Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - September 2, 2017

Environment

Environment Ministry to Launch ‘Prakriti Khoj’ – An Environment Quiz on Teachers’ Day

  • The Environment Ministry will launch an environment awareness initiative named “Prakriti Khoj” – an Environment Quiz to be conducted at the national level.
  • The quiz is being launched on September 5 on the occasion of Teachers Day.
  • It aims to motivate them towards effective participation in other major programmes related to conservation and protection of the Ministry.
  • The quiz envisaged that maximum number of children of schools under the National Green Corps (NGC) programme of the Ministry should get an opportunity to participate in this environmental quiz.
  • NGC was initiated by Ministry in 2001-02 for creating environmental awareness among children by formulating “Eco-clubs” in schools across the country.
  • There are around 1,00,000 Eco-clubs across the country, making it one of the largest conservation networks, wherein students are involved in various kind of activities such as cleanliness drives, carrying out waste segregation, composting using bio-degradable wastes, subsisting the concept of three R’s, viz, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

Agriculture + Ministry Of Commerce

APEDA's : FARMER’S CONNECT MOBILE APP

An App to apply for farm registration and approval by State Govt. & Lab Sampling

  • To harness the potential of mobile technology, APEDA has developed a mobile app to allow farmers to apply on-line to facilitate their farm registration, tracking the status of application & approvals by State Government and Lab sampling by authorized Laboratories.
  • This mobile app initiative is expected to increase the accessibility and reach of the Traceability software system among the farmers and other stakeholders.
  • This new Mobile app will also assist State Horticulture/ Agriculture Department to capture real time details of farmers, farm location, products and details of inspections like date of inspection, name of inspecting directly from field.

The key features of the app are :

  • Online Farm registration application and status tracking
  • Processing and approval on on-line farmer applications by State Horticulture /Agriculture department.
  • Registration of farmers, farms and products by State Horticulture/Agriculture department
  • Capture geo location of the farms registered through the app
  • Sample collection by APEDA authorized Laboratories along with geo location of the sample.

Enlighten about APEDA

  • The various initiatives taken by APEDAin the past like introduction of TraceNet for organics, AnarNet , GrapeNet traceability softwares .
  • The new process of farmer and farm registration will be convenience but laboratory testing of product samples will also be easier.
  • The three dots in the App logo signify the farmers, state government and the laboratory which is the essence of this Farmer Connect App.
  • The efforts made by APEDA in promoting exports especially the use of traceability softwares has benefitted Indian agricultural trade and ensuring that importing countries get the product of quality and standards that they desire
  • The use of mobile app technology and traceability systems is a great tool in identifying the farmers and laboratories from where the produce was sourced and teste

Bilateral Relations

India and Switzerland

  • Have signed two Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs)
  • For exchanging technical cooperation in the field of Railways
  • They were signed after delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting President of Swiss Confederation Doris Leuthard in New Delhi.

Enlighten about the MoU

  • MoU between Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich.
  • MoU between Ministry of Railways and Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications of the Swiss Federation on Technical Cooperation in Rail Sector.

India- Switzerland

  • India thanked Switzerland for supporting for its bid for MTCR and Nuclear Suppliers Group membership.
  • Switzerland agreed that reforms taken by India will serve good base for expanding cooperation in several areas.
  • Switzerland has accepted automatic exchange of information for transparency in financial transactions with India to effectively combat black money and tax evasion and its parliament is going to pass legislation supporting it by year end.
  • India committed to clean energy and green future and termed climate change as a global challenge.

10th India-European Union Counter Terrorism Dialogue

  • Held in New Delhi

India and European Union (EU)

  • Have agreed to strengthen cooperation between their security and intelligence agencies to combat threat of terrorism and check terror financing.

The 10th Dialogue -

  • Both sides strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and underscored need for deepening cooperation to combat terrorism in long term, sustained and comprehensive manner.
  • They also exchanged views and assessments on prevailing terrorist threats in their respective regions including state-sponsored, cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan-Pakistan region.
  • The also held discussions regarding current challenges posed by various terrorist entities, radicalisation and violent extremism, foreign terrorist fighters and combating financing of terrorism.
  • They agreed to strengthen institutional linkages by establishing point of contact between Indian agencies and their EU counterparts including Europol for closer interaction and cooperation in field of counter-terrorism.
  • Both sides also agreed to identify relevant training programmes for capacity building of individuals on both sides working in sphere of countering terrorism and violent extremism.
  • They also emphasised prospects for deepening counterterrorism cooperation under the UN and Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
  • The next India-European Union Counter Terrorism Dialogue will take place in Brussels in 2018.

Financial Action Task Force (FATF)

  • FATF is an inter-governmental body which monitors the progress of member countries in implementing necessary measures to check money laundering and terrorist financing.

Summits

BUSINESS & CLIMATE SUMMIT 2017 – 3rd edition

Where

  • Being held in New Delhi

Organizing agency -

  • Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)

Theme of BCS

  • The businesses hold the key to meeting global carbon reduction targets; and collaboration between business and government is critical to success

Enlighten about BUSINESS & CLIMATE SUMMIT 2017:

  • It is an annual forum for businesses, investors and policymakers on climate action.
  • It is where business and governments come together to agree on a roadmap for reaching net zero emissions over the next half century.
  • It demonstrates how low carbon strategies are good for business and good for growth – and builds the partnerships needed to scale up and accelerate the low carbon transition.
  • The Business & Climate Summit would be attended by Ministers, Senior Government Officials, Business Leaders, International Agencies, Banks & Financial Institutions, Senior Business Executives and Media from different parts of the world.

Objectives

  • Express business belief that accelerated reduction in GHG emissions to limit global warming to +2°C maximum is compatible with the pursuit of human, social and economic development, and their commitment to engage in this direction.
  • Increase awareness of international policy makers about the wealth of solutions developed by companies and the conditions for deployment of these solutions.
  • Debate and present the priority policies required to allow the accelerated deployment of these solutions in the world and ensure that climate change is taken into account in all policy decisions
  • Showcase business leadership in addressing climate change, highlight how businesses can provide solutions to help governments achieve climate change objectives.

NITI Aayog

  • Rajiv Kumar - took the charge as the ViceChairman of government National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog.
  • He succeeds IndianAmerican economist Arvind Panagariya who had resigned to return to academia
  • As a Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog, he will hold Union Cabinet Minister rank
  • Prime Minister is ex-officio Chairperson of the NITI Aayog.

Rajiv Kumar

  • Mr Kumar was a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research.
  • He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in economics from Oxford and PhD from Lucknow University.

NITI Aayog

  • NITI Aayog is the premier policy ‘Think Tank’ of the Union Government, providing both directional and policy inputs.
  • It is non-constitutional and non-statutory body established formed through resolution of Union Cabinet on January 1, 2015.
  • It had replaced had replaced the 65-year old Planning Commission established in 1950.
  • NITI Aayog is an advisory body with mandate to provide critical directional and strategic inputs across spectrum of key elements of policy to the centre.
  • It acts as quintessential platform of Central Government to bring States to act together in national interest and thereby fosters Cooperative Federalism.
  • It also designs strategic and long term policies and programmes for Central Government of India and also provides relevant technical advice to Centre.