Uttarakhand’s three-cornered contest may spring surprises in 2022 elections
The 2022 elections are likely to be a triangular battle in Uttarakhand. Congress and BJP are directly pitted on majority of the 70 seats while AamAadmi Party (AAP) is expected to throw a challenge in select urban pockets of the state like Dehradun.
While incumbent BJP is depending heavily on the ‘Modi mantra’ to form a government again, the party is also hoping that a youthful CM face in the form of Pushkar Singh Dhami would enable it to reach out to voters effectively and blunt anti-incumbency. Accordingly, the party’s poll tagline is that a young state like Uttarakhand, which turned 21 this year, needs a ‘young and energetic’ CM. At the same time, the party is also highlighting central projects like Kedarnath redevelopment, Char Dham all-weather road and Rishikesh-Karnprayag rail project as indicators of the ‘double-engine’ development they have brought about, with the Centre and the state synergising with each other, something which they claim would not have happened if two separate parties were in power.
UN’s largest Single Country appeal
The United Nations recently launched the largest country specific appeal for Afghanistan. The appeal was launched after Pakistan called the international organization to revive the banking system in the Afghanistan.
It is a 5 billion USD appeal. That is, according to the United Nations member countries, 5 billion USD is required to save Afghanistan. The United Nations members have appealed to save the collapsing services in Afghanistan.
Need for the appeal
Afghanistan is facing the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Half of the Afghans are facing hunger. More than nine million in the country are homeless. Around 22 million are in need of assistance. 5.7 million Afghans are in need of help beyond the borders.
Henley Passport Index 2022
Henley Passport Index 2022 was recently released. The latest edition shows record-breaking levels of travel freedom for the top-ranking countries, Japan and Singapore.
- The report also reveals that, there was the widest recorded global mobility gap since the index was created 17 years ago.
- Passport holders of two Asian nations, Japan and Singapore, can now enter 192 destinations worldwide visa-free. It is 166 more than Afghanistan.
- Afghanistan has been listed at the bottom of this index.
India’s Passport Power
As per the Index, in first quarter of 2022, India has improved its passport power. India has climbed seven places up and has been ranked at 83rd position. In 2021, it was ranked at 90th position. Now, India has access to 60 countries without a prior visa. In 2021, visa free scope was valid for just 58 countries. Oman and Armenia have been recently added to the list of prior visa requirement.
- Japan and Singapore have been ranked 1st, with passport holders have accessibility of 192 destinations visa-free.
- Germany and South Korea have been placed at 2ndposition, with passport holders able to access 190 destinations visa-free.
The index provide ranking to 199 passports in accordance with the number of destinations their holders can access visa-free or visa-on-arrival. The index is updated in real time throughout the year. It is prepared on the basis of exclusive data provided by International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Developing Country Tag at WTO
The World Trade Organization recently provided the “developing country” tag. This couldn’t be accepted by several countries.
The organization has officially not created any definitions for “Developed” or “developing “countries. However, when a tag is provided other countries can challenge the offering. Though, WTO has not provided the definition, two – third of its members claim themselves as developing countries. As the members can themselves declare them as developing, China has taken advantage to declare itself as developing. With this, China is trying to widen its dominance in the world trade.
The per capita income of the Chinese in 2020 was 10,435 USD. On the other hand, the per capita income of India was 1,928 USD. India has questioned the Chinese stand based on World Bank Definition of a developing country.
The World Bank classifies the countries into four groups based on the per capita income of the countries. Here are the types based on the per capita income:
- Lower Income Countries: 1,0256 USD or less
- Lower middle-income countries: 1.026 USD and 3,995 USD
- Upper Middle-income countries: 3,996 USD and 12,375 USD
- High Income Countries: Greater than 12,375 USD
IUCN assessment on Red Sanders
The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) recently categorised the Red Sanders (or Red Sandalwood) again into the ‘endangered’ category in its Red List.
- The species, called Red Sanders, is scientifically called as Pterocarpus santalinus.
- It is an Indian endemic tree species and its geographical range is restricted to Eastern Ghats.
- The species is endemic to a distinct tract of forests in Andhra Pradesh.
- It was classified as ‘near threatened’ in 2018. It was a moment of celebration when species was lifted off from the endangered category since 1997.
25th National Youth Festival
25th National Youth Festival was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Puducherry on the occasion of birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.
On the occasion, prime minister highlighted that; world looks at India’s young demography with hope & faith and India is young in its thoughts & consciousness.
India’s thinking and philosophy have always accepted change.
Youth have democratic values as well as demographic dividend and India considers the youth as a demographic dividend and development driver.
The festival will be held on January 12 and 13, in virtual mode because of covid-19 pandemic.
Youth festival is being organised with the aim of shaping the minds of Indian youth and transforming them into “united force for nation building”.
It also aims to bring diverse Indian cultures and integrate them into a united thread of ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat’.
UKPCS Notes brings Prelims and Mains programs for UKPCS Prelims and UKPCS Mains Exam preparation. Various Programs initiated by UKPCS Notes are as follows:-
- UKPCS Mains Tests and Notes Program
- UKPCS Prelims Exam 2022- Test Series and Notes Program
- UKPCS Prelims and Mains Tests Series and Notes Program
- UKPCS Detailed Complete Prelims Notes