Current Affairs State

  The famous Parshuram Kund Mela begins in Arunachal Pradesh. Parshuram Kund is a Hindu pilgrimage centre situated on the Brahmaputra plateau in the lower reaches of the Lohit River. Thousands of pilgrims visit the place in winter every year, especially on the Makar Sankranti day for a holy dip in the sacred kund which is believed to wash away one’s sins.

  The Income-Tax Department has launched a 24×7 control room to monitor black money and illegal inducements in poll-bound Delhi. The facility will also host a toll-free number “1800117574” where people can inform the department about any activity of the use of money power, illegal distribution of cash among other such election-related crimes. The Election Commission (EC) has also appointed 22 IRS officers of the I-T Department as expenditure observers for these polls.

  The Kolkata Port has been renamed as Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Port on the occasion of 150th years celebration of Kolkata Port Trust. The event was also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He dedicated a Commemorative Stamp to mark 150 years of Kolkata port trust to nation. The Kaushal Vikas Kendra and Pritilata Chhatri Avas for 200 tribal girl students from Sundarbans were also inaugurated during the event. During the event, two oldest pensioners of the Port Mr. Naresh Chandra Chakraborty (100 years old) and Smt. Nagina Bhagat (105 years old) were also honoured.

  Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will inaugurate “Advantage Maharashtra expo 2020” in Aurangabad. The Exhibition has been organised by the Marathwada Association of Small Scale Industries and Agriculture (MASSIA). This Exhibition showcase the growth of Marathwada industries in technology and innovation and the products produced and exported from the region will be showcased in this exhibition. This exhibition will provide an opportunity for businesses and will serve the platform for small entrepreneurs.

  The 2nd phase of Mission Indradhanush 2.0 rolled out at block level in 35 districts of Uttar Pradesh. The aim of the program launched by the central government in 2017 is to achieve 90% vaccination coverage in children of less than 2 years in the state. Under the program around 66 thousand sessions will be organized for vaccination of more than 5.5 lakh children and around 1.3 lakh pregnant women of the state. The focus of immunization is on urban, underserved population and tribal areas. Intensified Mission Indradhanush will be conducted till March 2020.
Source: The News on AIR

  Journalists’ Day is being celebrated on 6th of January every year in the state of Maharashtra. The day is celebrated in the memory of late thespian journalist Balshashtri Jambhekar. Balshastri Jambhekar, is also known as ‘The Father of Marathi Journalism’, for his efforts in starting journalism in Marathi language.
Source: The News On AIR

  Kolkata Police has started the 3rd edition of ‘Sukanya‘ project. The project aims to provide self-defence training to girls studying in schools and colleges in the city. The third batch of ‘Sukanya’ started at 100 city-based schools and colleges situated in Kolkata Police jurisdiction. Sukanya project is an initiative of the Kolkata Police’s Community Policing Wing to provide self-defence training to girl students of city-based schools, colleges and universities. The initiative is funded by Women and Child Development and Social Welfare Department of the state government.
Source: The News On AIR

 The Marine Ecosystems-Challenges and Opportunities (MECOS), the third international symposium is to be held in Kochi. The symposium is conducted by the Marine Biological association of India between January 7, 2020 and January 10, 2020.
  • Highlights
Scientists, Fisheries researchers, Marine biotechnologists and oceanographers from all over the world are to participate in the meet. The symposium will act as a common platform for the experts to discuss on climate crisis, unusual warming of Arabian Sea, ocean acidification, etc. It will discuss development of small-scale fisheries, green fishing technologies and eco-labelling. The symposium will review concerns of marine ecosystem and will formulate new strategies for sustainable utilisation of marine wealth. The Conference is important because billions of people rely on oceans for their jobs and food. A Healthy ocean is also important for economic growth and food production.
  • SDG-14
The symposium is to focus on the Sustainable Development Goal of the United Nations, SDG-14. SDG-14 says, “Conserve and Sustainably use the oceans and its resources for sustainable development”
  • Significance
Ocean acidification that is caused due to uptake of carbon-dioxide has changed the chemical composition of the seawaters. According to the United Nations, over the past 30 years, acidity has increased by 26% since pre-industrial times. The marine fish stocks that are at biologically sustainable levels have declined from 90% (1974) to 99.9% (2015).

 According to the recent census at the Bhitarkanika National Park, the population of salt water (or estuarine) crocodiles have increased to 1,757 as compared to 1,742 in 2018.
  • Highlights
The peak winter is the ideal time to carry out the census as it exposes more than 50% of mud banks. Around 22 teams were formed to count the crocodiles in the creeks and rivers in the park and its surrounding area. The teams sited 620 hatchlings, 288 juveniles, 325 yearlings, 185 sub adults and 339 adults. The crocodile count in the park has been increasing gradually. According to the census, in 2000, there were 1,192 crocodiles in the park. In August 2019, the Bhitarkanika National Park reported that 3,000 crocodiles were born from 103 nests. The chances of baby crocodiles reaching adulthood is very less. Only one in 500 baby crocodiles reach adulthood. The IUCN status of salt water crocodile is Least Concern.
  • Bhitarkanika National Park
The Park obtained the status of Ramsar site in 2002. It was the second area to get the status after Chilika lake. The Park is the second largest mangrove ecosystem in India. The Fauna of the park includes saltwater crocodile, black ibis, Indian Python, wild boar, cobra, darter, monitor lizard, etc. The park holds Guinness World Record of spotting largest male salt water crocodile in the world that weighed 2,000 kg in 2006.

 In January 2020, a turtle rehabilitation Centre is to be set up in Bihar’s Bhagalpur forest. The centre will shelter more than 500 turtles and is to be spread over half a hectare. 
  • Highlights
The rehab centre will act as home to sick and severely injured turtles that are being rescued from smugglers. Prior to the rehab, the forest officials were not able to monitor the rescued turtles before releasing them into rivers. The rehab centre will help in solving this problem.
  • Why Bhagalpur?
The flow of water in River Ganga in Bhagalpur is ample. There are number of sandbanks in the region that act as ideal breeding ground for the turtles. Also, the turtles in the region weigh up to 15 kilograms and are smuggled in large extent. According to a report by National Mission for Clean Ganga and WII (Wildlife Institute of India), the turtles in the region are under great threat due to habitat fragmentation due to dams and barrages, illegal poaching, pollution, accidental drowning in fishing nets. Therefore, it is essential to save such life threatened turtles and release back to the river in the right season.
  • Need
According to a study of Traffic India, every year around 11,000 turtles are smuggled from India. They are targeted for their meat as turtle meat gives energy boost and keeps diseases away. The hard-shell turtles are poached for pet trade. They are in high demand in China, Japan and South East Asia.

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