Given below are the daily current affairs for 05th March 2021. You can take the daily current affairs quiz here for free.
- POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
- OTT platforms will not have to register: Centre
- GoM suggests steps to stem ‘negative narrative’
- Ease of Living Index 2020
- Municipal Performance Index 2020
- INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
OTT platforms will not have to register: Centre
The government has announced a regulatory and grievance redressal mechanism for over-the-top (OTT) platforms, social media and digital media in the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.
Grievance redressal mechanism for OTT platforms:
- The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has clarified that over-the-top (OTT) platforms will not have to register with the government, and no government nominee will be present in the self-regulatory body.
- The government would create an inter-departmental committee to look at complaints that remain unresolved at the self-regulatory level.
- The minister clarified that the rules focus on self-classification of content instead of any form of censorship.
- While there were regulations for cinema and TV bodies, none existed for the OTT industry. He stated that in this background, the government came out with a progressive institutional mechanism for OTT players to develop a level playing field with the idea of self-regulation.
GoM suggests steps to stem ‘negative narrative’
A Group of Ministers (GoM) was formed to fine-tune government communication in an effort to neutralise what it calls a negative narrative.
- GoM has come out with suggestions to track 50 negative and 50 positive influencers on social media, neutralise the people who are writing against the government without facts and setting false narratives/spreading fake news and take other steps.
- Decisions of the government based on GoM’s deliberations include:
- Capping FDI (foreign direct investment) for digital news media at 26%.
- A separate section dealing with the code of ethics for Over the Top (OTT) platforms, in the new IT rules.
- Other suggestions:
- Enlarging the Prasar Bharati News Service into a mainline news agency.
- Coordination with schools of journalism to tap future journalists.
Ease of Living Index 2020
The Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry has released the final rankings of Ease of Living Index (EoLI) 2020.
What is it?
The Ease of Living Index (EoLI) is an assessment tool that evaluates the quality of life and the impact of various initiatives for urban development.
- It provides a comprehensive understanding of participating cities across India based on quality of life, economic-ability of a city, and its sustainability and resilience.
How were the cities ranked?
The analysis categorises them into:
- Million+ populated cities (those with a population of more than a million).
- Less than Million populated cites (those with a population of less than a million) along with all the cities under the Smart Cities Program.
EoLI 2020 ranking:
- Million+ category: Bengaluru emerged as the top performer followed by Pune, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Surat, Navi Mumbai, Coimbatore, Vadodara, Indore, and Greater Mumbai.
- In the Less than Million category: Shimla was ranked the highest in ease of living, followed by Bhubaneshwar, Silvassa, Kakinada, Salem, Vellore, Gandhinagar, Gurugram, Davangere, and Tiruchirappalli.
Municipal Performance Index 2020
Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry has released the Municipal Performance Index 2020.
- It seeks to simplify and evaluate the complexities in local governance practice and promote the ethos of transparency and accountability.
Municipal Performance Index (MPI) 2020:
The MPI examined the sectoral performance of 111 municipalities (with Delhi being assessed separately for NDMC, and the three Municipal Corporations) across five verticals which comprise of 20 sectors and 100 indicators in all totality.
The five verticals under MPI are Services, Finance, Policy, Technology and Governance.
Ranking of cities:
The assessment framework under MPI 2020 has classified municipalities based on their population- Million+ (municipalities having over a million population) and Less than Million Population.
- In the Million+ category: Indore has emerged as the highest ranked municipality, followed by Surat and Bhopal.
- In the Less than Million category: New Delhi Municipal Council has emerged as the leader, followed by Tirupati and Gandhinagar.
QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021
12 Indian Institutions have secured positions in top 100 in the QS Subject Rankings for the year 2021.
- These are IT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Madras, IIT Kharagpur, IISC Bangalore, IIT Guwahati,, IIM Bangalore, IIM Ahmedabad, JNU, Anna University, University of Delhi, and O.P Jindal University .
- IIT Madras has been ranked 30th in the world for Petroleum Engineering,
- IIT Bombay has been ranked 41st and IIT Kharagpur has been ranked 44th in the world for Minerals and Mining Engineering,
- University of Delhi has been ranked 50th in the world for Development Studies.
About QS World University Rankings by Subject:
- Compiled annually to help prospective students identify the leading universities in a particular subject.
- Research citations, along with the results of major global surveys of employers and academics are used to rank universities.
The QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021 cover a total of 51 disciplines, grouped into five broad subject areas.
- Arts & Humanities.
- Engineering and Technology.
- Life Sciences & Medicine.
- Natural Sciences.
- Social Sciences & Management.
What is QS World University rankings?
It is an annual publication of University rankings by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) – A british company specialising in the analysis of higher education institutions around the world.
Previously, it was called Times Higher Education – QS world University rankings. The name changed since 2010.
