(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)
Part of: Prelims and GS-II International relations
Context: Ukraine is no longer pressing for NATO membership.
- NATO has been a delicate issue that was one of Russia’s stated reasons for invading Ukraine which is pro-Western.
What is North Atlantic Treaty Organization?
- It is a military alliance established by the North Atlantic Treaty (also called the Washington Treaty) of April, 1949, by the United States, Canada, and several Western European nations to provide collective security against the Soviet Union.
- A key provision of the treaty is called Article 5.
- It states that if one member of the alliance is attacked in Europe or North America, it is to be considered an attack on all members.
- That effectively put Western Europe under the “nuclear umbrella” of the US.
- There are 30 independent member countries.
News Source: TH
Part of: Prelims and GS-II International relations
Context: Bangladesh, India, and Nepal held a meeting to discuss the passenger and Cargo protocols to operationalize the BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA).
- Bhutan participated in the meeting as an observer.
- This is the first meeting of the group since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- The meeting discussed the protocols to operationalize the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement for the regulation of Passenger, Personal and Cargo Vehicular Traffic between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal, which was signed on June 15, 2015.
- During the meeting, an enabling MOU to be signed by India, Bangladesh, and Nepal for implementation of the BBIN MVA by the three countries was finalized.
- Ratification of the MVA by Bhutan is pending.
- Operationalizing the MVA by concluding the Passenger and the Cargo Protocol will help realize the full potential of trade and people-to-people connectivity between the BBIN countries by fostering greater sub-regional cooperation.
What is BBIN?
- Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN) Initiative is a subregional architecture of countries in Eastern South Asia, a subregion of South Asia.
- It meets through official representation of member states to formulate, implement and review quadrilateral agreements across areas such as water resources management, connectivity of power, transport, and infrastructure.
News Source: Newsonair
Part of: Prelims and GS-III Environment
Context: Recently, GPS transmitters on Northern River Terrapin in Indian Sundarbans were installed.
- The objective of the initiative was to ascertain the habitat, breeding pattern and the movement of the species.
- After installation, at least three of the ten individuals of the critically endangered Northern River Terrapin have travelled hundreds of kilometers and are now in Bangladesh.
Northern river terrapin
- It is found in India and Bangladesh (Sundarbans), Myanmar, Malaysia (peninsular), Indonesia (Sumatra), Thailand, and Cambodia.
- It lives in coastal mangrove estuaries and creeks, but ventures far upstream during the breeding season.
- Hunting and harvesting of eggs.
- Pollution and loss of habitat
- Drowning by illegal fishing nets.
- Siltation and sedimentation due to watershed activities such as logging.
- IUCN: Critically endangered
- CITES: Appendix I
News Source: TH
(News from PIB)
Part of: GS-Prelims and GS-II: Government schemes and policies
In News: Petascale Supercomputer “PARAM Ganga” established at IIT Roorkee under National Supercomputing Mission.
- A supercomputing capacity of 1.66 Petaflops.
- The system is designed and commissioned by C-DAC under Phase 2 of the build approach of the NSM.
- Substantial components utilized to build this system are manufactured and assembled within India along with an indigenous software stack developed by C-DAC, which is a step towards the Make in India initiative of the Government.
- Availability of such a supercomputer will accelerate the research and development activities in multidisciplinary domains of science and engineering with a focus to provide computational power to user community
About National Supercomputing Mission (NSM)
- The four major pillars of the NSM, namely, Infrastructure, Applications, R&D, HRD, have been functioning efficiently to realize the goal of developing indigenous supercomputing eco system of the nation.
- Some of the large-scale applications which are being developed under NSM include the following.
- NSM Platform for Genomics and Drug Discovery.
- Urban Modelling: Science Based Decision Support Framework to Address Urban Environment Issues (Meteorology, Hydrology, Air Quality).
- Flood Early Warning and Prediction System for River Basins of India.
- HPC Software Suite for Seismic Imaging to aid Oil and Gas Exploration.
- MPPLAB: Telecom Network Optimization.
