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My Son temple complex
- It is a cluster of abandoned and partially ruined Hindu temples in Vietnam, constructed between the 4th and the 14th century AD by the kings of Champa.
- The complex is located near the village of Duy Phu in Quang Nam Province in Central Vietnam.
- It was the political and cultural capital of Champa Kingdom.
- Mỹ Sơn has been recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site.
- President Ram Nath Kovind visited My Son temple complex in Vietnam which has Indian influence and houses Hindu deities like Krishna, Vishnu and Shiva.
- The temples are dedicated to the worship of the god Shiva, known under various local names, the most important of which is Bhadreshvara.
Aero India 2019
Context: The 12th edition of ‘Aero India 2019’ would be held at Air Force Station, Yelahanka, Bengaluru, (Karnataka).
- Aero India is a biennial air show and aviation exhibition.
- Aero India Exhibition which is organised every two years has already carved a niche for itself globally as a premier aerospace exhibition, with eleven successful editions organised since 1996.
- Air Show of latest aircrafts of different countries are arranged at the venue during each day of the show for the benefit of visitors.
- The logo for Aero India 2019 is inspired by the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).
- The tagline for Aero India 2019, “The Runway to a Billion Opportunities” was created to communicate India’s value proposition in addressing the immense opportunities in the Aerospace and Aviation sectors in India today.
- The tagline underlines India’s status as an emerging hub for the global aerospace industry and draws attention to the investment opportunities under Make in India.
- Aero India will provide a unique opportunity for exchange of information, ideas and new developments in the aviation industry. Besides giving a fillip to the domestic aviation industry it would further the cause of Make in India.
- Aero India 2019 will provide a significant platform in bolstering business opportunities in International aviation sector. A rapidly growing economy and opening up of defense production to private sector, have given a major fillip to the defense industry in India. It has also become a hub for defense businesses in Asia.
BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) Countries ministerial meet
27th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change was hosted by MoEFCC in New Delhi on 20 November 2018. The BASIC countries are a bloc of four large newly industrialised countries -Brazil,South Africa,India and China.-formed by an agreement in 2009.
Significance of the ministerial meet:
- This Agreement is particularly significant as it represents the faith that countries, especially the developing countries, have placed in the multilateral processes knowing well that their actions towards addressing climate change will have a strong developmental impact.
- Although BASIC group of countries are the leading emerging economies, still they have significant percentage of the world’s poorest people. Enabling the growth of the poor out of poverty trap, is an important part of our response to tackling climate change and It is known that the opportunities for the two efforts to complement each other are significant.
- To that effect, the efforts outlined in NDCs – increasing clean energy production and access, deploying new energy efficient technologies, and adapting to low carbon-intensive lifestyles – are targeted at creating opportunities for sustainable livelihoods, and sustainable development for the poor.
- In addition, anchoring the COP 24 outcomes in the vision of equity will help deliver climate justice not only to the present but also to our future generations
What the developed countries can do?
- Lack of ambition of developed countries and their unfulfilled promises should not place additional burden on developing countries to further enhance the level of ambition of their NDCs.
- It must be ensured that the progress on NDCs at COP 24 does not yield an outcome that is Mitigation-centric but it should address all elements including mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer and capacity building.
- Barriers continue to impede the progress of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency deployment. High patent cost of such technologies and non-facilitative IPR regimes are barriers that the Financial Mechanism should address.
- We need to explore possibilities to fund research and development of climate friendly technologies and shorten technology deployment cycle in absence of which transformative development would be delayed.
- Adaptation is a pressing issue for developing countries. They are highly vulnerable to climate change impacts as is also evident from the recent natural disasters and extreme events, which have caused extensive damage to life and property. Naturally, adaptation is an integral part of most developing country NDCs. Since the developing countries have played little role in the present climate change challenge and bearing the brunt of the historic greenhouse gas emissions by developed countries, adequate support must be provided to developing countries by developed countries to help them undertake adaptation actions.
- The reporting under the transparency framework should be based on the principle of differentiation, providing greater flexibility to developing countries, and should also provide relevant information on the support provided by developed countries to developing countries.
- A balanced approach towards development of Modalities, Procedures and Guidelines (MPGs) for the Enhanced Transparency Framework that enhances global action and financial support will serve us well in the negotiations at Katowice. In addition, adequate support should be provided to developing countries to participate in the enhanced transparency framework under the Paris Agreement.
Jharkhand Power System Improvement Project
Context: The Government of India, the Government of Jharkhand and the World Bank signed a $310 million Loan Agreement for Jharkhand Power System Improvement Project to provide reliable, quality, and affordable 24×7 electricity to the citizens of Jharkhand.
- The Project is part of the Government of India’s Power for All program launched in 2014. The plan envisages addition of over 4.5 GW generation capacities by 2022 (including a significant share of 1.5 GW from solar energy), through a mix of Private and Public-sector investments.
