• Current Affairs , 15 November 2019

    • November 15, 2019
    • Posted By : upliftlife
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    1. The  first Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru
    2. HADR Exercise TIGER TRIUMPH
    3. 6th World Congress on Rural and Agricultural Finance
    4. Creation of UT of J&K and Ladakh historic, opened the flood gates of development and progress in the region
    5. India will emerge as the torchbearer of banking reforms
    6. National Seminar on Social Audit of Rural Development
    7. Swachh – Nirmal Tat Abhiyaan
    8. National Capital Region -2041
    9. Jal Shakti Minister Shekhawat reviews Jal Jeevan Mission in Southern States
    • ACC approvals
    1. Chief Justice’s office comes under RTI, rules Supreme Court
    2. BRICS Trade & Industry Ministers meeting concludes
    3. Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurates the India Pavilion at the ADIPEC
    4. China’s economy shows further signs of strain
    5. AITA announces India’s Davis Cup squad tie against Pakistan





    1. The  first Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru



    • PanditJawaharlal Nehru ( 14 November 1889 – 27 May 1964) was an Indian independence activist, and subsequently, the first Prime Minister of India and a central figure in Indian politics before and after independence.
    • He emerged as an eminent leader of the Indian independence movement under the tutelage of Mahatma Gandhi and served India as Prime Minister from its establishment as an independent nation in 1947 until his death in 1964.
    • He has been described by the Amar Chitra Kathaas the architect of India.He was also known as Pandit Nehru due to his roots with the Kashmiri Pandit community while Indian children knew him as Chacha Nehru (Hindi, lit., “Uncle Nehru”).
    • Nehru had developed an interest in Indian politics during his time in Britain as a student and a barrister.
    • Within months of his return to India in 1912, Nehru attended an annual session of the Indian National Congress in Patna. Congress in 1912 was the party of moderates and elites, and he was disconcerted by what he saw as “very much an English-knowing upper-class affair”.[20]Nehru harboured doubts regarding the effectiveness of Congress but agreed to work for the party in support of the Indian civil rights movement led by Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa  collecting funds for the movement in 1913. Later, he campaigned against indentured labour and other such discrimination faced by Indians in the British colonies.
    • Several nationalist leaders banded together in 1916 under the leadership of Annie Besant to voice a demand for self-governance, and to obtain the status of a Dominionwithin the British Empire as enjoyed by Australia, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and Newfoundland at the time. Nehru joined the movement and rose to become secretary of Besant’s Home Rule League. In June 1917 Besant was arrested and interned by the British government. The Congress and various other Indian organisations threatened to launch protests if she were not set free. The British government was subsequently forced to release Besant and make significant concessions after a period of intense protest.
    • The first big national involvement of Nehru came at the onset of the Non-Cooperation movementin 1920. He led the movement in the United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh). Nehru was arrested on charges of anti-governmental activities in 1921, and was released a few months later.[30] In the rift that formed within the Congress following the sudden closure of the Non-Cooperation movement after the Chauri Chaura incident, Nehru remained loyal to Gandhi and did not join the Swaraj Party formed by his father Motilal Nehru and CR Das.
    • Nehru played a leading role in the development of the internationalist outlook of the Indian independence struggle. He sought foreign allies for India and forged links with movements for independence and democracy all over the world. In 1927, his efforts paid off and the Congress was invited to attend the congress of oppressed nationalities in Brussels in Belgium. The meeting was called to co-ordinate and plan a common struggle against imperialism. Nehru represented India and was elected to the Executive Council of the League against Imperialism that was born at this meeting.
    • Nehru was one of the first nationalist leaders to realise the sufferings of the people in the states ruled by Indian princes. In 1923, he suffered imprisonment in Nabha, a princely state, when he went there to see the struggle that was being waged by the Sikhsagainst the corrupt Mahants. The nationalist movement had been confined to the territories under direct British rule. He helped to make the struggle of the people in the princely states a part of the nationalist movement for independence. The All India States Peoples Conference (AISPC) was formed in 1927. Nehru who had been supporting the cause of the people of the princely states for many years was made the President of the organization in 1939. He opened up its ranks to membership from across the political spectrum. The body would play an important role during the political integration of India, helping Indian leaders Vallabhbhai Patel and  P. Menon (to whom Nehru had delegated the task of integrating the princely states into India) negotiate with hundreds of princes.
    • Nehru elaborated the policies of the Congress and a future Indian nation in 1929. He declared that the aims of the congress were freedom of religion, right to form associations, freedom of expression of thought, equality before law for every individual without distinction of caste, colour, creed or religion, protection to regional languages and cultures, safeguarding the interests of the peasants and labour, abolition of untouchability, introduction of adult franchise, imposition of prohibition, nationalisation of industries, socialism, and establishment of a secular India.
    • All these aims formed the core of the “Fundamental Rights and Economic Policy” resolution drafted by Nehru in 1929–31 and were ratified in 1931 by the Congress party session at Karachi chaired by Vallabhbhai Patel.
    • Gandhian right-wing Congressmen Vallabhbhai PatelRajendra Prasad and  Rajagopalachari.In the 1930s the Congress Socialist Party group was formed within the INC under the leadership of Jayaprakash NarayanNarendra Deo and others.Nehru,however, never joined the group but did act as bridge between them and Gandhi. He had the support of the left-wing Congressmen Maulana Azad and Subhas Chandra Bose.
    • The trio combined to oust Dr. Prasad as Congress President in 1936. Nehru was elected in his place and held the presidency for two years (1936–37). He was then succeeded by his socialist colleagues Bose (1938–39) and Azad (1940–46). After the fall of Bose from the mainstream of Indian politics (because of his support of violence in driving the British out of India the power struggle between the socialists and conservatives balanced out. However, Sardar Patel died in 1950, leaving Nehru as the sole remaining iconic national leader, and soon the situation became such that Nehru was able to implement many of his basic policies without hindrance. Nehru’s daughter, Indira Gandhi, during the state of Emergency she imposed, was able to fulfill her father’s dream by the 42nd amendment (1976) of the Indian constitution by which India officially became “socialist” and “secular”.


