08&09, April 2018

Assam’s Spring Festival begins in Manas National Park

The aim of the event is to promote the local food and culture of the fringe villagers. It is an attempt to create a model of alternative livelihood through food, handloom and culture

  1. The mantra of 3R – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – Is at the heart of any vision towards the sustainable development of mankind

Source: PIB

The mantra of 3R – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle- is at the heart of any vision towards the sustainable development of mankind.

  • All stakeholders –producers, consumers and the State alike must adhere to this golden principle which can contribute significantly in solving the twin challenges of waste management as well as the sustainable development.

Key facts:

  • The Eighth Regional  3R  Forum  in  Asia  and  the  Pacific is all set to commence in  Indore from  9  to  12  April  2018 with  an  overall  theme  of  “Achieving  Clean  Water,  Clean  Land  and Clean  Air  through  3R  and  Resource  Efficiency  –  A  21st  Century  Vision  for Asia-Pacific  Communities
  • The Eighth Regional 3R  Forum will see participation of around 40 mayors of cities around the world and mayors of more than 100 cities across India.
  • The highlight of the event will be a series of sessions with mayors focusing on sustainable urban development and forging of inter-municipal partnerships and cooperation at the national and international level.
  • The signing and subsequent adoption of the ‘Indore 3R Declaration on Achieving Clean Water, Clean Land and Clean Air’ in cities by mayors and city authorities is the major expected outcome of the event.

3R FORUM: Aims and Objectives

  • The Forum  aims  to  address  how  3R  and  resource efficiency  measures  can  provide  complementary  benefits  in  making  cities and  countries  clean,  smart,  liveable  and   
  • The Forum  also  aims  to generate  policy-level,  institutional  level  and  technological  insights  towards effective  implementation  of  3R  and  resource  efficiency  to  foster  circular economic  development,  sustainable  change  in  current  use  of  natural resources  and  ultimately  achieve  a  zero  waste 
  • In addition,  the  Forum seeks  to  engage  the  public  and  private  sector  to  explore  various  partnership opportunities  in  areas  of  3R  and  waste  management  for  moving  towards  a zero  waste 
  • The Forum  further  provides  an  opportunity  to  establish insightful  linkages  between  the  principles  of  3R  and  resource  efficiency  and the objectives of Swachh Bharat Mission (Clean India Mission).
  • Through this Forum, India aims to strengthen this focus through its ‘Mission Zero Waste’ approach thereby encouraging cities, industries and other diverse stakeholders to see look at waste as a resource.

The Eighth Regional 3R Forum in Asia and the Pacific is hosted by the Ministry of  Housing  and  Urban  Affairs,  Government  of  India,  and  co-organized  by the  Ministry  of  the  Environment,  Government  of  Japan,  and  the  United Nations  Centre  for  Regional  Development  of  the  Division  for  Sustainable Development /United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

  1. India, Nepal decide to develop inland waterways for cargo movement

Source: The Hindu

  • India and Nepal on Saturday agreed to boost cooperation in the connectivity sector as the two sides decided to develop inland waterways for cargo movement, within the framework of trade and transit arrangements.
  • This new initiative would enable cost-effective and efficient movement of cargo.
  • The prime minister of Nepal noted the enormous impact the additional connectivity would have on the growth of business and economy of Nepal.

3.Government to launch Gobardhan Yojana nationally from Haryana

Source: The Hindu

Central Government’s ‘Gobardhan Yojna’, a scheme for managing and converting cattle dung and solid waste into manure and biogas, will be launched nationally from Karnal, Haryana on April 30, 2018.

Government to launch Gobardhan Yojana nationally from Haryana

Gobardhan Yojna:

  • Word ‘Gobar’ in ‘Gobardhan Yojna’ is to be referred as abbreviation of Galvanising Organic Bio Agro Resources.
  • This scheme was announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while presenting Union Budget 2018.
  • Under this scheme, bio-gas plants will be set up at individual or community level and also at the level of Self Help Groups and NGOs like Gaushalas.
  • Funds required to set up bio-gas plants will be provided by central and state governments in the ratio of 60:40.
  • Generating energy by converting cattle dung and solid agricultural waste into compost and biogas will also ensure cleanliness in villages.
  • Government has set a target to cover nearly 700 districts under the scheme during 2018-19.

  1. NPA crisis: 11 public sector banks under RBI scanner; check full list

Source: Indian Express

Eleven public sector banks are under the radar of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) over the issue of non-performing assets. These banks have been brought under the central bank’s Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework with an aim to check NPAs

What is PCA?

  • PCA, which stands for Prompt Corrective Action, generally restricts lending activities of the banks, according to the report.
  • The RBI had come out with a more stringent PCA framework in April 2017 to turn around lenders with weak operational and financial metrics.
  • Banks under this framework are restricted from opening new branches, staff recruitment and increasing the size of their loan book depending on the risk thresholds set in PCA rules.
  • Apart from these, banks are directed to disburse loans only to those companies whose borrowing is above investment grades.
  • The RBI enforces these guidelines to ensure banks do not go bust and follow prompt measures to put their house in order

Impact on industry

  • Small and medium enterprises will have to bear the brunt due to this move by RBI.
  • Since the PCA framework restricts the amount of loans banks can extend, this will definitely put pressure on credit being made available to companies especially the MSMEs. Large companies have access to the corporate bond market so they may not be impacted immediately.
  • It has been predicted that if more state-owned banks are brought under PCA, it will impact the credit availability for the MSME segment.
  • Experts have said that it will take a minimum of 6-9 months for these banks to report any noticeable improvement in the key regulatory indicators, which may help them come out of PCA.

5. Parker Solar Probe

Source: The Hindu

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe — humanity’s first mission to the Sun

Parker Solar Probe, has begun final preparations for its launch in July. After launch, it will orbit directly through the solar atmosphere – the corona – closer to the surface than any human-made object has ever gone.

Key facts:

  • The spacecraft was flown by the US Air Force to Florida, where it will continue testing, and eventually undergo final assembly and mating to the third stage of the Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle. After launch, it will orbit directly through the solar atmosphere — the corona — closer to the surface than any human-made object has ever gone.
  • While facing brutal heat and radiation, the mission will reveal fundamental science behind what drives the solar wind, the constant outpouring of material from the Sun that shapes planetary atmospheres and affects space weather near Earth.

Parker solar probe:

  • NASA’s historic Parker Solar Probe mission will revolutionize our understanding of the sun, where changing conditions can propagate out into the solar system, affecting Earth and other worlds. Parker Solar Probe will travel through the sun’s atmosphere, closer to the surface than any spacecraft before it, facing brutal heat and radiation conditions — and ultimately providing humanity with the closest-ever observations of a star.
  • In order to unlock the mysteries of the sun’s atmosphere, Parker Solar Probe will use Venus’ gravity during seven flybys over nearly seven years to gradually bring its orbit closer to the sun. The spacecraft will fly through the sun’s atmosphere as close as 3.9 million miles to our star’s surface, well within the orbit of Mercury and more than seven times closer than any spacecraft has come before.
  • The primary science goals for the mission are to trace how energy and heat move through the solar corona and to explore what accelerates the solar wind as well as solar energetic particles.

Parker Solar Probe has three detailed science objectives:

  • Trace the flow of energy that heats and accelerates the solar corona and solar wind.
  • Determine the structure and dynamics of the plasma and magnetic fields at the sources of the solar wind.
  • Explore mechanisms that accelerate and transport energetic particles.

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