Palau became the 76th country to sign the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Framework Agreement
The Republic of Palau, an island country located in the western Pacific Ocean has signed International Solar Alliance Framework agreement to become a 76th country that joined the International Solar Alliance(ISA). It was signed by Palau President Tommy Remengesau during a special ceremony at Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations (UN). ISA Framework Agreement has been ratified by a total of 54 of the 76 countries till now.Palau is a host country for 2020 edition of the ‘Our Oceans conference’. This will focus on issues such as climate change, sustainable fisheries, and marine pollution.It was jointly launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi) and France’s President Francois Hollande in November 2015 on sidelines of COP-21(conference of the parties) of UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) in Paris. It was officially established on 6 December 2017 headquartered at the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) in Gurugram, Haryana. It is a major global initiative for contributing to the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement through rapid and massive deployment of solar energy and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.To undertake innovative efforts for reducing the cost of finance and deployment of solar generation, Mobilise more than the US $1000 billion of investments by 2030 and to accelerate development and deployment of over 1,000GW of solar generation capacity in member countries.
Rajya Sabha passes Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2019
- The Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed a Bill allowing the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA) to bid out any new airport at a pre-determined tariff structure.
- Rajya Sabha passed Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill,2019 on july 17, seeks to amend the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India Act, 2008. It aims to bid out any new airport from pre-determined tariff structure.
- The bill amends the definition of “major airport” as one which has annual passenger traffic of over3.5 million( 35 lakh). Currently, major airports with an annual capacity to handle 1.5 million (15 lakh) passengers come under the purview of AERA.
Special Public awareness campaign on vector-borne diseases
- Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan launched a 3-day public awareness campaign on july17th named“Jagrukta Abhiyaan” in New Delhi to sensitize and mobilize the people on measures about prevention and control of Vector-Borne Diseases (VBDs) like Malaria, Dengue, and Chikungunya.
- The campaign aimed at making the community a partner for checking vector(mosquito) breeding across Delhi.
It is the people’s movement in Delhi by the involvement of people’s representatives, officers from Government of India & Delhi, New Delhi Municipal Corporations(NDMC), Delhi Municipal Council, Railways and Cantonment Board and other stakeholders.
- Totally 286 ward-wise teams (in all 272 municipal wards and 14 locations of NDMC) have been constituted having 20-25 as their members including officers of the municipal corporations along with officers from central government and government of Delhi.
- As a part of the exercise, teams visit residential areas, schools, hospitals and markets in Delhi and sensitize people on prevention and control of such diseases.
- This is the first time that the centre, state and local bodies converge in their efforts to mobilize the community for a public health activity.
Demand for digitally skilled talent to grow at 35% CAGR: NASSCOM
- The demand for digitally skilled workforce would rise at 35 per cent Compounded Annual Growth Rate till 2023 of the current talent base of four million, Information Technology body NASSCOM given the information about manpower growth.
- NASSCOM said the top priority for it was to reskill this base and has taken a number of initiatives, the first of which was proposed tie-ups with educational institutions
- As per the Indian Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing industry, NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Services Companies), the demand for digitally skilled talent projected to grow significantly at 35% Compounded Annual Growth Rate(CAGR) till 2023. In 2023, the demand for digitally skilled professionals will rise to 2.3-2.7 million.
- Currently, the digital talent in IT-ITeS(Information Technology Enabled Services) industry in the country increased at over 20% and has a base of 2,60,000 in cloud computing, 185,000 in AI(Artificial Intelligence) & big data analytics, 185,000 in social media and mobile platforms and 170,000 in IoT(Internet of Things).
- 54% of all employees will require significant reskilling by 2022. Due to the Lack of talent availability, NASSCOM planned to tie-up with around 30 universities to reskill the talent base in 2019.
- The skills that are being developed in new technologies include the development of applications, data management, designing use case platforms for operations and directly working with the technology for applications on a daily basis.
- 60-65 % of job profiles in the four million jobs in industry were expected to change in the next 5 years. NASSCOM’s FutureSkills initiative is to place India as the talent hub for emerging technologies and pioneer in global digital capabilities.
- An industry utility for skills development in 10 new-age technologies, 10 professional skills, 70+ job roles and 155+ technical skills, the platform will be a complement to the government’s Digital India initiative.
- To transform 100 universities to supply digital talent, upskilling 4 million professionals by 2025.
SUMMITS AND MEETINGS
8th Meeting of India-Uzbekistan Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism
- The 8th meeting of India-Uzbekistan Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism was held in New Delhi on July 16, 2019. The meeting was co-chaired by Mr. Mahaveer Singhvi, Joint Secretary (Counter Terrorism), Ministry of External Affairs and Ambassador Farhod Azriev of Uzbekistan.
- The Joint Working Group reviewed threats posed by terrorist groups worldwide and in their respective regions including cross border terrorism. They exchanged views on current counter-terrorism challenges including countering radicalization, combating financing of terrorism, preventing use of internet for terrorist purposes and returnee foreign terrorist fighters.
- The two sides also deliberated upon measures to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the sphere of counter terrorism through information sharing, mutual capacity building and sharing of best practices. Cooperation in multilateral fora including UN, SCO-RATS and EAG was also discussed.
