Daily Current Affairs for 24th Nov 2021

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Indira Gandhi Peace Prize 2021

Why in News

  • Pratham, a social organization working in the field of ensuring quality education, has been selected for the ‘Indira Gandhi Peace, Disarmament and Development Award’ for the year 2021.

Key point

  • The ‘Indira Gandhi Peace, Disarmament and Development Award’ is given annually by the ‘Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust’ to any person or organization of the world that has made a significant contribution to the work of social service, disarmament or development.
    इंदिरा गांधी शांति पुरस्कार | Indira Gandhi Peace Prize - GK in Hindi | MP GK | GK Quiz| MPPSC | CTET | Online Gk | Hindi Grammar
  • The award carries a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh and a citation.
  • Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust reported that Pratham launched a new community-based initiative to keep children engaged in learning and mitigate the impact of school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown. Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust said that the Indira Gandhi Peace Prize ‘Pratham’ for the year 2021 is given for its pioneering work in more than a quarter century to ensure that every child has access to quality education.

About “First”

  • A report is also issued by Pratham every year to assess the status of education in rural areas. Governments also use its data for policy making.
  • In the year 1995 in Mumbai, Dr. Pratham, founded by Madhav Chavan and Farida Lambe, has tried to put into practice its belief that every child should go to school and study.
  • It began operating in Mumbai slums, established community-based balwadis or pre-schools, and offered remedial education for students who fell behind their grade level curriculum.
  • Its reach now reaches an average of 1 million children in India directly and 5 million annually through government participation.


SDG Urban Index and Dashboard 2021-22

Why in News

    • In its journey to localize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and establish robust SDG progress monitoring systems at the national, state/UT and local levels, NITI Aayog with the release of the first SDG Urban Index and Dashboard (2021-22) another milestone achieved.

Key point

    • The index and dashboard are the result of a collaboration of NITI Aayog-GIZ and BMZ under the umbrella of the Indo-German Development Cooperation Partnership, which aims to localize the SDGs in our cities.
    • The SDG Urban Index and Dashboard presents the rank of 56 urban areas based on 77 SDG indicators across all the 46 targets of the SDG framework.
    • Data on these indicators has been obtained from official data sources like NFHS, NCRB, U-DISE, data portals of various ministries and other government data sources.
    • The index and dashboard will further strengthen SDG localization and establish robust SDG monitoring at the city level.
    • It highlights the strengths and weaknesses of ULB-level statistics, monitoring and reporting systems.

Top 10 Urban Areas

Urban Area State/UT Composite Score
Shimla Himachal Pradesh 75.50
Coimbatore Tamil Nadu 73.29
Chandigarh Chandigarh 72.36
Thiruvananthapuram Kerala 72.36
Kochi Kerala 72.29
Panaji Goa 71.86
Pune Maharashtra 71.21
Tiruchirappalli Tamil Nadu 70.00
Ahmedabad Gujarat 69.79
Nagpur Maharashtra 69.79
    • Tools like this index and dashboard will contribute to building an ecosystem in which all stakeholders will be able to make and implement data-driven decisions.
    • This radical change has become imperative in view of the increasing prominence of our cities and urban areas in shaping the future of development in India.
  • modus operandi
    • The statistical method for the SDG Urban Index is derived from a globally accepted methodology developed by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).
    • The methodology to be used for SDG India Index and North Eastern Region District SDG Index was finalized in collaboration with the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation.
    • A comprehensive list of 77 indicators is used in the index, which includes 46 global SDG targets among 15 SDGs. SDG 14 (life under water) is excluded because it is relevant only to coastal areas, which are only in select cities and SDG 17 (Partnership for the Goals) is excluded because of its national level. The progress of the goals is monitored.

