Nov. 28, 2022

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 28, 2022

The Global Snow Leopard Ecosystem Protection Program (GSLEP)
Indian scientists recently received international award on behalf of snow leopard conservation alliance.

About:

  • Indian snow leopard experts received the Madrid-based BBVA Foundation’s Worldwide Biodiversity Conservation Award on behalf of a 12-nation intergovernmental alliance -The Global Snow Leopard Ecosystem Protection Program (GSLEP).

What is The Global Snow Leopard Ecosystem Protection Program (GSLEP)?

  • The GSLEP is a first-of-its-kind intergovernmental alliance for the conservation of the snow leopard and its unique ecosystem.
  • It is led by the environment ministers of 12 countries in Asia that form the home range of the snow leopard. These are Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The total range spans two million square kilometres.
  • The GSLEP Program’s secretariat is based in Bishkek, and is hosted by the Ministry of Natural Resources, Ecology and Technical Supervision of the Kyrgyz Republic.
  • GSLEP was created in 2013 when officials, politicians and conservationists arrived at a common conservation strategy enshrined in the Bishkek Declaration (2013) to cooperate in the conservation of this species and its habitat.
Source : Down To Earth
Environment & Ecology

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 28, 2022

Fujiwhara Effect
Meteorologists were mesmerized by Typhoon Hinnamnor as it provided a textbook example of a phenomenon known as the Fujiwhara Effect.

About:

What is Fujiwhara Effect?

  • The Fujiwhara Effect is any interaction between tropical storms formed around the same time in the same ocean region with their centres or eyes at a distance of less than 1,400 km, with intensity that could vary between a depression (wind speed under 63 km per hour) and a super typhoon (wind speed over 209 km per hour).
  • The interaction could lead to changes in the track and intensity of either or both storms systems. In rare cases, the two systems could merge, especially when they are of similar size and intensity, to form a bigger storm.
  • There are five different ways in which Fujiwhara Effect can take place.
    • The first is elastic interaction in which only the direction of motion of the storms changes and is the most common case. These are also the cases that are difficult to assess and need closer examination.
    • The second is partial straining out in which a part of the smaller storm is lost to the atmosphere.
    • The third is complete straining out in which the smaller storm is completely lost to the atmosphere. The straining out does not happen for storms of equal strengths.
    • The fourth type is partial merger in which the smaller storm merges into the bigger one.
    • Fifth is complete merger which takes places between two storms of similar strength.
  • Fujiwhara effect was identified by Sakuhei Fujiwhara, a Japanese meteorologist whose first paper recognising the Fujiwhara cases was published in 1921.
Source : Down To Earth
Environment & Ecology

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 28, 2022

Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited
Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd. (IREDA) recently celebrated Constitution Day.

About:

  • IREDA is a Mini Ratna (Category – I) Government of India Enterprise under the administrative control of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
  • It is engaged in promoting, developing and extending financial assistance for setting up projects relating to new and renewable sources of energy.
  • IREDA has been notified as a “Public Financial Institution” under the Companies Act, 1956 and registered as Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) with Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  • IREDA’s Motto is “Energy for Ever.”

The main objectives of IREDA are :

  • To give financial support to specific projects and schemes for generating electricity and / or energy through new and renewable sources and conserving energy through energy efficiency.
  • To maintain its position as a leading organisation to provide efficient and effective financing in renewable energy and energy efficiency / conservation projects.
  • To increase IREDA`s share in the renewable energy sector by way of innovative financing.
  • Improvement in the efficiency of services provided to customers through continual improvement of systems, processes and resources.
  • To strive to be competitive institution through customer satisfaction.
Source : PIB
Environment & Ecology

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 28, 2022

Vizhinjam International Seaport
Recently, fishermen protesting against Adani Group’s Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited attacked a local police station.

About:

  • The allegation is that the big-ticket project is being implemented without sufficiently factoring in ecological safeguards and adequately addressing the concerns of the coastal community.
  • The Government of Kerala as part of its various programs for development of the state, has identified to develop Vizhinjam International deep water Multipurpose Seaport.
  • It has formed a separate company, viz. Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited (VISL) as a special purpose Government company (fully owned by Government of Kerala) that would act as implementing agency for development of the greenfield port at Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram district, Kerala.

Advantages of Vizhinjam are:

  • Availability of 20m contour within one nautical mile from the coast.
  • Minimal littoral drift along the coast, hardly any maintenance dredging required.
  • Links to national/regional road, rail network
  • Flexibility in design and expansion being a Greenfield project
  • Proximity to International shipping route

Significance of the project

  • Around 95 per cent of India’s foreign trade is conducted through the sea route. In value terms, this works out to 70 per cent of the foreign trade.
  • Nearly 30 percent of the freight movement takes place through the international shipping route South of the Indian peninsula, which passes 10 nautical miles off Vizhinjam.
  • Currently, India does not have a deep-water container transhipment terminal and depends on Colombo, Singapore and Salalah ports.
  • This results in significant loss of foreign currency and revenue, estimated to be about Rs2,500 crore a year. With the completion of the Vizhinjam port, this serious lacuna will be overcome.
Source : Indian Express
Economy

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 28, 2022

Small Modular Reactors
Union Minister of State of the Ministry of Science & Technology recently said, India is taking steps for development of Small Modular Reactors (SMR), with up to 300 MW capacity to fulfill its commitment to Clean Energy transition.

About:

What are Small Modular Reactors (SMRs)?

  • SMRs are advanced nuclear reactors that have a power capacity of up to 300 MW(e) per unit, which is about one-third of the generating capacity of traditional nuclear power reactors. SMRs, which can produce a large amount of low-carbon electricity, are:
    • Small – physically a fraction of the size of a conventional nuclear power reactor.
    • Modular – making it possible for systems and components to be factory-assembled and transported as a unit to a location for installation.
    • Reactors – harnessing nuclear fission to generate heat to produce energy.

