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16 Aug, 2022

39 Min Read

India-European Union Ties

GS-II : International Relations Europe

India-European Union Ties

India is commemorating its 75th anniversary of independence and 60 years of diplomatic ties with the European Union (EU).

How has the relationship between India and the EU evolved over the years?

  • The two nations' connection went beyond trade and economic cooperation after they signed a cooperation pact in 1994.
  • In June 2000, the first summit between India and the EU represented a turning point in the development of the relationship.
  • In 2004, the partnership was elevated to a "Strategic Partnership" during the fifth India-EU Summit.
  • In 2005, the two parties agreed upon a Joint Action Plan.
  • The action plan aimed to improve trade and investment, promote cross-cultural understanding and create institutions for political and economic discussion and consultation.
  • A shared road plan was provided at the 15th India-EU Summit in July 2020 to direct cooperative activity and further solidify the cooperation over the ensuing five years.

The road map highlights engagement across five domains:

  • foreign policy and security cooperation
  • trade and economy
  • sustainable modernization partnership
  • global governance
  • people-to-people relations

What are the areas of cooperation?


  • In 2021–2022, the two countries bilateral trade reached $116 billion.
  • After the United States, the EU is India's second-largest commercial partner and the second-largest market for its exports.
  • In the nation, 6,000 European businesses support 6.7 million jobs both directly and indirectly.
  • The goal of the green strategic collaboration between India and Denmark is to combat pollution, biodiversity loss, and climate change.
  • The India-Nordic Summit centred on green technologies and industry change, both of which are essential for inclusive and sustainable growth.
  • All of this will stimulate further cooperation between the two regions.


There has been significant growth in cooperation with the EU in the field of defence.

  • Reducing India's reliance on Russian hardware in light of the turmoil in Ukraine is crucial at this point.
  • As a result of its conflict with China, this also aids in the effort to diversify its acquisitions of modern weapons from other regions.
  • A regular joint military and naval drills between India and the EU demonstrate their dedication to a free, open, inclusive, and rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific.
  • The joint steering committee for science and technology is particularly interested in fields including earth sciences, artificial intelligence, and healthcare.
  • The European Atomic Energy Community and the Government of India signed a deal in 2020 to cooperate in research and development for nuclear energy's non-military applications.
  • India is recognized by European allies as a key pillar in maintaining the Indo-Pacific region's stability.
  • The first maritime security discussion between India and the European Union took place in 2021, with an emphasis on capacity-building, cooperative naval exercises, and cooperation in maritime domain awareness.
  • The timely delivery of 36 Rafale fighter fighters by France and its willingness to supply the Indian Navy Barracuda nuclear attack submarines are signs of the confidence that is developing in bilateral partnerships.
  • Leading European defence equipment producers are eager to work with Indian firms on defence projects that support the "Make in India" initiative.
  • The start-up and innovation ecosystem in India and Europe is another area of involvement that is expanding quickly.

What are the challenges in the relationship?

In several areas, the perspectives and interests of the two parties diverge.

  • One point of contention has been India's hesitation to expressly denounce Russia's action in Ukraine and the nation's growing economic partnership with Russia.
  • India has criticized the EU for applying different standards to the same matter given that the EU will import 45% of its gas from Russia in 2021.
  • The EU's approach to countering China's ascent is likewise unclear.
  • A prime example is how it behaved when there was a fight in Galway.
  • The EU may skillfully use India's economic, political, and demographic weight to balance out China's influence throughout the region.
  • There does appear to be some hesitation, though.

Way forward

  • In an increasingly multi-polar world, where both India and the EU are major political and economic pillars, our ability to cooperate can influence global outcomes.
  • The EU is looking to form alliances with nations that share its values, such as India, in order to become more than just a commercial bloc.
  • Such ideological differences shouldn't overshadow the many areas where India and the EU agree.
  • The proactive restart of the expansive free trade and investment agreement between the EU and India in 2021 is a positive step.

