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NATIONAL AFFAIRS - November 2021

Nov 2021

Aug 21, 2022

Govt. to Amend 114-year-old the Indian Ports Act

  • The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways released a draft to amend the Indian Ports Act, 1908, which aims to bring in sweeping reforms in the sector by bringing non-major ports into the national fold, creating a new mechanism for resolution of disputes, and empowering maritime state development council (MSDC). The draft bill will see comments from stakeholders before being tabled in Parliament.
  • According to the Shipping Ministry, the Indian Ports Act, 1908 is more than 110 years old. It has become imperative that the Act is revamped to reflect the present-day frameworks, incorporate India's international obligations, address emerging environmental concerns, and aid the consultative development of the ports sector in the national interest.

Gadkari Launches India's First Electric Double-decker Bus

  • Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, launched India's first AC double-decker electric bus in Mumbai.
  • Manufactured by Switch Mobility Ltd (Switch), the electric double-decker has more capacity and can carry nearly twice the number of seated passengers as compared to single-decker bus.
  • The electric bus has contemporary styling with feel-good interiors and exteriors. With wide front and rear doors, two staircases and an emergency door, the bus boats of the latest safety standards.

Aug 20, 2022

Minister Sarbananda Sonowal Dedicates Hooghly Cochin Shipyard Limited to Nation

  • Union Minister for Shipping, Ports and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal dedicated the state-of-the-art shipbuilding facility 'Hooghly Cochin Shipyard' at Nazirganj in Howrah to the nation. Cochin Shipyard's new shipbuilding facility in the state became operational. He expressed satisfaction that such a state-of-the-art shipbuilding centre was established on the banks of the Hooghly River in Kolkata. The minister said that this centre will fulfil the requirement of high technology, environment friendly watercraft for the development of national waterways as well as inland water transport. Northeast states will also benefit from water transport connectivity.
  • The yard will not only enable economic development in the immediate area, but also direct and indirect employment as well as development of MSMEs and ancillary industries.

Minister of Fisheries, Parshottam Rupala launches 'Aqua Bazar' App

  • National Fisheries Development Board (NPFB) conducted its 9th governing body meeting in New Delhi. The governing body meeting was chaired by Minister of Fisheries Parshottam Rupala. Minister of State for Fisheries L. Murugan and Sanjeev Kumar Balyan also attended the meeting.
  • On this occasion, Parshottam Rupala released a book on Super Success Stories from Indian Fisheries. He also launched an online marketplace feature - 'Aqua Bazar' app. The app would help the fish farmers and stakeholders to source the inputs such as fish seed, feed and medicines and services required for fish culture. It would connect various stakeholders involved in aquaculture sector.

Goa Becomes 1st Har Ghar Jal Certified State

  • Goa became the first Har Ghar Jal certified state and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu are the first Union Territories in the country. In this state and UT, people from all the villages have declared their village as Har Ghar Jal through a resolution passed by the Gram Sabha. All two lakh 63 thousand rural households of Goa and over 85 thousand of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu have access to safe drinking water through tap connection.
  • The country-wide mission rolled out by the government in August 2019 has a 2024 deadline. After a delay caused by the pandemic, the scheme has now achieved 52% coverage.

Aug 19, 2022

GoI Unveils "Manthan" Platform for Better Industry and R&D Collaboration

  • With the view to implementing technology-based social impact innovations and solutions in India, the Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) office to the Government of India launched the 'Manthan' platform. The platform aims to promote collaboration at scale between industry and the scientific research and development ecosystem which will further aid in achieving India's sustainability goals in alignment with the UN-defined Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) charter. The launch commemorated India's 75 years of Independence – Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.
  • Empowering all spheres of Science and Technology within the country is the main aim of the Government in India. Through this platform – Manthan – India aims to present an opportunity to bring national and global communities closer to the nation's technology revolution.

FSIB Recommends Mohammad Mustafa as a Chairman of NABARD

  • The Financial Services Institutions Bureau (FSIB) suggested Mohammad Mustafa to lead NABARD. Mohammad Mustafa served as the Small Industries Development Bank of India's Chairman and Managing Director (CMD).
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, would make the final determination about the FSIB's proposal of Mohammad Mustafa.
  • NABARD is the top regulatory organisation in India for governing regional rural banks and top cooperative banks.
  • He was an IAS officer from the Uttar Pradesh cadre from the 1995 batch.
  • Mohammad Mustafa had previously held the positions of Director and Joint Secretary at the Department of Financial Services.
  • He held the positions of MD of CERSAI in 2016 and CMD of the National Housing Bank between 2014 and 2015.

Aug 18, 2022

Kerala Govt's Own E-taxi Service App

  • Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan launched the LDF government's own e-taxi service app, named 'Kerala Savari', which is considered to be the first such initiative by any state in the country.
  • Vijayan also flagged off, at the app launch event, the auto rickshaws which would be operating under the new online taxi hiring service that was rolled out by the state Labour Department.
  • Under the new initiative, the objective is to link the existing auto rickshaw-taxi networks in Kerala with an aim to ensure safe and dispute-free travel for the public at affordable rates prevailing in the state.

