AFSPA Extended in Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh

In News

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has extended the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in parts of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland for another six months.


  • Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts in Arunachal Pradesh and the areas  along the Assam border, are declared as “disturbed areas” under Section 3 of the AFSPA 1958 for a period of six months from October 1,2022.
  • In Tripura the Act was revoked by the MHA in 2015 and in Meghalaya from 1st April 2018. 

About Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958

  • Genesis:
    • The genesis of the law can be traced to the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Ordinance 1942 which was enacted by the British to subjugate the rebels in the country during the Quit India movement, particularly in Assam and Bengal .
    • The law continues to be enforced in its new format as the Armed Forces  
  • Provisions: 
    • Under Section 3, the Central Government or the Governor of the State or administrator of the Union Territory can declare the whole or part of the State or Union Territory as a disturbed area. 
    • An area can be disturbed due to differences or disputes between members of different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities. 
    • Section 4 gives the Army powers to search premises and make arrests without warrants, to use force even to the extent of causing death, destroy arms/ammunition dumps, fortifications/shelters/hideouts and to stop, search and seize any vehicle.
    • Section 6 stipulates that arrested persons and the seized property are to be made over to the police with the least possible delay.
    • Section 7 offers protection of persons acting in good faith in their official capacity. The prosecution is permitted only after the sanction of the Central Government.

Rationale behind its imposition

  • Effective functioning of forces in counter-insurgency / terrorist operations.
  • Protection of members of Armed forces.
  • Maintaining Law & Order
  • Security & sovereignty of the nation.


  • Atrocities and human rights violations by security agencies.
  • Against democratic regime & threat to Fundamental Rights
  • Ineffectiveness in countering insurgency.
  • Fake encounters (Santosh Hegde Committee) & create an atmosphere of impunity among security agencies. 

International Day for Older Persons


  • The United Nations marks October 1 as International Day for Older Persons, as part of the organisation’s efforts to draw attention to healthy ageing. 


  • Recently, a report by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), “World Population Prospects 2022”, has projected big shifts in global demographic patterns in the coming decades.
  • As per the report: 
    • 16% of the world population by 2050 is expected to be made up of people over 65 years. 
    • India’s population will be 7(one point seven)billion by 2050, having overtaken China to be the world’s most populous country.
    • Eight countries — India is among them — will account for more than half of the world’s increasing population by 2050.

Composition of the world population

  • Between 1950 and 2010, life expectancy worldwide rose from 46 to 68 years. Globally, there were 703 million persons aged 65 or over in 2019. 
  • The region of Eastern and South-Eastern Asia was home to the largest number of older persons, followed by Europe and Northern America.
  • Over the next three decades, the number of older persons worldwide is projected to more than double, reaching more than 1.5 billion persons in 2050. 
  • All regions will see an increase in the size of the older population between 2019 and 2050. The largest increase is projected to occur in Eastern and South-Eastern Asia.

What are the issues involved?

  • This demographic change will have a profound impact on its health systems.The prevalence of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, or disabilities related to vision, hearing or mobility is higher among the elderly.
  • The change in demographic structure will increase the pressure on public health systems that are not geared to deliver universal health care along with social security measures such as old-age and disability pensions.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities, with the past three years intensifying the socioeconomic, environmental, health and climate related impacts on the lives of older persons, especially older women who constitute the majority of older persons.
  •  The Indian economy still needs to mitigate the fiscal costs that arise from a rising old-age dependency ratio.

Eye care and elderly health

  • People with impaired vision had a greater fear, and risk, of falling (a major cause of disability and hospitalisation among the elderly). This reduced their movement and independence, leading to depression.
  • The way forward can be a package of interventions, including assistive devices for sight, hearing, and mobility, or referrals to psychiatric support for depression or other mental health issues.
  • Eye health in India has many cross-subsidy models to help alleviate the financial burden on individuals.
  • The future of elderly care needs to be long term, comprehensive, and integrated, and must be oriented towards primary care to be accessible.

