Commerce and Industry Minister, Piyush Goyal, has been appointed as India’s Sherpa for G20.
G20 is an intergovernmental forum consisting of 19 countries and the European Union (EU). This grouping works to address major issues related to the global economy like international financial stability, sustainable development and climate change mitigation. G20 comprises of largest economies, including industrialised & developing nations, of the world. it collectively accounts for 90 percent of gross world product, 75-80 percent of international trade, half of world’s land area and two-thirds of the global population.
This grouping was founded in 1999 following a several world economic crises. Since 2008, it organises summits at least once a year, involving each member’s head of government or state, foreign ministers, finance minister, and other high-ranking officials. EU is represented by European Commission and European Central Bank.
Sherpa is the personal representative of the head of state or government who prepares an international summit, specially the annual G7 and G20 summits. Sherpa is generally influential, but they do not have any authority to make final decision regarding any given agreement.
Union Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh and Union Highways Minister, Nitin Gadkari inaugurated the Emergency Landing Facility on a National Highway in Rajasthan on September 9, 2021.
Development of roadways as key infrastructure enabled the construction of high-quality expressways and highways, that can be used as runways with few modifications. These highways and expressways have a limited construction of additional infrastructure. As a result, they can be used to operate various types of aircraft during emergencies.
National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) developed a three kilometres section of the Satta-Gandhav stretch on NH-925A, under the supervision of IAF.
This facility was developed on NH-925A from Km 41/430 to Km 44/430 for the IAF. It is a part of newly developed two-lane stretch of Satta-Gandhav and Gagariya-Bakhasar section in Barmer (Rajasthan). Total length of the highway is 196.97 kilometres, while the length of emergency landing facility is 3.5km. It costs worth Rs 765.52 crores under the Bharatmala Pariyojana. It was completed in 19 months.
This facility will be used for road traffic flow on every day basis. However, during the operations of IAF, it will be used to facilitate the landing of all types of aircraft of IAF. It will improve the connectivity between villages of Jalore and Barmer districts in Rajasthan.
Government of India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $112 million loan in order to develop water supply infrastructure in the state of Jharkhand.
In order to ensure sustainability, project will strengthen the capacity of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) by developing an asset management strategy and training on design and implementation of urban projects. It will also introduce innovative technologies in order to minimize water losses in water treatment and distribution. It will also use a supervisory control and data acquisition system for water supply operation and geographic information system-based asset management in the state’s capital city, Ranchi.
State of Tamil Nadu and Denmark have planned to create an energy island in Gulf of Mannar that lies between the west coast of Sri Lanka and south-eastern tip of India.
A delegation of experts from Denmark met Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, M K Stalin on September 8, 2021 to discuss the plan. If the plan materialises, it will be India’s first offshore floating wind park.
Tamil Nadu and Denmark made their plan for the investments, days after the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) announced to launch 20,000 Mw of solar power projects with adequate battery storage, 2,000 Mw of gas-based power units and 3,000 Mw of pumped storage hydroelectric projects. These projects will require loans of about Rs 1.32 trillion.
Value of Danish investment in Tamil Nadu in the period of January 2003 to January 2021 is estimated at $ 751.72 million. Some of the Danish companies operating in Tamil Nadu include Maersk, Vestas, Cubic, Danfoss, Grundfos, and FLSmidth.
Around 200 Danish companies are operating in other parts of India, including Ramboll, A.P. Moller Maersk, and Novo-Nordisk. In the last decade, Denmark has invested more than $1 billion in India. Indian companies operating in Denmark include Tata Consultancy Services, ITC Infotech, Infosys Technologies and L&T Infotech.
Indian government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a 300-million-dollar loan on September 8, 2021 to expand rural connectivity in Maharashtra.
It is an ongoing project in Maharashtra that was approved in August 2019 with 200-million-dollar financing. The project is already maintaining and improving the condition and safety of 2,100 kilometres of rural roads.
New project is expected to generate 3.1 million person-days of employment for local communities. 25 percent of the jobs will be for women, over the construction and maintenance periods. Under the project, a gender action plan has been prepared in order to focus on capacity development of women workers so that they get benefit from semiskilled and unskilled labour opportunities.
ADB is a regional development bank that came in existence on December 19, 1966. It has its headquarter in Philippines. ADB maintains 31 field offices across the world. It seeks to promote social and economic development in Asia. Members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) as well as non-regional developed countries can take the membership of bank. It started its functioning with 31 members but now has 68 members.
Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Russian on cooperation in the field of Geosciences.
MoU was signed between the Joint Stock Company Rosgeologia (State holding Company) of Russia and the Geological Survey of India (GSI), Ministry of Mines.
MoU was signed with the objective of extending mutual cooperation for technological collaboration for exploration of:
A delegation of ROSGEO held meeting with Ministry of Mines and Geological Survey of India (GSI) in 2020 to discuss the perspectives of Cooperation in exploration works in New Delhi. During the meeting MoU was proposed to be signed between GSI and ROSGEO. Accordingly, GSI finalized the MoU in consultation with ROSGEO.
It is the largest geological State holding company of Russian Federation. The company has a developed production and technical capabilities, high professional competences as well as a unique scope of accumulated geological information. It performs all kinds of geological prospecting and exploration activities for mineral resources of all types. It also conducts estimation of the reserves and commissioning of fields into operation.
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved an increase in Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for all the mandated Rabi crops on September 8, 2021.
