Union Ministry of Shipping Current Affairs - 2020

WHO organizes Global Research Forum on Corona Virus

The World Health Organization is to host Global Research Forum between February 11, 2020 and February 12, 2020. The event is to be co-hosted by Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness.


The event will bring together leading public health agencies, leading scientists, funders. The experts will build their research on MERS and SARS virus information. This will help to minimize the impact of the virus. The main aim of the forum is to fasten the research and innovation of corona virus.

Current Scenario

There are more than 34,915 reported corona virus cases all over the world. The virus has so far killed 724. Around 2,085 have recovered.

India’s recent Actions

The Ministry of Shipping on February 7, 2020 issued directives to prevent the virus from entering India. The Ministry has placed screening, detection and quarantine system. It will also install thermal scanners. This will be highly helpful to screen passengers entering India through cruises. The Tourism sector is currently vulnerable to the virus, especially in Kerala.

The Ministry of AYUSH has advised precautionary measures to prevent the spread of virus.

Cabinet approves Recycling of Ships bill, 2019

The Union Cabinet on 20th November, 2019 approved the proposal for enactment of Recycling of Ships bill, 2019. It also nodded to the Hong Kong International Convention for safe and environment sound recycling of ships.


India is one of the leaders of ship recycling industry with a share of 30% of the market. According to UNCTAD’s report on “Review of Maritime Transport, 2018”, in 2017 alone India has demolished 6323 tonnes of known ship scrapping all over the world. Though the industry is labor intensive, it is susceptible to concerns on environmental safety.

Salient Features

The bill is being enacted by GoI in order to regulate the recycling of ships. This is done by setting international standards and laying down statutory mechanisms to enforce such standards.

The bill also accedes to the Hong Kong International Convention for safe and environment sound recycling of ships, 2009. The convention aims to ensure that the ships after reaching the end of their operational lives do not pose any threats to human and environment. It was organized by the IMO (International Maritime Organization) in Hong Kong. The regulation includes facts that ships sent for scrapping may contain environmentally hazardous substances like hydrocarbons, asbestos, ozone depleting substances and others. It addresses the concerns around such factors.


The bill restricts and prohibits the use of hazardous materials from the ships brought for recycling. For new ships, such restrictions are already in place. However, this is not applied to war ships and non-commercial ships. Under the bill, the ship recycling facilities need to get authorized.