India-ASEAN youth dialogue
The third India-ASEAN youth dialogue was held between 8-10 June 2020. In this dialogue, India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) pledged to enhance cooperation in ways to effectively and constructively channelizing youthful energy.
There was a discussion about the revival and re-establishment of Nalanda University in Bihar as a seat of learning was a big step in the direction towards channelizing youthful energy.
Special Courses for Young ASEAN Diplomats, Exchange programmes for young farmers, Media Exchange Programmes also came for discussion during the dialogue. The dialogue also acknowledged the launching of 1,000 PhD fellowships for ASEAN students at the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).
India and Laos
India and Laos exchanged views on the health and economic challenges posed by the global COVID-19 pandemic. The Prime Minister of India commended the effective measures undertaken by the Government of Laos to contain the spread of the pandemic in Laos. Laos Prime Minister Dr. Thongloun Sisoulith thanked Indian Prime Minister for India’s support for the development of Laos in capacity building and scholarships.
Annual Cost of Living Survey
Hong Kong was named the most expensive city in the world for the expats mainly due to its high housing prices as per the annual Mercer’s 26th annual cost of living survey. Ashgabat (Turkmenistan) and Tokyo (Japan) got second and third position respectively.
The survey measures the cost of 200 items in 209 cities. These items include housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. Mumbai is the 60th most expensive city for expatriates globally.
Tunis in Tunisia, Windhoek (Namibia), Tashkent (Uzbekistan), Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) and Karachi (Pakistan) were ranked at the bottom as the least expensive cities in the world.
EXIM bank LOC to Malawi
Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) extended Line of Credit (LOC) of $ 215.68 million to the Government of the Republic of Malawi for drinking water supply schemes and other development projects. By this, the Exim Bank placed 260 LOCs, covering 62 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), with credit commitments of around $ 25.68 billion.
Environment Performance Index
India ranks 168th out of the 180 countries in the 12th Environment Performance Index (EPI) released by Yale and Columbia universities. Denmark topped the list. The index is based on 32 performance indicators across 11 categories. India performed the worst regionally on all five key parameters for environmental health-sanitation, drinking water, air quality, heavy metals, and waste management. The index becomes an important tool for assessing countries’ progress with regards to Sustainable Development Goals. EPI rankings highlighted the environmental challenges that India faces. India needs to focus on fixing air & water quality and biodiversity. Beyond providing issue-by-issue and country-by-country results, the 2020 EPI offers new insights into the factors associated with success on environmental sustainability goals.
Hyderabad City Security Council (HCSC) in association with Hyderabad City Police launched a programme 'STREE' (She Triumphs through Respect, Equality, and Empowerment) in a bid to support and empower women against domestic violence and abuse. The programme aims to create a platform for women from various walks of the community to come together. It is a joint forum for women and Police to work together on issues of safety and security of women and girl. This programme creates awareness among the women on their rights, entitlements, laws and support systems available while building a network of partners to ensure women's safety, equality and empowerment.
Central Railway zone launched Robotic ‘Captain Arjun’ to intensify the screening and surveillance. Captain Arjun ((Always be Responsible and Just Use to be Nice) is equipped with a motion sensor, one PTZ camera and one Dome camera. The cameras use artificial intelligence algorithms to track suspicious and antisocial activities in the railway station. It has thermal screening and records the temperature in a digital display panel. It is also having a sensor-based sanitizer and mask dispenser and can speak in the local language.
NIRF Rankings 2020
On 11 June 2020, the Union Human Resource Development minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank released the fifth National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) Ranking 2020. IIT Madras topped the list, followed by IISc Bengaluru and IIT Delhi in the ‘overall category’.
In the Engineering stream, IIT Madras, IIT Delhi and IIT Bombay got first three ranks whereas in the management category IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta topped the list.
In the University rankings, IISc Bengaluru Jawaharla Nehru University Delhi and Benaras Hindu Universities got first three ranks. Amrita Vidya Vishwapeetham got 4th rank. For the first time, dental colleges have also been ranked this year. Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Science, Delhi bagged the first rank. AIIMS New Delhi topped the list of medical colleges in India.
