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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

Monthly DNA

13 Aug, 2022

50 Min Read

India and Bangladesh Relationship

GS-II : Bilateral Relations India and its neighborhood

India and Bangladesh Relations

Image Source - The Daily Guardian

News: The 4th India-Bangladesh Annual Defence Dialogue, which was recently held in Delhi, decided to intensify the cooperation between the two-armed forces.

Highlights

Military training

  • The discussions focused on the current bilateral training and exercises, and it was decided to make them more challenging.
  • The development of various bilateral defence cooperation was assessed by both parties.
  • 500 million dollars in credit lines (LOC) to Bangladesh.

UN peacekeeping

  • The Bangladeshi government received praise from India for its UN peacekeeping actions.

India-Bangladesh Relations

Historical Background

  • In December 1971, India made it possible for former East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) to be freed from the former Western Pakistan, which had ordered the genocide of Bangla residents.
  • Throughout the conflict, the US and China sided with Pakistan while opposing India's support for East Pakistan.
  • India successfully liberated Dhaka with help from the USSR and gave Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, a symbol of political leadership, the reins of power.
  • One of the first nations to acknowledge Bangladesh's independence and establish diplomatic ties was India.

Security and Border Management

  • Border Security Force (BSF) and the Bangladeshi Border Guard held Director-General Level Talks (DGLT)
  • The 4096.7 km of the India-Bangladesh land border are managed and secured through regular border coordination conferences between Regional Commanders of the BGB and the Frontier Inspectors General of the BSF.

Defence Cooperation

  • The second India-Bangladesh CORPAT "Bangosagar" exercise, the Coast Guard Regional Commanders meeting, and the Annual Defense Dialogue are examples of high-level interactions.
  • Engagements pertaining to Muktijoddha and the launch of the Muktijoddha Medical Scheme in Bangladesh in 2020.
  • Various joint military drills between the two nations take place, including Exercise Sampriti for the Army and Exercise Milan for the Navy.

Connectivity

  • Several steps have been taken to reestablish the train connections and other connectivity between India and Bangladesh that existed before 1965.
  • To promote interpersonal connections, Chilahati (Bangladesh) and Haldibari (India) jointly reopened their railway connection.
  • As the Covid-19 outbreak continued, both nations began utilizing side-door container and parcel trains to maintain uninterrupted supply lines.
  • It was decided to start a bus service between Dhaka and Siliguri, Gangtok, and Darjeeling. A trial run between Dhaka and Siliguri, Gangtok, and Dhaka was also held.
  • Jointly inaugurated is the Feni Bridge (Maitree Setu) that connects the LCS Sub room (Tripura) with LCS Ramgarh (Bangladesh).
  • Two new India-Bangladesh Protocol Routes were included in the second addendum to the Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade (PIWTT) (Sonamura-Daudkandi on river Gomti and extension of Dhulia to Godagiri up to Aricha on river Padma).

Economic and Commercial

  • India's largest trading partner in South Asia is Bangladesh and Bangladesh's largest trading partner is India.
  • India exported 8.2 billion dollars to Bangladesh in the FY 2019–20 while importing 1.26 billion dollars.
  • The India-Bangladesh CEO's Forum was established to foster business community interaction and offer policy-level advice.
  • The India-Bangladesh Textile Industry Forum had its inaugural meeting to strengthen connections and teamwork in the textile industry.
  • One of the defining characteristics of relations between India and Bangladesh is cooperation in the power sector.
  • Currently, 1160 MW of power is imported by Bangladesh from India.

Development Partnership

  • India's largest development partner is currently in Bangladesh.
  • In the past eight years, India has given Bangladesh three lines of credit (LOC) totalling USD 8 billion for the construction of infrastructure.
  • India has also been giving grants to Bangladesh for several infrastructure projects, including the development of the India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline, the Akhaura-Agartala rail link, and the dredging of Bangladesh's inland waterways.
  • An active pillar of India's development assistance is High Impact Community Development Projects (HICDPs).

Capacity Building and Human Resource Development

  • At national institutes in India, the Indian government has been training judges, police officers, and civil servants from Bangladesh.
  • Bangladesh is a significant partner nation for Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC).
  • Every year, students from Bangladesh are given scholarships by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) to attend undergrad, graduate, and other programs in Indian universities.

