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IASbaba Press Information Bureau (PIB)- 11th April to 17th April, 2016

  • April 18, 2016
  • 3
IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs April 2016, IASbaba's Daily News Analysis, PIB
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GS-2

MoUs between India and United Arab Emirates—Cooperation in preventing and combating of Human Trafficking 

(Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests)

Objective-

  • Strengthen the bonds of friendship between the two countries
  • Increase the bilateral cooperation on the issues of-
  • Prevention,
  • Rescue,
  • Recovery and
  • Repatriation related to human trafficking especially women and children expeditiously

 

Features of the MoU-

  • 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 would eliminate human trafficking in women and children and in protecting the rights of victims of trafficking.
  • Anti-trafficking Cells and Task Forces 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.
  • Repatriation of victims would be done as expeditiously as possible and the home country will undertake the safe and effective re-integration of the victims.
  • A Joint Task Force with representatives from both sides would be constituted to monitor the working of the MoU.

 

MoU between India and Bangladesh—Cooperation in the field of Fisheries

(Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests)

About- Union Cabinet was apprised about the MoU signed between India and Bangladesh in September, 2011 on bilateral cooperation in the field of Fisheries and aquaculture and allied activities.

Importance-

  • Has strengthened the friendly relations between India and Bangladesh
  • Promote development of cooperation in fisheries and aquaculture and allied sectors through mutually agreed activities and procedures.

 

India and South Korea sign MoU for Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Development of Ports 

(Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc)

About-MoU was signed by Government of the Republic of India and Government of the Republic of Korea in Mumbai

MoU is for- Cooperation and mutual assistance between India and Republic of Korea in port related matters

MIS, 2016- Maiden flagship initiative of the Ministry of Shipping, Government of India that provides a unique platform for participants to explore potential business opportunities in Indian Maritime Sector.

 

Help both countries-

  • To encourage and facilitate the development of ports,
  • Port related industry,
  • Maritime relationship and cooperate in the tasks of sharing of technology
  • Experiences in the fields of port development and operation,
  • Exchange of information on-> Construction+ Building+ Engineering and related aspects in the field of port development,
  • Joint participation in-> Port-related construction+ Building + Engineering projects that both parties are interested in,
  • Exchange of experts including officials from the relevant ministries of each country in the field of port, and related education and training, other types of cooperation that may be mutually agreed upon between the two countries.

 

Sagarmala National Perspective Plan Released

(Topic: Government schemes and polices

Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc)

Sagarmala: Government’s flagship program to promote port-led development in the country

Importance-

  • It will considerably reduce the logistics cost which is very high in India compared to China and European nations.
  • Substantially reducing export-import and domestic trade costs with a minimal investment.

Plan is based on four strategic levers-

  • Optimizing multi-modal transport to reduce the cost of domestic cargo,
  • Minimizing the time and cost of export-import cargo logistics,
  • Lowering costs for bulk industries by locating them closer to the coast,
  • Improving export competitiveness by locating discrete manufacturing clusters near ports.

Aims-

New Ports-

  • To modernize India’s port infrastructure, 5 to 6 new portshave been proposed to be built.
  • To deliver impact through over 150 projects and initiatives in four broad areas.
  • Additionally over 40 port-capacity enhancement projects will be taken up.
  • Besides increasing capacity, these projects will result in a more modern port infrastructure through the mechanization of berths and deepening of drafts to accommodate larger vessels.

Port connectivity-

  • Over 80 projects are being planned.
  • Include connectivity infrastructure projects like a heavy-haul rail corridor to evacuate large volumes of coal in Odisha, freight-friendly expressways to enable efficient movement of containers on key routes, and the development of strategic inland waterways.

Port-led industrialization-

  • To boost industrial and export growth along the coastline.
  • Will be realized through 14 Coastal Economic Zones (CEZs) along the coastline, each of which will house a number of industrial clusters.
  • Clusters will have industries from the energy, bulk materials as well as discrete manufacturing segments, all of which will be able to use high-quality infrastructure which is fully-integrated with the corresponding ports.

Coastal communities-

  • Harnessed by focused skill-development to support port-led industrialization.
  • Set of initiatives under this head also includes developing opportunities for fishermen and other coastal communities as well as development of the numerous islands along India’s coastline.

 

Maritime India Summit 2016 – A Round Up 

(Topic: Government schemes and polices

Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc)

Maritime India Summit-

  • First Maritime India Summit in Mumbai, besides resulting in business agreements for Rs 82,905 crore investments, played a key role in highlighting the role of port led development for faster and sustainable economic growth.
  • Summit provided a platform for participation, engagement and interaction from 42 countries.
  • More than 5000 delegates from around the globe participated in the Summit.

