- India increases grants to $15 million to handle global environment crises
- India announced to increase grants to $15 million for the next four years to the Global Environment Facility (GEF), a mechanism to provide grants for environmental projects.
- India has decided to increase its commitments from $12 million to $15 million to the GEF’s new four-year investment cycle, known as GEF-7.
GEF (Global Environment Facility)
- The Global Environment Facility was established in October 1991 as a $1 billion pilot program in the World Bank to assist in the protection of the global environment and to promote environmentally sustainable development.
- In 1992, at the Rio Earth Summit, the GEF was restructured and moved out of the World Bank system to become a permanent, separate institution.
- Since 1994, however, the World Bank has served as the Trustee of the GEF Trust Fund and provided administrative services.
- Currently, the GEF is the largest public funder of projects to improve the global environment.
- The GEF also serves as the financial mechanism for the following conventions:
(a) CBD Convention on Biological Diversity
(b) United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
(c) UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
(d) Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
(e) Minamata Convention on Mercury
- At its 51st meeting in October 2016, the GEF Council initiate discussions on the seventh replenishment of resources of the GEF Trust Fund (GEF-7).
- The replenishment meetings provide an opportunity for Contributing Participants to review GEF performance and evaluate progress, assess future funding needs, and agree on a financing framework.
Green Climate Fund (GCF)
- It is a fund within the framework of UNFCCC
- It is founded to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change.
- It was Formed in 2010.
- World Bank is chosen as a temporary trustee of the fund.
- It is headquartered in Incheon, South Korea.
- It is intended to be the centrepiece of efforts to raise Climate Finance of $100 billion a year by 2020.
Source- Financial Express
- Government proposes to set up 3000 Van Dhan Kendras
- The Government proposes to set up 3000 Van Dhan Kendras involving 30,000 SHGs across the country under the Van Dhan Scheme of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
Van Dhan Scheme
- The Van Dhan Scheme is an initiative of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and TRIFED.
- It was launched on 14th April 2018 and seeks to improve tribal incomes through value addition of tribal products.
- Under Van Dhan, 10 Self Help Groups of 30 Tribal gatherers is constituted.
- The establishment of “Van Dhan Vikas Kendra” is for providing skill upgradation and capacity building training and setting up of primary processing and value addition facility.
- They are then trained and provided with working capital to add value to the products, which they collect from the jungle.
- Working under the leadership of Collector these groups can then market their products not only within the States but also outside the States.
- Training and technical support is provided by TRIFED.
- Initially, the focus of the scheme will be in aspirational districts and gradually the scheme will be implemented in all tribal areas.
- India gets two Giant Aldabra Tortoise from Seychelles
- In a goodwill gesture, Seychelles has gifted a pair of giant Aldabra tortoise to India.
- The creatures are a symbol of “ever-lasting” friendship.
- Gifting Aldabra tortoise on loan to friendly countries is a part of the Seychelles diplomacy.
- The pair will be kept at Hyderabad Zoo, a Ministry of External Affairs.
- The giant tortoise, endemic to the east African island nation, weighs around 120 and 150 kg and have the ability to live for up to 200 years.
- Researchers created world’s smallest computer device “Michigan Micro Mote”
- Researchers at the University of Michigan in the US have come out with the world’s smallest “computer”- a device measuring just 0.3 mm to a side
- Unlike traditional desktops that retain their program and data with or without a power back-up, these new microdevices lose all prior programming and data as soon as they are switched off.
- In addition to the RAM and photovoltaics, the new micro-computing device —”Michigan Micro Mote”—has processors and wireless transmitters and receivers.
- As the Motes are too small to have conventional radio antennae, they receive and transmit data with visible light.
- A base station provides light for power and programming, and it receives the data.
- The device can help in oncology (the study and treatment of tumours) research.
Source- The Hindu
- FATF officially placed Pakistan on its greylist
- The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has officially placed Pakistan on its greylist.
- Once placed in the “grey list”, countries face the risk of the downgrade by multilateral lenders like IMF, World Bank, ADB etc. and further reduction in their risk-rating by agencies.
Financial Action Task Force
- The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to combat money laundering.
- In 2001 its mandate expanded to include terrorism financing.
- It monitors progress in implementing the FATF Recommendations through “peer reviews” (“mutual evaluations”) of member countries.
- The Secretariat is located at the OECD Headquarters in Paris.
- Currently, there are 37 members are part of it. India is also a member of the organization.
- Pakistan is not a part of the organization.
- The Group of 7 (G7) is a group consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
- The European Union is also represented within the G7.
- These countries are the seven major advanced economies as reported by the International Monetary Fund.
- Oxytocin formulations ban to come into effect from 1st July 2018
- The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has restricted the manufacture of Oxytocin formulations for domestic use to public sector only from 1st July 2018.
- It has also banned the import of Oxytocin and its formulations.
- Only Karnataka Antibiotics & Pharmaceuticals Ltd (KAPL), a public-sector company, would be manufacturing this drug for domestic use from that date.
- India banned hormone oxytocin to halt misuse in livestock industry
Issues with oxytocin hormone
- It shortens their lives and makes them barren sooner.
- Oxytocin is a peptide hormone and neuropeptide.
- Oxytocin is normally produced by the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (Part of the brain) and released by the posterior pituitary.
- It was discovered by Henry Dale in 1906.
- Often called the “love hormone”, oxytocin is released naturally in human bonding activities such as sex, childbirth and breastfeeding.
- It may also have benefits as a treatment for several conditions, including depression, anxiety, and intestinal problems.