Current Affairs 10th March 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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The Union Cabinet on 10 March 2016 gave its approval for entering into the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and the IMF for setting up of South Asia Regional Training and Technical Assistance Center (SARTTAC) in India.The Cabinet also authorised the Finance Minister to approve related decisions in respect of India’s contribution for setting up of the centre, including Letter of Understanding for financial contribution by India, site of the SARTTAC, representative of India on the Steering Committee on SARTTAC, etc.It will be a collaborative venture between the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and 6 member countries belonging to South Asia.It will help in capacity building of Government officials including State level in macro, fiscal, monetary policies by the IMF and greater coordination between the six member countries of South Asia.The six member countries are India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Additional member countries could join SARTTAC at a later stage.It will bring in the best practices from across the globe, as well as the South Asian region, resulting in innovative solutions to fiscal, monetary and financial issues and effective response through use of IT and innovative techniques .It will enhance revenue mobilization and development of policies aimed at more effective public and financial management. This will result in economic development and inclusive growth in the country

The Union Cabinet, presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 10 March 2016 gave its approval for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Bahrain on cooperation for prevention of human trafficking, especially trafficking in women and children, rescue, recovery, repatriation and re-integration of victims of trafficking.This MoU aims at increasing the bilateral cooperation between the two nations on the issues of prevention, rescue, recovery and repatriation related to human trafficking especially women and children expeditiously.The MoU is expected to be signed during Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s upcoming visit to Bahrain in the first week of April 2016.To strengthen cooperation to prevent all forms of human trafficking, especially that of women and children and ensure speedy investigation and prosecution of traffickers and organized crime syndicates in either country.Taking preventive measures that will eliminate human trafficking in women and children and in protecting the rights of victims of trafficking.Anti-trafficking Cells and Task Force will work on both sides to prevent human trafficking.Police and other concerned authorities will work in close cooperation and exchange information which can be used to interdict human traffickers.The repatriation of victims will be done as expeditiously as possible and home country will undertake the safe and effective re-integration of the victims.A Joint Task Force with representatives from both sides will be constituted to monitor the working of the MoU.

The Union Cabinet, presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 10 March 2016 gave its approval for signing and ratification of the Bay of Bengal Initiative on Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters.The Ministry of Home Affairs has been designated as the Central Authority under Article 15 of the Convention.The establishment of regional arrangements for mutual assistance in criminal matters will greatly contribute to more effective cooperation in the control of criminal activities.The Convention aims to extend widest measures of assistance to each other through mutual cooperation for enhancing capability and effectiveness of the Member States in investigation and prosecution of crimes, including crimes related to terrorism, transnational organized crime, drug trafficking, money laundering and cyber-crimes.After signing as well as ratification of the Convention from the Indian side, the Instrument of Ratification will be deposited to the Secretary-General of BIMSTEC and the Convention will enter into force on 30th day of the deposit of last instrument of ratification.The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation is an international organisation involving a group of countries in South Asia and South East Asia.It comprises of seven countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.The main objective of BIMSTEC is technological and economical cooperation among South Asian and South East Asian countries along the coast of the Bay of Bengal.

Tapan Kumar Chand was elected as the President of the Aluminium Association of India (AAI). His election took place unanimously on 29 February 2016 at the National Governing Council Meeting of the AAI in Bhubaneshwar.He succeed SK Roongta who is the former Chairman of Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) and Vedanta Group.At present, Tapan Chand is the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of National Aluminium Company Ltd (Nalco), which is a Navaratna Central Public Sector Undertaking.It is the apex body representing the entire spectrum of Indian aluminium industry.It was founded in 1981 and is registered under the Karnataka Societies Registration Act and operates from Bengaluru in Karnataka.It is being recognized and supported by the Union Government through various ministries and in particular the Ministry of Mines.It represents entire spectrum of Indian Aluminium Industry - primary producers, downstream manufacturers, equipment & product manufacturers, end users, technologist, metallurgists, research and development organisations etc.It is internationally recognized and a member of International Body of Aluminium Associations.

