August 2019

Daily Current Affairs (24-08-19)

COMPOSITE WATER MANAGEMENT INDEX (CWMI) 2.0

Related Topics: Indices & Reports, NITI Aayog, Competitive Federalism

Why in News

Composite water management index (CWMI) 2.0 was released by NITI Aayog.

Objective

To involve all key stakeholders to understand how states can better manage water resources.

Background

  • NITI Aayog first launched and conceptualized the Composite Water Management Index in 2018 as a tool to instill the sense of cooperative and competitive federalism among the states.
  • This was a first ever attempt at creating a pan-India set of metrics that measured different dimensions of water management and use across the lifecycle of water.

About CWMI

  • It is an important tool to assess and improve the performance of States/ Union Territories in efficient management of water resources.
  • This has been done through a first of its kind water data collection exercise in partnership with Ministry of Jal Shakti, Ministry of Rural Development and all the States/ Union Territories.
  • The index would provide useful information for the States and also for the concerned Central Ministries/Departments enabling them to formulate and implement suitable strategies for better management of water resources.

CWMI 2.0

  • It ranks various states for the reference year 2017-18 as against the base year 2016-17.
  • In CWMI 2.0, Gujarat hold on to its rank one in the reference year (2017-18), followed by Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
  • In North Eastern and Himalayan States, Himachal Pradesh has been adjudged number 1 in 2017-18 followed by Uttarakhand, Tripura and Assam.
  • The Union Territories have first time submitted their data and Puducherry has been declared as the top ranker.
  • In terms of incremental change in index (over 2016-17 level), Haryana holds number one position in general States and Uttarakhand ranks at first position amongst North Eastern and Himalayan States.
  • On an average, 80% of the states assessed on the Index over the last three years have improved their water management scores, with an average improvement of +5.2 points.

Need for the Index

  • Scientific management of water is increasingly recognized as being vital to India’s growth and ecosystem sustainability.
  • India is suffering from the worst water crisis in its history and millions of lives and livelihoods are under threat.
  • Currently, 600 million Indians face high to extreme water stress and about two lakh people die every year due to inadequate access to safe water.
  • It is estimated the crisis is going to get worse by 2030 when India’s water demand is projected to be twice the available supply.

[Sources: PIB, The Economic Times]

 

WORLD YOUTH CONFERENCE FOR KINDNESS

Related Topics: Sustainable Development, MGIEP

News

  • President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the first-ever World Youth Conference for Kindness in New Delhi.
  • The conference was in commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi.

About the Conference

  • It was organised by the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP).
  • The theme of the conference was ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam: Gandhi for the Contemporary World: Celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’.
  • It is aimed at providing youth with creative, effective methods of engaging and realising the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • It sought inspiration from Gandhi’s championing of non-violence.

[Sources: The Hindu, MGIEP website]

 

MEASURES TO BOOST INDIAN ECONOMY

Related Topics: Government Policies & Interventions, Indian Economy

Why in News

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a slew of measures to boost private sector sentiments and to reduce the burden on the sector.

Highlights of the Announcement

[Image Courtesy: The Hindu]

Need for the Announcement

  • India’s GDP growth plummeted to nearly five-year low of 5.8 per cent in January-March and it is widely believed that the growth might not have picked up in the first quarter of the current fiscal also.
  • The auto sector is facing the worst crisis in about 20 years and reports suggest job losses in thousands.
  • In the real estate space, the number of unsold homes has increased while fast-moving consumer goods companies have reported a decline in volume growth and lending to job-creating MSMEs by banks have actually slipped.
  • Since the announcement of enhanced surcharge on foreign portfolio investors, there has been a significant outflow of funds from the Indian stock market.
  • Industry players had raised concerns about penal provisions in the Companies Act, 2013 for non-compliance with CSR requirements.
[Source: The Hindu]

 

Asia Pacific Group (APG) of the FATF

Related Topics: Money Laundering, Terror Financing, International Organisations

News

  • Financial Action Task Force’s Asia Pacific Group (APG) has placed Pakistan in the Enhanced Expedited Follow-up List (Black List) for failure to meet its standards.
  • In June, the FATF had warned Pakistan that its failure to complete its action plan on terror financing could possibly lead to the country getting blacklisted.
  • Now, Pakistan has to focus on avoiding the blacklist in October, when the 15-month timeline ends on the FATF’s 27-point action plan.

Why Pakistan was blacklisted?

  • APG of the FATF has found that Pakistan was non-compliant on 32 of the 40 compliance parameters of terror financing and money laundering.
  • On 11 effectiveness parameters of terror financing and money laundering, Pakistan was adjudged as low on 10.

Who took the decision?

The APG, one of nine regional affiliates of the FATF, met in Canberra from August 18 to 23 to discuss a five-year review of the Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) for Pakistan, and decided to place it among countries requiring “enhanced, expedited follow-up”.

Impact on Pakistan

[Image Courtesy: Economic Times]

While the placing does not bring any new punitive measures on Pakistan, it will mean quarterly reporting to the group on improvement in its financial safeguards.

[Sources: The Hindu, Livemint, Economic Times]

 

FACTS OF THE DAY

INDIAN WOLF

The Indian Wolf (Canis lupus pallipes) was sighted for the first time in the Papikonda National Park in the northern Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh. The sighting establishes the presence of a new species to be added to the list of wildlife diversity in the Northern Eastern Ghats. The Indian Wolf falls under the Schedule-I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Conservation status of the Indian Wolf is ‘Least Concern’ on the Red List of the IUCN.

BHARAT CRAFT

Union Minister for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) has announced the launching of a new marketing portal named Bharat Craft to help the MSME sector in the country and has set a target of 10 lakh crore revenue in the next 2-3 years. It would be similar to e-portal such as Amazon and Alibaba.

ANUBHAV PORTAL

Union Minister of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions presented the ANUBHAV awards, 2019. The Anubhav portal was created on the call of Prime Minister in 2015 with a vision to preserve rich experience of retired official in digital form. It is an award scheme to incentivize and encourage more retiring employees to submit their write-ups was introduced in 2016.

NATIONAL FOOD LABORATORY (NFL), DELHI

Union Health Minister inaugurated FSSAI‘s National Food Laboratory (NFL) in Ghaziabad on the occasion of 13th anniversary of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.This national lab is a result of a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP), the first-of-its-kind in the food laboratory sector. It houses state-of-the-art collaborative training centres, namely, The Food Safety Solution Centre (FSSC) and the Centre for Microbiological Analysis Training (C-MAT).

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