IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-December 2021

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IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-September 2021


IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-November 2021

  1. A key reservoir in northwestern Syria is almost completely dry for the first time in its 27-year history. The reservoir formed by Al-Duwaysat Dam in Idlib province is a key irrigation source for thousands of farmers.
  2. Marmot lives centre around their burrows. They don’t migrate downhill to beat the winter, opting to hunker 10 metres below the frozen ground for as many as six to eight months. Every generation inherits the burrow from the previous one. It takes much more than a tethered dog to force such homebodies to vacate their burrows. In the mountains, however, marmots went about their lives out in the open. The house cat-sized adults settled scores with their rivals, courted their mates, and nibbled on grass stems and seeds, while keeping an eye out for predators. The pups had all the time to roughhouse in the sun. In areas frequented by tourists, they combed through trash, shoving their heads into tin cans and plastic bags.
  3. Adichilthotti, a tiny hamlet in the Edamalayar valley in Kerala. In May 2014, the Kadar in this region were recognised as a particularly vulnerable tribal group. This area, the first in Kerala to be given the CFR, is also the home of the Muthvan and Malayar tribes. Karikkadav, Anapantham, Chimmony, Kallichitra, Adichilthotti and Vazhachal in the Chalakudy and Karuvannur river basins of the Western Ghats.
  4. The Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action rallies the collective power of women’s rights and environmental justice movements around the world. Our vision is a world where women’s rights to water, food security, and a clean, healthy and safe environment are recognized and respected. GAGGA was launched in 2016 as a consortium led by Fondo Centroamericano de Mujeres, based in Nicaragua, in collaboration with Mama Cash and Both ENDS, both based in the Netherlands. It is also a strategic partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands under their Dialogue and Dissent programme. GAGGA partners with Global Greengrants Fund (GGF) and Prospera – International Network of Women Funds, as strategic allies, to develop and offer insights into the importance of resourcing women’s rights and environmental justice.
  5. Kuti Valleyis a Himalayan valley situated in the Pithoragarh District, Kumaon division of the Uttarakhand state of India. Located in the eastern part of Uttarakhand, it is the last valley before the border with Tibet. It runs along a NW to SE axis, formed by the river Kuti Yankti, which is one of the headwaters of the Kali River that forms the boundary between India and Nepal in this region. This valley is mainly dominated by Byansis, one of the four Bhotiya communities of Kumaon, with the others being Johar, Darmiya and Chaudansi. Kuthi Yankti river is a major tributary of the Kali Ganga river, that is supported by 88 glaciers spanning over 130 square km area and houses ice volume measuring about 9 cubic km. In their recent study published in the Geosciences Journal, the experts have illustrated an unnamed glacier — 5 km in length and covering a 4 square km area — near Kuthi Yankti Valley in the Kumaun Himalaya. Structurally, the area lies above the Trans Himadri Detachment Fault and is known to be tectonically active. The glacier later merged with a neighbouring glacier named Sumzurkchanki.
  6. The World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) leads the way in addressing frontier scientific questions related to the coupled climate system — questions that are too large and too complex to be tackled by a single nation, agency or scientific discipline. Through international science coordination and partnerships, WCRP contributes to advancing our understanding of the multi-scale dynamic interactions between natural and social systems that affect climate. WCRP engages productively through these partnerships to inform the development of policies and services and to promote science education. Most critically, WCRP-supported research provides the climate science that underpins the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, including national commitments under the Paris Agreement of 2015, and contributes to the knowledge that supports the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and multilateral environmental conventions.
  7. The Global Carbon Projectis a Global Research Project of Future Earth and a research partner of the World Climate Research Programme. It was formed to work with the international science community to establish a common and mutually agreed knowledge base to support policy debate and action to slow down and ultimately stop the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The Global Carbon Project was established in 2001 by a shared partnership between the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP), the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and Diversitas. This partnership constituted the Earth Systems Science Partnership (ESSP) which subsequently evolved into Future Earth.
  8. The Union Cabinet has decided to declare November 15 as ‘Janjatiya Gaurav Divas’ to mark the birth anniversary of revered tribal leader and freedom fighter Birsa Munda.
  9. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) report ‘Asia-Pacific Personalised Health Index’ measures the readiness of 11 health systems across the region — Australia, China, Japan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and New Zealand — in adopting personalised healthcare, enabling the right care to be tailored to the right person at the right time. The ‘Personalised Health Index’ measures performance against 27 different indicators of personalised health across four categories called ‘Vital Signs’. These include Policy Context, Health Information, Personalised Technologies and Health Services. India ranked 10th out of 11 Asia Pacific countries in a newly-launched health index to measure the progress towards personalised healthcare.
  10. National Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture (NaCSA) is an extension arm of Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), Govt. of India, Ministry of Commerce & Industry. The objectives of NaCSA are to encourage and uplift the small and marginal farmers through organization of clusters and maintaining Best Management Practices in shrimp culture. The term e-SANTA was coined for the web portal which means Electronic Solution for Augmenting NaCSA farmers Trade-in Aquaculture.
  1. The World Health Organization has classified a new variant of the novel coronavirus, which belongs to a lineage named B.1.1.529, as a ‘variant of concern’, and named is Omicron. This variant was first identified by scientists in South Africa, but has spread to nearly a dozen countries including Australia, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Britain, Hong Kong, Botswana and Belgium.
  2. As an infected cell builds new coronaviruses, it occasionally makes tiny copying errors. These called mutations. Mutations are passed down through a lineage, a branch of the viral family tree. A group of coronaviruses that share the same inherited set of distinctive mutations is called a variant.
  1. Africa’s Great Green Wall (GGW) programme to combat desertification in the Sahel region is an important contribution towards combating climate change, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said in a study.
  2. After 11 years of being on the drawing board, there is some progress in the Jaitapur nuclear power project in Maharashtra with the French company EDF and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) working together to take this project off the ground.
  3. Neither the WTO nor SAFTA permits a country to suspend trade with another member country on grounds that it disapproves a domestic law enacted by the latter unless the law can be demonstrably linked to the general or security exceptions given in these treaties.
