News: Cabinet has approved three separate ordinances to push agriculture marketing and commodities trade reforms in the country.
Amendments to Essential Commodities Act(1955):
- Aim: To deregulate the commodities such as cereals, edible oils, oilseeds, pulses, onions and potatoes.
- Any limits under ECA over these commodities will be imposed only in exceptional circumstances such as war, famine, extraordinary price rise and natural calamity.
- Significance: It will help to lessen the fears of private investors of excessive regulatory interference in their business operations and will attract private sector/foreign direct investment into the agriculture sector.
Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance,2020:
- Aim: To open up agricultural marketing outside the notified Agricultural Produce Market Committee(APMC) for farmers and also remove barriers to inter-State trade.
- Significance: It will open more choices for the farmer, reduce marketing costs for the farmers and help them in getting better prices.It is also expected to pave the way for creating One India, One Agriculture Market in the country.
Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance,2020:
- Aim: To facilitate contract farming where a private buyer contracts to purchase a crop at a certain price at the beginning of a season, transferring the risk of market unpredictability from the farmer to the corporate sponsor.
- It also provides an effective dispute resolution mechanism with clear timelines for redressal.
- Significance: It enables the farmer to access modern technology and better inputs. It will reduce the cost of marketing and improve income of farmers and will help in attracting private investment.
News: Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs(MoHUA) and the All India Council for Technical Education under the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) have jointly launched The Urban Learning Internship Programme(TULIP).
- TULIP: It is a dedicated programme offering internships to fresh graduates in all urban local bodies(ULBs) and smart cities across the country in the domain of urban governance.
- Eligibility: It is open to Indian Citizens who graduate from an undergraduate program and can apply within 18 months from graduating.
- Committee: Steering Committee under the Chairmanship of Secretary, HUA including Chairman AICTE and other officials has been constituted to review the progress of the program on a periodic basis.
Smart Cities Mission:
- Launched Year: 2015
- Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Housing and Urban affairs.
- Aim: To develop 100 smart cities across the country by 2022 making them citizen-friendly and sustainable.
- Objective: To promote sustainable and inclusive cities that provide core infrastructure and give a decent quality of life to its citizens a clean and sustainable environment and application of ‘Smart’ Solutions.
News: World Environment Day is being observed on June 5, 2020.
- World Environment Day: It was established by the UN General Assembly in 1972 on the first day of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment.
- Aim: To spread awareness and encourage people to take steps to protect the environment.
- Host Country: It will be hosted by Colombia in partnership with Germany.
- Theme: Celebrate Biodiversity.
News: Indian and Australia have held their first ever virtual leaders summit.
- Comprehensive Strategic Partnership(CSP): Elevated the 2009 bilateral Strategic Partnership to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership(CSP).
- 2+2 Dialogue: Upgraded the existing 2+2 dialogue between their Foreign and Defence Secretaries to the Ministerial level.
- This will bring Australia on par with the 2+2 ministerial level dialogues India already has with the US and Japan, the other members of the Quad grouping.
- Mutual Logistics Support arrangement: Signed the Mutual Logistics Support agreement(MLSA) which will facilitate reciprocal access to military logistics facilities, allow more complex joint military exercise and improve interoperability between the security forces.
- India has such agreements with the US, France, Singapore and South Korea.
- Declaration on the Indo-Pacific region: Reached an understanding on enhancing cooperation between their navies and strengthening maritime domain awareness in the Indo-Pacific region.
- Other Agreements: Several other agreements were signed such as:
- Framework arrangement on cyber and cyber-enabled critical technology cooperation
- Memorandum of understanding(MoU) on cooperation in mining and processing of critical and strategic minerals among others.
News: At the Virtual Global Vaccine Summit, India has pledged 15 Million US Dollars to Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations(GAVI).
- The Global Vaccine Summit of GAVI is being hosted by the UK government.
- Aim: To mobilise funding in order to protect the next generation with vaccines, reduce disease inequality and create a healthier, safer and more prosperous world.
- GAVI: It is a global Vaccine Alliance created in 2000 by bringing together public and private sectors with the shared goal of creating equal access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries.