New Adoption Rules

  • GS 2
  • Government Policies & Interventions

In News

  • There has been confusion over implementation of new adoption rules that require transfer of adoption petitions from courts to District Magistrates (DMs).

Key Points

  • Amendments: 
    • The Parliament in July 2021 passed the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021.
    • Thereafter, amendments to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016 were notified.
    • The Rule states that all the cases pertaining to adoption matters pending before the Court shall stand transferred to the District Magistrate from the date of commencement of these rules.
  • Purpose of the Bill: 
    • The intent of the amendment was to prevent court-related delays during adoptions because of a large number of pending cases. 
  • Creating ambiguity: 
    • In the absence of an adoption order parents can’t obtain birth certificates for adoptees which impacts school admissions. 
    • In one case adoptive parents had to admit their child to a hospital, but they can’t claim health insurance yet. 
    • In case of inter-country adoptions by foreigners or NRIs who live abroad, parents can’t take home a child without the court order and a passport.

Related Issues

  • Delays: Parents, adoption agencies and activists are worried that this could lead to further delays in a long and arduous procedure.
  • Conflict: There is anomaly on the legislature front as adoption is being governed by the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act of 1956 which has a nodal ministry as the Ministry of Law and Justice while the aspects of Orphans are dealt with by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  • Lengthy process: Adoptions in India are infamous for being a lengthy process that takes up to three years to conclude, primarily because there are only 2,188 children available for adoption as per the latest figures while there are nearly 31,000 parents waiting to adopt a child.
  • Trafficking: The trafficking of such children is a challenge, especially in the eastern part of the country like Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
  • Emotional trauma: Children, who have faced crisis such as a loss of family members or separation from their parents due to death and desertion, have emotional trauma.
  • Limited Adoption: This means crores of children can’t become legally adaptable because the Government has not applied adequate resources towards getting the children registered.
  • Inter-country adoption: There are instances where none of the parents applied for his citizenship as a result he continued to be an Indian Citizen.
  • Inadequate Child Care:
    • Many child shelters do a good job of taking care of kids in need, but most of them will never assess the children under their care for adoption.
    • There is an inherent disadvantage in the adoption process as children are not made aware of the situation and are kept in the dark.

Low Adoption Rates in India

  • There aren’t enough children available for adoption because the ratio of abandoned children to children in institutionalized care is lopsided. 
  • The District Child Protection Officer should be taking these children to a child care institution (CCI), and if their parents aren’t found, then they should be placed for adoption. 
  • District level officers are not doing their job seriously enough and government apathy is leading them to function without accountability
  • The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) data show there are 5,850 registered CCIs in India. But if unregistered ones are included in the basket, there are more than 8,000 such functioning institutions, and as per regulations, only registered CCIs can be linked to adoption agencies
    • Further, there are 2,32,937 children in all registered and unregistered CCIs. 
    • Children in the latter are vulnerable to poor care, physical and sexual abuse, and trafficking, thus all unregistered CCIs should be immediately shut down to reduce the risk of abuse. 
  • Most Indians have a skewed perception of adoption as they want “their genes, blood and lineage in their child. 
  • It is a stigma that hovers over adoption in India because it indicates infertility among the adopting couple. Indian culture places high value on ideas of fertility and family, disregarding scientific evidence.
  • Most Indian parents also want a child between zero- and two-years-old, because they believe the parent-child bond is created during infancy. 
  • Parents have high apprehensions when it comes to adopting children with special needs, and most such children are adopted by foreign couples. 

