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India and Sierra Leone seek to expand bilateral ties and push for UNSC reforms
Vice President’s visit to Sierra Leone, as part of his tour of African nations.
- India and Sierra Leone signed 6 agreements to expand the bilateral relations in various fields such as agriculture, food processing, information technology, infrastructure development and capacity building.
- Both countries also agreed to push for UNSC reforms so that one-third of mankind residing in Africa and India occupies their rightful place in decision making bodies of the UN.
- India announced the decision to establish a High Commission in Sierra Leone.
- India was among the first countries to contribute to the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) with the deployment of 4000 strong Indian Military contingent.
- The VP also announced a Line of Credit to the tune of US$ 30 million for irrigation development in Tomabum to achieve self-sufficiency in rice production.
- India has extended e-Visa facility to Sierra Leone nationals for ease of mobility and both sides are also negotiating a visa waiver agreement for holders of diplomatic and official passports.
- Sierra Leone has agreed to participate in the e-VBAB project (e-VidyaBharati and e-Arogya Bharati).
- The VP also reiterated India’s offer to conduct a “Jaipur Foot” camp in Sierra Leone under the “India for Humanity” initiative for fitting of artificial prosthetic limbs for the disabled. This is an initiative undertaken in the context of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
About the “India for Humanity” initiative:
- The “India for Humanity” campaign was launched by former external affairs minister Late Sushma Swaraj in 2018.
- This was launched in honour of Mahatma Gandhi’s service to humanity.
- With its focus on Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of compassion, caring and service to humanity, ‘India for Humanity’ features a year-long series of artificial limb fitment camps in a number of countries spanning the globe, for which the Ministry is collaborating with the charitable organisation “Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti” (BMVSS).
- Founded in 1975 and better known by its trademark limb “Jaipur Foot”, BMVSS is among the world’s largest organisations for the fitment of artificial limbs and till date has served over 1.73 million amputees.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoles the loss of life due to Hagibis Typhoon in Japan.
About the Hagibis Typhoon:
- Typhoon Hagibis made landfall south of Tokyo on October 12th bringing heavy rains and causing floods.
- It is said to be Japan’s worst storm in decades and as per the latest reports, at least 37 people are dead, with 20 missing.
- Even though the typhoon has moved away from land, it has left a trail of destruction.
- Many people are trapped by landslides and floods.
- Eight prefectures across Japan have been affected.
- Around 92,000 households remain without power. The capital Tokyo was left relatively unscathed but other cities and towns across the country were inundated by water.
- The Indian Navy has deployed INS Sahyadri and INS Kiltan to render assistance to Japan.
What are typhoons?
- A typhoon is a mature tropical cyclone that develops between 180° and 100°E in the Northern Hemisphere. This region is referred to as the Northwestern Pacific Basin and is the most active tropical cyclone basin on Earth.
- This region accounts for nearly one-third of the world’s annual tropical cyclones.
- Typhoons, hurricanes and cyclones are the same (all are tropical cyclones); the only difference is the storm’s location.
- Typhoons develop in the northwestern Pacific, hurricanes develop in the North Atlantic, the northeastern Pacific, the Caribbean Sea or the Gulf of Mexico, and cyclones develop in the Bay of Bengal or the Arabian Sea, both in the northern Indian Ocean.
Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav
The 10th edition of ‘Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav’ under the Ministry of Culture is being held in Jabalpur.
About the Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav:
- The Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav under the Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat initiative is being celebrated in October 2019.
- The Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav (RSM) was conceived in the year 2015 and after the success of the first RSM event in November-2015. The Ministry of Culture decided to organize it with an intent to showcase the rich cultural heritage of India in all its rich and varied dimensions, namely, handicrafts, cuisine, painting, sculpture and performing arts-folk, tribal, classical and contemporary – all in one place.
- The previous RSMs were held in Delhi, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, northeast, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Uttarakhand.
- The current 10th edition will be held in Jabalpur, Sagar and Rewa in MP.
- Art forms from 22 states will be showcased at the RSM.
