Updated: Nov 24, 2022
ASEAN Agreed to Admit East Timor as 11th member
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has agreed in principle to admit East Timor as the group’s 11th member, the 10 member-bloc said in a statement, more than a decade after the country requested membership.
The Further Development:
The half-island nation, officially called Timor Leste, will also be granted observer status at high-level ASEAN meetings, the bloc said after regional leaders met in Phnom Penh for a summit. The country would be the first new member of the regional grouping in more than two decades, since Cambodia was admitted in 1999.
What Has Been Said:
“We agreed in principle to admit Timor Leste to be the 11th member of ASEAN,” the statement said, adding that next steps would include a “roadmap for full membership” to be submitted at next year’s summit.
East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta welcomed the decision, saying a membership would open up his country to wider diplomatic relations with ASEAN’s partners, potentially more foreign direct investment, as well as give Timorese wider travel access within the region.
“There will be a lot of pressure on Timorese elites, our own government to work, to deliver, because it doesn’t only come with rights and privileges but a lot of burden of responsibility,” Ramos-Horta told.
He noted it might take years for East Timor to gain full ASEAN membership and that his administration would have to work on improving their work capacity across the board.
About East Timor History:
East Timor province remained in Portuguese possession until 1975, when one of the major political parties there, Fretilin (Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor), gained control of much of the territory and in November declared its independence as the Democratic Republic of East Timor. Early in December Indonesian forces invaded and occupied the area, and in 1976 Indonesia declared it to be an integral part of that country as the province of East Timor (Timor Timur).
The East Timorese voted for independence from a brutal occupation by neighbouring Indonesia in a 1999 U.N.-supervised referendum, and the country was officially recognised by the United Nations in 2002, making it Asia’s youngest democracy.
“In Our LiFEtime” Campaign Launched by India at COP 27
National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), under the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), jointly launched “In Our LiFEtime” campaign.
About This Campaign:
This campaign envisions to recognize youth between the ages of 18 to 23 years to become message bearers of sustainable lifestyles.
The campaign gives a global call for ideas from youth across the world who are passionate about living environment conscious lives. The youth will be encouraged to submit their climate actions that contribute to lifestyles for the environment within their capacity, which are sustainable and scalable, and serve as good practices that can be shared globally.
What Has Been Said:
Shri Bhupender Yadav, Union Minister for Environment Forest and Climate Change said, “One of the key stakeholders are the youth of today. Developing an understanding of the LiFE among the younger generations is essential for fostering responsible consumption patterns and influencing the lifestyle choices of the generations to come to make them Pro-Planet-People.”
Shri Bhupender Yadav further said– “Across several regions in India, there are many examples where our youth have demonstrated a strong will to carry forward the centuries old traditions where their daily lifestyles have been respecting, preserving and nurturing environment.
A Future Vision:
In Our LiFEtime campaign, is a great way to encourage youth to become the ambassadors of sustainable lifestyle practices and grow into leaders that lead the way in biodiversity conservation and natural resource management.
The campaign will involve more youth in the conversation about climate change, adaptation and mitigation, and provide them a platform to share their concerns, issues and solutions with the leaders of the world.
It will amplify the voices of the youth who are increasingly climate conscious and provide recognition to young climate champions.
The Pandemic Fund Officially Launched at G20 Meeting
The G20 Presidency of Indonesia is hosting the official launch of the Pandemic Fund on the margins of the G20 Joint Finance and Health Ministers’ Meeting in Bali, Indonesia in the presence of Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia,
Objective Of The Initiative:
At the launch, the Pandemic Fund, now with new name and logo, will provide the latest progress the Governing Board has made since its establishment on September 8, 2022, to get operational – an important step toward strengthening global health architecture.
Need of The Initiative:
Drawing on lessons from COVID-19, which exposed huge weaknesses and under investment in pandemic prevention, preparedness and response (PPR), particularly in low- and middle-income countries, the Pandemic Fund is intended to strengthen the capacity of these countries to mitigate the risks of future global health threats. It will provide a dedicated stream of long-term financing for PPR and address critical gaps through investments and technical support at the national, regional, and global levels. The Pandemic Fund is also expected to incentivize countries to prioritize this agenda and increase their own efforts.
