Current Affairs March 2016

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Nepal joins SCO grouping as dialogue partner

Nepal was officially made a dialogue partner of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a Beijing-based regional security grouping.

In this regard, Nepal signed memorandum during Nepalese Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli official visit to China.

As a dialogue partner, Nepal will be able to participate in the multi-field cooperation of the SCO. It will also create new opportunities for the SCO’s mutually beneficial cooperation and benefit people living in the extensive region that the SCO covers.

About Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)

  • SCO is a Eurasian economic, political and military organisation.
  • 8 Members: China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan.
  • Observers: Afghanistan, Iran, Mongolia and Belarus.
  • Headquarters: Beijing, China.
  • Established: 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders 6 countries viz. China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
  • It was an outcome of The Shanghai Five grouping established in 1996 by Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.
  • SCO’s first enlargement was in 2001 with addition of Uzbekistan and second enlargement was in July 2015 with addition of 2 new members India and Pakistan.

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MoEFCC notifies new environment standards for Gensets

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC) for the first time notified new environment standards for Gensets running on various kinds of fuels including LPG, petrol and diesel in various cities.

The primary aim of the new standards for Gensets is to control air and noise pollution emanating from the operation of Gensets.

These standards were recommended by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) after consultations with industries and other stakeholders.

Key highlights of Notification

  • In all the three fuel modes of operation of Gensets, a three-tier classification has been adopted.
  • These standards will control the air and noise emission profile across different category of Gensets.
  • It would be revisited in 4-5 years once air and noise emission quality data and technological details pertaining to Gensets are available.
  • Under these standards certification is mandatory for Gensets in terms of ‘Type approval’ and ‘Conformity of Production’ for air emission as well as noise emission.
  • The manufacturers of Gensets are required to obtain the certification for engine products by empaneled agencies which help in regulating the unorganised sector.
  • It will also help curb illegal import of Gensets in the country which were observed to have higher air and noise emission values.

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March 23: World Meteorological Day

Every year 23rd March is being observed as World Meteorological Day (WMD). The theme for 2016 year is “Hotter, Drier, Wetter. Face the Future”.

The theme highlights the disruption caused by climate change on the natural pattern of the seasons and increasing frequency and intensity of certain extreme weather events such as heat waves, droughts and heavy rainfall.

On the occasion of WMD, various meteorological research awards will be also given. These awards include International Meteorological Organization Prize, Professor Dr. Vilho Vaisaila Award and Norbert Gerbier-Mumm International Award.

Background

On this day in 1950 the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Convention came into force that aimed at creating WMO. Later in 1951, WMO became United Nations specialized agency for meteorology, geophysical sciences and operational hydrology.

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