- Dr Thakur gets Padma Shri
- Dr Vikram Chandra Thakur, former director of the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG), the only one from Uttarakhand this year to feature in the list of Padma Shri awardees that was announced on the eve of Republic Day.
- Dr Thakur is the second WIHG luminary after eminent geologist KS Valdiya, who was awarded with Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan in 2007 and 2015 respectively. Settled in Dehradun, Dr Thakur, who originally hails from Dharmshala, Himachal Pradesh also has its roots in the Kumaon division of Uttarakhand, from where his forefathers migrated to Himachal Pradesh.
- Even after his retirement, he was awarded emeritus scientist of the CSIR, since then he has been working in several research projects on active tectonics of the Himalayan frontal zone. He is also a fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences and recipient of the National Mineral Award in 1984.
· India To Host Informal WTO Ministerial Gathering In New Delhi
- Trade ministers from various countries including Australia, Japan, and Switzerland met for an informal WTO ministerial gathering in Davos, Switzerland.
- India was represented by Deepak Jagdish Saksena, ambassador and permanent representative to the WTO.
- India announced that it will host an informal WTO Ministerial gathering in March 2018.
- The meeting would be held in New Delhi on March 19-20.
· Worlds second largest food producer India ranks under Severe Hunger Levels
- One of the highest food producers- India stands on the 100th rankfor the title ‘Hungry’.
- Out of 119, India stood on 100th rank which is disturbing for the nation with the highest population.
- ‘Global Hunger Index’ carried out by International Food Policy Research Institute chalked out nations that fall under ‘Starving’ category.
- The 100 out of 119 countries on the GHI, while last year it was at 97 out of 118.
- Even though India’s 2017 GHI score—31.4—has improved over the years, its hunger problem remains categorized as “serious.”
- The rankings are based on four indicators: undernourishment, child mortality, child wasting, and child stunting.
- A GHI score of between 20 and 34.9 points reflects serious hunger levels; between 35 and 49.9, it is alarming, and extremely alarming if over 50.
· Doklam issue heated up
What is Doklam issue ?
- Doklam, or Donglang in Chinese, is an area spread over less than a 100 sq km comprising a plateau and a valley at the trijunction between India, Bhutan and China. It is surrounded by the Chumbi Valley of Tibet, Bhutan’s Ha Valley and Sikkim.
- Despite several rounds of engagement between China and Bhutan, the dispute between the two over Doklam has not been resolved. It flared up in 2017 when the Chinese were trying to construct a road in the area, and Indian troops, in aid of their Bhutanese counterparts, objected to it, resulting in the stand-off. Doklam is strategically located close to the Siliguri Corridor, which connects mainland India with its north-eastern region. The corridor, also called Chicken’s Neck, is a vulnerable point for India.
- India and China have one of the world’s longest disputed borders and areas — which include 37,000 sq km of uninhabited Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh with 1.4 million residents and over 84,000 sq km.
- Despite several rounds of negotiations between Special Representatives, the dispute is nowhere near a solution.
· 2017 witnessed a 38% rise in social media URL blocking
- A total of 1,329 social media URLs were blocked or removed on the recommendation of a government committee to deal with “objectionable content” last year till November 2017.
- This is an increase of nearly 38% from 964 social media URLs blocked or removed for the whole of 2016.
- URLs that were blocked or removed on account of court orders during the same period came down from 100 in 2016 to 83 in January-November 2017, according to an internal note of the Ministry of Electronics and IT
- Also, the widespread usage of social networking sites and lack of awareness among users about the methods of cybercriminals, it added, is leading to a rise in the spread of malware such as Trojans and bots, and the theft of sensitive personal information.
- Blocking is a sovereign power that is given to the government by virtue of Section 69A of the Information Technology Act. So under certain specified considerations, the power of blocking can be exercised… This power was inserted in the IT Act by virtue of the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008, which came into effect from October 2009.
· Sensors in Andamans to monitor earthquakes
- The Indian Tsunami Early Warning System (ITEWS) of the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) is in the process of setting up an elaborate system of sensors on the Andaman & Nicobar Islands for real-time monitoring of earthquakes.
- Strong Motion Sensors with Global Positioning Systems (GPS) have been installed at 28 locations on the islands.
- INCOIS, which comes under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, has in place a fail-safe satellite-based communication system, Emergency Operation Centres (EOCs), with VSAT based VoIP phone and fax, electronic display board, a computer-based earthquake alert and web access system.
- The system is capable of displaying ticket messages related to tsunami events and triggering of a built-in siren alert system audible for up to 1 km, which can be triggered by INCOIS or by the EOCs.
- The real-time data is collated at INCOIS in collaboration with the Indian Meteorology Department, the National Institute of Ocean Technology, the Survey of India and international sources.
- It detects globally occurring earthquakes of 5 magnitude and above within 5-10 minutes of the event.
· Finance Minister Arun Jaitley aim to ease doing business in India
- Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley reiterated that the government aims to provide an easy environment for doing business in India.
- He was addressing a function to mark the International Customs Day in New Delhi.
- He urged the officers of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) to be very sharp in the detection process to avoid tax evasion.
- The role of customs in terms of detection changed a lot.
- The appealed the officers to perform the role of trade facilitator to cut down costs, time and bring efficiency to the system.
- He also launched ICETRAK app of CBEC.
- The app tracks the status of consignments.
· Bharat Net opens door for telemedicine and e-education facilities in Gram Panchayats
- Under the purview of the telecommunication industry, the Gram Panchayats in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan are been provided access to telemedicine and re-education facilities riding on Bharat Net infrastructure.
- With the aim of dreaming of a nation to use internet services, the government has taken immense efforts and pressure to provide people with easy access and availability of resources.
- The rural area development has grown and the nation is moving towards progress at a faster pace.
- The access to the internet has made the people more prone to the internet and use telecommunication at a higher level. Educating the masses and likewise providing them.
- According to the survey it is found that Hamira is one among the one lakh Gram
panchayat covered under the BharatNet phase 1.
- In total Rajasthan comprises of over8117 Gram panchayats under the BharatNet service.
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