Advantages of SMRs

  • SMR, with up to 300 MW capacity by nature are flexible in design and require smaller footprint. Given their smaller footprint, SMRs can be sited on locations not suitable for larger nuclear power plants.
  • Being mobile and agile technology, SMR can be factory-built unlike the conventional nuclear reactors that are built on–site. Thus, SMRs offers significant savings in cost and construction time.
  • SMR is a promising technology in industrial de-carbonization especially where there is a requirement of reliable and continuous supply of power. It is said that SMR is simpler and safer as compared to large nuclear plants.
Source : PIB
Science & Tech

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 28, 2022

Open Offer
Recently, Adani Group launched its open offer to acquire an additional 26 per cent stake in NDTV. The offer will remain open until December 5, 2022.

About:

  • According to the SEBI (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) Rules, an open offer is an offer made by the acquirer to the shareholders of the target company inviting them to tender their shares in the target company at a particular price.
  • The primary purpose of an open offer is to provide an exit option to the shareholders of the target company on account of the change in control or substantial acquisition of shares, occurring in the target company.

When is an open offer triggered?

  • An open offer is triggered if an acquirer holds more than 25 per cent of the public shareholding in the company.
  • Prior to 2011, when the new takeover norms kicked in, an open offer got triggered if an acquirer owned more than 15 per cent of the public shareholding in a company.
Source : Indian Express
Economy

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 28, 2022

Imphal’s Ima Market
External Affairs minister S Jaishankar recently tweeted pictures of his visit to Manipur’s Ima market, calling it a “great example of nari shakti (women’s power) powering economic growth”.

About:

  • Ima Keithel, or Mothers’ Market, is an all-women market, said to be the largest such shopping complex in Asia.
  • It is a unique all women’s market, having 3,000 “Imas” or mothers who run the stalls, it is split [into] two sections on either side of road.
  • Vegetables, fruits, fish and household groceries are sold on one side and exquisite handlooms and household tools on the other. Not far away is a street where beautiful wicker works and basketry are sold.
  • Male vendors and shopkeepers are barred here.
  • In 2018, the state government announced that legal action would be taken under the Manipur Municipalities Act, 2004 if any male vendor was found selling goods at the market.

History:

  • The Ima Market is centuries-old, and has its origins in Lallup Kaba, an ancient bonded labour system.
  • Under the system, Meitei men had to compulsorily serve some time working in the military and on other civil projects, keeping them away from home.
  • The women, thus, were left to manage on their own, and they developed a market system which is today the Ima Keithel.
  • While the system is centuries-old, it had continued till the time of the British.
  • Policies of the British government had interfered with the functioning of the Ima market too, but were met with stiff resistance from the women.
Source : Indian Express
Social – Women

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 28, 2022

Dhamma Dipa International Buddhist University (DDIBU)
Shakya Gasan, chief monk of the World Buddhist Pope Association of South Korea, will lay the foundation stone for the International Buddhist University at Manu Bankul in Sabroom of South Tripura district on November 29.

About:

  • The Dhamma Dipa International Buddhist University (DDIBU) is expected to become the first Buddhist-run university in India to offer Buddhist education along with courses in other disciplines of modern education as well.
  • This university will set a precedent in the history of Indian-Buddhism in promoting and reviving Buddhist culture in India, the birthplace of Buddhism.
  • It will be the first Buddhist University in India to be headed by Buddhist monastics and run and monitored by Buddhists.
  • The word, Dhammadipa, describes both a core principle and a guiding force, which seeks the light of Dharma, its international scope and measure.
  • The University contributes to the highest level of knowledge and education.
  • DD IBU hopes to better engage the contemporary world through the insight and depth of Buddhist words.
  • At the same time, it is keen to prepare students and youth with knowledge and skills, so that they can live healthy, peaceful and contented lives, able to lead the way of life.
  • Students from 31 countries will get a chance to study as well as carry out research on Buddhist literature, culture and tradition in the proposed varsity.
Source : Indian Express
Art and Culture

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 28, 2022

Bluebugging
Cybersecurity experts recently noted that apps that let users connect smartphones or laptops to wireless earplugs can record conversations, and are vulnerable to hacks.

About:

  • It is a form of hacking that lets attackers access a device through its discoverable Bluetooth connection.
  • Once a device or phone is bluebugged, a hacker can listen to the calls, read and send messages and steal and modify contacts.
  • It started out as a threat for laptops with Bluetooth capability.
  • Later hackers used the technique to target mobile phones and other devices.

Process:

  • Bluebugging attacks work by exploiting Bluetooth-enabled devices.
  • The device’s Bluetooth must be in discoverable mode, which is the default setting on most devices.
  • The hacker then tries to pair with the device via Bluetooth.
  • Once a connection is established, hackers can use brute force attacks to bypass authentication.
  • They can install malware in the compromised device to gain unauthorised access to it.
  • Bluebugging can happen whenever a Bluetooth enabled device is within a 10-metre radius of the hacker.
  • However, according to a blog by VPN service provider NordVPN, hackers can use booster antennas to widen the attack range.

Which devices are most susceptible to such attacks?

  • Any Bluetooth-enabled device can be bluebugged.
  • Wireless earbuds are susceptible to such hacks.
  • Apps that enable users to connect to their TWS (True Wireless Stereo) devices or earbuds can record conversations.
  • The apps of these TWS devices can record conversations.
  • Once hacked, the attacker can make and listen to calls, read and send messages, and modify or steal your contacts.
Source : The Hindu
Internal Security – Cyber Security

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 28, 2022

Indian Olympic Association
PT Usha is set to become the first woman President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). She will also become the first Olympian and first international medallist to head the IOA in its 95-year-old history.

About:

  • The Indian Olympic Association is the governing body for the Olympic Movement and the Commonwealth Games in India.
  • As an affiliated member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), the IOA administers various aspects of sports governance and athletes’ welfare in the country.
  • In this regard, the IOA oversees the representation of athletes or teams participating in the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and other international multi-sport competitions of IOC, CGF, OCA and ANOC.
  • The Indian Olympic Association is recognised by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

History:

  • The IOA was established in the year 1927 with Sir Dorabji Tata and Dr. A.G. Noehren as the Founding President and Secretary General respectively. It is registered as a Non-Profit Organisation under the Societies Registration Act of 1860.

