Indian Antarctic Bill, 2022
⇒ Lok Sabha on 22 July 2022 passed the Indian Antarctic Bill, 2022 moved by Minister of Earth Sciences Dr Jitendra Singh.
- The Bill aims at having India’s own national measures for protecting the Antarctic environment as also the dependent and associated ecosystem.
» Speaking about the Bill, Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said, the main aim is to ensure de-militarization of the region along with getting it rid of mining or illegal activities. It also aims that there should not be any nuclear test / explosion in the region.
- The bill is in pursuant to India’s accession to Antarctic Treaty, the Protocol on Environment Protection (Madrid Protocol) to the Antarctic Treaty and to the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.
- The Bill provides a harmonious policy and regulatory framework for India’s Antarctic activities through well-established legal mechanisms and will help in efficient and elective operations of Indian Antarctic Programme.
- It will also facilitate India’s interest and pro-active involvement in the management of growing Antarctic tourism and sustainable development of fisheries resources in Antarctic waters.
- It will also help in increased international visibility, credibility of India in Polar governance leading to international collaboration and cooperation in scientific and logistics fields.
- The Bill also proposed to set-up Indian Antarctic Authority (IAA) under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, which shall be the apex decision making authority and shall facilitate programmes and activities permitted under the Bill.
» India has two operational research stations in Antarctica named Maitri (Commissioned in 1989) and Bharati (Commissioned in 2012). India has successfully launched 40 annual scientific expeditions to Antarctica till date.
About Antarctic Treaty:
- The Antarctic Treaty was signed at Washington D.C. on the 1st December, 1959 and was initially signed by 12 countries. Since then, 42 other countries have acceded to the Treaty.
- A total of fifty-four State Parties to the Treaty, twenty-nine countries have the status of Consultative Party with a right to vote in the Antarctic Consultative Meetings and twenty-five countries are Non-Consultative Parties having no right to vote.
- India signed the Antarctic Treaty on the 19th August, 1983 and received the consultative status on the 12th September, 1983.
Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources:
- The Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources was signed at Canberra on the 20th day of May, 1980; inter alia, for the protection and preservation of the Antarctic environment and, in particular, for the preservation and conservation of marine living resources in Antarctica.
- India ratified the Convention on 17th June, 1985 and is a member of the Commission for Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources under that Convention.
- The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty was signed at Madrid on 4th October, 1991; inter alia, to strengthen the Antarctic Treaty system and for the development of a comprehensive regime for the protection of the Antarctic environment and dependent and associated ecosystems.
- India signed the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty on 14th January, 1998.
- Antarctica lies south of 60 ñ South Latitude.
“Har Ghar Tiranga” Campaign
⇒ Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched “Har Ghar Tiranga” campaign on 22 July 2022 to encourage people to bring the Tiranga home and hoist it to mark the 75th year of India’s independence.
He said that 22nd July has a special relevance in our history as on this day in 1947, our National Flag was adopted.
Prime Minister said in a tweet:
This year, when we are marking Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, let us strengthen the Har Ghar Tiranga Movement. Hoist the Tricolour or display it in your homes between 13th and 15th August. This movement will deepen our connect with the national flag.
- The idea behind the initiative was to invoke the feeling of patriotism in the hearts of the people and to celebrate Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav in the spirit of Jan Bhagidari.
- The objective of this campaign was to hoist flags across the country from 13 to 15 August 2022.
- The initiative of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 12th March 2021 to celebrate and commemorate 75 glorious years of Independence of India.
Bal Raksha Mobile App
⇒ Union Minister of Ayush Shri Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated Vaccination Centre for children at the All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) on 23 July 2022.
» Union Minister also launched the Bal Raksha mobile app, which is aimed at creating awareness of paediatric preventive healthcare through Ayurveda intervention amongst parents.
- The app will also collect feedback from parents regarding the impact of the kit on their children’s health and immunity.
- The All India Institute of Ayurveda, an autonomous organisation under Ministry of Ayush, aims at bringing synergy between the traditional wisdom of Ayurveda and modern tools and technology.
- Ayurveda is the oldest system of medicine and health science dating back to more than 3,000 years.
IAF participated in the Tactical Leadership Programme (TLP) in Egypt
⇒ The Indian Air Force contingent participated in the Tactical Leadership Programme (TLP) at Egyptian Air Force (EAF) Weapon School in Egypt (Cairo West Airbase). The programme commenced on 24 Jun and culminated on 23 Jul 2022.
- IAF participated with three Su-30 MKI aircraft. Two C-17 aircraft were used for induction of the contingent.
- Tactical Leadership Program was a unique exercise, wherein IAF participated with its aircrew as instructors.
- Further, six Combat Instructor Pilots from Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE), which represents the IAF, took part in the training.
- During the first two weeks of the exercise IAF aircraft participated in missions by day and night, involving air to ground & air to air combat scenarios and Combat Search And Rescue (CSAR) activity alongside Egyptian F-16, Rafale and Mig 29 aircraft.
- This exercise provided a good opportunity to showcase the reach and capability of the IAF. It also assisted in enhancing defence cooperation between the two countries and exchange of best practices.
- This kind of interaction is considered to be the first between the two air forces as it was performed between their respective Fighter Weapon Schools.
- The Indian Air Force unit stationed in Egypt successfully completed the Tactical Leadership Programme (TLP), which strengthened military cooperation by allowing participants from both countries to share their operational strategy expertise.
Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security of Mauritius called on the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, GoI
⇒ The Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security of Mauritius, Mr. Maneesh Gobin, called on the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, in New Delhi on 22 July 2022.
The two leaders agreed that both countries will work more closely with other countries in the matter of Food Security.
Mr. Gobin urged forming an alliance in the matter of Food Security, as initiated by the Prime Minister Shri Modi with respect to Solar Energy. Mr. Gobin lauded the work of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and also requested for an agreement with it.
Shri Tomar elaborated upon the role of ICAR in the development of Indian Agriculture and mentioned the role of its affiliated Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), agricultural universities and more than 100 other institutions. He asked the Mauritian leader to prepare the framework for the MoU, so that it could be considered.