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28th April, 2023 Current Affairs

28th April, 2023 Current Affairs
28th April, 2023 Current Affairs

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh holds bilateral meetings with Kazakh, Chinese and Iran counterparts on sidelines of SCO meeting

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held separate bilateral meetings with Minister of Defence of Kazakhstan Colonel General Ruslan Zhaxylykov and Minister of Defence of Tajikistan Colonel General Sherali Mirzo in New Delhi.
  •  The meeting took place in a cordial and warm atmosphere. Both the leaders emphasized on the age-old cultural, linguistic and civilizational ties between the two countries, including people-to-people connections.
  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also held a bilateral meeting with Iran's Minister of Defence and Armed Forces Logistics Brigadier General Mohammed Reza Gharaei Ashtiyani. Both the Ministers reviewed the bilateral defence cooperation and exchanged views on regional security issues, including peace and stability in Afghanistan.
  • Further, the two Ministers discussed the development of the International North-South Transport corridor to ease logistic problems in Afghanistan and other countries in Central Asia.

LPI 2023: India jumps 6 places in World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index, rank 38.

  • India has shown improvement in the logistics ranking of the World Bank by jumping 6 places to rank 38 out of 139 countries in the 7th edition of Logistics Performance Index (LPI 2023).
  • India has been taking numerous initiatives since 2015 under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to improve its logistics efficiency. Ministry of Commerce and Industry in a statement said that the World Bank has acknowledged India’s efforts towards increasing logistics efficiency.
  • It said, on four out of 6 LPI indicators, the country has seen remarkable improvement on the back of various initiatives being implemented over the past few years. The Ministry said that this is a strong indicator of India’s global positioning with this development being powered by Government’s focus on reforms for improving logistics infrastructure.
  • In September last year, the Prime Minister launched the National Logistics Policy (NLP) which acts as a guiding document for States and  UTs seeking to formulate logistics policy. So far 19 States and  UTs have notified their logistics policy. The policy is centered around upgradation and digitization of logistics infrastructure and services.

PM Modi says SWAGAT will emerge as model for Public Oriented Governance

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi called governance a lively and sensible system that happens through innovation and new ideas.
  • The Prime Minister was addressing the 20th anniversary of the State Wide Attention on Grievances by Application of Technology (SWAGAT) initiative of the Gujarat government.
  • SWAGAT will emerge as a model for Public Oriented Governance. This initiative will lead to many new innovations in the governance in future.
  • The role of technology in the success of SWAGAT. The initiative ensured prompt resolution of the grievances of people.
  • Swagat online grievance redressal scheme was started by Narendra Modi in April 2003 during his tenure as the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
  • The main purpose of the scheme was to bridge the gap between citizens and the Government by using technology to resolve their day-to-day grievances in a quick, efficient, and time-bound manner. Over the past twenty years, over 94 per cent of the grievances have been solved through the programme.

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World Bank approves USD 1.25 billion financing for three new projects in Bangladesh

  • The World Bank (WB) has approved a financing of USD 1.25 billion for three new projects in Bangladesh to help Bangladesh achieve greener and more resilient development and greater inclusion. The financing was approved after the meeting of the Bank to discuss a new Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for Bangladesh (2023-27) on Friday.
  • The CPF will support Bangladesh’s goal to achieve upper-middle-income country status by 2031 by helping the country address key barriers to higher and sustainable growth. It will help develop a diversified and competitive private sector to create more and better jobs; promote socio economic inclusion to expand opportunities for all; and address climate and environmental vulnerabilities, said WB in an official release.
  • World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan Abdoulaye Seck said that the CPF will support the government’s reform programs to deliver jobs and support inclusion and resilience.
  • Out of the three projects, USD 500 million Program on Agricultural and Rural Transformation for Nutrition, Entrepreneurship, and Resilience (PARTNER) project will help promote diversification, food safety, entrepreneurship, and climate resilience in the agri-food systems. The USD 500 million First Green and Climate Resilient Development Credit will help the country’s transition to green and climate-resilient development. The USD 250 million Sustainable Microenterprise and Resilient Transformation (SMART) project will help transform the micro-enterprise sector into a more dynamic, less-polluting, resource-efficient, and climate-resilient growth sector.

