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News in Short

News in Short - 09-July-2020

Presumed extinct plant rediscovered after 135 years

Date: 09 July 2020 Tags: Biodiversity
  • A team of researchers from Pune and Kerala have “rediscovered” a rare and critically endangered plant species called Globba andersonii from the Sikkim Himalayas near the Teesta river valley region after a gap of nearly 136 years.
  • The plant, known commonly as ‘dancing ladies’ or ‘swan flowers’ was thought to have been extinct until its “re-collection”, for the first time since 1875.
  • The earliest records of the collection of this plant were dated between the period 1862-70 when it was collected by Scottish botanist Thomas Anderson from Sikkim and Darjeeling. Then, in 1875, the British botanist Sir George King, had collected this taxon from the Sikkim Himalayas.

Earth’s magnetic field can change ten times faster

Date: 09 July 2020 Tags: Geography & Environment
  • Scientists using simulations in the lab have revealed that changes in the direction of the Earth's magnetic field may take place 10 times faster than previously thought.
  • The study gives new insight into the swirling flow of iron 2,800 km below the planet's surface and how it has influenced the movement of the magnetic field during the past hundred thousand years.
  • Since these rapid changes represent some of the more extreme behaviour of the liquid core, they could give important information about the behaviour of Earth's deep interior.

World Bank loan for Namami Gange

Date: 09 July 2020 Tags: miscellaneous
  • India and the World Bank signed a loan agreement worth $400 million to enhance support for the Namami Gange programme, which seeks to rejuvenate the Ganga.
  • The project is aimed at stemming river pollution and strengthening the management of the river basin, which is home to more than 50 crore people.
  • The $400 million funding support comprises a loan of $381 million and a proposed guarantee of up to $19 million. The $381 million loan has a maturity of 18.5 years, including a grace period of five years.

CBSE cuts syllabus by 30% for 9th to 12th classes

Date: 09 July 2020 Tags: Education
  • The Central Board of Secondary Education syllabus for classes 9 to 12 has been reduced by 30% this year due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The development comes on the heels of the CISCE also announcing a reduction in the syllabus for secondary and senior secondary students by 25 percent.
  • The Board stated that the objective behind the cut in the syllabus is in order to reduce the examination stress of the students due to the current situation of coronavirus pandemic leading to health emergency circumstances as well as to "prevent learning gaps."

Government to set norms for vaccine trial

Date: 09 July 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • The government is readying a document that will chalk out guidelines for companies and institutions working on potential COVID-19 vaccines.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted regulators across the world to issue emergency use authorisation for certain drugs and trials on potential vaccines.
  • There are five promising candidate vaccines from India including Covaxin, from Bharat Biotech, and from Zydus Cadilla which were cleared by the Drug Controller General of India for early human trials.