1. Atal Innovation Mission & SIRIUS sign MoU for the promotion of innovative cooperation between students of India & Russia
- Memorandum of Understanding was recently exchanged between India’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and the Russian Federation’s SIRIUS Educational Foundation to promote innovative cooperation between students of India and Russia.
The MoU hopes to
- Remove cultural and language barriers between students of Russia and India.
- Share the best practices in the promotion of educational, scientific, innovative achievements.
- Promote innovative cooperation.
- Search and develop the talented youth of both countries fostering a knowledge-driven innovation ecosystem in both the countries.
- The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is the Government of India’s flagship initiative to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country.
The Atal Innovation Mission has two core functions
- Innovation promotion: to provide a platform where innovative ideas are generated.
- Entrepreneurship promotion: Wherein innovators would be supported and mentored to become successful entrepreneurs at Incubation Centers.
About SIRIUS Educational Foundation
- It is a unitary, non-profit, non-standard educational organization.
- The activities of the Foundation are aimed to identify and support children and young people who have shown outstanding abilities.
- Providing assistance in obtaining general and additional education for such personalities, including education in the fields of arts, natural sciences, physical culture and sports.
2. JIMEX 18 Bilateral Maritime Exercise
- Bilateral Maritime exercise between Japan and India to Commence at Visakhapatnam after the last edition was conducted in Dec 2013 off Chennai.
- The conduct of JIMEX-18 after five years is indicative of an upswing in the Indo-Japanese defense relations.
- JIMEX-18 is aimed to enhance interoperability, improve understanding and imbibe the best practices of each other.
3. The Eastern Ghats face the loss of forest cover, endemic plants
- The Eastern Ghats spread across Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu have lost almost 16% of its forest area over a span of 100 years, a recently published study shows.
- Forest cover shrunk from 43.4% to 27.5% in 95 years.
- The forest cover, which was 43.4% of the total geographical area in 1920, has reduced drastically to 27.5% in 2015.
- Over the years, about 8% of forest area was converted into agricultural fields, while about 4% converted into scrub or grassland.
- The threat to species: the Eastern Ghats is home to more than 2,600 plant species and this habitat fragmentation and destruction can pose a serious threat to the endemic plants.
- Habitat reduction mainly occurred in the districts of Gajapati (Odisha), Mahbubnagar (Telangana), and also in Nallamalai and Kolli hill ranges.
- The Western Ghats are also known as Sahyadri in certain parts of India and continuous without any major break
- It is the home of hundreds of endemic flora and fauna.
- We observed the orographic rainfall due to whom the windward side of the mountains receives a lot of rainfall, however, the leeward side remains dry.
- The highest peak is the Ana Midi
- The Western Ghats consist of evergreen forests too; however, the main crop grown there is the Coffee.
- The Eastern Ghats run parallel to the eastern coastal plains of India and discontinuous in nature.
- Also known for numbers of endemic flora and fauna species.
- The highest peak of Western Ghats is the Mahendragiri.
Note: The Western and the Eastern Ghats meet at the Nilgiri hills.
Source –The Hindu
4. India launches ‘Operation Samudra Maitri’ to aid Indonesia
- India has launched a massive operation to provide assistance to the earthquake and tsunami victims in Indonesia.
- ‘Operation Samudra Maitri’ for humanitarian assistance was launched after the conversation between India PM and Indonesian President.
- The 7.5-magnitude quake struck just off the central island of Sulawesi setting off a tsunami that soon after engulfed Palu with waves of up to 6m.
- The most affected area is Sulawesi Provinces of Indonesia.
- The Red Cross estimates that more than 1.6 million people have been affected.
- A tsunami or tidal wave is also known as a seismic sea wave.
- It is a series of waves in a water body caused by the displacement of a large volume of water, generally in an ocean or a large lake.
- Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other underwater explosions (including detonations of underwater nuclear devices), landslides, glacier calving, meteorite impacts and other disturbances above or below water all have the potential to generate a tsunami.
5. Pankaj Sharma appointed India’s ambassador to UN Conference on Disarmament
- Pankaj Sharma has been appointed as ambassador and India’s permanent representative to United Nations Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.
UN Conference on Disarmament
- The Conference on Disarmament (CD) is a multilateral disarmament forum established by the international community to negotiate arms control and disarmament agreements based at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
- The Conference was first established in 1979 as the Committee on Disarmament as the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum of the international community.
- It was renamed the Conference on Disarmament in 1984.
- The conference is currently composed of 65 formal members, representing all areas of the world, as well as all known nuclear-weapon states.
Source –The Hindu
6. PMFBY cover crop damages by wild animals under the trial basis
- Agricultural Ministry has decided to cover damages to crops in wild animal attacks under the Prada Mantra Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) in select districts on an experimental basis.
- The government also brought under the Fasal Bima Yojana ambit certain horticultural crops on an experimental basis.
- The amended provisions also stipulate fines in cases of delay in clearing the insurance claims for crop damages.
- The PMFBY will replace the existing two schemes National Agricultural Insurance Scheme as well as the Modified NAIS.
- This new Crop Insurance Scheme is in line with One Nation – One Scheme theme.
- To provide insurance coverage and financial support to the farmers in the event of failure of any of the notified crop as a result of natural calamities, pests & diseases.
- To stabilise the income of farmers to ensure their continuance in farming.
- To encourage farmers to adopt innovative and modern agricultural practices.
- To ensure the flow of credit to the agriculture sector.
7. Country’s biggest skill competition: India Skills 2018
- India Skills 2018 was the second edition of the nationwide competition organized by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
- It provides a platform to identify, recognize, promote and reward the best talents in various skills.
- Awards were given in 46 trades to participants from across the country.
- A large number of Corporate (over 100) supported the Government’s efforts in organizing the India Skills 2018.
8. From energy to infrastructure
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has said that climate change could have “irreversible” and “catastrophic” impacts if the global average temperatures were allowed to rise beyond 2 degrees Celsius.
- As of now, the world is striving to prevent the temperature rise beyond 2 degrees Celsius, in accordance with the stated objective of the Paris Agreement of 2015.
- To meet that target, the aim is to reduce greenhouse gases by only 20 per cent, from 2010 levels, by the year 2030 and achieve a net-zero emission level by the year 2075.
- Reports say that it is possible to keep the increase in global average temperatures to within 1.5 degrees Celsius of pre-industrial times.
- The world would need to bring down its greenhouse gas to about half of its 2010 levels by 2030, and to net zero by about 2050
- Net-zero is achieved when the total emissions is balanced by the amount of absorption of carbon dioxide through natural sinks like forests, or removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through technological interventions.
- The IPCC, a global body of scientists that makes periodic assessments of science related to climate change to make projections about the future.
- It has presented four pathways through which the 1.5 degree target can be achieved.
- In each of the pathways, the global average temperature is projected to overshoot the 1.5 degrees Celsius target by some amount before returning to that level before the end of this century.
- Each of these pathways is also dependent on some amount of Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR), a reference to the physical removal of the stock of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to reduce its concentrations.
- Technologies for CDR are still undeveloped and untested. Varying amounts between 100 to 1000 gig tons (billion tones) of carbon dioxide would need to be removed from the atmosphere in these four pathways.
- The world currently emits about 47 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.
- “CDR would be used to compensate for residual emissions and, in most cases, achieve net negative emissions to return global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.