Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 11 February 2021

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 11 February 2021


Major Port Authorities Bill 2020

  • Parliament passed the 2020 law on main port authorities. Now the law is being submitted to the Indian President for approval. 

The main features of the Major Port Authorities Act 2020 are as follows: 

  • The law is more compact compared to the major port authorities, 1963 law as the number of sections has been reduced from 134 to 76, by removing overlapping and obsolete sections. 
  • The new bill has proposed a simplified composition of the Board of Port Authority that will consist of 11-13 members from the current 17-19 members who represent different interests. The role of the customs authority for major ports (TAMP) has been redefined. 
  • The port authority has now been given the authority to set a tariff that serves as a reference tariff for tendering PPP projects. The PPP operators are free to set tariffs based on market conditions. 
  • The Board of Port Authority has been empowered to set the tariff scale for other port services and assets including land. 
  • It has been proposed to set up an Adjudicatory Board to take over the remaining Performs the function of the former TAMP for important ports and investigates disputes between ports and PPP concessionaires. The Boards of Port Authority have been given full powers to conclude contracts. Planning and development, setting the tariff, except in the national interest, security and emergency due to inaction and late payment. 
  • According to the present MPT Act of 1963, prior approval from the central government was required in 22 cases. 
  • The board of directors of each major port is entitled to draw up a specific master plan for each development or infrastructure. 
  • Rules for CSR and the development of the infrastructure by the port Es Powers have been introduced. 
  • Provisions have been made to guarantee the wages, allowances and service conditions, including pension benefits, of workers in the main ports.

NITI Aayog orders study on ‘economic impact’ of judicial decisions

  • NITI Aayog conduct a study on the “economic impact” of various judgments delivered by Supreme Court,the high courts, and quasi-judicial bodies such as the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and the “judicial activism” of such courts and tribunals.
  • Generally, judgments that negatively impact major infrastructure projects don’t adequately consider the economic fallout — in terms of loss of jobs, revenue.
  • The findings will be used as a “training input for judges of commercial courts, NGT, HCs, SC. 
  • Generally,economic cost is not considered by the judiciary while delivering judgments.


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UAE Mars Mission

  • The United Arab Emirates’ first mission to Mars entered the orbit of the red planet on Tuesday, seven months after the Emirati-built ’Hope Probe’ was launched from Tanegashima in Japan. 
  • With this, the UAE has become the fifth country after the US, Russia, China, the EU, and India, to reach the Martian orbit.


  • It was first announced in July 2014, the Emirates Mars Mission was developed and operated by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre in collaboration with the University California, Berkeley, Arizona State University and the University of Colorado-Boulder in the United States.
  • In July 2020, it was launched from the Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan aboard a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ H-II A rocket and its launch became the 45th for H-II A.
  • It was carrying three instruments, including a high-resolution camera and a spectrometer, the spacecraft is on an orbital mission to collect data on Martian climate dynamics and help scientists understand why Mars’s atmosphere is decaying into space.
  • Hope is the UAE’s fourth space mission and first interplanetary one. The previous three were all Earth-observation satellites. 
  • Once it is successfully able to reach the planet, it will start orbiting the planet. Its overall mission life is one Martian year, which is about 687 days on Earth.
  • The mission is one of three launched to Mars from Earth in July. The other two — China’s Tianwen-1 dual orbiter-rover and Perseverance from NASA — are expected to reach the red planet later this month. 
  • While Hope was the first to arrive, Tianwen-1 will reach on February 10, followed by Perseverance on February 18.

Lalandar Dam 

  • India, Afghanistan sign MoU for construction of Lalandar(Shatoot) Dam.
  • The MoU was signed by External Affairs Minister Dr. Jaishankar and Afghanistan Foreign Minister Hanif Atmar, in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of Afghanistan Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.
  • The project is a part of the New Development Partnership between India and Afghanistan. 
  • The Lalander Dam would meet the safe drinking water needs of Kabul City, provide irrigation water to nearby areas, rehabilitate the existing irrigation and drainage network, aid in flood protection and management efforts in the area, and also provide electricity to the region.
  • This is the second major dam being built by India in Afghanistan, after the India- Afghanistan Friendship Dam, which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister and the President in June 2016. 


Open Market Operations

  • RBI announced an OMO (Open Market Operation) Purchase of G-Secs (government securities) for an aggregate amount of Rs 20,000crore.
  • OMOs are conducted by RBI by way of sale and purchase of G-Secs to and from the market with an objective to adjust rupee liquidity conditions in market on a durable basis.
  • When RBI feels that there is excess liquidity in market, it resorts to sale of securities thereby sucking out the rupee liquidity.
  • Similarly, when liquidity conditions are tight, RBI may buy securities from market, thereby releasing liquidity into market.


Koo App

  • Days after the Center asked Twitter to “suspend or block” almost 1,200 accounts, citing “misinformation and provocative content” about the farmers’ protest, several ministers and departments of the Union government began to flock to the Koo application, a home version of social networks. 


  • The microblogging site was co-founded by entrepreneurs Aprameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidwatka. Radhakrishna had founded the online taxi booking service TaxiForSure, which was later sold to Ola Cabs. 
  • The app, along with other Indian-made apps like Zoho and Chingari, the local version of TikTok, won the challenge, which was launched by the Center shortly after the ban. dozens of apps with Chinese links citing national security concerns. 
  • Following the outcome of the Atmanirbhar Innovation Challenge app, the app was also mentioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Mann Ki Baat speech.


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