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India-UK virtual summit strengthens STI cooperation

India-UK virtual summit strengthens STI cooperation India and UK agreed on a common vision of a new and transformational Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the UK and India, and adopted an ambitious India-UK Roadmap to 2030 to steer cooperation for the next 10 years. Some of the key points to strengthen STI cooperation between two countries are: Enhance cooperation between India and the UK on strengthening the role of women in STEMM at schools, universities, and research ins

08 May, 2021 GS-II International Relations

Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA): Iran Nuclear Deal

Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA): Iran Nuclear Deal What is JCPOA? About Iran nuclear deal? Iran agreed to rein in its nuclear programme in a 2015 deal struck with the US, UK, Russia, China, France and Germany. Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) Tehran agreed to significantly cut its stores of centrifuges, enriched uranium and heavy-water, all key components for nuclear weapons. The JCPOA established the Joint

08 May, 2021 GS-II International treaties and conventions

G7 countries

G7 countries What is G-7 grouping? It is an intergovernmental organisation that was formed in 1975. The bloc meets annually to discuss issues of common interest like global economic governance, international security and energy policy. The G-7 does not have a formal constitution or a fixed headquarters. The decisions taken by leaders during annual summits are non-binding. G-7 is a bloc of industrialized democracies i.e. France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Japan, the Un

05 May, 2021 GS-II International organisation

Workers’ income fell by 17% from March to Dec 2020

Workers’ income fell by 17% from March to Dec 2020 The COVID-19 pandemic has substantially increased informality in employment, leading to a decline in earnings for the majority of workers, and consequent increase in poverty in the country, according to ‘State of Working India 2021: One Year of Covid-19’, a report brought out annually by Azim Premji University’s Centre for Sustainable Employment, Bengaluru. This year’s report, which covers the period March 2

06 May, 2021 GS-II Important reports

India – Sri Lanka issues

India – Sri Lanka issues The tragic death of four fishermen from Tamil Nadu — one of them a Sri Lankan Tamil refugee living in India — allegedly when the Sri Lankan Navy was about to arrest them last week, is yet another instance of the unresolved fisheries conflict in the Palk Bay taking an unacceptable toll of lives. India has lodged a strong protest with the Sri Lankan authorities, who have set up a committee to find a permanent solution to the incursions by Indian

06 May, 2021 GS-II International Relations

Maratha quota unconstitutional, violates right to equality, says SC

Maratha quota unconstitutional, violates right to equality, says SC The Supreme Court struck down the findings of the Justice M.G. Gaikwad Commission, which led to the enactment of the Maratha quota law, and set aside the Bombay High Court judgment which validated the Maharashtra State Reservation for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act of 2018. It declared the Maharashtra law unconstitutional. Only Centre is empowered to identify SEBC

06 May, 2021 GS-II Governance

Lockdown Generation

Lockdown Generation The International Labour Organization (ILO) termed the current young population as the ‘lockdown generation’ citing the massive impacts of the pandemic on them. The lockdown generation emerged, as young people constitute major victims of social and economic consequences of the pandemic, and there is a risk that they will be scarred throughout their working lives. According to ILO and various other estimates, during the pandemic, Some 90% of y

29 April, 2021 GS-II International organisation

SUPACE Portal

SUPACE Portal The Supreme Court unveiled its Artificial Intelligence (AI) portal, the Supreme Court Portal for Assistance in Court’s Efficiency (SUPACE). A pet project of Chief Justice of India S A Bobde, SUPACE is a tool that collects relevant facts and laws and makes them available to a judge. The portal is not designed to take decisions, but only to process facts and to make them available to judges looking for an input for a decision. It is designed to make research easier f

29 April, 2021 GS-II Governance

Right to Freedom of Movement- FASTag

Right to Freedom of Movement- FASTag GS-Paper-2: Governance– UPSC PRELIMS – Mains Application Context: The Union government told the Bombay High Court that making FASTag mandatory for all vehicles plying on the national highways (NHs) doesn’t breach a citizen’s fundamental right to freedom of movement in any way. FASTag ensures seamless traffic movement, cut travel time short, and that all decisions had been taken in accordance with the Central Motor Vehicle

29 April, 2021 GS-II Government policies and interventions

Exercise Khanjar- exercise between India and Kyrgyzstan

India and Kyrgyzstan Special Forces have started a military exercise named Exercise Khanjar in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. About Exercise Khanjar Exercise Khanjar is a Joint Special Forces Military Exercise between India and Kyrgyzstan. The exercise was started in the year 2011. This is the Eighth Edition of the Exercise. The exercise aims to boost the strategic partnership between India and Kyrgyzstan. It also focuses on high-altitude, mountains and counter-extremism drills. Other Ex