  4. The 10% reservation was introduced through the 103rd Constitution Amendment and enforced in January 2019. It added Clause (6) to Article 15 to empower the Government to introduce special provisions for the EWS among citizens except those in the classes that already enjoy reservation. It allows reservation in educational institutions, both public and private, whether aided or unaided, excluding those run by minority institutions, up to a maximum of 10%. It also added Clause (6) to Article 16 to facilitate reservation in employment. The new clauses make it clear that the EWS reservation will be in addition to the existing reservation.
  5. The G20 Summit is formally known as the “Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy”.
  6. The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG), sometimes known as the Vienna Convention, is a multilateral treaty that establishes a uniform framework for international commerce. As of 2020, it has been ratified by 94 countries, representing two-thirds of world trade. The CISG facilitates international trade by removing legal barriers among state parties (known as “Contracting States”) and providing uniform rules that govern most aspects of a commercial transactions, such as contract formation, the means of delivery, parties’ obligations, and remedies for breach of contract. India, South Africa, Nigeria, and the United Kingdom are the major trading countries that have not yet ratified the CISG.
  7. Langtang Microhydro Electricity Project, Nepal’s first hydropower from a glacial lake has become functional recently. From the edge of the terminal moraine of the Langtang Lirung Glacier, there is a 360 degree view of icy peaks, and below is the monastery town of Kyanjin blanketed in overnight snow. Towering above is Langtang Lirung with snow being blown off its 7,227m summit, with the jagged peaks of Kimshun standing like bodyguards with Tserko Ri, Yala Peak and Gang Chhenpo. And to the south is the rampart of the Naya Kanga ridge. 
  8. Horse-related remains and artefacts have been found in Late Harappan sites (1900-1300 BCE), and that horses did not seem to have played an essential role in the Harappan civilisation. This is in contrast to the Vedic Period, which is a little later (1500-500 BCE). (The Sanskrit word for horse is Ashwa, which is mentioned in the Vedas and Hindu Scriptures). These are roughly towards the end of the late Bronze Age.
  9. India and Bangladesh share a 4,096 km land boundary covering West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya and Mizoram. This is the largest among the international boundaries that India shares with its neighbors.
  10. IS-K – Islamic State Khorasan Province – is the regional affiliate of the Islamic State group. It is the most extreme and violent of all the jihadist militant groups in Afghanistan. IS-K was set up in January 2015 at the height of IS’s power in Iraq and Syria, before its self-declared caliphate was defeated and dismantled by a US-led coalition. “Khorasan” refers to a historical region covering parts of modern-day Afghanistan and Pakistan. The group initially included Pakistan until a separate Pakistan section was declared in May 2019.
  11. Australia announced sending police, troops and diplomats to the Solomon Islands to help after anti-Government demonstrators defied lockdown orders and took to the streets for a second day in violent protests. Solomon Islands is a sovereign country consisting of six major islands and over 900 smaller islands in Oceania, to the east of Papua New Guinea and northwest of Vanuatu. Its capital, Honiara, is located on the largest island, Guadalcanal.
  12. The number of countries moving towards authoritarianism in 2020 was higher than that of countries going in the other direction, towards democracy, the Global State of Democracy Report, 2021 released by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International-IDEA).  The International-IDEA, which is an inter-governmental organisation supporting democracy, was chaired by Australia and includes India as a member-state.
  13. Under Article 123 of the Constitution the President can legislate on a matter when there is great urgency in the nature of an emergency and the sitting of Parliament is quite some time away. 
  14. After the Stockholm Declaration on the Global Environment, the Constitution was amended in 1976 to include Protection and Improvement of Environment as a fundamental duty. Under Article 253, Parliament has the power to make laws for implementing international treaties and agreements and can legislate on the preservation of the natural environment. Parliament used Article 253 to enact the Environment Protection Act to implement the decisions reached at the Stockholm Conference. 
  15. The International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA) is an international organization that seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons. Though established independently of the United Nations through its own international treaty, the IAEA Statute, the IAEA reports to both the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council. The IAEA has its headquarters in Vienna, Austria. The IAEA serves as an intergovernmental forum for scientific and technical co-operation in the peaceful use of nuclear technology and nuclear power worldwide. India is a member state of IAEA.
  16. Recently, Nigeria joined the Bahamas and five islands in the East Caribbean as the only economies to have introduced central bank digital currency (CBDC).
  17. The 15th edition of the biennial trilateral coast guard exercise ‘Dosti’ involving India, the Maldives and Sri Lanka is underway in the Maldives.
  18. Remembered as the greatest military hero of Assam, Lachit Borphukan was a general during the 17th Century period of the Ahom dynasty. He is best known for the Battle of Saraighat on the Brahmaputra, where he beat the Mughals. Today the Tai-Ahom ethnic community, seen as the descendants of the Ahom dynasty who reside in Upper Assam, represent Assamese sub-nationalism.
  19. To tap the huge potential of tourism, the Railways on Tuesday announced the ‘Bharat Gaurav’ scheme, under which theme-based tourist circuit trains, on the lines of the Ramayana Express, can be run either by private or State-owned operators.
  20. INSACOG is a consortium of labs across the country tasked with scanning coronavirus samples from swathes of patients and flagging the presence of variants that were known to have spiked transmission internationally. The INSACOG is mainly involved in genomic sequencing which is done by isolating the genetic material of the coronavirus samples. The purpose of genome sequencing is to understand the role of certain mutations in increasing the virus’s infectivity. Some mutations have been linked to immune escape which has consequences for vaccines. Studies such as this have shown that Omicron has evolved to evade antibodies much better than the Delta variant.
  21. Recognising that school-related violence is an infringement of children’s right to education and to health and well-being, UNESCO Member States have declared the first Thursday of November as the International Day against Violence and Bullying at School, including cyberbullying.
  22. The Council of Europe established the Istanbul Convention, a human rights treaty, with the aim to prevent and prosecute all forms of violence against women, promote gender equality and ensure protection and rehabilitation of women who are victims of violence. The treaty was opened for ratification in May 2011. From the European Union, 34 countries signed this treaty. On November 24, 2011, Turkey became the first country to ratify the Istanbul convention and, on March 8, 2012, it incorporated the Istanbul Convention into domestic law. The treaty is the world’s first binding instrument to prevent and tackle violence against women. In 2021, Turkey became the first and only country to withdraw from the convention, after denouncing it on 20 March 2021. India is not a party to the convention.
