[Newsbits] 1.03.2024: Tawi Festival 2024, 13th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC13) & More

newsbits mindmap notes
/ Iran, Space
Iran Launches Pars-I Remote Sensing Satellite mind map
Recent News
Pars-I Remote Sensing Satellite
Launched by Russia
On 29 February 2024
From Vostochny space base
By Soyuz rocket
Orbits at 500 km
Equipped with three cameras
Weighs 134 kg
Other satellites
Launched on 20 January 2024
By Qaim 100 satellite
Remote sensing satellite
Mehda, Kayhan 2, Hatef 1
Launched on 28 January 2024
By Simorgh rocket
Placed in 450 km orbit
First successful multi-satellite launch
Pars 2 and Pars 3
Construction underway
By Electronic Industries Organization and Space Research Institute
Pars 2 in construction phase
Pars 3 in preliminary design phase
Previous launches
Launched on 27 September 2023
By Qassed launcher
To 450 km orbit
Weighs 24 kg
Resolution between 6 to 4.8 meters
Pars-I launched on 29 February 2024
To scan Iran's topography
Enhance remote sensing capabilities
Remote sensing satellite
Equipped with three cameras
Weighs 134 kg
Pars 2 and Pars 3 satellites
Advanced imaging and remote sensing capabilities
Part of Iran's 10-year space vision plan
Launched from Vostochny space base, Russia
Orbits at 500 km altitude
Iranian Space Agency
Electronic Industries Organization
Space Research Institute
Launched by Russian Soyuz rocket
Enhances Iran's remote sensing capabilities
Supports topographical scanning
Advances Iran's civilian space program
International sanctions
Previous launch failures
Way Forward
Continued development of remote sensing satellites
Plans for Pars 2 and Pars 3
Launch of additional satellites into LEOs

Iran has successfully launched the Pars-I Remote Sensing Satellite into a 500 km orbit using a Russian Soyuz rocket from the Vostochny space base. This satellite, equipped with three cameras, is part of Iran’s efforts to enhance its remote sensing capabilities and scan the country’s topography. In addition to Pars-I, Iran has been advancing its space program with the construction of Pars 2 and Pars 3 satellites, aiming to launch several satellites into low Earth orbits (LEOs) in the coming months. Despite facing international sanctions and previous launch failures, Iran’s space endeavors, including the successful launch of other satellites like Soraya, Mehda, Kayhan 2, and Hatef 1, signify its commitment to developing a robust civilian space program​​​​.

NSO Revises India's GDP Growth Estimates mind map
Recent News
NSO's First Advance Estimates for FY 2023-24
Real GDP growth estimated at 7.3%
Compared to 7.2% in 2022-23
Nominal GDP growth at 8.9%
Down from 16.1% in 2022-23
Economic sectors performance
Construction sector growth at 10.7%
Agriculture and Allied sector growth at 1.8%
Other sectors with over 6% growth
Posted on 05 Jan 2024
Reflect changes in economic performance and projections
Real GDP at Constant Prices
FY 2023-24: ₹171.79 lakh crore
FY 2022-23: ₹160.06 lakh crore
Nominal GDP at Current Prices
FY 2023-24: ₹296.58 lakh crore
FY 2022-23: ₹272.41 lakh crore
Sector-wise growth
Manufacturing sector growth at 6.5%
Mining sector growth at 8.1%
Financial services, real estate, professional services at 8.9%
National Statistical Office (NSO)
Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI)
Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
Adjusted growth forecast to 7% from 6.5%
Indicator-based compilation using benchmark-indicator method
Inputs from various Ministries/Departments/Private Agencies
Estimates extrapolated using relevant performance indicators
Positions India at forefront of major global economies
Reflects strong economic growth despite global uncertainties
Supports government's infrastructure and manufacturing initiatives
Agriculture sector's modest growth at 1.8%
Way Forward
Future revisions based on improved data coverage and actual tax collections

The National Statistical Office (NSO) has revised India’s GDP growth estimates for the fiscal year 2023-24, projecting a real GDP growth of 7.3% compared to 7.2% in 2022-23. This update showcases India’s economic resilience and a robust performance across several sectors, with the construction sector expected to see a notable growth of 10.7%. Despite global economic challenges, India continues to exhibit strong growth dynamics, underpinned by increased state spending and manufacturing activities. However, the agriculture and allied sector is projected to grow at a modest rate of 1.8%. These projections are based on the First Advance Estimates released by the NSO, which utilizes a comprehensive methodology incorporating inputs from various sectors and extrapolating estimates using relevant indicators​​​​​​​​​​.

