PM addresses Jagran Forum on 75th anniversary Celebration of Dainik Jagran
• The Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the Jagran Forum on the occasion of the 75th anniversary celebrations of Dainik Jagran newspaper in Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi.
• Addressing the august gathering, the Prime Minister specially complimented the hawkers who distribute the newspaper every day.
• The Prime Minister applauded Dainik Jagran for playing a key role in generating awareness, and in the re-building of the nation.
• Dainik Jagran strengthened various Government movements and initiatives through its newspaper and digital platforms such as Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao; Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan; Ayushman Bharat Yojana; PM Awaas Yojana; Ujjwala; Saubhagya; etc.
Kandhamal Haldi of Odisha to get GI tag
• Odisha’s Kandhamal Haldi (turmeric) will soon get Geographical Indications (GI) tag.
• Its registration was moved by Kandhamal Apex Spices Association for Marketing and was accepted under sub-section (1) of Section 13 of Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.
• Kandhamal Haldi is famous for its healing properties. It is main cash crop of tribal people in Kandhamal.
• Apart from domestic use, it is also used for cosmetic and medicinal purposes.
• GI tag is name or sign used on certain products which correspond to specific geographical location or origin.
Gangotri, Yamunotri in Uttarakhand; Amarkantak in MP; and Parasnath in Jharkhand included under PRASAD Scheme
• Union Government included Gangotri and Yamunotri in Uttrarakhand, Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh and Parasnath in Jharkhand under Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) to develop pilgrimage and heritage destinations in the country.
• With the new additions, the number of sites under PRASAD has now reached to 41 in 25 states.
• It was launched in 2014-15 by Union Ministry of Tourism.
• It aims at integrated development of pilgrimage destinations in planned, prioritised and sustainable manner to provide complete religious tourism experience.
India opposes move to declare Gilgit-Baltistan as fifth province
• India has voiced strong opposition to Pakistan's move to declare Gilgit-Baltistan as its fifth province.
• MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India's stated position on Gilgit Baltistan has been very clear and consistent.
• The entire state of Jammu and Kashmir has been and shall remain part of India.
• Any attempt by Pakistan to change the legal status has no basis whatsoever.
• India has called upon Pakistan to vacate all occupied territory.
OPEC to consider PM Modi's views on deciding global oil prices
• During the meeting of leaders of Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Khalid Al Falih said OPEC nations will consider Prime Minister Narendra Modi's consumer-centric views on oil pricing before taking any decision.
• Oil prices have crashed nearly 30 percent in the last two months as major producers including the US are pumping oil at high rates.
• There are fears that weaker economic growth could dampen energy demand.
India signs agreement with Iran to pay crude bill in rupee
• India signed an agreement with Iran to pay for crude oil it imports from the Persian Gulf nation in rupees.
• Indian refiners will make rupee payments in a UCO Bank account of the National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC).
• These funds would be earmarked for settling payments for exports of Indian goods to Iran.
• The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed following the US letting India and seven other nations to keep buying Iranian oil despite sanctions were reimposed on the Islamic state in November.
• Under U.S. sanctions, India can export foodgrains, medicines and medical devices to Iran. India had won the exemption after it agreed to cut imports and escrow payments.
Air pollution causes 1 in 8 deaths in India
• India, with 18 percent of the world’s population, has a disproportionately 26 percent of the global premature deaths and disease burden due to air pollution.
• One in eight deaths in India was attributed to air pollution in India in 2017, making it a leading risk factor for death.
• 12.4 lakh deaths in India in 2017 were due to air pollution, which included 6.7 lakh deaths due to outdoor particulate matter air pollution and 4.8 lakh deaths due to household air pollution.
• The results were published by India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative, a venture of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
• These research findings were published in The Lancet Planetary Health.