2019 Forest Survey of India report: one-fifth (21.40%) of India’s forests prone to fires
Forest Survey of India (FSI) which was based on a study carried out along forest fire points (FFP) identified across the country from 2004 to 2017, about 21.40% of forest cover of the country has been prone to fires. Among the total forest areas, the north eastern region in the country was found to be more vulnerable.
- Highest fire alerted state: Mizoram topped among all the states with the highest number of fire alerts at 2,795.
- FFP: The forest fire points (FFP) identified during the 13 years (2004-2017) were 2,77,758. These FFPs were identified using moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) on a 5 km x 5 km grid coverage.
Eight States were selected under Agriculture Export Policy by the Government of India
Government of India finalised eight states for action plan for Agriculture Export Policy (AEP). The eight states are Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Punjab and Karnataka.
- Agricultural and
Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA)
ensures the involvement for states in AEP.
- MoU was signed with the National Cooperative Development Corporation to include co-operatives for active role in AEP.
171 hospitals de-empanelled & Rs 4.5 cr fine imposed for fraud under Ayushman Bharat scheme
National Health Authority(NHA) which is the apex body regulating and implementing Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme, Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB- PMJAY) has de-empanelled a total of 171 hospitals and also imposed penalty of Rs 4.5 crore on hospitals for committing fraud and indulging in malpractices under the Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme.
- 6 hospitals in Uttarakhand and Jharkhand have been lodged and FIR (Firs Information Report).
- PM-JAY is the world’s largest health insurance scheme fully financed by the government. The scheme was launched in 2018 under the aegis of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) in India aimed at making necessary interventions in primary, secondary and tertiary health-care systems.
- It is also known as National Health Protection Scheme.
- Health insurance cover of Rs. 5 lakhs per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization to over 10.74 crores poor and vulnerable families will be provided under the scheme.
India gives $75 million LoC to Cuba for solar parks
India has extended a line of credit (LoC) of USD 75 million (over Rs 500 crore) to Cuba.The line of credit is being provided to finance solar parks in Cuba.The line of credit is as per agreement signed between Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) and Banco Exterior De Cuba for installation of 75 MW Photovoltaic Solar Parks in the Republic of Cuba.
- Capital of Cuba: Havana; President of cuba: Miguel Diaz-Canel.
Amit Shah to head group of ministers to examine the proposed National Tariff Policy
The minister of Home Affairs (MoHA) Shri Amit Shah has been announced to head the Group of Ministers (GOM) to discuss and examine the proposed National Tariff Policy 2016. Before being sent to Shri Amit Shah, the draft policy was first sent for approval to the cabinet secretariat.
- The interministerial group will have 10 ministers comprising of 8 ministers in the cabinet rank and 2 ministers with independent charge.
Chandigarh railway station is fifth in the country and first in North India to inaugurate Navigation facilities for visually impaired
Navigation facilities for visually impaired was inaugurated in Chandigarh railway station in Punjab. It is fifth in the country and first in North India to have this facilities for visually impaired.
- It was developed by Indian Railways with the help of NGO ‘Anuprayaas’.
- Braille Tactile Map, signages are also installed.
- This helps the visually impaired passengers to find their needs in Chandigarh railway station.
- Capital – Chandigarh
- State Animal – Blackbuck
- State Bird – Northern Goshawk
- State Tree – Indian Rosewood
Uttar Pradesh became 1st state to shortlist migrants for citizenship
Uttar Pradesh (UP) became the 1st state in India to conduct an exercise to shortlist migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan for eligibility under the new Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019. This exercise will also eventually identify the people living illegally in UP.
Chief Minister – Yogi Adithyanath
Governor – Anadhiben Patel
Capital – Lucknow
Kolkata Police begins 3rd edition of ‘Sukanya’ project
Kolkata Police has started the 3rd edition of ‘Sukanya‘ project. The project aims to provide self-defence training to girls studying in schools and colleges in the city.The third batch of ‘Sukanya’ started at 100 city-based schools and colleges situated in Kolkata Police jurisdiction.
- The initiative is funded by Women and Child Development and Social Welfare Department of the state government.
- Chief Minister of West Bengal: Mamta Banerjee; Governor: Jagdeep Dhankhar.
