AFPA

PM Narendra Modi’s virtual summit with PM of Luxembourg

PM Narendra Modi would host a digital summit with the PM of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel, on 19th November 2020. This would be the first stand-alone summit amongst India as well as Luxembourg in the last 2 decades. The knowledge was shared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Union.

The talks between India and Luxembourg would address the broad range of bilateral relations, including the deepening of cooperation between India and Luxembourg in the post-COVID world.

They will also share opinions on regional and global topics of common concern. The 2 Prime Ministers have met three times before, but never at a stand-alone meeting.

Significance:

Luxembourg is among the world’s largest financial centres and many Indian firms have earned money by selling GDRs on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.

In addition, a few Luxembourg-based investment funds often hold substantial banking as well as asset management market shares in portfolio investment in India.

Relations between India and Luxembourg:

  • India-Luxembourg relations were set up in 1947 as well as Luxembourg extended its embassy in New Delhi in 2002.
  • Relationships between countries have significantly increased in recent years. Grand Duke Jean was the first Luxembourg Head of State to visit India in 1983.
  • After the visit, a few serious international visits were made by the leaders of both countries. A few ministers of trade and foreign affairs from Luxembourg went to India.
  • The Minister of Foreign Affairs of India visited Luxembourg in 2012 and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg, who is Jean Asselborn, visited India in 2015.

 

 

The 3rd Annual Bloomberg New Economy Forum

Hon’ble PM Shri Narendra Modi would attend the 3rd Annual Bloomberg New Market Forum on 17th day of November 2020 at about 6:30 PM IST.

Reason for being in the news:

Grand opening Bloomberg New Economy Forum Ends Pvt Sector Participants Groundbreaking New Strategies to Solve Global Problems.

Overview:

  • The Bloomberg New Market Forum was set up in 2018 with Mr Michael Bloomberg.
  • The inaugural Forum took place in Singapore as well as the 2nd annual Forum took in Beijing.
  • These solutions would help to solve the fundamental problems facing the global economy in the throes of a historic transformation.

Goal:

  • It helps to create a group of leaders to participate in meaningful discussions that lead to actionable solutions.
  • They addressed a variety of subjects, including global economic governance, trade and investment, infrastructure, urbanisation, financial markets, climate change, and integration.
  • This year the global economy is coping with the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The forum will observe discussions centred on the refuelling of the economy and the tracing of a prospective pandemic.

Mission:

  • Maximize the benefits of a healthful New Economy by facilitating East and West world leaders to build a common interest.
  • Encourage the private sector to take tangible steps to address inequalities and climate change.
  • The group is leveraging new technology, business models and strategic alliances to make a significant change.

 

 

PM Modi in 12th BRICS Summit through digital mode

PM Modi participated in the 12th version of the BRICS summit organised by Russia on 17th November 2020. The meeting was held in the context of the 75th anniversary of the UN and the continuing pandemic of COVID-19.

At the request of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Modi participated in the summit in virtual form. As per the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, India would take over the BRICS Presidency, that would also be the 3rd BRICS Presidency for the region, after 2012 and 2016, and would hold the 13th BRICS Summit in 2021.

Nations that sponsor terrorists should be responsible: PM Modi at the BRICS Summit

PM Modi, talking at the 12th BRICS Summit through a video call, said that terrorism seems to be the greatest issue across the world currently. He added that internationally, we have to assume that the nations that sponsor the terrorists are kept responsible and that this issue is handled in a coordinated manner.

 

 

VP’s address in the 13th Convocation of NIT Agartala

The VP of India who is Shri M Venkaiah Naidu said that the New Education Policy (NEP), seeks to make India an international knowledge super-power and underscored the need for another nation to once again become such a Vishwa Guru in the educational field.

The VP said the NEP takes influence from the old Indian education system, that used to concentrate on the creation of comprehensive and well-rounded characters. He has said that the NEP aims to achieve Indian education inclusive, multidisciplinary and realistic.

Presenting the 13th edition of the NIT, Agartala, Shri Naidu found out that the old education system has always instructed us to live in accordance with nature and to honour both beings and non-beings.