    2. HADR Exercise TIGER TRIUMPH



    • In consonance with the growing partnership between India and the US, the maiden India US joint Tri services Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Exercise named ‘TIGER TRIUMPH’ is scheduled on the Eastern seaboard from 13 to 21 Nov 19. Indian Naval ships JalashwaAiravatand Sandhayak, Indian Army troops from 19 Madras and 7 Guards, and Indian Air Force MI-17 helicopters and Rapid Action Medical Team (RAMT) would be participating in the exercise. The US would be represented by US Navy Ship Germantown with troops from US Third Marine Division. The Exercise is aimed to developing interoperability for conducting HADR operations.
    • The Harbour Phase is scheduled at Visakhapatnam from 13 to 16 Nov 19. The Opening Ceremony along with a Joint Flag Parade and Media Interaction will be held onboard INS Jalashwaon 14 Nov 19. Personnel from both navies would also participate in Training Visits, Subject Matter Expert Exchanges, Sports Events and social interactions.  On completion of theHarbour Phase, the ships, with troops embarked, would sail for the Sea Phase and undertake Maritime, Amphibious and HADR operations.  On reaching the HADR areaat Kakinada, the landing of Relief Forces would be undertaken to the Exercise scenario.
    • At the HADR Exercise Area, a Joint Command and Control Centre, would be established jointly by the Indian Army and US Marines.  The IAFRAMT and the US Navy Medical Team would establish a Medical Facility Camp for providing medical aid to victims, who would have been previously evacuated by road and air to the Camp.  The Exercise would culminate withaClosing Ceremony onboard US Naval Ship Germantownon 21 Nov 19.




