News: Poland has decided to withdraw from Istanbul Convention- a treaty aimed at preventing violence against women.
- Istanbul Convention: It is also known as the Council of Europe convention on combating and preventing violence against women and domestic violence.
- When was the convention adopted? It was adopted by the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers in 2011.It came into force in 2014.
- What does the convention say? The convention sets minimum standards for governments to meet when tackling violence against women.When a government ratifies the Convention, they are legally bound to follow it.
- Members: As of March 2019, it has been signed by 45 countries and the European Union.
- Council of Europe: It is an international organisation whose aim is to uphold human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe.
- Members: The council was founded in 1949 and it has 47 member states,27 of which are members of European Union(EU).However,the organisation is distinct from the EU.
News: Ministry of Earth Sciences(MoES) has launched Mausam app and Knowledge Resource Centre Network(KRCN) on the occasion of 14th foundation day of MoES.
- Mausam App: It aims to provide current weather of a location, issue warnings of severe weather events that are likely to occur in the immediate future and provide tracking of approaching weather events.
- Developed by: It has been designed and developed jointly by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics(ICRISAT), Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune and India Meteorological Department (IMD).
- Knowledge Resource Centre Network(KRCN): It will be a one-point stop to access research, publications, e-resources of all institutions functioning under the Ministry of Earth Sciences(MoES).
News: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has released the latest Global Forest Resources Assessment(FRA).
- The FAO has brought out this comprehensive assessment every five years since 1990.
- Aim: To assess the state of forests, their conditions and management for all member countries.
- Highest Forest Area: The 10 countries that have recorded maximum average annual net gains in forest area during 2010-2020 are China, Australia, India, Chile, Vietnam, Turkey, the United States, France, Italy and Romania.
- Net Gain in Forest Area: The Asian continent reported the highest net gain in forest area in 2010-2020.It recorded 1.17 million hectares (ha) per year net increase in forests in the last decade.
- India: India reported 0.38% annual gain in forest or 266,000 ha of forest increase every year at an average during 2010-20.
- The forest area managed by local, tribal and indigenous communities in India increased from zero in 1990 to about 25 million ha in 2015.
- Forest Employment: India reported the maximum employment in the forestry sector in the world.
- FAO:It is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. It is headquartered in Rome, Italy.
- Aim: To achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives.
- Reports: Global Food Price Index, State of the World’s Forests report among others.
News: Defence Research Development Organisation(DRDO) has launched ‘Dare to Dream 2.0’ on the 5th death anniversary of former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.
- Dare to Dream 2.0: It is an open challenge that aims to promote the individuals & startups for innovation in defence and aerospace technologies.
- Under this, the winners will be decided after due evaluation by an expert committee.Award money of up to Rs 10 lakh for startup and Rs five lakh to individual category will be given to the winners.
News: The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime(UNODC) has released the World Wildlife Crime Report 2020.
- The World Wildlife Crime Report was first released in 2016 which represented the state of wildlife crime.The second edition of 2020 is an evaluation of trends and changes.
- Illegal Tiger Products Trade: India and Thailand are the two main countries which are the suppliers of the illegal tiger products in the world.
- UNODC: It was established in 1997 through a merger between the United Nations Drug Control Programme and the Centre for International Crime Prevention.
- Aim: To assist Member States in addressing the issues of drugs, crime and terrorism.
- Headquarters: Vienna, Austria
- International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime(ICCWC): It is a collaborative effort of the CITES Secretariat, INTERPOL, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the World Bank and the World Customs Organization (WCO).
- Aim: To strengthen criminal justice systems and provide coordinated support at national, regional and international level to combat wildlife and forest crime.
News: Union Consumer Affairs Minister has launched the Bureau of Indian Standard(BIS) Mobile App named “BIS-Care”.
- BIS-Care: The app aims to allow consumers to check the authenticity of the ISI-marked and hallmarked products and also lodge complaints using the application.
- BIS: It came into existence in 1986 under BIS Act,1986 and was established as the National Standard Body of India under the BIS Act 2016 for the harmonious development of the activities of standardization, marking and quality certification of goods.
- Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution.
- President: Union Consumer Affairs Minister is the ex-officio President of the BIS.
News: The Union Minister of Rural Development has released the “Financial Management Index for Rural Development Programmes”.
- Aim: To rank states on efficient management of financial resources allocated for implementing rural development programmes.
- Parameters: The index will rank the States on the basis of following parameters:
- Preparation of annual plan and projecting the requirement of funds for the financial year;
- Expeditious release of State’s share;
- Timely utilization of the funds and submission of the Utilization Certificates;
- Optimum implementation of Public Financial Management System (PFMS) & Direct Benefit Transfer(DBT);
- Internal Audit and
- Social Audit.
- Significance: The performance of the States in the Index would promote the spirit of competitive, cooperative federalism amongst States.
News: The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has signed a $400-million currency swap facility with Sri Lanka under the SAARC Currency Swap Framework 2019-22.
- Currency Swap: The term Swap means exchange.Under this, a country provides dollars to a foreign central bank which at the same time provides the equivalent funds in its currency to the former based on the market exchange rate at the time of the transaction.
- The parties agree to swap back these quantities of their two currencies at a specified date in the future which could be the next day or even two years later using the same exchange rate as in the first transaction.
- Benefits: These swap operations carry no exchange rate or other market risks as transaction terms are set in advance.
- Hence,it provides benefit to the country which is getting dollars to use reserves at any time in order to maintain an appropriate level of balance of payments or short-term liquidity.
- SAARC Currency Swap Framework 2019-22: The SAARC currency swap framework came into operation in 2012.In 2019, the RBI revised the framework from 2019-2022.
- Under the framework for 2019-22, RBI will offer swap arrangement within the overall corpus of USD 2 billion.The drawls can be made in US Dollar, Euro or Indian Rupee.
- The framework also provides certain concessions for swap drawals in Indian Rupee.
- South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation(SAARC): It is a regional intergovernmental organization of states in South Asia.It was established in 1985.Members: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.