- Key differences between Lok Adalat and regular courts in India
- The One Health Joint Plan of Action
- US’s National Security Strategy (NSS)
- Live hearing of Supreme Court of India.
- Present status of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in India
- Uniform Civil Code:
- South African development community
- The China-Indian Ocean Region Forum (CIORF):
- The currency monitoring list
- Lusophone countries
- India Egypt
- India- Eurasia relations
- Audit data standardization:
- Rule of Law Index
- Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal (GSTAT)
- Office of Lokpal
- India and Latin America
- Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)
- Pokhran nuclear tests
- OTT (Over-The-Top) regulation
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)
- Black Sea grain deal
- Key differences between Lok Adalat and regular courts in India Relevance of this topic: More than 97.64 lakh cases settled in 1st national lok adalat og 2023 says NALSA. Previous year question: Constitutional morality is rooted in the constitution itself and is founded on its essential facers. Explain the doctrine of constitutional morality with the help of relevant judicial decisions. (GS-2 2021).
• Nature of Proceedings: Lok Adalat is an alternative dispute resolution mechanism that focuses on resolving disputes through negotiation, conciliation, and compromise. Regular courts, on the other hand, follow formal legal procedures and conduct trials to adjudicate disputes.
• Voluntary Participation: Participation in Lok Adalat is voluntary, meaning both parties must agree to participate and attempt to resolve their dispute. In regular courts, parties may be compelled to participate through legal processes and summons.
• Informal Setting: Lok Adalats are also conducted in an informal setting, they are sometimes held in open spaces or community halls, to encourage open dialogue and amicable resolution. Regular courts follow a formal courtroom setting with strict legal procedures.
• Speedy Resolution: Lok Adalats are known for their expeditious resolution of disputes, providing quick justice to the parties involved. Regular courts may experience delays due to heavy caseloads and procedural complexities.
• Binding Nature of Decisions: The decisions made in Lok Adalats are considered final and binding on the parties involved. In regular courts, the decisions can be appealed to higher courts, leading to a potentially longer legal process.
• Legal Representation: In Lok Adalats, parties can represent themselves or be assisted by their lawyers. Regular courts require legal representation, and parties are generally represented by advocate.
- The One Health Joint Plan of Action
Relevance of this topic: The One Health Joint Plan of Action for the period 2022-2023 aims to address key global health challenges through a comprehensive and collaborative approach. It is launched by FAO, UNEP, WHO and World organization for animal health.
Previous year question: “Besides being a moral imperative of a welfare state, primary health structure is a necessary precondition for sustainable development.” Analyze. (GS-2 2021).
It works on:
• Strengthening Disease Surveillance and Early Warning Systems: Enhancing global surveillance networks and early warning systems to detect and respond to emerging infectious diseases promptly.
• Promoting Cross-Sectoral Collaboration: Encouraging collaboration and coordination among multiple sectors, such as human health, animal health, and environmental health, to address health risks at their source.
• Enhancing Preparedness and Response Capacity: Building robust systems and capacities to effectively respond to public health emergencies, including improving laboratory networks and rapid response mechanisms.
• Addressing Antimicrobial Resistance: Implementing strategies to combat antimicrobial resistance through responsible use of antibiotics, surveillance, and promoting research and development of new antimicrobial agents.
• Safeguarding Food Safety: Strengthening food safety systems to prevent foodborne illnesses, ensuring the safety of the entire food production chain, from farm to table.
• Promoting Research and Innovation: Encouraging research and innovation in One Health approaches, supporting interdisciplinary studies, and fostering collaboration between academia, research institutions, and industry.
- US’s National Security Strategy (NSS)
Relevance of this topic: US has launched its much anticipated National Security Strategy (NSS).The National Security Strategy (NSS) of the United States outlines the key principles and priorities for protecting and advancing the country’s national security interests.
Previous year question: “the USA is facing an existential threat in the form of a China that is much more challenging than the erstwhile Soviet Union “explain. (GS-2 2021).
• Protecting the American People: Ensuring the safety and security of the American population through measures such as counterterrorism efforts, border security, and disaster preparedness.
• Promoting American Prosperity: Advancing economic growth, job creation, and innovation through trade policies, investment in infrastructure, and support for domestic industries.
• Preserving Peace through Strength: Maintaining a strong and capable military to deter aggression, protect allies and partners, and respond effectively to threats to U.S. national security.
• Advancing American Influence: Promoting American values and interests globally through diplomatic engagement, alliances, partnerships, and support for democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.
