Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 9 January, 2021

Daily news will speed up the preparation for the Civil Services Examination and it also plays a crucial role to grasp the current affairs topic comprehensively. Here we have covered most of the topics related to various categories including National, International, Sports, Science and Technology, and so on.

  1. NCC cadets to participate in Republic Day Parade

– Lt Gen Tarun Kumar Aich, Director General, National Cadet Corps has said that the NCC is committed to grooming the youth as responsible citizens, who would contribute immensely in nation-building.

– While speaking to the media in New Delhi on 08 January 2021, the Director-General said 2 contingents of NCC cadets, one each of boys and girls, will participate in the Republic Day Parade on 26 January.

– These cadets will be selected from amongst those who are participating in the Republic Day Camp, RDC-2021, which commenced at the Cariappa Parade Ground, Delhi Cantt on 04 Jan 2021.

– A total of 1000 Cadets, including 380 girl cadets, drawn from all 28 States and 09 Union Territories of the country, are participating in this one month long Camp.

– He said the aim of the Republic Day Camp, is to provide the participating cadets, exposure to the rich culture and traditions of our nation through a number of cultural events, that take place in the run-up to the Republic Day and the Prime Minister’s visit to NCC Camp for PM’s Rally on 28 Jan 2021.

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2. Columbia Asia Hospitals Private Limited

– The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approves acquisition of 100% shareholding of the Columbia Asia Hospitals Private Limited by Manipal Health Enterprises Private Limited.

– Manipal Health Enterprises Private Limited (Acquirer/MHEPL) is a part of Manipal Educational and Medical Group, operating a network of hospitals, providing multi-speciality care.

– Its focus is to develop an affordable, high quality healthcare framework through its multi-speciality and tertiary care delivery spectrum and further extend it to homecare. MHEPL is not engaged in any business activity outside India, except in Malaysia.

– Columbia Asia Hospitals Private Limited (Target/CAHPL) is a private healthcare company providing high quality, affordable, accessible health care and began its operations in India in 2005.

– AHPL operates a chain of eleven multi-speciality hospitals and one teleradiology business.

– CAHPL is not engaged in any business activities outside India. However, it is a part of International Columbia US LLC, an international healthcare group, which operates a chain of modern hospitals across India, China and Africa.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 8 January, 2021

3. Natural Capital Accounting and Valuation of the Ecosystem Services (NCAVES) India Forum-2021

– NCAVES India Forum 2021 is being organised by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI).

– NCAVES Project, funded by EU, has been jointly implemented by the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Secretariat of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD).

–  India is one of the five countries taking part in this project – the other countries being Brazil, China, South Africa and Mexico.

–  In India, the NCAVES project is being implemented by the MoSPI in close collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC).

– MoSPI has coordinated with all the stakeholders through a consultative process by setting in place a mechanism for linking the diverse stakeholders concerned – namely producers and the policymakers using the environmental accounts.

– The participation in the project has helped MOSPI commence the compilation of the Environment Accounts as per the UN-SEEA framework and release environmental accounts in its publication “EnviStats India” on an annual basis since 2018.

– Several of these accounts are closely related to the social and economic attributes, making them a useful tool for the Policy.

– Another feather to the cap under the NCAVES project is the development of the India-EVL Tool which is essentially a look-up tool giving a snapshot of the values of various ecosystem services in the different states of the country, based on about 80 studies conducted across the country.

– An additional benefit of this tool is that it provides a critical view of the literature that is available and the applicability of estimates spatially across India according to bio-geographical areas.

– A web portal www.ncavesindiaforum.in has been designed for the purpose of registration, participation and to function as a repository for the environment-related information.

– On the first day of the event, the Hon’ble Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation and Ministry of Planning, Rao Inderjit Singh will highlight the various government initiatives taken up for improving the environment data ecosystem.

– In addition, the first day will witness the participation of Ambassador of the EU Delegation to India and representatives from various national and international organisations, including Director, UNSD, Director UNEP, Director, UNESCAP, Director World Bank and Chairperson, UN Committee of Experts on Environment Economic Accounting.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 7 January, 2021

4. Dharmendra Pradhan interacts with Ministers of Mongolia

– Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel Dharmendra Pradhan, through video conference interacted with H.E Mr. L. Oyun-Erdene, MP, Minister and Chief Cabinet Secretary of Mongolia and Co-Chair of the India-Mongolia Joint Committee on Cooperation and H.E Mr G.Yondon, Minister of Mines and Heavy Industry.

