President of India unveils statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha, Chennai
- The President said that it is a matter of immense happiness that the Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha, founded by Mahatma Gandhi, has completed 100 years.
- It has worked for the promotion of Hindi in our southern states. By putting up a statue of Mahatma Gandhi, the Sabha has paid respects to the Father of the Nation in his 150th
- Learning the language of another region or another state can be very educative. It can open a window to a culture that is at once familiar and new.
- Twinning programmes between different states are popularising the language of one region in another. Such steps reinforce national harmony.
- During our freedom movement, the poetry of Subramania Bharati inspired not just people in Tamil Nadu but all over the country.
- In the same manner, the liberating ideas of Periyar– one of our foremost advocates of human dignity – were not limited by language or geography.
- President also recalled that two of his predecessors in Rashtrapati Bhavan, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, who was our last Governor-General, and President R. Venkataraman, were multilingual intellectuals from Tamil Nadu.
- Young men and women from one part of the country are studying or working and adding value to another part of the country. In such cases, knowing the language of the state or region one is located in can only be an asset.
4th India-Asean Expo and Summit
- 4th India-ASEAN Expo and Summit 2019 held in New Delhi.
- Summit is a testimony of India’s dedicated efforts towards Act East policy.
- India and ASEAN represent fast moving economies. The global headwinds have caused a softening of the global growth from 3.1% in 2018 to 3.0 % in 2019.
- According to the recently published United Nations’ World Economic Situation and Prospects Report 2019, India and ASEAN are set to outpace the global growth.
India and ASEAN relations
- India continues to be the fastest growing major economy and is expected to grow at 7.2% in 2019 and ASEAN at 5.2%, with many economies within ASEAN with a growth of more than 6%.
- Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) countries in ASEAN are also on a higher growth trajectory. This is indeed a manifestation of the new emerging world economic order, wherein India and ASEAN have a significant place.
- ASEAN has emerged as one of the second largest trade partner of India in 2017-18, with a share of 10.58% in India’s overall trade.
- Our bilateral trade has grown more than threefold from USD 21 billion in 2005-06 to USD 81.33 billion in 2017-18.
- In the recent years India’s trade with ASEAN has rebounded from US$ 65.06 billion in 2015-2016 to USD 81.33 billion in 2017-18, posting an annual growth of 13.64%.
- India currently is working with ASEAN on multiple connectivity projects, through land, water, and air.
- Our projects like India-Myanmar-Thailand Highway, Kaladan Multinational Transit Transport Project, Project Development Fund for CLMV countries is crucial for our development.
- Exploring opportunities through connectivity projects will help India to remove physical impediments to trade with ASEAN countries and further integrate the two regions for better economic and trade relations.
India and RCEP relations
- India is constructively engaged in RCEP negotiations and ASEAN will remain central to the economic integration of the Indo-Pacific region through RCEP.
- A successful RCEP will lift the spirits of the global trade, which is facing challenges in terms of trade tensions amidst protectionism and unilateral measures.
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
- RCEP is the proposed mega-regional Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between 16 Asia-Pacific countries.
- It includes India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and the 10-member ASEAN bloc.
- The RCEP negotiation process had started in 2013 and is unlikely to be concluded by the end of 2016.
- The proposed FTA aims to open up trade in goods and services as well as liberalise investment policies.
- It will cover a market of over 3 billion people in these 16 countries — whose total combined GDP is more than $17 trillion and collectively account for 40% of world trade.
- Negotiations on the RCEP have entered a decisive phase.
India should join RCEP because:
- Allows India to diversify markets in Southeast Asian countries and garnering benefits of common FTA over the whole region
- Enable India to become a member of global production networks by scattering the production chains in different countries
- Lenient time limits for attaining labour and environmental standards along with provision of protecting small industries would allow India to secure domestic interests
- Joining the bloc will give boost to ‘Act east policy’ and would acts as shield against losses due to Trans Pacific Partnership.
