women sangams (groups) of the Deccan Development Society, an agro-based
NGO have been awarded the United Nation’s Equator Prize for 2019.
They are one of the 20 recipients of the 2019 Equator Prize.
have been selected for standing as ‘an outstanding example of a local,
nature-based solution to climate change and sustainable development.’ The
women farmers have built their own seed banks and grow millets in the
predominantly rain-fed villages of Sangareddy district, Telangana.
Equator Prize, organized by the Equator Initiative within the United
Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is awarded biennially. It recognizes
outstanding community efforts to reduce poverty through the conservation
and sustainable use of biodiversity.
Prize winners are selected by an independent Technical Advisory Committee.
It assesses nominations based on a) measurable and positive environmental,
social and economic impacts, b) innovation, c) Scalability and/or
replicability, d) Resilience, Adaptability, and Self-Sufficiency, e)
Social inclusion and e) Gender equality.
Equator Initiative is a partnership that brings together the United
Nations, governments, civil society, businesses and grassroots
organizations to recognize and advance local sustainable development
solutions for people, nature and resilient communities.
Union Minister for Skill Development and
Entrepreneurship has announced that Fee for SC/ST candidates who has
joined vocational training under Jan Shikshan Sansthans(JSS) has been
This decision was taken to further
strengthen the skill ecosystem benefiting those in the underprivileged
sections of society.
Jan Shikshan Sansthans(JSSs) are
established to provide vocational training to non-literate, neo-literate,
as well as school dropouts by identifying skills that would have a market
in the region of their establishment.
Currently,there are 247 JSSs working
across the country imparting vocational skill training programmes and
Earlier,JSS was under the Ministry of
Human Resources Development but it has now been transferred to the
Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship.
Recently,the New England Aquarium in the
US has announced that a virgin anaconda had given birth during the
winter.But the aquarium does not have a male anaconda.This is only the
second known case of parthenogenesis in green anacondas.
The term parthenogenesis is an amalgam
of the Greek word parthenos meaning virgin and genesis meaning origin.
Parthenogenesis is defined as a
reproductive strategy that involves development of a female (rarely a
male) gamete (sex cell) without fertililisation. Many species that
reproduce through parthenogenesis do not reproduce sexually.
A gamete is the eggs in females and
sperm in males.In animals, parthenogenesis means development of an embryo
from an unfertilised egg cell.
About 2,000 species are known to
reproduce through parthenogenesis, which is one of the known means of
asexual reproduction.Grafting (of plants) is also a type of asexual
Further,babies born through
parthenogenesis are clones of the mother because there has been no
exchange and rearrangement of genetic information with another individual
as happens in case of a sexual reproductive process.
15th Finance Commission has held a meeting with the representatives of the
Autonomous District Councils(ADCs) of Meghalaya.There are 3 ADCs in
Meghalaya namely the Khasi Hills ADC,Garo Hills ADC and Jaintia Hills ADC.
District Councils in the tribal dominated areas of North East are
administrative bodies constituted in accordance to Sixth Schedule Article
244 (2) & Article 275(1) of the Indian Constitution.
6th schedule of the Indian Constitution provides for special arrangements
for the administration of tribal area in the four north eastern States-
Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
term of the Autonomous District Councils is for five years from the date
of their constitution.The autonomous district council are governed by an
functions of ADCs under schedule 6 of the constitution includes (a) making
laws on land (b)management of forests, except reserved forests
(c)appointment of traditional chiefs and headmen (d)making rules
regulating the inheritance of property, marriage, divorce,constitution of
village courts and (e)to undertake development works like construction of
roads, waterways etc.
main Revenue Sources of ADCs includes (a)taxes on professions, trades,
callings and employment (b)taxes on animal, vehicles and boats (c)taxes on
the entry of goods into a market and sale therein and tolls on passengers
and goods carried on ferries and (d)taxes for the maintenance of
schools,dispensaries or roads.
