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Important Current Affairs 12th September 2019

NATIONAL:

Haryana launches two insurance schemes for traders.

• The State Government of Haryana launched two insurance schemes for registered small and medium traders. The schemes are Mukhyamantri Vyapari Samuhik Niji Durghatna Beema Yojana and Mukhyamantri Vyapari Kshatipurti Beema Yojana.

The insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh would be provided under the Mukhyamantri Vyapari Samuhik Niji Durghatna Beema Yojana. The insurance cover ranging from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 25 lakh would be provided under the Mukhyamantri Vyapari Kshatipurti Beema Yojana. The traders registered under the Haryana Goods and Service Tax (HGST) Act 2017 would be covered under these schemes.

The premium of people under both schemes would be paid by the State government.

UNCCD launched drought toolbox in 14th Conference of Parties.

• On the 10th day of the 14th Conference of Parties (COP14), the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) launched a drought toolbox.

Drought toolbox:

The Drought toolbox is a knowledge bank which can be used by vulnerable countries to reduce drought risk. It aims to boost the resilience of people and ecosystems to drought.

It is a web page which will provide the stakeholders to easily access the case studies and other resources to support action on drought preparedness. Using the toolbox, vulnerable countries, including India, can be better prepared and effectively respond to it.

COP14:

UNCCD was established in 1994. There are 197 countries participating in the convention. It aims to improve the living conditions of people in drylands. It also works toward maintaining and restoring land and soil productivity and to mitigate the effects of drought.

UNCCD collaborated with two Rio Conventions namely the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

AGREEMENTS AND MOUS:

GeM and Punjab Government sign MoU for Setting up Project Management Unit.

• Government e-Marketplace (GeM) under the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry and Government of Punjab, signed MoU to set up a GeM Organizational Transformation Team (GOTT) Project Management Unit (PMU) in the state. The MoU was signed by Additional CEO, GeM, S. Suresh Kumar, and Director Industries.

Government e Marketplace (GeM)

GeM, the national public procurement portal launched in August 2016 transformed the public procurement landscape in the country with transparency, efficiency, and inclusion. 

Their main aim is to strengthen and enable Government departments towards a market-based procurement, Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, Government of India has advised Ministries and Departments of Central and State Governments to consider services of GOTT on an outcome-based self-sustenance model. GOTT will assist the buyer agency to redesign the procurement processes and enhance competencies to derive maximum benefit.

Government of Punjab is the first State which will establish GOTT PMU for effectively utilising this transformational initiative towards inclusive, efficient and transparent procurement.

It is projected that through the initiatives of GOTT PMU, Government of Punjab will be able to transact around Rs 1700 crore in terms of annual Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) on GeM platform in the first year and over Rs 3000 crore per annum, over a period of time.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Dr PK Mishra takes over as Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister.

Dr Pramod Kumar Mishra appointed as Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister of India.

Dr Mishra varied work experience in the management of programmes relating to agriculture, disaster management, power sector, infrastructure financing, and regulatory issues outstanding career profile comprising research, publications, policy formulation and programme/project management. The major assignments such as Additional Pr. Secretary to the Prime Minister; Secretary, Agriculture and Cooperation,  Government of India; Chairman, State Electricity Regulatory Commission and in the area of Disaster management. As Secretary Agriculture & Cooperation, he was actively involved in path-breaking national initiatives such as the National Agriculture Development Programme (RKVY) and the National Food Security Mission (NFSM). 

The Prime Minister during 2014-19 Dr Mishra is credited with  introducing innovation and transformative changes in human resource management, particularly appointments to senior positions.

The international experience includes research and academic work for over four years at the Institute of Development Studies (UK), negotiation and execution of ADB and World Bank projects, member of the Governing Board of the International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and participation as expert/resource person in several international conferences.

He was conferred with the United Nations SASAKAWA Award 2019, the most prestigious international award in disaster management.

Dr Mishra has a Ph.D in Economics/Development Studies from the University of Sussex, M.A. in Development Economics at the University of Sussex as also M.A. in Economics with a first class at the Delhi School of Economics and  B.A. Hons. (Economics) with a first class and distinction in other subjects from G.M. College (Sambalpur University) in 1970. 

His publications include

• The Kutch Earthquake 2001: Recollection Lessons and Insights, National Institute of Disaster Management, New Delhi, India (2004).

• Edited Development and Operation of Agricultural Insurance Schemes in Asia, Asian Productivity Organization, Tokyo, Japan (1999).

• Agricultural Risk, Insurance and Income: A Study of the Impact and Design of India’s Comprehensive Crop Insurance Scheme, Avebury, Aldershot, UK (1996).

DAYS:

International Day for South South Cooperation is observed on 12 September.

• International Day for South-South Cooperation is observed on 12 September. South-South cooperation is a broad framework where the South Countries have collaborated in various domains including political, economic, social, cultural, environmental and technical domains. The day celebrates the political, social and economical developments made by regions and countries in the south in recent years.

Aim:

South-South Cooperation works towards achieving the internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs). It aims to boost the progress towards implementing the SDGs. It raises the awareness of the efforts taken by the United Nation to work on technical cooperation among developing countries.

Theme:

The theme for the 2019 South-South Cooperation is From Commitment to Action — Follow up to Buenos Aires Plan of Action+40. It is a follow up to the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40) was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 20-22 March 2019. The theme focuses on implementing the commitments adopted in the summit.

History:

The Day was originally observed on December 19. The day of South-South Cooperation was fully adopted by the United Nations on 12 September 2011. The day commemorates the day when the UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a plan of action in 1978 to promote and implement technical cooperation among developing countries.