Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently participated in the online Summit of Non-Aligned Movement(NAM) Contact Group to discuss response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
About Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) –
- The Non Aligned Movement came into being 55 years ago when leaders of 25 developing countries met at the 1961 Belgrade Conference.
- 18th NAM Summit was held at Baku in Azerbaijan in October 2019. India hosted the 7th NAM Summit in the year 1983.
- NAM was born as a movement of developing countries that shunned military alliances and wished to jointly play a role in promoting peace, disarmament and development.
- Presently 120 developing countries are members of this Movement. The NAM Summits are among the largest gathering of countries, after the UN.
- 53 countries from Africa, 39 from Asia, 26 from Latin America and the Caribbean and 2 from Europe (Belarus, Azerbaijan).
- There are 17 countries and 10 international organisations that are Observers at NAM.
National Gallery of Modern Art
National Gallery of Modern Art has been temporarily closed due to COVID 19 but a virtual. National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi has started the virtual program “NGMA KE SANGRAH SE”.
This virtual program will showcase the rarely seen or maybe unseen jewels from its repository. This program is based on various weekly/ daily themes from NGMA’s prestigious collections.
About National Gallery of Modern Art –
- The idea of a national art gallery to germinate and bear fruit was first mooted in 1949. It was nurtured carefully by Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.
- Vice-president Dr S Radhakrishanan formally inaugurated the NGMA in the presence of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and artists and art lovers of the city on March 29, 1954. The choice of Jaipur House, one of the premier edifices of Lutyens’ Delhi, signified the envisaged high profile of the institution.
- Designed by architect Charles G Blomfield and his brother Francis B Blomfield, as a residence for the Maharaja of Jaipur, the butterfly-shaped building with a central dome was built in 1936. It was styled after a concept of the Central Hexagon visualised by Sir Edwin Lutyens.
- NGMA is run and administered as a subordinate office to the Department of Culture, Government of India.
- The NGMA has two branches one at Mumbai and the other at Bengaluru.
The Saras Collection
Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj has launched ‘The Saras Collection’ on the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) portal.
- A unique initiative of GeM and the Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM), Ministry of Rural Development, the Saras Collection showcases daily utility products made by rural self-help groups (SHGs) and aims to provide SHGs in rural areas with market access to Central and State Government buyers.
- Under this initiative, the SHG sellers will be able to list their products in 5 product categories, namely (i) handicrafts, (ii) handloom and textiles, (iii) office accessories, (iv) grocery and pantry, and (v) personal care and hygiene.
- In the first phase, 913 SHGs from 11 States have already registered as sellers and 442 products have been on-boarded. In order to develop a scalable model capable of onboarding a large number of SHGs across the country in a short time frame, GeM has developed an API based integration mechanism with the NRLM database.
Role of GeM –
- GeM will provide dashboards for functionaries at the national, state, district and block level to provide them real time information about the number of products uploaded by SHGs, and value and volume of orders received and fulfilled.
- In addition, Government buyers shall be sensitised through system generated messages/ alerts in the Marketplace about availability of SHG products on the portal. Potential buyers shall be able to search, view, cart and procure such products through the stipulated modes of procurement.
About DAY-NRLM –
- DAY-NLRM aims to reduce poverty through promotion of diversified and gainful self-employment while creating skilled wage employment opportunities.
- The scheme supports building social capital and ensuring financial linkages to alleviate poverty and enhance the quality of the life of rural poor women.
- It has ambitious plans on innovations for alternate channels of financial inclusion like digital finance, creating value chains around rural products and improving market access, rural enterprise and strengthening community institutions.
About GeM –
- Government e Marketplace (GeM) is a 100 percent Government owned Section 8 Company set up as the National Public Procurement Portal for procurement of goods and services required by Central and State Government organisations.
- GeM provides an online, end to end solution for procurement of goods and services for all Central Government and State Government Ministries, Departments, Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs), local bodies and autonomous organisations.
- The platform reduces human interventions in procurement and enables transparency, cost savings, inclusiveness and efficiency of faceless standardised public procurement.
African Swine Fever
Assam Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Minister has said that the Centre has advised the State Government to go for the culling of pigs affected by the African Swine Fever (ASF).
About African Swine Fever –
- It is a highly contagious and fatal animal disease that infects and leads to an acute form of hemorrhagic fever in domestic and wild pigs.
- It was first detected in Africa in the 1920s.
- The mortality is close to 100% and since the fever has no cure, the only way to stop its spread is by culling the animals.
- ASF is not a threat to human beings since it only spreads from animals to other animals.
- ASF is a disease listed in the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Terrestrial Animal Health Code and thus, reported to the OIE.
About World Organisation for Animal Health –
- It is an intergovernmental organisation responsible for improving animal health worldwide.
- In 2018, it had a total of 182 member countries (India is one of them).
- OIE standards are recognised by the World Trade Organisation as reference international sanitary rules.
- It is headquartered in Paris, France.
The External Affairs Ministry issued a “strong protest” over an order by the Pakistan Supreme Court allowing the Imran Khan government to hold elections in the region of Gilgit-Baltistan of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
What is the issue?
- India had issued a demarche to protest what it called Pakistan’s attempt to make “material changes” to the disputed area, by bringing federal authority to Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B), which has functioned as a “provincial autonomous region” since 2009.
- On April 30, a seven-judge Bench of the Supreme Court in Islamabad, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed, had allowed the government to organise general elections in Gilgit-Baltistan, and to set up a caretaker government there before that.
About Gilgit-Baltistan –
- It is a picturesque, hilly region to the north of Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) and east of the Pakistani province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
- The British sold it, along with the rest of Jammu and Kashmir, to the Dogra ruler of Jammu, Gulab Singh, after defeating the Sikh army in 1846.
- However they retained controlled over the area through a lease extracted from the Maharaja. This lease was last renewed in 1935.
- In 1947, a British army officer of the rank of Colonel imprisoned Maharaja Hari Singh’s governor in the region, and handed over the area for accession to Pakistan.
- Gilgit Baltistan (GB) is spread over 72,871 sq km, and is five-and-a-half times the size of PoK. But it is sparsely populated, with just under 20 lakh people.
- Gilgit-Baltistan is divided into three administrative divisions and 10 districts.
- Though both PoK and GB are ruled directly from Islamabad, neither is officially listed as the territory of Pakistan.
- Pakistan has just four provinces – Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (which now includes the Federally Administered Tribal areas or FATA), Balochistan, and Sindh.
- PoK and GB are both “autonomous territories”.