Government of India has reconstituted six Cabinet Committees and has
formed two new Committees.
committees includes (a)Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (b)Cabinet
Committee on Accommodation (c)Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs
(d)Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (e)Cabinet Committee on
Political Affairs and (f)Cabinet Committee on Security
two new cabinet committees formed are (a)Cabinet Committee on Investment
and Growth and (b)Cabinet Committee on Employment and Skill Development.
six committees will be headed by the Prime Minister.The two remaining
committees which are Committees on Parliamentary Affairs and Accommodation
will be chaired by the Home Minister.
two new Cabinet committees have been constituted to address the twin
problems of sluggish economic growth and rising unemployment.
committee on Investment and growth will be a focussed group to take
measures to bring investments and spur growth in the critical sectors
including infrastructure, manufacturing and agriculture.
has launched one of its Long March 11 rockets from a launch pad on board a
ship in the Yellow Sea. This is the first time China has launched a
space-bound rocket from a seaborne platform.
has joined USA and Russia as the only three countries with proven ability
to launch rockets into space from sea. However, China is the only country
to have launched from a sea platform and using launch technology that they
solely and fully own and operate.
world’s first launch at sea was made in April 1967 with a Scout B carrier
rocket, developed by the United States, from the San Marco platform off
the coast of Kenya. The most recent sea launch took place in May 2014,
when Sea Launch, a multinational joint venture, sent a Zenit-3SL rocket
rockets at sea can offer several advantages over land-based rocket
launches. Firstly, the rocket can lift off closer to the equator, where
Earth’s spin naturally provides a speed boost and decreases the amount of
fuel needed to reach orbit thus reducing the launch cost.
compared with conventional land-based launches, a sea-based launch has a
lower risk of causing trouble for densely populated areas along the
space rocket launch from a seaborne platform is another significant
achievement in space programme. Recently, China became the first nation to
land a rover on the far side of the moon.
has also decided to send a manned mission to moon and to build a
scientific research station there.
China has also announced that its Tiangong or “Heavenly Palace”, a space
station, will go into orbit in 2022. It is set to replace the
International Space Station (ISS) which is due to be retired in 2024.
central government,Tamil Nadu and the World Bank have signed a $287
million loan agreement for the state’s Health System Reform Programme.
program aims to (a)improve the quality of health care (b)reduce the burden
of non-communicable diseases(NCDs) and (c)fill equity gaps in reproductive
and child health services.
Tamil Nadu Health System Reform Program will also support the state government
to develop (a)clinical protocols and guidelines (b) achieve national
accreditation for primary, secondary, and tertiary-level health facilities
in the public sector.
program will also help in strengthening physicians,nurses and paramedics
through continuous medical education and also strengthen the feedback loop
between citizens and the state by making quality and other data accessible
to the public.
Nadu ranks third among all Indian states in the NITI Aayog Health
Index.The state’s maternal mortality rate has also declined from 90 deaths
per 100,000 live births in 2005 to 62 deaths in 2015-16 while infant
mortality has declined from 30 deaths per 1000 live births to 20 in the
Aayog Health Index ranks all states and Union territories based on their
year-on-year incremental modification and overall performance in
health.All States and UTs are graded in 3 classes to make sure comparison
among similar entities.In terms of all performance,Kerala topped the list
among the Larger States.
major exercise called as Kharga Prahar has been conducted jointly by the
Indian Army and Indian Air Force in Chandigarh on June 4, 2019.
Prahar exercise was undertaken in plains of Punjab by various units and
formations of Army’s Kharga Corps.
exercise was successful in validating latest operational concepts which
are designed to deliver a swift punitive blow to India’s adversary.
exercise has also brought out valuable lessons and also reinforced a high
degree of operational preparedness of the Kharga Corps.
Indian Army’s II Corps, based in Ambala is known as Kharga Corps. It has
been stationed at Ambala since 1985.
possesses 50% of Indian Army’s offensive capabilities and on integration
with multiple military formations it has proved an effective weapon in
1971,Bangladesh Liberation War Kharga Corps was positioned in West Bengal
and helped in creation of Bangladesh.During the Kargil conflict in
1999,this elite force was deployed somewhere in the desert sector.