    3. 6th World Congress on Rural and Agricultural Finance


    • The Government of India’s top priority is to put the farmers’ concerns and rural development on a larger landscape, said Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, while speaking at the inauguration of the 6th World Congress on Rural and Agriculture Finance jointly organised by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and Asia – Pacific Rural Agricultural and Credit Association (APRACA)
    • The Finance Minister said that the Government is looking at acknowledging huge dependence on rural life and agriculture and further emphasised on the immediate need for taking up water management and water-related stress points. She also enumerated benefits of soil health cards provided to farmers. While talking about energy security, the Finance Minister said that there is a need for the farmers contributing in solar energy generation, participation in wind energy, installing solar panels in his farms, etc. and also to become an Urjadaata from Annadata.
    • The Finance Minister also directed NABARD to take up immediate and necessary steps to extend support to the farmers in the states of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh; so that the next crop of saffron, peaches, walnuts and other agriculture produce in the state is procured at the right time.
    • “I have requested Chairman of NABARD to visit J&K, so that NABARD can support the farmers there,” Smt. Sitharaman said. She also stressed the need to promote solar energy in the Ladakh region.
    • The Finance Minister said that the Government was focusing on the priorities of fishermen in the coastal and inland water areas. She encouraged NABARD to focus on marketing of nutrients in the coastal areas. She said NABARD can work with the FPOs and SHGs in these areas to help increase nutritional input of the area, which could be well-received in the wellness industry.
    • Shri Debasish Panda, Additional Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmer Welfare emphasised on the need for financial inclusion for inclusive and sustainable development. He maintained that JAM Trinity will be further leveraged to drive financial inclusion. Digtial on-boarding opportunities such as analytics, artificial Intelligence, mobility and overall Fin-tech solutions will have a huge impact in the area of financial inclusion.
    • In his welcome address, Dr Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, Chairman, NABARD said, “India provides $200 billion agriculture credit every year to small and marginal farmers. This will be enhanced once the formation 10,000 FPOs, as announced in this year’s Budget, will be functional. There will be a huge traction when the farmers will anchor the value chain, which in turn, will augment the value chain funding. These inclusive measures aided by technology interventions would bolster financial inclusion and rural financing efforts.
    • Dr Bhanwala also announced that NABARD’s largest SHG-Bank Linkage Programme benefiting millions of rural women will soon move to a digital platform. This will revolutionise the lending to women SHGs, he added.
    • APRACA, representing 81 member institutions from 21 countries, is a regional association that promotes cooperation and facilitates mutual exchange of information and expertise in the field of rural finance. Over the years it has developed a repository of knowledge in managing and serving rural financial institutions, financial inclusion and to help avert financial risks and improve efficiency.

    4. Creation of UT of J&K and Ladakh historic, opened the flood gates of development and progress in the region



    • The Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (I/C), Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh has said the historic step of creating the two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh has opened the flood gates of development and progress in the region.
    • Addressing a delegation of teachers from Jammu and Kashmir UT , he said the Articles 370 and 35A were archaic and only served to impediments to the development of the erstwhile state of J&K. “The abrogation of these Articles also unleashed a war on corruption with the setting up of the Anti-Corruption Bureau, ACB in the UT Police,” he added.
    • Jitendra Singh said since the UTs came into being the teachers have ceased to be state government employees and now are at a par with the Central Government employees. “Their salaries have been doubled and they can now draw several pecuniary benefits like CGHS healthcare cover, Education Allowance and Hostel reimbursement for Children’s Education and LTC,” he said.
    • Jitendra Singh gave a patient hearing to the teachers’ demands for creation of autonomous independent Education Commission for the newly created UTs, transparent transfer policy and DPC of all cadres in the School Education Department besides regular payment of salary.
    • Jitendra Singh said the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has promised a new dawn for the UT of J&K. “As many as eight Medical Colleges have been sanctioned for the UT at Kathua, Udhampur, Doda and two AIIMS in Jammu and Srinagar,” he said. “Panchayats have been granted Rupees One Crore each to undertake development works,” he said. “Besides, the Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah has assured the UT status is temporary and the State status will be restored in Jammu and Kashmir at an appropriate moment,” he added.




