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  1. IRRI South Asia Regional Centre (IRRI SARC)
  • Recently, With an aim to double farmers’ income in 2022, the Prime Minister dedicated the country the 6th IRRI SARC campus in Varanasi to improve production of crop.
  • This Rice Institute is expected to improve crop production, seed quality and the nutritional value of rice.
  • It will also work with national partners to enhance farmers’ knowledge and income and deliver advanced research, teaching and services in the connection.

Related Information

How IRRI SARC help Indian Farmer?

  • It provides the education and training arm of IRRI SARC, IRRI Education.
  • It will also teach scientists and agriculture leaders about the latest technologies and innovations for sustainable farming
  • It has laboratories for digital crop monitoring and assessment, and demonstration fields where variety testing is conducted,
  • The major aim of IRRI is to improve livelihood and nutrition, abolishing poverty, hunger, and malnutrition among those countries which depend on rice-based agri-food systems.

International Rice Research Institute

  • The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is an international agricultural research and training organization.
  • It is headquarters in Los Baños, Laguna in the Philippines.
  • IRRI is well known for its contribution to the “Green Revolution” movement in Asia during the late 1960s and 1970s, which involved the breeding of “semi dwarf” varieties of rice that were less likely to lodge (fall over).
  • IRRI’s semi-dwarf varieties, including the famous IR8, saved India from famine in the 1960s.
  • It is also the largest non-profit agricultural research center in Asia.

Topic- GS Paper 2 – International Institution

Source- The Hindu

 

  1. India submits Sixth National Report to the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD)
  • India submitted its Sixth National Report (NR6) to the Convention on Biological Diversity during the inaugural session of the 13th National Meeting of the State Biodiversity Boards organized by the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), New Delhi.
  • The submission of national reports is a mandatory obligation on parties to international treaties, including the CBD.

Highlights of the report

  • The NR6 provides an update of progress in achievement of 12 National Biodiversity Targets (NBT) developed under the convention process in line with the 20 global Aichi biodiversity targets.
  • India has exceeded two NBTs, it is on track to achieve eight NBTs and with respect to two remaining NBTs, and the country is striving to meet the targets by the stipulated time of 2020.
  • According to the report, India has exceeded the terrestrial component of 17 per cent of Aichi target 11, and 20 per cent of corresponding NBT relating to areas under biodiversity management.
  • India has also made noteworthy achievement towards NBT relating to access and benefit sharing (ABS) by operationalising the Nagoya Protocol on ABS.

About CBD

Convention on Biological Diversity

  • The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), known informally as the Biodiversity Convention, is a multilateral treaty.
  • The Convention has three main goals including.
    • the conservation of biological diversity (or biodiversity)
    • the sustainable use of its components
    • the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources.
  • Its objective is to develop national strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.
  • The Convention was opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro on 5 June 1992 and entered into force on 29 December 1993.
  • CBD has two supplementary agreements – Cartagena Protocol and Nagoya Protocol.
  • The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty governing the movements of living modified organisms (LMOs) resulting from modern biotechnology from one country to another.
  • The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS) to the Convention on Biological Diversity is a supplementary agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
  • It provides a transparent legal framework for the effective implementation of one of the three objectives of the CBD.

Topic- GS Paper 3 – Environment

Source- PIB

 

  1. National Commission for Homoeopathy (NCH) Bill, 2018
  • The Union Cabinet has approved the draft National Commission for Homoeopathy, Bill, 2018.
  • This bill seeks to replace the existing regulator Central Council for Homoeopathy (CCH) with a new body to ensure transparency.

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  • The draft bill provides for the constitution of a National Commission with three autonomous boards entrusted with conducting overall education of Homoeopathy by Homoeopathy Education Board.
  • The Board of assessment and rating to assess and grant permission to educational institutions of Homoeopathy and Board of ethics.
  • The registration of practitioners of Homoeopathy to maintain National Register and ethical issues relating to practice are under the National Commission for Homoeopathy.
  • It also proposes a common entrance exam and an exit exam which all graduates will have to clear to get practicing licenses.
  • Further, a teacher’s eligibility test has been proposed to assess the standard of teachers before appointment and promotions.
  • It further aims at bringing reforms in the medical education of Homoeopathy in lines with the National Medical Commission proposed for setting up for Allopathy system of medicine.
  • The CCH had been earlier superseded by Board of Governors through an Ordinance and subsequent amendment of Act.

