AFPA

Global Innovation & Technology Alliance (GITA)

 

At the 9th Foundation Day of GITA, the Union Minister of Science and Technology underlined how the Global Innovation and Technology Alliance catalyzed nurturing innovation and industrial R&D

Details:

  • Global Innovation and Technology Alliance is a “not-for-profit” Section 8 Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Company.
  • It is jointly promoted by the Technology Development Board (TDB), Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India, and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
  • The GITA platform promotes industrial investment in innovative technologies through :
    1. Mapping technology gaps.
    2. Undertake an expert evaluation of technologies available across the globe.
    3. Facilitating techno-strategic collaborative partnerships appropriate for the Indian economy
    4. Enabling soft funding for technology development/acquisition/deployment.

 

 

President’s Pardoning Power In USA

 

With Joe Biden winning the recent presidential election in the USA, and less than two months of tenure remaining for US President Donald Trump, he exercised his powers under the Constitution to pardon Michael Flynn, his former National Security Advisor who had twice pleaded guilty for lying to the FBI.

Primary points:

  • The President of the United States of America has the constitutional right to pardon or commute sentences related to federal crimes. The US Supreme Court has held that power is “granted without limit,” which cannot be restricted by Congress.
  • Clemency is a broad executive power that is discretionary, meaning the President is not answerable and does not need to provide a reason for the same.

 

 

Permitting Industrial Houses to Own & Control Banks

 

Recently an Internal Working Group (IWG) of the RBI has made a far-reaching recommendation which is being discussed and severely criticized: To permit industrial houses to own and control banks.

Details:

  • According to the report, the main benefit is that industry-owned banks would increase the supply of credit, which is low and growing slowly.
  • IWG did acknowledge that all the experts except one were not on board with the move.

In the current uncertain economic scenario, this recommendation has generated quite a buzz as, if implemented, it would lead to quite a crisis as the borrower would turn into the lender.

The Winter Chill: Cold Wave

 

 New Delhi and several other parts of north India are bracing for near cold wave conditions.

About:

  • A cold wave is declared when there is a significant drop in the minimum or night time temperature.
  • The IMD’s criteria for a cold wave in the plains are that the minimum temperature should be 10 degrees or lower. The departure from the normal minimum temperature is 4.5 degrees or less for two consecutive days.

 

 

International Day of Solidarity With The Palestinian People

 

The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is being observed on 29 November.

Details:

  • The United Nations General Assembly called for the annual observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People in 1977 on 29th November. On the same day in 1947, the Assembly adopted the resolution on the partition of Palestine.
  • Palestine is recognized officially as the State of Palestine by the United Nations and other entities.
  • It is a du jure sovereign state in Western Asia claiming the West Bank (bordering Israel and Jordan) and Gaza Strip (bordering Israel and Egypt ) with their designated capital at Jerusalem, a disputed site. However, its administrative center is currently located at Ramallah.
  • The entire territory is claimed by the State of Palestine and has been occupied since 1948, first by Egypt and Jordan and then by Israel after the Six-Day War in 1967.

 

 

Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell

 

The Royal Society revealed a new portrait of astrophysicist Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, credited with discovering pulsars when she was a Ph.D. student at Cambridge University.

About:

  • Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell, born in 1943, is an astrophysicist from Northern Ireland who, as a postgraduate student, discovered the first radio pulsars in 1967.
  • She was credited with “one of the most significant achievements of the 20th century”.
  • The discovery was recognized by the 1974 Nobel Prize in physics, although Bell was not one of the recipients of the prize, which has quite been a point of controversy.

 

 

LA GLOTTOPHOBIE

 

France’s national assembly has taken the first step towards approving a law that would ban discrimination against people with pronounced religious accents across the country.

Details:

  • A new bill banning accent based discrimination or ‘la glottophobie’ was approved with 98 votes against 3, generating a lively debate in the French Parliament’s lower house.
  • The new law will make linguistic discrimination a criminal offense along with sexism, racism, and other forms of outlawed bigotry if passed.
  • A person found guilty could face a maximum of three years in prison & a fine of up to €45,000 (INR 39.8 lakh ).

GDP contracts to 7.5% from 23.9%

 

According to analyst forecasts for results in the July-September quarter (Q2) of 2020-21, the Indian market contracted 7.5% of the same quarter last year, according to official data published by the National Statistics Office on Friday. It was a major increase over the extraordinary 23.9% year-on-year contraction observed in the April-June quarter of this year. In the September quarter of 2019-20, the nation announced a year-on-year GDP rise of 4.5 per cent.

