GS PAPER II NEWS
Various development projects from Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Island of Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Why in News
- In Andaman and Nicobar Islands, 14 projects worth Rs 299 crore have been inaugurated and 12 projects worth Rs 643 crore have been laid.
- The government is initiating development work of about Rs 1,000 crore in a small area of Andaman Islands.
- The Modi government has decided to name the bridge which has been inaugurated as Azad Hind Fauj Bridge.
- Every person passing through this bridge will travel from one end to the other paying homage to Netaji’s 35,000 kilometer journey, his courage and his might.
- The work done for water supply, sanitation and health, these three are important things related to health.
- It is very important to have good and pure water, sanitation and health care and testing.
- A new facility has been started here for heart patients, in which angioplasty can also be done and pacemaker can also be installed.
- Along with this, an AYUSH hospital has also been built here and 49 wellness centers cum help centers have been made.
GS PAPER II
International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC)
Why in News
- The Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman attended the Plenary Meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC. The Annual Meeting 2021 was attended by Governors/Alternate Governors representing 190 member countries of the IMF.
- Key point
- Discussions in the meeting focused on “Vaccine, Test and Accelerate” which is the theme of the Managing Director’s Global Policy Agenda. IMFC members elaborated on the actions and measures taken by member countries to combat COVID-19 and economic recovery.
- Finance Minister Smt. Sitharaman informed that India believes that universal immunization is important to contain the spread of the virus. He stressed that the huge gap in vaccination coverage between low-income countries and developed countries is a matter of concern and it is important that we need to address the vaccine disparity.
- The Finance Minister emphasized the importance of a multilateral approach to combat climate change with the principles of equality and shared, but different, responsibilities and capabilities. Smt Sitharaman stressed that it is important to recognize the formidable challenges facing developing countries in accessing affordable financing and technology.
- Before attending the plenary meeting of the IMFC, Mrs Sitharaman also attended a limited breakfast meeting of the International Monetary Fund.
- Speaking on the issue of the COVID-19 pandemic and the response of the health care systems, the Finance Minister said that to win the war against COVID-19, it is imperative that we freely share medical research and create a friendly, accountable, affordable, develop more accessible health care systems
- On the issue of COVID-19 vaccine availability and economic recovery, Mrs Sitharaman urged greater fairness in access and availability of vaccines as the world seeks to recover from the crisis and move faster towards development.
- The Finance Minister also highlighted to all the participants that despite the pandemic crisis, India has continued its agenda of structural reforms. Comprehensive reforms including agriculture, labor and financial sectors are expected to boost the economy.
About IMFC meetings:
- IMFC meets twice a year.
- The first meeting is held during the fund-bank spring meeting in April and the second during the annual meeting in October.
- The Committee discusses matters of general concern affecting the global economy and advises the IMF on its course of action.
Relations between India and America and Nirmala Sitharaman
- Nirmala Sitharaman played a very important role in strengthening these ties during her previous tenure as Minister of Commerce and Defense. This was Sitharaman’s first visit to the US after the COVID-19 pandemic in both the countries.
- Apart from attending the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank here, his visit highlighted India’s economic recovery and his government’s commitment to long-term reforms.
- During the discussions between the IMF and the World Bank, Sitharaman held more than 25 bilateral meetings, the most important of which was the India-US economic and financial partnership.
GS PAPER II
India-US Economic and Financial Partnership Dialogue
Why in News
- The 8th Ministerial Meeting of the India-US Economic and Financial Partnership Dialogue was held in Washington DC.
- Key point
- The meeting was chaired by the Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman and the United States Minister of Finance, Dr. Janet Yellen.
- During the India-US Economic and Financial Partnership Ministerial Meeting, the macroeconomic outlook and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, financial regulatory and technical cooperation, multilateral dialogue, climate finance and anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML) /CFT) were discussed on many topics.
- The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to continue cooperation in both bilateral and multilateral fora to resolve mutual and global economic issues and strive towards amicable strategies and solutions.
- The meeting concluded with the adoption of the Joint Statement by the Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs and the US Finance Minister.
- GS PAPER III
Reduction in incidents of burning of paddy residue
Why in News
- In order to prevent and reduce air pollution during the current crop season, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) in National Capital Region-NCR and adjoining areas of Uttar Pradesh (UP) in Punjab, Haryana and National Capital Region (NCR). Actively monitoring incidents of paddy residue burning in 8 districts from 15th September 2021.
- According to the report based on the protocol prepared by the Indian Space Research Organization-ISRO for the commission, the incidents of burning of paddy residue in Punjab during the last one month were 69.49 percent, in Haryana 18.28 percent and in comparison to the corresponding period of last year. In NCR, there has been a decrease of 47.61 percent in 8 districts of Uttar Pradesh.
- During the one month period of the current year, total 1286 cases of stubble burning have been reported in Punjab as compared to 4216 incidents of stubble burning in the corresponding period of last year.
- Similarly, in respect of Haryana, 487 stubble burning incidents have been registered as compared to 596 during the corresponding period last year. In NCR, in 8 districts of Uttar Pradesh, only 22 incidents of stubble burning have been reported this year as against 42 in the corresponding period last year.
- No report of stubble burning has been received from two NCR districts of Delhi and Rajasthan.
- The first reports of paddy residue burning were reported in Punjab on September 16, in Haryana on September 28 and in the NCR region of Uttar Pradesh on September 18.
- Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Patiala and Ludhiana are the major areas of paddy residue burning in the state of Punjab. In these four districts, 72 percent of stubble burning incidents take place. Similarly, the major regions in Haryana are Karnal, Kaithal and Kurukshetra. In these 3 districts, 80 percent incidents of stubble burning take place.
- The Commission is taking steps with the State Governments of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to ensure strict implementation of the Action Plan and Framework to prevent incidents of paddy residue burning on a daily basis.
- CAQM has held several meetings with State Government officials including District Collectors/District Magistrates of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
- Out of total 1795 locations in 8 NCR districts of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh till 14 October 2021, 663 areas have been inspected by enforcement agencies and officials of the respective states. Environment Penalty (EC) has been imposed in 252 cases.
GS PAPER III
“EX YUDH ABHYAS”
Why in News
- The 17th Edition of Indo – US joint training exercise “EX YUDH ABHYAS 21” commenced at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, Alaska (USA).
- 300 US Army soldiers belonging to First Squadron (Airborne) of the 40th Cavalry Regiment and 350 soldiers of 7 MADRAS Infantry Battalion Group of Indian Army are participating in the exercise.
- The 14 days training schedule includes activities on joint training in a Counter Insurgency / Counter Terrorism environment under United Nations mandate.
- Urged both the contingents to focus on improving cohesion and inter-operability to successfully accomplish the training objectives of the exercise.
- Stressed the need for free exchange of ideas, concepts and best practices between the soldiers of the two countries and to learn from each other’s experiences.
- The joint exercise will facilitate both Armies to know each other better, share their wide experiences and enhance their situational awareness through information exchange.
- This will help them in undertaking joint operations at Battalion level in mountainous terrain with cold climatic conditions under the ambit of United Nations.