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News:World Press Freedom Index 2020 has been released by the Reporters Without Borders(RSF).
- The index has been published every year since 2002.
- It ranks 180 countries based on following parameters a) pluralism, b) media independence c) environment and self-censorship d) legislative framework e) Transparency f) Infrastructure and g) Abuses.
- Top 3: Norway, Finland and Denmark
- India: Ranked at 142. It was ranked 140th in 2019.
- Neighbouring Countries: Pakistan(145), Bangladesh(151) China(177).
- Bottom of the index: North Korea at 180th Position.
- Reporters Without Borders(RSF) or Reporters Sans Frontieres(RSF) :Itis a non-profit organisation that works to document and combat attacks on journalists around the world.It is headquartered at Paris, France.
News:Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare has launched an interactive platform called COVID INDIA SEVA.
- Aim:It is an interactive e-governance platform launched for establishing a direct channel of communication between the government and citizens by providing real time solutions to COVID-19 related queries.
World Creativity and Innovation Day
News:On 21st April, World Creativity and Innovation Day 2020 is being celebrated.
- World Creativity and Innovation Day(WCID) was started by the United Nations(UN) in 2018.
- Aim: To raise awareness around the importance of creativity and innovation in problem solving with respect to advancing the United Nations sustainable development goals.
- Creative Economy Report: It is co-published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO) and the UN Development Programme(UNDP) through the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC).
- Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs):These were launched at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in 2012.It consists of 17 goals and 169 specific targets that are to be achieved by 2030.However,they are not legally binding.
News:The mobile application Saiyam has been developed by the Pune Municipal Corporation under the Smart Cities Mission.
- Aim:To effectively track the home-quarantined citizens and ensure that they are staying in the home.
- Under this,citizens movements are monitored centrally through GPS and are marked as Red, Amber or Green.
- Red signifies that the person has ventured out for a longer duration. Yellow signifies that the person has limited movements and Green signifies that the person is confined to house limits.
Smart Cities Mission:
- Launched Year: 2015
- Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Housing and Urban affairs.
- Aim: To develop 100 smart cities across the country by 2022 making them citizen-friendly and sustainable.
- Objective:To promote sustainable and inclusive cities that provide core infrastructure and give a decent quality of life to its citizens a clean and sustainable environment and application of ‘Smart’ Solutions.
NASA discovers Earth like Exoplanet- Kepler-1649c
News:NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has discovered an Earth like exoplanet called Kepler-1649c.
- Kepler-1649c is an exoplanet which is nearly the size of Earth and is located nearly 300 light-years from Earth.
- The planet is located in its star’s habitable zone.
- Exoplanet:It is a planet outside the Solar System.The first confirmation of detection of exoplanet occurred in 1992.
- Kepler Space Telescope:It was an observatory in space launched by NASA to discover Earth-size planets orbiting other stars. It was launched in 2009 and decommissioned in 2018.
- Habitable Zone(Goldilocks zone):It is the area around a star where it is not too hot and not too cold for liquid water to exist on the surface of surrounding planets.Our Earth is in the Sun’s Goldilocks zone.
Facts: The Milk Tea Alliance is a term used to describe an online democratic solidarity movement made up of social media users from Thailand, Hong Kong and Taiwan against the authoritarianism of the Chinese Government and its supporters.
Renewable Energy Manufacturing Parks
News:The Ministry of Renewable Energy has asked all states and ports to identify lands that can be used to set up Renewable energy(RE) manufacturing Parks.
Aim:To meet the domestic demands as well as to attract firms shifting base from China amid COVID-19 pandemic which has disrupted supply chains.
Functions: These parks will:-
- manufacture equipment like silicon ingots & cells, wind equipment among others.
- export equipment and services in the Renewable energy(RE) sector.
- India has around 10 GW and 3 GW of wind and solar equipment manufacturing capacity respectively.
- India met 92.11% of its solar equipment requirement through imports in 2017-18.
News: World Earth Day is celebrated every year on 22nd April
- Background: It was first celebrated in the year 1970. The idea of commemorating such a day was propounded by Gaylord Nelson, a US senator from Wisconsin.
- The activities on Earth Day are led and coordinated by Earth Day Network. It is a US based international environmental NGO and has presence in 195 countries.
- 2020 Theme: Climate Action.
Sujalam Sufalam Jal Sanchay Abhiyan- Phase 3 Launched
News: The third edition Gujarat’s ”Sujalam Sufalam Jal Sanchay Abhiyan” was launched. The scheme will continue till June 10th.
- It is a water conservation scheme started in 2018.
- ims to deepen water bodies in the state before monsoon to increase storage of rainwater to be used during times of scarcity.
Border Roads Organisation constructs strategic bridge in Arunachal Pradesh
News:The Border Roads Organisation, Ministry of Defence, has constructed a a 430 feet long bailey bridge at Daporijo.
- The bridge has been constructed over the Subansiri river in Arunachal Pradesh’s Upper Subansiri district.
- Significance: The bridge forms a key portion of a strategic Line of Communication in Arunachal Pradesh. It is a strategic link towards the LAC between India and China.
- It has been constructed under Project Arunank. The project envisions construction and maintenance of approximately 1113 Kms of roads in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.
India co-sponsors resolution calling for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines
News:United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) have adopted by consensus the “International cooperation to ensure global access to medicines, vaccines and medical equipment to face COVID-19”
- The resolution was drafted by Mexico.
- It calls for equitable, efficient and timely access to any future vaccines developed to fight coronavirus.
- It also calls for strengthening the scientific international co-operation necessary to combat Covid-19 and to enhance coordination, including with the private sector
- It is a decision or declaration voted on by all member states of the United Nations in the General Assembly.
- General Assembly resolutions generally require a simple majority (50% of all votes plus one) to pass.
- Resolutions adopted by the General Assembly are not binding.