24, September 2016

Nationalism of paranoia and insecurity’: Ramachandra Guha who wrote the name of book “Democrats and Dissenters”.

1.MoS Shipping & Ports Reviewed Security of Coastline and Ports of Gujarat State

Source: PIB

vision of  “Port Led Development”

During meeting measures taken by security agencies, what are the possible future threats to ports and our preparedness. It is important to note that Gujarat has the longest 1600 KM coastline in the country with highest number of ports.

2.5th BIRAC Innovator’s Meet kick starts with the theme – ‘Biotech Innovation Ecosystem – Strategizing the Next Leap’ (Ministry of Science & Technology)


In the National Biotechnology Development Strategy, 2015-2020, Bio-incubators would be scaled up to 50 and 5 new Bio-clusters would be formed. With over 500 Start ups and SMEs, 100 Entrepreneurs being a part of this ecosystem,

BIRAC has nearly 50 products in different stages of development and commercialization. The target is scaling this 10 times in the next 5 years through initiatives like

  1. BIG (Biotechnology Ignition Grant),
  2. SITARE (supporting grass root student innovators),
  3. eYUVA (creating entrepreneurial culture in universities),
  4. BioNEST (nurturing entrepreneurship by establishing Bio Incubation Centres),
  5. Tax exemptions to biotech startups in Budget 2015-16, inter alia.

3.Ministry of Shipping Proposes New Model Concession Agreement for Port Sector


The objectives of the revised Model Concession Agreement are following:

  1. More equitable allocation of project risks.
  2. Provisions to handle unforeseen circumstances.
  3. Removing ambiguity in existing provisions.
  4. To attract more private sector investment.

The salient changes proposed in the Revised Model Concession Agreements are:

  1. Change in equity holding to provide exit route.
  2. Providing for refinancing provision in MCA.
  3. Amendment in Definition of “Change of Law”.
  4. Provision for mid-term review of concession.
  5. Approval of Discounts on Ceiling Rates for the Purpose of Recovery of Revenue share.
  6. Improved Utilization of Project Assets and Higher Productivity.
  7. Grievance Redressal System.
  8. Provision for Additional Land, Utilities & Services.
  9. Replacement of “Actual project Cost” with “Approved Project Cost.

4.2nd Meeting of High Level Group of Eminent Experts to Strengthen the SAARC Anti-Terrorism Mechanism concludes.

Source: PIB

All member countries agreed to move forward towards operationalizing the SAARC Terrorist Offences and Drugs Offences Monitoring Desks.

Besides terrorism, the important issues discussed during the meeting included drugs trafficking, financing of terrorism and cyber crimes.

All member countries of SAARC agreed to move forward towards operationalizing the SAARC Terrorist Offences Monitoring Desk (STOMD) and the SAARC Drugs Offences Monitoring Desk (SDOMD) in order to strengthen the combat efforts against terrorism.

During the meeting, there were discussions on fine-tuning the SAARC Anti-Terrorism mechanism by  Improving and sharing regional Monitoring systems, real time exchange of information, capacity building through training of human resources and early ratification of the relevant SAARC Conventions. The meeting endorsed the importance of regional cooperation in effectively tackling the menace of terrorism.

5.National waterways project threatens Gangetic dolphins: Conservationists

Source: The Hindu

Conservationists blame increased human activity along habitat.

The animal is protected under Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and is a declared endangered species.

The development of the Ganga for shipping is seen by wildlife conservationists as the single-largest threat to the survival of the species, whose numbers are declining in most parts of their natural habitat according to Wildlife Institute of India. Mainly due to construction of dam.

India has a huge untapped potential of inland waterways and the Centre plans to develop a 1600-km waterway between Allahabad and Haldia for inland transportation under a Rs. 4200-crore World Bank-aided project as the National Waterway 1.

IUCN concerned:

The IUCN too had expressed its concerns to the Union Environment Ministry on this matter. To tackle the threat to dolphins and three other species , the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest Conservation launched in 2016 the Endangered Species Recovery Plans for four species of global importance. This included dolphins and had a purse of Rs. 100 crore.

The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), in its official response, reiterated these points saying that these were part of the mitigation measures recommended by a consortium of consultants.

6.Mission Parivar Vikas (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare)

Source: PIB

On the World Population Day Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare had given directions to the Ministry to develop a strategy within 3 months where vulnerable districts in the country will be targeted for intensive and improved family planning services.

In accordance with these directions, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will soon launch “Mission Parivar Vikas” in 145 high focus districts having the highest total fertility rates in the country. These 145 districts are in the seven high focus, high TFR states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Assam that constitute 44% of the country’s population.

The main objective of ‘Mission Parivas Vikas’ will be to accelerate access to high quality family planning choices based on information, reliable services and supplies within a rights-based framework.

7.India-Russia Joint Military Exercise Indra-2016 Begins in Vladivostok

Source: PIB

The eighth edition of India-Russia Joint Military Exercise ‘INDRA-2016’ has begun in the in Vladivostok, Russia.

Main focus of this edition of the joint exercise is on ‘Counter-Terrorism Operations in semi mountainous and jungle terrain under United Nations Mandate’.

To achieve interoperability in joint operations, troops from both sides would acquaint themselves with the respective approach to such operations. A comprehensive training programme spanning eleven days has been drawn up for the purpose.


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