Indian Ocean Region Defence Minister’s Conclave concluded
On the sidelines of Aero India 2021, Bengaluru, the Defence Minister’s Conclave, was conducted among the Defence Ministers of countries lying in the Indian Ocean Region.
India hosted the Conclave. The theme was ‘Enhanced Peace, Security and Cooperation in the Indian Ocean.’ A total of 18 countries have participated in the Conclave, including Maldives, Comoros, Iran, and Madagascar.
What is the reason to conduct such a conclave?
- It is an initiative to promote dialogue to foster the development of peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) in an institutional, economic, and cooperative environment.
- The cooperation in maritime domain awareness, maritime surveillance and cooperation, humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), Marine Pollution Response Activities, Exploiting Marine Resources, etc.
– India is the largest nation in Indian Ocean Region, with over 7500 km maritime border. Thus, it can play a vital role in the peaceful and prosperous coexistence of all countries.
– In line with this, the Indian Prime Minister in 2015 has launched the SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) as a Indian Ocean Policy theme.
– Five ‘S’ Vision: Prime Minister highlighted a dynamic five ‘S’ Vision to tackle global challenges. Five ‘S’ Vision – Samman (Respect), Samvaad (Dialogue), Sahyog (cooperation), Shanti (Peace), and Samriddhi (Prosperity).
President Ram Kovind paid homage to Dr. Zakir Hussain on his Birth Anniversary
President Ram Nath Kovind paid homage on his Birth Anniversary at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
About Zakir Hussain:
He was born on 8th February 1897. He was an economist and politician who served as the third head of the state of India, from 13th May 1967 to 3rd May 1969 (until his death).
He was one of the founding members of Jamia Millia Islamia University. He also served as the Governor of Bihar and Vice President before getting elected on President’s position.
Prime Minister to inaugurate the World Sustainable Development Summit 2021
Narendra Modi will inaugurate the World Development Summit 2021 edition virtually. The 20th edition summit of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) will be the summit’s flagship event.
Theme: “Redefining our common future: Safe and secure environment for all.” Numerous countries will participate in the summit, allowing various governments, businessmen, world leaders, academicians, researchers, climate scientists, youth, and civil society in the light against climate change and global warming. The Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change and the Ministry of new and Renewable Energy will be the summit’s leading agencies.
Discussions on the following topics are to be done at the summit:
- Energy and Transition
- Adaptation and Resilience
- Climate Finance
- Oceanic Pollution
- Air Pollution.
- Circular Economy, etc.
Farm Mechanization initiatives of Indian Government
The use of modern technology and machines in farming is crucial in the agriculture sector. It contributes towards improving the quality of farm products, efficiency, and effectiveness of the raw materials and inputs used in the crop production that eventually increases crop productivity.
To implement these initiatives on the ground. The scheme ‘Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM)’ has been launched in 2014-15. The scheme aimed at providing the machines to unreached farmers and make machines affordable for the small and marginal farmers. For this, the establishment of Custom Hiring Centers (CHCs), Hi-tech & High-Value farm equipment Hubs, Farm Machinery Banks, etc., will be needed. The distribution of subsidized agricultural equipment and machines to individual farmers is also one of the activities to be performed under the scheme.
By handing over the equipment to the farmers is not the only solution. Farmers should be aware of the operations of the pieces of machinery. Hence, demonstration of machines’ operations and skill development of farmers and others are the value additions of SMAM.
Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM) progress during 2014-2021:
- A sum of Rs. 4556.93 crores have been allotted under the scheme. More than 13 lakh machinery have also been distributed and about 27.5 thousand Custom Hiring Stations established.
- The farm power per unit area has increased from 2.02 kW/ha to 2.49 kW/ha from 2016 to 2019.
- As the working becomes easy, cropped area, cropping intensity, and the agricultural production has successfully increased.
Odisha & Andhra Pradesh Border dispute
The border dispute between Andhra Pradesh and Odisha resurfaced again when Andhra Pradesh announced a panchayat election in the disputed villages.
Though Odisha was carved out from Bengal, Bihar, and Odisha Province in 1936, 8 districts out of 30 districts face unresolved inter-state border disputes with Andhra Pradesh. Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, and Jharkhand. The border dispute with Andhra Pradesh related to the border sharing of Kotia Panchayat is the serious one and the major border dispute.
- Since 1960, both the states (Odisha and Andhra Pradesh) claim an area comprising 21 villages in Kotia Gram Panchayat.
- Interestingly, residents of the Panchayat are dependent on blocks of both states, i.e., Pottangi Block, Koraput, and Salur Block of Vizianagram.
IIT comes up with a new technology to produce Clean Fuel Hydrogen from Water
The Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, has developed a new technology that can generate clean hydrogen fuel from water at a cost. It is a significant step and achievement as the world is looking for new and cleaner fuels to shift its dependency on fossil fuels to slow down the climatic change and global warming. Hydrogen fuel can mitigate emissions to reduce pollution.
How the process works?
- The researchers split water by Sulphur-Iodine thermochemical hydrogen cycle (a process also known as SI Cycle) to generate fuel for industrial consumption.
- Generally, the SI cycle needs a large amount of heat to separate Hydrogen molecules and Oxygen Molecules of water. This heat is generally given by burning fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. Hence, the production of Hydrogen on a large scale is not viable economically and environmentally.
