As Delhi’s air is turning toxic over recent weeks and reaching crisis levels, the Centre stepped in and decided to set up a 7-member-committee of secretaries from the Centre, Delhi Government and experts to continuously monitor and implement a Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) that would include control of road and construction of dust garbage burning, control of power plants and industrial emissions, entry of vehicles and several other related factors.
More Information about ‘India Disaster Response Summit’:
i. This Summit was jointly organized by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and social networking site Facebook.
ii. India has become the first country to partner with Facebook on disaster response.
iii. During the Summit, deliberations were held on how best to leverage social media platforms to ‘prepare, respond and recover during and after a disaster.
iv. While addressing the Summit, Mr. Rijiju stated that as these days social media occupies an important place in everybody’s day to day life, it can play a vital role in information communication, especially during disasters.
India got re-elected as a member of the Executive Board of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The executive board is the top decision- making the body of UNESCO.
i. India was re-elected to executive Board during the 39th session of the general conference of UNESCO in Paris, France.
ii. UNESCO’s General Conference comprises representatives of member countries and meets every two years.
iii. UNESCO’s policies and major areas of work are determined at these General Conferences.
iv. General Conference sets programmes and the budget of the UNESCO elects the members of the executive board and also appoints the director-general, every four years.
Girija Devi – Lifetime Achievement Award:
i. The Sumitra Charat Ram Award for Lifetime Achievement will be presented by Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs) to Girija Devi’s daughter, Sudha Datta, at Kamani Auditorium.
ii. The award was instituted six years ago in the memory of Delhi’s well-known art patron, Sumitra Charat Ram, by her daughter Shobha Deepak Singh.
iii. Padma Vibhushan awardee Girija Devi was a celebrated classical singer of the Seniya and Benaras Gharana. She performed classically and light classical music and helped elevate the profile of thumri.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was named as the recipient of the Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice, 2017 as an acknowledgment of its exceptional work worldwide.
UNHCR – Mother Teresa Award for Social Justice 2017:
i. The UNHCR provides humanitarian aid to innumerable people internally displaced by conflicts and helping stateless people all over the world.
ii. Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice was instituted by Harmony Foundation in 2005. This is the only official award in memory of Mother Teresa, who attained sainthood in September 2016.
iii. Harmony Foundation’s theme for 2017 is ‘Compassion Beyond Borders’. The Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice will be presented to the UNHCR at a function on 10th December 2017.
Indian para shooters Deepender Singh and Manish Narwal set 2 world records in the Shooting Para Sports World Cup 2017, in Bangkok.
Indians – world record in Para Sports World Cup 2017:
i. Indian para shooters Deepender Singh and Manish Narwal won gold and silver respectively in the P1 10m Air Pistol SH1 category in the Shooting Para Sports World Cup 2017.
ii. Deepender Singh with 238.3 points broke the world record set by Iran’s Mahdi Zamanishurabi (235 points). 16-year-old Manish Narwal set a junior world record with 236.6 points.
Haryana has emerged as the first state in India to treat Hepatitis-C patients through oral medicine.
i. This announcement was made by Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij, during a training workshop organized by the health department.
ii. Hepatitis C is an infectious liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus. It spreads when the blood of a healthy individual comes in contact with an infected person’s blood. This may happen through multiple means, with blades used by barbers being the primary one.
iii. The market cost of medicine and treatment for hepatitis C is about Rs 28,000 to Rs 30,000. However, Haryana State Government will provide it free of cost.
iv. Mr. Vij also mentioned that Haryana will be the first state where 35 to 40 health tests would be conducted for everyone by visiting houses of all residents.The state health department will also maintain the record of these tests.