Way Ahead

  • Courts should be allowed to close adoption cases that have already been brought before them, and only fresh petitions filed after September 1 should be sent to DMs to avoid any inconvenience. 
  • The government should also devote greater resources on setting up more CCIs along with a strategy to move millions of children off the streets into CCIs.
  • Behavioral mindset related to my child being of my blood, needs to change because children ultimately do not belong to parents.
  • Adoption rates will begin to increase both when there are enough children in the adoption pool, and also when more parents are willing to adopt.
Laws Related to Child Adoption in IndiaTo follow the legal route in getting a child to an adoptive family, any concerned citizen can call Childline at 1098 to report a child who has been abandoned or orphaned.Citizens could follow the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956, or the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act, 2015 to adopt or seek legal custody under the Guardianship and Wards Act of 1890.Section 45 of the JJ Act provides for sponsorship and to send children for institutional care.In July 2018, the JJ Act was amended to enable speedier adoption of children.Prospective parents who wish to adopt will not be required to make several rounds to the courts to seek an adoption order as District Magistrates or District Collectors will be authorised to do so.All Child-Care Institutions (CCIs) will have to get registered and linked to the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA).Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA)It has been set up as a statutory body of the Ministry of Women and Child Development.It functions as a nodal body for the adoption of Indian children and is mandated to monitor and regulate in-country and inter-country adoption.It deals with adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children through its associated adoption agencies.It is designated as the Central Authority to deal with inter-country adoptions in accordance with the provisions of the Hague Conventions on Inter-Country Adoptions, 1993, ratified by the Government of India in 2003.

Acharya Vinoba Bhave Jayanti

  • GS1
  • Modern Indian History
  • Personalities

In News

  • Recently, the Prime Minister of India paid tributes to Acharya Vinoba Bhave on his Jayanti, 11th September.

Acharya Vinoba Bhave

  • Original name: Vinayak Narahari Bhave
  • Birth: September 11, 1895, in a Chitpavan Brahmin family at Gagoda village of the Konkan area of Maharashtra.
  • Personal Life: 
    • He is regarded as the National Teacher of India.
    • Bhave took the vow for celibacy and followed it all his life. 
    • He dedicated his life to religious work and the freedom struggle.
  • Polyglot:
    • He learnt various regional languages and Sanskrit along with reading the scriptures.
    • Vinoba Bhave called the “Kannada” script as “Queen of World Scripts” – “Vishwa Lipigala Raani”.
  • Some of his works:-
    • The essence of Quran
    • The essence of Christian teachings
    • Thoughts on education
    • Swarajya Sastra
  • Role in Freedom Struggle:
    • Instead of appearing for an exam in Bombay in 1918, Bhave threw away his books in the fire. This happened after he read an article by Mahatma Gandhi.
    • He was an ardent follower of Gandhi.
    • In 1940, Bhave was selected as the ‘First Individual Satyagrahi’ against the British Raj by Gandhi in India.
    • Bhave played an important role in the Quit India Movement.

Political Efforts

  • Bhoodan Movement: 
    • In 1951, Vinoba Bhave started his land donation movement at Pochampally in Telangana, the Bhoodan Movement.
    • He took donated land from land owner Indians and gave it away to the poor and landless, for them to cultivate.
  • Gramdan:
    • Then after 1954, he started to ask for donations of whole villages in a programme he called Gramdan. 
    • He got more than 1000 villages by way of donation. Out of these, he obtained 175 donated villages in Tamil Nadu alone.
  •  Brahma Vidya Mandir: 
    • It is one of the ashrams that Bhave created. 
    • It is a small community for women that was created in order for them to become self-sufficient and non-violent in a community. 
    • This group farms to get their own food, but uses Gandhi’s beliefs about food production, which include sustainability and social justice, as a guide.
  • Sarvodaya Movement: 
    • Vinoba observed the life of the average Indian living in a village and tried to find solutions for the problems he faced with a firm spiritual foundation. This formed the core of his Sarvodaya movement. 
    • Sarvodaya is Gandhi’s most important social political movement. Like Satyagraha, it too is a combination of two terms, Sarva ­ meaning one and all, and Uday ­ meaning welfare or uplift. The conjunction thus implies Universal uplift or welfare of all as the meaning of Sarvodaya.
    • Although Sarvodaya was a social ideology in its fundamental form, India’s immediate post ­independence requirement demanded that it be transformed into an urgent political doctrine. 

Continental Plates and Volcanism

  • GS1
  • Important Geophysical Phenomena

In Context

  • Slowing of continental plate movement was noted according to a new study published in Science Advances.