What Has Been Said:
This is the first time the international community has come together around a funding mechanism dedicated to investing in pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response in developing countries – a testament to multilateralism, said Dr. Chatib Basri, co-Chair of the Pandemic Fund Governing Board. “The Pandemic Fund has a unique and vital role to play in making the world safer. PPR is a global public good that benefits all. Every dollar we mobilize to invest in PPR now in low- and middle-income countries will save lives and financial costs and lead to a more resilient world for years to come.”
More About The Initiative:
Developed with Indonesia’s and Italy’s leadership during their respective G20 presidencies, the Pandemic Fund has US$1.4 billion in seed funding already committed by 24 donors. The World Bank and WHO engaged with a wide range of stakeholders including partner countries, civil society organizations (CSOs), and potential implementing entities to create the Pandemic Fund.
Technical Advisory Panel (TAP):
The TAP, under the leadership of its new Chair Dr Michael Ryan, will assess and make recommendations to the Governing Board on the technical merits of proposals for funding, ensuring linkages to the International Health Regulations (2005) and other internationally endorsed legal frameworks, consistent with a One Health approach, as part of the broader global PPR architecture.
India Hosts LeadIT Summit with Sweden at COP27 in Egypt
India and Sweden hosted the LeadIT Summit, on the sidelines of COP27 at Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt. The Leadership for Industry Transition- LeadIT initiative focuses on low carbon transition of the hard to abate industrial sector.
What Has Been Said:
Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav emphasised that co-development is the only option to meet the targets that the world has taken for itself and without it, low carbon transition could be delayed by decades. He said, the low carbon transition of the industrial sector will not only contribute towards the reduction in required greenhouse gas emissions.
The Minister said, it has several co-benefits that include increasing resilience to changes in climate, enhanced energy security, innovation, socio-economic development and job creation. He also highlighted that the current phase of LeadIT is set to conclude in 2023 and the next year is the time to reflect on the performance and achievements so far.
The Result Of The Summit:
The summit concluded with the adoption of the summit statement by the members of LeadIT which re-emphasized the commitment to continue pursuing the low-carbon transition of the industry. The members also committed to providing technical assistance to new members and emerging economies.
LeadIT was launched by the Prime Ministers of Sweden and India with support from the World Economic Forum (WEF) during the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit in 2019, in New York.
Purpose Of This Initiative:
Voluntary initiative for promoting low-carbon transition through active participation of private sector companies. Especially in the sectors like Iron & Steel, Aluminium, Cement and Concrete, petrochemicals, fertilisers, bricks, heavy-duty transport.
Its Members: Currently, the Group has a membership of 16 countries and 19 companies including Dalmia Cement, Mahindra Group and SpiceJet from India. Its Secretariat: It is hosted by Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), Sweden. Need Of The LeadIT Like Initiative: Industry sectors together contribute about 30% of the total CO2 emissions. Hence, initiatives like LeadIT to drive low carbon development pathways in the industry sector are critical for achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.
India and Finland Agrees to Enhance Cooperation in Digital Partnership
India And Finland agree to carry mutual cooperation between the two countries to a new level and enhance partnership in areas such as digital partnership in Future ICT, Future Mobile Technologies and Digital Education.
About The Cooperation:
The decision was taken during a meeting between Finland’s Minister of Education and Culture Petri Honkonen and Minister of Science and Technology Jitendra Singh at North Block in New Delhi.
He was accompanied by a high level delegation which later held a separate meeting with the Indian delegation in the presence of the two Ministers.
Honkonen’s visit comes in the wake of the announcement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Finnish counterpart Sanna Marin during a Summit meeting on 16 March last year.
Singh conveyed to the Finland Minister that India is keen to develop research collaborations with Finnish R&D institutions and technology collaboration with Finnish Industry especially focusing on the application of Quantum Computing.
