International Current Affairs - 2020

International Day for Disaster Reduction: October 13

International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) is observed every year on October 13 to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction. The observance of day seeks to encourage citizens and governments to take part in building more disaster resilient communities and nations. It also celebrates how people and communities around world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in risks that they face.  It also seeks to spread awareness about reining risks of disasters around world and also reduce exposure of people and communities to disasters. The theme of 2018 International Day for Disaster Reduction was ‘Reducing Disaster Economic Losses’. It focuses on Target C of Sendai Framework, which aims at ‘reducing disaster economic losses in relation to global GDP by 2030’.

Background

UN General Assembly (UNGA) in 1989 had instituted International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction. to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction. Earlier, this day was celebrated annually on the second Wednesday of October. But in 2009, the UNGA formally designated 13 October and changed its name to International Day for Disaster Reduction by adopting Resolution 64/200.

Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) 2015-30

SFDRR is an international Treaty that was approved by UN member states in March 2015 at Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai, Japan. It is voluntary and non-binding treaty which recognizes that UN member State has primary role to reduce disaster risk. It has framework for 15-year (2015 to 2030). It calls for sharing the responsibility with other stakeholders including local government, the private sector and other stakeholders. It is successor of the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005–2015), which had been the most encompassing international accord on disaster risk reduction. 7 Global Targets of SFDRR are (refer image below)

Stanford University named World’s Most Innovative University: Reuters

Stanford University was named as World’s Most Innovative University by Reuters news agency rankings. No Indian was able to make it to the list. The Reuters’ top 100 World’s Most Innovative University ranking recognises universities from across the world for their work in inventing new technologies, advance science and power new markets and industries. It was first published in 2015, since then there has been no mention of any Indian university in the list.

Key Facts

In this top 100 list, 48 universities are from North America find mention on the list, 23 Asian universities, 27 from Europe and 2 from the Middle East. The list has no mention of universities from South America, Africa and Oceania countries that include Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.

US dominated the list with 46 universities among the top 100. This year Chinese varsities have increased their presence in this with total five universities. The key factor was this year’s ranking was Geopolitical trends. Stanford University from US has topped this list for four consecutive years. The second and third spots have been held by US’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University respectively.

Top 10 Innovative Universities

  • Stanford University, US
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), US
  • Harvard University, US
  • University of Pennsylvania, US
  • University of Washington, US
  • University of Texas System, US
  • KU Leuven, Belgium
  • Imperial College London, United Kingdom
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, US
  • Vanderbilt University, US