Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik unveiled a 19-foot-high statue of Guru Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, at Jirang in Gajapati district, Odisha.
This 29 tonne stone statue is placed in the middle of ‘Padma Sarovar’, a large tank near Padmasambhava Mahavihara, the largest Buddhist monastery in eastern India.
The Dalai Lama had inaugurated Padmasambhava Mahavihara monastery in 2010. Tibetan refugees settled in this region over six decades ago.
Historians claim that Guru Padmasambhava, also known as second Buddha, was born and brought up in Odisha before he left for Tibet.
The statue of Guru Padmasambhava has been sculpted by noted sculptor Padmashri Prabhakar Moharana.
Rail tunnel for Vizhinjam port connectivity
A 10.7-km railway line, including a 9.02-km tunnel, has been proposed to connect Balaramapuram station on the Kanyakumari-Thiruvananthapuram railway line to the upcoming Vizhinjam International Multipurpose Deepwater Seaport.
It will be the second longest railway tunnel of the country on completion after the Pir Panjal Tunnel which is in Jammu and Kashmir.
The development of the Balaramapuram railway station is being explored as part of the rail link to the seaport.
Ladakh’s Dard Aryan Tribes
Dard Aryan tribe of Ladakh has requested the central government to intervene to protect their culture and legacy.
The ‘Dard’ is derived from a Sanskrit word, ‘Daradas’, which refers to people who live on hillsides.
Dard Aryan — believed to be the original descendants of ‘pure Aryan race’ — tribe is known for its liberal customs and ornate costumes. Many researchers believe that the ‘Aryans of Ladakh’ or the ‘Brokpas’ were a part of Alexander’s army and had come to the region over 2,000 years ago.
They live in the villages of Dha and Hanu (commonly called as Dhahanu), Darchik, and Gahanu - situated 163km southwest of Leh, the administrative capital of Ladakh.
The rich heritage of the Dard Aryans is under threat due to rapid modernization, migration and religious conversion.
NASA has lost contact with its two mini-satellites Mars Cube One (MarCO) named as MarCo-A and MarCo-B.
MarCo CubeSats were launched along with InSights Mission to serve as communication relays during its Mars landing.
After InSight’s landing, these spacecraft were launched further on their own trajectories to test if such low-cost technology can operate in deep space.
CubeSats are a class of spacecraft based on a standardized small size and modular use of off-the-shelf technologies.
All previous CubeSats have orbited the Earth. MarCO was the first attempt to orbit another planet.
Lunar Lander Beresheet
An Israeli nonprofit group is aiming to lead the first privately funded mission to land a probe on the moon.
The lunar lander named as Beresheet (Hebrew word: “Genesis”) will be launched by the group SpaceIL in support with Israel Aerospace Industries.
It will carry instrumentation to measure the magnetic field of the moon, a laser-reflector provided by NASA and a time-capsule of cultural and historical Israeli artifacts.
The oil industry has observed Ujjwala Utsav celebrate the role played by all stakeholders – District Nodal Officers, Policymakers, Distributors, and beneficiaries – in making Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) a success.
The event was organized under the aegis of Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.
PMUY anthem – Ujjwala Bharat Ujjwala- was also launched during the event.
Atal Bhujal Yojana
Recently, the World Bank has approved Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABHY), a Central Sector, Rs.6000 Crore scheme, for sustainable management of groundwater with community participation.
The funding pattern is 50:50 between Government of India and the World Bank.
The identified over-exploited (OE) and water-stressed areas for the implementation of the scheme fall in the States of Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh.
ABHY envisages active participation of the communities in various activities such as the formation of ‘Water User Associations’, monitoring and disseminating ground water data, water budgeting, preparation & implementation of Gram-panchayat-wise water security plans and IEC activities related to sustainable groundwater management.