9 PM Current Affairs Brief – January 31th, 2020

Indian gaur spotted in Konkan sanctuary for the first time in recorded history

News: Wildlife researchers recently documented the presence of an Indian gaur in the Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary (PWS), Maharashtra.


Indian gaur

  • World’s largest and tallest wild bovines
  • Listed as Schedule I species under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972
  • IUCN Status: Vulnerable

Explained: What is Economic Survey, and why is it important?

News: The Economic Survey for 2019-2020 will be tabled in Parliament on Friday (January 31).


About Economic Survey

  • It is a report the government presents on the state of the economy in the past one year, the key challenges it anticipates, and their possible solutions.
  • It is prepared by the Economic Division of the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) under the guidance of the Chief Economic Advisor (currently Dr Krishnamurthy Subramanian.)
  • The first Economic Survey was presented in 1950-51


  • Crucial document as it provides a detailed account of the state of the economy, prospects and the policy challenges.
  • Carries sectorial overviews and comments on reform measures that are required.
  • Survey’s outlook serves as a marker about future policy moves.

Note: Government is not constitutionally bound to present the Economic Survey or to follow the recommendations that are made in it.

Livestock Census: No. of stray cattle down in country, up in UP

News: According to the 20th Livestock Census, the number of stray cattle in the country has marginally come down to 50.22 lakh in 2019 from 51.88 lakh in 2012.


20th Livestock Census: Key Takeaways:

  • Total Livestock population: 535.78 million
  • Total Bovine population (Cattle, Buffalo, Mithun and Yak): 302.79 Million
  • Total poultry: 851.81 million

Additional Information:

About Livestock Census

  • Conducted Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
  • Conducted quinquennially (every five years) since 1919-20
  • Covers all domesticated animals and its headcounts

Explained: The debate over UN’s new rules for ships in the Arctic region

News: International Maritime Organization (IMO) put forward new regulations, called IMO 2020


IMO 2020

  • Bans ships from using fuels with a sulphur content above 0.5 per cent, compared with 3.5 per cent previously.
  • Only ships fitted with sulphur-cleaning devices, known as scrubbers, are allowed to continue burning high-sulphur fuel.
  • Ships can opt for cleaner fuels, such as marine gasoil (MGO) and very low-sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO).

Rationale behind the ban: Sulphur oxides (SOx), which are formed after combustion in engines, are known to cause respiratory symptoms and lung disease, and also leads to acid rain.

Concern over VLSFO: Contribute to highly polluting black carbon emissions.

Additional Information:

International Maritime Organization

  • A specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for measures to improve the safety and security of international shipping and to prevent pollution from ships.
  • Founded in 1948 and headquartered in London, United Kingdom

International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL)

  • Main international convention aimed at the prevention of pollution from ships caused by operational or accidental causes.
  • Adopted by IMO in 1973.

Govt gives nod to amendments in National Commission for Homoeopathy Bill, 2019

News: The Union Cabinet has approved the amendments in the National Commission for Homoeopathy Bill, 2019


  • The Bill seeks to repeal the Homoeopathy Central Council Act, 1973 

Key features of the bill:

  • Sets up the National Commission for Homoeopathy (NCH) which will frame policies for regulating medical institutions and homoeopathic medical professionals.
  • Sets up certain autonomous boards under the supervision of the NCH.  These boards are:
  • Homoeopathy Education Board
  • Medical Assessment and Rating Board for Homoeopathy
  • Board of Ethics and Medical Registration for Homoeopathy
  • Central government will constitute an Advisory Council for Homoeopathy. It will be the primary platform through which the states/union territories can put forth their views and concerns before the NCH
  • There will be a uniform National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for admission to under-graduate homoeopathy education in all medical institutions
Print Friendly and PDF