23 April, 2021 GS-II International Relations

The Collegium System

The Collegium System was introduced in response to the executive interference in judicial appointments. However, this system has failed to protect judicial appointments from executive interference. It is due to the reasons like Post-retirement appointments of judges. At present, the collegium comprises of CJI (Chief Justice of India) and 4 senior-most judges of the Supreme Court. Despite various criticisms and attempts to reform the appointments and transfers process, the collegium system sti

23 April, 2021 GS-II Indian Polity

Global Youth Mobilization Initiative Launched by UN

Recently, United Nations agencies, youth organisations, and WHO have come together to launch the Global Youth Mobilization initiative for local Solutions. About Global Youth Mobilization Initiative: World Health Organization and United Nations Foundation are supporting Global Youth Mobilization Initiative. It is also led by the world’s six largest youth organisations, including The World Alliance of Young Men’s Christian Associations World Young Women’s Chr

22 April, 2021 GS-II International organisation

World Press Freedom Index 2021

The World Press Freedom Index 2021 was recently released. About World Press Freedom Index: The index is Published by Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) or Reporters Without Borders since 2002. The Index ranks 180 countries and regions according to the level of freedom available to journalists. However, the index neither ranks public policies and nor is it an indicator of the quality of journalism in each country or region. The index ranks 180 countries based on the followin

22 April, 2021 GS-II Important reports

EU’s Indo-Pacific Strategy approved by EU Council

The Council of the European Union has approved the EU’s Indo-Pacific Strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. About EU Indo-Pacific Strategy: The Indo-Pacific region spans from the east coast of Africa to the Pacific Island States with world’s two most populous countries & economies — India and China. The strategy aims to contribute to the stability, security, prosperity, and sustainable development of the Indo-Pacific Region. Basis of strategy are the promo

21 April, 2021 GS-II International Relations

WHO's Global Diabetes Compact Initiative

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently launched a Global Diabetes Compact Initiative. About Global Diabetes Compact Initiative: Global Diabetes Compact aims to reduce the risk of diabetes. It will ensure that all people diagnosed with diabetes have access to equitable, comprehensive, affordable, quality treatment and care. This initiative launched at the Global Diabetes Summit. WHO and the government of Canada Co-hosted the summit with the support of the University of Toronto

20 April, 2021 GS-II Governance

Inclusive Internet Index 2021

Inclusive Internet Index 2021 has recently been releasedby Facebook. About Inclusive Internet Index, 2021 Facebook Commissions the Inclusive Internet Index, 2021, and The Economist Intelligence Unit develops the index. It seeks to measure the extent of accessibility and affordability of the Internet. Also, the internet should be able to enable positive social and economic outcomes at the individual and group levels. The index assesses the performance of 120 countries representi

20 April, 2021 GS-II Important reports

DSIR-PRISM Scheme

DSIR-PRISM Scheme DSIR-PRISM Scheme will be aligned with three National Initiatives like Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA), Smart India Hackathon (SIH) and Rural Technology Action Group (RuTAG), IIT Delhi. Dept. of Scientific and Industrial Research - Promoting Innovations in Individuals, Startups and MSMEs (DSIR-PRISM) scheme supports individual innovators enabling inclusive development of India. It aims at transforming an innovator into a technopreneur by promoting and funding implementable

01 April, 2021 GS-II Government policies and interventions

AIM-PRIME

AIM-PRIME AIM-PRIME (Program for Researchers on Innovations, Market-Readiness & Entrepreneurship) aims to translate science-based deep-tech research to startups & ventures across India. Partners - Atal Innovation Mission has joined hands with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to launch this initiative, which will be implemented by Venture Center, a technology business incubator. Beneficiaries - The program is open to technology developers (early-stage deep t

02 April, 2021 GS-II Government policies and interventions

India’s 2021 economic output-below 2019 level: UN report

India’s 2021 economic output-below 2019 level: UN report GS-Paper-3: Economic issue and Economics Optional – UPSC PRELIMS – Mains Application Context: India, according to the 'Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2021: Towards post-COVID-19 resilient economies', is estimated to record an economic growth of 7 per cent in 2021-22, over a contraction of 7.7 per cent witnessed in the previous fiscal on account of the pandemic's impact on normal busin

01 April, 2021 GS-II Important reports

China-Iran increasing ties

China-Iran increasing ties GS-Paper-2: International issue and Political science Optional – UPSC PRELIMS – Mains Application Context: China and Iran have signed a 25-year "strategic cooperation pact” which includes "political-economic and strategic components". The agreement comes as a major push from China to back Iran to deal with the continuing weight of sanctions reinstated by the US after its withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal

01 April, 2021 GS-II International Relations

India on US’s Currency Watch list

The US treasury places India along with 10 other countries on its currency watch list. What is Currency Manipulator: Current Manipulators are countries engaging in “unfair currency practices” by deliberately devaluing their currency against the dollar. The practice would mean that the country in question is artificially lowering the value of its currency. By that, it aims to gain an unfair advantage over others. This is because the devaluation would reduce the cost of ex

18 April, 2021 GS-II International Relations

Eatsmart Cities Challenge and Transport 4 All Challenge by Govt

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has recently launched the EatSmart Cities Challenge and Transport 4 All Challenge. About EatSmart Cities Challenge: EatSmart Cities Challenge is organized by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. The challenge is organised in association with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. It aims to motivate Smart Cities to develop a plan that supports a healthy, safe and sustaina

18 April, 2021 GS-II Governance

India-UK agree for Nirav Modi's Extradition to India

The U.K.’s Home Department has recently approved the extradition of Nirav Modi to India in connection with the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud. About Extradition: Extradition is the formal process of surrendering an individual from one state to another state. The aim of the process is prosecution or punishment for crimes committed by an individual in the requesting country’s jurisdiction. The extradition of a fugitive from India to a foreign country or vice-versa is gover

19 April, 2021 GS-II International Relations

UN Food Systems Summit 2021

The Ministry of Agricultural and Farmers Welfare recently conducted a National Dialogue on UN Food Systems Summit, 2021. About UN Food Systems Summit,2021: The first-ever UN Food Systems Summit is expected to be held in September 2021. The summit will aim to strategize the actions for positive change in Agri-food systems in the world. It will help to realize the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Summit will focus on levers and pathways to shape food systems

19 April, 2021 GS-II International organisation

Global Food Policy Report 2021 by IFPRI

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) recently released the Global Food Policy Report, 2021. About Global Food Policy Report, 2021: The report provides lessons drawn from the current crisis. Especially the lessons that can help transform food systems to reduce the impact of the ongoing pandemic, better prepare for future shocks, and address long-standing weaknesses and inequalities. Theme: “Transforming Food Systems After COVID-19”.

19 April, 2021 GS-II Important reports

State of World Population Report 2021 by UN Population Fund

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) recently released its report “State of World Population Report 2021” titled ‘My Body is My Own’. About State of World Population Report 2021: The State of World Population is an annual report published by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Bodily autonomy is the first time the focus of the report. It is defined as the power and agency to make choices about your body without fear of violence or having someone e

17 April, 2021 GS-II Important reports

Iran to enrich Uranium to 60%, the highest ever

Iran to enrich Uranium to 60%, the highest ever What is JCPOA? About Iran nuclear deal? Iran agreed to rein in its nuclear programme in a 2015 deal struck with the US, UK, Russia, China, France and Germany. Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) Tehran agreed to significantly cut its stores of centrifuges, enriched uranium and heavy-water, all key components for nuclear weapons. The JCPOA established the Joint Commission,&nb

07 April, 2021 GS-II International treaties and conventions

US imposed sanctions on Russia

US imposed sanctions on Russia The United States announced sanctions against Russia on Thursday and the expulsion of 10 diplomats in retaliation for what Washington says is the Kremlin’s U.S. election interference, a massive cyberattack and other hostile activity. President Joe Biden’s broadside against Russia came the same week as he offered to meet President Vladimir Putin for their first summit. In an executive order, Mr. Biden widened restrictions on U.S. banks trading

16 April, 2021 GS-II International Relations

Raisina Dialogue 2021

Raisina Dialogue 2021 What is Raisina Dialogue? It is a multilateral conference held annually in New Delhi, India. Since its inception in 2016, the conference has emerged as India’s flagship conference on geopolitics and geo-economics. The conference is hosted by the Observer Research Foundation, an independent think tank, in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs of India. The conference is structured as a multi-stakeholder, cross-sectoral discussion, involving

14 April, 2021 GS-II International Relations

2021- Raisina Dialogue

The Prime Minister delivered a video address at the Inaugural Session of the Raisina Dialogue. About Raisina Dialogue: Raisina Dialogue is an annual multilateral conference on geopolitics and geoeconomics. The Ministry of External Affairs and the Observer Research Foundation have been jointly organizing it since 2016. The conference discusses cooperation on the most challenging international policy matters. It involves a variety of global policymakers including heads of state, ca

16 April, 2021 GS-II International Relations

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