Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2022

Mar 07, 2022

Current Affair 1:
First Report on 'Airports Authority of India'.


Action taken report on Airports Authority of India was tabled recently.

In January 2021, the Parliamentary Committee on Public Undertakings (2020-21) submitted a report on the ‘Airports Authority of India’. In the report, the committee evaluated the physical and financial performance of AAI, operational and organizational matters, and the implementation of the UDAN scheme, among other issues.

Brief History of Indian Aviation

In 1924, construction of airfields began at Dum Dum (Kolkata), Bamrauli (Prayagraj) and Gilbert Hill (Mumbai). By 1927, a separate Department of Civil Aviation was set up to look after civil aviation matters. J.R.D Tata was awarded the first pilot licence by the Aero Club of India. Between 1933 and 1934, a number of airlines in India like the Indian Trans Continental Airways, Madras Air Taxi Services and the Indian National Airways commenced operations.

In 1972, the International Airports Authority of India (IAAI) came into being by an Act of the Parliament. In 1995, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) came into existence. India liberalized its aviation policies in the 90s due to which air travel flourished further.

Airports Authority of India (AAI)

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is an unlisted Statutory Corporation constituted under the Act of Parliament i.e., Airports Authority of India (AAI), 1994 ('the Act") and is 100% owned by the Government of India. It is the leading Airport operator and sole air navigation service provider in India. lt owns and maintains 137 Airports including 24international Airports (3 civil Enclaves),10 custom Airports (4 Civil Enclaves), 81 (Domestic Airports) and 23 other Civil Enclaves.


Now recommendations.

The committee had suggested that AAI convert itself into a Company under the Company’s Act, 2013 as it had fulfilled the eligibility criteria for becoming a ‘Navratna’ status company that would help in increasing transparency, accountability and enhanced functional & financial autonomy. In 2019, AAI became a Miniratna Category – I Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) which gave the board of AAI the Financial Powers to invest capital expenditure up to Rs. 500 crores without Government approval. For Navratna CPSEs, this investment is permitted up to Rs.1000 crores.

India is lagging in 2 out of 8 critical elements of ICAO

Globally, India is one of the major civil aviation markets after China and the US. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has mandated 8 critical elements (CE) which are mainly safety defence tools that are required for the effective implementation of safety-related policies. The CEs are Legislation, Organization, Licensing, Operations, Airworthiness, Accident Investigation, Air Navigation Services, and Aerodromes. The committee analysed the data furnished and noted that AAI has not been able to keep pace with world average standards in the effective implementation of these two CEs- Organization and Licensing.

Slow progress in implementation of RCS-UDAN

Under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) – UDAN, about 100 airports, heliports, waterdromes were identified for revival/development and be made operational by 2024. Of them, 19 were scheduled to be operationalized by 2019-20 and 25 airports to be operationalized by 2020-21. However, as per Ministry’s reply, 35 airports were to be developed by 2020-21 out of which 32 have been completed and 20 of these airports are in operation. Out of 44 targeted airports to be developed, only 20 could be made fully operational by the Government- a shortfall of more than 50% of the target. The committee called for speeding up the work for timely completion of projects to achieve the targets on time.

AACs should be constituted in all airports

The committee also noted that Airport Advisory Committee (AAC) was not constituted in 17 airports. In those airports with AAC, 46 of them did not hold any meetings while some airports had held only one meeting in the last 3 years while the norm was to hold at least one meeting every 6 months.

Government should try to change the code name of Gaya Airport

The committee recommended changing the code name of Gaya Airport in Bihar. The code name for the airport was ‘GAY’ which the committee felt was inappropriate, unsuitable, offensive, or embarrassing for the holy city.

Current Affair 2:
India signs Host Country Agreement with the International Telecommunication Union

Source Link


Union Minister of Communications and International Telecommunication Union (ITU) signed the Host Country Agreement (HCA) for the establishment of an Area Office & Innovation Centre of ITU in New Delhi on 3rd March 2022.

The Area Office and Innovation Centre of ITU at New Delhi is expected to serve South Asian  countries namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka and India.  The Host Country Agreement provides the legal and financial framework for establishment and operations of the Area Office.

