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InstaLinks :  help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions ina your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically

Table of Contents:


GS Paper 2:

  1. India-UAE CEPA


GS Paper 3:

  1. Poverty Estimation in India
  2. Financial inclusion of women
  3. Global Land Outlook report


Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)

  1. S&T: NITI Aayog’s Compendium on Best Practices in Social Sector 2023
  2. My life as a Comrade


Facts for Prelims (FFP)

  1. Vaisakh Purnima
  2. Mridangam
  3. France’s Bastille Day celebrations
  4. Heat Index
  5. Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project (KMTTP)
  6. Article 355
  7. Washington Declaration
  8. Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Vaccine
  9. Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)




GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Bilateral Relations


Source: PIB, GulfNews


Context: The India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) has had a significant impact on bilateral trade between the two countries since its implementation in May 2022.

  • It is expected to increase the total value of bilateral trade in goods to over USD 100 billion and trade in services to over USD 15 billion within five years.


India-UAE Trade relations:

United Arab Emirates (UAE) is India’s 3rd largest trading partner, after the United States and China, with a bilateral trade turnover of USD 68 billion in 2021. The UAE is also the 7th largest investor in India.


What is a CEPA?

A Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) is a bilateral or multilateral trade agreement between countries aimed at promoting economic cooperation and integration by reducing barriers to trade and investment.


Difference between CEPA, CECA, and FTA:

AspectCEPA (Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement)CECA (Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement)FTA (Free Trade Agreement)
DefinitionA comprehensive trade agreement that covers goods, services, and investments.It covers a wide range of areas, such as trade, investment, technology, and cultural exchanges.A trade agreement that eliminates or reduces tariffs and other barriers to trade in goods between two or more countries.
Level of integrationHigh level of integration as it covers not only trade in goods but also services, investments, and other areas of cooperation.Medium level of integration as it covers a wide range of areas but not as comprehensive as CEPA.Low level of integration as it only covers trade in goods and does not include services or investments.
ExamplesIndia-Singapore CEPA, Japan-Indonesia CEPA, etc.India-Korea CECA, India-Malaysia CECA, etc.India-UK FTA


For overall India-UAE relations: Click here

Various dimensions of India-UAE CEPA:

Trade in GoodsThe CEPA provides preferential market access for over 80% of products traded between India and the UAE.


Bilateral trade between India and the UAE reached historic highs during FY 2022-23, increasing from USD 73 billion to USD 84 billion, registering a 16% increase

Trade in ServicesThe CEPA covers 11 broad service sectors and more than 100 sub-sectors, such as business services, communication services, financial services, tourism, and transport services.
InvestmentThe CEPA provides for a liberal and non-discriminatory regime for cross-border investment between India and the UAE.
Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT)TBT aim to ensure that technical regulations, standards, and conformity assessment procedures do not create unnecessary obstacles to trade.
Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) MeasuresIt aims to protect human, animal, and plant health by setting standards for food safety, animal and plant health, and other related issues.
Dispute SettlementThe CEPA includes provisions on dispute settlement, which provide for the resolution of disputes between India and the UAE through consultations and negotiations.
Movement of Natural PersonsThe CEPA includes provisions on the movement of natural persons, which aim to facilitate the temporary entry of businesspersons, investors, and skilled professionals between India and the UAE.
Pharmaceutical ProductsThe CEPA includes provisions on pharmaceutical products, which aim to promote cooperation in the regulation and marketing of pharmaceuticals between India and the UAE.
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)The CEPA includes provisions on IPR, which aim to protect and enforce intellectual property rights between India and the UAE.
Digital TradeThe CEPA includes provisions on digital trade, which aim to promote the development of e-commerce and digital trade between India and the UAE.


Some of the challenges that the India-UAE CEPA may face are:

  • Competition from other existing trade agreements in the region
  • Diverse business and cultural practices between the two countries
  • The disparity in the level of development and economic size of the two countries
  • Possible resistance from domestic industries in both countries
  • Differences in regulatory standards and intellectual property protection.



The trade between India and UAE has strengthened over the years, with the UAE becoming India’s closest geopolitical partner in the Arab world. Despite recent challenges, the bilateral ties between the two nations have proven resilient.


Insta Links:

Poverty Estimation in India

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Issues Relating to Poverty and Hunger


Source: LM

Context: There has been no official estimate of poverty in India after 2011-12. However, many private estimates are available.