    5. India will emerge as the torchbearer of banking reforms



    • The Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (I/C), Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh has said India will emerge as the torchbearer of banking reforms in the world as we aim to be a global superpower. Inaugurating the two-day India Banking Conclave here today, he said under the leadership of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the Government has unleashed the huge potential our Banking Sector is capable of during the last more than five years. “This marks the beginning of India’s journey towards achieving the $5 trillion economy,” he said.
    • Dr Jitendra Singh said the Government’s thrust on ‘Make in India’ and ‘Ease of doing Business’ is dependent primarily upon the ‘Ease of Banking’, besides improved communication, digitalization and connectivity.
    • Jitendra Singh said the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana has transformed the banking landscape in the country. “From being a Zero Balance account scheme for every family, the deposits under the scheme have swelled to thousands of crores,” he said. “This proves the Jan Dhan Yojana is not only about economic empowerment, but it has become a matter of self-esteem for the poor as they rise to contribute to India’s economy,” he added.
    • Jitendra Singh said several such innovative schemes including the Ujjwala Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Mudra Yojana, Stand Up India- Start Up India schemes, PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, geotagging of NG-NREGA and DBT have stopped pilferage and helped better target welfare schemes for poverty alleviation. Minimum Pension has been raised to Rs.1,000 at the initiative of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. “For the first time initial seed capital funding has been introduced under the Venture Fund in the North-Eastern Region with an aim to stem the exodus of people,” he said. “It is the vision of Shri Narendra Modi that the nearly century old Indian Forest Act, 1927 was amended to exempt bamboo from its purview and promote its commercial exploitation which will create jobs and industry in the NER,” he added.
    • Jitendra Singh said in 2014, soon after taking over the reins of the Government, the Prime Minister had said he is committed to serve the welfare of the poor. “This is the beginning of a journey from pessimism to optimism,” said Dr. Jitendra Singh quoting from his tweet on the day Shri Narendra Modi took over as the Prime Minister for the first time in 2014.




    6. National Seminar on Social Audit of Rural Development

    ·        The Department of Rural Development has decided to institutionalize the social audits in major schemes of Rural Development, starting with NSAP and PMAY-G as a beginning is made in these two schemes by preparing the Guidelines. In this backdrop, a two-day ‘National Seminar on Social Audit of Rural Development Programmes’ is being organised at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi on 13th and 14th November 2019 jointly by the Department of Rural Development and National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, with an objective to understand the current status of social audits and Social Audit Units and develop plan for roll out of social audit in other programmes.

    ·        The National Seminar will be inaugurated by the Minister of State for Rural Development, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti.  Shri Rajiv Mehrishi, the C&AG and Secretary, Department of Rural Development Shri Amarjeet Sinha will also be present during the inauguration and share their thoughts. State Principal Secretaries of Rural Development, MGNREGA Commissioners, senior officers from the NSAP and PMAY-G (implementing) Divisions, Directors of Social Audit Units (SAUs) and selected social audit resource persons from the States have been invited to participate in the Seminar. In addition, senior officials of the Department of Rural Development and NIRD&PR will also participate.

    ·        The Seminar will take stock of the current status of Social Audits and SAUs in terms of independency, funds, issues identified, actions taken etc. and will provide a platform for SAUs to share their experiences of conducting social audit. Models and best practices in social audit from across States in India and also from other countries will be showcased. Participants will also develop an action plan for strengthening SAUs and roll out of social audit in other rural development programmes especially National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) and Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G).

    ·        Social Audit is recognized by many, including the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), as a powerful tool to enforce transparency and accountability. Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) was the first Act to mandate Social Audits by the Gram Sabha of all the projects taken up in the Gram Panchayat. According to Section 17 of the MGNREGA, 2005: ‘The Gram Sabha shall conduct regular social audits of all the projects under the scheme taken up within the Gram Panchayat’. MGNREGA Audit of Schemes Rules was passed by the Central Government, in consultation with the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) in 2011.

    ·        In addition to MGNREGA, few States have taken up social audit of other schemes as well. Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G) audits are done in Uttar Pradesh, Meghalaya and West Bengal. National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) audits are done in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal. Meghalaya Legislature has enacted ‘The Meghalaya Community Participation and Public Services Social Audit Act, 2017’ which mandates social audit in 26 different schemes in Education, Health, Rural Development and other areas. Eight States have taken up Social Audit of 11 different schemes including Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G), Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP), Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS) and Mid-Day Meals (MDM).

    7. Swachh – Nirmal Tat Abhiyaan

    ·        To strive to make our beaches clean and create awareness amongst citizens about the importance of coastal ecosystems, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) are undertaking a mass cleanliness-cum-awareness drive in 50 identified beaches under the “Swachh – Nirmal Tat Abhiyaan”, from 11th -17thNovember, 2019. The identified beaches are in 10 coastal States/Union Territories (UTs) namely Gujarat, Daman & Diu, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha. The beaches have been identified after the consultation with the States/UTs.

