Current Affairs

21 September, 2020

International

India & Bangladesh to Resume Joint Coordinated Border Patrol to Prevent Criminal Activities

At the 50th Director General(DG) level conference between India and Bangladesh, both the countries have agreed to share real time intelligence on the smuggling syndicates ,both the countries agreed to resume the joint coordinated border patrol and the list of smugglers to control and prevent criminal activities and other problems and to ensure the peace and security in the Indo-Bangladesh borders.

The 4-day conference was held from 16th September 2020 to 19th September 2020 which concluded in Dhaka, Bangladesh
The 6-member Border Security Force (BSF)delegation was led by its DG Rakesh Asthana and the Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) delegation was led by its DG Md. Shafeenul Islam.
Outcomes of the Meeting:
i.Both India and Bangladesh agreed to take measures to prevent human trafficking and illegal crossing of International borders(IB).
ii.Bangladesh assured to restrict entry to the Indian Insurgent Groups(IIGs) that plan anti-Indian activities.
iii.The residents of bordering villages will be issued daily passes, which will enable them to visit their relatives.
iv.Both the counties have agreed not to undertake any development projects with 150 yards of IB without prior intimation.
v.The next level of DG level conference will be organised at Guwahati within the 2nd week of November 2020.
About Border Security Force (BSF):
Director General– Rakesh Asthana
Headquarters– New Delhi
About Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB):
Director General– Major General Md Shafeenul Islam
Headquarters– Dhaka, Bangladesh

53rd Annual Meeting of Board of Governors of ADB held virtually on September 17 – 18, 2020

The 53rd Annual Meeting of Board of Governor of Asian Development Bank (ADB) took place virtually on September 17-18, 2020. Ministers from ADB members, ADB Management and Industry experts participated in the virtual meeting and they discussed a wide range of issues facing Asia and Pacific due to the Pandemic.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attends the 53rd Annual Meeting:
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attended the 53rd Annual Meeting.
i.She urged ADB to increase its size of Lending and Private Sector Operations to address poverty and promote employment generation.
ii.She invited ADB to set up South Asia Sub-Regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Secretariat in India and a Private Sector Operations Branch Office in Mumbai for operational activities in the private sector.
iii.The Finance Minister stressed the need for a “Global Development” approach and a long term approach for addressing poverty.
ADB’s Funds to India:
i.In April, 2020, ADB approved a $1.5 billion (approximately Rs. 11,400 crore) loan to the Government of India to help fund its response to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
ii.In July, 2020, ADB also provided USD 3 million (approximately Rs. 22 Crores) from Pacific Disaster Relief Fund and the Regional Technical Assistance for health.
About Asian Development Bank:
President – Masatsugu Asakawa
Headquarters – Mandaluyong, Philippines

National

External Affairs Minister Launched FICCI-SAM Report “India-Japan: Time to Seize New Opportunities”

Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Union Minister of External Affairs launched the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry – Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (FICCI-SAM)’s knowledge report on “India-Japan: Time to Seize New Opportunities”over a virtual platform.
ii.The FICCI-SAM report states that the government of India has assured that various benefits and structural reforms are planned to enable the uninterrupted entry of Japanese investors into the Indian Market.
iii.The Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from Japan have increased and the number of japan based companies in India have increased.
About Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry(FICCI):
President– Dr Sangita Reddy
Senior Vice President– Uday Shankar
Secretary General– Dilip Chenoy
Headquarters– New Delhi
About Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas(SAM):
i.Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co is a full-service Indian law firm and one of the largest law firms in India. The company came into operation after a split between its two managing partners, Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A. Shroff & Co., who headed the Delhi and Mumbai offices separately.
ii.SAM as it is popularly now known is considered as Tier 1 law firm having being ranked amongst the top 3 Law firms in almost all major practice areas. The firm regularly advises some of the largest MNCs, Private Equity Funds and Indian corporate houses.
Executive Chairman– Shardul S Shroff

Centre Amended Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) Order 2017 to Promote Make in India

In order to promote the “Make in India” initiative, the Central Government has amended the Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) Order, 2017 on September 16, 2020. This amendment will enable nodal Ministries/ Departments to notify higher minimum local content requirements for Class-I & Class-II local suppliers which was earlier fixed at 50% and 20% respectively.This order is issued pursuant to Rule 153(iii) General Financial Rules 2017.
ii.The notification in this regard was issued by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Minister of Commerce and Industry.
iii.As per the amendment, the participation in the procurement process is disallowed for the countries which bar Indian companies from being part of their government procurement process in any item.
Class I local supplier means a supplier or service provider ,whose goods, services or works offered for procurement meets the minimum local content as prescribed for “Class I local subscriber ‘under this order.
Class II local supplier means a supplier or service provider ,whose goods, services or works offered for procurement meets the minimum local content as prescribed for “Class II local subscriber‘ but less than that prescribed for ‘Class I local Supplier ‘under this order.
About Minister of Commerce and Industry:
Union Minister– Piyush Vedprakash Goyal
Minister of State (MoS)– Hardeep Singh Puri, Som Parkash

