Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | 21 June, 2021

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“Global Peace Index 2021” Released

What is the News? 

The 15th edition of Global Peace Index 2021 has been released.

About Global Peace Index:
  • The Global Peace Index is released by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP), an international think tank.
  • Aim: The index presents the most comprehensive analysis of trends in peace. It ranks countries according to their levels of peacefulness and identifies potential determinants of peace.
  • Coverage: The index measures the peacefulness of 163 countries and territories. It covers 99.7% of the world’s population.
  • Parameters: The index is composed of 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators from highly respected sources. These indicators are grouped into three key domains:
    • ongoing conflict
    • safety and security and
    • militarization

Read Also :-Afghan Peace Process and India

Key Takeaways from the index:

  • Iceland has topped the peace index. It was followed by New Zealand, Denmark, and Portugal.
    • Out of the 10 most peaceful countries in the world, 8 are from Europe.
  • Afghanistan is the least peaceful country in the world for the fourth consecutive year.
  • Only three out of nine regions in the world improved in the peace index. The largest improvement took place in the Middle East and North Africa.
  • The economic impact of violence on the global economy in 2020 was $14.96 trillion in purchasing power parity(PPP) terms. It is equivalent to 11.6% of the world’s economic activity.
  • There was an increase in military expenditure as a percentage of GDP for the second straight year. This indicator has deteriorated in 105 countries.
  • Moreover, the average level of global peacefulness deteriorated by 0.07% in the Index. This is the ninth time in the last 13 years that global peacefulness has deteriorated.

India:

  • India has been ranked 135th in the 2021 Global Peace Index.
  • Bhutan and Nepal are the first and second most peaceful in the South Asia region. India is the 5th most peaceful country in this region.
  • Bangladesh was 91st out of 163 countries across the world, while it was at 3rd place in South Asia.
  • Pakistan witnessed the most improvement in peacefulness, with 150th rank globally and 6th in the South Asia region.

Source: AIR


Global Trends Report on Forced Displacements Released by UNHCR

What is the News?

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has released the Global Trends Report on Forced Displacements.

About Global Trends Report:

  • The Global Trends Report is an annual report. UNHCR publishes this report.
  • Purpose: The report counts and tracks the numbers of refugees, internally displaced people. It also tracks people who have returned to their countries or areas of origin, asylum-seekers, stateless people, and other populations of concern.

Key Takeaways from the Report:

  • Around 82.4 million people were forcibly displaced, by the end of 2020. Reasons behind that were, persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations, and events seriously disturbing public order.
    • This is a 4% increase in forcibly displaced people when compared to 2019.
  • Countries: More than two-thirds of all people who fled abroad came from just five countries: Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan, and Myanmar.
  • Turkey is hosting the largest refugee population worldwide for the seventh year in a row, It was followed by Colombia, Pakistan, Uganda, and Germany.
  • Climate Change: Climate change is also driving displacement and increasing the vulnerability of those already forced to flee.
  • Demographics: Children are particularly affected during displacement crises, especially if their displacement drags on for many years. They account for 30% of the world’s population, but an estimated 42% of all forcibly displaced people.
  • Covid-19: As of May 2021, more than 165 million people worldwide have been confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 since the first case was recorded in December 2019. People who have been forcibly displaced have been among the hardest-hit groups among them.

Source: UNHCR


Work begins on “Krivak or Talwar stealth frigates”

What is the News?

The Vice-Chief of the Naval Staff has inaugurated the construction of the second frigate of the Krivak or Talwar stealth frigates. These are being built with technology transfer from Russia by Goa Shipyard Ltd(GSL).

About Krivak or Talwar stealth frigates:

  • Krivak or Talwar stealth frigates are a series of frigates and guard ships (patrol boats) built in the Soviet Union, primarily for the Soviet Navy since 1970.
  • Purpose: They are primarily used to accomplish a wide variety of naval missions. Such as finding and eliminating enemy submarines and large surface ships.
  • Indian Navy currently operates six Krivak class frigates weighing around 4,000 tonnes in two different batches. Such as
    • The Talwar class
    • The upgraded Teg class.

New Procurement of Krivak class stealth Frigates:

  • In 2016, India and Russia had signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement(IGA) for four Krivak or Talwar stealth ships.
  • Among four, two are to be procured directly from Russia and the other two will be built by the Goa Shipyard Ltd(GSL).
  • Features: The four ships to be built will weigh 300 tonnes more than the earlier ones. Apart from that, it will also be armed with BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles.

Source: The Hindu


Global Assessment Report (GAR) on Drought 2021

What is the News? 

The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction(UNDRR) has released a report titled “Global Assessment Report (GAR) on Drought 2021”.

About Global Assessment Report (GAR) on Drought 2021:

Key Findings of the Report:

Globally:

  • Around 20 million people across Africa and the Middle East are on the brink of starvation due to droughts.
  • Around 700 million people are at risk of being displaced as a result of drought by 2030.
  • Two-third of the world will be under water-stressed conditions by 2025.

Findings Related to India:

  • The effect of severe droughts on India’s gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated at 2-5%.
  • The Deccan region sees the highest frequency (>6%) of severe droughts in all of India.
    • Significant drought conditions are found once every three years in the Deccan plateau, leading to large-scale migration and desertification.
  • Overdependence on groundwater resources and lack of water-retaining structures have significantly increased vulnerability in Indian cities during severe drought events.

