Issues related to Health & Education
- Prevalence of diabetic retinopathy in India is 16.9%: Survey
- ADB, India sign USD 190 million loan for improving road connectivity in Rajasthan
Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management
- 30th International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction
- 35 Cities Unite to Clean the Air Their Citizens Breathe, Protecting The Health of Millions
- Explained: Delhi diplomacy to fight disaster
Bilateral & International Relations
- India and Sierra Leone seek to expand bilateral ties and push for UNSC reforms
- Thailand to host RCEP ministerial meeting
Defence & Security Issues
- Vice President appeals to ensure early conclusion of Convention on International Terrorism
- Indo-Japan Joint Military Exercise DHARMA GUARDIAN – 2019
Art & Culture
- 10th National Cultural Festival
- This temple could be ancient burial site
- Typhoon Hagibis: Japan suffers deadly floods and landslides from storm
Science & Technology
- India joins global alliance on responsible use of smart city technologies
Key Facts for Prelims
- Mobile App, “mHariyali” Launched
- SARAS Aajeevika Mela
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Issues related to Health & Education
Prevalence of diabetic retinopathy in India is 16.9%: Survey
The Union Health Ministry’s first National Diabetes and Diabetic Retinopathy Survey (2015-19) has revealed that the prevalence of Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) is 16.9 per cent while the prevalence of sight-threatening DR is 3.6 per cent.
Highlights of the first National Diabetes and Diabetic Retinopathy Survey (2015-19)
- Prevalence of diabetes in India has been recorded at 11.8% in the last four years with almost same percentage of men (12%) and women (11.7%) suffering from the disease.
- The prevalence of any form of diabetic retinopathy (DR) in diabetic population aged up to 50 years was found to be 17%. The prevalence of DR in the 60-80 years’ age group was higher than in 50-60 years of age group. The prevalence of sight-threatening DR is 3.6 % in India.
- Prevalence of blindness among diabetics was 2% and visual impairment was 13%.
As per World Health Organization:
- There are approximately 73 million cases of diabetes in adult population of India.
- The prevalence in urban areas are higher (11-14 %) than in rural India (3-8%) among population aged 20 years and above.
What is Diabetic retinopathy?
- Diabetic retinopathy, also known as diabetic eye disease, is a medical condition in which damage occurs to the retina due to diabetes.
Diabetes and Bilndness
- Diabetes and diabetic retinopathy have been emerging as a significant non-communicable disease leading to ocular morbidity (blindness).
- Diabetic retinopathy was responsible for over 1% of blindness and of visual impairment globally in 2015.
About the survey
- The survey was conducted during 2015-2019 by Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (New Delhi).
- It aimed to assess the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy and sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy (STDR) among people with diabetes and to evaluate the coverage of diabetic retinopathy examinations among people with known diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
- Diabetes is a chronic, progressive non-communicable disease (NCD) characterized by elevated levels of blood sugar (blood glucose).
- People with diabetes have excessively high blood glucose, or blood sugar, which comes from food.
How does it occur?
It occurs when
- The pancreas does not produce enough of the insulin hormone, which regulates blood sugar
- The body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.
Types of Diabetes
Currently, the disease is divided into two sub-types:
- With type-1 — generally diagnosed in childhood and accounting for about 10% of cases — the body simply doesn’t make insulin, a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels.
- For type-2, the body makes some insulin but not enough, which means glucose stays in the blood. This form of the disease correlates highly with obesity and can, over time, lead to blindness, kidney damage, and heart disease or stroke.
[Ref: PIB, Business Standard, Times of India]
ADB, India sign USD 190 million loan for improving road connectivity in Rajasthan
The Asian Development Bank and the Government of India have signed a USD 190 million loan to upgrade 754 kilometres of state highways and major district roads (MDRs) to two-lane or intermediate-lane standards.
About Asian Development Bank (ADB):
- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a regional development bank established in 1966.