More about the study

  • Slowdown of continental plates in the past:
    • A slowing of continental plate movement may have been the critical event that drove some of Earth’s most devastating extinction events.
      • Researchers used models to reconstruct the location of continents in different periods. 
      • After comparing these models with the age of volcanic activity, they observed that the continents moved at less than two centimetres per year.
  • Potential slowdown in the future:
    • In the future, there is a possibility that continental plates may slow down, potentially triggering volcanic activities, according to researchers.
      • It may be challenging to predict in detail where and when that may happen.
  • The process of slowdown and volcanism:
    • The slowdown in movement of continental plates gives the underlying mantle more time to erode the continent’s base, ultimately leading to volcanic activity.
      • This is similar to placing paper under a candle. When the paper is moved swiftly over the candle, it may turn black but is unlikely to burn as a whole. 
      • But if the paper moves slowly over the flame, there is enough time to burn the paper completely.
  • Significance of volcanic eruptions:
    • Previous studies have linked major volcanic eruptions with past mass extinctions and disturbances in the global climatic, environmental and the carbon cycle.
    • Large igneous province volcanism, formations due to major volcanic eruptions occurring throughout Earth’s history, released large quantities of greenhouse gasses and toxic compounds into the atmosphere.
    • The sea warmed up by 4°C to 10°C, even at low- to mid-latitudes. 
    • Increased acidic levels and a lack of oxygen drove major ocean extinctions.
Plate Tectonic Theory/Plate TectonicThis concept was formulated in the 1960s by Alfred Wegener. According to the theory, Earth has a rigid outer layer, known as the lithosphere, which is typically about 100 km (60 miles) thick and overlies a plastic (moldable, partially molten) layer called the asthenosphere. The lithosphere is broken up into:seven very large continental- and ocean-sized plates,six or seven medium-sized regional plates, and several small plates. These plates move relative to each other.They typically move at rates of 5 to 10 cm (2 to 4 inches) per year, and interact along their boundaries.They converge, diverge, or slip past one another. Mountain formation:Plate motions cause mountains to rise where plates push together or converge. Ocean formation:Continents fracture and oceans are formed where plates pull apart or diverge.The continents are embedded in the plates and drift passively with them, which over millions of years results in significant changes in Earth’s geography.Such interactions are thought to be responsible for most of Earth’s seismic and volcanic activity, although earthquakes and volcanoes can occur in plate interiors.Evidence of Plate Tectonic Theory:Continent Puzzle:The continents fit together almost like puzzle pieces forming Pangaea (one super-continent).Fossil evidence:Fossils on different continents are similar to fossils on continents that were once connected.  When the continents split, different life forms developed.Distributions of rocks:Most distributions of rocks within Earth’s crust, including minerals, fossil fuels, and energy resources, are a direct result of the history of plate motions and collisions and the corresponding changes in the configurations of the continents and ocean basins.

More about Volcanism

  • Volcano:
    • A volcano is a feature in Earth’s crust where molten rock is squeezed out onto the Earth’s surface. 
      • Magma is an extremely hot liquid and semi-liquid rock located under Earth’s surface. 
      • When magma flows onto Earth’s surface, it is called lava.
    • Along with lava, volcanoes also release gases, ash, and solid rock.
      • Volcanic mountains:
        • When the lava cools and hardens, it forms into the cone-shaped mountain we think of as a volcano. 
  • Volcanism and movement of tectonic plates:
    • Most of the world’s volcanoes are found around the edges of tectonic plates, both on land and in the oceans.
      • Volcanoes occur along both convergent (subduction) and divergent (rift) boundaries but are generally absent along strike-slip plate margins
    • Difference between convergent (subduction) and divergent (rift) volcanoes:
      • Most subduction-related volcanoes are explosive and build stratovolcanoes, while rift volcanoes tend to be more effusive and build shield volcanoes, though there are exceptions to both these generalities. 
      • Subduction-related volcanoes erupt basalt, andesite, dacite, and rhyolite, andesite being the predominant rock type. 
      • Rift-related volcanoes, especially on the ocean floor, erupt mainly basalt.
  • Geographical spread of volcanoes:
    • Subduction volcanoes:
      • The volcanoes on the western and northern margin of the Pacific Plate (New Zealand, New Guinea, Mariana Islands, Japan, Kamchatka, and the Aleutian Islands) are all subduction volcanoes. 
    • Rift volcanoes:
      • The rift volcanoes are largely hidden along the submarine crest of the East Pacific Rise and the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge.
    • Pacific ring of fire:
      • The Ring of Fire is a string of volcanoes and sites of seismic activity, or earthquakes, around the edges of the Pacific Ocean. 
      • Roughly 90% of all earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire, and the ring is dotted with 75% of all active volcanoes on Earth.

