- MISSION SAGAR – II
- ETHANOL BLENDED FUEL
Focus: GS-II International Relations
Why in News?
Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry inaugurated the “India-ASEAN Engineering Partnership Summit” organised by Engineering Exports Promotion Council (EEPC) with the support from Ministry of External Affairs and Department of Commerce.
- The focus of the summit is on collaborations in engineering sector.
- The summit offers an important platform for engagement of Indian industry on India-ASEAN partnership in engineering trade and investments.
- This forum will also be instrumental in achieving the landmark export target set by the government both in terms of engineering as well as merchandise exports.
- This year is special for both partners as it marks the 25thanniversary of India-ASEAN dialogue partnership and 10 years of the Strategic Partnership.
- An E-Book on India-ASEAN trade and investment emphasizing engineering and MSME sector was also launched during the inaugural session.
- The book covers several important aspects of enhancing bilateral trade and investment and also provides exhaustive information on India and ten ASEAN nations.
About Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional intergovernmental organization comprising Ten Countries in Southeast Asia.
Members of ASEAN
- To promote intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational, and sociocultural integration among its members and other countries in Asia.
- To maintain close and beneficial cooperation with existing international and regional organisations.
- To promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter.
- To accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development for a prosperous and peaceful community of Southeast Asian Nations.
A major partner of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, ASEAN maintains a global network of alliances and dialogue partners and is considered by many as the central union for cooperation in Asia-Pacific.
- The motto of ASEAN is “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”.
- ASEAN is headquartered in Jakarta, Indonesia.
- 8th August is observed as ASEAN Day.
- In 1967 ASEAN was established with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by its founding fathers: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
- Chairmanship of ASEAN rotates annually, based on the alphabetical order of the English names of Member States.
- ASEAN is the 3rd largest market in the world – larger than EU and North American markets.
ASEAN Plus Three
ASEAN Plus Three is a forum that functions as a coordinator of co-operation between the ASEAN and the three East Asian nations of China, South Korea, and Japan.
ASEAN Plus Six
- further integration to improve existing ties of Southeast Asia was done by the larger East Asia Summit (EAS), which included ASEAN Plus Three as well as India, Australia, and New Zealand.
- The group became ASEAN Plus Six with Australia, New Zealand, and India, and stands as the linchpin of Asia Pacific’s economic, political, security, socio-cultural architecture, as well as the global economy.
- This group acted as a prerequisite for the planned East Asia Community which was supposedly patterned after the European Community (now transformed into the European Union).
ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA)
- The ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement was signed and entered into force in 2010.
- Under the Agreement, ASEAN Member States and India have agreed to open their respective markets by progressively reducing and eliminating duties on more than 75% coverage of goods.
ASEAN-India Trade in Services Agreement (AITISA)
- The ASEAN-India Trade in Services Agreement was signed in 2014.
- It contains provisions on transparency, domestic regulations, recognition, market access, national treatment and dispute settlement.
ASEAN-India Investment Agreement (AIIA)
- The ASEAN-India Investment Agreement was signed in 2014.
- The Investment Agreement stipulates protection of investment to ensure fair and equitable treatment for investors, non-discriminatory treatment in expropriation or nationalisation as well as fair compensation.
ASEAN-India Free Trade Area (AIFTA)
- The ASEAN–India Free Trade Area (AIFTA) is a free trade area among the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India.
- The free trade area came into effect in 2010.
- The ASEAN–India Free Area emerged from a mutual interest of both parties to expand their economic ties in the Asia-Pacific region.
- India’s Look East policy was reciprocated by similar interests of many ASEAN countries to expand their interactions westward.
- The signing of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement paves the way for the creation of one of the world’s largest FTAs – a market of almost 1.8 billion people with a combined GDP of US $ 2.8 trillion.
- The AIFTA will see tariff liberalisation of over 90% of products traded between the two dynamic regions, including the so-called “special products,” such as palm oil (crude and refined), coffee, black tea and pepper.
MISSION SAGAR – II
Focus: GS II- International Relations
Why in News?
Indian Navy’s Landing Ship Tank (Large) INS Airavat arrived at Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta, Indonesia to deliver 10 Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) containers, based on the requirement projected by the Government of Indonesia.
About Mission SAGAR – II
- Mission Sagar-II, follows the first ‘Mission Sagar’ undertaken in May-June 2020, wherein India reached out to Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Comoros, and provided food aid and medicines.
- Mission Sagar-II, is in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region ‘SAGAR’ and highlights the importance accorded by India to relations with her maritime neighbours and further strengthens the existing bond.
- The Indian Navy is progressing this mission in close coordination with the Ministries of Defence and External Affairs, and other agencies of the Government of India.
- Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) was launched in 2015.
- It is India’s strategic vision for the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
- Through SAGAR, India seeks to deepen economic and security cooperation with its maritime neighbours and assist in building their maritime security capabilities.
- Further, India seeks to safeguard its national interests and ensure Indian Ocean region to become inclusive, collaborative and respect international law.
- The key relevance of SAGAR emerges when seen in conjunction with India’s other policies impacting the maritime domain like Act East Policy, Project Sagarmala, Project Mausam, India as ‘net security provider’, focus on Blue Economy etc.
Focus: GS III- Health
Why in News?
- eSanjeevani’, Govt. of India’s free Telemedicine service completes 1 crore consultations.
- It is serving around 75,000 patients every day.
What is E-Sanjeevani?
