· Uttarakhand witnesses 90% surplus rains in winter season after 6 years
ð Breaking from the shackles of almost six years of deficit rains during the winters, the hill state, this year, recorded 90% surplus rains during the winter season.
ð According to regional meteorological centre, the Himalayan state received 201.1mm rainfall as against the average of 106.1mm rain, with all 13 districts in the state receiving more than normal showers during the two-month long winter season. The winter season comprises of two months — January and February.
ð Uttarakhand last witnessed a surplus rain spell during the winter season in the year 2013 when the hill state received over 150% excess rainfall in the two months.
ð Notably, the hill state had been witnessing deficient rains during winter season for last three years. In 2018, Uttarakhand recorded 68% rain deficit, while 47% less than normal rains were recorded in 2017.
· Cricket to be included in 2022 Asian Games
- Cricket is included in the sports programme for the 2022 Asian Games to be held in Hangzhou, China.
- The decision was reportedly taken at the Olympic Council of Asia’s (OCA) General Assembly.
- Cricket was omitted from the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia after featuring in 2010 and 2014.
- In India’s absence, Sri Lanka – among men – and Pakistan — among women – had clinched the gold in 2014. In 2010, Bangladesh clinched the men’s title, and Pakistan the women’s title.
· Global Consumer Confidence Survey topped by India
- India ranked first in the Confidence Board Global Consumer Confidence Survey which was conducted in collaboration with a global performance management company Nielsen Holdings.
- India maintained its 1st position from 3rd quarter and in the 4th quarter of 2018 India’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) score is 133.
- South Korea has the most pessimistic consumer who are worried about rising inflation, lower wage growth, unemployment, a weak stock market and global trade uncertainties in the world.
- CCI Confidence Board measured optimism towards job prospects, the health of personal finances and spending intentions in the next 12 months for the survey.
· Indian Railways celebrate Golden Jubilee of first Rajdhani Express
- The first Rajdhani Express of the Indian Railways network has completed 50 yearson March 3, 2019.
- Kolkata’s Howrah Rajdhani Expresswas the first Rajdhani Express train and the very first fully air-conditioned train introduced by the Indian Railways.
- The Kolkata-New Delhi Rajdhani Expressembarked on its maiden journey on March 3, 1969 from Howrah, making it the country’s first fully-air conditioned, high-speed train that covered the 1,450 km stretch in 17 hours and 20 minutes.
- The Rajdhani Express is a series of express passenger train services in India operated by Indian Railways connecting the national capital New Delhiwith the capital and/or largest cities of various states.
- Rajdhanis are among the fastest trains in India along with Tejas Express, Gatimaan Express, Shatabdi Express and Duronto Express and get the highest priority on the Indian railway network.
· Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurates BOLD-QIT project in Assam
- Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the project BOLD-QIT (Border Electronically Dominated QRT Interception Technique)on India-Bangladesh border in Dhubri District of Assam.
- Border Security Force, BSF is responsible for the safeguarding of over four thousand kilometres long International Border with Bangladesh.
- At various places, it is not possible to erect Border Fence due to the geographical barriers.
- The 61 kilometres of the Border area in Dhubri District, where River Brahmaputra enters into Bangladesh is consisting of vast char lands and innumerable river channels thus making border guarding in this area, a daunting task especially during rainy season.
- To overcome this problem, in the year 2017, the Ministry of Home Affairs decided to go for a technological solution besides the physical presence of manpower of BSF.
- India’s e-waste to touch 5.2 MMT by 2020: ASSOCHAM-EY study
- India’s production of e-waste is likely to increase by 5.2 MMT per annum by 2020 from 2 MMT in 2016 due to buoyant economic growth and changing consumption patterns, according to ASSOCHAM-EY joint study.
- The factors that led to a growth of e-waste are digital transformation, Social and economic growth, rapid technology advances, dumping trash etc. The dumping used and waste EEE (electrical and electronic equipment) into developing or underdeveloped countries by the developed countries.
- India is among the top five e-waste generating countries in the world besides China, the US, Japan and Germany. Among states, Maharashtra contributes the largest e-waste of 19.8% but recycles only about 47,810 tonne per annum (TPA). Tamil Nadu with e-waste contribution of 13% recycled about 52,427 TPA; Uttar Pradesh (10.1%) recycles about 86,130 TPA; West Bengal (9.8%), Delhi (9.5%), Karnataka (8.9%), Gujarat (8.8%) and Madhya Pradesh 7.6%, as per the joint report .
- According to ASSOCHAM-EY joint report, 44.7 MMT of e-waste was generated worldwide in 2016 and it is expected to grow at a rate of 3.15% (CAGR). Following the current growth rate of rising e–waste, it is estimated that by 2021, e–waste will rise to 52.2 MMT.
- E-waste is hazardous due to the presence of many deadly chemicals and metals like lead, cadmium, chromium, mercury, polyvinyl chlorides (PVC), brominated flame retardants, beryllium, antimony and phthalates. Longterm exposure to these substances damages the nervous systems, kidney, bones, reproductive and endocrine systems.
- E-waste (Management) Amended Rules 2018 makes producers liable to collect 10% to 70% (over seven years) of the e-waste they produce but industry is unable to cope up with these targets. Around 70% of e-waste is generated by private households, majority of which is collected and managed by the unorganized sector.
- Recognizing that e-waste must be managed using a lifecycle approach, a set of policies and standards should be developed so as to address the product design to decrease the inherent challenges from the outset like electronic product environmental assessment tool (EPEAT), the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Design for Environment (DfE) approach and the European Eco-Design Directive.