National Strategy for Wellbeing 2031
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Cabinet has adopted a National Strategy for Wellbeing 2031.
Key highlights of the proposed strategy:
National Wellbeing Observatory: It proposes to establish a National Wellbeing Observatory, which will support policymaking process.
Functions of the observatory: monitoring a number of indicators of wellbeing in UAE, submitting regular reports to UAE Cabinet, proposing training programmes for government employees and will launch Academy of Wellbeing future generations. In addition to this observatory is also charged with formation of a National Wellbeing Councilto manage and coordinate national strategy.
National Wellbeing Strategy is based on a national framework of three main levels- Individuals, Society and the Country.
It includes 14 key areas and 9 strategic objectives, which includes enhancing people’s wellbeing by promoting healthy & active lifestyles and good mental health and adopting positive thinking.
Under the strategy 90 new projects will be launched that will target more than 40 priority areas and will improve physical, psychological and digital health of future generations.
Source: The Hindu
Pacific ring of fire
Mount Sinabung volcano recently erupted.
Where is it located? in Sumatra Island, western Indonesia.
It had erupted in 2010 for the first time in past 400 years.
Background: Indonesia sit along the Ring of Fire region, an area where most of the world’s volcanic eruptions occur. The Ring of Fire has seen a large amount of activity in recent days, but Indonesia has been hit hard due to its position on a large grid of tectonic plates.
Vulnerability: Indonesia is at the meeting point of three major continental plates – the Pacific, the Eurasian and the Indo-Australian plates – and the much smaller Philippine plate. As a result, several volcanoes on the Indonesian islands are prone to erupting. Indonesia is home to roughly 400 volcanoes, out of which 127 are currently active, accounting for about a third of the world’s active volcanoes.
What is the Ring of Fire?
The Ring of Fire is a Pacific region home to over 450 volcanoes, including three of the world’s four most active volcanoes – Mount St. Helens in the USA, Mount Fuji in Japan and Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines. It is also sometimes called the circum-Pacific belt.
Around 90% of the world’s earthquakes occur in the Ring of Fire, and 80% of the world’s largest earthquakes.
It stretches along the Pacific Ocean coastlines, where the Pacific Plate grinds against other, smaller tectonic plates that form the Earth’s crust – such as the Philippine Sea plate and the Cocos and Nazca Plates that line the edge of the Pacific Ocean.
The 40,0000 kilometre horse-shoe-shaped ring loops from New Zealand to Chile, passing through the coasts of Asia and the Americas on the way.
The people most at risk from activity in the Ring of Fire are in the US west coast, Chile, Japan and island nations including the Solomon Islands. These areas are most at risk because they lie on so-called subduction zones – which are boundaries that mark the collision between two of the planet’s tectonic plates.
How was the Ring of Fire formed?
The Ring of Fire is the result from subduction of oceanic tectonic plates beneath lighter continental plates. The area where these tectonic plates meet is called a subduction zone.
Why does the Ring of Fire trigger earthquakes?
The world’s deepest earthquakes happen in subduction zone areas as tectonic plates scrape against each other – and the Ring of Fire has the world’s biggest concentration of subduction zones.
As energy is released from the earth’s molten core, it forces tectonic plates to move and they crash up against each other, causing friction. The friction causes a build-up of energy and when this energy is finally released it causes an earthquake. If this happens at sea it can cause devastating tsunamis.
Tectonic plates usually only move on average a few centimetres each year, but when an earthquake strikes, they speed up massively and can move at several metres per second.
Source: The Hindu
Leader of Opposition
Congress, with 52 MPs, has declined to stake claim for the position of Leader of Opposition in Parliament.
Background: Any party that has 55 members can get the post as recognised as such by the speaker/chairman.
Who is the Leader of Opposition?
The LOP is leader of the largest party that has not less than one-tenth of the total strength of the house.
It is a statutory post defined in the Salaries and Allowances of Leaders of Opposition in Parliament Act, 1977.
Significance of the office:
What reforms are needed?
There arises a problem when no party in opposition secures 55 or more seats. In such situations, the numerically largest party in the opposition should have the right to have a leader recognised as leader of the opposition by the speaker.
Besides, the 10% formulation is inconsistent with the law ‘the salary and allowances of leaders of opposition in Parliament Act, 1977’ which only says that the largest opposition party should get the post.
Source: The Hindu
Draft National Education Policy (NEP)
The draft National Education Policy (NEP) has been released.
