News: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has picked Srinagar among 49 cities as part of the creative city network under the Crafts and Folk Arts category.
Only Jaipur (Crafts and Folk Arts) in 2015, Varanasi and Chennai (Creative city of Music) in 2015 and 2017 respectively have so far been recognised as members of the UCCN for creative cities.
With the inclusion of 49 new cities this year, total numbers of cities in this network stands at 295 from across 90 countries. These cities have been included to the list as they invest in culture & creativity like crafts & folk art, film, design, literature, gastronomy, music and media arts, in order to advance sustainable urban development.
About Creative City Network:
The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) is a project of UNESCO launched in 2004 to promote cooperation among cities which recognized creativity as a major factor in their urban development.
As of 2017, there are 180 cities from 72 countries in the network.
The network aims to foster mutual international cooperation with and between member cities committed to invest in creativity as a driver for sustainable urban development, social inclusion and cultural vibrancy. The Network recognizes the following creative fields:
The overall situation and activities within the Network is reported in the UCCN Membership Monitoring Reports, each for a 4-year period for a particular city.
The Network recognizes the concept of creative tourism, defined as travel associated with creative experience and participation.
Which Indian cities are there in the UNESCO’s network?
Chennai and Varanasi are included in UNESCO Cities of music.
Jaipur is included in UNESCO city of crafts and folk arts.
Mumbai is included in UNESCO city of film.
Hyderabad is included in UNESCO City of gastronomy.
2. KERALA’S SILVERLINE RAIL PROJECT
News: Last week, the Kerala cabinet gave the green light to begin acquiring land for SilverLine, its flagship semi high-speed railway project aimed at reducing travel time between the state’s northern and southern ends.
About Silverline Project:
The project entails building a semi high-speed railway corridor through the state linking its southern end and state capital Thiruvananthapuram with its northern end of Kasaragod.
The line is proposed to be 529.45 kms long, covering 11 districts through 11 stations.
When the project is realised, one can travel from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram in less than four hours on trains travelling at 200 km/hr.
The current travel time on the existing Indian Railways network is 12 hours.
The deadline for the project, being executed by the Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL), is 2025. KRDCL, or K-Rail, is a joint venture between the Kerala government and the Union Ministry of Railways.
According to K-Rail, the project will have trains of electric multiple unit (EMU) type with preferably nine cars and extendable to 12 cars each.
A nine-car rake can seat a maximum of 675 passengers in business and standard class settings.
The trains can run at a maximum speed of 220 kmph on standard gauge track, completing journeys in either direction in under four hours.
A total of 11 stations are proposed including the two terminals, three of which will be elevated, one underground and the rest at grade.
Every 500 metres of the corridor, there will be under passages with provision of service roads.
The railway line, beginning from Thiruvananthapuram, will have stations in Kollam, Chengannur, Kottayam, Ernakulam (Kakkanad), Cochin Airport, Thrissur, Tirur, Kozhikode, Kannur and culminating in Kasaragod.
The proposed station at Kozhikode will be underground, those at Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam and Thrissur elevated and the rest at-grade.
3. DELHI REGIONAL SECURITY DIALOGUE ON AFGHANISTAN
News: Security czars of Russia, Iran and five Central Asian countries will arrive in Delhi on Tuesday ahead of the “Delhi regional security dialogue” on Afghanistan, chaired by National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval, who will also meet his counterparts bilaterally.
About Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan:
The Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan will witness an expanded participation of Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, who will all be represented by their respective National Security Advisers / Secretaries of the Security Councils.
The high level Dialogue will review the security situation in the region arising from recent developments in Afghanistan.
It will deliberate upon measures to address the relevant security challenges and support the people of Afghanistan in promoting peace, security and stability.
India has traditionally enjoyed close and friendly ties with the people of Afghanistan and has called for a unified international response to address the security and humanitarian challenges facing Afghanistan. The forthcoming meeting is a step in that direction.
Pakistan and China have declined to participate.
No invitations were sent to the Taliban or to former leaders like Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah
4. ADVOCATE GENERAL OF A STATE
News: In an unending crisis for the Congress in Punjab, the party’s State president, Navjot Singh Sidhu, hit back at Advocate-General A.P.S. Deol, saying a lawyer who procured blanket protection for the police in the 2015 Kotkapura firing on a gathering of Sikh demonstrators did not have the moral or ethical right to continue in the post.
About Advocate General of a State:
Article 165 of the Indian Constitution is related to the office of Advocate General of State. He is the highest law officer of the state.
In the Order of Precedence, Additional Solicitor General is above the Advocate General of State.
The right to be eligible for the post of Advocate General of State is conferred to only the Indian citizens, and foreigners are not eligible to hold this public office.
He has full right to appear in any court of the state.
He cannot vote in any proceedings of the houses of the state legislature or any committee initiated by the state legislature. He though has a right to speak and be a part of such proceedings.
The governor appoints the advocate general of state on the advice of the council of ministers of the state. The person who is eligible to hold the office of advocate general in India must meet the following criteria:
He must be an Indian Citizen
He should be eligible to be appointed as the judge of the High Court; i.e. he must meet one of the following eligibility criteria:
A barrister having experience of more than 5 years.
A civil servant with an experience of more than 10 years along with an experience as a servant in Zila Court for at least 3 years.
A pleader over 10 years in any high court
He shouldn’t be more than 62 years of age as is the age qualification for a High Court Judge.
Term and Removal of Advocate General of State
The Constitution does not fix the term of Advocate General in India. He remains in the office during the pleasure of the Governor.
The Constitution does not contain the procedure and grounds to remove the Advocate General of State. Governor can remove him/her at any point in time.
Resignation of Advocate General – He can resign from the public office by submitting the resignation letter to the state governor.
Conventionally, when a council of ministers of a state government resigns, the advocate general of state too puts down his papers.
The major duties and functions of the Advocate General of State are mentioned below:
He is responsible to advise the state government on the legal matters that the governor refers to him.
He also has to perform all the duties legal characteristics as are assigned to him by the state governor.
He is bound by the Constitution for such duties and functions as is mentioned therein or any other constitutional law.
The remuneration received by the Advocate General of State is not fixed by the Indian Constitution. It varies according to the states. State governor determines the salary of the advocate general in India.