Cultural coexistence

  • The celebration of the shared cultural ties between the two nations involves the Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre (IGCC), which is located in Dhaka.

Visas

  • Six new Indian Visa Application Centers (IVACs) have been opened in Bangladesh by the government of India policy to further liberalize the application process for Indian visas and to improve interpersonal relationships.
  • Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, both nations have started a temporary air travel bubble to meet the urgent needs of passengers from Bangladesh and India.

Cooperation amidst Covid-19

  • Bangladesh received three shipments from India of medical supplies, including RT-PCR test kits, surgical masks, and hydroxychloroquine pills.
  • Bangladeshi medical practitioners have been receiving training from India through a variety of online training modules.
  • Bangladesh received Covishield (vaccines from Oxford-AstraZeneca) from India.

International Coordination

  • Both are members of SAARC, BIMSTEC, the Commonwealth, and the Indian Ocean Coastal Regional Cooperation Association.
  • Bangladesh has played a significant role for India in the Neighborhood First Policy and Act East Policy.

CONCERN:

  • The 2019 Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC) have strained relations because Bangladesh has voiced opposition to the Act and believes it is unneeded.
  • Agreements to share river water that has failed, such as the Teesta accord. Despite being signed in 2011, it hasn't advanced because of political hostilities between the state and the federal government.
  • A project to upgrade the Ganga-Padma barrage is currently in progress.
  • Delays in the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal Initiative's implementation (BBIN).
  • Bangladeshi residents' opinions on India are directly impacted by the communal climate there.
  • Relations have been harmed by the Land and Maritime Boundary Agreements and the issue of Bangladeshi civilians being killed along the border.

WAY FORWARD

Solving the water-sharing conundrum and providing amicable mutual solutions to refugee crises, border infiltration, and land issues can further strengthen the ties between the countries.

Also, Read - Garuda Shield: deterrence against Chinese Encroachment

Source: The Indian Express

SMILE-75 Initiative

GS-II : Government policies and interventions Government Schemes & Programmes

SMILE-75 Initiative

To address the enduring issue of destitution and beggary, the Government of India has developed the comprehensive SMILE (Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise) scheme.

As part of the "SMILE-75" Initiative, 75 Municipal Corporations (MC) will provide thorough rehabilitation for beggars in the spirit of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.

MCs will cover several comprehensive welfare measures for persons who are engaged in the act of begging.

About the SMILE 75-Initiative

Aim:

  • Municipal Corporations will provide a range of comprehensive welfare measures for people who are involved in begging in collaboration with NGOs and other stakeholders, with a strong emphasis on rehabilitation, medical facility, provision-counselling, awareness, education, skill development, economic ties, and convergence with other Government welfare programs, among other things.
  • The SMILE project would have a total budget of Rs. 100 crore from now till 2025–2026 from the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.
  • It aims to create a system of support for the comprehensive rehabilitation of beggars.

Implementing Ministry:

  • The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

The sub-scheme of: Comprehensive Rehabilitation of Persons Engaged in the Act of Begging is one of its components.

Objectives:

  • to eradicate begging from municipal and urban areas.
  • to develop a plan involving the coordinated work of many stakeholders for the thorough rehabilitation of those who engage in the act of begging

What is the status of Beggars in India?

  • According to the Census 2011, there are 4,13,670 beggars in India overall (including 2,21,673 men and 1,91,997 women), a rise from the previous count.
  • Uttar Pradesh comes in first on the list, followed by West Bengal at number two and Bihar at number three. According to the 2011 census, there are only two vagrants living in Lakshadweep.
  • There were 2,187 beggars in New Delhi, the most of any union territory, followed by 121 in Chandigarh.
  • Assam led the list of northeastern states with 22,116 beggars, while Mizoram came in last with 53

Source: PIB

Booster Dose: Corbevax

GS-III : S&T Health

Booster Dose: Corbevax

Image Source - The Financial Express

According to a recent announcement from the Indian government, persons who have already taken Covishield or Covaxin as their first or second dosage of Covid-19 may take Corbevax as their third booster shot.

