Blue Flag Tag to Chandrabhaga beach:
- The Chandrabhaga beach on the Konark coast of Odisha will be the first in Asia to get the Blue Flag certification.
- Twelve more beaches in the country are being developed by the Society for Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM), an Environment Ministry’s body working for the management of coastal areas, in accordance with the Blue Flag standards.
- Launched in December 2017 by the Environment Ministry, the prime objective of the project is to enhance standards of cleanliness, upkeep and basic amenities at beaches. Under the project, each state or union territory has been asked to nominate a beach which will be funded through the ongoing Integrated Coastal Management Programme.
Wildlife Trust of India
- The Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) is an Indian nature conservation organisation to conserve wildlife and its habitat and to work for the welfare of individual wild animals.
- WTI was formed in November 1998 in response to the rapidly deteriorating condition of wildlife in India.
- WTI is a registered charity in India.
- ‘Mission Raftaar’ aims at doubling the average speed of freight trains and increasing the average speed of coaching trains by 25 kmph over a five-year period.
- Increasing the average speed of trains is considered essential for reducing travel time for passengers, transit time for cargo, operational cost, and improving revenues and the railway’s market share.
Ensemble Prediction Systems
- The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has commissioned two very high resolution (12 km grid scale) state-of-the-art global Ensemble Prediction Systems (EPS) for generating operational 10-days probabilistic forecasts of weather.
- The EPS involves the generation of multiple forecasts using slightly varying initial conditions.
- Ensemble forecasting provides localised predictions of a 12 km resolution compared to 23 kilometers in the earlier system.
- The new model has been developed jointly by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology and National Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting.
- With this new model, India joins the US with a model that predicts with a 12 km resolution. Only the ‘European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecast’ has a, better, nine-kilometer resolution.Better forecasts lead to better management agriculture and water resources. It also helps promote tourism, solar and wind energy.
India’s First Advanced Forensic Lab
- Sakhi Suraksha Advanced DNA Forensic Laboratory, India’s First Advanced Forensic Lab dedicated to women related cases will be set up in Chandigarh.
- Forensic science plays a vital role in the criminal justice delivery system by providing investigators with scientifically based information through the analysis of physical evidence.
- With increasing reports of crime against women such as sexual assault, foeticide, homicide etc. there is an increasing demand for better scientific analysis of physical evidence.
- Scrutiny by Hon’ble courts demands more admissible, accurate and powerful forensic proof for human individualisation.
- The Taj Declaration to ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’, in which a pledge was taken to make areas around the Taj Mahal upto 500 metres around the historic monument litter free and taking immediate steps to reduce single-use plastic near and around the Taj Mahal.
- The measure came ahead of the World Environment Day (June 5) to be marked this year with theme “Beat Plastic Pollution”.
Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAASTA)
- A United States federal law that imposed sanctions on Iran, North Korea, and Russia.
- Provisions of the CAATSA threatens India and several other close friends and allies with sanctions.
Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure
- Based in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, the RATS is a regional framework which aims at facilitating cooperation among the member states to exchange information and cooperate on issues related to counter-terrorism and security.
- The RATS is particularly significant in the light of the entries of India and Pakistan into the SCO since these two countries have a close connection with counter-terror mechanisms, even though their own relations have not been in the best of health for most part of history.
- Malabar Exercise was started as Indo-US bilateral naval war drill in 1992.
- Since then it is held annually.
- Japan had formally joined the exercise as the permanent participant in 2015, making it trilateral exercise.
- The primary aim of this multilateral exercise is to increase interoperability amongst navies of three countries and develop the common understanding of procedures for Maritime Security Operations and deepen defence relations between them.
- In 2007, the exercise also saw the participation of Australia and Singapore.
- Scientists have discovered that the chemical element ruthenium (Ru) is the fourth element to have unique magnetic properties at room temperature.
- The discovery could be used to improve sensors, devices in the computer memory and logic industry, or other devices using magnetic materials.
- Until now, only three elements on the periodic table have been found to be ferromagnetic at room temperature – iron (Fe), cobalt (Co), and nickel (Ni).
All India Trade Union Congress
- The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) is the oldest trade union federations in India.
- It was founded in 1920 in Bombay by Lala Lajpat Rai, Joseph Baptista, N. M. Joshi, Diwan Chaman Lall and a few others.
- Until 1945 when unions became organised on party lines, it was the primary trade union organisation in India. Since then, it has been associated with the Communist Party of India.
- AITUC is a founder member of the World Federation of Trade Unions.
Sickle cell anaemia:
- SCA is a condition in which there aren’t enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen throughout your body.
- It is genetically inherited disease.
- In sickle cell anaemia, the red blood cells become rigid and sticky and are shaped like sickles or crescent moons.
- These irregularly shaped cells can get stuck in small blood vessels, which can slow or block blood flow and oxygen to parts of the body.
- There’s no cure for most people with sickle cell anaemia.
- But treatments can relieve pain and help prevent problems associated with the disease.
Its symptoms include:
- Anemia i.e. shortage of RBCs.
- Periodic episodes of pain.
- Painful swelling of hands and feet.
- Frequent infections.
- Delayed growth
- Vision problems.
Krishi Kalyan Abhiyaan
- The Union Ministry of Agriculture and farmers’ welfare has launched the Krishi Kalyan Abhiyaan from June 1, 2018 till July 31, 2018 to aid, assist and advice farmers on how to improve their farming techniques and raise their incomes.
- The Krishi Kalyan Abhiyaan will be undertaken in 25 Villages with more than 1000 population, each in 111 Aspirational Districts identified in consultation with Ministry of Rural Development as per directions of NITI Ayog. In the districts where the number of villages (with more than 1000 population) is less than 25, all villages will be covered.
