United Nations Development Programme Current Affairs - 2020

Equator Prize 2019 won by Deccan Development Society

The Women Sangams (groups) of Deccan Development Society (DDS) were honoured with Equator Prize 2019 by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for their contribution to ecology and innovations in rainfed millet cultivation.

Key Highlights

  • The Equator Prize 2019 was awarded to six women farmer belonging to Deccan Development Society (DDS) sanghams. They became only Indian group to have won 2019 award.
  • Although women working with DDS sanghams are mostly non-literate, dalit, and under-privileged yet more than three decades of their work in farming sector following age-old practices is now being recognized globally.
  • Achievement: They were awarded in recognition of efforts of building their own seed banks and growing millets in predominantly rain-fed villages of Sangareddy district, Telangana. Their effort showcased an outstanding example of a local, nature-based solution to climate change and sustainable development.
  • To mark their achievement DDS felicitated women for their contribution to ecology and innovations in rainfed millet cultivation.

About Deccan Development Society

  • It is Indian agriculture based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in Medak district in Telangana. It was founded in 1983 and since then works towards various crop improvement programs and activities helping local farmers.
  • Since decades DDS has been offering a global solution to climate change, a crisis being faced worldwide.
  • Significance: Women belonging to DDS have been working relentlessly for past three decades to protect environment by following their traditional methods and systems. This has helped in ensuring food security and achieving food sovereignty.
  • Their efforts have proved that gender and caste discrimination will not come in way of achieving self-reliance and autonomy. The women have ensured food security and have achieved food sovereignty

About Equator Prize

  • The award was established in 2002. Since its inception, out of a total 223 awards, only 9 awards have been bagged by India so far.
  • It is awarded biennially by Equator Initiative of UNDP in recognition of community efforts to reduce poverty via conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The winners are selected by independent Technical Advisory Committee of UN and are awarded US$10,000.
  • In 2019, United Nations (UN) received a total of 847 nominations from over 127 countries. Out of them, only 20 were given this prestigious award, including DDS Sangams women too.

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2019 UNDP Human Development Report to focus on Inequality

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) which publishes the Human Development Report (HDR), will release the HDR 2019 with its focus on inequality. The report would be released around the last quarter of the year.

HDR 2019 and Inequality

  • HDR 2019 will provide a comprehensive picture of the many forms of inequality that are shaping the 21st century.
  • The report will use a framework that looks beyond income and considers inequalities in health, education, tech and exposure to economic and climate-related shock and will look beyond averages to paint a more accurate and timely picture of the state of inequality.
  • HDR 2019 will also seek to look beyond today by taking a long-term view of inequality and by identifying trends and making projections.

UNDP has acknowledged that today’s world remains deeply unfair. The life and prospects faced by a newborn in a poor country or in a poor household are radically different from those of wealthier children. In all societies, long-standing forms of inequality persist while gaps are opening in new aspects of life.

The world is witnessing both convergence and divergence in human development. For example, in many countries gaps have closed for example in access to primary education. But differences between children in poor and wealthy households are widening in both early childhood and quality of education. These inequalities will have lifetime consequences, especially due to the rapid technological changes which are likely to impact labour markets. This is just one example of why UNDP’s analysis of inequality will go beyond income, beyond averages and beyond today in HDR 2019.

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