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CURRENT AFFAIRSTHE HINDU : SEPTEMBER 2019

Daily Current Affairs: 17th September 2019: Hindu+PIB


Daily Current Affairs: 17th September 2019: Hindu+PIB

The following compilation has been made keeping in mind the need of the UPSC IAS exam. Each and every topic which has been included in this compilation is taken from very authentic and relevant source including The Hindu, The Indian Express, Business Standard, Press Information Bureau, etc.
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As per the evolving pattern of the UPSC IAS prelims and mains exam each and every topic has been handpicked keeping in mind the syllabus of the exam.





National Centre for Clean Coal Research & Development (NCCCR&D)


Context: National Centre for Clean Coal Research & Development has recently being inaugurated at Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru.

It has been set up as a National level consortium on clean coal Research and Development through the Department of Science and Technology (DST), GoI and is led by IISc, Bengaluru.

NCCCR&D, Daily Current Affairs: 17th September 2019

Interdisciplinary Centre for Energy Research (ICER) which is India’s first of its kind centre that is equipped with state-of-art facilities for conducting wide range of energy research by knowledge network of elite researchers, is also set up.

ICER is considered as one of the youngest centres at the IISc and had been conceived to take up research that is socially relevant in line with national-level missions of the Government of India, and which will directly benefit the people of the nation and the world. ICER also hosts faculty members from different departments having diverse engineering and science backgrounds, pursuing cutting-edge research in the broad area of energy.

About NCCCR&D

The National Centre for Clean Coal Research and Development (NCCCR&D) is a national level consortium on clean coal R&D, which is led by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc)-Bengaluru.  The Centre has a primary goal to look after the several critical R&D challenges in the field of development of clean coal technologies, in addition with developing super-critical power plant technologies, both at the materials and system level.


India-Singapore-Thailand Trilateral Exercise


Context: A maiden trilateral exercise, which involves Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), Royal Thailand Navy (RTN) and Indian Navy (IN) was commenced at Port Blair on 16th September, 2019.
Trilateral Exercise, Daily Current Affairs: 17th September 2019

Key points to remember
  • This is the first ever trilateral exercise between India, Thailand and Singapore.
  • This was a 5-day-long exercise and is aim at bolster the maritime inter-relationships amongst Singapore, Thailand and India, and further to contribute significantly to enhancing the overall maritime security in the region.
  • Ships involved: 
    • RSN Tenacious (Singapore), a Formidable-class guided missile stealth frigate.
    • His Majesty's Thailand Ship (HTMS) Kraburi, a Guided Missile Frigate.
    • Indian Naval Ships Ranvir, a Guided Missile Destroyer, Kora, a missile corvette.
    • Sukanya (India), an Offshore Patrol Vessel along with P8I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft. 

Common Digital Platform


Context: Common Digital Platform for Issuance of electronic Certificates of Origin (CoO) has been launched by the Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Railways and Minister of State for Commerce & Industry.

About the Platform

The platform will act as a single point of access for all exporters, for all FTAs/PTAs and for all agencies concerned. Certificate of Origin (CoO) will be issued electronically which can be in paperless format if agreed to by the partner countries.

Exporters may register on this platform and can apply for CoOs to any of the designated agencies.

The platform on a whole will be made live for Free Trade Agreements in a phased manner as per the concurrence of the concerned partner countries.

The platform has been designed and developed by DGFT and Regional & Multilateral Trade Relations (RMTR) Division, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.

How is it different from the existing process?

New Platform
Existing Process
The issuance process is electronic, paperless and transparent
Current process requires the exporter to visit the agency thrice for each certificate
Real-time tracking of FTA utilization at product level, country level etc.
Real-time tracking is not possible as data is fragmented across various agencies
Electronic Certificate of Origin issued
Physical Certificates of Origin issued
Possible to electronically exchange CoO with the partner countries
Electronic exchange of CoOs not possible
Reduces transaction cost and time for the exporters
Current processes take more time and cost

What is the present scenario?