• Countering Strategic Competitors: Addressing the challenges posed by strategic competitors, such as China and Russia, through a combination of diplomatic, economic, and security measures.
• Combating Transnational Threats: Confronting transnational challenges, including terrorism, cyber threats, organized crime, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
• Strengthening International Order: Supporting and shaping international institutions, alliances, and partnerships to foster a rules-based global order that promotes stability, prosperity, and respect for sovereignty.
- Live hearing of Supreme Court of India.
Relevance of this topic: Live streaming of court proceeding is important for people thus it will be made permanent says CJI Chandrachud.
Previous year question: “Institutional quality is a crucial driver of economic performance.” In this context suggest reforms in civil service for strengthening democracy.(GS-2 2020).
• Accessibility: Live streaming of Supreme Court hearings allows individuals from all over the country to witness the proceedings, regardless of their geographical location. It provides an opportunity for citizens to stay informed and engaged in the judicial process.
• Transparency: Live streaming promotes transparency in the justice system as it allows the public to directly observe court proceedings. It helps to ensure that the judiciary is accountable and operates in an open and fair manner.
• Educational Value: Live streaming offers an educational benefit by enabling law students, legal professionals, and researchers to gain insights into courtroom procedures, arguments, and legal reasoning. It serves as a valuable resource for academic and professional development.
• Promoting Justice: By making court hearings accessible to the public, live streaming helps to foster public trust and confidence in the judiciary. It enhances the perception of a fair and impartial justice system, thereby promoting justice and the rule of law.
• Privacy Concerns: Live streaming court hearings may raise privacy concerns for parties involved in the case, especially in sensitive matters. It may expose individuals to public scrutiny, potentially impacting their personal and professional lives.
• Sensationalism and Bias: There is a risk that live streaming could lead to sensationalism and biased reporting, as media outlets may selectively highlight certain aspects of the proceedings, potentially distorting the public’s perception of the case.
• Security Risks: Broadcasting court hearings live may pose security risks, as it could reveal sensitive information, identities of witnesses, or other confidential details that could compromise the safety of individuals involved in the case.
- Present status of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in India
Relevance of this topic: It’s going to be 14 year since 2009 Sri Lankan civil war. Conditions of refugees from Sri Lankan has been in news recently.
Previous year question:” India is an age-old friend of Sri Lanka.” Discuss India’s role in the recent crisis in Sri Lanka in the light of the preceding statement.(GS-2 2022).
• Some Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in India continue to reside in refugee camps, particularly in the state of Tamil Nadu. These camps provide basic facilities and support to the refugees.
• The refugees in India are often granted refugee status or long-term visas, allowing them to stay legally in the country. However, some refugees may still face challenges in obtaining legal documentation.
• Efforts have been made to provide livelihood opportunities and education for Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in India. Various skill development programs and vocational training initiatives have been implemented to enhance their employability.
• The Indian government, along with non-governmental organizations, provides healthcare facilities and social services to the refugees. This includes access to medical care, education, and welfare schemes.
• Some Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in India have been resettled in third countries, primarily through UNHCR-led programs. Countries like Canada, Australia, and European nations have accepted refugees for resettlement.
• Over the years, a significant number of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in India have voluntarily repatriated to Sri Lanka, especially after the end of the civil war. However, repatriation remains a complex and individual decision, influenced by factors such as security, livelihood opportunities, and personal circumstances.
- Uniform Civil Code:
Relevance of this topic: Recently it’s been in news and was been widely discussed.
Previous year question: Reforming the government delivery system through the Direct benefit transfer scheme is a progressive step, but is has its limitation too. Comment.(GS=2 2022).
• One of the main positives of implementing a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is that it promotes uniformity and equality among citizens. It ensures that all individuals, regardless of their religious or personal beliefs, are subject to the same set of civil laws. This eliminates any discriminatory practices or differential treatment based on personal laws.
• The implementation of a UCC can contribute to gender justice by addressing discriminatory practices prevalent in personal laws. It can help in eliminating practices like polygamy, and unequal inheritance rights, ensuring equal rights and opportunities for women.
• A UCC simplifies the legal framework by replacing multiple personal laws with a single set of uniform laws applicable to all citizens. This simplification can lead to easier administration of justice, streamlined legal procedures, and reduced complexities in legal matters, benefiting both individuals and the legal system as a whole.
