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GS Paper I- History and Geography of the World and Society.

Guinea Becomes New Member Of International Solar Alliance.

Background-

  • In tune with India’s growing engagements with Africa, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held a meeting with Guinea’s Foreign Minister, Mamady Toure, during the course of which the latter handed over his country’s instrument accession to the India-initiated International Solar Alliance (ISA).
  • According to a statement issued by the External Affairs Ministry, Sushma Swaraj and Toure exchanged views on a broad range of subjects covering bilateral friendship and cooperation.
  • Toure invited the Indian government and Indian business to participate in the Donors/Investors Conference to be held at Paris in third week of November 2017.

Highlights Of The Development–

  • External Affairs Minister also welcomed ratification of the framework agreement on the ISA by Guinea and extended an invitation to Guinea to attend the summit level meeting of founder members of ISA in New Delhi.
  • The ISA, launched at the UN Conference of Parties (CoP) climate summit in Paris on November 30, 2015, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then French President Francois Hollande, is conceived as a coalition of solar resource-rich countries to address their special energy needs and provide a platform to collaborate on dealing with the identified gaps through a common, agreed approach.
  • It is open to all 121 prospective member countries falling between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.
  • Bilateral trade between India and Guinea stood at $634.15 million in 2016-17. Major Indian exports include cereals (rice), drugs and pharmaceuticals, textile, transport equipment, paints and chemicals, iron and steel, and construction equipment. Major Indian imports from that west African nation include pearls, stones and jewellery, mineral fuels and bitumen, cashew, scrap metals, and aluminum.
  • India has been increasing its engagement with Africa, including through a series of high level visits in the last two years — by President Ram Nath Kovind, then President Pranab Mukherjee, then Vice President Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. New Delhi hosted the India Africa Forum Summit in October 2015 that saw all 54 African nations participating.

Sources- Business-Standard.

GS Paper II- International Relations.

India To Contribute USD 100 Mn To UN Partnership Fund.

Background

  • India has pledged an additional USD 100 million towards the UN partnership fund, significantly scaling up it support to sustainable development projects across the developing world.
  • The India–UN Development Partnership Fund was set up earlier this year (2017) as a partnership between India and the United Nations Office for South–South Cooperation (UNOSSC).
  • Anjani Kumar, Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of India to the UN, announced the multi-year contribution at the 2017 UN Pledging Conference for Development Activities on 6th November, 2017.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • This contribution would be in addition to USD 10.582 million India is contributing to various other UN programmes, Kumar said.
  • The first project from the fund is being executed in partnership with seven Pacific Island countries. The fund has since then identified 15 more projects.
  • He said that of the USD 5 million India contributed to the fund this year, USD 2 million would be utilised for reconstruction in Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda, which took a big hit from hurricanes.
  • Among major contributions include UNDP (USD 4.5 million), World Food Programme (USD 1.92 million Biennium 2017–18), United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Near East (USD 1.25 million), UN Women (USD 1 million) and United Nations Children’s Fund (USD 862, 000).
  • United Nations Population Fund (USD 5,00,000), United Nations Commission on Human Settlements Programme (USD 1,50,000), United Nations Environment Programme (USD 1,00,000), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (USD 1,00,000) and Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation (USD 2,00,000) will also recieve funding.
  • A total of USD 398.98 million was pledged by about 20 countries during 6th November’s conference session.

Sources- The Hindu Business Line.

 

GS Paper III- Economic Development.

CMC Skills’ Founder Ms. Maya Swaminathan Sinha Awarded Entrepreneur Of The Year By ASSOCHAM.

Background

  • ASSOCHAM (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India) on Tuesday, 31st October 2017 bestowed CMC Skills’ Founder Ms. Maya Swaminathan Sinha with the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2017’ in Ranchi.
  • The award was presented by Hon’ble Governor of Jharkhand, Smt. Draupadi Murmu.
  • ASSOCHAM the apex body of industry & commerce of India had organized “One Day National Summit on  Leadership Cum Awards 2017’’ on Tuesday, 31st October 2017 at Hotel BNR Chanakya, Ranchi.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • In this event, the prestigious ASSOCHAM – Leadership Awards 2017, was honoured to the selected organizations/ professionals who have worked incessantly and have taken lead in the contemporary social system, services and quality achievements.
  • After being felicitated by the ASSOCHAM, Ms. Maya Sinha expressed her gratitude towards ASSOCHAM for bestowing this honour. She quoted that such awards would encourage entrepreneurs with great ideas and vision to come forward & contribute.
  • CMC Skills is working towards the Prime Minister’s vision to bring a sense of self-confidence among the poor by training them in various skill sectors, thus making them independent. Its primary focus is on imparting skills by offering variety of courses in various trade segments to increase the employability of youth.
  • Ms. Maya Sinha, a former Indian Revenue Service Officer with over 30 years of professional experience, is the Founder Director of CMC Skills Pvt. Ltd. and Clear Maze Consulting Pvt. Ltd.
  • The event was also joined by Shri Saryu Rai, Honourable Minister of Jharkhand, Parliamentary affairs, Food, Public Distribution & Consumer affairs.

Sources- The Hindu Business Line.