WHO revises air quality guidelines for the first time
• The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced a tight revision in its air quality guidelines (AQG). This is the first revision in the global air quality by WHO since 2005. In the new guidelines, WHO has lowered the acceptable exposure levels to key pollutants, including ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and particulate matter (PM).
• WHO has lowered acceptable thresholds for several pollutants, including PM 2.5. Now, PM 2.5 concentrations must remain below 15µg/m³.
• According to the new limits, average annual PM2.5 concentrations should not be higher than 5 micrograms per cubic meter.
India Army kicks off ‘Bijoya Sanskritik Mahotsav’ in Kolkata
• Indian Army will organize “Bijoya Sanskritik Mahotsav” from 26 to 29 September in Kolkata. This Mahotsav will be observed to mark the golden jubilee of the India-Pak war 1971. The event will be inaugurated by Lieutenant General Manoj Pande, Army Commander, Eastern Command. Various cultural programs including a film screening, theatre plays, musical concerts, and band performances will be conducted during this event. It will be organized as part of the Swarnim Vijay Varsha celebrations to commemorate the golden jubilee of the India-Pak war.
• The war started on 3 December 1971 and ended on 16 December 1971. It was a military confrontation between India and Pakistan for the Independence of Bangladesh.
• The war started when Pakistan launched airstrikes on 11 Indian airbases. It was perhaps the first time in which India’s all three forces fought in unison.
Defence ministry places order for 118 Arjun Mk-1A tanks worth ₹7,523 crore
• Ministry of Defence will procure 118 Main Battle Tanks, MBTs Arjun Mk-1A for the Indian Army. The order was worth Rs 7,523 crore with Heavy Vehicles Factory, Avadi to sharpen the army’s combat edge. It will support the Make in India initiative in the defence sector and it will help in achieving the goal of Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
• The Main Battle Tank Mk-1A is a new variant of the Arjun Tank. It has been designed to enhance firepower, mobility, and survivability.
• Arjun Tank has been part of the Indian Army for the last 15 years. It has been designed and developed by Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE).
APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION
Gordon Brown appointed WHO Ambassador for Global Health Financing
• The WHO announced the appointment of The Rt Hon Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, as WHO Ambassador for Global Health Financing. He is widely credited with preventing a second Great Depression through his stewardship of the 2009 London G20 summit. He mobilized world leaders to commit an additional $1.1 trillion to restore credit, growth and jobs.
• Mr Brown has tirelessly called on wealthy nations as well as the private sector to ensure the equitable distribution of C-19 vaccines, advocating for a concerted global effort — rooted in science and sound economics – to save lives, end the pandemic and restore livelihoods the world over.
Kamla Bhasin, noted activist and author, passes away at 75
• Women’s rights activist and noted author, Kamla Bhasin, has passed away battling cancer. She started working on developmental issues in the 1970s and her work focused on gender, education, human development and the media.
• The noted poet and author has authored several books, especially on gender theory and feminism, many of which have been translated into more than 30 languages.
International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons 2021: 26th September
• The United Nations observes 26 September every year as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. The aim of the day is to enhance public awareness about the threat posed to humanity by nuclear weapons and the necessity for their total elimination. It provides an opportunity to educate the public and their leaders about the real benefits of eliminating such weapons, and the social and economic costs of perpetuating them.
• The General Assembly declared the International Day in December 2013, in its resolution 68/32 as a follow-up to the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament held on 26 September 2013, in New York. This was the latest in a series of efforts by the General Assembly to raise public awareness and to seek deeper engagement on nuclear disarmament matters.
BOOKS & AUTHOR
Book “The Fractured Himalaya” authored by former Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao
• A book titled “The Fractured Himalaya: How the Past Shadows the Present in India-China Relations”, authored by Nirupama Rao.
• The book traces how the origins of the dispute between India and China form part of a living history that shapes their fractious relationship today. Understanding this complex panorama yields lessons for all of us who seek a wider perspective on China and its profile in the Indo-Pacific. Nirupama Rao is a former Foreign Secretary.
Book The Long Game: How the Chinese Negotiate with India by former foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale
• A book titled “The Long Game: How the Chinese Negotiate with India” authored by Vijay Gokhale. In this new book, former foreign secretary of India, Vijay Gokhale, unpacks the dynamics of India-China relations through the prism of six historical and recent events.
• The book gives a practitioner’s insight into strategies, tactics, and tools that China uses for diplomatic negotiations. His 1st book is “Tiananmen Square: The Making of a Protest” was published earlier this month.