  23. The Kanal Istanbul, an under-construction shipping route running parallel to the strategically critical Bosphorus Strait. The planned canal will run parallel to the Bosphorus Strait, a natural waterway that separates Europe and Asia, which for centuries has served as a key outlet for Russian ships entering the Mediterranean Sea. Since 1936, passage through the Strait has been governed by the Montreux Convention, a multilateral treaty that allows ships to go across almost free of cost during peacetime, and which tightly restricts the movement of naval vessels.
  24. The Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits is a 1936 agreement that gives Turkey control over the Bosporus and Dardanelles Straits and regulates the transit of naval warships. The Convention guarantees the free passage of civilian vessels in peacetime, and restricts the passage of naval ships not belonging to Black Sea states.
  25. Hamas is a Palestinian Islamist political organization and militant group that has waged war on Israel since the group’s 1987 founding, most notably through suicide bombings and rocket attacks.
  26. The Philippines will resume a military resupply mission for the country’s troops stationed on an atoll (Second Thomas Shoal, locally known as Ayungin Shoal) in the South China Sea will resume, after it was aborted last week when it was blocked by Chinese coast guard.
  27. In some cases, a sea is completely landlocked. The Caspian Sea is the most famous example, though this sea, which lies between Russia and Iran, is also referred to as the world’s largest lake. Other seas surrounded by land include the Aral Sea and the Dead Sea. They contain saltwater and have been called seas for many years, but many oceanographers and geographers are more inclined to call them lakes.
  28. The European Space Agency (ESA) council approved a manifesto to accelerate the use of space in Europe “to tackle the urgent and unprecedented societal, economic and security challenges faced by Europe and its citizens.” At the Intermediate Ministerial Meeting that was held in Matosinhos, Portugal, the Council of Ministers unanimously adopted this resolution that lays down a vision for the continent in terms of maintaining and expanding its activities in space.
  29. Article 222 of the Constitution provides for the transfer of High Court judges, including the Chief Justice. It says the President, after consultation with the Chief Justice of India, may transfer a judge from one High Court to any other High Court. It also provides for a compensatory allowance to the transferred judge. This means that the executive could transfer a judge, but only after consulting the Chief Justice of India. From time to time, there have been proposals that one-third of the composition of every High Court should have judges from other States.
  30. Shale oil is an unconventional oil produced from oil shale rock fragments by pyrolysis, hydrogenation, or thermal dissolution. These processes convert the organic matter within the rock (kerogen) into synthetic oil and gas. The refined products can be used for the same purposes as those derived from crude oil.
  31. Among the winners of this year’s Padma awards is Rahibai Popere, popularly known as Seedmother, from Akole taluka of Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. Her Padma Shri is a recognition of her work that has helped save hundreds of landraces (wild varieties of commonly grown crops) at the village level. Landraces refer to naturally occurring variants of commonly cultivated crops. These are as opposed to commercially grown crops, which are developed by selective breeding (hybrids) or through genetic engineering to express a certain trait over others.
  32. A group from Mechanical Engineering Department and Center for Non-Destructive Testing (CNDE) of IIT Madras has developed a robot that can, if deployed extensively, put an end to this practice of sending people into septic tanks. The robot, named HomoSEP (“homogeniser of septic tanks”) has taken the group about three years to develop.
  33. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) was established on 28 March 2002 by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1401. It was basically established to assist the state and the people of Afghanistan in laying the foundations for sustainable peace and development. Its original mandate was to support the implementation of the Bonn Agreement. UNAMA is an integrated mission. This means that the Special Political Mission, all UN agencies, funds and programmes, work in a multidimensional and integrated manner to better assist Afghanistan according to nationally defined priorities.
  34. Mājuli or Majuli (mazuli) is a river island in the Brahmaputra River, Assam and in 2016 it became the first island to be made a district in India. Majuli Island is the most ancient site of Assamese neo-Vaishnavite monastery, or first Satra. Its roots can be traced back to the 15th century and, in fact, there are around 22 Satras on this river island, which will give you a peep into the culture, and that can be witnessed in the area through artefacts, literature, arts, crafts and weapons. The island is formed by the Brahmaputra River in the south and the Kherkutia Xuti, an anabranch of the Brahmaputra, joined by the Subansiri River in the north. It was formed due to course changes by the river Brahmaputra and its tributaries, mainly the Lohit. Majuli is since 2004 in the UNESCO Tentative List for nomination as a World Heritage Site.
  35. Technical textiles are defined as textile materials and products manufactured primarily for their technical performance and functional properties rather than aesthetic and decorative characteristics. Depending upon their application areas, Technical Textiles products are divided into 12 broad categories: Agrotech, Buildtech, Clothtech, Geotech, Hometech, Indutech, Mobiltech, Meditech, Protech, Sportstech, Oekotech, Packtech.
  36. The All India Presiding Officers’ Conference (AIPOC), the apex body of the Legislatures in India, is celebrating its hundred years in 2021.
  37. Cartel is an arrangement/organisation among producers or business firms to exert control over market by influencing price of the product or setting production targets. A well-known cartel in the international market is the OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) that tries to control international price of crude by setting production targets. Cartels are usually found in a market form called oligopoly. Under oligopoly, there is only limited number of firms (say seven or eight). Since there are only few firms (oligopoly is also called ‘among the few’) one firm’s action has tremendous implication on sales and profit conditions of other firms.
  38. Even as backward communities such as Thevars and Gounders are largely seen as Tamil Nadu’s socially and politically powerful communities, Vanniyars were one of the largest and most consolidated backward communities that had a consistency in retaining political representation from 1940s and 1950s.
  39. The New Telecom Policy (NTP) 1999 of Department of Telecom, GoI had Universal Service as one of its main objectives, as reproduced below Strive to provide a balance between the provision of Universal Service to all uncovered areas, including the rural areas, and the provision of high-level services capable of meeting the needs of the country’s economy and encourage development of telecommunication facilities in remote, hilly and tribal areas of the country The NTP 1999 provided that the resources for meeting the Universal Service Obligation (USO) were to be generated through a Universal Access Levy (UAL), at a prescribed percentage of the revenue earned by the telecom licensees to be decided in consultation with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). It was created under the Ministry of Communications in 2002. It is a non-lapsable fund, i.e., the unspent amount under a targeted financial year does not lapse and is accrued for next years’ spending. The Levy amount is credited to the Consolidated Fund of India. The fund is made available to USOF after due appropriation by the Parliament.
