Daily GK Update: 30th December 2019

Astronaut Christina Koch Breaks Record for Longest Space Mission by a Woman

  • A NASA astronaut has set a new record for time spent in space, and she still has six weeks to go before she returns to Earth.
  • Christina Koch has surpassed the record for the single longest space mission by a woman as previously established by NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson in 2017. The 40-year-old Expedition 61 flight engineer exceeded Whitson’s record of 289 days, 5 hours and 1 minute on Saturday (Dec. 28) at 6:16 p.m. CST (0016 GMT on Dec. 29).

Source: Space.com

The India State of Forest Report 2019

  • Total tree and forest cover in the country increased by 5,188 square kilometer in the last two years.
  • There is an increase of 42.6 million tonnes in the carbon stock of the country as compared to the last assessment of 2017.
  • There is a decrease of forest cover to the extent of 765 sq km (0.45 per cent) in northeast India region. Except Assam and Tripura, all states in the region show decrease in forest cover.
  • The loss in the North East is attributed primarily due to the traditional farming practice of Shifting Cultivation.
  • The mangrove cover in the country has increased by 54 sq km (1.10 per cent) as compared to the previous assessment.
  • Karnataka tops the country in growing the maximum amount of forest in the last two years.
  • Karnataka is followed by Andhra Pradesh (990 sq km) and Kerala (823 sq km).
  • Total bamboo bearing area of the country is estimated as 1,60,037 sq km. There is an increase of 3,229 sq km in bamboo bearing area as compared to the previous estimate.

Source: Insights on India

World’s oldest rhino’ dies in Tanzania

  • A rhino thought to be the oldest in the world has died in Tanzania, aged 57.
    Fausta, an eastern black rhino, was first sighted in the Ngorongoro crater in 1965, when she was three.
  • She roamed the crater freely for more than 54 years, but health issues in her old age required her to spend her final few years receiving specialist care in a sanctuary.
  • Fausta never had calves – something conservationists in Ngorongoro suggest may have contributed to her long life.
  • By 2016, Fausta’s eyesight was deteriorating and she was suffering from the lingering effects of hyena attacks.

Source: BBC News

Koneru Humpy wins World Rapid Chess ttle

  • Koneru Humpy’s long wait finally ended after she beat Lei Tingjie in the Armageddon to win the Women’s World Rapid Chess Championship in Moscow.
  • India’s best-ever women’s chess player, Humpy, was crowned the world women’s rapid champion in Moscow at the same venue where Magnus Carlsen won the men’s title in the space of a few minutes.

Source: Sportstar

Finance Minister Sitharaman launches ‘eBkray’ auction platform for assets attached by banks

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today launched eBkray, an e-auction platform to enable online auction of attached assets by banks.
  • The eBkray platform provides navigational links to all PSB e-auction sites, property search feature and presents single-window access to information on properties up for e-auction, comparison of similar properties, and also contains videos and photographs of the uploaded properties.

Source: Business Today