1)Decarbonization and Energy Transition Agenda:
Context: NITI Aayog and Embassy of the Netherlands, New Delhi, signed a Statement of Intent (soi) to support the decarbonization and energy transition agenda for accommodating cleaner and more energy.
- Through this collaboration, NITI Aayog and the Dutch Embassy seek a strategic partnership to create a platform that enables a comprehensive collaboration among stakeholders and influencers, including policymakers, industry bodies, oems, private enterprises, and sector experts.
- The focus of the partnership is on co-creating innovative technological solutions by leveraging the expertise of the two entities.
This will be achieved through an exchange of knowledge and collaborative activities. Key elements include:
- Lowering the net carbon footprint in industrial and transport sectors
- Realize the target potential of natural gas and promote bio-energy technologies
- Adopt clean air technologies from monitoring to reducing actual particulates
- Adopt next-generation technologies, such as hydrogen, carbon capture utilization, and storage for sectoral energy efficiency
- Financial frameworks to deliver and adopt climate change finance.
The initiatives under this soi will help both the countries to move towards becoming climate-resilient economies.
- Working with India is also important to meet its twin objectives—generating economic growth and ensuring it safeguards the environment for future generations.
- It will not only boost the economies of the two nations but also achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.’
- We are committed to reduce emissions intensity by 33%–35% by 2030.
- With the focus on carbon intensity of products sold across the world, low carbon industrialization is the next huge opportunity for India.
- The Netherlands and India share a long history of trade and investment.
- It is India’s sixth largest EU trading partner—as much as 20% of India’s exports to the European continent goes through the Netherlands, making it India’s ‘gateway to Europe’—and one of the top five investors in the country.
- It is also the third largest source of Foreign Direct Investment for India.
- The Netherlands is keen to intensify its business relations with India to emerge as the country’s hub for doing business with Europe.
Context: The second ministerial meeting of the Quad countries will be held in Japan
What China thinks about Quad?
- The Chinese labelled the quad as Asian version of North Atlantic Treaty organisation it became evident years later the real reason for China’s hyper reaction was out of concern that such a grouping would out China’s plans for Naval expansion by focusing on the India Pacific Maritime space
- China was hoping that its Naval build up may slip under the radar because the Americans were distracted by Continental challenges including Russia, Afghanistan and Iran and would not look seaward
- Once the idea of Quad 1.0 has died down, China gained in confidence to reveal its hand. It advanced a new claim, the nine- dash line in the South China Sea
- It build its first overseas base in Djibouti and it started to explore the surface and subsurface environment in the Indian Ocean beyond the Malacca Strait
- The manner of China’s dismissal of the arbitral award in the dispute with the Philippines on the South China Sea and it’s brazing militarization of the islands after its president had publicly pronounced to the contrary, has once again brought the four countries on to the same page and given a second chance to the quad
What should Quad countries do?
- The quad nations need to better explain that the indo-pacific vision is an overarching Framework that is being discussed in a transparent manner with the objective of advancing everyone’s economic and security interest
- The quad on the other hand is a plural lateral mechanism between countries that share interest on specific matters
Any other quadrilateral groupings?
