Saturday, September 5, 2020

Niti Aayog has released draft Data Empowerment and Protection Architecture(DEPA)

 NITI Aayog has released draft Data Empowerment and Protection Architecture (DEPA) which aims to promote greater user control on data sharing.

Imp. Points-

Features: 

  1. DEPA will be empowering individuals with control over their personal data, by operationalising a regulatory, institutional, and technology design for secure data sharing.
  2. DEPA is designed as an evolvable and agile framework for good data governance.
  3. DEPA empowers people to seamlessly and securely access their data and share it with third party institutions.
  4. The consent given under DEPA will be free, informed, specific, clear, and revocable.

Consent Managers:

 DEPA’s Institutional Architecture will involve the creation of new market players known as User Consent Managers. These will ensure that individuals can provide consent as per an innovative digital standard for every data shared. These Consent Managers will also work to protect data rights.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a Master Directive creating Consent Managers in the financial sector to be known as Account Aggregators (AAs). A non-profit collective or alliance of these players is created called the DigiSahamati Foundation.

Open APIs: 

Open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) enable seamless and encrypted flow of data between data providers and data users through a consent manager.

Implementation:

 RBI, SEBI, IRDAI, PFRDA and the Ministry of Finance will implement this model. This regulatory foundation is also expected to evolve with time (eg. with the forthcoming Data Protection Authority envisaged under Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019).

Background:

  •  Regulatory direction on data privacy, protection, consent, and the new financial institutions required for DEPA’s application in the financial sector was provided through
  • Supreme Court Judgement on the fundamental Right to Privacy in 2017.
  • Personal Data Protection Bill (PDP), 2019.
  • Justice Srikrishna Committee Report, 2018.
  • RBI Master Direction on NBFC-Account Aggregators, 2016 (for the financial sector).
  • Recently, a government committee headed by Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan has suggested that non-personal data generated in India be allowed to be harnessed by various domestic companies and entities.

Application:-

Financial sector:

  • Using DEPA, individuals and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) can use their digital footprints to access not just affordable loans, but also insurance, savings, and better financial management products.
  • The framework is expected to become functional for the financial sector starting fall 2020.
  • It will help in greater financial inclusion and economic growth.
  • Flow based lending: If portability and control of data could allow an MSME owner to digitally share proof of the business’ regular tax (GST) payments or receivables invoices easily, a bank could design and offer working capital loans based on demonstrated ability to repay (known as flow based lending) rather than only offering bank loans backed by assets or collateral.

Telecom Sector:

 DEPA is also being launched in the telecom sector following a Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) consultation report on privacy released in July 2018.

Government Departments: 

The first major government department to become a Government Information Provider will be Goods and Services Tax (GST).

In future, departments with data on individuals and MSMEs could adopt the specifications to improve the ease of doing business or create greater data portability of individual education, jobs, or transaction data.

Healthcare: 

National Health Authority which has been tasked with implementing the National Digital Health Mission, is piloting the DEPA architecture for healthcare data.

Skill: 

The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship is encouraging adoption of a digital skill credential that could be used to address low data portability in employment by sharing verified information on work experience or educational training.


Advantages:

  1. Opening up an API-based data sharing framework would bring significant innovation by new fintech entities.
  2. This architecture replaces costly and cumbersome data access and sharing practices that disempower individuals, such as physical submission, username/password sharing, and terms and conditions forms providing blanket consent etc.
  3. Individuals and small firms do not benefit from individual’s data right now. DEPA will provide individuals and small businesses with the practical means to access, control, and selectively share personal data that they have stored across multiple institutional datasets – to maximise the benefits of data sharing for individual empowerment whilst minimising privacy risks and data misuse.
  4. It will also enable better personal financial management services, wealth management, robo advisory, or different types of lending, insurance, and investment use cases and products that one may not be able to foresee today.
Source -Indian Express


Friday, September 4, 2020

Mission Karmayogi

The Union Cabinet has approved ‘Mission Karmayogi’ - the National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building (NPCSCB).