Operation “Gear Box”

  • Internal Security

In News

  • Recently, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has launched Operation ‘Gear Box’ to stop the drug syndicate in smuggling  contraband drugs.


  • The examination and seizure proceedings by DRI was done under the provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.
  • The drug packets were shipped concealed inside the metal scrap so that they would go unnoticed by the authorities. 
  • The gears from the old and used gearboxes were removed after opening them, and the plastic packets containing the narcotic substances were placed in the created cavity, and the gearboxes were then refitted to avoid detection.

India and Drug Abuse

  • According to the World Drug Report 2022, India is one of the world’s single largest opiate markets in terms of users and would likely be vulnerable to increased supply.
  • According to the National Survey on Extent and Pattern of Substance Use in India in 2019, about 2.1% of the country’s population (2.26 crore individuals) uses opioids which include opium (or its variants like poppy husk known as doda/phukki), heroin, and pharmaceutical opioids.
  • The money from the drug trade is used to finance terrorism, human trafficking, illegal businesses etc.

Major Source of Drug Trafficking

  • India lies in the middle of two major illicit opium production regions in the world, the Golden Crescent in the west and the Golden Triangle in the east which makes it a viable hub of the illicit drug trade.
    • Golden Triangle: It includes the regions of Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand and is Southeast Asia’s main opium-producing region and one of the oldest narcotics supply routes to Europe and North America.
    • Golden Crescent: It includes Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan and is a principal global site for opium production and distribution.

Major Reasons for Drug Abuse

  • Abuse of drugs among friends and peers
  • Lack of social support
  • Stress in life
  • Low socioeconomic status
  • Mental disorder such as depression
  • Lack of friends in school or any social setting
  • Traumatic events
  • The economic downturn caused by the global pandemic may drive more people to substance abuse or leave them vulnerable to involvement in drug trafficking and related crime.


  • It has aggravated the crime scenario in India.
  • Persons dealing with narcotic drugs are instruments in causing the deaths of innocent and vulnerable victims.
  • Other impacts like losing job, financial troubles, sexual abuse, accidents and injuries, legal consequences, etc.

Initiatives to Tackle Drug Trafficking & Abuse

  • India Initiatives:
    • Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS Act)
    • The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB)
    • Nasha Mukt Bharat: Annual Action Plan (2020-21) for Most Affected Districts
    • National Toll Free drug de-addiction helpline number 
    • Seizure Information Management System
  • Global Initiatives:
    • On 26 June every year, the World Customs Organization (WCO) joins the international community to mark the United Nations’ International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
    • Project AMEAP of INTERPOL: Project AMEAP assists national authorities to identify security threats and tackle organized crime groups engaged in illicit drug trafficking in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia and the Pacific.
    • Conventions: United Nations (UN) Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961), UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances (1971) & UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) 2000.
Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI)The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) was constituted in 1957 as the apex anti-smuggling intelligence and investigation agency functioning under the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) to counter the menace of smuggling in India. Over the years, DRI has established itself as the premier intelligence agency commanding the trust of international and national agencies with its intelligence inputs on myriad subjects — ranging from fake currency notes, narcotics, gold, arms & ammunition, wildlife, cultural heritage and commercial fraud.DRI enforces the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962 and over fifty other allied Acts including the Arms Act, NDPS Act, COFEPOSA (Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities), Wildlife Act, Antiquities Act, etc. The DRI has also been designated as the lead agency for S-CORD, the national anti-smuggling coordination centre. It maintains contact with the CBI and INTERPOL.

