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Here are the topics covered for 11 September 2023: G20 Summit, India-US, Central Empowered Committee (CEC), PM-GATI Shakti, Online News, A Stride Towards Swachhta, ONDC in a Box.
Table of Contents:
- G20 Summit
- Central Empowered Committee (CEC)
- PM-GATI Shakti
- Online News
Facts for Prelims:
- A Stride Towards Swachhta
- ONDC in a Box
- The 18th G20 Summit has been officially concluded in India. PM Modi calls for a virtual review meeting in November 2023. New Delhi Declaration and African Union membership are among the high points of the event and Brazil is set to take over te next G-20 Presidency.
G20 Summit 2023 Outcome
- During the two-day summit, the inclusion of the African Union as a fresh G-20 member marked a significant moment. Following this, Mr. Modi personally announced the summit’s ‘Joint Declaration’, which was unanimously approved despite marked disagreements among members over the Ukraine situation.
- Modi engaged in multiple discussions with visiting dignitaries, such as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Brazilian President Lula Da Silva, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol.
- Following a bilateral discussion between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron, a Joint Statement was released. The declaration highlighted that both India and France will partner in the Indo-Pacific and Africa, focusing on domains like “infrastructure, connectivity, energy, biodiversity, sustainability, and industrial projects.”
- After his discussion with President Azaly Assoumani of Comoros, the inaugural Chairperson of the African Union (AU) at a G-20 summit post-AU’s induction, Prime Minister Modi emphasized Comoros’ significance to India’s maritime strategy, SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region). They deliberated on enhancing collaboration in fields such as shipping and trade.
- The US President visited New Delhi for the G-20 Summit and held a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Modi.
Highlights of the Meeting
- UNSC Support: The US supports India’s candidature for the UNSC non-permanent seat in 2028-29 and endorses a reformed UN Security Council with India as a permanent member.
- INDUS-X: This collaboration aims to boost innovative defense solutions from both nations for shared security issues. Joint challenges will be launched, inviting start-ups for defense technology solutions.
- iCET Review: A review of the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology is set for September 2023, with an annual review in early 2024.
- Space Partnership: ISRO and NASA are discussing a joint initiative for the International Space Station in 2024 and plan a framework for space flight cooperation by end-2023.
- India-U.S. Global Challenges Institute: A collaboration between Indian universities and the Association of American Universities focuses on addressing global challenges.
- Technology Transfer: GE Aerospace and Hindustan Aeronautical Limited aim to manufacture GE F-414 jet engines in India.
- Ship Repair Agreement: A new agreement between the U.S. Navy and Mazgaon Dock Shipbuilders was signed in August 2023 to support the maintenance of U.S. Navy assets.
- WTO Dispute: The last of the seven outstanding WTO disputes between India and the US was settled, following six settlements in June 2023.
- India-U.S. Cancer Dialogue: Slated for launch in November 2023, the dialogue aims to advance knowledge in cancer genomics and develop new diagnostics and treatments.
Central Empowered Committee (CEC)
- The Central Government has established a “permanent” Central Empowered Committee (CEC) following a directive from the Supreme Court.
About the Committee
- Following the 2002 Supreme Court directives, the Central Government has permanently established the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) to monitor and ensure compliance with the apex court’s decisions related to forest and wildlife matters.
- The previously ad hoc committee addressing environmental concerns has been institutionalized as a permanent statutory body.
- In its restructured format, the committee will be comprised of a chairman, a member secretary, and three expert members who are civil servants, appointed by the Union Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC). This marks a shift from the past when expert members were non-governmental appointments.
- The Union government’s decision to exclude non-government members, who previously had representation in the CEC, has drawn criticism from experts. They argue that this change diminishes the committee’s accountability and independence.
PM Gati Shakti
- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) recently hosted the 2023 Regional Cooperation and Integration (RCI) Conference in Tbilisi, Georgia, where India presented its PM Gatishakti National Master Plan.
About the ADB Conference
- The theme for the conference: Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Integration through Economic Corridor Development (ECD).
- Its objective was to: Integrate spatial transformation with ECD to enhance regional cooperation and share knowledge on the ECD framework for viable projects.
- Over 30 member countries participated in the conference.
- India shared its native GIS-based technology with ADB and SASEC nations to boost socio-economic planning and regional collaboration.
About PM GATI SHAKTI
- PM Gati Shakti, launched in October 2021, is a “Made in India” initiative aimed at integrated planning of multimodal infrastructure connectivity.
- This approach promotes socio-economic area-based development as a part of regional connectivity.
- It absorbed the Rs. 110 lakh crore National Infrastructure Pipeline in 2019.
- Using a GIS-based digital platform with over 1400 data layers, it visually represents various infrastructural and environmental data points.
- The plan also focuses on enhancing regional connectivity, as seen in projects like the Indo-Nepal Haldia Access Controlled Corridor and the Regional Waterways Grid.
- The 2023 Digital News Report by the Reuters Institute highlighted notable changes in global online news consumption trends.
Key Highlights of the Report
- In India, search engines and mobile news aggregators are becoming dominant sources for online news, with 43% relying on them. Direct sources like newspapers attract only 12% of readers, while 28% opt for social media for news updates.
- Scandinavian nations predominantly engage with traditional news brands, while regions like Asia, Latin America, and Africa predominantly turn to social media for news updates.
- In Finland and the UK, 80% prefer reading news. India and Thailand have a preference for watching news online at 40%, while the Philippines tops with 52% favoring video news content.
- Online news access in India fell by 12% from 2022 to 2023, with TV viewership among the young and urban declining by 10%. This drop aligns with the reduced impact of COVID-19 post-April 2022 lockdown relaxations.
FACTS FOR PRELIMS
A Stride Towards Swachhta
- The ‘Special Campaign 2.0: ‘A Stride towards Swachhta” organized by the Ministry of Mines emphasized environmental sustainability and cleanliness.
- Spanning from November 2022 to August 2023, the campaign marked significant achievements.
- The Ministry of Mines integrated rainwater harvesting structures in its buildings, furthering its commitment to eco-friendly practices.
ONDC in a Box
- Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited is the inaugural foreign bank in India to introduce ‘ONDC in a Box’, facilitating a comprehensive solution for corporates on ONDC.
- The aim is to champion an open, competitive, and inclusive network to enhance its business influence.
- ONDC strives to create an open network for seamless transactions between buyers and sellers, regardless of their platform affiliation.