It is meant to be a comprehensive post-recruitment reform of the Centre’s human resource development. 

Imp. Points-

Aim & Objective:-

1.To build a future-ready civil service with the right attitude, skills and knowledge, aligned to the vision of New India.

2.To prepare Indian civil servants for the future by making them more creative, constructive, imaginative, proactive, innovative, progressive, professional, energetic, transparent, and technology-enabled.

3.Comprehensive reform of the capacity building at the individual, institutional and process levels for efficient public service delivery.

Reason for Mission Karmayogi:

1.At present bureaucracy is facing challenges like- Rule orientation, political interference, inefficiency with promotions, and generalist and specialist conflict.

2.To change the status quo of civil services and bring about the long pending civil services reforms.

3.The capacity of Civil Services plays a vital role in rendering a wide variety of services, implementing welfare programs and performing core governance functions.

Features of the scheme:-

1.Tech-Aided: The capacity building will be delivered through iGOT Karmayogi digital platform, with content drawn from global best practices.

2.The platform will act as a launchpad for the National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building (NPCSCB).

3.Coverage: The scheme will cover 46 lakh central government employees, at all levels, and involve an outlay of Rs. 510 crores over a five-year period.

4.Shift from Rules to Roles: The programme will support a transition from “rules-based to roles-based” Human Resource Management (HRM) so that work allocations can be done by matching an official’s competencies to the requirements of the post.

5.Apart from domain knowledge training, the scheme will focus on “functional and behavioural competencies” as well, and also includes a monitoring framework for performance evaluations.

6.Integrated Initiative: Eventually, service matters such as confirmation after probation period, deployment, work assignments and notification of vacancies will all be integrated into the proposed framework.

Governance Structure:

  • Human Resource Council: NPCSCB will be governed by the Prime Minister’s Human Resource Council, which will also include state Chief Ministers, Union Cabinet ministers, and experts.
  • This council will approve and review civil service capacity building programmes.
  • Cabinet Secretary Coordination Unit: There will be a Cabinet Secretary Coordination Unit comprising select secretaries and cadre controlling authorities.
  • Capacity Building Commission: Also, there will be a Capacity Building Commission, which will include experts in related fields and global professionals. This commission will prepare and monitor annual capacity building plans and audit human resources available in the government.
  • Special Purpose Vehicle: Finally, there will be a wholly-owned Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), which will govern the iGOT-Karmayogi platform.
  • It will be set up under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013.
  • The SPV will be a “not-for-profit” company and will own and manage the iGOT-Karmayogi platform.
  • The SPV will create and operationalize the content, market place and manage key business services of the iGOT-Karmayogi platform, relating to content validation, independent proctored assessments and telemetry data availability.
  • The SPV will own all Intellectual Property Rights on behalf of the Government of India.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation Framework: An appropriate monitoring and evaluation framework will also be put in place for performance evaluation of all users of the iGOT-Karmayogi platform so as to generate a dashboard view of Key Performance Indicators.

To conclude, the ultimate aim of Mission Karmayogi is to ensure “Ease of Living” for the common man, “Ease of Doing Business” and Citizen-Centricity that is reducing the gap between the government and the citizens. This can only be achieved by regular and constructive involvement by the government and civil servants.

Source IE


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Spot Robot

Researchers from Boston Dynamics, of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT - USA) have developed a robot, called ‘Spot’.

They have planned to use it for patients with Covid-19 symptoms.

Important points:-

1.The robot is controlled by a handheld device.

2.It can walk on four legs, similarly to a dog, climbs stairs and can traverse rough terrain with ease and small enough to be used indoors.

3.It can measure skin temperature, breathing rate, pulse rate, and blood oxygen saturation in healthy patients, from 2 metres away.

4.It has four cameras — one infrared, three monochrome.

