- Tiger census in Karnataka this month
- The All-India Tiger Estimation conducted once in four years will be held from January 8 to 13 in tiger reserves and wildlife forest divisions, and from January 22 to 27 in the territorial forest divisions of the State.
- In view of the exercise, safaris in national parks and wildlife sanctuaries will be closed from January 7 to 13 when the carnivore and mega herbivore sign survey will be conducted.
- The exercise will be held in four phases and the entire process is an eight-day protocol of which the sampling for the carnivore sign survey, ungulate abundance along the line transects and vegetation and human disturbance levels constitute the core of the entire procedure.
- Karnataka is the number 1 State in the country with 406 tigers as per the 2014 estimates and this could happen only with the dedication of the staff in effective protection and habitat improvement works. However, in the Western Ghats landscape, which includes tiger habitats spread across Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Goa, the tiger numbers were estimated to be in the range of a minimum of 685 and a maximum of 861, making it the highest in the country. Within this, the Bandipur-Nagarahole-Mudumalai-Wayanad complex held the world’s single-largest tiger population of around 575 and all the States had displayed an increase in tiger population within the landscapes.
· UNESCO Enters Turkey’s Endangered ‘Bird Language’ in Intangible Cultural Heritage List
- The unusual and very efficient whistle language commonly called “bird language”used as a means of communication by villagers in remote northern Turkey entered the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
- UNESCO accepted the “bird language” of Black Sea villagers as an endangered part of world heritage in need of urgent protection.
· Pakistan State Bank Allows use of Chinese Currency Yuan for Bilateral Trade & Investment Activities
- Pakistan allowed Chinese currency Yuan for exports and financing transactions.
- According to Pakistan, external affairs ministry, both public and private sector enterprises of Pakistan and China are free to choose Yuan for bilateral trade and investment activities.
- As per current foreign exchange regulations, Chinese Yuan is an approved foreign currency for denominating foreign currency transactions in Pakistan.
- Joint Schemes for SC, OBC, Safai Karamcharis and Disabled Persons
- The Government is implementing a Scheme, namely the Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS) that provides grant-in-aid to non-governmental organizations for various projects relating to rehabilitation of persons with disabilities.
- The objective of the scheme is to enable persons with disabilities to reach and maintain their optimal, physical, sensory, intellectual, psychiatric or social functional levels.
· Reserve Bank of India Bonds Scheme Being Replaced by 7.75% Savings Bonds Scheme
- According to the Finance Ministry, RBI Bonds Schemeclosed but the interest rate on such papers lowered to 7.75 percent.
- The 8 percent Savings Bonds Scheme, also known as RBI Bonds Scheme, is not being closed but is being replaced by 7.75 percent Savings Bonds Scheme.
- These taxable bonds are meant for individual other than Non-Resident Indians with no maximum limit for investment.
· India exempts biometric enrolment for cruise tourists arriving with e-visa aims to boost tourism
- India an attractive cruise tourist destination the central government has exempted cruise tourists arriving with e-visa from the requirement of biometric enrolment for a period of three years i.e. till 31.12.2020.
- The decision was taken by Ministry of Home Affairs on request of the Ministry of Shipping.
- This will make immigration clearance of such passengers faster, leaving them with more time to spend on shore.
- This is also an important factor that helps cruise lines decide whether or not to include a destination in their itinerary.
- The Ministry of Shipping has been working towards simplifying the immigration clearance procedure and providing passengers with a customer friendly and hassle-free logistics process when they embark on or disembark from their cruise at the Indian ports. E-Visa has been in place in the five major ports of Mumbai, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, and Chennai.
- Till now biometrics of passengers were required at a port of the first arrival for immigration clearance.
· First Draft of National Register of Citizens in Assam Released
- The citizen of Assam witnessed the release of the first draft of National Register of Citizens (NRC)containing the first batch of 19 million names of genuine Indian citizens in compliance with the Supreme Court ‘s orders.
- Registrar General of India Sailesh released the document.
- The first draft has listed 19 million people out of the 32.9 million applicants from within the state as legal Indian citizens.
· Eastern Railway arranges special trains for Ganga Sagar Mela
- The Hindus from all over the world reach the confluence of the Ganges at Sagar Sangamsituated in southern part of West Bengal in India during Gangasagar Mela.
- It is often said that one visit to Gangasagar is worth lifetime.
- To control the rush of pilgrimages to Gangasagar, Eastern Railway announced 13 special trains.
- The island of Gangasagar is among the most popular Hindu pilgrimage places in the country.
- Each year on Makar Sankranti (mid-January), the large number of devotees from all over the nation, congregate at Gangasagar for a sacred dip at the convergence of the river Ganga and the Bay of Bengal.
- After the sacred dip, the pilgrims offer ‘Puja’ at the Kapil Muni Temple or Ashram.
· G Sathiyan Becomes Indias Highest-Ranked Player in Latest ITTF Rankings
- G Sathiyan becomes India’s highest-ranked player in the latest International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF)
- He surpasses his compatriot the legendary Sharath Kamal.
- The current ranking of Sathiyan is 49, pushing Kamal to the second spot at 51.
- As for the women, Manika Batra is topping the world chart among Indians at 62th.
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