Uttarakhand sees a jump in forest cover by 0.03%
The forest cover in Uttarakhand went up by around 0.03% in the last two years, according to a biennial report released by the Forest Survey of India in Delhi.
According to the report, titled ‘Indian State of Forests Report (ISFR) 2019’, the forest cover rose to 24,303 square kilometres (sq kms) forest area in 2019 from 24,295 sq kms forest area in 2017.
The data also indicated a rise of 78 sq kms in the Very Dense Forest (VDF) category. In 2017, the state had 4,969 sq kms in VDF, which rose to 5,047 sq kms. VDF refers to all lands with a forest cover having a canopy density of 70% and above.
However, in the Moderately Dense Forest (MDF) category, Uttarakhand saw a decline of 0.62%, in which the canopy cover reduced from 12,884 sq kms in 2017 to 12,805 sq kms in 2019. MDF covers the forest area having canopy cover between 40% and 70%.
In the Open Forest (OF) category, the forest cover area increased to 6,451 sq kms in 2019 from 442 sq kms in 2017. The OF category includes land having canopy density of more than 10%, but less than 40%.
According to the report, in Uttarakhand, 17% of forests fall under the ‘extremely fire-prone’ category while 9.32% forests fall under ‘highly fire-prone’ category, whereas 21.66% of the forests come under ‘moderately fire-prone category’.
The report has also highlighted that out of 3,794 species of trees found in the country, 112 are found in Uttarakhand, whereas out of 3,111 different types of shrubs in the nation, 73 are found in the Himalayan state, and out of 2,300 herbs found across the country, 94 herb species are found in Uttarakhand.
The report also notes that Uttarakhand has 222 wetlands and covers 2.12% of the Reserve Forest Area of the state.
WHO approved a biosimilar medicine for breast cancer
The World Health Organization (WHO) has now approved a biosimilar medicine that is derived from living sources instead of the chemicals. The aim is to make breast cancer treatment affordable to women globally. This approval from WHO is first of such kind.
The Trastuzumab drug has proved high efficacy in curing early-stage breast cancer and in some cases more advanced forms of the disease. The annual cost of the drug is $20,000. This high amount makes it out of reach of many women and healthcare systems in most countries.
The biosimilar version of Trastuzumab is 65% cheaper than the original.
India became the worlds 3rd largest publisher of science and engineering articles
The US National Science Foundation (NSF) reported that India has become the world’s third-largest publisher of science and engineering articles. It has published over 1.35 lakh scientific papers. China topped the report as the world’s largest publisher.
As per the data provided by NSF, the number of scientific papers published worldwide has increased from 1,755,850 in 2008 to 2,555,959 in 2018.
It also said that science and engineering (S&E) journal articles and conference papers, grew about 4% annually over the last 10 years.
China has accounted for 20.67% of all the global publications of articles. The number of global scientific publications increased from 2,49,049 in 2008 to 5,28,263 in 2018. It has a growth rate of 7.81% per annum.
In 2008, around 48,998 science and engineering articles were published by India. The number increased to 1,35,788 articles in 2018. The average annual growth rate in India is 10.73%. India now accounts for 5.31% of the total world publications in science and engineering.
India signed USD250 mn loan with ADB to expand energy efficiency investments
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a $250 million loan to Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL). The agreement aims to expand energy efficiency investments in India.
The agreement is expected to benefit residential, agricultural, and institutional consumers.
The Clean Technology Fund (CTF) will provide $46 million in financing. It will be administered by ADB.
In 2016, EESL was offered a $200 million by ADB for Demand-Side Energy Efficiency Sector Project. The project focused on efficient lighting and appliances.
Government launched the sale of Khadi Rumal
Government launched the sale of ‘Khadi Rumal’. It was launched by the Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Nitin Gadkari. He announced 50% increase in the remuneration of women workers to Rs.3 per piece from Rs.2 per piece presently.
Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has signed an agreement with Paytm to increase the outreach and availability of these Rumals through a digital platform. It has committed to sell 2 Crore packets of Khadi Rumal through its online and offline platforms and mobile application.
Khadi Rumal sale aims to create employment opportunities for the women in the terrorist affected areas. They are stitched by the women of Nagrota town in J&K. The turnover of the village industries in the country is Rs.75000 crore. The move aims to increase the turnover by Rs.1,00,000 crore by March 2020.
KVIC has set the target to sell 5 Crore pieces of Khadi Rumal initially.
In order to create 5 Crore pieces of Khadi Rumal, nearly 15 lakh Kgs of cotton will be consumed.
Sahitya Akademi announces its annual Award
Sahitya Akademi announced its annual Award- 2019 in 23 languages.
In Hindi, Nand Kishore has been awarded for his Poetry ‘Chheelate Hue Apne Ko’ and in English Dr Shashi Tharoor has been awarded for his Non-Fiction ‘An Era of Darkness’.
In Tamil, Cho Dharman has been awarded for his Novel ‘Sool’ and in Gujarati, Ratilal Borisagar has been awarded for his Essays ‘Mojama Revu Re’.
In Sanskrit, Penna Madhusudan will get the award for his Poetry ‘Prajnachakshusham’ and in Urdu, Shafey Kidwai will be awarded for his Biography ‘Sawaneh-E-Sir Syed: Ek Bazdeed’.