Need to protect the elderly population

  • Older people have a wealth of skills and experiences. They contribute on a macro level to the workplace and financially and at a local level to their communities and individual networks in terms of experience.
  • They can provide a vital generational link for the upcoming generation, such as providing support and stability to families and society at large.
  • They help in transferring values and morals to the younger generation. Thereby contributing towards bringing up better human beings and responsible citizens.
  • Many older people also contribute to the economy informally – by caring for their grandchildren or other family members.

Schemes for the welfare of elerdy people

  • The Government of India is implementing various schemes and programmes to provide healthy, happy, empowered, dignified and self-reliant life to senior citizens, along with strong social and inter-generational bonding.
  • Atal Vayo Abhyudaya Yojana (AVYAY): It is a Central Sector Scheme under the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment. AVYAY brings together articulation of each of the current schemes, future plans, strategies and targets and maps it with schemes/programmes, accountabilities, financials and clear outcomes. This Plan takes care of the top four needs of the senior citizens viz financial security, food, health care and human interaction /life of dignity.
  • It has the schemes under it, namely: 1. Integrated Programme for Senior Citizens (IPSrC), 2. State Action Plan for Senior Citizens (SAPSrC), 3. Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana(RVY), 4. Senior Able Citizens for Re-employment in Dignity(SACRED), 5. Action Groups Aimed at Social Reconstruction (AGRASR), 6. Senior-care Aging Growth Engine (SAGE)-Silver economy for Senior Citizens, 7. Elderline – National Helpline for Senior Citizens, 8. Channelizing the CSR fund for elderly care.
  • National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP): Under the Ministry of Rural Development, under this the elderly, widows, and disabled persons belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL) and fulfilling eligibility criteria prescribed in the NSAP guidelines, are provided financial assistance ranging from Rs.200/- to Rs.500/- p.m. and in the case of death of the breadwinner, a lumpsum assistance of Rs.20,000/- is given to the bereaved family. 
  • National Programme for the Health Care of Elderly (NPHCE): Launched during 2010-11 is State oriented program with the basic thrust to provide comprehensive and dedicated health care facilities to the elderly persons above 60 year of age at various levels of primary, secondary and tertiary health care.
International Day for Older PersonsAbout:Observed every year on 1st of October.Background:On 14 December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly designated October 1 as the International Day of Older Persons (resolution 45/106). This was preceded by initiatives such as the Vienna International Plan of Action on Ageing, which was adopted by the 1982 World Assembly on Ageing and endorsed later that year by the UN General Assembly.In 1991, the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Principles for Older Persons (resolution 46/91). In 2002, the Second World Assembly on Ageing adopted the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, to respond to the opportunities and challenges of population ageing in the 21st century and to promote the development of a society for all ages.Theme of 2022: Resilience of Older Persons in a Changing World.Objectives:To highlight the resilience of older women in the face of environmental, social, economic and lifelong inequalitiesTo raise awareness of the importance of improved world-wide data collection, disaggregated by age and gender.To call on member states, UN entities, UN Women, and civil society to include older women in the center of all policies

India-US ties: Depth & nuance

In News 

  • Recently ,External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that the relationship between India and US impacts the rest of the world as there are a lot of countries which look to the association individually and bilaterally .

