Daily PIB News (July 22-23): Comet NEOWISE; G20 Digital Minister’s Meet; Ecoparks/Tourism Sites; First Ever INDSAT Exam Under ‘ Study In India’ Programme


This is after many years that you can see a comet with your naked eye in Earth’s night sky, a rare celestial event that occurs after many years.

  • Nehru Science Centre in its ‘Lockdown Lecture’ series organised ‘Comet NEOWISE – A Primer’ to discuss the exploration aspects related to comets.
  • Director, Nehru Planetarium, New Delhi Dr. N Ratnashree explained comets, their position in the sky and how one can observe a comet through a telescope, DSLR camera or even naked eye.
  • Comet Neowise officially known as C/2020F3 is the brightest comet that can be seen in the  sky and will be visible across the globe as it is closest to the earth these days.
  • The Neowise, once disappears will be visible only after 6800 years.
  • ‘Comet Neowise’ was first spotted by NASA’s spacecraft mission Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) on 27 March 2020 and hence the name NEOWISE.
  • Comet is an icy small body which consists mostly of rocky materials, dust and ice. As they come closer to the sun there is evaporation of volatile contents from these comets. When they start melting, the particles start glowing by the reflected sunlight. This makes the ‘dust tail’ of Comets.

G20 Digital Minister’s Meet

A virtual meeting of G20 Digital Economy Ministers hosted by Saudi Arabia which is holding the presidency of G20, took place on July 22.

  • Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology represented India during this virtual meeting.
  • In the wake of global pandemic like COVDI19, Mr. Prasad strongly emphasized the need for building a resilient global supply chain and shared the vision of Prime Minister of India for making India as attractive destination for investment closely integrated with global supply chains.
  • The Union Minister shared India’s digital innovations that helped in fight against COVID19. He spoke about initiatives like Aarogya Setu mobile app, geo-fencing system for monitoring quarantined patients and COVID19 Savdhan bulk messaging systems during this meeting.
  • He also spoke about how digital technology helped the government of India in providing relief to the economically weaker sections of society during this crisis. Using digital innovations of India like Direct Benefit Transfers and digital payments even the weakest in the society was provided various financial relief during the lockdown.
  • Eloquently expressing India’s commitment to leverage emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence for inclusive growth and development specially in healthcare and education, Shri Prasad emphasized the need for building trustworthy Artificial Intelligence systems that can transform the society.

Union Home Minister lays The Foundation Stone Of 6 Ecoparks/ Tourism Sites

  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah on July 23 launched the Tree Plantation Campaign “Vriksharopan Abhiyan” of the Ministry of Coal.
  • The Union Home Minister also inaugurated and laid the Foundation stone of 6 Ecoparks/ Tourism sites.

Details of Eco-parks/tourism sites

  • Two Eco-parks inaugurated today have been developed in Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu.
  • The Eco-Park in Jharkhand named Parasnath Udhyan has been developed by CIL subsidiary Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL) and is spread across 3.5 hectares that includes jogging tracks, flower gardens, resting benches, green tunnel along with aquatic eco-system and waste to wealth zone.
  • The Eco-Park in Tamil Nadu has been developed by NLC India Limited and is spread across 15 acres and includes boating, resting benches, dense cover, bird watching zone, etc. Different kinds of fish in the lake and more than 250 species of birds would be the other attractions of this Eco-Park.
  • Three Eco-Parks for which foundation stone was laid are Eco-Park in Uttar Pradesh to be developed by CIL subsidiary Northern Coalfields Limited, Lilari Eco-Park in Odisha to be developed by CIL subsidiary Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) and Eco-Park in Jharkhand to be developed by CIL subsidiary Central Coalfields Limited (CCL).
  • Foundation stone was also laid for a Sal Plantation Project in Odisha to be developed by NLC (India) Ltd.

India holds the first ever INDSAT exam under ‘ Study in India’ Programme

The Ministry of HRD conducted the first ever Indian Scholastic Assessment (Ind-SAT) Test 2020 under its ‘Study in India’ programme on July 23.

  • Nearly five thousand candidates from Nepal, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Sri-Lanka, Kenya, Zambia, Indonesia and  Mauritius appeared for the exam conducted in the proctored internet mode by the National Testing Agency. 
  • EdCIL (India) Limited, a PSU under MHRD and the implementing agency of SII  handled the registrations and other aspects of the examination.
  • Ind-SAT is an exam for grant of scholarships and admissions to foreign students for studying in select Indian universities under the Study in India programme. 
  • The exam is designed to gauge the scholastic capability of students applying to study in India. The Ind-SAT scores will serve as a criterion to shortlist the meritorious students for the allocation of scholarships for under graduate as well as post graduate programmes under ‘Study in India’ programme.
  • The Study in India is a programme of MHRD under which foreign students come to study in 116 select higher education institutions in India for under graduate and post graduate programmes.
  • The selection of the students is based on their merit in the class 12 / school leaving exam. About top 2000 students are given scholarships, while some others are given fee discounts by the institutions.

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