At present, India has 15 Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)/ Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) with various partner countries under which Indian exporters avail reduced import tariffs in the destination country. To avail this benefit, the exporters must provide a preferential CoO. About 7 lakh certificates are annually issued by designated agencies.

Some designated agencies for issuing CoO are EIC, Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), Textile Committee and Tobacco Board.

Export Credit Insurance Scheme (ECIS)

ECGC, Daily Current Affairs: 17th September 2019

Context: Details of Export Credit Insurance Scheme (ECIS), which was announced by Finance Minister as part of measures to boost exports, on 14th September 2019, has been presented.

Owing to the global slowdown and rising NPAs, banks are under stress and hence need additional support.

Key Highlights

  • Insurance cover for Banks has been enhanced up to 90% for the working capital loans and moderation in premium incidence for the MSME sector, as an effort of Ministry of Commerce & Industry to facilitate banks further.
  • This enhanced cover will ensure that Foreign and Rupee export credit interest rates will remain below 4% and 8% respectively for exporters.
  • The existing covers issued by Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (ECGC) will continue for the existing customer banks and similar covers will also be made available to all other banks. 
  • Further, all the standard accounts that are covered under ECGC as on the date of transition, shall be eligible for cover under the ECIS.
  • The scope of cover has been enhanced to cover not only the principal outstanding but also for the unpaid Interest (for a maximum of two quarters or the NPA date, whichever is earlier).
  • The cover percentage has been further enhanced to 90% from the present average of 60% for both Principal and Interest.
  • A single cover document for ECIS shall be issued which will cover both the Pre-shipment and Post-shipment advances as opposed to the present two different documents being issued by ECGC.
  • The scheme also envisages simplified procedure for settlement of claim and for provisional payment up to 50% within 30 days on production of proof of end-use of the advances in default by the Insured Bank.
  • The ECIS will remain in support for a period of 5-years and after the conclusion, the standard ECGC covers will be available for Banks with its regular features.
  • For those accounts which have limits below Rs.80 crore the premium rates will be moderated to 0.60 per annum and for those exceeding Rs.80 crore, it will be 0.72 per annum for the same enhanced cover.
  • Monthly premium on the Principal and Interest shall be paid by the banks as the cover is offered for both outstandings.
  • Inspection of bank documents and records by ECGC officials shall be mandatory under the scheme for losses exceeding Rs.10 crore as against the present Rs.1crore.
  • Other aspects of the procedure such as monthly declarations with premium,  reporting or seeking approval of limits, Report of Default, Lodgment of Claim, placing of borrower in Specific Approval List (SAL), extension in due date under Pre-Shipment/Post-Shipment, Sharing of recovery, Checking of Buyers Specific Approval List (BSAL) and Checking of Restricted Cover Category (RCC) Country shall be continued as per the existing T&C of cover of ECGC.
  • Banks shall continue to adhere to the RBI and their internal guidelines relating to export finance.

About Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (ECGC)

Established in 1957, ECGC is a fully GoI-owned company that was formed to promote exports by providing credit insurance services. It provides Export Credit Insurance to Banks (ECIB) in order to protect them from losses on account of export credit at the Pre and Post-Shipment stage given to exporters due to the risks of insolvency and/or protracted default of the exporter borrower.

Controlled by Ministry of Commerce, GoI, ECGC is based in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

It was initially set up as Export Risks Insurance Corporation (ERIC) in July 1957 and was transformed into Export Credit and Guarantee Corporation Limited (ECGC) in 1964 and to Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India in 1983.



Steel Import Monitoring System(SIMS)

Context: SIMS has been launched by the Union Minister of State for Commerce & Industry in New Delhi.

About

The system has been developed on the pattern of US Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) system in consultation with Ministry of Steel.

Advance information related to steel imports to Government and stake holders including, steel industry (producers), steel consumers(importers) shall be provided by the system in order to have effective policy interventions.

