(GS-II: Issues related to health)
Dengue cases in Punjab have reached 16,129 — an all-time high figure since 2016.
When do cases peak?
The disease has a seasonal pattern, i.e., the peak comes after monsoon and it is not uniformly distributed throughout the year.
Every year, from July to November, an upsurge in cases of dengue has been observed.
What is the major reason for the outbreak of dengue in the state?
Source reduction of mosquito breeding sites and adult control measures are grossly inadequate like Indoor Space Spray and fogging are not carried out in routine. When dengue is reported, measures to control in that area are ignored.
Dengue virus is transmitted through the bite of a female Aedes (Ae.) mosquito.
Aedes is a day time feeder and can fly up to a limited distance of 400 meters.
Although it usually results in mild illness, severe dengue infections can sometimes prove fatal.
World Health Organization (WHO) estimates suggest an annual incidence of 100-400 million dengue infections every year, with its global incidence growing dramatically “in recent decades”.
What is the climate vulnerability index released by CEEW?
(GS-III: Conservation related issues)
Environmental think tank Council on Energy, Environment and Water has carried a first-of-its-kind district-level climate vulnerability assessment, or Climate Vulnerability Index (CVI).
Under this, it has analysed 640 districts in India to assess their vulnerability to extreme weather events such as cyclones, floods, heatwaves, droughts, etc.
Findings of the climate vulnerability index:
Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Bihar are most vulnerable to extreme climate events such as floods, droughts and cyclones in India.
While 27 Indian states and union territories are vulnerable to extreme climate events, 463 districts out of 640 are vulnerable to extreme weather events.
Dhemaji and Nagaon in Assam, Khammam in Telangana, Gajapati in Odisha, Vizianagaram in Andhra Pradesh, Sangli in Maharashtra, and Chennai in Tamil Nadu are among India’s most climate vulnerable districts.
More than 80 per cent Indians live in districts vulnerable to climate risks – that is 17 of 20 people in India are vulnerable to climate risks, out of which every five Indians live in areas that are extremely vulnerable.
North-eastern states are more vulnerable to floods.
How were the districts assessed?
The Index takes into account certain indicators when assessing the preparedness of a state or district.
These include availability of critical infrastructure like cyclone and flood shelters, government mechanisms in place including updating of disaster management plans, mitigation strategies, standard operating procedures before, during and after an extreme weather event such as how people and livestock are being evacuated or how food is being mobilised and how the administration prevents loss of lives and livelihoods.
Relevance of the Index:
It helps map critical vulnerabilities and plan strategies to enhance resilience and adapt by climate-proofing communities, economies and infrastructure.
Instead of looking at climate extremes in isolation, the study looks at the combined risk of hydro-met disasters, which is floods, cyclones and droughts, and their impact.
The study does not take into consideration other natural disasters such as earthquakes.
What are the recommendations that have been made?
Develop a high-resolution Climate Risk Atlas (CRA) to map critical vulnerabilities at the district level and better identify, assess, and project chronic and acute risks such as extreme climate events, heat and water stress, crop loss, vector-borne diseases and biodiversity collapse.
Establish a centralised climate-risk commission to coordinate the environmental de-risking mission.
Undertake climate-sensitivity-led landscape restoration focused on rehabilitating, restoring, and reintegrating natural ecosystems as part of the developmental process.
Integrate climate risk profiling with infrastructure planning to increase adaptive capacity.
Provide for climate risk-interlinked adaptation financing by creating innovative CVI-based financing instruments that integrate climate risks for an effective risk transfer mechanism.
Punjab Police want Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary to be declared ‘World Pedestrian Day’
(GS-I: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times)
Punjab Police has recently proposed that the birth anniversary (Gurpurab) of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev be declared as ‘World Pedestrian Day’.
A written proposal in this regard may be sent to the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways soon.
This year Guru Nanak’s 552nd Gurpurab will be celebrated on November 19.
