26th January 2023
Power ministry proposes tax-paid green bonds issuance, says report
Power Finance Corp (PFC), REC Ltd, and Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) could raise funds through tax-paid bonds – wherein the issuer pays for it instead of the investor, typically getting higher returns on investment.
- India is looking to increase the pool of investors to achieve 500 gigawatts of non-fossil fuel energy by 2030 and become a zero-carbon emitting nation by 2070.
- The proposals are part of a set of demands the power ministrywants to be included in the federal budget due on Feb.1, the officials said.
- The power ministry has also asked the finance ministry to give the three non-banking finance companies access to the Reserve Bank of India’s liquidity funds, similar to dispensations available to National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), one of the three officials said.
- The Ministry of Poweris an Indian Government Ministry (Headquarters: Shram Shakti Bhawan, Rafi Marg, New Delhi, India)
- The Ministry of Power started functioning independently with effect from 2nd July, 1992. Earlier it was known as the Ministry of Energy sources. Electricity is a concurrent subject at Entry 38 in List III of the seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India.
- The ministry is charged with overseeing electricity production and infrastructure development, including generation, transmission, and delivery, as well as maintenance projects.
- The ministry acts as a liaison between the central government and state electricity operations, as well as with the private sector. The ministry also oversees rural electrification projects.
- The Ministry of Power is responsible for the Administration of the Electricity Act, 2003, the Energy Conservation Act, 2001 and to undertake such amendments to these Acts, as may be necessary from time to time, in conformity with the Government’s policy objectives.
- The current Power Minister is Raj Kumar Singh.
What are Green Bonds?
- A green bond is a debt security issued by an organization for the purpose of financing or refinancing projects that contribute positively to the environment and/or climate. A green bond is alternatively known as a climate bond.
- A green bond is used to finance or refinance projects that contribute positively to the environment and/or climate.
- Climate Bonds Initiative is a valuable resource for tracking global green bond issuances and finding a directory of third-party green bond verifiers.
- Green bonds may offer tax incentives to attract investors.
How Green Bonds Works?
- Green bonds are fundamentally the same as conventional bonds: a loan made by an investor to an organization to finance a project, with the investor receiving the principal amount at the end of the loan’s life, in addition to interest payments (depending on the loan terms) throughout the loan’s term.
History of Green Bonds
- In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (a United Nations agency) published a report that linked global warming and human activity. It prompted several Swedish pension funds to consider financing projects that contributed positively to the environment.
- In 2008, the World Bank issued its first green bond in response to such increasing demand. Since the issuance of the first green bond, the market’s grown considerably.
- Today, more than 50 countries have issued green bonds, with the United States being the largest source of green bond issuances. The organization Climate Bonds Initiative is a valuable resource for those who want to follow the green bonds market’s growth. According to the organization, global green bond issuance in 2020 was estimated to be $350 billion.
Holding G-20 Meeting in J&K Will Communicate to Adversaries, Says Lieutenant-General Manoj Sinha
In his Republic Day address on January 26, 2023, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha announced that the forthcoming G-20 meeting in Jammu and Kashmir will send a message to the adversaries of humanity who have attacked the interests of citizens through acts of terrorism for decades. Sinha urged every section of society to come forward and make the G-20 an inclusive event.
Security Efforts in J&K
Sinha stated that all attempts to destabilize the peace in J&K have been met with a fitting response. He said that security agencies are currently involved in the final assault on terror, its ecosystem, and its sympathizers to ensure everlasting peace in the Union Territory. He added that J&K witnessed a 55% drop in mercenary killings in 2022 and a significant dip in the payoff of security forces labor force as well.
Migration of Kashmiri Pandits
Regarding the fresh migration of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley, Sinha said the administration is trying to address the problems of Kashmiri Pandit sisters and sisters with utmost perceptivity. He stated that their safety is the topmost priority and that all Prime Minister package and nonage workers working in the Kashmir Valley have been stationed at safe places. He added that the long-standing issue of vacuity of land for their lodgment has been resolved, and construction of 3000 lodgment shall be completed this time.
Special Kashmir Emigrant Gate
Sinha also mentioned the special Kashmir emigrant gate, which was launched in September last time for registering grievances for immorally wormed parcels during the 1990s. He said that the gate has registered 8408 operations and action has been taken on 6336 operations, resulting in the junking of encroachment on 2608 kanals of land.
Land Laws in J&K
Defending the recently-introduced land laws in J&K, Sinha said that the development and bournes of common millions were held hostage by exploitative and anti-developmental land laws for decades. He added that over the last two times, land possessors have been empowered through a series of land reforms and legal action is being taken against influential people who had immorally wormed upon the government.
J&K as “the lifeblood of India”
Sinha described J&K as “the lifeblood of India, the guiding beacon of the civilization, and eternal sound of our social knowledge.” He said that under the suitable leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, J&K is marching forward on the path to progress. He added that in the ‘Amrit Kaal’, they have resolved to accelerate and broaden the experimental process in husbandry and confederated sectors. He also mentioned that private investment proffers worth Rs.,000 crore have been entered within a period of around one time, during which 1455 artificial units started their operations.
Sinha also announced that the foundation gravestone of Emaar Group Shopping Mall and IT Tower shall be laid in March 2023, and 52 other artificial units will also start their operations during the same month. He added that land has been distributed to 1711 artificial units which is also a new record in the artificial history of J&K. Another 77 artificial units are being developed on private land and in the last three times.
APEDA plans to brand food products using river names
The Indian government has been exhibiting agricultural and processed food goods abroad in an effort to improve its agricultural exports. The agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) was a visionary in bringing this goal to life. APEDA’s active involvement helped boost agricultural exports to 25.6 billion USD in 2021–2022. This accounts for 51% of all agricultural exports from the nation. Moving forward, APEDA will brand Indian agricultural products using the major river names.
What are the benefits?
- The names of rivers like the Ganga, Brahmaputra, Cauvery, Godavari, etc. will be used by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority to designate its agricultural products.
- The reach of the products will expand as a result.
- After COVID, individuals are turning to wholesome, natural foods, and many Indians, particularly NRIs, are looking for options for traditional cuisine.
- By identifying a product in the same context as the customer’s search for his roots, the product’s sales will rise.
- For the same reason, GoI started marketing AYUSH medications.
- It will therefore help with promotion if the food products are given river names.
- Additionally, it will raise the value of water!
- The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority is an Indian Apex-Export Trade Promotion Active government body.
- Founded: 13 February 1986
- Headquarters: New Delhi
- Abbreviation: APEDA
- Parent organization: Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India
- Purpose: Export promotion of agricultural and processed food products
Egypt and India announced a strategic partnership
Five MoUs have been signed by Egypt and India. The chief guest for India’s Republic Day celebrations in 2023 is the Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil el-Sisi. He met with PM Modi during his tour, and the two leaders talked about strengthening bilateral business relations. In the previous five years, commerce between the nations has reached 12 billion USD, and as a result, the nations have now formed a strategic partnership. The strategic collaboration deal brings the two nations closer together. Together, they comprehend the nature of threats and support one another in reducing them.
What is the strategic alliance?
- India joined Egypt in signing the anti-terrorism pact.
- The nations will cooperate to combat cross-border terrorism.
- Five agreements were signed by the two parties, providing for collaboration in the fields of culture, IT, cyber security, youth issues, and broadcasting.
- Modi also stated that both parties have agreed to increase bilateral trade to USD 12 billion over the next five years in his media statement.
- He also mentioned the decision to expand information and intelligence sharing related to counterterrorism as well as to further strengthen cooperation between the two nations’ defence sectors.
How will it benefit India?
- India is eager to deepen its ties with Egypt, a significant participant in the politics of both the Arab and African worlds.
- It is regarded as a significant entry point to the markets of Africa and Europe.
- According to Sisi, there was talk on improving connectivity between the two nations.
- Egypt wants to welcome more and more Indian travellers there.
President: Abdel Fattah El-Sisi Trending
Currency: Egyptian Pound
U-WIN Platform introduced by India’s Universal Immunization Program
The U-WIN platform was introduced by India’s Universal Immunization Program. Many healthcare organisations are having trouble tracking down the COVID vaccine’s subsequent dose and are also dealing with lost immunisation cards, particularly among pregnant women and young children. This has been launched to solve the problem. The software will keep track of the immunisation doses given to pregnant women in the nation by registration. The platform will deliver birth dosages after delivery.
What is the U-WIN Platform?
- It’s a copy of Co-WIN.
- Co-Win has been India’s major part in terms of providing its inhabitants with the COVID vaccine. Users can register for vaccination sessions via the platform.
- It contains all information on the person receiving the vaccination.
- The next vaccination date is also mentioned in it.
- On the strength of the Co-Win platform’s enormous success, GoI introduced the U-WIN platform.
What are the features of U-WIN?
- To record the information on the pregnant women who received vaccinations
- Keep track of the health of the mother and baby after delivery results.
- Additionally, it will have data regarding antigen coverage.
- The antigen is a material that the human body cannot recognise.
- The COVID virus has antigenic elements.
1. Japan Launches Intelligence Satellite to Watch North Korea and Monitor Disasters
Japan successfully launched a rocket on January 26 carrying a government intelligence-gathering satellite on a mission to watch movements at military sites in North Korea and improve natural disaster response. The H2A rocket, launched by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Limited, lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center in southwestern Japan, carrying the IGS-Radar 7 surveillance satellite.
Japan’s Effort to Strengthen Military Capability
The launch is part of Japan’s effort to strengthen its military capability and address growing security concerns in East Asia. The IGS program was launched after a North Korean missile flew over Japan in 1988 and aims to set up a network of 10 satellites to spot and give early warning for possible missile launches. The satellites can also be used for disaster monitoring and response.
Japan’s New Public Security Strategy
In December, Japan’s government espoused a new public security strategy, including developing long-range strike capabilities as a “counterpunch” capability, breaking from the country’s post-war principle of defense only. This move is in response to rapid advancements in missile technology by China and North Korea.
Cooperation with the United States
Experts say that Japan’s efforts to develop a counterstrike capability would require significant advancements in intelligence gathering and cybersecurity, as well as support from Japan’s ally, the United States.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
The Mitsubishi Heavy-operated, liquid-fuel H2A rocket has recorded 40 consecutive successes since its failure in 2003. Mitsubishi Heavy and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency are co-developing a new flagship H3 rocket as the successor to the H2A, which is set to retire in 2024. The first launch of the H3 is set for February.
Sweden launches International Information Campaign
An international information campaign to lower the flow of immigrants into Sweden was just begun by the Swedish government. The initiative is referred to as the International Information Campaign. The initiative will inform people about Sweden’s migration policies. During the campaign, the Swedish government will establish contact sites abroad. It will interact with the relevant foreign authorities at these contact places and present its migration strategy there.
What is the reason for the campaign?
- The Swedish government reports that 76% of the refugees who entered the Nordic nations in 2019 ended up in Sweden.
- Sweden intends to lower this number by implementing this campaign.
- Nordic countries are Norway, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, and Sweden.
- The UN’s refugee plan is connected to this long-term strategy.
- This is commonly known as the REFUGEE QUOTA.
What is Refugee Quota?
- The United Nations Refugee Agency, or UNHCR, selects a nation for the refugees who had to flee their homes because of war, natural disasters, or other unforeseen circumstances.
- Now, Sweden wants to reduce this number from 5,000 to 900.
- Since 1950, Sweden has welcomed and settled migrants.
- However, recent years have seen an upsurge in the numbers.
Currency: Krona SEK
28th January 2023
Ahead of Union Budget 2023-24, US pharma industry urges the Indian government to create R&D policy
The US pharma industry has called on the Indian government to create a research and development (R&D) policy for the country’s pharmaceutical sector ahead of the Union Budget 2023-24. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is set to table the budget before congress on February 1st.
USA-India Chamber of Commerce President stresses the need for R&D in the BioPharma sector
- Karun Rishi, President of the USA-India Chamber of Commerce (USAIC), emphasized the need for R&D in the BioPharma sector. He stated, “It’s time that the government of India comes out with a research and development policy for the pharmaceutical sector.”
- The USAIC has been organizing the India-US healthcare summit for the past 16 years, which brings together leaders from the pharma sector in both India and the United States.
Rishi emphasizes the importance of incentivizing R&D and manufacturing
- Rishi highlighted the importance of incentivizing R&D and manufacturing, specifically in the area of active pharma ingredients (API) manufacturing in India.
- He stated that the budget should aim to “move up the value chain driven by research and development.”
- He believes that the right policy drive could make India the R&D mecca of the world.
Rishi suggests focusing on growth strategies, public expenditure on healthcare
- Rishi suggested that the Indian government should focus on growth strategies, including public expenditure on healthcare, capacity building, skill development, and employment creation.
- He acknowledged that while it may be challenging, the finance minister should stick to the fiscal deficit target.
- He noted that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian government provided an important capital expenditure drive and doled out grants, which led to an increase in the fiscal deficit.
General Election to the Legislative Assemblies of Meghalaya, Nagaland & Tripura, 2023
The Election Commission (EC) of India has clarified that the assembly polls in Tripura will be held on February 16, as previously announced. This statement came after a document appeared on the EC’s website saying that the polls would take place on February 27, along with Meghalaya and Nagaland.
The commission’s director-general and spokesperson, Sheyphali Saran, tweeted that the date was an “inadvertent typing mistake” and that the correct date had been rectified in a press note uploaded on the EC’s website.
The state chief electoral officer, Kiran Dinkarrao Gitte, also held a press conference to dispel any confusion. The commission had announced the election schedule on January 18, with voting taking place in 3,328 polling stations on February 16 and the votes to be counted on March 2.
The aim is to outline the guidelines and regulations that news broadcasters must abide by during election seasons in India, in order to ensure objective, balanced and impartial reporting, and to avoid spreading rumors, disinformation, and hate speech.
National Khadi Festival-2023: Rural artisans getting market, India’s MSME sector will be self-sufficient
Shri Manoj Kumar, Chairman of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission, officially launched the Khadi Fest- 23. The exhibition will take place from January 27 to February 24, 2023, at the KVIC Headquarters in Mumbai, in the presence of Shri Vinit Kumar, Chief Executive Officer of KVIC, and other high-ranking officials.
The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is organizing the National Khadi Festival-2023 in Bhopal from January 13 to 23 to promote the use of Khadi and village industries in India.
- The festival will feature products from 90 units in the field of Khadi and village industries from Madhya Pradesh and 11 other states, including Rajasthan, Bihar, and Gujarat.
- These products will include different types of Khadi cloth, silk, shawls, suits, readymade garments, and village industry items such as jute, bamboo, wooden furniture, leather bags, and spices.
- In addition to shopping, the festival will also feature cultural programs that showcase the cultural diversity of the country.
The KVIC has a wide network of 8 departmental sales outlets “Khadi India” and 8035 Khadi sales outlets of Khadi Institutes (KVI), which help connect rural artisans with urban consumers. The Central Government has laid special emphasis on giving priority to Khadi to the people. The motto of ‘Khadi for Nation, Khadi for Fashion and Khadi for Transformation’ is taking ‘Khadi’ to new heights.
An official e-commerce portal ‘KhadiIndia.gov.in’ has been launched exclusively to sell KVI products, which will help internationalize Khadi and expose it to a global market. The festival is expected to further increase the popularity and sales of Khadi, helping India’s MSME sector become self-sufficient.
