- Bihar: 22 districts fail to utilise anti-tobacco funds
- At least 22 districts in the state failed to utilise even a single penny released to them in the first quarter of the current financial year for implementation of National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP), a centrally sponsored scheme. Ten other districts could manage to spend funds only in single digit.
- According to data available with the State Health Society (SHS), 22 districts have failed to spend even a single penny for tobacco control. Katihar is the only district to cross 50% mark as far as NTCP is concerned. In fact, the district has spent 65% of the funds allotted to it for the purpose. Arwal district, on the other hand, had spent 45% of the funds till September this year.
- Global Terrorism Index 2019
- According to the 2019 Global Terrorism Index (GTI), deaths from terrorism fell for the fourth consecutive year, after peaking in 2014.
- The number of deaths has now decreased by 52 per cent since 2014, falling from 33,555 to 15,952.
- Afghanistan was the country most impacted by terrorism in 2018, replacing Iraq, which had held that position since 2004.
- With 350 Indians killed and 540 injured in 748 terrorist incidents in 2018, India is at seventh place in the list of countries most affected by terrorism.
· NIA to host counter terrorism exercise for Quad countries
- TheNational Investigation Agency (NIA)is to host the first-ever counter-terrorism table-top exercise (CT-TTX) for the Quad countries.
- The aim of the CT-TTX exercise is to assess and validate counter-terrorism response mechanisms in the light of emerging terrorist threats among the Quad countries.
- The CT-TTX exercise is the first of its kind engagement among the four countries. The exercise aims to discuss the issues of common interest related to counter-terrorism.
- The countries take the international counter-terror offensive, preparedness, mitigation and synergy to the next level.
- NASA Unveils First Electric Plane X-57 “Maxwell”
- NASA showcased an early version of its first all-electric experimental aircraft, the X-57 Maxwell.
- Adapted from an Italian-made Tecnam P2006T twin-engine propeller plane, the X-57 has been under development since 2015.
- The target of the agency is to fly this aeroplane in late 2020.
· Centre to set a new framework for SIFIs under IBC
- The Central government has notified rules for the resolution ofsystemically important financial institutions (SIFIs)under Section 227 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC). The new rules excluded banks. The government also said that the IBC’s regular provisions would be applicable to all other financial service providers (FSPs), not deemed SIFIs.
- The new rules set by the government of India aims to open the doors for resolution of stressednon-banking finance companies (NBFCs) under the framework.
- Financial service providers are generally not covered under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. Under the new rules notified by the government, the code can be invoked to find a resolution for stressed finance companies such as Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd. (DHFL). These rules will not apply to banks.
- The government will notify the categories of FSPs that do not fall under the systemically important category. It shall be resolved under the normal provisions of the Code as ordinarily applicable to corporate debtors.
- This new framework will be decided in consultation with the appropriate regulators, mostly the Reserve Bank of India.
· Railways use humanoid robot to transport documents
- The modern railway coach factoryis using a humanoid robot Sona 1.5to transport documents from one place to another. The humanoid robot Sona 1.5 was built by Najavunjpavad, Jaipur. It was successfully tested recently. The move by the factory aims to establish new dimensions in the field of modernity.
- Sona 1.5, the humanoid robot, is afull-service robot made in India. This robot will be used to transport files or any type of documents from one place to another in the modern railway coach factory. It is the first robot in the world with human-like spine technology due to which they are able to balance.
· Ministry of AYUSH adds Medicinal Plants to the NAM Scheme
- Ministry of AYUSHhas implemented a new component named Medicinal Plants under Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National AYUSH Mission (NAM)since 2015-16 across India. The move by the Ministry aims to promote the cultivation of medicinal plants.
- Ministry of AYUSH has provided its support in cultivating the medicinal plants in the states of Bihar, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal through which the river Ganga flows.
- According to the NAM scheme guidelines, the medicinal plants are cultivated in different states based on the State Annual Action Plan (SAAP) that are submitted by the concerned State and approved by the NAM Directorate of Ministry of AYUSH.
· Ministry of Culture to promote Indian literature in foreign countries
- Ministry of Culturehas started to promote the Indian literature in foreign countries throughSahitya Academy. To promote Indian Literature in foreign countries, the Sahitya Akademi that functions under the Ministry of Culture has sent few delegations to different countries under the Cultural Exchange Programme of the Ministry. The countries include Spain, London, Brazil, Thailand, Israel, Mauritius, Sharjah, and Nepal.
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