- There are other such mechanism in the region, in 2016 China established a quadrilateral cooperation and coordination mechanism with Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan and more recently earlier this year, and other one with Pakistan Afghanistan and Nepal the quad is no exception
- Public opinion about China in all four countries is different from what is used to be in 2007
- A positive agenda built around collective action in human assistance and disaster relief, reassure the literal states that will benefit and outreach to the Indian Ocean littoral States especially important since there are motivational reports from some quarter suggesting that India is somehow seeking to deny access, or to create infrastructure that impacts the legitimate movement of some extra regional countries through the Indian Ocean
- Quad is an informal grouping of United States Japan India and Australia
- Established to provide peace, stability and security in the Indo- pacific region
3) German chancellor of accuses China of cruel treatment of minorities:
German chancellor, Angela Merkel accused China of poor and cruel treatment of minorities and underlined deep concerns over the crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong
- Germany worries over the situation in the former British Colony in any future dialogue with Beijing
- Activist accused China over the mass internment of Uighur Muslims in china
- More than 1 million ethnic Uighurs have been added into internment camps to undergo political indoctrination
- China said, the camps are training centers and it is providing education to reduce the allure of Islamic radicalism
- Beijing is also under fire over a security law it imposed on Hong Kong in June that radically increased its control over the financial hub and lead to a brutal crackdown on dissent
- Hong Kong was guaranteed autonomy under the one country two systems deal agreed ahead of its 1997 handover from Britain
4) Sino- Vatican deal:
U.S Secretary of the state Mike pompeo, called on pope to take a stand against China on religious freedom
- Calls the Vatican to take a stand against China. Nowhere is religious freedom under assault more than in China
- Sino- Vatican deal 2018, is an agreement on appointing Bishop’s, which is up for renewal, a risk to the church’s moral authority given Beijing’s Human Rights record
- Pope Francis has been working hard to repair ties with China and the Vatican has not appreciated Mr. Pompeo’s public interference
Background: Officials in Rome and Beijing are now confidently doing their homework for an extension of the 2018 Vatican-China deal on the appointment of bishops. The extension is expected to be signed next month.
- Caught in the new bonhomie between the Catholic Church and communist China are the US presidential election and Taiwan, which China claims as its own and vows to use force, if necessary, to annex it.
- Since the deal, the Vatican has been noticeably silent on Taiwan, an island lying across the Taiwan Strait.
- Experts say the Church is working towards one unified Catholic Church in China in line with Beijing’s “one China” policy.
- The Donald Trump administration has strengthened engagement with Taiwan before the US presidential election in November.
- High-profile US officials are visiting Taiwan and the latest entrant to the Republic of China, as Taiwan is formally known, who is expected to clinch a US$7 billion arms deal during his visit this week.
- Under the Taiwan Relations Act, the US supplies arms to Taiwan.
- In the past 10 years, the US has announced more than $23 billion in arms sales to Taiwan, according to a 2019 Department of Defense report.
- The Vatican’s new-found love for China has angered Washington, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo going on the offensive last week in an article in First Things, a US-based religious publication.
- He decried “horrific” persecution of believers of all faiths in China. He wrote that many nations have expressed “revulsion” at “accelerating violations of human rights.”
Thousands of conservative Catholics in the US, who are unhappy with Pope Francis’ policies, are also upset about the China deal.
5) Brahmos Missile:
Context: brahmos surface-to-surface supersonic cruise missile featuring indigenous Booster and Airframe Section was successfully flight tested
- The brahmos Land-Attack Cruise Missile (LACM) at a speed of Mach 2.8.
- The brahmos is a ramjet supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, fighter jets, or land.
- BRAHMOS is a joint venture between the Defence Research and Development Organisation of India (DRDO) and the NPOM of Russia.
- Brahmos is named on the rivers Brahmaputra and Moskva.
- It is a two-stage (solid propellant engine in the first stage and liquid ramjet in second) air to surface missile with a flight range of around 400 km.
- Brahmos is a multiplatform i.e. It can be launched from land, air, and sea and multi capability missile with pinpoint accuracy that works in both day and night irrespective of the weather conditions.
- It operates on the “Fire and Forgets” principle i.e. It does not require further guidance after launch.
- Today’s successful launch has paved the way for the serial production of the indigenous booster and other indigenous components of the powerful brahmos Weapon System realising Atmanirbhar Bharat pledge.
6) National Crime Record Bureau’s Crime in India report 2019:
NRCB data, 7% rise in crimes against women
- In terms of absolute numbers, Uttar Pradesh reported the highest number of cases
- Assam reported the highest rate of crimes against women (per lakh population)
- Rajasthan had the highest rate of crimes against scheduled castes.
- The rate of rape against Dalit women was highest in Kerala, followed by Madhya Pradesh.
- UP also had the highest number of crimes against girl children under the POCSO act, followed by Maharashtra.
- The highest rate of these crimes were in Sikkim, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana.
