Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - December 4, 2018

Environment, Forest and Climate Change



  • The 24th meeting of Conference of Parties (COP-24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will be held at Katowice, Poland from 2nd December 2018 to 14th December 2018.
  • COP-24 is very significant as it is expected to finalise guidelines for implementation of the Paris Agreement adopted in 2016.

India’s delegation

  • Union Environment Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan will be leading the 17 member Indian delegation
  • India strongly supports the objective of the Paris Agreement to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping the global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  • During the COP-24, India would like to emphasise its concern for climate change and reaffirm its commitments to finalisation of the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP).
  • India would like to ensure that Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC), in the light of different national circumstances, are operationalised in all elements of the PAWP.
  • The issue of pre-2020 commitments under Kyoto Protocol, particularly higher mitigation action of developed countries and the need for developed countries to fulfil their climate finance commitments of mobilising USD 100 billion per annum by 2020, will remain a priority for India in COP-24.
  • PAWP must have mechanisms to ensure new, adequate and predictable support for developing country parties.
  • India will be looking forward to a rich exchange of views during the high-level Talanoa dialogue at COP-24, with consideration of pre-2020 actions and support as a crucial element, and its successful conclusion in 2018 as per the agreed modalities.
  • India will be working together with all Parties in an open, transparent, inclusive and Party-driven manner to achieve a balanced and comprehensive outcome in the form of final PAWP at COP-24.

Role of India towards mitigating the adverse effects of climate change

  • India has undertaken ambitious mitigation and adaptation actions in the field of clean energy, especially renewable energy, enhancement of energy efficiency, development of less carbon-intensive and resilient urban centers, promotion of waste to wealth, safe, smart and sustainable green transportation network, abatement of pollution and efforts to enhance carbon sink through creation of forest and tree cover.
  • The ambitious goal of generating 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022, and initiatives on smart cities, electric vehicles, energy efficiency initiatives etc. have now made India one of the global leaders in climate action.
  • With the achievement of about 72 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2018 out of a targeted 175 GW, India stands at 4th position globally in wind power, 6th position in solar power installed capacity, and overall 5th position in renewable power.
  • India made a voluntary pledge in 2009 to reduce the emission intensity of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 20-25 per cent from 2005 levels by 2020 (excluding emissions from agriculture).
  • The Prime Minister has set an ambitious goal that India must start generating 40 per cent of its total power from non-fossil fuels by 2030, thereby placing India at a premium position on the international renewable energy map.
  • The United Nations' highest environmental honour, UNEP “Champions of the Earth” award was conferred on 3rd October 2018 on the Prime Minister of India in the policy leadership category for his pioneering work in championing the ISA and for his unprecedented pledge to eliminate all single-use plastic in India by 2022.
  • On the sidelines of COP-24, India will be setting up a Pavilion to create awareness about India’s positive climate actions in various sectors of the economy.
  • The theme of this year’s India Pavilion is ‘One World One Sun One Grid’

Social Justice and Empowerment

International Day of Persons with Disabilities


  • The annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons was proclaimed in 1992, by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3.


  • It aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

Connect to International Day of Disabled Persons

  • Building on many decades of UN’s work in the field of disability, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted in 2006, has further advanced the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other international development frameworks, such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Charter on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action, the New Urban Agenda, and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development.


  • 2018 Theme: Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality
  • This year’s theme focuses on empowering persons with disabilities for an inclusive, equitable and sustainable development as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • This year, the UN Secretary-General will launch on the Day a flagship report, entitled “UN Flagship Report on Disability and Development | 2018 – Realizing the SDGs by, for and with persons with disabilities”.


Hornbill Festival inaugurated in Kohima


  • The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh inaugurated the hugely popular Hornbill Festival 2018 in Kohima coinciding with the Formation Day of Nagaland.
  • Hornbill Festival is a spectacular event showcasing the rich ancient culture and civilization of the people of Nagaland.
  • It powerfully demonstrates the cultural diversity and civilizational unity of the people.