    ·        The cleaning drives in all beaches are being undertaken, involving school/college students of Eco-clubs, district administration, institutions, volunteers, local communities and other stakeholders.  State Nodal Agencies for the Eco-clubs will be facilitating the week long intensive cleanliness drive in all 10 States/UTs. Nodal teachers from the Eco-clubs will be present at the sites during the entire cleanliness drive. MoEF&CC officials have also been deputed to monitor the implementation of the drive.

    ·        For beach cleaning activities which will be a duration of two hours on daily basis, a minimum of one Kilometre stretch of the beach shall be identified. Beach sand cleaning machines shall also be deployed at about identified 15 beaches. Thereafter collected waste will be processed as per extant Waste Management Rules, 2016. Environment Education Division of the Ministry and Society of Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM) under the aegis of this Ministry will be responsible for the overall coordination for the drive in 50 beaches. Respective State Governments and Central Ministries will also be actively participating in the beach cleaning drives.

    8. National Capital Region -2041

    ·        Shri Durga Shankar Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India, chaired the inaugural conclave on “National Capital Region -2041” organized by the National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB), here today. The theme of the conclave was “Planning for Tomorrow’s Greatest Capital Region”.

    ·        The Conclave had participation from all NCR participating States, concerned Ministries/Departments of Government of India, Knowledge Institutions, Industries, Housing Associations, Subject Experts, Field Officers from various districts, and other stakeholders.

    ·        Setting the agenda for the conclave, Shri D. S. Mishra said that the Regional Plan – 2041 should be a citizen-centric plan, with liveability as the hallmark, to ensure ease of living. He further said that only plans with crucial factors like economic ability and sustainability can succeed.

    ·        Highlighting the Prime Minister’s statement made in a Conference on Smart Cities held in Pune, that said “if anything has the potential to mitigate poverty it is our cities”, the Secretary stressed that the regional planning exercise presented a unique opportunity to realise these words.  He further added that it was an interesting and challenging exercise and called for rigorous work from all stakeholders for an all-inclusive plan engaging all possible resources and tools at their disposal.

    ·        He concluded saying the Regional Plan would have a serious impact on the entire region as it would drive and decide the magnitude/ direction in which the development will take place in the region.   He said that the Regional Plan- 2041 would be “a plan of our dreams and aspiration set in a practical context and that it must be published before mid-2021”.

    ·        Earlier addressing the conclave, Smt. Archana Agrawal, Member Secretary, NCRPB mentioned that, currently the Regional Plan with the horizon year 2021 was in-force and a Regional Plan with next horizon year 2041 was required to be prepared now.  She said that this conclave was first among many such consultations planned wherein more advanced stage of deliberations will take place.

    • As part of the sessions, a multimedia presentation showing planning of global cities was followed by five technical sessions on various themes namely ‘Imagining the Future’, ‘Priorities of the States’, ‘Land Use, Allocation & Control’, ‘Harmonized Development’ and ‘Financial Structuring’. The technical sessions were chaired by Dr. Anna Roy, Senior Adviser, Niti Aayog, representatives of NCR, participating State Governments, Dr. S.K. Kulshreshta, Regional Planning Expert, Dr. Partha Mukhopadhyay from Centre for Policy Research, Shri Vinay K. Singh, Managing Director, NCRTC. Prof. PSN Rao, Director, School of Planning & Architecture, Delhi presented the concluding remarks of the technical sessions.
    • It is envisaged that the engagement of experts from various organizations/stake holders will contribute to ensuring successful preparation of a multi-sectoral Regional Plan with perspective year 2041. Participants were also apprised about the facility for giving suggestions on preparation of Regional Plan-2041 through NCRPB’s website ncrpb.nic.in.