MP cabinet approves Mukhyamantri karmchari swasthya bima yojana rollout from April 1,2020
Madhya Pradesh (MP) state Cabinet led by its Chief Minister (CM), Kamal Nath has approved the Mukhya Mantri Karmchari Swasthya Bima Yojana (Chief Minister Employees Health Insurance Scheme) implementation from April 1 ,2020 for the welfare of all 12.55 lakh employees of the state.
All permanent and contractual employees, teachers, retired employees, home guards and others getting salary from contingency fund will reap the benefits of this scheme.
Top Iran general Qassem Soleimani killed at Baghdad airport in US airstrikes
Iran’s most powerful military commander,General Qassem Soleimani, who was the head (since 1998) of the Quds Force, a unit of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was killed in an American drone airstrike at Baghdad International Airport in Iraq. The airstrike was conducted by the order of United States(US) President Donald Trump.Soleimani was seen as the 2nd most powerful person in Iran after Iran’s supreme leader Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei.
Neutral pronoun ‘they’ voted Word of the Decade
Neutral pronoun ‘they’ has been voted word of the decade by US language experts.“They” is used in English by a growing number of non-binary individuals, people who do not identify as either male or female.
The recognition comes after US dictionary Merriam-Webster in December named “they” as word of the year.The American Dialect Society had previously named “they” word of the year in 2015.Other contenders in the decade category included #BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo, climate, emoji, meme, the opioid crisis and woke.
Indian Bank signed MoU with TN’s WEWA to provide credit for business establishments
The Indian bank has signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with Women Entrepreneurs Welfare Association (WEWA) of Tamil Nadu(TN) to provide training and credit linkage to its women entrepreneurs to establish business.
- The Indian bank will provide loans to the WEWA members at discounted rates. Training will be given to the WEWA members in the INDSETIs
- WEWA target: The WEWA currently aims to add 1,000 members by 2023.
PayPal India launches adoption assistance programme for employees
In order to promote parental support benefits for employees, online digital payments player, PayPal India Private Limited has launched a new Adoption Assistance Program, where it will be offering financial assistance of up to Rs 1 lakh per adoption for the parents.
- Formation – 2017
- Headquarters – Varthur, Karnataka
IRDAI: Health insurance cover in the name ‘Arogya Sanjeevani’ mandatory for insurance companies
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has mandated all the health and General Insurance Companies(GICs) to offer 1st of its kind standardised health insurance products (SHIP) in the name “Arogya Sanjeevani” policy with effect from April 1, 2020.
- Constituted act- Insurance Regulatory
and Development Authority Act, 1999
- Chairman- Subhash C. Khuntia
HAL inks pact with Wipro 3D to make aerospace components
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) ,an Indian state-owned aerospace & defence company, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Wipro 3D,the metal additive manufacturing (AM) business of Wipro Infrastructure Engineering (WIN), to jointly design, develop and manufacture aerospace components using metal additive technology (Three Dimensional (3D) printing).
Founded– 1940 (as Hindustan Aircraft)
&1964 (Renamed Hindustan Aeronautics)
Chairman & MD– R Madhavan
CSC inks pact with Paytm Payments Bank for sale of FASTags
Common Service Centres (CSC) e-Governance Services India has signed a memorandum of understanding with Paytm Payments Bank Ltd (PPBL) for sale of FASTags.The agreement will facilitate the sale of PPBL FASTags through the last mile network of 3.6 lakh CSCs, helping realise the government’s vision of cashless and smooth transit at all toll plazas across the country.
- Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Common Service Centres (CSC): Dinesh Tyagi.
- Chairman of Paytm Payments Bank Ltd: Vijay Shekar Sharma.
- Chief Executive Officer (CEO) & Managing Director (MD) Paytm Payments Bank Ltd: Satish Kumar Gupta.
RevFin and PNB MetLife in tie-up to offer life cover
India’s leading Digital lending startup, RevFin has joined hands with PNB MetLife India Insurance Company to offer protection to the RevFin’s customers by bundling life insurance cover on their loans.This insurance covers loans up to ₹3 lakh for a period of 3 years.
- PNB MetLife India founded: 2001.
- PNB MetLife India Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.
- PNB MetLife India MD & CEO: Ashish Kumar Srivastava.