Governance:

  • The Indian Olympic Association is currently governed by a 32-member Executive Council, headed by President.
  • The election for the Executive Council is held once in every 4 years.
Source : All India Radio
Sports

Nov. 27, 2022

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 27, 2022

Gram-negative bacteria
Recently The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has called upon doctors to avoid using antibiotics for conditions such as low-grade fever and viral bronchitis among others.

About:

  • Recently, a multi-centre survey carried out by the ICMR to spot the trend in antibiotic resistance across the country showed Acinetobacter baumannii, a gram-negative bacteria known to cause infection in the blood, urinary tract and lungs among others, was resistant to high-end antibiotics.
    • Antimicrobial Resistance: It occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines, making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread.
  • The survey found 5% samples of Acinetobacter baumannii tested in 2021 were resistant to carbapenems, a high-end antibiotic.

What is Gram-negative bacteria?

  • Gram-negative bacteria are classified by the color they turn after a chemical process called Gram staining is used on them.
    • Gram-negative bacteria stain red when this process is used.
    • Gram-positive bacteria stain blue.
  • Gram-negative bacteria are enclosed in a protective capsule. This capsule helps prevent white blood cells (which fight infection) from ingesting the bacteria. Under the capsule, gram-negative bacteria have an outer membrane that protects them against certain antibiotics, such as penicillin.
  • When disrupted, this membrane releases toxic substances called endotoxins. Endotoxins contribute to the severity of symptoms during infections with gram-negative bacteria.
  • Gram-negative bacteria cause infections including pneumonia, bloodstream infections, wound or surgical site infections, and meningitis in healthcare settings.
Source : Times of India
Science & Tech

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 27, 2022

Central Depositories Services India Ltd
Central Depository Services (India) Ltd or CDSL recently detected a cyber attack on a few of its internal machines.

About

What is CDSL?

  • It is a government-registered share depository, alongside its other state-owned counterpart National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL).
  • Share depositories hold shares in an electronic or dematerialised form and are an enabler for securities transactions, playing a somewhat similar role to what banks play in handling cash and fixed deposits.
  • CDSL was founded in 1999. It is a Market Infrastructure Institution or MII that is deemed as a crucial part of the capital market structure, providing services to all market participants, including exchanges, clearing corporations, depository participants, issuers and investors.

 

Source : Indian Express
Economy

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 27, 2022

Ikshak
Recently, Indian Navy launched ‘Ikshak’, the third of the four survey vessels (Large) project at Kattupalli in Tamil Nadu

About

  • The ship, named 'Ikshak' which means 'Guide', is being built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) and Larson and Toubro (L&T).
  • The ship's name honours the role that Survey ships have played in ensuring the safety of mariners when at sea.
  • The first of class ship 'Sandhayak' was launched on December 5, 2021 at GRSE, Kolkata. SVL ships will replace the existing Sandhayak Class survey ships with new generation hydrographic equipment to collect oceanographic data.

About the ship

  • The Survey Vessel (Large) ships are 110 m long, and 16 m wide with a deep displacement of 3400 tons and a complement of 231 personnel.
  • The ship's propulsion system consists of two main engines with twin shafts, each capable of a maximum speed of 18 knots and a cruise speed of 14 knots.
Source : PIB
Defence & Security

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 27, 2022

AUSTRA HIND 22
The bilateral training exercise “AUSTRA HIND 22” between contingents of the Indian Army and the Australian Army is scheduled to take place at Mahajan Field Firing Ranges (Rajasthan).

About:

  • Aim of the exercise is to build positive military relations, imbibe each other’s best practices and promote the ability to operate together while undertaking multi-domain operations in Semi deserts terrain under a UN peace enforcement mandate.
  • This is the first exercise in the series of AUSTRA HIND with participation of all arms and services contingent from both armies.
  • AUSTRA HIND” will be a yearly event that will be conducted alternatively in India and Australia.
  • The joint exercise, besides promoting understanding and interoperability between the two armies, will further help in strengthening ties between India and Australia.
Source : PIB
Defence & Security

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 27, 2022

E-Court Initiatives
Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched various initiatives under the e-court project.

About:

Virtual Justice Clock

  • It is an initiative to exhibit vital statistics of the justice delivery system at the Court level giving the details of the cases instituted, cases disposed and pendency of cases on day/week/month basis at the Court level.
  • The effort is to make the functioning of the courts accountable and transparent by sharing with the public the status of case disposals by the court.
  • Public can access the Virtual Justice Clock of any court establishment on the District Court's website.

 JustIS Mobile App 2.0

  • It is a tool available to judicial officers for effective court and case management by monitoring pendency and disposal of not only his court but also for individual judges working under them.
  • This App is also made available to High Court and Supreme Court Judges who can now monitor pendency and disposal of all the States and Districts under their jurisdiction.

Digital Court

  • It is an initiative to make the court records available to the judge in digitised form to enable the transition to Paperless Courts.

S3WaaS Websites

  • It is a framework to generate, configure, deploy and manage websites for publishing specified information and services related to district judiciary.
  • S3WaaS is a cloud service developed for government entities to generate Secure, Scalable & Sugamya (Accessible) websites. It is multilingual, citizen friendly and disability friendly.

 

 

Source : Economic Times
Government Schemes and Initiatives

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 27, 2022

Black Corals
Researchers at Smithsonian Institution, Washington recently discovered five new species of black corals living as deep as 2,500 feet (760 metres) below the surface in the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea off the coast of Australia.