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Miscellaneous

Southern Railway’s Chennai Division launches “Freight Seva” app

The Chennai Division of Southern Railways launched an in-house mobile application called “Freight Seva”, as part of its efforts to boost Freight traffic and add more customers to its base.
i.The Freight Seva app will serve as a platform for information needs, and will provide necessary details for the freight customers.
ii.It will also include various incentive schemes of Indian Railways for freight customers.
iii.The app will have a query module where the customers can seek clarifications regarding goods/parcels dealt in Chennai Division.
iv.The mobile app will help customers to get an approximate quote for a commodity to any rail destination.
v.Also, the policy initiatives taken by the Ministry of Railways will be updated in the mobile app for the benefit of freight customers.
About Southern Railways:
General Manager – John Thomas
Southern Railways Headquarters – Chennai

IIIT Bhubaneswar Students Developed, ‘Swasner’, a 1st of its kind Helmet-like Ventilation Device to Ease Breathing

A group of 7 engineering students from IIIT(International Institute of Information Technology), Bhubaneswar have developed ‘Swasner’, a 1st of its kind helmet-like ventilation device to help patients breathe more conveniently. The designed hyperbaric chamber is a low-cost device to help COVID-19 patients.
Swasner will reduce deaths caused due to lack of ventilators in the country.
About Swasner:
i.It is designed as a bubble enclosure for the head. It works on the principle of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which is mainly used to treat diving-related illness and other medical complications.
ii.This product acts as an alternative to the existing equipment available to fight against coronavirus and other similar pandemics.
Note: A prototype has been developed by the team and tested in a hospital in Cuttack.

CCI Approved Acquisition of Bombardier Transportation’s & Nutrition & Biosciences Inc.

Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the following proposals under Section 31(1) of the Competition Act, 2002:

CCI approved the acquisition of sole control over Bombardier Transportation (Bombardier Transport) by Alstom S.A. (Alstom), and acquisition of approximately 18% and 3% share capital of Alstom S.A. by Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ) and Bombardier Inc (Bombardier) respectively.
CCI also approved acquisition of Nutrition & Biosciences, Inc. (Spinco) by International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (IFF). It relates to the acquisition of sole control by IFF, over the Nutrition & Biosciences business (“N&B Business”) of DuPont de Nemours, Inc. (“DuPont”), by means of acquiring sole control over SpinCo, a company newly formed by DuPont and to which DuPont will transfer the N&B Business.
About Competition Commission of India(CCI):
Chairman– Ashok Kumar Gupta
Headquarter– New Delhi

Former RAW Chief Anil Dhasmana Appointed as New Chief of NTRO; Succeeds Satish Chandra Jha

The Central government appointed Anil Dhasmana, former chief of Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW or RAW) as the new chief of National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO). He will serve till he attains the age of 65, i.e., for 2 years. He succeeds Satish Chandra Jha, former Intelligence Bureau (IB) officer, who resigned from the office on September 17, 2020.
Note– The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi cleared the appointment of Anil Dhasmana.
Key info about Anil Dhasmana
i.He is a 1981-batch IPS(Indian Police Service) officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre.
ii.He has been with RAW for the last 23 years. He was appointed as the Chief of R&AW on 31 January, 2017 and retired in 2019.
iii.Among others ,he has also handled South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and Europe desks.
iv.He was the lead planner behind the February 2019 airstrikes on Balakot, Pakistan following an attack on a CRPF(Central Reserve Police Force) convoy in Pulwama by Pakistan-backed terrorists.
Gist about Satish Chandra Jha
i.He is a 1981 batch Bihar cadre IPS officer.
ii.Prior to his appointment as Chairman of NTRO, he also has served as an advisor to the NTRO
About Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW or RAW):
The chief of RAW is designated Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat, and is under the direct command of the Prime Minister.
Headquarters– New Delhi, India
Chief– Samant Goel
About National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO):
It is a technical intelligence Agency that is responsible for geospatial intelligence and satellite imagery. It is under the National Security Advisor in the Prime Minister’s Office, India.
Headquarters– New Delhi, India

11 member Company Law Committee Gets 1 year Extension; Headed by Rajesh Verma

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs(MCA) extended the tenure of the Company Law Committee by one year, i.e., this committee constituted in September 2019 has been extended upto two years( 17.09.2021)from the date of the order to constitute the committee(18.09.2019). It is now chaired by Rajesh Verma, Secretary of MCA.
ii.The 11-member committee has a mandate to submit periodic recommendations to the government in phases and subject-wise, as may be decided by the chairman.
About Ministry of Corporate Affairs(MCA):
Union Minister– Nirmala Sitharaman(Constituency- Rajya Sabha, Karnataka)
Minister of State– Anurag Singh Thakur

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