National & International Current Affairs – UPSC/KAS Exams – 24th & 25th June 2018

Swachh ranking

  • The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs released the Swachh Survekshan 2018 ranking for clean cities featuring 485 cities across the country on Saturday and four cities from Tamil Nadu are among the top 100.
  • The ministry has declared Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Chattisgarh as the top three states in terms of cleanness and sanitation.
  • While Jharkhand has been awarded as the ‘1st Best Performing State’, Maharashtra and Chattisgarh have been named as 2nd and 3rd performing states in the rankings.
  • The ‘Swachh Survekshan – 2018’ ranking of the Cities, separately done for those with a population of one lakh or more (national ranking) and those below one lakh (state and zonal rankings), was based on assessment of progress from January 2017 till December 2017 (extended till January 2018 for Cantonment Boards only) under Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U).


  • To encourage large scale citizen participation and create awareness amongst all sections of society about the importance of working together towards making towns and cities a better place to live in.
  • Additionally, the survey also intends to foster a spirit of healthy competition among towns and cities to improve their service delivery to citizens, towards creating cleaner cities.

Biodiversity Management Committees

Context: The local Biodiversity Management Committee constituted as per the Karnataka Biodiversity Act, 2002, seems to exist only on paper as the members have not met since one year.

As per the rules and guidelines of the Act every local body ‘shall constitute a Biodiversity Management Committee within its area of jurisdiction for the purpose of promoting conservation, sustainable use and documentation of biological diversity including preservation of habitats, chronicling of knowledge related to biological diversity,’ etc.

Biological diversity act 2002

  • The Biological Diversity Act, 2002 is an Act of the Parliament of India for preservation of biological diversity in India, and provides mechanism for equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of traditional biological resources and knowledge.
  • The Act was enacted to meet the obligations under Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), to which India is a party.
  • Biological Diversity Act 2002 mandates all local bodies to setup Biodiversity Management Committees (BMC).
  • Structure: One Chairperson, Six Members: 1/3rd of nominated should be women, SC/ST reservation as per state demography.


  • Preserve and promote local biodiversity- breeds of birds, animals and plants.
  • Prepare People’s Biodiversity Register (PBR)- an Electronic database with inputs from locals.
  • Maintain data medicinal plants/resources used by local Vaidhya (traditional healer).
  • Advice State & National Biodiversity Boards on matters related to local biodiversity.
  • Under Nagoya Protocol of Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), they can collect fees for granting access to Biodiversity register to researchers and commercial companies.

Annual coordinated patrol

  •  India and Bangladesh have agreed to institute a Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) as an annual feature between the two navies. The first edition will be inaugurated by Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba during his visit there from June 24 to 29.
  • “The commencement of CORPAT is major step towards enhanced operational interaction between both navies. Naval cooperation between India and Bangladesh has been traditionally strong, encompassing a wide span which includes operational interactions through port calls, passage exercises along with capacity building, capability enhancement and training initiatives,”
  • Over the last few years, the Navy has expanded its assistance to countries in the region through “material support, training, EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) surveillance, provisioning of platforms, hydrographic assistance, joint exercises and offering slots in professional training courses.”
  • The Navy regularly conducts CORPATs with Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand. It also conducts EEZ surveillance of Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles on their request.

Yog Aayog

  •  The Haryana government will constitute a ‘Yog Aayog’ to promote yoga in the State, With this, Haryana will become the second State after Chhattisgarh to constitute a ‘Yog Aayog’.


Context: UNISPACE+50 was held recently to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

  • UNISPACE+50 will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
  • Since 1968, the United Nations has held three conferences on the exploration and peaceful uses of outer space: UNISPACE I, Vienna, 1968,UNISPACE II, Vienna, 1982,UNISPACE III, Vienna, 1999.
  • It will also be an opportunity for the international community to gather and consider the future course of global space cooperation for the benefit of humankind.

UNISPACE+50 will consist of two main parts:

  • A UNISPACE+50 Symposium, aimed at the broader space community.
  • A special UNISPACE+50 High-level Segment of the 61st session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.


Context: Ministry of Women & Child Development has received the ‘Best Performing Social Sector Ministry’ SKOCH Award for its Achievements and Initiatives.

SKOCH Award celebrates excellence of governance delivery by domain departments. This includes having sufficient familiarity, capacity and knowledge about the functionality of their systems, processes and outcomes.

Who can nominate?

  • Central Government, State Government, Local Body Municipality City / District Administration State Owned Enterprises / Undertakings
  • Only end-user departments and domain ministries may apply including State undertakings.
  • Competitive Nominations from System Integrators or Contractors (including Government System Integrators or solution providers) are not accepted.
  • For e-Governance category, System Integrators are requested to encourage their client-departments to apply for the Awards. System Integrator, which has the highest number of its user departments awarded, will qualify for the SKOCH Special Award.
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