Daily GK Potion – 5th and 6th December 2015


  1. GAIL launches project for satellite monitoring of pipeline
    • To address pipeline safety concerns, state-run energy major GAIL and National Remote Sensing Centre, a unit of ISRO, have launched an innovative surveillance geo-portal called ‘Bhuvan-GAIL Portal‘ for utilising space technology for its pipeline application.
    • GAIL has more than 13,000 kms of pipeline network, wherein monthly monitoring of pipeline RoU is presently done via Helicopter surveys
    • By January 2016, GAIL would begin live satellite monitoring of its pipeline RoU
  2. India’s forest cover goes up by 5081 sq km, shows report
    • India’s forest cover increased by 3,775 square km since 2013, taking the total to 701,673 sq. km, or 70.17 million hectares, equivalent to 21.34% of the country’s geographical area
    • India now has no more than nine contiguous uninterrupted forest patches measuring over 10,000 hectares.
    • In the very dense forest category, the thickest and oldest of forest patches, an increase of 2,402 sq. km was offset by a shrinking of 3,371 sq. km in moderately dense forest areas, according to the India State of Forest Report 2015
    • The India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2015 is the fourteenth report in the series.
  3. China consolidates in Africa following $60 billion pledge
    • China is set to expand investments in Africa that would help absorb its excess manufacturing capacity as part of an effort to re-engage with the continent and integrate it within its Belt and Road connectivity framework.
    • The summit, in which over 50 African countries are participating, is also expected to unveil the contours of China’s security partnership with Africa, focused on counter-terrorism, peacekeeping and funding to train troops within the framework of the African Union (AU).
    • President Xi announced a $ 60-billion-dollar package that will benefit Africa in 10 major areas: industry, agriculture, infrastructure, financial services, green development, trade and investment facilitation, poverty reduction and public welfare, public health, people-to-people exchanges, and peace and security.
  4. Uttar Pradesh Government launches first International festival on Birds
    • Uttar Pradesh Government has launched International festival on Birds in a bid to promote state as an international bird-watching destination
    • The first-of-its-kind festival was inaugurated by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at the National Chambal Sanctuary (NCS)
    • The three-day international festival (from 4 to 6 December 2015) on birds held in the National Chambal Sanctuary (NCS) in Agra. Over 80 Indian ornithlogists and around 25 top international bird experts and are participating in the first-of-its-kind festival
  5. Himachal becomes first State to launch Rotavirus vaccination project
    • Himachal Pradesh has become the first state in the country to start Rotavirus vaccination project.
    • The vaccine will help in controlling the deaths amongst small children due to Diarrhea.
    • The Rotavirus infection amount to 30,000 deaths in India annually
    • Based on the analogy of the polio vaccine, the Rotavirus drops would be administered to the children at six, ten and fourteen weeks after birth.
  6. Delhi Assembly passes Jan Lokpal Bill
    • The Delhi Janlokpal Bill, 2015, was passed by the assembly Friday, after incorporating two amendments suggested by activist Anna Hazare.
    • The anti-corruption bill was passed with 64 votes in the 70-member Delhi Assembly.
    • The selection committee will comprise three additional members including one more high court judge and an eminent person.
    • The impeachment process for the Janlokpal’s removal will take place only after a probe, ordered by high court, looks into the allegations against the anti-corruption ombudsman
  7. GST: CEA Arvind Subramanian panel wants standard rate of 17-18%
    • In a recommendation that can break the political logjam over GST, a panel headed by the chief economic advisor today suggested 17-18 per cent GST rate and dropping of the one per cent additional tax on inter-state sales.
    • The Arvind Subramanian-headed panel, however, opposed inclusion of GST rate in the Constitution. The Congress has been demanding GST rate be included in the Constitution.
    • It also suggested a range of ‘standard’ tax rate of 17-18 per cent for bulk of goods and services while recommending 12 per cent for ‘low rate goods’ and 40 per cent for demerit goods like luxury car, aerated beverages, pan masala and tobacco. For precious metal, it recommended a range of 2-6 per cent.

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