US Bans the Use of Chinese Companies Huawei, ZTE Telecom Equipment Sales
The Biden administration has banned approvals of new telecommunications equipment from China’s Huawei Technologies and ZTE because they pose “an unacceptable risk” to U.S. national security. Further Development : The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said, it had adopted the final rules, which also bar the sale or import of equipment made by China’s surveillance equipment maker Dahua Technology, video surveillance firm Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology and telecoms firm Hytera Communications Corp.
What Has been Said:
The five-member FCC said, it had voted unanimously to adopt new rules that will block the importation or sale of the targeted products.
These new rules are an important part of our ongoing actions to protect the American people from national security threats involving telecommunications,” FCC Chairperson Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement. He added that the move had “broad, bipartisan backing” among the US congressional leadership.
The ban is the latest move in a years-long push “to keep US networks secure” by identifying and prohibiting devices deemed to be security threats, the FCC said.
“The Chinese Communist Party will stop at nothing to exploit our laws and undermine our national security,” he said in a statement. “This legislation fixes a dangerous loophole in our law, curtailing their efforts to worm their way into our telecommunications networks.”
Why US Govt Opted This:
The move represents Washington’s latest crackdown on the Chinese tech giants amid fears that Beijing could use Chinese tech companies to spy on Americans.
US security officials have warned that equipment from Chinese brands such as Huawei could be used to interfere with fifth-generation (5G) wireless networks and collect sensitive information.
The services that were designated threats under that law were then subject to the Secure Equipment Act of 2021, signed by President Joe Biden. That act created the groundwork for Friday’s announcement. It directed the FCC to “adopt rules clarifying that it will no longer review or issue new equipment licenses” to those companies.
14th Edition Of Aero India 2023 to be Held From 13-17 February 2023 in Bengaluru
The 14th edition of Aero India will be held from February 13-17, 2023 at the Air Force Station in Yelahanka, announced the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The previous edition of the biennial event was held in a hybrid model in 2021 due to Covid as there were several restrictions in place.
More About The Development:
Asia’s premier air show which was traditionally held for five days was cut short to three. The 14th edition is scheduled for five days and the general public too will be allowed.
Who Will Organise This :
Bengaluru-based defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will organise the event, in which exhibitors from across the world are expected to take part. In the previous edition, over 500 companies from more than 35 countries had taken part.
About the Controversy:
Amid speculation and reports that the show would be shifted out of Bengaluru to Lucknow, Aero India 2021 was held in Bengaluru and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had clarified that Bengaluru was the best city to host the show. “Most of the industries related to aerospace are located in Bengaluru and Karnataka. This makes the city the most ideal place to hold the air show,” Singh had stated. About Aero India: The Aero India show is a premier global trade show which provides an opportunity for the international arms industry to showcase their products, technologies and solutions to the Indian military and decision makers and also to engage with India’s emerging Aerospace and Defence industry. India’s Defence Expositions: There are two main defence related expositions organised by the defence ministry in India. In India. One is the Aero India show which is for the Air Force and another is Defence expo. The Defence expo 2022 was held at Gandhinagar, Gujarat in October 2022. The Defence expo is India’s premier military trade show for land, naval and homeland security systems.
China Holds First China-Indian Ocean Region Forum Without India
China organized the first high-level China-Indian Ocean Region Forum on Development Cooperation, with 19 countries from the region except for India. The event was quietly held along with many other events including the 6th China-South Asia expo, and the China-Indian Ocean region thinktank forum in a hybrid format in Kunming, showcasing China’s continuing quest for a larger presence and role in the strategically important Indian Ocean.
More About this Development:
The forum was hosted by China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) which according to its website formulates policies and coordinates major foreign aid issues. CIDCA is headed by Luo Zhaohui, the former Vice Foreign Minister and former Ambassador to India.
What Has Been Said: Countries Participation:
According to a press release issued by CIDCA, high-level representatives of 19 countries, including Indonesia, Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, Afghanistan, Iran, Oman, South Africa, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius, Djibouti, Australia and representatives of three international organizations were present at the hybrid forum.
What Has Been Proposed:
At the China-Indian Ocean Region Forum, China has proposed to establish a marine disaster prevention and mitigation cooperation mechanism between China and countries in the Indian Ocean region, the CIDCA press release said. China is ready to provide necessary financial, material, and technical support to countries in need.