Steel Import Monitoring System(SIMS), Daily Current Affairs: 17th September 2019

The system has the facility of registration wherein the importers of specified steel products will register in advance on the web portal of SIMS by providing necessary information. The registration will be online and automatic and no human intervention is required.

The importer can apply for registration not earlier than 60th day and not later than 15th day before the expected date of arrival of import consignment.

The automatic Registration Number thus granted shall remain valid for a period of 75 days.

Ministry of Steel will monitor the information about the steel imports provided by the importers on the SIMS.

ABQAIQ Oil Processing Facility 


Yemen's Houti rebels carried out drone attacks on two major Sautdi Aramco oil facilities in Abqaiq and Hijrat Khurais in Saudi Arabia.

Worthy to mention, Abqaiq oil processing facility, which is operated by Saudi Aramco in Buqyaq, Saudi Arabia is the largest oil processing facility in the world. As per an estimate, Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, ships more than 7 million barrels of oil to global destinations every day. The output cut after the attack is expected to send oil prices u[ by $3-$5 per barrel.
oil price, Daily Current Affairs: 17th September 2019

The attacks have impacted the oil production and export capability of Saudi Arabia, and in turn the global oil market. An estimated cut of 5.7 million barrels per day is noticed after the attack. Such a cut is close to half of the kingdom's output, and 5% of global oil supply.

Following the attacks, Global Brent crude futures shot up more than 20% to $66.91 per barrel.

Importance for India

According to the data from Ministry of Commerce, Saudi Arabia is a major source of oil imports for India, accounting for nearly 18% of the 226 million tonnes of crude the country imported during 2018-19.

India, which imports more than 80% of its crude oil requirement, is highly vulnerable to geopolitical risks that are arising out of the oil producing countries.


QUICK FEEDS


Wargaming Software

A new generation Wargaming Software has been designed and developed by Institute for Systems Studies and Analysis (ISSA) Delhi, which is a premier DRDO laboratory, in collaboration with Maritime Warfare Centre, Visakhapatnam in order to meet the contemporary operational and tactical level wargaming requirement for the Indian Navy.

The main focus of the software so developed has been to create a wargaming environment that will enable Maritime Warfare Centres (MWCs) to train using the latest technological and computing tools.

Also, the software has been designed with versatile and user-friendly features that will enable globally playable wargaming scenarios between multiple forces. It will enable exercises to be conducted between geographically dispersed locations over Wide Area Network. 


11th International Hrant Dink Award

The Award has been received by Meghalaya-based rights activist Agnes Kharshiing, who survived an assault by the coal mafia almost a year ago, along with Turkish activist against male violence Nebahat Akkoç.

The Hrant Dink Award is presented every year since 2009, to individuals, organisations or groups that work for a world free from discrimination, racism and violence, and who take personal risks for achieving those ideals, break the stereotypes and use the language of peace and by doing so give inspiration and hope to others.

The Award commemorates the memory of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who was killed in 2007, in Istanbul.


One Language Many Tongues

It is noted that around 43% of Indians speak the Hindu language, which includes many mother tongues such as Bhojpuri, Rajasthani & Hindi. Almost close to 40% of the Hindi language speakers speak mother tongues other than Hindi.

The share of Hindi language speaker is highest in Uttar Pradesh, followed by Rajasthan and Bihar and lowest in Kerala.

According to a record, Hindi language has 56 mother tongues listed under it.

Hindi language, Daily Current Affairs: 17th September 2019

Solomon Islands ends ties with Taiwan

Taiwan now has formal relations with only 16 countries worldwide, but according to China, who considers Taiwan as its territory argues that Taiwan has no right to formal ties with any nation.

Solonon Islands is the 6th country Taiwan will lose as a diplomatic ally since, President Tsai Ingwen of Taiwan assumed office in 2016. The other 5 countries are : Burkina Faso, the Dominican Republic, Sao Tome and Principe, Panama and El Salvador.



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