Why is Guru Nanak Dev considered the world’s most notable and revered pedestrian?
He travelled far and wide during the 15th and 16th centuries. It is believed that during those times, when early modes of transport were limited and were mostly restricted to boats, animals (horses, mules, camels, bullock carts), Guru Nanak Dev, along with his companion Bhai Mardana, undertook most part of his journeys on foot.
Places visited by Guru Nanak Dev:
From Mecca to Haridwar, from Sylhet to Mount Kailash, Guru Nanak visited hundreds of interfaith sites related to Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and Jainism throughout his journeys (also called udaasis).
At some sites, gurdwaras were constructed to commemorate his visit.
Later his travels were documented in texts called ‘janamsakhis’.
These sites are now spread across nine nations as per current geographical divisions — India, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, China (Tibet), Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan.
Significance of the proposal:
It will highlight the government’s commitment towards “Right to walk” or pedestrian rights.
A community which safeguards its pedestrian is treated as developed and contributes to sustainable development goals.
Besides, on an average, at least a thousand pedestrian deaths are reported in Punjab alone each year. This move ensures their safety.
About Guru Nanak:
He was born in Talvandi near Lahore.
The most famous teachings attributed to Guru Nanak are that there is only one God, and that all human beings can have direct access to God with no need of ritualsor priests.
His most radical social teachings denounced the caste system and taught that everyone is equal, regardless of caste or gender.
He introduced the concept of god- that is ‘Vahiguru’, an entity that is shapeless, timeless, omnipresent and invisible. Other names for God in the Sikh faith are Akaal Purkh and Nirankar.
Guru Granth Sahib, the holiest book of the Sikhs, contains 974 poetic hymns composed by Guru Nanak.
(GS-II: Important international institutions and groupings)
2021 G20 Summit was held in Rome, Italy.
Objectives of the summit:
The Group of 20 countries, which represent more than three-quarters of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, had been looking for common ground and solid commitments on how to reduce emissions while helping poor countries deal with the impact of rising temperatures.
Outcomes of the meet:
Leaders committed to the key Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
They also pledged to reach a target of net zero carbon emissions “by or around mid-century”, instead of setting a clear 2050 date, as campaigners and summit host Italy were hoping for.
They agreed to stop funding new dirty coal plants abroad by the end of 2021.
They reaffirmed the so far unmet commitment to mobilise $100 billion for developing countries for climate adaptation costs.
They approved on an agreement that will subject multinationals to a minimum 15 percent tax, as part of an effort to build “a more stable and fairer international tax system”.
They decided to pursue the recognition of more vaccines by the World Health Organization under a “One Health approach” for the world, and providing finances and technology for vaccine production at “mRNA Hubs” in South Africa, Brazil and Argentina.
What is the G20?
The G20 is an annual meeting of leaders from the countries with the largest and fastest-growing economies.
Its members account for 85% of the world’s GDP, and two-thirds of its population.
The G20 Summit is formally known as the “Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy”.
After the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997-1998, it was acknowledged that the participation of major emerging market countries is needed on discussions on the international financial system, and G7 finance ministers agreed to establish the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in 1999.
The group has no permanent staff of its own, so every year in December, a G20 country from a rotating region takes on the presidency.
That country is then responsible for organising the next summit, as well as smaller meetings for the coming year.
They can also choose to invite non-member countries along as guests.
The first G20 meeting took place in Berlin in 1999, after a financial crisis in East Asia affected many countries around the world.
Full membership of the G20:
Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.
Its relevance in changing times:
As globalization progresses and various issues become more intricately intertwined, the recent G20 summits have focused not only on macroeconomy and trade, but also on a wide range of global issues which have an immense impact on the global economy, such as development, climate change and energy, health, counter-terrorism, as well as migration and refugees.
The G20 has sought to realize an inclusive and sustainable world through its contributions towards resolving these global issues.