Bottom 10 Urban Areas

Urban Area State/UT Composite Score
Faridabad Haryana 58.57
Kolkata West Bengal 58.5
Agra Uttar Pradesh 58.21
Kohima Nagaland 58.07
Jodhpur Rajasthan 58
Patna Bihar 57.29
Guwahati Assam 55.79
Itanagar Arunachal Pradesh 55.29
Meerut Uttar Pradesh 54.64
Dhanbad Jharkhand 52.43
    • While progress under SDG 15 (life on land) is measured using two indicators, they have not been used to estimate scores due to lack of adequate coverage.
    • The indicators have been prepared in line with the National Indicator Framework of the Ministry. Relevance of SDG targets and data availability indicators at the urban level are the most important criteria for selection.
    • The most recent data on these indicators has been obtained from various official data sources such as NFHS, NCRB, U-DISE, data portals of ministries and other government data sources and 62 per cent of the indicators have been obtained from 2019 or onwards.
    • Of the 56 urban areas included in the index, 44 have a population of more than one million. Of these, 12 cities with a population of less than one million are the capitals of different states. While for some indicators, “urban area” refers to the ULB, in other cases, it refers to all the urban areas in a district collectively.
    • This is due to the use of different data sets, in which urban data has been collated across different administrative units. However, for a given indicator, the same definition has been used for all urban areas.
    • For each SDG, urban areas are ranked on a scale of 0-100. A score of 100 means that the urban sector has achieved the targets set for 2030; A score of 0 means that it lags behind in achieving the targets in the selected urban areas. The overall score of the urban area is derived from the target-wise score to measure the overall performance of the urban area.

The urban areas have been classified below on the basis of their overall score:

    • Aspirant: 0–49
    • Performer: 50–64
    • Excellent performer (front runner): 65–99
    • Achiever: 100


Democracy summit

Why in News

    • According to a list of participants published on November 23, the Biden administration has invited Taiwan to its “Summit for Democracy” next month.

America’s Summit for Democracy

    • The meeting, the first of its kind, is a test of a claim announced by President Joe Biden in his first foreign policy address to his office in February that he would call on the United States to confront authoritarian forces led by China and Russia. Will put you back in global leadership.
    • The State Department’s invitation list for the virtual event on December 09 and 10, 2021 includes 110 participating countries from around the world.
    • The purpose of this event is to help prevent the erosion of rights and freedoms, including democratic collapse, around the world. China or Russia is not included in this list.
    • This invitation has been given by the US to Taiwan after China has increased pressure on various countries of the world to reduce or end ties with the island, which is recognized by Beijing as another state. No rights or recognitions are granted.

Other important points

    • Self-ruling Taiwan says Beijing has no right to speak for it.
    • As the State Department listing suggests, the event will bring together mature democracies such as France and Sweden. Likewise, countries such as the Philippines, India and Poland, where activists say democracy is in danger.
    • In Asia, some US allies such as Japan and South Korea were invited, while other countries such as Thailand and Vietnam were not. Other notable absentees were US ally Egypt and NATO member Turkey. In this summit, the representation of countries from the Middle East will be less because; only two countries – Israel and Iraq – have been invited.

US and China’s attitude towards Taiwan

    • During a virtual meeting between Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this month, the two leaders had sharp differences over Taiwan.
    • While Biden reiterated longstanding US support for a “One China” policy, which officially recognizes Beijing instead of Taipei.


Israel, Jordan, UAE Regional Cooperation Agreement

Why in News

    • Recently an agreement has been signed between Israel, Jordan and the UAE for mutual regional cooperation to deal with the climate crisis arising in their region.

Key point

    • Israel, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have signed a ‘historic’ agreement for regional cooperation in the fight against the climate crisis, Israel’s Energy Ministry said in a statement.
    • The agreement was signed in Dubai, United Arab Emirates by Israel’s Energy Minister Karin Elharer, UAE Food and Water Security Minister Mariam Almaheri and Jordan’s Water Minister Mohamed Najjar, with the US President’s Special Note for Climate Envoy John Kerry was also in attendance.

