World Diabetes Day

One in ten people is living with diabetes. One in six in the world with diabetes is from India. One in two people with diabetes don does not know they have it. Globally, more than 420 million people are living with diabetes, with the prevalence of diabetes nearly doubling in the last forty years.  More worrisome is the faster rise of diabetes prevalence in low and middle-income countries. India is the second most affected by diabetes in the world after China. It has an estimated 77 million people with diabetes. The situation is alarming. Yes, it is a lifestyle disease. Sedentary lifestyles and overweight would significantly influence the way that your body utilizes insulin. Once you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is not the end of the road. With a healthy diet, exercise, yoga, and meditation, you will mostly be able to manage, and possibilities of reversing it are also being discussed. The theme for World Diabetes Day 2020 is “The Nurse and Diabetes”. It is essential to raise awareness about the role that nurses play in supporting people living with diabetes.

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World Science Day for Peace and Development

No aspect of human life is untouched by science and technology in some form or another.   Researchers while focussing on finding solutions to the problems being, less attention is being paid to bring awareness about the progress being made, leading to disconnect with the very people for whose benefit the R&D is being carried. There is a need to focus on arriving at the methodologies of creating awareness and among the public. World Science Day for Peace and Development is celebrated on 10 November every year, aims at highlighting the significant role of Science plays in Society and the need to engage Society and fostering cooperation amongst researchers across the continents and support researchers living in regions of conflicts and wars.   At a time when the world is struggling to cope up with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus of researchers is and should be in finding solutions.  Actions that ensure public confidence in science and refute harmful misinformation are crucial. Public trust in science is essential for successful science-based policies.    
The advancements being made in Science and Technology can be a double-edged sword, and whether one uses it for finding solutions to the problems and enhancing them is in the hands of governments, policymakers, and people. Living in peace is a strong indicator of progress and quality of life of the citizens.  Science is for society and should always be with Society.

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World Tsunami Awareness Day

India woke up to the shocking realisation of what the sea can do. It was December 26, 2004, a major Tsunami has struck the southern coast of India. The loss of life was more due to a lack of awareness about Tsunami and what actions one should take. People tend to ignore many warnings, and the need for caution brought into their awareness. That is where observing “World Tsunami Awareness Day” is of significance.  November 5 was designated as World Tsunami Awareness Day by the UN in 2015, to raise awareness about Tsunami and share innovative approaches to risk reduction. Even though Tsunamis are rare events, the devastations caused by them and consequent economic costs are enormous.  The word “Tsunami” comprises the Japanese words “tsu” (meaning harbour) and “nami” (meaning wave). Though the reason for Tsunami is an earthquake, not all earthquakes cause tsunamis, it should be of at least 6.5 on the Richter Scale.

Kudos to Indian scientists.  A state-of-the-art warning centre has been established at INCOIS. And is an integral part of the Global Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System, established and coordinated by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO.

Let us bring awareness of the consequences of natural disasters, after all, life is precious, and that is what you have and real.

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Blue Moon

“Once in a Blue Moon”, one says when something rare happens and today is one of those days. The night of October 31 (tonight) will host the Blue Moon. This night the Blue Moon will appear close to Mars, adding to the spectacle. This Blue Moon coincides with Halloween, and one needs to wait till 2039 for a Blue Moon day on Halloween. It is also the Northern Hemisphere’s Harvest Moon, or Full Moon nearest the September equinox. Not so common that a seasonal Blue Moon and a monthly Blue Moon occur in the same calendar year. Next time it would happen in the year 2048 and then in 2067. The moon always evoked romantic emotions. Poets emoted “Blue Moon” as a symbol of sadness and loneliness and turns to gold when he gets his love at the end of the song. Hopefully, we would never see a real, blue-coloured moon in the sky. If it were to happen, Earth’s atmosphere should contain dust or smoke particles slightly more expansive than 900 nanometres. The way the pollution goes up every year at this time of the year in Delhi and surrounding areas hope it does not end up making the moon blue. For now, it is time to enjoy the “Blue Moon” in the company of Mars. This year also saw the Super Pink Moon & Super Flower Moon.

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World Cities Day

More than half of the world’s population lives in cities and more than 80% of global GDP generated in cities. UN estimates that it goes up to 68% by 2050, 35% of urbanisation happening in India, China and Nigeria. Unplanned and rapid urbanisation has been the bane the humanity is living with. Promoting cooperation and address the challenges of urbanisation and contributing to sustainable urban development is essential. To achieve this goal, in 2014 the UN, designated 31st of October as World Cities Day.

