December 2019

Daily Current Affairs (18-12-19)

SOCIAL JUSTICE

GLOBAL REFUGEE FORUM (GRF)

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Social Justice [Paper-I]: Rights Issues (Human rights, Women rights, SC/ST rights, Child rights, etc.)

News

The first ever Global Refugee Forum was held in Geneva, Switzerland.

About the Forum

  • It is jointly hosted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Refugee Agency, and the Government of Switzerland.
  • It aims to debate and discuss the response of the world’s countries to the global refugee situation.
  • The GRF will be held every four years at the Ministerial level.
  • It is intended to present an opportunity for UN member states and other stakeholders to announce action plans and pledges towards meeting objectives such as easing the burden on the host country, enhancing refugee self-reliance, expanding access to third-country solutions, and supporting conditions in countries of origin for return in safety and dignity.

First GRF

  • According to the UNHCR, the first GRF was held “at the end of a tumultuous decade in which the number of refugees has risen to over 25 million people worldwide”.
  • It was organised around six areas of focus: burden- and responsibility-sharing, education, jobs and livelihoods, energy and infrastructure, solutions, and protection capacity.
  • At the two-day event, member states of the United Nations (UN) are debated the response of nations to the global refugee situation.

Global Refugee Numbers

  • According to the UN, by the end of 2018, there were around 70.8 million people around the world who had left their home countries because of conflict and persecution. Of these 70.8 million, roughly 30 million are refugees.
  • Globally, more two-thirds of all refugees come from five countries: Syria (6.7 million), Afghanistan (2.7 million), South Sudan (2.3 million), Myanmar (1.1 million), and Somalia (0.9 million).
  • Countries in the developed regions host 16 percent of refugees; one-third of the refugee population (6.7 million people) are in the Least Developed Countries.
  • The largest host countries are Turkey (3.7 million), Pakistan (1.4 million), Uganda (1.2 million), Sudan (1.1 million), and Germany (1.1 million).
  • According to the UN’s Global Trends report, there are 37,000 new displacements every day.
  • In 2018, 13.6 million people were newly displaced due to conflict and or persecution.

Refugee situation in India

  • India does not have a separate statute for refugees. India is dealing with refugees on a case-by-case basis.
  • India is not a signatory to the 1951 Convention on Refugees or the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees.
  • In 2011, the Union government circulated to all states and Union Territories a Standard Operating Procedure to deal with foreign nationals who claimed to be refugees.
  • In late 2011, the Rohingya started to arrive in India following stepped-up persecution by the Myanmarese armed forces.
  • According to the Home Ministry, there are roughly 14,000 Rohingya refugees in India who are registered with the UNHCR, and there are estimated to be 40,000 Rohingya living in India illegally.
[Source: Indian Express]

 

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

GOVERNMENT INSTANT MESSAGING SYSTEM (GIMS)

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Science and Technology [Paper-II]: Nature and Scope of ICT, Cyber Security concerns

News

Central government is testing a prototype of an Indian equivalent of popular messaging platforms, such as WhatsApp and Telegram, for secure internal use.

What is GIMS?

  • Government Instant Messaging System(Codenamed GIMS) is in the pilot testing stage across some state, including Odisha and is learnt to have been released to the Indian Navy to be tried out on trial basis.
  • It is designed and developed by the Kerala unit of National Informatics Centre (NIC).
  • It is being packaged for employees of Central and state government departments and organisations for intra and interorganisation communications.
  • It is being developed as a secure Indian alternative without the security concerns attached with apps hosted abroad or those owned by foreign entities.
  • Like WhatsApp, GIMS employs end-to-end encryption for one-to-one messaging.
  • A GIMS Portal is also being simultaneously developed for administration and monitoring of the platform.
  • Besides one-to-one messaging and group messaging, there are specific provisions in GIMS for documents and media sharing in keeping with the hierarchies in the government system.

Why GIMS?

