1. Global Liveability Index 2018
- For the first time in this survey’s history, a European city has topped rankings.
- Previously, Melbourne, Australia, had been ranked by the EIU as the world’s most liveable city for seven years in a row, from 2011 to 2017.
- The five most liveable cities in 2018
- Vienna, Austria
- Melbourne, Australia
- Osaka, Japan
- Calgary, Canada
- Sydney, Australia
- The five least liveable cities 2018
- Damascus, Syria
- Dhaka, Bangladesh
- Lagos, Nigeria
- Karachi, Pakistan
- Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
- The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) publishes an annual Global Liveability Ranking since 2011.
- It ranks 140 cities for their urban quality of life based on assessments of stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.
- The EIU also publishes a Worldwide Cost of Living Survey that compares the cost of living in a range of global cities.
2. Mahadayi water dispute
- Ending a 50-year-old dispute, the tribunal allowed Karnataka access to 13.4 tmc of water for its consumptive use (5.4 tmc) and power generation (8.02 tmc).
- The Mahadayi/Mandovi River is described as the lifeline of the Indian state of Goa.
- It originates from Bhimgad in the Western Ghats in the Belagavi district of Karnataka.
- The Mandovi and the Zuari are the two primary rivers in the state of Goa.
- It pours to the Arabian Sea.
- Panaji, the state capital and Old Goa, the former capital of Goa, are both situated on the left bank of the Mandovi.
- The river Mapusa is a tributary of the Mandovi.
Source- The Hindu
3. Postal Highway
- The Indian Government released additional NPR 470 million for the Postal Highway being constructed in Southern Plains of Nepal.
- The Package 1 of the Project comprising two road sections Dhangadhi-Bhajaniya-Satti road and Lamki-Tikapur-Khakraula have already been completed with Government of India’s grant assistance worth Rs 1.02 billion.
- The two roads opened for service on January 19, 2017.
- India provides financial assistance to Nepal since 1950 for infrastructure development as part of its multi-sectoral India-Nepal Economic Co-operation Programme.
- Postal Highway also called Hulaki Rajmarg runs across the Terai region of Nepal.
- From Bhadrapur in the east to Dodhara in the west.
- It is the Oldest highway in Nepal constructed by Juddha Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana & Padma Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana to aid transportation and facilitate postal services throughout the nation.
4. Indian, Singapore navies to commemorate the 25th anniversary of maritime bilateral exercise “SIMBEX”
- The navies of India and Singapore will conduct joint exercises next month to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the maritime bilateral relations between the two countries
- The bilateral naval exercise will be the longest uninterrupted naval exercise that India has with any country in the world.
- Singapore India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) is an annual bilateral naval exercise conducted by the Indian Navy and the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN).
- The exercise has been held annually since 1994.
- Over the years, SIMBEX has progressed beyond its original emphasis on anti-submarine warfare to include elements of maritime security, anti-air and anti-surface warfare.
5. NITI Aayog launched “Pitch to MOVE”
- NITI Aayog has launched “Pitch to MOVE” – a mobility pitch competition that aims to provide budding entrepreneurs of India a unique opportunity to pitch their business ideas to a distinguished jury.
- Pitch to MOVE” is organised by NITI Aayog in collaboration with Invest India and Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).
- The competition aims to identify and reward the start-ups offering innovative solutions for shared, connected, and environment-friendly mobility.
6. Uttarakhand High Court Declares Itself Legal Guardian of Cows in State.
- Invoking the parens patriae doctrine, the Uttarakhand high court has appointed itself as the legal guardian of cows in the state, issuing 31 directives to the state, including setting up cow shelters and registering cases against those found to have abandoned their cattle.
- This is the first time in India that a court has had invoked the ‘parens patriae’ doctrine for cow protection.
- Parens patriae in Latin means ‘parent of the nation’. The doctrine grants the court inherent power and authority to act as guardian for those who are unable to take care of themselves.
- Uttarakhand high court appointing itself as the legal guardian of cows and cattle in the state has come after the country last year got its very first cow protection sanctuary, in Madhya Pradesh’s Agar Malwa district.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India will send an astronaut to space in the year 2022.
- It will be the fourth nation to do so after the United States, Russia and China.
- One of the most important requirements is the development of a launch vehicle that can carry heavy payloads into space.
- The spacecraft carrying human beings, called crew module, is likely to weigh in excess of 5 to 6 tonnes.
