Home » Current Affairs Date: 20 July 2021

Current Affairs Date: 20 July 2021


Strategy to reduce logistics costs on road transportation

⇒ On an average, a truck in India covers 50,000-60,000 km a year, compared to over 300,000 km in advanced nations such as the United States. One of the key reasons is delays due to random stoppages for physical checking of vehicles and verification of documents etc.

As a strategy to reduce logistics costs on road transportation:

» Department of Commerce, Logistics Division, Govt of India has developed a risk-based approach on the implementation of smart enforcement of rules and regulations related to road-based violations by trucks.

» It has also developed an IT based solution to make enforcement mechanism technology driven.

» A meeting was held on 16 June 2021 with the officials of the State Governments. In the meeting, a risk-based approach was shared and the IT-based Smart Enforcement App was unveiled. 

Key features of the integrated smart solution are:
    • An IT application that would fetch data related to goods being carried on the truck from the existing Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) database, and the information related to the vehicle from the VAHAN database.
    • Make this data available to enforcement officers on the road in advance for approaching trucks.
    • Based on a risk matrix that uses historical patterns, the app assigns a risk profile to the truck helping the officers decide whether to stop it for further scrutiny.
    • To ensure transparency, the officer will be required to issue all fines, penalties, or any other punitive measures through the App.
    • The app includes features that keep records and help reduce ad-hoc implementation of these rules and regulations. Etc.
The benefits of adopting the app will be as follows:
    • Reduction in the number of physical checks of commercial vehicles by the enforcement officers
    • Overall reduction in the number of cash challan by issuing e-challan using the system
    • Reduced in deployment of work-force on roads for better utilization of manpower
    • Higher revenue collection due to reduced human intervention Improved targeting of offenders
    • Reduction in Logistics Cost (currently at 13% of GDP)

Development of National Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC) at Lothal, Gujarat

⇒The Ministry of Culture and  Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways signed a Memorandum of Understanding for ‘Cooperation in Development of National Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC) at Lothal, Gujarat’ in New Delhi on 16 June 20021.

About National Maritime Heritage Complex:

» The National Maritime Heritage Complex, a world-class facility, is to be developed in the vicinity of the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) site of Lothal, located about 80 km from Ahmedabad in Gujarat.

» NMHC would be developed in an area of about 400 acres with various unique structures such as National Maritime Heritage Museum, Light House Museum, Heritage Theme Park, Museum Themed Hotels & Maritime themed eco-resorts, Maritime Institute etc.

» Various theme parks would be developed at NMHC such as Maritime & Naval Theme Park, Monuments Park, Climate Change Theme Park, Adventure & Amusement Theme Park through public-private partnership. It will provide a complete tourist destiny experience to the visitors.

» NMHC would be developed as an international tourist destination. The maritime heritage of India from ancient to modern times would be showcased here and an edutainment approach using the latest technology would be adopted to spread awareness about India’s maritime heritage.

The unique feature of NMHC is the re-creation of ancient Lothal city, which is one of the prominent cities of the ancient Indus valley civilization dating to 2400 BC.


8th ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) Plus

⇒ Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh addressed at the 8th ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) Plus on June 16, 2021.

Addressing the meeting, Shri Rajnath Singh called for an open and inclusive order in Indo-Pacific based upon respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations.

Chair of the ADMM Plus:

Brunei is the Chair of the ADMM Plus forum for the year 2021.

Important Points of thematic discussion:
Regional and International Security Environment:

» Shri Rajnath Singh stressed that the emerging challenges to international peace and security cannot be addressed with outdated systems designed to deal with trials of the past.

» India supports to freedom of navigation, over-flight and unimpeded commerce for all in international waters in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

» India hopes that the Code of Conduct negotiations will lead to outcomes keeping with international law.

Act East Policy:

» The key elements of the policy aim to promote economic cooperation, cultural ties and develop strategic relationships with countries in the Indo-Pacific region through continuous engagement at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels. This policy was announced by the Prime Minister Shri Narender Modi in November 2014.

Terrorism and Radicalisation:

» Shri Rajnath Singh called for collective cooperation to fully disrupt terror organisations and their networks.

» He also said, identify the perpetrators and hold them accountable, and ensure that strong measures are taken against those who support and finance terrorism and provide sanctuary to terrorists.

» As a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), India remains committed to combat financing of terrorism.

Cyber Threats:

» Raksha Mantri called for a multi-stakeholder approach, guided by democratic values, with a governance structure that is open and inclusive and a secure, open and stable internet with due respect to sovereignty of countries, that would drive the future of cyberspace.


» Shri Rajnath Singh highlighted that Globally available patent free vaccines, unhindered supply chains and greater global medical capacities are some of the lines of effort that India has suggested for a combined effort.

Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations:

» Raksha Mantri said that India remains one of the first to respond in times of distress in the immediate as well as extended neighbourhood.

» He also said, as a founding member of the Heads of Asian Coast Guard Agencies Meeting (HACGAM), India seeks to enhance capacity building through collaboration in the areas of Maritime Search & Rescue.

ASEAN centrality and Unity:

» India shares a deep connect with ASEAN and have continued its active engagement in many areas contributing to regional peace and stability. Particularly through ASEAN led mechanisms, such as:

      • East Asia Summit
      • ASEAN Regional Forum
      • ADMM-Plus
About ADMM Plus:
  • The ADMM Plus is an annual meeting of Defence Ministers of 10 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries and eight dialogue partner countries – Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States.

Source: PIB & Other News Reports

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