India should not join RCEP because:
- Study by Commerce Ministry indicates that it can lead to a revenue loss of 1.6% of the GDP
- Joining the bloc can result in cheaper imports from China as China offers low price and better quality
- Competition with Indonesia and Philippines can reduce the benefits of service trade within the bloc
- Domestic issues may arise due to such alliance such as harm domestic manufacturing, leather industry etc.
- Ambiguity in the definition of balanced outcome with respect to downscaling of tariffs
- Asia-Pacific nations including India fear that China may dump its excess capacity in several items including steel, as well as highly subsidised items which may harm local industry of importing countries and distort trade.
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership | Member countries
India-Russia Forum on SMEs
- Russia has been a long-standing and time-tested partner of India and relations with Russia have always been of trust, understanding, and reciprocity.
- Held in Bengaluru.
- Partnership is titled as a Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership and the two nations enjoy a multi-dimensional cooperation extending to all areas of bilateral relationship – political, security, trade and economy, defence, education, science & technology, culture and people to people.
- By 2030 India is expected to be the third largest economy in the world with a huge section of middleclass consumers. In order to reach that position the country requires more and improved infrastructure, access to energy, quality goods and services and a modern agriculture sector.
- Russia is well placed to meet our needs in these areas. Russia also has some of the greatest scientific minds and therefore we must encourage collaboration between educational institutions and businesses of the two countries.
- The Government of India has already announced the setting up of a fast track, single-window mechanism for Russian companies which would be chaired by Secretary, DIPP.
- The India-Russia bilateral investment treaty discussions have commenced and has been greatly appreciated by the Industry However the SMEs are often under informed about the schemes that exist.
- Therefore, there is a need to curate a digital bridge between the two economies so that SMEs can benefit from it and to create awareness about Russia in India to promote more technology and capital transfers.
- The two countries could cooperate in sectors such as energy resources, gold and diamonds, infrastructure development, digital technologies, research & development, pharma & biotechnology and agriculture among others.
All India Citizens Survey of Police Services
- From time to time, several initiatives have been taken by the Government of India, aimed at facilitating and supplementing the efforts of States / UTs in providing citizen centric police services.
- A globally accepted way to assess the impact of such endeavours is through a holistic analysis of services rendered to the public, through public perception surveys conducted by professional and independent agencies.
- Such surveys are globally tested tools for improving service delivery in policing and enhancing public satisfaction.
- With the above aim and to further strengthen the good governance practices in the working of police, Ministry of Home Affairs has commissioned the Bureau of Police Research and Development to conduct a pan-India survey called ALL INDIA CITIZENS SURVEY OF POLICE SERVICES.
- The survey will be conducted through the National Council of Applied Economic Research, New Delhi.
NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission releases ATL Drone Module at Aero India
- NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and Drona Aviation, an IIT Bombay start-up, launched the ATL Drone module: Get, Set, Go for Atal Tinkering Labs at the ongoing Aero India 2019 in Bengaluru.
- With the ATL Drone Module, young students of India will learn how to create their own drones and use them for solving community problems in India.
In the age of the Fourth industrial revolution, drones are one of the most promising technologies integrating the concepts of physics, maths, chemistry, engineering and sensor technologies creating a tremendous range of innovative solutions that can be developed using them.
- Drona Aviation is India’s first developer drone company, with a focus on drone innovation. The ATL Drone Module aims at building this open source community of tinkerers who will learn and build on drone ideas to showcase their many possible applications.
AIM and ATL
- Atal Innovation Mission, housed at NITI Aayog, is Government of India’s flagship initiative to foster a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship across India.
- With the vision to empower our young generation with the 21stcentury skills of design thinking, problem solving, collaboration, critical thinking and so on, AIM has selected more than 5000 ATLs where young innovators get access to latest technologies of microelectronics, IoT, 3D printing, robotics, drone technology, artificial intelligence and so on.
- Previously, an ATL Space Module was also launched to inspire young innovators to reach for the stars. The drone module is set to give further impetus to their ambitions in an imaginative way.