1. Global Language Park (bhasha van in Hindi) in Pune
- In what is certainly the first such experiment in the country, and perhaps the world, the eminent linguist Ganesh Devy plans to set up a Global Language Park (bhasha van in Hindi) in Pune.
- It will be located on a one-acre plot on the premises of the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU).
- Conceptualised as part of the 84th PEN (Poets, Essayists, Novelists) International Congress that is underway in the city, the park will have about 80 ‘language ’.
- The idea is to physically represent 6,000 of the world’s spoken tongues in one space.
- Each tree represents the languages and dialects derived from the family or parent tree.
- Set to open in January 2019, the park will have a tree-lined walkway.
- Each plant will be equipped with a ‘bespoke audio tour’ to aid visitors.
- Audio samples of songs, poems, folktales, sayings, and jokes will be drawn from different world languages.
Source- The Hindu
2. NITI Aayog and United Nations in India sign Sustainable Development Framework for 2018-2022
United Nations Sustainable Development Framework(UNSDF)
- The UNSDF was framed following a highly participative process, in consultation with government entities, civil society representatives, academia, and the private sector.
- The UNSDF outlines the development cooperation strategy between the Government of India and the United Nations Country Team in India.
- It supports the achievement of India’s key national development priorities and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- The focus areas include poverty and urbanization; health, water, and sanitation; education; nutrition and food security; climate change, clean energy, and disaster resilience; skilling, entrepreneurship, and job creation; and gender equality and youth development.
3. Apex Court declines SIT probe in Bhima Koregaon case
- The Supreme Court refused to interfere with the arrest of five rights activists by the Maharashtra Police in connection with the Koregaon-Bhima violence case and also declined to appoint a SIT for a probe into their arrest.
- The CJI said arrests were not because of dissent of activists but there was prima facie material to show their link with the banned CPI (Maoists) organization.
- The apex court said that the accused persons cannot choose which investigating agency should probe the case.
- It also said this it was not a case of arrest merely because of a difference in political views.
- The majority verdict said the house arrest of the accused shall remain in force for four weeks to enable them to seek appropriate legal remedy at an appropriate legal forum.
Source- The Hindu
4. Centre to hike grant for SDRF
- The Centre has enhanced its contribution in the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) from 75% to 90% with effect from April 1.
- Kerala, which has recently faced the worst floods, will be a major beneficiary of the Centre’s decision. Henceforth all States will be required to contribute 10% to the SDRF.
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF)
- The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is a specialized force constituted “for the purpose of specialist response to a threatening disaster situation or disaster” under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
- Formed in 2006.
- It is the “Apex Body for Disaster Management” in India is the National Disaster Management Authority(NDMA).
- The Chairman of the NDMA is the Prime Minister.
- The responsibility for disaster management in India’s federal system is that of the State Government.
- The ‘nodal Ministry’ in the central government for management of natural disasters is the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
State Disaster Response Force (SDRF)
- The SDRF has been constituted in each State in which the Centre, so far, had been contributing:
- 75% for the general category states.
- 90% for special category States of hilly regions every year.
- The SDRF is a resource available to the States to meet the expenses of relief operations of immediate nature, for a range of specified disasters.
- Based on the recommendations of successive Finance Commission, the central government approves the annual allocation to SDRF.
- On the recommendations of 14th Finance Commission, the government has significantly enhanced the allocation to SDRF by 82.30% for 2015-16 to 2019-20.
Source- The Hindu
5. Locate Public Toilets on Google Maps MoHUA partners with Google to launch #LooReview Campaign
- The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, under the aegis of Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban (SBM – U), has partnered with Google to launch the Loo Review campaign.\
- One of the objectives of the Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban (SBM – U) is to provide sanitation coverage through public toilet facilities across cities in India for achieving Open Defecation Free (ODF) status.
Loo Review campaign
- It is to encourage all local guides in India to rate and review public toilets on Google Maps.
- This campaign is part of a feature which allows all citizens to locate public toilets in their cities on Google Maps, Search and the Assistant and also provide feedback on the same.
- 500+ cities in India with more than 30,000 toilets with the name of “SBM Toilet” are currently live on Google Maps.
6. Government launches Rail Heritage Digitisation Project of Indian Railways in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture
- The project is a landmark effort.
- First of its kind in this part of the globe.
- For showcasing country’s Rail Heritage to National and International audience in an online story-telling platform.
- This project is the largest cultural heritage digitization project not only in India but possibly the Asia Pacific Region.
7. NITI Aayog and Oracle sign a Statement of Intent to pilot drug supply-chain using the blockchain
- NITI Aayog signed an agreement with cloud services provider Oracle, hospital chain Apollo Hospitals, and pharmaceutical manufacturer Strides Pharma Sciences to curb the distribution of fake drugs using new technologies.
- Oracle’s blockchain software permanently registers a drug’s record in the manufacturer’s drug supply chain (serial number, labeling, scanning), leaving no scope for record tampering
- The Indian pharmaceutical industry is the third largest in the world in volume, accounting for 10% of the world’s production.
- A recent report by World Health Organisation estimates 20% of all drugs sold in India are fake.
- Also, as the largest producer of generic drugs in the world, India is reported to be the source of 35% of all counterfeit drugs sold worldwide.
About Blockchain technology in drug supply-chain
- Blockchain technology helps to permanently register a drug’s record in the manufacturer’s drug supply chain (serial number, labelling, scanning), leaving no scope for record tampering.
- At every point of hand change, it records the drug’s movement – from manufacturer to logistics, to the stockist to the hospital, or pharmacy to the consumer.
- In case of a fake drug, the software will detect irregularity.
- Additionally, critical information such as chemical ingredients of the drug or maintenance of temperature control in case of life-saving drugs or vaccines can also be tracked.
Source- The Hindu
8. Bullet train: Japan lends ₹5,500 crore.
- Japan has granted a loan of ₹5,500 crore for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project on Friday.
- The Embassy of Japan said that the amount was part of the tranche 1 of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Project (MAHSR).
- The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the funding body in charge of the bullet train project.
- It simultaneously issued ₹1,600 crore for the metro rail system between Howrah Maidan to Salt Lake Sector V.
- The West Bengal project is part of the Kolkata East-West Metro Project.
Source- The Hindu
9. 1st corn festival of the country
- In Madhya Pradesh, the first corn festival of the country is being held in Chhindwara.
- The festival is one of a kind international event.
- Madhya Pradesh is one of the largest corn producing states in India, with Chhindwara being the highest corn producing district.
Source – AIR