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 to chair 3 important committees of UNSC
India has been asked to chair three important committees of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
India began its eighth term as a non-permanent member of the UNSC with the stated objective of raising its voice against terrorism, speaking for the developing world and bringing human-centric inclusive solutions to matters of global peace and security.
The bodies include- Counter-Terrorism Committee, Taliban Sanctions Committee and Libya Sanctions committee.
It was announced by the Permanent Representative of India, TS Tirumurti at the United Nations Security Council.
World Hindi Day designated on 10 January
Every year, World Hindi Day is celebrated on 10 January to promote the language around the world. It is marked by Indian embassies all over the world. Since 2006, this day has been celebrated across the globe.
Hindi is the 5th most spoken language in the world. It is used in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, United Kingdom, United States, New Zealand, Germany, Uganda, UAE, Guyana, Trinidad, Suriname, South Africa and Mauritius. More than 43 core personnel in the world use this language.
National Hindi Day is different from World Hindi Day which is celebrated on 14 September every year.
Two awards are awarded on the National Hindi Day every year, Rajbhasha Kirti Puraskar and Rajiv Gandhi Rashtriya Gyan-Vigyan Maulik Pustak Lekhan Puraskar.
I&B Minister launches Govt’s Digital Calendar, Diary App
Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar launched the Government’s Digital Calendar and Diary App in New Delhi.
Digital calendar is an environment-friendly initiative.
It is available in Hindi and English, but it will be available in 11 languages from 15th of this month.
The calendar has a theme for every month and it will also have all information of 100 revolutionary programmes of the government.
The GOI Calendar and the Diary App is available for download on both Google Play store and iOS App Store.
Sulfur Dioxide Emission Norms Delayed
The Ministry of Power has proposed to postpone the deadline for coal-fired power plants to adopt the new emission standards, stating that an “an unworkable time schedule” will burden utilities and cause a rise in power tariffs.
Removal of sulphur dioxide is named as Flue-gas Desulphurization (FGD). Seek to remove gaseous pollutants viz. SO2 generated from exhaust flue gas generated in furnaces, boilers and other industrial processes due to thermal processing, treatment and combustion.
A “graded action plan” was proposed, during which the areas where plants are located are going to be graded consistently with the severity of the pollution, where Region 1 refers to the heavily polluted areas and Region 5 is the least polluted areas.
The plants in Region 2 can start taking action one year after the plants in Region 1.
Advisory for Managing Human-Wildlife Conflict
Government of India along with SC-NBWL (Standing Committee of the National Board of Wildlife) approves advisory for management of Human-Wildlife Conflict across the country.
The advisory has laid down important regulations for States/Union Territories to deal with conflicts between humans and wildlife, and seeks to speed up coordination and effective action between departments.
In accordance with Article 11(1)(b) of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, the organization envisages empowering the gram panchayats to deal with problematic wildlife.
It is also envisaged to use additional coverage under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana to compensate crop compensation for crop damage caused by HWC and increase feed and water sources in forest areas.
PM Modi suggests state-specific export strategy; reviews projects worth Rs 1.41 lakh crore
Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked states to develop a state-specific export strategy and reviewed development projects worth Rs 1.41 lakh crore spread across 10 states and union territories.
Reforms are beneficial only when one performs, and this is the way forward to transform the country, Modi said as he chaired the meeting of PRAGATI — an ICT-based multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation involving central and state governments.
The projects, taken up at the 33rd such PRAGATI meeting on Wednesday, were of the Ministry of Railways, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, and the Power Ministry, the statement said.
These projects, with a total cost of Rs 1.41 lakh crore, were related to 10 states and union territories — Odisha, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
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