MSP was increased for the Rabi Marketing Season (RMS) 2022-23 with the aim of realigning MSPs in favour of pulses, oilseeds, and coarse cereals. The Differential remuneration aims to encourage crop diversification.
Highest absolute increase in MSP has been recommended. MSP has been increased by Rs 400 per quintal on each of lentil, rapeseeds and mustard. On gram, it was increased by Rs 130 per quintal while in case of safflower, it was increased by Rs 114 per quintal as compared to MSP in 2020.
MSP for Rabi crops for RMS 2022-23 was increased in line with the Union Budget 2018-19 announcement. In budget it was announced to fix the MSPs at the level of at least 1.5 times of the all-India weighted average cost of production.
Government announced this centrally sponsored scheme recently to help in increasing the domestic production of edible oils and reduce imports dependency. It was announced with a total outlay of Rs 11,040 crore. Scheme will aid farmers in expanding area and productivity of the sector and benefit them by increasing their income and generation of additional employment.
This scheme was announced in 2018 to aid farmers in providing remunerative return for their produce. It has three sub-schemes namely, Price Support Scheme (PSS), Private Procurement & Stockist Scheme (PPSS) and Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS).
Central government has approved the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme of worth Rs 10,683 crore for the textiles sector on September 8, 2021.
This PLI scheme will impact and benefit special states including Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Odisha.
This production-linked incentive scheme for textiles is a part of overall scheme that was announced for 13 sectors during Budget 2021-22, with an outlay of Rs 1.97 lakh crore. With the PLI schemes for 13 sectors, minimum production in India is expected to be around Rs 37.5 lakh crore in a period of five years.
The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has cleared the procurement of 56 transport aircraft from Airbus on September 8, 2021.
This is the first-of-its-kind deal in India. All the aircraft will be installed with indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite. Thus, it is a unique initiative to strengthen indigenous capabilities. This project will boost the aerospace ecosystem in India because several MSMEs in India will be involved in manufacturing of parts of these aircraft. This deal also provides opportunity to Indian private sector to enter into technology intensive and highly competitive aviation industry.
C-295MW aircraft will replace the Avro aircraft of Air Force. Avro Aircraft are British-origin twin-engine turboprop, military transport and freighter having a freight capacity of 6-tonne.
C-295MW is a transport aircraft having a capacity of 5-10 tonne. It also comprises of contemporary technology to replace the ageing Avro aircraft of the IAF. It also comprises of a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para-dropping of troops and cargo.
The Supreme Court has ruled that, Indian Railways must pay compensation to passengers if trains run late.
The apex court has upheld the compensation awarded to a passenger whose train was delayed by four hours when he was travelling to Jammu with his family in 2016. They missed their flight. As a result, they had to take an expensive taxi to Srinagar. They also missed their booking of a boat on Dal Lake. Following the incident, passenger filed a case with the district consumer grievances forum in Alwar, Rajasthan. Forum directed the North-Western Railways to pay a compensation of Rs 30,000 for the costs incurred by the passenger and his family because of missed flight.
The railways appealed against the forum’s order. But its contentions were rejected by various forums, including the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi. Railways then appealed in Supreme Court against the compensation awarded to the passenger. In Supreme court, a two-judge bench held that the railways was liable to pay compensation to any passenger who files a claim against it in case railways fails to provide justification or valid reason for delay running of train.
International Literacy Day is observed on September 8 every year in a bid to remind the importance of literacy for individuals, communities and societies.
The day was proclaimed by UNESCO on October 26, 1966 at the 14th session of UNESCO’s General Conference. First International Literacy Day was celebrated in 1967. This tradition is being held annually for more than 50 years now.
The day was proclaimed with the objective of reminding international community about the importance of literacy for individuals, communities & societies and the need of intensified efforts to make more literate societies.
International Literacy Day 2021 was celebrated to explore how literacy can contribute in building a solid foundation for a human-cantered recovery. It specially focused on interplay of literacy and digital skills needed by non-literate youth and adults. It also explored what makes technology-enabled literacy learning inclusive and meaningful in order to not leave anyone behind. It provided an opportunity to reimagine future literacy teaching and learning, keeping covid-19 pandemic in mind.
The theme of the day for 2021 is “Literacy for a human-centred recovery: Narrowing the digital divide”.
Literacy goals are a significant part of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as well as its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Target 4 of the SDGs seeks to ensure that all youth and substantial proportion of adults including men and women, achieve literacy & numeracy by 2030.
According to census 2011, a total of 74.04 per cent are literate in India. It increased by 9.2 per cent as compared to last decade (2001-11). UNESCO highlights that, India will take another 50 years to achieve universal literacy that is by 2060.
Supreme Court of Mexico has decriminalised abortion and has ruled that criminal penalties on terminating pregnancies are unconstitutional, in the state of Coahuila.
Information Group on Reproductive Choice (GIRE) was campaigning for abortion rights in the country. High profile protests by feminist and women’s rights campaigners have highlighted the need for greater reproductive rights.
Before this ruling, the state of Coahuila used to punish women, who have illegal abortions, with jail terms of up to three years.
Abortion was a legal demand in country. Its legal status varied with respective state. However, Mexican Supreme court ruled on September 7, 2021 that penalizing abortion is unconstitutional and ordered to decriminalize it across the entire country. Procedure of abortion is available on request to any woman up to twelve weeks into a pregnancy in Mexico City as well as in states of Oaxaca, Veracruz and Hidalgo.