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Japan asteroid probe "Hayabusa 2" enters target orbit

Hayabusa 2 a Japnese space probe has reached a milestone by successfully entering into earth’s orbit. It is now heading towards its destination i.e. asteroid.
Hayabusa: First mission, in which spacecraft arrived at the small asteroid "Itokawa" whosesize is only about 500m. It helped in exploring the mysterious world. The Asteroid is a rock-rich S-type one.
About Hayabusa-2: 
It is an unmanned explorer. It was launched a year ago aboard Japan’s main H-IIA rocket from Tanegashima Space Centre for its six-year mission
Mission: to bring samples from the surface of an asteroid to earth. It will visit a C-type asteroid. C-type asteroids are also rock quality but supposedly contain much more organic matter and water. An asteroid, currently considered as a target of Hayabusa-2 is temporally called 1999 JU3. It is expected to return by 2020.

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Justice L. Narasimha Reddy Commission for one rank one pension scheme.

Union government has appointed this commission to look into the implementation of one rank one pension scheme.It is headed by Justice L. Narasimha Reddy, former Chief Justice of the Patna High Court.
About one rank one pension scheme:
. This scheme is for the Ex-Servicemen.
2. It implies that uniform pension be paid to the Armed Forces personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service, regardless of their date of retirement. Future enhancements in the rates of pension would be automatically passed on to the past pensioners. This would aid ins bridging the gap between the rate of pension of current and past pensioners at periodic intervals.

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Environment Minister Launches Climate Change Initiative Second Meet Of Himalayan Parliamentarians

Union Environment Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar launched an initiative - Climate + Change - Indian Himalayan Region: Our Mountains, Our Future.
-Aim: to provide a platform for innovative solutions action to strengthen a resilient climate smart community across the Indian Himalayan region.  This initiative is an attempt to bring thousands of people together working to promote networking of change agents from across the Himalayan region.Meetings are held between Members of Legislative Assemblies, members of Panchayats and Members of Zila Panchayats so as to decide upon solid waste management, E-waste management, construction waste management which are a big concern in Himalayan states.Meeting with Members of Parliament from Himalayan states will attract the attention of the government and the people then, can also aid in policy-making.
- The India-ICIMOD Week 2015, Partnership for Sustainable Mountain Development was held from December 11-15, 2015 to celebrate International Mountain Day 2015 on December 11. The programme had been organised jointly by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development (GBPIHED) and International Centre For Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). This year’s theme for International Mountain Day was - Promoting Mountain Products for Better Livelihoods.

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Farmer's Portal to Serve as a One Stop Shop

The Farmers Portal along with mKisan Portal aims to serve as a One Stop Shop for all the farmers for accessing information on agricultural activities.
The Portal provides information about:
. Package of practices; 
2. Crop and seed varieties; 
3. Common pests; 
4. dealer network for seeds, 
5. fertilizers & pesticides; 
6. machinery and tools; 
7. agro-met advisories, 
8. credit & insurance, 
9. rain-fed areas etc.
-Both these Portals are easily accessible to farmers in any part of the country free of cost.  The Ministry’s official site’s URL is: and 
- Its activities are also highlighted through short discussion/interview on “DD Kisan Channel”. 

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Government establishes Homeopathy Pharmacopoeia Laboratory

The Central Government has constituted Central Council of Homeopathy under the provisions of Homeopathy Central Council Act, 1973 to regulate education and practice of Homoeopathy. The Central Government has also established Homeopathy Pharmacopoeia Laboratory.
Purpose: for standardization of Homoeopathic Drugs.
Other agencies: Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy
- Carry out research activities in different aspects in Homoeopathy
- Has a network of 22 research centers and five Homoeopathic treatment Centers and is carrying out intramural research including collaboration with institutes of excellence. 
National AYUSH Mission
- Government is promoting homeopathic further through this mission.
- Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has launched National AYUSH Mission (NAM) during 12th 5 year Plan for implementing it throughout States/UTs.
- Vision:a. To provide cost effective and equitable AYUSH health care throughout the country by improving accessibility of the services.b. To revitalize and strengthen the AYUSH systems turning them into prominent medical streams in addressing the health care issues of the society.c. To improve educational institutions capable of imparting quality AYUSH educationd. To promote adoption of Quality standards in AYUSH drug making and ensuring their  availability as well as sustaining the supply of raw material for the process. 

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India secured 130th position in Human Development Index,2015

India is placed on the 130th position out of 188 by United Nations Development Report. UNDP releases HDI every year.
- Top 3 countries are:
1. Norway
2. Australia
3. Switzerland
- India stands ahead of its nighboure Bangladesh and Pakistan but lower than countries like Namibia, Guatemala, Tajikistan, and Iraq.

Dimension Indicators

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Historic Paris Climate Pact 2015 adopted

The Agreement is scheduled to go into effect in 2020.The goal of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, COP21, is to achieve a legally binding, 
The following agreement was adopted during the Paris climate pact:
. To curb the incessant rise in global temperature level.
2. Financing developing economies to help them reach the goal, so agreement to keep average global temperatures no more than 2°C above pre-industrial temperatures.
-Major features outlined by the CoP21 proposal:
. It takes into account the differentiation and responsibility of developing countries, and their respective capacities in light of national circumstances.
2. Confirms the key objective of containing mean global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius and to endeavour to limit it to 1.5 degrees.
3. There will be five-yearly national contributions on actions taken to address climate change.
4. There is provision for adaptation to climate change and cooperation on loss and damage suffered by countries on a long term basis to provide necessary means to all countries for durable development.
5.  Provision of 100 billion per year as a floor by 2020 to help developing nations.
6.  A new figure to be defined for the period between now and 2020.
7. Collective stocktaking every five years of national actions and consideration of steps if efforts are insufficient for the objective set.

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Saudi Women Exercise Franchise

For the first time women were allowed to vote and stand as candidates in the polls for municipal councils in Saudi Arabia. Saudi is one of the country with the world's toughest restrictions on women. It is has absolute monarchy. 
It is the only country where women can be arrested for driving.
Other restrictions on women in Saudi Arabia:
1. Do not compete in sports
2. Are not allowed to swim
3. Forbidden from using make up.
4. Forbidden from talking to men in public.
5. Are not supposed to go out without a male guardian. 

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Japan to ease requirements for multiple-entry visas to Indians

Japan will ease requirements for issuing multiple entry visas to short term Indian travellers from January 11. This gesture is in response to Narendra Modi’s 'Visa on Arrival' policy for Japnese travellers.
Provisions that will be eased:
. The maximum period of stay will be extended to 30 days from the current 15 days.
2. The visas will be valid for five years now instead of the current three years.

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Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) Tirupati to focus on Eastern Ghats

The United Nations University has sanctioned a Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) to Tirupati. Aim: to have special focus on the fragile environment of the Eastern Ghats and promote sustainable development in that area.
- 5 RCE in India:
1. The RCE-Srinagar, working on western Himalayas, 
2. The RCE-Guwahati on Eastern Himalayas, 
3. The RCE-Chandigarh on wetland ecosystems, 
4. The RCE-TERI (Goa) on Youth empowerment and energy and 
5. The RCE-Kodagu on traditional knowledge and tribal communities of Western Ghats.

About RCE(Reginal Centre of Expertise)
- RCEs are acknowledged by the United Nations University (UNU).
- RCEs help prepare local leaders of tomorrow with the tools and information they need to make smart and sustainable choices for the future. RCE efforts encourage innovation and new approaches to sustainable development. 

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