- Ministry eevani AB-HWC) in the hub and spoke model and patient to doctor (eSanjeevani OPD).
- E-Sanjeevani OPD (out-patient department) is a telemedicine variant for the public to seek health services remotely; it was rolled out on 13th of April 2020 during the first lockdown in the country.
- e-Sanjeevani OPD is a Govt of India flagship telemedicine platform developed by the Centre for Development of Advance Computing (C-DAC), Mohali under the aegis of MoHFW, Govt of India.
- It provides free consultations to any Indian citizen.
- However, with covid cases surging, the demand for doctors is up while the supply has reduced due to doctors being pulled out for covid ward duties.
- It enables virtual meetings between the patients and doctors & specialists from geographically dispersed locations, through video conferencing that occurs in real-time.
- At the end of these remote consultations, eSanjeevani generates electronic prescriptions which can be used for sourcing medicines.
- Andhra Pradesh was the first state to roll out eSanjeevani AB-HWC services in November 2019.
Benefits of telemedicine
- Transportation: Patients can avoid spending gas money or wasting time in traffic with video consultations.
- No missing work: Today, individuals can schedule a consultation during a work break or even after work hours.
- Childcare/Eldercare Challenges: Those who struggle to find care options can use telemedicine solutions.
ETHANOL BLENDED FUEL
Focus: GS III- Environment
Why in News?
International Centre for Automotive Technology organised a Webinar on Ethanol Economy to Deliberate on Ethanol Blended Fuels.
What is Ethanol fuel?
- Ethanol fuel is ethyl alcohol, the same type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, used as fuel.
- It is most often used as a motor fuel, mainly as a biofuel additive for gasoline.
- Ethanol is commonly made from biomass such as corn or sugarcane.
- Bioethanol is a form of renewable energy that can be produced from agricultural feedstocks.
- It can be made from very common crops such as hemp, sugarcane, potato, cassava and corn.
- There has been considerable debate about how useful bioethanol is in replacing gasoline.
- Concerns about its production and use relate to increased food prices due to the large amount of arable land required for crops, as well as the energy and pollution balance of the whole cycle of ethanol production, especially from corn.
Ethanol Blended Petrol Programme (EBP)
- Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) programme was launched in 2003- and this initiative is pursued aggressively in the last 4 to 5 years to reduce import dependence of crude oil as well as mitigate environmental pollution.
- The Ethanol Blending Programme (EBP) seeks to achieve blending of Ethanol with motor sprit with a view to reducing pollution, conserve foreign exchange and increase value addition in the sugar industry enabling them to clear cane price arrears of farmers.
- Although the Government of India decided to launch EBP programme in 2003 for supply of 5% ethanol blended Petrol, it later scaled up blending targets from 5% to 10% under the Ethanol Blending Programme (EBP).
- The Government of India has also advanced the target for 20% ethanol blending in petrol (also called E20) to 2025 from 2030.
- Currently, 8.5% of ethanol is blended with petrol in India.
Roadmap for Ethanol Blending in India by 2025
- The central government has released an expert committee report on the Roadmap for Ethanol Blending in India by 2025 that proposes a gradual rollout of ethanol-blended fuel to achieve E10 fuel supply by April 2022 and phased rollout of E20 from April 2023 to April 2025.
- The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoP&NG) had instituted an Expert Group to study the issues such as pricing of ethanol, matching pace of the automobile industry to manufacture vehicles with new engines with the supply of ethanol, pricing of such vehicles, fuel efficiency of different engines etc.
Advantages of Ethanol Blending
- Use of ethanol-blended petrol decreases emissions such as carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC) and nitrogen oxides (NOx).
- The unregulated carbonyl emissions, such as acetaldehyde emission were, however, higher with E10 and E20 compared to normal petrol. However, these emissions were relatively lower.
- Increased use of ethanol can help reduce the oil import bill. India’s net import cost stands at USD 551 billion in 2020-21. The E20 program can save the country USD 4 billion (Rs 30,000 crore) per annum.
- The oil companies procure ethanol from farmers that benefits the sugarcane farmers.
- Further, the government plans to encourage use of water-saving crops, such as maize, to produce ethanol, and production of ethanol from non-food feedstock.
National Policy on Biofuels 2018
- The National Policy on Biofuels expands the scope of raw material for ethanol production by allowing use of Sugarcane Juice, Sugar containing materials like Sugar Beet, Sweet Sorghum, Starch containing materials like Corn, Cassava, Damaged food grains like wheat, broken rice, Rotten Potatoes, unfit for human consumption for ethanol production.
- The Policy allows use of surplus food grains for production of ethanol for blending with petrol with the approval of National Biofuel Coordination Committee.
- The Policy encourages setting up of supply chain mechanisms for biodiesel production from non-edible oilseeds, Used Cooking Oil, short gestation crops.
- Among other things, the policy expands the scope of feedstock for ethanol production and has provided for incentives for production of advanced biofuels.
- The policy has the objective of reaching 20% ethanol-blending and 5% biodiesel-blending by the year 2030.
International Centre for Automotive Technology
- ICAT is an important element of the automotive sector, with its world-class infrastructure and domain expertise providing services in development, testing, validation and homologation
- It is a division of NATRIP Implementation Society (NATIS) under the Department of Heavy Industries, India.
- It is a leading world class automotive testing, certification and R&D service provider with a mission to assist the automotive industry in adopting cutting edge technologies in vehicle evaluation and component development.