India has announced a contribution of $22
million to the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria for the 6th
The Global Fund is an international
financial organization designed to accelerate the end of AIDS,
tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics.
The organisation is a partnership between
governments, civil society, the private sector and people affected by the
diseases. It was formed in 2002.It is headquartered at Geneva, Switzerland.
The organisation mobilizes and invests
more than US$4 billion a year to support programmes run by local experts
in more than 100 countries.
The organisation was initially formed as
an independent, non-profit foundation under Swiss law and hosted by the
World Health Organization (WHO).
In 2009,the organization became an
administratively autonomous organization terminating its administrative
services agreement with the WHO.
India shares a sustained partnership with
the Global Fund since 2002 both as recipient and as a donor. In the
current funding cycle (2018-21), the Global Fund has allocated US$ 500
million to India.As a donor, India has contributed US$ 46.5 million so far
till 2019 including US$ 20 million for the 5th Replenishment.
India’s Defence Minister is on a visit to
Japan for the annual Defence Ministerial Meeting between the two
The meeting highlighted the significance
of the Special Strategic and Global Partnership between India and Japan,
especially in addressing the security, stability and regional peace.
The two countries have also decided to
hold the first Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue(2+2) ahead of the
Japan-India Annual Summit this year.
The two countries has also welcomed
Malabar 2019 which is a trilateral maritime exercise between India, Japan
and the US which will be held between late September and early
Further,they also had a discussion about
the second trilateral mine countermeasures exercise(MINEX) between India,
Japan and the US, which was held in July,2019.
They also discussed other bilateral
exercises namely Dharma Guardian which was held in 2018 between the Japan
Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) and the Indian Army.
SHINYUU MAITRI is the first bilateral
exercise between the Japan Air Self-Defense Force(JASDF) and the Indian
Air Force which was held in December 2018.
In 2018,Japan had also joined the India-US
Air Force exercise ‘Cope India’ as an observer for the first time.
They have also welcomed the steady
progress in bilateral cooperation in the area of Maritime Domain Awareness
based on the agreement signed in 2018 to deepen the cooperation between
the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Indian Navy.
India and Maldives has signed a Mutual
Legal Assistance Treaty(MLAT) in criminal matters.
The treaty aims to enhance the
effectiveness of both the countries in investigation and prosecution of
crime,through cooperation and mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.
A mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) is
an agreement between two or more countries for the purpose of gathering
and exchanging information in an effort to enforce public or criminal
MLATs can be bilateral (country to
country), multilateral, regional (any regional grouping example ASEAN) and
country to regional (India with all the countries of European Union).
This assistance may take the form of
(a)examining and identifying people (b)places and things (c)custodial
transfers and (d)providing assistance with the immobilisation of the
instruments of criminal activity.India has already signed Mutual Legal
Assistance Treaty (MLAT) with 39 countries.
Central Government has increased the
prices of different grades of ethanol under the Ethanol Blended
Petrol(EBP) Programme for the forthcoming 2019-20 sugar season.
Ethanol Blended Petrol programme was
launched in 2003.It aims at blending ethanol with petrol thereby bringing
it under the category of biofuels and saving millions of dollars by
cutting fuel imports.
This programme has been extended to the
whole of India except Union Territories of Andaman Nicobar and Lakshadweep
islands with effect from 01st April, 2019.
The government has been notifying the
administered price of ethanol since 2014 and is being implemented by the
Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs).
The blending of ethanol in petrol has many
benefits including (a) reduction in import dependency (b)support to
agricultural sector (c)more environmentally friendly fuel (d)lesser
pollution and (e)additional income to farmers.
The National Policy on Biofuels,2018 also
aims to increase the percentage of ethanol in petrol and diesel.Its
objective is to achieve 20% ethanol blending and 5% biodiesel-blending by
the year 2030.
The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has set up
a task force to submit a report on the development of a secondary market
for corporate loans.It was headed by T.N. Manoharan.
The task force has recommended setting up
of a self-regulatory body of participants who would work on creating a
platform for secondary sale of corporate loans.
The task force has also called for
amending regulations of SEBI, IRDA and PFRDA to enable participation of
non-banking entities such as mutual funds, insurance companies and pension
Currently,banks and NBFCs are the only
participants in the primary and secondary loan markets.
The task force has suggested for setting
up an online loan sales platform to conduct auctions/sale process of the
secondary market loans.
Further,it has also recommended to create
a Loan Contract Registry to remove information asymmetries between buyers
The secondary market is the market where
investors buy and sell securities they already own.It is also referred to
as the stock market.
Secondary loan market in India is largely
restricted to asset reconstruction companies and ad hoc sale to other
lenders including banks and no formalised mechanism has been developed to
deepen the market.
