09 , November 2017

1. 2nd meeting of Island Development Agency (IDA)
Source : PIB

The recently held second meeting of Island Development Agency (IDA) was chaired by the Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh. The Island Development Agency reviewed the concept development plans and detailed master plans for holistic development of 09 islands – four in A&N Islands i.e. Smith, Ross, Long, Avis and five in Lakshadweep i.e. Minicoy, Bangaram, Thinnakara, Cheriyam, Suheli.

The IDA was set up on June 1 this year following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s review meeting for the development of islands. The meetings of the agency are chaired by the Union Home Minister.

Members of the IDA include cabinet secretary, home secretary, secretary (environment, forests and climate change), secretary (tourism) and secretary (tribal welfare).

2.India’s Second Technology and Innovation Support Center (TISC)
Source: PIB

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, has signed an Institutional agreement with Anna University to establish India’s second Technology and Innovation Support Center (TISC) at the Centre for Intellectual Property Rights (CIPR), Anna University, Chennai, under the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) TISC program.

India’s first Technology and Innovation Support Center (TISC) will come up at Patent Information Centre, Punjab

About TISC:

  • These centres will be set up under WIPO’s Technology and Innovation Support Centers (TISC) program.
  • The programme provides innovators in developing countries with access to locally based, high quality technology information and related services, helping them to exploit their innovative potential and to create, protect, and manage their intellectual property (IP) rights.
  • The objective of the TISCis to stimulate a dynamic, vibrant and balanced Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) system in India to foster creativity and innovation, thereby promoting entrepreneurship and enhancing social, economic and cultural development by establishing a network of TISCs in India.
  • The Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) is designated as the National Focal point for the TISC national network.
  • As the national focal point, CIPAM will identify potential host institutions, assess their capacities and support them in joining the TISC project.
  • CIPAM will also act as the main intermediary between WIPO and TISC host institutions and coordinate all the activities of the national TISC network.

Services offered by TISC’s:

  • Access to online patent and non-patent (scientific and technical) resources and IP-related publications.
  • Assistance in searching and retrieving technology information.
  • Training in database search.
  • On-demand searches (novelty, state-of-the-art and infringement).
  • Monitoring technology and competitors.
  • Basic information on industrial property laws, management and strategy, and technology commercialization and marketing.

3.Chennai now part of UNESCO’s ‘creative cities network’
Source: The Hindu

 Chennai has been included in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network for its rich musical tradition. Including Chennai, a total of 64 cities from 44 countries have joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. Jaipur and Varanasi are the other Indian cities that feature on the list.

About Creative Cities Network:

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.

The 180 cities which currently make up this network work together towards a common objective: placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level.

The Network covers seven creative fields: Crafts and Folk Arts, Media Arts, Film, Design, Gastronomy, Literature and Music.

4.‘Like the Great Smog of London’
Source: The Hindu

As air pollution hit alarming levels in Delhi, major city hospitals on November 8 experienced a surge in the number of patients complaining of respiratory problems with AIIMS Director comparing the situation to the killer Great Smog of London in 1952.

There is a need for implementation of long-term measures to tackle the crisis. There was a spurt in fresh cases in hospitals and conditions of patients with history of asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) and cardiovascular diseases deteriorated.

Breathlessness, coughing:

  • It leads to breathlessness, coughing, sneezing, tightness in chest, allergy and asthma complications.
  • There is about 20 per cent rise in patients seeking treatment due to respiratory and cardiac issues.
  • Pollution is at such a severe level that patients with respiratory and cardiac problems may develop life-threatening conditions.

About Great Smog of London:

  • The Great Smog of London, or Great Smog of 1952 sometimes called the Big Smoke, was a severe air-pollution event that affected the British capital of London in December 1952.
  • A period of cold weather, combined with an anticyclone and windless conditions, collected airborne pollutants – mostly arising from the use of coal – to form a thick layer of smog over the city.
  • It lasted from 5 December to 9 December 1952 and then dispersed quickly when the weather changed.