Working:

  • Body Temperature: The infrared camera measures skin temperature on the face.
  • An algorithm then correlates the facial skin temperature with core body temperature.
  • Breathing Rate: When a patient wearing a mask breathes, their breath changes the temperature of the mask.
  • The infrared camera measures this temperature change, enabling researchers to calculate the breathing rate.
  • Pulse Rate & Oxygen Level: When haemoglobin binds to oxygen and flows through blood vessels, it results in slight changes in colour.
  • These changes are measured with the help of the three monochrome cameras, which filter lights of three different wavelengths.
  • Using these measurements, the algorithm calculates pulse rate and blood oxygen saturation.

Benefits of robot:

1.The robot can be deployed in areas where suspected cases of Covid-19 assemble. Healthcare workers can avoid exposing themselves to risk, by manoeuvring the robot to wherever patients are sitting.

2.The robot can also carry a tablet that allows doctors to ask patients about their symptoms without being in the same room.

Source: Indian Express

Monday, August 31, 2020

CMERI develops World’s Largest Solar Tree

 Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute(CMERI) , which is the apex R&D institute for mechanical engineering under the aegis of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has developed the World's largest Solar Tree. The tree is installed in residential colony of CMERI.



Important points :-

1.Installed capacity of the Solar Tree - greater than 11.5 kWp.

2.Annual capacity to generate - 12,000 -14,000 units.

3.It has been designed in a manner to ensure maximum exposure of each Solar PV Panel to Sunlight and also creation of the least amount of shadow area beneath.

4.No. of Solar PV Panels - 35

5.Capacity of each solar panel - 330 wp

6. Inclination of the arms holding the Solar PV Panels are flexible and can be adjusted according to requirement.

7.Real time energy data can be monitored.

8. The Solar Trees were designed in a manner to ensure minimum shadow area.

9.These Solar Trees are available for widespread usage in Agricultural activities such as High Capacity Pumps, e-Tractors and e-Power Tillers.

These Solar Trees can be aligned with Agriculture for substituting price-volatile fossil fuels. Each Solar tree has the potential to save 10-12 tons of COemissions being released into the atmosphere as Greenhouse Gases when compared with fossil fuel fired energy generation.The surplus generated power can be fed into an Energy Grid.

IOT based features of Solar Tree:-

1. Round the-clock CCTV surveillance in agricultural fields.

2.Real-time humidity.

3.Wind speed.

4.Rainfall prediction and soil analytics sensors.

Cost of Solar Tree is  Rs 7.5 lakhs and the interested MSMEs can align their Business Model with the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha even Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM) Scheme for farmers, for developing a Renewable Energy based Energy Grid.

The CSIR-CMERI developed solar powered e-Suvidha Kiosks may also be connected to the Solar Trees for real-time access to the vast majority of agricultural database as well as to the eNAM i.e. National Agricultural MarketPlace for instant and real-time access to an unified online market.This Solar Tree is a Quantum Leap towards making an Energy Reliant and Carbon Negative India.

Source -PIB

Sunday, August 30, 2020

“Chunauti”- Next Generation Start-up Challenge Contest

 Context:

Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has launched “Chunauti”- Next Generation Startup Challenge Contest.

Objectives:

  1. To further boost startups and software products with special focus on Tier-II towns of India.
  2. To identify around 300 startups working in identified areas and provide them seed fund of upto Rs. 25 Lakh and other facilities.

Under this challenge the Ministry of Electronics and IT will invite startups in the following areas of work:

  1. Edu-Tech, Agri-Tech & Fin-Tech Solutions for masses.
  2. Supply Chain, Logistics & Transportation Management.
  3. Infrastructure & Remote monitoring.
  4. Medical Healthcare, Diagnostic, Preventive & Psychological Care.
  5. Jobs & Skilling, Linguistic tools & technologies.

Benefits for the selected startups:

  • The startups selected will be provided various support from the Government through Software Technology Parks of India centers across India.
  • They will get incubation facilities, mentorship, security testing facilities, access to venture capitalist funding, industry connect as well as advisories in legal, Human Resource (HR), IPR and Patent matters.
  • Besides seed fund of upto Rs. 25 Lakh, the startups will also be provided cloud credits from leading cloud service providers.
  • Each intern (start-up under pre-incubation) will be paid Rs. 10,000/- per month upto a period of 6 months.

