- National and International Issues on
- Economic Development
- Social Development
- Industrial Development
- Energy and Environment
- Information and Communication Technology
Topic 1:Economic development
Informal WTO ministerial meeting
Delegates from as many as 52 countries, including the US and China, are participating in the informal meeting of the WTO being held on Tuesday amid increasing protectionism in global trade.
- India has called this meeting to explore options to reinvigorate the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
- Informal discussions will continue throughout the day and the delegates will explore in detail the option for reinvigorating the WTO.
- Escalating tensions, the WTO member countries need to find ways to resolve issues hampering global trade constructively.
- The meeting assumes significance as the global trade appears fragile with certain developed countries threatening to retaliate the duty hike on steel and aluminium products by US
Read more at:The Hindu
Topic 1:Industrial development
Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP)
The ‘Jal Marg Vikas’ (National Waterway-1) project envisages to develop a fairway with 3 meters depth between Allahabad to Haldia covering a distance of 1620 kms at an estimated cost of Rs. 4200 crore to be completed in six years.
- For implementation of the Jal Marg Vikas Project, technical assistance and investment support is being provided by the World Bank
- Phase-I of the project covers the Haldia-Varanasi stretch which includes development of fairway, Multi-Modal Terminals, strengthening of river navigation system, conservancy works, modern River Information System (RIS), Digital Global Positioning System (DGPS), night navigation facilities, modern methods of channel marking etc.
Read more at: PIB
Move out, move up’ approach could ease India’s farm crisis
Indian must adopt policies that facilitate sections of farmers to ‘move out’ of rural areas to urban areas and the remaining ones to ‘move up’ in the farming sector to tackle the current agrarian crisis.
- The first response is to increase productivity and production.
- Those who stay behind will be able to increase the holding and move to producing high value food, that will create new opportunities. That is the ‘move out, move up’ approach
- Non-farm opportunities in rural areas must also increase if farmers have to come out of poverty.Food processing, input supplies, trade and marketing, making construction materials for urban centres etc. as such non-farm opportunities that are possible in rural areas, where farmers could work part-time or seasonally.
- The ownership of future agriculture technologies will have implications for the future of farmers
- Indian agriculture scientists must work hard to develop and own new technologies
Read more at: The Hindu
Topic 2 : Environment
Government launches Sand Mining Framework
To help states deal with the issue of sand mining, including demand-supply deficit and illegal extraction, the government launched a framework prepared after intensive consultations with all stakeholders.
- Sand is an important component for housing, infrastructure projects and construction activities.
- This will help states to frame their policies, taking into consideration their objectives, endowments and state deployment of resources
- The natural endowment of sand across many states is unable to meet the demand, coupled with ease of extraction issues of environmental degradation, pricing and illegalities in mining have risen.
- The main objective is to provide a framework to assist states in arriving at best possible options before them
- The framework addresses the issues of state objectives, demand-supply assessment, measures to sand availability, allocation model, transportation and monitoring mechanisms
- The framework also lays emphasis on the possible alternatives of sand, including its import.
Read more at:The Hindu
Topic 3 : ICT
India joins Europe’s satellite data sharing pool
India has joined Europe’s mega global arrangement of sharing data from Earth observation satellites, called Copernicus.
- Data from a band of Indian remote sensing satellites will be available to the European Copernicus programme while designated Indian institutional users will in return get to access free data from Europe’s six Sentinel satellites and those of other space agencies that are part of the programme, at their cost
- The space-based information will be used for forecasting disasters, providing emergency response and rescue of people during disasters; to glean land, ocean data; and for issues of security, agriculture, climate change and atmosphere
- The multi-billion-euro Copernicus is Europe’s system for monitoring the Earth using satellite data. It is coordinated and managed by the EC
- Under this arrangement, the European Commission intends to provide India with free, full and open access to the data from the Copernicus Sentinel family of satellites using high bandwidth connections
- the Department of Space will provide the Copernicus programme and its participating states with a free, full and open access to the data from ISRO’s land, ocean and atmospheric series of civilian satellites (Oceansat-2, Megha-Tropiques, Scatsat-1, SARAL, INSAT-3D, INSAT-3DR) with the exception of commercial high-resolution satellites data
- The arrangement includes technical assistance for setting up high bandwidth connections with ISRO sites, mirror servers, data storage and archival facilities.
Read more at: The Hindu