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PIB 10th February 2021


  1. Parliament passes Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020
  2. World Sustainable Development Summit 2021
  3. Progress of Gaganyaan Mission
  4. World Pulses Day



Parliament passed the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020 and now the Bill will go to the President of India for his assent.


GS-III: Industry and Infrastructure (Ports), GS-II: Polity and Governance (Government policies and Interventions)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020
  2. Why is the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020 needed?
  3. Salient features of the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020
  4. What is the importance of the Major Ports Authorities, 2020 Bill?
  5. What are the benefits of shifting to private ports?
  6. The Previous version – Major Port Authorities Bill, 2016

About the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020

  • Major Port Authorities Bill 2020 bill aims at decentralizing decision making and to infuse professionalism in governance of major ports.
  • It imparts faster and transparent decision making benefiting the stakeholders and better project execution capability.
  • The Bill is aimed at reorienting the governance model in central ports to landlord port model in line with the successful global practice.
  • This will also help in bringing transparency in operations of Major Ports.
  • This will empower the Major Ports to perform with greater efficiency on account of full autonomy in decision making and by modernizing the institutional framework of Major Ports.
  • This Bill seeks to replace a 1963 Act and it will mark the end of the Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP).
  • The latest Bill approved by the Cabinet is expected to be along the lines similar to the 2016 version of the Bill.

Why is the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020 needed?

  • Indian state-owned ports or major ports (12 in number) account for around 55% of maritime cargo traffic in the country. However, they still have to adhere to a tariff and policy regime that has its roots in the 1960s – Major Port Trusts Act, 1963.
  • Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP) is the central authority that sets tariffs for the ports and it also holds the master key for many other operational and commercial matters. – This overburdens the agency and as a consequence, a substantial chunk of trade has shifted to the “non-major” or “private” ports.

Salient features of the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020

  1. The Bill is more compact in comparison to the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963 as the number of sections has been reduced to 76 from 134 by eliminating overlapping and obsolete Sections.
  2. The new Bill has proposed a simplified composition of the Board of Port Authority which will comprise of 11 to 13 Members from the present 17 to 19 Members representing various interests. A compact Board with professional independent Members will strengthen decision making and strategic planning. Provision has been made for inclusion of representatives of State Government in which the Major Port is situated, Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Defence and Customs, Department of Revenue as Members in the Board apart from a Government Nominee Member and a Member representing the employees of the Major Port Authority.
  3. The role of Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP) has been redefined. Port Authority has now been given powers to fix tariff which will act as a reference tariff for purposes of bidding for PPP projects. PPP operators will be free to fix tariff- based on market conditions. The Board of Port Authority has been delegated the power to fix the scale of rates for other port services and assets including land.
  4. An Adjudicatory Board has been proposed to be created to carry out the residual function of the erstwhile TAMP for Major Ports, to look into disputes between ports and PPP concessionaires, to review stressed PPP projects and suggest measures to review stressed PPP projects and suggest measures to revive such projects and to look into complaints regarding services rendered by the ports/ private operators operating within the ports.
  5. The Boards of Port Authority have been delegated full powers to enter into contracts, planning and development, fixing of tariff except in national interest, security and emergency arising out of inaction and default. In the present MPT Act, 1963 prior approval of the Central Government was required in 22 instances.
  6. The Board of each Major Port shall be entitled to create specific master plan in respect of any development or infrastructure.
  7. Provisions of CSR & development of infrastructure by Port Authority have been introduced.
  8. Provision has been made for safeguarding the pay & allowances and service conditions including pensionary benefits of the employees of major ports.

What is the importance of the Major Ports Authorities, 2020 Bill?

  • The measures according to the 2020 bill could lead to major ports becoming more attractive to the private sector, both in terms of investment and as service providers.
  • These reforms are critical if the investments made in the last few years are to pay off.
  • The recent measures like the Sagarmala project, developing port-based SEZs, etc., gave a boost to the shipping sector.
  • With the approval of the Port Authority Bill by the Parliament, a critical missing link will finally be in place.

What are the benefits of shifting to private ports?

  • These ports operate under a much more liberal regime and are under the control of state governments.
  • They are operationally more efficient and are crucially developed better linkages to the hinterland to enable smooth traffic flows.
  • Currently, the private sector is involved in major ports in areas like cargo handling.
  • Much more is needed by way of investment in areas such as dredging and adding new terminals.

The Previous version – Major Port Authorities Bill, 2016

  • The 2016 Bill provides for the creation of a Board of Major Port Authority for each major port.
  • It noted that the 2016 Bill provides the government more flexibility and power to allow private players in the port sector.
  • It provided for the setting up of a centralised adjudication board to resolve disputes in PPP projects between the port and private sector concessionaires.
  • The 2016 Bill provides for the ports to raise loans even from institutions outside India that is compliant with all the laws.

-Source: PIB



Indian Prime Minister inaugurated World Sustainable Development Summit 2021 via video conferencing.


GS-III: Environment and Ecology (Conservation and Inclusive Growth)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is Sustainable Development?
  2. World Sustainable Development Summit, 2021
  3. What are Sustainable Development Goals?

What is Sustainable Development?

  • Sustainable development has been defined in many ways, but the most frequently quoted definition is from Our Common Future, also known as the Brundtland Report: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
  • Three core elements of sustainable development are: Economic Growth, Social Inclusion and Environmental Protection.
  • Sustainable economic growth, achieving sustainable livelihood, living in harmony with nature and appropriate technology are important for sustainable development.

