News: The 12th edition of the Environment Performance Index has been released by Yale and Columbia universities in collaboration with the World Economic Forum (WEF).
- The index is released biennially (once every two years).It ranks 180 countries on 32 performance indicators across 11 categories covering environmental health and ecosystem vitality.
- Top ranks: Denmark was ranked first followed by Luxembourg and Switzerland.
- India: It was ranked 168.In 2018,it was ranked 177.
- All South Asian countries except Afghanistan are ahead of India in the ranking.
News: Senior lawmakers from eight countries have launched the Inter parliamentary Alliance on China(IPAC).
- IPAC is an international cross-party group of legislators working towards reform on how democratic countries approach China.
- Aim: To help counter the threat China’s growing influence poses to global trade, security and human rights.
- Participating Countries: U.S, Germany, U.K, Japan, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Norway as well as members of the European parliament.
News: Indian and Chinese troops have backed off slightly from Galwan river Valley ahead of crucial Lieutenant General level talks.
- Galwan River: It flows from the disputed Aksai Chin region to Ladakh of India.
- Origin: It originates in the area of Samzungling on the eastern side of the Karakoram range and flows west to join the Shyok River.It is also one of the upstream tributaries of the Indus River.
News: Ministry of Women and Child Development has constituted a task force to examine issues related to age of motherhood, lowering Maternal Mortality Rate and improvement of nutritional levels.The task force is being headed by Ms.Jaya Jaitly.
News: Energy Efficiency Services Limited(EESL) in partnership with the US Agency for International Development’s(USAID) MAITREE program has launched the “Healthy and Energy Efficient Buildings” initiative.
- Aim: To address the challenges of retrofitting existing buildings and air conditioning systems so that they are both healthy and energy efficient.
- Market Integration and Transformation Program for Energy Efficiency (MAITREE): It is a US-India bilateral Partnership program between the Ministry of Power and USAID.It is aimed at accelerating the adoption of cost-effective energy efficiency as a standard practice within buildings, and specifically focuses on cooling.
Facts: Chhattisgarh Government has launched a “Spandan” campaign to check mental stress and depression among police personnel.Under this, senior police officers will conduct interactive programmes and will arrange counselling sessions, music and yoga therapies.
News: NASA has announced that a giant asteroid called as 163348 (2002 NN4) is expected to pass Earth.The asteroid is a Near-Earth Object(NEO) and is classified as Potentially Hazardous Asteroid(PHA).
- Near Earth Object(NEO): These are comets and asteroids pushed by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits which allow them to enter the Earth’s neighbourhood.They are composed mostly of water ice with embedded dust particles.
- Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA):It means that an asteroid has the potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth.
- Asteroid: They are small, rocky objects that orbit the Sun.Although asteroids orbit the Sun like planets, they are much smaller than planets.
- Comets: They are cosmic snowballs of frozen gases, rock and dust that orbit the Sun.