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on 10 March 2016 launched the country’s sixth Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS)-1F, on board the trusted launch vehicle PSLV C-32. The lift off took place from the second launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre(SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikotta, India’s spaceport at 4:01pm. Satellite IRNSS-1F was launched after the 54-and-a-half hour countdown that started on 8 March 2016.Features for • The lift off mass of IRNSS – 1F is 1425 kg and the dry mass is 598 kg.Its configuration is similar to that of IRNSS-1A, 1B, 1C, 1D AND 1E.The two solar arrays of IRNSS-1F consisting of Ultra Triple Junction solar cells generate about 1660 watts of electrical power.The Mission life of IRNSS-1F is 12 years.IRNSS-1F carried two types of payloads – navigation payload and ranging payload. The navigation payload of IRNSS-1F will transmit navigation service signals to the users. This payload will be operating in L5 band (1176.45 MHz) and S band (2492.028 MHz). Highly accurate Rubidium atomic clock is the part of the navigation payload of the satellite. The ranging payload of the satellite consists of C-band transponder which facilitates accurate determination of the range of the satellite. IRNSS-1F also carries Corner Cube Retro Reflectors for laser ranging.IRNSS-1F will form part of the home-grown seven satellites Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) to provide accurate position information services, similar to the GPS in the whole country and up to 1500 km around it.This is India’s second mission in 2016, and the first one was also the successful insertion of an IRNSS-1E navigation satellite by PSLV C-31 on 20 January 2016.

The West Bengal government has made singing of national anthem in schools compulsory. The WBBSE on March 3 issued a notification to the recognised schools in the state under the board asking the authorities to follow the practice. “Heads of the Institution of all recognised schools under West Bengal Board of Secondary Education are requested to do the needful to sing the national anthem during the school assembly before the commencement of school hours,” the notification read.The board cited a circular issued to schools by the education department on November 10 last year before issuing the notification. Board administrator Kalyamnoy Ganguly also gave reference to a court order based on which they issued the notification to the schools. However, according to the verdict, it was the discretion of the school authorities to follow the practice as the Constitution of India has not made it mandatory to sing national anthem in schools.

Survey by US-based firm,that legacy of communism is responsible for advance of gender equality. Russia once again topped the international ranking of countries with the highest percentage of women in senior business roles, with 45 per cent of senior management positions held by women.Russia is followed by the Philippines and Lithuania, according to a report published yesterday by US-based accounting firm Grant Thornton. At the bottom of the list is Japan, where only 7 per cent of senior leadership positions are filled by women.Economic powerhouses Germany and India also continue to lag, with 15 per cent and 16 per cent of senior management positions filled by women. The US finds itself in the bottom third of nations for women in leadership roles.

Tata Power Renewable Energy Limited (TPREL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Power, on 9 March 2016 signed a Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) with Indo Rama Renewables Limited (IRRL) to acquire its 100% subsidiary Indo Rama Renewables Jath Limited (IRRJL). IRRJL owns a 30 MW wind farm in Sangli District of Maharashtra.IRRJL’s wind farm is fully operational since July 2013 and has executed a long-term power purchase agreement with Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Limited. The wind farm is registered under the Generation Based Incentive scheme of Ministry of New & Renewable Energy.With this acquisition, Tata Power’s total generation capacity will increase to 9130 MW and its operational Wind power generation capacity to 570 MW with wind turbines located across five states, which are Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. TPREL also has 250 MW of wind projects under construction across Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.Indo Rama Renewables Jath Limited (IRRJL) is a 100% step down subsidiary of Indo Rama Synthetics India Limited (IRSL). IRSL is one of India’s largest players in the business of manufacturing polyester.IRRJL operates a 30 MW wind farm in District Sangli of Maharashtra comprising of 15 numbers of 2000 KW G 97 Wind Turbine Generators (WTGs) supplied by Gamesa India.TPREL is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Tata Power Company Ltd.TPREL is Tata Power’s primary investment vehicle for the clean and renewable energy based power generation capacity.TPREL’s present operating capacity is 244 MW, comprising 190 MW wind and 54 MW solar, located in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan.

