- Chambal’s receding water level threatening aquatic life
- The river currently has several endangered species, including 1,600 gharials, 600 crocodiles and 70 dolphins. Forest officials said water levels have fallen up to two feet in some areas, threatening habitat of the highly endangered gharial (Gavialis gangeticus). The crisis has forced the National Chambal Sanctuary officials in Uttar Pradesh to seek urgent help from the Kota water resource department in Rajasthan for immediate release of water.
- Chambal river was declared a sanctuary in 1978 to provide a fully-protected habitat for conservation of gharials and other wildlife. The total length of the river inside the sanctuary is about 600 km.
- N Korea named ‘worst human trafficking country’
- The US State Department has categorised North Korea as as one of the “worst human trafficking nation” for the 16th straight year, citing the use of forced labour.
- According to the annual ‘2018 Trafficking in Persons Report’, North Korea has been included in the Tier 3 category, which is the lowest ranking, along with China, Russia and Iran.
· Saturns moon, Enceladus, could support life
- The Cassini spacecraft discovered complex organic molecules originating from one of Saturn’s moons, Enceladus, adding to its potential to support life.
- The Cassini spacecraft first flew close to the ice-covered moon in 2005 as part of a mission to gather data on Saturn that will be analyzed for years to come.
- Fragments of large organic molecules in ice grains that were ejected from geysers through cracks in the moon’s icy exterior have been identified.
· James Webb telescope launch has further delayed to 2021
- The launch of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescopehas been further delayed to March 2021. The telescope was expected to launch in 2020. This move will cost the agency an additional $8.8 billion and its total cost stands now as $9.66 billion.
- The Independent Review Board (IRB) by NASA to assess recommended that progress on the Webb telescope is needed as it is vital to the next generation of research beyond NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. Webb is optimized to view the heavens in infrared light.
· French government reintroduced compulsory national service for all 16 year olds
- Under the plan, all 16 year old French boys and girls would do a minimum of one-month servicein the first phase which would focus on voluntary teaching and working with charities among others.
- The second phase will be voluntary and focus on areas linked to defence and security.
- The service program will start at the beginning of the 2019.
- National service ended in Britain in 1957, though military service remains compulsory in Greece, Russia and Finland.
· US withdraws its military from South Korean capital after 70 yrs
- US withdrew its troops from Seoul after nearly 70 years and moved them to Camp Humphreys in the city of Pyeongtaek.
- Camp Humphreys, the largest US overseas military base, was built over a period of 10 years which cost nearly $11 billion.
- Over 28,000 US troops are stationed in South Korea.
· India will get Black Money Data from Swiss Bank by 2019
- As part of a bilateral treaty signed between the India and Switzerland, India would start getting data on deposits made by Indians this year in Swiss Banks from
- Strong action would be taken against those found guilty of wrongdoing.
- Under Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) which was introduced by former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, an individual could remit up to USD 2,50,000 per year.
- Cabinet clears setting up 2 more oil reserves
- In a move to bolster the country’s crude oil reserves, the Cabinet approved construction of two more strategic petroleum reserves with aggregate capacity of 6.5 million tonnes (MT) at Chandikhol in Orissa and Padur in Karnataka.
- Under phase-1 of the strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) programme, government has built crude oil storage facilities with total capacity of 5.33 MT, equivalent to around 39 million barrels, at three locations — Visakhapatnam, Mangalore and Padur.
- Last month, the first consignment of 2 million barrels of crude oil arrived from the UAE, intended to fill one of the two strategic reserve caverns at Mangaluru.
- Suresh Prabhu launches Mobile App ‘ReUnite’
- Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu has launched a mobile application called ReUnite which helps to trackandtrace missing and abandoned children in India.
- Speaking on this occasion the Minister appreciated the work being done by the NGO,Bachpan Bachao Andolan & Capgemini for developing this app.
- The app is multiuser where parents and citizens can upload pictures of children, and provide detailed description like name, birth mark, address, report to the police station, search and identify missing kids.
- NITI Aayog releases First Delta Ranking of Aspirational Districts
- The NITI Aayog has launched the first Delta ranking (incremental progress) for the Aspirational Districts, based on self-reported data of districts between March 31, 2018 to May 31, 2018, across five developmental areas of Health and Nutrition, Education, Agriculture and Water Resources, Financial Inclusion and Skill Development, and Basic Infrastructure.
- The Districts started entering data from 1st April, 2018 in the Champions of ChangeDashboard and 108 districts out of total 112, participated in this ranking.
- Dahod district of Gujarat improved 19.8 points to rank first in the Delta ranking (was Ranked 17 in Baseline ranking).
- West Sikkim district in Sikkim stood second with 18.9 points, a huge improvement from being in the 30th position in Baseline ranking.
- Israel to gift 100 units of digital farming to Gujarat
- Israel will gift 100 units of digital farming on an experimental basis in Gujarat. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani is on a six-day-long visit to Israel with a high-level delegation.
- Vijay Rupani met Netafim CEO Ran Maidan and discussed with him the potential of digital farming in Gujarat.
- Netafim is an Israeli irrigation solutions providing firm.