India Japan 2+2 Dialogue

  • GS 2
  • India & Foreign Relations
  • International Organisations & Groupings

In News

  • The 2+2 Dialogue was recently held between the External Affairs Minister/Foreign Affairs Minister and Defence Ministers of India and Japan.

More about the news

  • Defence, security and global order:
    • India and Japan agreed to uplift the security and defence cooperation, including holding the first Air Force fighter exercise at the second 2+2 Dialogue
      • A key outcome of this round of talks was the agreement to launch the Joint Service Staff talks between the Japan Joint Staff and the Indian Integrated Defence Staff.
      • The four ministers also welcomed the participation of Japan, for the first time, in the “MILAN” multilateral naval exercise organised by the Indian Navy
    • Respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations, both nations reaffirmed their commitment to a rules-based global order.
  • Chinese aggression:
    • To dissuade an aggressive China, India extended its affirmation to Japan’s plans of expanding and modernising its defence forces, including “counter strike capabilities”.
    • In a statement, Japan expressed its resolve to examine all options necessary for national defence.
  • Quad:
    • India and Japan along with the US and Australia being members of the Quad, are considered a strategic group by some against China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region.


  • Taiwan issue:
    • The meeting took place against the backdrop of heightened tensions across the Taiwan Strait 
    • During the recent face off, China lobbed five missiles in Japan’s exclusive economic zone, prompting Japan to describe it as “a serious problem that affects our national security and the safety of our citizens”.
  • Global issues:
    • The 2+2 dialogue also coincided with North Korea passing a new law declaring its irreversible status as a nuclear weapons state
    • This, together with growing Chinese belligerence and its expanding nuclear arsenal, erodes Japan’s security.
  • Joint Service Staff talks:
    • Agreement to launch the Joint Service Staff talks is a significant step towards enhancing cooperation between the three services as well as the Coast Guard on both sides in an integrated manner.
    • It further builds on existing bilateral and multilateral exercises including “Dharma Guardian” (ground forces), “JIMEX” and “Malabar” (navies), and an earlier decision to conduct the inaugural India-Japan fighter exercise between the two air forces.
  • MILAN 2022 & Indo-Pacific theatre:
    • MILAN 2022 witnessed the first-ever participation by not just Japan but all the Quad nations, as well as France and South Korea
    • It was held under the Eastern Naval Command for the first time instead of the Andaman and Nicobar Command.
      • This locational shift points to a growing willingness on the part of India, Japan and like-minded partners to recast existing and newer forms of cooperation to meet the requirements of a nascent Indo-Pacific theatre.

