News: United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction(UNDRR) has released a report titled “The Human Cost of Disasters 2000-2019”.
Key Highlights from the report:
- In the period 2000 to 2019, there were 7,348 major recorded disaster events claiming 1.23 million lives, affecting 4.2 billion people resulting in approximately US$2.97 trillion in global economic losses.
- Asia has suffered the highest number of disasters in the past 20 years followed by the Americas and Africa.
- Climate change is largely to blame for a near doubling of natural disasters in the past 20 years.
- Major floods had more than doubled in 20 years.India is the 2nd most affected country by floods after China.
- UNDRR (formerly UNISDR): Itis the United Nations focal point created in 1999 for disaster risk reduction.
- It oversees the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 supporting countries in its implementation, monitoring and sharing what works in reducing existing risk and preventing the creation of new risk.
News: India Meteorological Department(IMD) has launched a dynamic, impact-based cyclone warning system.
- Aim: To minimise economic losses and damage to property from cyclones that hit the country’s coasts every year.
- Under this, district or location will issue specific warnings which will factor in the infrastructure, local population, settlements, land use as well as other elements will be disseminated and prepared.
- All the disaster management agencies will also make the extensive use of geological, cartographic and hydrological data available for the concerned district.
- If a district is to be hit by a wind up to 160 kmph, the system will warn about the kind of infrastructure that will likely get damaged and these can be mapped.
- IMD: It was established in 1875.It is an agency of the Ministry of Earth Sciences.It is the principal agency responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting and seismology.
News: During the all.ai 2020 Virtual Summit, Intel India has collaborated with the Telangana, IIIT-Hyderabad and Public Health Foundation of India(PHFI) to launch Applied artificial intelligence (AI) research(INAI) center in Hyderabad.
- Applied AI research(INAI) center: It is an initiative that aims to apply AI to population-scale problems in the Indian context with a focus on identifying and solving challenges in the healthcare and smart mobility segments through strong ecosystem collaboration.
- all.ai 2020 Virtual Summit: Ithas been organized by Intel India in collaboration with the industry, academia and government to provide strengthened AI in order to solve problems at population scale.
News: The MOSAiC Expedition which began from Norway has successfully concluded at the port of Bremerhaven, Germany.
- Multidisciplinary Drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate(MOSAiC): Itis an international research expedition that aims to take the closest look ever at the Arctic as the epicenter of global warming and to gain fundamental insights that are key to better understand global climate change.
- Led by: The project has been designed by an international consortium of leading polar research institutions led by Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research(AWI).
- RV Polarstern (a polar research ship): Under the mission, German research icebreaker Polarstern was set sail from Norway to spend a year drifting through the Arctic Ocean – trapped in ice.
News: Asia-Pacific Group (APG) on Money Laundering has retained Pakistan on its ‘Enhanced Follow-Up’ list.This was the first Follow-Up Report on Mutual Evaluation of Pakistan released by the Asia-Pacific Group (APG).
- What is Mutual Evaluation Report: It is a peer-review system to determine whether countries meet the compliance standards for money laundering and terror financing.
- After a country submits a Mutual Evaluation report, APG members can decide to place a member either through regular or enhanced follow-up.
- A regular follow-up means just biennial reports.
- A country put under enhanced follow-up has to send four reports of compliance the following year.
- Why was Pakistan retained on the Follow up list? Pakistan’s progress on the 40 FATF recommendations on the effectiveness of anti-money laundering and combating financing terror (AML/CFT) systems largely remained unchanged.
- APG: Itis a regional affiliate of the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
- Where was it founded? 1997 in Bangkok, Thailand
- Members: It currently consists of 41 members in the Asia-Pacific region.
- Secretariat: Sydney, Australia.
- FATF: It is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 during the G7 Summit in Paris.
- Aim: To set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering and terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
- Members: It comprises 37 member jurisdictions and 2 regional organisations representing most major financial centres in all parts of the globe.
- Secretariat: It is located at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) headquarters in Paris, France.
News: Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog (RKA) unveiled a ‘chip’ made of cow dung. The ‘chip’, named Gausatva Kavach, is manufactured by Rajkot-based Shrijee Gaushala. The chip is claimed to reduce radiation from mobile handsets and it will be a safeguard against diseases.