- India sixth wealthiest country with total wealth of $8,230 billion
- India is the sixth wealthiest country in the world with a total wealth of $8,230 billion, while the U.S. is the richest nation globally, says a report.
- According to the AfrAsia Bank Global Wealth Migration Review, the US is the wealthiest country in the world with a total wealth of $62,584 billion, followed by China ($24,803 billion) in the second place and Japan ($19,522 billion) in third.
- Total wealth refers to the private wealth held by all the individuals living in each country. It includes all their assets (property, cash, equities, business interests) minus any liabilities.
- Government funds are excluded from these figures. Larger countries have an advantage due to higher populations.
- Barcelona forward Lionel Messi won the European Golden Shoe for the fifth time.
- The Argentina international claimed the prize after scoring 34 goals in La Liga this season, helping his club to a 25th league triumph.
- Messi also won the award last year, as well as in 2010, 2012 and 2013.
- Four-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo finished ninth in the rankings after scoring 26 goals for Real Madrid in La Liga.
- Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala
- As the death toll in the virus-induced fever in north Kerala rises to nine, the National Virology Institute in Pune has confirmed that the deceased were infected with Nipah virus (NiV).
- This is the first time the virus, which has high fatality rate and spreads mainly through bats, pigs and other animals, has been detected in the state.
- Nipah virus (NiV) infection is a newly-emerging zoonosis (a disease which can be transmitted to humans from animals) that causes severe disease in both animals and humans. The natural host of the virus are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus.
- NiV was first identified during an outbreak of disease that took place in Kampung Sungai Nipah, Malaysia in 1998. On this occasion, pigs were the intermediate hosts.
· Supersonic cruise missile BrahMos tested successfully to validate new features
- Supersonic cruise missile BrahMos was successfully fired from a test range along the Odisha coast to validate some new features.
- The missile, an Indo-Russian joint venture, was tested from a mobile launcher at Launch Pad 3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near Balasore.
- The successful test will result in huge savings of replacement cost of missiles held in the inventory of the armed forces.
- The two-stage missile — first being solid and the second one, a ramjet liquid propellant — has already been introduced in the Army and the Navy, while the Air Force version had witnessed a successful trial.
- BrahMos variants can be launched from land, air, sea and under water. India successfully launched the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile from a Sukhoi-30 MKI combat jet for the first time against a target in the Bay of Bengal in November, 2017.
· Census 2021 likely to have 2,231 new census towns
- There are 2,231 villages that are likely to be declared new census towns for the upcoming census, says a recent study by the Centre for Policy Research (CPR).
- Census towns are an anomaly that burst into the limelight during the last census in 2011. They are settlements which are larger (at least 5,000 people) and denser (at least 400 people per sq. km) than most villages, with at least three-fourths of their male population not working in agriculture. They are still governed like villages by rural panchayats, unlike statutory towns which are governed by urban local bodies (ULBs).
- The census has been tracking this phenomenon since 1961. But their growth was relatively low, touching 1,362 census towns by 2001. However, in the 2011 census, there were 2,600 new census towns, taking the total to almost 4,000.
· Government earns ₹1,400 crore from e-Visa
- The government earned ₹1,400 crore as revenue from the highly successful e-Visa scheme, offered to citizens of 163 countries visiting India as tourists, since its launch in 2014.
- The Union Home Ministry officials said 19 lakh tourists made use of the e-Visa scheme in 2017 and it is expected that more than 25 lakh tourists will avail the facility in 2018.
- The scheme has been implemented by the foreigners division of the Home Ministry to improve the efficiency and transparency of various services being provided to foreign nationals.
- The facility is now available for nationals of 163 countries for entry into India through 25 international airports and five sea ports.
- Under the scheme, an applicant, when an online application is submitted, receives an e-mail authorising him or her to travel to India after it has been approved.
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