Daily Current Affairs - 15-09-2021

7th Foreign Office Consultations between India and Chile were held on September 14, 2021 in Santiago.

Highlights

Preferential Trade Agreement

India- Chile Relations

Chile acts as window to Latin America and to Pacific Alliance for India. It is the fifth largest trading partner of India across the Latin American region. Both the countries signed the Preferential Trade Agreement in 2017 in order to enhance the trade. Bilateral trade between both the countries is growing with time. Both the countries are partners in International Solar Alliance as well. In 2019, 70th year of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations was commemorated.

India has assured ASEAN partners for its support in the recovery efforts in the post pandemic period.

Highlights

India-ASEAN Relation

Relationship with ASEAN is a significant pillar of India’s foreign policy as well the foundation of Act East Policy. India has launched a separate Mission to ASEAN and the EAS in Jakarta. India and ASEAN completed 25 years of Dialogue Partnership besides 15 years of Summit Level interaction as well as 5 years of Strategic Partnership. ASEAN is the seventh largest trading partner of India. India’s trade with ASEAN is about 10.6% of India’s overall trade while India’s export to ASEAN is about 11.28% of total exports. ASEAN and India have also completed Free Trade Area.

ASEAN India-Business Council (AIBC)

AIBC was set up in 2003 in order to bring private sector players from India and ASEAN on a single platform.

Vice President & Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla will launch Sansad TV jointly on September 15, 2021.

Highlights

The launch date of Sansad Tv, September 15, coincides with the International Day of Democracy.

Background

Sansad TV was created by merging the Rajya Sabha TV and Lok Sabha TV in February 2021. Government also appointed the CEO of Sansad TV in March, 2021.

Programming of Sansad TV

Sansad TV programming primarily includes four categories:

  1. Functioning of Parliament & democratic institutions
  2. Governance and implementation of schemes & policies
  3. History & culture of India and
  4. Issues, interests and concerns of contemporary nature.

About Sansad TV

Sansad TV is an Indian government television service that broadcasts programming of the two Houses of Parliament and other public affairs programming. It was formed on March 2021 by merging two existing house channels that is, Lok Sabha TV and Rajya Sabha TV. Provisionally the channel will comprise of 35 themes on which programmes will be aired. Programmes will be similar and in two English and Hindi languages.

Who is the CEO of Sansad TV?

Ravi Capoor is the current CEO of the channel. He is a retired IAS officer and was appointed on March 1, 2021.

International Day of Democracy

United Nations General Assembly had resolved to observe September 15 as the International Day of Democracy in 2007. The day is observed with the object of promoting and upholding the principles of democracy.

Engineers Day 2021 is being observed on September 15, to mark the birthday of Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya.

Contributions of Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya

History of Engineers Day

India has been celebrating the Engineers Day on September 15, since 1968. His birthday is celebrated as Engineers’ Day in India, Sri Lanka and Tanzania.

About Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya

He is more commonly known as Sir MV. He was an Indian civil engineer, & statesman. He served as the 19th Diwan of Mysore, from 1912 to 1919. He pursued his degree from 3rd oldest engineering college in Asia called College of Engineering, Pune. He also received India’s highest honour that is Bharat Ratna, in 1955. King George V has knighted him as a Knight Commander of the British Indian Empire (KCIE) for his contributions towards public good.

World Engineering Day

World Engineer’s Day is observed in several countries on varying dates of the year. World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO) has however designated March 4th as ‘World Engineering Day for a Sustainable World’, as of 19 January 1996.

The international community has announced about $1.2 billion in aid for Afghanistan humanitarian crisis.

Highlights

High-level ministerial event

Why engagement with Taliban was emphasised?

U.N. chief emphasised on engagement with Taliban and the de facto government in country, because their cooperation is needed to provide humanitarian assistance inside Afghanistan. He also noted that it is important to engage with the Taliban at for all other aspects that concern the international community, including the terrorism, human rights, drugs, or the nature of government.