UNSC unanimously condemns ban by Taliban on Afghan women working for United Nations in Afghanistan

  • The UN Security Council (UNSC) yesterday unanimously condemned a ban by the Taliban on Afghan women working for the United Nations in Afghanistan. UNSC called on Taliban leaders to swiftly reverse a crackdown on the rights of women and girls. The resolution drafted by the United Arab Emirates and Japan describes the ban as unprecedented in the history of the United Nations. It said that the ban undermines human rights and humanitarian principles. The resolution also asserts the indispensable role of women in Afghan society.
  • UAE’s ambassador to the UN, Lana Nusseibeh said, more than 90 countries from across the globe co-sponsored the resolution. Global support makes our fundamental message today even more significant, that the world will not sit by silently as women in Afghanistan are erased from society. The UNSC vote came days before a planned international meeting regarding Afghanistan, in Doha on 1st and 2nd of May.

Iran seized Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker in Gulf of Oman, alleges US Navy

  • The US Navy has alleged that Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has seized a Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman.
  • The Bahrain-based US 5th Fleet in a statement said, Iran's actions are contrary to international law and disruptive to regional security and the oil tanker should release immediately. The tanker had reportedly come from Kuwait and listed its destination as Houston, Texas and according to the shipping database of International Maritime Organization, it is owned by a China-registered company.
  • Meanwhile, Iranian state media reported that the oil tanker had collided with an Iranian boat and injured several crew members.The incident came days after the US, Britain and the European Union toughened sanctions against Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps over human rights violations.

Sudan's rival factions agree to renew three-day ceasefire

  • In Sudan, rival factions of the country's security forces have agreed to renew a three-day ceasefire, shortly before it was due to expire. The extension for another 72 hours, follows intensive diplomatic efforts by neighbouring countries and the global community. South Sudan has offered to host peace talks, and the Sudanese army has agreed to send representatives to the talks.
  • Meanwhile, local media reports that there are continuing reports of heavy fighting between the army and its rival the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in the capital Khartoum. Fighting has also been reported in the western Darfur region and other provinces. At least 512 people have been killed in the fighting so far and almost 4,200 have been injured. The previous truce allowed thousands of people to attempt to flee to safety, while dozens of countries have tried to evacuate their citizens.

India, UK to create India-UK NET zero innovation virtual centre.

  • India and the United Kingdom have agreed to create India-UK NET zero innovation virtual centre. This centre will provide a platform for stakeholders of both countries to work together in areas like the decarbonization of manufacturing processes, transport systems, and green hydrogen as a renewable source.
  • While chairing the India-UK Science and Innovation Council meeting in the presence of United Kingdom Minister George Freeman, Science, and Technology Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said, India is fast moving to become an economic powerhouse, driven by its extraordinary technological and innovative capabilities. The country is determined to achieve its climate change and environmental targets within a stipulated time period. Pointing towards the country's net zero journey, Dr Singh said, energy efficiency and renewable energy are central pillars, where India has already taken the lead through various initiatives like India Solar Alliance and Clean Energy Mission.

Bangladesh Army Chief meets CDS, Chief of Army Staff in Delhi

  • General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed, Chief of Army Staff, Bangladesh Army arrived on a three-day visit to India from 27 to 29 April 2023. The visiting General was accorded a Guard of Honour at the South Block Lawns after which he called on General Manoj Pande, the Chief of the Army Staff.   The Army Chiefs discussed various issues pertaining to enhancing and strengthening interoperability, training, anti-terrorism collaboration and overall bilateral cooperation as part of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two nations.
  • The Bangladesh Army Chief commenced his visit by paying tributes to the fallen heroes of the Indian Armed Forces by laying a wreath at the National War Memorial.  General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed later called on General Anil Chauhan, Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of Naval Staff, Air Marshal AP Singh, Vice Chief of Air Staff, Defence Secretary and the Foreign Secretary.
  • India and Bangladesh share the historical legacy of cooperation and support during the Liberation War of 1971.
  •  The active engagement on the defence side includes high-level exchanges at the level of Service Chiefs, conduct of the inaugural Annual Defence Dialogues by the Defence Secretaries, Tri-services and Service-specific Staff Talks.
  •  Exchange visits of Bangladesh Mukti Jodhas and Indian war veterans take place every year in December to mark the Victory Day celebrations in Dhaka and Kolkata.

