Karnataka Current Affairs – KAS/KPSC Exams – 14th Feb 2018

Kalaburagi is now free wifi connected

  • Kalaburagi is now wi-fi connected with the installation of a new, free wi-fi hotspot, at the city’s Mahanagara Palike office premises.
  • MP Mallikarjun Kharge inaugurated the hotpot on 14th Feb.
  • IT/BT minister Priyank Kharge said 11 hotspots are being installed in various cities of the state and Kalaburagi was the first.
  • He informed that the installation costed Rs 5 lakh and the wi-fi hotspot has a range of 250 metres.
  • Nearly 150 users can use the hotspot for a maximum of 30 minutes and download a maximum of 100 MB data.
  • The minister said that 30 smart phone towers will be erected in Kalaburagi city and 2500 free hotspots in rural areas.

Google Earth Engine tech makes sense of Bandipur forest fires

  • The Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) had used the Earth Engine to track the changes in forest cover near the critical tiger reserve over time.
  • Specifically, NCF used cloud-removal techniques to map the exact damage caused by the 2017 summer fire.
  • Namma Sangha, a non-government organisation working to halt forest loss, had used similar large-scale analyses to measure the impact of a conservation programme.
  • The NGO’s strategy has been to provide cooking gas to villagers who previously harvested fuel-wood from the Bandipur tiger reserve.
  • But armed with several petabytes (1 petabyte = 1 million gigabytes) of satellite imagery, Google Earth Engine (GEE) platform could do much more.
  • After the Landsat image series were made freely available in 2008, Google had consolidated this humongous data set and linked it to its cloud computing resources.
  • The scientific community could now access this huge data set to study the earth’s resources.
  • Google India on 13th Feb announced that the data set could now be accessed by NGOs across India to raise awareness about environment, climate change and other issues that affect the masses.
  • This is part of the Google Earth Outreach programme that would help the organisations leverage its mapping tools to visualise messages better. Multi-city trainings are now on to popularise the tools.
  • Besides mapping forest cover, GEE applications could also be used to detect deforestation, classify land cover, estimate forest biomass and carbon, map urban area expansion, map population, changes in agricultural production and forecasting.
Visvesvaraya Technological varsity to go paperless
  • The Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) has decided to go paperless and has informed all its affiliated colleges to communicate with the university via email.
  • A circular issued to colleges by the university states that as it is moving towards a less paper and paperless office, and principals of all affiliated colleges have been directed to check the university website for notification and general circulars.
  • “No hard copy of the circular and notification will be sent to colleges through post hereafter,” reads the circular.
  • It also states that individual approved letters will be emailed to principals of the respective colleges and same shall be treated as original copy. It, however, states that important communications such as college affiliation notification — both hard and soft copies — will be sent.
State Information Commissioners take oath
  • S.L. Patil, H.P. Sudham Das, K.E. Kumaraswamy and Lingaraj K., who were appointed State Information Commissioners, took oath of office on 13th Feb.
  • Governor Vajubhai Vala administered the oath at a function held in Raj Bhavan here. Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs T.B. Jayachandra and Chief Secretary K. Ratna Prabha were among the dignitaries who attended the function, according to a release.

Railways introduces mobile app for buying unreserved tickets

  • Indian Railways, to make unreserved travel easier, has come out with an app ‘utsonmobile’ to help passengers book an unreserved ticket, without waiting in long queues at railway stations.
  • Through the app, one can book season tickets and platform tickets too.
  • While the app is available for suburban sections of Southern, Central, Western, Eastern, South Eastern, South Central and non-suburban sections of Northern Railway, it is available for the entire South Western Railway Zone after its launch by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in Belagavi on February 10.
  • About 5 lakh people undertake unreserved journey in SWR daily.
  • The app is available for free on Android and Windows platforms. It offers twin ticketing options: paperless and paper tickets.
  • Upon registration, one can recharge the rail wallet either through UTS counters or through www.utsonmobile.indianrail.gov.in.
  • One has to be within a 5-km radius of the station from where the journey commences to book a paperless ticket with a GPS-enabled smartphone.
  • The journey has to commence within three hours of booking and one has to open “show ticket” window to show the ticket to a ticket examiner.
  • The paperless ticket cannot be cancelled.
  • On the other hand, a paper ticket can be booked even while inside a station and a printout has to be taken from ATVM after providing mobile phone number and booking number. Paper ticket can be cancelled.
  • A senior official from SWR told that all stations of SWR have been mapped with GPS and tickets can be booked from any station to any other within the SWR network. Booking tickets to or from stations outside SWR zone may be done if the station outside SWR is mapped with GPS, the official said.
  • The official said utsonmobile would be a boon to season ticket travellers as they need not spend a day to buy or renew the ticket. Others doing unreserved travel too would get benefited, the official added.

Shravanabelagola ready for anointing ceremony

  • The preparations for the grand anointing ceremony of the Gomateshwara statue atop Vindhyagiri have been completed.
  • The anointing ceremony of the statue will begin at 5 a.m. on February 17. There will be religious programmes till 2 p.m. when anointment will begin.
  • Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swami of Jain Mutt told that water would be poured from 108 holy pots (kalashas) on the day.
  • From the second day onwards, the ceremony will begin at 8 a.m. and conclude at 1.30 p.m.
  • The public can have darshan of the statue after the religious programmes.
  • During the anointing ceremony, Jain saints, nuns, kalasha holders and VIPs will be allowed entry to the gallery.


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