- India’s Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope
- Zero First Information Report
- Children and Armed Conflict Report
- Sea lion and Algal Blooms
- American bald eagle
- Global Environment Facility (GEF)
Recently, there has been an increasing consensus in Europe and US that Greedflation is driving the rising cost of living rather than just Inflation.
GS III: Indian Economy
Dimensions of the Article:
- What is inflation — and disinflation, deflation and reflation?
- Understanding the Wage-Price Spiral
- About Greedflation
What is inflation — and disinflation, deflation and reflation?
- Inflation is the rate at which the general price level of goods and services in an economy rises.
- It is measured by the inflation rate, indicating the percentage increase in prices over a specific period.
- For example, if the inflation rate was 5% in June, it means prices increased by 5% compared to June of the previous year.
- Disinflation occurs when the rate of inflation slows down.
- It refers to a period when prices are still rising, but at a slower rate each month.
- For instance, if the inflation rate was 10% in April, 7% in May, and 5% in June, it represents a trend of disinflation.
- Deflation is the opposite of inflation.
- It occurs when the general price level of goods and services in an economy decreases.
- Deflation implies that prices are falling, leading to an increase in the purchasing power of money.
- For example, if prices in June were 5% lower than in June of the previous year, it signifies deflation.
- Reflation is an economic policy aimed at stimulating economic activity and reversing deflationary trends.
- It involves measures such as increased government spending or reduced interest rates.
- Reflationary policies are implemented following a period of deflation to boost consumer spending and investment.
Causes of Inflation:
- Occurs when prices increase due to rising input costs.
- For example, if the cost of raw materials, labor, or energy increases, businesses may pass on these higher costs to consumers by raising prices.
- Occurs when prices rise because of excess demand in the economy.
- If the demand for goods and services surpasses the available supply, sellers can increase prices to maximize profits.
Managing Excess Demand:
- If inflation is driven by excessive demand, central banks can raise interest rates.
- Higher interest rates make borrowing more expensive, reducing overall spending and demand in the economy.
- Addressing Cost Pressures:
- Even if inflation is caused by cost pressures, central banks may still raise interest rates.
- Although this does not directly address supply issues, it helps control overall demand and prevent further price increases.
Objective: Preventing the Wage-Price Spiral
- Central banks aim to prevent a phenomenon called the wage-price spiral.
- When prices rise, workers demand higher wages to maintain their purchasing power, leading to increased production costs for businesses.
- This cycle continues as businesses pass on higher costs to consumers, causing further price increases.
- By managing inflation through monetary policy, central banks aim to control this spiral and maintain price stability in the economy.
Understanding the Wage-Price Spiral
Worker Wage Demands and Increased Demand:
- When prices rise, workers naturally seek higher wages to maintain their purchasing power.
- However, higher wages without an increase in productivity only stimulate overall demand without boosting supply.
- This leads to a cycle where inflation surges further as workers and consumers have more money to spend, causing prices to rise.
Raising Interest Rates to Control Inflation:
- Central banks often raise interest rates as a measure to control the wage-price spiral and manage inflation.
- By making borrowing more expensive, higher interest rates aim to reduce overall spending and demand in the economy.
- However, this approach can also slow down economic activity and potentially result in job losses.
Factors Beyond Wage Increases:
Price Increases Due to Company Profits:
- In certain situations, price increases may not be solely driven by workers’ wage demands but also by companies seeking higher profits.
- For example, during natural disasters or pandemics, businesses like airlines may charge significantly higher prices for tickets.
- Sellers of essential goods and services may also raise prices sharply during crisis situations.
Input Cost Considerations:
- When input costs rise, businesses may need to raise their prices to sustain their operations.
- In such cases, higher sales in monetary terms do not necessarily translate to higher profits as input costs have also increased.
- This is a reasonable response to cost pressures and does not indicate corporate greed.
Supernormal Profits and Market Pricing:
- However, a crisis may reveal situations where businesses exploit the circumstances to make supernormal profits.
- Supernormal profits occur when the price mark-up far exceeds the increase in input costs.
- In some cases, businesses may not adjust market prices even when input prices fall, leading to higher inflation driven by corporate greed.
