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PRELIMS FACTS 22-06-2018

FACT # 1

‘India Smart Cities Award’ 2018


Why in news? Surat has been awarded for showcasing “great momentum” in the implementation of projects under the Smart Cities Mission.


‘India Smart Cities Award’ 2018:

  • India Smart Cities Award were launched on 25 June 2017 with an objective to reward cities, projects and innovative ideas, promoting sustainable development in cities.
  • The city award has been given to Surat for showing great momentum in implementation of projects especially in the categories of urban environment, transport and mobility and sustainable integrated development.
  • Surat has been awarded for showcasing “great momentum” in the implementation of projects under the Smart Cities Mission.
  • Under ‘India Smart Cities Award’ 2018, Bhopal and Ahmedabad were selected in the ‘Innovative Idea’ category for their “transformative approach towards sustainable integrated development.
  • Nine smart cities, including NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Council), bagged ‘Project’ awards for innovative and successful projects in seven categories.
  • Joint winners in ‘Innovative Idea’ category were Bhopal for its Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC) and Ahmedabad for Safe and Secure Ahmedabad (SASA) Project.
  • The ‘Project’ awards are being given to most innovative and successful projects in seven categories that have been completed by April 1, 2018.
  • Under ‘Social Aspects’ category, NDMC and Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh) bagged the award for implementation of ‘smart classrooms’ project.
  • Visakhapatnam was selected for its smart campus project and Pune for ‘lighthouse project’ under which underprivileged youths of the city get a chance to explore possibilities for enhancing their skills and pursuing a meaningful career.
  • Under ‘urban environment’ category, Bhopal, Pune and Coimbatore bagged the award for public bike sharing project, while Jabalpur was selected for its waste-to energy plant project.
  • Bhopal and Jaipur got the awards under ‘Culture and Economy’ category.
  • Ahmedabad and Surat get award under ‘Transport and Mobility’ category.
  • Ahmedabad under ‘Water and Sanitation’ category.
  • Pune under ‘Governance’ and ‘Built Environment’ category.

FACT # 2

International Centre For Humanitarian Forensics


Why in news? World’s first International Centre for Humanitarian Forensics has been launched in India.


International Centre for Humanitarian Forensics:

  • The world’s first International Centre for Humanitarian Forensics (ICHF) has been launched in Gujarat, India by the Gujarat Forensic Sciences University (GFSU).
  • It is launched in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Regional Delegation for India, Bhutan, Nepal and the Maldives.
  • ICHF is the first definitive effort at institutionalising humanitarian forensic action within an existing university system.
  • The Centre will conduct various academic and professional programmes, training, research and provide technical expertise to support operations (together with authorities and agencies concerned) in the field of humanitarian forensics.
  • It is envisioned to be the one-stop centre of excellence in Asia for global high quality and sustainable capacity building, research and innovative projects that will underpin operational responses for humanitarian forensic purposes in relevant contexts.
  • This Centre will help in proper management of the dead persons in emergencies.
  • The ICHF will also posit sociocultural realities in the application of forensic sciences to the humanitarian sphere through evidence based premises.

FACT # 3

United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)


Why in news? The United States has quit the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), saying the body is a “cesspool of political bias.


United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC):

  • The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is a United Nations body whose mission is to promote and protect human rights around the world.
  • The headquarters of UNHRC is in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • The UNHRC investigates allegations of breaches of human rights in UN member states, and addresses important thematic human rights issues such as:
    • freedom of association and assembly
    • freedom of expression
    • freedom of belief and religion
    • women’s rights
    • LGBT rights
    • rights of racial and ethnic minorities
  • The UNHRC was established by the UN General Assembly on March 15, 2006 to replace the UN Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) that had been strongly criticised for allowing countries with poor human rights records to be members.
  • The UNHRC has 47 members, selected each year by the UN General Assembly for staggered three-year terms on a regional group[
  • No member may occupy a seat for more than two consecutive three-year terms.
  • The seats are distributed among the UN’s regional groupsas follows:
    • 13 for Africa
    • 13 for Asia
    • six for Eastern Europe
    • eight for Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC)
    • seven for the Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
  • Recent US Withdrawal:
    • The United States under President Donald Trump administration has announced its withdrawal from United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) terming it hypocritical and self-serving.
    • It has blamed UNHRC for bias against Israel and refusing to eject members who are violators of human rights.
    • US had opted to stay out of UNHRC before also.
    • The George W. Bush administration had opted against seeking membership when the council was created in 2006.
    • US joined the council only in 2009 under President Barack Obama.



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