PIB NEWS Synopsis 11th December 2019

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1)Subramania Bharathi:Respectfuly known as ‘Mahakavi Bharathiar’, he is a symbol of patriotism, social reform, poetic genius and indomitable sprit of freedom and fearlessness. His thoughts and works continue to motivate us all.

2)Social Security between India and Brazil :- India has been entering into bilateral Social Security Agreements (SSAs) with other countries in order to protect the interests of Indian professionals / skilled workers working abroad for short durations and enhance the competitiveness of Indian companies.

SSAs broadly provide the following three benefits:

  • Avoiding making of double social security contributions by the workers (detachment);
  • Easy remittance of benefits (Exportability);
  • Aggregating the contribution periods (in two countries) to prevent loss of benefits (Totalization). The agreement will also provide for disability insurance benefits to the Indian nationals working abroad. As on date, India has signed SSAs with 18 countries.

At present, about 1,000 Brazilians are living in India, while about 4,700 Indians are living in Brazil. All posted/detached workers and self-employed persons will benefit from this proposal without any discrimination. Thus, it would promote equity and inclusiveness.

3)Cabinet approves Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2019:- The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval to introduce the Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2019 for carrying out the amendments to the Aircraft Act, 1934 (XXII of 1934). The Bill will now be introduced in the Parliament.

The Bill enhances the maximum limit of fine from the existing Rs. 10 lakhs to Rs. One Crore. It also enlarges the scope of the existing Act to include regulation of all areas of Air Navigation.

The amendments would fulfil the requirements of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). This will enable the three regulatory bodies in the Civil Aviation sector in India, namely Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security and Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau to become more effective, which will lead to enhancement in the level of safety and security of aircraft operations in the country.

The International Civil Aviation Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations.

It changes the principles and techniques of international air navigation and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth.

Formation:- 4 April 1947

Its headquarters is located in the Quartier International of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

 

4)Cabinet authorises NHAI to set up Infrastructure Investment Trust and monetize National Highway projects:- National Highways Authority of India(NHAI) to set up Infrastructure Investment Trust(s) (InvIT) as per InvIT Guidelines issued by SEBI.

BACKGROUND :- In October 2017, Government of India launched BharatmalaPariyojana, which is the flagship highway development programme of Government of India for development of 24,800 km of roads for a total investment of Rs. 5,35,000 crore.

Given the magnitude of the Bharatmala program, NHAI would need adequate funds to complete the Projects within the prescribed timelines. As a part of this exercise, a workable option is to monetize the completed and operational NH assets to unlock their value and offer attractive schemes to private players to invest in construction of National Highways.

Implementaton of InvIT :- NHAI’s InvIT will be a Trust established by NHAI under the Indian Trust Act, 1882 and Securities and Exchange Board of India (Infrastructure Investment Trusts) Regulations, 2014. The InvIT Trust will be formed with an objective of investment primarily in infrastructure projects (as defined by Ministry of Finance). InvIT may hold assets either directly or through an SPV or a holding.

5)PSLV successfully launches RISAT-2BR1 and nine commercial satellites in its fiftieth flight:- India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its fiftieth flight (PSLV-C48), successfully launched RISAT-2BR1 along with nine commercial satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota.

RISAT-2BR1 was successfully injected into an orbit of 576 km.

RISAT-2BR1 is a radar imaging earth observation satellite weighing about 628 kg. The satellite will provide services in the field of Agriculture, Forestry and Disaster Management. The mission life of RISAT-2BR1 is 5 years.

PSLV-C48 is the 2nd flight of PSLV in ‘QL’ configuration (with 4 solid strap-on motors). Besides being the 50th launch of PSLV, today’s launch was also the 75thlaunch vehicle mission from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota.

6)National Logistics Policy : Proposed under Min. of Commerce and Industry.

The vision of the proposed policy is to drive economic growth and business competitiveness of the country through an integrated, seamless, efficient, reliable, green, sustainable and cost effective logistics network leveraging best in class technology, processes and skilled manpower.

Though, there is no official estimation of logistics cost for India, some private institutions have estimated the logistics cost to be 13 to 14 percent of the GDP. The proposed policy aims to reduce this to 9 -10 percent of the GDP.

What has already been done :- In order to simplify documentation for exports and imports through digitization, Department of Revenue, CBIC have taken several initiatives like (i) SWIFT ( Single Window Interface For Trade ) (ii) Adoption of Digital Signature (iii) 24×7 Customs Clearance – for facilitated Bills of Entry and factory stuffed containers and goods exported under free Shipping Bills at select ports (iv) Import Data Processing and Management System (IDPMS) – jointly launched with RBI to facilitate efficient data processing for payment of imports and effective monitoring (v) E-Sanchit (vi) Two new IT Modules ICEDASH (Ease of doing business monitoring dashboard) and ATITHI app for electronic filing by passengers for baggage (vii) PCS 1X which is a platform for port related processes developed by Indian Ports Association

7)Steps Taken by Indian Government to Enhance India’s Trade and Competitiveness :- The Government has also taken the following key steps to boost India’s trade and competitiveness:

  1. The new Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2015-20 launched on 1st April 2015 provides a framework for increasing exports of goods and services as well as generation of employment and increasing value addition in the country, in line with the Make in India, Digital India, Skills India, Startup India and Ease of doing business initiatives. The policy rationalized the earlier export promotion schemes for increasing export of goods and services.
  2. A new logistics related division was created in the Department of Commerce to coordinate integrated development of the logistics sector. India’s rank in World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index moved up from 54 in 2014 to 44 in 2018.
  3. Various measures for improving ease of doing business were taken. India’s rank in World Bank Ease of doing business ranking improved from 142 in 2014 to 63 in 2019 with the rank in ‘trading across borders’ moving up from 122 to 68.
  4. A comprehensive Agriculture Export Policy was launched on 6th December, 2018 with an aim to provide an impetus to agricultural exports.
  5. Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES) was launched with effect from 1st April 2017 to address the export infrastructure gaps in the country.
  6. Interest Equalization Scheme on pre and post shipment rupee export credit was introduced from 1.4.2015 providing interest equalisation at 3% for labour intensive / MSME sectors. The rate was increased to 5% for MSME sectors with effect from 2.11.2018 and merchant exporters were covered under the scheme with effect from 2.1.2019.
  7. Transport and Marketing Assistance (TMA) has been launched for mitigating disadvantage of higher cost of transportation for export of specified agriculture products.

8)INDO-RUSSIAN Joint Tri Service Exercise INDRA-2019

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