About:

  • Black corals can be found growing both in shallow waters and down to depths of over 26,000 feet (8,000 metres), and some individual corals can live for over 4,000 years.
  • Many of these corals are branched and look like feathers, fans or bushes, while others are straight like a whip.
  • Unlike their colourful, shallow-water cousins that rely on the sun and photosynthesis for energy, black corals are filter feeders and eat tiny zooplankton that are abundant in deep waters.
  • Among the many interesting specimens were five new species – including one that was found growing on the shell of a nautilus more than 2,500 feet (760 metres) below the ocean’s surface.
  • Similarly to shallow-water corals that build colourful reefs full of fish, black corals act as important habitats where fish and invertebrates feed and hide from predators in what is otherwise a mostly barren sea floor.
    • For example, a single black coral colony researchers collected in 2005 off the coast of California, United States, was home to 2,554 individual invertebrates.
Source : The Hindu
Environment & Ecology

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 27, 2022

Himalayan Yak
The Himalayan yak has recently earned the food animal tag from the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI). The categorisation is expected to help check the decline in the population of the high-altitude bovine by making it a part of the conventional milk and meat industry.

About:

  • Yaks belong to the genus Bos and are therefore related to cattle (Bos primigenius species).
  • Domestic Yak (Bos Grunniens) descended from the wild yak (Bos mutus).
  • Distribution:
    • Yak is found throughout the Himalayan region -- Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, North Bengal, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir -- while wild Yak is found in Tibet.
    • It is also found as far north as Mongolia and Russia.
  • National Research Centre on Yak:
    • The Government of India established the ICAR-National Research Centre on Yak, in 1989 at Dirang, Arunachal Pradesh as a dedicated centre for research into yak husbandry.
  • Yak Census 2019:
    • According to a census carried out in 2019, India has some 58,000 yaks – a drop of about 25% from the livestock census of 2012.
    • The drastic decline could be attributed to less remuneration from the bovid and discouraging the younger generations from continuing with nomadic yak rearing.
    • The sale of yak milk and meat is limited to local consumers.
Source : The Hindu
Environment & Ecology

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 27, 2022

UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) was recently conferred with the ‘Award of Excellence’ at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation-2022.

About:

  • The UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation is supported by a partnership between UNESCO and Ng Teng Fong Charitable Foundation since 2021.
  • UNESCO introduced the new category, ‘Special Recognition for Sustainable Development’, in 2020, together with an updated set of Awards Criteria to acknowledge the role and contribution of cultural heritage to sustainable development within the broader framework of the UN 2030 Agenda.
  • Since 2000, the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation programme has been recognizing the efforts of private individuals and organizations in restoring, conserving, and transforming structures and buildings of heritage value in the region.
  • The complete list of 2022 awarded projects comprises: 
  • Award of Excellence
    • Chhtrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya Museum, Mumbai, India 
  • Award of Distinction 
    • Stepwells of Golconda, Hyderabad, India
    • Zarch Qanat, Yazd, Iran 
    • Neilson Hays Library, Bangkok, Thailand 
  • Award of Merit
    • Topdara Stupa, Charikar, Afghanistan 
    • Nantian Buddhist Temple, Fujian, China 
    • Domakonda Fort, Telangana, India 
    • Byculla Station, Mumbai, India 
    • Sadoughi House, Yazd, Iran 
    • 25 Chivas in Kathmandu, Nepal 
  • Special Recognition for Sustainable Development
    • West Guizhou Lilong Neighborhood, Shanghai, China 
  • Award for New Design in Heritage Contexts
    • M30 Integrated Infrastructure for Power Supply and Waste Collection, Macao SAR, China
    • Xiaoxihu Block, Nanjing, China
Source : Hindustan Times
Art and Culture

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 27, 2022

Nikshay Mitra
Union Health Ministry designated Padma Shri, Khel Ratna Arjuna Awardee and the President of the Paralympic Committee of India Deepa Malik as Nikshay Mitra ambassador.

About:

  • It is an initiative under Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan.
  • It is an initiative launched by President Droupadi Murmu which strives to provide aid to TB-afflicted patients on three levels of nutritional, additional diagnostic, and vocational support.
  • Objective:
    • It aims to eradicate the existing societal stigma and discrimination against TB patients and provide them with much-needed nutritional and social support, and help them lead a normal life.
    • It also aims to encourage elected representatives, corporates, NGOs, and individuals to come forward as donors/sponsors to help the patients complete their journey toward recovery.
  • Ni-kshay 2.0 portal: The Ni-kshay 2.0 portal provides a digital platform for extending community support to persons with TB and leveraging Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) opportunities.
  • Timeframe: Support can be extended to persons with TB, for a minimum duration of one year and a maximum of three years, in any block or district across the country.
Source : All India Radio
Health

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 27, 2022

National Cadet Corps (NCC) Raising Day
The National Cadet Corps (NCC) is celebrating 74th anniversary of its Raising Day on November 27.

About:

  • National Cadet Corps (NCC) is a Tri-Services Organization, comprising the Army, Navy and Air Force, engaged in grooming the youth into disciplined and patriotic citizens.
  • Working:
    • It is a voluntary organizationwhich recruits cadets from high schools, colleges and universities all over India.
    • The Cadets are given basic military training in small arms and parades. They are given preference in military service over normal candidates during selections.
  • Background:It came into existence in 1948 under the National Cadet Corps Act, 1948.
  • Related Ministries:Defence Ministry deals with NCC at the National level. Education Ministry deals with NCC in all States.
  • Directorate General NCC:It is the national level HQ located at New Delhi. It is headed by the Director General (DG), an Army Officer of the rank of Lieutenant General.
Source : All India Radio
Defence & Security

Nov. 26, 2022

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 26, 2022

UN Country Team (UNCT)
The Union Minister of Environment Forest and Climate Change recently addressed the special meeting of UN Country Team (UNCT) on CoP 27.

About:

  • The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) exists in 132 countries, covering all of the 162 countries where there are United Nations programmes.
  • The UNCT includes all the UN entities working on sustainable development, emergency, recovery and transition in programme countries.
  • The UNCT is led by the UN Resident Coordinator, who is the representative of the UN Secretary-General in a given country.
  • The UNCT ensures interagency coordination and decision-making at the country level. The goal is to plan and work together, as part of the Resident Coordinator system, to ensure the delivery of tangible results in support of the development agenda of the Government, including the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework—which guides the UN country team’s development programme cycle, in joint agreement with the host government.