India- Japan Relations 

  • Historical:
    • The friendship between India and Japan has a long history rooted in spiritual affinity and strong cultural and civilization ties dating back to the visit of Indian monk Bodhisena in 752 AD
  • Beginning of contemporary relationship:
    • India and Japan established diplomatic relations in 1952
      • Japan was among the few countries that bailed India out of the balance of payment crisis in 1991.
    • The Act East Forum, established in 2017, aims to provide a platform for India-Japan collaboration under the rubric of India’s “Act East Policy” and Japan’s “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Vision”.
  • Projects and Investments: 
    • Recently, India and Japan signed four agreements under which Tokyo is to support health care projects funded under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects (GGP) scheme in India.
      • The “Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects (GGP)” supports development projects designed to meet the diverse basic human needs of the people in developing countries.
    • Japan has invested 1,600 crores in development projects across India’s northeastern states and is also working closely with India on infrastructure projects in third countries such as Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
    • India and Japan also signed the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) for reciprocal provision of supplies and services between their defence forces.
  • Economic and Commercial relations:
    • Japan’s interest in India is increasing due to a variety of reasons including India’s large and growing market and its resources, especially the human resources.
    • India’s primary exports to Japan have been 
      • petroleum products, chemicals, elements, compounds, non-metallic mineral ware, fish & fish preparations, metalliferous ores & scrap, clothing & accessories, iron & steel products, textile yarn, fabrics and machinery etc.
    • India’s primary imports from Japan are 
      • machinery, electrical machinery, iron and steel products, plastic materials, non-ferrous metals, parts of motor vehicles, organic chemicals, manufacturers of metals, etc.
  • Defence:
    • India-Japan Defence and Security partnership has evolved over the years and forms an integral pillar of the bilateral ties. 
    • In 2008, both countries issued “the Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation between Japan and India“. 
    • Bilateral exercises: 
      • India and Japan defence forces organise a series of bilateral exercises namely, JIMEX, SHINYUU Maitri, and Dharma Guardian. 
      • Both countries also participate in the Malabar exercise with the USA.
  • Science & Technology:
    • Bilateral S&T cooperation was formalised through an Inter-Governmental Agreement signed in 1985. 
    • India-Japan Digital Partnership (IJDP) was launched in 2018 furthering existing areas of cooperation as well as new initiatives within the scope of cooperation in S&T/ICT, focusing more on “Digital ICT Technologies”
    • Recent initiatives include the establishment of three India-Japan Joint Laboratories in the area of ICT (AI, IoT and Big Data); Initiation of the DST-JSPS Fellowship Programme for young researchers.
  • Healthcare:
    • India’s AYUSHMAN Bharat Programme and Japan’s ASHWIN, both sides had been consulting with each other to identify projects to build the narrative of AHWIN for AYUSHMAN Bharat.
About QUADIt is also known as Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD).Japanese PM Shinzo Abe mooted the idea of Quadrilateral Security Dialogue in 2007.QUAD is an informal group of India, the US, Japan and Australia.It is a strategic dialogue with the objective to ensure a free, open, inclusive and prosperous Indo Pacific.Shared values between the nations are:Political democraciesMarket economiesPluralistic societies

Indo-Saudi Strategic Partnership

  • GS 2
  • Agreements Involving India &/or Affecting India’s Interests

In News

  • The Indian External Affairs Minister concludes his first official visit to Saudi Arabia.
    • During the visit he reviewed all aspects of India-Saudi Arabia bilateral relations and discussed regional and global issues.

Key Points of the Meeting 

  • Collaboration: 
    • India-Saudi Arabia holds the promise of shared growth, prosperity, stability, security and development.
  • COVID:
    • Saudi Arabia was very helpful during the Covid-19 pandemic by providing supplies of oxygen.
  • India-Saudi Arabia Strategic Partnership Council:
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  • First ministerial meeting of the Committee on Political, Security, Social and Cultural Cooperation (PSSC) was held. 
  • India is the fourth country with which Saudi Arabia has formed such a strategic partnership, after the UK, France and China.
  • It will open new avenues of partnership in strategic areas such as defence, counter-terrorism, energy security as well as renewable energy. 
  • Multilateral Forums:
    • Both have agreed to work closely together in G20 and multilateral organisations.
  • Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC):
    • MOU on the mechanism of consultations between India and the six-nation regional bloc was signed. 
    • India needs the Gulf countries, Saudi Arabia in particular, to invest in the country and power its economic recovery.
      • The GCC is a regional, intergovernmental, political, and economic union comprising Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. 

India-Saudi Arabia Relations

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  • Cultural ties:
    • India and Saudi Arabia enjoy cordial and friendly relations reflecting the centuries-old economic and socio-cultural ties. 
  • Trade:
    • Saudi Arabia is India’s fourth-largest trading partner. 
    • More than 18 per cent of India’s crude oil imports are sourced from Saudi Arabia.
    • Bilateral trade during FY22 was valued at $29.28 billion. India’s imports from Saudi Arabia were valued at $22.65 billion and exports to Saudi Arabia were worth $6.63 billion.
  • Strategic Partner: 
    • Saudi Arabia has been a strategic partner of India since the signing of the Riyadh Declaration in 2010.
  • Crude oil:
    • It is currently India’s second-largest supplier of crude oil – providing about 18 % of its energy needs. It also has a major role in India’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPRs).
    • The largest supplier of crude oil to India is Iraq.
  • LPG requirements:
    • 32% of the LPG requirements of India are met by Saudi Arabia. 
  • Pilgrimage and culture:
    • Haj pilgrimage is another important component of bilateral relations.
    • Trade and cultural links between ancient India and Arabia dating back to the third millennium BC.
  • Military exercise:
    • AL – Mohed AL – Hindi is the maiden bilateral naval exercise between India and Saudi Arabia.
  • Indian Diaspora:
    • The 2.2-million-strong Indian community is the largest expatriate community in Saudi Arabia.