India’s economic outlook remains positive, with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) also adjusting its growth forecast to 7% from an earlier estimate of 6.5%, indicating favorable economic conditions and positive trends across sectors​​. The NSO’s advance estimates are crucial for understanding the direction of India’s economy and will be refined further as more data becomes available, ensuring an accurate reflection of the country’s economic health.

/ Energy
India Unveils Coal Logistics Plan and Policy mind map
Recent News
India unveils Coal Logistics Plan and Policy
Aiming for efficient, sustainable logistics for coal movement
Action Plan for FY 2023-24 released
To achieve Aatmanirbhar Bharat
Enhance coal production, efficiency, sustainability
New technologies adoption
Environmental protection
Resource conservation
Coal Ministry Action Plan 2023-24 targets
1012 Million Tonne Coal Production
Coking Coal Strategy
Reduce imports
Quality of Coal
Supply of quality coal
Private Investment
CAPEX and Asset Monetization
Rs 21030 Crores target for FY 2023-24
Commercial Mining
Allocating 25 new mines for commercial mining
Infrastructure Projects
PM Gatishakti National Master Plan
Coal Evacuation
FMC & Railway Lines
Safety in Mines
Commitment to safety standards
Scientific closure of Mines
Restore ecological balance
Technology Push to Coal
Technology roadmap
Coal to Chemical initiatives
Diversification of Coal India Limited (CIL)
Sustainability in Coal Sector
Promoting sustainable development model
Ministry of Coal
Coal India Limited (CIL)
NLC India Limited (NLCIL)
Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL)
Adopting Coal Logistics Policy/Plan
For effective, environmental friendly transport
Outsourcing of Mines
To increase coal production and efficiency
PM Gatishakti National Master Plan
For critical coal evacuation projects
Commercial Mining agreements
For 23 coal mines
Enhanced coal availability
Reduced imports
Improved coal quality
Increased private investment
Infrastructure development
Safety in mines
Adoption of new technologies
Sustainability focus
Employment generation
Implementation challenges
Adapting to new technologies
Environmental concerns
Way Forward
Continued focus on sustainability
Environmental protection
Resource conservation
Further diversification of CIL
Adoption and adaptation to new technologies

The Coal Logistics Plan and Policy unveiled by India for FY 2023-24 is a comprehensive strategy aiming to enhance coal production, efficiency, and sustainability. It encompasses a wide range of initiatives including the adoption of new technologies, environmental protection, and resource conservation. The plan targets a significant increase in coal production with an emphasis on reducing imports through a coking coal strategy, improving coal quality, and promoting private investment in the sector. Infrastructure development, safety in mines, technological advancements, and sustainability are key focus areas. The initiative is expected to have a positive impact on India’s coal sector’s growth trajectory, ensuring a sustainable future while addressing the challenges of implementation and environmental concerns​​​​​​.

13th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC13) mind map
Recent News
Hosted by United Arab Emirates
Chaired by H.E. Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi
Review of the multilateral trading system
Action on future work of WTO
Side events on Digital Trade for Africa, Women and Trade, etc.
26-29 February 2024
To review and decide on the future work of the WTO
Key agendas
WTO reform
Trade and health
Climate change
Side discussions
Joint Initiative on e-commerce
Digital trade facilitation
Open digital environment
Business and consumer trust
Negotiations on e-payments, development provisions, customs duties
Moratorium on e-commerce customs duties
Developing countries vs. developed countries
Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC)
H.E. Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Chairperson
WTO members
International Trade Centre (ITC)
World Bank, FIFA, and other organizations for side events
Opening session
Ministerial conversations
Working and convergence-building sessions
Heads of Delegation meeting
Strengthening global trade rules
Addressing key global trade issues
Divergent views on e-commerce moratorium
Complexities of WTO reform
Way Forward
Continuation of discussions
Negotiations on contentious issues
Potential compromise on e-commerce moratorium

The 13th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC13), scheduled for 26-29 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, is a pivotal event aimed at reviewing the functioning of the multilateral trading system and deciding on the future work of the World Trade Organization (WTO). This conference brings together ministers from across the world to discuss critical global trade issues, including WTO reform, agriculture, trade and health, climate change, and e-commerce. A notable focus is on the e-commerce customs duties moratorium, a topic that has polarized developing and developed countries. While developing countries argue that the moratorium deprives them of much-needed revenue, developed countries and various business organizations support its continuation, citing studies that suggest imposing customs duties would be impractical and counterproductive. The MC13 also features significant side discussions, particularly on the Joint Initiative on e-commerce, aiming to address digital trade facilitation, the open digital environment, and business and consumer trust, among other areas. The conference is a critical platform for dialogue and decision-making on how to strengthen and adapt the global trading system to contemporary challenges​​​​​​​​​​.

