- 129 tigers died in Uttarakhand in 18 years, claims wildlife expert
- A research paper titled ‘Scenario of In-situ TigerConservation and Health Management in Uttarakhand by a wildlife expert.
- The data on tiger deaths and the reasons behind the casualties were collected by Pilibhit-based Arora through various RTI replies, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) website, media reports.
- Most tigers in the state have died due to natural causes and diseases. Also, tigers live up to 12 years in the wild compared to captivity, where the animals live up to 18-20 years.
· found a ‘cold super-Earth’
- The planet for Barnard’s star– 2nd closest star system to our sun – appears to be a cold super-Earth.
- The planet has been labeled Barnard’s Star b (GJ 699 b).
- It orbits its red star every 233 daysnear the snow-line, a distance where water freezes.
- Barnard’s star is six light-yearsaway from earth.
- India International Cherry Blossom festival
- India International Cherry Blossom festival is scheduled to be held from November 14 to 17 in Shillong, Meghalaya.
- This festival is the world’s only autumn cherry blossom festival. The festival is organised by Government of Meghalaya’s Forest & Environment Department as well as by the Institute of Bioresources & Sustainable Development in collaboration with Indian Council for Cultural Relations.
- The aim of the festival is to celebrate the unique autumn flowering of Himalayan Cherry Blossoms. The Cherry Blossom tree flowers only for a short period in a year. The festival will showcase full pink and white cherry blossoms found all along the roadside of the famous Ward Lake. Alongside, the festival will also showcase the region’s food, wine and crafts in addition with several cultural events.
· China builds an ‘Artificial Sun’ 6 times hotter than Sun’s core
- Scientists at a Chinese institute announced that their nuclear fusion reactor dubbed ‘artificial sun’ reached 100 million°C, the temperature required to carry out fusion on Earth.
- The record-high temperature is six timesthe temperature of Sun’s core of 15 million°C.
- The reactor is designed to mimic processes occurring at the Sun to turn hydrogen into cost-effective clean energy.
- Australia takes India to WTO over sugar subsidies
- Australia taking legal action against India, the world’s second-largest sugarproducer, at the WTO over subsidies which has caused a “significant downturn” in world sugar prices and hurt Australian producers.
- Australia alleges that the subsidies, which have seen Indian sugar production leap from an average 20 million tons to 35 million tonnes this year, far exceed the level of farmer assistance permitted under WTO rules.
- Australia is the third largest exporter of sugar.
· World Bank provides US$155.7 million to Nepal
- The World Bank is providing US$155.7 millionin loan and grant to Nepal to build and maintain bridges, and improve food security of vulnerable households and communities.
- Two Agreementsto these effects were signed between the Washington, DC-based multilateral financial institution and the government of Nepal in Kathmandu.
- The first credit will finance the US$133 millionSecond Bridges Improvement and Maintenance Program targeting approximately 477 bridges along Nepal’s Strategic Roads Network.
- Under the second agreement, the multi-donor Global Agriculture and Food Security Program(GAFSP) will provide a US$22.7 million grant to support the Food and Nutrition Security Enhancement Project.
· Indias first elephant hospital opens in Mathura
- India’s first specialised hospital for elephants was inaugurated by Agra Divisional Commissioner Anil Kumarin Uttar Pradesh’s Mathuradistrict – Churmura village.
- It offers laser therapy, hydrotherapy, quarantine facilities and has a medical hoist to lift elephants.
- It also has an observation deck that allows veterinary students and interns to observe elephants’ behaviour.
- India’s elephant population fell to 27,312 in 2017 from 29,391-30,711 in 2012, government data shows.
- Hundreds of elephants across India, which accounts for more than half of Asia’s elephant population, are held in captivity and sharp metal hooks are often used to pinch and tease them into subordination.
· SBI sold over 400 crore electoral bonds
- The State Bank of India(SBI) has sold more than Rs.400 crore worth of electoral bonds in the 10-day window of October.
- Electoral Bond is afinancial instrument for making donations to political parties to cleanse the system of political funding in India
- These are issued by Scheduled Commercial banks upon authorization from the Central Government to intending donors, but only against cheque and digital payments (it cannot be purchased by paying cash)
- These bonds shall be redeemable in the designated account of a registered political party within the prescribed time limit from the issuance of a bond
- Electoral bond was announced in the Union Budget 2017-18
- Required amendments to the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934(Section 31(3)) and the Representation of People Act, 1951 were made through Section 133 to 136 of Finance Bill, 2017
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