- Rise in number of tiger deaths from 2014-2016
- As many as 122 tigers died of various reasons across the country in 2016, with 32 of the fatalities occurring in Madhya Pradesh, the Rajya Sabha was informed.
- The death of these big cats were attributed to factors like, disease, infighting, natural death and poaching, among other causes, Union minister of state for environment, forest and climate change
- According to the data shared by the minister in his reply, 81 tigers had died in the year 2015 and 79 in 2014.
- In the year 2016, as many as 17 tigers died of various reasons in Karnataka and Maharashtra, and 14 in Uttarakhand, among other states, it said.
- According to the state-wise details shared on elephants, 60 of them died in the year 2016-17, as many as 62 in 2015-16 and 80 in 2014-15.
· European Development Bank Approves Indias Membership
- India is all set to become the 69th member of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)after shareholders of the international financial institution gave their nod to the country’s candidature.
- The formal membership process will now get underway, which includes the purchase of shares by India at an estimated cost of around 1 million euros.
- The EBRD’s Board of Governors, which represents all the existing shareholders of the UK-based bank, voted in favor of India’s membership application.
· Forbes Billionaires List 2018: Amazon’s Bezos Richest, Mukesh Ambani Ranked 19
- With a fortune worth $110 billion, Amazon founder Jeff Bezosis the world’s richest man and tops a 2018 Forbes Magazine list of billionaires. According to the Forbes, Bezos is the first person to top $100 billion as number one on the Forbes list of the World’s Billionaires.
- Microsoft founder Bill Gates is second ($90 billion), investment guru Warren Buffet third ($84 billion), Bernard Arnault and family fourth ($72 billion), and Facebook founder-CEO Mark Zuckerberg fifth ($71 billion). Indian industry titan Mukesh Ambani, the chairman of Reliance Industries Limited, is 19th on the list. He’s valued at $40.1 billion.
· Indian Military Ranked 4th Strongest In World, USA Tops
- Out of 133 countries, India is ranked fourth on a global index for its military strength, only the United States, Russia and China are ranked above India on the list, according to the latest report of the Global Firepower index 2017.
- Neighbouring Pakistan is ranked 13th. India maintained its position above France in the top five military powers in the world.
- The Indian Army is equipped with 4,426 combat tanks, 6,704 armored fighting vehicles, and 7,414 towed artillery guns, as per the list.
- The Top 5 countries in the list are-
· Iraq overtakes Saudi Arabia as Indias biggest Oil Supplier
- Iraq overtook Saudi Arabia to become India’s top crude oil supplier by supplying 38.9 million tonnes (MT) crude oil in the current financial year.
- It was fifth of India’s oil needs. India is 80% dependent on imports to meet its oil needs. India had imported 184.4 MT of crude oil during April.
- Saudi Arabia traditionally has been India’s top oil source but Iraq dethroned it. Saudi Arabia supplied 30.9 MT of crude oil in first 10 months.
· Neiphiu Rio appointed as Nagaland Chief Minister
- Nagaland Governor PB Acharya appointed Neiphiu Rioas the new Chief Minister of the state.
- Rio will replace TR Zeliang. The Governor has received letters of support in favor of Rio from MLAs of BJP, JD (U) and an Independent besides NDPP legislators.
- Rio will take the oath of his duties shortly.
- The Governor also requested Mr. Rio to prove his majority on the floor of the House on or before 16th of March.
· Animal Welfare Board of India headquarters shifted from Chennai to Ballabhgarh
- The Government shifted headquarters of Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI)to Ballabhgarh in Faridabad District of Haryana from Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
- It was shifted after consultation with AWBI for better coordination between the Environment Ministry and AWBI for carrying out the animal welfare act.
- The Rule 3 of the Animal Welfare Board (Administrative) Rules, 1962 mentions that the headquarter of AWBI shall be at New Delhi or at such other places.
- AWBI is a statutory advisory body established in 1962 under Section 4 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
- It frames a range of rules on how animals ought to be humanely treated everywhere. It has also frequently litigated to have stricter laws.
· India’s 1st Helicopter Taxi Service Launched In Bengaluru
- India’s first helicopter taxi service was launched in Bengaluru to fly passengers from Kempegowda International Airport to Electronic City.
- The service is expected to reduce the time taken to cover the distance from 2 hours to 15 minutes.
- The helicopter will seat up to six people apart from the pilot and the service will cost Rs3,500 plus GST.
· Five thousand Six Crore Sanctioned Under Swadesh Darshan Scheme And Rs. 687.92 Crore Under PRASHAD Scheme
- A total amount of 5638.87 crorewas sanctioned with the release of Rs. 2148.17 crore since 2014-15 till date under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme of Ministry of Tourism.
- Under the Swadesh Darshan scheme, thirteen thematic circuits have been identified for development.
- Meanwhile, under the PRASHAD scheme, 23 projects have been sanctioned to 15 States for a total amount of Rs.687.92 crore with the release of Rs.241.28 crore since 2015-16 till date.
- The main objective of the ‘National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD)is of holistic development of identified pilgrimage and heritage destination.
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