General Studies

Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment Report

The Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment:

• The Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment, the first comprehensive assessment of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) has been developed by the Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) over the last five years.

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Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade

Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade:

• The government has recently renamed the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) as the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and enhanced its role. This works under the Ministry of Commerce.

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Rashtriya Gokul Mission

In the recent Interim Budget, government has allocated Rs. 750 crore for the Rashtriya Gokul Mission which aims to conserve and develop indigenous breeds of cattle. The scheme is run by the Ministry of Agriculture & Family Welfare.

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National Statistical Commission

Recently, the Chairperson and a member of NSC have resigned citing the interference of NITI Aayog in its functioning and in protest at the body being side-lined. The NSC is now left with only Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, who serves as an ex-officio member, and Chief Statistician of India Pravin Srivastava.

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The Union Cabinet has approved the recapitalization of Rs. 6000 crore for the EXIM Bank to boost the bank's capacity in export financing. The infusion will give an impetus to anticipate new initiatives like supporting Indian textile industries, likely changes in Concessional Finance Scheme (CFS) etc.

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Asian Waterbird Census

This AWC was recently conducted in Upper Kuttanad region and has recorded 16,767 birds of 47 continental and local species. Three new species- Greater flamingo, Grey-headed lapwing and Blue-cheeked bee-eater has been spotted in this year’s survey.

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Irrawaddy Dolphin

Irrawaddy Dolphin is in news as the annual headcount exercise of Irrawaddy Dolphins has come to end in the Bhitarkanika and Gahirmatha Wildlife Sanctuary. Last year the census teams had sighted 250 dolphins.

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Pulicat Lake

Pulicat Lake is in news due to the Flamingo Festival that was held from January 20 to 22 in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh. Over 90,000 birds, including storks and pelicans, have come from faraway places to the lake this year attracting both domestic and foreign tourists.

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The Kumbh Mela

The Kumbh Mela is currently an ongoing festival; started from 15th January, Prayagraj Ardh Kumbh Mela, 2019 will continue till 4th March 2019. This year the festival is the costliest ever with a budget allocation of Rs. 4,200 crore.

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Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

AIIB has recently completed 3 years of its functioning and also since India is the largest recipient of AIIB funding, it becomes important from the prelims perspective.

• The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank which is a multilateral development bank is headquartered at ‎Beijing, China.
• AIIB started its operation in 2016 which was founded by 57 countries and at present has 93 members. It is seen as a counter to IMF, ADB, World Bank etc. India is one of the founding members of AIIB and is the largest net recipient of AIIB Funding.

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