Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 27 March 2021

In Today’s News:

  1. Suez Canal and India’s 4 point plan to deal with blockage.
  2. National Clean Air Program.

1. Suez canal and India’s 4 point plan to deal with blockage

News Summary

A Four-point plan has been chalked out to deal with the situation arising from the blockage of the Suez Canal. This plan was chalked out in a meeting convened by the Logistics Division, Department of Commerce, Government of India on 26th March 2021.

Prelims GS – Geography

Suez Canal:
  • The Suez Canal is an artificial sea-level waterway running north to south across the Isthmus of Suez in Egypt to connect the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.
  • The canal separates the African continent from Asia.
  • It provides the shortest maritime route between Europe and the lands lying around the Indian and western Pacific oceans.
  • It is one of the world’s most heavily used shipping lanes.​​
  • The Suez Canal is one of the most important waterways in the world.

Click here to view the Courtesy website for Suez Canal.

Mini Insights

Mains GS2 – International Relations

4 point plan to deal with blockage of Suez Canal:
  • Prioritization of cargo:
    • FIEO, MPEDA, and APEDA will jointly identify cargo particularly perishable cargo for priority movement and work with the shipping lines for the same.
  • Freight Rates:
    • CSLA assured that the freight rates as per existing contracts will be honored.
    • A request has been made to the shipping lines to maintain stability in freight rates during the period of this crisis.
    • It was noted that the situation is temporary and is unlikely to have a long-lasting impact.
  • Advisory to Ports:
    • Once the blockage is over, it is expected that some bunching may take place, especially at the ports of JNPT, Mundra, and Hazira.
    • Ministry of Ports, Shipping and waterway assured to issue an advisory to these ports so as to gear up arrangements and ensure efficient handling during the forthcoming busy period.
  • Re-routing decisions:
    • Shipping lines were advised through CSLA to explore the option of re-routing of ships via the Cape of Good Hope.
    • It was pointed that such re-routing usually takes 15 additional days’ time.

Click here to view the official PIB release.

2. National Clean Air Program

News Summary

In the presence of Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed today by representatives of State Pollution Control Boards, Urban Local Bodies, and Institutes of Repute for 132 identified cities for implementation of city-specific action plans under National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).

Prelims GS – Governance/Environment

  • The National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) is a long-term, time-bound, national-level strategy to tackle the air pollution problem across the country in a comprehensive manner with targets to achieve a 20% to 30% reduction in Particulate Matter concentrations by 2024 (with 2017 as the base year).
  • The city action plans have been prepared to control specific air pollution sources through multidimensional actions by bringing several implementation agencies together.
  • Expansion of ambient air quality networks, source apportionment studies, public awareness, grievance redressal mechanism, and sector-specific action points are part of these action plans.

Click here to view the official PIB release.




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