India-United Nations Current Affairs - 2019

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SEED Awards of United Nations: 4 Indian start-ups among 14 winners

The SEED awards are granted to organizations working towards achieving sustainable development goals (SDG). The 2019 SEED awards included SEED Low carbon, SEED South Africa Climate Adaptation, SEED Africa Awards and SEED Gender Equality Awards. 14 finalists from Asian and African countries were awarded for their works towards achieving SDGs.

The SEED was founded by UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme), UNDP (United Nations Development Program) and IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) at the World Summit on SDG, Johannesburg. It works in Asian and African countries


Under the SEED Low Carbon category, the Aikya Organics located in Kanpur has won the award. The organization works to promote gender equality by training 1,200 women farmers. They try to achieve SDG by providing opportunities to follow natural farming techniques. The non-profit organization sells products like mustard oil, organic lentils, rice grains, etc.

Apart from Aikya three more start-ups from India received the award.

Benefits of the award

The awardees will be provided financial literacy and support to scale-up. The SEED Catalyzer will help to refine their business models. They will also be provided national and international promotional opportunities.

New Commemorative Rs.150 coin launched on Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th anniversary

On the occasion of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the commemorative coins of Rs.150 denomination. PM Modi released the coins at an event held at Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, Gujarat on 2 October 2019. Sabarmati Ashram is the seat from where father of nation launched most of his freedom fight related movement.

Key Highlights

A few days before 150th birth anniversary of the Mahatma, the United Nations (UN) released a postal stamp to mark the event.

The first commemorative coin in India was issued in 1964 with the image of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India to commemorate his birth anniversary.

This is not the first commemorative coin to be launched this year as in January 2019, PM Modi released a commemorative coin of Rs.350 denomination marking birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh. In 2018, PM launched a commemorative coin of Rs.100 in honor of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the former prime minister.

About Commemorative Coins

The commemorative coins are released to mark some special events such as birth anniversaries of popular historical figures. Although these coins sport a distinct design to signify occasion on which they are issued but most of the commemorative coins are treated as collectibles and are a bountiful treasure for coin collectors. Some countries issue commemorative coins for regular circulation too.

The lower denomination coins are used in general circulation while higher denomination coins are meant for collection purposes and they usually contain some gold and silver in them so they are found with some coin dealers with marked-up prices. According to law, commemorative coins are not legal tenders unless notified.

Three different kinds of commemorative coins-

Regular Issue Coins– They are meant for day to day commercial use and they are issued in the same design for many years

Circulating Commemorative Coins– They are also meant for day to day commerce use, however, their design will be used only for a limited time to mark an event. These are Non-circulating legal tender (NCLT) which means they are commemorative coins that are still legal tender and can be used to buy goods and services. Usually, the purpose of such coins is to draw attention of world to a particular person or event.