1. World malaria report
- The World Health Organization (WHO) has released the World Malaria Report, 2019.
- The report provides a comprehensive update on global and regional malaria data and trends including prevention, diagnosis, treatment, elimination and surveillance.
- According to the report, 228 million cases of malaria are observed worldwide, down from 251 million cases in 2010.
- Highest Burden: India along with 19 countries in sub-Saharan Africa carried almost 85% of the global malaria burden.
- Though India has observed the largest absolute reductions among the countries that share 85% of the malaria burden.
2. Global climate risk index
- International environmental think tank ‘Germanwatch’ has recently released the Global Climate Risk Index 2019.
- The index analyses the extent to which countries and regions have been affected by the impacts of weather-related loss events (storms, floods, heat waves etc.).
- India, which suffered water shortages, crop failures and worst flooding, holds the 5th position. It has fallen from its 14th rank of countries hit most by climate change-induced weather phenomena in 2017.
- India has also recorded the highest number of fatalities due to climate change particularly floods, shortage of water and droughts and the second-highest monetary losses from its impact in 2018.
3. Indian Navy day
- Indian Navy Day is celebrated on December 4 every year to commemorate Operation Trident. The Navy also organises a Beating Retreat ceremony at Gateway of India in Mumbai on the eve of the Navy Day.
- It was a counter-attack by Indian Navy on the Karachi harbour during the Indo-Pakistan war in 1971.
- India used anti-ship missiles for the first time during this operation and destroyed the Pakistani destroyer ship PNS Khaibar.
- The Indian Navy’s three warships – INS Nipat, INS Nirghat and INS Veer – played an important role in the attack.
4. Hornbill festival
- Hornbill Festival is celebrated in Nagaland to encourage inter-tribal interaction.
- It is one of the largest indigenous festival organized by the state government of Nagaland to promote tourism in the state.
- The festival is celebrated annually in the first week of December in order to preserve, protect and revive the uniqueness and richness of the Naga heritage.
- The festival is considered the “Festival of Festivals” in Nagaland.
- The festival is named after the bird – Hornbill which is the most revered and admired bird for the Nagas.
- The festival is a tribute to this bird, known for its qualities of grandeur and alertness.
- The bird is also closely identified with the social and cultural life of the Nagas, as reflected in various tribal dances, songs and folklores.
- Hornbill festival exposes the culture and tradition of the tribal people and reinforces the identity of the Nagaland.
5. Soil day
- World Soil Day (WSD) is held annually on 5 December to highlight the importance of healthy soil and to advocate for the sustainable management of soil resources.
- The theme for WSD 2019 is ‘Stop Soil Erosion, Save Our Future’.
- It was recommended by the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) in 2002. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has supported the formal establishment of WSD as a global awareness-raising platform under the leadership of the Kingdom of Thailand within the framework of the Global Soil Partnership.
- 5 December 2014 was designated as the first official World Soil Day by the UN General Assembly (UNGA).
- The date of 5 December was chosen because it corresponds with the official birthday of H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the King of Thailand, who officially sanctioned the event.
FAO gives two awards in line with this day-
- The King Bhumibol World Soil Day Award- an annual award that honours individuals, communities, organizations and countries that organized remarkable and engaging World Soil Day activities or campaigns in the previous year.
- The Glinka World Soil Prize- an annual award for dynamic change-makers dedicated to solving one of our world’s most pressing environmental issues: soil degradation. It honors individuals and organizations whose leadership and activities have contributed, or are still contributing to the promotion of sustainable soil management and the protection of soil.