Alliance for Global Good – Gender Equity and Equality mind map
Recent News
Launch at World Economic Forum
Annual Meeting Davos
15-19 January 2024
Response to G20 Summit 2023 Leaders' Declaration
Commitment to women-led development
Global best practices
Knowledge sharing
Investments in women's health, education, enterprise
Indian Context
Philosophy of "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam"
"Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Prayas"
Women-led Development
Mastercard, Uber, Tata, TVS, Bayer, Godrej
Serum Institute of India, IMD Lausanne
Over 10,000 partners from industry
Supported By
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Housed and anchored by the CII Centre for Women Leadership
WEF as 'Network Partner'
Invest India as 'Institutional Partner'
Davos, Switzerland
Led by Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani
Union Minister of Women & Child Development
Mastercard, Uber, Tata, other industry leaders
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
World Economic Forum, Invest India
Aligning with WEF theme 'Rebuilding Trust'
Promoting global cooperation
Enhances global gender equity and equality
Aims to achieve multiple SDGs
Empowers women globally
Implementation across diverse global contexts
Way Forward
Strengthening international partnerships
Continuous monitoring and adaptation of strategies

The Alliance for Global Good – Gender Equity and Equality, launched at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos in January 2024, signifies a major international effort led by India to promote gender equity and equality globally. This initiative, inspired by India’s commitment to women-led development and the G20 Summit 2023 Leaders’ Declaration, seeks to amalgamate global best practices, knowledge sharing, and investments in critical areas such as women’s health, education, and enterprise. With the support of industry giants like Mastercard, Uber, Tata, and others, as well as backing from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the alliance is poised to make significant strides towards achieving various Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The alliance emphasizes India’s guiding philosophy of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (One Earth, One Family, One Future) and aims to foster global cooperation and trust​​​​​​​​.

/ Festivals & Fairs
Tawi Festival 2024 mind map
Recent News
4-day event
Beginning March 1, 2024
March 1, 2024
Showcase Jammu's culture, heritage
Revive rich traditions
Connect generations through art and dialogue
Celebration of heritage and artistry
Focus on
Local talent
Youth engagement
Creative expression
Expert discussions
Schedule includes
Celebrating rivers
Exploring heritage
Amar Mahal Museum Complex, Jammu
Dr. Jyotsna Singh
Director of Amar Mahal Museum and Library
Dr. Karan Singh
Initiated the vision in 1975
Local artists
Art lovers
Artistic expression stage
Engagements with experts
Promotes Jammu's rich, diverse art forms and cultural heritage
Engages youth in creative activities
Way Forward
Encourage continued participation and support for cultural events

The Tawi Festival 2024 is designed as a grand celebration of Jammu’s rich cultural heritage and artistry, set to begin on March 1, 2024. This 4-day event aims to showcase the region’s diverse art forms and traditions, bridging generations through art and dialogue. It highlights the importance of local talent, youth engagement, and creative expression, with a focus on celebrating rivers and exploring the multifaceted aspects of heritage. Organized at the Amar Mahal Museum Complex in Jammu, the festival is a tribute to the vision initiated by Dr. Karan Singh in 1975, with Dr. Jyotsna Singh, the Director of Amar Mahal Museum and Library, playing a pivotal role in its realization. The festival emphasizes the importance of engaging with experts, offering a platform for artistic expression, and fostering discussions that contribute to the preservation and evolution of cultural narratives in the Jammu region​​​​​​.

Peru Declares Health Emergency after Dengue Surge mind map
Recent News
February 27, 2024
Rapidly rising dengue cases
Health emergency declared
Covers 20 of 25 regions
More than 31,000 cases in first eight weeks of 2024
32 deaths reported
Across much of Peru
Notably in the north
Health Minister Cesar Vasquez
Aedes aegypti mosquito
Mosquito-borne illness
Symptoms include fever, severe headaches, fatigue
El Nino weather pattern
High temperatures and heavy rains
Ideal conditions for mosquito breeding
Allows for faster transfer of funds to affected regions
Facilitates deployment of doctors and nurses
Hospitals overwhelmed
Struggle to treat patients
Expected increase in infections
Way Forward
Peak expected in April or May
Focus on coastal areas vulnerable to El Nino

The recent surge in dengue fever cases in Peru has led to the declaration of a health emergency across much of the country, particularly affecting 20 of its 25 regions, as of February 27, 2024. This move comes in response to over 31,000 reported cases and 32 deaths in the early months of 2024. Health Minister Cesar Vasquez highlighted the role of the El Niño weather pattern in creating favorable conditions for the Aedes aegypti mosquito to breed, thereby exacerbating the spread of this mosquito-borne illness. Symptoms of dengue include fever, severe headaches, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and body aches. The health emergency declaration facilitates the rapid allocation of resources and the deployment of medical personnel to combat the outbreak, which is especially severe in the northern parts of Peru, including areas like Piura and La Libertad, where the healthcare system is currently overwhelmed​​​​​​​​.

