Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 24 February 2021

In Today’s News:

  1. India and Mauritius sign CECPA.
  2. National Urban Digital Mission launched.
  3. Indian Urban Data Exchange and other Digital Initiatives launched.

1. India and Mauritius sign CECPA

News Summary

The Government of India and the Govt. of  Mauritius signed the India-Mauritius Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA)  in Port Louis on 23.2.2021, in the august presence of Prime Minister of Mauritius Mr. Pravind Jugnauth, and External Affairs Minister, Govt of India, Mr. S. Jaishankar.

Prelims GS – International Relations

  • CECPA refers to Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement
  • CECPA  is the first trade agreement signed by India with a country in Africa.
  • The Agreement is a limited agreement, which will cover Trade in Goods, Rules of Origin, Trade in Services, Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures, Dispute Settlement, Movement of Natural Persons, Telecom, Financial Services, Customs Procedures and Cooperation in other Areas

Mini Insights

Mains GS2 – International Relations

(Note: These points have been provided in the official PIB release. Using such points in the exam, if any questions are asked related to it may help in good writing flow on the answer sheet.)

Impact or Benefits of signing CECPA:
  • CECPA provides for an institutional mechanism to encourage and improve trade between the two countries.
  • The CECPA between India and Mauritius covers 310 export items for India, including foodstuff and beverages, agricultural products, textile and textile articles, base metals and articles thereof, electricals, and the electronic item, plastics, and chemicals, wood, and articles thereof, and others.
  • Mauritius will benefit from preferential market access into India for its 615 products, including frozen fish, specialty sugar, biscuits, fresh fruits, juices, mineral water, beer, alcoholic drinks, soaps, bags, medical and surgical equipment, and apparel.
  • As regards trade in services, Indian service providers will have access to around 115 sub-sectors from the 11 broad service sectors, such as professional services, computer-related services, research & development, other business services, telecommunication, construction, distribution, education, environmental, financial, tourism & travel-related, recreational, yoga, audio-visual services, and transport services.
  • India has offered around 95 sub-sectors from the 11 broad services sectors, including professional services, R&D, other business services, telecommunication, financial, distribution, higher education, environmental, health, tourism and travel-related services, recreational services, and transport services.
  • Both sides have also agreed to negotiate an Automatic Trigger Safeguard Mechanism (ATSM) for a limited number of highly sensitive products within two years of the Signing of the Agreement.
  • The India-Mauritius CECPA will further cement the already deep and special relations between the two countries.

Click here to view the Courtesy Official PIB Press Release

2. National Urban Digital Mission

News Summary

The National Urban Digital Mission (NUDM) has been launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs along with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on 23.2.2021.

Prelims GS – Governance

  • The National Urban Digital Mission (NUDM) will create a shared digital infrastructure for urban India, working across the three pillars of people, process, and platform to provide holistic support to cities and towns.
  • It will institutionalize a citizen-centric and ecosystem-driven approach to urban governance and service delivery in cities by 2022, and across all cities and towns in India by 2024.
  • NUDM will create a shared digital infrastructure that can consolidate and cross-leverage the various digital initiatives of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, enabling cities and towns across India to benefit from holistic and diverse forms of support, in keeping with their needs and local challenges.
  • NUDM is citizen-centric, ecosystem-driven, and principles-based in both design and implementation.
  • NUDM has articulated a set of governing principles and inherits the technology design principles of the National Urban Innovation Stack (NUIS), whose strategy and approach were released by MoHUA in February 2019.
  • The principles in turn give rise to standards, specifications, and certifications, across the three pillars of people, process, and platforms.
  • National Urban Digital Mission will create the ideal space to harness immense synergies from the domain of urban and technology towards creating citizen-centric governance that reflects Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘minimum government and maximum governance’.

Click here to view the Courtesy official PIB release.

3. Indian Urban Data Exchange and other digital initiatives launched.

News Summary

Several digital initiatives of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs vis. India Urban Data Exchange (IUDX), SmartCode, Smart Cities 2.0 website, and Geospatial Management Information System (GMIS) were launched.  These initiatives are among the ongoing efforts of both Ministries to realize the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of Digital India and AtmaNirbhar Bharat, by making cities more self-reliant and enabled to meet the needs of and provide services to their citizens.

Prelims GS – Governance

India Urban Data Exchange (IUDX)
  • The India Urban Data Exchange has been developed in partnership between the Smart Cities Mission and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru.
  • IUDX serves as a seamless interface for data providers and data users, including ULBs, to share, request, and access datasets related to cities, urban governance, and urban service delivery.
  • IUDX is an open-source software platform that facilitates the secure, authenticated, and managed exchange of data amongst various data platforms, 3rd party authenticated and authorized applications, and other sources.
  • IUDX is designed to address the problem of data silos, both within and across cities.
  • IUDX creates a secure and reliable channel for data producers or owners to share their data, with complete control over what is shared and with whom, in order to enable sharing while addressing security and privacy protections by design.
SmartCode Platform:
  •  SmartCode is a platform that enables all ecosystem stakeholders to contribute to a repository of open-source code for various solutions and applications for urban governance.
  • It is designed to address the challenges that ULBs face in the development and deployment of digital applications to address urban challenges, by enabling cities to take advantage of existing codes and customizing them to suit local needs, rather than having to develop new solutions from scratch.
  • As a repository of open-source software, the source code available on the platform will be free to use without any licensing or subscription fees, thus limiting costs to those involved with customizing the code and developing a locally-relevant solution.

(Note: These are some of the initiatives taken by the Indian government to transform Urban Governance. These points may be mentioned in questions related to Urban Governance.)

Click here to view the Courtesy official PIB release.



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