- In river-rich Bihar, water crisis is a man-made disaster
- As per the government’s own admission, of the state’s total 1.99 lakh water bodies, 12,027 water bodies, including ponds, have been encroached upon by a nexus of powerful people. The Bihar government admitted this in 2016 after the Patna High Court asked it to identify the number of water bodies in the state, their present status and the action taken to rid them of encroachments.
- Following this, the state government launched ‘Operation Water Body Conservation’ to free water bodies of encroachments and help promote groundwater conservation through traditional water harvesting systems such as ponds, lakes, canals, ahar and pynes.
- This drive was part of the much hyped ‘Disaster Risk Reduction Roadmap 2015-2030’, which mandates action for water conservation by the concerned agencies.
- The Central Ground Water Board’s report for 2016-17 shows that the water levels in Bihar in May 2016, with respect to the pre-monsoon decadal mean of May (May 2006 to May 2015) witnessed a fall in 67 per cent of the 594 Hydrograph Network Stations.
- Scientists have made it clear that indiscriminate exploitation of underground water from deeper aquifers could create a grim situation in the future.
- FATF Asia-Pacific Group blacklists Pakistan
- The Asia-Pacific Group of the global watchdog for terror financing and money laundering, Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has put Pakistan in the Enhanced Expedited Follow Up List (Blacklist) for its failure to meet its standards.
- Pakistan was non-compliant on 32 of the 40 compliance parameters of terror financing and money laundering.
- On 11 effectiveness parameters of terror financing and money laundering, Pakistan was adjudged as low on 10.
- Pakistan could not convince the 41-member plenary to upgrade it on any parameter.
- President of India inaugurates the First World Youth Conference on Kindness
- The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the first World Youth Conference on Kindness in New Delhi.
- The first World Youth Conference on Kindness is being organised by the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development, Ministry of Human Resource Development.
- The conference aims to impart critical competencies (i.e. empathy, compassion, mindfulness and critical inquiry) in global youth to inspire, empower and enable them to transform themselves and build long-lasting peace in their communities.
- Govt to make FASTag mandatory for all vehicles from December 2019
- FASTag enabled vehicles can cruise through the dedicated FASTag lane without stopping at toll plazas on National Highways.
- Launching the new website of his Ministry in New Delhi, Mr Gadkari said, over 52 lakh FASTags have been issued till date.
- FASTags are being issued by 22 certified banks through various channels such as Point-of-Sale at NH toll plazas and selected bank branches.
- FASTag is an electronic toll collection system in India, operated by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
· MHRD launched NISHTHA
- TheMinistry of Human Resource Development launched the National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancements (NISHTHA). It aimed at training over 42 lakh teachers to boost education and employment focusing on reskilling the teaching workforce.
- HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank launched theinitiative’s website, training modules, primer booklet and mobile app built for the purpose.
The programme was launched in the presence of Smt Rina Ray, Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy and other senior officers from MHRD, all States and UTs, Senior Policy Makers and Heads of Institutions.
- NISHTHA is the world’s biggest project. The objective of this massive training programme ‘NISHTHA’ is to motivate and equip teachers to encourage and foster critical thinking in students. It is a100 days programme of the Government. As the teachers are the powerhouse of the nation, the teachers deserve worldwide respect.
Under NISHTHA, the teachers will develop their skills on Artificial Intelligence, Health, School Leadership qualities, Environmental Concerns in a joyful learning manner.
· Rajiv Gauba is appointed as the next Cabinet Secretary
- The Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gaubais appointed as the next Cabinet Secretary for a tenure of two years. His appointment as Cabinet secretary was approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC).
Gauba is a 1982-batch IAS officer of the Jharkhand cadre. He initially joined as the Officer on Special Duty in the Cabinet Secretariat. He will now replace the incumbent P K Sinha, who is a 1977 batch IAS officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre. Mr.Sinha is the 31st Cabinet Secretary of India.
- Ajay Kumar Bhalla appointed as new Home Secretary
- The government-appointed Ajay Kumar Bhalla as new Home Secretary.
- He belongs to 1984 batch of Assam Meghalaya cadre of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and is currently serving as Officer on Special Duty in Home Ministry.
- He succeeds Rajiv Gauba who will move out as Cabinet Secretary.
· National sports awards 2019 were announced
- TheMinistry of Youth Affairs and Sports has announced the awardees of the National sports awards 2019. The award recognizes the successive persons in the field of games and sports. The President of India will award the awardees at a specially organized function at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The awards will be given on the birth anniversary of hockey wizard Major Dhyan Chand which is celebrated as the National Sports Day on August 29.
- National Sports Awards are given for athletes and coaches every year. The award recognizes andrewards excellence in sports. It is given by the Ministry of youth affairs and sports to the successive persons in the field of games and sports.
- The Sports awards are as follows :
♦ Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna (most outstanding performance )
♦ Arjuna Award (outstanding performance)
♦ Dronacharya Award (for coaches)
♦ Dhyan Chand Award (lifetime achievement)
♦ Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Award
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