Source -PIB 

Thursday, August 27, 2020

RBI Annual Report (2019-20)

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released its Annual Report for 2019-20 on 25 August,2020. It is Report of the Central Board of Directors on the working of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for the year ended June 30, 2020 submitted to the Central Government in terms of Section 53(2) of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934

  • In the report, RBI projected that India’s growth at  -4.5% for 2020-21. It will be (-) 3.7% in the single hit scenario and (-) 7.3% in the double hit scenario in FY2020-21.
  • On the global front, the growth is projected at (-) 6.0% in the single hit scenario and (-) 7.6% in the double hit scenario in FY20-21.

1.Balance Sheet of RBI:-

A.The RBI’s balance sheet increased by 30%, or Rs 12,31,888 crore, from Rs 41,02,905 crore to Rs 53,34,793 crore. 

B.The gross total income for the year 2019-20 declined by 29% to Rs 149,672 crore as compared to Rs 193,036 crore in 2018-19.

C.Its expenditure for the year 2019-20 is Rs 92,540 crore compared to an expenditure of Rs 17,045 crore in 2018-19. 

D.The year ended with an overall surplus of Rs 57,128 billion which was transferred to the government.

E.On the liability side, the rise was due to an increase in notes issued, other liabilities and provisions and deposits. 

F.Domestic assets constituted 28.75% while foreign currency assets and gold (including gold deposit and gold held in India) constituted 71.25% of total assets as of June 2020 as against 28.03% and 71.97% respectively, as of June 2019.

2.Bank frauds more than double in FY20 to Rs 1.85 trillion

As per the RBI annual report FY19-20, bank frauds of Rs100,000 and above have more than doubled in value to Rs 1.85 trillion in FY20, with the number of such cases increasing 28% in the same period.

  • The top 50 credit-related frauds constituted 76% of the total amount reported as frauds.
  • Public sector banks (PSBs) accounted for 80% of the Rs 1.85 trillion reported as frauds in FY20, followed by private sector banks at 18%. 
  • Frauds in loans constituted 98% of the total frauds or at Rs 1.82 trillion.
  • The aggregate amount of money involved in frauds in April-June 2020 stood at Rs28,843 crore, as against Rs 42,228 crore in the April-June of 2019.

3.Setting up GST Council type authorities for land, labour, power :-

The Reserve Bank suggested for setting up of GST (Goods and Services Tax) Council type apex authorities for land, labour and power to drive structural reforms and expedite implementation of national infrastructure pipeline.

4.RBI to dissolve Banking Codes and Standards Board of India:-

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to dissolve the Banking Codes and Standards Board of India (BCSBI) which was set up in February 2006 as an independent and autonomous body for formulating codes of conduct to be adopted by banks voluntarily for ensuring fair treatment of customers.

  • BCSBI, in collaboration with the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA), has evolved two codes – Code of Bank’s Commitment to Customers and the Code of Bank’s Commitment to Micro and Small Enterprises.
  • The nodal department for BCSBI is CEPD (Consumer Education and Protection Department).

5.Integration of three existing Ombudsman schemes into one:-

Meanwhile, the RBI will be implementing the recommendations of an in-house committee for integrating three existing Ombudsman schemes – Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2006; Ombudsman Scheme for NBFCs, 2018; and Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions, 2019 – into one scheme.

Important points:

  • Currency notes of Rs 2,000 denomination were not printed in 2019-20. The number of Rs 2,000 currency notes in circulation has come down from 33,632 lakh pieces at end-March 2018 to 32,910 lakh pieces at end-March 2019 and further to 27,398 lakh pieces at end-March 2020.
  • The circulation of currency notes of denomination of Rs 500 and Rs 200 has gone up substantially, both in terms of volume and value over the three years beginning 2018.