Highlights-

  • Thematic session on Maritime Nations highlighted the global nature of the shipping industry and the importance of co-operation & collaboration between maritime nations
  • Focus sessions on maritime States brought to fore the investment opportunities in various maritime States and Union Territories of India.
  • Sectoral seminars on-
  • Shipbuilding and ship repair,
  • Skill development through maritime education,
  • Inland waterways development,
  • Cruise shipping and lighthouse tourism,
  • Fisheries development and maritime security, which saw serious deliberations.

Maritime Heritage Museum – A top draw

  • One of the top attractions at the Summit was the Maritime Heritage Museum, built in the form of a container ship with interiors resembling a Spanish Galleon.
  • Museum depicts the 5000 years rich maritime heritage of India, right from the earliest port at Lothal to the modern days of shipping in the form of artefacts, replicas, photographs, maps and navigation equipment.

 

Indo German Agreement on Namami Gange Signed 

(Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests)

About- An Implementation Agreement for Ganga Rejuvenation under the Namami Gange Programme was signed between the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation and German International Cooperation (GIZ) of Germany.

 

Based on- Indo-German Knowledge exchange and practical experience on strategic river basin management issues, effective data management system and public engagement

 

Objective- To enable responsible stakeholders at National and State level to apply integrated river basin management approach for the rejuvenation of the river Ganga

Project-

  • It will closely cooperate with other National and international initiatives including Indo-German bilateral projects like Support to National Urban Sanitation Policy (SNUSP) and ‘Sustainable Environment-friendly Industrial Production’ (SEIP)
  • Project duration is three years i.e. from 2016 to 2018 and the German contribution in the project will be to the tune of Rs. 22.5 crore
  • Initial actions will focus on the State of Uttarakhand, with scope of expansion to other upstream Ganga States
  • Ultimate goal is to adopt the successful river basin management strategies used for Rhine and Danube and replicate the same, wherever possible for attaining the pristine status of river Ganga

 Namami Gange Programme

  • It is a flagship programme of Government of India with a renewed impetus to decrease river pollution and conserve the revered river ‘Ganga’.
  • In this connection, the Indian Government solicited support from various countries to rejuvenate the Ganga.
  • Government of Germany, with its vast experiences in cleaning and rejuvenating European rivers such as Rhine, Elbe and Danube, was keen to join hands for collaboration with Government of India.

 

Government of India and the Republic of Maldives

(Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests)

About- Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the Republic of Maldives signed two Agreements for-

  • Exchange of Information with respect to Taxes and
  • Avoidance of Double Taxation of Income derived from the International Air Transport

 

Exchange of Information with respect to Taxes-

  • Agreement for the Exchange of Information with respect to Taxes is based on international standards of transparency and exchange of information.
  • Covers taxes of every kind and description imposed by the Governments of India and Maldives.
  • Agreement enables exchange of information, including banking information, between the two countries for tax purposes, which will help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance.
  • Agreement will enhance mutual co-operation between the two countries by having effective exchange of information in tax matters.

Avoidance of Double Taxation of Income derived from the International Air Transport-

  • Agreement provides for relief from double taxation for airline enterprises of India and Maldives, by way of exemption of income derived by the enterprise of India from the operation of aircraft in international traffic, from Maldivian tax and vice-versa.
  • Object of the Agreement is that profits from the operation of aircraft in international traffic will be taxed in one country alone and accordingly the taxing right is conferred upon the country to which the enterprise belongs.
  • Tax certainty for airline enterprises of India and Maldives.
  • Mutual Agreement Procedure for resolving any difficulties or doubts arising as to the interpretation or application of the agreement.

 

Commercializing “NEMHARI”-A Plant based Formulation for Management of Mulberry Root Knot Disease

(Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests)

 

About-  Commercialization of “NEMHARI-A Plant based Formulation for Management of Mulberry Root Knot Disease” developed at Central Sericulture Research and Training Institute (CSR&TI), Central Silk Board (CSB), Mysuru.

Highlights-

  • NRDC has been appointed as the nodal agency for commercialising the technical knowhow in India and abroad.
  • Company has ambitious plans in taking forward this technology to all sericulture regions in the world through a network of dealers and also promoting through different Government support schemes of the Department of Sericulture and other Allied Departments in various states.
  • Formulation is safe to the native soil micro flora and fauna but effective against the nematodes causing the root knot disease in mulberry.
  • Tests conducted in the field revealed reduction of disease severity by about 84% and prevented loss of leaf yield by 24%.
  • Initiative of NRDC aids the “Make in India” Mission of the Government of India.

