GA- 15 May 2018

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GA- 15 May 2018

May 15: International Day of Families

  • The International Day of Families has been observed on May 15 across the world to promote awareness of issues relating to families and increase knowledge of social, economic and demographic progression that affects families which are the basic unit of society.
  • 2018 Theme: “Families and inclusive societies.”
  • It explores role of families and family policies in advancing Sustainable Development Goal 16 (SDG 16) in terms of promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development. 

4th meeting of SAWEN held in Kolkata, India

  • The fourth meeting of South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN), an inter-governmental wildlife law enforcement agency was in Kolkata, West Bengal (India).
  • Since its inception in 2011, it was the first meeting of SAWEN to be held in India.
  • The two-day conference was attended by representatives of seven (excluding Pakistan) out of eight member countries.
  • South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN) is a regional inter-governmental wildlife law enforcement support body of South Asian Countries.
  • It was launched in Jan, 2011 in Paro, Bhutan during the second meeting of the South Asia Expert Group on Illegal Wildlife Trade.
  • Its secretariat is in Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • Its regional network comprises of eight South Asia countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives. 

IIM Ahmedabad unveils $25 million initiative to fund start-ups

  • The Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad’s (IIMA’s) centre for innovation, incubation and entrepreneurship (CIIE) launched $25 million ‘Bharat Inclusion Initiative’ to fund start-ups.
  • CIIE was founded at IIMA to support entrepreneurs and turn business ideas into viable businesses models.
  • It partners with industry experts, mentors, corporates, IIMA community and investors to help incubate early-stage start-ups. 
  • It aims to provide continuum of solutions to inclusion focused tech entrepreneurs across the pre-incubation, seed and scale-up stage and help them jump to the next orbit.
  • It has set aside $22.5 million to invest in pre-Series A technology start-ups.
  • The initiative has received initial pledge of $12.5 million from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation and Omidyar Network.

Govt to link 200 more mandis to eNAM

  • Union Government is planning to link additional 200 wholesale mandis to online trading platform eNAM (electronic National Agriculture Market) this fiscal (2018-19) and also encourage inter-mandi transactions.
  • At present, 585 regulated mandis in 14 states are linked with the eNAM.
  • So far, 73.50 lakh farmers, 53,163 commission agents and over 1 lakh traders are registered on it from these 14 states.
  • eNAM is pan-India electronic trading portal for farm produce which aims creates unified national market for agricultural commodities by integrating existing Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) markets.

Govt launches full-fledged Green Skill Development Programme

  • The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) launched full-fledged Green Skill Development Programme (GSDP).
  • It aims to train over 5.5 lakh workers in environment and forest sectors in the country through 30 courses by 2021 for sustainable conservation and management of natural resources.
  • GSDP-ENVIS mobile application was also launched to provide more information and applying to courses under GSDP programme. 
  • Green Skill Development Programme (GSDP) was launched as pilot project in 2017 by MoEFCC in partnership with National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) to develop green skilled workers having technical knowledge and commitment to sustainable development. 

Govt issues National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy

  • The Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy issued National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy with an aim to boost renewable power generation by promoting new projects as well as hybridisation of existing ones.
  • It will provide comprehensive framework for promotion of large grid connected wind-solar Photo Voltaic (PV) hybrid system for efficient utilization of transmission infrastructure and land.
  • It has been provided in hybrid project, subject to condition that, rated power capacity of one resource be at least 25% of rated power capacity of other resource for it to be recognised hybrid project. 

UNDP to set up skill development centre in Hyderabad

  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is planning to set up skill development centre for clients of Bharosa, an integrated support centre for distressed women and children in Hyderabad, Telangana.
  • It aimed at empowering vulnerable and marginalised women by imparting skills training. 
  • This centre will be set up in line with agreement signed between Hyderabad Police and UNDP under Disha project to build capacities and skills of women affected by violence to help make them economically self-sufficient.
  • Bharosa is an initiative of Hyderabad City Police launched in 2016.
  • It is state-of-the-art centre to support women and children who are victims of violence.
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), headquartered in New York City, US, is United Nations’ global development network.It is.

4 states, 1 UT sign MoUs

  • Four States and one Union Territory signed the first MoU with National Health Mission, Govt of India for implementing Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Swasthya Suraksha Mission (PMRSSM).
  • These states/UTs are Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Chandigarh (UT).
  • These MoUs were signed during Ayushman Bharat Northern Region’s first workshop on PMRSSM at Shimla, Himachal Pradesh.
  • The MoU clearly outlines roles of Central and State/UT Governments for implementation of PMRSSM.
  • Ayushman Bharat scheme is Centrally Sponsored health insurance scheme of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). 