  • Moratoriums on loan instalments, deferment of interest payments and restructuring may have implications for the financial health of banks, unless they are closely monitored and judiciously used.
  • These regulatory initiatives were taken by RBI to reduce the economic impact of Covid-19 pandemic. These measures have averted a big spike in Non Performing Assets (NPAs) till now.
    • Notably, the share of Rs 500 notes in the total value of currency has raised maximum from 51% in 2018-19 to 60.8% in 2019-20.
    • Government consumption will have to fuel demand till the economy comes out of the COVID-19 shock and regains pre-COVID-19 momentum.


    Tuesday, August 25, 2020

    India’s longest river ropeway inaugurated in Assam

    India's longest passenger ropeway over the Brahmaputra river was inaugurated in Guwahati city by state finance minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma on 24 August ,2020.

    Imp. Points:-

    1.Ropeway was built at a cost of Rs. 56 crore. 

    2.It extends from Central to Northern Guwahati. It takes eight minutes to traverse the entire length of the ropeway.

    3.Length of ropeway - 1.82 km.

    4.It passes over the mid-river Peacock Island that houses Umananda, a medieval Shiva temple.

    5.The ropeway is a twin track, single haul, bi-cable, jig-back system with two cabins. Each cabin, with full safety measures, can carry 32 people (30 passengers and two operators) at a time, with an overall capacity of 250 persons per hour.

    6.According to the government, this is one of the most advanced & longest river crossing Aerial Tramway systems in India.

    Need :

    1.Thousands of people commute every day between the capital city of Guwahati and the town of North Guwahati, where IIT Guwahati is located.Other travel options between the two banks are by ferry (30 minutes or more, depending on current and season) or by road through a bridge that usually takes over an hour in the traffic.

    Benefits:-

    1.Overlooking the beautiful Brahmaputra river, the ropeway ride will facilitate the passengers to look out for the Urvashi island and catch a glimpse of the Umananda temple which was built by Ahom King Gadadhar Singha.

    2.Tourists can take the ropeway to North Guwahati and spend quality time on that side. Hospitality services will also develop on that side and thus the ropeway is expected to be an overall boost for tourism in the city.

    3.Ropeway is considered as a convenient and non-polluting means of transport, as well as a source of environmentally friendly tourism.

    4.It is ecologically sustainable as it is run by electric power protecting the beauty of the area, while simultaneously providing passengers with a comfortable and speedy means of travel.

    Source: India Today

    Monday, August 24, 2020

    National digital health mission

     Context:

    In his address to the nation on Independence Day, the PM has launched the National Digital Health Mission which rolls out a national health ID for every Indian.

    • The scheme will be rolled out through a pilot launch in the Union Territories of Chandigarh, Ladakh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep.

    Background:

    The ambitious National Digital Health Mission finds its roots in a 2018 Niti Aayog proposal to create a centralised mechanism to uniquely identify every participating user in the National Health Stack.

    What is the National Digital Health Mission?

    It is a digital health ecosystem under which every Indian citizen will now have unique health IDs, digitised health records with identifiers for doctors and health facilities.

    • The Mission is expected to bring efficiency and transparency in healthcare services in the country.
    • The new scheme will come under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana.

    Key features:

    1. It comprises six key building blocks — HealthID, DigiDoctor, Health Facility Registry, Personal Health Records, e-Pharmacy and Telemedicine.
    2. The National Health Authority has been given the mandate to design, build, roll-out and implement the mission in the country.
    3. The core building blocks of the mission is that the health ID, DigiDoctor and Health Facility Registry shall be owned, operated and maintained by the Government of India.
    4. Private stakeholders will have an equal opportunity to integrate and create their own products for the market. The core activities and verifications, however, remain with the government.
    5. Under the Mission, every Indian will get a Health ID card that will store all medical details of the person including prescriptions, treatment, diagnostic reports and discharge summaries.
    6. The citizens will be able to give their doctors and health providers one-time access to this data during visits to the hospital for consultation.

    What was the need for this mission?

    The mission aims to liberate citizens from the challenges of finding the right doctors, seeking appointment, payment of consultation fee, making several rounds of hospitals for prescription sheets, among several others and will empower people to make an informed decision to avail the best possible healthcare.


