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Must Read Daily Newspaper Articles - 26th December, 2019

1. Massive locust invasion in Gujarat (GS-3)

UPSC Syllabus: Environment; food security

Sharing borders with neighbouring Pakistan, Gujarat is under attack from hoppers— new-born locusts — that have flown in across the international border. As the swarms mature, they have ravaged farms in north Gujarat, devastating farms in the three border districts — Banaskantha, Patan and Kutch.

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.

2. Study warns of growing cancer burden across India (GS-2)

UPSC SyllabusHealth

3. Mind the gap: On gender gap (GS-1)

UPSC Syllabus: Society

Global Gender Gap Report 2020:

In the latest report-2020; India has come at 108th position in the recently released Gender Gap Index 2018 by World Economic Forum. India was ranked at the same position in 2017 rankings as well. Iceland has been ranked as number 1 in the WEF’s Gender Gap Index for the 10th consecutive year.

It has been able to close about 85.8 percent of its overall gender gap. Norway (83.5 percent) came at the second spot, Sweden (82.2 percent) at the third, and Finland (82.1 percent) claimed the 4th spot in the rankings.

4. Modi launches Atal scheme on groundwater (GS-3)

UPSC Syllabus: Water conservation

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched the Atal Bhujal scheme to strengthen the institutional framework for participatory groundwater management and bringing about behavioural changes at the community level for sustainable groundwater resource management in seven States.

• ATAL JAL has been designed with the principal objective of strengthening the institutional framework for participatory groundwater management and bringing about behavioral changes at the community level for sustainable groundwater resource management in seven States, viz. Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Implementation of the scheme is expected to benefit nearly 8350 Gram Panchayats in 78 districts in these States. ATAL JAL will promote panchayat led ground water management and behavioural change with primary focus on demand side management

• Out of the total outlay of Rs. 6000 crore to be implemented over a period of 5 years (2020-21 to 2024-25), 50% shall be in the form of World Bank loan, and be repaid by the Central Government. The remaining 50% shall be through Central Assistance from regular budgetary support. The entire World Bank's loan component and Central Assistance shall be passed on to the States as Grants.

5. 35 civilians killed in terrorist attack in Burkina Faso CSAT-1

Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa. It covers an area of around 274,200 square kilometres and is surrounded by six countries: Mali to the north; Niger to the east; Benin to the southeast; Togo and Ghana to the south; and Ivory Coast to the southwest.

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