51st Maitiri Diwas’ Marking Recognition of Bangladesh by India Celebrated in Dhaka
The 51st anniversary of ‘Maitri Diwas’ marking the recognition granted to Bangladesh by India in 1971 was celebrated in Dhaka on 6th December.
More About This Development:
Liberation war fighters, Parliamentarians, members from civil society, media, dignitaries, and other prominent people took part in the event organised by the High Commission of India in Dhaka. Minister for Liberation War Affairs of Bangladesh A.K.M Mozammel Haque was the Chief Guest on the occasion.
What Has Been Said:
Minister Mozammel Haque thanked India for its support extended to the people of Bangladesh during the Liberation War in 1971. He said that the support of India to the liberation war fighters of Bangladesh and providing shelter to close to 10 million refugees is gratefully acknowledged by the country. He said, without India’s active support the war of liberation could not have been won in just about 9 months.
High Commissioner Pranya Verma said that the decision to observe December 6 as ‘Maitri Diwas’ was taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during the state visit of Prime Minister Modi to Bangladesh in March 2021. He said that the day gives an opportunity to reflect on the achievements of the past 51 years of India- Bangladesh partnership and the promise for the future.
How The Indo-Bangla Relation Has Been Described:
High Commissioner Verma described India-Bangladesh friendship as rooted in the shared sacrifices of 1971 and fostered by strong ties of history, language and culture. He reiterated that India accords the highest priority to its relationship with Bangladesh, and will always stand ready to walk together with the people of Bangladesh on the road to greater prosperity and success.
Liberation In A Nut-Shell:
Bangladesh which was known as East Pakistan was liberated on 16 December when the Pakistani forces led by Lt.Gen Niazi surrendered to a combined force of the Indian Army led by Lt. General Jagjit Singh Arora and Mukti Bahini (Bangladeshi freedom fighters). As many as 93,000 Pakistani troops laid down their arms on 16-17 December 1971 in Bangladesh. It was the largest surrender in war after the Second World War.
U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity, COP 15 Commences in Canada
The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, also called as Conference of Parties (COP-15) commenced in Montreal, Canada on 7 December 2022. The two-weeklong conference (7-19 December 2022) was originally scheduled to be held in Kunming, China in October but was shifted to Montreal, Canada due to covid situation in China.
More About this :
This is the second part of the COP15. The first part was hosted by China on 18 August 2021 virtually and the second part was to be held in a face to face conference but it has been shifted from China to Canada. However the host of the COP15 in Montreal is still China.
What Is On The Agenda:
During COP15, negotiators are expected to finalize and sign a document called the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. One can think of it as the Paris agreement but for biodiversity — a strategy with nearly two dozen measurable targets designed to conserve ecosystems and the benefits they provide, such as food and plant-derived medicines.
One of the splashiest and most contested targets is a commitment to conserve at least 30 percent of Earth’s land and water by 2030. The agreement also addresses another controversial topic: Who will pay for all of this? This is especially relevant for poorer nations and Indigenous communities, which harbor most of the world’s remaining biodiversity.
A Brief About The Convention on Biological Diversity:
The UN oversees hundreds of global treaties on everything from human rights to outer space. They’re essentially contracts between a bunch of countries that stipulate how they should behave, and they’re legally binding. One of them is the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) — that’s what sprouted the Paris agreement and the goal to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
A related treaty is the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which dates back to the early ’90s. It lays out three primary goals:-
To conserve biodiversity, which includes species, ecosystems, and genetic diversity.
To use its components, like wild animals, in a sustainable way.
And to share the various benefits of genetic resources fairly. Those resources might include medicines derived from bacteria or genes that produce desirable traits in crops, such as drought tolerance.
Parties to the CBD normally meet every two years at events known as the Conference of the Parties, or COP, to check in on progress and update the terms of the contract. That’s what’s starting now in Montreal (COP15 was supposed to begin in 2020, but it got delayed several times due to Covid; the first part of the event took place last year in Kunming, China).
The first COP -1 was held in Nassau, Bahamas 1994.
The 14th meeting was held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt (17-19 November 2018).
TRAI Decides No Charges for SMS and Cell Broadcast Alerts During Disasters
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued Telecom Tariff (69th amendment) order 2022 on Tariff for SMS and cell Broadcast alerts disseminated through Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) platform during disasters/non-disasters. During both disasters and non-disasters, the Department of Telecom (DoT) requested that TRAI provide a tariff for SMS and cell broadcast alerts and messages that TSPs will distribute via the CAP platform.
What The TRAI Said:
Considering the significance of alerts or messages sent as per direction issued under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 , the Authority has decided that no charges shall be levied for such SMS/Cell Broadcast Alerts or messages sent either during a disaster or prior to notification of disaster or after the expiry of disaster,” Trai said.