Policymakers and governments need to engage communities in urban planning, implementation, and monitoring to co-create the cities of the future. Indian government embarked on the Smart City Initiative. It was introduced to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life through local development with the use of technology. The devised approach included retrofitting and/or redevelopment of cities and Greenfield projects. For sustaining urban development, the world needs participatory, inclusive, and sustainable development. Collectively, we can genuinely promote sustainable cities for all.

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Victory of Good over Evil

“Dashahara” is a compound Sanskrit word composed of “dasham” (10) and “ahar” (day) . UNESCO describes it as the tradition of performance arts  one of the “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity”. Vijayadashami is observed for different reasons and celebrated differently in various parts of India and the neighbourhood. While the observation of Vijayadashami is on the same day across India, the festivities leading to it vary.

O COVID what have you done! Taken away, the spirit of coming together and celebrating. Hopefully, we restrain ourselves only for this year and come next year, we would get back to our old routine.

In the fight against evil to be successful, we all need to cooperate and leave the destruction job to the Almighty. Let good sense prevail, and all of us contribute for the victory of Good over Evil.

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World Development Information Day

Development plays a crucial role in our lives and has many connotations. It is essential to bring awareness and to provide information is the first step in that direction to bring a change. In 1972 the UN decided to institute a World Development Information Day. It is commemorated along with the UN Day on October 24. It aims at mobilizing public opinion and draw attention and create awareness of the problems surrounding development. It is every individual’s responsibility to act towards meeting sustainable goals. 2030 is only ten more years to go. Let us work toward the betterment of our homes, our countries, our world by harnessing the power of information and witness drastic game-changing improved results!

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The ideas around the UN were developed in the last years of World War II, beginning on 25 April 1945. With the ratification of the charter, the UN officially came into being. There is no other global organisation with the legitimacy, convening power that survived this long. In 1947, the General Assembly declared 24 October, as UN day to commemorate the anniversary of the Charter of the United Nations and is celebrated since 1948. This anniversary comes in a time of an unprecedented global health crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent severe economic and social impacts.  

UN @75 and the world needs to contemplate. What led to the failure of “League of Nations” and whether the world is seeing semblances of the same. 75 is an age reflecting the maturity, experience, and wisdom acquired witnessing the way the world has been shaped. It is time to reform and move forward. Humanity has the responsibility to move forward and more importantly “Shape the future together”.

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World Statistics Day

It is once in five years celebrations. World Statistics Day is an international day to celebrate statistics. It all started in 2010 with 103 countries joining the celebration. In 2015, the UN has designated 20 October as the World Statistics Day and decided to celebrate the Day every five years. Mathematics deals with numbers, patterns, and their relationships, whereas statistics is concerned with systematic representation and analysis of data. Statistics is the discipline that involves the collection, organisation, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data. Statistics deals with every aspect of data, including the planning of data collection. “Data is the new oil” Said Clive Robert Humby, British mathematician and entrepreneur in 2006. Like oil, data is “valuable, but if unrefined, it cannot really be used”. Data needs to be analysed for it to become significant and to benefit the people.

COVID pandemic brought to the fore the importance of the statistics. Not a day passes without seeing the statistics of the pandemic, modelling of the data and predictions and so on. Statistics is a twin edged sword. With more data and reliable modelling and statistical analysis, the world is seeing so much of change. The advancements being made in the front of weather predictions stands testimony to this. With Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning making tremendous progress, data and reliable data become important with Data Analytics playing a crucial role. Let us celebrate World Statistics Day by recognising the need for reliable data.

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International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

We are living in a world characterised by an unprecedented level of economic development, technological means, and financial resources. However, still, millions of people live in extreme poverty.  Poverty has different dimensions, lack of income and the essential capabilities to live in dignity, experience dangerous work conditions, lack of access to justice and health care. This year marks the 27th Anniversary of the UN declaration of 17 October as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Almost 8% of the world population lives in poverty, most of them belong to Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa regions. People living in small, fragile, and conflict-affected countries are more vulnerable to be pushed to live in poverty.  Children, women and people living in rural areas are more affected due to poverty. Ending poverty in all its forms is the first of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. While global poverty rates have been cut by more than half since 2000, the pace of change is decelerating, and the COVID-19 crisis risks reversing decades of progress in the fight against poverty. Participation of people living below the poverty line in the decisions that affect their lives is essential to build a sustainable future.  Communities world over should work to fulfil the needs and aspirations of everyone to make this world a better place to live.

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