Asking on institutions of higher learning and colleges to make India a vibrant centre of science and innovation, Shri Naidu urged them to conduct cutting-edge research in a variety of fields, to create synergies with industries and other related institutions, as well as to transform our universities into exciting hubs of imagination and research.

WHO’s the celebration of the anti-microbial week

The WHO will celebrate Antimicrobial Awareness Week between November 18th, 2020 and November 24th, 2020. The goal of the week is to raise understanding of global antimicrobial resistance. This also promotes best practices for health professionals, the general population and decision-makers to avoid the spread of drug-resistant diseases. The theme of this year’s World Antimicrobial Awareness Week is to be celebrated.

What’s the Anti-Microbial Resistance?

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) arises when parasites, fungi, viruses and bacteria no longer react to medicines. This makes it more difficult to treat as the risk of infectious transmission increases.

AMR in India:

The key problem in India would be that antibiotics are added by animals into the food supply. This adds up to the AMR in the region. This is more popular in dairy and animal husbandry.

Antibiotic rules in India:

The antibiotics in India must be under the supervision of the CDSCO. Even under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, antibiotics are put under Schedule H. This sets the precedent that the medications must only be sold by prescription.

 

 

EESL joins hands with DNRE

Under the MOU, EESL and DNRE will carry out feasibility studies and the eventual introduction of decentralised solar energy initiatives.

EESL conducts renewable energy initiatives, including

-Setting up of 100 MW of decentralized ground-based solar power plants on government property that can be used for farmland pumping;

-replacing about 6,300 agricultural pumps for BEE star rated environmentally friendly pumps and

-distribute roughly 16 Lakh LED bulbs for farming dwellers.

The projects would accelerate the use of renewable resources, in particular for agricultural and rural energy consumption in the Province.

 

 

Resonance Consultancy’s World’s Best Cities Ranking

The global climate is such that people can only stay at home and dream of visiting those important cities across the globe. It not for the pandemic, travel enthusiasts may have already arranged and conducted several foreign sojourns!

But this is not to suggest that all hope is lost and that the condition of the pandemic will persist indefinitely. When it’s all done and things go back to being as they were, you will schedule a lot of vacations and drive about easily, visiting your dream destinations.

In reality, to give you some joy, the annual report ranks some of the best cities in the world, showing that there is now a lot more that can be loved and experienced in your beloved metropolis.

The rankings:

As per the study released by Resonance Consultancy, that specializes in real estate, including tourism and economic growth:

  • Several 100 cities across the globe (with populations of more than one million) were scored using 25 rating criteria, including variety, weather, numbers of parks as well as tourist destinations, the network of public media tweets and check-ins.
  • In turn, for the 1st time this year, cities were also ranked in the 2021 ranking on new factors such as unemployment, the prevalence of COVID-19 illnesses (as of July) and income inequality.

 

 

7th round of Foreign Office Consultations (FoC) held

During the meetings, the two sides discussed the whole spectrum of bilateral relations within the scope of their strategic relationship. The consultations concerned the issues regarding national, economic and commercial, energy security, space, consular, including cultural sphere.

The MoU got signed.

The two parties also shared viewpoints on regional as well as international problems of mutual concern and agreed to reinforce collaboration in the multilateral arena, particularly throughout the forthcoming session of India in the UNSC for the term 2021-22.

 

 

Celebration of 3rd Naturopathy Day

The National Day of Naturopathy is held every year in India on 18 November to encourage good mental and physical wellbeing through a drug-free medicine system called Naturopathy. The 48-day webinar programme will run until the 3rd National Day of Naturopathy, which will take effect on 18th November 2020. The day was announced by the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy), Government of India, on 18th November 2018.

As part of the event, the NIN, Pune, within the Ministry of AYUSH, arranged a set of webinars on ‘Gandhian Theory of Self-Reliance by Self-Health Reliance’ at Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th-anniversary festivities on 2 October 2020. It was from this day here in 1945 that Mahatma Gandhi emerged lifelong Chairman from the All India Nature Cure Foundation Trust and registered an act to make the advantages of Nature Cure accessible to all groups of people.