    Saturday, August 22, 2020

    United Nations

     

    Overview

    The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945.  It is currently made up of 193 Member States.  The mission and work of the United Nations are guided by the purposes and principles contained in its founding Charter.

    UN Photo
    United Nations Headquarters in New York City.

    Due to the powers vested in its Charter and its unique international character, the United Nations can take action on the issues confronting humanity in the 21st century, such as peace and security, climate change, sustainable development, human rights, disarmament, terrorism, humanitarian and health emergencies, gender equality, governance, food production, and more.

    The UN also provides a forum for its members to express their views in the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, and other bodies and committees. By enabling dialogue between its members, and by hosting negotiations, the Organization has become a mechanism for governments to find areas of agreement and solve problems together.

    The UN's Chief Administrative Officer is the Secretary-General.

    Main Organs of UN

    The main organs of the UN are the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council, the International Court of Justice, and the UN Secretariat.  All were established in 1945 when the UN was founded. 

    The current Secretary-General of the UN, and the ninth occupant of the post, is Mr. António Guterres of Portugal, who took office on 1 January 2017. The UN Charter describes the Secretary-General as "chief administrative officer" of the Organization.

    UN Photo/Amanda Voisard
    The UN General Assembly Hall during a vote in November 2014 to elect four judges to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

    1.General Assembly

    The General Assembly is the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the UN. All 193 Member States of the UN are represented in the General Assembly, making it the only UN body with universal representation.  Each year, in September, the full UN membership meets in the General Assembly Hall in New York for the annual General Assembly session, and general debate, which many heads of state attend and address. Decisions on important questions, such as those on peace and security, admission of new members and budgetary matters, require a two-thirds majority of the General Assembly. Decisions on other questions are by simple majority.  The General Assembly, each year, elects a GA President to serve a one-year term of office.

    2.Security Council

    The Security Council has primary responsibility, under the UN Charter, for the maintenance of international peace and security.  It has 15 Members (5 permanent and 10 non-permanent members). Each Member has one vote. Under the Charter, all Member States are obligated to comply with Council decisions. The Security Council takes the lead in determining the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression. It calls upon the parties to a dispute to settle it by peaceful means and recommends methods of adjustment or terms of settlement. In some cases, the Security Council can resort to imposing sanctions or even authorize the use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security.  The Security Council has a Presidency, which rotates, and changes, every month.

    3.Economic and Social Council

    The Economic and Social Council is the principal body for coordination, policy review, policy dialogue and recommendations on economic, social and environmental issues, as well as implementation of internationally agreed development goals. It serves as the central mechanism for activities of the UN system and its specialized agencies in the economic, social and environmental fields, supervising subsidiary and expert bodies.  It has 54 Members, elected by the General Assembly for overlapping three-year terms. It is the United Nations’ central platform for reflection, debate, and innovative thinking on sustainable development.

    4.Trusteeship Council

    The Trusteeship Council was established in 1945 by the UN Charter, under Chapter XIII, to provide international supervision for 11 Trust Territories that had been placed under the administration of seven Member States, and ensure that adequate steps were taken to prepare the Territories for self-government and independence. By 1994, all Trust Territories had attained self-government or independence.  The Trusteeship Council suspended operation on 1 November 1994. By a resolution adopted on 25 May 1994, the Council amended its rules of procedure to drop the obligation to meet annually and agreed to meet as occasion required -- by its decision or the decision of its President, or at the request of a majority of its members or the General Assembly or the Security Council.

    5.International Court of Justice

    The International Court of Justice is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. Its seat is at the Peace Palace in the Hague (Netherlands). It is the only one of the six principal organs of the United Nations not located in New York (United States of America). The Court’s role is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies.

    6.Secretariat

    The Secretariat comprises the Secretary-General and tens of thousands of international UN staff members who carry out the day-to-day work of the UN as mandated by the General Assembly and the Organization's other principal organs.  The Secretary-General is chief administrative officer of the Organization, appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council for a five-year, renewable term. UN staff members are recruited internationally and locally, and work in duty stations and on peacekeeping missions all around the world.  But serving the cause of peace in a violent world is a dangerous occupation. Since the founding of the United Nations, hundreds of brave men and women have given their lives in its service.


