UPSC Daily Current Affairs : 05-June-2020

Topic Covered :

  1. Global Vaccine Summit 2020

  2. TULIP

  3. SC asks Centre, States to devise ‘common pass system’ for NCR

  4. India, Australia sign 9 agreements; to elevate bilateral ties in trade, defence

  5. Oil spill in Russia’s Arctic region


GLOBAL VACCINE SUMMIT 2020

Why in news?

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has addressed the virtual Global Vaccine Summit hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in which over 50 ​countries - business leaders, UN agencies, civil society, government ministers, Heads of State and country leaders participated.


Highlights:

  • India has today pledged 15 Million US Dollars to Gavi, the international vaccine alliance.

  • In his address the Prime Minister said India stands in solidarity with the World in these challenging times. 

  • Referring to Gavi, he said it is not just a global alliance but also a symbol of global solidarity and a reminder of that by helping others we can also help ourselves. 

  • Prime Minister said that one of the first programmes launched by his government was Mission Indradhanush, which aims to ensure full vaccination of the country’s children and pregnant women, including those in the remote parts of the vast nation. 

  • Prime Minister said India is also the World’s foremost producer of vaccines and that it is fortunate to contribute to the immunization of about 60 percent of the World’s children. 

About GAVI :

  • Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, helps vaccinate almost half the world’s children against deadly and debilitating infectious diseases

  • Founder : Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

  • It is a Public Private partnership.

  • HQ - Geneva


Source : PIB ( https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1629465 )


TULIP

Why in news?

  • Ministry of HRD, MoHUA and AICTE have jointly launched an online portal called `The Urban Learning Internship Program (TULIP).’


Highlights:

  • It is a program for providing internship opportunities to fresh graduates in all Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and Smart Cities across the country.

  • TULIP is a program for providing fresh graduates experiential learning opportunities in the urban sector. 

  • TULIP has been conceived pursuant to the Budget 2020-21 announcement by the Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman under the theme ‘Aspirational India’. 

  •   TULIP would help enhance the value-to-market of India’s graduates and help create a potential talent pool in diverse fields like urban planning, transport engineering, environment, municipal finance etc. thus not only catalyzing creation of prospective city managers but also talented private/ non-government sector professionals.  

  • This launch is also an important stepping stone for fulfillment of MHRD and AICTE’s goal of 1 crore successful internships by the year 2025. 


Source : PIB ( https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1629465 )


SC ASKS CENTRE, STATES TO DEVISE ‘COMMON PASS SYSTEM’ FOR NCR

Why in news?

  • The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the Centre to meet Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana officials to devise a “common, uniform” pass system for inter-State movement in the National Capital Region (NCR) during the pandemic.


Highlights:

  • The court was hearing a petition filed by Gurugram resident Rohit Bhalla who alleged that “complete sealing of borders” within NCR and curbs on movement of citizens were in violation of the new guidelines of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

  • Residents of the NCR who have family members or loved ones residing on either side of the inter-State border are facing harassment in crossing the said borders in cases of medical emergency and essential needs. There is no manner of expediting a pass for medical emergencies

  • It has sought directions to the three State governments of to set up a mechanism for movement passes , as per the MHA’s guidelines.


Source : Hindu ( https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/inter-state-movement-in-ncr-sc-asks-centre-delhi-up-haryana-to-devise-common-uniform-pass-system/article31746575.ece )


INDIA, AUSTRALIA SIGN 9 AGREEMENTS; TO ELEVATE BILATERAL TIES IN TRADE, DEFENCE

Why in news?

  • India and Australia have decided to sign nine pacts, including one to raise their relationship to a ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ for wider and deeper cooperation in diverse areas ranging from trade to defence.


Highlights:

  • The eight other pacts cover cooperation in key matters such as cyber technology, maritime engagement, education, science and technology and water resources management.

  • The leaders of the two nations also agreed that while trade and investment flows between the two nations are growing, more effort is needed in this direction.

  • Three MoUs were also signed on co-operation in the fields of Public Administration and Governance Reforms, Vocational Education and Training and Water Resources Management.

  • Australia is an important trade partner for India although there is a large trade imbalance due to the former’s huge coal exports to the country.

  • India exported goods and services worth $5.17 billion and imported goods and services worth $15.75 billion in 2018-19.

  • Australia’s cumulative investment in India is about $10.74 billion, whereas India’s total investment in Australia is $10.45 billion.

  • Both India and Australia are keen to restart talks on a bilateral Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement on the lines of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) pact that India walked out of in November 2019, mostly due to concerns about providing market access to China.

  • The RCEP comprised 16 nations including the 10-member ASEAN, China, South Korea, New Zealand, Japan, India and Australia.

  • Australia also wants India to consider rejoining the RCEP talks.


Source : Businesss Line ( https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/india-australia-sign-9-pacts-to-elevate-bilateral-ties-in-trade-defence/article31748619.ece )


OIL SPILL IN RUSSIA’S ARCTIC REGION

Why in news?

  • Russia declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, five days after a power plant fuel leak in its Arctic region caused 20,000 tonnes of diesel oil to escape into a local river, turning its surface crimson red.


Highlights:

  • The Ambarnaya river, into which the oil has been discharged, is part of a network that flows into the environmentally sensitive Arctic Ocean.

  • The thermoelectric power plant at Norilsk is built on permafrost, which has weakened over the years owing to climate change. 

  • This caused the pillars that supported the plant’s fuel tank to sink., leading to a loss of containment on May 29. 

  • Environmentalists have said the river would be difficult to clean, given its shallow waters and remote location, as well as the magnitude of the spill.

  • A World Wildlife Fund speaking to the AFP news agency described this as the second-largest known oil leak in modern Russia’s history in terms of volume.

  • The Russian chapter of activist group Greenpeace said damages to the Arctic waterways could be at least 6 billion rubles (over $76 million), and has compared the incident to Alaska’s 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster. 

  • Its estimate does not include atmospheric damage due to greenhouse gases and soil pollution.


Source : Indian Express ( https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-oil-spill-russias-arctic-region-6442828/ )


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