1. World’s Biggest Cleanliness Survey ‘Swachh Sarvekshan 2018’ Launched
i. The world’s biggest cleanliness survey ‘Swachh Sarvekshan Survey 2018’ was launched in India by PM Narendra Modi. It will be conducted from the 4th of January to 10th of March.
ii. The cleanliness survey was launched in 2016 as part of the Swachh Bharat Mission. The main objective of Swachh Survekshan is to encourage large-scale citizen participation and create awareness towards making towns and cities a cleaner and better place to live in.
- Under the first survey, Swachh Survekshan-2016, 73 cities and all the state capitals were ranked. Mysuru had topped the list.
- In Swachh Survekshan-2017, 434 cities and all the state capitals were ranked. Indore had emerged as the cleanest city.
2. India Excludes Pakistan from a SAARC Initiative
i. India has excluded Pakistan from the list of SAARC member countries with which it will be connecting its state-of-the-art National Knowledge Network (NKN) for sharing scientific databases and remote access to advanced research facilities.
ii. The government has kicked off the process of appointing a telecom company that will connect and extend the NKN to research and education networks in six South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation member states- Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
- NKN is a multi-gigabit pan-India network which facilitates the development of India’s communications infrastructure, stimulates research and creates next-generation applications and services.
- SAARC- South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.
- The SAARC Secretariat is based in Kathmandu, Nepal.
3. Goa to Host 3rd Edition of Science Film Festival
i. Goa will be hosting the third edition of the Science Film Festival of India in January 2018. The festival, titled SCI-FFI Goa, is being organised by the state-based Vidnyan Parishad, Goa Department of Science and Technology.
ii. The competition aims to boost the culture of science films, all the films submitted should be related to science and technology.
- Goa CM- Manohar Parrikar, Governor- Mridula Sinha.
4. India’s Gross Enrolment Ratio in Higher Education up by 0.7%
i. The country’s Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education has registered an increase from 24.5% in 2015-16 to 25.2% in 2016-17, according to the All India Higher Education Survey (AIHES) launched by Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar.
ii. According to AIHES of 2016-17, Tamil Nadu has the highest GER in the country at 46.9%. Bihar has the least GER of 14.9%.
GER is a statistical measure for determining the number of students enrolled in undergraduate, postgraduate and research level studies within the country and is expressed as a percentage of the population.
5. India GDP Growth Likely at 6.5% in 2017-18: CSO
i. The Indian economy will expand by 6.5% in 2017-18, according to the new data of the government’s Central Statistics Office (CSO). It had released its first advance estimate for India’s GDP growth rate in the current financial year.
ii. The economy had grown by 6.3% in the September quarter, after slumping to a three-year low of 5.7% GDP growth in the June quarter as the implementation of goods and services tax (GST) and demonetisation took their toll. The Indian economy grew at 7.1% in 2016-17.
- Arun Jaitley is the present Finance Minister of India.
6. RBI Introduces New Rs10 Banknote in Mahatma Gandhi Series
i. The Reserve Bank of India will shortly issue Rs10 denomination banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series.
ii. The new denomination has the motif of Sun Temple, Konark on the reverse. The base colour of the note is Chocolate Brown. The dimension of the banknote will be 63 mm x 123 mm.