India Africa Field Training Exercise (IAFTX)- 2019
- Indian Africa Field Training Exercise (IAFTX)-2019 is being conducted at Pune on 23-24 January 2019.
- Delegates from Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, South Africa, Tanzania, Namibia, Mozambique, Uganda, Niger & Zambia attended the conference.
- It aims at synergysing humanitarian mine action and joint peace operations.
- The IAFTX-2019 is a positive step towards growing political and military ties with the member nations of African continent and will boost the already strong strategic cooperation between the countries.
Framework on Currency Swap Arrangement for SAARC Member Countries
- Union Cabinet has given ex-post facto approval for amendment to the Framework on Currency Swap Arrangement for SAARC Countries to incorporate a Standby Swap amounting to USD 400 million operated within the overall size of the Facility of USD 2 billion.
- Due to heightened financial risk and volatility in global economy, short term swap requirements of SAARC countries could be higher than the agreed lines.
- It would provide necessary flexibility to the Framework and would enable India to provide a prompt response to the current request from SAARC countries for availing the swap amount exceeding the present limit prescribed under the SAARC Swap Framework.
- Cabinet approved the Framework on Currency Swap Arrangement for SAARC Member Countries on March 1, 2012 with the intention to provide a line of funding for short term foreign exchange requirements.
- Under the Facility, RBI offers swaps of varying sizes in USD, Euro or INR to each SAARC member country depending on their two months import requirement and not exceeding US$ 2 billion in total.
- The swap amount for each country has been defined in the above Facility, subject to a floor of USD 100 Million and a maximum of USD 400 Million.
- Each Drawal will be for three months tenor and upto maximum of two rollovers.
Cabinet approves creation of the National Bench of the Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal (GSTAT)
- The National Bench of the Appellate Tribunal shall be situated at New Delhi. GSTAT shall be presided over by its President and shall consist of one Technical Member (Centre) and one Technical Member (State).
- GSTAT is the forum of second appeal in GST laws and the first common forum of dispute resolution between Centre and States.
- The appeals against the orders in first appeals issued by the Appellate Authorities under the Central and State GST Acts lie before the GSTAT, which is common under the Central as well as State GST Acts.
- Being a common forum, GSTAT will ensure that there is uniformity in redressal of disputes arising under GST, and therefore, in implementation of GST across the country.
- Chapter XVIII of the CGST Act provides for the Appeal and Review Mechanism for dispute resolution under the GST Regime.
- Section 109 of this Chapter under CGST Act empowers the Central Government to constitute an Appellate Tribunal known as the GSTAT for hearing appeals against the orders passed by the Appellate Authority or the Revisional Authority.
Cabinet approves MoU between India and Kuwait for cooperation on the Recruitment of Domestic Workers
- The MOU provides a structured framework for cooperation on domestic workers related matters and provides strengthened safeguards for Indian domestic workers including female workers deployed in Kuwait.
- The MOU is initially valid for a period of five years and incorporates provision for automatic renewal.
- Around 3,00,000 Indian domestic workers deployed in Kuwait. This includes around 90,000 female domestic workers.
The start of online inter-state trade through the e-NAM portal this month is a landmark achievement in e-NAM history
- The start of online inter-state trade through the e-NAM portal this month is a landmark achievement in e-NAM history and its strengthening in future will definitely add a new chapter to Agricultural marketing in the Indian context.
- The e-NAM portal has integrated 585 Regulated Markets on the common e-market platform in 16 States and 2 Union Territories with trading in 124 commodities.
- Initially, trade on e-NAM started inside the individual e-NAM mandi, with involvement of farmers and traders of that mandi.
- After persuasive efforts by the Government of India, inter-mandi trade on e-NAM platform started within the State. Now inter-mandi trade within e-NAM States is happening in 10 States.
- The very first Inter State transaction on e-NAM in India has been recorded between trader of Bareilly e-NAM APMC of Uttar Pradesh and farmer of Haldwani e-NAM APMC of Uttarakhand for trade in tomatoes.
- The e-NAM platform is a pan-India e-trading portal to network the existing physical regulated wholesale market (APMC market) through a virtual platform to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities.
- e-NAM platform promotes better marketing opportunities for the farmers to sell their produce through online, competitive and transparent price discovery system and online payment facility.
ICAT signs MoU with KIAPI for Indian Certification of safety critical components
- International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT) has signed a MoU with Korea Intelligent Automotive Parts and Promotion Institute (KIAPI), South Korea to support Korean Automotive Industry for Indian Certification of safety critical components as well as vehicles.
- Apart from Indian certification, as per various Indian and Automotive Industry Standards (AIS), ICAT will collaborate with KIAPI in the field of future technologies like autonomous driving, electric vehicles, connected transportation, fuel cell vehicles and advanced driver-assistance systems.
- ICAT, Manesar is one of the independent Testing Agencies under Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR) notified by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways for Testing and Certification of Automobiles and their safety critical components.
Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar
- The award is to be announced every year on 23rdJanuary on the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
- In the aftermath of any disaster, many organisations and individuals work silently but effectively to alleviate suffering of the affected population. Their immense contribution and selfless service to humanity often goes unacknowledged.
- Keeping this in view the PM has advised to institute a National Award so as to recognise the efforts of such organisations and individuals.
- For the year 2019, 8th Battalion of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) located at Ghaziabad has been selected for the Puraskar for its commendable work in Disaster Management.
About 8th Battalion of NDRF
- The 8thBattalion of NDRF was raised in 2006 and is a highly specialised Rescue and Response Force with large area of responsibility covering National Capital Region (NCR), Uttarakhand, Western UP & Haryana.
- Major disasters in which this NDRF battalion participated are Leh Cloud Burst (2011), Kedarnath Floods (2013), Cyclone Hudhud (2014), Chennai Floods (2015) and Tripura Floods (2018).
- In the aftermath of Nepal Earthquake in 2015, six teams of the battalion were amongst the first responders to land at Kathmandu.
- Their teams were also sent to Japan during Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster (2011) and recent Tsunami in Indonesia (2018).
Indian Diaspora’s role in capacity building of artificial intelligence in India
- On the third and final day of Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas event at Varanasi, several important issues were taken up in plenary session.
- One such important discussion was on INDIAN DIASPORA’S ROLE IN CAPACITY BUILDING OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN INDIA.
- The experts emphasized on making AI, a supplementing tool for service of humanity instead of taking away and replacing the human role itself.
- Experts from USA, Canada and Australia also said there is a huge potential in Sanskrit language to be used in advance computing and paving way for AI.
- CRISIL advised that since India has a huge challenge in the field of food distribution among its people, the adapted AI may come handy in the field.
- As most of the Indian farmers cannot afford to purchase the advance equipment related to Precision Agriculture, venture capitalists and firms expressed willingness to do it for farmers on a large scale