- Greedflation refers to a situation where inflation is driven by corporate greed rather than a wage-price spiral.
- It involves a Profit-Price Spiral, where companies exploit inflation by excessively raising prices to maximize profit margins, going beyond covering increased costs.
- This behavior further fuels inflation and is gaining recognition as a significant factor in developed countries like Europe and the US.
- Crises such as natural disasters or pandemics often lead to price surges as businesses pass on increased input costs to consumers.
- However, in some cases, businesses take advantage of the situation to generate excessive profits by significantly increasing price mark-ups.
- Greedflation disproportionately affects low-income and middle-class individuals, reducing their purchasing power and lowering their living standards.
- Meanwhile, it benefits the wealthy by increasing the value of their assets, widening the wealth gap and exacerbating income inequality.
- Excessive price increases and speculative behaviors driven by greed can create bubbles and unsustainable market conditions, making financial markets more vulnerable to crashes and crises, posing risks to overall economic stability.
- Inflationary pressures caused by greedflation can lead to divergent policies among countries, as each nation adopts different strategies to combat inflation, resulting in conflicting approaches.
- This can contribute to global imbalances, trade tensions, and geopolitical conflicts as countries seek to protect their interests and competitiveness.
Is Greedflation Happening in India?
- The net profits of listed companies in India have reached a record high.
- In March 2023, the net profits of Indian listed companies surged to Rs. 2.9 trillion.
- This figure is over 3.5 times the pre-pandemic average of Rs. 0.83 trillion, which was observed from December 2017 to December 2019.
- The significant increase in net profits indicates exceptional profit generation in the post-pandemic period.
Existence of Greedflation:
- Approximately 60% of the growth in net profit among Indian companies can be solely attributed to an increase in profit margins.
- The increase in sales contributed an additional 36% to the growth.
- The remaining percentage represents a bonus resulting from a combination of the two factors.
- These figures suggest the presence of greedflation in India, where companies are utilizing excessive profit margins to drive their net profits.
-Source: Indian Express
Recently, an international team of astronomers announced scientific evidence confirming the presence of gravitational waves using pulsar observations. India’s Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) was among the world’s six large telescopes that played a vital role in providing this evidence.
GS III: Science and Technology
Dimensions of the Article:
- Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT)
- Gravitational waves
Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT)
- GMRT is a low-frequency radio telescope used for investigating various radio astrophysical phenomena, ranging from nearby solar systems to the edge of the observable universe.
- It is located at Khodad, situated 80 km north of Pune, and is operated by the National Centre of Radio Astrophysics (NCRA).
- The NCRA is a part of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) based in Mumbai.
- GMRT is a project of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and operates under the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR).
- The telescope consists of 30 fully-steerable dish-type antennas, each with a diameter of 45 meters, spread over a 25-km region.
- Presently, GMRT holds the distinction of being the world’s largest radio telescope operating at meter wavelengths.
The objectives of GMRT include:
Detecting highly redshifted spectral lines of neutral Hydrogen:
- GMRT aims to detect the faint signals of neutral Hydrogen in its highly redshifted state.
- This can provide insights into the early phase of the Universe when proto-clusters or protogalaxies were forming before condensing into galaxies.
- Redshift, in this context, refers to the change in the wavelength of the signal based on the object’s location and movement.
Studying rapidly-rotating Pulsars in our galaxy:
- GMRT is also used to search for and study pulsars, which are rapidly rotating neutron stars with extremely high densities.
- Pulsars emit regular radio beams that flash towards the Earth, similar to how a lighthouse emits beams.
- By studying pulsars, scientists can gain valuable information about their properties, behavior, and the surrounding environment.
Significance of GMRT
The significance of GMRT lies in its unique capabilities and contributions to various fields of astrophysics. Some key points highlighting its significance are:
Wide frequency bandwidth:
- GMRT operates within the frequency range of 100 MHz to 1,500 MHz, allowing it to observe a broad range of radio emissions and signals from celestial objects.
- This wide frequency coverage enables the study of diverse astrophysical phenomena.
- GMRT is highly sought-after by scientists from more than 30 countries, demonstrating its recognition and importance in the global scientific community.
- Its capabilities and data are valuable for researchers worldwide.