Election Commission has decided to re-examine the Rule 49MA which
prosecutes a voter for making a false complaint of malfunction of an
electronic voting machine(EVM) or voter verifiable paper audit trail
49MA says that voter who claims that the EVM or the VVPAT machine did not
record his or her vote correctly is allowed to cast a test vote under Rule
49 MA of the Conduct of Election Rules.
the voter fails to prove the mismatch,poll officials can initiate action
under Section 177 of the Indian Penal Code for giving a ‘false
Section also says that the person shall be punished with simple
imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which
may extend to one thousand rupees or both.
Supreme Court had sought the Election Commission’s response on a plea
which had asked the apex court to strike down Section 49MA under Conduct
of Elections Rules,1961.
petitioner in its plea had said that Section 49MA was unconstitutional as
it criminalised reporting of malfunctioning of EVM or VVPATs.The plea
contended that the onus of proving an allegation cannot be on a voter when
machines used for voting showed deviant behaviour.
petitioner had also said that Section 49 MA deters people from coming
forth to complain.The rule infringes upon a citizen’s right to freedom of
expression which is a fundamental right of free expression guaranteed
under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.
Navy has taken various initiatives towards the goal of Clean and Green
Navy has formulated a plan called as Indian Navy Environment Conservation
Roadmap(INECR).The roadmap aims for reduction in energy consumption and
diversification of energy supply as the key result areas.
Navy has pledged 1.5% of its works Budget towards Renewable Energy
Indian Navy has also formulated Green Initiatives Programme which would
aid in boosting the national interests of environment sustainability and
self-reliance in energy.Green Initiatives Programme has added a new
dimension called as social responsibility into it.
MW of Solar Photovoltaic(PV) projects consisting of both Rooftop and Land
based solar panels are under execution at various shore establishments of
the Navy under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission(JNNSM).
Navy has also focused attention towards addressing the menace of Air
Pollution by way of various environmental remediation measures for mitigating
it such as (a)sapling plantation (b)horticulture (c)anti-plastic drive and
(d)effluent treatment plants
Navy has also organized awareness drives and programmes by means of
coastal cleanship,lectures to enhance participation and ensure better outreach
amongst communities and contribute to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
Health Minister has urged Delhi, Odisha, Telangana and West Bengal to join
Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana.
Minister said that by joining Ayushman Bharat states would gain
(a)resources (b)national portability (c)state-of-the-art technological
platforms (d)implementation systems and (e)world-class analytics systems
at no additional cost.
will also benefit from a well-proven fraud monitoring and control system
and exchange of key learning and best practices of other states towards
Bharat or Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana(PMJAY) is the National Health
Protection Scheme which targets to cover over 10 crore poor vulnerable
families (around 50 crore beneficiaries) providing coverage of up to ₹5
lakh (per family per year) for secondary and tertiary care
hospitalisation.The benefit cover includes pre and post hospitalisation expenses.
has subsumed the on-going centrally sponsored schemes –Rashtriya Swasthya
Bima Yojana (RSBY) and the Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme
(SCHIS).It is an entitlement based scheme with entitlement decided on the
basis of deprivation criteria in the Socio Economic Caste Census database.
to Global telecom industry body GSMA,India will have 920 million unique
mobile subscribers by 2025 which will include 88 million 5G connections.
(5th Generation) is a version of mobile communications. It succeeds LTE
mobile networks- 4G, 3G, and 2G (GSM). In telecommunication, Long-Term
Evolution (LTE) is a standard for wireless broadband communication for
mobile devices and data terminals.
to experts,5G would provide near-instantaneous connectivity —20 times
faster than 4G. The other expected benefits of 5G include reduced latency
(faster response time), energy saving, cost reduction, higher system
capacity, and mass device connectivity.
has not yet conducted any 5G field trials but the Huawei had been working
with Indian telecommunication companies to setup field trials which is
expected to happen in the second half of 2019.
of the barriers to 5G connectivity in India is the infrastructural gap.
