Daily GK Update: 19th February 2020

Fifth year of launch of Soil Health Card being observed across the country

  • Fifth year of the launch of Soil Health Card being observed across the country to create awareness about the benefits of the scheme. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the Soil Health Card (SHC) Scheme on 19th February, 2015 at Suratgarh in Rajasthan.
  • The scheme aims at issuing soil health cards to farmers every two years so as to provide a basis to address nutritional deficiencies in soil. The scheme ensures additional income to farmers by an increase in yields and it also promotes sustainable farming.

Source: News Services Division

Union Cabinet approves formation of 22nd Law Commission

  • The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval to set up the 22nd Law Commission.
  • The Law Commission advises the government on complex legal issues. The term of the previous law panel ended last August.
  • The Law Ministry will now notify the new panel, which will have a three-year term.
  • Apart from having a full-time chairperson, the commission will have four full-time members, including a member-secretary.
  • Law and Legislative Secretaries in the Law Ministry will be the ex-officio members of the commission.

Source: The Hindu

Cabinet approves the Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Bill 2020

  • The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has approved a historic Bill for the welfare of Women in the Country – the Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Bill 2020.
  • This follows the introduction in Parliament of the Surrogacy Regulation Bill 2020, and the approval of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Bill 2020.
  • These legislative measures are path breaking steps to protect women’s reproductive rights.
  • Once the Bill is enacted by the Parliament, the Central Government shall notify the date of the commencement of the Act. Consequently, the National Board will be constituted.

Source: PM India

Hindi third most spoken language in the world after English, Mandarin

  • Hindi is the third most spoken language of the world in 2019 with 615 million speakers, according to the 22nd edition of the world language database Ethnologue, published by U.S.-based, Christian non-profit organization Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL).
  • English is the topmost spoken language in the world with 1,132 million speakers.
    Chinese Mandarin is at the second position with 1,117 million speakers.
  • Bangla is the 7th most spoken language of the world having 228 million native speakers.
  • The 2020 database report covers 7,111 living languages of the world.
    In addition to living languages, Ethnologue also contains data on languages which have gone out of use in recent history. This edition lists 348 such languages.

Source: ByScoop

Delhi’s IGI Airport becomes first single-use plastic-free airport of India

  • The CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development, that supports the business community towards achieving sustainability has certified DIAL for its successful voluntary implementation of single-use plastic-free airport measures within IGI Airport’s operations.
  • In a statement, DIAL said our objective to make Delhi Airport free from single-use plastic is in line with Prime Minister’s vision to abolish all single-use plastic from India by 2022. DIAL said it is committed to preserve the environment and do its bit.

Source: DD News

India shifts towards clean Diesel and Petrol from April 1

  • From April 1, 2020, India will shift to Euro-VI emission compliant from Euro-IV grades that is being followed now.
  • Later, it took seven years for India to adopt to BS IV that contains 50 ppm of Sulphur.
  • It took only three years to shift to BS VI standard.

Source: World News Monitor

11 Indian universities find place in top 100 rankings

  • Indian universities had a good performance year within the emerging economies of the world as a record 11 made it to the top 100 Times Higher Education’s (THE) Emerging Economies University Rankings 2020.
  • Only China has more universities than India in the top 100 at 30 from a total of 47 countries and territories included in the analysis released in London on Tuesday evening.
  • A total of 56 Indian universities appear in the full ranking of a total of 533 universities across emerging economies of the world.
  • The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), ranked 16th, is India’s top-ranked institution followed by the Indian Institute of Technologies (IITs).

Source: Business Today

Pakistan successfully tests air launched cruise missile Ra’ad-II

  • Pakistan conducted a successful flight test of the air launched nuclear-capable cruise missile Ra’ad-II with a range of 600 km on Tuesday, significantly boosting the military’s “deterrence capability” on land and at sea.
  • The Ra’ad-II weapon system is equipped with state-of-the-art guidance and navigation systems ensuring engagement of targets with high precision, according to a press release issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the military’s media wing.

Source: The Economic Times

Sushma, Jaitley, Parrikar — all get a premier institute named after them within a week

  • The Narendra Modi government Tuesday renamed a prominent government building after Manohar Parrikar, the late BJP leader who was the defence minister and Goa chief minister.
  • The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) building was renamed the ‘Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses’, making it the latest to have undergone such a change.
  • In the past week, three government buildings were renamed after late Union ministers Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley. All three leaders passed away in 2019.
  • The renaming of IDSA “will align the vision and aspiration of the premier defence institute with the contribution of the former Raksha Mantri and Padma Bhushan awardee”, a statement issued by the government read.

Source: The Print

India And Norway To Develop New Framework For Integrated Ocean Management and Research

  • Ministry of Earth Science said in a latest update that India and Norway have decided to strengthen partnership on blue economy.
  • India’s Minister for Earth Sciences, Harsh Vardhan, and Norway’s Minister for Climate and Environment, Sveinung Rotevatn, opened the India-Norway Task Force on Blue Economy for Sustainable Development. The two countries also commenced a new collaboration on Integrated Ocean Management & Research.

Source: Business Standard

79% of Indian Bird Species Decrease, 101 Placed on ‘High Conservation’ List

  • There has been a decline in population of 79% of Indian species of birds, as per the assessment of current trends, but there is also some good news as the number of Indian peafowls (national bird peacock) has shown a dramatic rise, says a report.
  • Besides, the number of house sparrows has remained “roughly stable” across the country. Its population has gone up in rural areas, although declining in metropolitan cities, according to the State of India’s Birds Report 2020.

Source: News Click

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