Current Affairs - December, 2019

Current Affairs December, 2019 section is updated daily with latest Current Affairs and Current Events of December, 2019 for UPSC, IAS/PCS, Banking / IBPS, SSC, Railways, CLAT, NDA/CDS, UPPSC, RPSC, BPSC, MPPSC, TNPSC, MPSC, KPSC and other competition exams.

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Sustainable Development Goal Index Released

On December 30, 2019, NITI Aayog released Sustainable Development Goals Index 2019-20. According to the report, the overall composite score of India improved from 60 in 2018 to 57 in 2019. India succeeded in the areas of power and industry, water and sanitation, nutrition and gender equality. The index covered 16 out of 17 SDGs.

Highlights

Kerala ranked first in composite SDG index with score of 70. Kerala was followed by Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu. The biggest improvement was seen in states such as Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim. The score of UP improved from 29 in 2018 to 23 in 2019. Also, the rank of Odisha improved from 23 in 2018 to 15 in 2019.

The least performing states were Bihar, Jharkhand and Arunachal Pradesh.

In terms of poverty reduction, states such as Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Tripura, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Sikkim performed well.

Categories

The states were classified under 4 categories based on their scores. The states with scores between 0 and 49 were categorized ‘Aspirant’, between 50 and 64 were ‘Performers’, between 65 and 99 were ‘Front Runner’ and with a score of 100 were categorized ‘Achiever’.

The states Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Bihar that were in Aspirant category moved to performers in 2019. The states that were in performer category in 2018 and moved to front runner include Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Sikkim and Goa.

NASA astronaut Christina Koch sets record for longest single spaceflight by woman

NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Astronaut Christina Koch has created a record for longest single spaceflight by a woman, after surpassing the earlier record of 288 days in space with about two months left in her mission. Christina, who is onboard the International Space Station (ISS) since 14 March 2019, would have spent over 300 days in space by the time she arrives back on Earth in February 2020.

About Christina Koch

She is an electrical engineer from Livingston, Montana. She arrived at International Space Station on 24 March 2019. She broke the record set in 2016-2017, by Peggy Whitson, a former space station commander.

The 40-year-old Christina is expected to spend a total of 328 days (or nearly 11 months), onboard the space station before returning to Earth. NASA Missions are typically 6 months, but the US Space Agency announced in April 2019 that it was extending her mission until February 2020.

Koch’s extended mission will help NASA learn about effects of long spaceflights. As per NASA officials, this data is needed to support future deep space exploration missions to Moon and Mars.

Other Records

The US record for longest space flight is 340 days, which was set by Scott Kelly in 2015-2016. However, the world record is 15 months set in 1990s by a Russian cosmonaut aboard the former Mir space station (that operated from 1986 to 2001).

Before breaking the endurance record for a woman in space, Koch has set another milestone as part of first all-female spacewalking team in October 2019. It was her fourth spacewalk.

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