- Tobacco intake among youth reduced: Survey
- According to the Uttarakhand Youth Tobacco Survey 2016 released today by Uttarakhand Governor Dr KK Paul, the use of tobacco among the youth in 2016 has considerably reduced as compared to 2013. In 2016, 7.4 per cent students studying in Classes VIII- XII consumed tobacco, while 13 per cent students in Class VIII- XII consumed tobacco in 2013.
- But a worrying trend is the availability of tobacco close to the schools and also the increasing use of other tobacco substances such as the East Asian hookah smoking that has also caught the fancy of the youth.
- Further, the report pointed out that around 92.1 per cent of the youth who started consuming tried to give up the habit, 38.5 per cent of the students wanted to give up due to health reasons and awareness.
· Time Readers Vote Saudi Crown Prince Person of the Year
- Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmanhas been voted the Time magazine readers’ Person of the Year, despite spearheading the continued bombardment of Yemen, leading to the starvation of its citizens.
- The award goes to those who “for better or worse” influenced the year.
- The 32-year-old scored 24 percent of the vote, with the #MeToo movement against sexual assault and harassment.
- Bin Salman overtook Hillary Clinton, Vladimir Putin and even the Pope to be crowned the people’s choice, winning far more votes than the three combined.
· International Solar Alliance is Now a Legal Entity
- In terms of its Framework Agreement, with ratification by Guinea as the 15th countryin November 2017, the International Solar Alliance (ISA) now become a treaty-based international intergovernmental organization.
- The International Solar Alliance is India’s global initiative. It aims at increasing solar energy deployment in member countries.
- The ISA was jointly launched by the PM Narendra Modi and the president of France in November 2015 in Paris, on the sidelines of COP-21, the UN climate conference.
- Till date, 46 countries have signed and 19 countries have ratified the framework agreement of the ISA. The ISA interim secretariat has been operational as a de-facto organization since January 2016.
· Russia Banned from 2018 Winter Olympics
- Russiawas banned from the 2018 Winter Games by the International Olympic Committee over its state-orchestrated doping programme, but clean Russian athletes will be allowed to compete under an Olympic flag.
- The sanction was the toughest ever levelled by the IOC for drug cheating and came just 65 days ahead of the Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
- Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli District Included in NCR
- Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli district was included in the national capital region, taking the total number of districts in the NCR to 23.
- Cities in the NCR get funds at “attractive” interest rates from the National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) for infrastructure development.
- Besides Delhi, there were 22 districts -13 of Haryana, seven of Uttar Pradesh and two of Rajasthan in the NCR so far.
· Fifth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement Released by RBI
- On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation at its meeting, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC)decided to keep the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.0 percent.
- Consequently, the Reverse Repo Rate (RRR) under the LAF remains at 5.75 percent, and the Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 6.25 percent.
- The projection of real GVA growth for 2017-18 of the October resolution at 6.7per cent has been retained, with risks evenly balanced.
· Akash Missile Successfully Launched
- The Surface to Air Missile AKASH with indigenous radio frequency seeker against target Banshee has been successfully launched from the Launch Complex-III at ITR Chandipur, Odisha.
- The Radars, telemetry and electro-optical systems along the coast have tracked and monitored all the health parameters of the missile.
- This missile is being inducted into Army as Short Range Surface to Air Missile (SRSAM).
- With this success, India has achieved the capability of making any type of Surface to Air Missile.
· Union Government Unveils Mid-Term Review of Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20
- Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu let out more incentives while unveiling the mid-term review of the Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20with a view to boosting exports.
- The Union minister stated that the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS)incentive rate will be raised by 2 percent across the board for labour-intensive/MSME sectors.
- The focus of the FTP will be on exploring new markets and products as well as increasing India’s share in traditional markets and products.