- Habitats of Great Indian Bustards to be declared as conservation reserves
- Seeking to protect the critically endangered Great Indian Bustard, the Union environment ministry has decided to declare their habitats as conservation reserves and asked power companies to consider placing high voltage lines under the ground as the birds have died after coming in contact with them.
- As per a report by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), a statutory body under the ministry of environment, only 150 GIBs are left in India, out of which around 90 per cent are found in Rajasthan and Gujarat.
- The GIBs are dying at the rate of 15% annually due to collision with high voltage power lines, the WII report had said, adding that their population has been reduced by 75% in the last 30 years.
- Mortality of adult GIBs is high due to collision with power lines that criss-cross their flying path. All bustards are prone to collision due to their poor frontal vision and inability to see the power lines from a distance.
- Indo-Uzbekistan Joint Field Training Exercise (FTX)-2019 ‘Exercise Dustlik-2019’
- The inaugural Indo-Uzbekistan Joint Field Training Exercise (FTX)-2019, Exercise DUSTLIK-2019 culminated on 13 November 2019.
- In the joint exercise which began on 04 November 2019 training was focused on counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations in the urban scenario as well as sharing of expertise on skills at arms, both combat shooting and experiences in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism.
- The exercise also provided an opportunity to armies of all nations for greater cultural understanding, sharing experiences and strengthening mutual trust and cooperation.
- It was conducted at Chirchiq Training Area, Uzbekistan.
· Suranga Bawadi entered the World Monuments Watch List
- Suranga Bawadihas entered the World Monuments Watch Listunder the Ancient Water System of the Deccan Plateau of the World Monument Funds. It is situated in Bijapur, Karnataka. It is an integral part of the ancient Karez System by which water was supplied through subterranean tunnels.
- Suranga Bawadi was built in the 16th century by Adil Shah-Iof the Adilshahi dynasty of Bijapur. The system was aimed to supply water to Vijaypura in Karnataka.
- Karez System is a method to harness water in which groundwater is brought to the surface by a tunnel. No mechanical pump or lift is used in the system. The water from the underground source was brought by gravity alone. The technology originated in Persia and Iran. This technology was widely used during the medieval period.
· DRDO to grant the Indian industry free access to patents
- Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is togrant the Indian industry free access to patents held for technologies developed by it.
- The new policy formulated by the DRDO said no licence fee or royalty would be applicable to the use of Indian patents held by DRDO. There are hundreds of such patents covering aeronautics, naval systems, missile technology, combat engineering, life sciences, armaments, electronics, and communication material. Earlier, the licence fee for patents and royalty ranged between several lakh rupees to crore depending upon the type of technology involved.
- As per the new policy, the Indian startups, public and private entities will be granted a free licence to DRDO patents.
- States to set-up model van dhan centres, IIPA to check on ground roll out
ð With a target of setting up 3,000 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVK) by March 31, 2020, to link 10 lakh tribal families to projects enabling value addition to forest produce, the tribal cooperative marketing development federation of India (Trifed) has asked state governments to set up models of VDVKs explaining their functioning at a prominent place in their states.
ð The idea is to showcase short-term and long-term plans through these centres involving tribals in what is seen to be one of the largest self-help group-based entrepreneurship programme.
· Govt targets linking all anganwadis to nutrition dashboard by mid next year
ð In the battle against malnutrition, the latest update on real time monitoring of development indicators of childen in the 0-6 years age group in anganwadis through the Common Application Software (ICDS-CAS) shows that just about 5 lakh anganwadi workers (AWW) across states are uploading the data on the platform as of now using smartphones. Data available with the government shows that while some state governments are yet to implement the smartphone based monitoring there are many where procurement of devices is partially complete.
ð While this is an improvement over 2.10 lakh AWWs uploading data in February, the Central government is of the view that the states need to get their act together to step up implementation. The ministry of WCD is working towards greater coordination between ministries and states.
ð There are around 15 lakh anganwadis across states and the central government hopes to cover 10 lakh anganwadi centres through real time monitoring on Common Application Software (ICDS-CAS) by March 31 next year and cover all anganwadis by middle of next year.
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