Facts in News

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    Facts in News

    US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF)

    • Recently, the Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs participated in the Global Investors Roundtable organised by the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) through video conferencing .
      • It witnessed participation from some of the largest foreign investors, including Mastercard, MetLife, Prudential, Air Products, Dell, SoftBank and Warburg Pincus amongst others.
    • The US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) is a non-profit organization, with the primary objective of strengthening the India-US bilateral and strategic partnership through policy advocacy in the fields of economic growth, entrepreneurship, employment-creation, and innovation.
    • USISPF is the trusted partner for businesses, non-profit organizations, the diaspora, and the governments of India and the United States.

    Build Back Better World’ (B3W)

    • Recently, the Build Back Better World initiative, or (B3W), was promoted at the G7 summit in the UK .
    • It was proposed by the US President for a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.
    • The initiative pledges hundreds of billions of infrastructure investment in low- and middle-income countries based on values-driven, high-standard and transparent partnerships.
      • It is  led by major democracies to help narrow the $40+ trillion infrastructure need in the developing world, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Through B3W, the G7 and other like-minded partners will coordinate in mobilizing private-sector capital in four areas of focus—climate, health and health security, digital technology, and gender equity and equality—with catalytic investments from our respective development finance institutions.
    • B3W will be global in scope, from Latin America and the Caribbean to Africa to the Indo-Pacific. 

    Mizoram Health Systems Strengthening Project

    • Recently, the Government of India, Government of Mizoram and the World Bank have signed a $32 million Mizoram Health Systems Strengthening Project to improve management capacity and quality of health services in Mizoram, particularly for the benefit of under-served areas and vulnerable groups.
    • A key focus will be to strengthen the effectiveness of the state health insurance programme; build synergies with the Government of India’s Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (PMJAY); and thereby reduce financial barriers in accessing hospital services, prevent catastrophic out of pocket expenditure for health by poor families and expand coverage.
    • The project will also focus on promoting synergy between various schemes and augment the capacity of the state insurance agency.
    • The project will also invest in improving the overall ecosystem for bio-medical waste management (both solid and liquid waste).
    •  It will include segregation, disinfection, and collection while safeguarding the environment and improving the quality of health service and patient safety.
    • The project will strengthen the governance and the management structure of the Department of Health and Family Welfare (DoHFW) and its subsidiaries.
    • It will improve the quality and coverage of services delivered by the state government health systems, and invest in a comprehensive Quality Assurance program which would enable quality certification of health facilities.
    • It will benefit the people across all eight districts of the state. 
    • It will also benefit health sector staff, specifically at the secondary and primary levels, by strengthening their planning and management capacity along with building their clinical skills and competencies.

    Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY)

    • It is a flagship scheme of Government of India, was launched in September 2018 as recommended by the National Health Policy 2017, to achieve the vision of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
    • It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme having central sector component under Ayushman Bharat Mission.
    • This programme has been developed to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and it’s underlining commitment, which is to “leave no one behind.”
    • It is the world’s largest health insurance/ assurance scheme fully financed by the government providing a cover of Rs. 5 lakhs per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.

    Project Seabird

    Recently, the Defence Minister of India has visited the Karwar Naval Base, Karnataka to review the progress of ongoing ‘Project Seabird’.

    • It is the largest naval infrastructure project for India.
      • Upon completion, this USD 3 billion programme will provide the Indian Navy with its largest naval base on the west coast and also the largest naval base east of the Suez Canal.
    • It involves creation of a naval base at Karwar on the west coast of India.
      • A specialised dockyard repair and maintenance facilities, a Naval Air Station, various utilities systems as well as housing and residential complexes at multiple locations are some of the other facilities that the base will feature.
    • During the decade-long project, AECOM will manage and oversee the planning, design, contracting, construction and acceptance of the entire works, including construction of a new Naval Air Station.
      • AECOM is an American multinational engineering and trusted infrastructure consulting firm.
    • It would bolster the operational readiness of the Armed Forces and help in augmenting trade, economy and humanitarian aid operations.
    • The new and expanded naval complex will be able to support several major warships and submarines and yard crafts
    • It is located on a partially hilly terrain along the coast and involves several technical and environmental challenges.
      • AECOM will draw upon its technical expertise to carry out this work while ensuring least disruption to the environment.

    (Image Courtesy: Alchetron)

    Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicles

    Recently, the Indian Army has issued a Request For Information (RFI or tender) for the procurement of 1,750 Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicles (FICVs).

    • The Ministry of Defence intends to procure an approximate 1,750 quantities of FICV in three versions.
      • Approximately, 55 per cent gun version, 20 percent command version and 25 percent command and surveillance version.
    • A three-stage induction model has been proposed by the Army and Indian vendors can collaborate with Foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to supply FICVs within two years of the contract at the rate of 75-100 vehicles per year.
    • They will replace the 1980s vintage Russian-origin BMP-2 infantry vehicles in service.
    • The FRCV is envisaged as a medium weight tank and will remain in service for the next 40-50 years as the MBT of the Army.
    • These will be employed for cross-country operations, including amphibious operations in plain and desert terrain along the Western borders and high altitudes, up to 5000m and mountain terrain along the northern borders in eastern Ladakh, the central sector and north Sikkim.
    • FICV will have the main operational tasks to destroy enemy tanks, armoured personnel carriers, combat vehicles, low flying helicopters and other ground-based weapon platforms and positions.
    • The FRCV platform is planned to be procured under the ‘Strategic Partnership’ route of the Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020.

    (Image Courtesy: FE)

    Supporting Andhra’s Learning Transformation Programme

    Recently, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has sanctioned funds to the tune of Rs. 1,860 crore for implementation of Supporting Andhra’s Learning Transformation (SALT) programme.

    • It is a five-year-long project to be implemented from the academic year 2021-22 to 2026-27.
    • It aims for improving learning outcomes, quality of teaching practices and school management in basic education by transforming government schools into vibrant and competitive institutions.
    • Under the scheme, the State is implementing initiatives like Mana Badi Nadu-Nedu, as part of which the infrastructure facilities in Government schools across the State are being given a facelift.
    • Curriculum reforms, improved classroom practices, professional development of teachers and preparing students to be globally competitive by introducing English as a medium of instruction in the State-run educational institutions are other thrust areas.
    • The government is trying to strike a balance between infrastructure development and raising the standards of education by taking up faculty development programmes.
    • IBRD is an international financial institution and the lending arm of World Bank Group.
      • It is owned by 189 member countries and is the largest development bank in the world.
      • It was established in 1944 to help Europe rebuild after World War II.
      • It offers loans to middle-income developing countries.
      • It joins with the International Development Association (IDA) to form the World Bank.
      • Headquarters: Washington D.C., US.