Gender bias caused excess deaths of girls under 5

  • According to recent study of Lancet Global Health, 2,39,000 excess deaths per year of girls under age of five in India due to gender bias have been reported.
  • Excess mortality is difference between observed and expected mortality rates in both genders. 
  • The excess mortality accounted for about 2.4 million deaths in decade of study period 2005-2015.
  • The additional deaths were found in 90% of districts in the country. 29 out of 35 States and Union Territories in the country contributed to this mortality. 
  • Four largest states in northern India, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh, accounted for two thirds of the total excess deaths of females under five.
  • In Uttar Pradesh, excess female mortality was calculated at 30.5.
  • In Bihar it was 28.5, in Rajasthan it was 25.4, and in Madhya Pradesh it was 22.1. 

First all-woman Post Office Passport Seva Kendra starts in Phagwara, Punjab

  • The Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK) run by an all-woman team has begun its operations Phagwara, Punjab.
  • It was was formally inaugurated by Union Minister Vijay Sampla in the local head Post Office of Phagwara. 
  • This kendra was 192nd POPSK in the country and first one to be operated by an all-woman team.
  • It was launched as part of Central Govt’s initiative for women empowerment.
  • It will  cater needs of people from Kapurthala, Nawandhar and Jalandhar rural districts.
  • It will benefit people immensely in this area as town is NRI hub of Doaba region of Punjab.
  • Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK) is Government initiative led by Ministry of External Affairs (India) (MEA) and Department of Posts (DoP), where Head Post Offices (HPO) and post offices are being utilized for delivery of passport related services to citizens. 

Meeting of Stakeholders of Samarth Scheme held in New Delhi

  • A meeting of stakeholders on Samarth Scheme (Scheme for Capacity Building in Textile Sector) under Skill India Mission has been held in New Delhi to familiarize the stakeholders about scheme and its guidelines.
  • The meeting was chaired by Union Minister of Textiles Smriti Zubin Irani.  
  • It is scheme of Ministry of Textiles, approved by Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) in December 2017.
  • The main objective is to skill the youth for gainful and sustainable employment in textile sector covering entire value chain of textiles, excluding spinning and weaving. 
  • It targets to train 10 lakh persons (9 lakh in organised and 1 lakh in traditional sector) over period of 3 years (2017-20) with an budgetary outlay of Rs. 1300 crore. 

Three million new jobs by 2030: ILO Report

  • International Labour Organization’s (ILO’s) World Employment and Social Outlook Report projected increase in surface temperature due to global warming.
  • The increase in surface temperature will lead to around 2,59,000 job losses in India by 2030, especially in carbon-and resource-intensive industries. 
  • According to report, global temperature rise of 1.5°C by end of 21st century will result in heat stress, which will reduce total number of working hours by 2030. 

China launches first India-dedicated investment fund

  • The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), a top state-run Chinese bank launched China’s first India-dedicated publicly offered investment fund.
  • The fund has been named as Industrial and Commercial Bank Credit Suisse India Market Fund.
  • ICBC is the largest in the world with over $3.6 trillion in assets. 
  • The ICBC Credit Suisse Indian Market Fund (LOF) will invest in exchange-traded funds listed on more than 20 exchanges in Europe and US that are based on the Indian market. 

More tests required for release of GM mustard

  • The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) demanded more tests for genetically modified mustard- Dhara Mustard Hybrid (DMH -11) for “commercial cultivation.
  • It has called for ‘field demonstrations’ of GM mustard in an area of 5 acres at two or three different locations across the country to study possible impact transgenic crop could have on honey bees and seeks additional data on these and other pollinators and also on soil microbial diversity.
  • Dhara Mustard Hybrid (DMH -11) is transgenic mustard had been developed by a team of scientists Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants at Delhi University led by former Vice-Chancellor Deepak Pental under Government sponsored project.

Indian Army flags of Women Officers’ Mountaineering Expedition

  • Indian Army flagged off Women Officers’ Mountaineering Expedition to Mt. Bhagirathi-II to explore maximum potential of women officers in the field of adventure sports.
  • Mt. Bhagirathi-II (6512 metres) is located in the Garhwal Himalayas in Gangotri National Park.
  • The peak rises right above the Gangotri glacier. 
  • The expedition aims at encouraging women in the field of adventure where dauntless courage, will-power and determination of women officers is put to test. 

Dr Bindeshwar Pathak honoured with Nikkei Asia Prize

  • The founder of Sulabh International, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak has been honoured with the Nikkei Asia Prize in Japan for his contribution to Asia’s development. 
  • He was described as Indian social reformer tackling two of his country’s biggest challenges — poor hygiene and discrimination.
  • He was among three who were conferred with this award. 
  • Nikkei Asia Prize Nikkei Inc. is one of the largest media corporations in Japan.

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