Current Affairs – December 2016

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Union Cabinet approves India’s approach to climate change negotiations at COP22 to UNFCCC

The Union Cabinet approved India’s approach to Climate Change Negotiations at the 22 Conference of Parties (COP) to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), held in Marrakesh, Morocco in November 2016.

The approval aims to safeguard interest of poor and vulnerable groups by laying stress on adaptation, damage and loss while protecting the development space.

What is India’s approach?

Growth and development of a country are linked with Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. The development space for India and developing countries needs to be preserved while combating the ill-effects of climate change. It seeks to address the adaptation needs of the country to combat the ill-effects of climate change and also enables the achievement of developmental goal. The approach incorporates the interest of all strata of society in the country.

Background

India in the 22 COP to UNFCCC had participated constructively to ensure that actions are based on the principles of equity and climate justice. India in along with other developing countries was able to ensure that climate actions are based on the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) and climate justice.

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Seventh Indo-Maldives joint military exercise EKUVERIN begins 

The seventh edition of India, Maldives bilateral EKUVERIN Exercise 2016 began at Kadhdhoo, Laamu Atoll, Maldives.

The aim of 14 day platoon level joint military exercise is to conduct military training between armies of both countries with emphasis on amphibious & counter insurgency, counter terrorism operations. 

Key Facts
  • In this edition of exercise, Indian contingent is represented by BIHAR Regiment and a similar contingent strength of the Maldivian National Defence Force.
  • It will cover varied military training activities in order to enhance interoperability between the two defence forces. It will conclude with tactical exercises.

The sixth edition of the exercise was held in India at Pangode Military Station in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala.

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Union Cabinet approves MoU between ISRO and USGS

The Union Cabinet has approved MoU signed between ISRO and United States Geological Survey (USGS) for Cooperation in t exchange and use of US Land Remote Sensing Satellite Data.

This MoU signed in July 2016 will enable ISRO to receive USGS’s Landsat-7 and 8 in India. It will also allow USGS to receive ISRO’s Resourcesat-2 (AWiFS and LISS III) data of US region.

Background

ISRO is actively pursuing civilian space cooperation with many US organisations including National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), United States Geological Survey (USGS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for its interest. ISRO had received data from Landsat series of satellites operated by USGS during 1984 to 2001 through its ground station at Shadnagar. The data received from Landsat series of satellites was used by Indian scientists during the inception of Indian remote sensing programme. Recently in February 2013, USGS has launched Landsat -8 satellite. ISRO expressed interest in direct reception of Landsat-8 data in India, while USGS expressed interest in obtaining data from ISRO’s RESOURCESAT-2 satellite.

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