  • It is being touted as a safer bet as the platform has been developed in India, the server hosting it is installed within the country and the information stored would be in government-based cloud — NIC-operated data centres that are only meant for captive use by the government and its departments.
  • The launch of new App is significant as the popular messaging platform WhatsApp was recently used to spy on journalists and human rights activists in India.
  • The surveillance was carried out using a spyware tool called Pegasus, which has been developed by an Israeli firm, the NSO Group.
[Source: Indian Express]

 

FACTS OF THE DAY

INDIA CYBER COP OF THE YEAR 2019
  • CBI officer B P Raju has won the ‘India Cyber Cop of the Year 2019’ award by NASSCOM-DSCI for cracking a fraud case in an online entrance exam conducted by an engineering college in Rajasthan.
  • The investigation team headed by B P Raju, arrested nine accused persons and collected incriminating evidence from digital devices, which revealed the modus operandi adapted by the accused.
KHADI RUMAL
  • In a bid to create employment opportunities for the women of militancy affected families of Jammu and Kashmir, Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) launched sale of ‘Khadi Rumal‘  stitched by the women of Nagrota town in J&K.
  • At the event, Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) signed an agreement with Paytm to facilitate the sale of 2 crore pieces of Rumals through their portal.
  • The turnover of the village industries in the country is Rs 75000 crore. By March 2020, central government aims to increase this turover by Rs 1,00,000 crore.
MINORITIES RIGHTS DAY
  • India observed Minorities Rights Day on 18th December 2019.
  • Every year Minorities Rights Day is commemorated on 18th December, in furtherance of safeguarding, promoting and preserving the rights of minority communities having a place with ethnic, religious, class, racial, linguistic, cultural, castes and colour minority.
  • It is celebrated by the National Commission for Minorities (NCM).
  • On 18 December 1992, the United Nations adopted the Statement on the individual’s Rights belonging to religious or Linguistic National or Ethnic Minorities.
INTERNATIONAL MIGRANTS DAY
  • United Nations(UN) International Migrants Day is annually held on December 18 to recognize the efforts, contributions, and rights of migrants
  • The International Conference to Commemorate International Migrants Day was held on 17-18 December 2019 at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand.
BHIBHA STAR AND SANTAMASA PLANET
  • A white yellow star in Sextans constellation and its Jupiter like exo-planets, which were hitherto named HD 86081 and 86081b, will now have Indian names.
  • International Astronomical Union announced that while the star will be called Bibhā, the planet will be called Santamasa.
  • The star has been named in honour of a pioneering Indian woman scientist Dr Bibha Choudhury, who discovered subatomic particle, pi-meson. Bhibha also means “a bright beam of light” in Bengali.
  • The planet has been named Santamasa to reflect the cloudy nature of its atmosphere. Santamasa is the Sanskrit term for “clouded”.
  • The IAU chose the name at the end of a global contest called `NameExoWorlds’, which was organised as part of its centenary celebrations.
ADB AND INDIA SIGNED $250 MILLION LOAN AGREEMENT
  • Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a $250 million loan to Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) to expand energy efficiency investments in India that will benefit agricultural, residential and institutional consumers.
  • In addition, $46 million financing will be provided from the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), to be administered by ADB.
  • ADB previously approved a $200 million loan to EESL, a public sector energy service company, in 2016 for Demand Side Energy Efficiency Sector Project that focused on efficient lighting and appliances.
  • Accompanying the loan will be a technical assistance (TA) of $2 million to support EESL in implementing the project, including a gender action plan, mobilising private sector participation in energy efficiency services, identifying new business opportunities, and transferring knowledge about successful models.
ICC WOMEN’S CRICKETER OF THE YEAR 2019
  • Australian all-rounder Ellyse Perry has won the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Award for the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year 2019 and was also named as the ICC Women’s ODI Player of the Year 2019.
  • Wicket-keeper Alyssa Healy is the T20I Cricketer of the Year for the second year running and Thailand’s Chanida Sutthiruang was named as Emerging Cricketer of the Year.

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