- This problem has now been solved by making a suitable catalyst that can convert Sulphuric Acid into Sulphur dioxide and Oxygen by consuming less energy.
Hydrogen Fuel Importance
- Environment Friendly – Unlike fossil fuels, the Hydrogen fuel by-products are Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Heat only, hence not harmful to the ecosystem.
- Highly Efficient – Unlike Diesel and Petrol, per pound of hydrogen fuel possesses larger energy.
- Hydrogen Fuel is odorless, which makes detection of leakage extremely difficult.
- The highly flammable and volatile properties of Hydrogen make its transportation and storage very challenging.
Importance of Discovery
- The discovery is significant as it enables the availability of low-cost Hydrogen and improves the application of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology.
- The discovery will help to adhere to Emission Targets and commitments in the Paris Climate Agreement to ensure zero-emission in the future and achieve zero carbon emission.
Applications of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology
– Electric Vehicles, Primary and Backup power for industries, residential infrastructure, defense, futuristic applications like air taxis, etc.
The High-Level dialogue has been conducted between India and the European Union
The first edition of high-level dialogue between Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and European Union Executive Vice President and Trade Commissioner was held recently.
The dialogue was scheduled after the fruitful meeting held during the 15th India-EU Leader’s Summit conducted in July 2020. The main objective comprises Ministerial Level guidance towards the trade and investment relations between both the stakeholders.
Currency Swap with Sri Lanka
- The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has settled the payment of a $400 million currency swap facility from the Central Bank of India, i.e., Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
- Initially, the Sri Lankan Bank obtained the swap facility in July 2020 to cope with the economic impact due to the Covid-19 pandemic for three months.
- The period now has been extended from the RBI’s side until 1st February 2021.
Importance of currency swap
- As the swapping/trade is done in local currencies, the price of commodities does not stall, as there is no external force or third-country currency like US dollars involved.
- It does not depend upon volatility or changing rates of foreign currencies.
- It gets away with the multiple currency exchanges.
Govt issued notice against Twitter
The central government has issued a notice against Twitter as the social media site has restored the banned accounts suspended at the Government’s request. The accounts were banned under the same act, which banned the Chinese Apps.
What is the issue?
- Over 250 Twitter accounts have been banned by the Government as they were fueling tension in the society amidst farmers’ protests.
- According to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the accounts were spreading fake and dangerous misinformation about the protests that suggested that a farmer genocide was being planned.
How did the Government get this power?
The Government of India has the power to issue such an order under Section 69A of the Information and Technology Act, 2000. The main objective of such an order against social media platforms is to stop spreading dangerous fake news and help restore the normal situation virtually and physically in society.
What is Section 69A of the IT Act 2000?
It is an act that empowers the Government of India to block any information available on the internet and accessible to the general public. The condition is the information should not hurt the Sovereignty and Integrity of India, Defence of India, Security of the State, friendly relations with states, etc.
108 km road connecting India-Nepal Border has been inaugurated
India and Nepal Jointly inaugurated the newly constructed road, which connects the India-Nepal border with Nepal’s different locations. The construction of a 108 km blacktopped road is highly impactful. It provides connectivity to Nepal’s remote locations and a community development project under the agreement between India and Nepal.
India has provided a fund of 44.5 Million Nepalese Rupees, roughly equal to INR 2.79 crores. Laxmipur and the Gadhiya are two extreme points of the roads situated in Sarlahi District Nepal.
Recent Road controversy between the two nations
In May 2020, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the 80 km long road connecting Lipulekh Pass and Dharchula in Uttarakhand. According to the Govt of Nepal’s official sources, the road passes through the territories of Nepal. The relations are back to normal. The visit and welcome of Chief of Army Staff Manoj Mukund Naravane are evident of the normalcy.
In November 2020, the two nations also paved the way to construct the 3rd Integrated Check Post (ICP) along their border at Nepalgunj, Nepal. The ICP will facilitate custom and immigration facilities to channelize the cross-border movement of cargo trucks.
Prime Minister – Khadga Prasad (KP) Sharma Oli
Capital – Kathmandu
Praveen Sinha Appointed as an acting Chief of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
A Gujarat Cadre Indian Police Service Officer, Praveen Sinha, has been appointed as an acting Chief of CBI. The 1988 batch officer is currently serving as the Additional Director of CBI. He will succeed Rishi Kumar Sukla, who will retire from the service on 3rd February 2021.
About Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
At the time of its establishment in 1941, it was named The Special Police Establishment (SPE). Later, in 1963 the name Central Bureau of Investigation was given to it.
Motto- Industry, Impartiality, Integrity
Headquarters- New Delhi
Former Indian Tennis player and Coach Akhtar Ali passed away
Former Indian Tennis player and renowned player Akhtar Ali passed away at the age of 81. The former Davis Cup player has supported another Indian Tennis Legend, Leander Paes, for developing his career. He was born on 5th July 1938 in Kolkata, West Bengal. He was the father of current Davis Cup Coach Zeeshan Ali.
– At the age of 16, Ali has won Junior National Title.
– As a player, Ali has represented India in 8 Davis Cup ties.
– After the retirement as a player, he also played the role of Davis Cup Coach.
– He also won National Squash Championship in 1968.
To felicitate his lawn tennis contribution, he was bestowed with one of India’s highest sports awards, the Arjuna Award in 2000.