- Summit of NAM Contact Group
- DRDO Develops UV Disinfection Tower
- Dekho Apna Desh: ‘Bengal by the Himalayas’
SUMMIT OF NAM CONTACT GROUP
Focus: GS-II International Organisation
Why in news?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in the online Summit of Non Aligned Movement (NAM) Contact Group to discuss response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
- The online NAM Contact Group Summit on the theme of “United against COVID-19” was hosted by the current Chairman of NAM, the President of Azerbaijan.
- The event also commemorated the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace.
- Following the Summit, leaders adopted a Declaration underlining the importance of international solidarity in the fight against COVID-19.
- Leaders also announced the creation of a ‘Task Force’ to identify needs and requirements of member States through the establishment of a common database reflecting their basic medical, social and humanitarian needs in the fight against COVID-19.
The objective of the Summit:
To promote international solidarity in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and to mobilise efforts of States and international organisations to address the pandemic.
- The Non-Aligned Movement was formed during the Cold War as an organization of States that did not seek to formally align themselves with either the United States or the Soviet Union, but sought to remain independent or neutral.
- The basic concept for the group originated in 1955 during discussions that took place at the Asia-Africa Bandung Conference held in Indonesia.
- The first NAM Summit Conference took place in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, in September 1961.
- It has 120 members as on April 2018 comprising 53 countries from Africa, 39 from Asia, 26 from Latin America and the Caribbean and 2 from Europe (Belarus, Azerbaijan).
- There are 17 countries and 10 international organizations that are Observers at NAM.
- The Non-Aligned Movement was founded and held its first conference (the Belgrade Conference) in 1961 under the leadership of Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia, Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Jawaharlal Nehru of India, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, and Sukarno of Indonesia.
Principles of NAM:
- Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty
- Mutual non-aggression
- Mutual non-interference in domestic affairs
- Equality and mutual benefit
- Peaceful co-existence
DRDO DEVELOPS UV DISINFECTION TOWER
Focus: GS-III Science and Technology
Why in news?
DRDO has developed an Ultra Violet (UV) Disinfection Tower for rapid and chemical free disinfection of high infection prone areas.
- It is a UV based area sanitiser designed and developed by Laser Science & Technology Centre (LASTEC), the Delhi based premier laboratory of DRDO
- Objective: rapid and chemical free disinfection of high infection prone areas.
- It is useful for high tech surfaces that are not suitable for disinfection with chemical methods and for areas with large flow of people such as airports, shopping malls etc.
DEKHO APNA DESH: ‘BENGAL BY THE HIMALAYAS’
Focus: GS-I Geography
Why in news?
Dekho ApnaDesh webinar on 2nd May 2020 was titled: ‘Bengal by the Himalayas’.
Highlights were: attractions of Darjeeling, the history of Darjeeling Tea, story Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR).
Darjeeling tea is a tea grown in the Darjeeling district, Kalimpong District in West Bengal, India, and widely exported and known.
Darjeeling tea became the first Indian product to receive a GI tag, in 2004–05.
Darjeeling in history:
- Up until the early 18th century, Darjeeling was a part of the Kingdom of Sikkim.
- Sikkim was ruled by the Chogyals of the Namgyal dynasty who were hereditary monarchs.
- In February 1829, Captain Lloyd spent a few days in Darjeeling which was then known as the ‘Old Gorkha station of Darjeeling’.
- Darjeeling was then a deserted place with hardly any inhabitants. The cool climate of the region impressed Captain Lloyd of the suitability of the place to be converted into a sanatorium (a place where ailing officers could go to recuperate).
- Lord Bentinck, when apprised of the proposal by the now General Lloyd, asked him to negotiate with the ruler of Sikkim.
- General Lloyd negotiated with Sikkim’s monarch and as a friendly gesture, Darjeeling was given to the Company.
- New crops were introduced like orange, potato, cardamom, cinchona and most famously, tea.
- It was Dr. Campbell who discovered that tea did well in this climate, and from 1847 tea nurseries were established by the government.
- Several tea plantations came up and today, Darjeeling Tea is famous throughout the world.
- Darjeeling is today a part of West Bengal state. Darjeeling District has a partial autonomous status within the state.
- It is one of the main epicentres of the Gorkhaland movement.