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News in Short

News in Short - 30-October-2020

Former Gujarat Chief minister Keshubhai Patel passes away

Date: 30 October 2020 Tags: Obituaries
  • Former chief minister Keshubhai Patel, who led the first BJP government in Gujarat in 1995, passed away due to cardiac arrest in Ahmedabad. He was 93.
  • Keshubhai Patel was Gujarat’s CM from March 1995 to October 1995 and from March 1998 to October 2001. He was a senior BJP leader in the state until he resigned from the party in 2012 to launch a new political outfit named ‘Gujarat Parivartan Party’ to contest the polls.
  • Patel joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in 1945 as a pracharak. He started his political career as a worker for the Jan Sangh. He was member of Gujarat Legislative assembly for six terms.

ISRO to launch earth observation satellite EOS-01

Date: 30 October 2020 Tags: Space
  • India would launch its latest earth observation satellite EOS-01 and nine international customer spacecraft on-board its PSLV-C49 rocket from the spaceport of Sriharikota in on November 7.
  • This is the first launch by the Indian Space Research Organisation since the COVID-19-induced lockdown came into force in March. EOS-01 is intended for applications in agriculture, forestry, and disaster management support.
  • The customer satellites are being launched under commercial agreement with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), Department of Space. This will be the 51st mission of ISRO’s workhorse, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle.

Giant bird fossils discovered in Antarctica

Date: 30 October 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Scientists have identified the fossil of a giant bird that lived about 50 million years ago, having wingspans of up to 21 feet.
  • The fossils recovered from Antarctica in the 1980s represent the oldest giant members of an extinct group of birds that patrolled the southern oceans. By comparison, today’s largest bird, the wandering albatross has a wingspan of 11 and-a-half-foot.
  • Called Pelagornithids, the birds filled a niche much like that of today’s albatrosses and travelled widely over Earth’s oceans for at least 60 million years.

New coral species discovered in area marked for deep sea mining

Date: 30 October 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Three species of black coral have been discovered on the seabed of the northern Pacific Ocean, an area where several countries have contracts to explore for metals including cobalt and nickel.
  • The corals were discovered on deep seamounts and ridges in the mineral-rich Prime Crust Zone, which stretches from the Mariana Trench to the Hawaiian islands.
  • The new black coral species are so named because of their black skeletons, but they can appear pink, white, or various other colours because of the living tissues growing over the skeleton.

Nearly 20% of rural students lack textbooks

Date: 30 October 2020 Tags: Reports & Indices
  • About 20% of rural children have no textbooks at home, according to the Annual State of Education Report (ASER) survey conducted in September.
  • In Andhra Pradesh, less than 35% of children had textbooks, and only 60% had textbooks in Rajasthan. More than 98% had textbooks in West Bengal, Nagaland, and Assam.
  • In the week of the survey, about one in three rural children had done no learning activity at all. About two in three had no learning materials or activity given by their school that week, and only one in ten had access to live online classes.
  • The ASER survey provides a glimpse into the levels of learning loss that students in rural India are suffering, with varying levels of access to technology, school, and family resources resulting in a digital divide in education.
  • ASER is a nationwide survey of rural education and learning outcomes in terms of reading and arithmetic skills that has been conducted by the NGO Pratham for the last 15 years.