19.12.20 Daily UKPSC Current Affairs



Uttarakhand gets its first ‘Moss Garden’ in Nainital


Uttarakhand’s first moss garden was inaugurated by Magsaysay Award-winner Rajendra Singh, also known as the ‘Waterman of India’, near Khurpatal (lake) in Nainital district.


he garden, that houses around 30 different species of mosses — including two which are in red (endangered) list of IUCN — also has a 1.2-km-long moss trail. The two endangered species in the garden are — Hyophila involuta (cement moss) and Brachythecium buchananii, according to officials. The objective behind developing the garden is to conserve various species of moss and other bryophytes and to make people aware of its environmental and ecological significance. The garden will soon be opened for the public.


The moss trail has scientific informatio

n about different moss species. It also has an interpretation centre in which different aspects of mosses are displayed through models. In the centre, you will also find paintings showing use of Sphagnum moss as a dressing for wounds during the First World War. The Sphagnum moss absorbs liquids about three times more quickly than cotton, is cooler, softer, and less irritating than cotton and has antiseptic properties. It also produces a sterile environment by keeping the pH level around wounds low and thus, inhibiting the growth of bacteria.




The US Puts India on Currency Watchlist

The US Treasury Department included India on its watch list of currency manipulators. Vietnam and Switzerland are marked as currency manipulators. In 2019, the U.S. Treasury Department removed India from its currency manipulators watch list of its major trading partners.

This is a label that the US government puts on a country that intends to deliberately devalue its currency against the U.S. dollar for “unfair currency practices”. This practice means that the country is artificially reducing the value of its currency to gain an unfair advantage over other countries. This is because the devaluation of the currency will reduce the country’s export costs, thereby artificially showing a reduction in the trade deficit.

The US Treasury Department issues a semi-annual report, which must track the development of the international economy and check foreign exchange rates.

Criteria: An economy meeting two of the three criteria in the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act 2015 will be included on the watch list. This includes:

“Significant” bilateral trade surplus with the United States at least $20 billion in 12 months.

In 12 months, the current account surplus is equal to at least 2% of the gross domestic product (GDP).

The listing will not be punished and sanctioned in any form, but it will destroy the country’s global financial image in the foreign exchange market, including underestimating the currency to gain an export advantage.

India, Taiwan, and Thailand have joined the other seven countries on the watch list. Other countries on the list include China, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Italy, Singapore, and Malaysia.



Govt launches e-booklet ‘Putting Farmers First’

As farmers intensified their protest seeking repeal of three farm laws, the government issued an e-booklet highlighting the success stories of farmers who have benefited from contract farming after enactment of these legislations.

In the 100-page e-booklet ‘Putting Farmers First’, the government made clear the truth” about the farm reforms and has mentioned.


It also asserted that reforms in the farm sector were undertaken step by step in the last six years keeping in mind the needs of farmers.


Farmers have been protesting at various border points of Delhi for three weeks against the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

Union Minister Reviews National Hydrology Project

National Hydrology Project:

The National Hydrology Project (NHP) was launched in 2016 as a Central Sector Scheme, providing 100% grants to implementing agencies on a Pan-Indian basis, with a budget of Rs.3680 crore, which will be used within 8 years.

The project aims to increase the scope, reliability, and accessibility of water resources information, and to strengthen the capacity of the targeted water resource management institutions in India.

Therefore, NHP is promoting effective access to reliable information, which will pave the way for effective water resources development and management.

Under the project, the National Water Informatics Center (NWIC) was established, which is a nationwide repository of water resources data.

NHP will improve and expand hydrological data and information systems, strengthen water resources operation and planning systems, and strengthen institutional capabilities for water resources management.

Therefore, the project will use the latest technologies and tools to strengthen the information base and institutional capabilities for evidence-based decision-making in the planning and operation, and management of water resources in the entire basin of India.

Minister addresses Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure


The Union Health Minister addresses event by Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR).

Gk bit : Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI):

In September 2019, Prime Minister Modi launched CDRI at the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit in New York, USA.

The fledgeling partnership has a secretariat in Delhi and is supported by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) to promote knowledge exchange, technical support and capacity building.

The mission of CDRI is to rapidly expand the development of resilient infrastructure and transform existing infrastructure to enhance resilience and achieve a measurable reduction in infrastructure losses.

The partnership works in the areas of governance and policy, emerging technologies, risk identification and estimation, recovery and reconstruction, resilience standards and certification, finance, and capacity development.

CDRI brings together developed and developing countries to establish synergies to achieve the goal of disaster-resistant infrastructure.

The World Bank and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) expressed support for CDRI and pledged to work closely with their secretariat in Delhi.


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