    9. Jal Shakti Minister Shekhawat reviews Jal Jeevan Mission in Southern States : Stresses Need for early steps



    • Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has emphasized the urgency to start work on Jal Jeevan Mission as the first six months of the mission are critical for the success of the mission. He was speaking at the regional review of Jal Jeevan Mission at Hyderabad today. The regional review included states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu,Telangana and UTs of Puduchery and Lakhsdweep.
    • In the review, the preparation and progress on water related schemes in the Southern States was assessed and the way forward was discussed. Parameswaran Iyer,Secretary, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shaktihighlighted the steps that are needed to be taken for proper implementation of the programme. He stressed the need for retrofitting the existing schemes to incorporate household tap connections and also for a streamlined system of financial management; and assured the states of a smooth fund flow from the centre. He also advised the States on the steps envisaged for sustaining the gains of the Swachh Bharat Mission. The states were apprised regarding the steps to be taken in the next phase that is ODF Plus to keep the sanitation momentum going.
    • Announced by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi on 73rd Independence Day, the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) aims at providing Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTCs) in rural areas by 2024. Government of India and State Governments will work in partnership to further this goal. Approx. 14.60 crores rural households of the country will be provided with FHTCs. The provisional cost estimate for this mission is Rs 3.60 lakh Crores.
    • Further to the announcement, Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation, which is the implementing Department for the mission, has been holding region-wise stakeholder consultation workshops. Five such regional workshops with stakeholders had already been organized on JJM.


    10.         ACC approvals



    • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved repatriation of Ms. Nilam Sawhney, lAS (AP:84), Secretary, Department of Social Justice & Empowerment, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment to her parent cadre on the request of State Government.
    • The Competent Authority has approved assignment of additional charge of the post of Secretary, Department of Social Justice & Empowerment to Shri Deepak Khandekar, lAS (MP:85), Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs till appointment of a regular incumbent to the post or until further orders, whichever is earlier.


    1. Chief Justice’s office comes under RTI, rules Supreme Court



    • The Supreme Court ruledthat the office of Chief Justice comes under the transparency law, the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
    • The decision by the five-judge bench of the Supreme Court, led Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who retires on November 17, comes on a petition filed by Central Public Information Officer of the Supreme Court against a Delhi high court ruling of 2010 that held the office of the CJI was a public authority and directed the secretary-general of the top court to disclose details of the assets of judges sought by RTI activist SC Agarwal.





    12.         BRICS Trade & Industry Ministers meeting concludes



    • India places great importance on its engagement with BRICS as it brings stability and balance to an uncertain world said Union Minister of Commerce and Industry & Railways, Piyush Goyal, at the interventions made by him in the BRICS Trade Ministers meeting held in Brasilia, Brazil
    • The global economy is facing grave challenges due to growing protectionism and trade tensions due to unilateral measures said the Minister in his address at the session on International Economic Outlook. He further stated that in this uncertainty India continues to offer economic opportunities with reduced corporate taxes that are the most competitive in the world, liberalised rules for Foreign Direct Investment and revitalisation of sectors like real estate and the micro and small enterprises.
    • The micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in India support the livelihood of millions of people the Minister added. The 50 million MSMEs create over 100 million jobs and contribute 40 percent to India’s exports. It is the backbone of Indian economy but the increasing trends of protectionism in the form of Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) are denying market access to these enterprises particularly from the developing countries. Developed countries advocate open and free trade with emphasis on removal of tariffs in developing countries but they themselves are raising more barriers in the form of NTBs that are leading to economic uncertainties and raising the cost of doing trade in developing and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) said the Minister.
    • Commerce and Industry Minister urged the BRICS countries to again focus on trade as a catalyst for development, poverty alleviation and job creation. BRICS countries accounted for 25 percent of the world’s GDP, 50 percent of the world’s population and around 20 percent of global merchandise trade in 2018. BRICS countries, added the Minister, have natural resources, human capital and financial outreach and have the potential to become global growth engines and leaders in innovation and enterprise.
    • Commerce and Industry Minister in his address, in the session on Advancing BRICS Trade and Investment Cooperation- the Road Ahead, urged the BRICS countries to develop digital infrastructure, skills and institutions with special focus on the developing countries and LDCs while highlighting the adverse impact of predatory pricing that is practised by some e-commerce players that adversely affects millions of small retailers. He reiterated that e- commerce players must follow the letter and spirit of the law of the country. In his address the Commerce and Industry Minister also spoke about the need to ensure that the WTO reform process does not dilute the basic principles like Special and Differential Treatment to developing countries and consensus-based decision making. He urged the BRICS countries to collectively take the lead in shaping the narrative on reforms within the WTO in order to enhance its relevance and effectiveness in the contemporary technological and trade environment.
    • The Commerce and Industry Minister in his closing remarks at the Trade and Industry Minister’s meeting said that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) amongst BRICS Trade and Investment Promotion Agencies signed at this meeting provides a framework for forging collaboration between countries and facilitating greater trade amongst BRICS member countries. He expressed his confidence that the MoU will further promote trade and market studies and will narrow gaps in trade facilitation measures in BRICS countries.
    • Piyush Goyal urged all BRICS member countries to maintain the momentum in all the areas agreed upon during the Brazilian Presidency especially cooperation initiatives in MSMEs, Intellectual Property Rights, e- commerce, technical regulations, investment facilitation and trade and investment promotion as cooperation through these frameworks will encourage value added outcomes for stakeholders.
    • The Commerce and Industry Minister said that the joint communique reflects the resolve towards an open, fair, transparent and inclusive multilateral trading system. He further said that as the Joint Communique feeds into the BRICS Leaders’ Declaration it sends a strong message to the world in defence of free and fair trade and revival of the rules-based multilateral trading system. He reiterated the Prime Minister of India’s commitment that India’s no strings attached model of cooperation is driven by the requirements and priorities of India’s partner countries.



