Integrated Project For Source Sustainability And Climate Resilient Rain-Fed Agriculture In Himachal Pradesh
- The Government of India, Government of Himachal Pradesh and the World Bank signed a US$80 million loan agreement to improve water management practices and increase agricultural productivity in selected Gram Panchayats (Village Councils) in Himachal Pradesh, a mountain state richly endowed with natural resources.
- The Integrated Project for Source Sustainability and Climate Resilient Rain-Fed Agriculture in Himachal Pradesh will be implemented in 428 Gram Panchayats in 10 districts benefiting over 400,000 smallholder farmers, women and pastoral communities.
- The project will improve upstream water sources in forests, pastures and grasslands and ensure sufficient water is available for sustainable agriculture both in Himachal Pradesh and in downstream states.
- The investment in downstream areas will augment the use of irrigation and help farmers shift from low-value cereal production to climate-resilient crop varieties and to higher-value fruit and vegetable production.
- The US$80 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has a final maturity of 14.5 years including a grace period of five years.
- India and Myanmar signed 10 agreements, including four aimed at boosting development of Rakhine state to facilitate the return of Rohingya refugees, during President U Win Myint’s visit to the country.
- The two sides also announced the launch of a bus service between Imphal in Manipur and Mandalay in Myanmar from April 7 as part of efforts to improve connectivity and people-to-people contacts. Private operators on both sides have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to launch the service.
- Among the agreements, four MoUs are specific to Rakhine state and cover the construction of facilities such as an incinerator, seed storage houses and water supply systems, solar power systems for five townships, and construction of two roads and preschools.
- Other MoUs cover cooperation in petroleum products, communications, and conservation of tigers and other wildlife.
- According to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) India study, India is the only country among the 153 surveyed countries where the economic gender gap is larger than the political gap.
- The study found that the female labour-force participation in India has declined from 34% in 2006 to 24.8% in 2020 and said that raising women’s participation in the labour force to the same level as men can boost India’s GDP by 27%.
- Gender stereotypes and lack of infrastructure has traditionally sidelined women from core manufacturing functions. As a result, not many are able to reach leadership roles.
- Companies need to ensure policies and procedures are made to adapt to various life changes in their employees, including maternity, changing care needs, dual career couples and continuity
- Globally, 38.7% of employed women are working in agriculture, forestry and fisheries, but only 13.8% of landholders are women.
- According to the study, it is the need of the hour that public policy and corporate policies incorporate various gender related barriers in India to ensure effective solutions.
- India and Iceland signed a Memorandum of Understanding in the field of fisheries.
- The salient features of the MoU are:
- Creation of facilities for exchange of scientists and technical experts and their proper placement, especially in areas of estimating Total Allowable Catches in off shore and deep sea areas;
- Provision of training to fisheries professionals from key fisheries institutions in the various management aspects on areas of modern fisheries management and fish processing.
- Exchange of scientific literature research findings and other information.
- Exchange of experts / expertise to study the prospects of fishing. Processing and marketing of products from high seas fisheries for entrepreneurship development.
- Brazilian President JM Bolsonaro was the chief guest for Republic Day, 2020. During his visit India and Brazil signed 13 agreements.
- Investment Cooperation and Facilitation Treaty is the first agreement signed by India on resolving bilateral disputes post India adopting the new draft template for investment treaty in 2015. As per the new draft, a new investor state dispute settlement mechanism that required foreign investors to exhaust local remedies before going for international arbitration was proposed.
- Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty which is an agreement between two or more countries for the purpose of gathering and exchanging information in an effort to enforce public or criminal laws was also signed.
- A decision to resolve ‘Brazil’s objection to support given by India to its sugar-cane growers (earlier taken to WTO)’ bilaterally.
- Other important agreements include – MoU on Bio-energy Co-operation, Early Childhood, Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy etc.
- UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on 23rd Feb., 2020 issued a ‘call of action’ to countries, businesses and all people to help renew and revive human rights across the globe, laying out a seven-point plan amid concerns about climate change, conflict and repression.
- The appeal was made in the latest session of Human Rights Council in Geneva. His seven-point plan involves linking human rights to issues like sustainable development, crisis prevention, gender equality, the development of the digital age, and freedom of expression and civil society, among other things.
- It is a geo-political event in a form of multilateral conference committed to addressing the most challenging issues facing the global community. It is organized by ORF (Observer Research Foundation) and Ministry of External Affairs.
- The theme of 5th Raisina Dialogue, 2020 – ‘‘21@20: Navigating the Alpha Century’’.
- The three-day conclave from 14thJanuary- 16th January, brought together 700 international participants in New Delhi, out of which 40 per cent of the speakers were women, emphasizing India’s commitment to gender equality.
- Raisina hill is a metonym used for the seat of Government of India. It includes important government offices along with the Presidential Palace or Rashtrapati Bhavan.
- The first-ever Global Refugee Forum was held in Geneva with more than 770 pledges of support, covering areas such as protection, employment, and education, for refugees and the communities which have taken them in.
- The Forum was a key element of the ‘Global Compact on Refugees’, which the international community signed in December 2018. It calls for Global Refugee Forums to be held every four years.
- The Forum revealed a “decisive shift” towards long-term action to assist the more than 25.9 million people worldwide who have fled their homelands due to conflict, persecution or violence.
- A stock-taking meeting will take place in two years, and the second Global Refugee Forum is scheduled for late 2023.
Global Compact on Refugees
Its four key objectives are to:
- Eight West African countries have agreed to change the name of their common currency to ‘Eco’ and severed their earlier currency CFA Franc's links to former colonial ruler France.
- Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo currently use the currency. All the countries are former French colonies with the exception of Guinea-Bissau.
- China, Russia and Iran carried out a trilateral naval exercise in the Gulf of Oman, the first such move by the three countries in the volatile Middle East amid heightened tensions in the region after the Trump administration withdrew from a landmark nuclear pact with Tehran.
- The Gulf of Oman borders Iran and Pakistan on the north, Oman on the south, the United Arab Emirates on the west and faces the Gujarat coast.
- The Gulf of Oman is only a short distance away from the Strait of Hormuz, which has been a site of contention over the passage of oil tankers between Iran and some Western nations.