1) UN WATER CONFERENCE: It was the first such meeting in 46 years. The last UN Water Conference, held in 1977, resulted in the first global ‘Action Plan’.
- Commitments: 713 voluntary commitments by philanthropic donors, governments, etc. This included a $50-billion commitment from India to improve rural drinking water services under the Jal Jeevan Mission.
- An effort called ‘Making Rights Real’ offered to help marginalised communities and women understand how to exercise their rights.
- ‘Water for Women Fund’ offered mechanisms for more effective and sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene outcomes for women. No explicit funding agenda was set.
2) Finlandization: it refers to the policy of strict neutrality between Moscow (Russia) and the West that Finland followed during the decades of the Cold War.
- The principle of neutrality was rooted in the Agreement of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance (or YYA Treaty) that Finland signed with the USSR in April 1948
- “Finlandization” is the best course Ukraine can take: Russia is determined to expand his sphere of influence and undermine an independent Ukrainian government, and the West making it clear it would not go to war against Russia to defend Ukraine.
3) NPCI’s new circular on levy charges: NPCI issued a circular to banks directing to levy charges up to 1.1% on merchant transactions made through Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs) wallets using UPI.
- Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs) are a type of payment method that is used to purchase various goods and services as well as send or receive money by using the stored value in the wallet. Under the PPI mode of transaction, the users must pre-load the digital wallet with a desired amount by using cash, or debit to a bank account, by credit/debit cards, or UPI.
- The most prevalent form of PPI used in India at present is the mobile wallet.
- It is to be noted that PPIs can only be used in Indian rupees.
4) United Nations Statistical Commission: India has been elected to the highest statistical body of the United Nations for a four-year term beginning January 1, 2024.
- It was established in 1947(HQ: New York) bringing together the Chief Statisticians from member states from around the world.
- The Statistical Commission oversees the work of the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), and it is a Functional Commission of the UN Economic and Social Council.
- The term of office of members is four years.
- India was a member of the Statistical Commission last in 2004.
- The Commission consists of 24 member countries of the United Nations elected by the UN ECOSOC based on an equitable geographical distribution.
5) India Justice Report 2022: The Report (initiated by Tata Trusts in 2019) is a first-of-its-kind national periodic report that ranks the capacity of states to deliver justice.
- It assesses the capacity of 4 core pillars of the justice system: Police, Prisons,
Judiciary and Legal aid across all 36 states and UTs. The IJR 2022 also separately assesses the capacity of the 25 State Human Rights Commissions in the country.
- Out of the 18 large and medium-sized states having a population of over 1 crore each, Karnataka ranked first in “justice delivery”
- Meanwhile, the State of UP is at the lowest rank (18th) among mid-sized and large States having population over 1 crore, while the State of Goa is at the lowest rank (7th) among the small States with a population less than 1 crore.
- Although states have increased budget allocation for legal aid, legal aid clinics reduced by 44 per cent between 2019 to 2021.
- Except for two union territories, Delhi and Chandigarh, no state spends more than 1 per cent of its total annual expenditure on the judiciary.