January 2020

Daily Current Affairs (03-01-20)



Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Governance [Paper-I]: Public Policy and Governance


  • The SDG India Index 2019-20, developed by NITI Aayog, was launched on December 30th, 2019.
  • This is the second edition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) India Index, which comprehensively documents the progress made by India’s States and Union Territories towards achieving the 2030 SDG targets.

About SDG India Index

  • The Index was developed by NITI Aayog in in collaboration with the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MoSPI), Global Green Growth Institute and United Nations in India.
  • It tracks the progress of all the States and Union Territories (UTs) on a set of 100 National Indicators derived from the National Indicator Framework (NIF), measuring their progress on the outcomes of interventions and schemes of the Government of India.

SDG India Index 2019-20

  • The SDG India Index 2019-20 is intended to provide a holistic view on the social, economic and environmental status of the country and its States and UTs.
  • It has been designed to provide an aggregate assessment of the performance of all Indian States and UTs, and to help leaders and change makers evaluate their performance on social, economic and environmental parameters.
  • The SDG India Index 2019 is more robust than the first edition on account of wider coverage of goals, targets, and indicators with greater alignment with the NIF.
  • The Index spans 16 out of 17 SDGs with a qualitative assessment on Goal 17. This marks an improvement over the 2018 Index, which covered only 13 goals.
  • SDG India Index report 2019-20 has a new section on profiles of all 37 States and UTs, which will be very useful to analyse their performance on all goals in a lucid manner.
  • A composite score was computed in the range of 0–100 for each State/UT based on its aggregate performance across 16 SDGs, indicating the average performance of every State/UT towards achieving 16 SDGs and their respective targets.
  • If a State/UT achieves a score of 100, it signifies it has achieved the 2030 national targets. The higher the score of a State/UT, the closer it is towards achieving the targets.


Classification criteria based on SDG India Index score is as follows:

  • Aspirant: 0–49
  • Performer: 50–64
  • Front Runner: 65–99
  • Achiever: 100

Twin Mandates

  • NITI Aayog has the twin mandate to oversee the implementation of SDGs in the country and promote competitive and cooperative federalism among States and UTs.
  • The SDG India Index acts as a bridge between these mandates, aligning the SDGs with the Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, and Sabka Vishwas, which embodies the five Ps of the global SDG movement: People, Planet, Prosperity, Partnership and Peace.

Key Highlights

  • India’s composite score has improved from 57 in 2018 to 60 in 2019, thereby showing noticeable progress.
  • Kerala achieved the first rank in the composite SDG Index with a score of 70, followed by Himachal Pradesh at 69.
  • Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu ranked at the third position with the score of 67.
  • The maximum gains been made in Goals 6 (clean water and sanitation), 9 (industry, innovation, and infrastructure) and 7 (affordable and clean energy).
  • All three states that were in the ‘Aspirant’ category (with score/s in the range of 0–49)—Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Assam—have graduated to the ‘Performer’ category (50–64).
  • Five states—Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Goa, and Sikkim—moved up from the ‘Performer’ category to the ‘Front Runner’ category (65–99).
  • The biggest improvers since 2018 are UP (which has moved from the 29th position to the 23rd), Orissa (23rd to 15th), and Sikkim (15th to 7th).
  • While Bihar improved its score from 48 in 2018 to 50 in 2019, it still has a long way to go in achieving the targets.


  • The SDG India Index 2019 has cross-sectoral relevance across policy, civil society, business and academia.
  • The Index is designed to function as a tool for focused policy dialogue, formulation and implementation, and moving towards development action pegged to globally recognizable metrics.
  • The Index will support States/UTs to assess their progress against national targets and performance of their peers to understand reasons for differential performance and devise better strategies to achieve the SDGs by 2030.
  • The Index also supplements NITI Aayog’s continuous efforts to encourage evidence-based policymaking by supporting States/UTs to benchmark their progress, identifying priority areas and sharing best practices.
  • The SDG India Index 2019 will also help highlight crucial gaps related to monitoring SDGs and the need for improving statistical systems at the National/State/UT levels.
  • The Index highlights the need for improvements in data collection, reporting and methodology.
  • The SDG India Index 2.0 and the dashboard will enable India to both track and encourage accelerated progress to meet the SDGs across all its States and Union Territories.

