Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS Preparation: 1 December 2017

NITI Aayog and EU delegation to India release the Strategy on Resource Efficiency (RE)

NITI Aayog in collaboration with the European Union delegation to India have released the Strategy on Resource Efficiency at a function in the capital. The report included in action plan for promoting resource efficiency in India. The strategy paper was unveiled by the Principal Adviser to NITI Aayog, Shri Ratan P.Watal, Indian resource panel member Dr. Tishyarakshit Chatterjee, Ms. Henriette Faergemann, EU Counsellor, Environment, Energy & Climate change. A large number of experts, academicians and delegates participated in the event.

Mr. Ratan P. Watal, Principal Advisor, NITI Aayog, mentioned that sustainability is a global priority and SDGs commitment and 11th Five year plan clearly enunciate importance of Resource efficiency (RE). Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy are important goals and central principles for achieving sustainable development. Resource efficiency very simply put is making more with fewer materials. In practice, through a life-cycle approach, it leads to minimizing impact on environment & the associated societal burdens, transforming ‘waste’ into ‘resources’ fostering circular economy, and strengthening resource security.

The document is developed with the recommendations from the Indian Resource Efficiency Programme (IREP), launched by the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and Indian Resource Panel (InRP) in April 2017. The work on Resource Efficiency Strategy and proposed plan of action (core and medium term) will be supported for its implementation by the European Union (EU) funded Resource Efficiency Initiative (EU-REI) led by GIZ in the consortium with TERI, CII and Adelphi. NITI Aayog has provided key support in positioning this document for public consultation, and charting the way forward.

India’s large population, rapid urbanization and expanding industrial production have led to exploitation of available limited natural resources with concerns regarding resource depletion and future availability becoming more pronounced. Ensuring resource security requires and integrated, concerted and collaborative approach in order to fulfill the needs of a vast and growing population. Also, the environmental burdens emanating due to resource extraction, utilization and disposal, including land degradation, biodiversity loss, as well as air and water pollution remain of great concern, Enhancing resource efficiency (RE) and promoting the use of secondary raw materials (SRM) is a pertinent strategy to address these challenges and reduce dependence on primary resource.

 

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Italy for cooperation in Agriculture and Phytosanitary issues

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Italy for cooperation in Agriculture and Phytosanitary issues. It replaces the earlier MoU signed in January, 2008 which is going to expire in January, 2018.

The MoU provides for cooperation in the fields of Phytosanitary issues, agricultural production and a wide range of other sectors including animal husbandry, agricultural research, food processing and other additional fields as may be mutually decided by both the sides.

The MoU has provision for exchange of information on the situation of agriculture and rural development, strengthening of technical exchange and production cooperation in respect of agricultural mechanization/farm machinery and agro-industrial infrastructures, removal of technical barriers and exchange experiences in animal husbandry sector including modern scientific researches and technologies etc.

The MoU provides for setting up of a Joint Working Group in order to promote bilateral exchanges in the field of agriculture, consider long-term initiatives for agricultural cooperation, and promote cooperation in order to reduce phytosanitary risks in exported goods also through the definition of specific joint procedures.

It will encourage and facilitate contacts between governmental agencies, scientific and academic institutions and business communities of both countries and promote further cooperation between the respective research institutes of the two countries.

 

Cabinet approves investment cooperation and facilitation treaty between India and Brazil

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing and ratification of the Investment Cooperation and Facilitation Treaty (ICFT) between India and Brazil.

The Treaty will result in increase of investment flows between the two countries. The ICFT between India and Brazil will provide appropriate facilitation to Brazilian investors in India and Indian investors in the Brazil. It is likely to increase the comfort level and boost the confidence of investors by assuring a level playing field and non-discrimination in all investment facilitation matters, thus providing conducive investment climate to investors. It would help project India as a preferred Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) destination to all Brazilian investors.

 

IAF achieves milestone in AAR on transport aircraft

An Indian Air Force Embraer transport aircraft specialised to conduct Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) function, successfully carried out Air to Air Refuelling (AAR), to fly a long duration flight beyond the aircraft’s stated endurance. It is also the first time that AAR has been carried out on the Embraer  platform.

The “Probe and Drogue” air-to-air refuelling methodology practiced by IAF pilots requires exceptional flying skills as the receiving aircraft has to accurately insert the receptacle probe into the basket shaped drogue trailing behind the fuel tanker aircraft. During the process of Air-to-Air Refuelling both aircraft have to maintain extremely accurate flying parameters. IAF is one of the few Air Forces in the world to demonstrate this capability and the Embraer AEW&C has also proved its prowess in the category. A mere 10 minute in-flight refuelling can generate additional four hours of flying endurance.  The achievement has given a tremendous boost to Indian Air Force’s operational capability.

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