By admin: Feb. 1, 2023

United Nations Reforms

Tags: International News

The urgent need for reforms in the United Nations, ongoing Ukraine conflict and developmental issues figured prominently during talks between External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) President Csaba Korosi.

An overview of the news:

 The crucial hurdle in the way of reforming the United Nations comes from the disunited state of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), said Csaba Korosi, President of the 77th UNGA, in New Delhi on January 30, 2023.

Reform of the United Nations:

On 31 May 2018, the General Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution “Repositioning of the United Nations development system in the context of the quadrennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system ”.

The landmark resolution contains measures to enhance the capacity of the United Nations Development System (UNDS) to better support countries in implementing the

2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development  and provides guidance to the Secretary-General and the UNDS on their implementation.

 A new generation of UN Country Teams (UNCTs) and UN Development Nations Assistance Framework (UNDAFs).

A reinvigorated Resident Coordinators (RCs) system with enhanced capacity, leadership, accountability and impartiality.

Common business service and back offices functions.

 A revamped UNDS regional approach to better support work on the field.

 Enhanced transparency and accountability of system-wide results and stronger capacities for system-wide evaluations.

    A system-wide approach to partnerships for the 2030 Agenda.

A Funding compact to deliver on the 2030 Agenda.

   A system-wide strategic document to accelerate the system’s alignment to the 2030 Agenda.

Ajit Doval launches US-India Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies

Tags: International News

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, US counterpart Jake Sullivan launched the US-India Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) in Washington on 31 January.

An overview of the news

  • iCET reflects conv.of strategic, commercial, and scientific approaches in the field of technology. 

  • iCET was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Biden.

  • The United States and India concluded the US-India iCET meeting and also decided to launch a new Innovation Bridge.

  • In May 2022, US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced iCET to enhance and expand their strategic technology partnership and defence industrial cooperation between governments, businesses and academic institutions of the two countries.

  • Both countries also underlined their commitment to work to resolve issues related to regulatory barriers, trade and talent mobility through a permanent mechanism under the iCET.

Tourism minister launches Visit India Year 2023 initiative

Tags: National News

Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy launched the Visit India Year-2023 initiative in New Delhi on 31 January and also unveiled its logo.

An overview of the news

  • The Tourism Minister also unveiled the logo of the campaign which is inspired by the image of 'Namaste'.

  • The logo represents India as a microcosm of countless stories.

  • It imbibes the philosophy of 'Atithi Devo Bhava' along with the heritage of India to the art of cooking divine food and our rich wildlife.

  • The emblem depicts elements of India's heritage and its monuments.

  • The campaign aims to encourage travel in the country that currently holds the G-20 presidency. It is an initiative of the Ministry of Tourism.

  • According to the Ministry of Tourism, the G-20 chairmanship provides an excellent opportunity to highlight the specialties of the country's tourism sector.

  • This year more than one lakh foreign delegates will visit India and they will be shown all aspects of India's culture including monuments and festivals.

  • Each foreign representative of the G20 will be a brand ambassador of India's culture, heritage and tourist destinations.

President Droupadi Murmu address her maiden joint session of Parliament

Tags: National National News

President Droupadi Murmu address her maiden joint session of Parliament

Focusing on ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, President Droupadi Murmu addressed her maiden joint session (Lok Sabha and Rajay Sabha) of Parliament on 31st January.

An overview of the news

  • President Murmu said, India has entered the Amrit Kaal by completing 75 years of its independence.

  • Amrit Kaal is the period of 100 years of independence and the making of a developed India. These 25 years is a period for all citizens to focus on their duty.

  • She said that the government is trying to get rid of every sign of slavery, an example of which is the renaming of Rajpath to Kartavya Path.

  • She said that the 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' campaign has been successful, due to which the number of women in India is more than men for the first time.

  • The government's priority is the 11 crore small farmers who were deprived of government benefits for decades.

  • Earlier there was a long wait for the tax refund, but today the refund is received within a few days of filing the income tax return.

  • Indian Railways is fast moving towards becoming the largest electric railway network in the world.

  • India is trying to find collective solutions to global challenges along with the G20 member countries.

Parliamentary Sessions

In general, the parliamentary sessions are of three types:

  1. Budget Session 

  • It is the longest Session, starts at the end of January and concludes by the end of April or the first week of May. 

  • The session has a recess so that Parliamentary Committees can discuss the budgetary proposals.

  • This session begins every year with the President's address to both the Houses.

  1. Monsoon Session

  • Monsoon session is held every year from July to September. It begins after a gap of two months from the budget session.

  • Matters of public interest are discussed in this session.

  1. Winter Session

  • This session is held every year from mid-November to mid-December. This is the shortest session.

  • It takes up those matters which could not be considered earlier.

Joint Sitting of Parliament

  • The Constitution of India provides for a joint sitting of both the Houses of Parliament to resolve a deadlock between the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

  • The joint sitting of the Parliament is called by the President of the country.

  • The speaker presides over the joint sitting. In the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha presides over it.

