05, November 2016

1.ASEAN renews efforts for collective response to disasters in and outside the region

Source: PIB

The ASEAN Secretariat, in partnership with Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) launched the ASEAN Declaration “One ASEAN, One Response: ASEAN Responding to Disasters as One in the Region and Outside the Region”.

ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Member States to provide faster and collective response to disasters in and outside the region.

It also committed to working closely with regional and international disaster management and humanitarian players to provide the much needed assistance to affected communities to quickly alleviate their sufferings after any disaster.

Heads of State/Government during the ASEAN Summit in Vientiane in September 2016, the ASEAN Declaration “One ASEAN, One Response: ASEAN Responding to Disasters as One in the Region and Outside the Region” aims to achieve faster response, mobilise greater resources and establish stronger coordination to ensure ASEAN’s collective response to disasters. It also emphasises

 the role of ASEAN in rendering support and sharing accumulated expertise in disaster management to other parts of the world.


The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by the Founding Fathers of ASEAN, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

ASEAN Member States-  Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Viet Nam.

Aims and Purpose:

  1. To accelerate the economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region through joint endeavours in the spirit of equality and partnership in order to strengthen the foundation for a prosperous and peaceful community of Southeast Asian Nations.
  2. To promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law in the relationship among countries of the region and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter.
  3. To promote active collaboration and mutual assistance on matters of common interest in the economic, social, cultural, technical, scientific and administrative fields.
  4. To provide assistance to each other in the form of training and research facilities in the educational, professional, technical and administrative spheres
  5. To promote Southeast Asian studies; and
  6. To maintain close and beneficial cooperation with existing international and regional organisations.
  7. To collaborate more effectively for the greater utilisation of their agriculture and industries, the expansion of their trade, including the study of the problems of international commodity trade.


Vientiane Declaration on the Adoption of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025.

New Strategy To Guide Future Progress On Asean:

  1. Sustainable infrastructure
  2. Digital innovation
  3. Seamless logistics- Enhancing ASEAN Connectivity presupposes excellent logistics.
  4. Regulatory excellence
  5. People mobility


The vision for ASEAN Connectivity 2025 is to achieve a seamlessly and comprehensively connected and integrated ASEAN that will promote competitiveness, inclusiveness, and a greater sense of Community.

Greater connectivity is the foundational supportive and facilitative means to achieving the political-security, economic, and socio-cultural pillars of an integrated ASEAN Community.


2.India, UNISDR sign Statement of Cooperation on Sendai Framework

Source: PIB

India and United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction signed a Statement of Cooperation during the second day of the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) 2016.

India will partner with UNISDR to work towards strengthening the capacity of Asian countries in ensuring risk resilient development.

 It will also facilitate the sharing of knowledge and experiences, and collaborative efforts towards addressing critical regional challenges.


  • The cooperation aims to ensure effective implementation and monitoring of the Sendai Framework through Training and capacity building for Asian countries.
  • Promoting international and regional cooperation to reinforce political commitment, facilitate knowledge sharing and strengthen the capacity of UNISDR for monitoring and review of the Sendai Framework.


The Statement underlined the guiding principles, objectives and areas of cooperation between India and UNISDR towards the effective implementation and monitoring of the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), which was adopted at the Third World Conference on DRR at Sendai in Japan in March, 2015.


3.Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan – Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Source: PIB

The Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA) is aimed to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates through safe pregnancies and safe deliveries.

The national programme will provide special free antenatal care to about 3 crore pregnant women across the country in order to detect and prevent high risk pregnancies.

The Health Minister pointed out that India is poised to work towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in maternal and child healthcare.

That  India has made substantial progress on several indicators in the recent years and stated that its national health indicators like Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), Maternal Maternity Rate (MMR), Total Fertility Rate (TFR) and under five mortality are declining faster a than the world pace.

Thus Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA) the Ministry aims take this forward and improve upon the quality and coverage of health facilities.


4.4th Session of India-Azerbaijan Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade and Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation

Source: PIB

The 4th Session of India-Azerbaijan Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade and Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation (IA-IGC).

The issues pertaining to Cooperation in the field of increasing bilateral trade and enhancing bilateral investment, Cooperation in the field of small and medium enterprises, Transport, Energy, Agriculture and Animal products, Tourism and Culture, Pharmaceutical and Health, Information and Communication Technologies, Science and Education, Heavy Industry and Chemicals and Petrochemicals sector etc.


5.Global conservation team visits Odisha’s Bhitarkanika park

Source: The Hindu

A two-member technical evaluation mission team of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), deputed by UNESCO, visited the Bhitarkanika National Park.

The visit is to perform field assessment of the unique mangrove ecosystem of the park, which figured on the tentative list of future heritage sites of UNESCO in 2009 and made its way to the final list in 2014. The national park presently figures in the listed of protected wetlands under the Ramsar Convention.


The Odisha government had submitted a dossier, compiled by Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India, recommending to UNESCO that the park be declared a World Heritage Site.

In 1984, UNESCO had declared the Sun Temple at Konark in Odisha as a World Heritage Site.

Biodiversity Assess:

The team interacted with local residents living on the fringes of the forest area. The team plans to tour the core area of the national park and the surrounding water bodies. Wheelers’ Island and the Gahirmatha marine sanctuary are also on the itinerary.

The biodiversity, ecosystem and local human habitation and socio-economic condition of locals and their dependence on forest produce will be assessed.

Bhitarkanika is a unique ecosystem, highly dynamic and at the same time fragile. The delta, the river mouth, the sea, mangrove forest, avian fauna, reptiles, amphibians and fauna and flora contribute to the park’s biological diversity.


6.AP tops in energy efficiency

Source: The Hindu

The World Bank has ranked A.P. as number one in ‘Energy Efficiency Implementation Readiness’ with an overall score of 42.01 followed by Rajasthan (41.89), Karnataka (39.34) and Maharashtra (39.29). The ranking figures in a study report of the bank titled: ‘India’s State Level Energy Efficiency Implementation Readiness’ the bank and Energy Efficiency Services Ltd.

World Bank, while launching the report during the ongoing international conference on Advancing the Global Transition to Energy Efficiency as the ‘First Fuel’ with Demand Side Energy Efficiency (DSEE) in New Delhi by the World Bank and Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL)-India.

Energy efficiency:

Conserving energy is the best way to ensure a secure and sustainable energy supply and to reduce greenhouse gases and emissions. Therefore the EU has set itself the objective of saving 20% energy until 2020

The best method of improving the EPC rating is to “retro-fit” the property with a range of Energy Conservation Measures (ECM’s) such as enhanced insulations, LED Lighting, boiler optimisation etc and which combined will reduce the energy consumption of the property.


7.Mcr-1 isolated in India, a further chapter in antibiotic resistance

Source: The Hindu

  • Indian researchers have isolated a strain of E.Coli bacteria, carrying a new gene (mcr -1)
  • It is resistant to the last mile antibiotic the human race currently has access to — colistin
  • While colistin resistance had already been detected in India, it existed thus far only as mutations in the chromosomal/genetic path
  • With mcr-1, however, the gene is found in the plasmid medium, a small DNA molecule outside of the chromosomal DNA
  • This means the infection can spread in hospitals, and the community

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