Recommendations:

  • Prevention: Prevention has far lower human, financial and environmental costs than reaction and response.
  • Risk Governance: Increased understanding of complex systemic risks and improved risk governance can lead to effective action on drought risk.
  • Partnerships: Drought resilience partnerships at the national and local levels will be critical for managing drought in a warming world.
  • Management Mechanisms: A mechanism for drought management at the international and national levels could help address the complex and cascading nature of drought risk.
  • Financial Systems: Financial systems and services must evolve to encourage cooperative approaches, promote social protection mechanisms and encourage risk transfer and contingent financing.
  • Inclusion: New pathways are needed to encourage the inclusion of indigenous and local knowledge and the effective sharing of drought risk management experiences.

Source: TOI


“Black Softshell Turtle” – Pact Signed for Conservation in Assam

What is the News? The Hayagriva Madhava Temple Committee in Assam has signed an MoU with Turtle Survival Alliance India, Help Earth, and Assam Forests Department to conserve the Black Softshell Turtle.

As part of the pact, a Vision Document 2030 was also released. The document aims to raise at least 1,000 black softshell turtles by 2030.

About Black Softshell Turtle(Nilssonia nigricans):

  • Black Softshell Turtle is a species of freshwater turtle. It is found in India and Bangladesh.
  • Distribution:
    • Brahmaputra’s drainage and Near Temple Ponds in Assam
    • Bangladesh (Chittagong and Sylhet)
  • IUCN Status: Critically Endangered
  • Indian Wildlife Protection Act,1972: It does not enjoy legal protection.
  • Significance:
    • Temple Ponds in Assam conserve Turtles based on religious grounds.
    • At the Bayazid Bostami shrine in Chittagong, Bangladesh, the black softshell turtle is known as mazari(inhabitant).
  • Threats:
    • Hunted for turtle meat and cartilage in regional and international markets.

About Hayagriva Madhava temple

  • The Hayagriva Madhava temple exists in a hilly place which is located at Hajo nearby Guwahati, Assam. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
  • Built by: The present temple structure was constructed by King Raghudeva Narayan in 1583.
    • According to Historians, the temple was built during the Pala period of 10th-12th century A. D.
  • Significance: The temple is revered by Buddhists also, as they believe that Hayagriva Madhava temple is the place where Buddha attained Nirvana. Thus, the temple becomes an ancient pilgrimage center for both Hindus and Buddhists.

Source: The Hindu


“Health infrastructure” has increased 45-fold during the pandemic: Centre

What is the News?

The Government of India has informed the Supreme Court about the status of India’s Healthcare infrastructure to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

India’s Healthcare Infrastructure Status:

  • India’s Health Infrastructure has increased up to 45-fold to tackle the successive waves of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The total cumulative vaccine coverage was 27.23 crore doses as of June 19, 2021.
  • The total intensive care unit(ICU) beds had increased by 45-fold from a baseline of 2,500 to around 1.13 lakh.
  • The total isolation beds (excluding ICU beds) had climbed 42-fold, from 41,000 to 17.17 lakh.
  • Oxygen-supported beds have multiplied 7.5-fold from 50,000 to around 3.81 lakh.
  • Around 1.5 lakh health personnel had been engaged on the ground to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The insurance coverage was given to 22.12 lakhs health care workers, including ASHA workers fighting COVID-19.
  • Testing capacity had been increased from 30,000 tests a day in April 2020 to a high of 22 lakh tests daily.

Source: The Hindu


IN-EUNAVFOR (Indian Navy – European Union Naval Force) Exercise in Gulf Of Aden

What is the News?

The IN-EUNAVFOR (Indian Navy – European Union Naval Force) Exercise is being conducted in the Gulf Of Aden for the first time.

About IN-EUNAVFOR Exercise:

  • The IN-EUNAVFOR exercise is being conducted for the first time.
  • Aim: To enhance and improve war-fighting skills. It also aims to promote their ability as an integrated force to promote peace, security and stability in the maritime domain.
  • Participants: Along with the Indian Navy, the other countries participating in the exercise are: Italy, Spain and France.
  • The exercise includes advanced air defence and anti-submarine exercises, tactical manoeuvres, Search & Rescue, and other maritime security operations.
    • From the Indian side, Stealth frigate INS Trikand is participating in the exercise.

India-EUNAVFOR Cooperation:

  • EUNAVFOR and the Indian Navy converge on multiple issues. Such as counter-piracy operations and protection of vessels deployed under the charter of the World Food Programme(UN WFP).
  • The two navies also have regular interaction through SHADE (Shared Awareness and Deconfliction) meetings held annually in Bahrain.
    • SHADE is an international operational counter-piracy platform, convened in Bahrain.
    • It aims to encourage partners for sharing information, assessing the evolution of trends. SHADE also de-conflict operations amongst counter-piracy actors in the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman and the Western Indian Ocean.
  • Moreover, a virtual Information sharing Exercise is also being conducted between the Indian Navy Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region and Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa, an integral part of EUNAVFOR.

Source: PIB


 

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