Gross value added (GVA) of the nation contracted by 7% over the year. Another collection of data published on Friday found that the 8 main infrastructure parts of the economy had a 2.5% decline from the same quarter last year.

India’s current situation:

Even though India appears to be in a technological slowdown, a decrease in the pace of GDP contraction indicates a recovery of the economy after a significant decline in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

That being said, even with a lower rate of contraction, the Indian market looks at one of the weakest performers among the 24 large nations. In comparison to India, the United Kingdom reported a contraction of 9.6 per cent over the period July-September. China, but on the other side, is now the only nation which has shown 4.9% development during the same era.

Any rating firm, excluding Barclays, revised its prediction for the Indian economy in the July-September quarter to represent an increase from its previous estimate. The change seen in the 1st quarter, which was marred by a close collapse of the market with back-to-back lockdowns in place to avoid the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, accompanied a steady easing of the constraints in the period July-September. The Reserve Bank had previously predicted that India’s economic downturn would be 9.5% for the entire 2021-20.

 

 

APEC Economic Leaders’ Meet

The APEC-2020 conference of economic leaders was chaired by Malaysian PM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. This would be the 1st time that all 21 APEC economic members had met practically due to the continuing pandemic of COVID-19. The 2020 APEC concluded with the introduction of the 2040 APEC Putrajaya Vision as well as the 2020 Kuala Lumpur Resolution. The 2021 APEC Summit would be organized by New Zealand. This becomes the 2nd time that Malaysia held an APEC conference, one of which was hosted in 1998.

The focus of APEC Malaysia 2020 was ‘Optimizing human capacity for a resilient future of mutual prosperity: pivot. Need. “Progress.”

About the 2040 Putrajaya Vision:

The Putrajaya Vision 2040 is a modern 20-year development vision that would replace the current Bogor Targets, decided by leaders in 1994 for free and fair markets and investment in APEC.

 

 

Rajnath Singh, Union Defence Minister and Vietnamese counterpart sign an agreement on hydrography

 

Defense Minister Rajnath Singh conducted a bilateral meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart, General Ngo Xuan Lich on 27th November 2020 to suggest strategies to further extend the strategic relationship and cooperation between the 2 countries.

While commenting on the Twitter conference, the Defense Minister stated that the defence collaboration between India and Vietnam has increased considerably. He also stated a fruitful exchange with his Vietnamese counterpart throughout a digital bilateral meeting.

Implementation of the Hydrographic Agreement:

During the simulated bilateral conference, an implementation deal on hydrography was however, concluded in the participation of India and Vietnam’s Defense Minister.

The news became posted by the Defense Minister’s office on Twitter, while also mentioning that coordination between the two countries has improved immensely.

Links between India and Vietnam:

Although the cultural, as well as economic links between India and Vietnam, dating back to the 2nd century, this was in 1992 that the two nations formed comprehensive economic ties, including agriculture, oil discovery and manufacturing.

The relationship between India and Vietnam, in particular the security relations, have gained greatly from the Look East Strategy of India.

Developed bilateral military cooperation between India as well as Vietnam involves exchanging intelligence, selling military arms, education in counterinsurgency as well as joint naval drills, and jungle warfare. The Indian military also periodically sent its warships to visit the Vietnamese seas on goodwill.

 

 

Portal for Climate Change Knowledge Launched

 

The Ministry of Ecology, Forestry and Climate Change of the Union, Prakash Javadekar, unveiled ‘India Climate Change Information Platform’ on 27 November 2020.

While addressing the case, he said that after the Paris Agreement, India had achieved its pre-2020 climate change goals for action on climate change. He stated that although India is not concerned about climate change, it would take effective steps to mitigate the threat.

During the simulated beginning of the program, the Union Minister requested that other governments also bind themselves to the advance obligations of the Kyoto Protocol, which are not being pursued by countries.

Aim of the climate change information portal:

While voicing excitement at the release of the web interface, Mr Javadekar told us that the portal would be a single number source of knowledge. It would provide data on the numerous environment programmes pursued by different ministries. It will encourage users to view the updated status of these initiatives.

Portal on Climate Change Knowledge: Key Info

  • The portal will include all the big measures the Government has taken at both state and federal levels to resolve climate change concerns.
  • The online repository will collect sector-wise prevention and adaptation measures taken by various line ministries in one location.
  • The site will also provide current reports on the execution of these acts. The Information Platform would help to spread information among the people of India.