Poverty estimation in India:

  • Poverty can be defined as a condition in which an individual or household lacks the financial resources to afford a basic minimum standard of living.
  • Reliable estimation of poverty is the first step towards eradication of poverty as it provides input for the design, implementation and monitoring of anti-poverty programmes.
  • Two critical components of the estimation of poverty in India:
    • Information on the consumption expenditures;
    • These expenditures are evaluated with reference to a given poverty line.
  • In 2011, 21.9% of Indians were considered to be living below the national poverty line.
  • Globally, 8% lived on less than the international poverty line (WB) of US$1.90 per person per day.


Issues with estimates of poverty in India:

  • Vary in a wide range: From as high as 35% of India’s population in 2017-18 (by S. Subramanian) to a low of 1.4% (by Bhalla, Bhasin and Virmani) found for 2019-20.
  • No clear conclusion/consensus on whether poverty rose after 2011-12 or fell.


Why do these differences arise?

  • Due to varying consumption expenditure data used.
    • A modified version of data (by Bhalla) from the Consumer Pyramid Household Survey (CME) shows that poverty has declined in India.
    • While the National Statistical Office (NSO) data (by S. Subramanian) that poverty increased in India.
    • The only consumption expenditure survey conducted by NSO in 2017-18 was abandoned.
  • Due to different poverty lines used:
    • The consumption aggregates from the PLFS estimate poverty at 17.9% in 2020-21, compared with 21.9% in 2011-12.
    • The latest (Panagariya and More) report a poverty ratio of 32% in 2019-20 and 26% in 2020-21 using the same PLFS consumption data.


Good news for India:

  • A consumption expenditure survey is currently underway.
  • This will update the national accounts and inflation indices.



  • The new methodology adopted: The absence of a comparable survey means it won’t help answer what happened to poverty after 2011-12.
  • No public discussion on the new methodology.


Conclusion: The discourse on poverty estimation has played an important role in highlighting the living conditions of the poor and the effectiveness of government policy. Thus, the adoption of a scientific methodology that will generate uniform-error-free data is the need of the hour.


Insta Links:

Ways to measure poverty in India — and why the numbers matter


Mains Links:

Though there have been several different estimates of poverty in India, all indicate a reduction in poverty levels over time. Do you agree? Critically examine with reference to urban and rural poverty indicators. (UPSC 2015)

The financial inclusion of women

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Welfare Schemes for Vulnerable Sections


Source: LM

 Context: It is challenging to achieve financial inclusion (FI) for women until they actively participate in the formal financial industry.


What is FI?

The process of ensuring access to financial services and timely and adequate credit where needed by vulnerable groups such as weaker sections and low-income groups at an affordable cost. (RBI)


Why do women need FI?

  • FI is considered a critical indicator of development and is identified as an enabler for at least eight of the 17 SDGs.
  • For women, access to bank accounts, loans, insurance, and other financial services, results in direct improvements in outcomes of health, education, employment → economic independence → empowerment.
  • In turn, such progress helps achieve the collective goals of eradicating poverty, promoting inclusive growth, and reducing inequality.


The scheme promoting FI in India:

The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY):

  • 56% of all these new accounts are owned by women, which implies remarkable FI that has significantly reduced the gender gap, from 17% in 2011 to 6% in 2017.


Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT):

  • Since its inception in 2013, the Indian government has cumulatively transferred 16.8 trillion to beneficiaries through DBT. This has led to the FI of women, as they constitute a good number of beneficiaries under the schemes.



  • Women still lack participation in the formal financial industry. For example,
    • Most women only access their PMJDY accounts to withdraw the benefit transfers from the various government initiatives.
    • Most of them do not use these accounts for savings, to build a credit history or avail of any financial products such as insurance and loans.
  • Inaccessibility: Most financial services are beyond the reach of most women, particularly in the rural hinterland.
  • Concerns around privacy and confidentiality: Hesitation to discuss personal financial matters with strangers.
  • The lack of collateral due to limited access to assets and property impedes their ability to avail of loans.
  • They have less influence over the family’s important financial choices → leading to wastages or use of benefits for non-essential purposes.


How to address these concerns?

  • Promote women’s access to and literacy in digital tools.
  • Promote the use of digital payments among women.
  • Appoint more women Business Correspondents (BCs).
  • Deepen convergence with self-help groups.
  • Collect gender-disaggregated data and develop strategies to form women-centric approaches.
  • Promote digital credit for medium and small businesses.