    Funds, Programmes, Specialized Agencies and Others

    The UN system, also known unofficially as the 'UN family', is made up of the UN itself and many programmes, funds, and specialized agencies, all with their own leadership and budget.  The programmes and funds are financed through voluntary rather than assessed contributions. The Specialized Agencies are independent international organizations funded by both voluntary and assessed contributions.

    Funds and Programmes

    UNDP

    Headquarters: New York City, USA

    The United Nations Development Programme works in nearly 170 countries and territories, helping to eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities and build resilience so countries can sustain progress. As the UN’s development agency, UNDP plays a critical role in helping countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

    UNEP

    Headquarters: Nairobi, Kenya

    The United Nations Environment Programme established in 1972, is the voice for the environment within the United Nations system. UNEP acts as a catalyst, advocate, educator and facilitator to promote the wise use and sustainable development of the global environment.

    UNFPA

    Headquarters: New York City, USA

    The United Nations Population Fund – UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, and every young person's potential is fulfilled.

    UN-Habitat

    Headquarters: Nairobi, Kenya

    The mission of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme is to promote socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements development and the achievement of adequate shelter for all.

    UNICEF

    Headquarters: New York City, USA

    UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to save children’s lives, to defend their rights, and to help them fulfil their potential, from early childhood through adolescence.

    WFP

    Headquarters: Rome, Italy

    The World Food Programme aims to eradicate hunger and malnutrition.  It is the world’s largest humanitarian agency. Every year, the programme feeds almost 80 million people in around 75 countries.

    UN Specialized Agencies

    The UN specialized agencies are autonomous organizations working with the United Nations. All were brought into relationship with the UN through negotiated agreements. Some existed before the First World War. Some were associated with the League of Nations. Others were created almost simultaneously with the UN. Others were created by the UN to meet emerging needs.

    FAO

    Headquarters: Rome, Italy

    The Food and Agriculture Organization leads international efforts to fight hunger. It is both a forum for negotiating agreements between developing and developed countries and a source of technical knowledge and information to aid development.

    ICAO

    Headquarters: Montreal, Canada

    The International Civil Aviation Organization develops standards for global air transport and assists its 192 Member States in sharing the world’s skies to their socio-economic benefit.

    IFAD

    Headquarters: Rome, Italy

    The International Fund for Agricultural Development, since it was created in 1977, has focused exclusively on rural poverty reduction, working with poor rural populations in developing countries to eliminate poverty, hunger and malnutrition; raise their productivity and incomes; and improve the quality of their lives.

    ILO

    Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

    The International Labor Organization promotes international labor rights by formulating international standards on the freedom to associate, collective bargaining, the abolition of forced labor, and equality of opportunity and treatment.

    IMF

    Headquarters: Washington, DC, USA

    The International Monetary Fund fosters economic growth and employment by providing temporary financial assistance to countries to help ease balance of payments adjustment and technical assistance. The IMF currently has $28 billion in outstanding loans to 74 nations.

    IMO

    Headquarters: London, United Kingdom

    The International Maritime Organization has created a comprehensive shipping regulatory framework, addressing safety and environmental concerns, legal matters, technical cooperation, security, and efficiency.

    ITU

    Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

    The International Telecommunication Union is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies. It is committed to connecting all the world's people – wherever they live and whatever their means. Through our work, we protect and support everyone's fundamental right to communicate

    UNESCO

    Headquarters: Paris, France

    The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization focuses on everything from teacher training to helping improve education worldwide to protecting important historical and cultural sites around the world. UNESCO added 28 new World Heritage Sites this year to the list of irreplaceable treasures that will be protected for today's travelers and future generations.

    UNIDO

    Headquarters: Vienna, Austria

    The United Nations Industrial Development Organization is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability.

    UNWTO

    Headquarters: Madrid, Spain

    The World Tourism Organization is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.

