Future Policy Gold Award
- This award is given by UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and co-organised by World Future Council (WFC) and IFOAM Organics International.
- The award is nicknamed the “Oscar for best policies”.
- It recognises the world’s best laws and policies promoting agroecology.
- Sikkim State has won the 2018 award for its achievement in becoming the world’s first totally organic agriculture state.
- Sikkim beat out 51 other nominees from around the world for the award.
- Brazil, Denmark, Quito and Ecuador shared the Silver award.
Kaladan Multi Transit Transport project
- The Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project is a project that will connect the eastern Indian seaport of Kolkata with Sittwe seaport in Rakhine State, Myanmar by sea.
- In Myanmar, it will then link Sittwe seaport to Paletwa, Chin State via the Kaladan river boat route, and then from Paletwa by road to Mizoram state in Northeast India.
- This is the very day when Indian Forces landed in Kashmir and saved the valley from the clutches of aggression.
- This incident too is directly related to SardarVallabhbhai Patel. I was reading an old interview with the celebrated Army officer samManekshaw. In that interview, field Marshal Sam Manekshaw was reminiscing on times when he was a Colonel. Around this time, military operations commenced in Kashmir.
- Field Marshal Manekshaw has mentioned how in a meeting,SardarVallabhbhai Patel was irked on the delay in sending troops to Kashmir During the proceedings, Sardar Patel gave him a characteristic glance and reiterated that there should be no delay in our Army operation and that a solution should be sought swiftly. And immediately after that, our troops flew to Kashmir… we’ve seen how our Army was successful.
Global Agriculture Summit 2018
- It aims to provide the platform towards facilitating farmers connect with the technologies, markets, industry, institutions and the Governmental programs.
- It is organised by Indian Council of Food and Agriculture (ICFA).
- The event takes the opportunity to discuss the constraints and opportunities for a global momentum towards making agriculture high-tech, market linked and value added for best returns to farmers.
- ICFA is bringing together eminent personalities of Indian and global agriculture, food and agribusiness sectors on one platform on the event of 11th Global Agriculture Summit 2018.
- The experience will be combined with the presentation of 11th Global Leadership Awards and the launch of Agriculture Year Book 2018.
- It is an annual joint army exercise between India and China.
- The exercise was cancelled last year due to tense relations in the aftermath of the Doklam standoff.
- This year (7th edition), it will resume in Chengdu region in China.
- It was first held at Kunming (China) in the year 2007 and the last edition was held in Pune,2016.
- It is seen as a sign of normalising relationship between India and China.
- The scope of the exercise is to understand transnational terrorism and evolve joint drills for the conduct of counter terrorism operations, in addition to Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief operations.
‘Experiencing North East’ festival
- The festival, a part of Destination North East series, is being organised by North Eastern Council (NEC), Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) in collaboration with India International Centre.
- The festival will showcase the vibrant strengths of North East India and display its art, handicraft, handlooms, tourism, food, culture etc.
- There will be special performances daily by eminent cultural troupes, bands and artistes from North East, including Nise Meruno, classical pianist and vocalist.
- The event which is a part of ‘Destination North East’ series aims at showcasing the diverse culture and heritage of North East all under one roof.
Indian Institute of Skills
- The Union Cabinet has approved the setting up of Indian Institute of Skills (IISs) at different locations across the country in PPP.
- The PPP Models will be explored for promotion of IIS at select locations based on demand and available infrastructure.
- The IISs shall providing high quality skill training, applied research education and a direct and meaningful connection with industry.
- The setting up of IISs shall augment the global competitiveness of key sectors of Indian economy
- It will provide opportunity to aspiring youth across the country to have access to highly skilled training.
- By leveraging advantages of private sector enterprise and public capital in terms of Government land, it would create new institutes of expertise, knowledge and competitiveness.
Green Climate Fund
- The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is a fund established within the framework of the UNFCCC as an operating entity of the Financial Mechanism to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change.
- The GCF is based in the Incheon, South Korea.
