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Ease of Doing Business Grand Challenge
- The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, launched the Ease of Doing Business Grand Challenge at an event in Lok Kalyan Marg in New Delhi
- The objective of this challenge is to invite innovative ideas based on Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Big Data Analytics, Blockchain and other ccutting-edge technology to reform Government processes. The platform for the Grand Challenge is the Startup India Portal.
- The Prime Minister said that there have been improvements in the ease of doing business and the ranking has further improved from previous years but he seeks suggestions and improvement programs from the think tanks and Industrial bodies.
- India now ranks first in South Asia due to continuous efforts from Union and State Govts.
- The reforms initiated were keeping in mind the Predictable Transparent Policies and Policy Driven Governance.
- So it is necessary to reduce human intervention in the processes, and increase the use of modern and digital technologies. He said that a work culture based on this, will further promote policy driven governance.
- Ease of doing business is an index published by the World Bank. It is an aggregate figure that includes different parameters which define the ease of doing business in a country.
- In the EODB index, ‘higher rankings’ (a lower numerical value) indicate better, usually simpler, regulations for businesses and stronger protections of property rights.
The Union Minister of Civil Aviation and Commerce & Industry and Minister of State for Civil Aviation, launched the upgraded version of AirSewa 2.0 web portal and mobile app in New Delhi
- Airsewa enables travelers to submit grievances and seek information on air travel in India.
- It is an initiative by MoCA (Ministry of Civil Aviation)
- The government had launched Air Sewa’s maiden version in 2016 as a part of its initiative, ‘Digital India’, to address customers’ grievances on a digital platform.
- The second version of the app and web portal will allow flyers to register their complaints via social media using the hashtag ‘AirSewa’
- The need was felt for development of an upgraded version of AirSewa to provide a superior user experience with enhanced functionalities.
- Major improvements include features such as secure sign-up and log-in with social media, chatbot for travellers support, improved grievance management including social media grievances, real-time flight status and details flight schedule.
- The upgrade and improved version of AirSewa operates through an interactive web portal as well as through a mobile app for both android and iOS platforms
- The web portal and application will help to capture air travellers’ feedback for policy interventions.
- The focus is now on improving the quality of services so that passengers who are travelling have a safe and comfortable experience.
- Further upgrades of AirSewa are also being planned which would include DigiYatra registration, airport maps, BHIM payment integration and grievance escalation and transfer.
Baba Kalyani led Committee
- The Baba Kalyani led committee constituted by the Ministry of Commerce& Industry to study the existing SEZ policy of India submitted its report to the Union Minister for Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, in New Delhi on 19 November.
- The objectives of the committee were to evaluate the SEZ policy and make it WTO compatible, suggest measures for maximizing utilisation of vacant land in SEZs, suggest changes in the SEZ policy based on international experience and merge the SEZ policy with other Government schemes like coastal economic zones, Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor, national industrial manufacturing zones and food and textiles parks.
- The current environment of manufacturing competitiveness and services has to undergo a basic paradigm shift.
- The success seen by services sector like IT and ITES has to be promoted in other services sector like health care, financial services, legal, repair and design services.
Industrial Park Rating System
- The Union Minister for Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, released the report prepared by the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, on Industrial Park Rating System.
- This system is being developed by the ministry to assess industrial parks in the country based on four pillars — internal and external infrastructure, connectivity, environment and safety management, and business support services.
- There are over 3,000 industrial parks in the country in sectors including engineering, software, food processing and chemicals.
- Under the system, the ministry would assess 200 such parks on several parameters such as sewage effluent and treatment; and water treatment.
- The need of the system arises to see whether these parks are matching the global standards.
- This would help in improving infrastructure of industrial parks which are present in almost all the states.
- Development of industrial park rating system would help increase competitiveness of industries and promotion of the manufacturing sector
- The portal serves as a one-stop solution to the free and easy accessibility of all industrial information including availability of raw material – agriculture, horticulture, minerals, natural resources, distance from key logistic nodes, layers of terrain and urban infrastructure.
World’s standard definition of kilogram, Second & Metre redefined
The 26th meeting of the General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) was held during November 13-16 2018 at Palais des Congrés, Versailles, France. CGPM is the highest international body of the world for accurate and precise measurements. The 26th CGPM meeting was very special and historic as the members have voted for the redefinition of 130 years old “Le grand K – the SI unit of kg” in terms of the fundamental Planck’s constant(h). The new definitions will come into force on 20 May 2019.