India becoming world’s top Sulphur dioxide emitter:
i. The study says that India’s emissions of the air pollutant sulfur dioxide increased by 50 % since 2007, while China’s fell by 75 %.
ii. Sulphur dioxide is an air pollutant that causes acid rain, haze, and many health-related problems. It is produced predominantly when coal is burned to generate electricity.
iii. China and India are the world’s top consumers of coal, which typically contains up to 3% sulfur. India opened its largest coal-fired power plant in 2012 and has yet to implement emission controls like China.
iv. In the 2000s, China began implementing policies such as fining polluters, setting emission reduction goals and lowering emissions limits.
World Science Day for peace and development:
i. World Science Day for peace and development was coined by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2001 and was celebrated for the first time in 2002.
ii. It highlights the important role that science has in society. It also highlights the need to engage the public in debates on emerging scientific issues.
iii. The theme for World Science Day for peace and development 2017 is ‘Science for Global Understanding’.
iv. The purpose of this day is to renew the national, as well as the international commitment to science for peace and development and to stress the responsible use of science for the benefit of society.
23rd meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council headed by Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley was held in Guwahati, Assam on November 10, 2017. Decisions taken during this meeting of GST council has brought in a comprehensive overhaul of GST rates. Besides return filing has been eased and more relief has been provided to small and medium enterprises.
2nd meeting of EAC-PM:
i. The meeting was chaired by Bibek Debroy. It was attended by renowned economists Dr. Surjit Bhalla, Dr. Rathin Roy, Dr. Ashima Goyal, Dr. Shamika Ravi and Member Secretary and Principal Adviser NITI Aayog, Ratan P. Watal.
ii. In the meeting roadmap towards skill development, job creation, enhanced resource investment in the social sector– including for Health and Education and for boosting Infrastructure financing were discussed.
iii. Recommendations for the framework of Fifteenth Finance Commission, incentivization of states for achieving health, education and social inclusion outcomes were formulated.
iv. Improvements in exports and employment potential were also discussed, including through transformation of India’s Gold Market.
A panel led by India’s consumer affairs ministry under Avinash K Srivastava has decided to import the onions through a government agency to increase the availability of the same, in the market on moderate prices.
i. The meeting of Price Stabilization Fund Management Committee (PSFMC) headed by Secretary, Consumer Affairs, Shri Avinash K Srivastava was held in New Delhi on 09.11.2017.
ii. Additionally, it was also decided that the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation Of India Limited (NAFED) and Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) would obtain 10,000 MT and 2,000 MT onions respectively from producing areas, including Delhi, and supply it to consuming areas to enhance its availability and thus to control the high price.
iii. Onion prices have long been a sensitive political issue in India. A sharp rise in their prices in the past in India has even resulted in the government being toppled.
Union minister Kiren Rijiju said that India is the first country to partner with social networking site Facebook on disaster response.
India partners with Facebook for disaster response:
i. According to the Home Ministry, the programme in collaboration with Facebook will be piloted in two disaster-prone states: Assam and Uttarakhand.
ii. Facebook will share its disaster maps, developed using aggregated, de-identified data, with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). The maps can aid swift disaster response by providing real-time, actionable information.
iii .Kiren Rijiju said this while opening the ‘India Disaster Response Summit’, organized jointly by the NDMA and Facebook. The summit focused on the best way to leverage social media platforms to “prepare, respond and recover” during and after a disaster.
American Digital payments company PayPal has launched its domestic operations in India and will now provide digital payment solutions for merchants and customers in India.
i. In the Indian market, PayPal has been offering cross border payments since last ten years. It claims to control a third of India’s Business to Customer (B2C) export payments.
ii. Senior officials of PayPal have stated that PayPal’s brand is basically based on three pillars viz. reliability, safety and security. Adhering to this ideology, PayPal will offer its services with ‘Buyer and Seller protection’ as a differentiating factor to create its presence in the highly competitive digital payments space of India.
iii. This feature will include a 180-days dispute resolution window, wherein PayPal will refund the money if an online seller does not send the goods purchased by the customer.
iv. Similalry, PayPal will also pay the merchant in case the customer does not end up paying for the goods. Besides, for the merchants, PayPal will also provide back end data which should help them grow their business.