  40. West Bengal Chief Minister launched an ambitious “Duare Ration” scheme for providing food grains under the public distribution system at the doorstep for the entire population of the State.
  41. Pochampally village in Telangana is set to be named as one of the best Tourism Villages by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation. Pochampally about 50 kilometres from Hyderabad is an artisanal village known for its exceptional Ikat weaves and textures. The Tourism Villages is a global initiative to highlight those villages where tourism preserves cultures and traditions, celebrates diversity, provides opportunities and safeguards biodiversity, according to United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
  42. Pochampally sari or Pochampalli ikatis a saree made in Bhoodan Pochampally, Yadadri Bhuvanagiri district, Telangana State, India. They have traditional geometric patterns in Ikat style of dyeing. The intricate geometric designs find their way into sarees and dress materials. Pochampally saree received Intellectual Property Rights Protection or Geographical Indication (GI) status in 2005. Named as the “Silk City of India”, the town is known for giving the world a texture that can beat any other form of ikat in the entire nation.
  43. LIRNEasia, an Asia Pacific think tank focussed on digital policy, tied up with the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), to take part in a global study funded by the Canada’s International Development Centre to assess the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 by analysing access to services, with a focus on digital technologies in healthcare, education and work. 
  44. Belarus, officially the Republic of Belarus, and historically Byelorussia, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Russia to the east and northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Minsk is the capital and largest city.
  45. Certified Emission Reductions(CERs) are a type of emissions unit (or carbon credits) issued by the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Executive Board for emission reductions achieved by CDM projects and verified by a DOE (Designated Operational Entity) under the rules of the Kyoto Protocol.
  46. The Clean Development Mechanism(CDM) is a United Nations-run carbon offset scheme allowing countries to fund greenhouse gas emissions-reducing projects in other countries and claim the saved emissions as part of their own efforts to meet international emissions targets. It is one of the three Flexible Mechanisms defined in the Kyoto Protocol. 
  47. Flexible mechanisms, also sometimes known as Flexibility Mechanisms or Kyoto Mechanisms, refers to emissions trading, the Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation.
  48. The Climate Neutral Now Initiative is one of several initiatives launched by the UNFCCC secretariat to increase climate action by engaging non-Party stakeholders (sub-national governments, companies, organizations, individuals). It was launched in 2015 based on a mandate to promote the voluntary use of carbon market mechanisms recognized under the Convention.  The initiative is NOT a certification scheme for its participants. It is a tool to promote additional voluntary action on climate, and to provide recognition for it.
  49. Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) is a term adopted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to denote work under Article 6 of the Convention (1992) and Article 12 of the Paris Agreement. COP26 Launched a Decade of Action for Climate Empowerment.
  1. Cord blood (short for umbilical cord blood) is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta post-delivery. It contains special cells called hematopoietic stem cells that can be used to treat some types of diseases.
  1. The Interpol has elected Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Director Praveen Sinha as a Delegate for Asia in its Executive Committee.
  2. The CAATSA is designed to ensure that no country is able to increase military engagement with Iran, North Korea and Russia without facing deterrent punitive action from the U.S. The sanctions are unilateral, and not part of any United Nations decision, and therefore no country is bound to accept them. 
  3. The Event Horizon Telescope(EHT) is a large telescope array consisting of a global network of radio telescopes. The EHT project combines data from several very-long-baseline interferometry (VLBI) stations around Earth, which form a combined array with an angular resolution sufficient to observe objects the size of a supermassive black hole’s event horizon. The project’s observational targets include the two black holes with the largest angular diameter as observed from Earth: the black hole at the center of the supergiant elliptical galaxy Messier 87 (M87), and Sagittarius A* at the center of the Milky Way.
  4. We have 51 Tiger Reserves in the country and efforts are being made to bring more areas under the Tiger Reserve network. Fourteen tiger reserves have been accredited under CA|TS, and National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) is working on getting other reserves evaluated for CA|TS accreditation.
  5. Methane is a significant greenhouse gas with a much higher temperature forcing quality than carbon — 28 to 34 times more — but stays in the atmosphere for a shorter duration. 
  6. Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) is a set of emergency measures to be taken to reduce the air pollution depending on the level of pollution. GRAP was notified by the Union Environment Ministry in 2017 to fight air pollution. Actions under the ‘emergency’ category include stopping of construction activities and odd-even vehicle rationing scheme based on number plates of vehicles.
  7. The Speaker of Lok Sabha/ Rajya Sabha chairperson is the first level of scrutiny of a privilege motion. The Speaker/Chair can decide on the privilege motion himself or herself or refer it to the privileges committee of Parliament. If the Speaker/Chair gives consent under Rule 222, the member concerned is given an opportunity to make a short statement.
  8. Input tax credit (ITC)is the tax paid by the buyer on purchase of goods or services. Such tax which is paid at the purchase when reduced from liability payable on outward supplies is known as input tax credit. In other words, input tax credit is tax reduced from output tax payable on account of sales
  9. The Karnataka Cabinet renamed the Mumbai-Karnataka region, consisting of seven districts, as Kittur Karnataka. The name Kittur comes after a historical taluk in north Karnataka’s Belagavi district that was ruled by Rani Chennamma (1778-1829). Kittur Rani Chennamma had fought against the British about 40 years before Jhansi Rani Laxmibai. One of the reasons decided to name the region after ruler Kittur Rani Chennamma is because she is from the dominant Panchamasalis, the largest sub-sect within the Lingayat community.
  10. Project Sampoorna has been implemented in the Bongaigaon district of Assam. It aims to target Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM). It was launched to target the mothers of SAM/ MAM children with the tagline being ‘Empowered Mothers, Healthy Children’.
  11. The annual Leonids Meteor Shower has begun. The debris that forms this meteor shower originates from a small comet called 55P/Tempel-Tuttle in the constellation Leo, which takes 33 years to orbit the sun. The Leonids are considered to be a major shower that features the fastest meteors. The Leonids are also called fireballs and earthgazer meteors. Fireballs, because of their bright colours, and earthgazer, because they streak close to the horizon. The light—which is why a meteor is called a shooting star — is a result of the friction between the meteorite and the molecules present in the Earth’s atmosphere because of which it burns.
  12. Typically, poverty levels are updated by using the Consumer Expenditure Survey, which is conducted by the National Statistical Office (NSO) once every five years.