India to Translocate Cheetahs from South Africa
India has recently signed an agreement with South Africa to translocate 12 cheetahs to the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh. According to a senior official in the Union Environment Ministry, the pact was signed last week and seven male and five female cheetahs are expected to arrive at Kuno by February 15th.
However, South Africa’s terrain department has stated that the plan is to translocate 12 cheetahs every year for a decade, although India has not yet released a statement in this regard.
Anticipated to arrive in February
- The 12 South African cheetahs have been in quarantine since July of last year and were originally expected to reach Kuno this month. However, “some processes in South Africa took some time,” delaying the transfer, according to the official.
- It is expected that the South African authorities will soon issue an import permit and a certificate under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) for the transfer of the creatures. The official also stated that India has completed all formalities.
- Cheetahs are the only large carnivores that were fully wiped out from India due to overhunting and habitat loss. The last cheetah was sighted in the Koriya district of present-day Chhattisgarh in 1947 and the species was declared extinct in 1952.
- Under the Cheetah reintroduction program, Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the first batch of eight cheetahs, five females and three males, from Namibia into a quarantine enclosure at Kuno on his 72nd birthday on September 17th of last year.
- According to the ‘Action Plan for Reintroduction of Cheetahs in India’ set by the Wildlife Institute of India, around 12-14 wild cheetahs that are suitable for establishing a new cheetah population will be imported from South Africa, Namibia, and other African countries as a founder stock for five years and as needed by the program.
India-South Arica Relations:
- India and South Africa have a long-standing relationship based on historical, political, and economic ties. Both countries have a shared history of colonialism and struggle for independence, and have strong ties in areas such as trade, culture, and diplomacy.
- India is one of South Africa’s largest trading partners, and the two countries have worked together on various international issues, such as the fight against terrorism and promoting peace and stability in their respective regions.
- In recent years, the relationship has been strengthened through frequent high-level exchanges and cooperation in areas such as agriculture, science and technology, and renewable energy.
“Mughal Gardens” renamed to “Amrit Udyan”
As part of the “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” festivities, the Mughal Gardens at the President’s official residence, Rashtrapati Bhavan, have been given the name “Amrit Udyan”. Bulldozers were used to remove the old “Mughal Gardens” road sign and a new sign “Amrit Udyan” was installed. President Draupadi Murmu renamed the gardens.
Why is it renamed
- The Rashtrapati Bhavan has three gardens that were inspired by Persian and Mughal gardens.
- The garden that was inspired by a similar one in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, came to be known as the “Mughal Gardens” by both the general public and the authorities.
- However, the name “Mughal Gardens” was never formally given to the gardens.
- Navika Gupta, the president’s deputy press secretary, stated “On the occasion of the celebrations of 75 years of Independence as Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the President of India has given a common name to the Rashtrapati Bhavan gardens as Amrit Udyan,”
What are the features of Amrit Udyan?
- Amrit Udyan is frequently referred to as the soul of the White House.
- It is spread over 15 acres.
- The Mughal Grounds in Jammu and Kashmir, the gardens surrounding the Taj Mahal, and even tiny paintings of India and Persia served as inspiration for Amrit Udyan.
- The Rashtrapati Bhavan website states that the gardens, which make up the third circle of the trip, will henceforth be accessible to the public from August through March.
- This time, beginning on January 31, the gardens will be accessible to the public for nearly two months.
First Indian-made helmet to comply with Europe’s ECE 22.06 standard
ECE 22.06 standard was introduced in 2020. The ECE standards for helmets were established by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. The standard is applied in a number of nations. ECE 22.05 standard was in use for the previous 20 years. A low-speed crash test, an impact resistance test and many more tests are included in ECE 22.06. The latest Ignyte IGN – 7 helmets from Steelbird are the first in India to comply with ECE 22.06.
What is IGN – 7?
- There is a NACA airflow system in the helmet.
- The US created the NACA vent system.
- National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics is referred to as NACA.
- NACA draws outside air in to keep the user ventilated.
- Different speeds of 6, 7, and 8 miles per second are tested.
What is ECE 22.06?
- In ECE 22.06, low-speed impact testing was the primary addition.
- Helmets typically shield riders from high-speed contact.
- However, a number of international studies have found that low-speed impacts are much more harmful to the brain than high-speed ones.
- A spin-on-impact test is also included in the ECE 22.06 standard of tests.
- Tests on shell sizes and retention mechanisms are also included in ECE 22.06.
- The first helmet standard issued in India by ISI was IS:4151 in 1993.
Draft National Electricity Policy approved by Ministry of Power
A new Electricity Policy was suggested by the Standing Committee established to address concerns related to electricity in India. The Ministry of Power established an expert team headed by Gireesh Pradhan to draft the policy based on the recommendations. In October 2021, the panel submitted the draft policy.The policy has now been approved by the ministry, and it is being distributed for feedback to the states and the CEA (Central Electricity Authority).
About the Draft Policy
- The Electricity Act of 2003 was used to frame the policy.
- Private parties must be invited to distribute electricity.
- Rural places with reliable electricity sources.
- less reliance on coal.
- Boost the amount of hydro and hydrogen stored.
- Boost spending on mini-grids.
- Make metering entirely smart.
- Promote and expand the use of domestic power equipment
What is the background of Electricity Policies?
- In 2005, India released its first national electricity policy.
- Even 16 years after the policy’s introduction, no changes have been made.
- Despite the peak energy shortages, no changes to the policy were made.
- Our distribution system is developing really slowly.
- However, the infrastructure for distribution has grown significantly.
- In the nation today, there are more than 6 lakh crores of distribution companies.
- India is pursuing sustainable energy, and the country has set a target of going net zero by 2070.
- India will benefit from the new policy in achieving its goals.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2023 was observed on 27th January
Holocaust denotes extensive damage. The purpose of International Holocaust Remembrance Day is to remember the Jews who Hitler and his forces killed. During this time, more than six million Jews were murdered. It is observed on January 27. To commemorate this day, the UN adopted a resolution in 2004.
What is the importance of the day?
- The day serves as a reminder to the entire world that more than 2/3 of the Jewish population was murdered.
- Hitler believed they were inferior and sought to wipe out the Jewish people entirely.
- The day is viewed as a criticism of religious discrimination, intolerance, violence, and irrational instigation by human rights advocates and activists.
Why were the Jews killed?
- Hitler harboured anti-Jewish prejudice.
- During the Hitler era, a large portion of German nationalists was anti-Jewish.
- The majority of Germans think that following Germany’s defeat in the First World War, Hitler’s hatred of Jews began to grow.
- The country’s failure in the Second World War was attributed to the Jews, Communists, and Democrats.
29th January 2023
1. “Indus Water Treaty” a technical matter, to be discussed by commissioners of India and Pakistan(2022)
Technicalities of Indus Water to be discussed between two countries
On Saturday in Pune, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar stated that the Indus Water Treaty is a technical problem and that future action will depend on discussions between the Indian and Pakistani Indus Commissioners.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar View Point
“It would not be appropriate for me to speak publicly on the current situation in Pakistan. This is a technical topic, and both countries’ Indus Commissioners will discuss the Indus Water Treaty. After that, we can only discuss our future measures “he remarked.
- India notified Pakistan of its intent to modify the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) of September 1960 after Islamabad’s actions violated the terms of the agreement.
- In accordance with Article XII (3) of the Indus Water Treaty, the notification was transmitted on January 25 via respective Indus Waters Commissioners.
- The purpose of the notice of modification is to give Pakistan an opportunity to engage in intergovernmental consultations within ninety days in order to address the material violation of the IWT. This procedure would also incorporate the lessons learnt over the past 62 years into IWT.
- India has always been a dependable partner in the IWT’s implementation. Pakistan’s activities, on the other hand, have encroached into the Indus Water Treaty provisions and their implementation, compelling India to issue a notice for amendment of Indus Water Treaty .
Jaishankar stated that India’s influence has extended beyond the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, highlighting a sea change in the country’s foreign policy.
Speaking about India’s Influence(Indus Water Treaty)
At the release event for Jaishankar’s book “Bharat Marg,” he stated, “Today, India’s influence extends from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean; this is why I speak about history; great countries always think solely of themselves; this is a flaw in their DNA.”
- Jaishankar was in Pune for the launching of ‘Bharat Marg,’ the Marathi translation of his English book ‘The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World’Devendra Fadnavis, Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra, released the Marathi translation of Jaishankar’s book.
- Asserting that foreign policy has a significant impact on a country’s growth in the international arena, he stated, “that in every country, foreign policy is determined by the central government….but in large countries, this policy is not determined solely by the centre, but by many different states as well.”
- “The foundation of our country’s foreign policy is the engagement of every citizen,” he stated.
During India’s G20 Presidency, the EAM stated that everyone in the country is connected to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- “It should not be restricted to simply Delhi. It has been my goal from the start to bring foreign policy out of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and into the hands of the general public; similarly, the language in this book is in the language of very common people, not technical terminology.”
- “This time, G20 will hold 200 meetings. Through these encounters, we hope to demonstrate to the world that everyone who visits India and witnesses the transformation would be impressed by India’s zeal and optimism for the globe “he added.
- “Through my article, I have cautioned that globalisation has numerous flaws, as is clear from the outcomes in other nations.”
Jaishankar also cautioned against relegating foreign policy to Babus or diplomats alone, stating that commoners should be included on occasion.
Foreign policy between 1980 and 1990(Indus Water Treaty)
“Between 1980 and 1990, foreign policy and the country moved in the same direction. This should not occur; ordinary citizens should also be included. I have discussed this in my book “said Jaishankar.
- Regarding India-China ties, he stated: “If we discuss any area, then this land was captured by China in 1962, they (the opposition) won’t tell you, but they will demonstrate that it happened yesterday… If I lack thought, I can rely on my army or intelligence. I will speak with them. I do not phone the Chinese ambassador to inquire about my news “he stated.
- Today, the world is at our doorsteps, according to Jaishankar, and if we are to increase our self-reliance, we must strengthen the domestic supply chain and support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). “At the Republic Day parade on January 26, most of the weapons were Made in India, and some were also made in Pune,” he said.
Regarding the pressure on India as a result of the Ukraine crisis, he stated, “PM Modi was very clear, he said that it should occur, it should be in India’s best interest, thus my task was made easier by his clarity.”
About India and Pakistan
India PM – Narendra Modi ; External Affairs Minister-: S Jaishankar
Pakistan PM- Shehbaz Sharif; External Affairs Minister-: H.E. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari
Also do read https://theyouthedge.com/read-current-affairs-for-28th-january-2023/date-wise-current-affairs/
2. Joshimath subsidence: Declare the Himalayas an ecosensitive zone and require the advice of specialists
Joshimath subsidence: Declare the Himalayas an ecosensitive zone and require the advice of specialists
While the width of the road must be controlled to an intermediate norm for the Char Dham road expanding project in order to minimise damage, the Char Dham railways project should be reevaluated.
Himalayas: Been declared as a sensitive zone
Joshimath is on the verge of sinking due to unplanned and uncontrolled growth in Uttarakhand, according to experts who demand that the Himalayas be named an ecosensitive zone.
- In a resolution passed at a roundtable organised by the Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) on Saturday, experts deemed the measures taken to address the current situation in subsidence-affected Joshimath to be “inadequate.”
- In addition, they urged the government to consider implementing long-term measures to address the issue, stating that a similar situation could happen in Nainital, Mussoorie, and other parts of Garhwal if the “so-called growth fuelled by human greed” in the hill state is not halted.
Declare Himalayas and Ecological Sensitive Zone
Declare the Himalayas an ecologically sensitive zone. “Regulate large projects that cause destruction,” stated the resolution.
- In order to avoid damage to the terrain, the width of the road under the Char Dham road expanding project must be restricted to an intermediate standard. Additionally, the Char Dham trains project should be reevaluated.
- “The Chardham railroads is an overly ambitious project that would wreak havoc and further tax the state of Uttarakhand, which relies heavily on tourism. “This proposal should be reevaluated and reconsidered,” stated the resolution.
- In addition, a complete carrying capacity study of Uttarakhand should be conducted to guarantee that the amount of visitors visiting these locations is accounted for and that the tourist flow does not overburden the environment.
Former chairperson of a Supreme Court-appointed committee on the Centre’s Char Dham project Ravi Chopra, its former member Hemant Dhyani, and others attended the roundtable, which was held to discuss the issue of “Imminent Himalayan Crisis,” according to SJM co-convener Awshwani Mahajan.
- “Sri Adi Shankaracharya created Joshimath, the city where the holy Jyotirlinga is located, in the seventh century” (Jyotir Math). This mathematics is currently on the verge of collapse. “The news of the Joshimath’s sinking has shook the entire nation,” stated Mahajan.
- “Even if some actions have been taken in response to the current problem, experts feel that Adi Shankaracharya’s original Jyotir Math cannot be saved,” he continued.
Government Response – To Himalayan Crisis
The resolution called the government’s response to the current situation “inadequate” and observed that while a huge number of people will be displaced as a result of the sinking of the Joshimath, the sole remedy being pursued is the rehabilitation of impacted communities.
- “Currently, work on the mega projects in this region, including the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) hydropower project, the Helang bypass road construction as part of the Chardham road widening project, and the ropeways project, has been halted by the district administration in response to local protests,” the report stated.
- In locations such as Bhagirathi ESZ, where large-scale mega projects have not been implemented and the local ecology has not been altered, land subsidence, landslide accidents, and catastrophic disasters are minimal to nonexistent, the report emphasised.
Exact Reason for the Himalayan Crisis ?
“This vulnerable mountain was devastated by the manner the mountain was cut in the foothills of Joshimath for the construction of Chardham Marg and the way the NTPC excavated a tunnel in the heart of the mountain without a suitable hydrogeological research,” the resolution stated.
- “It is also observed that, due to the rapid and unplanned construction of high-rise hotels and buildings, poor sanitary arrangements have been made, making Joshimath more unstable and burdensome,” the report stated.
- As a result of all of this, the entire region of Joshimath is sinking today, and there is no way to save it,” it continued.In the name of development, construction and environmental destruction are ongoing throughout Uttarakhand, according to the resolution.
- As a result of the tremendous deforestation, there is almost any vegetation remaining on the mountains, and landslides have become commonplace in these youngest fold mountains, according to the report.
Key Take Away
- “Disastrous construction in the name of development without evaluating the anticipated consequences is becoming the source of current and past tragedies. This crisis can only be averted by curtailing this indiscriminate construction, as stated in the resolution.
- “In light of this type of quick destruction in the past, it has become imperative to realize that so-called human greed-driven development cannot continue. It demanded that long-term actions be implemented to address the issue.
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3. “Government working to give preference to the underprivileged” Says PM Modi
“Govt. working to give preference to underprivileged”, says PM Modi
In a visit to Malaseri village in Rajasthan’s Bhilwara district, on the 1111th incarnation festival of Lord Shri Devnarayan, a deity revered by the Gurjar community, Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi on Saturday, 28 January 2023, said his government is trying to empower every section of society and working to give preference to the underprivileged.
PM Modi View Point
“The India of today is laying the foundations for a grand future. India is not just a land mass, but “an expression of our civilization, culture, harmony, and possibilities”. Addressing the occasion, PM Modi said and underlined that Indian civilization has endured for thousands of years, even as others perished.
- Lauding Devnarayan’s service to humanity, the PM said he always gave precedence to service and people’s welfare.
- “The path shown by Bhagwan Devnarayan is of sabka vikas (everybody’s progress) using sabka saath (with everybody).