The Area Office shall also have an Innovation Centre, which is expected to give impetus to research and development in telecommunication technologies in South Asia. The Innovation Centre will provide opportunities to academics, start-ups and SMEs to showcase their innovation at a global stage.

The agreement was signed in a virtual ceremony during the World Telecommunications Standardisation Assembly-20 (WTSA-20) being held in Geneva, Switzerland.

WTSA is a four-yearly global conference of ITU dedicated to standardisation of the Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs). India has proposed to host the next WTSA to be held in 2024.

About International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies – ICTs.

Founded in 1865 to facilitate international connectivity in communications networks, we allocate global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, develop the technical standards that ensure networks and technologies seamlessly interconnect, and strive to improve access to ICTs to underserved communities worldwide.


Current Affair 3:
Historic resolution on Plastic Pollution adopted at the fifth United Nations Environment Assembly


Representatives from 175 countries meeting at the resumed fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5.2) in Nairobi March 2, 2022, agreed to end plastic pollution and formulate an internationally binding treaty by 2024.

With respect to India:

India engaged constructively with all member states in UNEA 5.2 to develop consensus on the resolution for driving global action on plastic pollution by setting up of an intergovernmental negotiating committee for a new international legally binding treaty.

On the insistence of India, the principle of national circumstances and capability while taking actions to address plastic pollution was included in the text of the resolution to allow developing countries follow their development trajectories.

India also stood for not mandating the inter-governmental negotiating committee with development of targets, definitions, formats and methodologies, at this stage, pre-judging the outcome of deliberations of the Committee. The provision for immediate collective voluntary actions by the countries was also included to address plastic pollution on urgent and continual basis.

After long protracted negotiations, the principal objectives of India’s draft resolution were sufficiently addressed in the resolution on “End plastic pollution: Towards an international legally binding instrument” adopted in the resumed fifth session of UNEA, which concluded on 2nd March 2022. The UNEA 5.2 will be remembered for agreeing for collective global action while respecting national circumstances and capabilities.

Current Affair 4:


The Finance Minister of India, Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, announced Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North East (PM-DevINE) scheme while presenting Budget 2022–23 on 01 February 2022. Under this scheme, the government will initially allocate Rs. 1,500 crore (US$ 195 million) towards the development of North East India. The scheme will be implemented by the North Eastern Council (NEC) of India. The scheme aims to:

  • Fund infrastructure and social development projects as per the need of the region
  • Promote livelihood activities among the youth and women, and fill the gaps in various sectors in the region
  • Establish proper services for the management of cancer

The government has implemented this scheme (in addition to the existing central and state schemes) as part of its efforts towards improving living conditions in the north-eastern states.

Projects Covered Under PM-DevINE Scheme

The government of India is highly focused on transport projects which are essential for the development of North-East India. A large portion of the funds are allocated for the construction of highways and rope-way systems and also a significant portion has been allocated towards healthcare. More funds will be allocated to the states on a need basis.

The PM-DevINE Scheme covers eight projects, with funds earmarked for each project. The list is given below.

Significance of PM-DevINE Scheme to North Eastern Region

The scheme would provide the following benefits:

Investments: The scheme includes funding for projects in infrastructure, healthcare, agriculture and livelihood. This would help improve the standard of living of people in the region.

State-specific projects: Mizoram-based projects such as Aizawl bypass and bamboo link roads suggest that Mizoram would be the biggest beneficiary of this initiative, followed by Sikkim. The Aizawl bypass is expected to reduce traffic and congestion. Also, the construction of bamboo link roads for the transport of bamboo from forests would help bamboo growers in remote and inaccessible areas connect better with the outside world, and promote local and regional development.

Healthcare: Under the scheme, services for the management of paediatric and adult haemotolymphoid cancers would be established. This would help improve cancer care in the region.

Co-existence with other schemes: The scheme would complement the existing schemes in the region rather than substituting any of them. Thus, the north-eastern states will continue to enjoy the benefits provided by the existing schemes.

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