Issues related to Health & Education
- WCD Ministry launches Bharatiya Poshan Krishi Kosh
Bilateral & International Relations
- Inauguration of KPCS Plenary 2019
Key Facts for Prelims
- 8th International Conference on Agricultural Statistics begins in New Delhi
- Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS)
- Joint Exercise between the Qatari and the India starts
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Issues related to Health & Education
WCD Ministry launches Bharatiya Poshan Krishi Kosh
The Union Minister of Women and Child Development (WCD) and Textiles, along with Bill Gates, co-chair of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched the Bharatiya Poshan Krishi Kosh (BPKK) in New Delhi.
ABOUT BHARATIYA POSHAN KRISHI KOSH (BPKK)
- The BPKK is a repository of diverse crops across 128 agro-climatic zones in India for better nutritional outcomes.
On this occasion, eminent agricultural scientist, Dr. M. S. Swaminathan said that to make India nutrition secure, a five-point action programme has to be implemented:
- Ensure calorie rich diet for women, expectant mothers and children
- Ensure intake of proteins in the form of pulses to eradicate protein hunger in women and children
- Eradicate hidden hunger due to deficiency of micro nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin B, Iron and Zinc
- Ensure clean drinking water supply
- Spreading nutrition literacy in every village particularly in mothers with children less than 100 days’ old
Bilateral & International Relations
Inauguration of KPCS Plenary 2019
The Plenary meeting of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) is being hosted by India, the present Kimberley Process (KP) Chair, from 18th to 22nd November, 2019 in New Delhi.
WHAT IS KIMBERLY PROCESS?
- The Kimberley Process is an international certification scheme (KPCS) that regulates trade in rough diamonds.
- First implemented in 2003, it aims to prevent the flow of conflict diamonds, while helping to protect legitimate trade in rough diamonds.
- The KP cannot be considered as an international agreement from a legal perspective, as it is implemented through the national legislations of its participants. Also, it is not an international organization as it has no permanent offices or permanent staff.
- The Kimberley Process participants are states and regional economic integration organizations that are eligible to trade in rough diamonds.
- The KPCS prohibits participants from trading with non- KP participants.
- The KP is underpinned by the United Nations mandate.
- KP members are responsible for stemming 99.8% of the global production of conflict diamonds.
- Among six committees of KPCS, India is member of all the Working Groups and Committees except Working Group on Artisanal and Alluvial Production (WGAAP).
- As per the Scheme, each shipment of rough diamonds being exported and imported by crossing an international border should be transported in a tamper proof container and accompanied by a validated Kimberley Process Certificate.
WHAT ARE THE CONFLICT DIAMONDS?
- Conflict diamonds, also known as ‘blood’ diamonds, are rough diamonds used by rebel movements or their allies to finance armed conflicts aimed at undermining legitimate governments.
- The only current case of rebel forces controlling diamond-producing areas is in Côte d’Ivoire. These conflict diamonds constitute less than 0.1% of the world’s diamond production.
CHAIR OF KIMBERLY PROCESS:
- The position of Chair rotates annually, following validation of the previous Vice Chair. i.e., The Participant selected as Vice-Chair becomes Chair the following year.
- India is one of the founder members of Kimberley Process Certification Scheme and is the Chair of Kimberley Process for the year 2019 with Russian Federation as Vice Chair.
- India had earlier chaired KPCS in the year 2008.
- The Kimberley Process (KP) is open to all countries that are willing and able to implement its requirements.
- Currently, there are 55 participants representing 82 countries, with the European Community counting as a single participant. Out of 55, 54 participants (including the EU) meet the minimum requirements of the Kimberley Certification except Central African Republic.
Under the terms of the KPCS, members must:
- Satisfy minimum requirements and establish national legislation, institutions and import/export controls
- Commit to transparent practices and to the exchange of critical statistical data
- Trade only with fellow members who also satisfy the fundamentals of the agreement
- Certify shipments as conflict-free and provide the supporting certification
- In 1998, certain rebel movements in Africa (Sierra Leone, Angola, Congo, Liberia) were selling illegally obtained diamonds to fund their wars against legitimate governments.
- With a view to find ways to stop trade in Conflict Diamonds, world’s diamond industry, United Nations and Governments, in 2002 in Switzerland, ratified the final draft of the Kimberley Process.
- The KPCS came into effect from 1stJanuary, 2003 and evolved into an effective mechanism for stopping the trade in Conflict Diamonds.
KEY FACTS ON DIAMONDS
- Diamonds were created when carbon is put under immense pressure and temperature deep within the earth at distances of 250 miles or even greater.