Highlights of the draft:
It proposes expansion of the RTE Act. It aims to cover the three years of preschool before Class 1.
It wants early childhood education to be overseen and regulated by the Ministry of HRD as part of the school system.
This will be in addition to the private pre-schools and anganwadis that currently cater to the 3-to-6 years age group.
It suggests a new integrated curricular framework for 3 to 8-year olds with a flexible system based on play, activity and discovery, and beginning exposure to three languages from age 3 onwards.
The NEP could result in an upheaval in the anganwadi system which has been overseen by the Ministry of WCD for more than four decades.
Source: The Hindu
Govt Amends 60-Year-Old Rule to Pave Way for Cabinet Secretary Extension.
With this, the current Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha, has become the longest-serving bureaucrat in the post in the country’s history.
Key concept- changes made:
A cabinet secretary is appointed for a fixed tenure of two years.
According to All India Services (Death-Cum-Retirement-Benefits) Rules, 1958, the government can give extension in service to a cabinet secretary provided the total tenure does not exceed four years.
As per the modified rules, the central government may give an extension in service for a further period not exceeding three months, beyond the period of four years to a cabinet secretary.
Role of the cabinet secretary:
The cabinet secretariat is under the direct charge of the prime minister.
The administrative head of the secretariat is the cabinet secretary who is also the ex-officio chairman of the civil services board.
The cabinet secretariat assists in decision-making in government by ensuring inter-ministerial coordination, ironing out differences amongst ministries or departments and evolving consensus through the instrumentality of the standing or ad hoc committees of secretaries.
Management of major crisis situations in the country and coordinating activities of various ministries in such a situation is also one of the functions of the cabinet secretariat.
Cabinet Secretariat is responsible for the administration of the Government of India (Transaction of Business) Rules, 1961 and the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules 1961, facilitating smooth transaction of business in Ministries/ Departments of the Government.
Antarashtriya Yoga Diwas Media Samman (AYDMS)
It is a new award instituted recent life by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting(I&B).
Objective: to recognise contribution made by media in spreading awareness about Yoga and for promotion and commemoration of International Yoga Day, held every year on 21 June.
G20 Ministerial meeting on Trade and Digital Economy was recently held in Japanese city of Tsukuba.
Formed in 1999, the G20 is an international forum of the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies.
Collectively, the G20 economies account for around 85 percent of the Gross World Product (GWP), 80 percent of world trade.
The G20 has no permanent staff of its own and its chairmanship rotates annually between nations divided into regional groupings.
The Group was formed with an aim of studying, reviewing, and promoting high-level discussion of policy issues pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability.
The forum aims to pre-empt balance of payments problems and turmoil on financial markets by improved coordination of monetary, fiscal, and financial policies.
The forum seeks to address issues that go beyond the responsibilities of any one organisation.
The members of the G20 consist of 19 individual countries plus the European Union (EU).
The 19 member countries of the forum are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States.
The European Union is represented by the European Commission and by the European Central Bank.
Various initiatives launched in India on the eve of World Food Safety Day
State Food Safety Index (SFSI): The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), under Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, has developed first State Food Safety Index (SFSI) to measure performance of States on five parameters of food safety. This is an effort of ministry to motivate states to work towards ensuring safe food for citizens. Chandigarh topped the 2018-19 food safety index. The first State Food Safety Index (SFSI) was to measure the performance of States on five parameters of food safety. The categories included human resources and institutional arrangements, compliance, food testing – infrastructure and surveillance, training and capacity building and consumer empowerment.
Raman 1.0: It is hand-held battery operated equipment that performs rapid detection, in less than a minute of economically driven adulteration in fats, ghee and edible oils.
Food Safety Magic Box: It is do-it-yourself food testing kit comprising of a manual and equipment to check for food adulterants. This can serve as innovative solution to take food safety to schools.
Eat Right Awards: instituted by FSSAI, with aim to recognize contributions made by food companies and individuals to empower citizens to choose safe and healthy food options so as to improve their health and well-being.
SPICE 2000 guided bombs
Indian Air Force (IAF) has signed a deal with Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, an Israeli defence firm to procure a batch of SPICE 2000 guided bombs.
The SPICE stands for Smart, Precise Impact and Cost-Effective. It is guidance and maneuvering kit manufactured by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
SPICE can overcome errors in locating target, GPS jamming and also reduces collateral damage.