International Current Affairs
International Current Affairs Jan 3rd Week 2018
Category : International Current Affairs
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 1. China builds World`s Biggest Air Purifier.

In an attempt to fight air pollution, China has constructed an experimental air purifying tower, touted to be the world’s biggest at a height of over 100 meters (328 feet). According to a report in the South China Morning Post, the tower, built in Xian in Shaanxi province, has brought a positive effect on the chronic smog problem in the country.

The Xian smog tower is undergoing testing by researchers at the Institute of Earth Environment at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Cao Junji, the research head said that the tower has managed to produce more than 10 million cubic metres (353 million cubic feet) of clean air a day since its launch, the report said. He also noted that the quality of air had improved after observations were made over a distance of 10 square kilometers in the past few months.

More than a dozen pollution monitoring stations have been placed in Xian to check the tower’s impact. According to Cao, the tower was able to bring down the smog to moderate levels the day when air quality was severe. However, the results were preliminary as of now. The team plans to release more detailed data coupled with scientific assessment of the tower’s performance in March.

Launched in 2015, the Xian smog tower was announced to find a low-cost method to artificially remove pollutants from the atmosphere. The polluted air is sucked into the glasshouses of the tower and is then heated up by the solar energy. The hot air then moves through multiple cleaning filters and helps in reducing the pollution.

A full-sized tower would reach 500 metres (1,640 feet) high with a diameter of 200 metres (656 feet), according to a patent application the makers filed in 2014. The size of the greenhouses could cover nearly 30 square kilometres and will be capable of purifying the air for a small-sized city.


2. IWDRI-2018 Concluded Successfully in New Delhi.

The two-day International Workshop on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (IWDRI) successfully concluded here today, setting the stage for taking the dialogue on resilient infrastructure forward at the global level.
The Workshop identified Best Practices in the Infrastructure Sector, as well as key issues in existing practices and ways to address them. Priority areas for collaboration on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure were also identified.
The Workshop was organised by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) jointly with United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). MoS (Home) Shri Kiren Rijiju delivered the Valedictory Address.
Resilient infrastructure is important not only for the aggregate economic growth but also for ending poverty," said Shri Rijiju. He further added, Our actions today, through investment in infrastructure, can reduce or increase the future risk. We need to shape policies that seek to not only reduce risk but also stop the creation of new risks."
If we are able to build complete resilience in the country, there are studies which suggest that our GDP could go up by upto 2 per cent, he said, adding that the work on resilient infrastructure, however, needs to take into account the ongoing rapid urbanisation as unplanned urbanisation is closely linked to creation of new risks.
Delivering the valedictory address, Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, invited both NDMA and UNISDR to work together with NITI Aayog to help spread disaster awareness in society rapidly and widely. He also called for the need of ranking States in terms of their progress in Disaster Management.
Dr. P.K. Mishra, Additional Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, reiterated Indias commitment to working towards Disaster Risk Resilience along with the global community. He also praised the practical, outcome-based deliberations at the Workshop.
This workshop has explored new dimensions, opportunities and challenges to resilient infrastructure. Deliberations here are crucial not only for achieving the targets identified in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction but also for achieving Prime Ministers 10-point agenda, outlined during the Asian Ministerial Conference on DRR 2016," said Dr. Robert Glasser, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction.
The day began with a facilitated cross-country panel discussion upon country-specific issues in Disaster Resilient Infrastructure. This was followed by technical sessions on standards for infrastructure and on the role of finance, including risk transfer mechanisms, in building resilient infrastructure. Discussions were also held on reconstruction and recovery of key Infrastructure Sectors after a disaster. Dr. V. Thiruppugazh, Joint Secretary, NDMA summed up the proceedings of the conference.
The workshop was inaugurated by the Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh, yesterday. On Day 1, technical sessions were held on issues pertaining to Risk Management in key Infrastructure Sectors, viz. Energy, Transport and Telecommunications, and Risk Assessment.
Experts from 23 countries representing a wide variety of development and disaster risk contexts, multilateral development banks, the United Nations, the private sector, academics and other stakeholders participated in the workshop.