GS Paper I- Geography of the World.

Nepal Floods: Elephants Deployed In Rescue Efforts.

Background-

  • Nepal has been suffering from the fury of floods for the last few days. Several hotels in Sauraha, in Chitwan district, have been inundated, trapping the tourists, many of them foreigners.
  • The floods and landslides caused by torrential rains have killed at least 49 people across the country.
  • The Red Cross says 100,000 people have been affected, with communications and electricity cut off in many areas.
  • Dozens of elephants and rafts have been deployed to rescue nearly 500 people trapped by floods in a popular resort in southern Nepal.

Highlights Of The Development–

  • Pictures taken of the calamity showed collapsed bridges and roads submerged or covered by debris from landslides, hampering the rescue efforts.
  • Thousands of residents had been forced out of their houses in the hardest-hit areas, officials said, warning that the death toll could rise as at least 17 people were still missing.
  • A hotel owner in Sauraha, 155km (96 miles) south-west of the capital, Kathmandu, said the elephants had been used to take the tourists to the nearest open road and airport.
  • Narayan Prasad Bhatta, the chief district officer of Chitwan district, said that they are mobilising all the resources they have to ensure that everyone is safe.
  • Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba expressed his condolences and urged people to remain calm. He has already instructed authorities concerned to rescue flood victims, move them to safer locations and immediately provide relief to them.
  • The monsoon season, which starts in June and ends in September, causes big floods in Nepal each year. Officials say more rain is expected in the next few days.

Sources- BBC News.

GS Paper II- Governance, International Relations.

India, US To Co-Host Global Entrepreneurship Summit In Hyderabad

Background

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on August 10, 2017, officially announced that India and United States will co-host the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017 (GES2017) at Hyderabad from 28-30 November, 2017. The Prime Minister had invited US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump for the summit.
  • India got the chance to host the GES 2017 during PM Modi’s visit to United States in June, 2017.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • New Delhi, Washington and Hyderabad have been working on Ivanka’s visit from the past one-and-half months. Hyderabad was chosen because of its international clientele and infrastructure for hosting large conferences. The event will be of significant importance in terms of bilateral ties between the two countries as India has raised the issue of H1B visas during a joint statement in June, 2017.
  • Applauding the entrepreneurship and innovation of Indians and Indian-Americans that have directly benefitted both nations, President Trump welcomed India’s formal entry into the International Expedited Traveler Initiative (global entry programme) in order to facilitate closer business and educational ties between the citizens of India and the United States.
  • The NITI Aayog has been selected as the nodal agency to conduct the event and both Ministry of External Affairs and Andhra Pradesh government will be in coordination for hosting the event. NITI Aayog has been asked to make it a mega event as the summit is being held in India for the first time.
  • The first edition of the event was organised in Washington DC in 2010 and since then it has been hosted in various countries including Dubai, Istanbul, Marrakesh, Silicon Valley and others.

Sources- Financial Express.

 

GS Paper III- Environment, Bio-Diversity.

Vehicles Without Pollution-Under-Control Certificates Not To Get Insurance Renewal: Supreme Court.

 

Background

  • In a bid to curb pollution, the Supreme Court on 10th August, 2017 ordered insurance companies against renewing annual insurance of vehicle in Delhi-NCR unless owners furnish a valid pollution-under-control (PuC) certificate.
  • A bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur, while issuing a slew of directions, also asked the ministry of road transport and highways to ensure that all fuel refilling centres in the National Capital Region (NCR) have pollution-under-control centres. It also asked the authorities to issue specifications for the kind of equipment required to be installed at PuC centres, so regulatory violations can be curbed.

Key Points Of The Development-

  • The Court accepted the recommendations of the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) to ensure mandatory linking of pollution under control certificate (PUC) with issue of annual vehicle insurance.
  • Though the EPCA has asked for limiting the number of PUC centres in the Capital and NCR as these are very difficult to supervise to prevent malpractices with limited inspection staff for monitoring, the ministry had opposed it.
  • Solicitor general Ranjit Kumar told the bench that the government was exploring the possibility of alerting vehicle owners once their PuC documentation expires. They are trying to develop a system under which a message will be sent to the owner, reminding him or her to apply for the PuC certificate upon its expiry.This will let vehicle owners know that they are under supervision.
  • Countering the argument, advocate Aparajita Singh, who is assisting the court on the EPCA’s behalf, said periodicity of the PuC and insurance papers should not be an obstacle. She said the vehicle owner should either present their last four or two PuC certificates while applying for insurance renewal.
  • The bench was hearing a PIL filed by environmentalist MC Mehta way back in 1985 dealing with various aspects of pollution.

Sources- Financial Express.