- The 11th Meeting of the BRICS High Representatives Responsible for National Security was held, via video conferencing.
- The National Security Advisor of India Ajit Doval hosted the meeting since India is the chair for the 2021 BRICS summit.
- The 15th BRICS Summit is scheduled to be held in September 2021. The BRICS meeting of the NSA provided a platform for the five countries to strengthen political-security cooperation.
- Secretary of the Security Council of Russia Gen Patrushev, Chinese Politburo Member Yang Jeichi, South African Deputy Minister of State Security Ncediso Goodenough Kodwa and Gen Augusto Heleno Ribeiro Pereira, Minister of State and Head of the Institutional Security Cabinet of the Presidency of Brazil attended the high-level meeting.
- Significance of the meeting: The BRICS NSA meeting adopted and recommended the BRICS counter-terrorism action plan for consideration by the BRICS Summit.
- NSA Ajit Doval and other top security officials of the BRICS discussed the Afghanistan scenario, and developments in Iran, West Asia and the Gulf region.
- The Action Plan aims to further strengthen existing mechanisms of cooperation in areas such as financing and combating terrorism, misuse of the internet by terrorists, curbing the travel of terrorists, border controls, protection of soft targets, information sharing, capacity building, and regional and international cooperation.
(SOURCE: THE PRINT)
- The Government of India and Maldives inked the contract for the mega Greater Male Connectivity project (GMCP).
- The Greater Male Connectivity project (GMCP) is the largest-ever civilian infrastructure project in the Maldives.
- The Government of India is funding the implementation of GMCP through a USD 400 million Line of Credit (LoC) and USD 100 million grant. The USD 400 million LoC will be provided by the Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank).
- About the project: The project will be developed by Indian construction and engineering firm, AFCONS, based in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
- The Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP) comprise of 6.74 km long bridge and causeway link that will connect the national capital Male with three neighbouring islands namely: Villingili, Gulhifahu and Thilafushi.
- President of the Maldives: Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
- Capital of Maldives: Male
- Currency of the Maldives: Maldivian Rufiyaa.
(SOURCE: THE HINDU)
- The 5th edition of Indo- Kazakhstan Joint Training Exercise, “KAZIND-21” will be held from August 30 to September 11, 2021, at Training Node, Aisha Bibi, Kazakhstan.
- The joint training exercise will boost the bilateral relations between India and Kazakhstan Armies.
- The Exercise is also a platform for the Armed Forces of India & Kazakhstan to train for Counter Insurgency/ Counter-Terrorism operations in the mountainous, rural scenarios under UN mandate.
- The Indian Army contingent represented by a battalion of the Bihar Regiment consists of a total of 90 personnel led by a Contingent Commander.
- The Kazakhstan Army will be represented by a company group.
- The scope of Joint Exercise includes professional exchange, planning & execution of the operation in counterterrorism environment at sub-unit level and sharing expertise on skills at arms, combat shooting and experiences in Counter Insurgency/ Counter-Terrorism operations.
- Kazakhstan PM: Askar Mamin,
- Capital: Nur-Sultan, Currency: Kazakhstani Tenge.
(SOURCE: LIVE MINT)
- Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman has unveiled the fourth edition of the Public Sector Bank (PSB) Reforms Agenda ‘EASE 4.0’ for 2021-22.
- The major theme for EASE 4.0 is “Technology-enabled, simplified, and collaborative banking.” EASE stands for Enhanced Access & Service Excellence (EASE).
- What is the aim of EASE 4.0?
- EASE 4.0 aims to further the agenda of customer-centric digital transformation and deeply embed digital and data into PSBs’ ways of working.
- EASE 4.0 sets the agenda and roadmap to transform all PSBs into digital-attacker banks working hand-in-hand with key constituents of the financial services ecosystem to offer industry-best customer experience.
- Important Initiatives under EASE 4.0:
- Smart Lending for Aspiring India
- New Age 24×7 banking with resilient technology
- Collaborative banking for synergistic outcomes
- Tech-enabled Ease of Banking
- Institutionalizing Prudent Banking
- Governance and Outcome Centric HR
(SOURCE: JAGRAN JOSH)
- Ministry of Civil Aviation has repealed the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Rules, 2021 and replace the same with the liberalized Drone Rules, 2021.
- The step has been taken as the earlier UAS Rules 2021 was perceived by academia, Startups, end-users and other stakeholders as being restrictive in nature as they involved considerable paperwork, required permissions for every drone flight and very few “free to fly” green zones were available.
- Some important features of liberalized Drone Rules 2021:
- Quantum of fee reduced to nominal levels and delinked with the size of the drone. For instance, the fee for a remote pilot license fee has been reduced from INR 3000 (for large drones) to INR 100 for all categories of drones; and is valid for 10 years.
- No permission is required for operating drones in green zones. Green zone means the airspace up to a vertical distance of 400 feet or 120 metres that has not been designated as a red zone or yellow zone in the airspace map; and the airspace up to a vertical distance of 200 feet or 60 metres above the area located between a lateral distance of 8 and 12 kilometres from the perimeter of an operational airport.
- Interactive airspace map with green, yellow and red zones shall be displayed on the digital sky platform within 30 days of publication of these rules.
- The yellow zone was reduced from 45 km to 12 km from the airport perimeter. The maximum penalty for violations is reduced to INR 1 lakh.
- Drone promotion council to be set up by the Government with participation from academia, startups and other stakeholders to facilitate a growth-oriented regulatory regime.
- Nano and model drones (made for research or recreation purposes) are exempt from type certification. No restriction on foreign ownership in Indian drone companies.
(SOURCE: INDIAN EXPRESS)
- India’s first sectoral index in the Agri commodities basket i.e. GUAREX was launched by the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX).
- GUAREX is a price based sectoral index that tracks the movement in the futures contracts of guar gum refined splits and guar seed on a real-time basis. This index product will offer a lot of opportunities to the value chain.
- The weightage of guarseed and guar gum refined splits in the index will be 63 per cent and 37 per cent, respectively.
- The index futures will be cash-settled. Initially, Guarex futures contracts expiring in September and October will be made available for trading.
- India is the world’s largest guar producer accounting for 80-85 per cent of the output, while Rajasthan is the country’s top producer with 80 per cent market share.
- Guar seed was sown on 1.81 million hectares so far this year, down from 2.25 million hectares logged in the same period last year.
(SOURCE: FINANCIAL EXPRESS)