- PM Modi said that his government is walking on the path shown by Devnarayan and are trying to empower the marginalized and underprivileged sections. Adding that His government is moving with the mantra of precedence to the deprived,
- PM Modi exhorted several programs to uplift backward groups run by the BJP-led central governments. He remarked: “Today, every beneficiary is getting their ration, for free. We have also removed the worry of hospital treatments with the Ayushman Bharat scheme,”
- He extensively explained his government’s work to reduce access to, and the cost of, power, water, houses, sanitation facilities, and gas connections.
Modi Governments Schemes for Underprivileged
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government completed its 8 years on 30 May 2022. The Modi Government dedicated these years to the growth of poor and marginalized sections of society. His strategies and policies have extensively supported the underprivileged. His government has provided 10% Reservation for Economically weaker Sections (General Category), and Rs. 22.6 lakh crore has been directly transferred to beneficiaries i.e. Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).
- Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojna, (PMJDY) is run by the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance. It has brought more than 45 crore people into formal banking.
- Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna, (SAGY) led to the social and cultural development in villages. This scheme aims to translate the comprehensive vision of Mahatma Gandhi about an ideal Indian village into reality.
- Gramoday se Bharat Uday, (GBU) emphasizes the development of villages for the proper development of the country.
- Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojna, (PMGKAY)is a Food Security Welfare Scheme. It strives to feed the poorest citizens of the nation through the Public Distribution System (PDS) to all the ration card holders and those identified by the Antyodaya Anna Yojana scheme. 80 crore people have profited from this scheme and delivered free food grains.
- Garib Kalyan Rozgaar Abhiyaan, (GKRA) for the returnee migrant workers and rural citizens to empower them and provide employment. This scheme was able to employ the migrant workers by focusing on the implementation of 25 different types of work and created an infrastructure in the rural areas of India with a resource envelope of Rs 50,000 crore.
- Atal Pension Yojana, (APY) provides a monthly pension for people from the unorganized sector between 18 to 50 years,
- PM Ujjwala Yojna, (PMUY) has delivered more than 9 Crore free LPG connections to BPL families at subsidized rates.
- Pradhan Mantri Street Vendor’s Atmanirbhar Nidhi scheme, (PMSVA Nidhi Scheme) facilitated loans to working capital up to Rs. 10,000 at a subsidized rate of interest.
- Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY)constructed more than 3 Crore houses and provided them at an affordable price to the deprived section of the country.
- PM Jan Arogya Yojna, (PMJAY) to provide Rs. 5 Lakhs per family per year for free and quality healthcare services to vulnerable families. The number of beneficiaries is around 14 crores.
Constitutional provisions for uplifting the status of marginalized and underprivileged sections in India
Our constitution makers were very much informed and sensitive about the needs of underprivileged sections in a country like India with inherent social and economic differences and hence, they made several such provisions in the constitution and made the state responsible for the upliftment of underprivileged sections.
Article 14 and 15 provides for “Equal Protection of the Laws”, and Article 15 States that the State is not prevented to enact special laws for “Socially and Educationally Backward Classes”, women and children. This enables the State to enact laws meant specifically for the marginalized sections of society And provides a tool in the hands of the State to enact special laws to ensure that access to justice for the marginalized is not denied.
Article 46 provides that the State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the society and in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.
Article 340 gives the President the power to appoint a commission to investigate the conditions of backward classes, and the difficulties they face, and make recommendations on steps to be taken to improve their condition.
The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment is the nodal Ministry to oversee the interests of underprivileged sections in India.
Social empowerment is the most vital need for the development of a nation. No doubt that Governments and leaders play a very pivotal role to make it possible, But the role of the citizens is extremely extraordinary. A leader can only show the path and provide guidance but it is the citizens who make it possible and make a nation grow and take it to great heights. Constitutional provisions are already in the favor of the underprivileged and provide for ample opportunity to aspire and grow. PM Modi’s statement and the occasion on which it has been delivered put the socio-economic politics of poll-bound Rajasthan in an interesting perspective.
4. UN Security Council does not reflect today’s realities, is paralyzed: UNGA President
What did he say about the UN security council?
“The UN security council does not reflect today’s realities, is paralyzed and unable to discharge its function of maintaining international peace and security when one of its permanent members has attacked its neighbor”, UNGA president said.
He tweeted- “namaste India. Glad to be in New Delhi, to commence my first bilateral visit as PGA”.
What are the five priorities outlined by the president of the general assembly?
The President General Assembly has outlined five priorities for his UNGA Presidency. The five priorities are: making measurable progress in sustainability transformation, working on integrated, systemic solutions, enhancing the role of science in decision-making, and increasing solidarity to tackle new crises facing the world.
How does the president of the United nation assembly helps to India?
He will help strengthen India’s abiding commitment to multilateralism, regional issues and G20 presidency.
About Csaba Korosi
He is a Hungarian diplomat and currently serves as the president of the United national assembly. He was the director of environmental sustainability in the office of the president of Hungary.
5. Special App launched to enhance athlete experience at KIYG 2022;
A dedicated special mobile application,
Bhopal, for the Khelo India Youth Games 2022.
To ensure that participating athletes, coaches, support staff, parents of athletes, sports fans, and officials from all states participating in the Games have access to all information about the Games, at a click of a button. Introducing a Transparent and Quick Approach.
The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Govt of India. This is the first time that a dedicated App has been launched for the “Khelo India Youth Games”.
The App has a dedicated athlete login. It starts supporting the athlete right from the time of his or her registration into the games, through the entire course of the Games. The app enables an athlete to check if his or her verified documents have been uploaded, prior to the start of the Games and ensures greater transparency for athletes throughout the registration process.
It also helps the athletes to check the status of the issuance of their sporting kits, the stay arrangements, and transportation plan to and from the venue, as well as have important contact numbers. Further, a Whatsapp Chatbot has also been created to respond to immediate queries of the athletes.
For sports fans, the App gives access to match schedules, medal tally, addresses of Games venues, and photo gallery.
Platform Android and IOS. (Free of Cost )
App Download Links:
App store :
- The KIYG (Khelo India Youth Games) is an initiative by the government of India and was introduced in 2018.
- introduced to revive the sports culture in India at the grass-root level by building a strong framework for all sports played in our country and establishing India as a great sporting nation.
- The first edition of the Games was inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 31st January 2018 at the Indira Gandhi Arena.
- The 5th KIYG 2022 will be held from January 30 to February 11 at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. There are 27 sporting disciplines on the schedule, with over 6,000 athletes participating.
- Game Anthem “HINDUSTAN KA DIL DHADKA DO”
- Game Mascot “CHEETAH ASHA”
1. The US will begin issuing H-1B visas for skilled workers on March 1, 2024.
All potential H-1B cap-subject petitioners must use a my SCIS account to electronically register each beneficiary for the selection process.
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) concerning H-1B visas
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that the initial registration period for the 2024 H-1B visas for talented professionals will run from March 1 through March 17.
- During this time, prospective petitioners and representatives will be able to complete and submit their registrations through the H-1B online registration system.
- Each registration filed for the FY 2024 H-1B cap will be assigned a confirmation number that can be used to track registrations. USCIS stated in a press release that the number cannot be used to track one’s case status in Case Status Online.
- All potential H-1B cap-subject petitioners must use a myUSCIS online account to electronically register each beneficiary for the selection process.
In addition, they must pay a $10 registration fee for each registration submitted on behalf of a beneficiary.
Why will registrant account be utilized
Employers and agents in the United States will use a registrant account, and they will be able to create new accounts beginning on February 21.
- Representatives may add clients to their accounts at any time, but registrants and representatives must wait until March 1 to enter beneficiary information and submit the registration with the $10 cost, according to a USCIS statement.
- In addition, it was said that prospective petitioners or their representatives will be able to register several beneficiaries in a single online session. Through their account, customers will be able to create, edit, and save registration draughts prior to final payment and submission.
If sufficient registrations are received by March 17, the USCIS will choose registrations at random and send selection notifications to users’ my USCIS accounts.
What happens if there are not sufficient registrations for H-1B visas ?
In the event that it does not get sufficient registrations, the USCIS stated: “All valid applications filed during the initial registration period will be chosen. We plan to inform account holders by March 31 “.
- For the FY 2024 H-1B cap season, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has approved a temporary increase in the daily credit card transaction limit from $24,999.99 to $39,999.99 per day.
- This temporary increase is in reaction to the large number of past H-1B registrations that exceeded the daily credit card limit, according to the USCIS, which added that additional information will be supplied prior to the beginning of the initial H-1B registration period.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant work visa that permits U.S. firms to hire foreign workers in industries such as information technology, finance, and engineering, among others.
- Over 74% of the H-1B visas issued in fiscal year 2021 were granted to Indian nationals.
- The USCIS approved 4.07 million H-1B visas, of which 3.01 million were granted to Indians and 50,000 to Chinese.
1. Sealing of Hurriyat office under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act Provisions (2023)
About – Hurriyat Conference
The Hurriyat Conference was founded in 1993 by 26 separatist organizations.
The separatist organisation identifies itself as a coalition of J&K’s political, social, and religious groups. The Constitution’s defining features are as follows:
1- Engaging in a peaceful battle to ensure the people of Jammu and Kashmir’s right to self-determination, which includes the right to independence, in accordance with the UN Charter and the resolutions enacted by the UN Security Council.
2- Seeking an alternate negotiated settlement of the Kashmir conflict between India, Pakistan, and the people of J&K, subject to the will of the people, under the auspices of the United Nations or any other friendly country.
3- Presenting the ongoing battle to the nations and governments of the world in its correct context, as a struggle against India’s illegitimate and coercive occupation of the state.
Reason for Hurriyat Conference in the News ?
A team from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) sealed the Hurriyat headquarters in Srinagar’s Rajbagh neighbourhood on Sunday morning, a day after a special Delhi court ordered its attachment under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
- The NIA team posted a notice on the gates of the multi-story building in Rajbagh, which has been the scene of tumultuous Hurriyat meetings for the past three decades, during which protest calendars and Delhi-Srinagar talks have been discussed.
- The notification informs the public that the building where the office of the All Party Hurriyat Conference is located in Rajbagh, which is jointly owned by Nayeem Ahmed Khan, who is now on trial at the NIA Court in Delhi, has been attached by a court order dated January 27, 2023.
Mr. Khan was the leader of the Jammu and Kashmir National Front (JKNF), a separatist organisation that was affiliated with the Hurriyat. He was one of the mainstream voices urging for interaction with New Delhi in order to resolve Kashmir-related concerns. In 2017, he was arrested following a significant crackdown on Hurriyat leaders.
Sealing under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
Srinagar, Jan 28 (KNS): Officials reported that a special court of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has ordered the attachment of the office of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference in the Rajbagh neighbourhood of the summer capital Srinagar.
- “Building office of All Parties Hurriyat Conference in Rajbagh, which was formerly utilised as APHC office, is ordered to be attached. In this regard, legal proceedings must be conducted as required, “The ruling was issued by Shalinder Malik, Additional Sessions Judge of New Delhi.
- NIA said in court that the “property was being used for the planning and execution of terrorist and separatist activities” as well as other crimes, and therefore invoked Section 33 (1) of UAPA to seek attachment of the property.
- In this case, Nayeem Ahmad Khan was detained on July 24, 2017 during the investigation and was charged as the fifth defendant. In this case, an indictment has been filed against 12 defendants.
Evidence to Support Sealing of Hurriyat office
The NIA indicated that there is adequate documentary, electronic, and oral evidence to support the charges against accused Naeem Khan. It is requested that the aforementioned building, which was utilised by members of APHC for illegal activities, be seized.”
- They added, “Accused Nayeem Khan is a co-owner of the aforementioned property and is facing prosecution. There is evidence that the above-mentioned immovable property was used for the planning and execution of terrorist and secessionist activities.
- As well as for crimes for which the accused has already been charged; therefore, the above-mentioned property, namely the building/office of APIIC located in Rajbagh, Srinagar (UT of J&K), may be attached pursuant to Section 33(1) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Citing multiple decisions, the court of Additional Sessions Judge New Delhi stated that section 24 widens the definition of “proceeds of terrorism” to include “property intended for use in terrorism.”
Decision of Additional Sessions Judge in New Delhi
Saturday, Shailender Malik, Additional Sessions Judge in New Delhi, stated that the UAPA “does not in any way restrict the court’s ability to attach any property of which the accused is a partial owner and is undergoing prosecution under the UAPA.”
- Among the various allegations and evidence, it was also the case that the office of APHC was the place where meetings were held to strategize different protests, funding activities of stone pelting on security forces, recruiting of unemployed youths to carry out unlawful activities as well as terrorist activities to create unrest in the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir to wage war against the Government of India,” the court noted.
- The court ruled that, taking into account the gravity of the charges against the defendant, the fact that he is a co-owner of the property in question cannot be used as a justification for not seizing the property when it is not even obvious who the other co-owners are.
The NIA had petitioned the court to issue an attachment order for the Hurriyat premises.
Also Read https://theyouthedge.com/read-current-affairs-for-28th-january-2023/date-wise-current-affairs/
30th January 2023
Concerning affect : Professionals raise the Joshimath alarm for Great Nicobar Island(2023)
Crisis in the Nicobar Island Crisis – Due to Himalayan Town of Joshimath
Despite the fact that hundreds of people have been evacuated from the Himalayan town of Joshimath, which is slowly sinking, questions have been raised about years of unchecked building, hydropower projects, and the absence of a functional drainage system.
- Local have been directed at a government-owned power business, whose ongoing hydropower project is allegedly tunnelling through a sensitive habitat.
- Despite the fact that some analysts feel the situation is yet recoverable, another Joshimath-like calamity is imminent.
- As part of the ‘holistic development’ of Great Nicobar Island, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways is seeking to create a huge International Container Transhipment Port at Galathea Bay on Great Nicobar Island of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Brief Explanation of the Nicobar Island (Joshimath)
Great Nicobar Island is a tropical oasis in the Andaman Sea, located off the eastern coast. This tiny biogeographical gem, which is home to 650 species of flora and 330 species of fauna, is the last of the 572 islands that comprise the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago.
- In order to pave room for a big building project proposed by the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Integrated Development Corporation, large swaths of land and coastal region, including portions of the Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve and Galathea Bay, lost their protected status last year.
- Environmentalists and scholars think that any development will not only reverse the effects of India’s attempts to adapt to climate change, but will also render the islands more susceptible to tragedies similar to that of Joshimath.
Joshimath and the Great Nicobar Island Crisis both fall within the category of high-risk seismic zone V.
“In terms of natural disasters, Joshimath faces a comparable threat, particularly from earthquakes and tsunamis, due to the island’s delicate biological balance,” says Manish Chandi, a Nicobar Islands expert on the interface between communities and the natural environment.
- Its placement in the Arc of Fire – a large area in the Pacific Ocean basin where 452 volcanoes (more than 75% of the world’s active and dormant volcanoes) exist – is of greater significance than the island’s strategic significance.
- As the Centre solicits expressions of interest, it is expected that the building of a port, an international airport, a power plant, and a township on more than 160 square kilometres of land at an estimated cost of Rs 72,000 billion will resume.
It is probable that over one million trees will be cut down, displacing native tribes and species.
Displacement of Tribes- Nicobar Island Crisis
The Nicobarese and Shompen tribes inhabit around 85 square kilometres of the entire 160 square kilometres of territory that are designated as ‘Tribal restricted area’ The project will require the diversion of approximately 130.75 square kilometres of forested land.