Some best practices:

  • The Bank Sakhis programme by the National Rural Livelihoods Mission trains SHG members to work as BCs in rural districts.
  • The PM Mudra Yojana targets the financial inclusion of women by providing collateral-free loans up to Rs. 1 million for small and micro enterprises.


Way ahead: Digital payment solutions can be easily redesigned to enable access to information that are key stumbling blocks to the FI of women.


Insta Links:

Women and financial inclusion


Prelims Links: UPSC 2016

The establishment of ‘Payment Banks’ is being allowed in India to promote financial inclusion. Which of the following statements is/are correct in this context?

  1. Mobile telephone companies and supermarket chains that are owned and controlled by residents are eligible to be promoters of Payment Banks.
  2. Payment Banks can issue both credit cards and debit cards.
  3. Payment Banks cannot undertake lending activities.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 1 and 3 only
  3. 2 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3


Ans: 2

Global Land Outlook report

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Environment, conservation


Source: TH


Context: According to the 2nd edition of the Global Land Outlook (GLO) report, humans have breached four out of nine planetary boundaries.



  • It is a United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification’s (UNCCD) flagship publication, whose 1st edition was launched in 2017 at the UNCCD COP13 (China).
  • It underscores land system challenges, showcases transformative policies and practices, and points to cost-effective pathways to scale up sustainable land and water management.


Highlights of the report:

 Importance of Land: It is the operative link between biodiversity loss and climate change, which means restoring land is crucial to solving interconnected crises.


What are planetary boundaries?

  • The environmental thresholds that establish a “safe operating space for humanity” are known as planetary boundaries.
  • The nine planetary boundaries are:
    • Biodiversity loss
    • Land-use change
    • Climate change
    • Nitrogen and phosphorus (geochemical) cycles
    • Freshwater use
    • Ocean acidification
    • Chemical pollution
    • Atmospheric loading
    • Ozone depletion



  • Humans have already altered more than 70% of the earth’s land area from its natural state.
  • Of the 9 planetary boundaries, climate change, biodiversity loss, land-use change, and geochemical cycles have already been exceeded.



  • Worldwide, food systems (including agriculture) are responsible for 80% of deforestation and 70% of freshwater use and are the single greatest cause of terrestrial biodiversity loss.
  • Land degradation, desertification and drought pose a great risk to global food security as well.
    • Land degradation is the reduction or loss of biological and economic productivity of land and its constituents: soil, water, and biodiversity.


Impact: This has contributed significantly to global warming and environmental degradation → leading to a rise in poverty, hunger, inequality, zoonotic disease transmission, etc.



Effective land restoration:

  • The report defines land restoration as a continuum of activities that
    • Avoid (By eliminating practices that degrade the environment, ranging from land and ecosystem conversion to socio-economic inequalities)
    • Reduce (By adopting sustainable land and water management practices) and
    • Reverse (By revitalising soil, watersheds, and other elements of natural ecosystems) land degradation with the explicit objective of meeting human needs and improving ecology.
  • The global annual cost of land restoration is expected at ~$300 billion by 2030.
  • Each dollar invested is estimated to return between $7 and $30 in economic benefits, moving towards an equitable and sustainable future.


Achieving land degradation neutrality (LDN): LDN is a state whereby the quantity and quality of land resources required to maintain ecosystem functions and services and improve food security are steady or growing.


Integrated land use planning:

  • Identifying the best combination of land uses → sustainably meeting the needs of the stakeholders as well as preserving the land resources.
  • A cost-effective approach is to identify landscapes while maximising benefits, such as in global restoration hotspots.


Regenerative agricultural practices: Like terrace farming and rainwater harvesting → help restore land, increase crop yields, reduce GHG emissions, sequester atmospheric carbon, and create meaningful livelihoods.

Inclusive and responsible governance: It is crucial to facilitate the shift to sustainable land use and management practices.

Initiatives of Land Restoration
The Bonn Challenge (2011) is a global effort to restore 350 million hectares of the world’s degraded and deforested lands by 2030.Currently, 97.85 million hectares (mha) of land – an area 2.5 times the size of India’s largest state Rajasthan, has already been degraded.
UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration: The Decade (2021-2030) is being championed by the UNEP and FAO.In 2019, India raised its land restoration target (under the Bonn Challenge) from 21 million hectares to 26 million hectares by 2030.
The G20 Global Initiative on Reducing Land Degradation and Enhancing Conservation of Terrestrial Habitats: Launched in 2020, it aims to prevent, halt and reverse land degradation and reduce degraded land by 50% by 2040.Now, MGNREGS is to fund work to reverse land degradation.