    UPU

    Headquarters: Bern, Switzerland

    The Universal Postal Union is the primary forum for cooperation between postal sector players. It  helps to ensure a truly universal network of up-to-date products and services.

    WHO

    Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

    The World Health Organization is the directing and coordinating authority on international health within the United Nations system. The objective of WHO is the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health. Health, as defined in the WHO Constitution, is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

    WIPO

    Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

    The World Intellectual Property Organization protects intellectual property throughout the world through 23 international treaties.

    WMO

    Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

    The World Meteorological Organization facilitates the free international exchange of meteorological data and information and the furtherance of its use in aviation, shipping, security, and agriculture, among other things.

    World Bank

    Headquarters: Washington, DC, USA

    The World Bank focuses on poverty reduction and the improvement of living standards worldwide by providing low-interest loans, interest-free credit, and grants to developing countries for education, health, infrastructure, and communications, among other things. The World Bank works in over 100 countries.

    * International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) are not specialized agencies in accordance with Articles 57 and 63 of the Charter, but are part of the World Bank Group.

    Other Entities and Bodies

    UNAIDS

    Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

    The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.

    UNHCR

    Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

    The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees – UNHCR protects refugees worldwide and facilitates their return home or resettlement.

    UNIDIR

    Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

    The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research is a voluntarily funded autonomous institute within the United Nations. An impartial actor, the Institute generates ideas and promotes action on disarmament and security. UNIDIR brings together states, international organizations, civil society, the private sector and academia to work together—internationally, regionally and locally—to build and implement creative solutions that will benefit all states and peoples.

    UNITAR

    Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

    An autonomous UN body established in 1963, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research is a training arm of the United Nations System, and has the mandate to enhance the effectiveness of the UN through diplomatic training, and to increase the impact of national actions through public awareness-raising, education and training of public policy officials. 

    UNOPS

    Headquarters: Copenhagen, Denmark

    The mission of the United Nations Office for Project Services is to help people build better lives and help countries achieve peace and sustainable development. UNOPS helps the UN, governments and other partners to manage projects, and deliver sustainable infrastructure and procurement in an efficient way.

    UNRWA

    Headquarters: Amman, Jordan

    The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees has contributed to the welfare and human development of four generations of Palestine refugees. It’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance and emergency assistance, including in times of armed conflict.  It reports only to the UN General Assembly.

    UNSSC

    Headquarters: Turin, Italy

    The United Nations System Staff College is the learning organization of the United Nations system. It designs and delivers learning programmes for staff of the UN system and its partners. It helps the United Nations become more effective by fostering a common leadership and management culture across the system.

    UN Women

    Headquarters: New York City, USA

    UN Women merges and builds on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system, which focus exclusively on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

    Related Organizations

    CTBTO

    Headquarters: Vienna, Austria

    The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization promotes the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (which is not yet in force) and the build-up of the verification regime so that it is operational when the Treaty enters into force.

    IAEA

    Headquarters: Vienna, Austria

    The International Atomic Energy Agency, is the world's centre for cooperation in the nuclear field. The Agency works with its Member States and multiple partners worldwide to promote the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technologies.

    IOM

    Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

    The International Organization for Migration works to help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, to promote international cooperation on migration issues, to assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems and to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people.

    OPCW

    Headquarters: The Hague, Netherlands

    The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is the implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which entered into force in 1997. OPCW Member States work together to achieve a world free of chemical weapons.

    UNFCCC

    Headquarters: Bonn, Germany

    The UNFCCC Secretariat (UN Climate Change) was established in 1992 when countries adopted the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). With the subsequent adoption of the Kyoto Protocol  in 1997 and the Paris Agreement  in 2015, Parties to these three agreements have progressively reaffirmed the Secretariat’s role as the United Nations entity tasked with supporting the global response to the threat of climate change.

    WTO

    Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

    The World Trade Organization is a forum for governments to negotiate trade agreements, and a place where member governments try to sort out the trade problems they face with each other.

    Source -UN website