Factly News articles for December 15, 2020

Himalayan Serow spotted for the first time in Spiti cold desert

News: Himalayan serow has been sighted for the first time in the Himalayan cold desert region in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh.


  • Himalayan serow: It is a subspecies of the mainland serow (Capricornis sumatraensis).It resembles a cross between a goat, a donkey, a cow, and a pig.
  • Habitat: There are several species of serows and all of them are found in Asia.They are found at altitudes between 2,000 metres and 4,000 metres(6,500 to 13,000 feet).They are known to be found in eastern, central, and western Himalayas but not in the Trans Himalayan region.
  • Diet: Himalayan serows are herbivores animals.
  • IUCN Red List: Vulnerable
  • Wildlife Protection Act,1972: Schedule I

GRSE-built stealth frigate ‘INS Himgiri’ launched

News: INS Himgiri, the first of the three Project 17A ships was launched by the Indian Navy.


  • INS Himgiri: It is an indigenous stealth frigate being built by the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited(GRSE) under Project 17A for the Navy.

Additional Facts:

  • Project 17A or Nilgiri-class frigate: It is a follow-on of the Project 17 Shivalik-class frigate for the Indian Navy.A total of seven ships are being built, four at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited(MDL) and three ships at GRSE.
  • Significance: P17A ships are the first gas turbine propulsion and largest combat platforms ever built at GRSE.

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Trade and Development Report: UNCTAD

News: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development(UNCTAD) has released a report titled “Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Trade and Development: Transitioning to a New Normal”.


  • Aim: The report provides a comprehensive assessment of the impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Trade and Development.

Key Takeaways.

  • The global economy would contract 4.3% this year due to the pandemic. This could send an additional 130 million people into extreme poverty.
  • The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 will be derailed unless immediate policy actions are taken especially in favour of the poorest.
  • Global poverty is also on the rise for the first time since the 1998 Asian financial crisis.In 1990, the global poverty rate was 35.9%.By 2018 it had been curtailed to 8.6% but has already inched up to 8.8% this year and will likely rise throughout 2021.


  • Increase the international assistance which would include offering debt relief to many poorer nations so they have the fiscal space needed to address the pandemic’s economic impacts on their populations.
  • To reshape global production networks to be more green, inclusive, and sustainable while simultaneously resetting the multilateral system to support the most vulnerable and deliver on climate action.

National Centre for Divyang Empowerment(NCDE)

News: The Minister of State for Home Affairs has inaugurated the National Centre for Divyang Empowerment(NCDE).


  • National Centre for Divyang Empowerment(NCDE): It has been set up by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)
  • Objective: To skill, re-skill and rehabilitate Divyang warriors of the force suffering from disability that occurred in line of duty.
  • Location: Rangareddy, Telangana.

Explained: What are the diversity requirements that Indian companies need to meet?

News: NASDAQ stock exchange in the US may soon require all companies listed to include at least one female board member as well as one member from a racial minority group or from the LGBTQ community on their board of directors.


  • Diversity requirements Indian companies need to meet? All public companies which are listed on stock exchanges and companies with either a paid-up capital of Rs 100 crore or annual turnover over Rs 300 crore are required to have at least one woman board member under the Companies Act.
  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India(SEBI) further requires, from April 1, 2020, that the top 1000 listed companies by market capitalization have a woman board member who is also an independent director.
  • Level of Compliance: According to the data compiled by Institutional Investor Advisory Services(IiAS), 17% of directors in the Nifty 500 companies were women as of the end of the last fiscal with the exception of several public sector enterprises(PSEs).