Need for Cooperation

  • Afghan Peace Process:
    • Being a major regional player, Saudi Arabia’s position on the developments in Kabul assumes significance as several countries in the Gulf region, including Qatar and Iran, were playing a role in the Afghanistan development, even before the Taliban’s capture of power.
  • Economic Reform:
    • Economic reform programs (Vision 2030) are underway in Saudi Arabia, for which it needs India’s economic as well as technological assistance.
    • Saudi Arabia plays an important role in India’s energy security while India is a vital partner in the Saudi Arabia’s food security.
    • In 2021-22, Saudi Arabia was the second largest source of hydrocarbon imports for India.
  • Investments:
    • Saudi investment of around $100 billion is in the pipeline in areas ranging from energy, refining, petrochemicals and infrastructure to agriculture, minerals and mining.
    • India is among the fastest growing economies in the world. The size of its economy with a nominal GDP of US$3.5 trillion in 2022 makes it the fifth largest economy in the world. It is one of the largest consumers of hydrocarbons in the world and this makes India an attractive investment destination for the world.
  • Countering Militias: 
    • Saudi Arabia appears to have limited experience in countering threats from groups like Houthi militias. This is an area where India’s expertise in fighting such threats could be imparted to the Saudi side, by enhancing joint military training programs.


  • The politics of the Middle East is complex and multidimensional so requires a collective and united effort.
  • The Saudi Arabia-Turkey rivalry could create problems for India.
  • Saudi Arabia-Iran Rivalry: India has close relations with both Saudi Arabia and Iran. 
    • However, India is yet to work out a way to balance its ties with Iran on the one hand and Saudi Arabia and the United States on the other. 

Way Forward

  • India-Saudi Arabia defence cooperation has considerably picked up the pace.
    • The defence ties between the two countries are growing in the midst of rapidly changing developments in the Gulf region.
  • It will enhance bilateral cooperation and security in the Indian Ocean Region.

Rabies Disease

  • GS 2
  • Health

In News 

  • Recently, the Supreme Court observed  that those who feed the street dogs could be made responsible for vaccinating them.
    • The SC’s observations come after around one lakh people have suffered stray dog bites while 21 rabies deaths have been reported this year so far.

About Rabies 

  • It is a viral zoonotic disease that causes progressive and fatal inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. 
    • Clinically, it has two forms: 
      • Furious rabies – characterized by hyperactivity and hallucinations.
      • Paralytic rabies – characterized by paralysis and coma. 
  • It is a fatal but preventable viral disease.
  • Spread : It is present on all continents, except Antarctica, with over 95% of human deaths occurring in the Asia and Africa regions. Rabies is one of the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) that predominantly affects poor and vulnerable populations who live in remote rural locations. 
  • Transmission : It can spread to people and pets if they are bitten or scratched by a rabid animal.
  • Impact : The rabies virus infects the central nervous system. If a person does not receive the appropriate medical care after a potential rabies exposure, the virus can cause disease in the brain, ultimately resulting in death. 
  • Treatment and Prevention : Rabies can be prevented by vaccinating pets, staying away from wildlife, and seeking medical care after potential exposures before symptoms start.

Ni-kshay Mitra Initiative

  • GS 2
  • Health


  • Recently, the President has launched the Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyan’ and announced the Nikshay 2.0 portal to eliminate TB by 2025.