The Resident Coordinator System

  • It ensures the coordination of all organizations of the United Nations dealing with operational activities for development at the country level, regardless of the nature of their presence in the country.
  • It encompasses the UN Resident Coordinator, the UN Country Team and Resident Coordinator’s Office and is served by the UN Development Coordination Office.
Source : PIB
International Relations

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 26, 2022

Y 12705 (Mormugao)
Y 12705 (Mormugao), the second ship of Project 15B stealth guided missile destroyers being built at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), was delivered to the Indian Navy recently.
  • The ship is 163 meters long and 17 meters wide, displaces 7400 tonnes when fully loaded, and has a maximum speed of 30 knots.
  • Apart from myriad indigenous equipment in the ‘Float’ and ‘Move’ categories, the destroyer is also installed with the under-mentioned major indigenous weapons. The overall indigenous content of the project is approx. 75%.
    • Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missiles (BEL, Bangalore)
    • BrahMos Surface-to-Surface Missiles (BrahMos Aerospace, New Delhi)
    • Indigenous Torpedo Tube Launchers (Larsen & Toubro, Mumbai)
    • Anti-Submarine Indigenous Rocket Launchers (Larsen & Toubro, Mumbai)
    • 76mm Super Rapid Gun Mount (BHEL, Haridwar)

Project 15B

  • Project 15B (P15B) / Visakhapatnam-class is the latest destroyer design currently under construction for the Indian Navy.
  • These ships have been designed indigenously by the Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design, New Delhi. Each ship spans 163 meters in length and 17.4 meters in beam and displaces 7,300 tonnes.
  • These ships will be propelled by four gas turbines to achieve speed in excess of 30 knots.
  • According to the Indian Navy, the P15B destroyers incorporate new design concepts for improved survivability, seakeeping, stealth, and maneuverability.
Source : PIB
Defence & Security

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 26, 2022

PSLV-C54
ISRO recently launched PSLV-C54 with Oceansat-3, 8 nano satellites.

About:

  • Satellites in PSLV-C54 includes EOS-06 (Oceansat-3) plus eight nano satellites (BhutanSat, 'Anand' from Pixxel, Thybolt, and Astrocast - four numbers from Spaceflight USA).

BhutanSat

  • ISRO Nano Satellite-2 for Bhutan (INS-2B) spacecraft is configured with INS-2 Bus. INS-2B will have two payloads namely NanoMx and APRS-Digipeater. NanoMx is a multispectral optical imaging payload developed by Space Applications Centre (SAC).

Anand

  • The Anand Nano satellite is technology demonstrator to demonstrate the capabilities and commercial applications of miniaturized earth-observation camera for earth observation using a microsatellite in Low Earth Orbit.
  • This is a three-axis stabilized satellite consisting of a satbus, accommodating all subsystems like telemetry, tele-command, Electrical Power system, Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS), on-board computers etc.

Astrocast

  • Astrocast, a 3U spacecraft is a technology demonstrator satellite for the Internet of Things (IoT) as the payload. There are 4 nos. of Astrocast Satellites in this mission. These spacecraft are housed within an ISISpace QuadPack dispenser.
  • The dispenser protects the satellite from contamination.

Thybolt

  • The Thybolt is a 0.5U spacecraft bus that includes a communication payload to enable rapid technology demonstration and constellation development for multiple users.
  • It also demonstrates Store-and-Forward functionality for authorized users in the amateur frequency band. The satellites shall be deployed by using Dhruva Space Orbital Deployer to perform the specific mission operations for a minimum lifetime of 1 year.
Source : LiveMint
Science & Tech

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 26, 2022

Payment aggregator
The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has asked Paytm Payments Services Limited to resubmit the application to operate as payment aggregator.

About:

  • A payment aggregator provides payment services to merchants and e-commerce sites by accepting payment instruments from customers. As a part of this, they pool the funds received from customers and transfer them to merchants after a certain time.
  • The services include facilitating integrated payment options such as transactions of cash and cheque, and online and offline touch points, besides allowing bank transfers for merchants without the need to set up accounts directly with the bank.

Why a licence is needed?

  • In a new set of guidelines issued in March 2020, the RBI mandated that all PAs shall be authorised by it. For this, the regulator instructed non-bank companies offering PA services to apply for authorisation by June 30, 2021, which was later pushed to September 30, 2021.
  • The decision on granting the licence has come after a period of assessment of the applications. The norms made it important for all payment gateways to acquire a licence to continue. The few firms authorised to operate as payment aggregators in India will come under the direct purview of the RBI.
Source : LiveMint
Economy

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 26, 2022

Constitution Day
PM to participate in Constitution Day celebrations in Supreme Court on 26th November.

About:

  • India observes Constitution Day or Samvidhan Divas on November 26 every year in order to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution of India.
  • On the occasion of the 125th birth anniversary of BR Ambedkar, the Union Cabinet decided to celebrate November 26 as Constitution Day.

History of the Constitution Day

  • The Constituent Assembly adopted the present-day Constitution on November 26, 1949 but it was decided that it will come into effect after a gap of almost two months i.e. on January 26, 1950. During this two-month break, the members of the constituent assembly thoroughly read it in order to find any mistakes.
  • The Constituent Assembly met for two years, eleven months and eighteen days, a total of 166 days, before adopting the Constitution.
  • Initially, it had been written in both English and Hindi and had been signed by each member of the assembly.

Interesting facts about the Constitution of India

  • The constitution is the largest written constitution in the world.
  • The original copy had been written by hand.
  • Each page of the constitution has a gold leaf frame while the opening page of each is adorned with some kind of artwork.
  • Beohar Rammanohar Sinha and Nandalal Bose, who were artists from Shantiniketan, had decorated the original version of the Constitution.
  • Prem Behari Narain Raizada was a talented calligrapher who had prepared the original copies of the constitution.
Source : PIB
Polity & Governance

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 26, 2022

International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
India wins the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Vice Presidency and Strategic Management Board (SMB) Chair for the 2023-25 term.