Interim government in Afghanistan

The Taliban had announced an interim government led by Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund who is the chief of the Taliban’s decision-making body ‘Rehbari Shura’. He is the acting prime minister and Abdul Ghani Baradar is the deputy prime minister in the new Islamic government.

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, addressed the 17th Indo-US Economic Summit ‘Bouncing Back-Resilient Recovery Path Post Covid-19’ on September 14, 2021.

Highlights

17th Indo-US Economic Summit

This summit was organised by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC).

Opportunities for American companies

Government of India is making several efforts for boosting production and adoption of alternative transport fuel like ethanol. Government is also working on last mile connectivity using several modes of transport. Thus, the American companies have the opportunities to invest in research and development of mobility technology in India.

Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC)

IACC was established in 1968. It is the apex bilateral Chamber that synergizes the India-US Economic Engagement. It was started by Ambassador Chester Bowles. It was established with the objective of promoting Indo-American business, trade relations and economic relations. It promotes bilateral trade as well as investment & technology transfer.

Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare signed five memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with the private companies on September 14, 2021.

What are those companies?

MoUs were signed for pilot projects with five private companies namely, CISCO, ITC Limited, Ninjacart, Jio Platforms Limited, and NCDEX e-Markets Limited (NeML).

Key Highlights

Significance of the project

These pilot projects will help the farmers in making informed decisions on what crop to grow, what variety of seed to use, as well as what best practices to adopt in order to maximise the yield.

Digital Agriculture Mission

These MoUs were signed as a part of Agriculture Ministry’s Digital Agriculture Mission, that has been launched for a period of five years (2021 -2025) for projects based on new technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, use of drones, remote sensing and GIS technology and robots etc.

Commerce and Industry Minister of India, Piyush Goyal hold a virtual meeting with his UK counterpart, Liz Truss, on September 13, 2021. During the meeting, both the ministers agreed on the next steps to launch negotiations for UK-India trade agreement.

Highlights

Significance of ministerial dialogues

As per UK, these regular ministerial dialogues help in understanding each other’s position on potential chapter areas of any trade deal such as tariffs, standards, IP & data regulation, in a better manner.

Views of International Trade Secretary

International Trade secretary noted her ambition to negotiate a trade agreement in order to deliver results for British people and businesses including in digital & data, tech, food and drink.

FTA with India

As per UK trade ministry, preparations for an FTA with India are progressing. This deal would represent a major boost for UK exporters. It will lower the tariffs, ease the regulation, and drive up the bilateral trade that stands at GBP 23 billion as of 2019.

The Tamil Nadu Assembly passed a Bill on September 13, 2021 that made the encroachment of properties of religious institutions a cognisable and non-bailable offence.

Key Points

What were the provisions earlier?

Till the bill was passed, only the Commissioner of the Hindu religious and charitable endowments department were empowered to file complaint against encroachment of temple land.

Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act, 1959

As per sub section (3) of Section 79-B of the Act, no court can take cognisance of the offence of unlawful possession for any property that belongs to a charitable or religious institution or endowment except when the complaint is filed in writing from the Commissioner.

Why this bill was passed?

The bill was passed in light of increasing instances of encroachments of properties belonging to religious institutions. This offence is serious in nature. Thus, the government considered that criminal complaint may be filed by any person who are interested in the affairs of the religious institution.

The Madras High Court (HC) has set aside the 2018 notification of Central government that had fixed a speed of 120 km/hour as the limit on highways and expressways.

Highlights

Why central government’s notification was quashed?

Justices N Kirubakaran (since retired) and TV Tamilselvi noted that, over speeding is the main killer and responsible for most of the accidents. Despite knowing this fact, government has increased the limit for various reasons including the commercial reasons. It is resulting into more deaths. Citing this, the notification was quashed.

Road Accidents in India

According to a report of 2020 by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, six two-wheeler riders die every hour in India. Most of the two-wheeler riders are inviting accidents by over speeding.

How deaths can be prevented?

