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Two-day 20th National Conference on e-Governance concludes in Visakhapatnam 

The two day National Conference on e-Governance concluded in Visakhapatnam today. The Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology and Law & Justice Shri P.P. Chaudhary chaired the valedictory session of the 20th National Conference on e-Governance. Addressing on the occasion, Shri P.P. Chaudhary said that there is a need for bridging the digital divide between the urban and rural areas. He said the Union government promotes research and development and innovative eco-system of Information Technology and also encourages acquisition of the Intellectual Property Rights by Indians.
●    The Minister further said that Cyber Security is the need of the hour and artificial intelligence will provide solutions to the problem of cyber security. There is also need for development of Nano technology and Nano electronics which helps for imparting value based education based on Mission mode Nano Electronics. India will be in a position to manufacture electronics devices and products in the country very soon, he added.
●    Shri P.P. Chaudhary also said that Andhra Pradesh is a pioneer in providing 725 e-governance services in rural areas. Government is committed for inclusive development through e- governance and providing several services to the citizens namely ration cards in public distribution system, passports, driving licenses and Voter IDs on the click of a button through mobile phones. 
●    The Prime Minister’s vision of Digital India can be achieved through e- governance, he added. The Minister said there is a need for use of technology into making a 3D animation form in various languages and its application in medical, Higher and professional education that would enhance the learning capabilities of the students. Shri P.P. Chaudhary said the linking of the AADHAAR Cards has helped the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) and the beneficiaries get their financial benefits directly to their bank accounts.
●    On the occasion Shri P.P. Chaudhary gave away the awards to the winners. National Awards for e-Governance 2016-17 were presented in two types of awards for each category. 

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National Consultative Committee meeting on De-addiction and Rehabilitation (NCCDR) held 


The Meeting of “National Consultative Committee on De-addiction and Rehabilitation (NCCDR)” held here today under the chairmanship of Shri Vijay Sampla, Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment. Smt. Anita Agnihotri, Secretary, M/o SJ&E and senior officers were present in the meeting. Representatives of States and Union territories and Regional Resource & Training Centres (RRTCs) and many NGOs participated in the meeting. Addressing on the occasion, the Minister called upon the members of the National Consultative Committee to share their views and opinions frequently and regularly on this serious issue.
●    The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is the nodal Ministry for drug demand reduction. It coordinates and monitors all aspects of drug abuse prevention which include assessment of the extent of the problem, preventive action, treatment and rehabilitation of addicts, dissemination of information and public awareness. The Ministry provides community-based services for the identification, treatment and rehabilitation of addicts through voluntary organizations.
●    During the meeting, the following important issues were discussed:
●    Evolving and strengthening appropriate models for the prevention of alcoholism, drug and substance abuse, treatment and rehabilitation of drug dependent individuals.
●    Ensuring the facility of De-addiction Centres in each District and increasing the number of Regional Resource & Training Centres (RRTCs).
●    Establishing separate and specialised de-addiction treatment centres/facilities for drug dependent females and children, especially in Central Government Hospitals/Medical colleges.
●    Organizing awareness generation programmes in different parts of the countryand conducting sensitization and preventive education programmes in schools and colleges throughout the year.
●    Establishing a system of accreditation of facilities offering services connected with drug abuse. 
●    Formulation of National Alcohol Policy.


 

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Expectations from the Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction to be held in New Delhi next month 

The Government of India is hosting the first Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) after the advent of the Sendai Framework for DRR (SFDRR). 
●    The SFDRR (2015-2030) was adopted by at the Third World Conference on DRR at Sendai in Japan in March, 2015. It is the first major agreement of the post-2015 development agenda and identifies targets and priority action areas towards reducing disaster risk - 'reducing the damage caused by natural hazards like earthquakes, floods, droughts and cyclones, through an ethic of prevention'. While listing governments as primary stakeholders, it also calls for shared responsibility with others including local governments and the private sector. 
●    The AMCDRR, scheduled to be held from November 3-5, 2016, at the Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi will pave the way towards implementation of this Framework in the Asian region. It will also devise a mechanism for monitoring its progress. 
●    Participating stakeholders, including governments, Non-Governmental Organisations, academia, civil society, volunteers, among others, would make actionable commitments arrived at through collaboration, consultation and partnership amongst all. 
●    The Conference will adopt the ‘Asian Regional Plan for Implementation of the Sendai Framework’. Taking the Sendai Framework forward, which clarifies the ‘What’ that needs to be done at all levels to reduce disaster risk, this Plan will focus on the ‘How to’ at national and local levels. It will devise a longer term roadmap of cooperation and collaboration, spanning the 15-year horizon of the Sendai Framework, as well as a two-year action plan to further disaster risk reduction with specific, actionable activities. 
●    Other outcomes will include the New Delhi Declaration, which will spell out the commitment of participating governments towards preventing and reducing disaster risk, and strengthening the resilience of communities, nations and the Asian region. 
●    Besides these, stakeholder groups will also come up with action statements aimed towards a ‘shared responsibility’ approach in implementation of the SFDRR. 
●    Established in 2005, the AMCDRR is a biennial conference jointly organized by different Asian countries and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). 


 

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G20 summit concludes : Few Hard Economic Targets set


 
•    The theme of 2016 G20 Summit was Toward an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy.
•    It was the 11th summit since the inception of G20 in 1999.The summit was attended by all the leaders of the G20 including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
•    The chair of the summit was Xi Jinping, President of China.
•    The world leaders endorsed free trade and a crowded agenda that included the Koreas, Syria and refugees.
•    The guest invitees in the summit were: Egypt, Kazakhstan, Laos, Senegal, Spain, Singapore and Thailand.
•    The 2017 G20 Summit will be held in Hamburg, Germany, under the leadership of Angela Merkel.
•    G20 Members: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and European Union.

