- 24 new sites join UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves
- Khangchendzonga became the 11th Biosphere Reserve to be added to UNESCO’s World Network.
- Biosphere reserves are sites destined to reconcile the conservation of biodiversity and human activity through the sustainable use of natural resources.
- One of their objectives is to give rise to innovative sustainable development practices.
- New reserves are designated every year by the International Co-ordinating Council for the MAB Programme, a body with a rotating elected membership of 34 UNESCO member states.
Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) Programme
- Launched in 1971, UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) is an Intergovernmental Scientific Programme that aims to establish a scientific basis for the improvement of relationships between people and their environments.
- Its World Network of Biosphere Reserves currently counts 686 sites in 122 countries all over the world, including 20 transboundary sites.
List of Biosphere reserves in MAB Programme
- Nilgiri Biosphere- Oldest entry from India in the list in 2000
- Gulf of Mannar
- Nanda Devi
- Achanakamar- Amarkantak
- Great Nicobar
- Agasthyamalai- added in 2016
Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve
- The Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve falls within the Himalaya global biodiversity hotspot.
- It has been identified as the biggest Important Bird Area in Sikkim
- It is home for many of the globally threatened fauna including Musk deer, snow leopard, red panda and Himalayan Tahr.
- It is also home to many ethnic communities including Lepcha, Nepalese, and Bhutia.
- It includes the third highest peak in the world, Mount Khangchendzonga.
Source- Down to earth
- Innovate India Platform
- Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog & MyGov launched “Innovate India Platform”.
- The portal will serve as the common point for all the innovation happening across the nation.
- With the launch of the platform Indians will be able to upload and rate their/organizations innovation on the platform.
Atal Innovation Mission (AIM)
- Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is the Union Government’s flagship initiative to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country.
- AIM is mandated to create an umbrella structure to oversee innovation ecosystem of the country.
- AIM envisions the creation of a collaborative ecosystem, where students, teachers, mentors and industry partners work to facilitate innovation, foster scientific temper and an entrepreneurial spirit.
- Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATLs), Atal Incubation Centre and Established Incubation Centre will take the innovations to the market and a network of incubators will help create enterprises around these innovations.
- MyGov is a web platform that was created to facilitate citizen engagement in good governance.
- MyGov enables the citizens especially the youth to volunteer for specific tasks and projects at the grassroots level.
- It will allow the common people to reach the government with ideas and suggestions.
- The platform is managed by National Informatics Centre (NIC), Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY).
- Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018.
- The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of Women and Child Development, Ms. Maneka Gandhi.
- It provides for the establishment of a National Anti-Trafficking Bureau to investigate trafficking cases. The Bureau will comprise of police officers, and any other officers as required. It may take over the investigation of any offence under the Bill, that has been referred to it by two or more states.
- It also provides for the setting up of Anti-Trafficking Units (ATUs) at the district level which will deal with the investigation, prevention, rescue, and protection of victims and witnesses.
- A rehabilitation fund with an initial corpus of 10 crore rupees will be created for the first time which will be used for the physical, psychological and social well being of the victims and also there will be designated courts in each district for speedy trial of the cases.
- The Bill provides for the establishment of Anti-Trafficking Relief and Rehabilitation Committees (ATCs) at the national, state, and district levels.
Source- The Hindu
- 2018 Ramon Magsaysay Award
- Two Indians, Bharat Vatwani and Sonam Wangchuk, are among six who have been declared winners of this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Award.
- Bharat Vatwani is a psychiatrist who works for mentally-ill people living on the streets and Sonam Wangchuk, known for his reforms in the education sector in Ladakh, started a movement to help poor village students clear examinations.
- Youk Chhang from Cambodia, Maria de Lourdes Martins Cruz from East Timor, Howard Dee from the Philippines and Vo Thi Hoang Yen rom Vietnam are other winners of the award.
The Ramon Magsaysay Award
- It is named after Ramon Magsaysay, the seventh President of the Philippines.
- The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation gives the prize to Asian individuals achieving excellence in their respective fields.
- The awards were given in six categories, five of which were discontinued in 2009.
- The award is internationally-recognized as Asia’s Nobel Prize counterpart and is the highest award given to Asian individuals and organizations
- The first award was given in 1958.
- Acharya Vinoba Bhave was the first Indian to win this award in 1958.
Source- The Indian Express
- Global Disability Summit 2018
- The first ever Global Disability Summit was held in London.
- Hosted by the Department for International Development, the Kenyan government and the International Disability Alliance, the summit marked the first time the humanitarian and development sectors have come together formally to plan action on making aid more inclusive of people with disabilities.
- The objectives were to raise global attention and focus on a neglected area, bring in new voices and approaches to broaden engagement, mobilise new global and national commitments on disability; and showcase best practice and evidence from across the world.
- Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment represented India.
Source- The Guardian
- Green Mahanadi Mission
- A total of two crore saplings will be planted on the banks of the Mahanadi, Tel and Ib rivers under the Green Mahanadi Mission.
- The objective of the mission is to stop soil erosion on river banks and recharge the groundwater reserve.
- The volunteers will plant fruit-bearing trees like mango, jackfruit and jamun within one km radius of the river
- The plantation drive will be implemented jointly by the departments of Forest, Horticulture and Watershed Development.
- The Mahanadi is one of the largest Indian peninsular rivers that drain into the Bay of Bengal.
- It originates in Raipur district of Madhya Pradesh and flows through the eastern state of Orissa before meeting the sea.
- The major tributaries of Mahanadi are Seonath, Jonk, Hasdo, Mand, Ib, Ong, Tel etc.
Source- The Hindu
- India’s Magna Carta
- This month marks the 100th year of the publication of the ‘Report on Indian Constitutional Reforms’, commonly known as the Montagu-Chelmsford Report (MCR).
- Edwin Montagu was the Secretary of State for India.
- Lord Chelmsford was the Viceroy of India.
- The MCR stands out for proposing some of the most radical administrative changes and for giving provincial legislatures the mantle of self-governance.
- The 1919 Act went on to become the basis for the Government of India Act, 1919 and 1935, and, ultimately, the Constitution.
- Some of the features include dyarchy, bicameralism, the principle of communal representation, the establishment of public service commission and statutory commission.
Source- The Hindu
- Mahila Shakti Kendra Scheme
- From 2017-18 up to 2019-20.
- To empower rural women through community participation.
- The Scheme is implemented with the cost-sharing ratio of 60:40 between centre and states except for North East and the Special Category States where the ratio is 90:10.
- The scheme is envisaged to work at various levels and at the national level (domain based knowledge support) and state level (State Resource Centre for Women) technical support to the respective governments on issues related to women is provided.
- These centres to serve as a link between the village, block and state level in facilitating women-centric schemes and also give the foothold for Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) scheme at the district level.
- West Bengal Assembly passes the resolution to rename State as ‘Bangla’
- The West Bengal Assembly passed a resolution to change the name of the State as ‘Bangla’ in three languages — Bengali, English and Hindi.
- The state will now have to wait for a nod from the Union home ministry for the resolution’s final approval.
- The move was aimed at climbing the alphabetical sequence of state names in which West Bengal appears last in the list now.
- When the fresh proposal comes to the Home Ministry, it will prepare a note for the Union Cabinet for an amendment to the Schedule 1 of the Constitution. Thereafter, a Constitution Amendment Bill will be introduced in Parliament, which has to approve it with a simple majority, before the President gives his assent to it.
Source- The Hindu