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Monthly DNA

05 Jan, 2023

25 Min Read

India-Australia Economic Cooperation &Trade Agreement

GS-II : International Relations Bilateral groupings and agreements

India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI-ECTA)

  • The historic interim Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (INDAUS ECTA) between India and Australia, which came into effect on December 29, 2022 will boost Indian exports of textiles, leather, gems, and jewellery to Australia.
  • The free trade deal signed with India was recently ratified by the Australian Parliament, opening the path for its implementation beginning in January 2023.

What precisely is the India-Australia ECTA?

  • After the trade pacts with the UAE and Mauritius, this was the third such agreement that this government had signed.
  • The deal is expected to increase bilateral commerce from its current level of USD 31 billion to USD 45–50 billion in the following five–six years.
  • It covers practically all of the tariff lines that Australia and India, respectively, deal with.
  • India will profit from Australia's offer of preferential market access on all of its tariff lines.
  • Over 70% of India's tariff lines will grant Australia preferential access.
  • A formal framework for promoting and enhancing trade between the two nations is provided by ECTA.
  • This comprises all the labour-intensive export industries that India is interested in, such as textiles, leather goods, footwear, furniture, and gems and jewellery.
  • Indian STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) graduates will be eligible for extended post-study work visas under the terms of the agreement.
  • 96% of India's exports to Australia will have zero-duty access, and 85% of Australia's exports will have zero-duty access to the Indian market.

Significant highlights of AI-ECTA:

  • Information on trade shows that in 2021–2022, India's goods exports to Australia totalled USD 8.3 billion while its imports totalled USD 16.75 billion.
  • Duty-free access: It will give Indian exporters duty-free access to the Australian market for over 6,000 different industries, including textiles, leather, furniture, jewellery, and machinery.
  • Australia will open all of its product lines without any limitations, not even quotas. Australia is the first nation to have done this for another.
  • As of today, Australia is providing zero-duty access to India for roughly 96.4% of exports (by value). This applies to a wide range of goods that are now subject to a 4%–5% customs charge in Australia.
  • Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA): An modification to the DTAA has also been adopted by the Australian Parliament, which will make it easier for the Indian IT sector to compete in that market.
  • It would halt the taxation of Indian companies that provide technical support in Australia on their offshore income.

What is its Significance ?

  • Competitivee goods: In several labour-intensive industries, Indian exports currently face a tariff disadvantage of 4–5% compared to rivals on the Australian market like China, Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
  • The ECTA's removal of these obstacles can greatly increase India's exports of goods.
  • Cheaper Raw Materials: The majority of Australian exports to India are made up of intermediate and raw goods. Many Indian companies will benefit from cheaper raw materials and increase their competitiveness as a result of having zero-duty access to 85% of Australian goods, especially in industries like steel, aluminium, electricity, engineering, and so forth.
  • Sectors that require a lot of labour: Textiles and apparel, a few agricultural and fish products, leather, footwear, furniture, sporting goods, jewellery, machinery, and electrical items would all be very profitable for them.
  • Better Indo-Pacific: Australia's strength Economic ties with India will also pave the way for a stronger Indo-Pacific economic architecture that is based on developing capacity-led connections, complementarities, sustainable commitments, and mutual dependence among nations and sub-regions rather than just on flows of physical goods, money, and people.
  • More visas: India has visas for Indian chefs and yoga instructors in addition to a promise that every youngster who travels to Australia to study will have the chance to work there, based on their educational background.
  • Farmers will benefit from the accord since it will enable them to explore new economic prospects in Australia when cultivating grapes for wine.
  • India has 6,000 grape farmers who cultivate grapes for wine. In addition to bringing in new farmers, it will aid in attracting capital.

How might India be affected by investment exclusion?

  • The goal of India's signing an extensive economic partnership with these nations is to join the global value chains (GVCs), which place high importance on both trade and foreign direct investment.
  • Decoupling commerce from investment in these CECAs thus goes against economic common sense.
  • Investment protection is covered in many recent mega-economic treaties, including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Way Forward

  • The India-Australia ECTA will significantly improve bilateral trade in goods and services, create new employment opportunities, raise living standards, and enhance the overall welfare of the two peoples. It will also further solidify the already close, strategic, and deep relationships between the two nations.
  • The Indo-Pacific region should be free, open, inclusive, and governed by rules, according to the shared vision of India and Australia. Disputes should be settled peacefully rather than through the use of force or unilateral action, and all parties should adhere to international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Source: PIB

National Medical Commission & NExT 

GS-II : Governance Education

National Medical Commission & NExT

The National Exit Test would be administered by a fifth autonomous agency, the Board of Examinations in Medical Sciences, that will fall under the country's top medical education regulator, according to the draft National Medical Commission (NMC) bill 2022.

The National Exit Test is what?

