Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | 25 May, 2021

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“Protected Planet Report” 2020 Released by UNEP

What is the News? UNEP released the Protected Planet Report 2020.

About Protected Planet Report 2020:

  • Released by: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
  • Purpose: The report takes stock of measures taken to fulfill the aims of Aichi Target 11. Aichi Target 11 called for protecting 17% of Earth’s land and 10% of its marine environments by 2020.
  • Further, the report also lays the groundwork for a new framework aimed at protecting nature. It will be decided upon at the UN Biodiversity Conference, scheduled for October 2021 in Kunming, China.
  • Moreover, the report is the first to include data on other effective area-based conservation measures(OECM) taken outside protected areas. OECM conservation designation is given to the areas for achieving effective in-situ biodiversity conservation outside protected areas.

Key Findings:

  • Increase in Protected Areas and OECM: As many as 82% of countries and territories register an increase in the share of protected areas and OECM since 2010.
    • Protected Areas are clearly defined geographical space. These are recognised, dedicated, and managed through legal or other effective means to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values.
  • Since 2010, protected areas covering almost a million square kilometers have been added to the global network. This area is greater than the land area of the Russian Federation.
  • Over the 10-year period, the greatest growth in protected areas and OECMs has been in marine and coastal areas. Around 68% of the current network’s area is less than 10 years old.
  • Around 62.6% of key biodiversity areas (KBA) either fully or partially overlap with protected areas and OECMs.
    • Key Biodiversity Areas(KBAs) are sites that contribute significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems.

What are Aichi Biodiversity Targets?

  • Aichi Biodiversity Targets are a set of 20 targets classified under 5 Strategic Goals. They were included in the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity for the 2011-2020 period.
  • The targets were adopted at the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity(CBD).
  • Purpose: The targets were developed to prevent the loss of biological diversity in each participating country.

Source: Down To Earth

FDI Inflow in 2020-21 in India

What is the News?

The Ministry of Commerce released the data on the FDI (Foreign Direct Investment Inflow) in India for the Financial Year 2020-21.

Key Highlights from the Data:

  • India has received an FDI of $81.72 billion during the financial year 2020-21. This is 10% higher than $74.39 billion received in 2019-20.
  • The Largest Source of FDI: Singapore remained the largest source of FDI in India for the third consecutive year with a share of 29%. It was followed by the US with a 23% share and Mauritius with 9%.
  • Saudi Arabia is the top investor in terms of percentage increase during FY21. It invested $2.8 billion in comparison to US$ 89.93 million reported in 2019-20.
  • States: Gujarat was the top recipient of FDI among states with a 37% share of total FDI equity inflows. It was followed by Maharashtra and Karnataka with 27% and 13%.
  • Sectors: Computer software and hardware emerged as the top sector in FY21 with around 44% of the total FDI equity inflow. It was followed by construction and infrastructure-related activities at 13% and services sector with 8%.

About Foreign Direct Investment(FDI):

  • Foreign Direct Investment(FDI) is the medium for acquiring ownership of assets in one country (the home country) by residents of other countries.
  • FDI may result in control of the production, distribution, and other activities in a firm in the host country.
  • FDI is considered a major source of non-debt financial resources for economic development.

Source: The Hindu

” Kyasanur Forest Disease” – ICMR-NIV Develops a New Point-of-Care Testing

What is the News?

A new point-of-care test has been developed for the rapid diagnosis of Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD).

About Point-of-Care Test:

  • The Point-of-Care Test has been developed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)-National Institute of Virology.
  • The test kit includes a battery-operated Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). The analyser is portable and lightweight. The kit also has a universal cartridge-based sample pre-treatment kit and nucleic acid extraction device that aid in sample processing at the point of care.

Significance of Point of Care Test:

  • The Point of Care tests would be beneficial for the diagnosis of KFD. It is because the outbreaks mainly happen in remote areas where there is a lack of well-equipped sample handling and laboratory testing facilities.
  • The test kit would also be useful in quick patient management and controlling the further spread of the virus.

About Kyasanur Forest disease:

  • The Kyasanur Forest disease is caused by a Kyasanur Forest disease virus. The disease primarily affects humans and monkeys.
  • India: The disease was first identified in the Kyasanur forest of Shimoga district in Karnataka during an investigation of monkey mortalities in 1957.
  • Symptoms: The disease is characterized by chills, frontal headache, body ache, and high fever for five to 12 days with a case fatality rate of 3 to 5%.
  • Transmission:
    • Rodents, shrews, and monkeys are common hosts for KFDV after being bitten by an infected tick.
    • Transmission to humans may occur after a tick bite or contact with an infected animal, most importantly a sick or recently dead monkey.
  • Diagnosis: Diagnosis can be made in the early stage of illness by molecular detection by PCR or virus isolation from blood.
  • Treatment: There is no specific treatment for KFD. A vaccine (Formalin inactivated KFDV vaccine) does exist for KFD and is used in endemic areas of India.

Source: Indian Express

Supreme Court’s Directions for Welfare of Migrant Workers

What is the News?

The Supreme Court has passed a number of directions in connection with the problems faced by the migrant labourers and workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

What was the issue?

  • A petition was filed in the Supreme Court in connection with the problems faced by migrant workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The petitioners asked the court to issue directions to ensure that migrant workers are not deprived of ration and food security. Also, they should be able to travel back to their homes at nominal cost amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

What are the directions issued by the Supreme Court?

  1. Firstly, the Supreme Court has asked the Central Government to complete the process of National Database for Unorganised Workers(NDUW).
    • The database would make it easier for the government to identify and provide essentials; such as food and dry rations to stranded migrant labourers and workers.
  2. Secondly, the court directed states to provide migrant workers with dry ration under the Atma Nirbhar Scheme or any other suitable scheme.
  3. Thirdly, the court directed the states and Union territories to open sufficient community kitchens to provide cooked food for the migrant workers.
  4. Fourthly, the court asked the Central government to clarify what steps it had taken under the Code of Social Security of 2020. The code provides for the registration of unorganised workers, gig workers and platform workers.
  5. Lastly, the Court underlined the need for a suitable mechanism to monitor and supervise whether the benefits of the welfare schemes are reaching the intended beneficiaries.

Source: The Hindu

Record Foodgrain Exports Amid hunger in India – Right to Food Campaign

What is the News?

The Right to Food Campaign has criticized the record export of foodgrains from India in 2020-21. It is the time when the country’s people are struggling with hunger amid the COVID-19 crisis.

What are the issues highlighted by the Right to Food Campaign?

 Record Foodgrain Exports:

  • The Government of India has exported over 13 million tonnes of non-basmati rice and more than two million tonnes of wheat in 2020-21.
  • These exported grain could have been used by the Government to provide 25 crore people with rations for a year.

Coverage of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana Scheme:

  • Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana provides additional free grain for only two months. It also covers only those who are already included under the National Food Security Act.
  • The food security crisis faced by the informal sector workers, especially those who do not have ration cards, has been completely ignored.
  • Hence, the Government should immediately universalise the Public Distribution System(PDS). It should also extend the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana scheme for a period of at least six months.

About Right to Food Campaign:

  • Right to Food campaign is an informal network of individuals and organizations. It is committed to the realisation of the right to food in India.
  • The campaign was launched in 2001 with a writ petition filed in Supreme Court in 2001 by People’s Union for Civil Liberties.
    • The petition demanded that the country’s surplus food stocks should be used without delay to protect people from hunger and starvation.

Source: The Hindu

“Global Health Summit 2021” adopted “Rome Declaration”

What is the News?

The Virtual Global Health Summit 2021 is being held in Rome, Italy.

About Global Health Summit 2021:

  • Global Health Summit was organised by Italy in its role as president of the G20 in partnership with the European Commission.
  • Purpose: The summit seeks to empower and enable stakeholders to address the challenges in the third sustainable development goal(SDG) of Health and Wellbeing for all.

Rome Declaration:

  • The Rome Declaration was adopted at the Global Health Summit 2021.
  • Principles: The declaration is made up of 16 mutually agreed principles. These principles aim at guiding joint action to prevent future health crises and to build a safer, fairer and more equitable and sustainable world.

Key Features of the Rome Declaration:

  • Support and enhance the existing multilateral health architecture.
  • Promote the multilateral trading system and global supply chains related to Health emergencies,
  • Enable equitable, affordable, timely global access to high-quality, safe, effective prevention, detection and response tools.
  • Support low and middle-income countries to build expertise and develop local and regional manufacturing capacities for tools.
  • Facilitate data sharing, capacity building, licensing agreements among stakeholders. Further, it aims to facilitate voluntary technology and know-how transfers on mutually agreed terms.
  • Invest in the worldwide health and care workforce
  • To increase the effectiveness of preparedness and response measures by promoting inclusive dialogue with local communities,
  • To seek to ensure the effectiveness of financing mechanisms.

Source: WHO

Union Minister virtually Chairs 74th “World Health Assembly”

What is the News?

As the Chairman of WHO Executive Board, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare of India has virtually chaired the 74th World Health Assembly.

WHO Decision Making Bodies: The World Health Organisation(WHO) is governed by two decision-making bodies — the World Health Assembly and the Executive Board.

About World Health Assembly:

  • The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of the World Health Organisation(WHO).
  • The Health Assembly is held annually in Geneva, Switzerland. It is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States. The assembly focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board.
  • Functions: The main functions of the World Health Assembly are:
    • To determine the policies of the Organisation
    • To appoint the Director-General
    • To supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme budget.

About WHO Executive Board:

  • WHO Executive Board is composed of 34 members technically qualified in the field of health. The members of the executive board will be elected for three-year terms.
  • Functions: To give effect to the decisions and policies of the World Health Assembly. Further, the board will advise and generally facilitate the work of the Assembly.
  • Chairman: It is held in rotation for one year by each of the WHO’s six regional groups. This includes the African Region, Region of the Americas, South-East Asia Region, European Region, Eastern Mediterranean Region and Western Pacific Region.
  • Meeting: The Board meets at least twice a year, once usually in January and then in May.

Source: PIB

Lithuania quits China’s “17+1 cooperation forum”

What is the News?

Lithuania has pulled out of China’s 17+1 cooperation forum with central and eastern European states.

About 17+1 cooperation forum:

  • The 17+1 cooperation forum is a China-led initiative founded in the year 2012.
  • Aim: To expand cooperation between China and the Central and Eastern European(CEE) member countries. This is done through investments and trade for the development of the CEE region.
  • The initiative also focuses on infrastructure projects such as bridges, motorways, railway lines and the modernisation of ports in the member states.
  • Significance: The initiative is largely seen as an extension of China’s flagship Belt and Road initiative (BRI).

About Lithuania:

  • Lithuania is a country in the Baltic region of Europe. Its capital and largest city is Vilnius.
  • It is one of the Baltic States and lies on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea.
  • Border Countries: Sweden, Denmark, Latvia Belarus Poland and Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia.

Source: The Hindu


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