Assam Current Affairs - 2020

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India and ADB sign Loan Agreement of $60 million for Assam

Government of India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a loan agreement of $60 million for financing project for renovation, protection and community-based flood risk management activities along the Brahmaputra river in Assam. The objective of the program is to enhance the reliability and effectiveness of flood and river bank erosion risk management systems in Assam. Duration of the loan is 20 years with the grace period of five years. Interest rates are determined by ADB based on London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and commitment charge of 0.15% per year.

Key Facts

In 2010, ADB had approved the Tranch 2 Loan of $120 million for Assam Integrated Flood and River Bank Erosion Risk Management Investment Program. The Project 2 of the program will help to fund the structural and non-structural measures in three sub Project areas – Palasbari Gumi, Kaziranga and Dibrugarh along the Brahmaputra river which covers 20 km of riverbank protection work and flood embankments upto 13 km.

The executing and implementing agencies for this project are Flood and River Erosion Management Agency of Assam and Assam State Disaster Management Authority. The project will create and strengthen disaster management system and knowledge base for flood forecasting.

Brahmaputra River

The river originates from Mansarovar Lake in Himalayas in Tibet with the name Yarlung Tsangpo.  It is one of the major rivers of Asia flowing in China, India and Bangladesh. The river has different names along its path. It is known as Yarlung Tsangpo in China, and Brahamputra in India. When it enters Bangladesh, it is called Jamuna river before merging with Ganga and finally Meghna when it drains into Bay of Bengal.

Asian Development Bank

It is a Multilateral development bank established on 19th December 1966 with objective to promote social and economic development in Asia. It is headquartered at Manila, Philippines. The President of the bank is Takehiko Nakao. Presently 67 countries are the member of ADB and Japan and United States are the largest shareholders of the bank. Other shareholders include China, India and Australia.

UNICEF appoints Singer Nahid Afrin as first Youth Advocate of NE region to fight for child rights

United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has appointed popular singer Nahid Afrin (17) of Assam as the first ‘Youth Advocate’ of the northeastern region to fight for child rights. UNICEF engages ‘Youth Advocates’ to harness their voice as agents of change in society. Nahid had made her playback debut in 2016 Bollywood film ‘Akira’ starring Sonakshi Sinha in the lead. She received best female playback singer award at the Assam state Film Award 2018.

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Formerly known as United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund is special program of UN devoted to aiding national efforts to improve the health, nutrition, education, and general welfare of children. It was created in 1946 to provide relief to children in countries devastated by World War II. It is headquartered in New York City.

After 1950, it directed its efforts toward general programs for improvement of children’s welfare, particularly in less-developed countries and various emergency situations. Its broader mission was reflected in present name adopted in 1953. It was awarded Nobel Prize for Peace in 1965.

Since 1996 UNICEF programs have been guided by Convention on Rights of the Child (1989), which affirms right of all children to enjoyment of highest attainable standard of health and to facilities for treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health.

Much of UNICEF’s efforts are concentrated in areas in which relatively small expenditures, but have significant impact on lives of the most disadvantaged children, such as the prevention and treatment of disease. Its activities are financed by both government and private contributions. It supports immunization programs for childhood diseases and programs to prevent spread of HIV/AIDS. It also provides funding for health services, educational facilities and other welfare services.