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Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Reframing India’s Foreign Policy Priorities

07:21

What is the issue?

With new developments likely in international relations for 2021, here is a look at its dimensions and relevance for India.

What are the recent developments in international relations?

  • Leadership change in the United States is perhaps the most awaited change.
  • But it is unlikely to bring about a major power shift in the international arena.
  • Even before the changeover, and despite the promise of a Biden presidency to invigorate the U.S.-Europe axis, Europe has only revived its China links.
  • It has concluded in principle the negotiations for an EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment.
    • This is an indication that Europe values its economy more than its politics.
  • Many countries are likely to seek closer economic relations with China now. This would be a challenging aspect in India’s relations.
  • Major changes are afoot in Eurasia and West Asia which could lead to significant shifts.
  • Russia is beginning to display greater interest in the affairs of countries on its periphery.
    • Together with strengthening ties with China and reaching an entente with Turkey, this seems to signal reduced interest in countries such as India.
  • In West Asia, the Abraham Accords, leading to a realignment of forces in the Arab world, have sharpened the division between the Saudi Bloc and Iran-Turkey.
  • The situation has not reduced the risk of a confrontation between Iran and Israel. This poses problems for India, since both have relations with it.
  • Meanwhile, China demonstrates a willingness to play a much larger role in the region, with plans for a 25-year strategic cooperation agreement with Iran.
  • Saudi Arabia could find 2021 challenging, with a Biden Administration taking charge in Washington.

What does a stronger China signify?

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Tuesday, January 12, 2021

GS Score Prelims 2021 Test 3 With Solutions PDF

20:02

 GS Score Prelims 2021 Test 3 With Solutions PDF

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Daily Current Affairs, 12th January 2020

19:56

 

1)  National Youth Day: 12 January

•National Youth Day is celebrated in India every year on 12 January to commemorate the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. The day was declared by the Government of India in 1984 while the event was first celebrated in 1985.  The main aim behind this is to make sure that the students across the country can be encouraged to learn about the life, the ideas and philosophy of Swami Vivekananda and apply them in their lives.


•In 2021, we are observing 158th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekanand (12 January 1863). The theme for National Youth Day 2021 is ‘Channelizing Youth Power for Nation Building‘.


2)  National Road Safety Month 2021: 18 January – 17 February

•The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways observes the National Road Safety Week every year in the second week of January. However, in 2021, the Government has decided to observe National Road Safety Month instead of National Road Safety Week.


•Accordingly, the National Road Safety Month will be observed from 18th January, 2021′ to 17th February’ 2021. During this period nation-wide various activities will be conducted throughout the country in association with the Central/ State Governments/ UT administrations, and other stakeholders.


3)  Nitin Gadkari to launch “Khadi Prakritik Paint” developed by KVIC

•Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari will be launching an innovative new paint developed by Khadi and Village Industries Commission. The eco-friendly, non-toxic paint, called “Khadi Prakritik Paint” is a first-of-its-kind product, with anti-fungal, anti-bacterial properties.


4)  Bangladesh declared as ‘Country in Focus’ for 51st IFFI

•Bangladesh has been chosen as the ‘Country in Focus’ for the 51st International Film Festival of India (IFFI). The festival will be held at Goa from January 16 to January 24, 2021. The Country in Focus is a special segment that recognizes the cinematic excellence and contributions of the country. This section at the 51st IFFI will showcase four films from Bangladesh.


5)  ICRA Projects India’s real GDP to expand by 10.1% in FY22

•Domestic rating agency ICRA Ratings expects the real gross domestic product (GDP) of India to grow by 10.1% in the financial year 2021-22 (FY2022). The rating agency ICRA had earlier projected a contraction of 7.8% for the ongoing fiscal 2020-21. The seemingly-sharp expansion will be led by the continued normalisation in economic activities as the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines gathers traction and the low base.


6)  Coastal defence exercise “Sea Vigil 21” kicks off

•A major exercise to test military readiness at sea along the coastline of the country starts. This is the second edition of the biennial pan-India coastal defence exercise “Sea Vigil-21” will be conducted on January 12 and 13. The two-day exercise involving all stakeholders, states and Central government agencies will set the tempo of operations, including “transition from peace to conflict”. 


•The exercise is a build-up towards the next step and level exercise called “Tropex” (Theatre-level Readiness Operational Exercise), which is expected to be conducted at month-end or early February. Ministries of Defence, Home Affairs, Shipping, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Fisheries and Customs, state governments and other agencies of Centre and state are coordinating.


7)  RS Sharma to head empowered panel for Covid-19 vaccine

•The Union government has appointed RS Sharma, former Trai chief, as the chairperson of an empowered committee for the administration of Covid-19 vaccine. A ten-member team has been constituted to be headed by Sharma. This has come days ahead of the mega vaccination drive is to start in India. He has also been included as a member of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration of Covid-19 that was formed in August 2020.


