Factly articles for 16th May 2020

13 min read

1.Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020

News: The Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020(FRA 2020) has been released by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Facts:

  • The report presents a comprehensive view of the world’s forests and the ways in which the resource is changing.
  • It is based on the assessment of more than 60 forest-related variables in 236 countries and territories in the period of 1990–2020.

Key takeaways:

  • Total forest area: The world’s total forest area is 4.06 billion hectares (bha) which is 31% of the total land area.
  • Countries with Highest forest cover: Russian Federation, Brazil, Canada, United States of America and China constituted more than 54% of the world’s forests.
  • Decline in rate of forest loss: The rate of net forest loss decreased substantially during the period of 1990–2020.
  • Forest Area: During the last decade Forest area has increased in Asia, Oceania and Europe while the highest rate of net forest losses was recorded in Africa followed by South America.
  • Types of forest loss: The largest proportion of the world’s forests are tropical (45%), followed by boreal, temperate and subtropical.
  • Plantation Forests: The highest percent of plantation forests were in South America while the lowest were in Europe.

Additional Facts:

FAO:

  • It is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. It is headquartered in Rome, Italy.
  • Aim: To achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives.
  • Reports:
    • Global Food Price Index
    • State of the World’s Forests report among others.

2.Government Issues Warning Against ‘EventBot’ Malware

News: CERT-In (Indian Computer Emergency Response Team) has issued a caution against EventBot Malware.

Facts:

  • EventBot: It is a Trojan that targets mobile banking, mobile wallets and other financial services apps by masquerading as a legitimate Android app

Additional Facts:

  • Trojan horse: It is a malware that disguises itself as a normal file or program to trick users into downloading and installing malware.
  • Malware (malicious software):It refers to any kind of software that is designed to cause damage to a single computer, server or computer network.
  • CERT-In: It was established in 2004 as an attached office within the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. It is the nodal agency to deal with cyber security threats like hacking and phishing.

3.Decision on hydropower project in Arunachal Pradesh deferred

News: The Forest Advisory Committee, the apex body of the Environment Ministry has deferred its decision on the Dibang Valley project in Arunachal Pradesh.

Facts:

  • Dibang Valley Project is a storage-based hydro-electric project located on river Dibang in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Once built,it will be the largest ever Hydro Electric Dam Project to be constructed in India.

4.Centre gives nod for Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme

News: Defence minister has approved the launch of the Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme (DTIS) with an outlay of ₹400 crore.

Facts:

  • Aim:To promote indigenous defence production with special focus on participation of MSMEs and Start Ups by bridging gaps in defence testing infrastructure in the country.
  • Duration:The scheme would run for the duration of five years and envisages to set up six to eight new test facilities in partnership with private industry.
  • Funding:
    • Government will provide up to 75% funding in the form of ‘Grant-in-Aid’.
    • The remaining 25% of the project cost will have to be borne by the Special Purpose Vehicle(SPV) whose constituents will be Indian private entities and State Governments.
    • The SPVs under the scheme will be registered under Companies Act 2013.
  • Significance:It will facilitate indigenous defence production, consequently reduce imports of military equipment and help make the country self-reliant.

5.NIT Kurukshetra implements Enterprises Resource Planning(ERP), SAMARTH

News: NIT Kurukshetra has implemented Enterprises Resource Planning (ERP), SAMARTH to enhance productivity through better information management and automating the process in the institute.

Facts:

  • SAMARTH: It is an open source, open standard enabled robust, secure, scalable and evolutionary process automation engine for Universities and Higher Educational Institutions.
  • It has been developed under the National Mission of Education in Information and Communication Technology Scheme (NMEICT) of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).
  • The platform caters to faculty, students and staff at a University/Higher Educational Institutions.
  • Significance: It would automate the processes of the enhancement of productivity through better information management in the institute by seamless access to information and proper utilization of information.

Additional Facts:

  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP): It refers to a type of software designed to integrate the main functions of an organization’s business processes into a unified system.
  • NMEICT: It was launched in 2003 by MHRD to leverage the potential of ICT in teaching and learning process for the benefit of all the learners in Higher Education Institutions in any time anywhere mode.
  • Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme: It was started in 2002 by the Ministry of Human Resources and Development with the assistance of the World Bank.It aims to upscale the quality of technical education and enhance capacities of institutions.

6.India opposes Pakistan-China move to build major dam in Gilgit-Baltistan

News: Pakistan has signed a contract with Chinese state-run firm and Frontier Works Organisation, a commercial arm of Pakistan’s military for the construction of the Diamer-Bhasha dam.

Facts:

  • Diamer-Bhasha Dam: It is located on the Indus River in northern Pakistan between Kohistan district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Diamer district in Gilgit Baltistan.
  • India’s Stand: It has opposed the construction of Dam on the grounds that Gilgit-Baltistan region is part of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir that was illegally occupied by Pakistan.

7.Tribal Affairs Minister launches ‘GOAL’ programme to provide online mentorship to tribal youth

News: Union Minister for Tribal Affairs has launched the GOAL (Going Online As Leaders) programme.

Facts:

  • GOAL (Going Online as Leaders) is the joint initiative of Facebook and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
  • Aim: To empower tribal youth through mentorship, leadership training, and digital literacy skills.
  • Under this, 5,000 young tribal entrepreneurs (to be called as ‘Mentees’) will be trained by experts (to be called as ‘Mentors’) from different disciplines on digital skills under the digital entrepreneurship program.
  • Focus of the programme: It will focus on three areas such as Life skills, digital literacy and Leadership and Entrepreneurship and on sectors such as agriculture, handicrafts, textiles, health among others.

8.Finance minister announces third tranche of economic revival package

News: The Union Finance Minister has announced the 3rd economic package under Atma Nirbhar Bharat to strengthen Infrastructure Logistics, Capacity Building, Reforms for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Processing Sectors.

Facts:

  • Essential Commodities Act: Government will amend the Essential Commodities Act to deregulate cereals, pulses, onions and potatoes. Stock limits will be imposed under very exceptional circumstances like national calamities, famine with a surge in prices.
  • Contract Farming: Government will consider introducing a law on contract farming under the Contract Act of 1872 to enable farmers to directly engage with processors, aggregators, large retailers and exporters in a fair and transparent manner.
  • Micro Food Enterprises: Scheme promoting the government’s vision: ‘Vocal for Local with Global outreach’ will be launched to help 2 lakh MFEs who need technical upgradation to attain FSSAI food standards, build brands and marketing.
  • Operation Greens run by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MOFPI) will be extended from tomatoes, onion and potatoes to all fruits and vegetables.
  • Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund: This fund will be set up with an outlay of Rs.15,000 crore to support private investment in Dairy Processing, value addition and cattle feed infrastructure.
  • Beekeeping initiatives: Government will implement a scheme for Infrastructure development related to Integrated Beekeeping Development Centres, Collection, Marketing and Storage Centres, Post-Harvest & value Addition facilities among others.