Jean Arnault was on 9 March 2016 appointed as the head of United National Political Mission in Columbia. An announcement in this regard was made by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York, the USA.In his new capacity, Arnault, a French national, will also serve as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Colombia.Before the present elevation, he had been serving as the Delegate of the Secretary-General to the Sub-Commission on End of Conflict Issues within the Colombia peace process.Earlier, Arnault moderated the peace process in Guatemala before being appointed the head of the verification mission in the country (MINUGUA).He also worked in senior positions with the UN in Afghanistan, Burundi, Georgia, and was the UN Special Adviser to the Group of Friends of Democratic Pakistan.United Nations and Colombian Government launched trust fund for peace building needsThe UN Security Council in January 2016 approved setting up of a UN Political Mission in Colombia. The mission would consist of unarmed international observers to monitor disarmament.It will also assist in finalising a peace agreement between the Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia People's Army (FARC-EP).The FARC-EP is a guerilla movement and at present, the FARC-EP and the Government of Columbia are in peace talks in Havana, Cuba to end the 5 decade long armed conflict in the country.Jean Arnault, as the Delegate of the UN Secretary General worked closely with the negotiating teams of the Government of Colombia and the FARC-EP.

The Allahabad High Court (HC) asked the Uttar Pradesh (UP) to immediately stop illegal mining in reserved forest areas of Sonbhadra district.High Court’s bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Yashwant Varma took a strict note of illegal mining in the Sonbhadra and ordered the state Principal Secretary of Mining, District Magistrate and Senior Superintendent of Police of Sonbhadra to take immediate action.The High Court also instructed the State government to take action against those officials, who are responsible for illegal mining.While disposing off a PIL, the bench also asked the State to take necessary steps to recover all losses occurred due to illegal mining.Sonbhadra or Sonebhadra is the 2nd largest district of Uttar Pradesh. It is the only district in India which borders four states namely Madhya Pradesh, Chhattishgarh Jharkhand and Bihar.It lies between Vindhya and Kaimur hills. It is a hilly region with natural beauty due to which first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru called Sonbhadra “The Switzerland of India”.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on 9 March 2016 presented the Annual State Budget 2016-17 in the legislative assembly. This was his 10th successive budget as he also holds the portfolio of Finance Minister.The focus and attention of the budget is agriculture, Infrastructure, and social sector.The Budget pegged the Annual Development Plan for the year 2016-17 at 70056 crore rupees and estimated the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) at 7.6 percent in the fiscal 2016-17.Seven Pillars of Development: Farmers, Inclusive Development, Communications, Health, Security, Self-reliance and Capacity-building.Capital expenditure for infrastructure: Share of the sector in the budget was raised by 18.6 percent. In the fiscal year 2015-16, it was raised nu 16.9 percent. Social sector expenditure: It was increased by over 16 percent, with its share in the budget increasing from 37% to 40%.Agriculture Department’s budget: It was increased by 26 percent.Infrastructure Development of road network plans to construct 13,000 km road length with an investment of Rs. 42,000 crore over the next three years. Government decided to develop 780 kilometres of railway lines on three arterial routes.Electricity: It will be provided to un-electrified 818 villages and all 9000-plus un-electrified schools by March 2017.Urban development: 225 crore rupees was allocated for AMRUT Mission. Under this, sewerage system for Raipur has been approved at a cost of 650 crore rupees.Education: 7 general public universities will each receive 20 crore rupees, while Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Universities will together get another 40 crore rupees.Agriculture:200 crore rupees was allocated for launching Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.The outlay for irrigation projects this year stands increased by 173 crore to 2891 crore rupees.Tax concessions:In order to create a level playing field for local retailers competing with online retailers, VAT on mobile phones has been reduced from 14% to 5%.For the state’s steel industry, the Chief Minister announced reduction in theVAT rate on iron ore, pig iron, sponge iron, iron ore pellets, ingots, billets and ferro-alloys from 5% to 2%.

