Insights Daily Current Events, 18 November 2015
Paper 2 Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
UN confers Shri Kiren Rijiju with Disaster Risk Reduction Asia Champion honour
Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Kiren Rijiju, has been designated as the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Champion for the Asia Region by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).
- The honour was conferred at the recently held inaugural session of the Asia Leaders’ Meeting towards Implementation of the Sendai Framework for DRR in Asia.
- Shri Rijiju is the first regional champion for DRR after the Sendai Agreement. He is also the first Indian to be conferred with this honour.
About Sendai Framework:
- The “Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030” was adopted during the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai, Japan in March, 2015.
- It is the first major agreement of the post-2015 development agenda, with seven targets and four priorities for action.
- It was endorsed by the UN General Assembly following the 2015 Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR).
- The Framework is for 15-year. It is a voluntary and non-binding agreement which recognizes that the State has the primary role to reduce disaster risk but that responsibility should be shared with other stakeholders including local government, the private sector and other stakeholders.
- The new Framework is the successor instrument to the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters.
- The implementation of the Sendai Framework involves adopting integrated and inclusive institutional measures so as to work towards preventing vulnerability to disaster, increase preparedness for response and recovery and strengthen resilience.
The Seven Global Targets:
- Substantially reduce global disaster mortality by 2030, aiming to lower average per 100,000 global mortality rate in the decade 2020-2030 compared to the period 2005-2015.
- Substantially reduce the number of affected people globally by 2030, aiming to lower average global figure per 100,000 in the decade 2020 -2030 compared to the period 2005-2015.
- Reduce direct disaster economic loss in relation to global gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030.
- Substantially reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services, among them health and educational facilities, including through developing their resilience by 2030.
- Substantially increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020.
- Substantially enhance international cooperation to developing countries through adequate and sustainable support to complement their national actions for implementation of this Framework by 2030.
- Substantially increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments to the people by 2030.
The Four Priorities for Action under the Framework:
- Understanding disaster risk
- Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk
- Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience
- Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction
sources: pib, unisdr.
Paper 2 Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
CCI Imposes Penalties Upon Airlines for Concerted Action in Fixing Fuel Surcharge (FSC) on Cargo Transport
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed penalties upon 3 Airlines for concerted action in fixing and revising Fuel Surcharge (FSC) for transporting cargo. The three airlines are Jet Airways, Indigo and SpiceJet.
- The three airlines acted in collusion to fix fuel surcharge rates which resulted in indirectly determining the rates of air cargo transport.
- According to CCI, such conduct in the air cargo industry undermines economic development of the country and ultimately acts to the detriment of end-consumers.
Competition Commission of India is a body responsible for enforcing The Competition Act, 2002 throughout India and to prevent activities that have an adverse effect on competition in India. It was established on 14 October 2003. It became fully functional in May 2009.
- CCI consists of a Chairperson and 6 Members appointed by the Central Government.
- The duty of the Commission is to eliminate practices having adverse effect on competition, promote and sustain competition, protect the interests of consumers and ensure freedom of trade in the markets of India.
- The Commission is also required to give opinion on competition issues on a reference received from a statutory authority established under any law and to undertake competition advocacy, create public awareness and impart training on competition issues.
The Competition Act, 2002 prohibits anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominant position by enterprises and regulates combinations (acquisition, acquiring of control and Merger and acquisition), which causes or likely to cause an appreciable adverse effect on competition within India.
Paper 3 Topic: space.
Isro chairman A S Kiran Kumar recently said that India’s first solar mission, Aditya-1, is slated for lift-off in 2018-2019. He said that the spacecraft will be positioned 1.5 million kms from the earth at a point called Lagranian-1 and will make a detailed study of the sun 24×7.
The following six proposals have been short-listed for the mission:
Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC), IIA, Bengaluru
Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT), IUCAA, Pune
Plasma Analyser Package for Aditya (PAPA), SPL/VSSC, Trivandrum
Aditya Solar wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX), PRL, Ahmedabad
Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS), SAG/ISAC, Bengaluru
High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS), SAG/ISAC, Bengaluru
- It is India’s first solar mission. It will study the sun’s outer most layers, the corona and the chromospheres and collect data about coronal mass ejection, which will also yield information for space weather prediction.
- The project costs approximately Rs 400 crores and is a joint venture between ISRO and physicists from Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bengaluru; Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune; Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, and other institutes.
- The data from Aditya mission will be immensely helpful in discriminating between different models for the origin of solar storms and also for constraining how the storms evolve and what path they take through the interplanetary space from the Sun to the Earth.
sources: toi. (http://isp.justthe80.com/space-research-satellites/aditya-1)
Paper 3 Topic: Computers.
China’s Tianhe-2 remains world’s most powerful supercomputer
China’s Tianhe-2 supercomputer has maintained its position as the world’s most powerful system for the sixth consecutive time, according to a biannual Top500 list of supercomputers. It has held the title since June 2013.
- Tianhe-2 or Milky Way 2, with a performance of 33.86 petaflops per second (Pflop/s), was developed by China’s National University of Defence Technology.
- The Chinese system is almost twice as fast as the Titan of the US Department of Energy, which has a performance of 17. 59 Pflop/s. Titan holds the second position in the list.
The Top500 list is considered one of the most authoritative rankings of the world’s supercomputers. It is compiled on the basis of the machines’ performance on the Linpack benchmark by experts from the US and Germany.