- About 3 lakh postmen and GraminDakSevaks of the Department have been declared as “Ambassadors of cleanliness”.
- As “SwachhtaDoots” they have spread the message of cleanliness, zero tolerance to open defecation and use of plastic among the masses.
- At Katowice, Poland, countries have gathered to agree upon a ‘Rule Book’ to implement the Paris Agreement of 2015.
- The Paris Agreement commits countries to ensure the earth doesn’t warm 2C beyond pre-industrial levels.
- In 2019, developed countries are expected to make available $100 billion annually to developing countries, according to a 2010 agreement in Cancun.
- Most of the total climate finance has flowed into mitigation (a reference to preventing carbon dioxide from being emitted).
- India is expected to commission a major hydropower project in Bhutan in the coming weeks.
- The project is 750 megawatt Mangdechhu hydropower project.
- The Mangdechhu project was bagged by the Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL).
- SEBI has recommended allowing unlisted Indian companies to directly list their shares on overseas exchanges in at least 10 countries.
- It also suggested allowing unlisted companies from such countries to list their shares on Indian bourses.
- This is a major shift from the current regulatory regime that does not allow unlisted Indian companies to have a direct overseas equity listing.
- Such listing would only be possible after changes in two key laws — FEMA and Companies Act.
- Reserve Bank of India (RBI) can amend FEMA while and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) can amend the Companies Act.
- Scientists have discovered a cache over 100 new exoplanets using data from NASA’s Kepler Space telescope as well as ground-based observatories.
- Exoplanets revolve around stars other than the sun.
- If a planet crosses in front of its parent star, then the observed brightness of the star drops by a small amount. The Kepler Space Telescope detected many exoplanets using this method
- Extreme weather events killed over 70,000 people in India, 5.2 lakh across world in 20 years.
- Just in 2017 alone, 2,736 people in India died in extreme weather events like floods, excessive rain or cyclones, the report by Germanwatch, an independent development organisation, said.
- In the last twenty years, India accounted for the second highest number of these casualties after Myanmar, topped only by Puerto Rico.
- Deaths caused by natural calamities like earthquakes, tsunamis or volcanoes are not included in the data because these are not caused by climate change.
- The report put India 14th on the list of countries at maximum risk to climate change.
- OPEC, a cartel of 15 countries that produce about 45% of the world’s oil and contain over 80% of its “proven” reserves.
- OPEC was founded in 1960 by Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, and Venezuela. Qatar joined in 1961.
Why has Qatar left OPEC?
- Qatar wanted to focus on its gas industry rather than on oil, in which it was in any case a small player.
- Qatar’s riches are due to its natural gas reserves, and it is the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
- Qatar is one of India’s oldest LNG suppliers. But LNG pricing is not in OPEC’s domain, so Qatar’s decision is unlikely to impact India.
- Cataract surgery has emerged the procedure for which the highest number of claims have been made under Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY).
- Cataract refers to a clouding of the lens of the eye causing gradual loss of vision. It is common in old age but can also be triggered by injuries to the eye.
- Diabetes, of which India has a very high burden (approximately 6.92 crore) is also known to hasten cataract formation.