Tracing the evolution of galaxies:
- GMRT plays a crucial role in understanding the evolution of galaxies over cosmic time.
- By detecting and analyzing the radio emissions from atomic hydrogen (21 cm wavelength), GMRT enables scientists to trace the distribution and behavior of neutral gas in galaxies.
- This gas is essential for star formation and provides insights into the processes involved in galaxy evolution.
Studying distant galaxies:
- GMRT’s large collecting area and sensitivity allow for the detection of faint radio signals emitted by distant galaxies.
- This is particularly important when studying the 21 cm emission from atomic hydrogen in distant galaxies, which is otherwise challenging to detect.
- GMRT’s data contributes to our understanding of galaxies across different cosmological periods.
Wide range of astrophysical studies:
- GMRT’s capabilities extend beyond galaxy evolution.
- Its large collecting area and frequency coverage make it a useful instrument for studying various astrophysical phenomena.
- This includes investigating solar and planetary radio emissions, studying the relationship between solar activity and disturbances in the interplanetary medium, and exploring other frontier areas of astrophysics.
- Gravitational waves are space-time ripples resulting from violent and energetic processes in the Universe.
- Albert Einstein predicted their existence in 1916 through his general theory of relativity.
- According to Einstein’s mathematics, massive accelerating objects, such as orbiting black holes or neutron stars, disrupt space-time, causing undulating waves to propagate in all directions.
- These waves carry information about their origins and provide insights into the nature of gravity.
- Massive objects like neutron stars or black holes orbiting each other are sources of gravitational waves.
Production of Gravitational Waves
- Cataclysmic events, including colliding black holes, supernovae, and colliding neutron stars, generate the strongest gravitational waves.
- Gravitational waves can also be produced by non-spherical rotating neutron stars and possibly remnants of gravitational radiation from the Big Bang.
- Gravitational waves are challenging to detect due to their weak interaction with matter.
- Interferometers, highly sensitive instruments, have been developed to detect these waves.
- The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) is a well-known example that achieved the first direct detection of gravitational waves in 2015.
-Source: Indian Express
Recently, in Manipur violence incidents, nearly 30% of First Information Reports (FIRs) were ‘zero FIRs’, filed suo-motu by the police, irrespective of jurisdiction.
GS II: Government Policies & Interventions, Issues Arising Out of Design & Implementation of Policies
Dimensions of the Article:
- About Zero FIR
- What is an FIR?
- What are cognizable offence and non-cognizable offence ?
- What is the difference between a complaint and an FIR?
About Zero FIR
- Zero FIR refers to a First Information Report (FIR) that can be registered regardless of the geographical jurisdiction where the offense took place.
- It allows the police to initiate the legal process and investigation without delay, irrespective of the location of the crime.
- The concept of Zero FIR ensures that the police cannot evade their responsibility by claiming lack of jurisdiction.
- Once a Zero FIR is filed, it is later transferred to the appropriate police station with the actual jurisdiction for further investigation and legal proceedings.
- The introduction of Zero FIR was recommended by the Justice Verma Committee following the heinous Nirbhaya gang rape case in Delhi in 2012.
- Zero FIR imposes a legal obligation on the police to promptly initiate an investigation and take necessary action, removing the excuse of jurisdictional constraints.
What is an FIR?
- An FIR is the document that has been prepared by the police after verifying the facts of the complaint.
- The FIR may contain details of the crime and the alleged criminal.
- The term first information report (FIR) is not defined in the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973, or in any other law, but in police regulations or rules, information recorded under Section 154 of CrPC is known as First Information Report (FIR).
- Section 154 (“Information in cognizable cases”) says that “every information relating to the commission of a cognizable offence, if given orally to an officer in charge of a police station, shall be reduced to writing by him or under his direction, and be read over to the informant; and every such information, whether given in writing or reduced to writing as aforesaid, shall be signed by the person giving it, and the substance thereof shall be entered in a book to be kept by such officer in such form as the State Government may prescribe”.
- Also, “a copy of the information as recorded…shall be given forthwith, free of cost, to the informant”.
Three important elements of an FIR:
- The information must relate to the commission of a cognizable offence,
- It should be given in writing or orally to the head of the police station
- It must be written down and signed by the informant, and its key points should be recorded in a daily diary.
