HCS Exam Current Affairs 2020: Agreements And MoUs
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HCS Exam Current Affairs 2020: Agreements And MoUs

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HCS Last One Year Topic Wise Current Affairs: Agreements and MoUs

Haryana Civil Services Exam

CURRENT AFFAIRS YEARLY 2020

Last one-year Current Affairs For HCS Exam: Agreements and MoUs

1. India has recently announced an agreement with Afghanistan,  to complete the Shahtoot dam which will provide safe drinking water to the residents of Kabul.

  • The dam is proposed to be built on the Maidan River, a tributary of the Kabul River which flows into Pakistan from Afghanistan.
  • India will also launch the fourth phase of the high impact community development projects in Afghanistan, which envisages more than 100 projects worth $80 million (Rs 600 crore) that India would undertake in Afghanistan.
  •  India's External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar is leading the Indian delegation at the 2020 Afghanistan Conference being organised virtually by the UN and Afghan and Finnish governments to reaffirm the International community’s commitment to Afghanistan during 2015-24.

2. India and Finland have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in the field of biodiversity conservation and environment protection.

  • The agreement was signed by the Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar and his counterpart Krista Mikkonen of Finland.
  • According to the Memorandum of Understanding, the countries will exchange their best practices in areas such as prevention of air and water pollution, waste management, low carbon solutions, sustainable management of natural resources and promotion of circular economy. 
  • It aims to develop bilateral cooperation in the field of environmental protection and biodiversity conservation on the basis of equality, reciprocity and mutual benefit.

3. The Government of India signed a Memorandum of Understanding with leading oil and gas marketing companies to establish Compressed Biogas Plants all over India.

  • These plants are to generate biogas from crop wastes.
  • The agreements were signed under the SATAT (Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation) initiative.
  • Under the agreement, around 900 Compressed Biogas (CBG) plants will be  established in the country. 
  • Earlier, the Government of India signed an agreement for 600 plants. 
  • The agreement signed will bring in Rs 30,00 crores of investment to set up 900 plants. To set up 5000 plants, a total investment of Rs 2 lakh crores is envisaged.

4. An MoU has been signed between Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) and the Department of New & Renewable Energy, Goa, for India’s first decentralized solar Convergence Project in Goa.

  • It will accelerate the usage of renewable energy sources in Goa and meet its agricultural and rural power consumption.
  • It will help provide clean energy at affordable rates and also reduce the Transmission & Distribution (T&D) losses.
  • EESL will install solar energy projects on the vacant or unused land provided by the Gram Panchayats and electricity board.

5. Microsoft has announced a collaboration with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to skill more than 1 lakh underserved women in India over the next 10 months.

  • This initiative is an extension of Microsoft’s partnership with NSDC to provide digital skills to over 1 lakh youth in the country.
  • The partnership is focused on enhancing women’s workforce participation by equipping underserved young women from rural communities with the skills required to thrive in a digital economy. 
  • These live training sessions will be delivered online through the Microsoft Community Training (MCT) platform. 
  • Under this partnership, eSkill India – NSDC’s digital skilling initiative – will support in building the outreach of this engagement through its skilling ecosystem, which includes sector skill councils, training partners, and training centers. Microsoft and NSDC will award a joint e-certificate to participants post-course completion.

6. The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has signed an agreement with the IIT-Delhi and DRDO to create a pool of officials who will work to find technology solutions for its operational challenges.

  • The about 3.25 lakh-strong force has about 500 officers and sub-officers who hold professional degrees in engineering and technology.
  • The Memorandum of Understanding will enable these officers to undertake short-term specialised courses at these institutions and also pursue research work.
  • “A batch of 40 engineering graduate officers and subordinate officers of the CRPF with right aptitude and potential will undergo a certificate course of about three to six months under IIT-Delhi’'s continuing education programme”, a CRPF spokesperson said.
  • CRPF Director General A P Maheshwari

7. The Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-K) and the Archaeological Survey of India have signed an agreement with two institutions from Italy, seeking restoration and protection of historical monuments

  • The activities under this MoU will be coordinated by Prof Mukesh Sharma, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT-Kanpur.
  • The MoU was signed among IIT-K, Ca’ the Foscari University of Venice, Archaeological Survey of India, Soprintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti E Paesaggio, Venice on creating a network and sharing skills for restoration and protection of historical monuments.

8. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has planned the "KRITAGYA" hackathon under the National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP).

  • KRI-TA-GYA explains, KRI for Krishi (Agriculture), TA for Taknik (Technology) and GYA for Gyan (Knowledge).
  • This Ag-Tech Hackathon aims to promote potential technology solutions for enhancing farm mechanization with special emphasis on women-friendly equipment.
  • Students, faculties, and innovators or entrepreneurs from universities and technical institutions can take part in this Hackathon.

9. Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the field of Intellectual Property cooperation with Denmark's Danish Patent and Trademark Office.

  • The MoU aims at increasing IP co-operation between the two countries by way of exchange of best practices, experiences and knowledge on IP awareness among public authorities, businesses and research and educational institutions of both countries.
  • Dr Guruprasad Mohapatra, Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), and Freddy Svane, Ambassador of Denmark conducted a formal signing ceremony for the same.

10. Uttar Pradesh:: Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UN World Food Programme for take-home ration

  • Uttar Pradesh’s state rural livelihood mission (SRLM) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UN World Food Programme for take-home ration.
  • Take-Home ration will now be manufactured and supplied through women self-help groups (SHGs) in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Around 200 women SHG enterprises are expected to gain business with Rs 1,200 crore annual turnover through this collaboration. 
  • This will almost double the loans received by the SHGs in 20 years.
  • The plan is to initiate local production of take-home-ration at the block level with back-up of the extensive SHG network of the rural livelihood mission covering 18 districts, 204 blocks and 42,228 anganwadi centres.

11. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has given ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Zimbabwe on Cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy.

  • This will provide a framework for the cooperation between the two countries for the promotion of traditional systems of medicine and homeopathy and will mutually benefit the two countries in the field of Traditional Medicine. 
  • The objective of the MoU is to promote traditional systems of medicine and homeopathy between two nations on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. 

12. India and Iran have signed an agreement to construct a rail line from Chabahar port to Zahedan, along the border with Afghanistan.

  • The Iranian government has decided to proceed with the construction on its own, citing delays from the Indian side in funding and starting the project.
  • Iranian Transport and Urban Development Minister Mohammad Eslami inaugurated the track-laying process for the 628 km Chabahar-Zahedan line, which will be extended to Zaranj across the border in Afghanistan.
  • The entire project would be completed by March 2022
  • Iranian Railways will proceed without India’s assistance, using approximately $400 million from the Iranian National Development Fund.
  • The development comes as China finalises a massive 25-year, $400 billion strategic partnership deal with Iran, which could cloud India’s plans.

13. The Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Shri Dharmendra Pradhan and the Chairman of Rosneft (Russia’s largest oil producing company) signed the first ever term contract.

  • According to the contract India will import 2 million metric tonnes of Urals grade crude oil.
  • The agreement was signed between IOCL and Rosneft. The companies discussed energy cooperation and hydrocarbon enhancement.
  • Rosneft is the largest oil producing company in Russia. The company is extended over 20 countries in the world. The company is to bid in the disinvestment of BPCL (Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited). On November 20, 2019, the Union cabinet approved to privatize BPCL selling 52.98% of its stakes to private sector.
  • After the crude oil agreement, India and Russia are also looking for ways to sign agreements to bring LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) supplies from Russia. 
  • Russia is estimated to posses 10 to 14 billion tonnes of oil and 15 trillion cubic metres of gas.