• A UCC promotes national integration by fostering a sense of unity among diverse religious communities. It emphasizes the principle of equal citizenship and common rights, transcending religious boundaries. It can contribute to social cohesion and harmony by minimizing divisions and promoting a sense of shared identity and responsibility among citizens.
• The implementation of a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) would face resistance from various religious and cultural groups who perceive it as a threat to their personal laws and traditions. This could lead to social and political conflicts, creating divisions among different communities.
• Critics argue that a UCC could infringe upon the religious freedom of individuals by imposing a uniform set of laws that may contradict their personal beliefs and practices. They believe that personal laws derived from religious scriptures should be respected and protected.
• UCC may also lead to the erosion of cultural diversity as it seeks to homogenize different communities under a common set of laws. Critics believe that cultural and religious diversity should be celebrated and preserved, rather than being subsumed under a uniform legal framework.
• Implementing a UCC can pose practical challenges due to the complexity of the task. It requires extensive legislative and administrative efforts to reconcile conflicting personal laws and ensure a smooth transition to a uniform legal system. The process of codification and its impact on existing legal systems can be time-consuming and resource-intensive.
- South African development community
Relevance of this topic: Recently meeting was held to strengthen ties between India and South African development community countries.
Previous year question: ”If the last few decades were of Asia’s growth story, the next few are expected to be of Africa’s”. In the light of the statement, examine Indi’s influence in Africa in recent years. (GS-2 2021).
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is an intergovernmental organization consisting of 16 member states in southern Africa. Its aim is to promote regional integration, economic development, and cooperation among its member states. SADC was established in 1980 and focuses on areas such as trade, infrastructure development, agriculture, natural resources management, and social development. The organization works towards achieving political stability, peace, and security in the region, as well as fostering economic growth and reducing poverty. SADC plays a vital role in promoting regional cooperation and addressing common challenges faced by its member states.
• SADC Free Trade Area (FTA): The SADC FTA aims to promote intra-regional trade by eliminating tariffs and non-tariff barriers among member states, thereby boosting economic activity and integration within the region.
• SADC Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan focuses on developing critical infrastructure such as transportation networks, energy systems, and information and communication technology (ICT) to enhance connectivity and facilitate trade and investment in the region.
• SADC Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap: This initiative seeks to promote industrialization and economic diversification by supporting sectors such as manufacturing, agro-processing, and mining, with the aim of creating jobs and enhancing value-addition within the region.
• SADC Regional Agricultural Policy: This policy aims to enhance food security, agricultural productivity, and rural development by promoting sustainable agricultural practices, improving access to markets, and supporting small-scale farmers.
• SADC Regional Tourism Organization promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth by marketing the region’s diverse attractions, facilitating travel facilitation measures, and supporting the development of tourism infrastructure.
These initiatives and projects demonstrate the SADC’s commitment to fostering economic development and integration in southern Africa.
- The China-Indian Ocean Region Forum (CIORF):
Relevance of this topic: China held its 1st meeting with 19 countries in Indian Ocean region without India.
Previous year question: Do you think that BIMSTEC is a parallel organization like SAARC? What are the similarities and dissimilarities between the two? How are Indian foreign policy objective realized by forming this new organization? (GS-2 2022).
• The CIORF aims to promote trade and investment between China and Indian Ocean countries. It facilitates discussions on enhancing economic ties, exploring new opportunities, and addressing challenges to foster mutually beneficial economic cooperation.
• The forum emphasizes the importance of infrastructure development in the Indian Ocean region. It seeks to promote connectivity through the development of ports, roads, railways, and other critical infrastructure projects that can enhance trade and connectivity.
• The CIORF addresses maritime security concerns in the Indian Ocean region. It promotes cooperation in areas such as maritime surveillance, counter-piracy efforts, and joint maritime exercises to ensure the safety and security of sea lanes.
• Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges: The forum recognizes the significance of cultural and people-to-people exchanges in strengthening regional ties. It encourages cultural exchanges, tourism, educational cooperation, and other initiatives to enhance mutual understanding and friendship among participating countries.
• Environmental Protection: The CIORF acknowledges the importance of environmental sustainability in the Indian Ocean region. It promotes collaboration on marine conservation, sustainable fisheries, and addressing environmental challenges to ensure the long-term health of the ocean ecosystem.
• Research and Academic Cooperation: The forum encourages research and academic collaboration between China and Indian Ocean countries. It supports the exchange of knowledge, expertise, and best practices to foster innovation, technology transfer, and capacity building in various fields relevant to the region’s development.