The United States and ASEAN Countries will
be jointly conducting ASEAN-US Maritime Exercise(AUMX) in the South China
The Maritime Exercise will lasts for five
days starting at the Sattahip Naval Base in Thailand and ending in
In this exercise,all the members of the
Association of Southeast Asian (ASEAN) nations will take part which will
include activities such as drilling, boarding of target vessels to simulate
search and seizure.
The exercise comes after a Chinese survey
vessel had extended its activities to an area closer to Vietnam’s
coastline.In response,the United States has also ramped up its military
moves in the South China Sea.
South China Sea is a portion of the
Pacific ocean which is bordered by some of the ASEAN countries and
China.The dispute involves contesting claims in the region by 7 countries
which are Brunei, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and
The genesis of the dispute lies in the
eleven-dashed line announced by the Chinese government in 1947 which was
later changed to “Nine-dash line” in 1949 by Communist China.
This line covers most of the South China
Sea, which China claims to be a part of its territory.However,these claims
are contested by other littoral states in the region.
The government has extended the
inter-state portability of ration cards between Kerala-Karnataka and
Rajasthan-Haryana to implement ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’.
These two new clusters will join the
existing State pairs of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana as well as
Maharashtra and Gujarat.
One nation one ration card scheme is all
about inter-state portability of ration cards.It enables the beneficiaries
who are taking food grains under the Public Distribution System(PDS) to
access the same benefits if they happen to migrate from one part of the
country to the other in a seamless manner.
The Union Government plans to extend the
One nation one ration card scheme to all the states by June 2020 to enable
the portability of the food security card.
This will provide freedom to the
beneficiaries as they will not be tied to any one PDS shop and reduce
their dependence on shop owners and curtail instances of corruption.
However,there are various challenges such
as (a)To update beneficiary data when a person migrates for a shorter span
(b)Electronic point of sale(EPoS) machines are there in only 77% ration
shops (c)Very few EPoS machines are in high-migration states like West
Bengal and Bihar.
The Joint Naval Annual Quality
Conclave(JNAQC) will be held in Visakhapatnam on September 5,2019.
The conclave will be hosted by the Naval
Quality Assurance Establishments under the aegis of Director General Quality
Assurance (DGQA), Ministry of Defence.
The theme of the conclave is
‘Transformation of QA Paradigm: Opportunities and Challenges’.
The conclave will provide a vibrant
environment for stimulating discussions on all aspects pertaining to
Transformation of Quality Assurance(QA) Paradigm.
DGQA functions under the Department of
Defence Production,Ministry of Defence.It was established in 1957.Its
headquarters are located in New Delhi.
DGQA’s mandate is to provide Quality
Assurance(QA) cover for entire range of Arms, Ammunitions and Stores
supplied to Armed Forces.It is also responsible for import substitution
with Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO) in the
A new report titled “Reducing Food Loss
and Waste” by the World Resources Institute (WRI) with the support of the
Rockefeller Foundation has quantified global food wastage.
The report has said that nearly one-third
of the food that is produced globally each year goes uneaten,costing the
global economy over $940 billion.
Most of the food loss happens near the
farm predominantly in lower income countries and most of the food waste
happens near the plate predominantly in higher-income countries.
The report has said that when viewed as a
proportion by weight,of all the food estimated to be lost and wasted
globally,fruits and vegetables make up the largest share of total annual
food loss and waste.
Further,uneaten food is also responsible
for emitting about 8 percent of planet-warming greenhouse gases into the
The report has put forward a Global Action
Agenda that calls for (a)developing national strategies for food loss and
waste reduction, (b)creating national public-private partnerships
(c)launch supply chain initiatives (d)reducing small-holder losses and (e)shifting
consumer social norms.
Recently,India has hosted the 72nd Session
of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Committee for South-East
Addressing the session,Union Health
minister has said that India’s disease burden is shifting from
communicable to non-communicable diseases which means diet-related
diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity are rising rapidly.
He said that the government has taken
several steps towards healthcare such as it is observing the entire month
of September as “Poshan Mah”(Nutrition Month).This initiative aims to
intensify the campaign towards a malnutrition free India.
Further,citizens are being sensitized
through a people’s movement called Eat Right India.It’s tagline is Sahi
Bhojan,Behtar Jeevan which means right diet leads to a better quality of
The Prime Minister has also launched the
‘Fit India’ Movement’.This campaign aims at encouraging people to include
physical activity and sports as a routine in their everyday life.
India also plans to increase full
immunization coverage to 90% people through intensification of campaigns
under Mission Indradhanush.
Hence,these initiatives clearly shows
Universal Health for all which means a disease-free India and global
standards of excellence in healthcare is the aim of a new India.