About:

  • IEC is an international standard setting body that publishes international Standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies. These are known collectively as “electrotechnology”.
  • It is a global, not-for-profit membership organization that brings together 173 countries and coordinates the work of 20 000 experts globally. It was founded in London and held its first meeting on 26 and 27 June 1906.
  • IEC Standards provide instructions, guidelines, rules or definitions that are then used to design, manufacture, install, test and certify, maintain and repair electrical and electronic devices and systems.
  • Standardization Management Board (SMB) is an apex governance body of IEC responsible for technical policy matters.
Source : PIB
International Relations

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 26, 2022

The Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar
Sangeet Natak Akademi selects 102 artists of India for the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar for the years 2019, 2020 & 2021.

About

  • The Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar, given to artists below the age of 40 years, was introduced with the objective of identifying and encouraging outstanding young talents in diverse fields of performing arts and giving them national recognition early in their life.
  • The Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar carries a purse money of Rs. 25,000/-

Ustad Bismillah Khan

  • The legendary shehnai player, Ustad Bismillah Khan was one of India's most celebrated classical musicians.
  • Bismillah Khan has been credited with taking the shehnai from the marriage mandap to the concert hall. He brought Shehnai to the center stage of Indian classical music with his concert in the Calcutta All India Music Conference in 1937.
  • He was a recipient of many honors and awards. These include: Padma Vibhushan (1980), Padma Bhushan (1968), Padma Shri (1961), Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1956) etc.
  • In 2001, Ustad Bismillah Khan became the third classical musician to be awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour.
Source : PIB
History & Culture

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 26, 2022

Lachit Borphukan
A three-day celebration of the 400th birth anniversary of the legendary Assamese general and folk hero Lachit Borphukan began in New Delhi.

About

  • Borphukan has always been revered in Assam as the warrior who defeated Mughal armies in the Battle of Saraighat in 1671.
  • He was chosen as one of the five Borphukans of the Ahom kingdom by king Charadhwaj Singha, and given administrative, judicial, and military responsibilities.
  • Unlike the Mughals who preferred battles in the open with their massive armies, Borphukan preferred guerrilla tactics which provided an edge to his smaller, but fast moving and capable forces.
  • Lachit Borphukan died a year after the Battle of Saraighat from a long festering illness.

The Ahom kingdom

  • The Ahom kingdom had been repeatedly attacked by the Turkic and Afghan rulers of the Delhi Sultanate and later by the Mughals.
  • The Mughal-Ahom wars had been going on since 1615-16, with the first Mughal attack on Assam with a view to capturing the region. The Ahoms had ruled major parts of Assam for nearly 600 years, between 1228 and 1826.
  • From 1615 to 1639, many battles would be fought between the two, and tired of war, both sides agreed to sign a treaty after the Mughals had advanced into Assam and captured Kamrup.

The Battle of Saraighat

  • The Battle of Saraighat was a naval battle fought in 1671 between the Mughal Empire and the Ahom Kingdom on the Brahmaputra river at Saraighat, now in Guwahati, Assam, India.
  • Borphukan was commander of the Ahom armies during the battle of Saraighat –. The battle, which took place during the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s reign, was seen as a decisive Ahom victory.

 

Source : Indian Express
History & Culture

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 26, 2022

National Milk Day
Department of Animal Husbandry to celebrate National Milk Day to commemorate 101st birth anniversary of the “Father of the White Revolution in India -Dr. Verghese Kurien”.

About:

  • National Milk Day is celebrated in India on November 26 to honour the memory of Dr Verghese Kurien, who is fondly known as the father of the White Revolution.
  • Kurien was also called the Milkman of India as his ideas and efforts to build a system of farmer cooperatives helped transform the country from an importer of dairy products to the world’s largest milk producer.
  • For his relentless service to the dairy and farming communities, Kurien was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award (1963), Padma Shri (1965), Padma Bhushan (1966), World Food Prize (1989) and Padma Vibhushan (1999).

Significance

  • National Milk Day raises awareness about the need for milk in human lives.
  • India is the world’s largest milk producer, with 22 percent of global production, followed by the United States of America, China, Pakistan and Brazil.
    • According to the data available on the NDDB website, milk production in India has increased from 84.4 million tonnes in 2001-02 to 121.8 million tonnes in 2010-11 and 198.4 million tonnes in 2019-20.
  • Since the 1970s, most of the expansion in milk production has been in South Asia, which is the main driver of milk production growth in the developing world.
Source : PIB
Economy

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 26, 2022

Tilting train
The Indian Railways plans to introduce 'tilting trains' by 2026.

 About:

What is it?

  • It is a technology that enables trains to maneuver curves at increased speed, that too on regular tracks, just like a motorcycle on a winding road.
    • Vande Bharat trains, manufactured in India, will be equipped with the technology by 2025 that will improve their speed.
  • Such trains are now operational in 11 countries - Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Finland, Russia, the Czech Republic, the UK, Switzerland, China, Germany and Romania.

How does a tilting train work?

  • When a train rounds a curve at speed, objects (and people) inside experience centrifugal force, which pushes them outwards.
  • The effect can cause luggage inside to slide, seated passengers to feel squashed and standing passengers to lose balance. These trains are designed to counteract the effect by tilting the carriages towards the inside of the curve, thus compensating the g-force.
  • There can be various mechanisms to neutralise the tilt force and achieve a balance. It further explains how motion sickness can be essentially eliminated by adjusting the timing of when the cars tilt.

 

Science & Tech

Nov. 25, 2022

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 25, 2022

Cryptology
Recently, The Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT),organised ‘National Workshop on Cryptology (NWC)’.

About:

  • The workshop was conducted as part of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ with the theme ‘Advancements in Cryptology for enhancing security & privacy in communication networks’.
  • NWC 2022 aimed to bring all the relevant stakeholders on a common platform to deliberate upon various contemporary themes in the field of Cryptology spanning Cyber Security, Quantum Computing, Post-Quantum Cryptography
  • Cryptography, or cryptology is the practice and study of techniques for secure communication in the presence of adversarial behavior.

