Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS Preparation: 19 October 2017

Jaipur and Srinagar Airports rated Best Airports in the World in 2-5 million Passenger category in ACI-ASQ Survey

The Jaipur and Srinagar Airport got First and Second rank respectively in the category of 2-5 million passengers in ACI-ASQ Survey. Dr. Guruprasad Mohapatra, Chairman, Airports Authority of India along with his team received the ACI-ASQ Award at a function held in Mauritius on 17th October 2017.

This is for the second consecutive time that Jaipur Airport has been rated the Best Airport in the World in the traffic volume of 2 to 5 million passengers per year. Jaipur was ranked as the Best Airport in the World catering to a traffic volume of 2 to 5 million passengers per year in 2016 also.

The Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards are the aviation industry’s most prestigious accolades. The awards recognize the airports which have achieved the highest passenger satisfaction ratings in the ASQ Survey – the world’s benchmark measure of airport excellence. It is the only worldwide programme to survey passengers at the airports on their day of travel. Every year, the programme delivers some 600,000 individual surveys in 41 languages in 84 countries. It measures passengers’ views on 34 key performance indicators, including airport access, check-in, security screening, restrooms, stores and restaurants. Each airport uses the exact same survey, creating an industry database that allows airports to compare themselves to other airports around the world. The ASQ programme also has a feature that facilitates sharing of best practices among airport operators.

 

US to provide EMALS technology to India for aircraft carriers

The US will provide the crucial Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) for the Indian Navy’s future aircraft carrier.

India had sent a letter of request to the US government during the Obama administration for the Electromagnetic Launch System (EMLAS) built by General Atomics for aircraft carrier planned by the Indian Navy. The Indian Navy plans to integrate the US-made EMALS catapults into its future supercarriers.

Due to its flexible architecture, EMALS can launch a wide variety of aircraft weights and can be used on a variety of platforms with differing catapult configurations.

 

India, Brazil, South Africa sign IBSA Trust Fund agreement

India, Brazil and South Africa signed the IBSA Trust Fund Agreement that seeks to fight poverty in developing countries. The agreement was signed by Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh who led the Indian side at the 8th IBSA trilateral Ministerial Commission Meeting in Durban.

Meeting was also attended by Brazils Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes Ferreira and South African Foreign Minister Maite Emily Nkoana-Mashabane.

The IBSA Trust Fund brings together the three emerging economies of India, Brazil and South Africa to combat poverty in other developing countries. Each country contributes USD 1 million annually to this fund which is managed by the UN Development Programmes (UNDP) Special Unit for South-South Cooperation.

 

Dharmendra Pradhan’s two day visit to Japan

Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, led a delegation to Tokyo, Japan from 17-18 October 2017 to participate in LNG Producer- Consumer Conference. The conference organized by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan (METI) and the Asia Pacific Energy Research Centre (APERC) is a global annual dialogue which provides participants a forum for sharing the latest trends in the global LNG market and discussing opportunities and challenges with a view to developing global LNG market.

Delivering the key note address shri Pradhan stated that the global LNG market is undergoing a major transformation driven by new supplies which has created a situation of oversupply. He urged the global LNG markets, in which producers and consumers of LNG have equal stakes, to join hands to design flexible terms such as pricing review, flexible take or pay, abolition of destination restriction clause in the LNG contracts. Shri Pradhan stressed that these reforms are essential for developing a transparent, efficient, truly global and balanced LNG market.

Shri Pradhan held a bilateral meeting with Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry of Japan Mr Hiroshige Seko. The two sides discussed ongoing cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector between our companies in India and abroad and explored ways to further enhance the engagement. They also explored joint cooperation in the areas of LNG sourcing, swapping and optimization of LNG sources and commercial exploitation of Methane Hydrates. Minister Pradhan invited Minister Seko to attend the 16th International Energy Forum (IEF) Ministerial meeting to be held in New Delhi during April next year.

Both Ministers signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) on establishing a liquid, flexible and global LNG Market. The MoC provides a framework to cooperate in facilitating flexibility in LNG contracts, abolition of Destination Restriction Clause and also explore possibilities of cooperation in establishing reliable LNG spot price indices reflecting true LNG demand and supply. This would help in promoting bilateral relationship between India and Japan in the LNG sector.

Shri Pradhan also met Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan Mr. Katsunobu Kato and discussed issues of bilateral importance on promoting cooperation in the skill sector. Both also signed a MoC on the Technical Intern Training Program (TITP). The TITP is an ambitious program to send Indian technical interns to Japan for on the job training for a period of three to five years. The MoC is expected to pave the way for bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the area of skill development.

India and Japan are major consumers of energy in the world. In the LNG sector, Japan is the world’s largest importer and India is the 4th largest importer. Under the Japan-India Energy Partnership Initiative signed in January 2016, the two sides had agreed to work together in promoting well-functioning energy markets and affirmed to promote a transparent and diversified Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) market through the relaxation of Destination Restriction Clause.

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