· Forest Department to get a 24×7 helpline
- More than 154 years after the formation of the department, there will finally be a helpline and control room to receive complaints and queries. A 24-hour helpline, ‘1926’ — a standardised number across the country — is expected to be operational by Republic Day this year.
- The 24×7 control room will be equipped with a dashboard so that information of officers, programmes and schemes, or even registration of complaints, can be taken from any caller from any part of the State. On the previous toll-free number, getting information about officers in rural areas was a problem.
- The helpline is not the only police model being adopted by the Forest Department. Nearly 36 years after policemen started receiving ‘CM’s medals’ as a note of encouragement, forest staff are set to receive the same.
According to a notification dated December 2017, 25 forest personnel will be awarded CM’s medals for their work in protection of forests, removal of encroachments, and handling man-animal conflict and anti-poaching activities.
· India became 43rd Member of Australia Group
- India joined the Australia Group export control regime and has become the 43rd Member of that Group.
- It is an informal forum which seeks to ensure that exports do not contribute to the development of chemical or biological weapons.
- The inclusion will raise India’s stature in the field of non-proliferation and help in acquiring critical technologies.
- India managed entry into Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Wassenaar Arrangement and Australia Group despite not being a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Gk bit – Australia Group
- The Australia Group (AG) is an informal forum of countries which, through the harmonisation of export controls,seeks to ensure that exports do not contribute to the development of chemical or biological weapons.
- Coordination of national export control measures assists Australia Group participants to fulfil their obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention to the fullest extent possible.
- This is achieved by members through the harmonisation of export controls like using licensing measures.
- It was established in the background of use of chemical weapons (in the form of nerve agents and sulphur mustard) by Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.
- It has 43Members + European Union
· India to offer Yoga classes at World Economic Forum
- India will offer Yoga training sessions at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, in a move aimed at promoting Indian traditions abroad.
- More than 70 heads of states are expected to attend the summit next week. PM Narendra Modi will be the first Indian Prime Minister to attend the summit in 21 years.
- Two yoga teachers from India will hold daily classes next week at the summit, which has attracted 70 heads of state and government, including U.S. President Donald Trump as well as celebrities, chief executives and top bankers.
- Modi will be the first Indian prime minister to attend the WEF in 21 years, since when the economy has more than doubled to $2.3 trillion and become the world’s seventh largest.
- MEITY launches Cyber Surakshit Bharat to strengthen Cybersecurity
- The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), announced the Cyber Surakshit Bharat initiative in association with National e-Governance Division (NeGD) and industry partners at an inaugural event in Delhi.
- It will include an awareness program on the importance of cybersecurity; a series of workshops on best practices.
- Cyber Surakshit Bharat is the first public-private partnership of its kind and will leverage the expertise of the IT industry in cybersecurity.
- Silvassa tops the List of Cities selected in Round 4 of Smart Cities
- Shri Hardeep S. Puri , Minister of State (I/C) for Housing & Urban Affairs has announced the Round 4 winning cities of National Smart Cities Challenge.
- The Minister informed that Silvassa from Dadar & Nagar Haveli has topped the list of winning cities in this round of competition.
- Other winning cities are –
Erode, Tamil Nadu
Diu, Daman & Diu
Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh
Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh
Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh
Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh and
- Maitre-2 bus services to connect India and Bangladesh
- Maitre-2, the second passenger bus to Kolkata via Dhaka is started from Agartala, Tripura, to give a boost to the trans-border relationship between India and Bangladesh.
- Recently, the Maitre-2 buses were flagged off by Tripura Road Transport Corporation Chairman.
- The first Maitre bus service was launched in the year 2015.
- Mauritius largest source of FDI in India, says RBI
- Mauritius was the largest source of foreign investment in India, followed by the US and the UK, according to a census by the Reserve Bank.
- Singapore and Japan were the next two sources of foreign direct investment (FDI), said the Reserve Bank of India.
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