Contents

  1. MASSIVE LOCUST INVASION IN GUJRAT
  2. RAILWAYS START VISTA DOME TRAIN ON KALKA-SHIMLA ROUTE
  3. EARLIEST SANKSRIT INSCRIPTION IN SOUTH INDIA FOUND IN A.P
  4. GROWING CANCER BURDEN ACROSS INDIA
  5. NON PERFORMING ASSETS
  6. TYPHOON PHANFONE BATTERS PHILLIPINES

MASSIVE LOCUST INVASION IN GUJRAT

Why in News?

Gujarat shares borders with Pakistan and is under attack from hoppers that have flown in across the international border. As the swarms mature, they have ravaged farms in north Gujarat and three border districts of Gujarat.

About Locusts

The locusts, known as tiddis locally, have wreaked havoc on standing crops including castor, cumin, jatropha and cotton, and fodder grass in around 20 talukas.

The Locust Warning Organization (LWO) in Jodhpur had noticed the swarms and predicted their trajectory across the international border. However, preventive measures by the authorities were insufficient.

Aerial pests At their prime, locust swarms, which are usually found in the Horn of Africa, West Asia and the Indian subcontinent, have the potential to damage the livelihood Of a tenth of the world's population. The current locust invasion in Gujarat is the highest in recent times A farmer from Tharad Village, Gujarat, holding up locusts. • Locust invasions usually occur in areas that receive less than 200 mm of rain annually. This is an area Of about 16 million sq km, consisting of about 30 countries • Locusts travel at 16-19 kmph, and swarms can cover 130 km or more in a day. usually, there are 40 million, and sometimes as many as 80 million locust adults in each sq km Of a swarm • The last major upsurge in India occurred in 1993, Which saw the incursion of 172 locust swarms. India has only one locust breeding season — from July to October • The primary method of controlling locust swarms is by spraying small amounts of concentrated insecticide using vehicle- mounted and aerial sprayers. A total of 3,10,584 hectares have been treated up to the December 15, 2019

RAILWAYS START VISTA DOME TRAIN ON KALKA-SHIMLA ROUTE

Why in News?

  • The Railways on Wednesday started a seven ­coach glass enclosed vista dome train on the heritage Kalka ­Shimla route.
  • The red ­colored train, which was decorated with balloons, chugged off from the Kalka railway station in Haryana around 7 a.m.

Details

The ‘Him Darshan’ train has a seating capacity of over 100 passengers and the bookings are full over the next few days in view of the peak tourist season and New Year.


EARLIEST SANKSRIT INSCRIPTION IN SOUTH INDIA FOUND IN A.P

Why in News?

  • Epigraphy Branch of the Archaeological Survey of India has discovered the earliest epigraphic evidence so far for the Saptamatrika cult.
  • The inscription is in Sanskrit and in Brahmi characters and was issued by Satavahana king Vijaya in 207 A.D
  • It is also the earliest Sanskrit inscription to have been discovered in South India as on date.


Who are Saptamatrikas?

Saptamatrikas are a group of seven female deities worshipped in Hinduism as personifying the energy of their respective consorts.

Earlier findings

So far the  Nagarjunakonda inscription of Ikshavaku king Ehavala Chantamula issued in his 11th regnal year corresponding to the 4th century A.D. was considered the earliest Sanskrit inscription in South India


GROWING CANCER BURDEN ACROSS INDIA

Why in News?

A study tracing the growing burden of cancer in India has been released

  • It states that most of the increase in cancer incidences are attributable to its epidemiological transition .
  • Cancer is primarily a disease of older people, hence, as life expectancy goes up, cancer incidences too goes up, according to a senior consultant of Digestive Oncology. Maximum increases will occur in the most populous and least developed States, where the facilities for cancer diagnostics and treatment are inadequate.

Example of Kerala vs UP

Direct comparison of the demographic and social variables, available health care facilities and leading causes of mortality in these two States shows how the low incidences of infectious diseases in Kerala has given rise to more cancer compared to U.P., which is still battling high mortality from communicable diseases.

Epidemiological change

The types of cancers in India are also undergoing a transition, similar to a report from Japan five decades ago.

  • A decline of cancers caused by infections, such as cervical, stomach, and penile cancer,
  • An increase in cancers associated with energy intake, physical activity imbalance and ageing, such as breast, colorectal and prostate cancers

Cancer in ancient India

Evidence of cancer in early humans were found in a review of 154 paleopathological studies dating back to 1.8 million years in historic Egyptian and German sites. But there was no evidence of cancer in Indus valley sites.


NON PERFORMING ASSETS

The Non-performing Assets (loans overdue for days) ratio for all Present perfect, commercial banks declined in FY19 after rising for seven consecutive years. However. in the first half Of "{20. stressed assets (potential but future tense NPAs) inched up. Morecwer. the NPA ratio of Indian banks is the poorest among emerging economies. By Vignesh Radhakrishnan 10 10. l. Bad down. _ The Share of Grass Assets (GNPAS) among total loans declined to 9.1% in after having risen for seven consecutive years. The slippage ratio (indicating fresh accretion of NPAs in a year) also declined. Graph depicts GNPA Ratio pub/k sector All Scheduled Private the Insolvency and Bankruptcy classification of I DBI compared to t4.g26cr. in F',ng. This bank (NPA ratio: 2943) a part in GNPA's decline asa bank 2. up While GNPAS are down, Stress in Large accounts (exposure of cr.) in the first half of FY20. Special Mention Accounts-I (loans cwerdue between 30 and 60 days) 8 Special Mention Accounts-2 (loans overdue between 60 and 90 day5) rose in HIE Y 20. Simply put, SMA accounts are flags which, 3.4 2.4 2.2 2.7 SMA-I 2.0 1.7 1.8 3.2 3.6 2.6 SMA-2 SMA-I SMA-2 3. Worst among emerging economies India'S Non-performing loans ratio is the worst among emerging economies. Table lists the ratio between 2011 and 2019. In recent years, the ratio improved for Brazil while it deteriorated in Russia. South Africa and Turkey India'S NPA ratio saw a surge in 2016 after the RBI carried out an expansive Asset Quality Review in the before. review in identifcamon of many large ban accounts which had gone bad resulting in a huge jump in NPAS in India Bruit Indonesia Phili ines Russia so uth Africa 3.3 2.1 2.1 2.6 6.6 4.7 2.6 psgs 2.0 1.2 4.3 2.1 1.6 6.7 3.2 2.7 3.2 1.7 5.9 2.4 1.6 2.5 1.9 8.3 3.9 1.7 9.2 2.9 2.1 9.4 2.9 3.1 2.6 1.7 10 2.6 1.5 2.1 1.6 2.8 2.8 1.8 g.s 2.3 1.5 1.7 3.7 pugs 8.9 2.4 1.5 3.8 '19:02 1.8 3.7 in Rg

TYPHOON PHANFONE BATTERS PHILLIPINES

Why in News?

Typhoon Phanfone pummeled the central Philippines In December 2019

More than 25,000 people remained stranded at ports on Christmas Day as the ferry services were shut down.

Background

  • Typhoon is the regional names for Tropical Cyclones that occurs in Western Pacific and South China Sea i.e. in Philippines islands, eastern China and Japan the tropical cyclones are called typhoons.
  • A typhoon is a mature tropical cyclone that develops between 180° (or 180th meridian or anti-meridian is meridian 180° both East and West of Prime Meridian) and 100°E in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • This region is referred to as North-western Pacific Basin which is the most active tropical cyclone basin on Earth.
  • This region accounts for almost one-third (33%) of the world’s annual tropical cyclones.
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