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  • Current Affairs 27th January 2018

    Updated : 27-Jan-2018
    Current Affairs 27th January 2018

    Current Affairs 27th January 2018 - Important Points

    • New group of walking fish found in Tasmania by - Scientists
    • MoU for construction of Zojila tunnel signed between NHIDCL  and - IL & FS
    • Small Finance Banks, Payments Banks to offer Atal Pension Yojana, permitted by - Union Government
    • First India-designed vaccine to pass WHO test - Rotavac

    Current Affairs 27th January 2018 - Details

    New group of walking fish found in Tasmania by - Scientists

    A group of scientists have discovered a small population of fish that walk along the seabed off Australia's south coast in Tasmania.
    The fish species, the Red Handfish is found only in south-eastern Tasmania, which is one of the few places on the planet that is home to rare and endangered organisms.
    Key Highlights-

    • Till past week only about 20 to 40 of them were discovered in Tasmania’s Frederick Henry Bay.
    • The new group also consists 20 to 40 fishes inhabits a minimum area whose location the scientists decided not to unfold until the conservation plan for the area was considered.
    • The 1st-ever sighting of the Red Handfish is announced to be in the 19-Century near Port Arthur, in Tasmania.
    • The home of this 2nd colony of handfish is small, within 20 metres radius, because apart from, swimming the fishes walk on the seafloor.
    • The fish sizes between 6 and 13.5 cm long.
    • The new home is different from the 1st population. Therefore, it shows that the fishes are not dependent on a specific set of local conditions.
    • The handfish with an extended body, utilizes their pectoral fins for walking over the seabed in search of food like worms and crustaceans.

    MoU for construction of Zojila tunnel signed between NHIDCL  and - IL and FS

    The National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation under the Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and IL& FS Transportation Networks Ltd on January 25th, 2018 signed a MoU for building the 14.150 kilometres long, double lane bi-directional Zojila Tunnel in J&K.
    Once constructed, Zojila Tunnel would be India’s longest road tunnel and the longest bi-directional tunnel in Asia. The establishment of this tunnel will give all-weather interconnections between Kargil, Srinagar and Leh.
    Project of Zojila Tunnel

    • This project is focusing  to build 14.150 kilometres long two lane bi-directional single tube tunnel with a parallel 14.200 kilometres long tunnel between Baltal and Minamarg in J&K.
    • The overall cost of the project is Rs.6808.69 crores. It consists of the cost towards land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and maintenance charges for four years.
    • The building period of the project is seven years, starting from the date of beginning of construction.
    • The tunnel will have all present-day technical safety measures including cut and cross ventilation system, 2 axial fans, traffic logging equipment, tunnel radio fully crossways ventilation system, continuous power supply, CCTV observations, emergency telephone system etc.
    • The main aim of the plan is to provide all whether connectivity to Leh in J&K which presently is limited to 6 months in a year due snow and threat of avalanches.
    • This project, along with other ongoing plans of 6.5 kilometres long Z-Morh tunnel at Gagangir would make sure safe, quick and cost-effective connectivity between the 2 regions of Kashmir and Ladakh.
    • The projects will also enhance the employment power for the local labourers for the project purposes.

    Small Finance Banks, Payments Banks to offer Atal Pension Yojana, permitted by - Union Government

    The Union Government has permitted Small Finance Banks and Payments Banks to provide Atal Pension Yojana. The Small Finance Banks and Payment Banks are a new model of banks conceptualised by the RBI. In a sum, 10 Small Finance Banks and 11 Payment Banks have received the permit from RBI to initiate banking operations in India.
    Key Highlights

    • The Payment Banks and Small Finance Banks are new banks and given the power, expertise and reach of these banks, they can play a vital role in the outreach of users under APY.
    • The decision of permitting the Small Finance Banks and Payments Banks to offer APY is mainly focused at strengthening the present channels of APY distribution.
    • These banks are believed to provide an uplift to the outreach of users under APY.
    • With their participation, the government would not only be able to develop a pensioned society but also add maintained fee income to Banks by suggesting attractive incentives for mobilizing APY, at Rs.120-150 per account.
    • Presently, more than 84 lakh users are recorded under the APY plan with an asset base of more than Rs.3194 crores.
    • To familiarise the banks with Atal Pension Yojana and explore its implementation, the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority organised an orientation conference on January 15th, 2018 in New Delhi.
      More bout Atal Pension Yojana (APY)
    • The social security scheme was initiated on May 9th, 2015. It is the Union Government’s 1st-ever confirmed pension product to the people of the country.
    • It is available for the people under the age group of 18 to 40 years.
    • In the plan, the user would get a minimum confirmed pension of 1,000 to 5,000 rupees every month from the age of 60 years related to their contribution.

    First India-designed vaccine to pass WHO test - Rotavac

    Rotavac became 1st made-in- India vaccine from India to be pre-qualified by World Health Organisation.
    It shows that vaccine can be sold Internationally to various nations in South America and Africa.
    So far, various vaccines from India have been pre-qualified by World Health Organisation, but Rotavac is 1st indigenous vaccine completely developed in India to get this status in safety and efficacy.
    More about Rotavac vaccine 

    • Rotavac designed and developed by the Hyderabad established Bharat Biotech Limited.
    • It safeguards the children against diarrhoea caused by the rotavirus. It was grown under the joint coordination between India and USA in the field of medical research.
    • It was grown under public-private partnership model that included Ministry of Science and Technology, institutions of the United States Government and NGOs in India maintained by Bill and Melinda Gates.
    • The vaccine was developed on strain of the virus isolated at the AIIMS, New Delhi more than 30 years ago.
    • It has been contained in India’s national immunisation program. The vaccine was tested in field for more than a year, with no negative side effect.
    • This identification signifies credible scientific, industrial and regulatory process in place to grow vaccines in India.
    • It formed the way for health and humanitarian organizations including GAVI, UNICEF and Pan- American Health Organization to obtain Rotavac for public health vaccination programs around the world.

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