- Ban of polythnene in garhwal region from march 31
- The ban on use of disposable items made from polythene and polystyrene (thermocol) will be strictly enforced in all the seven districts of Garhwal region from March 31 onward.
- The Garhwal commissioner further said that environmental damage has been exacerbated due to the general tendency to continue the use of polythene bags and other items including disposable products made from polystyrene in the Garhwal region.
- He asked office bearers of the committees managing temples and Gurudwaras where such items are used in bulk, to desist from continuing the use of such prohibited items. Javalkar said that the owners and managers hotels, temples and Gurudwaras had been informed about the damage being caused to the environment by polythene and polystyrene items.
- Further, such items dumped improperly are also consumed by stray cattle and other animals which ends up damaging their health- even fatally at times. Directing officials to start seizing in a phased manner, the prohibited items being sold in the market, the commissioner said that those found selling the prohibited items after March 31 will be fined Rs5,000.
· India Ranks 47th on Inclusive Internet Index: Facebook
- India ranked 47th out of 86 countries on the Inclusive Internet Index by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU),which was commissioned by Facebook.
- Sweden took the first place, followed by Singapore and the US.
- The scores on the index, which covered 91% of the world’s population, is based on the scores of Availability, Affordability, Relevance and Readiness categories.
- China elected as vice chair of FATF
- China was elected as vice chair of Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global body mandated to combat terror financing and money laundering. In its plenary meeting in Paris, FATF had placed Pakistan under “grey list” subject to direct monitoring and intense scrutiny by International Cooperation Review Group till June 2018 for compliance of Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Finance of Terrorism regulations. Pakistan was on the same list from 2012 to 2015.
GK bit – Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
- It is an inter‐governmental policy making body that aims to establish international standards for combating money laundering and terrorist financing. It was established in 1989 during the G7 Summit in Paris (France) to combat the growing problem of money laundering. It comprises over 39 member countries including India. FATF Secretariat is housed at the headquarters of the OECD in Paris.
- Initially, FATF was only dealing with developing policies to combat money laundering. But in 2001 its purpose was expanded to act against terrorism financing.
· Union Government to launch GOBAR-Dhan Yojana
- The Union Government is going to roll out Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan (GOBAR-DHAN) scheme.
- It was first announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during his 2018-19 budget speech.
- The scheme focuses on managing and converting cattle dung and solid waste in farms to the use composition.
- It will also help in keeping the village clean while increasing income of farmers and cattle herders.
· National Science Day is celebrated as 28th February
- National Science Day (NSD) is celebrated every year on 28 February.
- The theme of NSD-2018 is “Science and Technology for a Sustainable Future”.
- NSD is celebrated to commemorate the discovery of the ‘Raman Effect’, which led to Sir C.V. Raman winning the Noble Prize. The theme has been chosen for the purpose of raising public appreciation of the scientific issues involved.
· CSIR body working on pollution-alert system
- To warn people about pollution hotspots, the National Institute of Science Technology and Development Studies (NISTADS) — the policy arm of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research — is ironing out a project to install pollution sensors at Delhi’s traffic junctions.
- For over a year, NISTADS researchers have been running a test project that involved a pollution monitoring unit, affixed on a van, going around specific localities in Delhi and continuously recording the waxing and waning of particulate matter through the day. Generally pollution levels tended to be higher in the morning and ebb as the sun ascended.
- NISTADS expects private companies to buy into the idea, tap the CSIR body’s database and offer this as a product akin to how, for instance, Google Maps warns users of an impending roadblock.
· Study: E-waste releasing toxic chemicals into soil in metros
- Soil from informal electronic (e-waste) recycling sites that recover metals, showed high levels of contamination across Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, a study led by Tamil Nadu-based SRM University has found.
- The study revealed that about 50% polychlorinated dibenzo-pdioxin (PCDD) and polychlorinated dibenzofuran (PCDF), and almost three-fourth dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBS) were released from soil at precious metal recovery sites across the four metros.
- To manage safe disposal of e-waste, the Union environment ministry in its draft gazette notification under the E-waste (Management) Amendment Rules, 2017, has proposed to make industry liable to collect10% e-waste during 2017-18, 20% during 2018-19, 30% during2019-20, and 40% during 2020-21.
· New learning outcomes for Classes 9 to 12 soon
- Students of Classes 9 to 12 will soon be assessed under new learning outcomes being drafted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), according to officials in the HRD ministry. The council has begun work on it, and the guidelines are likely to be implemented soon.
- The NCERT had prepared learning outcomes for each class in languages (Hindi, English, Urdu), mathematics, environmental studies, science and social science up to the elementary stage (until Class 8). These were later made part of the Right to Education (RTE) Act.
- The council also wants to promote “21st century learning skills and higher order thinking” among students rather than promoting mastery over content.
- The NCERT is an autonomous organisation set up to assist and advise central and state governments on policies and programmes for qualitative improvement in education, and prepares and publishes textbooks along with supplementary materials among others.