Facts Corner-Part-132

Hydrocarbon Exploration & Licensing Policy

  • The Hydrocarbon Exploration & Licensing Policy (HELP) opens up India’ entire sedimentary basin for investment from domestic and foreign players under a simplified, transparent and investor -friendly fiscal and administrative regime.
  • The new policy aims to provide Investors a ready access to huge amount of seismic data available in National Data Repository (NDR), flexibility to carve out exploration acreages through an open acreage licensing process and increased operational autonomy through a new revenue sharing model.
  • The National Data Repository (NDR) manifested through an open acreage licensing (OAL) process will be a key facilitator by providing seamless access to India’s entire E&P data process through a digital medium to all investors with the objective of harnessing the potential of India’s large basinal area.

Global Counterterrorism Forum

  • GCTF’s is international apolitical, multilateral counter-terrorism (CT) platform of 29 countries and European Union (EU) with overarching mission of reducing vulnerability of people worldwide to terrorism by preventing, combating, and prosecuting terrorist acts and countering incitement and recruitment to terrorism. It was launched officially in New York on 22 September 2011.
  • GCTF’s goal is to strengthen capabilities to develop strategic, long-term approach to counter terrorism and prevent violent extremist ideologies that underpin it. Its mission is to diminish terrorist recruitment and increase countries’ civilian capabilities for dealing with terrorist threats within their borders and regions.

Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana

  • Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana previously Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana is a maternity benefits program run by the government of India.
  • It was introduced in 2010 and is implemented by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  • It is a conditional cash transfer scheme for pregnant and lactating women of 19 years of age or above for the first live birth.


  • TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, is a leading non-governmental organisation working globally on trade in wild animals and plants.
  • It is a strategic alliance of IUCN and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
  • Its mission is to ensure that trade in wild plants and animals is not a threat to the conservation of nature.
  • It plays a vital role in tackling illegal wildlife trade through conducting research and analysis, advocacy and awareness work and by supporting remedial action against illegal wildlife trade.

It is currently working in the following projects,

  1. ReTTA – Reducing trade threats to Africa’s wild species and ecosystems through strengthened knowledge and action in Africa and beyond.
  2. Wildlife-TRAPS – Wildlife Trafficking Response, Assessment and Priority Setting.
  3. The Global Shark and Ray Initiative – It works to secure the future of our oceans through shark and ray conservation.

Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention

  • The Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention will be organized by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation in New Delhi.
  • It also coincides with the fourth anniversary of the launch of Swachh Bharat Mission and also the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • It will provide a platform for Sanitation Ministers and other leaders in WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) from around the world.
  • The UNO Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6.2), i.e. to achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all.
  • India is close to becoming open defecation free.
  • Overall, 503 districts and 24 States have been declared open defecation-free.
  • The rural sanitation coverage of India has increased significantly, from 39% in October 2014 to 94.44% as of 30 September 2018
  • The Union government had informed Lok Sabha that 11 states, including Gujarat, have been declared as ODF under the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM).

 Exercise Aviaindra

  • The second edition of Exercise Aviaindra, a Biennial Air Force level exercise between Indian and the Russian Federation, was held recently in Russia. 
  • The aim of the exercise was to formulate and validate use of airpower in anti-terrorist operation in a bilateral scenario.
  • It also includes simulator training.
  • The exercise included briefing on Aerospace safety and anti-terrorist air operations.

GCTF Terrorist Travel Initiative

  • The initiative brings together stakeholders to share expertise on developing and implementing effective counterterrorism watchlisting and screening tools.
  • The new initiative will strengthen UNSC Resolution 2396 aiming to stop terrorist travel altogether. It will improve capabilities for detecting and interdicting terrorist travel through enhanced terrorist screening and information sharing.
  • It will bring together national and local governments, law enforcement and border screening practitioners and international organizations to share expertise to develop and implement effective counterterrorism watchlisting and screening tools.
  • Under this initiative, series of four regional workshops in 2018 and 2019 will be convened to develop set of good practices that will be endorsed at 2019 GCTF Ministerial.
  • The resulting document will reinforce countries and organizations to use border security tools prescribed in UNSC Resolution 2396 to stop terrorist travel.


  • By 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG #6, aim to reach everyone with sanitation, and halve the proportion of untreated wastewater and increase recycling and safe reuse.
  • The global sanitation crisis is reflected in the following facts, according to reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
  • Around 60% of the global population – 4.5 billion people – either have no toilet at home or one that doesn’t safely manage excreta.
  • 862 million people worldwide still practise open defecation.
  • Billions of people use an unimproved source of drinking water with no protection against contamination from faeces.
  • Globally, 80% of the wastewater generated by society flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused.
  • Only 39% of the global population (2.9 billion people) use a safely-managed sanitation service, that is, excreta safely disposed of in situ or treated off-site.
  • Combined with safe water and good hygiene, improved sanitation could prevent around 842,000 deaths each year.


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