  13. As a subscriber to the International Monetary Fund’s Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS), India is obliged to follow good practices in four areas in disseminating macroeconomic statistics to the public. These comprise the coverage, periodicity, and timeliness of data; public access to those data; data integrity; and data quality. 
  14. Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES) is traditionally a quinquennial (recurring every five years) survey conducted by the government’s National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) that is designed to collect information on the consumption spending patterns of households across the country, both urban and rural. The data gathered in this exercise reveals the average expenditure on goods (food and non-food) and services and helps generate estimates of household Monthly Per Capita Consumer Expenditure (MPCE) as well as the distribution of households and persons over the MPCE classes.
  15. The Principles for Responsible Bankingare a unique framework for ensuring that signatory banks’ strategy and practice align with the vision society has set out for its future in the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement.  India’s YES BANK Limited is the only Indian signatory to this framework.
  16. Polar-Areas Stellar-Imaging in Polarisation High-Accuracy Experiment (PASIPHAE) is an international collaborative sky surveying project. Scientists aim to study the polarisation in the light coming from millions of stars. The survey will use two high-tech optical polarimeters to observe the northern and southern skies, simultaneously. It will focus on capturing starlight polarisation of very faint stars that are so far away that polarisation signals from there have not been systematically studied. The distances to these stars will be obtained from measurements of the GAIA satellite.
  17. Wide Area Linear Optical Polarimeter (WALOP) is an instrument, when mounted on two small optical telescopes, that will be used to detect polarised light signals emerging from the stars along high galactic latitudes.
  18. The Wanchuwa festival is one of the most important celebrations in the life of the Tiwa tribe of Assam — a community that centers itself around a traditional form of agriculture. In the Karbi Anglong district of Assam, there lives a community far removed from the noise and influence of urban chaos. The Tiwas practice Jhum or shifting cultivation, where the land is first cleared of any vegetation that is later set on fire (slash-and-burn). 
  19. The Investment Leadership Programme (ILP) is a joint initiative from UNEP FI and the Principles for Responsible Investment(PRI) created to accelerate the pace of collaboration amongst leading investors and boost action on achieving key global sustainability objectives such as the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.
  20. Lithium is a soft, silvery-white metal. Under standard conditions, it is the lightest metal and the lightest solid element. It is highly reactive and flammable, and must be stored in mineral oil. It is an alkali metal and a rare metal. Lithium is a key element for new technologies and finds its use in ceramics, glass, telecommunication and aerospace industries. The well-known uses of Lithium are in Lithium ion batteries, lubricating grease, high energy additive to rocket propellants, optical modulators for mobile phones and as convertor to tritium used as a rawmaterial for thermonuclear reactions i.e. fusion.
  21. Kameng River is the right-bank tributary of the Brahmaputra river. It rises in the Tawang district in the eastern Himalayas. It forms the border between the East Kameng district and the WestKameng district of Arunachal Pradesh. In Assam, it flows through the Sonitpur district before joining the Brahmaputra at Tezpur. The Kaziranga National Park and the Pakkhui Wildlife Sanctuary are located near the Kameng river. The Kameng River consists of two sections- the west consisting of the Akka hills and resided by the Akka tribes and the east consisting of the Dafla hills resided by the Daphla tribe.
  22. The Declaration on Global Electronic Commerce adopted by the WTO’s Second Ministerial Conference in May 1998 urged the WTO General Council to establish a comprehensive work programme to examine all trade-related issues arising from global e-commerce. The WTO Work Programme on Electronic Commerce covers issues related to trade arising from global e-commerce.
  23. In 2001, the Doha Ministerial Declaration had included a work programme on investment, but it was soon taken off the table as developing countries were opposed to its continuation because the discussions were geared to expanding the rights of foreign investors through a multilateral agreement on investment.
  24. Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvITs) are like a mutual fund, which enables direct investment of small amounts of money from possible individual/institutional investors in infrastructure to earn a small portion of the income as return. SEBI notified the Sebi (Infrastructure Investment Trusts) Regulations, 2014 on September 26, 2014, providing for registration and regulation of InvITs in India. The objective of InvITs is to facilitate investment in the infrastructure sector.
  25. Articles 233 and 234 of the Constitution of India deal with the appointment of district judges, and place it in the domain of the states.
  26. Primary sources of Edible oil (Soybean, Rapeseed & Mustard, Groundnut, Sunflower, Safflower & Niger) and secondary sources of Edible Oil (Oil palm, Coconut, Rice Bran, Cotton seeds & TreeBorne Oilseeds).
  27. Excise duty is a form of tax imposed on goods for their production, licensing and sale. It is the opposite of Customs duty in sense that it applies to goods manufactured domestically in the country, while Customs is levied on those coming from outside of the country. Excise duty was levied on manufactured goods and levied at the time of removal of goods, while GST is levied on the supply of goods and services.
  28. The Giant Magellan Telescope(GMT) is a ground-based extremely large telescope under construction as of 2021. The telescope is expected to have a resolving power 10 times greater than the Hubble Space Telescope.
  29. On the 2nd Day of celebration of Destination North East India, dance and music of Manipur, Sikkim, Assam and Mizoram was organised. The forenoon session was started with Basanta Raasa Manipuri Dance related to Radha & Krishana performed by Panthoibi Jagoi Marup.It was followed by Bamboo Dance, a  folk dance of Mizoram performed by Mizoram team and ended with Nepali Dance of Sikkim performed by Agragami dance and cine team.
  30. The Punjab Police has proposed that the birth anniversary (Gurpurab) of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev be declared as ‘World Pedestrian Day’.
  31. Relay planting means the planting of different crops in the same plot, one right after another, in the same season. Examples of such relay cropping would be planting rice (or wheat), cauliflower, onion, and summer gourd (or potato onion, lady’s fingers and maize), in the same season. It also means better distribution of labour, insects spread less, and any legumes actually add nitrogen to the soil.
  32. Women plant materials for home food, such as greens, leafy vegetables and pulses such as green grams, Finger millet (ragi in Hindi, kezhwaragu in Tamil) horse gram (chane ki dal in Hindi, kudure gram in Kannada, and kollu in Tamil), cowpeas, and also grass (all of which add to the nitrogen to the soil and also to the world around us, fixing nitrogen not just under our feet but also in the air we breathe; the carbon dioxide, ozone, and the oxides of nitrogen and phosphorus that we inhale every day from the filthy atmosphere is at least nullified a little, thanks to relay cropping).
