- Celebrating biodiversity: uttarakhand’s festivals related to flora and fauna
- Uttarakhand is known for its rich and vast biodiversity. It has mountains, rivers, forests, lakes, valleys, a vast variety of animals and flowers, birds and butterflies. Its natural splendour has been inspiring poets and spiritual seekers down the ages.
- Recently, the three-day Tehri Lake festival concluded where there was a grand mix of adventure, fun, entertainment, natural beauty and cultural activity. It attracted a large number of tourists as the summer tourist season in the State is now at its peak.
- Uttarakhand is a haven for butterfly and moth watchers. Titli Trust now plans to have two “Titli Utsavs” every year at different locations, pre- and post-monsoon, based on suitability of the location.
- These fests will help promote lesser-known destinations in Uttarakhand, ensure benefits to local communities through community ecotourism and to support the conservation of butterflies and moths. Devalsari lies in the Aglar Valley, in the Tehri district. The snow-capped peaks of the Middle Himalayas loom in the distance and there are marvellous deodar, oak and rhododendron forests, surrounded by
Eco-tourism should be used as a tool for conservation and development. It should help the local communities to improve their livelihood and it should be sustainable.
- Eco-tourism also ensures that there is no destruction to the natural and cultural environment. The infrastructure for eco- tourism should be developed in harmony with nature and the benefits should go to the locals. The emphasis should be on conserving local flora and fauna. Bird watching, canoeing, rock climbing, butterfly festival and white water rafting are included in eco tourism.
- India–Indonesia Coordinated Patrol (IND-INDO CORPAT)
- INS Kulish, a Kora class Missile Corvette commanded by Commander Deepak Bali and one Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft of the Andaman and Nicobar Command arrived at Belawan, Indonesia for the closing ceremony of the 31st edition of the India – Indonesia Coordinated Patrol (IND-INDO CORPAT) from 06 to 09 Jun 18.
- The opening ceremony of IND-INDO CORPAT was earlier conducted from 24 – 25 May 18 at Port Blair followed by co-ordinated patrol (CORPAT) from 26 May to 02 Jun 18.
· World Bank approves Rs 6000 crores for Atal Bhujal Yojana aims to improve groundwater management in country
- The World Bank approved a whopping amount of6000 croreto Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABHY).
- Notably, Atal Bhujal Yojana is a Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation aim to improve groundwater management in priority areas in the country through community participation.
- Notably, the scheme is to be implemented over a period of five years from 2018-19 to 2022-23, with the Rs.6000 crore assistance of World Bank.
- The priority areas identified under the scheme fall in the states of Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
- These States represent about 25% of the total number of over-exploited, critical and semi-critical blocks in terms of groundwater in India.
- They also cover two major types of groundwater systems found in India – alluvial and hard rock aquifers- and have varying degrees of institutional readiness and experience in groundwater management.
- Cabinet approves the joint issue of postage stamp between India and Russia
- The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi was apprised of the agreement signed in connection with release of Joint Stamps between Department of Posts, India and Russia Post (Joint-Stock Company “MARKA” of Russian Federation) to establish postal cooperation and strive towards mutually beneficial operational excellence in the field of issuance of stamps.
- Bilateral relations between India and Russia are marked by broad understanding on issues of mutual interest.
- India and Russia enjoy enhanced levels of cooperation in almost all areas of the bilateral relationship.
- India shows impressive gains in reduction of Maternal Mortality with 22% reduction since 2013
- India registered a significant decline in Maternal Mortality Ratio. According to the just released SRS bulletin (2016), India has shown impressive gains in reduction of Maternal Mortality with 22% reduction in since 2013.
- Nearly one thousand fewer women now die of pregnancy related complications each month in India.
- Maternal Mortality Ratio of India has declined from 167 in 2011-2013 to 130 in 2014-2016.
· Central Government Constitutes Group to Suggest Changes in SEZ Policy
- The Centre constituted a group of eminent persons headed by Bharat Forge’s Baba Kalyani to study the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) policy of the country and suggest measures to make it more relevant for exporters and compatible with World Trade Organisation (WTO)
- The SEZ Act was passed in 2005 giving tax incentives to investors, but investments in the zone were subsequently brought under the ambit of Minimum Alternate Tax and Dividend Distribution Tax leading to a dwindling in the flow of money into the SEZs.
· Union Cabinet approves revised guidelines for time-bound closure of sick PSUs
- Union Cabinet approved the revised guidelines of the Department of Public Enterpriseson the time-bound closure of sick and loss-making Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) and disposal of movable and immovable assets.
The revised guidelines will reduce delays in implementation of closure plans of sick and loss-making CPSEs.
These guidelines provide a broad framework for expeditious completion of various processes and procedures for closure of CPSEs by laying down important milestones in the closure process along with timelines, outlining the responsibilities of the concerned Ministries, Departments and CPSE in the process.
· Election Commission of India launches its online RTI Portal
- The Election Commission of Indialaunched it’s online RTI Portal.
- The portal – rti.eci.nic.in will facilitate applicants seeking information under the Right to Information Act.
- The portal also facilitates online reply to applications and also for making first appeal and reply there to.
· IIT Bombay Displaces IIT Delhi As Best-Ranked Indian University
- Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, and Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT-D) are in the top 200 in QS World University Rankings 2019.
- The number of Indian universities in the top 1,000 increased from 20 to 24.
- IIT-Bombay is now the top institute in the country rising to 17 positions from 2018 to 162, displacing IIT-Delhi which has remained at 172.
- The Indian Institute of Science too has overtaken IIT-Delhi and is now ranked 170.
- The 15th edition of the QS World University Rankings, released by global higher education analysts QS Quacquarelli Symonds and considered one of the most authoritative and prestigious rankings in the world sees six of India’s eight top-ranked IITs/IISCs improving their rank, with two remaining stable year-on-year.