12 beaches in India selected to compete for Blue Flag certification
The Union Environment Ministry has selected 12 beaches in India to vie for a ‘Blue Flag’ certification, an international recognition conferred on beaches that meet certain criteria of cleanliness and environmental propriety.
These beaches are at Shivrajpur (Gujarat), Bhogave (Maharashtra), Ghoghla (Diu), Miramar (Goa), Kasarkod and Padubidri (Karnataka), Kappad (Kerala), Eden (Puducherry), Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu), Rushikonda (Andhra Pradesh), Golden (Odisha), and Radhanagar (Andaman & Nicobar Islands).
The Blue Flag Programme for beaches and marinas is run by the international, non-governmental, non-profit organisation FEE (the Foundation for Environmental Education). It started in France in 1985 and has been implemented in Europe since 1987, and in areas outside Europe since 2001, when South Africa joined. Japan and South Korea are the only countries in South and southeastern Asia to have Blue Flag beaches. Spain tops the list with 566 such beaches; Greece and France follow with 515 and 395, respectively.
There are nearly 33 criteria that must be met to qualify for a Blue Flag certification, such as the water meeting certain quality standards, having waste disposal facilities, being disabled- friendly, have first aid equipment, and no access to pets in the main areas of the beach. Some criteria are voluntary and some compulsory.
If approved, beaches are given the qualification for a year and must apply annually to continue meriting the right to fly the flag at their locations. To help Indian beaches meet these criteria, the Ministry has allowed structures such container toilet blocks, change rooms, shower panels, mini grey water treatment plants in an enclosed structure, mini solid waste recycling plants and off-grid solar photovoltaic panels, provided they are a minimum 10 metres from the high tide line.
Incredible India Campaign Wins Pata Gold Award 2019
- The Incredible India “Find the Incredible You” campaign released globally by the Ministry of Tourism during 2018-19 has been declared winner of the PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) Gold Award 2019 in the “Marketing – Primary Government Destination” category. This year’s awards attracted 198 entries from 78 organisations and individuals worldwide.
- The Ministry of Tourism, as part of its promotional initiatives annually releases Global Media Campaigns under the ‘Incredible India’ brand-line in the Television, Print, Digital and Social Media, in key and potential source markets overseas.
- To take the Campaigns to the next level, the ‘Incredible India 2.0’ Campaign was launched in September 2017, which marks a shift from generic promotions undertaken across the world to market specific promotional plans and content creation. The campaign focuses on digital and social media and the promotion of Niche Tourism products of the country.
- The campaign strategy was to shift the focus from the external experience of tourist destinations to the internal experience of travelers themselves. This series of transformative experiences was brought alive through unique storytelling in the format of autobiographies of travelers, with the tagline “Find the Incredible You”.
- The series of films have received a very good response and have registered over 153 million views on social media. They were earlier awarded the First Prize in the category of TV Cinema Spot at the International Golden City Gate Tourism Awards at Berlin in March 2019.
Arnault Tops Gates to Become World’s Second-Richest Person
- According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index 2019, French businessman & CEO of LVMH (a merger of renowned brands Louis Vuitton and Moet Hennessy), Bernard Arnault (70) has overtaken Bill Gates as the world’s 2nd richest person.
- Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, is now the world’s third-richest person with $107 billion as compared to second-richest person Arnault’s $108 billion wealth.
- Jeff Bezos, Amazon Inc’s founder remains the richest person in the world with a net worth of $124 billion.
- According to Bloomberg, Arnault’s increased 39 billion dollars to his fortune in 2019, the highest individual gain on the 500-member index.
- In 2018, his LVMH, the world’s largest maker of luxury goods, collected more than 53 billion dollars in revenue.
PERSONS IN NEWS
IMF MD Christine Lagarde resigns
Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde, has resigned from her post. She will formally step down on September 12, 2019.
She is awaiting the confirmation to take over as the new President of European Central Bank (ECB) where she will succeed Mario Draghi.
She was the former French Finance Minister ahead of her appointment to IMF in 2011.
She is known as the “rock star” of international finance.
Right-arm medium pacer, Dernbach retires
- England pacer Jade Derbnbach announced his retirement from international cricket on the most iconic day in the history of England cricket. The right-arm pacer, in his tweet, wrote that it is a good time to call it quits. He will continue to play domestic cricket for Surrey, Dernbach wrote in his Tweet.
- He was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and moved to England as a 14-year-old.
- He last played an international match in 2014. He made his first-class debut in 2003 and won the NBC Denis Compton Award in 2004 and 2009.
- He made his international debut in 2011 & represented England 58 times.
- He made his debut for Surrey against India ‘A’ at the age of 17. In 2006, he became the club’s leading wicket-taker and came up with a superlative performance at the Natwest Pro40.
Bebgali actor Swarup Dutta passes away
- Swarup Dutta, Veteran Bengali actor known for his performances in Bengali films such as “Pita Putra” and “Harmonium” passed away on july 17,2019 due to age-related ailments in Kolkata. He was 78.
- He was born on June 22, 1941.
- Datta had worked in many films in Bengali cinema in the 1960s and ’70s. He started his film career with Tapan Sinha’s Apanjan.
- . His debut film was Tapan Sinha’s “Apanjan” (1968), and he made a mark in the Bengali film and theatre industries. He also worked in Bollywood movies with actor Jaya Bhaduri in Upahar.