 

UIDAI cautions public against sharing of their Personal Information with unauthorized Agencies for Printing PVC (Plastic) Aadhaar Card 

(Topic: Government polices and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation)

About- Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) cautions people not to fall to ploys of some unscrupulous entities who are charging anywhere between Rs.50 to Rs.200 for printing Aadhaar on a plastic card in the name of smart card, as the Aadhaar letter or its cutaway portion or downloaded version of Aadhaar on ordinary paper is perfectly valid.

Some entities have also been charging far more for simply laminating the downloaded version of Aadhaar.

Issue-

  • There is no concept such as smart Aadhaar card
  • In case a person loses his Aadhaar card, he can download his Aadhaar card free of cost from https://eaadhaar.uidai.gov.in/.
  • Print out of the downloaded Aadhaar, even in black and white form, is as valid as the original Aadhaar letter sent by UIDAI.
  • Public for protection of their privacy are advised not to share their Aadhaar number or personal details to unauthorized agencies for getting it laminated, or printed on plastic card.
  • E-commerce companies such E-bay, Flipkart, Amazon etc., are hereby informed not to allow their merchants to collect Aadhaar information from general public for printing Aadhaar card as collecting such information or unauthorized printing of Aadhaar card or aiding such persons in any manner may amount to a criminal offence punishable with imprisonment under Indian Penal Code and also Chapter VI of The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016.

 

Workshop on ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’

(Topic: Government Schemes and policies)

“Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat” will celebrate the cultural vibrancy of India while establishing a concrete mechanism to inculcate nationalism and cultural awareness among the fellow citizens of our nation.

National workshop organized by- Ministry of Culture in collaboration with NITI Aayog to initiate focused group discussion with various stakeholders.

Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat-

  • On the occasion of birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the Prime Minister announced that the Government of India proposes to launch a new initiative called ‘EK Bharat Shreshtha Bharat
  • Programme aims to give a boost to the existing cultural connect between different parts of the country and enhance interaction between people living in different states.

 

National Agriculture Market

(Topic: Government Schemes and policies)

 

Aim-Initiative will usher in transparency which will greatly benefit the farmers

National Agriculture Market-

  • In the initial stage 21 mandis in 8 states have been linked to National Agriculture Market today.
  • By September, 2016 two hundred mandis will be included and by March, 2018 five hundred eighty five mandis.

Features-

  • Project will operate through an online portal which is being linked to the mandis of the States.
  • Its software will be provided to all the willing states without cost.
  • A knowledgeable person is being deployed for one year in every sharing mandi so as to facilitate the smooth functioning of the portal.
  • Under this Project, Government of India is providing a grant of Rs. 30 lacs to the proposed agriculture mandis of the states.
  • Farmers will be provided “farmer helpline services round the clock” for obtaining information related to this portal.

 

Launch of “Deep” E-Bidding & E-Reverse Auction Portal” for Procurement of Short Term Power by Discoms

(Topic: Government schemes and policies)

About-Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal and  New & Renewable Energy  launched  “DEEP (Discovery of Efficient Electricity Price) e-Bidding & e-Reverse Auction portal” for procurement of short term power by DISCOMs.

Web portal-

  • Ensure seamless flow of power from seller to buyer; will be a very strong weapon to curb illegal transactions and will help in price reduction through competition.
  • Web portal is a common e-bidding platform with e-Reverse Auction facility.
  • Advantages include dissemination of information on nationwide power procurement to a wider network including the stakeholders in power sector;
  • Uniformity in the process of power procurement and enabling Distribution Licensees to procure power in a short time.

Signing of “Power for All” agreement by the states of Madhya Pradesh, Nagaland and Himachal Pradesh

ICMR and National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan sign Letter of Intent 

(Topic: Issues relating to development and management of social sector/ services relating to Health, Education, Human resources)

About-Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Department of Bacteriology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) of Japan signed a Letter of Intent on the sidelines of the meeting of the Health Ministers from WHO South East Asia Region and Western Pacific Region countries at Tokyo.

Help in- Deepening the relations between the two in research and development in scientific areas, particularly public health.