- It is headquartered in Philippines.
- The bank admits the members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific(UNESCAP, formerly the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East or ECAFE) and non-regional developed countries.
- ADB was modelled closely on the World Bank, and has a similar weighted voting system where votes are distributed in proportion with member’s capital subscriptions.
- ADB is an official United Nations Observer.
- ADB offers both Hard Loans and Soft loans. The ADB offers “hard” loans from ordinary capital resources (OCR) on commercial terms, and the Asian Development Fund (ADF) affiliated with the ADB extends “soft” loans from special fund resources with concessional conditions.
- Currently, it has 67 members– of which 48 are from within Asia and the Pacific and 19 outside.
- ADB raises funds through bond issues on the world’s capital markets.
- ADB also rely on its members’ contributions, retained earnings from its lending operations, and the repayment of loans.
- Japan holds the largest proportions of shares at 15.67%. The United States holds 15.56%, China holds 6.47%, India holds 6.36%, and Australia holds 5.81%.
Board of Governors
- It is the highest policy-making body of the bank.
- It is composed of one representative from each member state.
- The Board of Governors also elect the bank’s President who is the chairperson of the Board of Directors and manages ADB.
- The Alternate Board of Governors are nominated by Board of Governors of ADB to represent them at the Annual Meeting that meets formally once year to be held in a member country.
Functions of ADB
- Provides loans and equity investments to its Developing Member Countries (DMCs)
- Provides technical assistance for the planning and execution of development projects and programs and for advisory services
- Promotes and facilitates investment of public and private capital for development
- Assists in coordinating development policies and plans of its DMCs
Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management
30th International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction
The International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is observed worldwide on October 13, every year, by the United Nations.
- On this day, the UN raises awareness and educates people about several foreseeable disasters, including climate change.
- The theme for Disaster Risk Reduction Day 2019 is “Reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services”.
- In 1989, the UN General Assembly through a resolution had designated the second Wednesday of October as International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction.
- Later on December 21, 2009, the Assembly adopted a new resolution on in which it designated 13 October as the date to commemorate the Day and it also changed the day’s name to International Day for Disaster Reduction.
- The main objective of the observance is to raise awareness of how people are taking action to reduce their risk to disasters.
About Sendai Framework
- The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030) is an international Treatywhich was adopted during the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) held in Sendai, Japan in March, 2015.
- It is the successor agreement to the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005–2015), which had been the most encompassing international accord to date on disaster risk reduction.
- It is the first major agreement of the post-2015 development agenda, with seven targets and four priorities for action.
- The Framework is for 15-year.
- It is a voluntary and non-binding agreement which recognizes that the State has the primary role to reduce disaster risk but that responsibility should be shared with other stakeholders including local government, the private sector and other stakeholders.
The Seven Global Targets
To support the assessment of global progress in achieving the outcome and goal of the Sendai Framework, seven global targets have been agreed:
- Substantially reduce global disaster mortality by 2030, aiming to lower average per 100,000 global mortality rate in the decade 2020-2030 compared to the period 2005-2015.
- Substantially reduce the number of affected people globally by 2030, aiming to lower average global figure per 100,000 in the decade 2020 -2030 compared to the period 2005-2015.
- Reduce direct disaster economic loss in relation to global gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030.
- Substantially reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services, among them health and educational facilities, including through developing their resilience by 2030.
- Substantially increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020.
- Substantially enhance international cooperation to developing countries through adequate and sustainable support to complement their national actions for implementation of this Framework by 2030.
- Substantially increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments to the people by 2030.
35 Cities Unite to Clean the Air Their Citizens Breathe, Protecting The Health of Millions
Mayors from around the world signed the C40 Clean Air Cities Declaration and commit to a shared vision of meeting World Health Organization Air Quality Guidelines by 2030.
- This declaration was unveiled at the C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen.