Also, Learn About - Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS)

Source: The Hindu

India - UK Relations

GS-III : Economic Issues Free trade agreement

India - UK Relations

According to Britain Meets India (BMI) Report by Grant Thortan Bharat in collaboration with The Confederation of Indian Industry, trade between India and the UK is expected to double by 2030 as a result of the proposed free trade agreement, investments in technology, diversification of global supply chains, and ease of doing business (CII).

The top industry that UK firms are looking to invest in India is business services, with Maharashtra being the top state for investment followed by the National Capital Region and Karnataka.

About Proposed Free Trade Agreement

  • The proposed FTA is anticipated to increase Indian exports in labour-intensive industries like education, pharmaceuticals, health care, and the production of leather, textiles, jewellery, processed agri-products, and marine products.
  • The UK is likely to consider lowering taxes on goods like apples, machinery, and medical devices made in the country.
  • Additionally, UK businesses anticipate India to take steps to strengthen data protection and uphold agreements.

India's Trade with the UK:

  • With a total investment of almost USD 31.92 billion between FY 2000 and FY 22, the UK remained the sixth largest investor in India.
  • This made up around 5.4% of all the foreign direct investment (FDI) that India received.
  • In FY 2022, India's trade with the UK in goods and services totalled USD 31.34 billion, up from USD 19.51 billion in 2015.
  • A total of 4.66 lakh people are employed by the 618 UK companies that have been located in India, and they generate a combined annual revenue of Rs 3,634.9 billion.


  • The conclusion of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2021 is evidence that the India-UK relationship has been improving despite the challenge given by the Ukraine conflict.
  • In addition, a 2030 Roadmap for India-UK relations was formed, which largely specifies the cooperation goals for the two-way relationship.
  • Both nations conducted discussions on expanding their defence and cyber security cooperation as well as on trade relating to the military.
  • In order to safeguard the online infrastructure in both India and the UK, a new cooperative cyber security program is about to be announced.
  • The first Strategic Tech Dialogue, a ministerial-level forum on new technologies, will also be held by India and the UK.
  • The UK will join India's Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative and become a significant partner on marine security problems in Southeast Asia, thereby strengthening the two countries' maritime relations.
  • India and the UK finished the first phase of negotiations for a free trade agreement in January 2022. The talks revealed common goals between the sixth-largest economy in the world (India) and the fifth-largest economy in the world (the UK).

About Free Trade Agreement

  • It is an agreement between two or more countries to lower import and export restrictions.
  • Under a free trade policy, there are little to no government tariffs, quotas, subsidies, or prohibitions that prevent the exchange of products and services across international borders.
  • The idea of free trade is the antithesis of economic or trade protectionism.

FTAs between India and Australia ECTA:

  • 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.

South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA):

  • A Free Trade Agreement is confined to goods but excludes all services like information technology.
  • This agreement was signed to reduce customs duties of all traded goods to zero by the year 2016.

Other Trade Agreements signed by India


  • The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) establishes a framework for promoting and enhancing commerce between the two nations.

India and Mauritius have a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA):

  • It is a form of free trade agreement that intends to offer a formal system for promoting and enhancing trade between the two nations.
  • Countries decrease or do away with the levies on the products under this agreement. To encourage trade in services, the nations also ease their regulations.

The South Asia Preferential Trading Agreement (SAPTA),

  • It came into effect in 1995 and is a trade promotion agreement for the member nations of South Asia.

APTA: Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement

  • It was formerly known as the Bangkok Agreement and was a preferential tariff system designed to encourage intra-regional trade through the exchange of mutually acceptable concessions between member nations

Also Read - Global Employment Trends for Youth: ILO

Source: The Hindu

Essential Commodities Act of 1955 upsc

GS-III : Economic Issues Government policies and interventions

Essential Commodities Act of 1955

The Essential Commodities Act of 1955 has recently been used by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution to stop the rise in tur dal prices.

States and Union Territories are required to give weekly instructions to "stockholder entities to submit the data of the stocks held by them" to a Department of Consumer Affairs online monitoring portal.

