- Bihar set to downsize Wb-aided mega teachers’ project by 38%
- The Bihar government has in principle decided to reduce the size of the World Bank-sponsored project ‘Enhancing Teacher Effectiveness in Bihar Operation’ for the period 2015-16 to 2019-20 from $357 million (Rs2234-crore) to $228 million (Rs1621.308-crore) in view of ‘moderately satisfactory achievements’ necessitating revised targets.
- For the project, to be implemented over a five-year period to make elementary school teachers more qualified, accountable and responsive, the world Bank’s share was $250 million, while the rest $107 million was to be borne by the Bihar government.
- The main focus of the programme was to improve the learning outcomes of students by developing a robust system that could equip teachers with knowledge and skill to be more effective in the classrooms. The need for it was felt in view of induction of a large number of untrained teachers since 2006 to fill large-scale vacancies, falling learning levels and huge future needs.
- The project involved multimedia content production to facilitate continuous development of teachers and training of untrained teachers.
· Macedonia signed an accord to join as a new member of NATO military alliance
- Macedonia signed an accord to join NATO to become the 30th member of the NATO military alliance.
- The historic agreement was signed between Macedonia’s Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
- Macedonia Capital is Skopje.
· US approves sale of two missile defence systems for Air India One
ð US administrations approved purchase of the two systems known as Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCAM) and Self-Protection Suites (SPS) for an estimated cost of USD 190 million.
- The purpose of the LAIRCM programme is to protect large aircraft from man-portable missile Once installed, the LAIRCAM system increases crew-warning time, decreases false alarm rates and automatically counters advanced intermediate range missile systems.
- The counter-measures subsystem will use lasers mounted in pointer-tracker turret assemblies. It also automatically counters advanced intermediate range missile systems with no action required by the crew.
- The pilot will simply be informed that a threat missile was detected and jammed.
- SPS will facilitate a more robust capability into areas of increased missile threats.
- The US is the second-largest arms supplier to India. It has already recognised India as a “major defence partner“, a status that which commits the US to facilitate technology sharing with India.
- In 2018, the US granted India Strategic Trade Authorisation-1 (STA-1) status. India is the only South Asian country to get STA1 status and third Asian country after Japan and South Korea. The status eases defence procurement from US. Last year both New Delhi and Washington signed COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement).
· World Pulses Day celebrated on 10th February
- February 10, 2019, was the first-ever World Pulses Day, a United Nations global event to celebrate pulses worldwide and continue the important gains made with the 2016 International Year of Pulses.
- The aim is to celebrate, raise awareness and promote the consumption of pulses at events around the globe.
· India celebrated National Deworming day on 10th February
- India celebrated theNational Deworming day on 10th February. The National Deworming Day (NDD) is an initiative of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
- The objective of National Deworming Day is todeworm all preschool and school-age children between the ages of 1-19 years through the platform of schools and Anganwadi Centers in order to improve their overall health, nutritional status, access to education and quality of life.
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 241 million children between the ages of 1 and 14 years are at risk of parasitic intestinal worms in India, also known as Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STH).
- STH infections can lead to anemia, malnutrition, impaired mental and physical & cognitive development, and reduced school participation.
· Helicopter-launched anti-tank missile ‘Helina’ test-fired
- India test-fired its helicopter–launched version of one of the most-advanced anti-tank weapons from the Odisha coast.
- Helina, the helicopter-launched version of the Nag anti-tank guided missile with a hit range of 7-8 km, was launched from an Army chopper.
- Developed by the Defence research and development organisation (DRDO), it is one of the most-advanced anti-tank weapons in the world.
- It is guided by an infrared imaging seeker (IIR) operating in the lock-on before-launch mode and helps in further strengthening the defence capabilities of the country.
· Himalayan Cloud Observatory set up in Tehri
- A Himalayan CloudObservatory is set up in Tehri district with a motive to forecast and monitor cloudburst incidents in the Himalayan region and help to minimise the damage.
- Cloudburst incidents are very frequent in the hilly areas of Uttarakhand, resulting in a huge loss of life.
- This is the second observatory in the country.
- First high altitude cloud observatory near Munnar in Keralato predict lightning in the entire region.
· Ladakh is declared as Jammu & Kashmirs third administrative division
- The Jammu & Kashmir Government declared Ladakh as the third administrative division of the state.
- The division will comprise Leh and Kargil districts, with Leh as the division’s headquarters.
- Ladakh is one of the most sparsely populated regions in Jammu & Kashmir and the highest plateau in the state, most of it being over 9.800 ft above sea level. The region is geographically isolated and remains landlocked for nearly 6 months in a year.
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