– Bilateral cooperation in hydrocarbons and steel sectors were comprehensively reviewed in the meetings.

– Shri Pradhan conveyed deep appreciation to H.E Oyun-Erdene and H.E Yondon for their support in facilitating approvals for expeditious implementation of the greenfield Mongol Refinery Project, built under a Line of Credit from Government of India, and also for their commitment in setting up a pipeline to transport crude to the refinery being built in Sainshand.

– He also sought their cooperation in completing this pipeline well before the commissioning of the Refinery project.

– Shri Pradhan also welcomed the keenness of Mongolian companies in supplying coking coal to the Indian steel industry and agreed to advance cooperation for mutual benefit. “We look forward to substantial partnerships with Mongolian companies in the areas of minerals, coal and steel”, he added.

– The Minister, on behalf of Government of India, reiterated India’s commitment to timely completion of the Mongol Refinery Project, the country’s 1st oil refinery.

– He expressed willingness to further share India’s expertise in the oil and gas sector including capacity building in accordance with the developmental priorities of Mongolia.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 5 January, 2021

5. Seventh Trade Policy Review of India at the WTO

– The second and final session of India’s seventh Trade Policy Review (TPR) concluded on 8th January 2021, at the World Trade Organization in Geneva.

– The TPR is an important mechanism under the WTO’s monitoring function in which member countries’ trade and related policies are examined by the WTO with an aim to contribute towards improved adherence to WTO rules while providing constructive feedback to the Member under review.

– India’s official delegation for the TPR was headed by the Commerce Secretary, Dr. Anup Wadhawan. In his closing statement to the WTO Membership, the Commerce Secretary effectively responded to the issues raised by the Members during the First Session of India’s TPR held on 6th January 2021, while appreciating the importance placed by the WTO Members on India’s role and contribution to world trade, as well as to the multilateral trading system.

– This can be gauged by more than 1050 questions asked during this exercise as well as 53 interventions made by the Member countries in the TPR meetings.

– The Commerce Secretary highlighted that reform is a continuous and ongoing process, and the Government of India is deeply committed to pursuing this path to make India an attractive trade and investment partner for the world.

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6. Digital Calendar and Diary of Government of India

– Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar on 8 January, 2021 launched the Digital Calendar and Diary of Government of India.

– In a ceremony held at National Media Center, Shri Javadekar, with the click of a button unveiled the Android and iOS mobile applications of the calendar and diary.

– The Minister expressed happiness that the Government calendar that has adorned the walls in the past will now adorn mobile phones. Highlighting the features of the app Javadekar said “the app was free and will be available in 11 languages from 15th January, 2021.

– The app will do away with the need for a new calendar every year”. He further added “each month will carry a theme and an accompanying message and will feature one famous Indian personality. The app will also inform people about the timeline of the launch of various government programmes so far”.

– Speaking on the diary feature of the app the Minister said: “because of the diary feature the calendar is more advanced, more feature-laden and easier compared to other digital calendar apps”.

– The Digital Calendar of Government of India is in line with Prime Minister’s vision of “Digital India” and can be accessed at the click of a button on any smartphone.

– The App is available for download on both Google Play Store and the iOS App Store.

– The app has been designed and developed by Bureau of Outreach and Communication, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in collaboration with National Informatics Centre (NIC).

– The application is currently available in Hindi and English language and will be soon made available in 11 other Indian regional languages.

– While the earlier physical version of Government of India Calendar had a reach up to the Panchayat level in the country, the digital avatar of the calendar in form of this app will be available to anyone across the world.

The Government of India Calendar application contains the following features:

– Latest information on various schemes, events and publications of Government of India

– Official holidays and various important dates.

– Inspirational and motivational messages from great personalities of our nation.

– Provision for taking notes digitally which will be stored with cutting edge security and privacy measures

– Provision for scheduling of meetings and setting reminders for important tasks and events.

– Accessibility features for visually impaired Divyangjans in coming days fulfilling the goal of Prime Minister’s “Accessible India”/”Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan”.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 4 January, 2021

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