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Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | Jan 19, 2021

UNEP releases Adaptation Gap Report 2020 

Why in News?  

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has released the Adaptation Gap Report 2020. 

Key Facts: 

  • Adaptation: It is one of the pillars of Paris accord. It involves increasing capacity and reduction of vulnerability of countries and communities to climate-related disasters. This capacity will be built by national efforts and funding mechanisms 
  • Aim of the reportThe report aims to indicate national and international efforts to advance adaptation. 

Findings of the Adaptation Gap report, 2020: 

  • Finance: Annual adaptation costs in developing countries is much higher at $70 billion, compared to current finance of around $30 billion annually for adaptation. This cost is estimated to at least quadruple by 2050. 
    • Cost of Adaptation includes costs like planning, preparing for, facilitating and implementing adaptation measures. 
    • The flow of funds to developing countries is increasing faster than the cost of adaptation. 
  • Rise in Temperature: The world is heading for at least a 3°C temperature rise this century. Even if countries are successful in limiting global warming to well below 2°C, or even 1.5°C, the poor countries will suffer. 
  • Impact of Pandemic: The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to hit the ability of countries to plan for, finance and implement adaptation actions. It will disproportionately affect the most vulnerable countries and population groups. 

Recommendations: 

  • Along with faster implementation, Countries need to step up the Public and private finance for adaptation 
  • Nature-based solutions – locally appropriate actions that address societal challenges, such as climate change, and provide human well-being and biodiversity benefits by protecting, sustainably managing and restoring natural or modified ecosystems – must also become a priority. 
  • Cutting greenhouse gas emissions will reduce the impacts and costs associated with climate change. 
  • Pursue a Green Pandemic Recovery and increase the Nationally Determined Contributions(NDCs) under the Paris Agreement. 

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Kalrav festival at Nagi- Nakti bird sanctuaries in Bihar 

Why in News?  

Kalrav, Bihar’s 1st statelevel festival started at the Nagi-Nakti bird sanctuaries in the Jamui district, Bihar. 

About the festival: 

  • About the Festival: The festival is hosted by the department of forest, environment and climate change. 
  • Aim: The event is intended to create awareness about the conservation of birds and their habitat, the wetlands. 
  • Importance of Birds:  
    • Those who can understand a bird’s behavior can understand that it sends a signal of any impending natural calamity. 
    • Birds also help in the pollination of plant species. 
  • Hence, as a part of the bird conservation plan, the forest department has developed a bird ringing station at Bhagalpur 

 Nagi- Nakti Bird Sanctuaries: 

  • Nagi Dam and Nakti Dam are although two different sanctuariess but  they can be taken as one bird area due to their closeness. 
  • These sanctuaries are a home to wide variety of indigenous species and migratory birds that turn up during the winters from places like Eurasia, Central Asia, the Arctic Circle, Russia and Northern China. 
  • Birdlife International has declared it as an important bird area due to a rare phenomenon. I.e. appearance of Around 1,600 bar-headed geese which is about 3% of the global population of this variety, at this sanctuary. 
  • The sanctuary is unique for its rock formation, “tor” in Jamui area. In India, this rock formation is available only in Hampi in Karnataka. 

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Startup India Seed Fund 

Why in News? 

Rs 1,000-crore ‘Startup India Seed Fund’ was launched during the ‘Prarambh: Startup India International Summit’. 

 Salient features of Startup India Seed Fund Scheme: 

  • ObjectiveFund has been set up to provide initial capital to the startupsAfter that start-ups will be provided with the Govt. Guarantees, to help them raise debt capital. 
  • Coverage: The fund would offer financial assistance to startups for proofs of concept, prototype development, product trials, market-entry, and commercialization of products or ideas. 
  • Funding: The Scheme will offer startups up to Rs. 20 Lakhs as grant for Proof of Concept. Upto Rs. 50 Lakhs can also be availed through convertible debentures or debt or debt-linked instruments for commercialization. 

 Fund of Funds for Start-ups(FFS) Scheme: 

  • It was launched by the Prime Minister in 2016 in line with the Start-up India Action Plan. 
  • Purpose: The fund has a corpus of INR 10,000 crore and is managed by Small Industries Bank of India(SIDBI) for contribution to the corpus of Alternative Investment funds(AIFs) which in turn invest in equity and equitylinked instruments of various Startups. 

 Startups in India: 

  • India is home to the world’s thirdlargest startup ecosystem. There are over 41,000 startups in the country. 
  • In 2014, there were only four startups in the unicorn club but in 2020 there are more than 30. Further, 11 of these startups entered the unicorn club in 2020 itself.  
  • The startups in India are not limited to big cities and about 40% of such budding entrepreneurs are coming from tier-II and -III cities. 

 Further Reading on Prarambh Summit: http://bit.ly/3qzwkuh


Covaxin not to be used in certain cases  

News: Bharat Biotech has come out with a fact sheet about the process involved and who should avoid taking the Covaxin vaccine. 

 Facts: 

  • Covaxin: It has been indigenously developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR). 
  • Type of vaccine: It is an inactivated vaccine. It means it is made by using particles of the coronavirus that were inactivated by making them incapable to infect or replicate. Injecting particular doses of these particles serves to build immunity by helping the body create antibodies against the dead virus. 

