Today's Headlines

Today's Headlines - 06 December 2022

India jumps to 48th place in ICAO aviation safety ranking

GS Paper - 2 (Infrastructure)

India has jumped to the 48th position in the global aviation safety ranking by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), according to DGCA officials. Four years ago, the country was ranked at the 102nd position. In the ranking, Singapore is at the top, followed by the UAE and South Korea at the second and third positions, respectively. China is at the 49th place.

India's highest-ever score

  1. India’s DGCA has earned it’s highest-ever EI score of 85.49 per cent. In the last audit in 2018, India’s score was 69.95 per cent when it ranked 102 with countries like Nepal (101st spot) Pakistan (100th spot)Bangladesh (94th spot) and Sudan (89th spot) above it.
  2. Now that India has earned a slot among the top 50, it ranks above China (49)Israel (50)Turkey (54)Denmark (55) and Poland (60).
  3. The ICAO audit was conducted in the areas of - LegislationOrganisationPersonal LicensingOperationsAirworthiness and Aerodromes. Teams from the UN agency went to Delhi Airport; IGI Airport air traffic control; Airport Authority of India's communication, navigation and surveillance (CNS) wing.
  4. Better score and ranking mean it will be easier for Indian carriers to widen their wings abroad.
  5. The improvement in India’s aviation safety ranking comes at a time from Tata Group’s Air India and IndiGo are looking at massive expansion plans.

ICAO audit

  1. The ICAO audit or “coordinated validation mission” called “USOAP continuous monitoring approach” was done in India from 9 to 16 November 2022.
  2. EI scores are given for eight areas and ICAO audited six critical areas in India which included legislation, organisation, personal licensing, operations, airworthiness and aerodromes.
  3. Aircraft accident and investigation, and air navigation services areas were left unaudited.
  4. The top five countries in the ICAO ranking are SingaporeUAESouth KoreaFrance and Iceland. The US was at the 22nd place and Qatar at 25th place.


India 'uniquely positioned' in SDGs: UN

GS Paper -2 (International Organizations and policies)

India is "uniquely positioned" with its G20 presidency to help the world bring on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as adopted by the United Nations for 2030, given its good relations across the board and as a voice of the Global South.

More about the news

  1. India's G20 presidency has come at a time when we are at the midpoint of the SDG agenda and the recent months and years have brought multiple crises.
  2. Due to India’s good relation across the board and as a voice of Global South will help achieve our goals on SDG.
  3. SDGs adopted in 2015 by the UN General Assembly are a collection of 17 global goalsfor peace and prosperity for people and the planet, intended to be achieved by 2030.
  4. The theme for India's G20 presidency has been chosen as 'One earth, one family, one future' because "we believe that everyone is part of one cosmos".
  5. Different countries may have different political views and different economic models, but ultimately are part of one single universe and therefore it is necessary to break political boundaries to ensure peace and harmony in the world.
  6. One of the key challenges before "all of us is how to bring about resilient and sustainable growth, how to accelerate the pace of creating better livelihoods, how do we ensure better learning outcomes, how do we improve health and quality of lives for all of us.

Challenges before all of us:

  1. We are passing through a major geopolitical crisis such as crisis of climate action and climate finance.
  2. Due to poverty, global debt, literacy and inflation and slowdown of global growth.


India’s agenda as the G20 President:

  1. The Indonesian President officially handed over the G20 presidency to India on November 16 this year at the summit in Bali.
  2. The year-long presidency assumed by India comes at a time when the world is struck with uncertainties about recovery from a pandemic-hit economy.
  3. India will work to depoliticise the global supply of food, fertilisers and medical products, hailing its position as the “voice of the Global South”


India, Germany sign agreements

GS Paper - 2 (International Relations)

The External Affairs Minister signed comprehensive partnership agreements on migration and mobility with German Foreign Minister in New Delhi. The two Ministers held wide-ranging talks focusing on ways to ramp up bilateral cooperation, especially in areas of energy, trade and climate change. India and Germany have a common interest in ensuring a stronger and safer global economy.

