- Migratory birds at Chilika faces flu threat
- Themigratory birds at the Chilika lake, Odisha are facing a threat to their lives due to the detection of avian influenza virus. Some crows and chickens were found dead inside poultry farms in Krushnaprasad block last week. When sent for testing to the National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases, Bhopal, it was found that the birds were tested positive for H5N1 virus. The State government has planned for a massive culling operation inside private poultry farms in the affected villages.
- The Puri district administration would cull birds within one km radius of the place where the carcasses were found. Besides, officers of the animal husbandry department have been asked to intensify surveillance in 10 km-radius area.
- It should be noted that around seven lakh migratory birdshave arrived at the Chilika lake this year.
- SpaceX successfully launches 64 small satellites using reusable Falcon 9 rocket.
- Elon Musk-led SpaceX has successfully launched 64 small satellites into low Earth orbit onboard of its reusable and preflown Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. This has set new record in United States of launching satellites in single go.
- Space X It is private US space agency. It was founded by Elon Musk on May 6, 2002 who is its current CEO of Space X.
- Its main purpose for its establishment was to reduce cost of space transport and establish human habitation on Mars house. Space X has developed series of Falcon Rockets.
· Panama 1st Latin American nation to join Belt and Road Initiative
- Panama has become the first Latin American country to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
- China established diplomatic relations with Panama last year.
- Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Panamanian counterpart, Juan Carlos Varela signed 19 deals.
- Panama is a country on the isthmus linking Central and South America. The Panama Canal, a famous feat of human engineering, cuts through its center, linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to create an essential shipping route.
· India and UAE signed 3,500 crore currency swap agreement
- This agreement will boost investment and enable direct trade without using dollars or other international currencies.
- The agreement was signed after the 12th India-UAE joint commission meeting co-chaired by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and the UAE’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdulla bin Zayed al Nahyanin Abu Dhabi.
- In 2015, China‘s central bank extended a currency swap agreement with the UAE Central bank worth $5.54 billion.
· PM to inaugurate India’s longest railroad bridge on December 25
- Prime Minister Narendra Modiwill inaugurate the Bogibeel Bridge, India’s longestrail-cum-road bridge, falling in the eastern part of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh on December 25.
- This project was first cleared by former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda in 1997.
- The bridge spans over the Brahmaputra river in the north eastern state of Assam between Dhemaji district and Dibrugarh district.
· SC introduced Witness Protection Scheme, 2018 in India
- The Supreme Court(SC) introduced a witness protection regime in the country noting that one of the main reasons for witnesses turning hostile is that they are not given security by the State. It also announced that the Witness Protection Scheme, 2018 will come into effect immediately across all States. This scheme is aimed at enabling a witness to depose fearlessly and truthfully, would be the law of the land till Parliament enacted suitable legislation.
- Under the scheme, the witness protection may be as simple as providing a police escort to the witness up to the courtroom or, in more complex cases involving an organized criminal group, taking extraordinary measures such as offering temporary residence in a safe house, giving a new identity, and relocation at an undisclosed place.
· Union Government Sanctions 254 Projects Under National Mission for Clean Ganga
- The government sanctioned 254 projectsworth over 24 thousand crore rupees under National Mission for Clean Ganga.
- As per Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Minister Nitin Gadkari, around five thousand crore rupees have been spent in the last four years under it.
- The Announcement was made at the India Water Impact Summit 2018 in New Delhi.
- Ramakrishnan won the Sahitya Akademi Award 2018 for Sancharam
- Ramakrishnan, a Tamil writer, traveller, essayist, and scriptwriter, has wonthe Sahitya Akademi Award 2018 for his novel Sancharam. It poignantly captures the lives of nagaswaram players in karisal bhoomi, the arid land, of Tamil Nadu. The novel places their music and struggle for a livelihood in the context of the decline of agriculture.
- Ramakrishnan has dropped his doctoral thesis on William Faulkner to become a full-time writer. He said that the prize comes as recognition for a person who opted for a career in writing, it also sheds light on the lives of the nagaswaram players.
- Sancharamtalks about the shattered dreams of nagaswaram player Pakkiri, who wants to scale the heights of music after learning about great musicians and their music from his father.
· Union Government approves Rs 850 crore investment to upgrade DD AIR: Report
- Finance ministry approved Rs 850 crore investment to upgrade Doordarshan (DD) and All India Radio (AIR).
- The Decision came after Centre has started a manpower audit of Prasar Bharati, acting on the recommendation of an expert committee in 2014 led by Sam Pitroda Prasar Bharati ‘undertake a comprehensive manpower audit and human resources planning exercise to map workforce requirements for the future, in line with the public broadcaster’s mandate’.