- Groundwater in 24 districts have arsenic
- The groundwater of 24 districts of Assam has been contaminated by arsenic, while that in 13 districts affected by fluoride.
- Fluoride has also been found across 930 areas in 13 districts.
- The government has established 227 and 40 schemes for arsenic and fluoride free water respectively at various locations. However the Centre has also approved 122 schemes for arsenic free water in the state.
· NASA probe gets closest to the sun
- The S. space agencyannounced NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, mankind’s first mission to ‘touch’ the sun, has set a new record for closest approach to the sun by a human-made object, Parker Solar Probe. The probe launched on August 12, is on an unprecedented seven-year-long journey to unlock the mysteries of the sun’s fiery outer atmosphere and its effects on space weather.
- The spacecraft passed the current record of 73 million km from the sun’s surface on October 29 as calculated by the Parker Solar Probe team.
· Worlds first sovereign Blue Bond launched by Seychelles, assisted by West Bengal
- Republic of Seychelleslaunched the world’s first sovereign blue bond worth US$15 million to finance sustainable marine and fisheries projects.
- The bond was announced at the Our Ocean Conference in Bali by the Vice-President of the Republic of Seychelles, Vincent Meriton.
- Seychelles is the first nation to pioneer such a financing instrument.
· US plans to cancel birthright citizenship
- President Donald Trump announced his plans to sign an executive order toend the birthright citizenship provision. It is by no means clear that the President has the legal authority to effect such a broad legal change through an executive order.
Birthright Citizenship of US:
A person is a Citizen if they are born in the United States
The concept of jus soli (right of the soil) is derived from the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, enacted in 1868 after the Civil War
The amendment was made in order to grant legal rights to former slaves
It says: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside”
Therefore, the children born in the U.S. to the parents who are on temporary visas or without a valid visa, also become U.S. citizens.
· India protests China-Pakistan bus via PoK
- India reiterated its opposition to a proposed luxury bus service between Pakistan and China that would pass through parts of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan — territory that India claims — terming it “a violation of India’s sovereignty”, a day after it had summoned a Chinese diplomat to South Block to lodge a strong protest against the initiative.
- India has consistently opposed the 1963 “China-Pakistan Boundary Agreement” that recognises PoK as under “actual Pakistani control” without prejudicing a final dispute resolution with India, and India has protested the Karakoram Highway on which traffic has been plying regularly, as well as subsequent infrastructure projects built by China in the disputed area.
· PM Narendra Modi inaugurated the Statue of Unity
- PM Narendra Modi inaugurated the Statue of Unity or Sardar Patel’s statue, the world’s largest statue, on the statesman’s 143rd birth anniversary in Gujarat. The statue has been dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, fondly known as the Iron Man of India.
- The statue stands in the midst of the Narmada River, on the islet of Sadhu Bet. Sardar Patel is credited for unifying all of the 562 princely states in pre-independence India to form what is today the Republic of India.
- The statue is made up of 1,700 tonnes of bronze, 1,850 tonnes of bronze cladding, 70,000 metric tonnes of cement and 24,500 metric tonnes of steel.
· Bengal to host ‘Rosogolla Day’ year after GI tag
- The West Bengal Government has decided to observe ‘Rosogolla Day’ on November 14 to commemorate the first anniversary of the State’s achievement of Geographical Indication (GI) tag for its ‘Banglar Rosogolla’. This would be a festival similar to Odisha’s ‘Rasagola Dibas’ being observed over past few years.
- As part of the West Bengal celebrations, varieties of Rosogollas would be showcased in stalls of the ‘Mishti Hub’ at the Eco Park in Kolkata. There would also be discussions on the history of Rosogolla at the place.
- Notably, Odisha has been celebrating ‘Rasagola Dibas’ on the Niladri Bije day of Lord Jagannath and His siblings each year since 2015. The day is observed in Odisha to reaffirm the birth of the syrupy dessert in Odisha and cherish its link to the Jagannath culture.
- Pension disbursal in 21 states, UTs will soon be fully digital
- Pension disbursal to government employees in at least 21 states and UTs will soon be a hassle-free affair with the Comptroller and Auditor General initiating a project that will ensure end-to-end digital solution and disbursal possible within a month of retirement of an employee.
- End-to-end digital solution, a new initiative has been taken up to receive and process pension/pension revision cases online.
- Kerala has been the first state where CAG has successfully implemented 100% digital solution for pension disbursal — all records from government departments are received online and pension order is issued immediately.
- To take this practice to other states, the federal auditor has asked all state governments to fully computerise all their departments and send all their employee related papers to the pension office in digital format only.
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