- The currency monitoring list
Relevance of this topic: US clears India from currency monitoring list.
Previous year questions: “ What introduces friction into the ties between India and USA is that Washington is still unable to find for India a position in its global strategy , which would satisfy India’s national self-esteem and ambitions.’ Explain with suitable examples.(GS-2 2019).
• The currency monitoring list is a tool used by the United States Treasury Department to assess and monitor the currency practices of various countries. It is aimed at identifying potential currency manipulators and addressing any concerns related to unfair trade advantages.
• The Treasury Department monitors the currency practices of countries based on a set of criteria. These criteria include factors such as bilateral trade imbalances, foreign exchange intervention, and macroeconomic policies. By examining these factors, the Treasury Department can determine if a country’s currency practices meet the criteria for currency manipulation.
• Being included on the currency monitoring list does not automatically imply any specific actions or consequences for the country. Instead, it serves as a means of engaging in dialogue and potentially addressing any currency-related concerns. The Treasury Department may use the list as a tool to initiate discussions with countries on their currency practices and to encourage them to adopt more market-oriented exchange rate policies.
• The currency monitoring list is updated periodically, typically twice a year, and may include countries from different regions across the world. The list is not static and can change based on the assessment of a country’s currency practices. Countries that are included on the list are subject to enhanced monitoring and scrutiny by the Treasury Department.
• The purpose of the currency monitoring list is to promote fair and transparent currency practices and to discourage countries from manipulating their currencies for economic advantage. Currency manipulation can distort trade flows, create unfair competition, and hinder the global economic system.
- Lusophone countries
Relevance of this topic: India has hosted international Lusophone festival in Goa.
Previous year questions: “Indian diaspora has a decisive role to play in the politics and economy of America and European countries”. Comment with examples.(GS-2 2020).
• The term “Lusophone countries” refers to the countries where Portuguese is an official language. These countries are primarily located in Africa, with a few in other parts of the world. As of 2021, there are nine Lusophone countries: Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe, Timor-Leste, and Equatorial Guinea.
• Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, and São Tomé and Príncipe are located in Africa. They gained their independence from Portugal and Portuguese is widely spoken in these countries. Angola and Mozambique, in particular, are large countries with significant populations
• Brazil is the largest Lusophone country in terms of both population and land area. It is located in South America and Portuguese is the official language. Brazil has a rich cultural heritage and a strong economy.
• Portugal is the birthplace of the Portuguese language and is located in Europe. It is the smallest Lusophone country in terms of both population and land area.
• Timor-Leste is a small country located in Southeast Asia. It gained independence from Indonesia and Portuguese is one of its official languages.
• Equatorial Guinea, located in Central Africa, is the only Lusophone country in Africa where Portuguese is not the primary language. Spanish and French are also spoken in the country.
• These Lusophone countries share historical, cultural, and linguistic ties through the Portuguese language, which has influenced their societies and institutions. The Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) serves as a platform for cooperation and dialogue among these nations.
11.India – Egypt
Relevance of this topic: In recently concluded COP 27 at Sharm el sheik , India made major announcement in regards to climate and environment . Ex: Long term low emission strategy term low emission strategy(LT- LEDS), in our LIFEtime campaign, Mangrove alliance for climate etc.
Previous year questions: ”If the last few decades were of Asia’s growth story, the next few are expected to be of Africa’s”. In the light of the statement, examine Indi’s influence in Africa in recent years. (GS-2 2021).
• As of 2020, the bilateral trade between India and Egypt stood at approximately $3.57 billion. India’s exports to Egypt amounted to around $2.57 billion, while imports from Egypt were approximately $1 billion.
• Some of the major items of export from India to Egypt include pharmaceuticals, organic chemicals, textiles, machinery, and vehicles. On the other hand, India imports items like mineral fuels, fertilizers, chemicals, and textiles from Egypt.
• In terms of investment, Indian companies have made significant investments in Egypt, particularly in sectors such as information technology, pharmaceuticals, and textiles. Some prominent Indian companies operating in Egypt include Wipro, Sun Pharma, and the Aditya Birla Group.
• Tourism is also an important aspect of the economic ties between the two countries. In 2019, around 80,000 Indian tourists visited Egypt, while approximately 50,000 Egyptian tourists visited India. In 2022, 4.9 million tourist visited Egypt (85% increase since 2019).
• In terms of political cooperation, India and Egypt have collaborated on issues such as counter-terrorism, regional stability, and trade and investment promotion. Both countries have also supported each other’s candidatures in international organizations and forums.