About C40 Clean Air Cities Declaration
- Through the C40 Clean Air Cities Declaration, mayors commit to using their power and influence to reduce air pollution and work towards meeting the World Health Organization’s Air Quality Guidelines.
Signatories of the declaration pledge to:
- Set ambitious pollution reduction targets within two years that meet or exceed national commitments
- Implement substantive clean air policies by 2025 that address the unique causes of pollution in their cities
- Publicly report progress on achieving these goals
- If the 35 signatories reduce annual average PM2.5 levels to WHO guidelines (10 ug/m3) it could avoid 40,000 deaths each year.
- C40 research shows that if all C40 cities cleaned their transport, buildings and industry this would reduce GHG emissions by 87%, PM2.5 by nearly 50% and would avoid over 220,000 premature deaths per year.
About C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group
- The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) is a group of 94 cities around the world.
- It represents 1/12th of the world’s population and 1/4th of the global economy.
- Started in October 2005, C40 is focused on tackling climate change and driving urban action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks, while increasing the health, wellbeing and economic opportunities of urban citizens.
- While C40 originally targeted megacities to address climate change, it now has three types of membership categories: Megacities, Innovator Cities and Observer Cities.
- Cities of India in C40: Delhi NCT, Jaipur, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata.
- According to the World Health Organization, 9 in 10 citizens around the world breathe dirty air, and 7 million people die prematurely each year due to air pollution.
Explained: Delhi diplomacy to fight disaster
While speaking at the UN Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit in New York, Prime Minister of India announced the launch of the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI).
About Coalition for disaster resilient infrastructure (CDRI)
- It is an initiative of government of India.
- It is an international knowledge platform where countries can collaborate to make their existing and new infrastructure strong enough to withstand natural disasters.
- CDRI is not meant to plan infrastructure projects nor is it an agency that will finance infrastructure projects in member countries. Instead, it will seek to identify best practices, and identify the risks of large infrastructure in the event of disasters in member countries.
It would address concerns that are
- Common to developing and developed countries and Small and large economies
- Countries at early and advanced stages of infrastructure development
- Countries that have moderate or high disaster risk.
- It will serve as a knowledge sharing platform on different aspects of disaster and climate resilience of infrastructure.
- It will create a mechanism to assist countries to upgrade their capacities, with regard to infrastructure development in accordance with their risk context and economic needs.
- Economically weaker sections of society, women and children, are the most vulnerable to the impacts of disasters and hence, will be benefitted from the CDRI.
- It will also benefit all areas with high disaster risk. In India, the north-eastern and Himalayan regions are prone to earthquakes, coastal areas to cyclones and tsunamis and central peninsular region to droughts.
- Huge economic costs of a disaster due to the damage caused to big infrastructure.
- Future infrastructure needs to take into account the heightened risks arising out of the increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events and other adverse impacts of climate change. Even existing infrastructure would need to be retrofitted to make them more resilient.
- There are increasing numbers of trans-national and trans-continental highways, railways; and electric lines. Damage to any one part of such assets can disrupt entire network, resulting in loss of livelihoods and disruption in economic activity in places far away from the site of a disaster.
CDRI and Belt Road Initiative
- CDRI has sometimes been seen as India’s response to the China’s Belt Road Initiative, under which china is building massive new land and maritime infrastructure in several countries.
- India and some other nations view this as an attempt by China to use its economic and military power to use strategic assets in other countries.
CDRI and Solar Alliance
- International Solar Alliance (ISA) is an initiative of India. It is a treaty-based organisation aimed at mobilising more than $1 trillion into solar power by 2030, and to deploy over 1,000 GW of solar generation capacity in member countries by 2030.
- While ISA focuses on about climate change mitigation by deploying more solar energy to bring down the reliance on fossil fuels, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions, CDRI is about adapting to climate change. Hence, CDRI can be seen as complementing ISA’s efforts.