Highlights-

  • Recognizing the global burden of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and its impact on global health security;
  • Development of integrated surveillance program covering epidemiology data and genomic data of antimicrobial resistance in each country
  • Mutual exchange of information of molecular and epidemiological data of antimicrobial resistance by developing of comparable surveillance program in each country

 

GS-3

South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network 

(Topic: Wildlife conservation)

 

About- Union Cabinet has given its approval for India adopting the Statute of the South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN) and India becoming its formal member

It is to- Strengthen ties with the member countries in controlling the trans-boundary wildlife crime through-> Communication + Coordination + Collaboration + Capacity building + Cooperation in the region

SAWEN-

  • It is a Regional network comprised of eight countries in South Asia- Afghanistan + Bangladesh + Bhutan+ India+ Maldives+ Nepal + Pakistan+ Sri Lanka.
  • Aims at- Working as a strong regional intergovernmental body for combating wildlife crime by attempting common goals and approaches for combating illegal trade in the region

 

Objectives set to attain the goal-

  • To take initiatives for bringing harmonization and standardization in laws and policies of member countries concerning conservation of fauna and flora;
  • To document the trend of poaching and illegal trade, and related threats to the natural biodiversity within and across countries in the region;
  • To strengthen institutional responses to combat wildlife crime by-> Promoting research + Information sharing + Training + Capacity building + Technical support + Sharing experiences and outreach;
  • To encourage member countries to prepare and implement their National Action Plans in curbing wildlife crime and to collaborate towards effective implementation.

 

3rd Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation

(Topic: Wildlife conservation, Tiger conservation)

  • While several Tiger Range Countries like India, Nepal, Russia and Bhutan have registered an increase in tiger population, the status of Tiger remains “endangered”.
  • Tiger population has decimated to non-viable level in some range countries, which is a cause for concern.

Discuss all important issues like-

  • Landscape conservation and habitat management,
  • Tiger reintroduction,
  • Monitoring protocols,
  • Anti-poaching strategy,
  • Modern tools and technology for monitoring, MEE and CA|TS,
  • Resource Mobilization and Networking.
  • Countries will report the status and progress of their Global/National Tiger Recovery Programme and will come out with a futuristic declaration for tiger conservation.

 

India’s efforts-

  • Government of India is committed to the conservation of our national animal, ‘Tiger’.
  • Due to the concerted efforts of the Government and other stakeholders, more than 70% of the global wild tiger population is in India.

 

Review of Rain Deficiency and Drought affected areas of the Country

(Topic: Environment conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment)

Highlights-

  • Issue of the timely initiative on diesel, seed, and horticulture and fodder subsidy relief during drought was reviewed.
  • Other critical issues of providing additional employment of 50 days under MNREGA over and above 100 days, preparation of crop contingency plans for districts facing drought and allocation for drought relief to be provided under RKVY were also discussed.
  • Food grain situation and its distribution through Public Distribution System under National Food Security Act,
  • Assistance under National Disaster Response Fund /State Disaster Response Fund,
  • Provisioning for nutritional requirement of children and lactating mothers, Mid Day Meal Scheme, and most importantly, the Drinking Water Supply were also reviewed.

 

Union Cabinet Secretary directed the Central Government departments and ministries to take the following steps-

  • Make immediate allocation of funds to the State Governments under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana for procurement of fodder as well as for National Life Stock Mission
  • A detailed Advisory will issue on measures for increasing availability of fodder to mitigate the effects of drought;
  • release funds for rural drinking water supply to obviate problems faced by State Governments;
  • Ensure that the drought affected States give wage employment to people over and above the stipulated 100 days, and release funds timely to the States.
  • Liquidate its liabilities accrued on the issue of wage payments to the states;
  • Immediate drought relief to be provided through release of funds under the State Disaster Response Fund;
  • Norms for immediate financial relief to drought affected states under National and State Disaster Relief Fund should be re-cast to take care of this situation; norms to be finalized and implemented;
  • Relief being provided on account of water supply through Rail and Water tankers to be maintained;
  • Cabinet Secretary shall monitor the situation arising out of rain deficiency and drought at regular intervals.

 

Bhimrao Ambedkar – Multi-purpose Development of Water Resources

(Topic: Water conservation)

TOo Highlight his contribution in water sector and discuss way forward to realize his vision

  • Bhimrao Ambedkar is well known as the main architect of India’s Constitution and leader of oppressed. However, his contribution in the field of management of India’s water resources is not widely known.
  • During his tenure as Member (Labour) of the Viceroy’s Executive Council (1942-1946), Dr. Ambedkar steered formation of a definite All-India Policy for the development of water resources in the country.
  • In order to further this task, he laid foundation of Central Waterways, Irrigation and Navigation Commission (CWINC) which was forerunner of the present day Central Water Commission (CWC).
  • Ambedkar advocated the concept of River Valley Authority or corporation for integrated development of the rivers.
  • He introduced the concept of multi-purpose development of river basin in the country and his efforts in this direction have culminated with multipurpose development of Damodar, Mahanadi and other rivers immediately after independence.
  • He was instrumental in inclusion of Entry 56 of List 1 and introduction of article 262 regarding the adjudication of disputes related to waters of inter-sate rivers or river valleys.
  • His vision for water sector in the country is still relevant even after lapse of more than 65 years.

 

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