Drug major Lupin Announced completed the acquisition of privately held US-based GAVIS Pharmaceuticals LLC and Novel Laboratories (GAVIS). Lupin had announced the acquisition on July 23, 2015. GAVIS brings to Lupin a highly skilled US-based manufacturing and research organisation which would complement its Florida-based R&D centre for inhalation products. GAVIS' New-Jersey based manufacturing facility will become Lupin's first manufacturing site in the US. GAVIS is a privately held company, specialising in formulation development, manufacturing, packaging, sales, marketing and distribution of pharmaceutical products. It has 62 abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) filings pending approval with the US FDA and a pipeline of over 65 plus products under development GAVIS' pending approvals address a market of over USD 9 billion. The combined company will have a portfolio of over 120 in-market products, more than 185 cumulative filings pending approval and a deep pipeline of products under development for the US. The acquisition creates the 5th largest pipeline of ANDA filings with US FDA, catering to a USD 63.8-billion market. Lupin shares were trading 0.33 per cent up at Rs 1,822.75 during the afternoon session on BSE.

March 10,2016: India signed a landmark agreement with Bangladesh extending USD 2 billion to the country in its biggest ever overseas credit line, five years after it inked a credit agreement worth USD 1 billion with its neighbour. The USD 2 billion LOC (line of credit) is the biggest credit line India has so far extended to any country.The signing of the agreement is the manifestation of the friendship," Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's principal secretary Abul Kalam Azad said at the signing ceremony. The signing ceremony Mesbahuddin said that 14 projects so far were planned to be implemented with the second Indian LOC covering power, railways, roads, transportation, information and communication technology, shipping, health and technical education sectors. A special focus on social sector cooperation pertaining to health and technical education aiming to further integrate economies of both countries and strengthen mutual cooperation. All the 15 projects under the First LOC have received financial concurrence of EXIM Bank of India. wo countries developed a functional joint mechanism in overseeing the implementation of the projects under the 2010 LOC and expected the arrangement to work for the second LOC.The Indian credit line bears an interest rate of 1 per cent to be re-payed in 20 years with a five-year grace period.Bangladesh's ERD in a statement said the "soft loan" committed under the second Indian LOC "will play a significant role in the socio-economic development of Bangladesh, which will be congenial for fostering the ongoing development partnership between the two countries". The first "Dollar Credit Line Agreement" for USD 1 billion was signed between the two countries in 2010 for developing infrastructure projects, mostly in the communications sector.

The Union Government on 7 March 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on conservation of birds of prey in Africa and Eurasia at the Convention on Migratory Species Office in Abu Dhabi.The MoU was signed by T.P Seetharam, the Ambassador of India to the UAE.With the signing of the Raptor MoU, India became the 56th signatory state to sign it.The MoU is also in conformity with the provisions of the existing Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, wherein the birds have been accorded protection.The Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia is an international, legally non-binding, agreement to protect migratory birds of prey.It was concluded on 22 October 2008 and came into effect on 1 November 2008.It is an agreement under Article IV paragraph 4 of the CMS.It seeks willingness of the signatory Range States for working for conservation of the raptor species and their habitats.An action plan has been formulated which primarily envisages the conservation action for Raptor species.The MoU extends its coverage to 76 species of birds of prey out of which 46 species including vultures, falcons, eagles, owls, hawks, kites, harriers, and more which are also found in India.The CMS or Bonn Convention, under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), aims to conserve migratory species throughout their range. India has been a party to the CMS since 1 November 1983.

The Rajya Sabha on 9 March 2016 passed National Waterways Bill, 2015. The Bill seeks to unleash the navigation potential of India’s larger river ways resources.As part of this Bill, under entry 24 of the Union List of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, the Union government can make laws on shipping and navigation on inland waterways that are classified as national waterways.The Bill identifies additional 101 waterways as national waterways. It also specifies the extent of development to be undertaken on each waterway.Earlier, the Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on 21 December 2015.The National Waterways Bill, 2015 was introduced in Lok Sabha on 5 May 2015 by the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari.