Corbevax is still seeking the Emergency Use Listing (EUL)from the World Health Organization

Up until this point, the vaccination used for the third dose had to be the same as that for the first and second doses.

The choice was made when India's drug authorities authorized Corbevax as a heterologous Covid booster dose for people 18 years of age and above.

About the Corbevax Vaccine

  • The two doses of Corbevax, which are spaced 28 days apart, are the country's first Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) protein subunit vaccination against Covid.

  • The ideal storage range for India's needs is between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius.
  • Working Principle: Corbevax is a "recombinant protein sub-unit" vaccine, meaning it contains a particular component of the SARS-CoV-2 virus: the spike protein on its surface.
  • The spike protein enables the virus to penetrate the body's cells where it can reproduce and harm people.
  • However, because the rest of the virus is missing when this protein is administered to the body, it is not anticipated to be detrimental.
  • It is anticipated that the immune system will react negatively to the injected spike protein.
  • Once the protein is recognized by the human immune system, white blood cells called antibodies are created to fight the infection.
  • Consequently, the body will already be prepared for an immune reaction when the actual virus tries to infect it, making it unlikely that the individual will become ill.

Other types of Vaccines

Vaccinations that are inactivated:

  • Inactivated vaccines employ a disease-causing bacterium that has been killed.
  • These vaccines are made by rendering a pathogen inactive, usually using heat or chemicals like formaldehyde or formalin.
  • While the pathogen's capacity to reproduce is destroyed, it is kept "intact" enough that the immune system can still detect it. (Viral vaccines of this kind are typically referred to as "inactivated" rather than "killed," as viruses are typically not thought of as being alive.)

Live-attenuated Vaccines:

  • Live vaccines use a disease-causing microbe in a weaker (or attenuated) form.
  • These vaccines produce a potent and robust immune response because they closely resemble the natural infection that they help avoid.

mRNA Vaccines:

  • mRNA vaccines produce proteins to stimulate an immune response. mRNA vaccines have several advantages over other vaccine kinds, including quicker manufacturing timeframes and no risk of infection in the recipient due to the absence of a live virus.
  • The vaccinations provide defense against Covid-19.
  • The toxin (harmful substance) produced by the pathogen that causes a disease is used in toxoid vaccines.
  • Instead of the germ itself, they develop immunity to the components of the germ that are responsible for a disease. This indicates that the immune response is focused on the poison rather than the entire germ.
  • Live vaccinations make use of a disease-causing bacterium that has been weakened or attenuated.

Vaccines with a viral vector:

  • Vaccines with a viral vector give protection by using a modified form of a different virus.
  • The influenza virus, the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), the measles virus, and the adenovirus that causes the common cold have all been utilized as vectors.

What is WHO’s Emergency Use Listing (EUL)?

With the ultimate goal of accelerating the availability of products to persons affected by a public health emergency, EUL is a risk-based system for evaluating and listing unlicensed vaccines, medicines, and in-vitro diagnostics.

Many nations mandate vaccinations on the WHO-approved list for travellers going abroad.

Also, Read - Global Employment Trends for Youth: ILO

Source: The Indian Express

Digital Currency

GS-III : Economic Issues Digital currency

Digital Currency

  • Over 7% of India's population possessed digital currency in 2021, according to a recent report by the United Nations Trade and Development Body (UNCTAD).
  • Additionally, India was rated eighth in terms of population ownership of digital currencies among the top 20 economies worldwide.

Image Source - Techcabal

HIGHLIGHT

  • When it comes to the percentage of the population that owns cryptocurrency, developing nations made up 15 of the top 20 economies.
  • On the list, Ukraine came in first, followed by Russia, Venezuela, Singapore, Kenya, and the United States.
  • During the Covid-19 pandemic, cryptocurrency use multiplied globally, particularly in developing nations.

Issues Highlighted by the Study

  • Private digital currencies are unstable financial assets that can increase social risks and costs while also rewarding some users and facilitating remittances.

Unregulated:

  • Because these digital currencies are not regulated, there has been a sharp increase in demand for them in developing nations because they make remittances easier and serve as an inflation hedge.