- According to ecologists, the diversion will not fix the problem caused by the project’s development, and the environmental impact assessment (EIA) does not contain enough mitigation or conservation planning standards for native flora and animals.
- “In the EIA, there is no discussion of how to rescue the endemic Nicobar megapode (incubator birds or mound-builders), which are found in only a few locations in Nicobar. The port will be built on the nesting grounds of leatherback turtles, according to conservation researcher Neha Sinha.
- Sinha raises worries about the mitigation measures and questions how leatherback turtles will be protected from stress.
What do Ecologist asserts
Ecologists assert that the government’s assertion that it will do compensatory afforestation in states such as Haryana and Madhya Pradesh is a sham.
- Sinha explains, “Nicobar Island forests are primary evergreen forests, and Haryana or any other state cannot have the flora and fauna of these islands since they require distinct climatic conditions to grow.”
- Environmental academics also question the viability of establishing large-scale reforestation initiatives in the Aravalli hills of Haryana, an area with arid soil and shorter rainfall periods.
According to the Forest Survey of India 2021, the forest cover in Haryana is the lowest in the country, at 3.63 percent. Its woodland cover has been stable over the previous fifteen years. It was 1,604 km2 in 2005 and will be 1,603 km2 in 2021.
However, the Haryana government stated its intention to construct a 10,000-acre jungle safari park in the Aravallis as a compensation for the loss of the Nicorbar forest.
Ecological Loss Compensation
Instead of compensating for ecological loss, Kanchi Kohli, a senior researcher at the Centre for Policy Research, asserts that both the deforestation in Nicobar and the recreational tourism in Haryana were attempts to monetize forests.
- After the draught environmental impact assessment report was released in December 2021, scholars and non-governmental organisations raised approximately 400 concerns regarding the island’s ecology, indigenous people’ rights, geological instability, and disaster susceptibility.
- Experts notice that little action has been made on this matter.
- Sharad Lele, a senior researcher at the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment, describes the government’s action as a continuation of the Centre’s “development-at-any-cost” policy.
- Forest degradation will be accompanied by reef destruction, pollution, and a complete demographic shift in the population composition of these islands, resulting in cultural genocide.” In addition, he is a former member of the environment ministry and tribal ministry’s Forest Rights Act committee.
Effects of the Project ? Displacement of Tribes(Nicobar Island)
The project will not only disrupt the natural balance by removing native species, but it will also raise the population of the environmentally fragile island from the present 8,000 to over 350,000 during the next three decades.Additionally, infrastructure stakeholders concerned with sustainability have highlighted worries about the project’s fragility.
Methodology to be adopted ? Regarding solving the Nicobar Crisis
“Such infrastructure projects must adopt alternative technologies such as the use of geosynthetics, the optimisation of stones used in rip-rap, and the use of alternative materials for breakwater structures, as well as examine the impact of building using simulation.
- Adoption of sustainable techniques and solutions throughout the lifecycle of a project can prevent natural and manmade hazards, while respecting the environment, promoting people’s safety, and enhancing their quality of life,
- “Rampant infrastructure expansion without a plan can make an already fragile ecosystem even more susceptible to the consequences of climate change, which serves as a multiplier.
- ” Incidents such as Joshimath are a sobering reminder of the importance of adopting sustainable development strategies with a specific focus.”
Conclusion of the Hydropower Project(Effect on Nicobar)
“If the project is to proceed, the government must enlist environmentalists and ecologists to develop a scientific plan for wildlife protection and mitigation. This cannot be a mere afterthought, insists Sinha.no way to ‘minimize’ the impact without abandoning the project, which he deems improbable.
India’s first glass igloo restaurant in Jammu and Kashmir’s Gulmarg
Where is this restaurant developed in india?
This beautiful and unique glass igloo restaurant is developed by kolahoi green heights a hotel in gulmarg. This restaurant is made for the first time in india. It became highly popular this time for the igloo lovers.
What is the inside of the igloo restaurant?
In this restaurant there are tables which are made by the snow and have been placed towards the wall. The wass is decorated with various patterns while the doorway is arched.
What is the atmosphere of the igloo restaurant?
Everyone thinks the atmosphere is definitely cold inside. But, the reality is that it is not cold inside. The thick wall will keep the atmosphere warm inside the restaurant.
What is the food served to the visitors?
Visitors can enjoy the veg and non veg meal in the restaurant. Hot drinks like kahwa and mutton or chicken tikka for starters. People can enjoy the warm atmosphere as well.
The Government advises utilities not to retire coal-fired power plants until 2030.
About – Coal Fired Power Plants
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – India has asked utilities to delay the retirement of coal-fired power plants until 2030 due to an increase in energy consumption, according to a letter reviewed by Reuters from the federal power ministry.
This comes just two years after the country pledged to eventually phase out the use of the fuel.
The energy-hungry nation announced in May that it intends to reduce electricity production from at least 81 coal-fired units over the next four years, although the proposal does not include closing any of its 179 coal power stations. India has not established a specific deadline for reducing coal consumption.
Coal Fired Power Plants
“All power utilities are advised not to retire any thermal (power generation) units until 2030 and to ensure the availability of units after renovation and modernization, if necessary,” the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) said in a notice dated January 20 and sent to federal power ministry officials.
The CEA, which serves as the ministry’s advisor, referenced a December meeting in which the federal power minister requested that ageing thermal power plants not be retired, but rather that their lifespan be extended “given (the) anticipated demand scenario.”
What was the federal energy minister response ? Coal Fired Power Plants
The federal energy ministry did not respond to email requests for comment immediately.
- India, the second largest consumer, producer, and importer of coal in the world, fell about a third short of its renewable energy addition target for 2022. Almost three-quarters of annual electrical production is derived from coal fired power plants
- Extreme weather, an increase in the number of enterprises that permit employees to work from home, and a rise in industrial activity following the removal of coronavirus-related restrictions have all contributed to an increase in power demand in India in recent months.
- Peak power demand met – a measure of maximum power supplied during the day – reached a record high of 210.6 GW on January 18, 2018, surpassing by 1.7% the previous peak of 207.1 GW, which was reached during the height of an intense heatwave in April 2017 that precipitated India’s worst power crisis in six and a half years.
Conclusion regarding Coal Fired Power Plants
“This year, peak power demand has already increased by 5%. If it climbed by another 3–4%, a new crisis could be imminent “A senior official at a utility in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu stated.
The official, speaking under the condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to communicate with the media, stated, “There is no consideration of retiring existing coal units.”
Bengaluru all set to host the first G20 Energy Transition Working Group Meeting under India’s Presidency
Who will be participating in this meeting?
In this meeting there will be 150 participants participating including G20 members and special guests countries – Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, UAE.
Are leading organizations also willing to take part in this meeting?
Leading organizations will take part in this meeting. Leading organizations such as UNDP, IEA, UNEP, ISA, UNIDO, UNESCAP, World Bank.
What are the main focus priorities of this meeting?
The first ETWG meeting focus will be on six priorities are:
- Energy transition through addressing technology gaps
- Low cost financing for energy transition
- Energy security and diversified supply chains
- Energy efficiency, industrial low carbon transitions and responsible consumption
- Fuels for future
- Universal access to clean energy and affordable, and inclusive energy transition pathways.
What is the real attraction of Karnataka will help in this meeting?
In this meeting delegates will experience the Karnataka state, the cultural heritage, cuisine, art and culture of the state.
The group of twenty (G20) is the premier forum for international cooperation on the most important issues of the global economic and financial agenda. The G20 operates without a permanent secretariat or staff.
Karnataka is a state of India. The capital Bengaluru is a high tech hub known for its shopping and nightlife. It is a prosperous land with its own literature, culture and art.
The Gujarat Maritime Cluster(2022): Madhvendra Singh selected as CEO
About – The Gujarat Maritime Cluster
New Delhi(India), January 30 Madhvendra Singh has been selected by Gujarat Ports Infrastructure Company Limited as the first Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Gujarat Maritime Cluster
- The Gujarat Maritime Cluster (GMC) is the first Commercial Maritime Cluster in the country with the objective of establishing a centre for maritime services of international quality.
- Gujarat Maritime Board established GMC through its subsidiary, Gujarat Ports Infrastructure Company Limited, to provide impetus to the overhauling of the state’s and nation’s maritime sector by developing an integrated ecosystem of soft services related to the global maritime and shipping industry in accordance with the principle that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
The Gujarat Maritime Cluster – Maritime and Logistical Companies
In Gandhinagar’s GIFT City, the Gujarat Nautical Cluster seeks to house numerous maritime, shipping, and logistics service companies. It is the only maritime cluster in India at the present time.
- One of the greatest strengths of Gujarat Maritime Cluster is that it will bring together Industry players, Government, Academia (Gujarat Maritime University), and the Alternate Dispute Resolution Centre, enabling synergistic collaboration and accelerating the value creation in the maritime sector.
- The Cluster has the distinct advantage of utilising the regulatory freedom given by the country’s first International Financial Services Centre (IFSC).
Who is appointed as the first chief executive officer? The Gujarat Maritime Cluster
In addition, the Gujarat Ports Infrastructure Company Limited has named Madhvendra Singh as its first chief executive officer. “His appointment at the helm of GMC and his wealth of knowledge and experience shall aid Gujarat in becoming a Global Hub for International Maritime Services
What would the Madhvendra Singh ? Bring to Gujarat Maritime Cluster
By bringing all the relevant stakeholders together by aiming to match and further define the Global Best Practices in the maritime and shipping industry, thereby assisting in achieving effectiveness and efficiency across the entire spectrum of the services that shall form an integral part of the Cluster.
Budget session from tuesday; President Murmu to address joint sitting of two Houses
What will be government priority in this session?
The Finance Bill and the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address will be the government’s top priorities, but the opposition is ready to challenge it on a number of fronts, including the Adani-Hindenburg dispute, a national census of economic activity based on caste, and the women’s reservation bill.
What pralhad joshi said in the meeting?
“We seek the opposition’s cooperation” said parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi after the meeting that was attended by 37 leaders.
What will be the sitting and concluding time of the budget session?
The session of the budget will have 27 sittings till April 6. First part of the session will conclude on 14 February. Second part of the budget session will start on 12 march.
Parliament is the legislative body of government. The parliament of India is the supreme law making institution. It has two houses Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. legislation of the union is called parliament.
New Software from Air India for Reporting In-Flight Incidents in Real-Time
A new software program will be used by Air India to improve safety oversight. Coruson is cloud software created by Ideagen, a UK-based business. Coruson will support Air India in reporting in-flight mishaps. Further, it needs to be done in real-time.
How is it going to work?
- iPads will be given to the crew members by Air India.
- These devices will also have the Coruson installed.
- The Coruson will assist Air India in gaining total sight of every aspect of its flight operations.
- This comprises all aspects of the flight, such as passenger boarding, food service, compliance with rules, cabin staff activities, and other events.
- With the use of technology, Air India can swiftly identify its weak points and address problems.
- The primary goal is to maintain the passengers’ safety and comfort throughout the journey.
- The revenue of Air India will increase as a result of this.
Why is this required?
- Many people have recently criticised delayed reporting.
- This also applies to the episode of urination.
- The DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) fined Air India as a result of the event.
- A passenger on an Air India trip from New York to Delhi was urinated on by another passenger.
- The report of the occurrence came quite late.
- By the time the crew landed, the problem had already escalated.
About Air India
- Air India was disinvested to the TATA Group.
- The TATA Group has been making a number of modifications to Air India, which was suffering from significant losses.
- The airline was merged into Vistara.
- Air India and Singapore Airlines collaborated to create VISTARA.
Kozhikode Sea Erosion Scientific Study
The cleanest and most environmentally friendly beaches receive the International Blue Flag designation. The only beach with the tag is Kappad Beach in Kerala. In the Keralan region of Kozhikode is Kappad. Scientists will investigate Kappad Beach’s sea erosion. The study will span 3.5 km, beginning in Thuvvappara and concluding in Valiyamangad.
What is the reason for the study?
- The Kozhikode coastline has been prone to erosion for over 46 years.
- Satellite pictures were used to get this conclusion.
- Mining river sand and anthropogenic activities like building and dam construction are the causes of erosion.
- The estuaries in the area control the regional sediments.
- After 2000, the erosion on Kozhikode beach got worse.
- Artificial coastal structures were installed.
- But degradation has been happening faster than ever.
- The construction of fishing harbours is another major contributor to coastal erosion.
About Blue Flag Beach
The tag is presented by a group of organizations and they are as follows:
- United Nations Environmental Programme
- International Union for Conservation of Nature
- United Nations World Tourism Organization
Foundation for Environmental Education:
- It is an NGO foundation in Denmark
- 33 factors are considered to present the tag.
- The management of environmental elements, beach preservation, bathing water quality control, and environmental education are four of the key aspects.
What is the statement released by the state department about the visit of the US secretary?
This visit of US secretary Nuland will give the broad agenda for the US partnership with Nepal. It is the first visit of the US secretary after the formation of a new government in Nepal.
What did they discuss in the meeting?
They discussed various matters related to bilateral cooperation and other issues related to mutual interests.
What she discussed with congress president Deuba?
“Had a wonderful meeting with the US under secretary. We discussed ways to further strengthen our bilateral relationships and cooperation in democracy, development and good governance. I thanked her for the continued support of the US to Nepal, which is highly valued,” Deuba tweeted.
Who is Victoria Nuland?
She is an American diplomat currently serving as under secretary of state for political affairs. She held the rank of career ambassador, the highest diplomatic rank in the US Foreign service.
Who is Pushpa Kamal Dahal?
He is a Nepalese politician and currently serving as the prime minister of Nepal. He previously held the prime ministerial post from 2008-2009, and again from 2016-2017.
Australia witnesses a brawl over the Khalistan vote, worry from India(2023)
Since the push by local secessionists has grown recently, tensions within Australia’s enormous and expanding Indian diaspora have increased, and a wave of graffiti attacks on Hindu temples in Melbourne over the previous two weeks have been reported.
Why Khalistan vote a worry for India?
The police reported on Monday that during two separate altercations between Khalistani activists and pro-India marchers here during the so-called “Punjab independence referendum,” two individuals were hurt and a similar number of Sikh males were taken into custody.
- India has already requested that the Australian government put a stop to the Khalistani separatists’ anti-Indian actions and attacks on the nation’s Hindu temples.
- The Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) and other hostile organizations from outside Australia are actively aiding and abetting pro-Khalistan elements in Australia, according to signals that have been present for some time, the Indian High Commission in Canberra said in a strongly worded statement on January 26.
- Paramedics on the scene provided minor first aid to two men after two crowd fights were broken up by police at Federation Square on Sunday during the referendum polling.
Individuals detained in the pro Khalistan graffti
Two are detained in West Delhi for pro-Khalistan graffiti.
- According to a statement from the Victoria Police, they reacted to two occurrences throughout the day, one at 12.45 and the second at 4.30. (local time).
- In the second incident, the police used pepper spray to immediately “separate and disperse the throng” and “to separate the fighting guys.”
- According to the statement, “a 34-year-old man and a 39-year-old guy were arrested as a result of each incident and each received a penalty notice for riotous behaviour.”
- The altercation started at 4.30 pm, as a group of pro-India activists came at the polling place carrying national flags, according to The Age newspaper.
- The organisation leading the non-binding referendum, Sikhs for Justice, is a prohibited entity in India. It is situated in the US.
