- In a first, Uttarakhand using drones for crocodile census
- In a first in the country, the Uttarakhand forest department is using drones for crocodile census. The project has been launched in Terai-East forest division of Kumaon. In Uttarakhand, crocodiles are found in Terai region which includes Corbett Tiger Reserveand surrounding areas, Udham Singh Nagar, parts of Haridwar district and Lansdowne forest division.
- Earlier, the reptiles were counted manually with the use of binoculars. Another method is to catch a crocodile and mark its tail to avoid double counting. The last census of species was conducted in 2008 and their population was estimated at 123.
· China named its lunar rover as Yutu 2
- China successfully deployed Chang’e-4 lunar probe to carry out a string of experiments on theunexplored far side of the moon. It has named the lunar rover as ‘Yutu 2’.
- The Lunar rover Yutu 2 touched the lunar surface and left a trace on the loose lunar soil. The rover’s touchdown is part of China Chang’e-4 lunar probe.
- Analysts say that China’s lunar probe is part of its Made in China-2025 project.It will be focusing on advanced technology, including space applications.
· Climate warming shows its impact on Oysters
- Climate changetook a toll on French oyster farmers. Oyster farmer’s along France’s Emerald Coast said that the long drought in France took a heavy toll, leading to smaller harvests.
- Cold weather normally encourages a needed rest for oysters to mature. But this winter has so far been unusually warm and, paradoxically, too rainy. Rains may bring minerals that favour plankton growth, but they also mean the molluscs spend too much energy eating. As winters get warmer and summers drier many Oyster growers worry there will soon be fewer of the molluscs to go around.
- In 2017, the roughly 4,500 oyster growers in France sold 1,00,000 tonnes. CNC national shellfish producer’s associationreported that the Oyster farmers will see volumes down by 20 to 30% in 2019. It also said that Climate warming is starting to have an impact on Oysters.
· Indian Railways to launch WiFi facilities at a minimum of 2,000 stations
- Railway Minister Piyush Goyal instructed officials to provide WiFi facilities at a minimum of 2,000 stationsas soon as possible. He also called for setting up a single helpline number for all non-security railway complaints by the end of January.
- Additionally, Point of Sale (PoS) machines will be distributed in all trains to each catering staffer by March 31 to address complaints related to overcharging by the caterer. The government will also replace conventional coaches withmodern Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) design coaches in all long distance trains.
· Govt launches Green-Ag, GEF-assisted project, in partnership with FAO
- The Government had launched a Global Environment Facility (GEF) assisted project namely, “Green – Ag: Transforming Indian Agriculture for global environmental benefits and the conservation of critical biodiversity and forest landscapes” in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) during September 2018.
- The project was launched in high-conservation-value landscapes of five States namely (i) Madhya Pradesh: Chambal Landscape, (ii) Mizoram: Dampa Landscape, (iii) Odisha: Similipal Landscape, (iv)Rajasthan: Desert National Park Landscape and v) Uttarakhand: Corbett-Rajaji Landscape.
- The project is aimed to mainstream biodiversity, climate change, and sustainable land management objectives and practices into Indian agriculture.
- Besides this, it is also supposed to catalyze a transformative change of India’s agricultural sector to support the achievement of national and global environmental benefits and conservation of critical biodiversity and forest landscapes.
- Cyclone Pabuk
- The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has stated that cyclone Pabuk will move northwestwards and cross the Andaman Islands late on 6th Jan as a cyclonic storm with wind speed up to 90 kmph. IMD has sounded a yellow alert for the cyclone Pabuk. The Pabuk cyclone would cause heavy rain over the Andaman Islands.
- Cyclone Pabuk originated over the Gulf of Thailand and neighbourhood. The IMD predicts that Pabuk would move west-northwestwards and emerge into the Andaman Sea. Then it would move northwestwards and cross the Andaman Islands. Then recurve northeastwards towards Myanmar coast and weaken gradually.
· Sudhir Bhargava is appointed as new CIC
- Centre has appointed Sudhir Bhargavaas the new Chief Information Commissioner (CIC). Four new members have also been appointed to CIC, taking its strength to seven. Four vacancies still remain. Mr. Bhargava, a former Secretary to the Social Justice Ministry, has been a Commissioner since June 2015. He will be the ninth chief of the CIC.
- The CIC is the highest appeal body under the Right to Information Act.It has been functioning with just three members since the former chief and several members completed their tenure last month.
· Rishabh Pant 1st ever Indian wicketkeeper to slam Test ton in Australia
- India’s wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant became the first Indian wicketkeeper-batsman to score a century in Test against Australia on Australian soil after hitting 159 runs on the 2nd day of 4th Test Match at Sydney, Australia.
- Rishabh pant broke Farokh Engineer’s record of highest Test runs against Australia on Australian soil. Farokh Engineer scored 89 runs in 1967.