Why Invoking the Act?

  • Due to excessive rainfall and water logging conditions in some areas of the key Tur-growing states of Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh, Tur prices have increased since mid-July 2022, but Kharif planting has advanced more slowly this year than it did the last year 2021.
  • The government is taking proactive measures to ensure widespread availability and controlled prices of pulses in both the local and international markets in order to prevent any unnecessary price increases in the next high-demand festival months.
  • Limiting attempts by certain sellers and stockists to artificially inflate scarcity and use "limited sales" to drive up the price of tur dal.
  • Artificial scarcity refers to the deliberate restriction of production of specific goods (or services) in order to increase costs and/or demand.

What is the Essential Commodities Act 1955?


  • Due to persistently low levels of foodgrain production, the country was experiencing a food shortage when the ECA Act 1955 was passed into law.
  • The nation was reliant on aid and imports (such as the import of wheat from the US under PL-480) to feed its people.
  • The Essential Commodities Act was passed in 1955 to discourage food stockpiling and black marketing.

Essential good or service:

  • The Necessary Items Act of 1955 omits a detailed definition of essential commodities.
  • According to Section 2(A) of the Act, an item listed in the Act's Schedule qualifies as an "essential commodity."

Legal Jurisdiction:

  • The Act gives the federal government the authority to include or exclude a good from the Schedule.
  • The Center may notify a product as essential after consulting with state governments if it determines that doing so is required in the public interest.
  • By permitting the Center to permit state governments to control commerce in a wide range of commodities, the ECA 1955 is utilized to manage inflation.
  • The government can impose a stock limit and regulate the production, supply, and distribution of a commodity by designating it as vital.

Issues Related to Essential Commodities Act 1955

  • The Economic Survey 2019–20 emphasized that while government involvement under the ECA 1955 was completely useless at reducing inflation, it frequently impacted agricultural commerce.
  • This type of action does create opportunities for harassment and rent-seeking.
  • Economists refer to unproductive revenue, especially that derived by corruption, as "rent-seeking."
  • During excess perishable harvests, traders frequently purchase much less than they normally would, and farmers frequently incur significant losses.
  • Due to the lack of investment in cold storage, warehouses, processing, and export, farmers were unable to obtain higher prices.
  • Due to these problems, the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, was approved by Parliament.
  • However, the government was forced to revoke this statute as a result of farmer opposition.

Way ahead

When India's production of food grains was insufficient, the ECA 1955 was introduced. However, given that India already has a surplus of the majority of agricultural goods, the government's decision to revise the ECA 1955 is crucial for both achieving its goal of doubling farmers' income and for improving the ease of doing business.

Also, Read - India - UK Relations

Source: The Hindu

National Intellectual Property Awareness Mission (NIPA

GS-III : Economic Issues IPR (Intellectual Property Rights)

National Intellectual Property Awareness Mission (NIPAM)

The National Intellectual Property Understanding Mission (NIPAM), which was established in 2021, has succeeded in reaching its goal of providing 1 million students with fundamental training and awareness of intellectual property (IP).

The goal was accomplished before the deadline, which was the 15th of August 2022.

About NIPAM:

  • A million children are expected to learn about intellectual property and their rights thanks to a pan-Indian mission.
  • It aims to ignite and motivate college/university students to develop and preserve their creations, as well as to instil the spirit of creativity and innovation in students in higher education (classes 8 through 12).

Executing organization:

  • The Intellectual Property Office, the Office of Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDTM), and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry are carrying out the program.

Goal attained:

  • The following milestones were attained between 8 December 2021 and 7 July 2022:
  • 10,05,272 individuals (students/faculty) were trained on IP.
  • 3,662 educational institutions are included.
  • Geographical coverage: 7 Union Territories and 28 States

About Intellectual Property Rights:

  • The rights that people have over the works of their imaginations are known as intellectual property rights (IPR).
  • The creations like symbols, names, and images are utilized in business as well as literary and artistic works.
  • Typically, they grant the inventor a time-limited, exclusive right to utilize his or her creation.
  • These rights are detailed in Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which grants the right to gain pecuniary and moral interests protection as a result of authorship of works of science, literature, or the arts.
  • The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1883) and the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works was the first agreements to acknowledge the significance of intellectual property (1886).
  • The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) oversees both accords.

