Reading Time: < 1 minute According to the revised UPSC Exam Calendar, Civil Services Preliminary Exam 2020 will be held on Oct 4, 2020 (Sunday). The Main Exam (written) 2020 will be conducted from January 08, 2021, onwards.
Reading Time: 8 mins The COVID-19 crisis has become the centre of the USA-China tussle with each blaming the other for the global pandemic. Controversially, the virus is being claimed (by the US) to have originated from a lab in China’s Wuhan while China claims its originated in the USA- though both claims lack any evidence to support them. However, the entire issue has thrown open the question about international readiness to tackle biosecurity risks. In this light, India needs to take a look into its biosecurity preparedness and plug all the big gaps to prevent being blindsided by a dangerous biological agent- either man-made or natural- a second time.
Reading Time: 8 mins The third tranche of economic measures made significant hints towards contract farming and related policy initiatives. After various state governments taking various steps related to agricultural marketing, the central government has brought an ordinance on contract farming making it legal to sell farm produce beyond traditional APMCs and undergo contract farming.
Reading Time: 7 mins The Union Budget 2020-21 has given very low priority for the Sagarmala Project. Only Rs.297 crore is allocated for this infrastructural development scheme. This comes in the backdrop of very low allocations for the maritime sector in general out of the Rs.1 lakh crore allocation for the infrastructure sector – most of which is to be tunnelled into the National Infrastructure Pipeline. This is significant as India has an advantage with regards to its long coastline and its position in the Indian Ocean, which could be utilized to its full potential with the sustainable development of its coastal areas. Additionally, Sagarmala program needs an overhaul to make it more sustainable and inclusive so that the local fishing communities are not harmed.
Reading Time: 6 mins The US President Donald Trump, dubbing the current G7 setup as outdated, had recently called for the expansion of the grouping into a G10 or G11 with the inclusion of India, Australia, Russia and South Korea. Apart from the US, the UK too had advocated for the expansion by pitching for the ‘D10’, a grouping of 10 democratic countries comprising of G7 and India among others to create an alternative source for 5G technology and equipment and curb reliance on China. These proposals come at a time when the major economies are increasingly becoming less influential due to their lack of unity and protectionist ideologies.
Reading Time: 5 mins May 2020 Prelims CA Mindmap released!
Reading Time: 12 mins In order to prevent the repetition of the 2019 anti-government protests, Beijing has taken measures to block dissent to its full absorption of Hong Kong into China. It has tightened its grip on Hong Kong’s legislation and press and tracked down key activists who are campaigning for full democracy. The recent enactment of national anthem bill and the national security bill to further curb free speech led to uncertainty for the residents of Hong Kong. There was a huge surge in the protests after months of silence due to the COVID-19.
Reading Time: 6 mins India’s importance in the Indian Ocean region and rising recognition of the same was once again highlighted recently when it joined the Indian Ocean Commission as an observer. India being a predominant force in the Indian Ocean, joining this important organization lends much required depth to SAGAR vision of PM Narendra Modi.
Reading Time: 6 mins The Indian Ocean is the 3rd largest ocean in the world. Its geopolitical importance stems from vast and largely unexplored mineral deposits and also serving as shipping highway. It is surrounded by 51 countries representing 25% of the world’s landmass. In the post-COVID world, the world nations will have to step up efforts to make up for the lost economic grounds. For this, IORA is being regarded as one of the possible avenues for improving international ties- especially as its one of the low hanging fruits.