- It is the only international ranking to have received the approval of International Ranking Expert Group (IREG).
‘As Iran’s rupee reserves drop, traders almost halt exports’
Indian merchants have almost entirely stopped signing new export contracts with Iranian buyers for commodities such as rice, sugar and tea, due to caution about Tehran’s dwindling rupee reserves with Indian banks.
- Exporters are avoiding dealing with Iran since payments are getting delayed for months.
- Iran’s rupee reserves in India’s UCO and IDBI Bank, the two lenders authorised to facilitate rupee trade, have depleted significantly and exporters are not sure whether they would be paid on time for new shipments.
- Under U.S. sanctions, Iran is unable to use U.S. dollars to transact oil sales.
- Iran previously had a deal to sell oil to India in exchange for rupees, which it used to import critical goods, including agricultural commodities, but India stopped buying Tehran’s oil in May 2019 after a U.S. sanctions waiver expired.
- Tehran continued using its rupees to buy goods from India, but after 22 months of no crude sales, Iran’s rupee reserves have fallen.
‘Include Chabahar on key corridor’
India wants Chabahar port to be included in the 13-nation International North South Transport Corridor that extends from India to Russia.
International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC):
- INSTC is a corridor to increase trade between India and Russia.
- This trade route is 7200 km long.
- The transport of freight is through a multi-mode network of Road, Ship, and Railways.
- This route connects India and Russia through Iran and Azerbaijan.
- India has expressed that it also wants the INSTC membership to be expanded by including Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.
- INSTC goes via Iran’s biggest port Bandar Abbas. India has pitched in for Chabahar port also to be included in the INSTC.
- India’s External Affairs Minister proposed that the land route via Kabul and Tashkent would form the INSTC’s Eastern corridor.
- It is opined that establishing an eastern corridor through Afghanistan would maximize its potential.
- The Chabahar Port has already handled 123 vessels and 18 lakh tons of cargo.
- Chabahar Port is located in Sistan and Baluchestan province in the Southeastern part of Iran, on the Gulf of Oman.
- Chabahar port is about 170 km away from Gwadar Port built in Pakistan by China.
- The Chabahar Port, inaugurated in December 2017, had opened a new strategic transit route between India, Iran and Afghanistan that bypassed Pakistan.
- The port is a gateway to an overland trade corridor through Iran to Afghanistan. It will enable India to play a larger role in Afghan reconstruction, which has been restricted hitherto by Pakistan’s refusal to allow India overland access through its territory to Afghanistan.
- Situated at the mouth of the Gulf of Oman on Iran’s Makran coast, it gives Iran direct access to the Indian Ocean.
Nepal govt. signs peace pact with rebel group
What’s in News?
The Nepal government signed a peace agreement with a small communist rebel group.
- The rebels also call themselves the Nepal Communist Party.
- The group had split from the Maoist Communist Party, which fought government troops between 1996 and 2006, when it gave up its armed revolt, agreed to United Nations-monitored peace talks and joined mainstream politics.
- The communist group is widely feared because they were known for violent attacks, extortion and bombings.
- While the government agreed to lift a ban on the group, release all their party members and supporters in jail and drop all legal cases against them, the rebel group agreed to give up all violence and resolve any issues through peaceful dialogue.
Yemen’s Houthis claim missile strike on oil plant
What’s in News?
Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed a missile strike on a plant of energy giant Saudi Aramco in the western Saudi Arabian city of Jiddah.
- The missile strike comes amid an escalation in cross-border attacks on the country.
- The rebels’ latest claim comes after the U.S. imposed sanctions on two Houthi commanders, blaming them for civilian deaths and denouncing their ties with Iran.
- Since 2014, Yemen has been facing a multi-sided conflict involving local, regional, and international actors.
- The Houthis are a group of Zaidi Shia Muslims who ruled a kingdom in Yemen for nearly 1,000 years.
- The Shia Houthis, who the Saudis claim are backed by Iran, are controlling much of the country’s north.
- Yemen Houthi rebels and Saudi Arabia-backed forces loyal to the President of Yemen agreed to a United Nations-mediated ceasefire agreement in 2018.
- In 2019, Yemen’s Shia Houthi rebels, violating the ceasefire, attacked Aramco crude oil production in Saudi Arabia.
PM Narendra Modi will receive the CERAWeek Global Energy and Environment Leadership Award.
Instituted in 2016, the CERAWeek Global Energy and Environment Leadership Award recognizes the commitment of leadership on the future of global energy & environment and for offering solutions and policies for energy access, affordability & environmental stewardship.
- CERA (Cambridge Energy Research Associates Week) was founded in 1983 by Dr. Daniel Yergin.
- It has been organized in Houston in March every year since 1983 and is considered the world’s premier annual energy platform.
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