- Uttarakhand Research Circle to conserve endangered ferns.
- The Uttarakhand Research Circle (URC) will start a conservation programme for selected ferns that are depleting due to over exploitation for medicines. Kalika in Ranikhet and Kaza in Nainital are going to be the first two sites where plots for their plantation will be set up.
- The Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board has listed 487 fern species under the endangered category in the book, Threatened Species of Uttarakhand.
- India Signs Global Environment Facility (GEF) Grant Agreement
- The Government of India, the Governments of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education and the World Bank signed a US$ 24.64 million grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to improve forest quality, sustainable land management and benefits from Non-Timber Forest Produce for forest dependent communities in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
- The Ecosystem Services Improvement Project will support the Government of India’s Green India Mission’s (GIM) goal of protecting, restoring and enhancing India’s forest cover and responding to climate change.
- US, Japan Boost Defence Cooperation with India, S Korea, Australia
- The US and Japan have agreed to advance their multilateral security and defence cooperation with countries like India, South Korea and Australia in view of North Korea’s dangerous provocative behaviour.
- The ministers highlighted ongoing Alliance efforts to advance trilateral and multilateral security and defence cooperation with other partners in the region, notably the Republic of Korea, Australia, India and Southeast Asian countries.
- US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told that in cooperation with other nations, they will continue to employ diplomatic and economic pressure to convince North Korea to end its illegal nuclear and ballistic missile program.
- CCEA approved New Department at centre – DIPAM (Department of Investment and public Asset Management)
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, CCEA has approved the proposal of Department of Investment and public Asset Management, DIPAM for the strategic disinvestment. The approval will help in speedy completion of strategic disinvestment transactions.
- The department will set up an alternative mechanism comprising of the Finance Minister, Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Minister of Administrative Department, to decide on the matters relating to terms and conditions of the sale from the stage of inviting of Express of Interests till inviting of financial bid.
- DIPAM is the nodal agency of Union Finance Ministry mandated to advise the Union Government in the matters of financial restructuring of PSUs and also for attracting investment through capital markets. It will also deal with all matters relating to sale of Union Government’s equity in PSUs.
- Environment Minister Launches “Harit Diwali, Swasth Diwali” Campaign
- Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, launched the “Harit Diwali, Swasth Diwali” campaign.
- The Minister impressed upon the children the importance of their contribution towards reducing pollution by not bursting harmful fire crackers during Diwali.
- NHAI launches mobile App MyFASTag and FASTag Partner
- The National Highways Authority of India launched two mobile Apps namely MyFASTagand FASTag Partner in New Delhi, to facilitate the availability of FASTags for Electronic Toll Collection.
- MyFASTag is a consumer App can be downloaded from the App Store for both Android and iOS systems.
- FASTag Partner is a merchant App agencies like Common Services Centre, banking partners, and vehicle dealers can sell and enroll FASTag through this App.
Gk bit –FASTag
- FASTag is a simple to use, reloadable tag which enables automatic deduction of toll charges and lets you pass through the toll plaza without stopping for the cash transaction. FASTag is linked to a prepaid account from which the applicable toll amount is deducted. The tag employs Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) technology and is affixed on the vehicle’s windscreen after the tag account is active.
- FASTag is a perfect solution for a hassle free trip on national highways. FASTag is presently operational at 180 toll plazas across national and state highways. More toll plazas will be brought under the FASTag program in the future.
- FASTag has a validity of 5 years and after purchasing it, only need to recharge/ top up the FASTag as per your requirement.
- Northern States reel under impact of swine flu.
- While Gujarat may be one of the worst-hit States by swine flu this year, with 242 deaths recorded so far, many other States are also reeling under the impact of the virus.
Rajasthan, Punjab and even Delhi have not been spared of the H1N1 influenza, with several deaths being reported from these States.
Gk bit – Swine Flu
- Swine influenza is an infection caused by any one of several types of swine influenza viruses. Swine influenza virus (SIV) or swine-origin influenza virus (S-OIV) is any strain of the influenza family of viruses that is endemic in pigs. As of 2009, the known SIV strains include influenza C and the subtypes of influenza A known as H1N1, H1N2, H2N1, H3N1, H3N2, and H2N3.
- Transmission of the virus from pigs to humans is not common and does not always lead to human flu, often resulting only in the production of antibodies in the blood. If transmission does cause human flu, it is called zoonotic swine flu. People with regular exposure to pigs are at increased risk of swine flu infection.
- The most common cause of death is respiratory failure. Other causes of death are pneumonia (leading to sepsis) high fever (leading to neurological problems), dehydration (from excessive vomiting and diarrhea), electrolyte imbalance and kidney failure. Fatalities are more likely in young children and the elderly.