PM Modi launches World’s Longest River Cruise-MV Ganga Vilas at Varanasi.

  • PM Narendra Modi launched the World’s Longest River Cruise-MV Ganga Vilas at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh via video conferencing on 13th Jan 2023.
  • He has also inaugurated Tent City at Varanasi.
  • About Cruise:
    • It will begin its journey from Varanasi to Dibrugarh in Assam via Bangladesh.
    • It will sail around 3,200 km in 51 days.
    • It will cover major cities of India and Bangladesh - Patna (Bihar), Sahib Ganj (Jharkhand), Kolkata (WB), Dhaka (Bangladesh), and Guwahati (Assam).

NRIs can use international numbers for UPI payments.

  • NPCI has allowed non-resident holders - NRE/ NRO accounts to get onboarded and transact through UPI.
  • The UPI ecosystem members must comply with NPCI's directions by April 30, 2023.
  • Allowed countries (10 countries): Singapore, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar, USA, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.
  • This is subject to the fact that the member banks must ensure that such accounts are only allowed as per extant FEMA regulations.

Meghalaya CM launched agriculture response vehicle scheme.

  • Meghalaya CM, Conrad Sangma launched the shared school bus system, prime tourism vehicles, and agriculture response vehicle scheme.
  • The buses are part of Sustainable Transport and Efficient Mobility Society (STEMS) programme.
  • Agriculture Response Vehicles: Provided to farmers' associations and groups for a strong transportation network.
  • Prime tourist vehicles: Step to improve the overall tourism sector, and to provide good transportation services to tourists.

ASI unearths two 1200-year-old miniature stupas at Nalanda.

  • The Patna circle of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has discovered two miniature votive stupas dating back 1200 years near the Sarai Tila mound within the grounds of Nalanda Mahavihara.
  • The stupas, carved from stone, depict Buddha figures.
  • Nalanda Mahavihara is a world heritage site in Bihar's Nalanda district.
  • This site comprises the archaeological remains of a monastic and scholastic institution dating from the 3rd century BCE to the 13th century CE.

Godavari estuary in Andhra Pradesh become prime habitat for Indian Skimmer.

  • The Godavari estuary in Andhra Pradesh has become a prime and safe habitat for the Indian skimmer (Rynchops albicollis).
  • On January 10, as many as 250 Indian Skimmers were sighted in the southern part of the Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary (Andhra Pradesh) in a day during the Asian Waterbird Census-2023.
  • Indian Skimmer migrates to the Godavari estuary for feeding.
  • It is found in the coastal estuaries of western and eastern India.
  • IUCN status: Endangered

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