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Evening News Digest: 13 October 2018

International Day for Disaster Reduction: October 13

  • The International Day for Disaster Reduction was observed across the world on October 13, 2018. The theme of the year 2018 is ‘Reducing Disaster Economic Losses’.
  • The 2018 theme continues as part of the "Sendai Seven" campaign, centered on the seven targets of the Sendai Framework.
  • Thus, the 2018 theme focuses on Target C of the Sendai Framework, reducing disaster economic losses in relation to global GDP by 2030.
  • The International Day for Disaster Reduction was first observed in the year 1989, after a call by UNGA for a day to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction.
  • Sendai Framework
    • The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 was adopted at the Third UN World Conference in Sendai, Japan, on March 18, 2015.
    • It is the successor instrument to the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters.
    • It outlines seven global targets: (i) reduce global disaster mortality, (ii) reduce the number of affected people globally, (iii) Reduce direct disaster economic loss, (iv) reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure, (v) increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies, (vi) enhance international cooperation to developing countries, and (vii) increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems.

1st Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council held

  • First meeting of the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology, Innovation Advisory Council (STIAC) was held on October 9, 2018 in New Delhi.
  • It was held under the chairmanship of Dr. K Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India.
  • The Council ended the meeting with setting some clear objectives and directions for a number of key projects. These include Accelerating Growth for New India innovation (AGNIi), Deep Ocean Mission, Artificial Mission, Quantum Computing and Bioscience Mission for Precision Health among others.
  • Bioscience Mission for Precision Health is a major mission to sequence the genes of a “large” group of Indians — akin to projects in the United Kingdom, China, Japan and Australia — and use this to improve health as well as buck a global trend of designing ‘personalised medicine.’

India wins election to UN Human Rights Council

  • India was elected to the United Nations’ Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on October 12, 2018 for a period of three years beginning January 1, 2019.
  • In the election held at 193-member UN General Assembly, India got 188 votes in the Asia-Pacific category, the highest number of votes among all candidates.
  • India had previously been elected to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council for the 2011-2014 and 2014-2017 terms.
  • Besides, 18 new members were elected by absolute majority through a secret ballot. Countries needed a minimum of 97 votes to get elected to the Council.
  • About UNHRC
    • The UNHRC was established by the UN General Assembly on March 15, 2006 to replace the UN Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR).
    • It has 47 members and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The President of the Council is Vojislav Šuc.

Author Maryse Conde wins Academy Prize in Literature

  • Guadeloupean author Maryse Conde on October 12, 2018 won an alternative award formed in protest to the Nobel Literature Prize.
  • The prize is named New Academy Prize in Literature and is accompanied by one million kronor, or around $112,000.
  • The Nobel Literature Prize for the year 2018 was postponed over a rape scandal that came to light as part of the #MeToo movement. It is for the first time since 1949 that Nobel Prize in Literature has not been awarded.
  • The Swedish Academy was plunged into turmoil in 2017 over its ties to Frenchman Jean-Claude Arnault, who was jailed for two years in early October 2018 for rape.
  • Ms. Condé is the author of I, Tituba: Black Witch of Salem, Segu, Windward Heights, Wuthering Heights and other emotionally complex novels that reach across history and cultures.

Collegium recommends CJs for five High Courts

  • The three-member Supreme Court Collegium led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on October 12, 2018 recommended Chief Justices of five High Courts.
  • These are: Justice N.H. Patil (Bombay High Court), Justice D.K. Gupta (Calcutta High Courts), Justice Ramesh Ranganathan (Uttarakhand High Court), A S Bopanna (Gauhati High Court), and Vijai Kumar Bist (Sikkim High Court).
  • The three-member Collegium also comprised Justices Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph.
  • Article 217 of the Indian Constitution provides for the appointment of judges of High Court by the President in consultation with the Chief Justice of India.

Estimates panel wants GDP norms changed

  • The Estimates Committee of Parliament headed by BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi has recommended for overhauling the current norms for estimating the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
  • The committee noted that the GDP calculation doesn’t measure the depletion of natural resources, a point several economists including former Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian have pointed out.
  • The current measure of GDP also did not incorporate the economic contributions of women in running households and maintaining accounts, nor did it have any measure of whether an increase in GDP resulted in an increase in happiness.

World’s largest fish market reopens at new site in Tokyo

  • The world's largest fish market resumed operations at Toyosu market in Tokyo on October 11, 2018.
  • The $5-billion new location was opened after final auctions last week at the previous facility in Tsukiji, one of the Japanese capital's top tourist attractions.
  • The 83-year-old Tsukiji market had attracted tens of thousands of visitors each year to its warren of stalls laden with exotic species of fish and fresh sushi in a tourism boom key to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic plan.

Centre releases draft National Electronic Policy

  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on October 12, 2018 released the draft of the National Electronics Policy 2018, aiming for a turnover of $400 billion in domestic electronics manufacturing by 2025.
  • The policy targets production of one billion mobile handsets by 2025, valued at $190 billion (about Rs 13 lakh crore) including export of 600 million mobile handsets valued at $110 billion (about Rs 7 lakh crore).
  • The policy aims to also push the startup ecosystem in emerging technology areas such as 5G, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
  • It also proposed replacing the M-SIPS (Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme) with schemes that are easier to implement such as interest subsidy and credit default guarantee schemes.
  • The first National Policy on Electronics, rolled out in 2012, offered incentives to companies setting up manufacturing units in the country.

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