2nd May, 2022 Current Affairs
Lt Gen BS Raju appointed as Vice Chief of Indian Army
- The Indian Army’s Director General of Military Operations, Lieutenant General Baggavalli Somashekar Raju has been appointed as the Vice Chief of the Army Staff from May 1.
- He was an alumnus of Sainik School Bijapur and National Defence Academy and commissioned in the Jat Regiment on December 15, 1984. He had commanded a battalion during Operation Parakram in the Western Theatre and J&K.
- He has been awarded the Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, AtiVishisht Seva Medal, and Yudh Seva Medal.
- Before taking over the new role, Lt General BS Raju was serving as the Director-General of Military Operations during the standoff on the LAC, the de facto border between India and China. The two countries have been locked in a standoff since June 2020 when both sides lost several troops.
BRO’s Atal Tunnel Receives ‘Best Infrastructure Project’ Award
- The Border Roads Organization (BRO) engineering marvel, Atal Tunnel, built-in Rohtang in Himachal Pradesh, received the Indian Building Congress (IBC) ‘Best Infrastructure Project’ award in New Delhi.
- More than thirty state-of-the-art infrastructure projects were nominated for the award. The IBC jury selected the strategic tunnel as the ‘Best Project for Excellence in Built Environment’ in 2021.
- The tunnel, built using the New Austrian Tunnelling Method (NATM), was dedicated to the nation by Prime Minister NarendraModi on October 3, 2020.
- It is equipped with a semi-transverse ventilation system, where large fans separately circulate air throughout the tunnel. For evacuation during emergencies, an emergency tunnel has been integrated into the tunnel cross-section beneath the main carriageway.
- Fires inside the tunnel will be controlled within an area of 200 meters, and fire hydrants are provided at specific locations throughout the tunnel.
- Pollution sensors continuously monitor the air quality in the tunnel, and if the air quality is below the desired level, fresh air is injected into the tunnel via two heavy-duty fans on each side of the tunnel.
Indian Army Red Shield Division signs MoU for ‘Manipur Super 50’
- Red Shield Division of the Indian Army under the aegis of Spear Corps entered into a tripartite agreement with the State Bank of India Foundation (SBIF) and the National Integrity and Educational Development Organization (NIEDO) to establish ‘Red Shield Centre for Excellence and Wellness’ in Manipur’s Bishnupur district.
- The project ‘Manipur Super 50’ is expected to be fully functional for the first batch of 50 students by the first week of July 2022.
- This initiative will be able to create a feeling of mental and social well-being amongst parents and their children by providing quality education thus catering for a better life and evolving responsible citizens for our country.
- The centre which will be opened in Bishnupur Battalion will remain as instrumental in bringing a progressive and inclusive society.
- The MoU signing ceremony was also attended by GOC Red Shield Division, state DGP and a host of senior veterans, and military and civil dignitaries. More than 100 students from various schools witnessed the MoU signing.
Brazil landscape garden SitioBurle Marx receives UNESCO World Heritage status
- The Sitio Burle Marx site, a landscape garden in Brazilian city Rio de Janeiro has been added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites.
- The garden features more than 3,500 species of plants native to Rio and is considered a laboratory for botanical and landscape experimentation.
- The site has been named after Burle Marx, a Brazilian landscape architect whose designs of parks and gardens made him world-famous. The Sitio Burle Marx site was his home until 1985.
Vinay Mohan Kwatra assumes charge as India’s new Foreign Secretary
- Vinay Mohan Kwatra took charge as India’s new Foreign Secretary. A 1988-batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, MrKwatra succeeded Harsh Vardhan Shringla who retired from service.
- Mr. Kwatra was serving as India’s envoy to Nepal before assuming the charge of the Foreign Secretary.
- A career diplomat with over 32 years of experience, Mr. Kwatra has also held the position of a Joint Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for two years between October 2015 and August 2017.
- Mr. Kwatra is known to have extensive expertise in dealing with India’s neighborhood as well as the U.S., China and Europe.
- He has taken charge as the Foreign Secretary at a time when India is dealing with various geopolitical developments including the Ukraine conflict, the severe economic crisis in Sri Lanka and situation in Afghanistan and developments in the Indo-Pacific.
Snow leopard conservationist Charudutt Mishra wins Whitley Gold Award
- Noted snow leopard expert and wildlife conservationist Charudutt Mishra has won the prestigious Whitley Gold Award for his contribution to involving indigenous communities in the conservation and recovery of big cat species in Asia’s high mountain ecosystems.
- Princess Anne presented the award to Mishra at London’s Royal Geographic Society.
- This is his second Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN) Award. He got the first in 2005.
- UK-based wildlife conservation charity WFN said Mishra was given the award for his work in 12 snow leopard range countries including Afghanistan, China, and Russia.
- In 2017, Mishra wrote a paper on eight approaches to community-based conservation that helped involve local communities in snow leopard protection in the upper reaches of the Himalayas, leading to a reduction in retribution killings of the big cats. UN Biodiversity Conference recognized his approach as an outstanding global practice.