“Paper 4-GS-III, Topic: Infrastructure: Airports.”

Security cost row hits UDAN’s flight

You should know:

  • The government’s low-cost regional air connectivity scheme has led to inter-ministerial tussle over the cost of the security infrastructure for the project.
  • The Ministry of Civil Aviation already owes ₹800 crore to the Home Ministry for deploying Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and other central police forces at 59 airports.
  • The addition of 43 airports under the UDAN scheme is going to add considerably to the cost.
  • The Finance Ministry has suggested that the cost be passed on to passengers.
  • The Home Ministry, however disagreed with this suggestion, contending that it would lead to in air fare hike.

Additional Information:

  • The UDAN scheme aims at stimulating regional connectivity with flights covering distances up to 800 km through a market-based mechanism.
  • Forty-three cities are expected to be linked on India’s flight connectivity grid.
  • India have 70-75 functional airports and expect that in two-three years the number would go up to 200 airports.

Source: Indian Express

‘’Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors”

Global standards will curb unsafe imports’

To be noted:

  • A good standards regime will help in preventing flooding of domestic market with unsafe or sub-standard imports at the expense of the domestic industry as well as consumers.

  • The difference in standards are over and if the Indian industry has to survive and thrive, it has to adopt global standards

  • As for now standards are low for domestic market and high for exports.

The conclave:

  • The ministry, in collaboration with the industry body CII, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and the National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB) and other knowledge partners, is organising a National Standards Conclave on May 1-2 in the national capital.
  • The Conclave would also aim at preparing an Indian National Strategy for Standardization (INSS).
  • It will prepare industries, Central Government Ministries, State Governments, regulatory/standards setting and conformity assessment bodies on the growing importance of “Standards” in the changing scenario of global trade.
  • The Standards Conclave is being held in the backdrop of diminishing importance of tariffs and rising influence of standards and regulation both in goods and services trade.
  • The Ministries/regulators/state governments have to also realise that their initiatives and schemes have to be built around global standards if they have to succeed in their objectives, a good standards regime shall also help the “Make in India” campaign.

Source: The Hindu

‘’Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations

 India to seal pact with Russia-led grouping

To be noted:

  • India is set to formalise a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union.
  • The joint statement on the FTA is likely to be issued during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at St. Petersburg on June 1
  • The Eurasian Economic Union comprises Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The FTA is expected to open up a huge market with a trade potential of $37 to 62 billion.

Present trade:

  • The FTA with the Eurasian countries was dictated by India’s need to diversify into new markets. India has a targeted trade of $30 billion with the five countries by 2025 and $15 billion annual investment.
  • Experts highlighted the need for better understanding of the challenges in the new market like non-tariff barriers and quality standards before the negotiations take place.
  • Exporters and representatives of trade organisations called for steps to prevent dumping of goods and misuse of the rules of origin.
  • They also highlighted the need for clarity on sanitary and phytosanitary measures, import licensing, quantitative restrictions and trade remedies.

Source: The Hindu