Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 18 March 2021

In Today’s News:

  1. Act East Policy.
  2. International Conference on Disaster resilient Infrastructure.

1. Act East Policy

News Summary

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that Connectivity is an important element of Act East Policy in a written reply in Lok Sabha.

Mini Insights

Mains GS2 – International Relations

Significance of Act East Policy and India’s efforts in this direction:

(Note: The following points are directly taken from the PIB Lok Sabha reply by the Hon’ble Minister. These points may be used in the exam in questions related to Act East Policy as they give a brief overview of the policy.)

  • The ‘Act East Policy’ announced in November 2014 is the upgrade of the “Look East Policy” which was promulgated in 1992.
  • It aims at promoting economic cooperation, cultural ties and develop a strategic relationship with countries in the Indo-pacific region with a proactive and pragmatic approach and thereby improving the economic development of the North Eastern Region (NER) which is a gateway to the southeast Asia Region.
  • The policy has been continuously evolving since the early 1990s and involves intensive and continuous engagement with southeast Asian countries in the field of connectivity, trade, culture, defense, and people-to-people-contact at bilateral, regional, and multilateral levels.
  • Connectivity is an important element of Act East Policy.
  • Efforts in this direction include Agartala-Akhaura Rail Link between India and Bangladesh, Intermodal transport linkages and inland waterways through Bangladesh, Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project, and the Trilateral Highway Project connecting the North East with Myanmar and Thailand. 
  • Under India-Japan Act East Forum, projects such as Road and Bridges and modernization of Hydro-electric power project have been undertaken.
  • Among other initiatives assistance has been extended in the form of medicines/medical supplies to ASEAN countries during the pandemic.
  • Scholarships with the offer of 1000 Ph.D. fellowships have been offered at IITs for ASEAN countries participants.
  • India is also implementing Quick Impact Projects in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam to provide development assistance to grass-root level communities in the fields of education, water resources, health, etc.

Click here to view the Courtesy: Official PIB Press Release dated 17.3.2021

2. International Conference on Disaster resilient Infrastructure

News Summary

Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed the opening ceremony of the International Conference on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure through a video conference.

Prelims GS – International Organisation

  • The Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) is a partnership of national governments, UN agencies and programs, multilateral development banks and financing mechanisms, the private sector, and knowledge institutions that aims to promote the resilience of new and existing infrastructure systems to climate and disaster risks in support of sustainable development.
  • CDRI promotes rapid development of resilient infrastructure to respond to the Sustainable Development Goals’ imperatives of expanding universal access to basic services, enabling prosperity and decent work.
  • The following are CRDI’s strategic priorities:
    • Technical Support and Capacity-building: This includes disaster response and recovery support; innovation, institutional and community capacity-building assistance; and standards and certification.
    • Research and Knowledge Management: This includes collaborative research; global flagship reports; and a global database of infrastructure and sector resilience.
    • Advocacy and Partnerships: This includes global events and initiatives; marketplace of knowledge financing and implementation agencies; and dissemination of knowledge products.
  • India is a member of CDRI.

Click here to view the official PIB release at Hon’ble PM’s address at the conference and click here to view the official CDRI website.




Click here for Daily current affairs for the UPSC exams on other dates.