Since the push by local secessionists has grown recently, tensions within Australia’s enormous and expanding Indian diaspora have increased, and a wave of graffiti attacks on Hindu temples in Melbourne over the previous two weeks have been reported.
Why did ISKCON Hare Krishna Temple? Condemn Khalistan Activities
The ISKCON Hare Krishna Temple in Albert Park, which serves as the centre of Melbourne’s Bhakti Yoga Movement, was among three Hindu temples throughout the city that had graffiti on them. The Hindu Council of Australia denounced the vandalism.
- The front wall of the temple contained graffiti that read “Hindustan Murdabad,” which can be interpreted as “Death to India,” and “Khalistan Zindabad,” which can be translated as “Long live the Sikh homeland,” which was discovered by temple management last Monday.
- Additionally Read |Unknown individuals arrested for writing pro-Khalistani sentiments on a signboard at the Beant Singh Memorial
The council issued a statement saying, “This cruel conduct is unacceptable in the robust, multicultural Australia where every religion is recognised and communities live in peace and love.”
Indian High Commissioner(Australia) – Condemning Demand for Khalistan activities
Manpreet Vohra, the Indian High Commissioner to Australia, claimed in a tweet on Monday that he had spoken with officials at the revered BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Melbourne, a centre of spirituality and service, about the peaceful community’s worries regarding the recent vandalism attack and the upsetting violence seen in Melbourne.
- Vohra also spoke with Daniel Andrews, the premier of Victoria, about the violence that occurred in Melbourne on Sunday, the strong and expanding bilateral relationship between India and Australia, and ways to stop radical Khalistani groups from continuing their activities that are detrimental to peace and harmony.
- The famous ISKCON Krishna Temple in Albert Park, which recently suffered vandalism from pro-Khalistani forces, was also visited by the High Commissioner.
Vadilism of ISKCON Temple(Melbourn) – Due to Khalistan Activities
He stated that the “peaceful Indian-Australian community in Melbourne was threatened by their hate-filled graffiti and that it must be stopped.”
- The Indian High Commission said in a statement on Thursday that it had also informed the Australian government of India’s concerns on the so-called referendums in Melbourne and Sydney that had been announced by the banned group, the Sikhs for Justice
- The statement said, “It has been made clear to the Australian Government that it must ensure the safety and security of members of the Indian community and their properties in Australia, and that it must prevent the use of Australian territory for activities harmful to the territorial integrity, security, and national interest of India.
Approximately 210,000 Sikhs were found in Australia in 2021, an increase from 130,000 in 2016; nearly half of this population resided in Victoria. Hindus increased from 440,300 in Australia in 2016 to 684,000 in 2021.
UN designates ISIL in south-east Asia as global terrorist organization
Why did the UN security council designated ISIL-SEA as a global terrorist organization?
Terror outfit Islamic state of Iraq and levant in south east asia had been designated as a global terrorist by UN. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant in South-East Asia was added to the list of designated entities by the Security Council’s 1267 Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee last week, subjecting it to an asset freeze, travel ban, and arms embargo.
What is another name for a terror outfit?
Islamic state east asia and Dawlatul islamiyah waliyatul mashriq was according to the UN website.
When was this terror outfit formed?
The outfit was formed in June 2016. Announcement by now deceased Isnilon Hapilon and associated with islamic state in iran.
About United Nations Security Council
The United Nations has six organs and the Security Council is one of them. It is the duty of the security council to ensure international peace and security. Resolutions of the security council are typically enforced by the UN peacekeepers.
AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS
Hon’ble President of India awarded RPF/RPSF personnel Jeevan Raksha Padak awards
About the Jeevan Raksha Padak
The following RPF/RPSF members have received Jeevan Raksha Padak awards from the Hon. President of India, as listed below:
- Shri Jaipal Singh, Head Constable/Northern Railway, .
- Shri Surendra Kumar, Constable/Northern Railway,
- Shri Bhuda Ram Saini, Constable/7th BN/RPSF, received
Why were the personnel awarded Jeevan Raksha Padak
On May 12, 2022, at about 16:10, BTPN waggon no. 40121185538 caught fire for technical reasons between Rly.
- Km 1532/13 and 1532/25 under the control of Nizamuddin Railway Station. Around 1000 (one thousand) people were employed at the site at that time.
- After observing the flames assume a terrifying shape, a sense of fear was generated. The personnel began frantically racing around to try to save their lives.
Three officers assigned to duty Jeevan Raksha Padak
Three officers were assigned to duty: Head Constable Jaipal Singh, Constable Surendra Kumar, and Constable Buddha Saini.
- They used a fire extinguisher to bravely act without regard for their personal safety to put out the awful fire that had started on a BTPN waggon that was carrying highly flammable cargo (naphtha).
- If the aforementioned fire had not been put out right away, it would have spread to a total of 18 BTPN waggons carrying naphtha, a highly flammable material, endangering thousands of lives and damaging railway property worth billions of rupees.
It Is an admirable feat that Mr. Jaipal Singh, Mr. Surendra Kumar, and Mr. Budhram Saini risked their lives to rescue about 1000 lives and billions of dollars’ worth of railroad property.
1. Centre to roll out 16th Finance Commission
The first Finance Commission was set up in 1951 and there have been fifteen so far. Each of them has faced its own unique set of challenges.
The Fifteenth Finance Commission was set up in November 2017 to make recommendations for the five year period from 2020-2021. The Constitution of India requires a Finance Commission to be set up in every five years. In July 2019 the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the extension of the fifteenth Finance Commission up to 30 November 2019.
The Government will soon start the process to set up the 16th Finance Commission towards the latter half of this year.
Challenges for the 16th Finance Commission
- A key new challenge for the Commission will be to constitute the existence of another permanent constitutional body, the GST council.
- The first step towards constituting the commission will be appointment of an officer on Special duty to drive the process. The officer typically becomes the member secretary of the commission once it is constituted.
2. The Union Environment Ministry has recently directed the UP to immediately stop the further draining of the Haiderpur wetland.
Ensure that dewatering the protected site for farming needs takes place only when migratory birds are not nesting
What is Haiderpur wetland?
Haiderpur is a human made wetland formed in 1984 by the construction of the Madhya Ganga Barrage on a floodplain of the Ganga river, according to the Ramsar Convention website.
Where is Haiderpur wetland located?
It is located within the boundaries of Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary.
What does Haiderpur provide?
- Haiderpur wetland provides a habitat for numerous animal and plant species, including more than 30 species of plants, over 300 species of birds, including 102 waterbirds, more than 40 fish species and more than 10 mammal species.
- Haiderpur also supports more than 15 globally threatened species, such as the critically endangered gharial, hog deer, black-bellied tern, Indian skimmer and gold mahseer.
- It supports at least 25,000 waterbirds, and serves as a breeding site for the near-threatened Indian grassbird.
What is the Ramsar Convention on wetlands?
- In all, India has 75 Ramsar sites.
- The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.
- Under the Convention, parties agree to work towards wise use of all their wetlands; designate suitable wetlands for the list of Wetlands of International Importance and ensure their effective management; cooperate internationally on transboundary wetlands, shared wetland systems and shared species.
Is Haiderpur wetland a Ramsar site?
- Haiderpur wetland is a Ramsar site, a wetland of international importance, on the border of Muzaffarnagar and Bijnor districts in Uttar Pradesh.
- Ramsar sites come under wetland rules, 2017, which calls for maintaining the ecological integrity of a wetland. Key to a wetland is water, but also wetland vegetation. While wetlands can be temporarily dry, depending on factors like rainfall, intentionally draining them of water is against the core value of the wetland rules.
Why did the UP Government drain the Haiderpur wetlands?
The draining out was done under pressure from farmers who complained of water logging in their fields due to high groundwater level, state officials had admitted.
What did the Union Environment Ministry direct the UP Government?
The Union Environment Ministry has recently directed Uttar Pradesh to immediately stop the further draining of the Haiderpur wetland and ensure that dewatering the protected Ramsar site for farming needs takes place only when migratory birds are not nesting at the location.
3. India’s Economic Survey Likely To Peg 2023-24 Growth At Slowest In 3 Years
Growth is anticipated to be 6.5% for 2023–2024 under the base case.
What’s the news regarding India’s Economy Survey
Mumbai: A source predicts that India’s annual pre-budget economic study will predict GDP growth of 6–6.8% for 2023–2024.
The government poll is likely to report that growth is expected to be 6.5% for 2023–2024 under the base case, the unnamed source said, declining to be identified because the information was private. In three years, This would be the slowest. According to the source, nominal growth will probably be predicted at 11% for 2023–2024.
When does the India’s Economic Survey: Fiscal year commences?
According to the source, growth in the fiscal year that starts on April 1 will continue to be strong compared to most other economies, driven by strong private consumption, an increase in bank lending, and increased corporate capital spending.
Who will provide India’s Economic Survey Report(2023-2024)
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will provide an economic report by Chief Economic Adviser V. Anantha Nageswaran to the parliament on Tuesday, one day before she delivers the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
- The government examines the economy’s performance over the previous year in the Economic Survey.
- Since the COVID-19 epidemic, India’s economy has recovered, but the crisis in Russia and Ukraine has increased inflationary pressures and forced central banks, including India’s, to change their ultra-loose monetary policy.
What will be issue of Inflation : in India’s Economic Survey Report
The study is likely to mention India’s above-target inflation, which the central bank estimates will be 6.8% in 2022–2023, but it is also likely to argue that the rate of price increases is neither too high nor too low to discourage private consumption or impair investment.
- According to the source, the survey will probably issue a warning that the tightening of monetary policy may result in continued pressure on the Indian rupee. T
- The report will probably warn that India’s current account deficit (CAD) may also continue to be large since imports may rise as a result of a robust local economy and exports may decline as a result of a sluggish global economy.
India’s Current Account Deficit(CAD)
India’s CAD grew from 2.2% a quarter earlier and 1.3% a year earlier to 4.4% of GDP in the July-September quarter as a result of rising commodity prices and a depreciating rupee that widened the trade gap.
- Despite slowing from a projected 7% growth in the fiscal year that ends on March 31, even 6.5% growth might remain India among the world’s fastest developing economies. It grew by 8.7% the year before, primarily as a result of distortions brought on by the pandemic
- The poll is anticipated to note an improvement in employment conditions in India as a result of higher spending, but it will also note that job creation requires a further uptick in private investment.
The document will contend that the government’s increased expenditure on infrastructure over the previous two years should be helpful.
Government measures to reduce inflation; resolving unemployment
During the outbreak of inflation, unemployment in India had skyrocketed.
The government’s economic research division will probably also highlight the improved financial standing of the Indian banking industry as a contributor to economic growth, utilizing monetary and fiscal policy to resolve the issue as provided in the predicted India’s Economic Survey(2023-2024)
4. Economic Survey: In Spite Of Global Headwinds, India’s External Sector shows Strength(2023)
India’s Exports Show Resistance in FY23 After Record Levels Of Export In FY22
What is the report of Economic Survey India ?
According to the Economic Survey, India’s exports exhibited resilience during FY23 (until December 2022), following record levels of exports in FY22.
- Among the top export items were petroleum products, gems and jewellery, organic and inorganic chemicals, and drugs and pharmaceuticals.
- However, in a slowing global economy characterised by slowing global trade, a slowdown in Indian exports is unavoidable.
- According to the Survey, various export promotion measures are being considered/implemented from a medium to long-term perspective, recognising the critical role that exports play in improving the external sector’s resilience.
These policies would foster the inherent comparative advantage that Indian exports represent.
About – Indian’s External Sector
Because of strong macro fundamentals and buffers, India has been able to face external sector headwinds from a position of strength. The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, stated in the Economic Survey 2022-23 presented in Parliament today that India’s external sector has been hit by shocks and uncertainties.
These manifested as elevated but now easing global commodity prices, increased international financial market volatility, capital flow reversal, capital depreciation, and a looming slowdown in global growth and trade.
What are the measures to increase India’s External Strength and Exports ?
According to the Economic Survey, the National Logistics Policy would reduce the cost of internal logistics, thereby encouraging Indian exports.
- It also claims that the most recent Free Trade Agreements, such as those with the UAE and Australia, would address external frictions by opening up opportunities for exports at reduced tariffs and non-tariff barriers. As a result, the entire ecosystem would evolve in an export-friendly direction over time.
- According to the Economic Survey, aside from higher crude oil prices, the revival of economic activity contributed to an increase in imports. Among the top import items were petroleum, crude & products; electronic goods; coal, coke & briquettes, etc.; machinery, electrical & non-electrical; and gold. While continued softening of the global commodity price outlook would help moderate imports in the future, non-gold, non-oil imports may not slow significantly.
All category of Exports/ External sector – Economic Survey
According to the Survey, India’s annual merchandise exports reached an all-time high of US$ 422 billion in FY’22. Merchandise exports totaled US$ 332 billion from April to December 2022, up from US$ 305 billion from April to December 2021.
- Exports of drugs and pharmaceuticals, electronic goods, and organic and inorganic chemicals increased significantly in FY22. In FY22, India maintained its dominance in global services trade.
- India’s services exports stood at US$ 254.5 billion in FY’22, representing a 23.5% increase over FY’21 and a 32.7% increase over the same period the previous year.
- The combined value of goods and services exported in April-December 2022 is expected to be US$ 568.6 billion, representing a 16% increase over April-December 2021.
Measures to Strengthen Indian Currency
According to the survey, efforts are being made to promote international trade settlement in Indian rupees. Once these initiatives gain traction, the economy’s reliance on foreign currency could be reduced, making it less vulnerable to external shocks.
- In July 2022, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a circular allowing an additional arrangement for invoicing, payment, and settlement of exports/imports in Indian Rupees (INR) to promote the growth of global trade with a focus on Indian exports and to support the growing interest in INR as an international currency in the global trading community.
- The framework entails invoicing exports and imports in INR, market-determined exchange rates between trading partner currencies, and settlement via special Rupee Vostro accounts opened with authorised dealer banks in India.
- According to the Survey, the framework is significant because it could significantly reduce net demand for foreign exchange while also assisting Indian exports in receiving advance payments in Indian rupees from overseas clients.
Why was India’s Balance of Payment under Pressure ?
The Economic Survey reports that the Balance of Payments (BoP) was under pressure during the fiscal year under review. While the impact of a sharp increase in oil prices was visible in the widening of the Current Account Deficit (CAD), despite the cushion provided by the surplus on Invisibles (services, transfers, and income), policy tightening by the US Federal Reserve and the strengthening of the US dollar resulted in FPI outflows.
As a result, the capital account surplus was lower than the CAD, resulting in a depletion of forex reserves on a BoP basis. The Economic Survey is optimistic that, with crude oil prices expected to fall, the resilience of net services exports, and buoyant inward remittances, CAD will fall during the remainder of FY23 and be within sustainable limits. Furthermore, when compared to the current account balance (CAB) positions of selected countries, India’s current account deficit (CAD) is modest and within manageable limits.
What measures was placed by India to prevent the global headwind ?
According to the Economic Survey, India’s external sector has fortified shock absorbers in place to cushion global headwinds, whether they are formidable forex reserves, sustainable external debt indicators, or market-determined exchange rates.
- While forex reserves stood at US$ 562.72 billion as of December 31, 2022, accounting for 9.3 months of imports, the ratio of external debt to GDP is at a comfortable 19.2 percent as of September 30, 2022.