- The objective of the Green Climate Fund is to “support projects, programmes, policies and other activities in developing country Parties using thematic funding windows”.
- The Copenhagen Accord established during the 2009 COP-15 in Copenhagen mentioned the “Copenhagen Green Climate Fund”.
- The fund was formally established during the 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun as a fund within the UNFCCC framework.
Graded Response Action Plan
- The Union Environment Ministry notified a ‘Graded Response Action Plan’ against air pollution for Delhi and the National Capital Region.
- The plan puts governments under the lens and holds out the promise of improvement in air quality.
- A graded response lays down stratified actions that are required to be taken as and when the concentration of pollutants, in this case particulate matter, reaches a certain level.
- At the level of 100 microgrammes per cubic metre of PM 2.5, for example, mechanised sweeping and water-sprinkling along roads has to start. Traffic police personnel have to ensure smooth flow of traffic, and all pollution control measures that are already in place — such as stopping landfill fires, and enforcing Pollution Under Control (PUC) norms and a ban on firecrackers — have to be imposed strictly.
- The graded action plan will be implemented if PM2.5 levels stay over 300 micrograms per cubic metre and PM10 levels stay above 500 micrograms per cubic metre.
- The Delhi specific comprehensive action plan was prepared by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
- The new graded response action plan has proposed stratified levels of action according to the air pollution levels classified by air quality index, which range from moderate to poor to very poor to severe to severe+ or emergency.
- The measures in the action plan are cumulative and add up to the highest level, which is severe+ or emergency.
- Additional action can be proposed if pollution levels demand higher level of stringency. Decision to shut schools will be taken as per the need of the hour.
- The plan was prepared by the Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution Control Authority(EPCA).
World Wildlife Fund
- The World Wide Fund for Nature is an international non-governmental organization founded in 1961, working in the field of the wilderness preservation, and the reduction of human impact on the environment. It was formerly named the World Wildlife Fund, which remains its official name in Canada and the United States.
- The world’s leading conservation organization, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by more than one million members in the United States and close to five million globally. WWF’s unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature.
Dhubri- Phulbari Bridge
- India’s longest river bridge will be built across the Brahmaputra, connecting Dhubri in Assam to Phulbari in Meghalaya, and will cut road travel by 203km as also travel time.
- The 19.3km, four-lane bridge will be built by 2026-27.
- The construction of any bridge across the Brahmaputra takes time since construction work can be carried out only for six months in a year.
- It will be built by the government’s highway construction wing, the National Highways and Industrial Development Corporation Ltd.
- Japanese funding agency JICA has approved a loan for this project as a part of a road infrastructure improvement package in the north-east.
Only theatre of the Second World War
- Kohima, the only theatre of the Second World War in the Indian subcontinent, is gearing up for the centenary of an ethnic club moulded by events during the First World War in faraway France.
- But the Nagaland capital is divided over who has the right to celebrate the special day of the club that unified disparate Naga tribes and laid the foundation of an armed movement for secession from India.
- The stand-off is between the influential Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) and members of the 100-year-old Naga Club. The NSF doubts the credibility of the members since the Naga Club of 1918 became dormant in 1982, while the latter say the students’ body should not dictate terms just because it “took over” the club building in 1983.
- The club building is not far from the landmark Kohima War Cemetery, an iconic reminder of a fierce battle in 1944 between the British-led Allied forces and the Japanese army alongside Subhas Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army.
Generalized System of Preferences
- The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), instituted in 1971 under the aegis of UNCTAD, has contributed over the years to creating an enabling trading environment for developing countries.
- The following 13 countries grant GSP preferences: Australia, Belarus, Canada, the European Union, Iceland, Japan, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Norway, the Russian Federation, Switzerland, Turkey and the United States of America.
- The objective of UNCTAD’s support on GSP and other preferential arrangements is to help developing countries – particularly LDCs – to increase utilization of GSP and other trade preferences and in turn promote productive capacity development and increased trade.