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G20 Skips Deadline on Paris Climate Change Pact - Advantage India

DESPITE pressure from the US and China, the final G20 communiqué has skipped any mention of the December 2016 deadline for member-countries to ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change. 
•    It has also avoided specifying a date for ending fossil fuel subsidies.
•    Both the moves were strongly opposed by India during the three-day meetings of negotiators before the leaders’ summit on September 4-5.
•    In his intervention on the summit’s concluding day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi acknowledged that climate change was one of the foremost challenges, with the Paris Agreement showing the way forward. 
•    The Prime Minister’s point man at the summit, Arvind Panagariya, said that India was not ready in terms of domestic actions to ratify the agreement before 2016-end, but that it plans to do so at the earliest.
 

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Tourism Ministers of BRICS to Meet in Khajuraho Madhya Pradesh

The Tourism Ministers of BRICS countries will meet in Madhya Pradesh's temple city Khajuraho for a two-day long conference from September 1. 
•    During the conference, several presentations will be made and group discussions on Inter-Regional Tourism Promotion will be held. 
•    Further, a session on implementing technology and innovation in the sector will be held along with various cultural programmes.
•    On the first day of the meet a presentation will be made on the Indian Tourism Ministry's 'Atulya Bharat' campaign by Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar.
•    Later, BRICS nation's representatives and Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) delegation will make a presentation, it said.
•    On the second day, Indian Travel and Trade and its associated institutes will have a meeting with the BRICS representatives. 
•    Group discussions will also be held on the Inter-Regional Tourism Promotion.
•    Besides a session on implementing technology and innovation in tourism sector will also be held.
•    Various cultural programmes including light and sound show will also be organised for the participants during the event.
 

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The second BRICS Youth Summit was held in Guwahati, Assam from 1st July 2016 to 3rd July 2016.

The 2016 BRICS Youth Summit held in Guwahati, Assam concluded on 3 July 2016. The theme of the 2nd youth summit that started on 1 July 2016 was“Youth as bridge for Intra-BRICS Exchanges”.
The three day summit saw participation of officials and youth of the delegation from BRICS nations, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
•    Create and strengthen apprenticeship programmes in the existing BRICS institutions
•    Document and disseminate success stories among the BRICS nations
•    Facilitate transfer of skills between mentors and mentees among the BRICS nations 
•    Ensure access to decent jobs for youth across the BRICS nations
•    Promote and replicate the Know About Business (KAB) entrepreneurship programme within the BRICS nations
•    Provide  training  to  Small  and  Medium  Enterprises  (SMEs)  on  business  development services, business plans and website development
•    Create  and  promote  regular  expositions  of  young  people  and  youth  entrepreneurs  to facilitate exchange of best practices, new technologies and seek financial support
•    Social inclusion is a cross-cutting concern within the BRICS nations. Initiatives must, therefore, prioritise marginalised and vulnerable young people to ensure access to education, healthcare, including reproductive health and social protection services.
•    Initiate capacity building programmes for professionals who work with young people in the BRICS nations.
•    Create a BRICS Social Science Youth Research Network.
•    Facilitate cross-learning to access opportunities for leadership development. 
•    Accredit and recognise youth volunteer programmes for acceptance across the BRICS nations.
•    Establish online platforms to highlight best practices, opportunities and recognise good work. 
•    Design and facilitate volunteer exchange programmes with a unified set of standards.
•    Provide volunteers with opportunities to have mutually enriching learning experiences including internships with official institutions.
•    Develop capacities of professionals managing volunteer programmes.
•    In order to create and systematise a road map for youth exchange programmes between the BRICS nations, promote model of BRICS Summer School in respective countries and offer opportunities for youth to participate.
•    Coordinate existing and create new opportunities for youth participation in governance and decision making.
•    Facilitate the capacities and participation of youth in public policy, programme formulation and monitoring & evaluation. 
•    Advocate for incorporation of lessons on public policy, governance and civic engagement in school curricula.
•    Explore the possibility of creating a BRICS Youth Council (BYC) with a minimum of two thirds representation of youth. 
•    Appeal to the New Development Bank to provide financial support for youth initiatives as proposed by the BRICS nations.
•    Design and facilitate exchange programmes in the four thematic areas.
•    Establish the BRICS Youth Secretariat initially in virtual form, consisting of one government official and one youth representative from each nation to ensure the realisation of youth initiatives agreed upon at the BRICS Youth Summits.
•    Create an online platform to share best practices and opportunities.
•    Report on the progress made at the next BRICS Youth Sum.
•    The 1st BRICS Youth Summit was held in Kazan, Russia in 2015.

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Heart of Asia conference begins in New Delhi

The Heart of Asia (HoA) conference began in New Delhi with the objective of bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan. 
The conference was attended by officials of a number of countries and is likely to deliberate on a host of issues like combating challenge of extremism and terrorism. 
•    HoA process have been to devise a sustained, incremental approach to implementation of the confidence building measures (CBM) in Afghanistan/ It will also seek to speed up reconstruction in Afghanistan with a focus on enhancing investment and connectivity to the country. 
•    Energy, infrastructure and investment deals to shore up economic growth of Afghanistan may figure in the talks. 
•    HoA conference is a part of the Istanbul Process established 2011 which provides a platform to discuss an agenda of regional cooperation with Afghanistan at its centre. 
•    The 14 member countries of HoA engage in result-oriented cooperation for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan and, by extension, a secure and prosperous region as a whole. 
•    14 participating countries: Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Azerbaijan and Turkey. Supporting countries: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Iraq, Japan, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, UK and US. Supporting Organisations: UN, NATO, SAARC, SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) and OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation).

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