- The Jharkhand Power System Improvement Projectwill help build new power transmission infrastructure, as well as put in place systems to improve the technical efficiency and commercial performance of the state power sector utilities. The Project will help bring in modern technology solutions such as automated sub-stations, and network analysis and planning tools to provide reliable power supply and enhance customer satisfaction.
- While a significant portion of the proposed investments are aimed at improving power transmission infrastructure, the Project will also focus on developing institutional capacities of State-owned power transmission and distribution companies and improving their operational performance.
City Gas Distribution (CGD) Projects
Context: Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi would lay the Foundation Stones of City Gas Distribution (CGD) Projects in 65 Geographical Areas (GAs) in 129 Districts under the 9th CGD Bidding Round recently awarded by PNGRB, remotely from Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. It would herald the availability of convenient, environment-friendly and cheaper natural gas for almost half of the country’s population spread across 26 States and Union Territories upto 9th round.
- Government of India has put thrust to promote the usage of environment friendly clean fuel i.e. natural gas as a fuel/feedstock across the country to move towards a gas based economy. Accordingly, development of CGD networks has been focused to increase the availability of cleaner cooking fuel (i.e. PNG) and transportation fuel (i.e. CNG) to the citizens of the country. The expansion of CGD network will also benefit to industrial and commercial units by ensuring the uninterrupted supply of natural gas.
Why Natural Gas
Natural gas is a superior fuel as compared with coal and other liquid fuels being an environment friendly, safer and cheaper fuel. Natural Gas is supplied through pipelines just like one gets water from the tap. There is no need to store cylinders in the kitchen and thus saves space. As per WHO database released in May 2018, India has 14 out of 15 world’s most polluted cities in terms of PM 2.5 concentration. Large number of industries also consume polluting fuels like pet coke and furnace oil which emit polluting CO2. Some of the courts recently ordered for banning use of pet coke in states within their jurisdiction.
Natural Gas (as CNG) is cheaper by 60% as compared with petrol and 45 % w.r.t. Diesel. Similarly, Natural Gas (as PNG) is cheaper by 40 % as compared with market price LPG and price of PNG almost matches with that of subsidised LPG (based on prices in Delhi). An autorickshaw owner can save Rs. 7000-8000 on his monthly fuel bill by conversion from petrol to CNG. Thus, even on cost front as well, natural gas is preferable to petrol, diesel and LPG.
Share of Natural Gas in India’s energy basket is 6.2% as against 23.4% globally. In India – in the state of Gujarat itself, it is 25%. If Gujarat can achieve share of gas consumption more than global average, rest of India can also.
India made a commitment in COP21 Paris Convention in December 2015 that by 2030, it would reduce carbon emission by 33% of 2005 levels. Natural gas, as domestic kitchen fuel, as fuel for transport sector as well as a fuel for industries and commercial units, can play a significant role in reducing carbon emission.
International Tourism Mart
Context: The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, in association with the Department of Tourism, Government of Tripura and the North Eastern States is organizing the “International Tourism Mart” in Agartala, Tripura
- This is the 7th edition of the International Tourism Mart, an annual event organised in the North Eastern region with the objective of highlighting the tourism potential of the region in the domestic and international markets.
- It brings together the tourism business fraternity and entrepreneurs from the eight North Eastern States. The event has been planned and scheduled to facilitate interaction between buyers, sellers, media, Government agencies and other stakeholders.
- A total of 41 foreign delegates from 18 countries namely Australia, Canada, China, France, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, UAE and USA will be in Tripura for the Mart.
- The North East Region of India comprising the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim, is endowed with diverse tourist attractions and products.
- The varied topography of the region, its flora and fauna, the ethnic communities with their rich heritage of ancient traditions and lifestyles, its festivals, arts and crafts, make it a holiday destination waiting to be explored.
- The 49th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) opened amidst the presence of film stars, filmmakers and cine-lovers from across the world amid pomp and gaiety in Panjim, Goa.
- The opening ceremony of IFFI 2018 also saw the launch of the Web Portal ofFilm Facilitation Office (FFO) that was launched by Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, the Union Minister of State (I & B).
The International Film Festival of India (IFFI), founded in 1952, is one of the most significant film festivals in Asia. Held annually, currently in the state of Goa, the festival aims at providing a common platform for the cinemas of the world to project the excellence of the film art; contributing to the understanding and appreciation of film cultures of different nations in the context of their social and cultural ethos; and promoting friendship and cooperation among people of the world. The festival is conducted jointly by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Directorate of Film Festivals and the Government of Goa.
- The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting set up the Film Facilitation Office (FFO) in NFDC in 2015 with a view to promote and facilitate film shootings by foreign filmmakers in India, the services of which have now been extended to Indian film makers as well.
- Film Offices set up by states highlight their film policy, their efforts to ensure a smooth filming process, showcase their locations and acquaint the filmmakers and the fraternity about the incentives/rebates/subsidies offered for filming in their respective states. In order to disseminate information regarding filming in India, the FFO has now developed a Web Portal.
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