- With these two initiatives, India is seeking to obtain a leadership role, globally, in matters related to climate change.
Bilateral & International Relations
India and Sierra Leone seek to expand bilateral ties and push for UNSC reforms
India and Sierra Leone signed 6 agreements to expand the bilateral relations in various fields and agreed to push for UNSC reforms so that one-third of mankind residing in Africa and India occupy their rightful place in decision making bodies of the UN.
Announcements made during Indian Vice president’s visit Sierra Leone
- The decision to establish a High Commission in Sierra Leone, even as both the countries have agreed to enhance cooperation in agriculture, food processing, Information Technology etc.
- A Line of Credit for Irrigation development in Tomabum to achieve self-sufficiency in rice production.
- an MoU for Sierra Leone to participate in India’s Pan-African tele-Education, tele-Medicine initiatives, e-VidyaBharati and e-Arogya Bharati.
- steps to set up the Centre of Excellence in IT in Sierra Leone.
- Also, India reiterated its offer to conduct a “Jaipur Foot” camp in Sierra Leone under the “India for Humanity” initiative for fitting of artificial prosthetic limbs for the disabled. This is an initiative undertaken in the context of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
India- Sierra Leone relations
- India was among the first countries to contribute to the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) with the deployment of 4000 strong Indian Military contingent
- India has extended e-Visa facility to Sierra Leone nationals for ease of mobility and both sides are also negotiating a visa waiver agreement for holders of diplomatic and official passports.
Location of Sierra Leone:
- Sierra Leone is a country on the southwest coast of West Africa.
- It is bordered by Liberia to the southeast and Guinea to the northeast.
Reform proposal of Security Council
- Since 1993, the UN General Assembly has debated Council reform but has not been able to reach agreement yet.
- The main debate revolves around some county asking ‘permanent status’ in UNSC, however, many other countries oppose them.
Reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) encompasses five key issues:
- Categories of membership: It looks at the addition of both permanent members and elected members. Such changes require amendments to the UN Charter.
- The question of the veto held by the five permanent members: It looks closely at this key issue and whether it could (and should) be eliminated or curtailed.
- Regional representation: It examines the arguments for and against supranational organizations, like the EU, as potential candidates for Council membership.
- The size of an enlarged Council and its working methods: It considers the procedures of the Council and the way it conducts its work. Unlike membership changes, these reforms do not require Charter change and the Council itself can implement them.
- The Security Council-General Assembly relationships
Need for Reform proposal of Security Council
- The United Nations Security Council is the international community’s principal organ for peacekeeping and conflict management and its decisions are binding on all member states.
- However, under the current mechanism, the council do not have the necessary authority and legitimacy to force any country to follow its order.
- Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean regions do not have the representation on the Council according to their current standing demands, and are therefore calling for the Council’s composition to be adapted to the new situation.
- Alongside the call for a geographically balanced distribution of seats, the Charter of the United Nations also expressly states that countries that make considerable contributions to the UN should be members of the Security Council which is not followed currently.
Why India should be given a permanent seat in the council?
Arguments in favour of:
- India is the largest democracy in the world and one of the largest economies.
- India was among the founding members of United Nations.
- India has stronger economy than Russia, which is a permanent member of Security Council.
- India has been elected seven times as a non permanent member of the UNSC. It has been a member of UNSC for 7 terms and a member of G-77 and G-4, so permanent membership is a logical extension.
- In terms of population, India stands second.
- India is a nuclear weapon state.
- India is the second largest and a one of the largest constant contributor of troops to United Nations Peacekeeping missions. Today, India has over 8,500 peacekeepers in the field, more than twice as many as the UN’s five big powers combined.
- India has one of the best armed forces in the world.
- In space research, India’s ISRO is one of the world’s best.
- There are some other countries that are economically much better than India, and not a part of UNSC.
- India is one of the countries having lowest Human Development Index.
- India is the second most unequal country, with most of the wealth is in the hands of the rich.