Russia-Ukraine Conflict: Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky today on the phone, the first call between the two leaders since the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
  • Zelensky said he believes that this call, as well as the appointment of Ukraine's ambassador to China, will give a powerful impetus to the development of bilateral relations. Chinese state broadcaster reported that during the call Xi told Zelensky talks and negotiations were the only ways out of the war.
  • In February Beijing unveiled a 12-point paper calling for a "political settlement" to the crisis in Ukraine.

US President Joe Biden & South Korean President Yoon Suk-Yeol secures a landmark deal

  • US President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk-Yeol have secured a landmark deal which includes plans to periodically deploy US nuclear-armed submarines in South Korea.
  • Washington has also agreed to involve Seoul in its planning for the use of nuclear weapons in any conflict with North Korea. In return, South Korea has agreed to not develop its own nuclear weapons.
  • The deal, called the Washington Declaration, will strengthen the allies' co-operation in deterring a North Korean attack.
  • The Washington Declaration marked an unprecedented step to enhance extended deterrence, a commitment from the US to deter attacks and protect US allies using its military power, including nuclear weapons. The declaration comes amid rising concerns about nuclear threats from North Korea as the country carries out a record number of ballistic missile tests.

Share of Govt Health Expenditure in country’s total GDP increases from 1.13% in 2014-15 to 1.35% in 2019-20

  • The share of Government Health Expenditure in country’s total GDP has increased from 1.13 percent in 2014-15 to 1.35 percent in 2019-20. The share of Government Health Expenditure in Total Health Expenditure has increased also from 29 percent in 2014-15 to 41.4 percent in 2019-20.
  • Member (Health), NITI Aayog, Dr. Vinod K. Paul launched National Health Accounts (NHA) Estimates for India for 2019-20 today in the presence of Health Secretary, Rajesh Bhushan. He said the share of Out-of-Pocket Expenditure in Total Health Expenditure has declined from 62.6 percent in 2014-15 to 47.1 percent in 2019-20. The report highlights the increased public spending in primary healthcare, which is in line with National Health policy 2017 which states that two-thirds of public health spending must be in Primary Health systems.
  • This is also a result of great developments and initiatives taken at grassroot level such as opening of over 1.6 lakh Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres which are providing plethora of health services to the people. He further said that primary healthcare must be prioritized as it is the fundamental base on which secondary and tertiary services can be supported efficiently.

UAE and Cambodia finalises CEPA

  • The United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Cambodia have finalised the terms of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), paving the way for a new era of trade and investment cooperation between the two nations.
  • The successful conclusion of negotiations was confirmed with the signing of a joint statement by Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and PAN Sorasak, Cambodia’s Minister of Commerce.The CEPA with Cambodia will serve as a catalyst to increase and diversify bilateral trade by substantially eliminating tariffs, reducing non-tariff trade barriers, and promoting trade in goods, services, and investment.
  • It builds on growing UAE-Cambodia economic relations that, in 2022, resulted in non-oil trade exceeding US$401 million, which represents a growth of 31 percent compared to 2021 – and 146 percent more in the pre-Covid year of 2019. In terms of investments, bilateral FDI had reached US$3.8 million by the end of 2020.
  • The Cambodian economy is one of the most promising in South-East Asia, enjoying 5.1 percent growth in 2022. This deal will deliver new opportunities for its key exports, which include grains, fruits, meats, processed foods, apparel, footwear, and leather goods. The UAE will benefit from new export opportunities in machinery, oils and lubricants, and cars and automotive parts, as well as investment opportunities in logistics and infrastructure, travel and tourism projects, and renewable energy.
  • The agreement will serve as the catalyst for greater connectivity between ASEAN, India, and the Arab World, which are amongst the most economically dynamic regions in the world.The UAE’s new foreign trade agenda is a core component of the nation’s growth strategy that seeks to double the size of the economy from US$381 billion to US$762 billion by 2030. The UAE has now signed CEPAs with India, Israel, Indonesia, and Türkiye, and is set to conclude negotiations with other strategically important nations in the coming weeks. The first ever CEPA UAE has entered into is with India and May 1st 2023 marks one year of CEPA entering into force.

Sports Minister Anurag Thakur congratulates Indian athletes for winning in Asian U18 Athletics Champ’s

  • Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur has congratulated Indian athletes Aarti and Khusbhu Yadav for bagging the third and fourth positions in the Girls' five thousand-metre Race Walk in the Asian U18 Athletics Championships held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
  • Both athletes have opened India's account in the Asian U18 Athletics Championships.
Published date : 01 May 2023 05:38PM

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