Volatile System:

  • Recent market shocks in the digital currency space indicate that there are private dangers associated with holding cryptocurrency, but if the central bank intervenes to preserve financial stability, the issue becomes a public one.

Risks to Monetary Sovereignty:

  • The monetary sovereignty of nations may be at risk if cryptocurrencies take off as a common form of payment and perhaps informally replace national currencies (a process known as a crypto nation).

Undermine Local Policies:

  • In developing nations, cryptocurrencies can make it more difficult to mobilize domestic resources.

What are the Suggestions Highlighted by the Study?

  • Remittances can be made easier by the government, but they can also make it easier to evade and avoid taxes by allowing illicit flows.
  • The study urged authorities to take action to stop the spread of cryptocurrencies in emerging markets, including ensuring thorough financial regulation of cryptocurrencies through the regulation of crypto exchanges, digital wallets, and decentralised finance, as well as by forbidding regulated financial institutions from holding cryptocurrencies (including stablecoins) or providing customers with related products.
  • Additionally, it asked for curbs on digital currency promotion, just like with other high-risk financial assets.
  • Providing a public payment system that is cost-efficient, dependable, and secure for the digital era;
  • Redesign capital controls to account for the decentralized, omnipresent, and pseudonymous aspects of digital currencies.
  • Implement global tax harmonization on digital currency tax procedures, legislation, and information sharing.

Digital Currency

  • A sort of money that can only be obtained digitally or electronically is known as a digital currency.
  • Other names for it include cybercash, electronic currency, digital money, and digital money.
  • It has no physical characteristics and can only be acquired digitally.
  • Digital currency transactions are carried out through the use of computers or electronic wallets linked to the internet or specific networks.
  • In contrast, tangible currencies have distinct physical properties and characteristics, such as banknotes and coins that have been produced.

Features:

  • Both centralized and decentralized digital currencies exist.
  • Fiat currency is produced and distributed centrally by a central bank and other governmental organizations and exists in physical form.
  • Decentralized digital money systems include well-known cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
  • Types: The electronic world uses a variety of currencies. There are primarily three types of currencies:
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Digital currencies known as cryptocurrencies use cryptography to safeguard and validate network transactions.
  • The development of such currencies is managed and regulated through the use of cryptography.
  • A couple of instances of cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Virtual currencies

  • Virtual currencies are unregulated digital currencies that are managed by developers or a founding organization made up of different process participants.
  • A predetermined network protocol can likewise be used to algorithmically govern virtual currencies.
  • A gaming network token is an illustration of virtual money, and its economics are established and managed by developers.

Central bank digital currency

  • Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are regulated digital currencies that are issued by a country's central bank.
  • A CBDC can be used in addition to or in substitution for conventional fiat money.
  • A CBDC only exists in digital form, in a contrast to fiat currency, which also exists in physical form.
  • A few of the countries considering introducing a digital version of their domestic fiat currencies are Uruguay, England, and Sweden.

Advantages

Fast transaction time

  • The time required for transfers involving digital currencies is extremely quick because they typically operate inside the same network and complete transactions without the use of middlemen.

Do not require Physical Manufacturing & Saves costs:

  • Digital currencies do not need to build real production facilities, which is one of the many criteria for physical currencies. These currencies are also resistant to stains or physical flaws that can occur with real money.

Ease Implementation of Monetary and Fiscal Policy:

  • Under the current monetary system, the Central bank channels funds into an economy through a network of intermediaries, including banks and financial institutions. CBDCs can assist in getting around this system and letting a government organization pay people directly.

Disadvantages

  • Because of their digital origin, digital currencies are vulnerable to hacking. Hackers have the ability to take digital currency from online wallets or alter the protocol, rendering them useless.
  • Volatile Value: Prices for digital currencies used in trading can fluctuate wildly.
  • The decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies, for instance, has led to the proliferation of weakly funded digital currencies, whose valuations are susceptible to jarring shifts depending on investor whims.

Also, Read - Global Employment Trends for Youth: ILO

Source: The Hindu

African ‘orphan’ Crop

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Climate change

African ‘orphan’ Crop

Researchers recently discovered genes in the regional food crops of Africa that can increase drought tolerance.

