Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - February 13, 2018

Environment

15th India State of Forest Report 2017 Biennial report says Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala registered the maximum growth; northeast States show a decrease

Enlighten about the Report -

  • India is ranked 10th in the world, with 24.4% of land area under forest and tree cover
  • India posted a marginal 0.21% rise in the area under forest between 2015 and 2017, according to the biennial India State of Forest Report (SFR) 2017.
  • The document says that India has about 7,08,273 square kilometres of forest, which is 21.53% of the geographic area of the country (32,87,569 sq. km).
  • Getting India to have at least 33% of its area under forest has been a long standing goal of the government since 1988.
  • Increase in the forest cover has been observed in Very Dense Forest (VDF), as VDF absorbs maximum carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

State Statics -

  • Three states - Andhra Pradesh (2141 sq km), followed by Karnataka (1101 sq km) and Kerala (1043 sq km) have shown the maximum increase in forest cover.
  • Madhya Pradesh has the largest forest cover of 77,414 sq km in the country in terms of area, followed by Arunachal Pradesh with 66,964 sq km and Chhattisgarh (55,547 sq km).
  • In India’s north-east however, forest cover showed a decrease;
  • In terms of percentage of forest cover with respect to the total geographical area, Lakshadweep with (90.33 per cent) has the highest forest cover, followed by Mizoram (86.27 per cent) and Andaman & Nicobar Island (81.73 per cent)”,

Above 33% states -

  • The present assessment also reveals that 15 states/UT’s have above 33 per cent of the geographical area under forest cover.
  • Out of these States and Union Territories, seven States/UTs namely Mizoram, Lakshadweep, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Manipur have more than 75 per cent forest cover

Between 33%- 75% -

  • 8 states - Tripura, Goa, Sikkim, Kerala, Uttarakhand, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Chhattisgarh and Assam have forest cover between 33 per cent to 75 per cent.

Regarding Mangroves -

  • All the 12 mangrove states have shown a positive change in the mangrove cover, as compared to the last assessment.
  • Mangrove ecosystem is rich in biodiversity and provides a number of ecological services.

Enlighten about the specifications -

  • Forest Survey of India has adopted the vector boundary layers of various administrative units upto districts developed by Survey of India along with digital open series topo sheets, bringing about full compatibility with the geographical areas as reported in Census, 2011.
  • The spatial information given in the report is based on interpretation of LISS-III data from Indian Remote Sensing satellite data (Resourcesat-II)

‘Clean Air for Delhi’ Campaign

  • Inauguration of a Workshop on environmental health, as part of the Clean Air Campaign,
  • It was deliberated and recommended at the Workshop that the number of PM2.5 monitoring stations need to be expanded and a group of experts including the concerned ministries may meet once a month in MoEF&CC to deliberate on the environmental and health issues and may issue health advisory
  • The Workshop examined various assessments on impact of air pollution on health and concluded that these should be seen as estimates to inform policy making.
  • The ‘Clean Air for Delhi’was launched on February 10, 2018 jointly by the Central Government and the Government of Delhi to address all sources of pollution in Delhi.
  • The campaign will last till February 23, 2018.

Ministry of Road Transport & Highways

NHAI to Launch Ranking System for Toll Plazas

  • To address issues that affect highway users, such as ease of tolling, electronic tolling/FASTag lane, cleanliness at toll plazas, behavior of the toll plaza staff, deployment of marshals, cleanliness of toilets, functioning of Highway Nest (Mini), wayside amenities and availability of ambulance and cranes in case of any emergency on the highway.
  • To visit at least two toll plazas each across the country and check the above facilities personally to improve the users convenience. Accordingly, a massive drive was launched on more than 300 toll plazas simultaneously across the country
  • The competitive atmosphere created by the ranking of toll plazas will improve the amenities and overall convenience for highway users.

Administrative Reforms

Creation of Defence Chief Post

  • Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) was recommended by Group of Ministers in 2001.
  • A decision in this regard was to be taken after consultation with political parties.
  • Subsequently, Naresh Chandra Task Force on National Security recommended creation of the post of Permanent Chairman Chief of Staff Committee in 2012.
  • Both the proposals are simultaneously under consideration of the Government.

Creation of CTCR and CIS Divisions in MHA

  • Two new divisions, Counter Terrorism and Counter Radicalisation Division and the Cyber and Information Security Division, have been created in the Ministry of Home affairs

Tourism

The Great India Blog Train

  • The Social Media Key Influencers Campaign of the Ministry of Tourism “The Great India Blog Train”involving Travel bloggers from across the world was launched today by the Secretary, Ministry of Tourism Smt. Rashmi Verma at Safdarjung Railway Station, New Delhi.
  • The Secretary interacted with the Bloggers on the issue of promotion of tourism and other aspects pertaining to tourism and see them off on their journey.

21st Indian Birding Fair

  • The 21st Indian Birding Fair is happening at the Man Sagar Lake, Rajasthan.
  • This year, this fair is dedicated to the White Naped Tit bird, which is quite rare in Jaipur and are at the verge of extinction.

Enlighten About White Naped Tit bird

  • White-Naped is a robust, strongly patterned, mainly black-and-white coloured bird with yellow in the flanks and sides of the breast.
  • The bird is found in Udaipur and in some regions of Kutch as well.
  • It is considered vulnerable to extinction because of the scarcity of suitable habitats.

Education

Development Impact Bond

By -

  • Britain’s Prince Charles

Why –

  • to help improve education for over 200,000 children in India.

Enlighten about DIB –

  • The DIB is the largest bond of its type in South Asia.
  • It is the latest fundraising initiative by British Asian Trust (BAT) set up by royal 10 years ago to fight poverty in South Asia.

Environment Protection

ASH TRACK mobile app

Implementing Ministry –

  • Ministry of Power

Why –

  • For Fly Ash management
  • Web based monitoring System and Fly Ash mobile application named ASH TRACK.

Enlighten about this mobile app -n

  • It will enable better management of fly ash produced by thermal power plants by providing interface between ash producers (thermal power plants) and potential ash users such as –cement plants, road contractors etc.

ASH TRACK App

  • The app shows coal based power plants situated within radius of 100 km and 300 km from a given location.
  • It will allow user to select power station from where he wants to take fly ash.
  • It will also show ash availability, distance from user’s location.
  • It will help power plants to see location of prospective fly ash users surrounding it like – cement plants, NHAI, contractors of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) projects, brick producers, etc.
  • The app will give plant wise, utility wise and state wise fly ash utilization status in the country and also details of ash generation and utilization in real time.

Social

National Women Entrepreneurship Council

  • Government to establish National Women Entrepreneurship Council
  • The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development is considering to establish National Women Entrepreneurship Council (NWEC).
  • It will be umbrella organization for socio-economic gender parity, financial inclusion and economic empowerment of women in India and to promote entrepreneurship among women.
  • It will give advice to government on issues related to entrepreneurship in women as current business chambers are largely “male-dominated.

International

J-20 Fourth-generation stealth fighter commissioned by China

  • China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) has commissioned its new generation J-20 fourth-generation stealth fighter into combat service.
  • With this, China became second country in world to commissioned domestically developed stealth aircraft after United States.
  • J-20 is China’s fourth-generation medium and long-range fighter jet.
  • It is single-seat, twinjet, all-weather, and stealth fighter aircraft.

Sources – PIB,livemint,the hindu