- ISRO’s main launch vehicle, the PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle), which carried the Chandrayaan and Mangalyaan missions too, can carry payloads that are barely up to 2 tonnes, and that too only to orbits at about 600 km altitude from the Earth’s surface.
- That is why the development of GSLV Mk-III, a launch vehicle with capabilities to deliver much heavier payloads much deeper into space, was necessary.
What is Gaganyaan?
- ISRO successfully tested GSLV Mk-III, now called LVM-3 (Launch Vehicle Mark-3), in an experimental flight in December 2014.
- The LVM-3 is the declared launch vehicle for taking the manned crew module into space.
- Over the next few years, many more flights of GSLV are scheduled.
- These will help ISRO in perfecting the cryogenic technology for sending up heavier and heavier payloads.
Crew Escape System
- The ‘pad abort’ test or Crew Escape System is an emergency escape measure that helps pull the crew away from the launch vehicle when a mission has to be aborted.
- The test was conducted at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.
Missions conducted by ISRO earlier were
- India’s first lunar probe.
- It was launched on October 2008.
- Space probe orbiting Mars.
- It was launched on 5 November 2013.
- It is India’s first interplanetary mission
- ISRO became the fourth space agency to reach Mars, after the Soviet space program, NASA, and the European Space Agency.
- It is the first Asian nation to reach Mars orbit, and the first nation in the world to do so in its first attempt.
Source- The Hindu
8. Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyaan (Ayushman Bharat)
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that his government will launch an ambitious healthcare scheme on September 25 this year which will benefit 50 crore citizens of the country.
- It will be launched on the birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay.
Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM)
- It is the world’s largest government-funded healthcare programme.
- The ambitious Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) aims to provide a coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family annually, benefiting more than 10 crore poor families.
- The scheme aims to target the poor, deprived rural families and identified the occupational category of urban workers’ families.
- It will be as per the latest Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) data.
- The first ‘health and wellness centre’ has been inaugurated in Bijapur district in Chhattisgarh.
- Initially, it will be launched on a pilot basis in some states.
9. Swadesh Darshan Scheme
- The first project under the central government’s Swadesh Darshan Scheme, ‘North East Circuit: Imphal and Khongjom’, will be inaugurated.
- Under this project, the ministry has carried out works such as restoration and improvement of the outer and inner moat of the old Govindajee Temple and rejuvenation of sacred ponds, reconstruction of the old rampart, among others.
- Swadesh Darshan (tour of the country) is a flagship scheme of the Ministry of Tourism for the development of thematic circuits in the country in a planned and prioritised manner.
- The scheme was launched in 2014-15.
- The project covers two sites – Kangla Fort and Khongjom.
- It is 100% centrally funded scheme.
- It has provision for voluntary funding under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
- Funding of projects varies from state to state.
- Kangla Fort is one of the most important historic and archaeological sites of Manipur located in the heart of Imphal.
- It was situated on both sides (western and eastern) of the bank of the Imphal River. But now it remains only on the western side of the bank.
- It served as the seat of Manipur’s power till 1891.
10. Transparent heat-resistant gel: Aerogel
- Scientists have developed a transparent heat-resistant gel using beer waste that may one day be used to build greenhouse-like habitats for human colonised on Mars.
- The scientists have developed it as a thin, flexible film that is roughly 100 times lighter than glass.
- It is very resistant to heat.
- The material is mostly see-through.
- Sunlight can be harvested through that thermally-insulating material and store the energy.
- The group’s gel is also cheaper to produce because it comes from beer waste.
- Aerogels are at least 90 percent gas by weight, but their defining feature is air.
- Their thin films are made up of crisscrossing patterns of solid material that trap air inside billions of tiny pores, similar to the bubbles in bubble wrap.
- It is that trapping capacity that makes them such good insulators.
- The aerogel, which looks like a flattened plastic contact lens, could also be used on buildings on Earth to help make huge savings on energy.
Source- The Hindu
- ‘Kanyashree’ scheme
- West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee lifted the ceiling on annual family income for the beneficiaries of her government’s flagship women welfare scheme ‘Kanyashree’ that aims to ensure girls stay in school and delay their marriages till at least the age of 18.
- Kanyashree was launched in 2013 to prevent the early marriage of girl children of socio-economically disadvantaged families whose annual income is Rs 120,000 or less.
- Close to 50 lakh beneficiaries are enrolled under the scheme so far in Bengal.
Source- Business Standard