• In recent years, there has been an increase in bilateral visits between India and Egypt. Ex: In 2019, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Egypt, and in 2018, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi visited India.
• 2022 was an significant year for both countries since it marks 75 years of diplomatic ties between the two nations.
- India- Eurasia relations
Relevance of this topic: In the light of China- Russia alliance and UKRAIn conflict , India and the new Eurasia has been a topic of discussion.
Previous year questions: 1.“Indian diaspora has a decisive role to play in the politics and economy of America and European countries”. Comment with examples.(GS-2 2020).
2.“ the long-sustained image of India as a leader of the oppressed and marginalized nations has disappeared on account of its new found role in the emerging global order.” Elaborate (GS-2 2019).
- India’s trade with Eurasian countries has witnessed significant growth in recent years.The total bilateral trade between India and the Eurasian region was valued at around $14.6 billion in 2020. This figure includes trade with countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, and others.
- India’s main exports to the Eurasian region include pharmaceuticals, textiles, machinery, and organic chemicals. On the other hand, India imports commodities such as mineral fuels, precious stones, metals, and machinery from Eurasian countries.
- Efforts are being made to enhance trade ties between India and Eurasian countries through initiatives like the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), which aims to facilitate trade and connectivity between India, Iran, Russia, and other Eurasian countries.
- Russia: India and Russia have a strong bilateral trade relationship. In 2023, the total trade between the two countries was valued at around $44 billion. India’s major exports to Russia include pharmaceuticals, tea, coffee, apparel, and iron and steel. On the other hand, India imports commodities like mineral fuels, precious stones, machinery, and fertilizers from Russia.
- Kazakhstan: India’s trade with Kazakhstan has been growing steadily. In 2020, the bilateral trade between the two countries was valued at approximately $1.2 billion. India primarily exports pharmaceuticals, vehicles, organic chemicals, and tea to Kazakhstan. In 2022 import by Kazhakisthan reached upto $ 562 million. Meanwhile, India imports mineral fuels, inorganic chemicals, metals, and machinery from Kazakhstan.
- Iran: Iran has been one of India’s major suppliers of crude oil. However, trade volumes have fluctuated over the years due to various factors, including international sanctions imposed on Iran. India has sought to maintain its energy security by diversifying its oil sources, but Iran remains an important partner. In 2022 Indian export to Iran reached $1.84 billion.
13.Audit data standardization:
Relevance of this topic: CAG G C Murmu has emphasized the need for adopting Audit data standardization to the government.
Previous year questions: : 1. “Institutional quality is a crucial driver of economic performance.” In this context suggest reforms in civil service for strengthening democracy.(GS-2 2020).
2. “ In the context of neo- liberal paradigm of development planning, multi-levl planning is expected to make operations cost- effective and remove many implementation blockages.” (GS2 2019).
Audit data standardization refers to the process of establishing consistent and uniform formats, structures, and definitions for data used in auditing activities. It involves creating guidelines and protocols for collecting, organizing, and analyzing audit data to ensure accuracy, comparability, and reliability.
Standardizing audit data offers several benefits:
- Consistency: Standardized data formats and structures ensure that audit data is collected and recorded consistently across different audits and auditors, reducing errors and facilitating data analysis.
- Comparability: When audit data is standardized, it becomes easier to compare information across different audits, entities, or time periods. This allows for better benchmarking, trend analysis, and identification of anomalies or patterns.
- Efficiency: Standardized data can streamline the audit process by reducing the time and effort required for data collection, validation, and analysis. It also facilitates automation and integration with audit software and systems.
- Accuracy and Reliability: Standardization helps enhance the accuracy and reliability of audit data by ensuring that it is properly classified, labeled, and recorded in a consistent manner. This improves the overall quality of audit findings and conclusions.
14. Rule of Law Index
Relevance of this topic: India has rank of 77 out of 140 countries with a score of 0.50.
Previous year questions: Despite consistent experience of growth, India still goes with the lowest indicators of human development. Examine the issues that make balanced and inclusive development elusive.(GS-2 2019)
- The Rule of Law Index is a tool developed by the World Justice Project (WJP) to measure and assess the adherence to the rule of law in different countries around the world. It evaluates countries based on various factors such as constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice, and criminal justice.
- The index provides a quantitative assessment of the rule of law in each country, giving them a score and ranking. It aims to promote the rule of law as a fundamental principle for societies to ensure justice, accountability, and respect for human rights.
