- Month-long ‘Festival of India’ begins in Kathmandu
- In Nepal, a month-long ‘Festival of India’ began in Kathmandu to familiarise the new generation of the country about the similarities between the two countries.
- It is being held in Kathmandu and other major cities of Nepal from February 19th to March 21st.
- The festival, organised by the Indian Embassy and Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre.
· Aussie rodent becomes world’s 1st mammal to go extinct due to climate change
- Australia officially declared a Great Barrier Reef rodentextinct, making it the first mammal believed to have been killed off by human-induced climate change.
- The small brown rat has not been seen since 2009.
- It was found only on a small sand island near the coast ofPapua New Guinea.
- According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Australia has the third highest extinction rateof all nations, surpassed by only French Polynesia and the Republic of Mauritius.
- Home Ministry orders pan-India survey to assess impact of police services
- Ministry of Home Affairs has commissioned the Bureau of Police Research and Development to conduct a pan-India survey called, All India Citizens Survey of Police Services.
- The survey will be conducted through the National Council of Applied Economic Research, New Delhi.
- The aim is to understand public perceptions about Police, gauge the level of non-reporting of crimes or incidents to Police, timeliness and quality of police response and action.
- The survey commencing next month will cover a representative sample of 1.2 lakh households spread over 173 districts across the country.
· MHA granted power to arrest anyone to Assam Rifles in the Northeast
- Assam Rifles, deployed along the Myanmar border, has been empowered by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)to arrest anyone and search a place without a warrant in the border districts of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, and Mizoram.
- The Assam Rifles has been given these powers under the Code of Criminal Procedure.
- Earlier, Assam Rifles was making arrests only in areas where the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act was in effect. Since, they were finding it difficult to make seizures and arrest in Mizoram, which doesn’t have AFSPA. The MHA had lifted AFSPA from some areas of Arunachal Pradesh in 2018.
· NARI decided to drop focus on AIDS and undergo change name
- The National Aids Research Institute (NARI)decided to drop its focus on research into the Acquired Immuno-deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and to undergo a name change in the coming months.
- It will no longer serve as a single disease centre, after observing a major drop in a number of
- It will address other areas of public health too and apply the same knowledge and expertise to other fields of public health as well.
- PM Modi approves KUSUM scheme
- The government approved the launch of the Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM) with a central aid of Rs 34,000 crore.
- The scheme will provide financial and water security to farmers through harnessing solar energy capacities of 25.75 gigawatts (GW) by 2022.
- The scheme will have a substantial environmental impact in terms of savings of CO2 emissions.
- The proposed scheme consists of three components :
- 10,000 megawatts (MW) of decentralised ground mounted grid-connected renewable power plants (Component-A)
- Installation of 17.50 lakh standalone solar powered agriculture pumps (Component-B).
- Solarisation of 10 lakh grid-connected solar powered agriculture pumps (Component-C).
· Supreme Court exempted Saridon from list of Banned Drugs
- Piramal Enterprises Ltd’s (PEL) pain relief tablet brand Saridon has been exempted from the list of banned fixed dose combinations(FDCs) by the Supreme Court.
- In September 2018, the government had banned 328 FDCs, which were termed ‘irrational’ on the basis of safety issues and lack of therapeutic justification.