What happens after an FIR is filed?
- The police will investigate the case and will collect evidence in the form of statements of witnesses or other scientific materials. They can arrest the alleged persons as per law.
- If there is sufficient evidence to corroborate the allegations of the complainant, then a chargesheet will be filed. Or else, a Final Report mentioning that no evidence was found will be filed in court.
- If it is found that no offence has been committed, a cancellation report will be filed. If no trace of the accused persons is found, an ‘untraced’ report will be filed.
What are cognizable offence and non-cognizable offence?
- A cognizable offence/case is one in which a police officer may, in accordance with the First Schedule of the CrPC, or under any other law for the time being in force, make an arrest without a warrant.
- In the First Schedule, “the word ‘cognizable’ stands for ‘a police officer may arrest without warrant’; and the word ‘non-cognizable’ stands for ‘a police officer shall not arrest without warrant’.”
What is the difference between a complaint and an FIR?
- The CrPC defines a “complaint” as “any allegation made orally or in writing to a Magistrate, with a view to his taking action under this Code, that some person, whether known or unknown, has committed an offence, but does not include a police report.”
- However, an FIR is the document that has been prepared by the police after verifying the facts of the complaint. The FIR may contain details of the crime and the alleged criminal.
- If, on the basis of a complaint, it appears that a cognizable offence has been committed, then an FIR under Section 154 CrPC will be registered, and police will open an investigation. If no offence is found, the police will close the inquiry.
- Section 155 (“Information as to non-cognizable cases and investigation of such cases”) says: “When information is given to an officer in charge of a police station of the commission within the limits of such station of a non-cognizable offence, he shall enter or cause to be entered the substance of the information in a book…and refer the informant to the Magistrate. No police officer shall investigate a non-cognizable case without the order of a Magistrate having power to try such case or commit the case for trial.”
-Source: The Hindu
Recently, the annual report of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Children and Armed Conflict was published. The report has dropped India’s name from the list in view of measures taken by the Government, specifically in Jammu and Kashmir, to better protect children.
GS II: International Relations
Dimensions of the Article:
- About Children and Armed Conflict Report
- Major Highlights of the Children and Armed Conflict Report 2022
- Steps Taken by the Indian Government to Protect Children
Children and Armed Conflict Report
The Children and Armed Conflict Report is an annual report that provides a comprehensive overview of the situation of children affected by armed conflict. Here are key details about the report:
Role of the Special Representative:
- The report is prepared under the guidance of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict.
- The Special Representative serves as the leading advocate within the United Nations for the protection and well-being of children impacted by armed conflict.
Focus on Child Soldiers and Victims:
- The report highlights the issue of child soldiers and emphasizes the disproportionate impact of war on children.
- It recognizes children as the primary victims of armed conflict and seeks to address their specific needs and vulnerabilities.
Establishment of the Special Representative:
- The position of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict was created in 1997 by the Secretary-General.
- The objective was to enhance the protection of children affected by armed conflict and promote international cooperation in this regard.
Responsibilities of the Special Representative:
- The Special Representative is tasked with raising awareness about the challenges faced by children affected by armed conflict.
- They also work to promote the monitoring and reporting of abuses against children in conflict-affected areas.
Reporting and Accountability:
- As part of their mandate, the Special Representative presents an annual report to the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council.
- The report provides important insights into the situation of children in conflict zones and helps in assessing progress and gaps in protecting their rights.
Major Highlights of the Children and Armed Conflict Report 2022
The Children and Armed Conflict Report 2022 provides important insights into the impact of armed conflict on children and the violations committed against them. Here are some of the major highlights from the report:
Disproportionate Impact on Children:
- Children continued to be disproportionately affected by armed conflict in 2022.
- The number of children verified as affected by grave violations increased compared to the previous year.
Number of Affected Children:
- A total of 18,890 children were verified as affected by grave violations in 24 conflict situations.
- Among these children, there were 13,469 boys, 4,638 girls, and 783 cases where the sex was unknown.
Types of Violations:
- The highest numbers of violations were the killing of 2,985 children and the maiming of 5,655 children.
- The recruitment and use of children affected 7,622 children, and the abduction of children affected 3,985 children.