Some best practices in India:

  • Holiyas: These are water management systems in Gujarat, which store rainwater below the land surface. The groundwater can be accessed and distributed using solar pumps when there is scarcity.
  • Plantopathy: It is a unique nature-based solution that can limit the impact of plant diseases on yields without pesticides or chemicals.
  • Zero budget natural farming (ZBNF): It combines traditional and emerging practices to reduce costs (i.e., zero budget) while boosting yields and overall farm health by using organic inputs sourced locally (i.e., natural farming).


Conclusion: Land restoration is a shared responsibility. Hence, governments, scientists, civil society, and private sector players need to work together to set land and ecosystem restoration goals that transform land-use systems.


Insta Links:

Forest landscape restoration


S&T: NITI Aayog’s Compendium on Best Practices in Social Sector 2023

Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)

Source: Niti Aayog

Every day, in this section we are bringing best practices from each category. Today’s best practices will cover the ‘Science and technology’


InitiativeNodal AgencyObjective
National AI Portal (INDIAai)National e-Governance Division (NeGD), Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY), in partnership with NASSCOMTo create a unified AI ecosystem in India and promote knowledge creation, fostering economic growth and social empowerment through a one-stop digital platform for AI-related developments in the country.
Santhe Kaushalkar – Self-Help Group and Artisan Profiling PlatformUNDP Karnataka and Department of Planning, Programming, Monitoring and Statistics, Government of KarnatakaTo create a rural self-help group (SHG) and artisan profiling platform (with digital Identity) that provides profiles of rural SHGs/artisans engaged in the manufacturing of various products and artefacts, and facilitates their connection with potential buyers and customers.
Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX)Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO) under the aegis of the Department of Defence Production, Ministry of DefenceTo foster innovation and technology development in the defence and aerospace sector by engaging industries including MSMEs, start-ups, individual innovators, R&D Institutes, and academia, and promote self-reliance. The MoD also procures the newly innovated products as per the Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020 (DAP-2020) from iDEX winners.

My life as a Comrade

 Source: BBC


KK Shailaja, the former health minister of Kerala, who gained worldwide recognition for her success in managing the Covid-19 pandemic, has released a memoir entitled “My Life As A Comrade“.


Ms. Shailaja credits scientific thinking as an integral part of her decision-making process and reveals that her Ammamma (Grandmother), inspired her with her actions in tackling a smallpox outbreak in Kerala.


Usage: Ethical values demonstrated by KK Shailaja and the Kerala state government’s response to the pandemic: Scientific thinking, Compassion, Responsibility, Preparedness, and Equality.

Vaisakh Purnima

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: PIB

 Context: The Ministry of Culture along with the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) celebrated the auspicious day of Vaisakh Purnima.


Vaishakh Buddha Purnima (also known as Vesak or Buddha Jayanti):

  • It is the most sacred day of the year for Buddhists all over the world as it marks the three main events of Lord Buddha’s life
    • Birth (564 BC, Lumbini Province, Nepal),
    • Enlightenment [Siddhartha became a Buddha (“enlightened one”)], and
    • Mahaparinirvana [Kushinagar (India) is said to be the place of death of Gautama Buddha].
  • Since 1999 it has also been recognised by the United Nations as the ‘UN Day of Vesak’.
  • This year the Vaishakh Buddha Purnima is being celebrated on 5th May.
  • The festival falls on the full moon day (Purnima) in the Hindu month of Vaishakh (April or May)



Source: The Print


Context: Karaikudi R Rani, also known as Karaikudi Mani, a legendary mridangam vidwan, who dominated the Carnatic music scene for half a century passed away recently.


About the Mridangam:



OriginIt originated 2,000 years ago in various parts of South India
UsageIt is a popular bifacial drum used as an accompaniment in South Indian Classical music, particularly Carnatic music
Playing MethodIt is held across the lap and played on both ends with the hands and fingers
Similar InstrumentMrdanga, Pakhawaj, and Tannumai. The Pakhavaj is a similar instrument played in the Hindustani tradition of northern India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh
Making ProcessThe body is scooped out of a single block of wood, preferably Jack Wood or Redwood. It is shaped like a barrel with the right head slightly smaller than the left.


