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24 Jul, 2020

20 Min Read

Post-Brexit deal

GS-II : International Relations Britain

Post-Brexit deal

  • Britain and the European Union wound up their latest round of post-Brexit trade negotiations.
  • Both the sides ruled out a quick deal but voiced hope for agreement in the coming months.
  • The UK formally left the EU on 31 January 2020 and immediately entered into an 11-month transition period.
  • During this period, the UK will continue to follow all of the EU’s rules and its trading relationship will remain the same.
  • However, it is no longer part of the EU’s political institutions – so there are no longer any British Member of the European Parliament (MEPs) in the European Parliament.
  • The transition gives both sides some time to decide the terms of the future UK-EU relationship.
  • The UK will leave the single market and customs union at the end of the transition.
  • A free trade agreement will allow UK goods to move around the EU without extra charges and keep other barriers (like checks) to a minimum.
  • If an agreement cannot be reached by 31 December, then tariffs (taxes) and full border checks will be applied to UK goods travelling to the EU.
  • A deal has to be reached and be ratified by all 27 EU member states and the UK Parliament.
  • Failure to do so would see ties reduced to minimum standards set by the World Trade Organization, leading to high tariffs and serious disruptions to business.

Source: TH

Locals mark 6 places for settling Bru refugees


Locals mark 6 places for settling Bru refugees


  • Six places have been proposed by the non-Brus of Tripura for settling the displaced Brus from Mizoram.
  • Limits have also been placed for the number of families to be accommodated in two subdivisions that have borne the brunt of the 23-year-old refugee crisis.
  • There are 7 relief camps among which the Bru families are distributed in these two subdivisions.


  • Non-Bru groups have been maintaining that the Brus were difficult to coexist with.
  • The onus was put on the state government by the Bru leaders, to honour a quadripartite agreement in January 2020 for resettling more than 6,500 families in suitable areas.
  • The areas proposed by the Joint Movement Committee (comprising Bengali, Mizo and other indigenous communities of the subdivisions of North Tripura district) and those sought by the Bru organisations do not match.

Source: TH

Tianwen-1 Mars mission


Tianwen-1 Mars mission


  • China launched the Tianwen-1 Mars rover mission.

About Tianwen-1:

  • It is China’s first fully home-grown Mars mission.
  • It was launched atop Long March-5 carrier rocket.
  • It consists of an orbiter and a lander/rover duo, a combination of craft that had never before been launched together towards Mars.


  • It is especially striking given that it’s China’s first attempt at a full-on Mars mission.
  • China did launch a Mars orbiter called Yinghuo-1 in 2011, but the spacecraft accompanied Russia’s Phobos-Grunt mission. However, the launch failed, leaving the probes trapped in Earth orbit.
  • Tianwen-1 is expected to arrive at the Red Planet in February 2021.
  • The lander/rover pair will touch down on the Martian surface two to three months later somewhere within Utopia Planitia.
  • Utopia Planitia is a large plain in Mars’ Northern Hemisphere.
  • NASA’s Viking 2 lander landed there in 1976.
  • The solar-powered rover will then spend about 90 Martian days (called sols, and slightly longer than Earth Days), studying its surroundings in detail.
  • The orbiter will eventually settle into a polar elliptical orbit.
  • The lander apparently will not do any substantive science work, serving as a delivery system for the rover.

Objectives of Tianwen-1:

  • To map the morphology and geological structure.
  • To investigate the surface soil characteristics and water-ice distribution.
  • To analyze the surface material composition.
  • To measure the ionosphere and the characteristics of the Martian climate and environment at the surface.
  • To perceive the physical fields (electromagnetic, gravitational) and internal structure of Mars.

Source: TH

Open Credit Enablement Network (OCEN)

GS-III : Economic Issues MSME

Open Credit Enablement Network (OCEN)

  • A nationwide pilot of the newly-developed credit protocol infrastructure – OCEN is all set to start.

About Open Credit Enablement Network (OCEN):

  • The credit protocol infrastructure is known as Open Credit Enablement Network (OCEN).
  • Indian Software Products Industry Round Table (iSPIRT) has developed the platform.
  • It will mediate the interactions between loan service providers (usually fintechs and mainstream lenders) including all large banks and NBFCs.
  • These will involve multiple banks and thousands of MSMEs.
  • Meanwhile, private equity and venture capital players, angel investors, high net worth individuals and others also could be part of this exercise as investors.
  • With this, credit is expected to become more accessible for a large number of entrepreneurs and small businesses in India.
  • It is believed that this would lead to the democratisation of credit.

Source: TH

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