News: Sustainable Development Solutions Network(SDSN) has released the Sustainable Development Report,2020.
- The report was prepared by teams of independent experts at the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Bertelsmann Stiftung.
- The annual report presents the SDG index which tracks the performance of United Nations(UN) member states on the 17 SDGs by measuring the distance remaining to achieve each target.
- Top Countries: Sweden has been ranked first followed by Denmark and Finland.
- India: It has been ranked at 117 with a score of 61.9 out of 100.
- Sustainable Development Solutions Network(SDSN): It was set up in 2012 under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General.
- It mobilizes global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical solutions for the implementation of SDGs.
- Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs):These were launched at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in 2012.It consists of 17 goals and 169 specific targets that are to be achieved by 2030.However,they are not legally binding.
News: Prime Minister Modi will address the celebration of Dharma Chakra Day / Asaadh Poornima on July 4, 2020.
- Dharma Chakra Day is being organized by the International Buddhist Confederation under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture,Government of India.
- Dharma Chakra Day: It commemorates Buddha’s First Sermon to his first five ascetic disciples at the Deer Park,Rsipatana in the present day Sarnath near Varanasi,UP.
- The day is also celebrated by Buddhists all over the world as Dhamma Cakka- PavattanaSutta(Pali) or Dharma chakra Pravartana Sutra (Sanskrit) also known as the Turning of Wheels of Dharma.
News: Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority(IRDAI) has formed a panel under G Srinivasan to assess the suitability of the Indian insurance industry or any other sector to offer Surety Bonds for road contracts in the country.
- Surety Bond: It is a three-party agreement that legally binds together a principal who needs the bond, an obligee who requires the bond and a surety company that sells the bond.
- Significance: Surety bonds provide financial guarantee that contracts will be completed according to predefined and mutual terms.When a principal breaks a bond’s terms, the harmed party(obligee) can make a claim on the bond to recover losses.
- Why Surety Bond in the Road Sector? Surety bonds in the road sector guarantees satisfactory completion of a project by a contractor and provide performance security to various government agencies.
Facts: PULSE is a 3D-printed wearable device developed by NASA that pulses, or vibrates when a person’s hand is nearing their face in order to reduce a potential infection.
News: Uganda has become the first African country to submit results for REDD+ to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC).
- REDD+: It is a mechanism which was first negotiated by the Parties to the UNFCCC in 2005.Most of the key REDD+ decisions were completed by 2013 with the final pieces of the rulebook finished in 2015.
- In this mechanism, REDD stands for “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation”; the “+” signifies the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries.
- Objective: To achieve climate change mitigation in developing countries by incentivizing forest conservation.
- Countries interested in REDD+ are required to progress through three phases:
- Readiness phase: It involves the development of national strategies or action plans, REDD+ mitigation actions and capacity building;
- Implementation of national strategies that could involve further capacity building, technology development and transfer, and results-based demonstration activities;
- Results-based payments comprise the final REDD+ phase.It provides financial incentives to developing countries that prove they stopped deforestation during a certain period of time.
News: Ministry of law and justice has amended the rules to allow those over the age of 65 and Covid positive patients under home quarantine or hospitalized to use the postal ballot to exercise their right to vote.
- Postal Ballot: It is a type of voting in elections whereby Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot Papers(ETPB) are distributed to electors and returned by post.
- Section 60 of the Representation of the People Act,1951 provides for the person to be given postal ballot facility by the Election commission in consultation with the government.
- Representation of the People Act,1951: It is an act of Parliament of India.The act deals with the:
- conduct of elections of the Houses of Parliament and the House of the Legislature of each State
- qualifications and disqualifications for membership of those Houses and
- corrupt practices,decisions,doubts and disputes arising in connection with such elections.
News: Union Minister for Housing and Urban affairs has launched the ‘Swachh Survekshan 2021’ — the sixth edition of the annual cleanliness survey.A new category of awards titled ‘Prerak Daaur Samman’ were also announced as part of the survey.
- Swachh Survekshan: It is an annual cleanliness survey of urban India conducted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs under the aegis of Swachh Bharat Mission- Urban(SBM-U).
- Objectives: a) To encourage large scale citizen participation and create awareness about cleanliness b) inculcate a spirit of healthy competition among cities and towns towards creating cleaner cities/towns.
- Swachh Survekshan 2021: In a departure from the present criteria of evaluating cities on ‘population category’, the 2021 survey will categorize cities on the basis of six select indicator wise performance criteria which are as follows:
- Segregation of waste into Wet, Dry and Hazard categories
- Processing capacity against wet waste generated
- Processing and recycling of wet and dry waste
- Construction & Demolition (C&D) waste processing
- Percentage of waste going to landfill
- Sanitation status of cities
- Prerak Daaur Samman: It is a new category of awards announced as part of Swachh Survekshan 2021.The award has a total of five additional sub- categories -Divya (Platinum), Anupam (Gold), Ujjwal (Silver), Udit (Bronze), Aarohi (Aspiring) – with top three cities being recognized in each.