On migration

  1. The agreement on migration will ease mobility issues. The visa challenges (for Indians to Germany) will be resolved.
  2. The purpose of the migration agreement was to make it easier for students and researchers from India to go to Germany, and for German investors and businessmen to find it easier to travel to India.

As Natural partner

  1. India is Germany’s “natural partner” and that the country will have a decisive influence in shaping the international order in the 21st century.
  2. The Indian Government has set itself ambitious goals not only in the G20 but also at home for its own people.
  3. In expanding renewable energies, India wants to push ahead with the energy transition more than before. Germany stands by India’s side.
  4. Due to the dramatic effects of the climate crisis, destroying livelihoods in Europe as well as in India. Bothwant to strengthen economic, climate and security policy cooperation and that is beyond the strategic partnership.
  5. Both countries have a close engagement on democracy, human rights and rule of law.

India-Germany recent meetings:

  1. The ties between India and Germany are on an upswing in the last few years.
  2. To expand bilateral economic engagement and defence collaboration figured prominently in a meeting last month between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chancellor Olaf Scholz on the side-lines of the G20 summit in Bali.
  3. In May, Mr. Modi visited Berlin for the sixth India-Germany Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC). It was followed by his visit to Germany for the G7 Summit at Chancellor Scholz’s invitation.
  4. In 2019 both signed a joint declaration of intent on Green Urban Mobility Partnership (GUMP) and agreed to collaborate more closely to transform urban transport systems through more efficient, people-centric and low-carbon mobility solutions.


World Soil Day

GS Paper -3 (Environment and Economy)

World Soil Day (WSD) 2022, annually observed on 5 December, aligns with its guiding theme, ‘Soils: Where food begins’, is a means to raise awareness on the importance of maintaining healthy soils, ecosystems and human well-being by addressing the growing challenges in soil management, encouraging societies to improve soil health, and advocating the sustainable management of soil.

United Nation Role

  1. The United Nations observes world soil day every yearon December 5 in a bid to raise awareness about the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems by addressing challenges posed by soil management.
  2. This year, the theme for the observance of this day is ‘soils: where food begins.
  3. The proposal for an international day to celebrate soil dates back to 2002 and was initiated by the International Union of Soil Sciences.
  4. The UN general assembly adopted the proposal officially almost a decade later and in 2014, the first official world soil day was observed.

Soil significance

  1. Healthy soils are essential for our survival,support healthy plant growth to enhance both our nutrition and water percolation to maintain groundwater levels.
  2. They help to regulate the planet’s climate by storing carbon and are the second largest carbon sink after the oceans.
  3. They help maintain a landscape that is more resilient to the impacts of droughts and floods.
  4. As soil is the basis of food systems, it is no surprise that soil health is critical for healthy food production.

Soil Degradation factors

  1. Degradation affects around 29% of India’s total land area.
  2. The main drivers are industrial activities, mining, waste treatment, agriculture, fossil fuel extraction and processing and transport emissions.
  3. Due to excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides, and irrigation with contaminated wastewater are also polluting soils.
  4. It is due to soil erosion, runoff, leaching and the burning of crop residues.

Consequence of degradation:

  1. It threatens agricultural productivity, in-situ biodiversity conservation, water quality and the socio-economic well-being of land dependent communities.
  2. Around 3.7 million hectares suffer from nutrient loss in soil (depletion of soil organic matter, or SOM).
  3. It can have irreparable consequences on human and ecosystem health.

India’s conservation strategy

  1. The Government of India is implementing a five-pronged strategy for soil conservation.
  2. By making soil chemical-free, saving soil biodiversity, enhancing SOM, maintaining soil moisture, mitigating soil degradation and preventing soil erosion.
  3. Soil Health Card (SHC) scheme is launched in 2015, to give information relating to soil type, soil deficiency and soil moisture content.
  4. Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana is launchedto prevent soil erosion, regeneration of natural vegetation, rainwater harvesting and recharging of the groundwater table.
  5. National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) has schemes promoting traditional indigenous practices such as organic farming and natural farming.

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