 

Topic- GS Paper 2 – Governance

Source- PIB

 

  1. Amendment in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012
  • The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for Amendment in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 to make punishment more stringent for committing sexual crimes against children.

Salient Features:

  • The POCSO Act, 2012 was enacted to Protect the Children from Offences of Sexual Assault, Sexual harassment and pornography with due regard for safeguarding the interest and well-being of children.
  • The Act defines a child as any person below eighteen years of age, and regards the best interests and welfare of the child as matter of paramount importance at every stage, to ensure the healthy physical, emotional, intellectual and social development of the child.
  • The act is gender neutral.
  • The amendment different Section of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, is made to address the aspects of child sexual abuse in appropriate manner.
  • The modification is made to address the need for stringent measures required to deter the rising trend of child sex abuse in the country.
  • The amendments are also proposed in section-9 to protect children from sexual offences in times of natural calamities and disasters and in cases where children are administered, in any way, any hormone or any chemical substance, to attain early sexual maturity for the purpose of penetrative sexual assault.

 Benefit   

  • The amendment is expected to discourage the trend of child sexual abuse by acting as a deterrent due to strong penal provisions incorporated in the Act.
  • It may protect the interest of vulnerable children in times of distress and ensures their safety and dignity.
  • The amendment aims to establish clarity regarding the aspects of child abuse and punishment thereof.

 

Topic- GS Paper 2 – Governance

Source- PIB

 

  1. Greenhouse gas emissions up 22% between 2010 and 2014
  • India’s total greenhouse gas emissions grew by more than 22 per cent between 2010 and 2014, reaching a level of 2.6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2014 according to latest report submitted in India’s second Biennial Update Report (BUR) to the UNFCC.
  • India had submitted its first BUR in 2016, reporting its emissions data till the year 2010. This time it has submitted data till 2014.

Highlights of BUR Report

  • The BUR report says the energy sector, followed by agriculture, is still the biggest carbon emitter and contributed a majority share to India’s carbon emission in 2014.
  • The sector accounts for 73 per cent emissions, agriculture 16 per cent, Industrial Process and Product Use (IPPU) 8 per cent and the waste sector 3 per cent

Related Information

India’s obligation towards the convention

  • As part of its Nationally-Determined Contributions (NDC), India has also promised to ensure that at least 40 per cent of its electricity generation in 2030 would happen from non-fossil fuel sources, and that its emissions intensity, or emissions per unit of GDP, would reduce by at least 33 to 35 per cent by the year 2030 from 2005 levels.
  • India has committed itself to substantially increase its forest cover, promising to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes by 2030 as compared to 2005 levels.

Salient Feature for BUR

  • .The scope of BUR is to provide an update to India’s first BUR to UNFCCC.  
  • The BUR contains five major components — National Circumstances; National Greenhouse Gas Inventory; Mitigation Actions; Finance, Technology and Capacity Building Needs and Support Received and Domestic Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) arrangements.

Major impact:

  • Submission of India’s Second BUR will fulfil the obligation of India to furnish information regarding implementation of the Convention, being a Party.

Background:

  • India is a Party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  • The Convention joins upon all Parties, both developed country Parties and developing country Parties to furnish information, in the form of a National Communication regarding implementation of the Convention. Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC in its sixteenth session.

Topic- GS Paper 3 – Environment

Source- Indian Express

 

  1. Centre gives nod to draft Bill on Indian medicine
  • The Union Cabinet has approved the draft National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2018.
  • The NCIM will promote “availability of affordable healthcare services in all parts of the country”,

Feature of the bills

  • The draft bill provides for the constitution of a National Commission with four autonomous boards entrusted with conducting overall education of Ayurveda, under Board of Ayurveda and Unani, Siddha &Sowarigpa under Board of Unaini, Siddha and Sowarigpa.
  • There are two common Boards namely, Board of assessment and rating to assess and grant permission to educational institutions of Indian systems of Medicine and Board of ethics and registration of practitioners of Indian systems of medicine to maintain National Register and ethical issues relating to practice under the National Commission for Indian Medicine.
  • It also proposes a common entrance exam and an exit exam, which all graduates will have to clear to get practicing licenses.
  • Further, a teacher’s eligibility test has been proposed in the Bill to assess the standard of teachers before appointment and promotions.
  • The draft bill is aimed at bringing reforms in the medical education of Indian medicine sector in lines with the National Medical Commission proposed for setting up for Allopathy system of medicine.