Regions with Highest Violations:
The highest numbers of grave violations were verified in the following regions:
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Israel and the State of Palestine
Increase in Violations in Myanmar:
- Hostilities spreading into new areas in Myanmar led to a significant increase in grave violations, with a rise of 140 percent compared to the previous year.
Steps Taken by the Indian Government to Protect Children
The Indian government has taken various steps to protect children and address issues related to their welfare. Here are some of the key measures:
Establishment of Infrastructure:
- Infrastructure such as Child Welfare Committees, Juvenile Justice Boards, and Child Care Homes has been established under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 to ensure the effective implementation of child protection measures.
Implementation of UN Recommendations:
- Several measures recommended by the United Nations (UN) have been implemented or are in progress in India.
- Training programs for security forces on protecting children have been conducted, and the use of pellet guns has been suspended to minimize harm to children.
- The Juvenile Justice Act and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act, 2012 are actively enforced to address and prevent crimes against children.
Improved Accessibility to Child Protection Services:
- Efforts have been made to improve the accessibility of child protection services in various states, including Chhattisgarh, Assam, Jharkhand, Odisha, and Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
- The progress in establishing a J&K Commission for the Protection of Child Rights was acknowledged as a positive step.
-Source: Indian Express
Recently, hundreds of sea lions are found dead or sick on California beaches due to toxic offshore algae blooms.
GS III: Environment and Ecology
Dimensions of the Article:
- About Sealion
- Algae Bloom
- Sealion is a marine mammal belonging to the family Otariidae, which also includes fur seals.
- They are known for their semi-aquatic lifestyle, spending significant time both on land and in the water.
- Seals have a streamlined body with a large head and a long, flexible neck.
- They typically have a brown or tan coat, and adult males develop a thick mane of hair around their necks.
- Seals inhabit rocky shorelines, islands, and sandy beaches, where they create breeding colonies.
- They can be found in various regions, including the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, and parts of the Indian Ocean.
- Seals are carnivorous and primarily feed on fish, including herring, anchovies, sardines, and squid.
- Currently, there are six recognized subspecies of sea lions: Australian sea lions, California sea lions, Galapagos sea lions, New Zealand sea lions, South American sea lions, and Steller sea lions.
- An algal bloom or algae bloom refers to a rapid increase or aggregation in the population of algae in freshwater or marine water systems, often characterized by water discoloration.
- Algae encompass various types of aquatic photosynthetic organisms, including macroscopic organisms like seaweed and small, single-celled organisms like cyanobacteria.
Causes of Algae Bloom:
Excess of Nutrients:
- Algal proliferation is primarily caused by the accumulation of large quantities of phosphorus and nitrogen in the water.
- Runoff from fields and farmland containing nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers contributes to nutrient load in water bodies.
- Rainfall carries these leachable nutrients from the soil into streams, rivers, and eventually larger water bodies like oceans.
- Untreated sewage and poorly treated sewage containing nitrogen compounds like ammonia and nitrates can lead to algal blooms.
- Industrial waste, when improperly treated or untreated, can introduce contaminants and substances such as lead, nitrogen, and phosphorus into water systems, promoting the growth of algae.
Presence of Dead Organic Matter:
- Bacteria present in the atmosphere and water require suitable growth and nutrition sources.
- Dead organic matter in the water provides nutrients that activate algae growth.
- Nutrients combined with dead organic matter promote the proliferation of algae and subsequent blooming.
- Global warming and depletion of the ozone layer contribute to accelerated algal bloom growth.
- Certain bacteria require favorable temperatures for growth, both in and out of the water.
- High temperatures resulting from global warming accelerate nutrient decomposition, providing simpler forms of nitrogen compounds that bacteria can use and proliferate.
Slow Moving Water:
- Algae blooms require large quantities of water to grow.
- Slow-moving waters provide an environment conducive to algal growth and explain their confined growth in fast-flowing streams and rivers.
-Source: The Hindu
The cancer research arm of the World Health Organisation (WHO) will list the popular sugar substitute aspartame as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”.
GS II: Health
Dimensions of the Article:
- About Aspartame
- Safety and Regulation
Aspartame is a chemical compound that is commonly used as an artificial sweetener in various food and beverage products. Here are the key points about aspartame:
Chemical Composition and Discovery:
- Aspartame is a methyl ester of the dipeptide of two natural amino acids, L-aspartic acid and L-phenylalanine.