  • If none of the above is present, any other member of Parliament may preside with the consensus of both the Houses.

  • Article 108 of the Indian Constitution provides for a joint sitting of both the Houses of Parliament.

  • According to the provision given in Article 87 of the Constitution, the President addresses both the Houses of the Parliament twice under the legislative powers-

1. After each new election

2. Every year on the first session of the Parliament

Quad cyber group meeting to strengthen cyber security cooperation

Tags: Summits National News

Quad cyber group meeting to strengthen cyber security cooperation

A meeting of the Quad Senior Cyber Group was held in New Delhi to strengthen cyber security cooperation on 30-31 January.

An overview of the news

  • The heads of the Quad Senior Cyber Group, along with their inter-agency delegations, met in New Delhi to discuss cyber security cooperation and a collective approach to enhancing resilience.

  • During the meeting, participants discussed sharing threat information, identifying and assessing potential risks in supply chains for digitally enabled products and services, and aligning baseline software security requirements.

  • The group also discussed cyber security capacity building for Quad members and for partners in the Indo-Pacific region.

  • The meeting discussed how Quad members can prevent cyber incidents and respond to such cyber incidents along with building national and international capabilities for security.

QUAD or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue 

  • Quad or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue is a group of four countries US, Japan, Australia and India. 

  • The concept of QUAD was given by former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2007 for maritime cooperation between these countries after the Indian Ocean Tsunami disaster in 2004. 

  • Now the group is mainly seen as a group to counter the Chinese influence in the region.

  • The 2022 Quad summit meeting was held in Japan and next will be held in Australia in 2023. 

46th International Kolkata Book Fair inaugurated

Tags: Festivals State News

46th International Kolkata Book Fair inaugurated

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on 30 January inaugurated the 46th edition of the International Kolkata Book Fair.

An overview of the news

  • The fair is being organised at Boimela Courtyard, Central Park Fair Ground, Karunamayee, Salt Lake Kolkata.

  • Mara José Gálvez Salvador from the Spanish Ministry of Culture and Sports and Ambassador of Spain to India, Jose Maria Ridao Domínguez were present at the inauguration.

  • The fair will be open for visitors from January 31 to February 12.

  • Around 20 countries from all over the world are participating in the fair. Spain is the focal country for the second time this year.

  • The United States, United Kingdom, Bangladesh, Japan, France, Cuba, Italy, Australia and many other Latin American countries will be represented at the book fair.

  • Thailand is participating for the first time.

  • The fair will have several kiosks sponsored by the Jute Board to reduce plastic and bio-toilets.

About International Kolkata Book Fair

  • It is the largest book fair in Asia and the most attended book fair by the people.

  • It is the world's third largest annual collection of books after the Frankfurt Book Fair and the London Book Fair.

  • The book fair was started in 1976 on a small scale by the Kolkata Publishers and Booksellers Guild.

UP has the highest number of colleges in the country: AISHE 2020-21 report

Tags: Reports INDEX

The Union Ministry of Education has released the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2020-2021.

According to the report Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of colleges in the country, followed by Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Highlight of the report

  • The top 10 states in terms of number of colleges in India - Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana and Kerala, each having at least 29 or more colleges per lakh population.

  • There are 8,114 colleges in Uttar Pradesh and 32 colleges per one lakh population.

  • Similarly, Maharashtra is at number two with 4,532 colleges and 34 colleges per lakh population.

  • Karnataka ranks third with 4,233 colleges and 62 colleges per lakh population, while Rajasthan ranks fourth with 3,694 colleges and 40 colleges per lakh population.

  • Tamil Nadu ranks fifth with 2,667 colleges and a college density of 40.

  • Madhya Pradesh ranks sixth with 2,610 colleges and 29 colleges per lakh population, while Andhra Pradesh ranks seventh with 2,601 colleges and 49 colleges per lakh population.

  • At the eighth position is Gujarat with 2,267 colleges and 31 colleges per one lakh population.

  • Most of the colleges offer undergraduate level programs only.

  • Only 2.9 percent colleges offer PhD level programs and 55.2 percent offer postgraduate level programmes.

  • The report shows a nationwide increase of 7.5% in student enrollment in 2020-21 as compared to 2019-20.

Gender Parity Index (GPI)

  • The Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) for the age group 18-23 years has increased from 25.6% in 2019-20 to 27.3% in 2020-21.

  • Gender Parity Index (GPI), the ratio of female GER to male GER, has increased from 1 in 2017-18 to 1.05 in 2020-21.

  • The female enrollment in North East states in 2020-21 is 6.14 lakh, which is higher than the male enrollment of 5.92 lakh, for every 100 male students, there are 104 female students in the North East region.

About AISHE Survey

  • The Ministry of Education has been conducting this survey since 2011, it includes higher educational institutions located in India.

  • The survey collects information on various parameters such as student enrolment, teacher data, infrastructural, financial etc.

  • In AISHE 2020-21, for the first time data collection has been done using a completely online data collection platform developed by the Department of Higher Education through National Informatics Center (NIC).

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