Home » Current Affairs Date: 21 March 2022

Current Affairs Date: 21 March 2022

National

16th India Digital Summit, 2022

⇒ Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Textiles, Shri Piyush Goyal addressed the 16th India Digital Summit, 2022 on 12 January 2022.

The two-day virtual event was organized by the Internet And Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) on January 11-12, 2022.

Theme:

The theme of the 16th India Digital Summit was “Supercharging Startups”.

    • Shri Piyush Goyal called upon the Startups to help micro-entrepreneurs in rural areas, leverage technology to grow their businesses and encourage farmers, weavers & artisans etc. to use digital platforms to sell products.
    • The Minister unveiled ‘LEAP’ as the way forward for Startups, – “Leverage, Encourage, Access & Promote”.

India State of Forest Report 2021

⇒ Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Bhupender Yadav, released the ‘India State of Forest Report 2021’ on 13 January 2022.

Prepared by:

The report has been prepared by the Forest Survey of India (FSI) which has been mandated to assess the forest and tree resources of the country.

The ISFR 2021 provides information on forest cover, tree cover, mangrove cover, growing stock, carbon stock in India’s forests, forest fire monitoring, forest cover in tiger reserve areas, above ground estimates of biomass using SAR data & climate change hotspots in Indian forests.

The biennial assessment of forest cover of the country using mid-resolution Satellite data is based on interpretation of LISS-III data from Indian Remote Sensing satellite data (Resourcesat-II) with a spatial resolution of 23.5 meters with the scale of interpretation 1:50,000 to monitor forest cover and forest cover changes at District, State and National level.

    • In the present ISFR 2021, FSI has included a new chapter related to the assessment of forest cover in the Tiger Reserves, Corridors and Lion conservation area of India.
Key findings:
    • The total forest and tree cover of the country is 80.9 million hectare which is 24.62 percent of the geographical area of the country. As compared to the assessment of 2019, there is an increase of 2,261 sq km in the total forest and tree cover of the country. Out of this, the increase in the forest cover has been observed as 1,540 sq km and that in tree cover is 721 sq km.
    • Increase in forest cover has been observed in open forest followed by very dense forest. Top three states showing increase in forest cover are Andhra Pradesh (647 sq km) followed by Telangana (632 sq km) and Odisha (537 sq km).
    • Area-wise Madhya Pradesh has the largest forest cover in the country followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra. In terms of forest cover as percentage of total geographical area, the top five States are Mizoram (84.53%), Arunachal Pradesh (79.33%), Meghalaya (76.00%), Manipur (74.34%) and Nagaland (73.90%).
    • 17 states/UT’s have above 33 percent of the geographical area under forest cover. Out of these states and UT’s, five states/UTs namely Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya have more than 75 percent forest cover while 12 states/UTs namely Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, Goa, Kerala, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Assam, Odisha, have forest cover between 33 percent to 75 percent.
    • Total mangrove cover in the country is 4,992 sq km. An increase of 17 sq Km in mangrove cover has been observed as compared to the previous assessment of 2019. Top three states showing mangrove cover increase are Odisha (8 sq km) followed by Maharashtra (4 sq km) and Karnataka (3 sq km).
    • Total carbon stock in country’s forest is estimated to be 7,204 million tonnes and there an increase of 79.4 million tonnes in the carbon stock of country as compared to the last assessment of 2019. The annual increase in the carbon stock is 39.7 million tonnes.

International

Maritime Partnership Exercise between Indian Navel Ships and Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force Ships

⇒ Indian Naval Ships Shivalik and Kadmatt undertook Maritime Partnership Exercise with Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) Ships Uraga and Hirado in the Bay of Bengal on 13 January 2022.

The exercise was aimed at strengthening bilateral relations, promoting defence cooperation, enhancing mutual understanding and inter-operability between the two navies and sharing best practices.

The Maritime Partnership Exercise included a wide range of maritime operations viz Flying Operations, Replenishment Approaches and Tactical Manoeuvres.

Joint Development Agreement between POWERGRID and Africa50

⇒ Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID) has signed a Joint Development Agreement with Africa50, the pan-African infrastructure investment platform to continue to develop the Kenya Transmission Project on a public-private partnership basis.

The project entails the development, financing, construction, and operation of the 400kV Lessos – Loosuk and 220kV Kisumu – Musaga transmission lines under a public-private partnership (PPP) framework.

Once completed, the project will be the first Independent Power Transmission (IPT) in Kenya and will set a reference point in Africa as the first financing of transmission lines on a PPP basis.

In this development partnership, POWERGRID, one of the world’s leading electric transmission utility companies will provide technical and operational know-how to the project.

About Africa50:
    • Africa50 is an infrastructure investment platform that contributes to Africa’s economic growth by developing and investing in bankable infrastructure projects, catalyzing public sector capital, and mobilizing private sector funding, with differentiated financial returns and impact.
    • Africa50 currently has 31 shareholders, comprised of 28 African countries, the African Development Bank, the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), and Bank Al-Maghrib.

Source: PIB & Other News Reports

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