News: Union Cabinet has approved the setting up of an empowered group of secretaries(EGoS) and project development cells(PDCs) in Ministries and departments for attracting investments to India.
Empowered Group of Secretaries(EGoS):
- Cabinet Secretary (Chairperson)
- Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (Member Convenor)
- CEO, NitiAayog (Member), Secretary, Department of Commerce (Member), Secretary, Department of Revenue (Member), Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (Member), Secretary of Department concerned (to be co-opted).
- To bring synergies, ensure timely clearances from different departments and Ministries and provide investment support and facilitation to global investors.
- To evaluate investments put forward by the departments on the basis of their (i) project creation (ii) actual investments that come.
Project Development Cell(PDC):
- Composition: The cell will be under the guidance of the Secretary, an officer not below the rank of Joint Secretary of each relevant central line Ministry.
- To develop investible projects with all approvals in coordination between Central Government and State Governments and in turn increase FDI inflows.
- To identify issues that need to be resolved in order to attract and finalise the investments and put forth these before the Empowered Group.
News: Government of India has launched SWADES (Skilled Workers Arrival Database for Employment Support) Initiative.
- Aim: To create a database of Indian citizens returning from overseas under the Vande Bharat Mission based on their skill-sets and experience to tap into and fulfil demand of Indian and foreign companies.
- Bodies Involved: It is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of External Affairs.
- Vande Bharat Mission: It is a multi-agency mission that saw the operation of 64 flights to bring back Indian nationals from Gulf countries, US, UK among other nations.
News: The tensions between India and China have increased after reports of a heavy Chinese presence at Depsang Plains.
- Depsang Plains: It is an area at a crucial dip (called the Bulge) on the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
- Controlled by: India controls the western portion of the plains as part of Ladakh whereas the eastern portion is part of the Aksai Chin region which is controlled by China and claimed by India.
- Concerns: The buildup invokes memories of the 1962 war when Chinese troops had occupied the Depsang plains and also the 2013 standoff when China had set up a temporary camp.
News: China will be setting up a Kohala hydropower project in Pakistan occupied Kashmir(PoK) under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
- Kohala hydropower project: It is a 1,124-megawatt power project to be built on the Jhelum river.It is intended to provide more than five billion units of clean and low-cost electricity annually for consumers in Pakistan.
- China-Pakistan Economic Corridor(CPEC): It is the flagship project under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI),a pet project of Chinese President.
- Aim: To link the city of Gwadar in South Western Pakistan to China’s North Western region Xinjiang through a vast network of highways and railways.
- Jhelum River: It is one of the tributaries of the Indus River.It rises from Verinag Spring situated at the foot of the Pir Panjal in the southeastern part of the Kashmir Valley.
- The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund was established by the World Health Organization(WHO) with the help of the United Nations Foundation and the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation.
- Aim: To raise money from a wide range of donors to support the work of the World Health Organization(WHO) and partners to help countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- UN Foundation:It was founded in 1998 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner to support the UN and serve as a strategic partner and resource for the UN in solving global problems.