Awards & Honors
K. Srikkanth & Anjum Chopra to get CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award
Krishnamachari Srikkanth & Anjum Chopra will be conferred with the CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award.Krishnamachari Srikkanth will be the recipient of 2019’s prestigious CK Nayudu Lifetime Award.:
- BCCI President : Sourav Ganguly
Indian girl Sucheta Satish wins Global Child Prodigy Award 2020
A 13-year-old Dubai-based Indian girl Sucheta Satish has won the 100 Global Child Prodigy Award in Delhi.She was awarded for singing in most languages during one concert and the longest live singing concert by a child.
Global Child Prodigy Award is a platform to showcase the talent of children in dance, music, art, writing, acting, modelling, science, sports etc.The award is supported by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam International Foundation and Oscar Award-winning music producer AR Rahman among others.
Aayushi Dholakia becomes Miss Teen International 2019
Aayushi Dholakia has bagged the title of Miss Teen International 2019.She also bagged the titles of Best in National Costume Award and Best in Speech Award.
Girls from 22 countries participated in the event to win the coveted title. Yessenia Garcia from Paraguay and Anicia Gaothusi from Botswana became the First and second Runners-Up respectively.
UN declares Malala Yousafzai ‘Most Famous Teenager of The Decade’
The United Nations has declared Pakistani education activist and Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai as “Most Famous Teenager of The Decade”.The revelation has been made in its ‘Decade in Review’ report. Malala is working towards children’s rights ever since she was a teenager.
- Headquarters of United Nations: New York, USA; Founded: 24 October 1945.
- Secretary-General of the United Nations: Antonio Guterres.
Appointments & Resignations
Karur Vysya Bank MD and CEO P R Seshadri resigns
P R Seshadri, MD (Managing Director) and CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Karur Vysya Bank has resigned from the position citing personal reasons, which was accepted by the Bank’s Board of Directors.
- Headquarters- Karur.
- Tagline- Smart Way to Bank.
Science & Technology
Indian Army to sign MoU for 7.5 lakh AK-203 assault rifles procurement
The Indian Army is to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)in a month for the procurement of over 7.5 lakh AK-203 assault rifles. These rifles will be manufactured locally by an India-Russia joint venture (JV). with 1lakh rifles to come directly from Russia, remaining 6.5 lakh rifles will be manufactured by the JV.
The Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL) at Amethi district’s Korwa town in Uttar Pradesh will manufacture the rifles. The factory is a joint-venture of the Ordnance Factory Board(OFB) of India and Rosoboron Exports and Kalashnikov of Russia.
Summit & Conference
Women Science Congress begins in Bengaluru
The Women Science Congress was inaugurated at the ongoing Indian Science Congress in Bengaluru.DRDO Aeronautical Systems Director-General Dr Tessy Thomas who is known as Missile Woman of India graced the occasion as the Chief Guest.
The women’s science congress aims to provide a single platform for women working in different arena of science and technology to showcase their achievements and experiences.It will also prepare a vision document or a road map for women in science and technology and recommend policies to enhance the role and utilize the full potential of women in science and technology.
- DRDO Chairman: G Satheesh Reddy, Established: 1958, Headquarters: New Delhi.
Saurabh Chaudhary wins gold at 63rd National Shooting C’ship
Indian shooter Saurabh Chaudhary has won the men’s 10 metres air pistol gold medal at the 63rd National Shooting Championship in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.Second-placed Sarabjot Singh of Haryana, while world number two Abhishek Verma settled for bronze in a high-quality final.
Important Points about Madhya Pradesh:
- Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh: Kamal Nath.
- Governor of Madhya Pradesh: Lal Ji Tandon.
All-rounder Irfan Pathan retires from all forms of cricket
Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.He last played for India in October 2012. He played 29 Tests, 120 ODIs and 24 T20Is.
He was part of the victorious Indian team at the 2007 World Twenty20 and was the man-of-the-match in the final against Pakistan. He made his debut at the age of 19 in 2003.
Former Karnataka Governor and Padma Vibhushan awardee T N Chaturvedi passed away
ormer Karnataka Governor Triloki Nath Chaturvedi passed away in Nodia, Uttar Pradesh. He was 90. He served as the Governor of Karnataka from 2002-2007.
- He was born on January 18,1929 in Tirwaganj town of Uttar Pradesh.
- He was an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) Officer and held the office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India from 1984 to 1989.
- He is Padma Vibhushan awardee in 1991.