Difference between Cryptography and Cryptology

  • Cryptography
    • It is the study of conversion of plain text(readable format) to ciphertext(non-readable format) i.e. encryption. It is also called the study of encryption.
    • It takes place on the sender side.
    • In Cryptography, sender sends the message to receiver.
    • Cryptology is the parent of Cryptography.
  • Cryptology:
    • It is the study of the conversion of plain text to ciphertext and vice versa. It is also called the study of encryption and decryption.
    • It takes place on the sender and receiver side.
    • In Cryptology, both sender and receiver send messages to each other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source : PIB
Science & Tech

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 25, 2022

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)
Recently, Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare stated that it is open to taking pro-farmer changes in PMFBY in response to the recent climate crisis and rapid technological advances.

About

  • Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) is the government sponsored crop insurance scheme that integrates multiple stakeholders on a single platform.
  • Highlights of the scheme
    • PMFBY is a replacement scheme of NAIS / MNAIS, there will be exemption from Service Tax liability of all the services involved in the implementation of the scheme
    • There is no upper limit on Government subsidy. Even if balance premium is 90%, it will be borne by the Government.
    • The use of technology will be encouraged to a great extent. Smart phones will be used to capture and upload data of crop cutting to reduce the delays in claim payment to farmers. Remote sensing will be used to reduce the number of crop cutting experiments.
  • Risks covered under the scheme: Risk of sowing, planting and germination failure, Risk of standing crop failure, Risk of post-harvest losses, Protection against calamities.
    • Exclusions – Loss or damage to notified insured crops due to war, nuclear risks, malicious damage and other preventable risks is excluded from the scope of coverage.
  • Coverage of Crops: Food crops (Cereals, Millets and Pulses), Oilseeds, Annual Commercial / Annual Horticultural crops.
  • Premiums Under the Scheme:
    • There will be a uniform premium of only 2% to be paid by farmers for all Kharif crops and 1.5% for all Rabi crops.
    • In case of annual commercial and horticultural crops, the premium to be paid by farmers will be only 5%.
Source : PIB
Government Schemes and Initiatives

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 25, 2022

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) maintains that before accepting Aadhaar in physical or electronic form, as proof of identity, it must be verified.

About:

  • The process prevents unscrupulous elements, and anti-social elements from indulging in any possible misuse. It also promotes usage hygiene, and reasserts UIDAI’s stand that any 12-digit number is not an Aadhaar.
  • Tampering of Aadhaar documents can be detected by offline verification, and tampering is a punishable offence and liable for penalties under Section 35 of the Aadhaar Act.

UIDAI

  • It is a statutory authority established under the provisions of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 (“Aadhaar Act 2016”).
  • It was created to issue Unique Identification numbers (UID), named as “Aadhaar”, to all residents of India.
  • Under the Aadhaar Act 2016, UIDAI is responsible for Aadhaar enrolment and authentication, including operation and management of all stages of Aadhaar life cycle and system for issuing Aadhaar numbers to individuals.
  • Composition of the Authority:
    • UIDAI consists of a Chairperson, two part-time Members and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), who is also the Member-Secretary of the Authority.
  • Finance & Budgets:
    • The Finance & Accounts Division (FD) is headed by the Deputy Director General (Finance) who is Financial Advisor in UIDAI. FD renders professional advice to the CEO, UIDAI on all issues which have financial implications.
Source : Livemint
Polity & Governance

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 25, 2022

Leith’s Soft-shelled Turtle
India’s proposal for transferring Leith’s Softshell Turtle (Nilssonia leithi) from Appendix II to Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora (CITES) has been adopted by the Conference of Parties (CoP) to CITES in its 19th Meeting at Panama.

About:

  • Leith’s Softshell Turtle is a large fresh water soft-shelled turtle which is endemic to peninsular India and it inhabits rivers and reservoirs.
  • Distribution: Restricted to southern peninsular India (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, and Tamil Nadu) in the Cauvery, Thungabhadra, Ghataprabha, Bhavani, Godavari, and Moyar drainages.
  • Threats:
    • The species has been subject to intensive exploitation over the past 30 years. It has been poached and illegally consumed within India. It has also been illegally traded abroad for meat and for its calipee.
    • The population of this turtle species is estimated to have declined by 90% over the past 30 years such that the species is now difficult to find.
  • Conservation Status:
    • It is classified as ‘Critically Endangered’ by the IUCN.
    • It is listed on Schedule IV of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • Benefits of listing in The CITES Appendix I
    • The CITES Appendix I listing of this Turtle species would ensure that legal international trade in the species does not take place for commercial purposes.
    • It would also ensure that international trade in captive-bred specimens only takes place from registered facilities and further that higher and more proportionate penalties are provided for illegal trade of the species.
Source : PIB
Environment & Ecology

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 25, 2022

The National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG)
Recently, NCGG received high praise from Maldives Government for its capacity building programme for Maldivian Civil Servants.

About:

  • What it is?
    • It is an autonomous institute under the aegis of Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Government of India.
    • The NCGG has been set up to assist in bringing about governance reforms through studies, training, knowledge sharing and promotion of good ideas.
    • It seeks to carry out policy relevant research and prepare case studies; curate training courses for civil servants from India and other developing countries.

 

  • Head office: Its head office is at New Delhi and branch office at Mussoorie.
  • Objectives:
    • To function as a national repository on information on best practices, initiatives and methodologies that promote Good Governance, e-Governance etc.
    • To advise on key issues in governance and develop synergy across various Ministries/ Departments of GoI, and State Governments;
  • Background: NCGG traces its origin to the National Institute of Administrative Research (NIAR). NIAR was set up in 1995 by the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) the Government of India's apex training Institute for higher civil services. NIAR was subsequently rechistened with an expanded mandate, as National Centre for Good Governance, which was inaugurated on February 24th, 2014.
Source : PIB
Polity & Governance

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 25, 2022

Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS)
India's unemployment rate dips to 7.2% in July-Sept 2022 according to National Statistical Office (NSO)’s Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS).

