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

NHRC, India Retains Its ‘A’ Status Of Accreditation With GANHRI In Geneva.

Background

  • The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), India has retained its ‘A’ status of accreditation with the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions, GANHRI in Geneva for the fourth consecutive term of five years.
  • It is given to those NHRIs, which, after a rigorous process of review every five years, are found fully compliant with the UN mandated Paris Principles.
  • Justice H L Dattu,Chairperson, NHRC was presented the certificate to this effect on the occasion of the ongoing annual meeting of GANHRI in Geneva, Switzerland from the February 21st to 23rd, 2018.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The accreditation confers international recognition and protection of the NHRI.
  • ‘A’ status accreditation also grants participation in the work and decision-making of the GANHRI, as well as the work of the Human Rights Council and other UN mechanisms.
  • The NHRC, India got ‘A’ status of accreditation first time in 1999 which it retained in 2006 and 2011 reviews. It was under the process of review for 2016, which was deferred to second session of 2017, when the Sub Committee on Accreditation of GANHRI recommended giving ‘A’ status again to the NHRC, India in November 2017.
  • The accreditation is given after a rigorous process of review of the NHRI by the GANHRI through its Sub Committee on Accreditation (SCA). The United Nations’ Paris Principles provide the international benchmarks against which national human rights institutions (NHRIs) can be accredited.
  • Adopted in 1993 by the United Nations General Assembly, the Paris Principles require NHRIs to protect human rights, including by receiving, investigating and resolving complaints, mediating conflicts and monitoring activities and promote human rights, through education, outreach, the media, publications, training and capacity building, as well as advising and assisting the Government.

Sources- UNI.

GS Paper II- International Relations.

India, Canada Ink Six Pacts.

Background

  • India and Canada signed six agreements, including in the area of nuclear science, energy cooperation and information communication technology on 23rd February, 2018.
  • A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between India’s Department of Atomic Energy and the Department of Natural Resources of Canada for co-operation in the fields of science, technology and innovation.
  • India and Canada have already signed an agreement on peaceful use of nuclear energy.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • To step up cooperation in the field of energy, terms of reference for the India-Canada Ministerial Energy Dialogue were exchanged between the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the Department of Natural Resources of Canada.
  • A joint declaration of intent between the Ministry of Electronics And Information Technology and the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development of Canada on cooperation in the field of Information Communications Technology and Electronics was also signed.
  • An MoU between the two countries for cooperation in higher education was also signed. India sends the second-largest number of students to the North American country for higher education.
  • An agreement was signed between India’s Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports and the Department of Canadian Heritage (Sport Canada) on cooperation in sports.
  • An MoU was also signed between India’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and the Canadian Intellectual Property Office Concerning Cooperation on Intellectual Property Rights.

Sources- Moneycontrol.

 

GS Paper III- Economic Development.

Asian Development Bank To Give $84m Loan For Water Projects In Bihar.

Background

  • Multi-lateral funding agency Asian Development Bank (ADB) on 23rd February, 2018 signed a $84 million loan agreement to finance water supply projects in two cities of Bihar.
  • The loan will finance water supply improvements and expansion in Bhagalpur and Gaya towns in Bihar, ADB said in a statement.
  • This is the second tranche of ADB’s $200 million multi-tranche financing facility for Bihar Urban Development Investment Programme, which was approved in 2012.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The Manila-headquartered funding facility is aimed at providing sustainable urban infrastructure and services in Bhagalpur, Gaya, Darbhanga and Muzaffarpur in Bihar.
  • The Project 2 will improve access to better quality and sustainable water supply for the people of Bhagalpur and Gaya towns. It will also promote better water management practices that will result in a citywide coverage with 24-hour uninterrupted supply of treated water of 135 liters per capita per day in both cities, said Sameer Kumar Khare, Joint Secretary (Multilateral Institutions), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance.
  • The loan agreement was signed by Khare and ADB India’s Resident Mission Country Director, Kenichi Yokoyama.
  • The loan finances will support civil works sub-projects and would benefit 1.1 million people in the two project towns with increased coverage of treated water supply by 2021; train 400 urban local body (ULB) staff in the management and operation and maintenance of water supply systems and help ULBs improve technical and financial management of the water supply operations, Yokoyama said.
  • ADB said the two towns (Bhagalpur and Gaya) would achieve the national urban service goals or match many of the national averages for urban service delivery performance in India.
  • The investment programme will assist ULBs in designing affordable tariffs for operations and maintenance cost recovery.
  • The loan with a 25-year term, includes a grace period of 5 years.

Sources- The Hindu Business Line.