- Uttar Pradesh reported the most cases against scheduled castes followed by Rajasthan in Bihar
7) Ambedkar Social Innovation & Incubation Mission under Venture Capital fund for scs (ASIIM):
ASIIM to Support 1000 Start-ups of SC Youth over next 4 Years
- Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment launched the “Ambedkar Social Innovation and Incubation Mission (ASIIM) under Venture Capital Fund for scs through Video Conferencing here today with a view to promoting innovation and enterprise among SC students studying in higher educational institutions.
- Capital Fund for scs (VCF-SC) in 2014-15 with a view to developing entrepreneurship amongst the SC/Divyang youth and to enable them to become ‘job-givers’.
- The Objective of this fund is to provide concessional finance to the entities of the SC entrepreneurs. Under this fund, 117 companies promoted by SC entrepreneurs have been sanctioned financial assistance to set up business ventures.
- Under named “Ambedkar Social Innovation Incubation Mission (ASIIM)”initiative, 1,000 SC youth would be identified in the next 4 years with start-up ideas through the Technology Business Incubators (tbis) in various higher educational institutions.
- They will be funded @ Rs. 30 lakhs in 3 years as equity funding so that they can translate their start-up ideas into commercial ventures.
- Successful ventures would further qualify for venture funding of up to Rs. 5 Crore from the Venture Capital Fund for scs.
Its objectives include:
- To promote entrepreneurship among the SC Youth with special preference to Divyangs;
- To support (1,000) innovative ideas till 2024 through a synergetic work with the Technology Business Incubators (tbis) set up by Department of Science and Technology
- To support, promote, hand-hold the start-up ideas till they reach commercial stage by providing liberal equity support
- And To incentivize students with innovative mind-set to take to entrepreneurship with confidence.
- The Minister said that this initiative under VCF-SC will promote innovation in the SC youth and would help them to become job-givers from job-seekers
- And would further give fillip to the Stand-up India initiative of the Prime Minister PM Shri Narendra Modi.
- The ASIIM initiative will be implemented by the Venture Capital Fund for scs (VCF-scs) which was set up in 2016 with the Fund size of Rs. 500 Cr.
- The VCF-SC shall extend all support in the form of hand-holding, guidance, mentoring, besides providing equity support up to Rs 30 lakh over a period of three (3) years to each entity of young SC students / entrepreneurs.
8) Government retains rupees 12 lakh crore borrowing plan:
India’s fiscal deficit soared to 109% percent of the budget target in the just the first five months of the year with revenues remaining muted
- The centre had already enhanced its borrowing target for the year by rupees 4.2 lakh crore to rupees 12 lakh crore, in May this year as the initial adverse impact of the covid-19 pandemic and the national lockdown became Apparent
- Leaving some room for States who also have to do major borrowing as well as private sector to raise money in the second half of the Year
- With the open up, of we are expecting to see more activity from the private sector in the third and fourth quarters
9) What is ISRO Venus Mission for 2025?
The French Space Agency CNES announced on September 30, 2020 that it going to participate in ISRO’s Venus Mission which has been named SHUKRAYAAN.
- The mission is going to be launched in 2025.
- ISRO intends to send an orbiter mission to Venus in order to study the atmosphere of Venus.
- The atmosphere is primarily made up of carbon dioxide.
- The Shukrayaan mission will study the dense and hot atmosphere of Venus.
- It will also study the planet’s surface using a probe.
- ISRO have also selected The VIRAL (Venus Infrared Atmospheric Gases Linker) instrument that has been co-developed with the Russian federal space agency Roscosmos and the LATMOS atmospheres, environments and space observations laboratory attached to the French national scientific research centre CNRS.
- The mission will study the atmospheric chemistry, compositional variations and dynamics of Planet Venus.
- Earlier, the mission was scheduled to be launched in 2023.
- Ongoing Venus Mission
42 Venus missions have been sent to Venus from planet Earth as of now. Japan’s Akatsuki which is also known as the Venus Climate Orbiter and Planet-C, is currently moving around Venus. It has been tasked to study the atmosphere of Venus.