New changes made:
- The International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM), the main executive body of CGPM has the responsibility of defining the International System of Units (SI). This revision of the SI is the culmination of many years of intensive scientific cooperation between the National Metrology Institutes (The national Physical Laboratory for India) and the BIPM. The dissemination of SI units for the welfare of society and industries in the country is the responsibility of Legal Metrology, Department of Consumer Affairs, Government of India.
- Out of five draft resolutions the revision of the International System of Units and the definition of timescales are the important. The most important is the resolution on the revision of International System of Units.
- The definition of the seven base units namely, second, metre, kilogram, ampere, Kelvin, mole and candela has been changed from being linked to artefacts to being based on the fundamental constants on nature. Notably, the definition of kilogram has been changed from being the mass of prototype sanctioned by the 1st CGPM held in Paris in 1889 and deposited at the BIPM to the Planck constant which is a physical constant.
- Likewise, the definition of metre has been changed to link it to the speed of light. There is a change in definition of time also. The change in the definition will result in uniform and worldwide accessible SI system for international trade, high- technology manufacturing, human health and safety, protection of environment, global climate studies and the basic science under-pinning these.
- The units are expected to be stable in the long term, internally self-consistent and practically realisable being based on the present theoretical description of nature at the highest level.
- The International prototype of kilogram (IPK) is kept at the BIPM, Paris and serves as the international standard of kilogram. It is made of 90% platinum and 10% iridium and is a cylinder of 39 mm diameter and 39 mm height. Replicas of the IPK are made of the same material and used at BIPM as reference or working standards and national prototype of kilogram (NPK), kept at different National Metrology Institutes (NMIs). NPK-57, kept at CSIR- National Physical Laboratory, is sent periodically to BIPM for calibration.
- NPK further is being utilised through transfer standards of mass to provide unbroken chain of traceability for dissemination of mass through Legal Metrology to the user industries, calibration laboratories etc. The precise and accurate measurements help country in the production of international quality products and help commerce through elimination of the technical barrier to trade.
- Kibble balance is a self-calibrating electromechanical balance and provides the measurements of mass, traceable in terms of electrical parameters and provides linkage of macroscopic mass to the Planck constant(h). NPL-UK, NIST-USA, NRC- Canada, PTB-Germany etc. Have successfully developed Kibble balance for 1 kg with an uncertainty of measurement in order of 10-8. NPL-India, in association with Department of Consumer Affairs, Government of India is looking forward for the development of 1 kg Kibble balance.
- The advantages of Kibble balance would be that the NPK need not to be sent to BIPM for calibrations and the accuracy and stability of Kibble balance is very high which is very important where low weights with high accuracies are essential, for example in pharmaceuticals and biotechnologies.
- After the kilogram’s definition is changed officially- on 20th May, 2019, also known as World Metrology Day- most people will never notice the difference. It would not change baking ingredients on a kitchen scale, or even have an effect on the tons of goods shipped globally every day.
Opening ceremony for the Tenth Indo-Russian Joint Exercise, INDRA 18 scheduled from 18 November to 28 November 2018 was held on 19 November 2018 at Babina Military Station.
- The aim of the exercise is to practice joint planning and conduct to enhance interoperability of the two armies in the peace keeping and enforcement environment under the aegis of United Nations.
- The eleven day exercise focuses upon training on enhancing team building and tactical level operations in a counter insurgency environment in semi urban terrain.
25th edition of SIMBEX, “Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise” was held onboard INS Sahyadri at Visakhapatnam
Importance of the exercise:
- Naval cooperation through SIMBEX underscores the shared commitment of both nations to security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight in the global commons.
- The 25th edition of SIMBEX is the largest in terms of complexity, weapon firings and maritime geography.
- Singapore and India are like minded countries that share similar outlook towards preserving freedom of sea following rules and norms laid down in UNCLOS.
- To mark the historic occasion and as a symbol of growing trust and comfort levels between the two navies, a special Logo was also released.
- The occasion was also utilised to simultaneous release Special Postal Cover and Singaporean Postage Stamp on SIMBEX.
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