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  1. India re-elected as the member of ITU council
  • India has been elected as a member of the International Telecommunications Union Council (ITU) from 2019 to 202.
  • India ranked third among the 13 countries elected to the council from the Asia-Australasia region, and eighth among the 48 countries elected to the council globally.
  • The elections to the council were held during the ongoing ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2018 at Dubai, UAE.

Related Information

International Telecommunication Union

  • The International Telecommunication Union is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN).
  • It was founded on the principle of international cooperation between governments (Member States) and the private sector (Sector Members, Associates and Academia)
  • ITU has been an intergovernmental public-private partnership organization since its inception.
  • It is responsible for issues that concern information and communication technologies.
  • The ITU allocates global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, develop the technical standards that ensure networks and technologies seamlessly interconnect, and strive to improve access to ICTs to underserved communities worldwide.
  • ITU currently has a membership of 193 countries and almost 800 private-sector entities and academic institutions.
  • ITU is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland

Topic- GS Paper 3 –Important Institution

Source- Economics Times

  1. UN postal agency issues special Diwali stamp
  • The United Nations Postal Administration issued a special event sheet to commemorate the festival of Diwali.
  • The sheet of the stamps featuring festive lights and the symbolic lamps known as diyas.

Related Information

  • The United States Postal Service (USPS) had in October 2016 launched a commemorative stamp in honour of the festival of Diwali.
  • Diwali, also known as Deepawali is the joyous and popular festival of lights, which is celebrated in India and by followers of many faiths across the world.

Topic- GS Paper 3 – Important Institution

Source- Indian Express

  1. Gujarat govt keen on renaming Ahmedabad as Karnavati
  • The Gujarat government keen on rechristening Ahmedabad as Karnavati.

Related Information

  • The area around Ahmedabad has been inhabited since the 11th century when it was known as Ashaval.
  • Chaulukya ruler Karna of Anhilwara (modern Patan) had waged a successful war against the Bhil king of Ashaval and established a city called Karnavati on the banks of the Sabarmati river.
  • Sultan Ahmed Shah in 1411 A.D. had laid the foundation of a new walled city near Karnavati and named it Ahmedabad after the four saints in the area by the name Ahmed.

Topic- GS Paper 2 –Governance

Source- Indian express

  1. U.S. exempts Chabahar port work from sanctions
  • The Chabahar port in Iran will be exempt from U.S. sanctions which following the 180-day cool-off period after the U.S. withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Iran Deal).
  • This waiver will bring some measure of relief to India which had been discussing a sanctions exemption for Chabahar, having signed an agreement with Iran and Afghanistan in May 2016 for the port’s development.
  • India has also committed to building a railway line from Chabahar to Hajigaj in Afghanistan.

Related Information

  • Iran has provided for an exception from the imposition of certain sanctions under the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012 (IFCA) with respect to the development of Chabahar port and the construction of an associated railway and for the shipment of non-sanctionable goods through the port for Afghanistan.
  • The IFCA was one of the laws under which sanctions on Iran were imposed by former U.S. President Barack Obama.
  • The IFCA with implications for non-U.S. companies working with Iran in various sectors, including shipping, shipbuilding, energy and insurance.

Advantage for India

  • Chabahar will provide India the much-denied connectivity to enhance trade with landlocked Afghanistan and Central Asian nations.
  • India’s participation in the development of Chabahar Port will provide India with an alternative and reliable access route into Afghanistan.
  • Chabahar Port has the potential to become a regional transit hub for Afghanistan and eastern Central Asian Countries.
  • It will improve bilateral trade with Iran and provide an opportunity for Indians to avail low-cost energy for various industries in the free trade zone in Chabahar.

Topic- GS Paper 3 –International Relation

Source- Economics Times

  1. Goverment issues guidelines for OPERATION GREENS
  • Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) has approved the operationalisation strategy for Operation Greens.

The strategy will comprise of a series of measures as decided by the Ministry which includes:

(I) Short-term Price Stabilisation Measures

  • NAFED will be the Nodal Agency to implement price stabilisation measures.
  • MoFPI will provide 50% of the subsidy on the following two components:
  • Transportation of Tomato Onion Potato (TOP) Crops from production to storage.
  • Hiring of appropriate storage facilities for TOP Crops;

(II) Long-Term Integrated value chain development projects

  • Capacity Building of FPOs & their consortium
  • Quality production
  • Post-harvest processing facilities
  • Agri-Logistics
  • Marketing / Consumption Points

Background of Operation Greens

  • Operation Greens was announced in the Budget speech of 2018-19 to stabilize the supply of Tomato, Onion and Potato (TOP) crops and to ensure availability of TOP crops throughout the country round the year without price volatility.