Topic- GS Paper 2 – Governance

Source- PIB

 

  1. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor
  • Recently Pakistan has said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a bilateral economic project and has no military dimensions.
  • This statements given by the Pakistan after a US media report that alleged that China has hatched a secret plan to build fighter jets and other military hardware in Pakistan as part of the $60 billion project

Related Information

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

  • China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), massive bilateral project to improve infrastructure within Pakistan for better trade with China and to further integrate the countries of the region.
  • CPEC is part of the larger Belt and Road Initiative—to improve connectivity, trade, communication, and cooperation between the countries of Eurasia—announced by China in 2013.
  • CPEC has been compared to the Marshall Plan for the rebuilding of post-World War II Europe in its potential impact on the region, and numerous countries have shown interest in participating in the initiative.
  • The goal of CPEC is both to transform Pakistan’s economy—by modernizing its road, rail, air, and energy transportation systems—and to connect the deep-sea Pakistani ports of Gwadar and Karachi to China’s Xinjiang province and beyond by overland routes.
  • Xinjiang borders the countries of Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India, and the ancient Silk Road ran through its territory.
  • This would reduce the time and cost of transporting goods and energy such as natural gas to China by circumventing the Straits of Malacca and the South China Sea.

Topic- GS Paper 2 – International relation

Source- The Hindu Business

 

  1. Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskaar:
  • Recently, the SCBAPP an annual awards instituted by the Centre to recognise the excellent work done by individuals and institutions in the country in the field of disaster management.

Related Information

  • Three eligible institutions and individuals will be given the ‘Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskaar’ every year.
  • The Puraskar cash rewards ranging from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 51 lakh.
  • If the awardee is an institution, it will be given a certificate and a cash prize of Rs 51 lakh and the prize money will be utilised for disaster management-related activities only.
  • If the awardee is an individual, the person shall receive a certificate and a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh.
  • An application by an institution does not debar any individual from that institution to apply for the award in his individual capacity.

 Who are eligible for this award  ?

  • Only Indian nationals and Indian institutions can apply for the award.
  • For institutional awards, voluntary organisations, corporate entities, academic, research institutions, response, uniformed forces or any other institution may apply for the award.
  • The applicant must have worked in the area of disaster management like prevention, mitigation, preparedness, rescue, response, relief, rehabilitation, research, innovation or early warning related work in India.
  • The application must be accompanied by details of the work done in disaster management and must highlight achievements in any one or more of the areas like saving human lives, reduction in impact of disasters on lives, livestock, livelihoods, property, society, economy, or environment.
  • Mobilisation and provision of resources for effective response during disasters, immediate relief work in disaster hit areas and communities, effective and innovative use of technology in any field of disaster management and disaster mitigation initiatives in hazard prone areas are some of the other criteria.

 

Topic- GS Paper 2 – Governance

Source- Indian Express

 

  1. Pakistan approves issuance of renminbi-denominated bonds
  • Recently, Pakistan’s cabinet has approved the issuance of first-ever renminbi-denominated bonds or Panda Bonds.
  • It help to raise loans from China’s capital markets, as the country moved a step forward to give the Chinese currency a status at par with the US dollar.

Benefit of the Bond

  • The approval for issuing bonds in the Chinese capital markets came on the heel of the Finance Ministry’s decision to delay issuance of dollar-denominated Eurobonds, worth USD 3 billion.
  • It will help for the government successfully continues its multi-pronged approach for bridging the foreign financing needs and building foreign exchange reserves.
  • the bonds will help the government diversify the investor base of capital market issuance and provide a source of raising renminbi (RMB).

Related Information

  • As part of the long-term plan of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), both countries had decided to use renminbi (RMB) as the second international currency to lessen Pakistan’s reliance on dollar.
  • “Pakistan shall promote the construction of Gwadar Port Free Zone and explore RMB offshore financial business in Gwadar Free Zone.
  • China, in the recent years, has become Pakistan’s largest trading partner and also the country with which it has the highest trade deficit.
  • The reliance on Chinese currency would help finance the trade deficit from Chinese sources.

Topic- GS Paper 2 – International Relation

Source- The Hindu Business