- According to the Economic Survey’s outlook for the external sector, exports may remain flat in the coming year if global growth does not accelerate as many forecasts predict. In such cases, diversifying India’s product basket and destinations through FTAs would be beneficial to increasing trade opportunities.
It also claims that, because of the lower age of the working population and the benefits of economies of scale, India has the potential to meet global demand for a variety of products at a low cost. The recent drop in global crude oil prices bodes well for India’s imports of POL.
5. India ranks third in net gain in average annual forest area in last decade: economic survey 2022-23
India has been progressed in forest area
What is the economic survey 2022-23 in the forest area?
The economic survey 2022-23 again gained third rank globally in average annual forest area. The survey assigns the robust framework and policies of the national and state governments such as green India mission(GIM), compensatory afforestation fund management and planning authority(CAMPA).
Who are the two Indian states which contribute to carbon stock?
The two states are Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir. Arunachal Pradesh has the maximum carbon stock in forests. Jammu & Kashmir contributes the per hectare carbon stock of 173.41 tones.
What are the points of the economic survey 2022-2023 in climate and environment?
- India has achieved its NDC target (40%) of the installed electricity capacity from non fossil fuel sources.
- Shares also raised in non fossil fuel sources in installed electricity capacity.
- National green hydrogen mission to lead to production capacity at least 5 MMT of green hydrogen per annum by 2030
- A mass movement for ‘LIFE’- Life-style for environment.
- Sovereign green bond framework launched
- 75 Ramsar Sites in India and increase in mangrove cover by 364 sq. km
- India became a favored destination for renewable investments in 7 years at USD 78.1 billion.
What is the Finance for Sustainable Development?
finance is an important aspect for sustainable development. In this economic survey some points are discussed about finance.
The government will be able to obtain the necessary financing from potential investors through the issuance of sovereign green bonds, which will be used in public sector projects aimed at lowering the economy’s carbon intensity. In accordance with the Green Bond Principles of the International Capital Market Association (ICMA), a framework has been established in this regard.
In addition, a Green Finance working committee has been established to examine and verify important decisions regarding the issuance of sovereign green bonds. The indicative calendar for the issuance of 16,000 crore rupees worth of sovereign green bonds for the fiscal years 2022 and 2023 has been announced by the Reserve Bank of India.
Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR)
In keeping with the principles outlined in the “National Guidelines on Responsible Business Conduct,” SEBI has released new sustainability standards under the Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR). These requirements are more specific and include quantitative measures. According to the survey, from 2022 to 2023, BRSR became required for the top 1000 listed businesses (ranked by market capitalization).
Jai Jai Maharashtra Majha’ being recognised as Maharashtra state song(2023)
Adoption of Jai Jai Maharashtra Majha as state song of Maharashtra
news Regarding “Jai Jai Maharashtra Majha”?
Mumbai, January 31 (PTI) The Maharashtra government designated ‘Jai Jai Maharashtra Majha’ as the state song on Tuesday.The song will be adopted on February 19, the birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of the Maratha empire..
The Maharashtra cabinet, led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, made the decision.
What is the significance of Jai Jai Maharashtra Majha,
‘Jai Jai Maharashtra Majha, Garja Maharashtra Majha,’ which means ‘Glory to Maharashtra,’ was written by Raja Badhe and sung by balladeer Krishnarao Sable, popularly known as Shaheer Sable.
The official state song of Maharashtra will be ‘Jai Jai Maharashtra Majha’: Mungantiwar, SudhirIn Maharashtra, this song will be played at official and ceremonial functions.
What is decided by Maharashtra State Government – Regarding Jai Jai Maharashtra Majha
According to Sudhir Mungantiwar, the minister for cultural affairs, Maharashtra will soon have the Marathi song ‘Jai Jai Maharashtra Majha’ as its official state song.
- “We have decided to adopt this song as the state’s official song because it has warmth, emotion, and spirit,” Mungantiwar said.
- According to reports, the state government is working on reducing the song’s length to 1.5 minutes by removing two paragraphs. The original song lasts about 3.5 minutes.
In Maharashtra, this song will be played at official and ceremonial functions.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj- Founder of Maratha Empire
Shivaji Bhonsale I was an Indian ruler and a member of the Bhonsle Maratha clan. From the declining Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur, Shivaji carved out his own independent kingdom, laying the groundwork for the Maratha Empire. At Raigad Fort, he was formally crowned Chhatrapati of his realm in 1674.
- Throughout his life, Shivaji had alliances and conflicts with the Mughal Empire, the Sultanate of Golkonda, the Sultanate of Bijapur, and European colonial powers.
- Shivaji’s military forces widened the Maratha sphere of influence by capturing and constructing forts and establishing a Maratha navy. Shivaji established a competent and progressive civil rule, complete with well-organized administrative structures.
- He revived ancient Hindu political traditions, court conventions, and promoted the use of the Marathi and Sanskrit languages in court and administration, replacing Persian.
Shivaji’s legacy varied according to observer and time, but nearly two centuries after his death, with the emergence of the Indian independence movement, many Indian nationalists elevated him as a proto-nationalist and Hindu hero.
Why did Maharashtra select this song ?
States are expected to adopt a state song as part of the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebrations for the 75th anniversary of India’s independence, according to Mungantiwar.
“Some states have written their own songs, while others have used existing ones. “After careful consideration, we have decided to select ‘Jai Jai Maharashtra Majha,’” he added. Maharashtra had shortlisted three songs.
The government had planned to officially launch the song at the Maharashtra Bhushan awards ceremony but the song will be ultimately adopted adopted on February 19, the birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of the Maratha empire..
6. IndiaMART and four other Indian markets: US notorious markets list released by US Trade representative (USTR)
Notorious market list today identified 39 online and 33 physical markets reported to engage in substantial trademark counterfeiting or copyright policy.
About Indian Markets
IndiaMART is the most popular e-commerce website and other four markets are Heera Panna market in Mumbai reportedly offering counterfeit watches, footwear, electronics, accessories and cosmetics.
Local name known as fancy market, Kidderpore in Kolkata contains shops that sell various counterfeit and pirated goods, cosmetics, optical media and software.
Sadar Patrappa road market in bengaluru is the hotspot of counterfeiting electronic products, attracting a large number of tourists.
Tank road in New Delhi market also sells counterfeit products, apparel, footwear, watches, handbags and electronics.
Special Wholesale market in Delhi is named as Gaffar market and Ajmal khan market also sells counterfeiting products.
What USTR Katherine Tai said about the notorious market?
“The widespread trade in counterfeit and pirated goods harms the economic security of American workers and undermines our work to craft equitable and inclusive trade policy”- she said.
“The notorious markets list is an important tool that urges the private sector and our trading partners to take action against these harmful practices,”- she added.
What is the USTR report saying about Indiamart?
Indiamart is a high capacity ecommerce commercial website and mobile app. It is the largest online business marketplace in india.
Indiamart is cooperative and responsive for the complaint response times. For counterfeit goods like pharmaceuticals, electronics are a serious concern for the right holders.
Who is the USTR?
United States trade representative is the agency of specialized experience in trade issues and regional of the world.
7. Vishakhapatnam to be new Andhra Pradesh Capital , says CM Jagan Reddy
Visakhapatnam will be Andhra Pradesh’s new capital, chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said Tuesday afternoon, indicating plans to develop Amaravati – on the banks of the Krishna river – as the capital city has been scrapped.
YSR Congress chief urged investors at the International Diplomatic Alliance meeting in Delhi: “… I invite you to Visakhapatnam, which is going to be our capital in the days to come. I myself will also be shifting to Visakhapatnam in the months to come.”
Interesting Tale of “Capital”: Turns & Twists
The announcement of a new capital for Andhra comes nine years after the state of Telangana was formed in 2014 and given Hyderabad as its capital.
The identity of a new capital for Andhra Pradesh has been the source of social, legal, economic, and political friction over the past several years.
In 2015, then-chief minister Chandrababu Naidu said Amaravati would be the capital and for this, over 33,000 acres of land had been acquired from farmers around Amaravati.
Idea of 3 capitals
Five years later, a proposal to have three capital cities was floated. Under that scheme Visakhapatnam and Kurnool would join Amaravati; the latter would be the legislative center of power, Kurnool the judicial capital, and Visakhapatnam would become the executive capital of Andhra Pradesh.
In March 2022 the Andhra Pradesh High Court ruled against the plan to have three capitals and told the government to develop Amaravati. The court said the legislature lacked the competence to make such decisions.
In November the state repealed the law which intended to establish three capital cities and promised a ‘comprehensive, complete and better’ proposal. However, in a twist, the Supreme Court then stayed that judgment, noting ‘courts are not governments’ and that the High Court had overstepped its limits.
Importance of Vishakhapatnam
Visakhapatnam is an important port city on the eastern coast of India. Vishakhapatnam Port is one of 13 major ports in India and the only major port of Andhra Pradesh. It is India’s third largest state-owned port by volume of cargo handled and the largest on the Eastern Coast. It is located midway between the Chennai and Kolkata Ports on the Bay of Bengal. It is also a major industrial city along with a rich cultural and spiritual heritage. The Hindu god of courage Visakha inspired the name Visakhapatnam. It is bordered on the east by the Eastern Ghats and faces the Bay of Bengal. Because of its scenic views and beautiful beaches, it is also known as the City of Destiny.
1. Ukraine war one issue that makes obvious UNSC must be reformed, says UNGA chief(2023)
Reforming Veto Decision of permanent members of Security Council
The core issue regarding UNSC
On Monday in New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with UNGA President Csaba Korosi. (PTI)
- The UN Security Council (UNSC) has become “paralysed” and “dysfunctional” in its “current form,” according to UN General Assembly President Csaba Krösi.
- Underscoring the necessity for reforms at the UN. Since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, the UNSC has been unable to make any decisions.
- All five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council have the ability to veto any resolution. China, Russia, the United States of America, France, and Britain have the authority to veto a “substantive” resolution. “P5 countries were given the right to veto in order to maintain global security.
- Krosi explains that one recent modification to the voting procedure is that P5 countries now have to justify their vetoes at the General Assembly.
Krösi met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier in the day, who also emphasised the necessity of UNSC reform.
Why are Reforms at UNSC demanded ?
“Reforms at the UN have been demanded by more than 70 members. According to many member states, we send 15 nations to the Security Council—10 elected members and 5 permanent members—to adequately represent all of humanity. This will involve both privilege and duty, he continued.
- Speaking of the UNGA’s actions to ease the humanitarian situation brought on by the conflict, Korosi stated, “We are primarily focusing on humanitarian relief and addressing difficulties with food security.
- Together, Ukraine and Russia supply 30 to 45% of all grain exports worldwide. The way the war spread caused a shortage of grain and a spike in prices that affected the most vulnerable nations that were furthest from the battle zone.
So, in order to resolve these issues, we used a lot of political capital, he stated.
Why is UNSC in the news ?
The conflict between Ukraine and Russia has demonstrated the UN Security Council’s inability to prevent wars owing to abuse of the veto power provided to permanent members or the P5 countries, said Assembly President Csaba Krösi on Monday at a press conference at the UN House.
- Korosi, who is on a three-day visit to India, stated that the Security Council reforms were a high priority for the UN and that numerous new procedures were being implemented to ensure that abuse of powers like the veto could be reduced.
- “I talked to Mr. Jaishankar on the conflict in Ukraine. It is one of the topics that comes up when we discuss Security Council reforms. The need for reforming the security council is pretty clear. In 1995, the security council was established in order to prevent any catastrophic war.
- We are currently witnessing an attack against a neighbour by one permanent member of the Security Council, who has also annexed a portion of the neighbor’s territory. Due of its veto power, the security council is powerless to take action, according to Korosi.
What is UNSC ?
One of the six main UN bodies, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is in charge of maintaining global peace and security, suggesting new UN members be admitted to the General Assembly, and approving any amendments to the UN Charter.
- It has the authority to impose international sanctions, launch military operations, and form peacekeeping missions. The only UN body with the power to impose legally binding resolutions on member nations is the UNSC.
- Five of the fifteen members of the Security Council—China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States—are permanent members.
- Any substantive Security Council resolution, including those concerning the admission of new member states to the UN or candidates for the position of Secretary-General, is subject to the veto (block) of permanent members.
This veto power is not applicable to General Assembly or emergency extraordinary sessions of the General Assembly subjects or votes[citation needed
How has India significantly contributed towards reforming UNSC
“India has made significant progress toward security council changes. Both at the Security Council and the General Assembly, India was extremely involved in all matters relating to the Ukraine, he claimed.
- My discussions with the prime minister, Jaishankar, and Hardeep Puri were really fruitful. The amount of comprehension, support, and strategic resonance far above my expectations, he continued.
- Speaking more specifically about the steps being taken to improve the way the UNSC operates, Korosi explains that one recent modification to the voting procedure is that P5 countries now have to justify their vetoes at the General Assembly. Korosi continued, “This will result in countries vetoing a resolution tread much more gingerly.”
To support one another, the veto was established in the charter 75 years ago. However, it is now utilised to block problems.
2. Election Commission of Pakistan declared Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain as President.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday ruled in favour of Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and declared him the president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q).
What verdict did the ECP announce?
The ECP announced its verdict on a petition filed by the former premier last year in July amid ongoing tussle with his cousin Pervaiz Elahi over party leadership.A five-member bench of the ECP, headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, announced the verdict.
What did the Commission declare?
The commission declared the dismissal of Chaudhry Shujaat, being contradictory to the party’s constitution. The election body also declared PMLQ’s issued election schedule null and void.
Earlier on January 26, the general council meeting of PML-Q’s splinter group decided to remove Shujaat as party president.Following the removal, the party council appointed Wajahat Hussain as the new president. However, ECP’s decision in favor of Chaudhry Shujaat has given a major blow to Wajahat Hussain and Elahi.
3. Hill tribes in Bangladesh Chittagong Hill Tracts Seek India’s assistance to prevent their extermination(2023)
Zo Reunification Organization (ZORO) urges India’s PM for assistance in Chittagong Hill Tracts.
What’s the news regarding “indigenous group” in Chittagong Hill Tracts(CHT)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is urged by the Zo Reunification Organization to persuade his Bangladeshi counterpart to establish a truce with an armed indigenous group in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.
Since November 2022, more than 300 members of the Chin-Kuki-Mizo tribe have sought refuge in the Lawngtlai district of Mizoram. This is thought to be the result of an alleged offensive by the Bangladeshi army working with the Arakan Army, a Rohingya Muslim extremist group.
About organization in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).
An organisation that speaks for the Chin-Kuki-Mizo people in India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for assistance in putting an end to the “strategy of elimination” of ethnic minorities residing in Bangladesh’s Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).
- The CHT is a 13,000 sq. km. hilly and forested region that includes the south-eastern Bangladesh districts of Khagrachari, Rangamati, and Bandarban as well as the Chin and Rohingya-populated Rakhine States of Myanmar and the Mizoram and Tripura States of India.
- The Zo Reunification Organization (ZORO) complained in a memo to the prime minister that the Bangladesh army’s policy of eradicating the indigenous Kuki-Chin tribes, including the Bawm, Pangkhua, Lushai, Khumi, Mru or Miria, and Khiang, who have lived in the CHT for centuries, violates their constitutional and human rights with impunity.
History of Chittagong Hill Tracts
Self-governing chiefdoms and chieftaincies existed in the pre-British CHT. According to ZORO president R. Sangkawia, the population was divided into two groups: the Khyoungtha, who dwell along riverbanks, and the Toungtha, who live in the dense woods of the hills.