8)  Oldest living Olympic champion Agnes Keleti turns 100

•The oldest surviving Olympic champion, Ágnes Keleti, celebrates her 100th birthday. She is one of her country’s most successful Olympians, having won 10 medals for Hungary in gymnastics, at the Olympic Games Helsinki 1952 and Melbourne 1956. Her haul included five golds.


•Keleti won the floor event in Finland before producing an astonishing display in Australia, winning four golds – in the uneven bars, balance beam, floor, and team event. At 35, she became the oldest female gymnast to win an Olympic title.


9)  Dhaka Marathon 2021: Jigmet Dolma from Ladakh wins 4th position

•Jigmet Dolma from India secured the fourth position in the Dhaka Marathon 2021. Jigmet Dolma is an SPO of Ladakh police. In the marathon, Hicham Lakohi of Morocco came first in the elite competition of the marathon in men’s category while Angela Jim Asunde from Kenya won the women’s category in the same event.  In the full marathon, among the SAARC and local runners, Bahadur Singh of India became the champion in the men’s category and Pushpa Bhandari of Nepal became the champion in the women’s category.


10)  Jay Shah named BCCI’s Official Representative on ICC Board

•Jay Shah has been named as the official representative of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Board meetings. Shah is the Secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). He will replace BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, who was currently representing India at the ICC Board, but he suffered a heart condition recently and had to be admitted to hospital where he underwent primary angioplasty.

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The HINDU Notes – 12th January 2021

19:39

 

📰 PM Kisan payout went to 20 lakh undeserving beneficiaries: RTI info

Punjab (23%), Maharashtra (17%) and Assam (14%) account for more than half of such beneficiaries, followed by Gujarat and U.P. with 8% each.

•PM-KISAN payments worth ₹1,364 crore have been wrongly made to more than 20 lakh ineligible beneficiaries and income tax payer farmers, according to information provided by the Agriculture Ministry in response to an RTI request from activist Venkatesh Nayak.

•There are 11 crore beneficiaries registered under the scheme.

•Punjab tops the list of States, accounting for 23% of those who wrongly received money. Maharashtra and Assam also saw large numbers of such payments. As The Hindu had reported, a number of State Agriculture Departments have now been tasked with recovering the money wrongly paid.

•PM-KISAN is the Centre’s flagship scheme to provide income support worth ₹6000 a year to farming families. When it was launched just before the general election in 2019, it was meant to cover only small and marginal farmers who owned less than two hectares. Later that year, large farmers were included in the scheme as the government removed land size criteria.

Certain exclusions

•However, certain exclusions remained. If any member of a farming family paid income tax, received a monthly pension above ₹10,000, held a constitutional position, or was a serving or retired government employee, they were not eligible for the scheme. Professionals, and institutional landholders were also excluded.

•Until July 2020, 20.5 lakh people who should have been excluded had wrongly received PM-Kisan payouts. According to the Agriculture Ministry data, 56% of these undeserving persons belonged to the “income tax payee” category, while the remainder belong to the “ineligible farmers” category. However, 72% of the payout amount was paid to the income tax payees, indicating that this category continued to receive money for multiple installments before their ineligible status was discovered and they were weeded out of the scheme’s beneficiary database.

•Punjab (23%), Maharashtra (17%) and Assam (14%) account for more than half of the beneficiaries of wrong payments, followed by Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh with 8% each. Almost all the wrong payments in Punjab and Assam went to those in the “ineligible farmers” category, while Maharashtra had the highest number of payouts to “income tax payee” farmers.

📰 Bridging the Gulf: On Gulf reconciliation summit

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Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana

07:59

 Why in news?

  • Recent report of US-funded Health Effect Institute reveals air pollution has caused 120,000 infant deaths in India.
  • Two-thirds of this death is due to the use of solid fuels during the cooking.

What are other facts regarding this deaths?

  • WHO report said that India witnessed about five lakh deaths per year due to unclean cooking fuels.
  • According to experts, having an open fire in the kitchen is equivalent to burning 400 cigarettes an hour.

What are the steps taken to address this issue?

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UPSC Civil Services (Prelims) 2021: Check List of Important NCERTs & State Board Books Useful in Preparation

07:57
List of Subjects mentioned in UPSC (IAS) Prelims Syllabus:
  • History of India and Indian National Movement
  • India and World Geography
  • Indian Polity and Governance
  • Economic and Social Development
  • Environment and Ecology 
  • General Science 





UPSC (IAS) Prelims 2020: Complete List of NCERT Textbooks & State Board Books Required for Preparation (Class-wise & Subject-wise)
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GS Score Prelims 2021 Test 2 With Solutions PDF

07:52

 GS Score Prelims 2021 Test 2 With Solutions PDF

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THE HINDU NEWSPAPER IMPORTANT ARTICLES 12.01.2021