U’khand lost 148 tigers in 19 years, 11 in 2019
Uttarakhand, which is home to over 442 tigers and hold the third position nationwide for its tiger population, lost 148 tigers in the past 19 years. In 2019, the state lost 11 tiger whereas only eight big cats died in Uttarakhand in 2018.
There is no specific reason behind big cat deaths. While, sometimes it is due to aging, on most occasion infighting is the main reason. It is not at all due to the landscape as tiger sustainability depends on the quality of its habitat, including prey base, water availability and security.
Meanwhile, a trans-border tiger corridor between India and Nepal is being developed, which will focus on tiger monitoring for their conservation and for conflict mitigation. The initiative is being planned with assistance from Wildlife Institute of India, Zoological Society of London and the forest department of both the countries.
Eight West African nations rename common currency to Eco
Eight West African countries have agreed to change the name of their common currency to Eco and severed their earlier currency CFA Franc’s links to former colonial ruler France.
The CFA Franc was initially pegged to the French franc and has been linked to the euro for about two decades.
Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo currently use the currency.
All the countries are former French colonies with the exception of Guinea-Bissau.
The announcement was made during a visit by French President Emmanuel Macron to Ivory Coast.
National Consumer Rights Day: 24 December
National Consumer Day is observed every year on Dec 24.
The objective is to highlight the importance of the consumer movement and the need to make every consumer more aware of their rights and responsibilities.
On this day the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 was enacted.
The Act aims to provide consumers with effective safeguards against different types of exploitation, such as defective goods, deficiency in service and unfair trade practices.
Urban India declared Open defecation free
Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban has achieved its target of creating Urban India Open Defecation Free.
Urban areas of 35 states and Union Territories have become ODF.
In all, 4,320 cities out of 4,372 have declared themselves ODF, of which 4,167 cities have been certified through third-party verification.
This has been achieved by the construction of nearly 65.81 lakh individual household toilets against Mission target of 59 lakhs and 5.89 lakh seats of public toilets against Mission target of 5.08 lakh seats.
NITI Aayog to Launch SDG India Index
NITI Aayog will launch the second edition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) India Index. The progress made by India’s States and Union Territories towards implementing the 2030 SDG targets
The SDG India Index, where the first edition launched in December 2018, was the primary tool developed by any vast country to monitor the progress towards achieving SDGs at the sub-national level.The SDG India Index and Dashboard 2019 tracks the progress of and ranks all States and UTs on 100 indicators drawn from MoSPI’s National Indicator Framework, comprising 306 indicators. The States and UTs currently are on SDG implementation and charts the distance to be traveled to reach the SDG targets. The Index covers 16 out of 17 SDGs and a qualitative assessment on Goal 17. This marks an improvement over the 2018 Index, which included only 13 goals.
Government launched Good Governance Index
Minister of State for Public Grievances and Pensions Dr Jitendra Singh launched Good Governance Index in New Delhi on the occasion of Good Governance Day i.e 25 December.
The Good Governance Day is observed on the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Tamil Nadu topped the Good Governance Index launched by the Centre.
Maharashtra, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh followed among the ‘Big States’.
Among the ‘Big States’, the poor performers are Odisha, Bihar, Goa, and Uttar Pradesh with Jharkhand coming last.
The States and UTs are divided into three groups : Big States, North-East and Hill States, and Union Territories.
Among the North-East and Hill States, Himachal Pradesh was ranked first, followed by Uttarakhand, Tripura, Mizoram and Sikkim.
Puducherry is the best governed Union Territory followed by Chandigarh and Delhi.
Lakshadweep is the worst performing UT.
PM Modi launches Atal Bhujal Yojana
Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the ‘Atal Bhujal Yojana’ on the occasion of 95th birth anniversary of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee
The scheme with a total outlay of Rs.6000 crore will be implemented over a period of 5 years.
It aims to improve ground water management through community participation in identified priority areas in seven States.
The states identified are Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
Out of the total outlay of Rs. 6000 crore for the scheme, 50% shall be in the form of World Bank loan.
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