What Has Been Said:
Minister Singh also reiterated India’s focus on collaboration even in Startups. He also recalled that following the signing of the joint declaration during the visit of Mika Lintilä, Minister of Economic Affairs, Finland on 18th April 2022, both sides have initiated collaboration in Quantum Technologies. Indian side has already identified four premier institutes viz IISER, Pune, IIT Madras, TIFR Mumbai and C-DAC Pune to work with Finnish institutions on joint development of Quantum Computer.
Progress In Quantum Computing:
The minister expressed satisfaction that experts from both sides are working out detailed plan for establishment of the Indo-Finnish Virtual Network Centre on Quantum Computing and targeting to develop 20 qubits superconducting based Quantum Computer in 1st phase and further scale it up to 54 qubits in second phase.
Other Dimensions To Work:
According to a statement by the Ministry of Personnel, Honkonen assured Singh that Finland is keen to cooperate with India in 5G, environment and clean technologies, bio-based economy, biobanks and affordable healthcare. He said, progress is also on subjects flagged by Indian and Finnish Prime Ministers.
India and Finland have strong bonding in Science, Technology and Innovation. Within the framework of S&T agreement, the Department of Science and Technology, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland together with Business Finland and Academy of Finland have been successfully collaborating for over a decade.
Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas 2022 celebrates the birth anniversary of Birsa Munda
Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas 2022:
November 15 is celebrated as Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas or Tribal Pride Day to honour tribal freedom fighter, Birsa Munda. On November 10, 2021, the Union Cabinet declared November 15 as ‘Janjatiya Gaurav Divas’ marking the birth anniversary of the revered leader and saluting his contributions to India’s freedom movement. Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated a museum in Ranchi in memory of Birsa Munda also known as Dharti Aaba. PM Modi said that observance of the Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas on Birsa Munda’s birth anniversary will serve as an opportunity to celebrate the glorious tribal culture and contribution to national development.
Who is Birsa Munda?
He was Born in 1875, Birsa Munda led a rebellious movement against British colonial rule and conversion activities in the areas of the Bengal Presidency, which today are part of Jharkhand.
His rebellion in the Munda belt of Khunti, Tamar, Sarwada, and Bandgaon helped in the revival of traditional tribal culture. Birsa Munda gave the slogan of ‘Abua Raj Ete Jana, Maharani Raj Tundu Jana,’ which translates as “Let the queen’s kingdom end and our kingdom be established.”
Birsa Munda died at the young age of 25 in British custody at the Ranchi jail. However, in his limited years, Birsa Munda’s contribution to tribal causes earned him the title of ‘Bhagwan’ or Lord.
About the museum:
The museum is located at the Old Central Jail in Ranchi where the tribal icon had breathed his last. A 25-feet tall statue of Munda has been installed at the site.
Along with Birsa Munda, the museum also highlights other tribal freedom fighters including Budhu Bhagat, Sidhu-Kanhu, Gaya Munda, Jatra Bhagat, Poto H, Nilambar-Pitambar, Bhagirath Manjhi, Diwa-Kisun, Telanga Khadiya and Ganga Narayan Singh.
There’s also a 25-acre memorial park with a musical fountain, food court, children’s park, infinity pool, garden and other entertainment facilities.
The project was developed with joint efforts by the Centre and Jharkhand Government.
Reliance Industries to make India’s first multimodal logistics park in Chennai
According to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has been awarded the project to build India’s first multimodal logistics park (MMLP) in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. A crucial cog in the Centre’s logistics overhaul, the MMLP will be spread over 184 acres and cost Rs 1,424 crore. The project will get adequate connecting infrastructure support through a special purpose vehicle (SPV) formed between central and state agencies. RIL emerged as the winning bidder for the public-private-partnership (PPP) project, with its own investment pegged at Rs 783 crore. The Centre expects the first phase of the project to be completed in two years.
About the project:
The project would likely be monitored by the highest levels of the government, as it falls under the high-priority list of projects inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi under the Centre’s project monitoring system. Moreover, it is one of the several flagship projects announced under the Bharatmala Project of MoRTH, which envisions the building of 35 such MMLPs.
The Centre plans to build 15 of these within the next two years. Under the National Logistics Policy (NLP) and PM-GatiShakti, it wants to bring down logistics costs to under 10 per cent of the GDP in a bid to make exports competitive and supply chains more efficient.