pipeline has been constructed by Gail (India) Limited.
  • The pipeline is expected to supply environment-friendly, affordable Piped Natural Gas (PNG) to households. It will provide Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to the transportation sector.
  • The pipeline will also supply natural gas to industrial and commercial plants in the districts which are situated along the line.