Bilateral & International Relations
- Mega UN Summit to Combat Desertification Kick off at Greater Noida
- India to chair World Election Bodies’ chair for 2 years
Defence & Security Issues
- Joint Naval Annual Quality Conclave (JNAQC)
Art & Culture
- Tourism Minister inaugurates first-ever architectural LED illumination at Qutb Minar
- KVIC Launches ‘Terracotta Grinder’ at Varanasi to Re-use wasted pottery
[Note: Today’s PIB Daily News are already covered in Today’s Current Affairs Analysis. This PIB News Analysis news are only for those who wants to get only PIB news]
For IASToppers Current Affairs Analysis Archive, Click Here
For IASToppers’ PIB Daily Archive, Click Here
Bilateral & International Relations
Mega UN Summit to Combat Desertification Kick off at Greater Noida
A UN convention to combat desertification kicked off recently in which countries are expected to announce their targets for land restoration and agree on measures to address emerging threats including sand and dust storms and droughts.
ABOUT THE UN SUMMIT HELD AT GREATER NOIDA
- The 14th meeting of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
- It 14 COP was the largest ever COP organised by UNCCD.
- India took over the Presidency of the UNCCD COP from China as the COP 13 was held at China, during which countries agreed on a 12-year strategy to contain runaway land degradation that is threatening global food and water supply. It also witnessed the birth of the first global private sector fund Known as the Land Degradation Neutrality Fund, dedicated to implementing the SDGs.
ABOUT THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION TO COMBAT DESERTIFICATION (UNCCD):
- Established in 1994, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management.
- There are 197 parties to this convection including India.
- The Convention addresses specifically the arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, known as the drylands, where some of the most vulnerable ecosystems and peoples can be found.
- The new UNCCD 2018-2030 Strategic Framework is the most comprehensive global commitment to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN).
- The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is the financial mechanism of the UNCCD.
- The convention awards the ‘Land for Life Award’ every year for the innovation in efforts towards a land management, in line with achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
WHAT IS DESERTIFICATION?
- Desertification is the degradation of land in arid, semi-arid, and dry sub-humid areas.
- It is not the natural expansion of existing deserts.
- It is a gradual process of soil productivity loss and the thinning out of the vegetative cover because of human activities and climatic variations such as prolonged droughts and floods.
- It can be caused by over cultivation, overgrazing, deforestation, and poor irrigation practices. Such overexploitation is generally caused by economic and social pressure, ignorance, war, and drought.
DESERTIFICATION AND THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS:
- The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development declares that “we are determined to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change, so that it can support the needs of the present and future generations”.
- Specifically, Goal 15 of SGD states to halt and reverse land degradation.
INDIAN DESERTIFICATION SCENARIO:
- India has witnessed increase in the level of desertification in 26 of 29 states between 2003-05 and 2011-13.
- More than 80 per cent of the country’s degraded land lies in just nine states: Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana.
- As per State of India’s Environment (SoE) 2019 report, Top three districts with highest area under desertification are Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, Lahaul and Spiti in Himachal Pradesh and Kargil in Jammu and Kashmir.
MAIN REASONS THAT CAUSE DESERTIFICATION IN INDIA ARE
- Water erosion (10.9 per cent)
- Vegetation degradation (8.9 per cent)
- Wind erosion (5.5 per cent)
- Salinity (1.1 per cent)
- Human-made/settlements (0.7 per cent)
- Others (2.0 per cent)
India to chair World Election Bodies’ chair for 2 years
The fourth general assembly of the Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) is being hosted by the Election Commission of India in Bengaluru on September 3. On the same day, India will take over as the chair of A-WEB for 2019-21.
- An international conference on ‘Initiatives and challenges of social media and information technology in elections’ has also been organised under fourth general assembly.
ABOUT WORLD ELECTION BODIES
- The Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) is the largest association of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) worldwide.
- A-WEB aims at strengthening the processes of election management in member countries. It also undertakes election visitor and observation programmes in various countries to study various election management practices.
- It was established in 2013 in South Korea and the permanent secretariat of A-WEB is located at Seoul, South Korea.
