Factly articles for 1st August 2020

13 min read

1.FAO unveils platform to help accelerate action on reducing food loss and waste

News: Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO) has unveiled a platform named  Technical Platform on the Measurement and Reduction of Food Loss and Waste to aid global reduction of food loss and waste.

Facts:

  • About the platform: It is an online platform that brings together information on measurement, reduction, policies, alliances, actions and examples of successful models applied to reduce food loss and waste across the globe.

Additional Facts:

  • International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste: It will be observed for the first time on 29th September,2020 to make a call for action for both the public and the private sectors to bolster efforts to reduce food loss and waste towards ensuring food security for all.
  • FAO: It is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.It is headquartered in Rome, Italy.

2.World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

News: World Day Against Trafficking in Persons is being observed on July 30.

Facts:

  • The day was observed for the first time in 2013 by the United Nations General Assembly.
  • Aim: To raise awareness about the condition of victims of human trafficking and to promote and protect their rights.
  • Theme: It focuses on first responders to human trafficking.
  • Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative(CHRI) and Walk Free (an international anti-slavery organisation) has released a report titled “Eradicating Modern Slavery”.

Additional Facts:

  • Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative(CHRI): It is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan, international non-governmental organisation working in the area of human rights.It is headquartered in New Delhi.
  • Blue Heart Campaign: It is an international anti-trafficking program started by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime(UNODC).

3.Alliance To End Plastic Waste to invest on environmental projects in India

News: Alliance to End Plastic Waste has planned to invest between USD 70 million to 100 million in India over the next five years to reduce plastic waste.

Facts:

  • Alliance to End Plastic Waste: It was founded in 2019 as an international non-profit organisation based in Singapore.
  • Purpose: It works with government, environmental and economic development NGOs and communities around the world to address the challenge to end plastic waste in the environment.
  • Focus Areas: The alliance focuses on solutions in four strategic areas: infrastructure, innovation, education & engagement and the clean up.
  • Members: As of July 2020, alliance has nearly 50 member companies and supporters representing global companies and organisations across the plastic value chain.

Additional Facts:

  • Aviral–Reducing Plastic Waste in the Ganga Project: It is a joint project of the Alliance To End Plastic Waste and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit(GIZ).
    • Aim: To reduce the Plastic Waste in the Ganga river by reducing the amount of plastic waste entering the environment in the northern Indian cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh.

4.Flipkart supports 6 lakh artisans in India through Samarth programme

News: Flipkart has said that it is supporting over six lakh artisans, weavers and craftsmen across the country through its Samarth programme.

Facts:

  • Samarth Programme: The initiative has been launched by Flipkart in 2019.
  • Aim: To bring India’s artisans, weavers and handicrafts producers onto its platform by providing support for onboarding, cataloguing, account management, dedicated seller support and warehousing support.

Additional Facts:

  • Walmart Vriddhi: It has been launched by Flipkart with the aim to train and prepare 50,000 Indian micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) to manufacture “Make in India” products for local and global supply chains.

5.A third of world’s children are poisoned by lead, says UNICEF report

News: United Nations Children’s Fund(UNICEF) and non-profit Pure Earth has released a report titled “The Toxic Truth: Children’s exposure to lead pollution”.

Facts:

Key Takeaways:

  • Around 1 in 3 children have blood lead levels at or above 5 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL),the level at which requires action.Nearly half of these children live in South Asia.

Additional Facts:

  • Lead: It is a naturally occurring element found in small amounts in the earth’s crust.While it has some beneficial uses, it can be toxic to humans and animals causing health effects.
  • Uses: Lead has been used in a wide variety of products found in and around our homes, including paint, ceramics, pipes and plumbing materials, gasoline, batteries, ammunition and cosmetics.
    • Sindoor (vermillion), a traditional cosmetic powder used by women in the Indian subcontinent and Ghasard, an Indian folk medicine in the form of a brown powder used as a tonic also contains lead.
  • Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint: It is a cooperative initiative jointly led by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme to prevent children’s exposure to lead from paints containing lead and to minimize occupational exposures to lead paint.

6.Natesa of Rajasthan temple returns to India

News: Natesa, a rare sandstone idol has been retrieved after 22 years by the Rajasthan police after it was smuggled to the UK.

Facts:

  • Natesa: It is a rare sandstone idol from the Pratihara Style of Rajasthan.
  • It is originally from the Ghateswar Temple at Baroli, Rajasthan.
  • Features: The sandstone Natesa figure stands tall at almost 4 ft in a rare and brilliant depiction of Shiva.A beautiful depiction of Nandi is shown behind the right leg of the Natesa icon.”

Additional Facts:

  • Pratihara Style: It is a famous temple architecture belonging to the Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty of Rajasthan.They ruled much of Northern India from the mid-8th to the 11th century.
  • The Gurjara-Pratiharas were instrumental in containing Arab armies moving east of the Indus River.
  • Important Rulers: Nagabhata Il, Mhir Bhoj and Mahenedra pal I.
  • Significance: They are known for their sculptures, carved panels and open pavilion style temples.
    • The greatest development of their style of temple building was at Khajuraho now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

7.Yellow fever burden to shift to central and east Africa by 2050: Study

News: According to a study by the World Health Organization(WHO), the burden of yellow fever is projected to shift to Central and East Africa from West Africa by 2050.

Facts:

  • Yellow Fever: It is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes.The yellow in the name refers to the jaundice that affects some patients.
  • Symptoms: Fever, headache, jaundice, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting and fatigue.
    • A small proportion of patients who contract the virus develop severe symptoms and approximately half of those die within 7 to 10 days.
  • Endemic: The virus is endemic in tropical areas of Africa and Central and South America.
  • Prevention: Yellow fever is prevented by an extremely effective vaccine which is safe and affordable.
  • Eliminate yellow fever epidemics(EYE) 2017-2026: It has been developed by a coalition of partners (Gavi, UNICEF and WHO) that aims at ending yellow fever epidemics by 2026.

8.US house Panel passes Bill to promote Legacies of Gandhi and Martin L. King Jr

News: United States congressional committee has passed the Gandhi-King Scholarly Exchange Initiative Act to promote the legacies of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.

Facts:

  • Aim: To establish an exchange initiative between India and the United States to study the work and legacies of Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Components: The bill seeks to authorize the US Administration in cooperation with the Indian government to establish the following:
    • Annual Education Forum: It will include scholars from both countries to focus on the legacies of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
    • Professional development training initiative on conflict resolution which is based on the principles of non-violence.
    • United States-India Gandhi-King Development Foundation: It will oversee grants to private nongovernmental entities to address health priorities in India such as Tuberculosis(TB), Pollution, Water, Sanitation and Health(WASH).
    • Gandhi-King Global Academy: It will be a training initiative that will train representatives from governments, nongovernmental organizations in countries with ongoing political, social or ethnic conflict on the success of nonviolent movements, inclusion, and representation in conflict resolution among others.