- It was discovered by James M Schlatter, a chemist at the American pharmaceutical company G D Searle & Co., in 1965.
- Schlatter accidentally detected its sweet taste when he licked his finger during research on an anti-ulcer drug.
Sweetness and Caloric Content:
- Aspartame is approximately 200 times sweeter than table sugar (sucrose) according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- Compared to sugar, 1 gram of aspartame has the sweetness intensity of approximately 2 teaspoons (8 grams) of sugar.
- Aspartame is preferred by people looking to reduce calorie intake or manage weight, as 1 gram of aspartame provides only 4 calories, while 2 teaspoons (8 grams) of sugar provide about 32 calories.
Use in Food and Beverages:
- Aspartame is present in various brands of artificial sweeteners, such as Equal and Sugar-Free Gold, and is commonly used in diet fizzy drinks.
- Diet beverages containing aspartame often promote themselves as having “zero sugar” or “zero calories.”
Safety and Regulation:
- Aspartame has undergone extensive scientific studies and testing for over 40 years, including investigations into its potential links with cancer.
- More than 100 studies have found no evidence of harm caused by aspartame.
- The safety of aspartame is widely accepted by regulatory authorities, including the USFDA, EFSA, WHO’s JECFA, and national regulators in several countries.
- The only group advised to avoid aspartame is individuals with phenylketonuria (PKU), a rare inherited disorder that affects the metabolism of phenylalanine.
Public Perception and Controversy:
- Some critics and studies have raised doubts and concerns about aspartame, but there is a broad scientific consensus on its safety.
- The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified aspartame as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” based on limited evidence, but this classification has been disputed.
- Past IARC rulings have raised consumer concerns, led to lawsuits, and influenced product formulations.
-Source: Indian Express
The American bald eagle (National bird of the US since 1782) was taken off the endangered species list in 2007. Since then, their population has steadily increased, which is considered as one of the biggest success stories in the history of conservation.
GS III: Environment and Ecology
Bald Eagles: Key Facts
Scientific Name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus
- Bald eagles are found throughout most of North America, including Canada, the continental United States, and northern Mexico.
- They have a wide distribution across their natural range.
- The bald eagle is the only sea eagle species endemic to North America.
- It is an iconic symbol of the United States.
- The average life span of bald eagles is typically between 20 to 30 years.
- However, some individuals have been known to live longer.
- Bald eagles construct their nests at the tops of tall trees to protect their eggs.
- These nests, called eyries, are built using sticks and other natural materials.
- Female bald eagles tend to be larger in size than males.
- This difference in size is a characteristic of sexual dimorphism.
- Bald eagles primarily feed on live fish, which is a significant part of their diet.
- They also prey on other birds, small mammals, snakes, turtles, crabs, and readily consume carrion (decaying flesh of dead animals).
- IUCN Status: Least Concern
- Bald eagles have made a remarkable recovery in their population numbers, thanks to conservation efforts and legal protections.
-Source: Indian Express
Global Environment Facility (GEF)
Recently, at the 64th Global Environment Facility (GEF) council meeting in Brazil, the governing body approved the disbursement of $1.4 billion to accelerate efforts to tackle the climate, biodiversity and pollution crises.
GS III: Environment and Ecology
About Global Environment Facility (GEF)
- The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) with the aim of addressing critical environmental challenges faced by our planet.
- GEF is a collection of funds dedicated to addressing issues such as biodiversity loss, climate change, pollution, and the degradation of land and ocean health.
- It provides financial support for five major international environmental conventions, namely:
- The Minamata Convention on Mercury
- The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
- The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD)
- The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
- The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
- GEF has 184 member countries, including India, and operates as an international partnership for environmental action and sustainable development.
- The governing council serves as the primary governing body of GEF, consisting of 32 members appointed by constituencies of GEF member countries. This includes 14 members from developed countries, 16 from developing countries, and two from economies in transition.
- The GEF secretariat is based in Washington, D.C., and supports the implementation and coordination of GEF programs and projects worldwide.
-Source: Down To Earth