Medicine from Sky: Arunachal Gets Drone-based Healthcare Services

  • Arunachal Pradesh successfully launched the first flight of drone service - 'medicine from the sky' from Seppa to Chayang Tajo in East Kameng district.
  • Chief Minister Pema Khandu said "Drone Services Launched: Guided by the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make India the world's drone hub, the government of Arunachal Pradesh has decided to conduct a pilot project of using drones in healthcare, agriculture and disaster management in collaboration with the World Economic Forum (WEF)".
  • The pilot project funded by USAID and executed by Redwings Labs shall provide a clear picture on operational issues, financial feasibility and regulatory issues, based on which our govt shall make a policy and take steps for phased adoption of this emerging technology.

PM Modi Announces 'Panch Pran' Goal for the Next 25 Years

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to the nation from the Red Fort for the ninth time in a row on August 15, 2022. PM Modi, in his 88-minute speech, outlined his "Panch Pran Targets" (Five Resolves) to make India a developed country by the time it celebrates its 100th Independence Day in 25 years. Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed the Panch Pran Goal.
  • Panch Pran: India's developed standards
  • Cleanliness campaigns, vaccinations, electrical connections, the elimination of open defecation, and the usage of solar energy are all examples of established India standards according to the Panch Pran.
  • A prime illustration of "liberation from the concept of servitude" is the New National Education Policy.
  • Women's rights, gender equality, and India First are national emblems of solidarity and unity.
  • India would advance if its citizens carry out obligations like saving power, practising chemical-free agriculture, and making the most of the available irrigation water.

India's First Portal on Arrested Narco Offenders 'NIDAAN' Gets Operational

  • A first-of-its kind database of arrested narcotics offenders was made operational for use by various central and state prosecution agencies tasked to enforce anti-drugs laws in the country.
  • The portal--NIDAAN or the National Integrated Database on Arrested Narco-offenders--has been developed by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).
  • The NIDAAN platform sources its data from the ICJS (inter-operable criminal justice system) and the e-Prisons (a cloud-based application) repository and it is planned to integrate it in the future with the crime and criminal tracking network system or CCTNS.
  • NIDAAN is a one-stop solution for all narcotics offenders' related data and will help investigative agencies as an effective tool to connect the dots while probing narcotics cases.

Govt. Extends Tenure of DCGI Chief V.G. Somani by Three Months

  • The Centre extended the tenure of Drug Controller General of India V. G. Somani by three months. His term was set to end on 14 August 2022.
  • During the pandemic, the incumbent DCGI played a key role from approval of covid-19 vaccines to approval of lifesaving drugs and ensuring its quality in combatting the covid-19 pandemic.
  • The union government is looking for a new candidate for the post of DCGI which works to ensure the quality of drugs and cosmetics sold in the country gives approval for new drugs and regulates clinical trials.
  • In 2019, the government had appointed Somani as DCGI for a period of three years to head India's apex drug regulatory agency Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO).

Shivraj Chouhan, Gadkari Dropped from BJP Parliamentary Board

  • The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) reconstituted its top decision-making body, the parliamentary board, dropping Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari.
  • Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma and Maharashtra's Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis — the three mass leaders of the BJP who were widely expected to make it to the top body – were also left out.
  • However, Fadnavis has been made a member of the party's Central Election Committee which selects candidates during Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.
  • Chaired by BJP president JP Nadda, the newly constituted board has 11 leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Minister and former Assam CM Sarbanand Sonowal and former Karnataka CM B.S. Yediyurappa.
  • Telangana BJP leader K Laxman, Iqbal Singh Lalpura from Punjab, Sudha Yadav from Haryana, Satyanarayan Jatiya from Madhya Pradesh and BJP national general secretary (organization) BL Santosh are also part of the parliamentary board. Santosh, who is from Karnataka, was named the board's secretary.

Aug 17, 2022

Kolkata to Host India International Seafood Show in 2023 after a Gap of 16 Years

  • The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), in association with the Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI), will host the 23rd edition of India International Seafood Show in Kolkata from February 15 to 17 in 2023, after a gap of 16 years.
  • As per MPEDA Chairman Dr. K N Raghavan, the biennial showpiece event in the seafood sector, to be held at the sprawling Biswa Bangala Mela Prangan in Kolkata, will provide an ideal platform for interaction between Indian exporters and overseas importers of the country's marine products.
  • The event would also provide a huge scope for tapping new avenues and introducing various technologies and products to the global market. Another objective is to highlight the country's commitment towards sustainability in the entire value chain of seafood products such as primary production, processing and transportation.
  • There would also be technical sessions by national and international experts who will brainstorm on chalking out measures that would give a further impetus to seafood exports from the country.

Bihar Cabinet Expansion: Nitish Kumar Keeps Home Dept., Tejashwi Yadav Gets Health

  • Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar allocated portfolios and retained the all-important home department, giving him direct control over the state police. The JD(U) chief also kept with himself general administration, cabinet secretariat, election and 'any other departments not assigned to others'. His Deputy and RJD's Tejashwi Prasad Yadav was also given key portfolios like health, road construction, urban housing and development and rural works. Yadav's elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav has been given environment, forestry and climate change.
  • Besides the CM and the deputy CM, only Vijay Kumar Chaudhary (finance, commercial tax and parliamentary affairs) and Bijendra Yadav (power and planning and development) have got more than one portfolio.

S. Jaishankar in Thailand for 9th India-Thailand Joint Commission Meet

  • External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar attended the 9th India-Thailand Joint Commission Meeting.
  • The 8th Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) between India and Thailand was held on October 10, 2019, in New Delhi. The Indian side was led by Jaishankar and the Thai side was led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Don Pramudwinai.
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