According to the National Digital Communications Policy 2018,India
currently has approximately 1.5 million kilometres of optical fibre cable
(OFC) and less than one-fourth of the towers are fibre-connected.
Minister will attend the two-day meeting of G-20 Finance Ministers and
central bank governors in Japan.The deliberations at this meeting would be
followed by the G-20 Leaders Summit scheduled on June 28,2019 at
G-20 finance ministers are likely to discuss issues such as
(a)infrastructure investment (b)resilience against natural disasters and
(c)strengthening health financing for ensuring health for all in
other issues which would be discussed are international taxation in the
context of digitised economy, issues concerning shifting of tax liability
to low tax jurisdiction and real time exchange of tax-related information.
is an international forum of the governments and central bank governors
from 20 major economies formed in 1999.The group accounts for 85% of world
GDP and two-thirds of the population.They have no permanent staff of its
own and its chairmanship rotates annually between nations divided into
members of the G20 consists of 19 individual countries plus the European
Union (EU).The 19 member countries of the forum are Argentina, Australia,
Brazil, Canada,China,France,Germany,India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan,
Mexico, Russia,Saudi Arabia,South Africa,South Korea,Turkey,United Kingdom
and the United States.
objectives of the G20 are:(a) Policy coordination between its members in
order to achieve global economic stability, sustainable growth (b) To
promote financial regulations that reduce risks and prevent future
financial crises and (c)To create a new international financial
to Nikkei India Services Purchasers manager Index(PMI) ,services sector
activity has slowed down to 50.2 in May,2019 from 51.0 in April,2019.
slowdown has happened due to disruptions arising from the elections in the
month of May which had affected the growth of new work intake.
index has said that the slowdown may be temporary as companies has stepped
up hiring and became more confident about future prospects.
or a Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) is an indicator of business activity
— both in the manufacturing and services sectors.It is a survey-based
measures that asks the respondents about changes in their perception of
some key business variables from the month before.The
is derived from a series of qualitative questions.Executives from a
reasonably big sample,running into hundreds of firms are asked whether key
indicators such as (a)output (b)new orders (c)business expectations and
(d)employment were stronger than the month before and are asked to rate
headline PMI is a number from 0 to 100.The figure above 50 denotes
expansion in business activity.Anything below 50 denotes contraction.
rate of expansion can also be judged by comparing the PMI with that of the
previous month data.If the figure is higher than the previous month’s then
the economy is expanding at a faster rate. If it is lower than the
previous month then it is growing at a lower rate.
mark World Environment Day, the Gujarat Chief Minister has launched Swachh
Sabarmati Maha Abhiyan’. It is a 5-day long cleaning drive which will last
till June 9th 2019.
Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) National Water Quality Programme
has included the Sabarmati among the most polluted rivers in the country.
Under the National Water Quality Programme, CPCB along with state
pollution control boards monitors the quality of water bodies at 2500
locations across India.
Sabarmati River is one of the major west-flowing rivers in India. It
originates in the Aravalli Range of the Udaipur District of Rajasthan and
meets the Gulf of Khambhat of Arabian Sea. It flows through parts of
Rajasthan and Gujarat.
Gandhi had set up Sabarmati ashram on the banks of the river after his
return from South Africa in 1915.
numbers of suspected Nipah virus infection cases in Kerala has risen to 7.
Samples from the patients have been sent to the National Institute of
Virology (NIV) labs at Alappuzha and Pune.
National Institute of Virology is an Indian virology research institute.
It was previously known as ‘Virus Research Center’ and was founded in
collaboration with the Rockefeller Foundation. It has been designated as a
WHO H5 reference Laboratory for SE Asia region
to WHO, the Nipah virus infection is a newly emerging zoonosis, that is, a
disease transmitted from animals to humans. The virus belongs to a genus
termed Henipavirus (subfamily Paramyxovirinae).
bats of the Pteropodidae family are the natural host of Nipah virus. The
virus is present in bat urine, and potentially in bat faeces, saliva and
birthing fluid. Fruits contaminated with bat secretions may potentially
transfer the virus.
are infected after direct contact with infected bats, pigs or from other
Nipah-virus infected persons.
virus infection in humans causes asymptomatic infection, acute respiratory
infection and fatal encephalitis. It has a high case fatality rate
estimated to range between 40 and 75%
is no treatment or vaccine available for either people or animals. The
primary treatment for humans is supportive care.