About the Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat (EBSB) initiative:
- This initiative was launched in October 2016 to promote engagement amongst the people of different States/UTs so as to enhance mutual understanding and bonding between people of diverse cultures, thereby securing stronger unity and integrity of India.
- Objectives of the EBSB initiative:
- To celebrate the Unity in Diversity of our nation and to maintain and strengthen the fabric of traditionally existing emotional bonds between the people of our country
- To promote the spirit of national integration through a deep and structured engagement between all Indian States and Union Territories through a year-long planned engagement between States
- To showcase the rich heritage and culture, customs and traditions of either State for enabling people to understand and appreciate the diversity that is India, thus fostering a sense of common identity
- To establish long-term engagements and
- To create an environment that promotes learning between States by sharing best practices and experiences.
Conference on One Nation One Fastag
A conference on One Nation One Fastag is being held in New Delhi to deliberate on a unified electronic tolling solution across the country.
- The conference will see the signing of MoUs with state departments/other agencies for bringing in a unified electronic tolling solution across the country.
- This would mean enabling the use of the same FASTag affixed on the windscreen of a vehicle at every toll plaza in the country under the jurisdiction of different states/agencies and other entities.
- This will help provide seamless services to consumers across the country.
- MoUs will also be signed for the integration of FASTag with GST E- Way Bill (EWB) System.
- The GST Council has already accorded ‘in-principle’ approval for this integration.
- The integration of EWB system with FASTag will help revenue authorities track the movement of vehicles and ensure that they are travelling to the same destination that the transporter or the trader had specified while generating the e-way bill.
Skill India’s Rozgar Mela
Close to 7500 youth visit Skill India’s Rozgar Mela in Bikaner; More than 2000 aspirants get shortlisted for jobs.
- The two-day Rozgar Mela also included a ‘Kaushal Mela’ where young aspirants can gain knowledge of the various skilling initiatives of the government.
- The aspirants have the opportunity to register for training under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) and Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKK) across key sectors including manufacturing and services.
About the Rozgar Mela:
- The Rozgar Mela is one of the largest job fairs organized by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) under the aegis of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE).
- The Mela is one of the NSDC’s key initiatives for providing vocational training and job opportunities to youth in the country.
- NSDC works with various stakeholders including industry, institutions, training providers and state governments to organise Rozgar Melas to link job seekers with job providers.
For more on programs under the Skill India Programme, click here.
Sports Ministry Makes Sporting Infrastructure Accessible to All
The Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports has decided to allow national and state sports federations, leagues and clubs to organise sports events in all sporting facilities owned by the government, free of cost in order to further the Fit India Movement and to make playfields and sporting infrastructure accessible, without fee, to all sportspersons across the country from November 2019.
- The sporting facilities will also be accessible free of cost to coaches training athletes who are not part of camps organised in Sports Authority of India (SAI) centres.
- The decision was taken with the view that people must have access to playfields and sporting infrastructure so that the culture of playing sport and therefore of fitness, becomes a way of life for Indians.
- In the first phase, stadiums in Delhi including Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Indira Gandhi Stadium, Major Dhyanchand Stadium and Karni Singh Shooting Range will be opened up for state and national federations to host competitions, tournaments and leagues of all sporting disciplines.
- The new policy will also allow non-SAI coaches to train their athletes at the stadia without any charge, provided that the coach has a minimum of at least 10 wards under his or her training.
- To ensure focussed use of the available infrastructure, each stadium is being earmarked for a specific sport.
About the Fit India Movement:
- The Fit India Movement aims to encourage Indians to include fitness activities and sports in their daily lives to pave way for a healthy and fit lifestyle.
- The root cause of most lifestyle diseases are lifestyle disorders and there are many diseases that can be overcome by making small changes in our lifestyle
- Lifestyle diseases like diabetes and hypertension are increasing in India.
- The movement is not just central government’s but of all state governments, panchayats and local bodies.
- The movement was launched on the birth anniversary of Major Dhyanchand, hockey icon from India.
Read previous PIB articles here.