Current Affairs, News & Facts of 21 Jan 2016

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  • World Economic Forum meeting starts in Davos, Switzerland

     

    World Economic Forum meeting starts in Davos, Switzerland

    The annual conference of  World Economic Forum (WEF) has began in  Davos, Switzerland bringing together some 2,500 top business leaders, international political leaders, selected intellectuals, and journalists to discuss the most pressing issues that world is facing. The agenda of this edition would be outlook of the global economy and measures to fight terrorism.

    Facts about the conference :

    • The conference is being attanded by 2,500 intellectuals and business leaders from around 40 countries of the world. The 4-day long conference will cover the Participatory discussions on tumbling oil prices and China’s uncertain economic prospects.
    • The conference will not only be limited toward  economic discussion but will also discuss the  issue of growing terror threats in the wake of the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris (France) and European refugee crisis
    • The conference will also discuss environmental issues such as greenhouse gas emissions, global warming, ozone depletion and will also review the latest efforts to improve industrial production with robotics, artificial intelligence and information technology.

    World Economic Forum (WEF) :

    World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Swiss nonprofit foundation, based in Cologny, Geneva. It works to improve the state of the world through public-private cooperation.

    Motto : "committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas"

    Annual winter meeting : The organisation is well known for  its annual winter meeting in Davos, a mountain resort in Graubünden, in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland which brings together some 2,500 intellectuals and business leaders from the world under one roof  to discuss the key issues that the world is facing.

     

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  • CEA approves six-laning of NH-2 in Bihar and Jharkhand

     

    CEA approves six-laning of NH-2 in Bihar and Jharkhand

    The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given it's approval of Rs. 4,918-crore highway project for six laning of National Highway-2 from Aurangabad BarwaAdda section in Bihar and Jharkhand. Implementation of this project will improve infrastructure and reduce travel time .

    Facts to know :

    • 222 km of  NH-2 stretch would be six laned under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) Phase-V. It will be undertaken on Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (BOT/DBFOT) basis 
    • The estimated cost for the  implementation of the project would be Rs.4918.48 crore which would include the cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities.
    • The development of this stretch  would not only boost the infrastructure but will also increase employment oppertunities for local labourers and uplift the socio-economic condition of the regions.

    National Highway 2 :

    • National Highway 2 runs through the states of Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal and constitutes a major portion of the historical Grand 
    • Trunk Road along with NH 91 and NH 1 . It connects national capital Delhi with Kolkata as well as important cities Faridabad, Mathura, Agra, Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi and Durgapur. 
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  • Cabinet approves setting up of over 5,000 MW of Grid-connected Solar PV Power Projects 

     

    Cabinet approves setting up of over 5,000 MW of Grid-connected Solar PV Power Projects

    The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given it's approval for setting up over 5,000 MW of Grid-Connected Solar PV Power Projects on build, own and operate (BOOT) basis.

    Facts to know :

    • These projects will be implemented in four phases each of 1,250 MW  capacity during four succeeding financial years from 2015-16 to 2018-19 by solar Power Developers with Viability Gap Funding under Jawahar Lal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM).
    • The estimated requirement of funds to provide Viability Gap Funding (VGF) for the project is Rs. 5,050 Crore over five years and the total investments expected under the JNNSM scheme is about 30,000 crore rupees. 
    • The project if implemented would create employment and infrastructure in the States. Installation of 5000 MW Solar PV plants will generate about 8,300 Million units per year, which caters power to almost 2.5 Million households. It will also reduce 8.525 Million T of CO2 emissions into environment every year.
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  • Cabinet approves India-UK MoU on Public Administration and Governance Reforms 

     

    Cabinet approves India-UK MoU on Public Administration and Governance Reforms

    Union Cabinet  chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, gave ex-post facto approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in November, 2015 between India and the United Kingdom for cooperation in public administration and governance reforms.The provisions of this MoU will be implemented by a Joint Working Group on Public Administration and Governance.

    About the MoU :

    The MoU signed between India and UK opens up avenue for the  cooperation in areas like sharing good governance practices in public administration, reducing bureaucracy in service delivery, government process re-engineering, building and developing staff capability, public grievance redress mechanism and reforms towards strengthening of social security.

    • The MoU on Public Administration and Governance Reforms was signed between India and UK is inline to Government’s  policy of  ‘Minimum Government with Maximum Governance’ and digital India campaign.
    • As part of its efforts in seeking international collaboration for initiatives in good governance and administrative reforms, the Union Government has signed similar bilateral MoU with China, Malaysia, Singapore and also with Brazil and South Africa (trilateral).
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  • Union Cabinet approves Policy on Promotion of City Compost

     

    Union Cabinet approves Policy on Promotion of City Compost

    The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for a Policy on Promotion of City Compost which will lower the maximum retail price of city compost for farmers.

    Flow of compost from cities to villages :

    • Under the policy, the Centre will provide market development assistance worth Rs 1,500 per tonne on the sale of city compost made out of municipal solid waste which will benifit  farmers by providing the quality organic fertiliser at lowest cost. 
    • Fertilizer companies and marketing entities will co-market City Compost along with chemical fertilizers through their dealers' network. The companies will also adopt villages for promoting the use of compost. Government Departments and Public Sector undertakings will also use City Compost for their horticulture and related uses.
    • Concerned Ministry/Department will run campaigns to educate farmers on the benefits of city composting and will take steps to increase setting up of compost plants across all States. Agriculture Universities will also take up field demonstration activities using City compost.

    Nodal agency : A joint mechanism will be set up by Department of Fertilizers, Ministry of Urban Development and Department of Agriculture to monitor and facilitate availability of adequate quantity of City Compost at terms mutually agreeable between compost manufacturers and Fertilizer Marketing companies. They will also be authorised to resolve any co-ordination related issue that may arise.

    Advantages of  Composting :

    • Compost from city garbage would not only provide carbon and primary/secondary nutrients to soil but also help in keeping the city clean. To ensure that environment friendly quality city compost, eco-Mark standard has been made mandatory.
    • Composting will play pivotal role municipal waste management as it will reduce the volume of waste to landfill/dumpsite by converting the waste into useful by-products. It will also generate employment in urban areas.
    • This will also prevents production of harmful greenhouse gases (especially methane) and toxic material that pollutes groundwater apart from polluting the environment of the Cities. 
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