  • A medical licence test called the NExT is used to evaluate medical graduates' proficiency.
  • Students who acquired their medical degrees from schools recognised by the NMC as well as international students must pass the National Exit Test.
  • This occurs at a time when the government is attempting to deploy NexT and the role of NMC is expanding.
  • It is a two-part test that will serve as a prerequisite for post-graduate admission as well as the process for registering doctors.
  • They need to pass the NExT exam in order to apply to practise medicine in India.
  • A group created by the commission specifically to handle this centralised common exam will handle its administration.
  • The National Board of Examinations, which presently administers entrance exams for all post-graduate and super-speciality degrees, will be replaced by the Board of Examinations in Medical Sciences.
  • The screening test for foreign medical graduates is also administered by the National Board of Examinations; it will also be replaced by the new NExT test.
  • The new board will administer the NExT exams as well as accredit schools for diploma, diplomat, postgraduate fellowship, and super-speciality fellowship programmes.
  • It will establish the minimal requirements and grant them in order to run these courses.
  • No modifications to the National Testing Agency's administration of the undergraduate admission examination have been proposed in the new bill.
  • Foreign doctors are welcome to register if they wish to travel to India to pursue postgraduate studies, fellowships, clinical research, or volunteer clinical services.
  • Change in Permission: Up until recently, the Health Ministry had given "permission" to foreign experts.
  • Such doctors will now receive a temporary registration from the NMC, which will expire at the conclusion of the programme.
  • Such temporary registration shall be valid for a maximum of 12 months.

Who May Participate in the NExt?

  • All students who have successfully completed the final MBBS course at a medical school recognised by the Commission are eligible to take the exam.
  • As long as the candidate completes both phases within ten years of attending the MBBS, there is no limit on the number of attempts.
  • Foreign medical graduates who pass the NExT exam automatically qualify to practise medicine.

What is the Regulation's Purpose?

  • Admissions will be streamlined and expedited.
  • It will assist in removing the uncertainty that recently developed, resulting in the loss of seats as a result of poor work ethics, a lack of coordination, and different bodies performing different components of the same job.
  • To ensure uniformity in the summative evaluation across the country with respect to the minimal common criteria of education and training for a medical graduate.
  • The NExT's goal is to raise the standard of medical care in India by requiring that all medical professionals meet minimal standards of competence and knowledge before starting their careers.
  • It will be easier to avoid decision-making differences between NMC, NBE, and MCC if there is a central authority overseeing every aspect of medical education.

Difficulties in Medical education in India:

  • Technical abilities are lacking.
  • Finding professors in clinical and non-clinical subjects is challenging, and there aren't many programmes to upskill the current faculty.
  • The largest problem the industry is now dealing with is a lack of digital learning infrastructure.
  • The requirement to improve research quality must be given more attention by the educational system.

Way Forward

  • Curriculum revision to include more hands-on instruction and competency-based skill development
  • Fostering a problem-solving mindset through scenario/case-based examination
  • A comprehensive faculty development programme to enhance teachers' competence
  • Removing caste-based reservations and establishing a merit-based admissions system
  • Collaboration between business and academia to promote innovation

Source: Indian Express

National Green Hydrogen Mission

GS-III : Economic Issues Renewable energy

National Green Hydrogen Mission

  • The National Green Hydrogen Mission was approved by the Cabinet, which stated that it will make India a major producer and supplier of green hydrogen worldwide.
  • Green hydrogen is a form of hydrogen that is created by electrolysing water and utilising an electrolyser that is totally driven by renewable energy sources.

What is the National Green Hydrogen Mission?

  • The mission also aims to develop markets for green hydrogen and its derivatives for export
  • In an effort to lessen reliance on fossil fuels, the energy industry should be decarbonized. Mobility applications should also employ this technology.
  • The government intends to lower the cost of producing green hydrogen and renewable energy through implicit subsidies and government-backed R&D initiatives.

How will it be put into practise?

  • The scheme implementation guidelines for each component are to be developed by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
  • By 2030, this plan will support the growth of a renewable energy capacity addition of 125 GW together with a green hydrogen production capacity of 5 million metric tonnes (MMT) per year.
  • A planned Strategic Interventions for Green Hydrogen Transition Programme (SIGHT) is a significant component of this .
  • Two financial incentive programmes will be part of the SIGHT, and they will focus on domestic electrolyser production and green hydrogen generation.
  • By 2030, these strategies will be encouraged in order to decrease imports of fossil fuels and reduce yearly emissions of greenhouse gases.

What will the names of the hydrogen-powered cars be?

  • Instead of being an energy source, hydrogen is an energy carrier.
  • Before it can be utilised to power a car or truck, hydrogen fuel must be converted into electricity using a fuel cell stack.
  • Through an oxidation-reduction reaction, a fuel cell uses oxidising chemicals to transform chemical energy into electrical energy.
  • Most frequently, fuel cell-based vehicles generate electricity for the onboard electric motor by combining hydrogen and oxygen.
  • Fuel cell vehicles are regarded as electric vehicles because they run on electricity.

