Karnataka Current Affairs – KAS/KPSC Exams 24th Feb 2019

Vande Bharat from Bengaluru to Mangaluru soon


  • Vande Bharat Express is a 16-coach train which can accommodate 1,128 passengers
  • Vande Bharat Express will soon be introduced on Bengaluru-Mangaluru, Mangaluru-Chennai and Mangaluru-Hyderabad routes,
  • It is one-of-a-kind high-speed train and is developed with indigenous technology
  • An automatic signalling system will also be installed on the routes
  • On February 15, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the first semi-high speed engine-less Vande Bharat Express (T18) between New Delhi and Varanasi.
  • The train is equipped with GPS passenger information system, CCTV cameras and talkback facility units to connect with the driver in case of emergency

Baby-drop cradles for abandoned kids 


  • Baby-drop cradles will soon be placed in select pockets of the city, including outside hospitals and primary health centres (PHCs), to ensure safety and protection of abandoned babies.
  • The system —Vishranthi mamatha ka jhoola — will send an alert to personnel within 30 seconds of a baby being placed in a cradle.
  • Developed by Vishranthi, an NGO, initiative aims to protect abandoned babies and bring down female foeticide in the state.
  • Currently, two Vishranthi baby-drop cradles have been installed in Karnataka, one at Yeshwantpur in malur taluk and another at SNR District Hospital, Kolar.
  • Mamatha ka jhoola is the first-of-its-kind initiative in India and we hope to have many more in the districts under our jurisdiction.
  • These cradles will prevent babies from being ‘stolen’ by unlawful elements.
  • In the past most women want complete anonymity and, therefore, drop off their newborns on the roadside and hospitals in order to avoid face-to-face interaction.

Suburban network to link west and central Bengaluru to KIA


  • Friday’s climb-down by both the central and state governments on suburban rail was a virtual volte-face, as it came two weeks after a missive from the Railway Board to Karnataka chief secretary, accusing the latter of deviating from the original understanding and backtracking on its commitments.
  • However, in a sudden turn of events on 22nd Feb, the railway ministry ironed out differences over most of the 19 conditions laid out by the Karnataka government to take the suburban rail project forward.
  • The Centre and the state had earlier agreed to form a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for the project in a joint partnership between Karnataka government and the Centre, with a 51:49 ownership pattern.
  • The cost-sharing for the project was to be 20% equity each by state and the railways, and remaining 60% through loans.
  • One of Karnataka’s major conditions was the need to connect western, north western and central parts of the city to Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) under the suburban network.
  • In-principle approval was given to modify the suburban project such that the corridor terminates at Jnanabharathi Station.
  • This, according to railway sources, will help people in central and western parts reach KIA on suburban trains.
  • However, Karnataka government’s demand to change the length and coverage of corridors from 161km to 360km was not endorsed by the ministry of railways.
  • A detailed project report was prepared as per scope jointly identified by the ministry of railways and the government of Karnataka and work has been sanctioned accordingly. Increasing the length by 123% is not feasible
  • The Karnataka government conceded ground on nine points, including one on Namma Metro lines being prioritised, while planning suburban rail.
  • It has been decided that the state government will withdraw the same as it’d inordinately delay project execution.
  • The Karnataka government wanted the proceeds from sale of TDR to be used first to fund the land acquisition cost, over and above the commitment of Rs 2,180 The same now stands withdrawn.

Aero India 2019: Drone deterrence tech draws crowd


  • With unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) — or drones — increasingly coming under national security scrutiny, a drone deterrence system (DDS) technology displayed at the show has caught the attention of visitors. DDS is a technology that can jam a drone’s signal, cut of the controller’s ability to handle the device and disable its GPS.
  • Globally, the demand for DDS is increasing
  • Japanese police are already using this. We are in talks with the armed forces in India and are planning to demonstrate it for them.
  • The representative said DDS comprises of an antenna unit, transmission receiver unit and control unit
  • It can be placed at sensitive areas including airports and crowded areas and can neutralize a drone at a range of about 3km
  • It can detect and track wireless signals between a drone and its controller
  • Experts say drones pose security hazards to aircrafts particularly at airports.
  • The risk is higher than that of birds as UAVs can be used to carry cameras, weapons, toxic chemicals and explosives for terrorism, espionage and smuggling.

