BCCI dissolves 4-member national selection committee headed by Chetan Sharma

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has dissolved the four-member National Selection Committee headed by Chetan Sharma after the Indian team’s uninspiring performance in the T20 World Cup. Apart from chief selector Chetan Sharma, other members of the selection committee were Sunil Joshi, Harvinder Singh and Debashish Mohanty.

During Chetan’s tenure, India had also failed to reach the knock-out stage in the 2021 edition of T20 World Cup and lost the World Test Championships final.

Chetan (North zone), Harvinder Singh (Centra Zone), Sunil Joshi (South Zone) and Debasish Mohanty (East Zone) have had the shortest stint as senior national selectors in recent times. Some of them were appointed in 2020 and some in 2021. A senior national selector normally gets a four-year term subject to extension. There was no selector from West Zone after Abbey Kuruvilla’s tenure ended.

World’s longest river cruise to sail from Varanasi to Dibrugarh in January 2023
Known as the holy city of India, Uttar Pradesh is all set for the launch of the cruise to Dibrugarh in Assam via Bangalore, which will be the longest river voyage in the world on January 10, 2023. To encourage the development of the nation’s inland waterways, the central government has proposed to launch the longest luxury river cruise in the world.

Minister of ports, shipping, and waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal said that the voyage, Ganga Vilas will sail from the port of Varanasi to Dibrugarh in a period of 50 days. The journey will cover 27 river systems while visiting more than 50 tourist sites, including the World Heritage Sites. The Minister continued by stating that this will be the largest river trip ever undertaken by a river ship, putting Bangladesh and India on the map of major cruise destinations. Additionally, the 50-day trip will pass by protected areas including the Sundarbans Delta and Kaziranga National Park.

The world’s longest river cruise will start its journey in January of next year, tweeted Sarbanand Sonowal on Twitter about the Ganga Vilas Cruise. Ganga Vilas will travel 4,000 kilometres on the two largest rivers in India, the Ganga and Brahmaputra, from holy Varanasi to Dibrugarh via Bangladesh, according to the tweet by the minister. At a ceremony on Friday at Ravidas Ghat in Varanasi, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal released the cruise ship’s schedule. The ship will set out on its first voyage from Varanasi on January 10 and arrive in Dibrugarh on March 1.

The cruise will leave from Varanasi and will travel through Buxar, Ramnagar, and Ghazipur before arriving in Patna on the eighth day. It will make more than 50 architecturally significant stops over its 50-day tour, including world heritage sites. The ship travels via three significant waterways: National Waterway 1, which crosses the Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system; Indo-Bangla Protocol Route, which travels from Kolkata to Dhubri across several Bangladeshi rivers; and National Waterway 2, which crosses the Brahmaputra.

Elephant death audit framework introduced in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu’s forest department has introduced an elephant death audit framework to put in place a more detailed and transparent process for recording and monitoring elephant deaths in the State. Presently, identifying the cause of mortality in the field remains critical for many questions related to population and conservation of elephants. The framework will improve transparency, assist all stakeholders in assessing the results and ultimately facilitate standardisation and more credible comparisons of cause of mortality.

The broad objectives of Elephant Death Audit Framework (EDAF), the first-of-its-kind initiative in the country, are threefold, said Supriya Sahu, Additional Chief Secretary, Environment, Climate Change and Forests.

According to media reports, out of the 131 elephant deaths recorded in Tamil Nadu’s forest divisions between January 1, 2021 and March 15, 2022, only 13 were human-induced. Out of the rest, 118 were due to natural causes; six because of electrocution; four due to train hits; one due to road accident and two because of retaliatory kills.

NASA’s Artemis arrives at moon orbit
The Orion capsule swept 130km (80 miles) above the lunar surface, and it will now begin to enter a larger orbit. The vehicle was out of contact for 34 minutes during this manoeuvre, which began at 12:44 GMT, as it took place on the far side of the moon.

As the signal returned, the spacecraft sent back an image of the Earth. Nasa says so far the mission has “exceeded expectations” since last week’s launch. The spacecraft zoomed over the landing sites of Apollo 11, 12 and 14 as it made the close approach.

The Artemis mission began on November 24 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with the launch of the most powerful rocket NASA has ever built.

It placed Orion on a path towards the Moon. The capsule has already sent back several selfies during its journey. NASA’s Orion spacecraft is built to take humans farther than they’ve ever gone before. Orion will serve as the exploration vehicle that will carry the crew to space, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during the space travel, and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities. Orion will launch on NASA’s new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System.