- The Rule of Law Index is widely used by policymakers, researchers, and organizations to understand the state of the rule of law globally and to identify areas for improvement. It serves as a valuable tool for comparing countries’ performance and tracking progress over time.
15. Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal (GSTAT)
Relevance of this topic: Lok Sabha passed fiancé bill, 2023 to form GST appellate tribunal.
Previous year questions:” The Central Administrative Tribunal which was established for redressal of grievance and complaints by or against central government employees, nowadays is exercising its powers as an independent judicial authority.” Explain. (GS-2 2019).
- The Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal (GSTAT) is a specialized tribunal in India that deals with appeals related to the Goods and Services Tax (GST). It was established under the GST Act in order to provide an independent and efficient dispute resolution mechanism for GST-related matters.
- GSTAT serves as the forum for taxpayers and the government to appeal against the decisions of lower authorities, such as the GST authorities or the Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling. The tribunal has the authority to hear and decide on appeals regarding various issues arising under the GST law, including GST registration, classification of goods and services, valuation, input tax credit, and other disputes related to GST.
- The GSTAT consists of judicial and technical members who possess expertise in GST matters. The judicial members are retired judges from the High Court or the Supreme Court of India, while the technical members are experts in the field of taxation. This composition ensures that the tribunal has a balanced and comprehensive understanding of the legal and technical aspects of GST.
- The objective of GSTAT is to ensure fair and consistent adjudication of GST disputes and provide a speedy resolution to taxpayers’ grievances. It aims to reduce the burden on the regular judicial system by establishing a specialized tribunal dedicated to GST matters. This specialized approach allows for the efficient handling of GST appeals and ensures that the decisions are made by members with specific knowledge and expertise in GST laws.
- The decisions of GSTAT are binding on both the taxpayer and the government, unless they are appealed further before the High Court or the Supreme Court. The tribunal has the power to confirm, modify, or annul the decisions of the lower authorities, providing a final resolution to the disputes.
16. Office of Lokpal
Relevance of this topic: Lokpal disposed of 68% corruption complaints against public secants without any action. Says parliamentary panel report.
Previous year questions: ” institutional quality is a crucial driver of economic performance.” In this context suggest reforms in civil service for strengthening democracy. (GS-2 2020).
- The Office of Lokpal refers to the institution of the Lokpal in India. The Lokpal is an independent ombudsman body established to address grievances related to corruption and maladministration by public officials. It was established under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013.
- The Lokpal is responsible for receiving and investigating complaints against public servants, including Members of Parliament, Ministers, and officials of the central government. The office has the authority to conduct inquiries, initiate investigations, and prosecute those found guilty of corruption or misconduct.
- The Lokpal consists of a Chairperson and several members, who are appointed by a selection committee consisting of the Prime Minister, Speaker of the Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament), Leader of the Opposition, Chief Justice of India or an eminent jurist nominated by them.
- The Office of Lokpal is designed to provide a mechanism for citizens to report corruption and seek redressal. It aims to promote transparency, accountability, and integrity in public administration by addressing corruption at the highest levels of government.
- However, it is important to note that the effectiveness and impact of the Office of Lokpal in India is a subject of ongoing debate and discussion. The institution has faced challenges in terms of its operationalization and the timely disposal of cases. Recently parliamentary panel of law and justice has found that Lokpal has not prosecuted a single person for graft till date. Efforts are being made to strengthen and improve the functioning of the Lokpal to ensure its effectiveness in combating corruption in the country.
17. India and Latin America
Relevance of this topic: India and Latin American countries should double trade to $ 100 billion by 2027 says External Affairs Ministry.Recently Indian external affairs minister visited 4 Latin American countires- Panama, Guyana,Colombia and Dominican republic
Previous year questions: How will I2U2 grouping transform india’s position in global politics?(GS-2 2022) .
- India and Latin America share a multifaceted relationship that encompasses diplomatic, economic, cultural, and strategic dimensions. Over the past two decades, there has been a notable increase in engagement between India and the countries of Latin America.
- Diplomatically, India has been actively seeking closer ties with Latin American nations. India has established diplomatic missions in several Latin American countries, and there have been reciprocal visits by leaders from both regions. Like recently Indian external affairs minister visited 4 Latin American countires- Panama, Guyana,Colombia and Dominican republic. These interactions have aimed to strengthen political ties, enhance cooperation in international forums, and explore areas of mutual interest.