Important information about the agreement

    • As a part of this agreement, Jordan will export 600 MW of green power to Israel from new storage facilities, which will be built under this agreement.
    • In return, Israel will consider exporting up to 200 million cubic meters of desalinated water to Jordan from a new desalination facility to be built in Israel.
    • The statement also said, “This agreement will enable a joint response to the challenges of the climate crisis, as well as to energy security and water supply in the region.”
    • The Israeli Ministry has stated that this cooperation was made possible due to the normalization agreement signed between Israel and the UAE in September 2020.



Why in News

    • India-USA reiterated its commitment to take economic ties between the two countries to the next higher level.
    • India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry and the USTR Ambassador also ensured that the India-US TPF is a way to integrate economies in various sectors and move towards a secure and ambitious future for trade relations between the two strategic partners and democratic countries. Take a firm decision.

Highlights of India USA TPF 2021 Discussion are as follows:

Bilateral trade matters

    • To activate the TPF Working Groups on Agriculture, Non-Farm Goods, Services, Investment and Intellectual Property for periodic discussions to address issues of mutual concern of both sides in a mutually beneficial manner.
    • expressed satisfaction at the revival of bilateral goods trade in 2021 (January-September 2021), showing a growth of nearly 50 per cent over the same period last year; Bilateral merchandise trade is poised to cross the $100 billion mark in the current year.
    • Underscored the importance of establishing a conducive business environment and in this regard, the economic reforms initiated by India include removal of restrictions on FDI in the insurance sector, do away with retrospective provision in income tax and ‘single window’ to facilitate investment. The introduction of the system was highlighted.
    • Emphasis was placed on cooperation and constructive engagement across multilateral trade bodies, including the WTO, G20, to achieve a shared vision of a transparent, rules-based global trading system between market economies and democracies.
    • Building flexible and secure supply chains is important and in this regard, India and the United States can work with like-minded partners to develop secure supply chains in critical areas of trade and technology.
    • India highlighted the importance of cooperation in the health sector and expressed interest in partnering with the US and allies to create a secure drug production base to enhance global supply chains.
    • Emphasis on private sector partnerships and cooperation in both countries to build stronger ties in critical areas (including cyberspace, semiconductors, AI, 5G, 6G and future-generation telecommunications technology) and support resilient and secure global supply chains Given.
    • Emphasis was placed on delivering real benefits to farmers and businesses of both countries by addressing the remaining issues of market access through continuous engagement.
    • Agreement on Market Access Facility for Mango and Pomegranate from India, Pomegranate Grain and Cherry from US and Alfalfa Grass for Animal Feed.
    • Agreed to work towards creating market access for grapes from India and pork from the US and its products.
    • Distillers with soluble substances from the US and other products, including dry cereals, and buffalo meat and wild shrimp from India, both sides will maintain the order of negotiations.
    • Underscored the importance of IP protection and enforcement to promote innovation as well as bilateral trade and investment in IP-intensive industries.

Future work

    • India highlighted the importance of restoration of GSP (Generalized System of Priority) benefits as it would help industries on both sides to integrate their supply chain efficiently. America spoke of a suitable consideration on this.
    • The importance of services, including digital services, and the significant potential to enhance bilateral services, trade and investment.
    • Underscored the importance of movement of professional and skilled workers, students, investors and business travelers between the two countries, as it contributes greatly to enhancing the bilateral economic and technical partnership.
    • The two sides agreed on the importance of negotiating a Social Security Integrity Agreement in the interests of workers and welcomed participation in furtherance of such an agreement.
    • It was emphasized that TPF should consistently deliver tangible results to build mutual trust.
    • The two Ministers directed the TPF Working Groups to draw up an action plan by March 2022 for concrete progress, including the identification of a set of specific business outcomes, which can be finalized for the inter-sessional TPF meeting to be held by mid-2022. Is.

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