Sustainable Development Current Affairs
NITI Aayog has constituted Himalayan State Regional Council to ensure sustainable development of Indian Himalayan region. It will be chaired by Dr VK Saraswat, Member, NITI Aayog and will consist of Chief Secretaries of Himalayan States as well as Secretaries of key Central Ministries, senior officers of NITI Aayog as well as special invitees.
The Council has been constituted to review and implement identified action points based on Reports of five Working Groups, which were established along thematic areas to prepare a roadmap for action. It will be nodal agency for Sustainable development in Himalayan Region which consists of 12 States namely Jammu &Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, two districts of Assam namely Dima Hasao and KarbiAnglong and Darjeeling and Kalimpong in West Bengal.
Terms of reference of Council
It will monitor implementation of action points for Central Ministries, Institutions and 12 Himalayan State Governments in Indian Himalayan Region which include regional cooperation and river basin development, spring mapping and revival across Himalayas in phased manner for water security. It will develop, implement and monitor tourism sector standards as well as bring policy coherence, strengthen skill and entrepreneurship with focus on identified priority sectors, among other action points.
Earlier in June 2017, NITI Aayog had set up 5 Working Groups to prepare a roadmap for actions in 5 thematic areas that are quite significant for the Himalayas. These areas were Inventory and Revival of Springs in Himalayas for Water Security; Sustainable Tourism in Indian Himalayan Region; Transformative Approach to Shifting Cultivation; Strengthening Skill & Entrepreneurship Landscape in Himalayas; Data/Information for Informed Decision Making. These working groups were constituted after NITI Aayog recognised that mountains require specific solutions for resilience building that address socio-economic and environmental challenges in the mountain setting.
South Asian Regional Conference on Urban Infrastructure: New Approaches to Public and Private Partnerships (PPPs) and Municipal Finance Innovations was held in New Delhi. It was organised by National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog in partnership with United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (UNESCAP) and Asian Development Bank (ADB).
South Asian Regional Conference on Urban Infrastructure
The main objective of the two day conference was to discuss the key issues, perspectives and way forward in the Urban Infrastructure. It was aimed to review overall issues and assess sustainability of PPPs and urban finance in South Asia, specifically India and broadening knowledge base and engaging on international best practices.
It is first of its kind conference which saw participation of leaders from government, industry, research organisations, academia, think tanks and civil society from across South Asian region. The main components of conference included keynote and breakout sessions, panel discussions, presentation and a variety of stakeholder consultations.
National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog
NITI Aayog is the premier policy ‘Think Tank’ of the Union Government, providing both directional and policy inputs. It is essentially an advisory body that seeks to provide critical directional and strategic inputs across spectrum of key elements of policy to the centre.
It was established in 2015 with aim to achieve Sustainable Development Goals and to enhance cooperative federalism by fostering the involvement of State Governments of India in the economic policy-making process using a bottom-up approach. It had replaced Planning Commission which followed a top-down model.
Prime Minister is ex-officio chairman of NITI Aayog. The permanent members of its governing council are all the state Chief Ministers, along with Chief Ministers of Delhi and Puducherry, Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar, and vice chairman nominated by the Prime Minister.