The licensing committee of Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) has approved 12 industrial licences to the Reliance Defence, a subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure Limited for manufacture of wide range of Defence equipment required by the Armed Forces. DIPP has approved these licences to the Strategic Business Units (SBU) under Reliance Defence Limited to address defence programmes in India and overseas.In the aerospace segment, with licences for manufacture of military aircraft and helicopters, the company plans to address the aircraft requirement of the Indian Navy pegged at Rs 9,000 crorer, light utility helicopters, an opportunity valued at more than Rs 20,000 crore. In addition, there is a requirement of 160-200 medium to heavy helicopter, valued at Rs 50,000 crore.For the naval systems, the company will focus on key systems as is evident from the licences for air independent propulsion technology and hull penetrators and connectors along with motor shafts and propulsion systems.  Reliance naval systems is already working on C4I, underwater systems, weapons, radars and electro optic systems.   the company is targeting different requirement from the Indian Navy, army and the Air Force. For the export market, Reliance Strategic Electronics Division (SED) plans to manufacture night vision devices (NVDs) and surveillance devices. This apart, the company plans to develop an infantry combat vehicle to address the domestic and global requirements.

57 countries are going to take part in the first Maritime India Summit 2016 scheduled to be held in April 2016 in Mumbai, Maharashtra. It was announced by the Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari on the sidelines of media launch of the Maritime India Summit 2016.The maiden Maritime India Summit is scheduled to be held in Mumbai, Maharashtra. It will be organised by Union Ministry of Shipping. It will be first such global summit of its kind that will also comprise of an Investors’ Summit along with exhibition and demo session.The main focus of summit is to give impetus to Make In India and blue economy. South Korea is the partner country for the summit. Earlier in February 2016, the Ministry of Shipping had launched website for maiden summit to facilitate investors and participants to access detailed information about the summit.

The first ever all girls National Cadet Corps (NCC) Mount Everest expedition was flagged off by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Defence Rao Inderjeet Singh in New Delhi. The aim of mountaineering expeditions in NCC is to strengthen the character and instill qualities of courage, discipline, comradeship and leadership in the cadets. The team consisting of ten girl cadets is led by Colonel Gaurav Karki, along with fifteen service personnel. They will reach Nepal on 31st March 2016 and likely to summit the peak between 15 and 25th May, 2016. These 10 girls were selected from 100 girl cadets who were nominated to undergo the Customised Mountaineering Course at Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI), Darjeeling. They were selected based on their performance in the first pre-Everest Expedition to Mt Deo-Tibba (19688 Feet) near Manali in Himachal Pradesh and second pre-Everest Expedition to Mt Trishul (23360 Feet). Mountaineering Expedition was introduced in NCC in 1970 as an adventure activity. Since then, every year NCC conducts two mountaineering expeditions one each for boy and girl cadets. So far NCC has launched more than 70 expeditions to various peaks.

The Reserve Bank of India will share FDI-related information with country's intelligence agencies IB and RAW to check black money from entering the country. The committee headed by Revenue Secretary decided to provide the details of FDI resting with RBI to IB & RAW.This is done as a measure to prevent the economic crimes in the country FDI can enter into the country either through automatic route(approved by RBI) or through permission from FIPB .Even though permitted by FIPB, the government agencies doesn’t know of the FDI has entered or not.The actual details of the FDI are only with RBI. Hence RBI has to provide the details to IB & RAW to prevent flow of black money in the country.FDI flows into India nearly doubled in 2015 to USD 59 billion, according to a report of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Foreign Direct Investment is important for the country as it needs around USD 1 trillion worth investments between 2012-13 and 2016-17, the 12th Five Year Plan period, to fund infrastructure growth covering sectors such as ports, airports and highways 

