GK Today: Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS Preparation: 1 September 2018

INS Sahyadri reaches Australia for exercise KAKADU 2018

After having been deployed to the South China Sea and Pacific Ocean for over four months, which included representing Indian Navy in multinational exercises MALABAR 18 at Guam and RIMPAC 18 at Hawaii, INS Sahyadri entered the Port of Darwin, Australia to participate in Exercise KAKADU 2018. Exercise KAKADU, which started in 1993, is the premier multilateral regional maritime engagement exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and supported by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). The exercise is held biennially in Darwin and the Northern Australian Exercise Areas (NAXA). Exercise KAKADU derives its name from Kakadu National Park, which is a protected area in the northern territory of Australia, 171 km south-east of Darwin. KAKADU 2018 is the 14th edition of the exercise. Indian Navy’s participation in KAKADU 18 provides an excellent opportunity to engage with regional partners and undertake multinational maritime activities ranging from constabulary operations to high-end maritime warfare in a combined environment, aimed at enhancing interoperability and development of common understanding of procedures for maritime operations. During the exercise, professional exchanges in harbour and diverse range of activities at sea, including complex surface, sub-surface and air operations would enable sharing of best practices and honing of operational skills. Participation in KAKADU 18 is a significant milestone in Indian Navy’s efforts towards strengthening mutual confidence among regional navies and is expected to further bolster India’s contribution in ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

 

4th BIMSTEC Summit concluded in Kathmandu

The fourth BIMSTEC summit concluded in Kathmandu with the leaders reaffirming their strong commitment to make BIMSTEC a dynamic, effective and result-oriented regional organization.  Reiterating strong commitment to combat terrorism, the leaders called upon all countries to devise a comprehensive approach to prevent financing of terrorists and terrorist actions from territories under their control, blocking recruitment and cross-border movement of terrorists, countering radicalization, countering misuse of internet for purposes of terrorism and dismantling terrorist safe havens. The leaders also committed themselves for promoting a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable Bay of Bengal Region through meaningful cooperation and deeper integration. The leaders of all seven member states including Prime Minister Narendra Modi underscored the importance of robust institutional arrangements to effectively steer the process of regional cooperation under BIMSTEC. The Prime Minister of Nepal K.P. Sharma Oli presented the draft Kathmandu declaration which was unanimously adopted by all member states. The Kathmandu Declaration underlined the importance of multidimensional connectivity as a key enabler for economic integration and shared prosperity of the region.

 

DBT & IEA signed MoU on Enhancing Innovation for Clean Energy Transition

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, and the International Energy Agency (IEA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Enhancing Innovation for Clean Energy Transition. The MoU seeks to deepen co-operation in support of clean energy innovations to accelerate the research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) of clean energy technologies in India and will help support the generation of data for policymaking and improve knowledge of good policy practices for innovation in India and around the world. The MoU will ensure cooperation for sharing of energy policies on RD&D and sharing of best practices on data collection and analysis. This MoU also has a provision for activities such as training and capacity building and accelerating energy innovation by identifying sources of finance. This agreement will be coordinated for the Ministry of Sceince & Technology by the Mission Innovation India Unit set up by DBT and for IEA by its International Partnership and Initiatives Unit (IPI) and is initially valid for three years.

 

Environment Minister Releases India’s National Redd+ Strategy

Complying with the UNFCCC decisions on REDD+, India has prepared its National REDD+ Strategy. The Strategy builds upon existing national circumstances which have been updated in line with India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change, Green India Mission and India’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to UNFCCC. In simple terms, REDD+ means “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation”, conservation of forest carbon stocks, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries.   REDD+ aims to achieve climate change mitigation by incentivizing forest conservation.    The strategy seeks to address drivers of deforestation and forest degradation and also developing a roadmap for enhancement of forest carbon stocks and achieving sustainable management of forests through REDD+ actions. The National REDD+ Strategy will soon be communicated to the UNFCCC. Paris agreement on climate change also recognizes role of forests in climate change mitigation and calls upon country Parties to take action to implement and support REDD+.   India has communicated in its Nationally Determined Contribution under Paris Agreement, that it will capture 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of Carbon dioxide through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.   India’s first biennial update report to UNFCCC has revealed that forests in India capture about 12% of India’s total GHG emissions. Thus, forestry sector in India is making a positive cost effective contribution for climate change mitigation.