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Insights Daily Current Events, March 04, 2014

March 04, 2014



INS Sumedha- INS ‘Sumedha’, an Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) indigenously designed and built by Goa Shipyard Ltd. (GSL), Goa-based defence shipyard for the Indian Navy, will be formally commissioned by Vice Admiral Anil Chopra, Flag Officer, Commander-In-Chief

The ship on commissioning will join Eastern Naval Command at Vizag, the sword arm of Indian Navy

This warship is the culmination of many years of in-house design development and ship build techniques.

The commissioning of this ship marks a significant milestone in GSL’s and country’s march towards indigenization and self reliance

Sumedha is 200th ship indigenously built by GSL. GSL is the only yard which has delivered four classes of OPVs to both Navy and Coast Guard.

INS ‘Sumedha’ is the third of the new 105 meter class of NOPV and the largest ship constructed by GSL for the Indian Navy. This state-of-the- art ship will help meet the increasing requirement of the Indian Navy for undertaking ocean surveillance and surface warfare operations in order to prevent infiltration and transgression of maritime sovereignty


Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) – A patrol boat is a relatively small naval vessel generally designed for coastal defense duties. There have been many designs for patrol boats. They may be operated by a nation’s navy, coast guard, or police force, and may be intended for marine (blue water) and/or estuarine or river (“brown water”) environments. They are commonly found engaged in various border protection roles, including anti-smuggling, anti-piracy, fisheries patrols, and immigration law enforcement. They are also often called upon to participate in rescue operations.

Maulana Azad Sehat Scheme- Shri K Rahman Khan, the union Minister of Minority Affairs launched two new initiatives here today for the welfare of Minorities. The twin initiatives are Maulana Azad Sehat Scheme, and Nalanda Project, a Faculty Development Program for Minorities’ Higher Educational Institutions.

Under the Maulana Azad Sehat scheme, “Sehat Card” would be issued to every student of the Institution financially aided by MAEF.

A Dispensary/Health Care Centre is to be set up in the educational institutions (School) to provide daily medical facilities to the students studying in the educational institutions funded/aided by MAEF.

Preventive Health Check-up Camps would be organized by the Institute twice in a year, through Government/Private Hospitals/Nursing Homes.

In exceptional and deserving cases for serious ailments, the poor students belonging to notified minorities would be provided financial assistance for treatment in Government/Recognized Hospitals.

Serious ailments of Kidney, Heart, Liver, Cancer and Brain or any other life threatening diseases including Knee surgery and Spinal surgery would be covered.

Nalanda Project” is an innovative Faculty Development Program of Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India, under its Information, Education and Communication (IEC) strategy for awareness, orientation and development of faculties of Minority Universities/ Minority Managed Degree Colleges (MMDCs) and higher educational institutions located in minority concentration areas in the country.

The primary goal of faculty development is to help faculty learn new ways to achieve excellence and to grow as faculty members. It is an ongoing process of understanding, learning, and growth. Faculty development includes education, collaboration, resources and support.

Minority Cyber Gram for Digital literacy of Minorities in collaboration with Digital Empowerment Foundation in PPP Mode at village Chandauli, District Alwar, Rajasthan on 19.02.2014.

Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme- The Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) is meant to enable MPs to recommend works of developmental nature with emphasis on creation of durable community assets based on locally felt needs.
The recommendation of the works is made by the MP. The MP has no role in sanction and implementation.

Under the scheme, each MP has the choice to suggest to the District Collector for, works to the tune of Rs.5 Crores per annum to be taken up in his/her constituency

Sanction of the eligible works and implementation of the sanctioned works in the field are undertaken by the District Authorities in accordance with State Government’s financial, technical and administrative rules.

The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has announced a new scheme “One MP – One Idea” under the Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS). Based on the innovative ideas received from the local people regarding developmental projects, an ‘One MP – One Idea’ Competition may be held in each Lok Sabha constituency annually to select the three best innovations for cash awards on the specific request of an MP to promote such a scheme in his/her constituency.


BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation)-

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an international organization involving a group of countries in South Asia and South East Asia. These are: Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.

BIMSTEC has fourteen priority sectors cover all areas of cooperation. Six priority sectors of cooperation were identified at the 2nd Ministerial Meeting in Dhaka on 19 November 1998. They include the followings:

  • Trade and Investment, led by Bangladesh
  • Transport and Communication, led by India
  • Energy, led by Myanmar
  • Tourism, led by India
  • Technology, led by Sri Lanka
  • Fisheries, led by Thailand

The 7 new sectors were discussed in the 1st BIMSTEC Summit and there has been various activities to enhance those co-operations ever since. The sectors are as follows,

  • Agriculture, led by Myanmar
  • Public Health, led by Thailand
  • Poverty Alleviation, led by Nepal
  • Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime, led by India
  • Environment and Natural Disaster Management, led by India
  • Culture, led by Bhutan
  • People to People contact, led by Thailand
  • Climate change, led by Bangladesh

BIMSTEC member countries agreed to establish the BIMSTEC Free Trade Area Framework Agreement in order to stimulate trade and investment in the parties, and attract outsiders to trade with and invest in BIMSTEC at a higher level. All members, except Bangladesh because of domestic procedure, became signatories to the Framework Agreement in the 6th Ministerial Meeting, as witnessed by the Prime Minister of Thailand and BIMSTEC’s Foreign Ministers

BIMSTEC uses the alphabetical order for the Chairmanship. Nepal formally took over the new Chairmanship as on 4th March, 2014


FDI policy in railways- The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has proposed to allow 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in high speed train systems, suburban corridors, high speed tracks and freight lines connecting ports and mines.

At present, there is a complete ban on any kind of FDI in the railways sector except mass rapid transport systems.

As per the proposal, foreign companies would be allowed to pick up 100 per cent stake in the special purpose vehicle that will construct and maintain rail lines connecting ports, mines and industrial hubs with the existing rail network.

The Home Ministry and the Department of Economic Affairs have sounded a note of caution on the proposal, citing security concerns, especially with regard to investments from China in this sensitive sector.

Caveat on cards: Railway FDI policy to have a special caveat on Chinese firms; the home ministry has supported FDI in railways’ construction and maintenance segments but cautioned against investment by Chinese firms

Rationale: Ministry says China is considered India’s rival in the economic and military fields and there are unresolved border disputes with it

Out of bounds: Chinese investment may not be allowed in sensitive and core areas because that might pose danger to national security; so, J&K, the Northeast and Sikkim could be out of bounds for these companies

Limited labour: Chinese labourers and technicians may be barred from working in areas along India’s border with China and Pakistan. Permission likely only after government’s approval and proper visa procedures