- Election Commission of India has been A-WEB’s Executive Board Member since inception for two consecutive terms (2013-15 and 2015-17).
- It has 115 Members & 20 Regional Associations/Organisations as Associate Members.
Defence & Security Issues
Joint Naval Annual Quality Conclave (JNAQC)
- The Joint Naval Annual Quality Conclave (JNAQC) will be hosted in Visakhapatnam on September 05, 2019.
- It will be hosted by the Naval Quality Assurance Establishments under the aegis of Director General Quality Assurance (DGQA), Ministry of Defence.
- It has the theme of ‘Transformation of QA Paradigm: Opportunities and Challenges’
Art & Culture
Tourism Minister inaugurates first-ever architectural LED illumination at Qutb Minar
Minister of State for Culture and Tourism inaugurated first-ever architectural LED illumination at the historic Qutb Minar.
ABOUT THE QUTUB MINAR:
- Qutub Minar is a high tower (73 m) built using Indo-Islamic architecture style.
- It is the highest brick minaret in the world.
- Located in Delhi, its construction started in 1192 and completed in 1220.
- The construction of this tower was started by the founder of the Mamluk Dynasty in Delhi, Qutb ud-Din Aibak and completed by his successor Shams-ud-din Iltutmish. Sultan Firuz Shah Tughlaq and Sikandar Lodi carried out restoration work.
- There are six storeys in the minaret with the first three constructed with red sandstone and the next three with sandstone and marble.
- It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- It is often compared to Leaning Minar of Pisa due to its structure.
- It was built for the use of muezzin (a call to worship, recited by the muezzin at prescribed times of the day).
- Parso-Arabic and Nagari characters engraved in various sections of the minaret speak about the history of its construction.
THE QUUTB COMPLEX:
- A number of monuments that are historically significant and associated with the minaret surround it and the whole area forms part of the Qutb complex.
- The structures inside the complex include the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, the Iron Pillar of Delhi, the Tomb of Imam Zamin, the Tomb of Iltutmish and Major Smith’s Cupola among others.
- Qutub Festival is held in October – November in Qutub Minar Complex, which includes several days of Sufi singing and Indian Classical music.
KVIC Launches ‘Terracotta Grinder’ at Varanasi to Re-use wasted pottery
Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) launched a first ever ‘Terracotta Grinder’ at Sewapuri in Varanasi.
ABOUT TERRACOTTA GRINDER
- It will grind the wasted and broken pottery items for re-using in pottery-making.
- Earlier, the wasted pottery items were grinded in normal khal-musal (mortar and pestle) and its fine powder was mixed with the normal clay.
- Mixing this powder in stipulated ratio to normal clay makes the resulting pottery items stronger.
- Terracotta grinder will make grinding of wasted pottery items faster than the traditional mortar and pestle.
- It will lessen the cost of production, and will also help in solving the problem of shortage of clays. It will also create more job opportunities in the villages.
ABOUT PROJECT REPLAN (REDUCING PLASTIC IN NATURE):
- It is a project of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), as part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan.
- KVIC started manufacturing of plastic-mixed handmade paper at Kumarappa National Handmade Paper Institute (KNHPI) in Jaipur under its project REPLAN (REducing PLAstic in Nature).
- In this project, the waste plastic is collected, cleaned, chopped, beaten and treated for softness. After that, it is mixed with the paper raw material i.e. cotton rags pulp in a ratio of 80 % (pulp) and 20% (plastic waste).
ABOUT KHADI AND VILLAGE INDUSTRIES COMMISSION (KVIC)
- The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is a statutory bodyformed by the Government of India, under the Act of Parliament, ‘Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act of 1956’.
- In April 1957, it took over the work of former All India Khadi and Village Industries Board.
- It is an apex organisation under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, with regard to khadi and village industries within India
- KVIC seeks to promote the development of khadi and village industries in the rural areas.
- It is the nodal agency of Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) under which loans will be provided for setting up units of processing, bottling, packaging and labelling units for the honey.
OBJECTIVES OF KVIC
- The social objective of providing employment in rural areas
- The economic objective of producing saleable articles
- The wider objective of creating self-reliance amongst the poor