About Ni-kshay Mitras initiative

  • The initiative ensures three-pronged support includes: Nutritional, Additional diagnostic, and Vocational support. 
  • The programme was brought in to fill the critical “community’’ elements into India’s fight towards the Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan aimed at eliminating TB by 2025.
  • The NIKSHA 2.0 portal provides additional patient support to TB patients to take advantage of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) opportunities to improve treatment outcomes, enhance community participation and fulfill India’s commitment to TB eradication. 
  • Ni-kshay Mitra (Donor) for this programme includes co-operative societies, corporates, elected representatives, individuals, institutions, non-governmental organisations, political parties and partners who can support by adopting the health facilities (for individual donor), blocks/urban wards/districts/States for accelerating the response against TB to complement the government efforts.
  • The support provided to the patient under this initiative is in addition to the free diagnostics, free drugs and Ni-kshay Poshan Yojana provided by the National TB Elimination Programme (NTEP) to all the TB patients notified from both the public and the private sector.

Tb Prevalence in India

  • India has the world’s highest tuberculosis (TB) burden, with an estimated 26 lakh people contracting the disease and approximately 4 lakh people dying from it every year. 
  • The economic burden of TB in terms of the loss of lives, income and workdays is also substantial. 
  • TB usually affects the most economically productive age group of society resulting in a significant loss of working days thereby pushing the TB patients further into the vortex of poverty.

SFIO Crackdown on Shell Companies

  • GS 3
  • Indian Economy & Related Issues

In News 

  • The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) has arrested a man who had masterminded the incorporation of a large number of shell companies linked to China.

What is a Shell Company?

  • It is a corporate entity without active business operations or significant assets & they are not illegal. 
  • They are deliberate financial arrangements created to either avoid taxes or even promote startups. Earlier, generally, Shell companies were registered in tax havens, where there is nil or low tax.
  • The Companies Act, 2013 does not define the term Shell Company. However, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) defines a Shell Company as a company which is formally registered or otherwise legally organized in an economy but which does not conduct any operation in that economy other than in a pass through capacity.
Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO)As per the Companies Act, 2013, Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) has been established through the Government of India. SFIO also has powers to arrest people for the violation of the Company law.It is a multi-disciplinary organization under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, consisting of experts in the field of accountancy, forensic auditing, banking, law, information technology, investigation, company law, capital market and taxation, etc. for detecting and prosecuting or recommending for prosecution white-collar crimes/frauds.SFIO is headed by a Director as Head of Department in the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government of India.Section 211 of the Companies Act, 2013, has accorded statutory status to the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO). SFIO also has powers to arrest people for the violation of the Company law.

Project 17A ‘Taragiri’

In News 

  • ‘Taragiri’, the third stealth frigate of project 17A was launched by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd. (MDL) in Mumbai.
    • The stealth vessel is expected to be commissioned into the Indian Navy in February 2023.

About ‘Taragiri’

  • The keel of Taragiri was laid on September 10, 2020 and the ship is expected to be delivered by August 2025.
  • It is designed by the Indian Navy’s in-house design organisation – Bureau of Naval Design.
  • The indigenously designed ‘Taragiri’ will have state-of-the-art weapons, sensors, an advanced action information system, an integrated platform management system, world-class modular living spaces, a sophisticated power distribution system, and a host of other advanced features. 
  • It will be fitted with a supersonic surface-to-surface missile system and the ship’s air defence capability is designed to counter the threat of enemy aircraft and anti-ship cruise missiles will revolve around the vertical launch and long range surface to air missile system,

What is Project 17A of the Indian Navy?

  • Project 17 Alpha frigates (P-17A) were launched by the Indian Navy in 2019. 
  • The project is aimed to construct a series of stealth guided-missile frigates, which are currently being constructed by two companies – Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders (MDL) and Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE).
  • These guided-missile frigates have been constructed with a specific stealth design, which has radar-absorbent coatings and is low-observable which can make its approach undetectable for the enemies.
  • The first stealth ship launched under Project 17A was the Nilgiri, which was launched in 2019 and is expected to be commissioned in the Indian Navy by the end of this year. 
    • Udaygiri, the second ship, was launched in May 2022, and will likely be commissioned in 2024.


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