India’s Absence: From Its backyard:
India was not invited to this forum which is seen by experts as an attempt to challenge India’s traditional presence in the region amid apprehensions of politicization of the Indian Ocean region. Moreover, the Chinese Foreign Ministry refused to disclose who were the participants from other countries.
India has been a traditional partner and supporter of Indian Ocean Region (IOR) countries, in addition, to act as a first responder during major crises in the littoral countries. It has been regularly engaging with the Indian Ocean littoral countries through such mechanisms as the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and Indian Ocean Navies Symposium (IONS) under the vision of “Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR)” as propounded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a visit to Mauritius in 2015.
Strategic Importance Of Indian Ocean:
China is a dialogue partner of the IORA, along with Russia, the US and several European countries. In IONS too, which brings together 24 countries in the region, China, which is not an Indian Ocean country, is one among several observers. However, China has been relentlessly trying to ramp up political, economic and security inroads in the region despite being geographically far from the Indian Ocean.
With China’s prominent role in global supply chains, the vast resource base of the Indian Ocean, and the passage of strategic sea lines of communication through the IOR, the Indian Ocean littoral has gained prominence in the Chinese policy framework and its expansive Belt and Road Initiative.
Chinese Interest In The Indian Ocean:
China has made substantial investments in ports and infrastructure investments in several countries, including Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Beijing has acquired Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port on a 99-year lease besides building the port at Pakistan’s Gwadar in the Arabian Sea opposite India’s western coast and infrastructure investments in the Maldives.
China has often been accused of engaging in “debt diplomacy” in these countries under its Belt and Road Initiative allegedly in the name of infrastructure development. Since 2008, China has regularly deployed a contingent of naval warships in the Gulf of Aden and established its first foreign military base in Djibouti in 2017.
China’s Recent Push Toward This Region:
China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi made a whirlwind trip to five Indian Ocean littoral countries viz. Comoros, Maldives, and Sri Lanka, Eritrea and Kenya. In his meeting with Sri Lankan counterpart G L Peiris, Wang Yi ‘proposed to establish a forum for the development of Indian Ocean island countries, according to a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement released in Beijing after the minister’s visit. This has highlighted Beijing’s relentless drive for influence over the Indian Ocean region.
Modi Tops List of World’s Most Popular Leaders with 77% Approval Rating
Prime Minister Narendra Modi remains the world’s most popular leader with an approval rating of 77 percent. This was revealed in a Global Leader Approval Ratings released by a US based consulting firm Morning Consult.
More About This:
The Indian PM is followed by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador at 69 per cent and Australian PM Anthony Albanese at 56 per cent, on the second and third spots, respectively. US President Joe Biden and UK’s new PM Rishi Sunak come lower down the list with approval ratings of 41 per cent and 36 per cent, respectively.
While 19 per cent of those surveyed disapproved of PM Modi’s leadership, the figure stood at 52 per cent and 46 per cent for Biden and Sunak, respectively. While higher approval ratings suggest that the people of the country believe that things in their country are going in the right direction, disapprovals suggest a perception that they have gone off on the wrong track.
About The Report:
The latest approval ratings are based on data collected from 16th to 22nd of this month. It is based on a seven-day moving average of adult residents in each country, with sample sizes varying by country. In the earlier rating too, Prime Minister Modi had topped the ranking.
The survey tracks the approval ratings of government leaders and country trajectories in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
According to Morning Consult, the ratings are based on over 20,000 global interviews conducted online daily. The global leader and country trajectory data is based on a seven-day moving average of all adults in a given country, with a margin of error of between 1-4 per cent.
Dharmendra Pradhan Released ‘India: The Mother of Democracy’
Union Education & Skill Development Minister Shri Dharmendra Pradhan released the book ‘India: The Mother of Democracy’ prepared and published by Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) in New Delhi.
About The Book:
The book is an attempt to showcase the democratic ethos ingrained in India since the dawn of civilisation. It is shown in this book that since the dawn of civilization, India has been imbued with democratic ethos.
