Nepal Current Affairs

Bidya Devi Bhandari: Nepal’s 1st woman President re-elected for 2nd term

Nepal’s first woman President Bidya Devi Bhandari (56) was relected for second term in office. In the presidential election, she defeated Nepali Congress (NC) leader Kumari Laxmi Rai with overwhelming majority.  Ms. Bhandari was elected with more than a two-thirds majority after she secured 39,275 votes while the Nepali Congress’s Ms. Rai garnered 11,730 votes.

Background

President of Nepal is ceremonial head of state, under the new Republican Federal Constitution of Nepal. The electoral college for presidential election comprised of members of Parliament and Provincial Assemblies. Ms. Bhandari’s nomination for re-election was backed by ruling Left alliance of CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Centre), Sanghiya Samajbai Forum-Nepal and other fringe parties. ith 148 lawmakers in Federal Parliament and 243 in Provincial Assemblies, the CPN-UML commanded total vote of 23,356. Opposition NC having 76 seats in parliament and 113 in provincial assemblies, had total votes of 11,428.

Bidya Devi Bhandari

She was born on June 1961 in Bhojpur, Nepal. She became Nepal’s first woman President in 2015. Prior to getting elected, she was deputy leader of Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist)-CPN-UML party led by incumbent Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli. She was elected twice in parliamentary elections in 1994 and 1999. Earlier she had served as Defence Minister of the country and has been an active campaigner for women’s rights.

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Samvedna 2018: IAF’s first multilateral HADR air exercise in South Asia

Samvedna 2018, the first multilateral Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercise of Indian Air Force (IAF) in association with South Asian Region nations was held off the coast of Kerala. The multilateral exercise was spearheaded by IAF and conducted by Southern Air Command (SAC) and involved representatives from air forces of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and UAE.

Key Facts

Samvedna, which means ‘Empathy’ focused on practising Air Force-centric HADR solutions in Multi-national cooperative Disaster Management environment. The objective of exercise was to galvanise all stakeholders in synergising unified HADR efforts. It will also ensure better understanding and sharing of response procedures between number of friendly neighbouring nations.

The entire settings of exercise was based on scenario of tsunami in western coast of India originating from earthquake in Makran subduction zone (along northeastern margin of Gulf of Oman adjacent to southwestern coast of Balochistan of Pakistan) and resulting in post-tsunami disaster management along western coast and western islands of India.

The exercise will provide clear understanding of scope, role and task, including challenges in air operations and ensuring better understanding and sharing of response procedures among nations. The broad format of exercise will include ground training and flying exercise.

This exercise will help in putting in place basic framework for conduct of Joint Air HADR operations in the region, which will be further refined during subsequent exercises. It is also expected to lead to more coordinated and efficient HADR Air operations in entire South Asian region when need arises.

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