30th September, 2021 Current Affairs
DAC approves proposals of modernization, operational needs of Indian Armed Forces amounting to Rs. 13,165 cr
- Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by Defence minister Rajnath Singh has approved proposals of modernization and operational needs of the Indian Armed Forces amounting to 13,165 crore rupees.
- Key approvals include helicopters, guided munition and rocket ammunition.
- The DAC has accorded approval of procurement of 25 ALH Mark III helicopters from HAL under Buy Indian at a cost 3,850 cr rupees to improve its integral lift capability ensuring its operational preparedness. This was done to continue the thrust towards Aatmanirbhar Bharat and Make in India.
- Giving boost to Indigenous Design and Development of ammunitions, DAC accorded approval for procurement of Terminally Guided Munition (TGM) and Rocket Ammunition at an approx cost of 4,962 crore rupees from domestic sources. Other proposals worth 4,353crore rupees were also accorded Acceptance of Necessity by the DAC.
Cabinet gives nod to continuation of PM POSHAN in Schools for 5 more years
- Cabinet has approved continuation of Centrally Sponsored National Scheme for PM POSHAN in Schools for five more years till 2025-26 with a financial outlay of 54,062 crore rupees from the Central Government and 31,733 crore from State Governments and UT administrations.
- This will cover 11.80 crore children studying in 11.20 lakh schools. Central Government will also bear additional cost of about 45,000 crore on food grains. The total scheme budget will be 1,30,795crore rupees. Speaking to reporters after the Cabinet meeting, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur informed this after the cabinet meeting.
- This is a Centrally-Sponsored Scheme which covers all school children studying in Classes I to EIGHT of Government and Government-Aided Schools. The earlier name of the scheme was ‘National Scheme for Mid Day Meal in Schools’ popularly known as Mid Day Meal Scheme.
- The scheme is proposed to be extended to students studying in pre-primary or BalVatikas of Government and Government-aided primary schools in addition to all the 11.80 crore children from elementary classes.
Cabinet approves Rs 4,400 cr investment in ECGC Ltd. in 5-years to provide support to exporters as well as banks
- The Cabinet has also approved 4,400crore rupees investment in ECGC Ltd (formerly known as Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India Ltd.) in five years to provide support to exporters as well as banks.
- Capital Infusion and planned IPO to increase ECGC’s underwriting capacity up to 88,000 crore and propel additional exports of 5.28 lakh crore over a five-year period.
- It will help create 59 lakh new jobs including 2.6 lakh in formal sector. This decision is part of a series export related schemes and initiatives taken by the Government over the last few years.
- Extension of Foreign Trade Policy (2015-20) up to 31st March next year has been approved. The cabinet has also decided to release 56,027 crore rupees in September 2021 to liquidate all pending arrears.
- These measures will provide a boost to the exports sector. In line with this, the cabinet has approved capital infusion of 4,400 crore to over a period of five years, i.e. from financial year 2021-2022 to financial year 2025- 2026.
- Cabinet has also approved listing of Export Credit Guarantee Corporation Ltd. through the Initial Public Offer on the stock Exchange. The Company intends to increase its maximum liabilities to 2.03 lakh crore rupees from 1.00 lakh crore rupees by 2025-26.
Cabinet clears doubling of Nimach-Ratlam and Rajkot-Kanalus railway lines
- Cabinet has approved doubling of Nimach-Ratlam railway line at a total estimated cost of 1,095 crore rupees.
- Information and Broadcasting minister Anurag Thakur informed that total length of doubling of line is 133 kilometre. The project will be completed in four years.
- After completion, additional freight traffic 5.67 million tonne per annum is expected from first year. And freight traffic to increase 9.45 million tonne per annum in 11th year. This will also provide easy connectivity as well as result in socio economic development of region.
- Cabinet has also approved doubling of Rajkot-Kanalus railway line. Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnav said, doubling of Nimach-Ratlam section will increase the capacity of section. He said, the proposed doubling from Rajkot to Kanalus would lead to all round development of Saurashtra region.
Govt approves continuation of NEIA scheme, infusion of Rs 1,650 cr Grant-in-Aid over 5 years
- The Cabinet has also approved continuation of the National Export Insurance Account (NEIA) scheme and infusion of 1,650 crore Grant-in-Aid over five years.
- Capital infusion in NEIA Trust will help tap the huge potential of project exports in focus market.
- NEIA will be able to support project exports worth up to 33,000 Crore rupees. It will help create 2.6 lakh new jobs, including around 12,000 in formal sector.
- This decision is part of a series export related schemes and initiatives taken by the Government over the last few years.