Connect to the festival

  • The Hornbill Festival is a celebration held every year from 1 - 10 December, in Nagaland, Northeast India. It is also called the 'Festival of Festivals'.
  • The state of Nagaland is home to several tribes, which have their own distinct festivals. More than 60% of the population of Nagaland depends on agriculture and therefore most of their festivals revolve around agriculture.
  • The Nagas consider their festivals sacred, so participation in these festivals is essential.
  • To encourage inter-tribal interaction and to promote cultural heritage of Nagaland, the Government of Nagaland organizes the Hornbill Festival every year in the first week of December.
  • The first festival was held in 2000.
  • The festival is named after the Indian hornbill, the large and colourful forest bird which is displayed in the folklore of most of the state's tribes.


EX SHINYUU Maitri-2018


  • The Japanese Air Self Defence Force (JASDF) is in India for a bilateral air exercise SHINYUU Maitri-18 with Indian Air Force from 03-07 Dec 18 at A F Station Agra.
  • The theme of the exercise is joint Mobility/Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Relief (HADR) on Transport aircraft.
  • The JASDF C2 aircraft along with aircrew/observers are part of this first air exercise between the two Air Forces. IAF is participating with An-32 and C-17 aircraft with aircrew & observers.
  • The focus of the exercise is set for the IAF and JASDF crews to undertake Joint Mobility/ HADR operations. Display of heavy loading/ off loading are also planned to be practiced during this exercise.


Government of India and Asian Development Bank Sign $85 Million Loan to Support Odisha Skill Development Project


  • The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $85 million loan to improve the skill development eco-system in Odisha and establish an advanced skill training center, the World Skill Center (WSC), in the state capital Bhubaneswar.

Connect to the agreement

  • The project will improve the quality of the State’s TVET programs by making them relevant to industry and demand driven, and will impart advanced occupation-ready skills training aligned with international standards.
  • It would also complement the efforts to target the employment needs of the emerging sectors in India and globally
  • The project will engage Institute of Technical Education Services (ITEES), Singapore, to support Odisha Skill Development Authority in setting-up and operationalizing WSC which would offer internationally bench marked advanced training programs for the working age population of Odisha
  • The project will help over 150,000 people learn skills in priority sectors, including manufacturing, construction and services for formal employment.WSC will deliver eight training courses for 13,000 full-time students, provide training for 5,000 teachers, and train 1,000 assessors.
  • It will improve the overall eco-system of skill development in Odisha by providing integrated services through an entrepreneurship incubation center, a career counseling and placement center, a curriculum design and development center, and education technology deployment center.
  • These important functions of WSC will support a network of Government ITIs and develop skills and capacity of polytechnics, college of engineering, and other private skilling centers.
  • ADB will also administer a $2 million technical assistance grant from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, financed by the Government of Japan that will support capacity development activities under the project

International Organisations



  • The 2018 G20 Buenos Aires summit, was the thirteenth meeting of Group of Twenty (G20), which was held on 30 November and 1 December 2018 in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina.[1][2] It was the first G20 summit to be hosted in South America.


  • This year, the theme of the summit is 'Building Consensus for Fair and Sustainable Development',

Connect to the highlights of the summit

  • PM Modi made the announcement of India hosting G20 summit in 2022 at the closing ceremony in Buenos Aires. It will coincide with India's 75th anniversary of Independence.
  • Prime minister Narendra Modi made the announcement at the closing ceremony of the 13th G20 summit in Buenos Aires on December 1, 2018.
  • He thanked Italy for allowing India to play the host as previously, Italy was to host the international forum of the world's top 20 economies in 2022.
  • G20 members comprise Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the UK, and the US.
  • The 14th edition of the G20 summit will be held in Japan while Saudi Arabia will host the 15th.


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met for their first trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit to discuss major issues of global and multilateral interests
  • The meeting assumed importance in the wake of China flexing its muscles in the strategic Indo-Pacific region
  • The 'JAI' (Japan, America, India) meeting is dedicated to democratic values...'JAI' stands for victory (in Hindi)." asserted by the Indian P.M

Sources – PIB , The Hindu , livemint