What India can do to get permanent seat at UNSC?
[Ref: Indian Express]
Thailand to host RCEP ministerial meeting
Thailand will host a 9th RCEP ministerial-level meeting on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in Bangkok.
About Regional Comprehensive Partnership Agreement (RCEP)
- The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a free trade agreement (FTA).
- It is proposed between:
- the ten-member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and
- the six countries with which ASEAN has existing FTAs (Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand).
- RCEP negotiations were formally launched in November 2012 at the ASEAN Summit in Cambodia.
- It is among the proposed three mega FTAs in the world so far. The other two is:
- The TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership, led by the US) and
- The TTIP (Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the US and the EU).
- RCEP is viewed as an alternative to the TPP trade agreement, which includes the United States but excludes China.
To know more about India’s apprehension on RCEP and its suggestions, refer IAStopper’s video summary: https://www.iastoppers.com/rstv-big-picture-indias-world-rcep-challenges-way-forward/[Ref: Indian Express]
Defence & Security Issues
Vice President appeals to ensure early conclusion of Convention on International Terrorism
Addressing the parliament of Comoros at Moroni, the Vice President of India said that terrorism was increasingly threatening global progress and urged the world community to come together to ensure that the UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism is concluded at the earliest.
Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT)
- The Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) was originally proposed by India in 1996.
- The proposed CCIT is a legal framework which would make it binding for all countries to deny funds and safe haven to terror groups.
Its key objectives include:
- To have a universal definition of terrorism that all 193-members of the UNGA will adopt into their own criminal law,
- To ban all terror groups and shut down terror camps regardless of their stated objectives,
- To prosecute all terrorists under special laws, and
- To make cross-border terrorism an extraditable offence worldwide.
Why has the CCIT been opposed?
- Currently, the negotiations of the Comprehensive Terrorism Convention are deadlocked because of differences over the definition of terrorism.
- India’s proposed CCIT counters the opposition from the three main blocs that have raised objections: The U.S., the Organisation of Islamic Countries and the Latin American countries.
- The most powerful objector, the U.S. has been worried about the application of the CCIT to its own military forces especially with regard to interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq.
- Latin American countries are concerns about human rights laws. The Organisation of Islamic Countries have been worried about the impact of the CCIT on countries like Pakistan and Palestine.
- Under pan-Africa e-network initiative to implement e-Vidya Bharati and e-Arogya Bharati in Comoros, India is offering free tele-education to students and free tele-medicine courses to doctors and paramedics in various African countries.
- Partisanship between India and Comoros under the International Solar Alliance can help provide access to energy in the remotest corners. India has provided for a Line of Credit to Comoros for setting up of a power plant in Moroni (capital of Comoros).
- India and Comoros are collaborating to enhance Comoros human resource potential through flagship Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme.
Location of Comoros
- Comoros is a country comprising three of the Comoro Islands in the Indian Ocean at the end of the Mozambique Channel off the eastern coast of Africa.
- A fourth island, the Mayotte, is claimed by the country of Comoros but administered by France.
- The Comoros does not share land borders with any countries.
Indo-Japan Joint Military Exercise DHARMA GUARDIAN – 2019
Joint Military Exercise DHARMA GUARDIAN-2019 between India and Japan will be conducted at counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School, Vairengte, Mizoram in Oct- Nov 2019.
About Exercise Dharma Guardian
- It is an annual training event between Indian and Japanese military.
- It is being conducted in India since 2018.
- The scope of this exercise covers platoon level joint training on counter terrorism operations in jungle and urban scenario.
- This exercises crucial in terms of security challenges faced by both the nations in the backdrop of global terrorism.
Art & Culture
10th National Cultural Festival
In Madhya Pradesh, the 10th edition of the Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav (National Cultural Festival) is being organized by the Union Ministry of Culture under the ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat’ campaign.
About Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav
- Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav was conceived by the Ministry of Culture in 2015.
