Pune Current Affairs

India to host first BIMSTEC military exercise

India will host first military exercise of the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) Countries in September 2018 in Pune, Maharashtra. The theme of the exercise includes counter-terrorism in semi-urban terrain and cordon and search.

Key Facts

The main aim of this military exercise is to promote strategic alignment among the member-states and to share best practices in the area of counter-terrorism. Each participating member country will bring in some 30 soldiers. As part of this exercise, a conclave of Army chiefs of all seven member-states is being planned. In it, the chiefs will debate challenge of terrorism and transnational crime, which is major concern among all states and on how they can promote collective cooperation. BIMSTEC countries had held disaster management exercise in 2017 in New Delhi, but this will be first military exercise of the grouping.

BIMSTEC

BIMSTEC is the sub-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.

Member countries: 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.

BIMESTC’s prime objectives: Technological and economic cooperation among south Asian and south East Asian countries along the coast of the Bay of Bengal. BIMSTEC is sector-driven cooperative organization, starting 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.

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Pune tops in urban governance: ASICS 2017 report

Pune was ranked first among 23 cities across India in terms of quality of urban governance in the fifth edition of Annual Survey of India’s City-Systems (ASICS) 2017 report released by Bengaluru-based non-profit organisation, Janaagraha.

ASICS 2017

The objective of survey was to measure preparedness of cities to deliver high quality infrastructure and services in long term by evaluating city systems. It spans 23 Indian cities and factors in answers to 89 questions. These questions are classified on four categories viz. urban planning & design, urban capacities & resources, transparency, accountability & participation and empowered & legitimate political representation. These cities were scored on a scale of 0 (lowest) to 10 (highest) based on quality of laws, policies, institutions and institutional processes that together help govern them. The report addresses five major issues, and suggests solutions at local body, State and Central government levels. It underlines need for sharp focus on City-Systems or institutional reforms to city governance in our cities.

Key Highlights of ASICS 2017

In it, Pune topped the list by scoring 5.1 out of 10 for the first time. It was followed by Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram, Bhubaneswar and Surat with scores in range of 4.6 to 4.5.  Delhi moved 3 spots up to 6th place against 9th in 2016 survey. Mumbai’s ranking fell from 6th in 2016 to 9th in 2017. The worst performers in ASICS 2017 were Bengaluru (scoring the least at 3 out of 10), Chandigarh, Dehradun, Patna and Chennai. These constituted bottom five cities with scores ranging between 3 and 3.3 out of 10.

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