Need Of This Move:
DOT allows SMS/Cell Broadcast free of cost only for a definite period and for events where specific request for free-of-cost messages comes from NEC/NCMC/SEC/Nodal Authorities. However, there are occasions when the government would like to send alert messages to the public forewarning of a possible disaster or occasions where the public has to be informed of special events such as holding of relief/vaccine/medical camps/specific law and order related situations etc.
About The Common Alert Protocol (CAP):
CAP was developed by the state-run telecom research organization C-DoT, and it allows local areas to be marked on a map to send alerts. C-DoT has integrated radio stations, DTH players, and railway stations for alerting purposes in the initial phase of CAP. C-DOT will expand it in the second phase to include all radio, television, and train station locations for the purpose of sending warning alerts.
How It Was Done:
After considering the views of all stakeholders/participants and analysis thereof, the Authority inserted Schedule XIII to the principal Tariff order, in clause 3 of the Telecommunication Tariff Order, 1999, which provides the following Tariff for Short Message Services (SMS) and Cell Broadcast alerts disseminated by service providers through Common Alerting Protocol platform.
Considering the significance of alerts/messages sent as per direction issued under the Disaster Management Act,2005 (53 of 2005), the Authority has decided that no charges shall be levied for such SMS/Cell Broadcast – alerts/messages sent either during a disaster or prior to notification of disaster or after the expiry of disaster.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI):
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India was set up by the Government of India in 1997 under the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997. It was set up to regulate telecom services, including fixation/revision of tariffs for telecom services which were earlier vested in the Central Government.
Presidency of G20, SCO, UNSC in 2022: A Historic Opportunity For India
December of 2022 began with India assuming the presidency of two global bodies — G20 on the first day of the month and UNSC on the second and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in 2023 when major powers are not even talking to each other and India alone, now the fifth largest economy, is interacting with each of them, presents a historic opportunity.
New Delhi’s Approach:
New Delhi has said that while its G20 presidency is driven by the vision of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (the world is one family), its presidency of the United Nations Security Council seeks to prioritise countering terrorism and reformed multilateralism. Leading with the “Five S’s” approach charted out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Samman (Respect), Samvad (Dialogue), Sahyog (Cooperation), Shanti (Peace), and Samriddhi (Prosperity), India took over UN presidency today. Its focus for the month of December will be to voice the key concerns of the Global South, namely effective response to the menace of terrorism, roadmap for reformed multilateralism, framework for maritime security cooperation and greater protection for UN Peacekeepers through technology.
What The Prime Minister Said:
On the eve of India taking over G20 presidency the PM said, “During our G20 Presidency, we shall present India’s experiences, learnings and models as possible templates for others, particularly the developing world. Our G20 priorities will be shaped in consultation with not just our G20 partners, but also our fellow-travellers in the Global South, whose voice often goes unheard.”
What are the roles and powers of the UNSC and its President nation:
Some of the significant roles of the UNSC broadly include maintaining “international peace in accordance with the principles and purposes of the United Nations,”and “to determine the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression and to recommend what action should be taken.” The Council President, according to the UNSC handbook, exercises a vast range of powers such as holding meetings of the Security Council, approving provisional agendas, signing records of the meetings, besides other crucial decisions.
How is the UNSC President nation elected:
Each of its 15 member states assume its presidency for a duration of one month, following the English alphabetical order. India had also been in the presidential position in August 2021.
India’s priorities as the Council President:
This month, India’s PoW includes briefings, consultations and reports on global developments in Syria, Libya, Middle East, Colombia, South Sudan, and Congo among others.
An open debate on the “maintenance of international peace and security” through “new orientation for reformed multilateralism” and a briefing on “threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts” which would involve discussions on principles and way forward through a “global counter-terrorism approach” remain key to the Council. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will be traveling to New York on December 14 and December 15 to attend these signature events.
G20 and its Objectives:
The G20 or Group of 20 functions as an intergovernmental meeting, where states participate in discussions on different aspects of the global economy. It was formed during the 1990s when Southeast Asian economies were witnessing a financial crisis. It had a tremendous impact in the year 2008, when it helped reduce global panic caused by a restrained economy and restore economic growth.
The meeting includes the European Union, and some of the world’s largest economies among other nations. Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, EU, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, UK and USA comprise the G20. These countries, at present, “account for more than 80% of world GDP, 75% of global trade, and 60% of the global population,” according to a document by MEA India.
India’s Agenda as the G20 President:
Indonesian President Joko Widodo officially handed over the G20 presidency to India on November 16 this year at the summit in Bali. The year-long presidency assumed by India comes at a time when the world is struck with uncertainties about recovery from a pandemic-hit economy.
Current Issues in the International Arena:
Multilateralism– The United States opting for partnerships is putting the multilateralism in threat.
The dispute settlement mechanism of the WTO without the quorum of its members has rendered the institution dysfunctional.