In order to  Proposal  encourage optimum use of wind energy potential in India, the Centre will soon unveil a policy to give incentives including an interest rebate of 0.25 for increasing capacity of wind mills of up to 1 MW. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has floated a draft for Repowering of Wind Power Projects in the country for comments from stakeholders by March 14, 2016. The objective of the policy is to promote optimum utilisation of wind energy resources by creating facilitative framework for repowering Most of the wind-turbines installed up to the year 2000 are of capacity below 500 kW and are at sites having high wind energy potential. It is estimated that over 3000 MW capacity installation is from wind turbines of 500 kW or below. In order to optimally utilise the wind energy resources repowering is required.For repowering projects Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency ( IREDA) will provide an additional interest rate rebate of 0.25 per cent over and above the interest rate rebates available to the new wind projects being financed by it. the benefits available to the new wind projects i.e. Accelerated Depreciation or GBI (Generation Based Incentives) as per applicable conditions would also be available to the repowering project. The repowering projects would be implemented through the respective State Nodal Agency/Organisation involved in promotion of wind energy in the state. Major share of renewable power capacity in India is from wind energy. India started harnessing of the wind power prior to 1990. The present installed capacity is over 25 GW which is fourth largest in the world after China, USA and Germany. 

A bill to amend the 48-year-old Enemy Property Act to allow the custodians to continue to hold sway over such properties was introduced in Lok Sabha .Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju introduced the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016 to amend the Enemy Property Act 1968 and the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act 1971. The measure seeks to replace an ordinance promulgated to this effect on January 7. The bill aims to amend the provisions of the Act declaring that all enemy property vested in the custodian of enemy property would continue to vest in the custodian irrespective of the death or extinction of the enemy. The custodian of enemy property for India is an Indian government department that is empowered to appropriate property in India owned by Pakistani nationals. After the Indo-Pak War of 1965, the Enemy Property Act was promulgated in 1968. The Narendra Modi government, following the footsteps of the previous UPA government, has been keen to amend the Act. While UPA government had promulgated the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Ordinance, the Bill introduced in Parliament could not be passed due to various issues, including reported differences within the government itself. In the wake of the Indo-Pak wars of 1965 and 1971, there was migration of people from India to Pakistan. Under the Defence of India Rules framed under the Defence of India Act, the Government of India took over the properties and companies of such persons who had taken Pakistani nationality. These enemy properties were vested by the Central Government in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India. After the 1965 war, India and Pakistan signed the Tashkent Declaration on January 10, 1966. The Tashkent Declaration inter alia included a clause, which said the two countries would discuss the return of the property and assets taken over by either side in connection with the conflict. However, the Government of Pakistan disposed of all such properties in their country in 1971 itself.

Eight time Grammy Award-winning Brazilian percussionist, Nana Vasconcelos, died on 9 March 2016 in Recife, Brazil. He was 71.The musician from Brazil was known for his wide instrumental range and major role in free spirited jazz and world music of the 1970s and 1980.He was a master of the single-string percussion instrument known in Portuguese as the berimbao (multi-toned Afro-Brazilian instrument).The American jazz magazine DownBeat named Vasconcelos percussionist of the year every year from 1983 to 1991.Nana who learnt music from his father and started playing drum kit at the age of 12 rose to prominence after he moved to Rio de Janeiro in the 1960s and started playing with Nascimento.He is best known for collaborations with Brazilians Milton Nascimento and Egberto Gismonti, Argentine Gato Barbieri and Americans Don Cherry and Pat Metheny.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) on 8 March 2016 jointly launched the Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage.It is a multi-country initiative and is part of a global effort to prevent girls from marrying too young.This program will help protect the rights of millions of the world’s most vulnerable girls by involving families, communities, governments and young people.It will support those already married as girls in 12 countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East where child marriage rates are high.As part of this global programme, both the agencies will work with governments of countries with a high prevalence of child marriage.It seeks to uphold the rights of adolescent girls, so that girls can reach their potential and countries can attain their social and economic development goals.It will focus on proven strategies, including increasing girls’ access to education and health care services, educating parents and communities on the dangers of child marriage.It is being supported by Canada, the European Union, Italy, Netherlands, and the UK. Girls who are married as children are more likely to be out of school, suffer domestic violence, contract HIV/AIDS and die due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth. If current trends continue, the number of girls and women married as children will reach nearly 1 billion by 2030. Child marriage hurts economies and leads to intergenerational cycles of poverty.The programme supports the Target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals that vouches for elimination of child marriage by 2030.The Target 5.3 mandates elimination of all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilations.

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