- The tribes continued to exist beyond the purview of Hindu monarchs and Muslim nawabs, but the organisation said that the Chittagong Hill Tracts annexation by the British in 1860 left them open to outside forces.
- To safeguard the identity, traditions, culture, customs, and ancestral lands of the tribes, the British granted special constitutional status to the Chittagong Hill Tracts.. But by 1903, the prohibitive rules had been removed, allowing plainspeople to move into highland areas.
- “Contrary to the native population’s aspirations, the CHT was incorporated with Pakistan in 1947… The ZORO claimed that all of the indigenous groups started to experience prejudice in every facet of life.
Invasion of tribal lands-: Chittagong Hill Tracts(CHT)
The government of Bangladesh encroached upon the ancestral territory of the indigenous tribes, particularly the Kuki-Chin people, in the name of developing tourism, the organisation claimed, while the tribal population of the CHT significantly decreased.
- Due to the significant inflow of non-tribal residents into the hills, the Kuki-Chin tribes of the CHT have been calling for the creation of a separate State.
- The Kuki-Chin National Army (KNA), an armed organisation fighting for the rights of indigenous populations, was the target of the Bangladeshi government’s most recent “proxy war,” which was carried out by the Bangladesh army through the Arakan Army, according to the ZORO.
Seeking for India’s assistance- CHT
The ZORO requested that Mr. Modi advise his Bangladeshi counterpart, Sheikh Hasina, to declare a ceasefire with the KNA and stop violating the rights of the Kuki-Chin people in the CHT because Dhaka’s action “is clearly in violation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”
Additionally, the group urged Mr. Modi to instruct the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Border Security Force not to expel the Kuki-Chin people who are escaping Bangladesh and seeking safety among their “blood-related tribes” in Mizoram.
4. Inaugural iCET dialogue will accelerate US’ strategic technology partnership with India: US NSA Sullivan
ICET is undoubtedly the next big thing owing to the political, strategic, commercial, and scientific convergence it symbolizes between the two countries.
What is the iCET?
The Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) will advance America’s technological collaboration, strategic convergence, and policy alignment with India, according to US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, ahead of the two nations’ first high-level meeting.
“iCET is about far more than technical collaboration; it’s a platform to advance our strategic convergence and policy alignment,” Sullivan said at a high-level round table meeting on Monday.
The first high-level engagement on the iCET between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his American counterpart Jake Sullivan has the potential to be a “strategic enabler” and propel India-US relations to new heights. However, particular priorities must be identified, facilitated, tracked, and delivered on.
How the iCET came into being?
The iCET was announced at US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s bilateral talks in Tokyo last May. It is led by both countries’ National Security Councils.
Objective of the programme
It focuses on deepening the US-India relationship in technologies that will accelerate global growth, boost both countries’ economic competitiveness, and safeguard shared national security objectives.
The goal is to make cutting-edge technologies affordable to the rest of the world. The ultimate objective is to collaborate to better our respective skills to compete with China in developing the technologies that will power the world in the twenty-first century.
Steps being taken
Doval and Sullivan are slated to meet with their respective high-powered delegations at the White House on Tuesday for the inaugural iCET conversation.
Under the iCET, the two nations have selected six areas of collaboration, including co-development and co-production, which will be eventually expanded to Quad, NATO, Europe, and the rest of the globe.
Scientific research and development, quantum and artificial intelligence, defense innovation, space, and advanced telecom (including 6G and semiconductors) are the six sectors designated for collaboration as part of iCET.
Noted scholars share their perspective
Richard M Rossow, Wadhwani Chair in US India Policy Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank told PTI that some potential initiatives, such as combined limits on relevant imports and exports, might be implemented shortly. Other phases, such as collaborative academic work and research and development, might take years to establish. He hopes the programme includes both.
According to Tanvi Madan, Director of The India Project, at the Brookings Institute think-tank, while the United States has typically offered technology to people it trusts, India has frequently relied on partners ready to engage in advanced technology collaboration. Thus, even if some of the objectives are executed, it might go a long way toward increasing trust in the India-US relationship and broadening support for the US partnership in India.
What is the need for iCET?
It will enhance the United States’ strategic technological engagement with India while also advancing the two countries’ democratic principles. It is critical to relax export controls in order to encourage technology access, co-production, and co-development between India and the United States.
According to the Biden administration, India is a key strategic partner for the United States in a variety of areas, including trade cooperation. It, of course, encompasses security collaboration as well as technology cooperation.
Joe Biden is an American politician who is the 46th and current president of the United States. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as the 47th vice president from 2009 to 2017 under President Barack Obama.
President is both the head of state and head of government of the United States of America.
While often categorized as a democracy, the United States is more accurately defined as a constitutional federal republic. What does this mean? “Constitutional” refers to the fact that government in the United States is based on a Constitution which is the supreme law of the United States. “Federal” means that there is both a national government and governments of the 50 states. A “republic” is a form of government in which the people hold power, but elect representatives to exercise that power.
NSA and its role in India and USA
The National Security Agency (NSA) is a national intelligence organization. The NSA is in charge of worldwide surveillance, data gathering, and processing for foreign and domestic intelligence and counterintelligence purposes, specializing in a field known as signals intelligence (SIGINT). The NSA is also in charge of protecting communication networks and information systems.
NSA delivers foreign signals intelligence (SIGINT) to US policymakers and armed forces. SIGINT is crucial to national security because it provides critical intelligence to America’s leaders, allowing them to defend our country, save lives, and promote US interests and relationships across the world.
The National Security Advisor is the senior official on the National Security Council of India, and the chief advisor to the Prime Minister of India on national security policy and international affairs. The current NSA is Ajit Doval, who holds the same position as a Union Cabinet Minister.
1. Amendments in Benami law | Supreme Court to consider hearing in open court a review petition filed by Centre against 2022 judgment
Chief Justice of India D. Y. Chandrachud on January 31 agreed to consider hearing in open court a review filed by the government over the Supreme Court’s 2016 judgment declaring unconstitutional certain sections of the 2016 amending act.
Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta mentioned the matter before a bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha.
What is the 1988 Benami Property Act?
Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 or 1988 Benami Property Act is an act of the Indian parliament that disallows certain financial transactions. This act labels a ‘benami’ transaction as any transaction in which property is transferred to one person for the amount paid by another person.
In legal terms, it means any transaction in which property is transferred to one person for a consideration paid or provided is called a ‘benami transaction’. The aim of the act is to redirect the unaccounted money into the financial system.
What mechanisms does the Act provide for?
- The act provides for the establishment of an Adjudicating Authority by the Central Government. It shall consist of a Chairperson and at least two other members. A person who has been a member of Revenue Service or Income Tax only can become chairperson or member of adjudicating authority.
- The case shall be decided in a year’s time, once it is referred by the initiator to the adjudicating authority. Appeals against the adjudicating authority’s decision can be taken to the Appellate Tribunal at New Delhi.
- Once an order is finalized, the Benami properties will be confiscated. The designated officers appointed from among the income-tax officers will manage and dispose-off these properties.
- Benamidar or any person who abets other persons to enter into such transactions will face rigorous imprisonment ranging from one to seven years in jail. The person may also be liable to pay a fine of up to 25% of the fair market value of such Benami property.
What is Benami Transaction Amendment Act 2016?
In 2016, the government of India amended the Benami Transaction Amendment Act. The motive of this amendment was to curb black money in India. This amendment came into effect in November 2016. This new law amended the Benami Transactions Act, 1988 and renamed it as Prohibition of Benami Property Act (PBPT), 2016. The 2016 law amended the original Benami Act of 1988, expanding it to 72 Sections from a mere nine.
Why was the amended act challenged?
Section 3(2) had provided for punishment of three years’ imprisonment for those who had entered into benami transactions between September 5, 1988 to October 25, 2016. That is, a person could have been sent behind bars for a benami transaction entered into 28 years before the section even came into existence.
This retrospective operation of the statute was held to be violative of Article 20(1) of the Indian Constitution.
What does Article 20 of the Constitution say?
Article 20: Protection in Respect of Conviction for Offences
- Article 20 grants protection against arbitrary and excessive punishment to an accused person, whether citizen or foreigner or legal person like a company or a corporation.
- It contains three provisions in that direction:
- No ex-post-facto law: No person shall be (i) convicted of any offense except for violation of a law in force at the time of the commission of the act, nor (ii) subjected to a penalty greater than that prescribed by the law in force at the time of the commission of the act.
- No double jeopardy: No person shall be prosecuted and punished for the same offense more than once.
- No self-incrimination: No person accused of any offense shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.
What was the judgment of the court?
- A three-judge Bench, declared as unconstitutional Sections 3(2) and 5 introduced through the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016. The bench held that the provision violated Article 20(1) of the Constitution.
- It further said that the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 can be applied only prospectively and not retrospectively. It was held to be arbitrary and unjust.
- The court also held that the provisions challenged cannot be justified merely as ‘procedural laws’ and found it be ‘substantial in nature’. In rem forfeiture provision under Section 5 of the 2016 Act, being punitive in nature, can only be applied prospectively and not retroactively. As a consequence of the above declaration, all such prosecutions or confiscation proceedings shall stand quashed.
Why has the government filed a review petition?
- SG Tushar Mehta submitted that the judgment struck down certain provisions which were not challenged. The Solicitor General further said that the issue of retrospective application should not have been looked into as the Act is not a penal legislation.
- “We seek an open court hearing of the review. Due to this judgment a lot of orders are being passed across India even though some of the provisions of the Benami Act were not even under challenge“.
- Citing the 2016 decision, the Delhi High Court had quashed proceedings against the Aam Aadmi Party leader Satyendra Jain under the 1988 Benami act as the said properties were acquired prior to the enforcement of the Amendment Act of 2016.
2. Despite the repeal of Section 497 IPC, Armed Forces Personnel May Face Disciplinary Action For Adultery: Supreme Court
Even after repealing Section 497 IPC , Armed Forces Personnel Face Disciplinary Action(Adultery)
A Supreme Court Constitution Bench clarified on Tuesday that its 2018 decision striking down Section 497 IPC (which criminalized adultery) will not affect court martial proceedings initiated against personnel serving in the armed forces for adulterous conduct.
What was noted in 2018 judgment regarding Section 497 IPC, Adultery ?
The bench noted in the order that the 2018 judgement in Joseph Shine vs Union of India was unrelated to the provisions of the Armed Forces Acts. The bench also noted that, according to Article 33 of the Constitution, laws governing the armed forces can provide exemptions from the application of fundamental rights.
The order was issued by a five-judge bench comprised of Justices KM Joseph, Ajay Rastogi, Aniruddha Bose, Hrishikesh Roy, and CT Ravikumar in response to an application filed by the Union Government. As the Joseph Shine judgement was delivered by a 5-judge bench, a 3-judge bench referred the application to a Constitution Bench in 2019.
What was the following order issued by the Supreme Court regarding Section 497 IPC today ?
The Court issued the following order today:
- This court’s decision was solely concerned with the validity of Sections 497 IPC and 198(2) CrPCThis Court had no occasion in this case to consider the impact of the provisions of the Armed Forces Acts. As we can see, this court does not condone adultery.
- This Court determined that adultery is a modern problem. This Court also ruled that will continue to be a ground for divorce
- Given that the scheme of the acts in the context of Article 33 was not considered by this court, we must observe and clarify that the court’s decision was unrelated to the effect and provisions of the Armed Forces acts.
- This court was not asked and has not ventured to rule on the effect of Sections 45 and 63 of the Army Act, as well as the corresponding provisions of the other Acts (Navy Act, Air Force Act) “.
What was Section 497 IPC before being struck down ?
Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe is the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, is guilty of adultery and shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both. In such a case, the wife is not liable as an abettor.
What is the current issue regarding Section 497 IPC ; Adultery ?
The application was filed in light of the Armed Forces Tribunal quashing certain disciplinary proceedings initiated against personnel for inappropriate sexual conduct, according to Additional Solicitor General Madhavi Divan, who appeared for the Centre.
- The ASG noted that the Joseph Shine decision was based on the patriarchal connotations of Section 497 IPC; however, actions taken in the Army are gender neutral, and female officers are subject to disciplinary action as well.
- Divan stated that action against adultery is required to ensure that officers serving in remote areas far from their families do not feel insecure or depressed.
Conclusion regarding Section 497 in an Army Officer
Advocate Kaleeswaram Raj, who represented the petitioner in the Joseph Shine case, argued that the Union’s clarification application is unsustainable and that there is no observation in the Joseph Shine case pertaining to Army Officers. He argued that a general clarifying direction could not be issued and that individual cases must be examined on a case-by-case basis.
1. Deepti Sharma Climbs To Second Spot, Closes In On Sophie Ecclestone As Top T20I Bowler
Deepti has scalped 8 wickets in 4 matches in the ongoing Women’s T20I Tri-series in South Africa
India all-rounder Deepti Sharma has climbed to second spot and has the top position, currently occupied by England’s Sophie Ecclestone , in her sights in the latest ICC T20I bowling rankings announced on Tuesday.The 25-year-old off-spinner, who is leading the wicket-taker’s list in the ongoing Women’s T20I Tri-series in South Africa with nine scalps, has reduced the England left-arm spinner’s lead to just 26 rating points.
How much has Deepti moved up?
Deepti (737 points) moved up one spot, while South African left-arm spinner Nonkululeko Mlaba, who has picked four wickets in the Tri-series, also climbed a spot to occupy the third place with 732 points.
What will happen if this duo continues?
- If the duo continue their form, they could take Sophie’s top spot ahead of the Women’s T20 World Cup, scheduled in South Africa from February 10.
- India and South Africa will square off in the T20I Tri-series final in East London on Thursday.
1. Trishakti Prahar – Military Exercise Organised by Indian Defence Forces
The Indian Armed Forces and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) conducted a joint training exercise called “Exercise Trishakti Prahar ” in North Bengal from 21 to 31 January 2023.
What is the purpose of this Joint Excercise?
The exercise, which included all of the Army’s services, the Indian Air Force, and CAPFs, was designed to test the Security Forces’ ability to fight using the most modern tools and weapons in a networked, integrated environment. Its aim was to practice battle preparedness of Security Forces using weapons & equipment in an integrated environment, involving all arms of the Army, Indian Air Force & CAPFs
What was done in this Joint Exercise?
Swift mobilisation and deployment drills were practised throughout North Bengal as part of the exercise. All organisations, including the Civil Administration, Civil Defense Organizations, Police, and CAPFs, coordinated their efforts to ensure effective movement and rapid mobilisation.
In a networked environment, the exercise demonstrated the joint application of ground and aerial assets, including the most modern fighter aircraft, helicopters, tanks, infantry combat vehicles, medium and field artillery guns, infantry mortars, and other New Generation Infantry weapons and equipment.
As part of the “Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan,” newly introduced weapons and equipment made in India participated in the exercise as well.
Army Commander for Eastern Command Lt Gen RP Kalita reviewed the firepower exercise. The exercise was also observed by senior BSF, ITBP, SSB, and civil administration officials. A display of the main weapons and equipment was also planned for after the firepower exercise.
The execution of “Exercise TRISHAKTI PRAHAR” allowed different agencies to practise moving quickly and deploying their forces throughout North Bengal.
The “Integrated Fire Power Exercise” demonstrated the ability of the Indian Armed Forces to apply resources from the Indian Air Force, Airborne Special Forces, and Security Forces in a coordinated manner in a networked environment.