Types of IPR

  • Copyrights: For a minimum of 50 years after the author's passing, copyright protects the rights of authors of literary and artistic works (such as books and other publications, musical compositions, paintings, sculptures, computer programs, and films).
  • Industrial property
  • Trademarks
  • Geographical indications (GIs)
  • Trade secrets and industrial designs
  • The main purpose of protecting other kinds of industrial property is to promote invention, design, and technological development.

Need for IPR

Promotes Innovation:

  • The legal protection of original works promotes the earmarking of additional funds for additional research and development.

Economic expansion:

  • The promotion and protection of intellectual property fuel economic expansion, develop new markets and businesses and improve people's quality of life.
  • IPR is essential to protect the rights of inventors and other producers of their intellectual property by giving them certain time-limited rights to regulate how the manufactured goods are used.

Ease of Doing Business:

  • It encourages creativity and innovation while ensuring business ease.

Transfer of Technology:

  • It facilitates the transfer of technology in the form of foreign direct investment, joint ventures, and licensing.

Treaties and Conventions related to IPR

India adheres to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property and is a member of the World Trade Organization (TRIPS Agreement).

India is a signatory to the following significant IPR-related international treaties and conventions that are overseen by the WIPO:

  • The Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure.
  • For the Protection of Industrial Property, the Paris Convention.
  • Literary and artistic works are protected under the Berne Convention.

National effort for Patent Protection:

Indian Patent Act 1970:

  • This primary statute governing India's patenting system went into effect in 1972. The Indian Patents and Designs Act of 1911 was replaced by it.
  • The Patents (Amendment) Act of 2005 changed the law by extending the application of product patents to all areas of technology, including food, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and microbes.

The 2016 National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy

Creative India; Innovative India

  • It establishes a formal system for implementation, oversight, and evaluation.
  • It tries to adapt and modify best practices from around the world for the Indian context.

Also, Read - the Essential Commodities Act of 1955

Source: PIB

Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS)

GS-III : S&T Defense system

Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS)

An indigenously created howitzer called ATAG took part in a 21-gun salute on July 4 at the Red Fort.

About the ATAGS

  • An indigenous 155 mm x 52 calibre howitzer gun is called the ATAGS.
  • The name "howitzers" refers to a group of long-range artillery guns.
  • The Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), a unit of the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) with a location in Pune, is the key agency for its development.
  • In order to replace outdated guns currently in use by the Indian Army with a cutting-edge 155 mm artillery cannon, DRDO launched the ATAGS project in 2013.


  • The 155 mm calibre ammunition owned by the Army may be fired with a longer range, more accuracy, and more firepower using the ATAGS's armament system, which primarily consists of a barrel, breech mechanism, muzzle brake, and recoil mechanism.
  • To provide reliable operation over a longer period of time and no maintenance, the ATAGS is designed with an all-electric drive.
  • It includes sophisticated features like night firing capabilities in direct fire mode, high mobility, quick deployability, auxiliary power mode, advanced communication system, and automatic command and control system.
  • For technical fire control, fire planning, deployment management, and operational logistics management of the Army, the specialized gun system is compatible with C4I (command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence) systems like the Artillery Combat Command and Control System (ACCCS) called Shakti.

Future Role:

  • The former Ordnance Factory Board's Howitzer Dhanush is being developed for Advanced Weapons and Equipment India at the same time that ATAGS is being developed by the DRDO.
  • The Army and the Ministry of Defense approved the bulk manufacture of 114 Dhanush in 2019.
  • Older artillery systems will be effectively replaced in the following days by ATAGS and Dhanush.

Read Also - National Intellectual Property Awareness Mission

Source: PIB

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