Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS Preparation: 1 November 2017

Ministry of HUA ropes in private online service aggregator to promote jobs for urban poor

Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs roped in a private online service aggregator, UrbanClap, to ensure employment opportunities with minimum assured monthly wages for urban poor skilled under Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM). A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard was signed between the Ministry and UrbanClap in the presence of Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Shri Hardeep Singh Puri.

Under the MoU signed for five years, UrbanClap will bring together demand for domestic services and the urban poor skilled under DAY-NULM in 16 cities viz., Delhi, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Noida, Greater Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Secunderabad, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad.

UrbanClap assures a minimum monthly earning of Rs.15,000 for plumbers, electricians and carpenters and Rs.25,000 for appliance repair technicians, beauty therapists and Spa therapists.

The three year old UrbanClap has become successful offering follow up customer support through online and insurance against any damage of the skilled service provider is contacted through its app.

Under the MoU, the Ministry of HUA will share details of those imparted skill training under DAY-NULM with UrbanClap. During 2016-17, 4,01,654 were given skill training while 1,39,970 have so far been skilled during the current financial year.


India’s rank rises to 100 in World Bank’s doing Business Report, 2018

The World Bank has released the Doing Business (DB) Report, 2018. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) is pleased to announce that India ranks 100 among 190 countries assessed by the Doing Business Team. India has leapt 30 ranks over its rank of 130 in the Doing Business Report 2017.

The DB Report is an assessment of 190 economies and covers 10 indicators which span the lifecycle of a business. India has improved its rank in 6 out of 10 indicators and has moved closer to international best practices (Distance to Frontier score). The credit for this significant improvement is credited to the mantra of “Reform, Perform, Transform” given by the Prime Minister, wherein a strong leadership has provided the political will to carry out comprehensive and complex reforms, supported by a bureaucracy committed to perform. The Government has undertaken an extensive exercise of stakeholder consultations, identification of user needs, government process re-engineering to match Government rules and procedures with user expectations and streamlined them to create a more conducive business environment. An extensive exercise is also undertaken to increase awareness among users about reforms to ensure extensive use of newly created systems.

This edition of the report acknowledges India as a top improver, with an improvement of 30 ranks compared to last year’s report, the highest jump in rank of any country in the DB Report, 2018. India is the only country in South Asia and BRICS economies to feature among most improved economies of the DB Report this year.


Indian Air force contingent leaves for Israel to Participate in ‘Ex Blue Flag-17’

A 45 member contingent of the Indian Air Force left for Israel to participate in exercise ‘Blue Flag-17’. Blue Flag is a bi-annual multilateral exercise which aims to strengthen military cooperation amongst participating nations. Indian Air Force is participating with the C-130J special operations aircraft along with Garud commandos. The exercise would provide a platform for sharing of knowledge, combat experience and in improving operational capability of the participating nations. The exercise is being conducted at Uvda Air Force Base in Israel from 02-16 Nov 17. The team consists of personnel from various combat elements of the IAF and is led by Gp Capt Maluk Singh VSM.

This is the first time the Indian Air Force is operating with Israeli AF in a multilateral exercise setting. Exercise Blue Flag gives opportunity to the IAF to share and learn best practices with some of the best professionals from other Air Forces.


India, Tunisia vow to combat terror, extremism

India and Tunisia agreed to jointly combat terrorism and extremism while ramping up cooperation in the field of security. A review of bilateral ties was undertaken as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj co-chaired the 12th India- Tunisia Joint Commission Meeting with her Tunisian counterpart Khemaies Jhinaoui.

During the meeting, the two sides also discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest. Six agreements in the fields of judicial cooperation, cooperation in youth issues, information and communications technology, trade and business, were also signed.

At the meeting, Tunisia also conveyed that it would become a partner country in the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and expressed its willingness to join its various programmes. The Tunisian side appreciated India’s initiative of holding the International Solar Alliance Founding Conference in New Delhi on December 8, 2017.

In order to expand bilateral trade and investment, both countries proposed to enhance trade to USD 1 billion in the next five years. The Tunisian side appreciated India’s initiative of holding the International Solar Alliance Founding Conference in New Delhi on December 8, 2017. In order to expand bilateral trade and investment, both countries proposed to enhance trade to USD 1 billion in the next five years. The Indian side called for greater market access in the pharma and fertilizer sectors.

It was also decided that two new Joint Working Groups — one to remove barriers in trade and expand volume and range of trade and another on Agriculture to expand cooperation in agriculture and agro products — would be set up.

To celebrate the 60th Anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, it was decided to hold a year-long festival of India in Tunisia and festival of Tunisia in India in 2018.