1. Parker probe began the second orbit of Sun
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the U.S. space agency said that the Parker Solar Probe has begun its second orbit of the sun. It is on track for its closest approach to the sun. Just 161 days after its launch, the Parker probe completed its first orbit of the sun on January 19.
- The spacecraft has now begun the second of 24 planned orbits, on track for its second perihelion, or closest approach to the sun, on April 4. Parker Solar Probe entered full operational status on January 1.
- The craft has been sending data back home ever since. The Parker probe’s 2nd perihelion or closest approach to the sun will once again bring it about 15 million miles from the sun.
2. Greenpeace reported 139 polluted cities, not on clean air plan
Greenpeace reported that there are 139 Indian cities that breach air pollution standards but are not included in the Centre’s National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). Airpocalypse III, as the Greenpeace report is titled, analyses air pollution data of 313 cities and towns for the year 2017.
- The NCAP was launched by the government earlier this month and is an Rs.300 crore initiative to reduce particulate matter (PM) pollution by 20-30% in at least 102 cities by 2024.
- The National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), which was formally unveiled is envisaged as a scheme to provide the States and the Centre with a framework to combat air pollution.
3. Centre approved Rs.7,214.03 crore for disaster relief
The Centre approved the release of Rs.7,214.03 crore to 6 States and a Union Territory for damage caused by natural calamities during the Kharif season 2018-19 from the National Disaster Relief Fund.
- The announcement was made by the Home Ministry.
- Among the sanctioned amount, Rs. 4,714.28 crore will be given to Maharashtra for drought, Rs.949.49 crore to Karnataka for drought, Rs.900.4 crore to Andhra Pradesh for drought, Rs.317.44 crore to Himachal Pradesh for flood and landslips, Rs.191.73 crore to Uttar Pradesh for flood, Rs.127.60 crore to Gujarat for drought and Rs.13.09 crore to the Union Territory of Puducherry for cyclone.
4. ISRO named 10 firms to make Li-ion cells
The Indian Space Research Organisation plans to transfer the technology for manufacturing Lithium-ion cells developed by the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thumba.
- It has named 10 companies to manufacture the Li-ion cells. The Li-ion cells are developed for use in launch vehicles and satellites, this ISRO spin-off will now fuel India’s electric vehicle boom.
- The shortlisted private-owned (majority) companies are the following: Amara Raja Batteries Ltd, Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh; Bharat Electronics Ltd, Pune; Carborundum Universal Ltd, Kochi; Exicom Tele-Systems Ltd, Gurgaon; GOCL Corporation Ltd, Hyderabad; Jyoti CNC Automation Ltd, Rajkot; National Aluminium Company Ltd (NALCO), Bhubaneswar; Sukhbir Agro Energy Ltd, New Delhi; Tata Chemicals Ltd, Mumbai, and Thermax Ltd, Pune.
5. NGT imposed Rs.10 crore each on State governments
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed the State governments of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Delhi to submit a performance guarantee of Rs.10 crore each within a month as it was dissatisfied with the Yamuna cleaning project. A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel directed the state governments to furnish a performance guarantee with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to ensure there was no further lapse in this regard. The fine was imposed as the NGT was dissatisfied over the cleaning of the Yamuna.
National Green Tribunal (NGT):
- Chairperson: Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel
- NGT is to handle the expeditious disposal of the cases pertaining to environmental issues.
6. Reserve Bank of India to inject Rs 37,500 crore through OMO in February
Reserve Bank of India it will inject Rs 37,500 crore into the system through the purchase of government securities in February to increase liquidity.
- Reserve Bank of India has been monitoring the evolving liquidity conditions and durable liquidity requirements of the system.
- The government to conduct the purchase of government securities under Open Market Operations for an aggregate amount of Rs 375 billion in the month of February 2019 through three auctions of Rs 125 billion each during the 2nd, 3rd and 4th week.
7. Centre allotted Rs.900 crore for Andhra Pradesh
The Central government allocated Rs.900 crore to the State towards drought relief package to Andhra Pradesh for the 2018-19 Kharif season. The fund allocation is a part of the relief package worth Rs.6,680 crore earmarked for Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Karnataka.
Andhra Pradesh got Rs.900 crore. Maharashtra has got an allocation of Rs.4700 crore, while Karnataka will get Rs.950 crore and Gujarat Rs.130 crore.
Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare:
- Headquarters: New Delhi
- Minister: Radha Mohan Singh
8. Tamil Nadu won Best State Award in the Swasth Bharat Yatra
Tamil Nadu has bagged the Best State Award for its active participation in the Swasth Bharat Yatra, a pan-India cyclotron. It aimed at promoting the concept of ‘eating right for a healthy life’.
- The movement is to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi from October 2018 to January 2019. It is organized by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
- FSSAI promotes the message of ‘Eat Healthy’ to prevent non-communicable diseases, ‘Eat Safe’ to prevent food-borne diseases and ‘Eat Fortified’ to prevent micronutrient deficiencies. The Tamil Nadu Food Safety Department made the arrangements to organize the events to create awareness.
9. Pakistan appointed Its First Ever Female Hindu Civil Judge
Suman Kumari becomes the first Hindu woman to have been appointed as a civil judge in Pakistan after passing an examination for induction of judicial officers.
- Kumari, who hails from Qambar-Shahdadkot, will serve in her native district.
- According to her father, Pawan Kumar Bodan, Suman wants to provide free legal assistance to the poor in Qambar-Shahdadkot.
10. India Bagged The Award of Excellence for Best in Show At NYTTS 2019
India received the Award of Excellence for ‘Best in Show’ at the New York Times Travel Show 2019, the largest travel show in North America.
- India was honored during the Closing Bell Ceremony at the New York Stock Exchange.
- The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India participated as the ‘Presenting Partner’ in the New York Times Travel Show (NYTTS 2019) organised at Jacob K Javits Centre, New York with a view to scale up its tourism promotional efforts in the US, enhance India’s visibility and to increase its share of US Outbound travel market.