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

United Nations International Day For The Eradication Of Poverty 2017; Theme — “Answering The Call Of October 17 To End poverty: A Path Toward Peaceful And Inclusive Societies”.

Background-

  • This year marks the 25th anniversary of the declaration by the General Assembly, in its resolution 47/196 of 22 December 1992, of 17 October as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
  • This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the Call to Action by Father Joseph Wresinski—which inspired the observance of October 17 as the World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty—and the recognition by the United Nations of the day as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
  • The Call to Action of October 17 that was launched thirty years ago is recorded in the text on the Commemorative Stone at the Trocadero Human Rights Plaza in Paris which was unveiled in the presence of 100,000 people.

 

Highlights Of The Development–

  • The theme for this year’s commemoration reminds us of the importance of the values of dignity, solidarity and voice underscored in the Call to Action to fight to end poverty everywhere.
  • These values are also evident in the United Nations’ Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development which sets poverty eradication as the overarching objective and obligated all countries to end poverty in all forms, through strategies that guarantee the fulfillment of all human rights and ensure no one is left behind. The importance of public awareness, voice and the active participation of people living in extreme poverty is recognized both in the Agenda itself and in the process of consultations led by the United Nations that ensured the concerns and priorities of millions of people, especially those living in extreme poverty, were included and heard. The active participation of those living in extreme poverty will be critical to the success of the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • The global campaign also invites individuals, communities, organizations and countries to prepare for and celebrate October 17 in 2017 in many rich and diverse ways, including discovering or sharing stories that show how poverty can be overcome when people join together in efforts to uphold the rights of all; organizing or participating in cultural events to celebrate the courage and the daily fight of the poorest; and engaging in meaningful dialogue about how to build a society that leaves no one behind.
  • The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and its antecedent, the World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty, are intended to promote dialogue and understanding between people living in poverty and their communities, and society at large.

Sources- UN.

GS Paper II- Governance.

Namita Gokhale Bags Centenary National Award For Literature.

 

Background

  • Eminent writer Namita Gokhale has been nominated for the first Centenary National Award for Literature, to be conferred by one of the most prestigious literary bodies in India –– the Asam Sahitya Sabha — for her outstanding literary contributions as well as her service to the nation in supporting and showcasing literary talent and creating a literary environment in the country.
  • The award was conferred at a special function in Guwahati on 14th October, 2017 by Dhruba Jyoti Borah, President of the Asam Sahitya Sabha. This is also the first time that the Sabha will be honouring an English-language author.
  • The Sabha has instituted the national award as part of its centenary celebrations.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • Describing the much acclaimed author as “one of our most sensitive and finest writers”,Borah said that Gokhale, through her untiring efforts, is knitting the country together across languages through literature”.
  • A prominent figure in the field of literature, Namita Gokhale is a writer, publisher, and festival director. She is the author of 16 works of fiction and non-fiction.
  • Gokhale has a passionate commitment to showcasing Indian writing and is a founder and co-director of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival and Mountain Echoes, the Bhutan Literature Festival.
  • Her works include the acclaimed debut novel, “Paro: Dreams of Passion,” published in 1984. Her memorable works also include “A Himalayan Love Story,” “The Book of Shadows” and the recent “Things to Leave Behind” which has been described as her most ambitious novel yet. Namita Gokhale is also one of the 10 participating authors for TOI Write India, India’s largest crowd-sourced story-writing contest.
  • Asam Sahitya Sabha is a non-government, non-profit, literary organisation of Assam. It was founded in December 1917 to promote the culture of Assam and Assamese literature. Presently it has about 1,000 branches within and outside the state.

Sources- The Times Of India.

GS Paper III- Bio-Diversity.

The India International Cherry Blossom Festival Will Be Held In Meghalaya’s Shillong From November 8 To 11, 2017.

 

Background

  • In November, 2017, Meghalaya’s Khasi Hills will be awash with the captivating cherry blossom flowers.
  • The Meghalaya government, in association with the Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (IBSD), Imphal, and the Indian Council of Cultural Relations, is organising India International Cherry Blossom Festival in Shillong between November 8-11,  2017 for the second year in a row.
  • Last year, nearly 30,000 tourists, mostly domestic, participated in the festival. This year, the state govt is expecting a total of 50,000 foreign and domestic tourists, Chief Minister Mukul M Sangma told on 16th October, 2017.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The cherry blossom festivals have generated huge employment and revenues for various cities and countries as millions of visitors from different parts of the world travel to Japan, New Zealand and parts of Korea.
  • In Washington DC alone, the festival typically brings more than 1.5 million visitors, earning revenue of $400 million.
  • Realising the importance of cherry blossom to promote socio-economic development in the North-East through eco-tourism, IBSD, an institute under the Department of Biotechnology, initiated a major cherry blossom festival initiative in association with the Meghalaya government in 2015.
  • The State already has a large number of cherry blossom trees. Subsequently, IBSD undertook an initiative of planting cherry blossom trees along New Shillong, Mawphlang and Ward’s Lake, IBSD director Dinabandu Sahoo said.
  • Cherry blossom trees normally take three years to boom. These States are also keen on holding similar festivals then, he said.
  • According to Sahoo, similar initiative is also planned in Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim, and Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The climatic conditions in the States make it possible to have the blooming in March- April months.

Sources- Business-Standard.