- Economically, trade and investment between India and Latin America have been growing steadily. Bilateral trade has expanded in sectors such as energy, pharmaceuticals, information technology, agriculture, and automobiles. Bilateral trade between India and Latin America has been steadily increasing in recent years. According to the Ministry of External Affairs of India, the total trade between India and Latin America reached approximately $36 billion in 2019-2020. In 2022 it reached upto $50 billion. Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, and Peru are among the major trading partners for India in the region.
- Indian companies have been investing in Latin America, particularly in sectors like mining, IT services, and pharmaceuticals. Similarly, Latin American companies have also shown interest in the Indian market.
- Culturally, there is a growing exchange of art, music, cinema, and literature between India and Latin America. Cultural events, festivals, and exhibitions are regularly organized to promote mutual understanding and appreciation of each other’s heritage.
- Strategically, India and Latin American countries have been collaborating on various global issues. Both regions have similar positions on issues like climate change, sustainable development, and reform of international institutions. They have been coordinating their efforts in multilateral forums such as the United Nations, World Trade Organization, and G20.
- While the India-Latin America relationship has been progressing, there is still significant untapped potential for further cooperation. Efforts are being made to strengthen connectivity, increase trade volumes, promote tourism, and explore new areas of collaboration such as renewable energy, healthcare, and infrastructure development.
18. Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)
Relevance of this topic: Recently United Kingdom agreed to join CPTPP. Thus UK has become 1st new member to join and 1st European country to join this partnership.
Previous year questions: The judicial system in India and UK seem to be converging as well as diverging in recent times. Highlight the key points of convergence and divergence between the two nations in terms of their judicial practices.(GS2 2020).
- The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is a free trade agreement between 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. It was signed in March 2018 and came into effect at the end of 2018. The countries involved are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.
- The CPTPP aims to promote economic integration, reduce trade barriers, and enhance cooperation among its member countries. It covers a wide range of areas, including trade in goods and services, investment, intellectual property rights, labor standards, and environmental protection. The agreement also includes provisions on dispute settlement and mechanisms for updating and expanding its scope in the future.
- It promotes to expulsion of tariffs and reduction in non-tariff barriers in CPTPP.
- The CPTPP is seen as a successor to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which was initially negotiated by 12 countries, including the United States. However, the U.S. withdrew from the TPP in 2017, and the remaining 11 countries proceeded with the CPTPP.
- The agreement is expected to facilitate trade and investment flows among its member countries, promote economic growth, and create new opportunities for businesses. It also aims to set high standards for trade and investment rules in the Asia-Pacific region.
19. Pokhran nuclear tests
Relevance of this topic: On May 11 2023 India celebrated 25 years of Pokhran-2 tests.
Previous year questions: What is the significance of Indo- US defence deals over indo- Russian defense deals? Discuss with reference to stability in the indo pacific region.(GS-2 2020).
- The Pokhran nuclear tests refer to a series of nuclear weapons tests conducted by India in 1998. The tests took place in Pokhran, a remote area in the Indian state of Rajasthan. India had previously conducted a nuclear test in 1974, but the 1998 tests marked a significant advancement in the country’s nuclear capabilities.
- On May 11 and 13, 1998, India conducted a total of five nuclear detonations. These tests included a thermonuclear device, also known as a hydrogen bomb, which had a much greater destructive power compared to the atomic bomb tested in 1974. The tests were conducted underground to minimize the environmental impact and to avoid international detection.
- The decision to conduct the Pokhran tests was driven by several factors. India faced security concerns, especially regarding its nuclear-armed neighboring countries, Pakistan and China. The tests were seen as a demonstration of India’s nuclear deterrent capabilities and a response to perceived threats. Additionally, there was a growing domestic sentiment in favor of nuclear weaponization, with calls for India to assert itself as a global power.
- The tests were met with mixed reactions from the international community. While some countries condemned the tests, others emphasized the need for global disarmament and non-proliferation efforts. The tests sparked a series of sanctions imposed on India by various countries, including the United States and Japan.
- The Pokhran tests had significant political and strategic implications. They solidified India’s status as a nuclear-armed nation and had a profound impact on regional security dynamics. The tests also led to a re-evaluation of global non-proliferation efforts and initiated a new phase of nuclear arms race in South Asia.
- In subsequent years, India has pursued a policy of responsible nuclear stewardship, emphasizing a “no first use” doctrine and advocating for global disarmament. The tests at Pokhran remain a defining moment in India’s nuclear history and continue to shape its foreign policy and strategic outlook.
