Development Issues Current Affairs - 2019
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The Union Government has inked $84 million loan agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) for improvement and expansion of water supply in Bhagalpur and Gaya towns in Bihar. The loan has 25-year term, including grace period of 5 years with annual interest rate determined in accordance with ADB’s lending facility based on London interbank offered rate (LIBOR) and commitment charge of 0.15% per year.
This agreement is for tranche 2 loan, part of $200 million multi-tranche financing facility (MFF) for Bihar Urban Development Investment Program that was approved in 2012 by ADB. The program aims to provide sustainable urban infrastructure and services in four towns in Bihar –Gaya, Bhagalpur, Darbhanga and Muzaffarpur.
The project 2 will improve access to better quality and sustainable water supply, for people of Bhagalpur and Gaya towns. It will help two towns to achieve national urban service goals or match many of national averages for urban service delivery performance in India. The investment program will assist urban local body (ULBs) in designing affordable tariffs for operation and maintenance (O&M) cost recovery.
Significance of project
The project will promote better water management practices that will result in a citywide coverage with 24-hour uninterrupted supply of treated water of 135 litres per capita per day in both cities. The loan finances will support civil works subprojects and will benefit 1.1 million people in two project towns with increased coverage of treated water supply by 2021. It will also train 400 urban local body (ULB) staff in management and O&M of water supply systems and help ULBs improve technical and financial management of water supply operations.
India has inked memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) for supporting its ‘programme based research support in addressing current and future global and local developmental challenges. IRDC already is providing support to Indian government initiatives in areas like finance, industry, agriculture and health through quality research. Since 1972, IDRC has funded 551 research activities worth CA$159 million in India through institutions, researchers and NGOs. During l2012-17 period, 96 research projects worth CA$ 51 million were funded by IDRC in India.
International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
IRDC is Canadian federal Crown corporation that invests in knowledge, innovation, and solutions to improve lives and livelihoods in developing world. It was established by Parliament of Canada in 1970 under The International Development Research Centre Act. It encourages and supports researchers from developing countries to conduct research in their own institutions and regions.
IDRC development programs support innovative solutions that improve global access to food, jobs, health, and technologies for growth. IDRC’s three program areas promote innovation and deliver large-scale impact are Agriculture and Environment, Inclusive Economies and Technology and Innovation.