- Being steered jointly by: Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeiTY) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST)
- Being implemented by: Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore
News Source: PIB
Mandatory Testing & Certification of communication Equipment (MTCTE)
In News: On the occasion of International Woman’s Day, the 8th of March 2022, Telecommunication Engineering Center (TEC) in collaboration with industry has organised a skill development training program for girl students from rural background.
- With the onset of the MTCTE initiative, there is an increased demand for skilled personnel in the domain of EMI/EMC testing.
- TEC has initiated this effort in collaboration with industry to create opportunity and positive ecosystem towards objective of AatmaNirbhar Bharat and Gender equality. This program is intended to impart theoretical knowledge through visual aids and practical knowledge on handling test equipment and test methodologies by means of recorded/live video sessions, which would provide a better insight into the subject.
About the Scheme
- Under the scheme, all telecom equipment, whether imported or indigenously manufactured, are to be tested and certified before their induction/ sale in India for Safety, EMI/ EMC and technical requirements.
- Telecommunication Engineering Centre (TEC) is the designated authority for implementation of this scheme.
(Down to Earth –Governance)
March 8: Investment in care services can generate 234 million jobs for women by 2035- https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/governance/investment-in-care-services-can-generate-234-million-jobs-for-women-by-2035-says-ilo-81860
- GS-1: Women, Society
- GS-3: Indian Economy
Context: The report, titled Care at work: Investing in care leave and services for a more gender equal world of work provides a global overview of national laws and practices regarding care policies, namely maternity protection, paternity, parental and other care-related leave policies, as well as childcare and long-term care services.
- Of these, 234 million (78 per cent) will go to women, according to a new report by International Labor Organization (ILO), the United Nations labour agency.
- According to the report, employment rates of women will rise by 10 percentage points overall, ranging from nine percentage points in Europe and lower-middle and low-income countries in Asia to 12 percentage points in the Arab states, far more than for men.
- This job creation potential by 2035 will be driven by 96 million direct jobs in childcare, 136 million direct jobs in long-term care and 67 million indirect jobs in non-care sectors and for that, an annual investment of $5.4 trillion will be required.
The ILO report
- Persistent and significant gaps in care services and policies have left hundreds of millions of workers with family responsibilities without adequate protection and support.
- The investment in care services and care leave can also have an impact on the gap between male and female earnings, as a result of both, increased employment in care and increased maternal earnings overall.
- The report found that three out of every ten women of reproductive age or 649 million women, lived in the 82 countries that did not meet the ILO Convention. The Convention mandates 14 weeks of minimum maternity leave on at least two-thirds of previous earnings, funded by social insurance or public funds.
Maternity Leave Facility
- The proportion of potential mothers living in countries with maternity leave durations below 14 weeks is 51.9 per cent in Africa (23 countries), 55.8 per cent in the Americas (18 countries) and 17.5 per cent in Asia and the Pacific (15 countries).
- In Europe and Central Asia, all potential mothers live in countries providing at least 14 weeks of maternity leave.
- Globally, 123 countries offer fully paid maternity leave, with nine in 10 potential mothers living in these countries.
- The report warned that it will take at least 46 years to achieve minimum maternity leave rights in the 185 countries analysed for the study.
Long-term care services Facility
Long-term care services are also essential to ensure the right to healthy ageing in dignity and independent living.
- Globally, only 89 out of 179 countries have a statutory provision of public long-term care services for older persons.
- The report found a strong investment case for creating a transformative package of care policies based on universal access that will create a breakthrough pathway for building a better and more gender-equal world of work.
The Way Forward – Key Actions to be taken
- Building knowledge, data and awareness
- Designing and implementing care policies and services
- Costing care policies and services
- Strengthening representation and social dialogues
(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)
Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)
Q.1 Which of the following is not a member of NATO?
Q.2 Which of the following is the IUCN status of Northern River Terrapin?
- Critically endangered
Q.3 BBIN initiative includes which of the following countries?
- Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and India
- Bangladesh, Brazil, Nepal and India
- Bangladesh, Bhutan, Netherlands and India
- Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Indonesia
ANSWERS FOR 9th March 2022 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)