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

World Maritime Day Observed On 28 September, 2017.

Background-

  • “Connecting Ships, Ports and People” has been selected as the World Maritime Day theme for 2017. The theme was chosen to provide an opportunity to focus on the many diverse actors involved in the shipping and logistics areas.
  • The maritime sector, which includes shipping, ports and the people that operate them, can play a significant role helping Member States to create conditions for increased employment, prosperity and stability ashore through promoting trade by sea; enhancing the port and maritime sector as wealth creators both on land and, through developing a sustainable blue economy, at sea.
  • World Maritime Day 2017 was formally celebrated at IMO on 28 September and was marked around the world in a series of events and celebrations led by IMO from its London head- quarters. Seafaring nations, coastal states and the shipping industry staged conferences, seminars and public events under the 2017 theme “Connecting Ships, Ports and People”.

 

Highlights Of The Development–

  • At IMO, the traditional diplomatic reception was preceded by a special visit for maritime students and young professionals from the maritime industries.
  • A meeting of the IMO Maritime Ambassadors was also held; these are spokespersons nominated by IMO Member States or NGOs to advocate on behalf of the maritime and seafaring professions, especially among younger audiences.
  • World Maritime Day also featured heavily in on-line and social media. It was supported by the United Nations in New York, which carried the message about the importance of IMO and shipping to the sustainable development goals on its home page.
  • World Maritime Day is an official United Nations day. Every year, it provides an opportunity to focus attention on the importance of shipping and other maritime activities and to emphasize a particular aspect of IMO’s work. Each World Maritime Day has its own theme.
  • The aim of the 2017 theme is to build on the World Maritime Day theme for 2016, “Shipping: indispensable to the world”, by focussing on helping IMO Member States to develop and implement maritime strategies to invest in a joined-up, interagency approach that addresses the whole range of issues, including the facilitation of maritime transport, and increasing efficiency, navigational safety, protection of the marine environment, and maritime security.
  • Students from the International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU) visited IMO Headquarters for their student forum in July 2017.

Sources- IMO.

 

GS Paper II- Polity.

Gujarat Elections: 2nd State After Goa To Use EVMs with VVPAT In All (50,128) Polling Booths.

Background

  • Electronic voting machines with voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) facility will be used in all the 50,128 polling booths during the upcoming Gujarat elections.
  • Gujarat will be the second state after Goa to use the VVPAT system for assembly elections, said the state’s chief electoral officer, B.B. Swain, on 28th September, 2017.

 

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • Since voters in Gujarat are not familiar with VVPAT, the Election Commission (EC) will conduct an awareness drive.
  • Swain added that for voters, they will prepare a mock polling booth in a van and give demonstrations at public places and educational institutions.
  • The EC has completed revision of electoral rolls and prepared mother electoral rolls (the final rolls which will be used during the election), he said.
  • Against 2012, there is an increase of around 52 lakh voters (in the last five years). The total number of voters in Gujarat now is 4.33 crore, including 10 lakh new voters (added during the last one year) who will exercise the voting right for the first time.
  • The EC has also increased the number of polling booths to make sure that voters do not have to travel too far. Swain said that following surveys, they decided to limit the number of voters per single rural polling booth to 1,200 and to 1,400 for an urban polling booth. So the number of booths has gone up to 50,128, some 4,500 more than in 2012. Elections are due in Gujarat before year-end.

Sources- Livemint.

 

GS Paper III- Economic Development.

ADB Plans To Raise Annual Lending To India To $4 Billion.

Background

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on 27th September, 2017, said it is planning to raise its annual lending to India from an average $2.65 billion per year at present to $4 billion to help propel Asia’s third largest economy towards upper middle-income status.
  • In 2016, ADB assistance to all its 67 member countries totalled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in co-financing.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • In a new ADB Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for the next five years (2018-22) and endorsed on 27th September, the multilateral lender said during the period, it will focus on three pillars of activities: boosting economic competitiveness to create more and well-paid jobs; improved access to infrastructure and services; and addressing climate change and improving climate resilience.
  • On 26th September, 2017, ADB pared its economic growth projection for India to 7% in 2017-18 from 7.4% projected earlier, blaming short-term disruptions like demonetization and the rollout of goods and services tax (GST).
  • About 85% of its lending will be focused on transport, energy, and urban infrastructure and services. Other finance will be aimed at public sector management, agriculture, natural resources and rural development, as well as skills development and urban health.
  • ADB will also complement its lending by technical assistance to help undertake strategic studies, build capacities, and prepare projects. ADB will also explore co-financing opportunities, including climate funds for relevant projects.
  • “ADB’s new five-year partnership with India supports the government’s goal of inclusive and sustainable growth grounded by economic structural transformation and job creation, with an increased focus on low-income states,” said Kenichi Yokoyama, ADB country director in India.
  • To accelerate India’s economic growth and good track record in poverty reduction, ADB said the country needs to create more high-quality jobs since half of India’s workforce is based around agriculture, which is still marked by low productivity and incomes.
  • Infrastructure continues to be a major bottleneck, in which ADB has identified an investment shortfall of $230 billion a year. Other critical challenges include how to close the persistent gap between advanced and lagging regions where most of the poor are concentrated, environmental degradation exacerbated by the impacts of climate change, and building capacity within the country’s institutions.

Sources- Livemint.