Union Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry has decided to conduct
workshops on prevention of drug use for 8lakh students across India. The
workshops would be conducted with the help of State education boards and
NGOs working in this field.
decision to conduct the workshop is in lines with the National Action Plan
for Drug Demand Reduction (2018-2025) which highlights the need for education
to prevent use of drugs among children.
to the Magnitude of Substance Use in India report submitted in 2019 by the
National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre of the AIIMS, 1.3% of children
between 10 and 17 years reported current use of alcohol. Further, 0.9%
reported use of cannabis, 1.8% reported use of opioid and 1.17% reported
use of inhalants.
2018, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment drafted the National
Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (2018-2025). The five year action
plan aims to reduce to the adverse consequences of drug abuse in India
through a) education, b) de-addiction and c) rehabilitation of affected
individuals and their families.
Government of India has also brought out National Policy on Narcotic Drugs
and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) in 2012 to combat drug menace in a
the government has had enacted Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances
(NDPS) Act in 1985 to make stringent provisions for the control and
regulation of operations relating to narcotic drugs and psychotropic
recent paper published in the Journal of the Association of Physicians of
India has highlighted the need to screen every pregnant woman for
gestational diabetes even if no symptoms are exhibited.
Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) is defined as Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT)
with onset or first recognition during pregnancy.
or inadequately treated GDM can lead to significant maternal & fetal
complications. Maternal risks of GDM include polyhydramnios, prolonged
labour, obstructed labour, caesarean section, uterine atony, postpartum
haemorrhage, infection and progression of retinopathy. These are the leading
global causes of maternal morbidity and mortality.
risks include spontaneous abortion, intra-uterine death, stillbirth,
congenital malformation, shoulder dystocia, birth injuries, and infant
respiratory distress syndrome.
women with GDM and their off springs are at increased risk of developing
type 2 diabetes and other non-communicable diseases later in life. Type 2
diabetes is characterised by high blood sugar, insulin resistance, and
relative lack of insulin.
and minimize maternal and fetal morbidity associated with GDM, Ministry of
Health and Family Welfare in India had released a national guideline for
provision of universal screening and management of GDM as part of the
essential antenatal package.
guidelines recommend early testing during the first trimester i.e. Week 1
to 12. If the test is negative, the guidelines recommend to repeat the
test between 24-28 weeks.
proposal has been made to establish a permanent research centre dedicated
to Olive Ridley Turtles in the Khallikote forest range, near the
Rushikulya rookery on the Odisha coast. A rookery is a communal nesting
ground of animals.
research centre would study the mass nesting of Olive Ridleys and the
environmental factors related to it. It would also study the coastal flora
a museum would be opened for the general public where skeletons and eggs
of different marine turtles would be displayed. It would also include
models and interactive displays.
Research Centre would also work to alleviate myths and unscientific
theories related to the mass nesting. Recently, it became viral on social
media that the turtles had sensed Cyclone Fani and did not visit the
rookery for mass nesting. However, past data proved the assumption wrong.
Mass nesting occurred at the rookery in 1999 and 2013, when major cyclones
hit the Odisha coast
Olive Ridley turtles are the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles
in the world. They inhabit in the warm waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and
Indian oceans. It is listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List.
Olive Ridley turtles are best known for their unique mass nesting called
Arribada. During Arribada, a large number of female turtles come together
on the same beach to lay eggs. Such mass nesting phenomenon is also
observed among Kemps Ridley turtle.
important breeding area for olive Ridleys in the Indian Ocean along the
Bay of Bengal is Odisha. There are three major mass nesting areas: a) Gahirmatha
rookery close to the mouth of Brahmani-Baitarani Rivers, b) Devi river
mouth and c) Rushikulya river mouth.