- The Centre reiterated that the Indian Neutrino Observatory (INO) will be established in picturesque Theni in south Tamil Nadu though there has been opposition to the project by locals.
- The INO site is not in the eco-sensitive area as identified by the High Level Working Group chaired by Dr Kasturirangan and referred to in the Ministry of Environment and Forest Notification in November 2013.
- Proton, neutron, and electron are tiny particles that make up atoms. The neutrino is also a tiny elementary particle, but it is not part of the atom. Such particles are also found to exist in nature.
- Neutrino has a very tiny mass and no charge. It interacts very weakly with other matter particles. So weakly that every second trillions of neutrinos fall on us and pass through our bodies unnoticed.
- Neutrinos come from the sun (solar neutrinos) and other stars, cosmic rays that come from beyond the solar system, and from the Big Bang from which our Universe originated. They can also be produced in the lab.
- The INO will study atmospheric neutrinos only. Solar neutrinos have much lower energy than the detector can detect.
India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO)
- INO Project is aimed at building a world-class underground laboratory with a rock cover to conduct basic research on neutrino.
- The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research is the nodal institution. The observatory is to be built jointly with the Department of Atomic Energy and the Department of Science and Technology.
- The observatory will be located underground so as to provide adequate shielding to the neutrino detector from cosmic background radiation.
- The operation of INO will have no release of radioactive or toxic substances. It is not a weapons laboratory and will have no strategic or defence applications.
WHO declares global emergency
- The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency.
- China informed the WHO about the coronavirus cases in late December.
- The death toll in China’s novel coronavirus outbreak on Friday climbed to 213 with the number of confirmed cases totalling to 9,692.
- The WHO said there had been 98 cases in 18 other countries, but no deaths. Most international cases are in people who had been to the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the epidemic.
- The WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
12th Tribal Youth Exchange Programme
- Tamil nadu Governor banwarilal purohit inaugurated the 12th National Tribal Youth Exchange Programme in Chennai from February 1 to 7.
- The programme has been jointly organized by the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) and Tamil nadu Government with a view to ensure development and empowerment of the tribal youths.
- They will be visiting many places to know about the language, customs, culture, arts, dressing patterns, food pattern and other aspects.
Australian Open 2020
- Timea Babos-Kristina Mladenovic beat Barbora Strycova and Hsieh Su-wei to clinch second doubles title
India-Bangladesh joint exercise SAMPRITI-IX
- As part of the ongoing Indo-Bangladesh defense cooperation, a joint military training exercise SAMPRITI-IX is being conducted at UMROI, Meghalaya, India from 03 Feb to 16 Feb 2020.
- Exercise SAMPRITI is an important bilateral defense cooperation endeavor between India and Bangladesh and will be the ninth edition of the exercise which is hosted alternately by both countries.
- World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day is being celebrated for the first time on 30 January 2020.
- Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today gave away Best Tableaux awards for Republic Day Parade, 2020 in New Delhi.
- Assam’s tableau which portrayed the unique craftsmanship and culture of the state has been chosen as the best tableau, followed by Odisha and Uttar Pradesh who were tied for the second position.
- The tableaux of National Disaster Relief Force and Jal Shakti Mission were chosen as the best among the Ministries and Departments.
- Central Public Works Department got the Special Prize for their tableau which based on the theme – Kashmir se Kanyakumari.