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PIB Summaries 09 February 2022

CONTENTS

  1. ASEAN
  2. Parvatmala Scheme

ASEAN

Focus: GS II- International Groupings

Why in News?

The ASEAN-India High Level Conference on Renewable Energy, being organized by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and the Ministry of External Affairs of Government of India.

Theme: “Experience and Innovations for Integrated Renewables Market”.

About the Conference:

  • The ASEAN-India High Level Conference will feature 5 technical sessions which would facilitate peer to peer discussions between experts from India and ASEAN on themes of mutual interest. 
  • The sessions will also offer global audiences including policymakers, professionals, academia and students from around the world a peek into India-ASEAN plans for taking their cooperation in renewables forward.

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

  1. Indonesia
  2. Malaysia
  3. Philippines
  4. Singapore
  5. Thailand
  6. Brunei
  7. Vietnam
  8. Laos
  9. Myanmar
  10. Cambodia
About Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
ASEAN’s Objectives:
  1. To promote intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational, and sociocultural integration among its members and other countries in Asia.
  2. To maintain close and beneficial cooperation with existing international and regional organisations.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Parvatmala Scheme

Focus: GS II- Government policies and Interventions

Why in News?

Recently, the Union Finance Minister in the Union Budget for 2022-23 announced National Ropeways Development Programme – “Parvatmala” to improve connectivity in hilly areas.

About Parvatmala Scheme:

Nodal: Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH)

  • The scheme will be taken up on PPP (Public Private Partnership) mode, which will be a preferred ecologically sustainable alternative in place of conventional roads in difficult hilly areas.
  • The idea is to improve connectivity and convenience for commuters, besides promoting tourism.
  • This may also cover congested urban areas, where conventional mass transit systems are not feasible.
  • The scheme is being presently started in regions like Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Jammu & Kashmir and the other North Eastern states.
  • The Finance Minister announced that contracts for 8 ropeway projects for a length of 60 km would be awarded in 2022-23.

Significance:

  • Given that ropeway projects are built in a straight line over a hilly terrain, it also results in lower land acquisition costs.
  • Hence, despite having a higher cost of construction per km than roadways, ropeway projects’ construction cost may happen to be more economical than roadways.
  • Owing to the aerial mode of transportation, ropeways have an advantage over roadway projects where ropeways can be built in a straight line, over a hilly terrain.
  • Low dust emissions. Material containers can be designed so as to rule out any soiling of the environment.
  • Ropeway projects adopting 3S (a kind of cable car system) or equivalent technologies can transport 6000-8000 passengers per hour.

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