AGARTALA-AKHAURA RAILWAY PROJECT
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina virtually inaugurated a rail link connecting Northeast India with Bangladesh.
- The Agartala-Akhaura project will cut down the travel time between Agartala and Kolkata from 31 hours to 10 hours.
- The project is expected to boost tourism, trade, and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.
What is the project?
- The Agartala-Akhaura railway line is 12.24-km.
- 46 kilometres lie on the Indian side in Tripura.
- 78 km is in the Akhauraupa-zilla in Brahmanbaria district of Bangladesh.
Funding for the project:
- The project was started with Rs 972.52 crore in 2016, the entire project cost is being funded by India.
- The Ministry for Development of North East Region (DoNER) funded the work on the Indian side.
- The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) funded the expense for the Bangladesh side as ‘Aid to Bangladesh’.
Why is the project important to Tripura?
- Tripura is a land-locked state.
- The project was crucial for connectivity in the NE region.
- It would make Tripura the gateway for tourism.
What other trains run between India and Bangladesh?
- Three trains run between West Bengal and Bangladesh.
- The Bandhan Express
- The Maitree Express
- The Mitali Express.
CAR-T CELL THERAPY
Why is in news?
- The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) granted market authorisation for NexCAR19.
CAR-T cell therapy
- CAR-T is a revolutionary therapy that modifies immune cells, specifically T-cells, by turning them into potent cancer fighters known as CAR-T cells.
- T-cells are special cells (white blood cells that find and fight illness and infection) whose primary function is cytotoxic, meaning it can kill other cells.
- In CAR-T therapy, cells are genetically modified into cancer-fighting cells.
- These supercharged cells are then put back into the body.
- They go after cancer cells especially in blood cancers like leukaemia and lymphomas.
NexCAR19 – a type of CAR-T therapy
- NexCar19 is a type of CAR-T and gene therapy developed indigenously in India by ImmunoACT.
- It is a company incubated at IIT Bombay.
- The therapy is designed to target cancer cells that carry the CD19 protein.
- This protein acts like a flag on cancer cells, which allows CAR-T cells to recognise and attach themselves to the cancer cells and start the process of elimination.
- India is now one of the first developing countries to have its indigenous CAR-T and gene therapy platform.
CHINA 5TH RESEARCH STATION IN ANTARTICA
- Two Chinese icebreaker research ships with 460 people on board and a cargo ship sailed for the Antarctica in order to assist in the completion of China’s fifth station.
- The construction of the station is near the Ross Sea.
- It is a deep Southern Ocean bay named for a 19th-century British explorer.
- From 1985 to 2014, China constructed four research stations in the Antarctic.
MINISTRY OF ROAD TRANSPORT AND HIGHWAYS REPORT ON ACCIDENTS IN INDIA
- According to a Ministry of Road Transport and Highways report, India witnessed 53 accidents and 19 deaths every hour.
- The number of road accidents in 2022 increased by 11.9% and deaths rose by 9.4%.
- According to World Road Statistics, 2022 published by the International Road Federation, Geneva, India was followed by China (with a crash severity of 25.22) and the U.S. (with a crash severity of 2.01).
- National and State highways accounted for only 4.9% of the total road network.
- It witnessed 56.1% of all road crashes and almost 61% of all road crash fatalities in the country.
- “Speeding” was the most common factors causing road accidents.
- It accounted for 72.3% of accidents.
- Uttar Pradesh registered the highest share of deaths at 13.4%.
- This was followed by Tamil Nadu at 10.6% and Maharashtra at 9%.
- An age-wise breakdown of road crash data shows that most of those who died were in the 18-45 age bracket.
BRITISH ACADEMY BOOK PRIZE 2023
- Indian-born author Nandini Das won the 2023 British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding.
- It is a leading international non-fiction award with a prize money of £25,000.
- It was given for her book Courting India: England, Mughal India and the Origins of Empire.
- The British Academy Book Prize is formerly known as the Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize.
- It was established in 2013 to reward and celebrate the best works of non-fiction that demonstrate rigour.
PLACES IN NEWS
- Rafah is Gaza’s only gateway to the rest of the world that’s not directly controlled by Israel.
- It is under the control of Egypt as part of an agreement with Israel and the European Union.
- SaimaWazed was elected as the head of WHO Southeast Asia Regional Office (SEARO).
- She is the daughter of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
- She is an autism activist.
- She is the first Bangladeshi to hold the post.
- She will take over from India’s Poonam Khetrapal Singh.
- Poonam became the first woman Regional Director of the Southeast Asia Regional Office (SEARO) in 2014.
- SEARO was created in 1948.
- It is created as part of WHO’s regional divisions.