Aero India 2019: Sarang’s first woman pilot rocks Bengaluru skies


  • For the first time, Aero India will observe ‘Women’s Day’ and as if in response, the first woman pilot of the Sarang desi aerobatic helicopter team will perform a few breathtaking sorties.
  • Squadron Leader Sneha Kulkarni, 33, will co-pilot a Dhruv Helicopter-2.
  • This is her second appearance in the show.

About Sneha Kulkarni

  • Born into a middle-class family from Jalgaon, Maharashtra, Sneha, is a source of inspiration for many, especially budding women pilots.
  • An accomplished pilot, she volunteered to join the aerobatic team and cleared its stringent selection process.
  • She said she was inspired by her elder brother, Lieutenant Colonel Mangesh Kulkarni, an NDA officer, to join the forces.
  • Sneha, a BSc graduate, joined the Indian Air Force in 2005 and was commissioned in 2007.

DPR on development of Chamundi Hills to be submitted to Tourism Ministry soon

  • A Rs. 50 crore detailed project report (DPR) for the development of Chamundi Hills under the Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) entailing additional facilities and beautification, will be submitted to the Ministry of Tourism soon.
  • The project envisages archways at the entrance inspired by the design of the Jayamarthanda Gate in front of the palace, beautification of the area around the Nandi statue, signage along steps and roads, provision of drinking water kiosks, benches along steps, installation of CCTV cameras, and adopting of Information Technology.
  • The area for development has been divided into four zones. The Hill Area will have the entrance archway apart from signage and resting areas. The temple precinct has been categorized as Zone 2 as per which emphasis will be on temple illumination, provision of electric buggies, beautification of the Mahishasura statue and the Circle, introduction of sound and light, and WiFi hotspots, among others.
  • Under Zone 3, it has been proposed to have an interpretation centre, facility for smart-ticketing to streamline and manage crowd movement, distribution ofprasada, installation of solar lighting, construction of a solid waste management facility, etc.
  • Zone 4 will comprise Devikere and will entail beautification of the tank, providing access steps, a musical fountain, walkway and aerators.
  • While a major entrance archway will be constructed at the starting point of the hill road, there will be similar structures at nodes and junctions along the route, besides minor entrance archways at the beginning and end of the steps.
  • The entrance to the steps will have vegetation and greenery while the pathway will be 3 m wide with railings on either side. In addition, there will be shelters, seating arrangements and drinking water kiosks every 200 m along the route.
  • A 20 acre plot at the foothills will be utilised to create a museum, a parking lot and to provide other facilities for the tourists.
  • The total cost of the project has been pegged at Rs. 49.95 crore and the proposal will be finalised and submitted to the Centre in the next two days.

IISc to upload data of 10,000 plant species

  • Data of over 10,000 species of plants from Karnataka, the Eastern and Western Ghats and other peninsular areas collected by the Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), will now be freely available to the public and can be accessed through an open-source online platform.
  • The digital library can accommodate data of 16,000 species.
  • Over the past 12 years, Prof Sankara Rao, a botanist who retired from the biochemistry department of IISc, and his team of volunteers have been digitising the entire collection and have now produced a Digital Flora of Karnataka that is freely available online.
  • This will provide invaluable information to scientists and non-scientists on the flora of Karnataka. Prof Rao has completed digitizing the flora of Eastern Ghats and some parts of Peninsular India and the digital platforms for these are ready for launch
  • The database is the digitized version of the herbarium which was founded at CES in 1964 by CJ Saldanha and his associates and was later augmented by both national and international taxonomists.
  • This herbarium is probably the only holding of plant specimens collected from all over peninsular states, other than the Central National Herbarium (CAL), and houses an extensive collection from the Western Ghats.
  • Herbarium is a collection of dried, pressed plant specimens and their associated data. It is an irreplaceable source of information about the flora of a region
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