About Orphan crops

  • Orphan crops are wholesome regional food crops that could be extremely important in the fight against hunger.
  • Although they are not traded worldwide, these crops have evolved to be able to flourish in inclement weather.

Crops

Orphan crops including African yam bean, jojoba, jatropha, and finger and small millet are frequently found across the continent.

Significance

Changing weather

  • It provides a remedy for growing worries that crop yield will be hampered by climate change.
  • It had discovered genes with minimal water requirements, higher salinity tolerance, and high-temperature tolerance that provided vital nourishment.

Increasing crop yield

  • These genes could be included to increase crop yield, which is impacted by heatwaves and rising global temperatures.

Combatting Heat Waves

  • The extended heat waves are anticipated to have an impact on nations like Pakistan and India.

Role of Africa

  • By 2050, it is predicted that Africa would contribute to supplying 25% of the world's population with food.

Source: FAO

Butterfly Mine

GS-III : S&T Defense system

Butterfly Mine

The contentious "Butterfly Mine," an anti-personnel mine that is meant to prevent free movement of the soldiers along the enemy line, is said to have been used by Russia in the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

About

  • Anti-personnel landmines with the designations PFM-1 and PFM-1S are sometimes known as "Butterfly mines" or "Green Parrots."
  • These names were taken from the mines' shape and color.
  • The PFM-1S mine's self-destruction mechanism activates within one to forty hours, which is the primary distinction between PFM-1S and the PFM-1 mine.

Specifications

  • It is extremely touch-sensitive, and even picking it up can cause it to react.
  • This little mine frequently maims and injures the handler rather than killing them because of the relatively less explosive that is packed inside of it.
  • Because they are plastic and may avoid metal detectors, these mines are especially challenging to find
  • These mines can be placed in the area of conflict in a number of ways, such as by dropping them from helicopters or dispersing them with artillery and mortar bombs.

Which mines are permitted under international law?

  • On landlines, antipersonnel mines are prohibited by an International treaty, but Russia and Ukraine have not ratified them.
  • Russia and Ukraine are parties to the 1996 Amended Protocol II (also known as the Landlines Protocol) to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.

Source: The Indian express

Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)

GS-I : Physical Geography Climatology

Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)

The likelihood of above-average rainfall over much of Australia has increased due to a negative Indian Ocean dipole event that has been proclaimed.

What is the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)?

  • It is an atmosphere-ocean coupled phenomenon in the tropical Indian Ocean (like the El Nino is in the tropical Pacific), characterized by a difference in sea-surface temperatures.
  • A ‘positive IOD’ — or simply ‘IOD’ — is associated with cooler than normal sea-surface temperatures in the eastern equatorial Indian Ocean and warmer than normal sea-surface temperatures in the western tropical Indian Ocean.
  • The opposite phenomenon is called a ‘negative IOD’, and is characterised by warmer than normal SSTs in the eastern equatorial Indian Ocean and cooler than normal SSTs in the western tropical Indian Ocean

More About Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)

  • The difference in sea surface temperature between two regions (or poles, hence a dipole) — a western pole in the Arabian Sea (western Indian Ocean) and an eastern pole in the eastern Indian Ocean south of Indonesia — defines it.
  • According to science, the IOD is an ENSO-like coupled ocean-atmosphere event that occurs in the equatorial Indian Ocean.
  • It is believed that the IOD and ENSO occurrences are connected by the Walker Circulation's westward expansion and its related Indonesian throughflow (the flow of warm tropical ocean water from the Pacific into the Indian Ocean).
  • The IOD significantly contributes to the variability of rainfall in this area and has an impact on the climate of Australia and other nations that border the Indian Ocean Basin.

The positive event linked to it

  • Less cloud cover to Australia's northwest, warmer sea surface temperatures in the western Indian Ocean compared to the east, easterly wind anomalies across the Indian Ocean, and less rainfall over southern Australia and the Top End

Negative event:

  • Winds turn more westward, increasing cloud cover in Australia's northwest and increasing rainfall in the Top End and southern Australia due to cooler sea surface temperatures in the western Indian Ocean compared to the east.

Source: The Indian Express

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