Objectives of the National Green Hydrogen Mission:

By 2030, the Mission will probably produce the following results:

  • Construction of a green hydrogen manufacturing facility with an annual capacity of at least 5 MMT (million metric tonnes) and an additional 125 GW of renewable energy in the nation.
  • Over Rs. 8 lakh crore has been invested overall.
  • Creating more than 6 lakh employment
  • Reduction in fossil fuel imports of more than Rs. 1 trillion cumulatively
  • Reduction of annual greenhouse gas emissions by around 50 MMT

Benefits of the National Green Hydrogen Mission:

The Mission will provide numerous advantages.

  • The development of cutting-edge technologies, the decarbonization of the industrial, transportation, and energy sectors, the reduction of reliance on imported fossil fuels and feedstock, the improvement of domestic manufacturing capabilities, and the creation of export opportunities for green hydrogen and its derivatives.
  • Help with green hydrogen demand generation, production, use, and export.


  • At the moment, green hydrogen is not commercially viable.
  • At the current price of about Rs 350–400 per kilogramme in India, it won't likely become profitable until production costs fall below Rs 100 per kilogramme.

Regarding Hydrogen:

  • Colorless, odourless, tasteless, non-toxic, and highly combustible describe hydrogen, a gaseous substance.
  • The simplest, lightest, and most prevalent member of the universe's chemical element family is hydrogen.

Green hydrogen: What is it?

  • Electrolysis using sustainable energy sources like solar, wind, or hydrogen is used to create green hydrogen.
  • The "green" factor depends on how the energy is produced in order to access the hydrogen, as burning hydrogen does not release greenhouse gases.

Source: PIB

Mural Art

GS-I : Art and Culture Paintings

Mural Art

  • In Kerala, The Wall of Peace, a magnificent piece of contemporary mural art, was unveiled on the 700-foot-long compound wall of the Government Vocational Higher Secondary School at Cherpulassery.
  • On the wall, the word "peace" has been imprinted in 250 different languages.

Regarding Mural Painting:

  • Indian mural paintings are created on the cave and palace walls.
  • Any piece of art that is painted or put directly on a wall is referred to as a mural.
  • In a broader sense, mural art can be found on walls, ceilings, or any other substantial permanent surface.
  • The distinctive feature of mural paintings is typically the seamless integration of the architectural features of the space they are painted on.
  • The fresco is merely one of the numerous mural painting techniques.
  • The stunning frescoes painted on the caverns of Ajanta and Ellora, the Bagh caves, and Sittanvasal cave are the earliest examples of murals.
  • One of the oldest painting traditions in the world is found in INDIA.
  • Indian murals have a history that spans from the second century BC to the eighth to tenth centuries AD.
  • The murals from Ajanta are the earliest ones still in existence on the Indian subcontinent. The Ajanta paintings were created in two stages, with the earliest dating to roughly the second century B.C. Around the fifth century A.D., the magnificent final phase took place with the Vakatakas as its patrons.
  • The renowned courtesan of Vaishali, Amrapali, hired painters to portray the monarchs, tradesmen, and merchants of the era on the walls of her palace, according to Vinaya Pitaka.

Characteristics of Indian Murals:

  • The Vishnudharamotaram, a Sanskrit work from the fifth and sixth centuries CE, discusses the method and steps involved in creating Indian wall paintings.
  • With the exception of the Rajarajeshwara temple in Tanjore, which is thought to have been created using a real fresco technique on the surface of the rock, the procedure of these paintings appears to have been the same in all the early instances that have survived.
  • The majority of the colours were accessible locally.
  • Animal hair was used to make brushes, including that of goats, camels, mongooses, etc.
  • Comparatively speaking, mural paintings differ from all other types of illustrative art. Their organic relationship to architecture and their widespread public importance are the two main characteristics that distinguish them as significant. Indian murals are incredibly expressive and practical.
  • Mural paintings have the power to dramatically alter how a structure feels about its spatial proportions through the use of colour, design, and theme treatment. Mural paintings are the only type of artwork that actually alters and shares a place, making them truly three-dimensional.
  • The natural pigments used in the mural paintings, such as terracotta, chalk, red ochre, and yellow ochre combined with animal fat, were used to create the colour palette.
  • The important mural paintings date to the eighth century AD and are distinguished by their linear styles. They can be seen in Bagh in Madhya Pradesh, the Badami caves in Karnataka, Sittannavasal in Tamil Nadu, and the Kailashanatha temple in Ellora, Maharashtra.

Indian mural paintings come in a variety of styles:

  • Tempera painting is accomplished by mixing colour with a water-soluble medium.
  • Painting using oil paints using the suspension of pigments in drying oils is known as "oil painting."
  • Fresco painting is an old technique that involved applying water-based paints to freshly laid plaster, typically on a wall façade.

Source: The Hindu

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