- It aims to showcase the rich cultural heritage of India in Handicrafts, Cuisine, Painting, Sculpture, Photography, Documentation and Performing Arts-Folk, Tribal, Classical and Contemporary- all in one place.
About Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme
- The Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme was launched by the Prime Minister on 31st October, 2016 to enhance mutual understanding and bonding between people of diverse cultures, thereby securing stronger unity & integrity of India.
- To strengthen the fabric of traditionally existing emotional bonds between the people
- To Promote the spirit of national integration through a year-long planned engagement between States
- To Showcase the rich heritage and culture, customs and traditions of either State, fostering a sense of common identity;
- To Establish long-term engagements
- To Create an environment which promotes learning between States by sharing best practices
This temple could be ancient burial site
Inscriptions found on an ancient temple at Huligemmana Kolla near Pattadakalu indicate that the place may have once been the royal burial site of the Chalukya dynasty.
About the new discovery
- New Inscriptions have been found on an ancient temple at Huligemmana Kolla near Pattadakalu. This inscription could have been scripted during the rule of the Chalukyas.
Connection between Jyothirlinga and the new inscriptions
- There are eleven temples with lingas and a tower developed during the Chalukya dynasty and another linga without the tower, which has an inscription on it stating that it served as the funerary shrine of Vikramaditya-II. This inscription claims the spot served as a royal burial site. There is a misconception that they portray 12 jyotirlingas (a devotional representation of Lord Shiva). However, as per some experts, these are the royal graves where the lingas are usually placed on top of a cremation site, a common practice in the Hindu tradition.
About Chalukya dynasty
- The Chalukya Dynasty was a powerful Indian royal dynasty that ruled large parts of southern and central India between the 6th and the 12th century.
- The Chalukya Dynasty is divided in three part: Chalukya of Badami, Chalukya of Vengi (Eastern Chalukya), and Chalukya of Kalyani (Western Chalukya).
- Pulakeshin I was the founder of the Chalukya dynasty while Someshvara IV was the last ruler of Chalukyas.
- After the death of Pulakeshin II, the Eastern Chalukyas became an independent kingdom in the eastern Deccan. They ruled from Vengi until about the 11th century.
- The Western Chalukyas, of 10th century ruled from Kalyani (modern Basavakalyan) until the end of the 12th century.
Society in Chalukyan rule:
- The Society in Chalukyan rule was divided into four castes like Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Sudras. The caste system in Chalukyan rule was very much rigid and they were divided into sub-castes also. Marriages between the same gotras was strictly prohibited.
- Education in this age was usually connected with the religion. The centre of education were Temples in which Brahmans and Jain acharyas imparted education to the students.
Art and Architecture:
- The temples under the Chalukyas are a good example of the Vesara style of architecture. This is also called the Deccan style or Karnataka Dravida or Chalukyan style. It is a combination of Dravida and Nagara styles.
- During the reign of Chalukyas the religion of Shaiva was in great progress. Temple of Siva was built by kings in this period.
- Pattadakal is a town of 7th and 8th century which has several Hindu and Jain temples. It is situated on the banks of the Malaprabha River in Karnataka.
- There are 10 major temples in Pattadakal, all dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temples contain elements of both South Indian (Dravidian) and North Indian (Nagara) styles of architecture.
- It is a UNESCO World heritage site.
Typhoon Hagibis: Japan suffers deadly floods and landslides from storm
At least nine people are reported dead as Japan recovers from its biggest storm in decades.
About Typhoon Hagibis
- Typhoon Hagibis was a powerful tropical cyclone that was considered to be the most devastating typhoon to hit the Kanto region of Japan since Typhoon Ida in 1958.
- It was developed from a tropical wave located in north of the Marshall Islands on 2 October, 2019.
What is the difference between “hurricane”, “cyclone” and “typhoon”?
