Winter wildfires in Uttarakhand gut 5,000 trees
In Uttarakhand, the months of November, December and January are meant for clearing the fire lines in the forests for tackling summer wildfires. But this year, the frontline force was busy dousing the flames even during the winter months. It was alleged that some tourists had carelessly lit campfires resulting in increased incidents of forest fires due to conducive atmosphere for the fires.
Since most of the forest floor was covered in dry pine needles and biomass due to the dry winter months, it aided the spread of fires.
In the period between October-December last year, the state lost over 5,600 trees in around 235 wildfire incidents, and controlling these fires caused a loss of Rs 9.71 lakh to the exchequer. In all, maximum forest cover has been devastated in Pauri (115.6 hectares), Almora (61.5 hectares), Bageshwar (47.27 hectares), Uttarkashi (38.8 hectares), Pithoragarh (22.6 hectares) and Rudraprayag (8.5 hectares).
India becomes co-chair of Asia Protected Areas Partnership (APAP), a regional forum to conserve wildlife
India has been chosen as the co-chair of the IUCN-supported Asia Protected Areas Partnership (APAP) for a period of three years till November 2023.
The APAP is chaired by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Asia and co-chaired by an APAP nation member on a rotational basis.
India will replace South Korea ,which held the post for 3 years until November, 2020.
As a co-chair, India would be responsible to assist other Asian countries in managing their protected areas.
Bajaj becomes world’s most valuable two-wheeler company
Bajaj Auto has become the first two-wheeler company across the globe to cross a market capitalisation of ₹1-lakh crore (around $13.6 billion).
The statement from Bajaj Auto claims that this market valuation is considerably higher than all other domestic two-wheeler companies.
The company’s share closed at ₹3,479 giving it a market capitalisation ₹1,00,670.76 crore.
The company claims that it has achieved this milestone as it celebrates the 75th year of its operations.
World Bank Released Global Economic Prospects Report
According to the report, the Indian economy will contract by 9.6% in 2020-21. The Indian economy will recover by 5.4% in 2021-22. India’s economic contraction will be mainly attributed to the sharp decline in household spending and private investment.
The informal sector accounts for four-fifths of the country’s employment, is severely affected. On the other hand, the world economy will grow by 4% in 2021. Services and manufacturing are gaining momentum. According to the World Bank, India is facing its first technological decline.
When GDP exceeds the quarter’s negative growth for two consecutive quarters, it is called a period of a technical recession. In India, the gross domestic product for the April to June quarter fell by 23.9%.
In the July and September quarters, the GDP growth rate contracted by 7.5%. This clearly shows that India’s GDP growth has experienced negative growth for two consecutive quarters. Therefore, India is in a period of technological decline.
According to data from the Indian Economic Monitoring Center, during the covid-19 pandemic, more than 500,000 salaried people lost their jobs.
GST revenue collection for December 2020 records all time high
GST Revenue collection for last month has been recorded to be an all time high since the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax in the country.
The gross GST revenue collected in the month of December 2020 is Rs 1,15,174 crore.
The revenue collected is 12 per cent higher than the GST revenues in the corresponding period lasting last financial year.
The December 2020 revenues are significantly higher than the November’s revenues which was nearly Rs 1,04,963 crore.
Digital Payments Index by RBI
The Reserve Bank of India has established a comprehensive Digital Payment Index (DPI) to record the degree of digitization of payments across the country.
The RBI-DPI has been constructed with March 2018 as the base period.
The DPI in March 2019 and March 2020 reached 153.47 and 207.84, respectively, indicating considerable growth.
RBI-DPI contains five main parameters: Payment Enablers, Payment Infrastructure – Demand-side factors and Supply-side factors, Payment Performance and Consumer Centricity.
The RBI-DPI should be published on the RBI’s website every six months starting in March 2021 for 4 months.
Rashtriya Kamadhenu Aayog Announces Online Exam
Rashtriya Kamadhenu Aayog recently announced that it will conduct a national-level “Gaau-Vigyan” (Cattle Science) online exam. This is done to arouse students and the public’s interest in local cows and their benefits.
The exam will be on February 25, 2021.
All elementary, middle and university level students can take the te test for free.
The exam will be held every year starting in 2021.
This exam is the first time in China.
All those who take the exam should receive a certificate, and the results of the exam will be announced immediately after the exam.
Rashtriya Kamadhenu Aayog has prepared learning materials about cow science to help aspiring candidates.
Rashtriya Kamadhenu Aayog was established to organize animal husbandry in accordance with modern and scientific methods. It will take steps to improve the breed of dairy cows and prohibit the slaughter of dairy cows. It is an integral part of Rashtriya Gokul Mission. The mission is to protect and develop indigenous cattle breeds.