Despite the G7 having accepted the need for transfer of funds at Rio in 1992, the promise made in 2009 to provide at least 100 billion dollars per year in climate finance remains unfulfilled.
China’s option of other multilateral institutions– China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) covers half the world population with one-third the GDP and investment of 930 billion dollars.
China’s Global Development Initiative, 2021, and linked Global Security Initiative, 2022, is focusing on digital governance and non-traditional security, which the international system has not covered.
Coalition of the world– The divide between the Atlantic powers and the Russia-China is deepening.
Gautam Adani and 2 other Indian billionaires on Forbes Asia Heroes of Philanthropy list
Billionaires Gautam Adani, HCL Technologies’s Shiv Nadar, and Happiest Minds Technologies’ Ashok Soota are the three Indians who have been named in the 16th edition of the annual list. The list highlights the region’s top philanthropists who have demonstrated a strong personal commitment to causes such as education and the environment.
Malaysian-Indian Brahmal Vasudevan, founder and CEO of Kuala Lumpur-based private equity firm Creador, and his lawyer wife, Shanthi Kandiah, support local communities in Malaysia and India through the Creador Foundation, a non-profit they co-founded in 2018. In May this year, they pledged to donate 50 million Malaysian Ringgit (USD 11 million) to help build a teaching hospital at the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) Kampar campus in Perak state.
Why these 3 are included in the list:
Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani was listed for having pledged Rs 60,000 crores ($7.7 billion) when he turned 60 in June this year with the pledge making him one of India’s most generous philanthropists. The money will address healthcare, education, and skill development and will be channelled through the family’s Adani Foundation, which was founded in 1996.
Self-made billionaire and philanthropist Shiv Nadar counts among the top donors in India, having channelled close to $1 billion of his wealth over a few decades to various social causes through the eponymous Shiv Nadar Foundation. This year he donated Rs 11,600 crore ($142 million) to the foundation he established in 1994, intending to create an equitable, merit-based society by empowering individuals through education.
Tech tycoon Ashok Soota has pledged Rs 600 crore (USD 75 million) to the medical research trust he founded in April 2021 for the study of ageing and neurological illnesses. He started SKAN— Scientific Knowledge for Ageing and Neurological ailments—with a ₹200 crore outlay, which he has since tripled.
NDDB, Amul to Provide Technical Support to Enhance Milk Production in Sri Lanka
India will provide technical support to Sri Lanka to enhance its dairy industry and milk output, a move aimed at reducing the cash-strapped country’s dependence on imported milk products, the Sri Lankan President’s Office said.
More About This Development:
Officials of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which markets milk under the Amul brand, have taken steps to provide necessary technical support for the production of milk in Sri Lanka.
Why This Move:
Ranil Wickremesinghe, the President of Sri Lanka has appointed a panel consisting of public and private players to work in consultation with the multi-disciplinary team of NDDB and chalk out long and short-term plans to increase the milk production of Sri Lanka and reduce its dependence on milk imports.
What Has Been Said:
Plans were discussed doubling local milk production by implementing short and medium-term plans and making Sri Lanka self-sufficient in milk in the long run through a targeted program,” the statement said.
Crisis led Solution:
The move came at a time when questions are also being raised about the food security situation in Sri Lanka as malnutrition in the country, especially among children has increased.
According to UN World Food Programme (WFP) currently, more than 56,000 children in Sri Lanka are suffering from acute malnutrition. The organization added that according to its data, 32% of the households in Sri Lanka are currently food insecure and 68% of the households are changing their food preference or choosing smaller portions of food.
The economic situation of the country which even invoked violent protests has improved compared to the initial months of the year, but still, the citizens of the country are suffering from the deficiency of basic products.
Meghalaya Government launches ‘Asia’s first Drone delivery hub for easy access to healthcare’
The Meghalaya government in partnership with startup TechEagle has unveiled Asia’s first drone delivery hub and network which is aimed at providing universal access to healthcare for the people in the state. The project is aimed at delivering vital supplies like drugs, diagnostic samples, vaccines, blood and blood components quickly and safely to different regions of the state using a dedicated drone delivery network.
The first official drone flight took off from Jengjal Sub Divisional Hospital, which will act as the hub, and delivered medicines to Padeldoba primary health centre in less than 30 minutes, which would otherwise have taken 2.5 hours by road, TechEagle said in the release.
TechEagle’s Vertiplane X3 Drone delivered different healthcare products in its first flight which was five times faster in comparison to ground transportation.
Meghalaya Drone Delivery Network (MDDN) and hub in Phase 1 is a combination of one central hub and 25 spokes (supply chain nodes) in a radius of 50 kilometres where the drone hub at Jengal hospital will act as the centre point, according to TechEagle.
TechEagle’s drones are capable of vertical takeoff and landing from small areas which enables both forward and reverse logistics of healthcare products in the network, as per the company.