World Sustainable Development Summit, 2021

  • The World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) is the annual flagship event of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).
  • The theme of the WSDS 2021 Summit is ‘Redefining our common future: Safe and secure environment for all’.
  • The World Sustainable Development Summit brings together Nobel laureates, political and business leaders, scientists and researchers etc., on a common platform to deliberate on issues related to sustainable development.
  • Post the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals and the signing of the Paris Agreement, the World Sustainable Development Summit aims to provide long-term solutions for the benefit of the global community by assembling the various stakeholders on a single platform and initiating a step in the direction of achieving constructive action in combating issues pertinent to the future of humanity.

What are Sustainable Development Goals?

  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is an intergovernmental agreement formulated to act as post-2015 Development agenda to be achieved by 2030.
  • The SDGs are a set of seventeen pointer targets as proposed by the United Nation General Assembly’s Open Working Group, that all the countries which are members of the UN agreed to work upon for the better future of the country.

The 17 goals under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are:

  1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well being for all at all stages
  4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  9. Built resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation
  10. Reduce inequalities within and among countries
  11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production pattern
  13. Take urgent actions to combat climate change and its impact
  14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources
  15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably managed forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
  16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development

-Source: PIB



The Union Minister of Science and Technology informed that the human spaceflight module of Gaganyaan will be launched after the second unmanned mission planned in 2022-23.


GS-III: Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Gaganyaan
  2. Training in Russia
  3. Significance of the Gaganyaan Mission

About Gaganyaan

  • Gaganyaan is a mission by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) under which 3 flights will be sent into orbit of which 2 are unmanned flights and 1 is human spaceflight.
  • The human space flight programme, called the Orbital Module will have three Indian astronauts, including a woman.
  • It will circle Earth at a low-earth-orbit at an altitude of 300-400 km from earth for 5-7 days.
  • The payload will consist of a Crew module (spacecraft carrying human beings) and a Service module (powered by two liquid propellant engines).
  • It will be equipped with emergency escape and emergency mission abort.
  • GSLV Mk III, also called the LVM-3 (Launch Vehicle Mark-3) the three-stage heavy lift launch vehicle, will be used to launch Gaganyaan as it has the necessary payload capability.

Training in Russia

  • In 2019, the Human Space Flight Centre of the ISRO and the Russian government-owned Glavkosmos signed a contract for the training, which includes Russian support in the selection of candidates, their medical examination, and space training.
  • The candidates will study in detail the systems of the Soyuz manned spaceship, as well as be trained in short-term weightlessness mode aboard the Il-76MDK aircraft.
  • The Soyuz is a Russian spacecraft. The Soyuz carries people and supplies to and from the space station.
  • The Il-76MDK is a military transport plane specially designed for parabolic flights of trainee astronauts and space tourists.

Significance of the Gaganyaan Mission

  • Gaganyaan will involve numerous agencies, laboratories, disciplines, industries and departments and help inspire youth along with enhancing science and technology levels.
  • It will help in improvement of industrial growth and development of technology for social benefits.
  • It will also help in improving international collaboration in the field of space technology.

-Source: PIB



Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare said that in 6 years, the MSP of pulses has been increased from 40% to 73% on occasion of World Pulses Day.


GS-III: Agriculture

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. World Pulses Day 2021
  2. Benefits of pulses
  3. Cropping patterns of Pulses in India

World Pulses Day 2021

  • The UN General Assembly in 2019 decided to dedicate a day to Pulses to increase awareness and access to pulses globally known as World Pulses Day – celebrated on February 10 every year and also recognised Pulses as a global food.
  • On World Pulses Day, people make efforts in creating awareness about the importance of Pulses in sustainable food production.
  • Donations of pulses are made to provide it to the people it is not easily accessible.
  • World Pulses Day 2021 is under theme #LovePulses.

Benefits of pulses

  • Pulses are rich in nutritional and protein values and are an important part of a healthy diet.
  • Pulses, and legumes (lentils, peas, chickpeas, beans, soybeans, and peanuts.) play an equally important role in health maintenance and overall improvement.
  • Pulses also contribute majorly to achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development.
  • Pulses play a critical role in marking challenges of poverty, food chain security, degraded health, and climate change.
  • Pulses and legume crops help in improving the feasibility of agricultural production systems.
  • Pulses contribute to environmental benefits. The nitrogen-fixing properties of pulses improve soil fertility, which increases the productivity and fertility of the farmland.

Cropping patterns of Pulses in India

  • Top Pulses Producing States in India are: Madhya Pradesh followed by Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka.
  • India is the largest producer as well as the consumer of pulses in the world.
  • Major pulses grown in India are tur (arhar), urad, moong, masur, peas and gram.
  • Being leguminous crops, all these crops except arhar help in restoring soil fertility by fixing nitrogen from the air. Therefore, these are mostly grown in rotation with other crops.
  • National Food Security Mission for Pulses, Pulses Development Scheme and Technological Mission on Pulses are few of the government’s plans to support pulses production.

Requirements for growing Pulses:

  • Temperature: Between 20-27°C
  • Rainfall: Around 25-60 cm.
  • Soil Type: Sandy-loamy soil.

-Source: PIB

March 2024