- Hurricane, cyclone and typhoon are different terms for the same weather phenomenon which is of torrential rain with maximum sustained wind speeds (near centre) exceeding 119 kilometers per hour.
- In the western North Atlantic, central and eastern North Pacific, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, such a weather phenomenon is called “hurricanes”.
- In the western North Pacific, it is called “typhoons”.
- In the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea, it is called “cyclones”.
- In western South Pacific and southeast India Ocean, it is called “severe tropical cyclones”.
- In the southwest India Ocean, it is called “tropical cyclones”.
Naming of Tropical Cyclone
- Weather forecasters give each tropical cyclone a name to avoid confusion. Each year, tropical cyclones receive names in alphabetical order.
- The name list is proposed by the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs)of WMO Members of a specific region, and approved by the respective tropical cyclone regional bodies at their annual/bi-annual sessions.
- Since 1953, Atlantic tropical storms have been named from lists originated by the National Hurricane Center. They are now maintained and updated by an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization.
- The original name lists featured only women’s names. In 1979, men’s names were introduced and they alternate with the women’s names. Six lists are used in rotation. Thus, the 2019 list will be used again in 2025.
- The only time that there is a change in the listis if a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate for reasons of sensitivity.
Science & Technology
India joins global alliance on responsible use of smart city technologies
India has joined the league of 15 of the world’s leading city networks and technology governance organisations that will work towards advancing the responsible and ethical use of smart city technologies.
About G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance on Technology Governance
- The G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance on Technology Governance will create global norms and policy standards for the use of connected devices in public spaces.
- It’s founding set of institutional partners include the presidents and host nations of the Group of 20 (G20) in 2019 and 2020 (Japan in 2019 and Saudi Arabia in 2020); the Smart City Mission of India, Commonwealth Sustainable Cities Network etc.
- The Alliance comprises 15 of the world’s leading city networks and technology governance organisations that will work towards advancing responsible and ethical use of smart city technologies.
- Established in June 2019, in conjunction with G20 Summit held in Osaka, Japan.
- It seeks to create global norms and policy standards for the use of connected devices in public spaces.
- The aim of the alliance is to promote the responsible and ethical use of smart city technologies by establishing global norms and policy standards for the use of connected devices in public spaces.
- The Alliance has committed to co-design and roll out a first-of-its-kind global policy framework on smart city technologies in advance of the 2020 G20 Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It is currently accepting nominations from cities interested in piloting and contributing to global policy standards.
The Global Smart Cities Alliance’s founding set of institutional partners among others include:
- Presidents and host nations of the Group of 20 (G20) in 2019 and 2020;
- Japan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia;
- The Smart City Mission of India;
- Cities for All;
- Cities Today Institute;
- Commonwealth Local Government Forum;
- Commonwealth Sustainable Cities Network.
- Smart city technologies can help decrease traffic congestion, combat crime, improve resilience during natural disasters and reduce greenhouse emissions. However, without proper governance, these technologies pose significant risk, notably to privacy and security.
Key Facts for Prelims
Mobile App, “mHariyali” Launched
Housing & Urban Affairs minister launch the mobile app, mHariyali, to improve the quality of life of citizens.
About the mHariyali App
- The app is aimed to encourage Public engagement in planting trees and other such Green drives.
- The App provides for automatic geo-tagging of plants and enable nodal officers to periodically monitor the plantation.
SARAS Aajeevika Mela
The Ministry of Rural Development is organising SARAS Aajeevika Mela at India Gate Lawns from 10th October to 23rd October, 2019.
About SARAS Aajeevika Mela
- SARAS Aajeevika Mela is an initiative by the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM), Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD).
- The Mela is organised by the marketing arm of the Ministry, Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (CAPART).
- It aims to bring the rural women Self Help Groups (SHGs) formed with support of DAY-NRLM to show-case their skills, sell their products, understand the demand of urban customers. and help them build linkages with bulk buyers.