News: Union minister for Human Resource and Development(HRD) has released the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) 2020.
- National Institutional Ranking Framework(NIRF) was started by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development(HRD) in 2015.
- Parameters: a) Teaching b) Learning and Resources c) Research and Professional Practices d) Graduation Outcomes e) Outreach and Inclusivity and f) Perception.
- Top Institutes in overall category: 1) IIT-Madras 2) IISc Bangalore and 3) IIT-Delhi
- Top Universities in India: 1) Indian Institute of Science(IISc) 2) Jawaharlal Nehru University and 3) Banaras Hindu University.
- Top engineering institutes in India: 1) IIT-Madras 2) IIT-Delhi and 3) IIT-Bombay.
- Top College: Miranda House, Delhi.
- Top Dental College: Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences, Delhi. The Dental category was included for the first time in NIRF Rankings.
News: The first population estimation exercise of the Indian gaur was carried out in the Nilgiris Forest Division.It has revealed that more than an estimated 2,000 Indian gaurs inhabit the entire division.
- Indian Gaur also called as Indian Bison is the world’s largest and tallest wild bovines.
- IUCN Status: Vulnerable
- Wildlife Protection Act,1972: Schedule I
- Geographic range: Native to South and South-East Asia.
- Significance: It is the State animal of Goa.
- Threats: a) Habitat Fragmentation b) Hunting for consumption and c) contract diseases transmitted by domestic cattle.
News: Nature Index 2020 has been released by Nature Research.
- The Nature Index 2020 is based on the institution’s or country’s share of articles published in the 82 prestigious scientific journals selected by an independent panel of experts and tracked by the Nature Index database.
- Top five Positions: United States of America, China, Germany, United Kingdom and Japan.
- India: It has been placed at 12th position in country wise ranking.
- Indian institutions Globally: Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) at the 160th position and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) at the 184th position.
News: Mumbai will get the country’s second urban flood warning system for evaluation named IFLOWS-Mumbai.
- IFLOWS-Mumbai: It is an Integrated Flood Warning system to enhance the resilience of Mumbai by providing early warning for flooding specially during high rainfall events and cyclones.
- The system also has provisions to capture the urban drainage within the city and predict the areas of flooding
- Developed by: Ministry of Earth Sciences using in-house expertise and in close coordination with Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai.
- Significance: Mumbai will be the second city to get such a warning system in India after Chennai.
- Urban Flooding: Flood is defined as an overflow of a large body of water over areas not usually inundated.Thus,flooding in urban areas is caused by intense and/or prolonged rainfall which overwhelms the capacity of the drainage system.
- Causes: Heavy rainfall, Occurrence of High Tides, Unplanned Urbanization, Inadequate Drainage System among others.
News: Department of Science & Technology has constituted a joint Science Communication Forum.
- Purpose: To facilitate interaction, cooperation and coordination amongst various public sector science communication institutions and agencies.
- Members: It will be represented by senior officials from various central ministries including Science & Technology, Agriculture, Health, Culture, Defense, Space, Atomic Energy and Information & Broadcasting.
- Secretariat: It will be based at the National Council for Science & Technology Communication (NCSTC),Department of Science & Technology.
News: Kerala Startup in association with Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology(SCTIMST) has developed BIN-19 and UV SPOT devices to help the Government in combating Covid-19.
- BIN-19: It is an Internet of Things(IoT) based device used for collecting and disinfecting Used Face-Mask.
- IoT Features: Auto Sanitizer Dispenser ( remotely alerts if it’s empty), Mobile Application to navigate/find Bin-19, Web Portal for Status Alerts, Power ON/OFF alerts and Box open alerts.
- UV SPOT: It is a Ultra Violet(UV) light-based device that can disinfect a broad range of microorganisms using its internal reflective surfaces and UVC Lamp.
- It is mainly used for disposing of the contaminated or used face-mask and for reusing the UVC stable metallic products.
News: The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has issued a discussion paper on ‘Governance in Commercial Banks’.The discussion paper aims to create a clearly definable separation between the board and the management of a bank.
- Guidelines Coverage: The guidelines are applicable to private, foreign and public sector banks.
- It will come into effect within six months after being placed on the RBI’s website or April 1,2021 whichever is later.
Key Guidelines issued:
- Board Members should not be a member of any other bank’s board or the RBI and should not be either a Member of Parliament or State Legislature or Municipality or other local bodies.
- Board of directors of a bank should not be less than six and not more than 15 with a majority being independent directors.The Chairman of the Board should be an independent director.
- Board shall meet at least six times a year and at least once every 60 days.
- Approval of RBI: Appointment, reappointment and termination of whole-time directors (WTDs) and chief executive officers(CEO) should be with the previous approval of RBI.
- Age Limit: The upper age limit for CEO and WTDs of banks is suggested at 70 years which is a norm for private banks at present.
- Reappointment: The person can be re-appointed only after three years, the period in which there should be no association with the bank in any capacity.