Various activities to promote best practices and enhance agriculture income are being undertaken under this plan such as:-
- Distribution of Soil Health Cards to all farmers
- 100% coverage of bovine vaccination for Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in each village
- 100% coverage of Sheep and Goat for eradication of Peste des Petits ruminants (PPR )
- Distribution of Mini Kits of pulses and oilseeds to all
- Distribution of Horticulture/Agro Forestry/Bamboo plant @ 5 per family(location appropriate)
- Making 100 NADAP Pits in each village
- Artificial insemination saturation
- Demonstration programmes on Micro- irrigation
- Demonstrations of integrated cropping practice
- Union Minister of State for Chemicals & Fertilizers launched the ‘JANAUSHADHI SUVIDHA’, the Oxo-biodegradable Sanitary Napkin, under the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP).
- The affordable sanitary napkins will now become available at over 3600 Janaushadhi Kendras functional in 33 States/UTs across India.
- This unique product would ensure Affordability, Hygiene as well as Ease of use and disposal for them.
- Unhygienic aids cause fungal infections, Reproductive Tract Infection, Urinary Tract Infection, Cervical cancer and also make women vulnerable to infertility.
- Jan Aushadhi Suvidha comes with a special additive, which makes it biodegradable when it comes in contact with oxygen after being discarded.
- This would ensure ‘Swachhta, Swasthya and Suvidha’ for the underprivileged Women of India and go a long way in the achievement of Prime Minister’s vision of Affordable and Quality Healthcare for All.
- Around 38 Indians are stranded in and around Socotra island in Yemen after a cyclone “Mekunu” hit the area and the Indian Navy has launched an operation to rescue them.
- The Navy has already deployed its ship INS Sunayna as part of the ‘operation Nistar’ to evacuate the Indians.
- INS Sunayna, which was deployed in Western Arabian Sea, is now heading towards Socotra for the humanitarian and disaster relief (HADR) operation.
Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction
- It is a multilateral treaty developed by the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) that provides an expeditious method to return a child internationally abducted by a parent from one member country to another.
- The Convention has concluded 25 October 1980 and entered into force between the signatories on 1 December 1983.
- The Convention was drafted to ensure the prompt return of children who have been abducted from their country of habitual residence or wrongfully retained in a contracting state not their country of habitual residence.
- The Convention applies only to children under the age of 16.
- Currently, there are 98 states are party to the convention.
- In 2017, Tunisia and Jamaica acceded to the convention.
Fuego volcano’s eruption
- Volcan de Fuego, which means “Volcano of Fire is an active stratovolcano in Guatemala.
- Volcan de Fuego exploded on June 3 in its most devastating eruption in more than four decades, showering ash on a wide area and sending rapid pyroclastic flows through nearby towns.
- Satellite pictures showed a lava- and ash-ravaged landscape in southern Guatemala after Fuego volcano’s calamitous eruption, which has killed at least 99 people.
Global Peace Index
- India has moved up four places to the 137th rank among 163 countries on the 2018 Global Peace Index.
- India has improved by four positions in the overall ranking from 141st to 137th.
- It is due to a reduction in the level of violent crime driven by increased law enforcement, according to a report.
- The report is published by the Sydney-based Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP).
- Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008.
- Syria remains the least peaceful country in the world, a position it has held for the past five years.
- India was also among the countries with the biggest decreases in the number of deaths, along with Sri Lanka, Chad, Colombia, and Uganda.
Public Credit Registry
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said it would set up a public credit registry—an information repository that collates all loan information of individuals and corporate borrowers.
- A credit repository will help banks distinguish between a bad and a good borrower and accordingly offer attractive interest rates to good borrowers and higher interest rates to bad borrowers.
- The move is based on the recommendations of a committee it set up last year, headed by M. Deosthalee.
- The committee has also recommended that registry should also capture data such as external commercial borrowings, market borrowings, and all contingent liabilities to provide a holistic picture of the borrower’s indebtedness.
- The public credit repository will address information asymmetry, improve access to credit and strengthen the credit culture among consumers.
- It can also go a long way in addressing the bad loans problem facing the banking system, as corporate borrowers will be unable to lend from multiple banks without disclosing their existing debt.
- Setting up the public credit registry will also help improve India’s rankings in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index.
Fortification of rice
- Fortification is the practice of deliberately increasing the content of an essential micronutrient, i.e. vitamins and minerals (including trace elements) in a food.
- It is done to improve the nutritional quality of the food supply and provide a public health benefit with minimal risk to health.
- Rice can be fortified by adding a micronutrient powder to the rice that adheres to the grains or spraying of the surface of ordinary rice grains in several layers with a vitamin and mineral mix to form a protective coating.
- These micronutrients are such as iron, folic acid and other B-complex vitamins, vitamin A and zinc.
- Rice can also be extruded and shaped into partially precooked grain-like structures resembling rice grains, which can then be blended with natural polished rice.
Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana
- a campaign launched by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Govt. Of India, to provide quality medicines at affordable prices to the masses through special kendra’s known as Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendra.
- Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendra (PMBJK) have been set up to provide generic drugs, which are available at lesser prices but are equivalent in quality and efficacy as expensive branded drugs.
- Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) is the implementing agency of PMBJP. BPPI (Bureau of Pharma Public Sector Undertakings of India) has been established under the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Govt. of India, with the support of all the CPSUs.
- Generic medicines are unbranded medicines which are equally safe and having the same efficacy as that of branded medicines in terms of their therapeutic value. The prices of generic medicines are much cheaper than their branded equivalent.