Pune Current Affairs

MILEX-18: First military exercise of BIMSTEC countries held in Pune

The first field training military exercise MILEX-18, as part of the Bay of Bengal initiative for multi-sectoral technical and economic cooperation (BIMSTEC) commenced at Foreign Training Node at Aundh in Pune, Maharashtra. All member BIMSTEC countries, except Thailand and Nepal will take active part in this exercise. Thailand and Nepal will only be sending group of observers.

MILEX-18

The theme of the exercise is counter-terrorism in semi-urban terrain. Its main aim is to promote strategic alignment among member-states and to share best practices in the area of counter-terrorism. The exercise will include training in operations like search-and-cordon operations, search and destroy and handling and neutralisation of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) among other things. Each participating member country will be represented by platoon sized contingents including around 30 soldiers (including five officers, 25 Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) and personnel of other ranks). As part of this exercise, conclave of Army chiefs of all seven member-states is also being planned. In it, army chiefs will debate challenge of terrorism and transnational crime, which is major concern among all states and discuss ways to promote collective cooperation.

Comment

Through this exercise India is trying to achieve in cooperative defense diplomacy. It is also looking forward to initiate process of sharing counter-terrorism strategies among armies of member nations in the region. India also wants to start a dialogue, sharing of procedures, thoughts, processes and certainly strategies to deal with terrorism collectively in region.

Note: BIMSTEC countries had held disaster management exercise in 2017 in New Delhi, but this will be first military exercise of the grouping.

BIMSTEC

It is regional group of seven countries in South Asia and South East Asia lying in littoral and adjacent areas of Bay of Bengal constituting contiguous regional unity. It was established on 6 June 1997 through Bangkok Declaration. It is headquartered in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Its member countries are India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka from South Asia and Myanmar, Thailand from South East Asia. They are collectively home to around 1.5 billion people which constitute around 22% of global population.

BIMSTEC’s main objective is to promote technological and economic cooperation among south Asian and south-east Asian countries along coast of the Bay of Bengal. The grouping is sector-driven cooperative organization, started in 2006 with six sector including trade, technology, energy, transport, tourism and fisheries. In 2008, it was expanded to embrace eight more sectors including agriculture, public health, poverty alleviation, counter-terrorism, environment, culture, people to people contact and climate change.

Month: Categories: Defence Current Affairs 2018

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Pune tops in Ease of Living Index released by Housing Ministry

Pune (Maharashtra) ranked first among 116 cities (with population of 1 million plus) in Ease of Living Index released by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA). Besides, two more Maharashtra cities — Navi Mumbai and Greater Mumbai — figure in the second and third spots The index exercise was launched in January 2018 by MoHUA with help of the consortium of IPSOS Research Pvt Ltd, Athena Infonomics, and Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Key Facts

Top 10 cities are (rank order) are Pune, Navi Mumbai, Greater Mumbai, Tirupati, Chandigarh, Thane, Raipur, Indore, Vijaywada and Bhopal. Among other major cities, Chennai ranked 14th rank, Ahmedabad 23rd, Hyderabad 27th, Varanasi 33rd, Bengaluru 58th and Delhi 65th. Rampur in Uttar Pradesh was ranked worst on the scale and also Kohima and Patna on bottom two and three ranks while. Kolkata was excluded from index, as West Bengal Government had refused to participate in rankings, just as it has done with all other urban schemes.

Ease of Living Index

The index conceived in June 2017 aims to help cities assess their liveability vis-a-vis global and national benchmarks and encourage cities to move towards an ‘outcome-based’ approach to urban planning and management. It covers 111 cities that are smart city contenders, capital cities and cities with population of 1 million plus. It captures quality of life based on data collected from urban local bodies on four parameters, which were further broken down into 15 categories. The four parameters include institutional (governance), social (identity, education, health, security), economic ( economy, employment) and physical factors (waste water and solid waste management, pollution, housing/ inclusiveness, mixed land use, power and water supply, transport, public open spaces). Institutional and social parameters carry 25 points each, physical factors have weightage of 45 points and economic factors 5 points totalling to 100 mark scale on which cities were evaluated.

Significance

The index aims to help cities attain liveable city status, get them more investments and improve tourism. It also seeks to serve as knowledge base for taking policy decisions and for planning. It also marks shift to data driven approach to urbanisation and promote competitive spirit among cities.

Month: Categories: India Current Affairs 2018

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