- Haryana’s green cover worse than Punjab: FSI report
- Haryana has pipped Punjab in taking the dubious distinction of the lowest forest cover in the country with only 3.59% green cover, according to the State of the Forest Report (FSI) 2017.
- According to the FSI report, Haryana overtook Punjab, which has 3.65% forest cover. Though both states’ ratios are abysmally low when compared to the national target of 33%, experts believe Haryana might fare worse in future FSI reports as it is yet to take protective measures for both the Aravalis and Shivaliks under its jurisdiction. Punjab, however, has started taking some immediate steps to secure the Shivaliks around Chandigarh.
- Recently, forests in about 16 villages in Shivaliks were left vulnerable after a Punjab government notification dated February 3, 2003 expired on February 2, 2018.
- Haryana, on the other hand, has failed to re-notify 20,851 acres out of 25,037 acres forest cover, which expired in the last 10 years. This has left the Aravalis in Haryana vulnerable to land use change for real estate and other projects.
Instead of re-notifying the forest areas, the Haryana government has started identifying “forest” and “non-forest” areas in land already notified under sections 4 and 5 of the PLPA.
- An independent study, based on data available on the Haryana forest department website, revealed that the PLPA “protection” notification has already lapsed in 36 out of 38 villages in Gurgaon, 10 out of 17 villages in Faridabad, 47 out of 57 villages in Mewat, all 12 villages in Mahendragarh, all 9 in Rewari and 1 in Palwal.
- Punjab has managed to add about 66 sqkm of forests compared to the FSI report 2015 which is mainly attributed to an increase in tree cover outside of recorded forests as per FSI. But Haryana didn’t even manage that, and recorded an increase of only 8 sqkm in forest cover. Haryana has, however, lost 1 sqkm in the Shivaliks in Panchkula, it has also lost forest cover in central Haryana.
- MoU between Botanical Survey of India and Natural History Museum, UK
- Botanical Survey of India (BSI) and Natural History Museum (NHM), UK signed a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in the field of genetic/taxonomic studies, research and training, conservation in India, including species and habitat conservation assessments, etc.
- NHM will help BSI in capacity building in areas of systematic botany and long-term conservation of plant genetic resources in India.
· Malacidins: Scientists discover new class of antibiotics from soil
- Scientists from The Rockefeller University in New York have reported the discovery of a new class of antibiotics called maladies.
- It produced by microorganisms living in soil and dirt and is capable of killing off several antibiotic-resistant pathogens.
- The new family of antibiotics comes from molecules present in a large variety of soils. Scientists had analyzed more than 1000 unique soil samples across US to better understand how new class of antibiotics is produced and how it can be exploited for fighting bacteria.
- They had used DNA information that encodes production of antibiotic in daptomycin to study it.
- This discovery could be a useful weapon in the field of medicine.
· Indian Engineer Awarded Sci-Tech Oscar Award
- Vikas Sathaye, a Pune-born person honored with the Scientific and Engineering Academy Award at the Oscars Scientific and Technical Awards 2018 at Beverly Hills in Los Angeles, California.
- Sathaye and his team received the award for his contribution towards conceptualization, designing, engineering, and the implementation of the ‘Shotover K1 Camera System’ during his stint at Shotover Camera Systems in Queenstown, New Zealand.
- National Conference “Agriculture 2022- Doubling Farmers’ Income”
- The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) is organizing a National Conference under the title of “Agriculture 2022 – Doubling Farmers’ Income” at National Agriculture Science Complex (NASC), Pusa, New Delhi.
- It is a two days conference scheduled on 19th and 20th February, 2018.
- The Conference is being organized on the advice of the Hon’ble Prime Minister with a view to identify various critical issues relating to agriculture and farmers’ welfare and finding appropriate solutions.
- The main aim of the conference is to build a consensus around appropriate recommendations that will help in shaping and sharpening the vision of the Government on Doubling Farmers’ Income by 2022 into actionable points.
- Mumbai to have India’s first artificial intelligence centre
- In a first in the country, Maharashtra government will be setting up an institute for artificial intelligence (AI) in Mumbai.
- Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will unveil the plan for the institute during the Magnetic Maharashtra Summit.
- The Magnetic Maharashtra Summit will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 18.
- Milkbasket recognised as ‘Startup of the Year’ 2017
- Milkbasket, India’s first and largest micro-delivery platform has been recognised as ‘Startup of the Year’ 2017 at the 7th Small Business Awards.
- The Startup of the Year award is dedicated to young SMEs, aged 7 years or less, with great potential to become big in local/international markets.
- Launched in early 2015, Milkbasket is India’s first and largest daily micro-delivery service.
- ISRO planning to launch Chandrayaan-2 mission around April this year
- The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said that Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to launch Chandrayan-2 Mission around April this year.
- Chandrayaan-2 is the country’s second mission to the moon, he added.
- He was addressing a press conference on the achievements of Department of Space and Department of Atomic Energy.
- Chandraayan-2 is a challenging mission as for the first time we will carry an orbiter, a lander and a rover to the moon.
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