  33. Strip cropping needs large lands. Western Karnataka (and the nearby Telangana and Northern Tamil Nadu), dry belts with frequent droughts, where 80% of the farmers depend on groundnut as their option.
  34. Soil mulching requires keeping all bare soil covered with straw, leaves, and the like, even when the land is in use. In this process, erosion is curtailed, moisture retained, and beneficial organisms, such as earthworms, kept in place. The same set of benefits are also offered by not tilling the soil.
  35. Puri Jagannath Temple is an important Vaishnavite temple dedicated to Jagannath, a form of Sri Krishna in Puri in Odisha. The temple is believed to be constructed in the 12th century by King Anatavarman Chodaganga Deva of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. Jagannath Puri temple is called ‘Yamanika Tirtha’ where, according to the Hindu beliefs, the power of ‘Yama’, the god of death has been nullified in Puri due to the presence of Lord Jagannath.
  36. The Gond are one of the largest tribal communities in India, spread across Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar and Odisha. Gonds are the second largest tribe in Madhya Pradesh accounting for 33.84 percent of the total tribal population in the state.
  37. The name of Bhopal’s Habibganj railway station has been changed to Rani Kamlapati station. Rani Kamlapati was the widow of Nizam Shah, whose Gond dynasty ruled the then Ginnorgarh, 55 km from Bhopal, in the 18th century. Nizam Shah built the famous seven-storeyed Kamlapati Palace in her name in Bhopal.
  38. Madhya Pradesh has the largest tribal population of the country, with 46 recognised scheduled tribes, of which three are Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) spread across the 52 districts in the state. The Bhil community comprises nearly 40 per cent of the total tribal population followed by the Gond tribe that constitute another 34 per cent of the 1.53 crore tribal population. Bhils were prominently found in Malwa and Nimar regions through which a military route passed. 
  39. Tantya Bhill was born in Birda village of west Nimar in Madhya Pradesh in the 18th century and was only 25-year-old when the 1857 mutiny broke out. When the revolt of 1857 broke out, Shankar Shah along with his 40-year-old son Raghunath Shah, gave an outcry for war. They were joined by soldiers of the 52nd battalion along with Thakurs to overthrow British rule.  Bhima Nayak, like Tantya Bhil, belonged to the Bhil community and headed the struggle of the Bhils against the Britishers in Khandesh from 1818 to 1850. The 48th Gond ruler of Garha kingdom, Sangram Shah ruled over 52 bastions of the Gond tribes. His eldest son Dalpat Shah was married to Rani Durgavati who is said to have died while fighting the Mughals. Sangram Shah was a great patron of art. He wrote Rasratnamala and also had a vast knowledge of Sanskrit.
  40. S. Air Force Brigadier General Robert Spalding(Ret.), former senior director of strategy at the White House National Security Council, announced the Digital Atlantic Charter initiative, a public-private effort focused on safeguarding democracies worldwide. The initiative provides policy advice, an investment vehicle and a technology development platform to help government agencies and commercial entities counter digital authoritarianism. Created in the spirit of the Atlantic Charter and following the recent AUKUS trilateral security partnership between Australia, U.K. and the U.S., the global Digital Atlantic Charter initiative supports countries in every region of the world as they work to protect and ensure the resilience of their critical infrastructure.
  41. Daylight Saving Time (DST) is the practice of resetting clocks ahead by an hour in spring, and behind by an hour in autumn (or fall). During these months, countries that follow this system get an extra hour of daylight in the evening. DST is in practice in some 70 countries, including those in the European Union. India does not follow daylight saving time; countries near the Equator do not experience high variations in daytime hours between seasons. The rationale behind setting clocks ahead of standard time, usually by 1 hour during springtime, is to ensure that the clocks show a later sunrise and later sunset — in effect a longer evening daytime.
  42. Article 130 in The Constitution of India: The Supreme Court shall sit in Delhi or in such other place or places, as the Chief Justice of India may, with the approval of the President, from time to time, appoint.
  43. Article 105 of the Constitution expressly mentions two privileges, that is, freedom of speech inParliament and right of publication of its proceedings. Apart from the privileges as specified in the Constitution, the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, provides for freedom from arrest and detention of members under civil process during the continuance of the meeting of the House or of a committee thereof and forty days before its commencement and forty days after its conclusion.
  44. Audit Diwas is being celebrated on November 16 this year to mark the historic origin of the institution of CAG and the contribution it has made to the governance, transparency and accountability over the past several years. Audit Diwas seeks to highlight the rich contributions of CAG to boost transparency and good governance.
  45. Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj inaugurated ‘Bhumi Samvaad’ – National Workshop on Digital India Land Record Modernisation Programme (DILRMP) today at India Habitat Centre. 
  46. Dengue virus is transmitted through the bite of a female Aedes (Ae.) mosquito. Aedes is a day time feeder and can fly up to a limited distance of 400 meters. Dengue mosquitoes can’t breed once the temperature falls below 16 degrees.
  47. IgM and IgG antibodies test and NS1 antigen test. Both are done through ELISA kits and hence are popularly known as Elisa test. IgM and IgG test for dengue antibodies detected in an initial blood sample, meaning that it is likely that the person became infected with dengue virus within recent weeks.
  48. The brightest of the bright spots in the pervasive darkness of 1962 was the Battle of Rezang La in the high Himalayas in Ladakh. The place is a massive 16,000-foot-high feature in the narrow gap between the even higher mountains surrounding the strategic village of Chushul and the Spanggur Lake that stretches across both Indian and Chinese territories. Rezang La is a mountain pass on the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh. It is located between village of Chushul and the Spanggur Lake that stretches across both Indian and ChineseRezang La is therefore, vital for the defence of the crucially important Chushul.
  49. Critical wildlife habitats (CWHs) are areas inside wildlife sanctuaries, national parks and tiger reserves – known as ‘protected areas’ – where people’s activities like cattle grazing or collecting leaves compete with the needs of wildlife. The Forest Rights Act, passed in 2006, recognises traditional land rights of millions of Adivasis and forest-dwellers, including nearly four million who live inside protected areas. The Act defines CWHs as areas that are “required to be kept as inviolate for the purposes of wildlife conservation.” Such areas are determined for each protected area by a committee which has scientists, local people, and a representative from the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. To implement CWHs effectively, state governments need to first recognise all rights under the FRA, hold consultation with gram sabhas and then understand “inviolate” areas as areas with minimum human impact and not free of human presence or use.
