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Climate Action Summit 2019
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the Climate Action Summit 2019 in New York on 23rd September.
- Prime Minister Modi said that India will increase the share of non-fossil fuels, and by 2022 the country is planning to increase the renewable energy capacity target from 175 GW to 450 GW.
- Modi was among the first set of speakers at the summit along with the heads of Germany, New Zealand and the Marshall Islands.
- Only 63 leaders are allowed to address the summit and this time, more than 100 had applied for this honour.
- The United Nations had announced that countries that are declaring a positive development in their commitments are given the chance to address the summit.
- Modi also said that India has made plans to make its transport sector green through e-mobility.
- Other initiatives declared by the Prime Minister include the following:
- Working to increase the proportion of biofuel blend in petrol and diesel.
- Provided clean cooking gas to 150 million families.
- Launched Jal Jeevan Mission for water conservation, rainwater harvesting and water resources development.
- Almost 80 nations have joined the International Solar Alliance
- The Prime Minister also announced that India is launching a Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, an initiative to make infrastructure resilient to disaster. He also invited member countries at the summit to join this coalition.
- The Global Climate Action Summit is organised by the UN and attended by world leaders and heads of state.
- The objective of the summit is to raise the global level of ambition to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and to galvanize action that can limit climate change to 2°C and even 1.5°C.
UAE-India High Level Joint Task Force on Investments
The 7th meeting of the UAE-India High Level Joint Task Force on Investments (HLTFI) was held on 22nd September 2019 in Abu Dhabi to review and maintain the significant progress made in enhancing bilateral trade and investment between the two countries.
- The HLTFI was established as a key forum to promote economic ties between the UAE and India.
- The HLTFI plays a key role in promoting and facilitating investments between the two countries and in addressing mutual concerns.
- Areas for future cooperation were also discussed at the meeting, including growth opportunities for Indian banks, asset managers and technology companies at the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM – an international financial centre in Abu Dhabi), and the potential for private banks operating at the ADGM to offer high quality private wealth services in India.
Cyclonic Storm ‘HIKAA’
A cyclonic storm named ‘HIKAA’ over the northeast and adjoining east-central Arabian Sea moves closely westwards.
- HIKAA moved nearly westwards with a speed of 17 kmph during the past 6 hours.
- It is now about 490 km west-southwest of Veraval in Gujarat.
- It is likely to intensify further during the next 24 hours and weaken gradually thereafter.
- It is very likely to move nearly westwards and cross the Oman coast during the early hours of 25th September as a deep depression.
- HIKAA is a tropical cyclone and has now been classified as a ‘very severe storm’.
- There is a warning of strong winds along and off the Gujarat coast during the next 12 hours.
- Sea conditions are also likely to be ‘rough to very rough’ and fishermen have been advised not to venture into the northeast and adjoining east-central Arabian Sea till 24th morning and into the northwest & adjoining west-central Arabian Sea till 25th morning.
National Conclave on Energy Efficiency in MSME sector
The National Conclave on Energy Efficiency in MSME sector was inaugurated by Union Ministers in Hyderabad on 23rd September.
- The two-day Conclave is being organized by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) with participation from MSME entrepreneurs, industry associations, technology and service providers, sectoral energy experts and senior officials from the Government.
- The Ministers also released Energy Conservation Guidelines for MSMEs.
- They also launched the Knowledge Management Portal “SIDHIEE” under the BEE’s MSME Programme.
- The SIDHIEE portal will host useful information including fifty videos of multimedia tutorials for MSMEs for early adoption of energy-efficient technologies.
- The Conclave is expected to be useful in creating a platform for pooling the knowledge and synergising the efforts of various stakeholders.
- The participants will discuss various issues such as strategies to promote energy efficiency, technical and financial capabilities of MSMEs, capacity-building and awareness programmes.
About the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE):
- It is a statutory body under the Ministry of Power, Government of India.
- It assists in developing policies and strategies with the primary objective of reducing the energy intensity of the Indian economy.
- It coordinates with designated consumers, designated agencies, and other organizations to identify and utilize the existing resources and infrastructure, in performing the functions assigned to it under the Energy Conservation Act.
The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has asked all PUC Centres (Centres that issue Pollution Under Control Certificates/PUC Certificates to on-road vehicles) to link emission test data with the VAHAN Database.
About VAHAN Database:
- VAHAN is a digital national vehicle registry portal.
- It collates all the information available with road transport authorities for easy access by both citizens and regulators.
- The portal allows access to all details about vehicles such as registration number, colour, chassis/engine number, body/fuel type, manufacturer and model and provides various online services to citizens.
- Driving Licence and related information are automated through another application called ‘Sarathi’.
- VAHAN offers the following services:
- Vehicle registration (new/renewal/transfer, etc.)
- Permit (issuance/renewal)
- Taxes (calculation and payment)
- Fitness (Fitness Certificate issuance and renewal)
- Enforcement (issue of challan, settlement of penalty amount)
UMMID and NIDAN Kendras
The Union Health Minister inaugurated the UMMID and NIDAN Kendras on 23rd September.
About the UMMID:
- UMMID stands for Unique Methods of Management and treatment of Inherited Disorders.
- It has been launched to tackle inherited genetic diseases of new-born babies and pregnant women.
- The initiative aims to:
- Produce skilled clinicians in human genetics.
- Establish five NIDAN Kendras.
- It is supported by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) under the Ministry of Science and Technology.
- This was launched taking into account the fact that congenital and hereditary genetic diseases are becoming a great health burden in India.
- There is a need for adequate and effective genetic testing and counselling services.
- In India’s urban areas, congenital malformations and genetic disorders are the third most common cause of mortality in new-borns.
- With a very large population and high birth rate, and consanguineous marriage (marriage among blood-relatives) favoured in many communities, the prevalence of genetic disorders is high in India.
- The NIDAN Kendras will provide counselling, prenatal testing and diagnosis, management, and multidisciplinary care in government hospitals (where there are more patients).
- The Kendras will produce trained clinicians and also undertake screening of pregnant women and new-borns for inherited genetic diseases.
International Sign Language Day
The Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre celebrated Sign Language Day on 23rd September.
About the International Sign Language Day:
- The UN declared 23rd September as International Sign Language Day.
- The day was first observed in 2017. This date was selected because this was the date when the World Federation of the Deaf was established in 1951.
- The theme for 2019 is Sign Language-Rights for all.
- The objective of celebrating this day is enhancing the awareness of sign language and making the reach of sign language greater.
About the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC):
- It is an autonomous body under the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
- The Centre was established in 2015.
- The Centre carries out many activities for promoting the use of Indian Sign Language as the educational mode for deaf students at primary, secondary and higher education levels.
- It conducts diploma courses in Indian Sign Language Interpretation.
- It is located in New Delhi.
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