About:

  • Considering the importance of availability of labour force data at more frequent time intervals, National Statistical Office (NSO) launched Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) in April 2017.
  • The objective of PLFS:
    • to estimate the key employment and unemployment indicators (viz. Worker Population Ratio, Labour Force Participation Rate, Unemployment Rate) in the short time interval of three months for the urban areas only in the ‘Current Weekly Status’ (CWS).
    • to estimate employment and unemployment indicators in both ‘Usual Status’ (ps+ss) and CWS in both rural and urban areas annually.
  • In the CWS approach, a person is considered unemployed if he/she did not work even for one hour on any day during the week but sought or was available for work at least for one hour on any day during the period.

Key highlights

  • It showed that the unemployment rate among females (aged 15 years and above) in urban areas declined to 9.4 per cent in July-September, 2022 from 11.6 per cent a year ago. It was 9.5 per cent in April-June, 2022.
  • Unemployment rate was high in July-September 2021 mainly due to the staggering impact of Covid-related restrictions in the country.
    • Unemployment rate or joblessness is defined as the percentage of unemployed persons among the labor force.
  • Among males, the unemployment rate in urban areas declined to 6.6 per cent in July-September 2022 as against 9.3 per cent a year ago. It was 7.1 per cent in April-June 2022.

 

 

Source : Livemint
Economy

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 25, 2022

Red Crowned Roofed Turtle (Batagur kachuga)
India’s proposal for induction of fresh water turtle Batagur kachuga earned wide support at CoP 19 to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) being held at Panama City

About

  • It is a freshwater turtle species, and found in deep flowing rivers with terrestrial nesting sites.
  • Distribution:
  • It is native to India, Bangladesh and Nepal. Historically, the species was widespread in the Ganga River, both in India and Bangladesh.
  • It also occurs in the Brahmaputra basin. Currently in India, the National Chambal River Gharial Sanctuary is the only area with substantial population of the species.
  • Conservation Status:
    • IUCN : Critically Endangered
    • IWPA : Schedule I
    • CITES : Appendix II
  • Characteristics: In comparison to their female counterparts, the males are shorter and reach only half their length.
  • Major Threats:
    • Loss or degradation of habitat due to pollution and large scale development activities like water extraction for human consumption and irrigation and irregular flow from the upstream dams and reservoirs.
    • Sand mining and growing of seasonal crops along Ganga River are majorly affecting the sandbars along the river that are used by the species for nesting.
    • Drowning by illegal fishing nets.
    • Poaching and illegal trade.

About CITES:

  • CITES is an international agreement to which States and regional economic integration organizations adhere voluntarily.
  • Although CITES is legally binding on the Parties – in other words they have to implement the Convention – it does not take the place of national laws.
  • Rather it provides a framework to be respected by each Party, which has to adopt its own domestic legislation to ensure that CITES is implemented at the national level.
Source : Livemint
Environment & Ecology

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 25, 2022

Exercise 'Samanvay 2022'
Indian Air Force is conducting the Annual Joint Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Exercise 'Samanvay 2022' from 28 November 2022 to 30 November 2022 at Air Force Station Agra.

About

  • It aims to assess the efficacy of institutional Disaster Management structures and contingency measures and involves static and flying displays of various HADR assets and a 'Table Top Exercise'.
  • Samanvay 2022 will promote a synergistic approach towards HADR by various national and regional stakeholders involved in Disaster Management including the Civil Administration, the Armed Forces, NDMA, NIDM, NDRF, DRDO, BRO, IMD, NRS and INCOIS.
  • It is expected to contribute in the evolution of institutional frameworks for effective communication, interoperability, cooperation and their application for successful conduct of HADR.
  • The exercise also aims to provide a unique platform for exchange of domain knowledge, experience and best practices with the participating ASEAN member countries.
Source : PIB
Defence & Security

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 25, 2022

Exercise Naseem Al Bahr - 2022
The Indian Navy’s guided missile stealth frigate, INS Trikand, offshore patrol vessel, INS Sumitra, and Maritime Patrol Aircraft -Dornier, participated in the 13th Edition of the Indian Navy (IN) - Royal Navy of Oman (RNO) bilateral exercise ‘Naseem Al Bahr’ (Sea Breeze).

About:

  • Ex-Naseem Al Bahr initiated in 1993, symbolises the long term strategic relationship between the two countries. This year marks 30 years of IN-RNO bilateral exercises.
  • Oman is the first country in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) which has been in conducting bilateral exercises with India jointly.
  • Both countries already have Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) including on defence cooperation, between the Coast Guards to prevent crime at sea, on maritime issues and a protocol between their respective air forces on Flight Safety Information Exchange.
Source : PIB
International Relations

Prelims Pointers
Nov. 25, 2022

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)
Recently, India-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) decide to pursue resumption of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Negotiations.
  • What it is? It is a political and economic alliance of six Middle Eastern countries—Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman. The GCC was established in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in May 1981.
  • Objective: The purpose of the GCC is to achieve unity among its members based on their common objectives and their similar political and cultural identities, which are rooted in Arab and Islamic cultures. The Presidency of the council rotates annually.
  • Organizational structure:
    • The Supreme Council is the highest authority of the organization. It is composed of the heads of the Member-States. Its presidency rotates periodically among the Member States in alphabetical order.
    • The Ministerial Council: It is composed of the Foreign Ministers of all the Member States or other ministers deputizing for them. It meets every three months to implement the decisions of the Supreme Council and to propose new policy.
    • The Secretariat General: It is the administrative arm of the alliance, which monitors policy implementation and arranges meetings.

India’s trade relations with GCC

  • GCC is currently India’s largest trading partner bloc with bilateral trade in FY 2021-22 valued at over USD 154 billion.
  • GCC countries contribute almost 35% of India’s oil imports and 70% of gas imports.
    • India’s overall crude oil imports from the GCC in 2021-22 were about $48 billion, while LNG and LPG imports in 2021-22 were about $21 billion. Investments from the GCC in India are currently valued at over USD 18 billion.

 

Source : Economic Times
International Relations
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