· No proposal to include Suswa river under Namami Gange: Centre
ð The Uttarakhand government has not sent any proposal to include the Suswa river in the Union government’s flagship Namami Gange scheme.
ð The union ministry also stated that Dehradun has seven sewage treatment plants of 40 million litres per day combined capacity and about 85% of the untreated water flows into Ganga through Suswa river. The PMO further stated that the Uttarakhand government has been directed to ensure that the untreated civic waste does not drain into the river.
· Researchers identifies the worlds biggest amphibian
- The researchers from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL)and London’s Natural History Museum has identified a new species of giant salamander using DNA from museum specimens. The 74-year-old museum specimen can possibly be the world’s biggest amphibian. The specimens were collected in the
- The researchers found three distinct genetic lineages in salamanders from China. The species are Andrias davidianus, Andrias sligoi, and a third species which has yet to be named.Andrias davidianus was earlier considered as a single species.
- Chinese giant salamanders are usually considered as the world’s biggest amphibians.This species has been now classified as Critically Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Redlist. The species which was once widespread throughout central, southern and eastern China have currently moved widely around China. The species is rare in wild but millions can be seen in farms. Humans moved the salamanders around China to stock farms for food. It is also used for medicinal purposes. The species numbers have been catastrophically declined recently due to the recent overexploitation for food. Urgent measures are being taken for the conservation of the species.
- India Post expands speed post service to six new foreign countries
- India Post expanded speed post service to six new foreign destinations in Asia, Europe and South America.
- The Department of Posts has announced commencing of International Speed Post (EMS) Service to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Ecuador, Kazakhstan, Lithuania and North Macedonia.
- EMS or Express Mail Service is a premium service that enables its users to send documents and merchandise faster and with the added facility of being able to track the movement of the item on the internet.
- India Post currently provides speed post service to 100 countries, as per the information available on its website.
· Telangana to observe 2020 as the “Year of AI”
- The Telangana government has decided to declare 2020 as Artificial Intelligence year by organising various activities related to the emerging technology.
- The state government has signed up with NITI Aayog, which has come out with the ‘National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence’ to run pilot projects in Telangana.
- IT industry body NASSCOM is setting up a Centre of Excellence in Data Sciences and AI here, which is expected to start its activities in 2020.
- The IIT, Kharagpur, which is coming up with its regional centre here, would take up the first programme in AI.
· PMMVY achieved a milestone by reaching 1 crore beneficiaries
- Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) has achieved a significant milestone by crossing 1 crore beneficiaries. So far, Centre has disbursed a total amount of4,000 crores to the beneficiaries under the scheme.
- PMMVY is a direct benefit transfer (DBT) is a flagship scheme of the Government for pregnant women and lactating mothers. Under this scheme,cash benefits are provided to pregnant women in their bank account directly. It aims to meet enhanced nutritional needs and partially compensate for wage loss.
- The scheme was effectively implemented from1st January 2017. Under the Scheme, Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW&LM) will receive a cash benefit of 5,000 in three installments. It is expected to fulfill various conditionality namely early registration of pregnancy, ante-natal check-up, and registration of the birth of the child and completion of the first cycle of vaccination for the first living child of the family. Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) also provides a cash incentive for the eligible beneficiaries. Thus, on average, a woman gets Rs.6,000.
- Central and the State governments monitor the implementation of the scheme through PMMVY-CAS.PMMVY-CAS is a web-based software application which interoperates with UIDAI and Public Financial Management System (PFMS) to authenticate the unique beneficiaries and their Bank Accounts.
- The top five states and Union Territories (UT) to implement the scheme are Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Dadra, and Nagar Haveli, and Rajasthan. The scheme isyet to be implemented in Odisha and Telangana.