What The Minister Said:
The Minister said that the roots of democracy can be traced in India from as early as the 4th century. The stone inscriptions of Thanjavur are a living testimonial of the same. Evidences of societal systems that were at place during the Kalinga and Lichchhavi period also speak volumes about the democratic DNA of India.
He highlighted that the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in his address at the 76th United Nations General Assembly, said that India is not just the oldest democracy but also the mother of democracy.
The Minister said that the society that does not take pride in its civilisational prowess cannot think and achieve big. He complimented ICHR and the scholars who have made an attempt to present an evidence-based account of the origins and ideals of Indian democracy for challenging the western narrative.
He expressed his confidence that the book—India: The Mother of Democracy, will encourage healthy discussions on India’s democratic legacy and inspire next generations to cherish our timeless ethos, he added.
About The Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR):
The Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) is a captive body of the Ministry of Education, Government of India established by an Administrative Order. The body has provided financial assistance to historians and scholars through fellowships, grants, and symposia.
India’s 1st Integrated Rocket Facility to be Based in Telangana
Telangana’s IT and Industries Minister K T Rama Rao on said the state will have the country’s first integrated rocket design, manufacturing and testing facility in Hyderabad by Skyroot Aerospace.
The state IT Minister K. Tarakarama Rao has assured the start-up of complete support for establishing the facility to design, manufacture, and test rockets in the state. He participated in a programme organized at T-Hub to celebrate Skyroot Aerospace’s successful launch of the Vikram-S rocket.
About The Skyroot:
The Hyderabad-based startup, incubated at T-Hub, launched the country’s first private rocket. Skyroot Aerospace became the first privately held company in India after the space sector was opened for the private players by the union government in 2020.
Skyroot Aerospace wants to build high-technology, low-cost, reliable launch vehicles. Its co-founders Chandana and Naga Bharath Daka previously worked with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) as rocket scientists for about a handful of years before starting up in 2018.
The Minister expressed pride and happiness that a spacetech company from Hyderabad, broke all the barriers. He said only a few companies across the world aced rocket science and achieved success in the first go.
India & Space Economy:
The global space economy is valued at just over $450 billion, out of which India’s share is roughly about 2 per cent. The key to increasing India’s contribution to the global space output lies with the private sector.
The government of India opened the space sector to private enterprises and made room for sharing ISRO know-how and infrastructure with private players.
In 2021, Skyroot formally signed up with ISRO. By entering into an agreement with the Department of Space on 2 February, it secured access to ISRO’s facilities and technical expertise as they went about developing their launch vehicles. Over a year later, in June 2022, the Hyderabad-based startup signed an agreement (MoU) with the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe), which enabled the launch of its rockets from the ISRO spaceport.
EGramSwaraj and Ministry of Panchayati Raj Wins Gold Award Under the National Awards for e-Governance
e-Panchayat Mission Mode Project (eGramSwaraj and AuditOnline) of Ministry of Panchayati Raj has won the GOLD AWARD under the category “Excellence in Government Process Re-engineering for Digital Transformation” of the National Awards for e-Governance.
Why this Award:
The award is a recognition of the excellent and exemplary work done by Team eGovernance and supported by Team NIC-MoPR. Various stakeholders, especially Panchayati Raj Institutions which adopted e-Panchayat applications very fast, have helped in making the e-Panchayat Mission Mode Project successful by strengthening the Panchayati Raj System and making it effective, transparent and efficient.
To strengthen e-Governance in Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) across the country, Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) has launched eGramSwaraj, a user friendly web-based portal. eGramSwaraj aims to bring in better transparency in the decentralised planning, progress reporting and work-based accounting.
National Awards for e-Governance:
To recognize and promote excellence in implementation of e-Governance initiatives, Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DAR&PG), Government of India presents National Awards every year during National conference on e-Governance.
Earlier awards were given in nine categories. The award scheme has been revised and new categories for National Awards are:
Excellence in Government Process Re-engineering for Digital Transformation.
Excellence in providing Citizen-centric Delivery.
Excellence in District level Initiative in e-Governance (i) North-East States + Hilly States (ii) UTs (including Delhi) (iii) Other States.
Outstanding research on Citizen Centric Services by Academic/Research Institutions.
Innovative Use of ICT in e-Governance solutions by Startups [Startup as defined by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Government of India]
Excellence in Adopting Emerging Technologies.