  50. The Indus river dolphin was declared the State aquatic animal of Punjab in 2019. The Indus river dolphin is classified as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and, until recently, it was believed that these dolphins were endemic to Pakistan. But in 2007, a remnant but viable population of Indus dolphins was discovered in Punjab’s Harike wildlife sanctuary and in the lower Beas river. 
  51. Addu Atoll, also known as Seenu Atoll, is the southernmost atoll of the Maldives. Addu Atoll hosts the second largest wetlands area in the Maldives. The Addu Nature Park encompasses the beautiful Eydhigali Kilhi wetlands and protected Koattey area in Hithadhoo Island. Addu is the second largest city in the Indian Ocean archipelago.
  52. National Innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) is a network project of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). The project aims to enhance resilience of Indian agriculture to climate change and climate vulnerability through strategic research and technology demonstration. The research on adaptation and mitigation covers crops, livestock, fisheries and natural resource management.
  53. Gahirmatha beach is the largest rookery of the sea turtles in the world for which the government banned all types of fishing for seven months to save the endangered marine species. Gahirmatha is located within Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha’s Kendrapara district.
  54. The Black-and-orange Flycatcher (BOF) and the Nilgiri Flycatcher (NIF), two species endemic to the Western Ghats, could suffer a loss of 31 per cent and 46 per cent of their range respectively by 2050 due to climate change.
  55. The Multidimensional Poverty Index has been used by the United Nations Development Programme in its flagship Human Development Report since 2010. It is the most widely employed non-monetary poverty index in the world. It captures overlapping deprivations in health, education and living standards.
  56. Botulinum is a natural toxin produced by a bacteria known as Clostridium botulin. It produces the toxin when it starts reproducing. Botulinum affects both humans and animals but the type of the toxin varies — botulinum C in birds and A, B and E in humans.  The toxin has been recognised as a major cause of mortality in wild birds since the 1900s.
  57. The H5N1 strain of bird flu can spread from birds to humans if they come into contact. Symptoms of H5N1 include cough, fever, sore throat, muscular pain, headache and difficulty breathing. The H5N1 strain can also result in human deaths.
  58. The Government has decided to re-constitute the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change to coordinate National Action for Assessment, Adaptation and Mitigation of Climate Change. Prime Minister of India is the ex-officio chairperson of PMCCC. The new council was tasked with evolving a coordinated response to issues relating to climate change at the national level, providing oversight for formulation of action plans in the area of assessment, adaptation and mitigation of climate change, and periodically monitoring key policy decisions.  The earlier council had 26 members and included ministers, independent experts and retired government experts. Now the number of members was brought down to 18. 
  59. In November 2020, the Indian government announced the formation of the Apex Committee for the Implementation of the Paris Agreement (AIPA). The objective of this committee was to coordinate work for meeting India’s nationally determined contribution targets. AIPA is chaired by the secretary of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), with the additional secretary as the vice chairperson and has a total of 17 members. 
  60. UN Women conducted Rapid Gender Assessment (RGA) surveys across 13 countries, most of them low- and middle-income countries with regional diversity.
  61. Agri-food systems include primary production, food supply chains, domestic transport networks and households — and involve many interlinked actors. 
  62. A Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) is a formal declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO) of “an extraordinary event which is determined to constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease and to potentially require a coordinated international response”, formulated when a situation arises that is “serious, sudden, unusual, or unexpected”, which “carries implications for public health beyond the affected state’s national border” and “may require immediate international action”. Since 2009, there have been six PHEIC declarations: the 2009 H1N1 (or swine flu) pandemic, the 2014 polio declaration, the 2014 outbreak of Ebola in Western Africa, the 2015–16 Zika virus epidemic, the 2018–20 Kivu Ebola epidemic, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Automatically, SARS, smallpox, wild type poliomyelitis, and any new subtype of human influenza are considered as PHEICs and thus do not require an IHR decision to declare them as such. A PHEIC is not confined to infectious diseases, and may cover an emergency caused by exposure to a chemical agent or radioactive material. It can be seen as an “alarm system”, a “call to action” and “last resort” measure.
  63. Commonly known as bathuain Hindi, cheel bhaji in Gujarati, paruppu keerai in Tamil, chandanbethu in Bengali and vastuccira in Malayalam. the plant is also called white goosefoot or Chenopodium album in scientific lexicon — Greek words chen means goose and podion means foot. Bathua is known for its rich fibre content and medicinal properties. In Ayurveda, it is prescribed for conditions such as cough, diarrhoea, fever and poor appetite. Bathua is considered a weed because of its ability to deplete soil nutrients, spread fast by producing a large number of seeds, establish itself in all kinds of conditions, and suppress the germination and growth of other plants while acting as an alternate host of crop pests.
  64. The main sources of ammonia — agriculture and biomass burning — are undergoing or expected to undergo substantial changes in Africa, according to the report.  Agriculture is by far the largest source of ammonia globally, although ammonia is emitted from natural soils. Biomass burning is the second-biggest source globally, with roughly 60-70 per cent originating from fires in Africa. 
  65. The Ethical Tea Partnershipis a Private Limited Company that has been working with tea producers and tea companies to improve the sustainability of the tea industry since 1997. The ETP works in all the main tea producing regions, with a London-based Secretariat, and five regional managers based in Kenya, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and China.
  66. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) introduced ‘Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report’ (BRSR) , a reporting mechanism, vide circular dated May 10, 2021. It is a standardised reporting format that will give a baseline to draw comparison between environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals across companies and sectors. Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report is framed around three aspirations: Adapting to and mitigating climate change impact, inclusive growth and transitioning to a sustainable economy.
  67. The Global Reporting Initiative(known as GRI) is an international independent standards organization that helps businesses, governments and other organizations understand and communicate their impacts on issues such as climate change, human rights and corruption.
  68. The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) is an independent non-profit, whose mission is to develop and disseminate sustainability accounting standards that help public corporations disclose material, decision-useful information to investors. That mission is accomplished through a rigorous process that includes evidence-based research and broad, balanced stakeholder participation. 
