- UNDPs 2019 HDR to focus on inequality
- United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)is to publish the Human Development Report (HDR) 2019 with its focus on The report would be released around the last quarter of the year. HDR 2019 will provide a comprehensive picture of the many forms of inequality that are shaping the 21st century.
- The report will use a framework that looks beyond income and considers inequalities in health, education, tech, and exposure to economicand climate-related shock and will look beyond averages to paint a more accurate and timely picture of the state of inequality.
- UNDP has acknowledged that the life and prospects faced by a newborn in a poor country or in a poor household are radically different from those of wealthier children. In all societies, long-standing forms of inequality persist while gaps are opening in new aspects of life. The world is witnessing both convergence and divergence in human development. UNDP’s analysisof inequality will go beyond income, beyond averages and beyond today in HDR 2019.
- India inks an agreement for setting up India-Africa Institute of Agriculture & Rural Development
- India signed an agreement with a development bank for setting up the India-Africa Institute of Agriculture and Rural Development (IAIARD) in Malawi.
- IAIARD will be a Pan-African Institute wherein trainees not only from Malawi but also from other African countries, will receive training to develop their human resources and build their capacity.
- The travel, logistics and training course expenses for students from other African countries will be borne by the Government of India for an initial period of three years.
- This institute will be the first of its kind developed in an African country by India.
- Malawi Capital is Lilongwe.
- COMCASA: First secure link between India, US navies set up
- India and the US have set up the first ever secure communication link between the Indian Navy & US Central as well as Pacific Naval Commands under the COMCASA pactat New Delhi, India.
- As a result of the implementation of the COMCASA, US has also activated the Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module GPS system in some of C-130 and C-17 transport aircraft.
Gk bit :- COMCASA : COMmunications, Compatibility And Security Agreement
- It is the Indo-US military-information sharing pact and was signed at the 2+2 bilateral summit on 6th September, 2018.
- COMCASA is one of the three foundation agreements that need to be signed by a country with the United Statesto share high-end encrypted communication and satellite data.
- The other 2 pacts are:
i) LEMOA (Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement),
ii) BECA (Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement).
- Hump-backed Mahseer, a large freshwater fish added in ‘Critically Endangered’ list
- Hump-backed Mahseer, also called the tiger of the water and found only in the Cauvery riverbasin (including Kerala’s Pambar, Kabini and Bhavani rivers) – is now “Critically Endangered”, as per the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
- There are about 16 species of mahseer in India.
- Maximum length of fish will be 150 cm and a weight of 90 kg.
- The fish is considered as one of the 229 species from recent Red List which updated in November 2018.
- The threat status of 12 other Indian species, including great hornbills, has increased.
- Kotak Mahindra Bank Becomes First Lender To Charge For UPI Use
- Kotak Mahindra Bank (Kotak) stated that it will charge customers for UPI transactions starting 1st of May 2019.
- For each Kotak Bank account, the first 30 UPI fund transfers will be free, after which a charge will be levied on all fund transfers from the bank account.
- This will be applicable across all platforms, including Paytm, PhonePe, Google Pay or Truecaller Pay among others.
- New method to detect adulteration in ghee
- The Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has included a new method to detect adulteration in desi ghee (clarified butter).
- The method has been included in the prescribed parameters of checking the purity of desi ghee.
- Till now, the purity of ghee was checked through butyro refractometer (BR) reading at 40 degree Celsius and through Reichert Value (RV). In ghee BR reading should be 40 and RV should be 25, if the reading and value increases or decreases than the prescribed limit then the ghee is adulterated.
- The prescribed method is capable of detecting coconut oil at 5%, refined soybean oil at 1%, groundnut oil at 2% and sunflower oil at 1%. The additional oil can also be included for detection of adulteration, however detection would require extensive verification/validation.
- All food aggregators such as Zomato, Swiggy, Food panda, Uber eats etc will have to obtain food license under Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 and Food Safety and Standards Rules, 2011 as per the letter issued by FSSAI on January10, 2019.