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January 30, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. NSA meets senior Taliban officials during Kabul visit
• National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf on January 29, 2022 held talks with senior Taliban officials in Kabul on bilateral ties.
• Dr Yusuf, who was leading an inter-ministerial delegation, kicked off the trip with a meeting with Taliban regime`s acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttagi.
• He is the second ministerial level government functionary to have visited Kabul since the Taliban took over Afghanistan in August last year, as earlier Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had visited the country in October
2. Repurposing farm policies to bring multiple benefits: WB
• A new World Bank report says that repurposing current agricultural public policies could deliver multiple benefits for people, the planet and the economy. It further adds that climate change is not a distant threat and is already adversely affecting agriculture.
• The report titled `Repurposing Agricultural Policies and Support: Options to Transform Agriculture and Food Systems for Better Health of People, Economies and Health`, issued the other day, revealed that investing in climate-smart innovations that both increase agricultural productivity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
• These could reduce overall emissions from agriculture by more than 40 per cent, restore 105 million hectares of agricultural land to natural habitats, and reduce the cost of healthy foods, thereby also contributing to better nutritional outcomes
3. Erdogan sacks statistics chief after record inflation
• Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sacked the head of the state statistics agency, according to a decree published on January 29, 2022, after releasing data showing last year`s infiation rate hit a 19-year high of 36.1 per cent.
• Sait Erdal Dincer was just the latest in a series of economic dismissals by Erdogan, who has sacked three central bank governors since July 2019.
• Erdogan has railed against high interest rates, which he believes cause inflation.
• The 2021 inflation figure released by Dincer angered both the pro-government and opposition camps
4. India plans over $40bn for food, fertiliser subsidy
• India is likely to set aside about 3 trillion Indian rupees ($40 billion) on food and fertiliser subsidies in its budget next week for 2022-23, officials said, roughly the same amount the government budgeted for the fiscal year ending in March.
• India`s subsidy bills have spiralled due to pandemic relief measures for the poor and a sharp rise in global prices of chemicals. New Delhi has already raised fertiliser subsidies twice in this fiscal year, and sources said that its pay-outs for 2021/22 could be its highest yet.
• In the budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is due to present on Tuesday, the government will allocate 1.1 trillion rupees to fertiliser subsidies, and 2 trillion rupees to food subsidies, three officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity
5. Ukraine calls on West to be `firm` in Russia talks
• Kiev on January 29, 2022 urged the West to remain `vigilant and firm` in its talks with Russia, as US President Joe Biden announced a small troop deployment to eastern Europe amid fears Moscow could invade Ukraine.
• Washington`s top defence officials warned on Friday the Kremlin had massed enough troops and hardware at the border to threaten the whole of Ukraine but called for further diplomatic efforts to avert a `horrific` conflict.
• Western leaders are scrambling to defuse the crisis by reaching out to Russian President Vladimir Putin, while also trying to keep the pressure up by vowing unprecedented sanctions should he send in his forces
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