Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - June 23, 2018

Ministry of Finance

Third AIIB Annual Meeting 2018

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  • The Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will jointly host the third Annual Meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) on June 25-26, 2018 in Mumbai, India.
  • The theme for this year’s meeting is *“Mobilizing Finance for Infrastructure: Innovation and Collaboration”*
  • Objective - for creating a sustainable future through sound infrastructure investment.

Asian Infrastructure Forum

  • This year will also see the launch of the inaugural Asian Infrastructure Forum, which will gather infrastructure practitioners in a practical and project-driven discourse, focused on matching innovative finance to critical infrastructure needs.
  • The two-day meeting will witness the presence of top policy makers, Ministers from AIIB members, participants from partner institutions, the private sector and civil society organizations.

India Infrastructure Expo 2018

  • The Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, in partnership with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), is also organising an exhibition “India Infrastructure Expo 2018.
  • The objective of the exhibition is to offer companies from the public and private sector to showcase their latest solutions, technologies and offerings in the realm of infrastructure project development and delivery.

Enlighten about The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

  • It is a multilateral development bank that aims to support the building of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • The bank currently has 64 member states while another 22 are prospective members for a total of 86 approved members and was proposed as an initiative by the government of China.
  • The bank started operation after the agreement entered into force on 25 December 2015, after ratifications were received from 10 member states holding a total number of 50% of the initial subscriptions of the Authorized Capital Stock.
  • Major economies that are not members include Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, and the United States.

United Nations

UN report on World’s Hunger

Enlighten about the report highlights

  • The number of hungry people in the world has risen for the first time in more than a decade
  • There are now approximately 38 million more undernourished people in the world, rising from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million in 2016, the year for which the latest statistics are available.

Reason for Hunger Rise

  • According to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 2018 report, conflict is now one of the main drivers of food insecurity in 18 countries.
  • After a prolonged decline, world hunger appears to be on the rise again.
  • Conflict, drought and disasters linked to climate change are among the key factors causing this reversal in progress

Other highlights of the report (South Asia region)

  • South Asia, which includes India, has seen child marriage rates plunge, with a girl’s risk of getting married in childhood dropping by 40% from 2000 to 2017.
  • Water stress levels for many countries in the region are above 70%, indicating fast-approaching water scarcity.

Enlighten about the way forward

  • With just 12 years left to the 2030 deadline, we must inject a sense of urgency
  • Achieving the 2030 Agenda requires immediate and accelerated actions by countries along with collaborative partnerships among governments and stakeholders at all levels.
  • This ambitious agenda necessitates profound change that goes beyond business as usual.”

Trade Relations

India notifies higher tariffs on U.S. imports

  • India slaps tariffs on 29 US items; new rates to kick in from August 4
  • The latest list of tariff hikes has 18 iron and steel items, a potent political reply against Trump's tariff hikes in the sector.
  • India’s move comes close on the heels of escalating trade tensions, with the U.S. and China both imposing hefty tariffs on each other, and even the European Union joining the fray.

Enlighten about the origin of it

  • The row began in March, when U.S. President Donald Trump signed an order imposing a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% tariff on aluminium imports, causing concern among its trading partners and members of the WTO.

Enlighten about the effect

  • The costs at both the ends would go up, for Indian consumers as well as for U.S. consumers.
  • Imposing tariffs basically means either you look for other sources, or you import at higher prices

NATIONAL

Centre bans two affiliates of al Qaeda and IS

WHAT

  • The Home Ministry has banned the al Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP) under the anti-terror law, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA).
  • The Ministry issued a notification that the AQIS, an affiliate of the al Qaeda and ISKP, the Afghanistan wing of the Islamic State (IS) are “terrorist organisations.” AQ and IS are already banned under the UAPA.

Enlighten about AQIS

  • The AQIS is a terrorist organisation, which has committed acts of terrorism in the neighbouring countries, has been promoting and encouraging terrorist acts on the Indian interests in the Indian sub-continent and has been attempting radicalisation and recruitment of youth from India.
  • AQIS was created in August 2014 and is led by an Indian, Maulana Asim Umar, who was later identified as U.P. resident Sanaul Haq.

Enlighten about ISKP

  • It promotes and encourages terrorism in the Indian sub-continent and has been committing terrorist acts to consolidate its position by recruiting youth for ‘global jihad’ and to achieve the objective of establishing its own ‘caliphate’ by overthrowing democratically elected governments and considers India and the Indian interests as its targets and is engaged in radicalising and recruiting Indian youth for terrorist activities.
  • Mainly comprising defectors from the Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP), the ISKP came into existence in 2015

Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967

  • UAPA is anti-terrorist law aimed at effective prevention of unlawful activities associations in India.
  • Its main objective is to make powers available for dealing with activities directed against integrity and sovereignty of India.
  • It bans certain terrorist associations, punishes membership and association with such organizations and punishes terrorist activities.

Bilateral Relations

India, U.S. 2+2 Dialogue on July 6 Defence, External Affairs Ministers to hold talks with U.S. counterparts

  • The inaugural U.S.-India 2+2 Dialogue will take place on July 6
  • Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis will host External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Washington, D.C.

Objective

  • It will will focus on strengthening strategic, security, and defense cooperation

Enlighten about the origin

  • The new dialogue format was agreed to between the two sides during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Washington D.C. in June, 2017.
  • The two sides are expected to share perspectives on strengthening their strategic and security ties and exchange views on a range of bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest

Foundation Stone

Vanijya Bhawan(a paperless office)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of Vanijya Bhawan

  • It is a new office complex in New Delhi for the Department of Commerce.
  • Vnijya Bhawan will help in ease of doing business by bringing all Departments of Commerce under one roof.

Enlighten about the new office complex

  • The complex is located near India Gate
  • The land belongs to erstwhile Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D).
  • The building will be a modern, eco friendly structure.
  • It will be completely paperless office with modern facilities such as smart access control, video conferencing and completely networked systems.

Sources – PIB, The Hindu, Business Standard