Ordnance Factory Board dissolved
- Defence Ministry has issued an order to dissolve the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) in effect from October 1, 2021.
- After October 1, its assets, employees and management will be transferred to seven newly constituted Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs).
- This order will abolish OFB, an establishment which was accepted by the British in 1775.
- Union Cabinet had approved a long pending reform plan of corporatizing the OFB on June 16. OFB has 41 factories and it was corporatized into seven fully government-owned corporate entities on the lines of DPSUs.
- Accordingly, the management, control, operations & maintenance of all the 41 production units and identified non-production units will be transferred to seven government companies from October. Those seven companies are: Munitions India Limited, Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited, Armored Vehicles Nigam Limited, Yantra India Limited, India Optel Limited, Troop Comforts Limited and Gliders India Limited.
Ease of Logistics Portal- Key Facts
- The Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal, launched “Ease of Logistic Portal” on September 27, 2021.
- While launching the portal, the minister noted that the ‘Rules of Business’ have to be the same for all stakeholders.
- Portal was launched during ‘Vanijya Saptah Samapan Samaroh’, which was organised by the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO).
- While addressing the event, the minister noted that government would be providing everybody an equal opportunity to their businesses, irrespective of whether they are big or small business houses or where they are from or other such differentiating factor.
- Ease of Logistics portal was launched to bring in transparency.
- It is a trade facilitation portal, developed by FIEO. It was launched in order to bring exporters and logistics service providers (LSPs) on a single platform. On this portal, exporters can post details of their container requirements to the service providers directly in order to provide their best quotes.
Japan: Fumio Kishida wins governing party leadership election, set to be next PM
- Japan's former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida has won the governing party leadership election and is set to be the next prime minister. Kishida replaces outgoing party leader Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who is stepping down after serving only one year since taking office last September.
- As new leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, Kishida is certain to be elected the next prime minister in parliament, where his party and coalition partner control the house. Kishida beat Taro Kono, the vaccinations minister, in a runoff after moving ahead of two female candidates Sanae Takaichi and Seiko Noda in the first round.
- Kishida’s victory caps an unpredictable Liberal Democratic Party election, in which two of the four candidates were female and most of the party’s largest factions allowed their members a free vote. Although Kono and Kishida were nearly tied on the first ballot, Kishida’s stronger support among members of parliament pushed him over the top in the second round after Sanae Takaichi and Seiko Noda — both former internal affairs ministers — were eliminated.
France- Greece sign defence deal
- France and Greece signed a multibillion-euro defence deal on September 27, 2021, to boost the defence capabilities.
- The defence deal includes Athens’ decision to buy three French warships under a strategy of boosting its defence capacities across the Eastern Mediterranean amid recurring tensions with Turkey.
- President of France Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced the defence and security strategic partnership at a joint news conference in Paris.
- Defence partnership between both the countries will increase and intensify cooperation among them in the defence and security sector on the basis of mutual interests.
- It will also help in protect the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity in both the states.
- Under the defence deal, Greece will purchase three French frigates. Frigates would be built by defence contractor Naval Group in Lorient.
- Deal also includes an option for acquisition of a fourth frigate.
North Korea tested newly developed hypersonic missile
- North Korea tested a newly developed hypersonic missile state news media KCNA reported. South Korea’s military said that North Korea fired the missile towards the sea off its east coast.
- Pyongyang called on the United States and South Korea to scrap their “double standards” on weapon programmes to restart diplomatic talks. The development of the weapon system increases North Korea’s defence capabilities, KCNA said, describing the hypersonic missile as a “strategic weapon”.
- It said the missile, called Hwasong-8, performed to its technical targets “including the guiding manoeuvrability and the gliding flight characteristics of the detached hypersonic gliding warhead.” The Hwasong series missiles use liquid propellant engines, according to Ankit Panda, a senior fellow at the US-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. This is the first test of a liquid propellant missile in North Korea since November 2017,”
SaniaMirza-Shuai Zhang win Ostrava Open women’s doubles title
- India's Tennis veteran, Sania Mirza won the doubles title at the Ostrava Open with her Chinese partner Shuai Zhang.
- They defeated the pair of Kaitlyn Christian and Erin Routliffe by 6-3, 6-2 and clinched the title in just over an hour. The final was held at the ČEZ Aréna in Ostrava in the Czech Republic.
- This is the first title of this season for Sania Mirza and the 43rd title of her career.
- Ostrava Open is a tournament organized for women tennis players. It resurfaced in 2020 to make up for the loss of tournaments due to the Covid-19 pandemic.