National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development Bill has been passed in the parliament
What is the aim of the bill?
The bill aims to establish NBFID to support infrastructure financing in the nation.
About the bill:
The bill allows the government to develop bonds and derivatives markets for infrastructure financing.
The bill allows the setting up of NBFID as a corporate body which will comprise a share capital of one lakh crore rupees.
It will focus on attracting investment for infrastructure projects in the country.
Also, it will allow setting up of the development of the market for bonds, loans, and derivatives for infrastructure financing.
Suez Canal was blocked by a ship due to bad weather
A large Cargo Ship was stuck near an end of a Suez Canal.
This mishap happened due to the bad weather which blocked the entire canal.
Huge jam of cargo ships at both the ends of the Suez Canal caused eventually impacting one of the most vital international trade arteries.
About Suez Canal:
Opened for navigation in 1869, it is an artificial sea-level waterway that connects two ports, Port Sayid and Port Suez.
The canal runs through the Isthmus of Suez in Egypt and connects two important seas, the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.
It was constructed by a French Company.
It carries heavy traffic (almost 12% of world trade by volume) of cargo ships preventing ships from taking longer routes via the Cape of Good Hope.
Egypt impose toll tax on the crossing ships. The tax collection generates more than $ 5 billion dollar revenue every year.
Double Mutant Coronavirus Variant found in India: Health Ministry
The Ministry of Health has clarified that a double mutant variant of Coronavirus is found in India.
The variant is yet to be noticed anywhere else in the world.
Though, it is not clear whether the mutated version is responsible for the spike of cases registered in the country.
What is Mutation?
The mutation is the property of a virus to undergo changes when it increases its number. It may not create exact replicas of itself, which ultimately results in the emergence of new strains. The new strains may be more or at times less effective. Some strains remain ineffective, while the more effective ones, which replicate or spread efficiently, survive.
If mutation helps the virus to evolve and thwart vaccine, immune system, the severity of disease or it is linked to a spike of cases then it is a cause of concern.
National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill 2021
The upper house recently passed the bill.
About the bill:
The bill proposes the amendment in sections 21, 24, 33, and 44 of the 1991 Act.
It clarifies that the government of Delhi means the Lt Gov of Delhi.
It allows Lt Gov. to take decisions in law-making in the matter which is subjected to Legislative Assembly of Delhi.
It ensures that the opinion of Lt Gov should necessarily be granted before any decision taken by the Delhi Cabinet.
It restricts Delhi Government from making rules to take up regular administrative matters or to conduct inquiries in administrative decisions.
The Current Scenario:
GNCTD Act, 1991 allows the legislative assembly of Delhi to make laws in all matters except public order, police, and the land.
The Union Territory of Lakshwadeep Tuberculosis Free: Union Health Minister Harshvardhan
During an event to celebrate World Tuberculosis Day 2021 on 24th March, the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare declared that the Union Territory of Lakshadweep and Budgam District of J&K UT is now TB Free.
The theme of World Tuberculosis Day 2021 was, ‘The Clock is Ticking’.
According to the minister, Himachal Pradesh is the first state to end Tuberculosis under the National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme.
India is aiming to end TB across the nation by 2025.
India consists of the highest number of TB Patients in the world.
According to the State TB Index 2021, Himachal Pradesh is the best-performing state having a population of more than 50 lakhs to work in order to curb TB.
India – US Home Security Dialogue
Both India and the United States of America (USA)
agreed to re-establish the ‘India – US Home Security Dialogue’. The dialogue aims at resolving issues like cybersecurity, emerging technology, and addressing violent extremism.
About the Homeland Security Dialogue:
It was launched by the then US President and his Indian Counterpart Dr. Manmohan Singh, as a counter-terrorism mechanism in 2010.
The Union Home Ministry of India and The US Department of Homeland Security are expected to be representing India and the USA respectively.
The Homeland Security dialogue practice was discontinued by former US President Donald Trump.
Other Important News related to USA:
The Defence Secretary of the USA is on a 3-day visit to India.
It is the first top-level official visit to India of a USA govt after Trump passed on the presidential baton to Joe Biden.
Important Defence Pacts:
There are three major defence pacts between India-USA as follows:
COMCASA stands for Communication Compatibility and Security Agreement signed in September 2018.
It encourages interoperability between the defence forces of Indian and the USA.
It also clears the way for India to purchase high-end technological military instruments from the USA.
LEMOA stands for Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016.
The agreement allows bases of both the countries to be utilized by the military equipment of both the countries like submarines, fighter jets, tanker aircraft, warships, etc.
BECA stands for Basic Exchange & Cooperation Agreement. It was signed in 2020.
The agreement allows the use of military technology geospatial maps between the two nations.
Military Exercises between India and the USA:
Yuddh Abhyas – It is conducted between
Vajra Prahar – Military exercise between Special Forces of both the countries.
The 1st Ever PASSEX and Joint Naval Exercise has been concluded between India and Madagascar
An island country situated in the Indian Ocean Region near the East Coast of Africa Continent, Madagascar, is of strategic importance to India. Considering that, the Indian Navy has conducted a Joint Naval Exercise with the Navy of Madagascar. Both navies have also conducted a PASSEX exercise in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Madagascar.
The Indian was represented by INS Shardul and the Naval Ship ‘Trozona’ was a part of the exercise from Madagascar’s side.
Ensuring maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) is the primary objective of the exercise.
3rd Joint Satellite Mission between France and India
The chairperson of the Indian Space Research Organisation K. Sivan has stated that both India and France are cooperating on the third joint Satellite Mission. The bilateral collaboration is also moving forward in space exploration and human spaceflight programs.
About India – France partnership in Space:
According to the ISRO chief, France is the biggest space partner of India.
Space agencies of both nations have already cooperated on two projects in 2011 and 2013 named, Megha Tropiques, and SARAL Altika respectively.
CNES (Central National d’Etudes Spatiales) and ISRO have conducted research work to realize an earth observation satellite mission with a thermal infrared merger named TRISHNA. TRISHNA stands for Thermal Infrared Imaging Satellite for High-Resolution Natural resource Assessment.
Both space agencies have also finalized all the interface control documents for accommodating a French origin instrument named ARGOS in an ISRO satellite name OCEANSAT-3 Satellite.
Both countries are also working on joint research work of scientific instruments in space missions.
Mission Karmayogi for Civil Services Capacity building
Mission Karmayogi is established under the National Program for Civil Services Capacity Building.
Aim of the Mission:
Building a future ready candidate with the right attitude, skills and knowledge aligned to the vision of New India.
Why there is need of such missions?
The capacity of a civil services officer plays a crucial role in rendering a wide variety of services, implementing welfare programs and executing core governance functions.