/ Species
Leopard in India mind map
Recent News
Government of India and non-profit organisations release report
January 30, 2024
To assess the snow leopard population in India
Provide crucial insights for conservation efforts
First-ever comprehensive scientific exercise
Snow Leopard Population Assessment in India (SPAI) Program
Estimated snow leopard population
718 individuals
Legal protection
Only 34% of habitat legally protected
Need for Snow Leopard Cell
At Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun
Long-term population monitoring
Organised studies
Consistent field surveys
Periodic population estimation
Every fourth year
Revised assessment
From earlier estimate of 400-700
Snow leopard habitat
120,000 sq km in India
States and UTs covered
Jammu and Kashmir
Himachal Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh
Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
Wildlife Institute of India (WII)
National coordinator for SPAI
Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysuru
World Wildlife Fund for Nature-India
Camera traps installed
1,971 locations
Captured 241 unique individuals
70% of potential habitats
Provides crucial data for conservation
Highlights need for dedicated efforts in unprotected areas
Majority of habitat remains unprotected
Requires dedicated monitoring and conservation efforts
Way Forward
Establish dedicated Snow Leopard Cell
Adopt periodic population estimation approach
Formulate effective conservation strategies

The report on the status of snow leopards in India, released on January 30, 2024, marked a significant scientific achievement as it presented the first-ever comprehensive assessment of the snow leopard population in the country. With an estimated count of 718 snow leopards, the study underscored the critical need for dedicated conservation efforts, given that only a third of their habitat is under legal protection. Spearheaded by the Wildlife Institute of India, with the support of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, the Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysuru, and the World Wildlife Fund for Nature-India, this initiative highlights the importance of establishing a dedicated Snow Leopard Cell for long-term monitoring and conservation strategies. The assessment, which utilized camera traps across various states and union territories, not only provides crucial data for preserving these vulnerable species but also calls for periodic population estimation to address threats effectively and ensure their survival​​​​.

India’s First Indigenous Hydrogen Fuel Cell Ferry mind map
Recent News
Launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi
28 February 2024
Kochi, Kerala
Virtual mode from Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu
To showcase green hydrogen as a maritime fuel
Align with India’s net zero emissions goal by 2070
Promote sustainable and green maritime transport
Designed, developed, and constructed by Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL)
Part of the Harit Nauka initiative
Zero emission
Zero noise
Construction Details
Hull made from aluminium alloy
Accommodation area with high-quality FRP material
Includes comprehensive vessel automation and power management systems developed indigenously
Project cost supported 75% by Union Ministry of Port, Shipping, and Waterways
Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL)
India’s premier shipbuilding and maintenance facility
Key Personalities
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Madhu S Nair, Chairman and MD of CSL
Hibi Eden, Lok Sabha Member
Sreejith Narayanan, Director-Operations, CSL
Jose V J, Director-Finance, CSL
Bijoy Bhaskar, Director-Technical, CSL
Marinisation of the fuel cell system
Integration of the system in the ferry
System tested at KPIT’s factory before installation
Reduction in global warming impact
Advances India’s green maritime capabilities
Positions India for global competitiveness in green technology
High initial development and construction costs
Need for widespread hydrogen fuel infrastructure
Way Forward
Expansion of hydrogen fuel cell technology in marine sector
Government and private sector collaboration for infrastructure development

The launch of India’s first indigenously developed hydrogen fuel cell ferry marks a significant step towards sustainable and green maritime transport. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated this zero-emission and zero-noise vessel on 28 February 2024, in Kochi, Kerala, through a virtual ceremony from Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu. This project, designed, developed, and constructed by Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) under the Harit Nauka initiative, showcases the potential of green hydrogen as a maritime fuel, aligning with India’s commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2070.

The ferry, which has its hull made from aluminium alloy and an accommodation area constructed with high-quality FRP material similar to metro train coaches, represents a pioneering initiative in India’s maritime sector. It’s equipped with a comprehensive vessel automation and power management system developed indigenously. The project, with 75% of its cost supported by the Union Ministry of Port, Shipping, and Waterways, is a testament to India’s growing capabilities in green technology and its ambition to lead in the global transition towards sustainable energy sources.

This development not only contributes to the reduction of global warming impacts but also positions India at the forefront of adopting green hydrogen technology in the maritime sector, offering a competitive advantage on the global stage. However, challenges such as high initial costs and the need for a widespread hydrogen fuel infrastructure need to be addressed. Moving forward, the expansion of hydrogen fuel cell technology in marine applications and collaboration between the government and the private sector for infrastructure development will be crucial for realizing the full potential of this initiative

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