    13.         Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurates the India Pavilion at the ADIPEC

    ·        Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel Shri Dharmendra Pradhan today inaugurated the India Pavilion at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC). The India Pavilion has been set up by 9 Indian Oil & Gas companies from the upstream, midstream, downstream and engineering segments, alongwith Federation of Indian Petroleum Industry (FIPI), Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

    ·        Inaugurating the exhibition, Shri Pradhan saidIndia has a huge appetite for energy, and will be a driver of global energy demand in coming decades.In fact, oil and gas would continue to play a critical role in meeting our energy requirement, in coming two decades even as we adapt renewable energy. He said “Our focus is to attract global investments into the oil and gas sector, as India would invest 100 billion dollars by 2024 in refining, pipelines and gas terminals. There is no better place to invest if you are in the business of energy. Political stability, predictable policies and a huge diverse market make India an attractive investment destination for global investors.We have recently liberalized the entry norms for fuel retailing which has paved way for entry of new players in the fuel retailing space and enhancing competition.”

    ·        At the ADIPEC inaugural global discussion in Abu Dhabi,Shri Pradhan said that We are working to make PM Modi’s vision to make India a gas based economy and working for a more cleaner and greener environment. “For this we will be working on investing in gas based infrastructure like increase in CGD and PNG network and gas based industries.” He said thatGlobal energy transition is driven by Asia becoming the centre of energy consumption, greater availability of LNG, greater promise of energy independence through renewables including solar and wind energy, emergence of US a leading hydrocarbons exporter and the urgency to meet COP 21 Paris climate commitments.

    14.       China’s economy shows further signs of strain

    ·        China’s economy showed further signs of strain today. Data showed a sharp slowdown in consumer spending and factory production, while investment growth also hit a record low following the trade war with the US.

    ·        Beijing is battling a tariffs row with the United States, as well as a weak global outlook. At the same time, it is trying to control a high level of debt at home.

    ·        A National Bureau of Statistics official warned China was facing a “complex international economic situation” with downward pressure on the domestic economy.

    ·        Analysts also warned of more headwinds for the world’s number two economy. China expanded six per cent in the third quarter, its worst reading in almost three decades.

    ·        Authorities have unveiled a series of measures to kickstart growth including major tax and rate cuts, and scrapping foreign investment restrictions in its stock market.




    15.       AITA announces India’s Davis Cup squad tie against Pakistan


    • In Tennis, India picked an eight-member Davis Cup squad for the tie against Pakistan, rewarding players who agreed to travel to Islamabad when top players had refused.
    • Veteran star Leander Paes returned to the Indian team after more than a year along with top players Sumit Nagal, Ramkumar Ramanathan, Sasi Kumar Mukund and Rohan Bopanna, who had reservations on travelling to Pakistan due to  security concerns.
    • In the squad announced by the All India Tennis Association (AITA) Selection Committee in New Delhi, Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, Saketh Myneni and Siddharth Rawat also found places in the team.
    • While the International Tennis Federation is still deliberating upon Pakistan Tennis Federation’s appeal to shift the November 29-30 tie out of Islamabad, AITA went ahead with the team selection.

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