  69. The Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) provides information to investors about what companies are doing to mitigate the risks of climate change, as well as be transparent about the way in which they are governed. It was established in December 2015 by the G20 Financial Stability Board, and is chaired by Michael Bloomberg. The UK is set to become the first country in the world to make climate-related financial disclosure (TCFD) mandatory. 
  70. From the edge of the terminal moraine of the Langtang Lirung Glacier, there is a 360 degree view of icy peaks, and below is the monastery town of Kyanjin blanketed in overnight snow. Towering above is Langtang Lirung with snow being blown off its 7,227m summit, with the jagged peaks of Kimshun standing like bodyguards with Tserko Ri, Yala Peak and Gang Chhenpo. And to the south is the rampart of the Naya Kanga ridge. 
  71. The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a non-profit based in New Delhi, will be launching its week-long campaign on ‘Rethinking the AMR agenda’ to mark the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2021.
  72. The World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) is celebrated every year this time to create awareness on the issue. The overarching slogan of WAAW continues to be Antimicrobials: Handle with Care. This year, the theme of WAAW 2021 is ‘Spread Awareness, Stop Resistance’, which calls on One Health stakeholders, policymakers, healthcare providers and the general public to be AMR Awareness champions.
  73. A regular, affordable penicillin treatment can prevent the risk of underlying rheumatic heart disease (RHD) progression in children and adolescents, according to a new study.  RHD is serious heart damage caused by rheumatic fever a condition arising from poorly treated, repeat infections of streptococcus bacteria.  RHD remains a public health concern in low-resource countries like Uganda, where it is the most common cause of heart disease in young adults.
  74. Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) is a greenhouse gas concentration (not emissions) trajectory adopted by the IPCC.
  75. Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR) is a principle that was formalized in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) of Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, 1992. Concept of CBDR evolved from notion of “common concern” in Convention for the Establishment of an Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission of 1949 and “common heritage of mankind” in United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982.
  76. WHO launched the Global Diabetes Compact in April 2021 to improve equitable access to quality diabetes care. This builds on work in recent years to roll out the WHO Package of Essential Non-communicable Disease interventions for primary healthcare in low-resource settings. So far 21 African countries have been using this package. 
  77. The term ‘loss and damage’ is used within the UNFCCC process to refer to the harms caused by anthropogenic climate change. Establishing liability and compensation for loss and damage has been a long-standing goal for vulnerable and developing countries such as small island states. But this has been resisted by developed countries.
  78. In the ‘first’ major outcome of CoP26, 105 countries accounting for 85 per cent of the planet’s forests signed the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use. The Declaration commits the countries to “halt and reverse deforestation and land degradation by 2030.”
  79. The Global Methane Assessment (GMA) done by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition and UNEP estimated that curbing human-caused methane emission by 45 per cent this decade would keep warming beneath the threshold agreed by world leaders. 
  80. West Africa’s Sahel region, the arid land just below the Sahara Desert, stretches from Senegal to Chad. Sahel region comprises 10 countries and is home to around 300 million people. It is the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, according to the UN.
  81. The United Nations’ International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) agreed to invest $143 million for the new Africa Integrated Climate Risk Management Programme. This programme is part of the African-led Great Green Wall (GGW) initiative, which aims to restore degraded landscapes in the Sahel, one of the world’s poorest regions.
  82. The Rift Valley lakes are a series of lakes in the East African Rift valley that runs through eastern Africa from Ethiopia in the north to Malawi in the south, and includes the African Great Lakes in the south. These include some of the world’s oldest lakes, deepest lakes, largest lakes by area, and largest lakes by volume. The World Wide Fund for Nature has designated these lakes as one of its Global 200 priority ecoregions for conservation.
  83. Nigeria pledged to expand its implementation strategy for their National Gender and Climate Action Plan. It sets how gender action should be implemented under five climate change priority areas: Agriculture, forestry and land use; food security and health; energy and transport; waste management; and water and sanitation. These new commitments have been made in excess of $139 million in pledges already made towards the UN Women-convened Action Coalition on Feminist Action for Climate Justice led by Maldives, launched at the Generation Equality Forum in Paris in July.
  84. The Global Fuel Economy Initiative is a collaboration between UN Environment, the International Energy Agency, the University of California at Davis, the International Council on Clean Transportation, the International Transport Forum and the FIA Foundation. The objective of the GFEI is to help stabilize greenhouse gas emissions from the global light duty vehicle fleet through a 50 per cent improvement of vehicle fuel efficiency worldwide by 2050.
  85. Sea turtles are  protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) that came into force in 1975 and the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. India is a signatory to CITES, which prohibits trading of turtles, turtle parts and eggs.
  86. Burhachapori Wildlife Sanctuary (BWS) is contiguous with the Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary (LWS) to the south and the two areas are known collectively as the Laokhowa and Burhachapori Wildlife Sanctuaries (LBWS). It is a protected area located in the state of Assam in India. Situated on the south bank of the Brahmaputra River in Sonitpur district. 
  87. Rhinos are now found in four protected areas in Assam: Pobitora Wildlife Reserve, Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park, Kaziranga National Park and Manas National Park.
  88. We created the Climate Clock in 2015 to show how quickly we are approaching 1.5°C, the lower limit of the Paris Agreement global temperature goal and a consequential threshold for climate impacts. The Climate Clock is a way to visualize and measure progress towards our global climate targets. The date moves closer in time as emissions rise or pushes further back as they decrease. Each year, we have updated the clock to reflect the latest global data, as well as our improving scientific understanding of what level of emissions is required to limit warming to 1.5°C.
  89. An independent International Methane Emissions Observatory launched by the UNEP with support from the European commission.
  90. Cities will be the hotspots as global warming continues unabated, according to a new report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) titled Sustainable Urban Cooling Handbook.
  91. The Enhanced Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP+) is a 100 per cent climate financing mechanism and is envisioned to be the largest fund dedicated to channeling climate finance to small-scale producers. In six countries, over 510,000 smallholder farmer households adapted to climate change from 2012 to 2017 through International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)’s Adaptation for Smallholder Agricultural Programme (ASAP). IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialised United Nations agency based in Rome.
  92. The SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework aims to deliver fast results at an increased scale. The UN system and its multi-stakeholder partners, driven by country demand and coordinating through UN-Water, will unify the international community’s support to countries for SDG 6.

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