News: Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO) of the United Nations has launched a “Food Coalition”.
- Food Coalition: It is a voluntary multi-stakeholder and multi-sector alliance which will support innovative initiatives to ensure global food access, increase the resilience of agri-food systems and put them on a more sustainable course.
- Who proposed it? The alliance was proposed by Italy and is led by the Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO).
- Funding: The alliance involves a devoted trust fund and a web-based hub allowing participants to access a basket of project-focused information and data, as well as the funding and types of assistance needed for many on-the-ground projects.
- Technical Platform on the Measurement and Reduction of Food Loss and Waste: It is an online platform launched by FAO with the aim to reduce food loss and waste across the globe.
- FAO: It is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.Headquarters: Rome, Italy.
News:Haryana Assembly has passed the Haryana Panchayati Raj (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020 with the aim to increase the accountability of Panchayats to voters.
Key Highlights of the Bill:
- Right to Recall: The bill provides for the right to recall members of Panchayati Raj institutions to those who elected them.
- Procedure: To recall a sarpanch and members of the two bodies, 50% members of a ward or gram sabha have to give in writing that they want to initiate proceedings.
- This will be followed by a secret ballot in which their recall will require two-third members voting against them.
- Women Reservation: The bill gives women 50% reservation in these rural bodies.
- OBC Reservation: It also provides for the 8% reservation to the “more disadvantaged” among the Backward Classes.
- Right to Recall – It is a process through which the electorate has the power to remove the elected officials before the expiry of their usual terms.
News: The Wildlife Institute of India has released a survey on the Ganges river. The survey was conducted on behalf of the National Mission for Clean Ganga undertaken by the Ministry of Jal Shakti.
Key Highlights from the Survey:
- Increase in Biodiversity: 49% of the Ganges river is high on biodiversity with Gangetic Dolphins and Otters in the river have increased.This indicates that the pollution level in the river has decreased and the river is in a healthy state.
- Biodiversity Areas: 10% of the high biodiversity areas fall alongside national parks and sanctuaries such as Rajaji national park in Uttarakhand, Hastinapur wildlife sanctuary in UP and Vikramshila gangetic Dolphin sanctuary in Bihar.
- Ganga River: The Ganga and its tributaries flow through 11 states and cover 26.3% of the country’s total geographical area.But its main stem flows through five states — Uttarakhand, UP, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
- Why is the threat to Ganga’s biodiversity real?
- Freshwater ecosystems account for 0.01% of the earth’s surface water but 10% of species.
- According to the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), decline in diversity of freshwater species is the highest and surpasses losses in marine and terrestrial species.
- The highest loss of freshwater biodiversity has been reported from the Indian subcontinent, specifically the Gangetic plains.
- Wildlife Institute of India(WII): It was established in 1982 as an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate change.It carries out wildlife research in areas of study like Biodiversity, Endangered Species, Wildlife Policy, Wildlife Management among others.Headquarters: Dehradun, India.
News: NITI Aayog has formed a 14 member panel to look into introducing reforms in the urban planning education system.
- Composition of Panel: The panel is headed by NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar.The secretaries of three ministries—Housing and Urban Affairs, Higher Education and Panchayati Raj are among the members of the committee.
- To review the urban planning education system in India and
- To examine the availability, demand and supply of qualified urban planners in the country.
News: Indian diplomat was elected to the U.N. Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions(ACABQ).
- Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions: It is a subsidiary organ of the UN General Assembly.
- Composition: There are 16 members of the committee appointed by the UN General Assembly for a period of three years on the basis of a broad geographical representation.The members serve in a personal capacity and not as representatives of Member States.
- To examine and report on the budget submitted by the Secretary-General to the General Assembly.
- To advise the General Assembly concerning any administrative and budgetary matters referred to it.
- Examines, on behalf of the General Assembly, the administrative budgets of the specialised agencies and proposals for financial arrangements with such agencies.
- To consider and report to the General Assembly on the auditors’ reports on the accounts of the United Nations and of the specialised agencies.
News: Minister for Electronics & Information Technology has announced the fourth edition of the India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2020.
- India Mobile Congress(IMC): It is jointly organized by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and Cellular Operators Association of India (COAT).
- Aim: To foster international regional cooperation, inspire Satat Bharat – Sanatan Bharat (digital inclusivity in connecting nearly 6 lakh villages with optical fiber), promote Samagra Bharat – Saksham Bharat (entrepreneurship and innovation), drive investments and facilitate supportive regulatory and policy frameworks.
- Theme: Inclusive Innovation – Smart I Secure I Sustainable.