Factly articles for 12th September 2020

12 min read

1.Union Minister launches Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework (CSCAF 2.0) and Streets for People Challenge

News: Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs(I/C) has launched Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework(CSCAF) 2.0 along with the ‘Streets for People Challenge’.

Facts:

Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework(CSCAF):

  • CSCAF: It is an assessment framework launched in 2019 by the Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs(I/C) on climate relevant parameters.
  • Objective: To provide a clear roadmap for Indian cities towards combating climate change while planning their actions within the city including investments.
  • Sectors: The framework has 28 indicators across five categories namely (i) Energy and Green Buildings; (ii) Urban Planning, Biodiversity and Green Cover; (iii) Mobility and Air; (iv) Water Resource Management and (v) Waste Management.
  • Implementation: The Climate Centre for Cities under National Institute of Urban Affairs(NIUA) is supporting the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) in implementation of CSCAF.

Streets for People Challenge:

  • Aim: To inspire cities to create walking-friendly and vibrant streets through quick, innovative and low-cost measures.
  • Bodies Involved: Smart Cities Mission under MoHUA has partnered with Fit India Mission under Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports along with the India program of the Institute for Transport Development and Policy(ITDP) to support the challenge.
  • The challenge will not be limited to the 100 Smart Cities as all cities with a population of over 5 lakh and capital cities can apply.

2.Declaration of Results of Ranking of States: 2019 on support to Startup Ecosystems

News: The Results of the second edition of “States Startup Ranking 2019” has been released by the Minister of Commerce & Industry.

Facts:

  • States Startup Ranking 2019: The exercise was conducted by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade(DPIIT).
  • Objective: To foster competitiveness and propel States and Union Territories to work proactively towards uplifting the startup ecosystem.
  • Parameters: The states were ranked according to performances across  7 broad reform areas consisting of 30 action points ranging from a) institutional support b) easing compliances c) relaxation in public procurement norms d) incubation centres e) seed funding f) venture funding and g) awareness and outreach.
  • Coverage: A total of 22 states and 3 Union Territories participated in the exercise, including four states from North East India.

Key Takeaways:

3.125th Birth Anniversary celebrations of Shri Viswanatha Satyanarayana

News: The Vice President has inaugurated the 125th birth anniversary celebrations of Sri Viswanatha Satyanarayana.

Facts:

  • Viswanatha Satyanarayana(1895-1976): He was a 20th century Telugu writer.He was the first writer to impart a true Teluguness to the Ramayana.His works included poetry, novels, dramatic play, short stories and speeches, covering a wide range of subjects.
  • Significance: Through his works, he had highlighted the importance of imparting learning in the mother tongue, preserving culture and protecting nature.
  • Important works:
    • In 1970, he was awarded the prestigious Jnanpith Award for his seminal work, Ramayana Kalpavruksham.He was the first Telugu writer to receive this award.
    • His novel Veyipadagalu was also translated into Hindi by former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao as Sahasraphan.
    • Other works include Ramayana Kalpavruksham (Ramayana the wish-granting divine tree), Kinnersani Patalu (Mermaid songs).

4.India, China agree on 5-point plan to de-escalate LAC stand-off

News: India and China have agreed on five points to guide their approach to the situation on the Line of Actual Control(LAC).

Facts:

Five Points:

  • India and China should take guidance from the consensus of the leaders on developing India-China relations including not allowing differences to become disputes.
  • The current situation in the border areas is not in the interest of either side and therefore the border troops of both sides should continue their dialogue, quickly disengage, maintain proper distance and ease tensions.
  • The two sides shall abide by all the existing agreements and protocols on China-India boundary affairs and maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas and avoid any action that could escalate matters.
  • The two sides will continue communications through the Special Representatives mechanism and meetings of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on border affairs will continue.
  • As the situation eases, the two sides should expedite work to conclude new confidence-building measures to maintain and enhance peace and tranquillity in the border areas.

5.India slips 26 places to 105 in global economic freedom index

News: The Global Economic Freedom Index 2020 has been released as a part of the Economic Freedom of the World: 2020 report by the Fraser Institute in Canada.In India, the report was co-published by Delhi-based Centre for Civil Society.

Facts:

  • About the report: The report measures the ‘economic freedom’ or the ability of individuals to make their own economic decisions in a country, by analysing policies and institutions of these countries.
  • Indicators: It ranks countries by looking at indicators like a) regulation, b) freedom to trade internationally c) size of government d) property rights e) government spending and f) taxation.
  • Coverage: The report uses data from 2018 as the latest year of comparable statistics and analyses policies and institutions of 162 countries and territories.

Key Takeaways:

  • Topped by: The index has been topped by Hong Kong followed by Singapore.
  • India: India has been ranked 105 in the index.It was ranked 79th in the previous edition of this report.
  • China ranked worse than India overall and was positioned at 124 on the index.

6.Govt forms Panel to Assess Impact of Waiving Loan Interest

News: Union government has constituted an expert committee to measure the economic impact of waiving interest on the Covid-19 related loan moratorium.

Facts:

  • About the Panel: The expert panel will be chaired by Rajiv Mehrishi, former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, and will submit its report within one week.
  • Mandate:
    • It will measure the impact on the national economy and financial stability of waiving of interest and Covid-19 related moratorium.
    • It will also give suggestions to mitigate financial constraints of various sections of society in this respect and measures to be adopted in this regard.

7.Big blow to China as Thailand scraps KRA canal project

News: Thailand has announced that it has decided to scrap a Chinese led-KRA canal project.

Facts:

  • Kra Canal also known as Thai Canal or Kra Isthmus Canal refers to a proposed canal project that aims to connect the Gulf of Thailand with the Andaman Sea across the Kra Isthmus in southern Thailand.
  • Significance: The canal would provide an alternative to transit through the Straits of Malacca and shorten transit for shipments of oil to Japan and China by 1,200 km.

Additional Facts:

  • Strait of Malacca: It is a narrow, 890 km (550 mi) stretch of water between the Malay Peninsula (Peninsular Malaysia) and the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
    • It serves as the main shipping channel between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and is one of the most important shipping lanes in the world.