Comparison of Carnatic music and Hindustani music on the basis of instruments used:

AspectCarnatic MusicHindustani Music
Melodic InstrumentsVeena, Violin, Flute, Nadaswaram, Gottuvadyam, Mandolin, etc.Sitar, Sarod, Santoor, Bansuri, Shehnai, Harmonium, etc.
PercussionMridangam, Ghatam, Kanjira, Thavil, Morsing, etc.Tabla, Pakhawaj, Dholak, Khol, Naal, etc.
Drone InstrumentTamburaTanpura, Swarmandal
Vocalization StyleSyllabic, has a fixed tonic and scale, complex rhythmic structuresFree-flowing, improvisational, and emphasis on ragas
Music StructureKriti is the basic structure of Carnatic musicRaga is the basic structure of Hindustani music


France’s Bastille Day celebrations


Source: PIB


Context: PM Modi thanked the French President for the invitation as Guest of Honour at France’s Bastille Day celebrations


About Bastille Day:

The National Day of France, also known as Bastille Day, is celebrated on July 14 every year.
What was Bastille?The Bastille was a fortress prison located in the heart of Paris, which had become a symbol of royal tyranny and oppression.


HistoryThe fall of the Bastille is widely considered the beginning of the French Revolution. The event also marked the beginning of a period of intense violence and social upheaval in France.
French Revolution (1789 – 1799)A significant period of social and political upheaval in France was characterized by the overthrow of the French monarchy, the establishment of a republic, and the execution of thousands of people, including King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette.
SignificanceThe fall of the Bastille symbolized the people’s victory over the monarchy and the end of the old regime. The event led to the abolition of feudalism, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, and the establishment of the First French Republic.
Global ImportanceThe principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity espoused during the French Revolution have had a profound impact on the world’s political and social landscape. These values have influenced many other revolutionary movements throughout history.

Heat Index


Source: TH


Context: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has announced plans to launch a composite index next year to measure the impact of heat on India’s population.


About Heat Index:

What is the heat index?The heat index is the combination of air temperature and relative humidity, it is the measure of how hot it really feels when relative humidity is factored in with the actual air temperature.
Aim of the new indexTo quantify the impact of heat on its population and generate impact-based heatwave alerts for specific locations.
Parameters to be usedTemperature, humidity, wind, and duration of exposure
SignificanceThe analysis will help generate heat hazard scores, which will be used as thresholds to issue impact-based heatwave alerts for specific locations.
Heat Waves in IndiaAccording to IMD data, there was a 24% increase in the number of heat waves during 2010-2019 compared to 2000-2009. Between 2000 and 2019, the mortality rate for tropical cyclones decreased by 94% whereas it increased by 62% for heat waves. Heat waves is not notified as a natural disaster at the national level in the country.
Impact of heat wavesHeat waves cause cramps, exhaustion, stress, heat stroke and very severe heat waves even lead to death. The elderly, children, and people with heart and respiratory problems, kidney diseases and psychiatric disorders are particularly affected. Extreme periods of high temperatures can lead to a significant reduction in crop yields and cause reproductive failure in many crops.


About IMD:

The India Meteorological Department (founded: 1875; HQ: New Delhi; Ministry of Earth Science) is the principal agency responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting and seismology in India

Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project (KMTTP)


Source: BS

 Context: India has officially begun the operation of the Sittwe Port in Myanmar by flagging off a vessel containing 1,000 metric tonnes of cement from the Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port in Kolkata.


About Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project (KMTTP):

Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project (KMTTP) connects the eastern Indian seaport of Kolkata with the Sittwe seaport in Rakhine State, Myanmar by sea. In Myanmar, it will then link the Sittwe seaport to Paletwa in Chin State via the Kaladan river boat route, and then from Paletwa by road to Mizoram state in Northeast India.
RouteKolkata (India) – Sittwe (Myanmar) – Paletwa (Myanmar) – India-Myanmar border


SignificanceReduce distance from Kolkata to Sittwe by approximately 1328 km; reduce the need to transport goods through the narrow Siliguri corridor; create an alternative route to connect northeast and mainland India
StatusUnder construction; Sittwe port expected to be operational by early next year

Article 355


Source: TH

 Context: The Centre has taken control of security in Manipur (by allegedly invoking Article 355), deploying 12 companies of the Border Security Force (BSF) and airlifting anti-riot vehicles to the northeastern state.

  • The move comes after at least ten people were killed by mobs, and several villages and community-specific urban localities were destroyed during tribal clashes.


