09 March, 2020 30 Min Read
|GS-II||India-USA Defense Cooperation||International Relations|
|Unutilised Budgetary Funds in Education-Right to Education||National and Political Issues|
|GS-III||Red Panda and IUCN||Environment and Sustainable development|
|CORD BLOOD BANKING-BIOTECHNOLOGY||Science and Technology|
GS-II : International Relations
India and USA Military Cooperation
Part of: GS Mains and GS-II- IR
Preface: India-U.S. bilateral relations have developed into a "global strategic partnership", based on shared democratic values and increasing convergence of interests on bilateral, regional and global issues. The emphasis placed by the Government in India on development and good governance has created opportunity to reinvigorate bilateral ties and enhance cooperation under the motto --- “ChaleinSaathSaath: Forward Together We Go”, and "SanjhaPrayas, Sab ka Vikas" (Shared Effort, Progress for All) adopted during the first two summits of Prime Minister Modi and President Obama in September 2014 and January 2015 respectively. The summit level joint statement issued in June 2016 called the India-U.S. relationship an “Enduring Global Partners in the 21st Century”. Regular exchange of high-level political visits has provided sustained momentum to bilateral cooperation, while the wide-ranging and ever-expanding dialogue architecture has established a long-term framework for India-U.S. engagement. Today, the India-U.S. bilateral cooperation is broad-based and multi-sectoral, covering trade and investment, defence and security, education, science and technology, cyber security, high-technology, civil nuclear energy, space technology and applications, clean energy, environment, agriculture and health. Vibrant people-to-people interaction and support across the political spectrum in both countries nurture our bilateral relationship.
India-U.S. Dialogue Architecture: There are more than 50 bilateral dialogue mechanisms between the two governments. The first two meetings of the Strategic and Commercial Dialogue at the level of EAM and MoS (Commerce & Industry) were held in Washington DC in September 2015 and New Delhi in August 2016. This apex-level dialogue has added a commercial component to the five traditional pillars of bilateral relations on which the erstwhile Strategic Dialogue of Foreign Ministers had focussed, namely: Strategic Cooperation; Energy and Climate Change, Education and Development; Economy, Trade and Agriculture; Science and Technology; and Health and Innovation. The second meeting of the Strategic and Commercial Dialogue took place on 30 August 2016 in New Delhi. In addition, there are Ministerial-level dialogues involving home (Homeland Security Dialogue), finance (Financial and Economic Partnership), commerce (Trade Policy Forum), HRD (Higher Education Dialogue), Science & Technology (Joint Commission Meeting on S&T) and energy (Energy Dialogue).
Defence Cooperation: Defence relationship has emerged as a major pillar of India-U.S. strategic partnership with the signing of ‘New Framework for India-U.S. Defense Relations’ in 2005 and the resulting intensification in defence trade, joint exercises, personnel exchanges, collaboration and cooperation in maritime security and counter-piracy, and exchanges between each of the three services. The Defence Framework Agreement was updated and renewed for another 10 years in June 2015. The two countries now conduct more bilateral exercises with each other than they do with any other country. India participated in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise in July-August 2016 for the second time with an Indian Naval Frigate. Bilateral dialogue mechanisms in the field of defence include Defence Policy Group (DPG), Defence Joint Working Group (DJWG), Defence Procurement and Production Group (DPPG), Senior Technology Security Group (STSG), Joint Technical Group (JTG), Military Cooperation Group (MCG), and Service-to-Service Executive Steering Groups (ESGs).The agreements signed during the past one year include, Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Association (LEMOA) signed in August 2016, Fuel Exchange Agreementsigned in November 2015,Technical Agreement (TA) on information sharing on White (merchant) Shipping signed in May 2016 and the Information Exchange Annexe (IEA) on Aircraft Carrier Technologies signed in June 2016. Aggregate worth of defence acquisition from U.S. Defence has crossed over US$ 13 billion. India and the United States have launched a Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) aimed at simplifying technology transfer policies and exploring possibilities of co-development and co-production to invest the defence relationship with strategic value. The DTTI Working Group and its Task Force will expeditiously evaluate and decide on unique projects and technologies which would have a transformative impact on bilateral defence relations and enhance India's defence industry and military capabilities. During President Obama's visit in January 2015, the two sides agreed to start cooperation on 4 DTTI pathfinder projects and 2 pathfinder initiatives, which are currently at various stages of execution. During RM's visit in December 2015, the two sides also identified opportunities for bilateral cooperation in production and design of jet engine components. During Secretary Carter's visit in April 2014, two more G-2-G DTTI projects were added to the list. The DTTI meeting in Delhi in July 2016 decided to broaden its agenda by setting up five new Joint Working Groups on: Naval Systems; Air Systems, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance; Chemical and Biological Protection; and Other Systems. During the visit of Prime Minister to the U.S. in June 2016, the U.S. recognised India as a "Major Defence Partner", which commits the U.S. to facilitate technology sharing with India to a level commensurate with that of its closest allies and partners, and industry collaboration for defence co-production and co-development.
