सामयिक विषय: Miscellaneous

Fairy Queen’ Ready to Haul Heritage Train Once Again

Fairy Queen’ Ready to Haul Heritage Train Once Again

Question: World’s oldest working steam engine is also known as
(a) Fairy Queen
(b) Iron Horse
(c) Prabal
(d) Shaktiman
Ans: (a)

  • The ‘Fairy Queen’, the oldest surviving functional steam engine in the world is once again ready to haul a heritage train from National Capital Delhi to Rewari, Haryana after a gap of 5 years.
  • This train will run between Delhi Cantt. Station and Rewari from 11th February 2017 for a single day trip.
  • The locomotive was constructed by Kitson, Thompson and Hewitson at Leeds, in England, in 1855, and reached Kolkata in the same year.
  • On arrival, it was given fleet number “22” by its owner, the East Indian Railway Company, not receiving a name until 1895.
  • Initially, the 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm) gauge locomotive was used to haul light mail trains in West Bengal, operating between Howrah and Raniganj, and during the Indian Rebellion of 1857 hauled troop trains. It was later consigned to line construction duty in Bihar, where it served until 1909.
  • It was restored and given a special spot in the newly built National Rail Museum at Chanakyapuri, in New Delhi which was opened to public 40 years back on 1st February, 1977.
  • It was certified by the Guinness Book of Records in 1998 as the world’s oldest steam locomotive in regular operation. The following year, the train received a National Tourism Award for the most innovative and unique tourism project.

Reference:
http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=158386

Braille Atlas for Visually Impaired

Braille Atlas for Visually Impaired

Question: Braille Atlas has been recently launched by …
(a) Ministry for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences
(b) Ministry of Social Justice and Welfare
(c) Youth Affairs Ministry
(d) None of the above.
Ans: (a)

  • On 10th February, 2017, The Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan released the Special Edition of “Atlas for Visually Impaired (India)” in English Braille in New Delhi.
  • This Braille Atlas has been prepared by National Atlas and Thematic Mapping Organisation (NATMO) under Department of Science & Technology.
  • These atlases will be distributed to various schools across the country for educating the students with visual challenges.
  • The atlas has 20 maps on different themes like physical, socio-economic, river system, crops pattern, natural vegetation, cultural, metropolitan areas, roads and railways, and crops.
  • The Braille atlas has been made using indigenously developed silk-screen painting technology.
  • In the Braille Atlas, maps are raised and embossed with simple lines and point symbols to facilitate its users to realize the location and area coverage easily distinguishable in terms of shapes and textures.
  • This Atlas has been bestowed with National award for S&T intervention in empowering the physically challenged by the Prime Minister on 3rd January, 2017 in Indian Science Congress held in Tirupati.
  • What is NATMO?
  • National Atlas and Thematic Mapping Organisation (NATMO) is the premier agency of applied Geo-Spatial technology and pioneer in Thematic Mapping and Atlas Cartography under Department of Science & Technology (Ministry of Science & Technology) engaged in preparing different thematic maps and atlases and other documents on national, state, district, block level and many other monograms.

Reference:
http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=158369
http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/first-comprehensive-braille-atlas-prepared/1/879796.html

National Testing Agency to conduct entrance exams

National Testing Agency to conduct entrance exams

Question: The Union Budget 2017-18 was presented in the parliament on …
(a) 1st February, 2017
(b) 31st January, 2017
(c) 2nd February, 2017
(d) None of the above.
Ans: (a)

  • Human Resource Development Ministry is set to constitute National Testing Agency which would conduct examinations for higher education as well as secondary education.
  • On 1st February, 2017, Finance Minister Arun Jaitely proposed in the budget speech 2017 to establish a National Testing Agency as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organisation to conduct all entrance examinations for higher education institutions.
  • The reason behind setting up NTA is to free CBSE, AICTE and other premier institutions from these administrative responsibilities so that they can focus more on academics.
  • The government will undertake reforms in UGC and will give autonomy to colleges and institutions.
  • The Union Government will also introduce a system of annual learning outcome in schools and innovation fund for secondary education will be set up.

Reference:
http://www.uniindia.com/hrd-ministry-to-set-national-testing-agency-to-conduct-various-exams/india/news/772325.html
http://indiatoday.intoday.in/education/story/national-testing-agency/1/875665.html

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