Objectives of “Operation Greens

  • Enhancing value realisation of TOP farmers by targeted interventions to strengthen TOP production clusters and their FPOs, and linking/connecting them with the market.
  • Price stabilisation for producers and consumers by proper production planning in the TOP clusters and introduction of dual-use varieties.
  • Reduction in post-harvest losses by the creation of farm gate infrastructure, development of suitable agro-logistics, and creation of appropriate storage capacity linking consumption centres.
  • Increase in food processing capacities and value addition in the TOP value chain with firm linkages with production clusters.
  • Setting up of a market intelligence network to collect and collate real-time data on demand and supply and price of TOP crops.

Topic- GS Paper 2 –Agricultural Policies

Source-PIB

  1. Ozone: The Earth’s protective shield is repairing
  • The ozone layer which is a part of the stratosphere has recovered at a rate of 1-3 percent per decade since 2000 said by U.N. Environment and the World Meteorological Organization.
  • Northern Hemisphere and mid-latitude ozone is scheduled to heal completely by the 2030s followed by the Southern Hemisphere in the 2050s and Polar Regions by 2060.

Related Information

  • An ozone layer is a colourless form of a specific type of oxygen molecule that protects Earth from ultraviolet rays that can cause skin cancer, eye problems and crop damage.
  • The chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) effectively began eating away at the ozone.
  • CFCs were found in things like spray cans, fridges, foam insulation and air conditioners.
  • As a result, in 1985 a gaping hole in the ozone over the South Pole was discovered.

How bad did it get?

  • At its worst in the late 1990s, about 10% of the upper ozone layer was depleted.
  • But since 2000, it has begun to increase again by about 3% per decade, according to the UN report.

Agreement to Protect the Ozone

  • An international agreement called the Montreal Protocol which banned or phased out ozone-depleting chemicals, including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
  • 180 countries signed up to it.

Topic- GS Paper 3 –Environment

Source- The Hindu

  1. WFP and Alibaba join forces to fight hunger
  • The UN World Food Programme and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group have formed a strategic partnership to support efforts eliminate hunger globally by 2030.
  • Under the accord, Alibaba will lend its cutting-edge technology and resources to support the digital transformation of WFP’s operations.
  • The cloud computing arm of Alibaba, will work with WFP to develop a digital “World Hunger Map”.
  • The map will monitor global hunger and operations to end the scourge by 2030.
  • Zero hunger is one of the UN’s key Sustainable Development Goals ( SDG- 2).

Related Information

World Food Programme

  • The World Food Programme is the food assistance branch of the United Nations and the world’s largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security.
  • The WFP was formally established in 1963 by the FAO and the United Nations General Assembly.
  • WFP Headquarters is in Rome.

Objectives of WFP

  • Save lives and protect livelihoods in emergencies.
  • Support food security and nutrition and (re)build livelihoods in fragile settings and following emergencies.
  • Reduce risk and enable people, communities and countries to meet their own food and nutrition needs.
  • Reduce undernutrition and break the intergenerational cycle of hunger.
  • Zero Hunger in 2030.

Topic- GS Paper 2 – Important Institution

Source- The Hindu

  1. World Bank inks $172 million project agreement with AP
  • The Central and Andhra Pradesh governments and the World Bank have signed the loan agreement for a $172.20 million project.
  • This project will help to enhance agricultural productivity, profitability, and climate resilience of poor and marginalised farmers in Andhra Pradesh.
  • The Andhra Pradesh Integrated Irrigation and Agriculture Transformation Project (APIIATP) will be implemented in rural areas largely dependent upon rain-fed agriculture.

Related Information

Problem Faced by Andhra Pradesh

  • In recent years, climate variability has seriously affected agriculture in Andhra Pradesh, where farming is largely dominated by farmers with landholdings of less than two hectares.
  • Farmers have low crop productivity and over 55 per cent of farms are dependent on rainfall.
  • Deterioration in the quality of natural resources has affected the state’s agricultural performance.

How these projects help Andhra Pradesh?

  • The project will support the state’s strategic shift that puts climate resilience at the core of agricultural growth and rural development in Andhra Pradesh.
  • The project will take up a series of activities at the farm level to make agriculture both climate-resilient and profitable.
  • By adopting climate-resilient seed varieties which have short maturity, are drought and heat resistant, and salt tolerant, the project will help reduce risks of climate-related crop failure and help enhance farmer’s income.

Help to reduce GHS

  • India’s per capita emission of Green House Gases (GHG) is also on the rise, though current per capita levels of 2.44 tCO2 equivalent in 2012.
  • The agriculture sector is the second largest contributor with around 18 percent of the country’s total GHG emissions.
  • Enhanced soil-water conservation and climate-resilient farm management have the potential to help India reduce its GHG emissions significantly.

Topic- GS Paper 2 – Governance

Source- The Hindu