Arunachal Pradesh with the Highest Sex Ratio in India: According to the Annual Report from Office of Registrar General and Census Commissioner

About the Report:

Arunachal Pradesh recorded the highest sex ratio, with 85 females born per thousand males. The data is according to the annual report- “Vital Statistics on India based on Civil Registration System 2018” from the Office of Registrar General and Census Commissioner. It was determined based on data provided by Chief Registrar of Births and Deaths for the year 2018.

Highlights:

Arunachal Pradesh was followed by Nagaland (965), Mizoram (964), Kerala (963), and Karnataka (957).

Share of males and females is 52.0% and 47.9 % respectively. 

The recorded percentage of registration of births in 2018 is of 13 States.

India’s sex ratio:

India had recorded a decline in SRB from 906 in 2011 to 899 in 2018.

Government Initiatives:

Government’s Initiatives to increase sex ratio include schemes like Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao. Also, Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994 was taken into consideration for the balance in sex ratio.

 

 

The demand of Bru refugees for immediate implementation of settlement pact

Leaders of the Mizoram Bru refugees have demand for their permanent settlement in Tripura according to the implementation of the settlement agreement.

About the agreement:

The Bru-Reang refugee agreement was signed in the month of January 2020 at New Delhi. It is between the Union Government, Governments of Mizoram and Tripura, and the representative of Bru-Reang. 

Key points:

The Centre has announced the package of Rs. 600 crore. Each family will be given the fixed deposit of Rs 4 lakh by the government. They can withdraw the amount after 2 years. Moreover, they will be given 40×30 sq feet of residential plots and Rs 1.5 lakh to build the houses.

 The families will receive 5000 cash per month for 2 years.

Hurdle:

Implementation of the decision is in delay due to the protests being faced by some of the refugees from the joint movement.

About Brus:

Brus are across the northeastern states of Manipur, Tripura, Assam and Mizoram.

 

 

Hurricane Iota in Nicaragua in Central America

Hurricane Iota has brought landfall in Nicaragua in Central America. It has developed into a category of five storms.

About hurricanes and their formation

Hurricanes or tropical cyclones use warm and moist air and form over ocean waters near the equator. Hurricanes reaching the category of three are called major hurricanes as they are scaled on 1-5 according to wind speed.

 Its formation process starts from the warm air rising upward and creating low air pressure below and ends with the fast rotation of storm systems.

When do hurricanes occur?

Hurricane season of Atlantic runs from June to November while the Eastern Pacific Hurricane season starts from May 15 and ends on November 30.

Difference between hurricanes and tropical storms:

The scientific name of all kinds of storms is tropical cyclones.  There is only a difference according to the place they occur. Tropical cyclones occurring over the Atlantic Ocean are called hurricanes and forming in the Northwest Pacific are called tropical storms.

 

 

Study: Regrets of online education

About the Study:

The Azim Premji University conducted the study on the overall efficiency of e-learning. The study “Myths of Online Education” examines the experience of teachers and children with online education in five states with 26 districts covering 1,522 schools.

Key points:

  • Over 60% of the respondents from the government schools do not have access to online education.
  • There is an inadequate number of smartphones, and most importantly, students are facing difficulty in using apps.

Concerns:

  • Students with disabilities are unable to participate in online sessions.
  • 70% of parents are dissatisfied with the way of online learning for their children’s development.
  • 80% of teachers said that they are unable to maintain emotional connections with students.

 

 

Debt restructuring scheme of RBI

99% of companies did not seem to opt for the one-time debt restructuring scheme. The finding is based on the preliminary analysis of 3,523 non-micro small and medium enterprise (MSME) companies.

About the scheme:

RBI set up the committee on the restructuring of loans led by KV Kamath in August 2020. The committee had the responsibility to recommend parameters for the restructuring of corporate loans.

Recommendations by the committee:

1) Graded approach

2) 5 financial parameters

3) 26 sectors identified.

 Need:

The measures were necessary because the debt worth rupees 15.52 lakh crore of the corporate sector was under covid-19 hit and the another of Rs 22.20 lakh crore was already under tensions even before the pandemic.

Responsibilities:

The committee would be scrutinizing restructuring of loans that are above Rs 1500 crore. Only those are eligible who are impacted by covid-19 and those classified as standard.