[Source: PIB]




Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Environment [Paper-II]: Forest and wildlife – Legal framework for Forest and Wildlife Conservation in India


  • Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden and Aaranyak has jointly attained a landmark achievement by successfully hatching a pair of Greater Adjutant chicks in an artificial platform within the zoo enclosure, in the first ever experiment of its kind.
  • In 2017, Aaranyak started collaborating with Assam State Zoo with a new idea of creating assisted breeding platforms for the captive Greater Adjutant Storks. The birds nested since 2017 but had failed to hatch so far.
  • Finally, the efforts bore fruit on 26th November 2019 when the first chick hatched and it has been the first recorded pair of Greater Adjutant to breed in an artificial platform.

About Greater Adjutant Stork

  • The Endangered Greater Adjutant stork (Leptoptilosdubius) is one of the rarest species of Storks out of twenty species of Storks in the world.
  • In India, eight species of residential storks are found, out of which Greater Adjutant is one of them.
  • Once abundantly distributed in Southeast Asia, this stork is now restricted to a few isolated pockets in Assam and Bihar in India and PrekToal in Cambodia.
  • This colonial birds breeds in traditional nesting colonies within thickly populated villages in Assam and breeds in tall trees species including Anthocephaluscadamba(Kadam), Artocarpusleukochuwa (Dewa), Pithecellobiummonadephum, BombaxCeiba (Simul), Tamarindusindica (Teteli), Trewianudifera (Bhelkol), Gmelinaarborea (Gomari).
  • IUCN Conservation Status: Endangered


  • Habitat loss, poaching and poisoning are the major threats to the species.
  • Cutting down of nesting trees by the tree owners and infrastructural construction has resulted into a breeding failure of the species and many historical breeding colonies have gone missing in its historical distribution range.

[Source: All India Radio, Economic Times]



  • To overcome the inconvenience over multiple helpline numbers for grievances and enquiry during railway travel, Indian Railway has integrated railway helplines into single number 139 for the passengers for quick grievance redressal and enquiry during their journey.
  • As the new helpline number 139 will take over all the existing helpline numbers (except 182), it will be easy for the passengers to remember this number and connect with Railways for all their needs during the travel.
  • The Helpline 139 will be available in twelve languages. It will be based on IVRS (Interactive Voice Response System).
  • There is no need of a smart phone to call on 139, thus, providing easy access to all mobile users.
  • Pariksha pe Charcha, the programme in which Prime Minister interacts with the cross section of Students and Teachers from India and abroad to beat exam stress has been rescheduled to 20th January, 2020.
  • The programme was earlier scheduled for 16th January, 2020.
  • It has been rescheduled in view of festivals of Pongal, Makar Sankranti and Lohri across the country.
  • The Pacific nation of Palau has become the first country to ban sun cream that is harmful to corals and sea life.
  • From January 1, 2020 sunscreen that includes ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxate is no longer allowed to be worn or sold.
  • The compounds are commonly used in sunscreen formulas as they absorb ultraviolet A rays.
  • The ban – which was announced in 2018 – prohibits sun cream containing any of 10 ingredients.
  • The pristine islands, which have a combined population of about 20000, are a famed diving location, and their lagoon is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.
  • Palau is situated in the western Pacific Ocean, approximately halfway between Australia and Japan.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse and Midwife”, in honour of the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale.
  • WHO is leading the development of the first-ever State of the World’s Nursing report which will be launched in 2020, prior to the 73rd World Health Assembly.
  • Florence Nightingale was a British nurse, statistician, and social reformer who is also considered as a foundational philosopher of modern nursing.
  • She was born in Florence, Italy, on May 12, 1820. She was known for her night rounds to aid the wounded, establishing her image as the ‘Lady with the Lamp’.
  • Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri announced the results of Swachh Survekshan League 2020, for first and second Quarters in New Delhi.
  • Swachh Survekshan League 2020 (SS League 2020) was introduced with the objective of sustaining the onground performance of cities along with continuous monitoring of service level performance when it comes to cleanliness.
  • SS League 2020 is being conducted in 3 quarters, i.e. April- June, July – September and October- December 2019.
  • Ranks have been assigned in two categories, namely, cities with population of one lakh and above (with two sub-categories, i.e. 1-10 lakh and 10 lakhs and above) and cities with population of less than 1 lakh (under the < 1 lakh population category, the rankings are given zone and population wise).
  • In the 10 lakh plus population category, Indore secured first place in both the quarters.
  • In one lakh to 10 lakh population category, Jamshedpur in Jharkhand got the 1st spot in both quarters.
  • Swachh Survekshan 2020, the fifth edition of the annual urban cleanliness survey conducted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Government of India, scheduled to commence from 4 January 2020 across India, was also rolled out on the occasion.

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