Daily Current Affairs 5th December, 2016
Mercosur trade group suspends Venezuela over its failure to comply with its commitments
- Venenzuela had joined the group in 2012.
- Mercosur accepted Venezuela as a member when South America was dominated by Leftist governments in an effort to link the region’s biggest agricultural and energy markets.
- But, Venezuela had failed to meet a Dec. 1 deadline to adopt certain standards of economic, human rights and immigration required for membership.
- Mercosur or Mercosul is a sub-regional bloc.
- Its purpose is to promote free trade and the fluid movement of goods, people, and currency.
- Treaty of Asunción 26 March 1991
- Protocol of Ouro Preto 16 December 1994
6th Heart of Asia conference held in Amritsar, Punjab
- The sixth edition of ‘Heart of Asia- Istanbul Process of Aghanistan‘ conference, an annual regional gathering of Asian and other countries was held in Amritsar, Punjab (India) inaugurated jointly by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
- It concluded with adaptation of Amritsar Declaration with its prime focus on terrorism.
- The theme of this edition of the conference was “Addressing Challenges, Achieving Prosperity”.
- The 7th Ministerial Conference will be held in Azerbaijan in the year 2017.
Amritsar Declaration:key facts
- The participating and supporting countries and their ministers on Sunday signed a joined declaration stating the need to work to combat terrorism in Afghanistan and the region and to improve connectivity to it.
- The declaration also sought for peaceful means to achieve its goal including bring an end to any kind of support and shelter to terrorism, and to create a fund to find forces of terror in the region.
- The declaration puts focus on the concerned countries to address terrorism and enhancing regional economic cooperation.
- The declaration recognises terrorism as the biggest threat to peace and security demanding an immediate end to all forms of terrorism and all support financial and safe havens providing sanctuary to it.
- The declaration states the urgency to respond to the nexus between drug menace and its financial support for terrorist entities in Afghanistan.
- The declaration also mentions the Haqqani Network.
- It also calls for early finalisation of the draft comprehensive convention on international It also looks at the early meeting of experts to discuss a draft regional counter terrorism framework strategy, recently prepared by Afghanistan for its early finalisation.
- The declaration states the welcoming of the agreements between the international community and Afghanistan for continued financial support to the Afghanistan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) until 2020.
- The declaration welcomes the MOU on Jointly Building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road between China and Afghanistan.
- The declaration also expressed serious concern about opium, the base material for production of heroin in Afghanistan, a large chunk of which eventually finds its way into India through Indo-Pak international border in Punjab.
About Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process
- The Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process was established to provide a platform to discuss regional issues, particularly encouraging security, political, and economic cooperation among Afghanistan and its neighbors.
- This region-led dialogue was launched in November 2011 to expand practical coordination between Afghanistan and its neighbors and regional partners in facing common threats, including counterterrorism, counternarcotics, poverty, and extremism.
- The United States and over 20 other nations and organizations serve as “supporting nations” to the process.
7th World Ayurveda Congress held in Kolkata
- The 7th World Ayurveda Congress (WAC) was held from December 2 to 4, 2016 at Science City in Kolkata, West Bengal,organised by World Ayurveda Foundation.
- It was supported by the Union Ministry of AYUSH to facilitate development and growth of AYUSH system of medicine comprising Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy.
- The focus theme of the Ayurveda Congress was “Strengthening the Ayurveda Ecosystem“.
Assam’s Hailakandi becomes 1st district to pay cashless transactions wages
- Hailakandi district of Assam has become the first district to pay wages to tea garden workers through individual bank accounts.
- It completed this task before the December 15, 2016 deadline set by the state government for cashless transactions of salary payments to the plantation workers.
- Such payments were possible due to the effort bankers, tea garden managements and mobile service providers.
SCIENCE AND TECH
CERT-In warns micro-ATMs against malware attacks
- The premier cyber security agency CERT-In has cautioned bankers, customers and traders against skimming and malware attacks on micro ATMs and Point of Sale (POS) terminals.
- The move comes as usage of POS and micro-ATMs counters have witnessed a sharp surge post demonetisation.
- IEach one of the stakeholders has been asked to adopt high-end encryption to plug possible breaches.
International Volunteer Day (IVD): 5 December
- This year theme is ” Global Applause – give volunteers a hand”.
- This year’s theme recognises the volunteers worldwide and their efforts in making peace and sustainable development a reality.
About International Volunteer Day
- It is an international observance designated by the United Nations since 1985. It offers an opportunity for volunteer organizations and individual volunteers to make their contributions visible – at local, national and international levels – to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
- A school girl presents a carving in honor of the International Volunteer’s Day to one of the UN Volunteers.
- The International Volunteer Day is marked by many non-governmental organizations, including Red Cross, scouts and others.
- It is also marked and supported by United Nations Volunteers.
World Soil Day: 5 December
- The theme for this year is “Soils and pulses, a symbiosis for life”.
- The theme for the 2016 WSD focuses on the positive contributions of pulses to soil properties, such as fixing the atmosphere nitrogen and improving its biodiversity, fertility and structure.
About World Soil Day
- In 2002, the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) made a resolution proposing the 5th of December be World Soil Day in order to celebrate the importance of soil as a critical component of the natural system and as a vital contributor to human well-being.
- The observance of World Soil Day, an initiative of the United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organisation aims to connect people with soils and to impart awareness on its importance in our daily life and survival.
- The day coincides with the birthday of Bhumibol Adulyadej, the King of Thailand who strived to raise global awareness on soils