HC noted that, it is the bounden duty of concerned Government to direct manufacturers of two wheelers to install speed governors in all the two-wheelers at the manufacturing stage itself. This will help in controlling the speed of vehicle as a result, deaths will be prevented and accidents will be averted.

Why accidents are increasing?

Another factor for the increase in accidents is ‘over speeding is by imported vehicles’ that are not designed or manufactured for Indian conditions. Imported vehicles come with high-speed engines. Thus, they should be calibrated in a manner that vehicle would not pick up speed beyond the limit permitted in India.

IIT-Bombay launched its “Project Udaan” on the occasion of Hindi Diwas on September 14, 2021.

Aim of the project

Project Udaan was launched with the aim of breaking the language barrier that many students face while joining the institutes of higher education.

About the project

Project Udaan enables the translation of textbooks and other study material of the engineering and other streams from English to Hindi & other Indian Languages. This project was envisaged by Prof. Ganesh Ramakrishnan from Department of Computer Science & Engineering in IIT Bombay. It is a donation based and Artificial Intelligence-based translation ecosystem. It helps in translating engineering textbooks and learning materials in one-sixth the time as compared to manual tasking. This machine translation will be aided by human effort.

About IIT Bombay

IIT Bombay was established in 1958. It was declared as Institute of National Importance in 1961. This institute was established on the recommendation of a committee formed by Government of India in 1946. The committee had recommended for establishment of four higher institutes of technology in order to develop technical education in India. Planning to establish institutes started in 1957 and first batch of 100 students was admitted in 1958. This public technical and research university is located in Powai, Mumbai. It was the second Indian Institutes of Technology that was established in 1958 with the assistance from UNESCO and funds from the Soviet Union.

Chhattisgarh government launched the “Millet Mission” on September 14, 2021 with the objective of making the state a millet hub of India.

Highlights

Aim of the Millet Mission

Millet Mission initiative was launched with the aim of giving the farmers right price for small cereal crops and to provide them input assistance, procurement arrangements and processing. This mission also seeks to ensure that the farmers get benefit from the expertise of experts.

Districts covered under millet mission

The districts in the state of Chhattisgarh that have been included under the mission include: Bastar, Kanker, Kondagaon, Sukma, Dantewada, Bijapur, Narayanpur, Balrampur, Rajnandgaon, Kawardha, Jashpur, Gaurela-Pendra-Marwahi,  Koriya and Surajpur.

About the MoU

Under the MoU, Indian Institute of Millet Research, Hyderabad will provide support and guidance in order to increase the productivity of Kodo, Kutki and Ragi. It will also provide technical know-how and ensure the availability of high-quality seeds. Institute will also help in establishment of seed bank in Chhattisgarh. Apart from this, arrangements will be made to train the farmers of Chhattisgarh through Krishi Vigyan Kendra in a bid to spread the scientific technology developed at national level with respect to the millet production by IIMR Hyderabad at the field level.

Hindi Diwas is observed every year in India on September 14, to remember and honour the adoption of Hindi language as one of the official languages in India.

Highlights

About Hindi Language

Hindi is written in Devanagari script for the unversed. It comprises of a large number of dialects attached to it such as Khari Boli, Awadhi, Bundeli, Braj and Bagheli. India has a maximum number of Hindi-speaking regions as compared to other countries. So far, Hindi Language is standing at fourth place worldwide after English, Spanish and Mandarin.

Who initiated talk of making Hindi an official language?

Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, was the first person to term Hindi as the language of the masses. He also initiated talk on making Hindi as the national language of India.

Background of Hindi Day

Constituent Assembly has adopted Hindi as the official language of India on September 14, 1949. To commemorate this, the first Hindi Day or Hindi Diwas was observed on September 14, 1953.

Objective of making Hindi an official language

During that time, several efforts were made to adopt Hindi as the official language with the objective of streamlining the administration and making things simple in running the country.

Birth anniversary of Rajendra Simha

This day is also the birth anniversary of birth anniversary of Beohar Rajendra Simha. He was born on September 14, 1900. His birth anniversary is celebrated to remember him for his efforts in adopting Hindi as the official language.