India and the US have recently concluded second 2+2 ministerial dialogue in Washington. Several landmark agreements in both defence and Civilian sectors were signed.
Peacekeeping for Indo-Pacific
Tiger Triumph Exercise
Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI)
Water Resource Management
Space Situational Awareness (SSA)
Young Innovators Internship Programme (YIIP)
Parliamentary Exchange and Judicial cooperation
Unutilised Budgetary Funds in Education
Budget allocations and expenditure:
Samagra Shiksha Scheme (PT-HIT)
Ministry of Human Resource Development is implementing the Scheme of Vocationalisation of School Education.
Critical infrastructure gaps:
The Parliamentary panel has identified and expressed concerns over critical infrastructure gaps in the government schools.
Right to Education Act
The Act is completely titled “the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act”. It was passed by the Parliament in August 2009. When the Act came into force in 2010, India became one among 135 countries where education is a fundamental right of every child.
The provisions of the RTE Act are briefly described below. The Act provides for:
Significance of RTE
With the passing of the Right to Education Act, India has moved to a rights-based approach towards implementing education for all. This Act casts a legal obligation on the state and central governments to execute the fundamental rights of a child (as per Article 21 A of the Constitution).
The RTE Act mandates for all private schools to reserve 25 per cent of their seats for children from socially disadvantaged and economically backward sections. This move is intended to boost social inclusion and pave the way for a more just and equal country.
Criticism of RTE Act
Even though the RTE Act is a step in the right direction towards the achievement of making education truly free and compulsory in India, it has met with several criticisms. Some of the criticisms are given below:
Making the right to education a fundamental right took more than 6 decades after independence. Now, the government and all stakeholders should focus on the quality of education, and gradually move towards having a single educational system and platform across the country for all sections of society in order to foster equality, inclusion, and unity.
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Environment
The International Union for Conservation of Nature
The International Union for Conservation of Nature works to achieve the following goals:
List of critically endangered species in India as per IUCN Red List 2019
The list of critically endangered species in India from various categories are given below:
Critically Endangered Mammals
Critically Endangered Birds
Critically Endangered Reptiles
Critically Endangered Fishes
IUCN Conservation Plan for 2020
The strategy for the conservation of nature by IUCN is as follows:
Source: TH/IUCN WEB
CORD BLOOD BANKING
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- S&T
Recently there has been growing concern regarding the aggressively promoted concept of cord blood banking.
Cord Blood Banking
One type comes from fully developed tissues, like the brain, skin, and bone marrow.
There are only small numbers of stem cells in these tissues, and they are more likely to generate only certain types of cells. For example, a stem cell derived from the liver will only generate more liver cells.
The second type is induced pluripotent stem cells.
These are adult stem cells that have been manipulated in a laboratory to take on the pluripotent characteristics of embryonic stem cells.
Indian Council of Medical Research