Home » Current Affairs Date: 17 January 2023

Current Affairs Date: 17 January 2023

National

India’s First Aluminum Freight Rake - 61 BOBRNALHSM1

⇒ Union Minister for Railways, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology, Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw inaugurated India’s First Aluminum Freight Rake – 61 BOBRNALHSM1 at Bhubaneswar Railway Station on 16 October 2022. The rake’s destination is Bilaspur.

Designed and developed:

This is a dedicated effort for Make in India program as it has been fully designed and developed indigenously in collaboration with RDSO, HINDALCO and Besco Wagon.

Features of Aluminium Rake:
    • Fully Lock bolted construction with no welding on superstructure.
    • The tare is 3.25 tons lower than normal steel rakes, 180 ton extra carrying capacity resulting in higher throughput per wagon.
    • Higher payload to tare ratio 2.85.
    • The reduced tare will reduce carbon footprint as lower consumption of fuel in empty direction and more transport of freight in loaded condition. A single rake can save over 14,500 tonnes of CO2 over its lifetime.
    • 80% is resale value of the rakes.
    • Cost is 35% higher as the superstructure is all aluminium.
    • Lower maintenance cost due to higher corrosion and abrasion resistance.

MBBS course books in Hindi for the first time in India

⇒ Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah launched an MBBS course books in Hindi for the first time in the country in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh on 16th October 2022.

» In his address, the Union Home Minister Shri Shah said that in the 21st century some forces adopted the theory of brain drain and today Prime Minister Modi is converting the theory of brain drain into brain gain theory.

Shri Shah announced that medical education is starting in Hindi and soon engineering studies will also start in Hindi. Translation of engineering books in 8 languages has also started across the country and in no time all the students of the country will start taking technical and medical education in their mother tongue.

International

18th Heads of Asian Coast Guard Agencies Meeting (HACGAM)

⇒ Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh delivered the inaugural address at 18th Heads of Asian Coast Guard Agencies Meeting (HACGAM) in New Delhi on October 15, 2022.

Raksha Mantri has reaffirmed India’s resolve for open, free and rule-based maritime borders in the Indo-Pacific region.

Indian Coast Guard (ICG) hosted 18th HACGAM in coordination with HACGAM secretariat from October 14-18, 2022.
Participation:

A total of 55 representatives from 18 countries and two International Organisations – Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia Information Sharing Centre (ReCAAP ISC) & United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime- Global Maritime Crime Programme (UNODC-GMCP) – were participating in the meeting.

Discussion:

During the four-day event, working-level discussions and high-level deliberations were held on issues of maritime prominence in the domain of marine environment protection, maritime search and rescue and maritime law enforcement.

Additionally, a joint statement encompassing the key outcomes of this congregation of Heads of Asian Coast Guard was released which will act as roadmap for this multilateral forum to plan and conduct various collaborative initiatives till next HACGAM.

About HACGAM:
    • HACGAM aims at the construction and development of capabilities in coast guard organisations for the Asian region through working level discussion on overall maritime safety, security and environment protection issues, having in mind that the cooperation fostered by the constant efforts of HACGAM member organisations is effective to promote safe and secure maritime environment and cleaner seas in the region, as well as good relationship and mutual trust.
    • The HACGAM is a multilateral forum of 23 countries viz. Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkiye, Vietnam and one Region i.e. Hong Kong (China). Additionally, two international organisations viz.
    • The 1st HACGAM was hosted by Japan Coast Guard in 2004 at Tokyo.
    • This is the only forum where all the heads of Asian CG agencies congregate.

Joint World Bank-International Monetary Fund (WB-IMF) Development Committee (DC) Meeting

⇒ Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman participated in joint World Bank-International Monetary Fund (WB-IMF) Development Committee (DC) meeting during the Annual Meetings 2022 in Washington DC, on 15 October 2022.

The Development Committee had specifically met to discuss two critical aspects that the world is facing:
    • The food and energy crisis: Weathering the storm
    • Achieving Climate and Development goals: The Financing Question

» In her opening remarks, the Finance Minister, Smt Sitharaman stated that the Food and Energy Crisis paper rightly identifies energy efficiency as the “first fuel of choice”. Similarly, reducing crop loss and food waste should also be the “first intervention of choice” to ensure food security.

    • The Finance Minister urged the World Bank to avoid a unidimensional view of subsidies and to differentiate between distortive subsidies and targeted support to the vulnerable households.

Smt Sitharman also said that there are 3 clear opportunities for the World Bank Group:

    1. Promoting behaviour change to increase energy efficiency and to reduce food losses. Programmes like the Lifestyle for the Environment (LiFE) launched by the Prime Minister of India on the World Environment Day in June 2022, in which Mr. David Malpass, president, World Bank Group, delivered a wonderful keynote address, can mainstream responsible consumption behaviour.
    2. Helping all client countries in arranging concessional financing and technology transfer in areas like renewable and green energy.
    3. Supporting regional integration not only through International Development Association (IDA) but also through International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).

» Smt Sitharaman exhorted for prioritising consultations with key stakeholders throughout the formulation of CCDRS and following the “One Bank” approach are critical to their success.

» While urging the World Bank to take the lead and also help build consensus across MDBS, the Finance Minister pushed for the recommendations of the Independent Review of the MDB Capital Adequacy Frameworks commissioned by the G20 hold the key for sustained financing.

About the WB-IMF Annual Meetings:
    • The joint WB-IMF Development Committee meets every fall at the time of the Annual Meetings of the Boards of the Governors of the World Bank and the IMF, and every spring at the Spring Meetings, to discuss the progress of the work of the Bank and the Fund.
    • Following the Annual Meetings tradition, the Development Committee meets in Washington two years out of three and, in order to reflect the international character of the two institutions, every third year in a different member country.

Source: PIB & Other News Reports

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