The government of India launched a national healthcare supply chain portal ‘Aarogya Path’, to provide real-time availability of critical healthcare supplies. In the times of COVID-19 pandemic nationwide, the ability to produce and deliver the critical items may be delayed due to a variety of reasons.
Aarogya P.ath helps manufacturers and suppliers to reach a wide network of customers efficiently, overcoming gaps in connectivity between them and potential demand centers like nearby pathological laboratories, medical stores, hospitals.
World Food Safety Day
World Food Safety Day is celebrated on 7th June to draw global attention to the health consequences of contaminated food. This year theme is 'Food safety, everyone's business'. On this eve, the World Health Organization (WHO) had given a call to promote global food safety awareness.
Food safety has a critical role in assuring that food stays safe at every stage of the food chain - from production to harvest, processing, storage, distribution, all the way to preparation and consumption.
Food safety is a shared responsibility in which everybody has a role to play.
World Food Prize
Indian American Soil scientist Dr. Rattan Lal was conferred with the prestigious World Food Prize 2020. He is an expert in soil science by helping millions of small farmers around the world with his work on increasing food production and recycling of nutrients.
He invented many soil-saving techniques that benefit the livelihoods of more than 500 million smallholder farmers by saving hundreds of millions of hectares of natural tropical ecosystems.
The World Food Prize was created by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Norman Borlaug in 1986 to recognize scientists and others who have improved the quality and availability of food and the recipient gets $2,50,000.
Richard Dawkins Award
The famous lyricist and screenwriter Javed Akhtar became the first Indian to win the Richard Dawkins Award. The award will be given to a distinguished individual from the worlds of science, scholarship, education, or entertainment. The award was instituted by the Center for Inquiry (CFI).
The award named after British evolutionary biologist and author Richard Dawkins, known for his landmark book “The Selfish Gene” and his advocacy of atheism and scientific thinking.
1. Gairsain (Bhararisen) was declared as the summer capital of..
1) Chhattisgarh 2) Uttarakhand 3) Jharkhand 4) Himachal Pradesh
2. Who was appointed as the new Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India (PRI) to the World Trade Organization (WTO)?
1) Vasudha Mishra 2) Pratibha Parker
3) Brajendra Navnit 4) Periasamy Kumaran
5) Deepak Mittal
3. Among the bigger states, which state got top rank in the Food Safety Index, released by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)?
1) Gujarat 2) Tamil Nadu
3) Maharashtra 4) Andhra Pradesh
4. Who was appointed as senior advisor to the Executive Director (ED) World Bank recently?
1) Govinda Rajulu Chintala 2) Anil Kishora
3) Rajeev Topno 4) Birupaksha Mishra 5) Sanjay Agarwal
5. In the QS World University Ranking 2021, which Indian University/ Institution grabbed the 172 rank?
1) IISC Bengaluru 2) IIT Delhi 3) IIT Ropar 4) IIT Bombay 5) IIT Hyderabad
6. Indian Navy opened Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle Complex recently in…
1) Chennai 2) Kochi 3) Mumbai 4) Visakhapatnam 5) Cuttack
7. World Day Against Child Labour observed on …
1) 1 July 2) 8 June 3) 12 June 4) 22 June 5) 2 June
8. Which state got first rank in wheat procurement on support price by purchasing over 1.27 crore tonnes from farmers, which accounts for 33 % of all wheat procured in the ountry
1) Rajasthan 2) Uttar Padesh
3) Madhya Pradesh 4) Punjab 5) Haryana
9. What is the theme of World Ocean Day (WOD) 2020 that observed on 8th June every year?
1) Oceans are the Life 2) Ocean and Climate
3) Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean. 4) Diversity and the Safety of Ocean 5) Blue Revolution and SDG
Key: 1-2 2-3 3-1 4-3 5-4 6-4 7-3 8-3 9-3
Writer: Amara Veeraswamy