5.Telengana leads state wise ease of doing bussiness
Source: The Hindu

Telangana is currently atop the yearly state-wise ranking on assessment of implementation of the ‘Business Reforms Action Plan’ (BRAP) in 2017.The final ranking is likely to be released in January, 2018.

What is Business Reforms Action Plan?

  • The complexity of regulatory processes and the difficulty in compliance has been cited as an impediment to the economic development.
  • Government of India (GoI) has taken up a series of measures to simplify and rationalize the regulatory processes and introduction of information technology as enabler to make governance more efficient and effective.
  • A 98-Point Action Plan for improving the regulatory framework for business as part of easing the doing business in the country was shared and finalized at National Workshop of ‘Make in India’ held on 29thDecember 2014.
  • “Assessment of State Implementation of Business Reforms” was released in September 2015 capturing the findings after taking the stock of reforms implemented by States between the period 1st January 2015 to 30th June 2015.

Which are the top ranking states?

  • Telangana was the joint topper with Andhra Pradesh, in the ranking last year. However, Andhra Pradesh (score of 18.01%) is currently ranked 14th.
  • Gujarat, ranked third last year, is now number eight with a score of 41.94%
  • Telangana (with an implementation score of 61.83%) is followed by Haryana (54.03%), Odisha (45.70%), Chhattisgarh (45.43%), and West Bengal (44.35%) completing the top five.
  • The ranking is dynamic and till they are frozen, these positions could change due to intense competition between States.This year’s assessment includes 372 reforms, up from 340 last year.

 The areas of assessment include:

The broad areas of assessment this year include

  • Paper-less courts
  • Online single window system
  • Online tax payment
  • Contract enforcement
  • Availability and allotment,
  • Obtaining electricity and water connection
  • Enablers for transparency, tax, labour regulation
  • Construction permits
  • Environmental registration commercial dispute resolution
  • Online systems for property registration

Ease of Doing Business Index:

  • The Ease of doing business index is an index released by the World Bank Group in its Doing business report.
  • Higher rankings indicate better, usually simpler, regulations for businesses and stronger protections of property rights.
  • New Zealand has topped the Ease of Doing Business rankings in 2017.

India’s performance in the World Bank Group’s Doing Business report:

  • This year’s report from the World Bank has been titled Reforming to Create Jobs.
  • The report ranks India at 100 among 190 countries. Last year, India was ranked 130.
  • India’s upward jump in ranking is based on the underlying improvement in the distance to frontier (DTF) score– an absolute measure of progress towards the best practice-in the report.

6.India urged to join Belt and Road Initiative
Source: The Hindu

China on Wednesday counselled India to shed its objections to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and take advantage of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which had already drawn wide international support.

China in a veiled reference to India, said the project did not target “third countries” or prejudice China’s position on territorial disputes. Also, that CPEC corridor is an economic cooperation.

China hopes that countries and parties with shared vision will work with us to allow practical cooperation to bring more benefits to our peoples. And China is open and inclusive to cooperation involving the BRI.

About OBOR:

It is a development strategy proposed by China‘s paramount leader Xi Jinping to connect China with Central Asia, Europe, Africa and Indo-Pacific littoral countries. He called for the building of a Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, collectively referred to as One Belt One Road (OBOR).

This policy has two components:

  • Belt– The “One Belt” refers to the land-based “Silk Road Economic Belt”. Here Beijing aims to connect the country’s underdeveloped hinterland to Europe through Central Asia.
  • Road – The “One Road” references the ocean-going “Maritime Silk Road”. It is to connect the fast-growing South East Asian region to China’s southern provinces through ports and railways.

The Belt and Road initiative is geographically structured along 6 corridors.The strategy underlines China’s push to take a larger role in global affairs with a China-centered trading network.

In the past three years, the focuses were mainly on infrastructure investment, construction materials, railway and highway, automobile, real estate, power grid, and iron and steel.

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