Article 355 of the Indian Constitution:

DefinitionArticle 355 empowers the Union government to protect every state in India against external aggression and internal disturbances.
Article 356 Vs Article 355Article 356 empowers the President to impose President’s Rule in a state in case of a failure or breakdown of constitutional machinery, while Article 355 empowers the Union government:

·        To protect every state in India against external aggression and internal disturbances

·        To issue directions to any state to ensure compliance with the Union’s laws and regulations

Part of ConstitutionPart XVIII of the Indian Constitution, titled “Emergency Provisions”.
PrincipleBased on the principle of “duty to protect” enshrined in the Constitution.
RestrictionsDirections can only be given when there is a failure of the state machinery to comply with or give effect to any Union law or regulation; should be of an urgent nature and may not extend beyond the necessary period for remedying the failure; state government should be given an opportunity to submit its views before issuance.
DurationNot specified in the Constitution.
WithdrawalCan be withdrawn by the Union government when the situation is normalized or the state government requests it to do so.
Circumstances of impositionFailure of the state to comply with the Union’s directions; threat to the security of India; threat to unity and integrity of India due to violent activities by any group or organization; request for assistance from the Union to maintain public order when the situation in the state cannot be controlled by the state’s own forces.
Scope of judicial reviewThe satisfaction of the President in invoking Article 355 is subject to judicial review and can be challenged in court if it violates any fundamental rights or constitutional provisions.

For Issues in Manipur:

Washington Declaration


Source: TH

 Context: South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol visited the U.S. on April 25 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of U.S.-South Korea bilateral relations. During the visit, the two countries signed the “Washington Declaration,” which focuses on nuclear deterrence strategy.


About Washington Declaration:

PurposeThe Washington Declaration is an agreement signed between the United States and South Korea, outlining a joint nuclear deterrence strategy.
MeasuresThe declaration specifies several measures that the two countries will take in cooperation towards deterrence, including:

·        Deployment of an American nuclear ballistic submarine in the Korean peninsula

·        Formation of a nuclear consultative group to formulate principles of joint response tactics

·        Strengthening of South Korea’s nuclear deterrence capabilities

Non-proliferationThe declaration reaffirms that South Korea would not make its own nuclear capabilities and would instead focus on deterrence measures through an alliance-based approach.
Nuclear Consultative GroupThe declaration makes it possible for the US and South Korea to establish a Nuclear Consultative Group (NCG) similar to the one that exists between the US and NATO. Through this group, South Korea can have more control over nuclear response planning and coordination, although the nuclear weapons will be under the exclusive control of the US.
AuthorityThe declaration mandates the U.S. President as the only ‘sole authority’ to use the nuclear arsenal of the U.S. in the event of a nuclear confrontation.
Criticisms of the DeclarationThe Washington Declaration (WD) has been criticized for not achieving anything substantial and only reiterating what was already inherent in the US-South Korea alliance. China and North Korea have criticized the agreement.
Significance for IndiaWhile India is not a direct participant in this agreement, the Washington Declaration reinforces the US commitment to its allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific, including India, and could strengthen the Quad alliance.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Vaccine


Source: Nature


Context: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first-ever respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine, developed by UK-based pharmaceutical company GSK, for use in people aged 60 years and older.


About respiratory syncytial virus (RSV):

What is RSV?Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common virus that can cause mild to severe respiratory illness, especially in young children and older adults.
TransmissionRSV spreads through respiratory secretions, such as from coughing or sneezing, or by touching contaminated surfaces or objects.
SymptomsRSV can cause symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, fever, runny nose, and difficulty breathing.
VenerableInfants, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems are most at risk for severe RSV infection.
How is RSV diagnosed?RSV can be diagnosed through a respiratory sample, such as from a nasal or throat swab, that is tested in a laboratory.
How is RSV treated?Treatment for RSV is mainly supportive, such as with fluids, oxygen therapy, and fever reducers. Severe cases may require hospitalization.

Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)


Source: BS


Context: To further tighten its control of practising accountants, the Centre has brought within the ambit of the PMLA their “financial transactions”.


What are the new rules?

  • Chartered accountants, company secretaries, etc., will now be required to go through the Know Your Company (KYC) process before commencing work.
  • This implies accountants are now reporting entities if they are managing their clients’ money.


Significance: The move aims at curbing fraudulent practices by which accountants allegedly help their clients to launder money.


Need: The efforts are being taken ahead of the assessment of India under the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) – a global regulator that assesses country compliance in tackling global money laundering and terror financing.


What does the PMLA say about reporting entities?

They are required to maintain a record of all transactions and furnish them to financial intelligence units (FIUs).


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