20. OTT (Over-The-Top) regulation
Relevance of this topic: Recently digital publisher content grievances council has recommended punitive action on OTT platform invoking the IT rules 2021.
Previous year questions: “Recent amendments to the right to information act will have profound impact on the autonomy and independence of the information commission”(GS -2 2020).
- In India, OTT (Over-The-Top) regulation refers to the regulation of digital platforms that provide audio, video, and other media content over the internet, bypassing traditional distribution channels like cable or satellite TV.
- In November 2019, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued a set of guidelines that proposed to bring OTT platforms under the ambit of the Information Technology Act, 2000. These guidelines proposed self-regulation by OTT platforms, including the adoption of a code of ethics, content classification, and grievance redressal mechanisms.
IT rules 2021
- The IT Rules 2021, also known as the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, were introduced by the Indian government to regulate social media platforms, OTT platforms, and digital news media. These rules aim to establish a legal framework for digital platforms and address concerns related to content moderation, user privacy, and grievance redressal.
- Under these rules, social media intermediaries like Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp are required to appoint a Chief Compliance Officer, a Nodal Contact Person, and a Grievance Officer based in India. They are also expected to comply with takedown requests for unlawful content within a specific time frame.
- OTT platforms and digital news media outlets are required to adhere to a code of ethics, implement a content classification system, and establish grievance redressal mechanisms. Additionally, they are expected to categorize content into different age-based classifications.
- Recently digital publisher content grievances council has recommended punitive action on OTT platform invoking the IT rules 2021.
21. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)
Relevance of this topic: Year 2023 marks 75 years of the UDHR
Previous year questions: Though the human rights commission have contributed immensely to the protection of human rights in India, yet they failed to aasert themselves against the might and powerful. Analyzing their structural and practical limitation, suggest remedial measures.(GS-2 2021).
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948. It serves as a foundational text for the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide. The UDHR consists of 30 articles that outline the fundamental rights and freedoms that every individual is entitled to, regardless of their nationality, race, religion, gender, or any other status.
- The declaration recognizes inherent human dignity and emphasizes the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family. It encompasses civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights, including the right to life, liberty, security, freedom of expression, religion, and peaceful assembly. It also addresses issues such as the right to education, work, adequate standard of living, and protection against discrimination.
- The UDHR has been instrumental in shaping international human rights law and has served as a reference point for the development of numerous national constitutions and legal frameworks. It has played a crucial role in promoting human rights norms, fostering equality, and holding governments accountable for their actions.
- While the UDHR is not legally binding, its principles have been incorporated into legally binding treaties, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. It continues to be a source of inspiration and guidance for individuals, governments, and organizations striving for the protection and promotion of human rights globally.
22. Black Sea grain deal
Relevance of this topic: . Recently Russia withdrew from this deal.
Previous year questions: QUAD is transforming itself into a trade bloc from a military alliance, in present times- discuss.(GS-2 2020).
- The Black Sea grain deal refers to the trade agreements and contracts involving the export and import of grains from countries surrounding the Black Sea region, including Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. This region has gained significant prominence in global agricultural markets due to its substantial grain production capacity. The Black Sea region is known for its fertile soil, favorable climate, and vast agricultural lands, making it a major hub for grain production. Wheat, corn, barley, and other grains are cultivated in large quantities, making the region a key player in the global grain market.
- These grain deals involve various parties, including farmers, producers, exporters, importers, traders, and brokers. Negotiations take place based on factors such as grain quality, quantity, price, and delivery terms. Contracts can be long-term or short-term, depending on the needs and preferences of the parties involved.
- Transportation logistics play a crucial role in these deals. The Black Sea region has well-developed infrastructure, including ports, rail networks, and highways, facilitating the efficient movement of grains to international markets. Storage facilities are also important, as grains need to be properly stored to maintain their quality.
- Black Sea grain deals have gained prominence due to the region’s ability to meet global demand. The competitive prices and high-quality grains produced in the region make it an attractive source for buyers worldwide. These agreements contribute to the stability and competitiveness of the global grain market and play a significant role in ensuring food security for many countries.
KEY WORDS WHICH SHOULD BE USED IN GS 2 PAPER
Various report sand conventions. Trade barrier, digital diplomacy, trade bloc, constitutionality, gender justice, contemporary stages, doctrine of power, constitutionalization, decentralization, grassroot governance, Re promulgation, Underprivileged etc.