Top GKToday’s News Headlines- 31 December 2019

INDIA

India State of Forest Report released

The Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar released the biennial ‘India State of Forest Report (ISFR)’ in New Delhi on December 30, 2019. The report is published by the Forest Survey of India (FSI). the total forest and tree cover of the country is 80.73 million hectare which is 24.56% of the geographical area of the country. Compared to the assessment of 2017, there is an increase of 5,188 sq. km in the total forest and tree cover. The increase in the forest cover has been observed as 3,976 sq km and that in tree cover is 1,212 sq. km. Top state showing increase in forest cover is Karnataka (1,025 sq. km). Area-wise Madhya Pradesh has the largest forest cover in the country. In terms of forest cover as percentage of total geographical area, the top state is Mizoram (85.41%)

 

NITI Aayog releases 2nd edition of SDG India Index

NITI Aayog on December 30, 2019 released the second edition of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) India Index which comprehensively documents the progress made by states and union territories towards achieving the 2030 SDG targets. The SDG India Index has been developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), United Nations in India and Global Green Growth Institute. Kerala achieved the first rank in the composite SDG Index with a score of 70 followed by Himachal Pradesh at 69

 

National Children’s Science Congress being held in Thiruvananthapuram

27th edition of the National Children’s Science Congress is being held in Thiruvananthapuram from December 27 to 31, 2019. It is the flagship programme of National Council for Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC), Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India, Theme: ‘Science, Technology and Innovation for a Clean, Green and Healthy Nation’.

 

IIT-Guwahati researchers develop new materials that can generate power from water

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati have developed new materials that can generate power from both stagnant and flowing water. These new ways of producing energy on a small scale can be employed in household environments to support decentralisation of energy sources.

 

Ahmedabad-Mumbai Tejas Express to be flagged off on January 17

After the successful run of Lucknow-Delhi Tejas Express, the second premium Tejas train is ready to run between Ahmedabad and Mumbai from January 17, 2020

 

DoT launches system to facilitate blocking and tracing of stolen or lost mobile phones in Delhi

Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on December 30, 2019 launched the Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) system to facilitate blocking and tracing of stolen or lost mobile phones in Delhi.

 

Tenure of Director of Special Protection Group (SPG) extended

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) on December 30, 2019 approved extension in the deputation tenure of Director of Special Protection Group (SPG), IPS Arun Kumar Sinha for a period from March 19, 2020, to July 30, 2021.

 

J&K UT administration announces public holiday on October 26 (Accession Day)

Jammu & Kashmir union territory administration announced public holiday on October 26 (Accession Day).

 

Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat appointed India’s first Chief of Defence Staff

Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat was on December 30, 2019 appointed India’s first Chief of Defence Staff with a mandate to bring in convergence in functioning of the Army, the Navy and the Indian Air Force and bolster the country’s military prowess.

 

Sanjay Gupta, the editor-in-chief of ‘Jagran’, wins ‘Lokmanya Tilak National Journalism Award’

Sanjay Gupta, the editor-in-chief of ‘Jagran’, has been selected for the ‘Lokmanya Tilak National Journalism Award’ by the Pune-based Kesari-Maratha Trust

 

Nagaland Assembly Speaker Vikho-o Yhoshu dies at 67 in Mumbai

Nagaland Assembly Speaker Vikho-o Yhoshu died in Mumbai on December 30, 2019 at the age of 67. He was the leader of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP).

ECONOMY & CORPORATE

Civil Aviation Security Projects launched

Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (I/C) for Civil Aviation, launched the Biometric enabled Centralised Access Control System (CACS) and ‘e-BCAS (e-Bureau of Civil Aviation Security) Project Training Module’ in New Delhi on December 30, 2019. The objective behind launching these two projects is to enhance security and ease of doing business at airports.

 

DGCA’s e-GCA project launched

Phase-1 services of the e-Governance (eGCA) project of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) was launched by the Ministry of Civil Aviation in New Delhi on December 30, 2019. This has automated the issuance of Commercial Pilot License (CPL-A), Flight Radio Telephony Operators License (FRTOL) and Instrument Rating.

 

RBI releases draft circular on lending limits of UCBs

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on December 30, 2019 released a draft circular on limits on exposure to single and group borrowers and revision in priority sector lending targets for urban cooperative banks (UCBs). Prudential exposure limits for UCBs for a single borrower and a group of connected borrowers will be 10% and 25% respectively of their tier-one capital.

 

RBI releases draft circular on priority sector lending targets of UCBs

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on December 30, 2019 released a draft circular on priority sector lending targets of UCBs. The target for loans and advances to the priority sector for UCBs will be increased to 75% of adjusted net bank credit or credit equivalent amount of off-balance sheet exposure, whichever is higher, by March 31, 2023

 

Govt ropes in Flipkart for sale of products made by women self-help groups under DAY-NULM

Products made by women self-help groups formed under the DAY-NULM (Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission) will now be available on e-commerce platforms as the government on December 30, 2019 signed an MoU with Flipkart in this regard.

 

Last date for mandatory linking of PAN with Aadhaar extended till March 31, 2020

The last date for the mandatory linking of the Permanent Account Number (PAN) with Aadhaar has been extended till March 31, 2020, the CBDT said on December 30, 2019.

 

WORLD

Fred Graham, pioneering legal affairs US journalist, dies at 88 in Washington

Fred P. Graham, US journalist who covered the Supreme Court and momentous legal affairs of his era for The New York Times, CBS News and Court TV, died in Washington at the age of 88 on December 29, 2019.

 

SPORTS

2 Indians — Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah — in Wisden’s T20 International team of the decade

India skipper Virat Kohli and fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah are the only two Indians who found a place in Wisden’s T20 International team of the decade. Australia’s Aaron Finch was named captain of the team.

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