- Wildlife numbers fall in Jharkhand even as forest cover increases
- Black bucks no longer bellow here and the Chinkara’s snort is barely heard in Jharkhand now.
- The presence of around a dozen wildlife species , including the tiger and leopards , and birds such as the great spotted eagle appears to be diminishing in a state where the forest cover has increased in the past decade.
- Experts say Jharkhand is suffering from ‘empty forest syndrome’, underlining the deterioration of forest ecosystems.
- Forest officials blame the hunting culture of tribals for the syndrome but experts blame mismanagement of sanctuaries, poaching, rampant mining and inadequate forest security system for the predicament.
- One of the first counts of wildlife in the region was done in 1894-95 and 1896-97.
- The Jharkhand government has failed to declare ecologically sensitive zones (ESZ) for 10 of the 11 wildlife sanctuaries, which experts say has led to unchecked stone quarries, tree felling, encroachment and construction work in the buffer zones of the wildlife reserves.
- The Supreme Court order in 2006 had asked states and union territories to propose geographical extent of ESZ to the environment ministry so as to protect them from industrial pollution and unregulated development under the Environment Protection Act of 1986.
- Killing animal is a part of tribal culture. There is festival called Bishu in Jharkhand when thousands of tribal enter forests to kill animals.
· India and Israel sign 9 agreements in space, defence, cybersecurity
- India and Israel have signed nine agreements to boost cooperation in the areas of space, cyber security and oil and gas between both countries.
- The agreements were signed following delegation-level talks headed by Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu in New Delhi.
- Netanyahu is first Israeli Prime Minister to visit India in the span of last 15 years and second one overall.
- Agreement on Film-co-production. Protocol on Amendments to Air Transport Agreement MoU on Cyber Security Cooperation between India and Israel Memorandum
- MoU between the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the Ministry of Energy on Cooperation inOil and Gas Sector LoI between IOCL and Yeda Research
- MoU between Central Council for Research in Homeopathy and Ministry of AYUSH and Centre for Integrative Complementary Medicine, Shaare Zedek
- MoU between Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) and Technion- Israel Institute of Technology for cooperation in the field of space.
· BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement India, Bangladesh, Nepal approve Passenger protocol
- Bangladesh, India, and Nepal agreed on the text of operating procedures for passenger vehicle movement (Passenger protocol) in sub-region under Bangladesh – Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA).
- The decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of High-level officials of three decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of High-level officials of three countries held in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
- It was convened and chaired by India’s Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).
Gk bit – BBIN
- The Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal(BBIN) Initiative is a sub regional architecture of countries in Eastern South Asia, a subregion of South Asia. Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) signed in June 2015.
- The agreement will permit member states to ply their vehicles in each other’s territory for transportation of cargo and passengers, including third country transport and personal vehicles.
- Ravi Shankar Prasad inaugurates Gigabit Connectivity with Sri Lanka
- Union Minister for Law and Justice and Electronics and IT Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad is on an official visit to Sri Lanka.
- On the first day of his visit, he inaugurated the gigabit connectivity between the National Knowledge Network of India and LEARN network of Sri Lanka.
- This dedicated high speed internet connectivity will boost the collaboration among the academic institutions of India and Sri Lanka.
· India emerging as a biggest tourism hub across the globe; over 11 lakh tourists arrived New Delhi in Dec 2017
- Tourism sector of the nation is blooming year by year, as the Foreign Tourists Arrivals have bloomed by 15.2% in December 2017 as compared to December 2016.
- And also 48.3% Growth in Foreign Tourist Arrivals on an e-Tourist visa in December 2017 Over December 2016.
- The number of FTAs in December 2017 was 11.76 lakh as compared to FTAs of 10.21 lakh in December 2016 and 9.13 lakh in December 2015.
- The growth rate in FTAs in December 2017 over December 2016 was 15.2%, compared to 11.9% in December 2016 over December 2015.
- FTAs in the year 2017 was 101.77 lakh with a growth of 15.6% over 2016, compared to FTAs of 88.04 lakh with a growth of 9.7% is 2016 over 2015.
· DIPP arm Launches Competition for College Students
- Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM),under the department of industrial policy and promotion, launched a competition for college and university students to foster a culture of innovation and creativity in the youth.
- The competition – IPrism – invites students to submit films on piracy and counterfeiting under two categories of 30 and 60 seconds.
- Another category in the competition is a mobile gaming app on intellectual property (IP). Cash prizes of Rs 4 lakh will be given to the winning teams along with mementos and certificates.
· Union Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore launches Khelo India Anthem
- Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore made the announcement during the launch of the official anthem and mascot of Khelo India School Games, beginning January 31.
- Now when an athlete wins a medal at Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Olympics, the coach gets the incentive.
- The video features India’s eminent sports personalities such as Sardar Singh, Sunil Chhetri, Devendra Jhajharia, Baichung Bhutia, Pullela Gopichand, Leander Paes, Mary Kom, Akhil Kumar, Sakshi Malik and Saina Nehwal.
- UIDAI to add face verification option for Aadhaar authentication
- The Unique Identification Authority of India, the Aadhaar-issuing authority, has decided to enable face recognition as another means of authentication from July 1, 2018.
- The decision comes at a time when problems arising due to mismatch of biometrics are being reported about, including those faced by senior citizens with fading fingerprints.
· Air India announces reservation for women in seats
- Air India announced a reservation of seats for women in all its domestic flight services.
- This kind of service has become the country’s first airline company.
- Special respect to women on our behalf Air India is booking a full line for all women at an economy class at no extra charge.
- This is for women who are traveling alone or with their young children. “
- To avail this facility, female passengers can contact the airline’s counter or booking officer at the airport for up to 90 minutes before flying.
- This facility of the company is only valid for domestic flights only.