- Diamonds come from two types of deposits. Primary deposits generally consist of diamond-bearing pipes of a volcanic rock called “kimberlite.” From deep in the earth these deposits were carried to the surface in molten rock, known as magma.
- Secondary deposits, also referred to as alluvial, were formed as a result of erosion of material from primary deposits and contain diamonds that have traveled some distance from their original source.
- Among different techniques of diamond mining, Riverbed mining is an informal, smaller scale, also known as artisanal digging, which involves the most basic of equipment, such as sieves and pans, to find diamonds.
- More than 12,000 kimberlite deposits have been found worldwide in the last 25 years, yet fewer than 1% have contained enough diamonds to make them economically viable.
- Currently, India exports around $ 24 billion cut and polished diamonds. It is expected that India will reach an export target of USD 1 trillion in coming years.
- World’s largest gem-quality diamond, the Cullinan diamond was found in South Africa in 1905 weighing 3,106 carats uncut.
- Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) is designated as the KPCS Importing and Exporting Authority in India. GJEPC is responsible for issuing KP Certificates and is also the custodian of KP Certificates received in the country.
Key Facts for Prelims
8th International Conference on Agricultural Statistics begins in New Delhi
Delivering the inaugural address at the 8th International Conference on Agricultural Statistics (ICAS-VIII) Mr. Bill Gates, Co-Chair Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said the biggest challenge today is climate change at a time when we need to increase production & food availability.
8TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON AGRICULTURAL STATISTICS (ICAS)
- The 8th ICAS was organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, FAO, ADB, World Bank, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and various other organizations.
- The theme of the conference was “Statistics for Transformation of Agriculture to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals”.
- Small land holding farmers are over 2 billion people out of the whole 7 billion of the planet. The small holding farmer’s agricultural output is diminishing, due to the climate change effects.
- There is need to double the investment in developing innovative seeds.
- The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) centers in India are developing seeds for dry land cultivation. More such efforts are needed.
ABOUT INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON AGRICULTURAL STATISTICS
ICAS is a series of conferences that started in 1998 based on overarching need for agricultural data worldwide.
- The conference is conducted every three years. The last such conference was held in Rome in 2016.
- The conference includes participation from more than 100 countries comprising agricultural statisticians, economists, analysts and decision makers.
Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS)
352 athletes have received assistance under TOP Scheme in the various sports disciplines.
TARGET OLYMPIC PODIUM SCHEME (TOPS)
- The ‘Target Olympic Podium Scheme’ is a flagship program of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
- The Scheme was formulated in 2014 under overall ambit of National Sports Development Fund (NSDF).
- The idea of the Scheme is to fund a Group of Athletes who are medal prospects for the Olympic Games (and Paralympics games) in Paris in 2024 and Los Angeles Games in 2028.
- Under TOPs, High priority category has been created to incentivize those sports in which India has won medals in the last Asian Games as well as Commonwealth Games or in which India has good chance of winning medals.
EVOLUTION OF TOPS:
- In order to realize India’s Olympic medal dream, at the 2016 (Rio) and 2020 (Tokyo) Olympics, TOPS was established in 2014.
- The first committee was constituted under the chairmanship of Anurag Thakur and comprised of eminent athletes – Pulella Gopichand, Rahul Dravid, Abhinav Bindra, and Manisha Malhotra.
SUCCESSFULNESS OF TOPS SCHEME:
- TOPS sponsored P V Sindhu and Sakshi Malik captured silver and bronze in Badminton and Wrestling respectively at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
- In the 2016 Paralympic Games, the TOPS Athletes won 2 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze medal.
- Out of the 70 athletes who won medals at the Commonwealth Games (CWG), 47 of them were supported under the TOP Scheme.
MISSION OLYMPIC CELL (MOC):
- The Mission Olympic Cell is created to assist the athletes who are selected under the TOP Scheme.
- MOC is headed by Director General, Sports Authority of India (SAI).
- The idea of the MOC is to debate, discuss and decide the methods so that the athlete receives best assistance.
Joint Exercise between the Qatari and the India starts
Indian Navy’s INS Trikand arrived at Doha for the inaugural edition of the Bilateral Maritime Exercise Za’ir-Al-Bahr (Roar of the Sea) being conducted between the Indian Navy and Qatari Emiri Naval Forces.
ABOUT ROAR OF THE SEA (ZA’IR-AL-BAHR) MARITIME EXERCISE
- The Exercise includes a Harbour Phase and Sea Phase.
- The harbour phase includes professional interaction while sea Phase will include a Maritime Exercise involving the domains of Surface Action, Air Defence, Maritime Surveillance and anti-terrorism.