Insights Daily Current Affairs, 05 November 2016

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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 05 November 2016


Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.


India, UNISDR sign Statement of Cooperation on Sendai Framework


India and United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction have signed a Statement of Cooperation during the ongoing Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) 2016.


Key facts:

  • The Statement underlines the guiding principles, objectives and areas of cooperation between India and UNISDR towards the effective implementation and monitoring of the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), which was adopted at the Third World Conference on DRR at Sendai in Japan in March, 2015.
  • According to the statement, India will partner with UNISDR to work towards strengthening the capacity of Asian countries in ensuring risk resilient development. It will also facilitate the sharing of knowledge and experiences, and collaborative efforts towards addressing critical regional challenges.
  • The cooperation aims to ensure effective implementation and monitoring of the Sendai Framework through Training and capacity building for Asian countries; promoting international and regional cooperation to reinforce political commitment, facilitate knowledge sharing and strengthen the capacity of UNISDR for monitoring and review of the Sendai Framework.



The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), created in December 1999, is the successor to the secretariat of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction.unisdr

  • It was established to ensure the implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.
  • It is part of the United Nations Secretariat and its functions span the social, economic, environmental as well as humanitarian fields.
  • UNISDR supports the implementation, follow-up and review of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction adopted by the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction on 18 March 2015 in Sendai, Japan.


UNISDR’s vision is anchored on the four priorities for action set out in the Sendai Framework:

  • Understanding disaster risk.
  • Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk.
  • Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience.
  • Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

Sources: the hindu.


Paper 2 Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.


Govt launches scheme to provide free health check-ups to pregnant women


With an aim to reduce maternal and infant mortality, the government has rolled out a new scheme to provide fixed-day antenatal care to pregnant women on the ninth of every month.

  • The scheme — ‘Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan’ (PMSMA) — will provide free and comprehensive care on the ninth day of every month during the course of the pregnancy, especially to the poor.


Key facts:

  • The scheme is aimed at ensuring that every pregnant woman undergoes essential checkup during pregnancy to avoid unnecessary complication. This is expected to significantly bring down maternal deaths, mainly in rural areas.
  • Scheme is applicable to women through their third to sixth month of pregnancy.
  • A key feature of the scheme includes services by gynaecology specialists and physicians with support from private sector doctors to supplement the efforts of the government sector.
  • Under the scheme, pregnant women will be provided special antenatal check-up in their second or third trimester at government health care facilities. These services include ultrasound, blood and urine tests, in addition to routine antenatal check-up.
  • It also invites the private sector to provide free ante-natal services (ANC) on the 9th of every month on a voluntary basis to pregnant women, especially those living in under-served, semi-urban, poor and rural areas.



In India, one pregnant woman dies every 12 minutes, with 45,000 dying each year. Of them, less than one in five (19.7%) undergo pre-natal health checks.

  • India’s MMR of 167 (167 maternal deaths per 100,000 births) failed to meet its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target of bringing down maternal deaths to under 140 by 2015.
  • India’s IMR stands at 40 deaths per 1,000 live births, against an MDG target of 29. Only 15 states and UTs — Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Daman and Diu, Delhi, Lakshadweep, Puducherry, Manipur, Maharashtra, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim and Punjab — have achieved an IMR of 29 and under.  


Way ahead:

The government plans to reach out to about three crore women across the country through the scheme. The health ministry has also identified 184 priority districts for greater focus on antenatal care.

Sources: the hindu.


Paper 3 Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.


Environment Ministry Constitutes Four-Member Team for Conservation of Loktak Lake


The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has constituted a four-member team for conservation and management of Loktak Lake in Manipur.

  • The team will visit Loktak Lake and hold discussions with the State government, its concerned agencies and other stakeholders. The consultations will also include people living in the vicinity of the lake.


The terms of reference of the team that will visit Loktak Lake are:

  • To review the implementation of works carried out with financial assistance provided by the Central and State governments so far for the conservation and management of Loktak Lake and suggest further interventions required for conserving the lake in a holistic manner.
  • Enumerate the steps required to be initiated for declaring Loktak Lake as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Identify the steps and actions to be taken to increase the tourism potential of Loktak Lake.

Loktak Lake


Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India, and is famous for the phumdis (heterogeneous mass of vegetation, soil, and organic matter at various stages of decomposition) floating over it.

Keibul Lamjao is the only floating national park in the world. It is located near Moirang in Manipur state, India. The Keibul Lamjao National Park is the last natural refuge of the endangered sangai. However, human activity has led to severe pressure on the lake ecosystem.

Sources: the hindu.


Facts for Prelims



  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently inaugurated India’s flagship biennial international oil and gas conference and exhibition, PETROTECH-2016.
  • Petrotech is Asia’s largest oil and gas event.
  • The theme for this event is “Hydrocarbons to fuel the future – Choices and Challenges”.
  • This global event aims at bringing Energy Ministers, industry leaders, professionals, academicians and domain experts from the energy sector on a common platform.
  • The Conference showcases the strengths & potential of Indian Hydrocarbon industry to the world besides providing a vibrant platform for exchange of ideas, sharing of experience, knowledge and technological development across various segments of hydrocarbon industry.
  • Petrotech will also include a BRICS Roundtable of Energy Ministers and a Roundtable discussion involving select CELAC countries of Latin America.


Paris agreement:

  • The “Paris Climate Agreement” has come into force on 4th November 2016.
  • India ratified the Paris Agreement on 2nd October 2016, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and the Agreement has the support of majority of the countries.
  • Till date, 94 Parties have ratified it, of the 197 Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  • The Paris Agreement’s central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  • The Paris Agreement requires all Parties to put forward their best efforts through “nationally determined contributions” (NDCs) and to strengthen these efforts in the years ahead. This includes requirements that all Parties report regularly on their emissions and on their implementation efforts.