The exercise concluded Tuesday with an Integrated Fire Power Exercise at the Teesta Field Firing Ranges, which was aimed at synergising the firepower assets of the Indian Armed Forces and CAPFs to orchestrate an integrated battle.
What is the role of Central Armed Police Forces(CAPF)?
Their role is to safeguard the security of assigned borders of India and promote a sense of security among the people living in border areas. They prevent trans-border crimes, smuggling and any other illegal activities. They also check unauthorised entry into or exit from the territory of India. The following security forces come under the umbrella of Central Armed Police Forces.
- Assam Rifles (AR)
- Border Security Force (BSF)
- Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)
- Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)
- Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)
- National Security Guard (NSG)
- Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)
1. South Africa hosts first BRICS meeting in Bela Bela(2023); landmark event
Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development, and Inclusive Multilateralism
Introduction Regarding BRICS ? Why in the news
January 31, 2023; South Africa hosts the first BRICS meeting in Bela Bela, South Africa.South Africa, as BRICS Chair for 2023, will host the first meeting of its tenure – the BRICS Sherpas and Sous-Sherpas – in Bela Bela, Limpopo Province, from January 1 to February 2, 2023.
Professor Anil Sooklal, Ambassador-at-Large for Asia and the Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, as well as South Africa’s , Sherpa will host counterparts from Brazil, Russia, India, and China.
What does BRICS stand for ?
BRICS is an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, which together account for approximately 41% of the world’s population, 26% of the planet’s landmass across four continents, 25% of global GDP, and 20% of global trade.
Describe fast-growing economies that would collectively dominate the global economy by 2050; South Africa was added in 2010.
- The Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa have a combined area of 39,746,220 km2 (15,346,100 sq mi) and a total population of approximately 3.21 billion or approximately 26.7% of the world’s land surface and 41.5% of the global population.
- Brazil, Russia, India, and China are among the world’s ten largest countries in terms of population, area, and GDP, with the latter three widely regarded as current or emerging superpowers. With a combined nominal GDP of $26.6 trillion, all five states are G20 members.
What is BRICS Theme
South Africa is Chairing Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa under the theme: “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development, and Inclusive Multilateralism”.
The theme emphasises the Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa partnership’s continued value as a partnership of leading emerging markets and developing countries providing leadership and momentum toward global growth, sustainable development, and the inclusion of the global South in the global system.
What does the Theme signify
The theme informs South Africa’s priorities for 2023, which include developing a partnership for an equitable Just Transition, transforming education and skills development for the future, unlocking opportunities through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, strengthening post-pandemic socioeconomic recovery and achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and strengthening multilateralism, including working toward real reform of global governance.
BRICS Business Alliance, and the BRICS Think Tanks Council to introduce South Africa’s priorities and expectations as BRICS Chair for 2023 to our BRICS partners.
2. Portuguese economy-: Witnesses Highest ever growth in 35 years(2023)
Economy of Portugal grew at 6.7% a landmark feat, overtaking 2022 growth index
Why is the Portuguese Economy in the news ?
Portugal’s economy grew at its fastest rate in 35 years in 2022, boosted by domestic demand and booming tourism, but inflation hampered demand in the final quarter, foreshadowing a steep slowdown this year.
The National Statistics Institute reported on Tuesday that GDP increased by 0.2% in the fourth quarter compared to the previous three-month period, when it increased by 0.4%, with net exports contributing a “slightly negative” contribution
What is the role that GDP plays in Portuguese Economy
According to Xinhua news agency, Portugal’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth exceeded the 6.5% prediction made in the State Budget for 2023 (OE2023) in October of last year.
- The Portuguese economy grew by 1.2 percentage points more than GDP in 2021, solidifying a strong comeback following a historically large decline of 8.3 percent in 2020 as a result of the Covid epidemic.
- Due to an increase in private consumption and a decrease in investment, domestic demand notably contributed to the annual variation in GDP, but to a lesser extent than that seen the year before.
The removal of COVID-19 restrictions, boosted private consumption, tourism, and exports all contributed to Portugal’s GDP growing by 5.5% in 2021.
What senior economists implied regarding the Portuguese economy ?
We can already see that family income is being affected by inflation and the rise in interest rates on mortgage loans and exports of goods are already slowing down,” said Paulo Rosa, senior economist at Banco Carregosa, who expects tourism to be “the only component supports to the Portugal’s growth” this year. He said: “2023 will be a year of strong deceleration and a recession cannot be ruled out if the United States and Germany go into recession.”
What government helped Portuguese Economy to achieve desired target
According to government projections, growth would drop to only 1.3% in 2023, with private consumption, which represents two-thirds of GDP, almost stagnant as households struggle with high energy and food prices, rising interest rates, and slow exports.
Science and Technology
1. Newly-discovered ancient ‘marine crocodile’ fossil could be the oldest of its kind ever found
A new study has uncovered a new Thalattosuchian — an ancient ‘sister’ of modern-day crocodiles’ ancestors. It was discovered in the Jurassic Coast, in Dorset, UK, with part of the head, backbone, and limbs.
Turnersuchus is the only complete enough Thalattosuchian of its age — dating back to the Early Jurassic, Pliensbachian period, around 185 million years ago — to be named to date. It is currently on display at the Lyme Regis Museum in Lyme Regis, Dorset, England.
Published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, experts state the discovery of this new predator helps fill a gap in the fossil record and suggests that Thalattosuchians, with other crocodyliforms, should have originated around the end of the Triassic period — around 15 million years further back in time.
But, no expedition has found Thalattosuchians in Triassic rockets yet, which according to paleontologists means that there is a ghost lineage. This means there is a group that scientists know existed, but they do not yet have fossil evidence. Until the discovery of the latest fossil, this ghost lineage extended from the end of the Triassic period till the Toarcian period. But now, it has been reduced by a few million years.
What is the Thalattosuchian and its features?
Thalattosuchians are referred to colloquially as ‘marine crocodiles‘ or ‘sea crocodiles‘, despite the fact they are not members of Crocodylia, but are more distantly related. Some thalattosuchians became very well adapted to life in the oceans, with short limbs modified into flippers, a shark-like tail fin, salt glands, and potentially the ability to give live birth (rather than lay eggs).
Much of these recognized thalattosuchian features had yet to be fully evolved. It lived in the Jurassic Ocean and preyed on marine wildlife. And, due to its relatively long, slender snout, it would have looked similar in appearance to the currently living gharial crocodiles, which are found in all the major river systems of the northern Indian subcontinent. Unlike crocodiles, this approximately 2-meter-long predator lived purely in coastal marine habitats.
Thalattosuchians had particularly large supratemporal fenestrae — a region of the skull housing jaw muscles. Due to this they might possess enlarged jaw muscles that likely enabled fast bites; most of their likely prey were fast-moving fish or cephalopods. It’s also possible that the supratemporal region of Turnersuchus had a thermoregulatory function — to help buffer brain temperature.
How did it get this name?
Its name ‘Turner’suchus ‘hingley’ae originates from those who discovered and donated the specimen to the Lyme Regis Museum: Paul Turner and Lizzie Hingley who discovered the fossil in 2017. The ending “suchus,” is the Latinized form of “soukhos,” Greek for crocodile.
2. iCET a Revolutionary ‘Innovation Bridge’ connecting US, Indian defence startups(2023)
initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET)
The two sides talked about opportunities for greater collaboration in critical and emerging technologies, co-development and co-production, and ways to deepen connectivity across our innovation ecosystems.
What is the initiative on iCET ? Why is it in the news
According to a White House statement, the US and India concluded their US-India initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) meeting and decided to launch a new “Innovation Bridge” that will connect both countries’ defence startups.
- The meeting was inaugurated by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his US counterpart Jake Sullivan, and was attended from the US side by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Director of the National Science Foundation, the Executive Secretary of the National Space Council, and senior officials from the Departments of State, Commerce, and Defense.
- The Indian Ambassador to the United States, the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, the Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization, the Secretary of the Department of Telecommunications, the Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister, the Director General of the Defence Research and Development Organization, and senior officials from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and the National Security Council were present.
US-India : initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology
According to the statement, iCET was announced in May 2022 by US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to elevate and expand our strategic technology partnership and defence industrial cooperation between our two governments, businesses, and academic institutions.
- “The United States and India affirm that the design, development, governance, and use of technology should be guided by our shared democratic values and respect for universal human rights.
- We are committed to fostering an open, accessible, and secure technology ecosystem founded on mutual trust and confidence, which will strengthen our democratic values and institutions “It said.
- The two sides discussed opportunities for greater cooperation in critical and emerging technologies, co-development and coproduction, and ways to deepen connectivity across our innovation ecosystems, according to the statement.
- They emphasised the importance of establishing “innovation bridges” in key industries, such as through expos, hackathons, and pitch sessions. They also identified biotechnology, advanced materials, and rare earth processing technology as potential areas for future collaboration.
What is decided by India and USA through mechanism of initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology(iCET)
“Through a standing mechanism under iCET, the United States and India reaffirmed their commitment to working together to resolve issues related to regulatory barriers and business and talent mobility in both countries.
- This came after the US-India Business Council hosted a roundtable on January 30 with US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
- Other senior US and Indian officials, and brought together more than 40 CEOs, university presidents, and thought leaders from both countries to accelerate opportunities for increased technology cooperation
What is the statement of collaboration between the two countries
“To broaden and deepen our technological partnership, the United States and India are launching new bilateral initiatives and welcoming new collaboration between our governments, industry, and academia in the following domains,” the statement continued.
They signed a new Implementation Arrangement for a Research Agency Partnership between the National Science Foundation and Indian science agencies to increase international collaboration in a variety of areas, including artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and advanced wireless, in order to build a strong innovation ecosystem between our countries.
When will the next iCET meeting be held? Also what shall be discussed
The next iCET meeting will be held in late 2023 in New Delhi.
Both countries’ National Security Councils will coordinate with their respective ministries, departments, and agencies to work with their counterparts to advance cooperation and engage stakeholders in order to deliver on ambitious goals ahead of the next meeting.
1. Indian Coast Guard Raising Day
The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) is celebrating its 47th Raising Day.From just seven surface platforms in 1978, the ICG has grown into a formidable force with 158 ships and 70 aircraft in its inventory and is likely to achieve targeted force levels of 200 surface platforms and 80 aircraft by 2025.
When is Indian Coast Guard day celebrated ?
It is celebrated in India today on Wednesday, 1 February.
How large is the Indian coast Guard?
As the fourth largest Coast Guard in the world, it has played a significant role in securing the Indian coasts and enforcing regulations in the maritime zones of India.
Why is ICG Day celebrated?
The ICG Day is observed to honor and pay tribute to the Indian Coast Guard Force who play a critical role in protecting the Indian Coasts and enforcing regulations in the maritime zones of India.
What are the main functions of ICG?
- The ICG has saved over 1,200 lives at sea in the last one year and more than 11,000 since its inception. It has also rescued approximately 13,000 personnel till date during various ‘Aid to Civil Authority’ operations.
- It also provided assistance to civil authorities during floods, cyclones and other natural calamities.
- Despite the restrictions imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the ICG maintained a round-the-clock vigil in the Exclusive Economic Zone by deploying about 50 ships and 12 aircraft daily.
Appointment and Resignation
1. Air Marshal A.P. Singh to be new Vice Chief of Indian Air Force
He will succeed Air Marshal Sandeep Singh, who retired from service on January 31, 2023.
The Indian Air Force is the air arm of the Indian Armed Forces. Its complement of personnel and aircraft assets ranks as the third most powerful air force in the world. Its primary mission is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during armed conflicts.
The Indian Air Force took off as a tiny fleet with four Westland Wapiti army co-operative by-planes, six RAF trained officers and 19 Hawai Sepoys. Today, it is the fourth largest Air Force in the world with a highly technical and specialized fighting force that safeguards our skies against enemy invasions, 2023.
What are his qualifications?
- He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and an Experimental Test Pilot with more than 4,900 hours of service flying on a variety of fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft.
- His operational tenures include being the Flight Commander and Commanding Officer of a MiG 27 squadron and Air Officer Commanding of an air base.
- As a test pilot, he has served in Aircraft and System Testing Establishment in various ranks and capacities.
- He also led the MiG 29 Upgrade Project Management Team in Moscow, Russia.
- He was the Project Director (Flight Test) at National Flight Test Centre looking after the flight testing of Light Combat Aircraft Tejas and Air Defence Commander at the South Western Air Command.
- Prior to taking over as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Central Air Command, he was Senior Air Staff Officer at the Eastern Air Command.
What is he currently serving as?
Air Marshal A P Singh is currently serving as the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Central Air Command.
When was he commissioned?
He was commissioned into the fighter stream of the IAF on December 21, 1984.
From where did he complete his studies?
He is an alumnus of National Defense Academy, Defense Services Staff College and National Defense College.
1. Former Law Minister Shanti Bhushan passed away at 97
According to a source close to his family, he had been ill for some time before passing away at his Delhi residence.
Who was the former law minister Shanti Bhushan?
He is survived by his daughters Shalini Gupta and Shefali Bhushan, sons Prashant Bhushan and Jayant Bhushan, both renowned attorneys.
In the Morarji Desai administration, Bhushan served as India’s law minister from 1977 to 1979. His most famous argument for overturning Indira Gandhi’s 1975 election was a triumph.
Raj Narain, a politician, was represented by Bhushan in the famous lawsuit against Indira Gandhi. Raj Narain, a politician and freedom fighter who ran against Gandhi in the Uttar Pradesh district of Raebareli in the 1971 Lok Sabha elections, accused Gandhi of engaging in dishonest electoral methods in his court filing. Gandhi had appealed the high court’s decision to the Supreme Court. It set off a chain of events that resulted in the declaration of an emergency on June 25, 1975.
Shanti Bhushan had appealed the Chief Justice of India’s practice of allocating cases according to a roster before the supreme court.
The top court had maintained in its ruling on his appeal from July 2018 that the Chief Justice of India is “the master of the roster” and has the power to assign cases to various benches of the apex court.
Shanti Bhushan refused to retract his shocking claim that there was corruption in the judiciary to the Supreme Court in November 2010 and said he was prepared to face jail time for contempt if he did.
He first joined the Congress (O) in his political career before switching to the Janata Party. He also participated in the Rajya Sabha. A founding member of the BJP in 1980, the lawyer-turned-politician was also a part of the organization for six years.
About Shefali Bhushan
She is a daughter of former law minister Shanti bhushan. She was born in Allahabad and her family moved in delhi. She is a writer and director. She has made films like jugni. She was the director of the famous web series Guilty Minds on amazon prime.
What have the other lawyers said about the death of shanti bhushan?
Jurist and senior advocate Fali S Nariman said, “He was a very dear friend of mine. I am very sorry to hear the news. We had spoken some months ago on the telephone and he was not well at all.”
Prashant Bhushan said, “All I can say is that this is the end of an era. He was a person who saw the evolution of the Constitution and the legal system from close quarters since Independence.”
Former Attorney General K K Venugopal said, “I came to know him very well much before the Emergency when he visited Madras and also appeared for M Karunanidhi, the then Chief Minister, before the Sarkaria Commission… I had appeared along with him. But finding that the Commission was rather hostile, we walked out of the case. When the Janata government came into existence, he invited me to Delhi as an Additional Solicitor General and thereafter when that government was swept out of power, both of us started appearing against each other. We developed considerable respect for each other and our friendship too lasted right through the years”.