02 July 2018: UPSC Exam PIB Summary & Analysis

ECI to hold a National Consultation on Accessible Elections 

  • The Election Commission of India (ECI) has organized a two-day “National Consultation on Accessible Elections,” from the 3rd July, 2018 in New Delhi.
  • It will be inaugurated by the Chief Election Commissioner Shri O.P.Rawat, in presence of the Election Commissioners Shri Sunil Arora and Shri Ashok Lavasa.
  • The event is a part of the ECI’s pursuit of its mission ‘leave no voter behind,’ with special focus on “Persons with Disabilities” (PwD). During the inaugural session, a dedicated portal for the ECI’s ‘Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation’ (SVEEP) initiative will also be launched.
  • The theme of “Inclusion of PwD’s” has been given a special focus in the ECI’s Strategic Plan 2016-2025. Besides, “Accessible Elections” has been adopted as its central theme for this year’s National Voters’ Day celebrations.
  • The “National Consultation on Accessible Elections,” will be having three technical sessions over the course of the two days. The best practices on ‘Accessible Elections’ that were practiced in six states during their last Assembly Elections will be shared in the meeting.
  • The national consultation meet is expected to contribute significantly to evolve a policy on “Accessible Elections,” that will help in making electoral processes more and more accessible in the ensuing elections.
  • The concluding session of the national consultation in the afternoon on 4th July, 2018 will also be graced by the CEC and the EC’s.

Exchange of Tariff concessions through Fourth Round of Negotiations under Asia Pacific Trade Agreement

  • The results of 4th Round of negotiations under the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) (formerly Bangkok Agreement) among six countries, namely, Bangladesh, China, India, Lao PDR, Republic of Korea, and Sri Lanka, have been implemented with effect from 1st July, 2018.
  • APTA is an initiative under the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) for trade expansion through exchange of tariff concessions among developing country members of the Asia Pacific Region, in place since 1975.
  • The 4th Round of trade negotiations were formally concluded and signed by the Ministers of the member countries during the meeting of the APTA Ministerial Council on 13th January, 2017. The decision of the Ministerial Council has now been implemented by all members with effect from 1 July 2018.
  • India has, on its part, exchanged tariff concessions on 3142 tariff lines with all member countries and special concessions on 48 tariff lines for LDCs, with Bangladesh and Lao PDR.
  • As a founding member of APTA, India is committed to strengthening the APTA process through these concessions.

Background: APTA is a Preferential Trade Agreement, under which the basket of items as well as extent of tariff concessions are enlarged during the trade negotiating rounds which are launched from time to time.

 

WAPCOS celebrates 50th foundation day

  • Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Shri Nitin Gadkari will be the chief guest at the 50th Foundation Day celebration of Water and Power Consultancy Services (WAPCOS), being organized at Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra, New Delhi tomorrow.
  • Union Ministers of State for Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal and Dr. Satya Pal Singh will also grace the occasion. Dignitaries including Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Water Resources and Energy Ministers from Burundi, Congo, Ghana, Liberia, Afghanistan and other countries will also attend the August event.

Background:

  • WAPCOS, was incorporated as a Public Sector Enterprise in 1969 by the Government of India. It is a techno-commercial organization under the aegis of Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
  • WAPCOS has done Survey & Investigation/Pre-Feasibility/DPRs for more than 550 Projects in Irrigation, Water Resources and Agricultural etc.
  • The company has contributed  in development of over 15 Million Ha irrigation potential; more than 200 projects in ports and inland navigation; over 500 projects in water supply and sanitation, rural and urban development, roads and highway engineering,  EIAs for over 250 projects in the fields of irrigation, hydro/thermal power, ports and harbours in India and abroad.
  • In the Hydro-Power sector; WAPCOS has completed almost 52 Hydro-Power Projects in 19 countries with an installed capacity of more than 20,500 MW; over 105 Hydro Power Projects in India with an installed capacity of more than 9,000 MW.
  • In Thermal Power; the Company has successfully completed 12 overseas projects with installed capacity of more than 2,900 MW and 37 projects in India with an installed capacity of more than 12,000 MW.
  • In Transmission & Distribution WAPCOS has accomplished more than 14 Projects in India and Abroad.

 

To ace UPSC current affairs section, read more PIB articles here.