Who should not get the Covaxin

  • During the first phase, experts are analyzing the behaviors of vaccines among different types of patients. They have recommended not to vaccinate if a person: 
    • has any history of allergies 
    • has a fever 
    • has a bleeding disorder or are on a blood thinner. 
    • iimmune-compromised or are on a medicine that affects your immune system 
    • is pregnant or breastfeeding. 
    • has received another COVID-19 vaccine 
    • Has Any other serious health related issues as determined by the Vaccinator/Officer. 

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‘MICE’ tourism policy of Gujarat 

Why in News:  

Gujarat CM has announced the tourism policy for 2021-25It seeks to make Gujarat a hub of “MICE” tourism. 

What is MICE Tourism?  

  • The “MICE” is an acronym that stands for “Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions”. It is a version of business tourism that draws domestic and international business tourists to a destination. 

What are the salient features of MICE tourism policy? 

  • International Events: Policy has announced an assistance of Rs 5,000 to the event organiser per overnight stay of foreign participant. Incentives are subject to an upper limit of Rs 5 lakh. 
  • Domestic Events: For domestic events, the policy promises financial assistance of Rs 2 lakh per event, capped at three events per organiser per year. 
  • Big Convention CentresThe policy promises 15% capital subsidy on the eligible capital investment for building big convention centers. Centers are required to organize big national and international conferences. 
  • Land on Lease: The policy also promises land on lease, if required. A precondition to avail the incentive is that the convention centre should have at least one hall that can seat a minimum of 2,500 persons. 

Which tourist attractions is the policy promoting? 

Some of the tourist attractions are: 

  • Statue of Unity, the world’s tallest statue 
  • Gir, the only home of the Asiatic lion; 
  • Girnar ropeway, Asia’s longest;  
  • Ahmedabad, the first UNESCO World Heritage City in India;  
  • Lothal, the earliest known dock in the world, and India’s first port city;  
  • Dholavira, a showcase of the urban civilisation of the Indus Valley;  
  • Shivrajpur, one of India’s ‘Blue Flag’ beaches; and  
  • India’s first seaplane service from the Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad to the Statue of Unity in Kevadia. 

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Chabahar Port 

News: Indian government has supplied a consignment of two Mobile Harbour Cranes- MHC to Chabahar Port in Iran. 

 Facts: 

 Source: Indian Express  

  • Chabahar Port: It is a seaport in Chabahar located in southeastern Iran, It is located on the Makran coast of Sistan and Baluchistan Province, next to the Gulf of Oman and at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz. 
  • It is the only Iranian port with direct access to the Indian Ocean and consists of two separate ports named Shahid Kalantari and Shahid Beheshti. 
  • The bilateral contract between Iran and India was signed in 2016 ‎for Equipping, Mechanizing and starting Operations at Shahid Beheshti Port of Chabahar development Phase- I.  
    • To achieve this ambitious aim, an SPV namely India Ports Global Limited (IPGL) Mumbai was incorporated under the ambit of the Ministry of Ports, ‎Shipping and Waterways. 

 Significance of Chabahar Port: 

  • Strong India-Iran Relations: Development of Chabahar port will boost the maritime trade between India and Iran. 
  • Gateway to Central Asia: The port has strategic advantage and high potential to provide connectivity of India to Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and other Central Asian countries. 
  • Security: The port is also beneficial to India in countering Chinese presence in the Arabian Sea which China is trying to ensure by helping Pakistan develop the Gwadar port. 
  • INSTC: The port is also seen as a feeder port to the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) that has sea, rail and road routes between India, Russia, Iran, Europe, and Central Asia. 

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National Education Policy (NEP) 2020: Implementation Plan for School Education 

News: Union Minister of Education has released details of the implementation plan of National Education Policy 2020. 

 Facts: 

  • National Education Policy 2020: It is the third in the series of National Education Policies (1968 and 1986 modified in 1992) in India and is the first education policy of the 21st century. NEP 2020 covers major reforms in wider spectrum of school education from pre-primary to senior secondary. 

 Implementation Plan for School Education:  

  • ShikshakParv was organised for discussing recommendations of NEP 2020 and its implementation strategies. 
  • Major portions of NEP will be covered under the new National Curriculum Framework(NCF) and centrally sponsored schemes. Groundwork for NCF is initiated and it is likely to be developed in the next academic session, that is 2021-22. 
  • Approval has been given for setting up the National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Mission. A Committee has been formed for preparing a framework on FL&N, codification of learning outcomes, etc. 
  • E-learning has been expanded through DIKSHA.DIKSHA provides access to a large number of curriculum-linked e-content through several solutions such as QR coded Energized Textbooks(ETBs), courses for teachers, quizzes etc. 
  • Government has launched an initiative called ‘Manodarpan’ for mental health and wellbeing of students.It aims to provide emotional support and counselling to the students under distress.  
  • Learning Outcomes upto Secondary level have been notified and draft of learning outcomes for senior secondary level have been released for inviting suggestions. 
  • The department is also aligning its existing schemes i.e, Samagra Shiksha, Mid Day Meal and Padhna Likhna Abhiyan with the recommendations of NEP 2020. 

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