India- US ties

  • Comprehensive global strategic partnership : India and the United States enjoy a comprehensive global strategic partnership covering almost all areas of human endeavour, driven by shared democratic values, convergence of interests on a range of issues, and vibrant people-to-people contacts.
  • Bilateral Dialogue Mechanisms: Despite COVID-19 pandemic, India-U.S. cooperation witnessed intense engagement under various bilateral dialogue mechanisms in a wide range of areas including defence, security, health, trade, economic, science & technology, energy and people-to-people ties. 
    • India-U.S. 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, led by the heads of Foreign and Defence Ministries of India and the U.S, reviews the bilateral ties in defence, strategic and security domains as well as important regional and global issues.
  • Quad: The four Quad partners (India, Japan, United States & Australia) first formed a “Core Group” in 2004, to swiftly mobilise aid during the joint response to the 2004 Tsunami. Since 2017, Quad engagements have increased and intensified. 
  • Economic Relations:  The rapidly expanding trade and commercial linkages form an important component of the multi-faceted partnership between India and the United States. 
  • Counter Terrorism Cooperation: It has seen considerable progress  with information exchange, operational cooperation and sharing of counterterrorism technology and equipment..
  • Cyber Security Cooperation:The India-US Cyber Framework signed in September 2016, provides for expanding cooperation in the cyber domain.
  • Defence: In 2016, the defence relationship was designated as a Major Defence Partnership (MDP). 
    • Bilateral military exercises and defense exchanges are important aspect of deepening military-to-military cooperation.
      • Bilateral and regional exercises include: Yudh Abhyas (Army); Vajra Prahar (Special Forces); RIMPAC; Red Flag. 
      • In November 2020, the Royal Australian Navy joined the U.S.-India-Japan MALABAR Naval Exercise held in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. 
  • Several defence agreements have been signed in recent years. These  include:
    • Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Association (August 2016) 
    • Memorandum of Intent between the U.S. Defence Innovation Unit (DIU) 
    • the Indian Defence Innovation Organisation – Innovation for Defence Excellence (2018)
    • Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (September 2018)
    •  Industrial Security Agreement (December 2019);
    • Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (October 2020).
  • Energy sector: India and the US have a strong bilateral partnership in the energy sector.
    • In 2010, bilateral Energy Dialogue was launched. 
  • Science and Technology: India-US cooperation in Science and Technology is multi-faceted and has been growing steadily under the framework of the India-US Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement signed in October 2005, which was renewed for a period of ten years in September 2019.
    • ISRO and NASA are working together to realise a joint microwave remote sensing satellite for Earth observation, named NASA ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR). 
  • Education partnership:  It is an important pillar of India-US ties and both the countries share strong linkages and history of higher education collaborations.
    • The United States Educational Foundation in India (USEFI)  was set up after a bilateral agreement on education exchange was signed between India and the US on February 2, 1950
  • Evolution over two decades: Indo-US nuclear deal of the George W Bush years elevated Indo-US ties to a higher strategic trajectory.
    • India and the United States have made real progress in elevating their partnership through institutions like QUAD and G20 and international organisations at the United Nations.


  • Current geopolitical context: India’s consistent neutral position on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, informed by its choices, has antagonised many countries, including the U.S. 
    • The US has been unhappy that India has been buying more oil from Russia than earlier. India argues that it must protect its citizens from the inflationary impact of the war.
    • the U.S., warned of consequences for any country, including India, which conducts local currency transactions through Russia’s central bank or constructs a payment mechanism that subverts or circumvents the U.S.’s sanctions against Russia. 
    • India is concerned about a U.S. decision to provide a sustenance package for Pakistan’s fleet of F-16 fighter aircraft.
  • Other issues : The USA is worried about the trade deficit it has with India.
  • Different cases/ disagreements at WTO:
    • India’s domestic component clause was a bone of contention.
    • Similarly there is lack of consensus over the IPR regime and evergreening of patents.
    • Peace Clause and Public Procurement Policy
  • The US has ramped up H-1B denials under the executive order “Buy American and Hire American”.
  • The US has long demanded greater access to American agriculture and dairy products. 
  • For India, protecting its domestic agriculture and dairy interests was a major reason to walk out of the RCEP agreement.
  • US-Pakistan Equation: 
    • The US has often shown a soft corner for Pakistan due to dynamic equations in Afghanistan. 

Future Prospects 

  • The partnership between India and US is simply one of the most consequential in the world.Quality of the dialogue can solve existing  differences and work  closely together is required 
  • 2+2 meeting is an opportunity for the two countries to further discuss their differences over Russia and elaborate on the bilateral agenda in terms of the progress that has been made on new initiatives. 

Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) Meeting

In News 

Recently ,The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) increased the policy repo rate by 50 basis points (bps) to 5.9% making loans expensive. 

  • This is RBI MPC’s fourth consecutive rate hike in this financial year.

Major Points 

  • The MPC lowered the growth projection of FY23 from 7.2% to 7%.
  • It retained the  Consumer Price Index (CPI)-based inflation projection at 6.7 per cent for 2022-23
    • It is only expected to fall below 6 per cent to 5.8 per cent in the last quarter of FY23. 

Rationale behind the decision 

  •  The enduring effects of the pandemic and the geo-political conflict are manifesting in demand-supply mismatches of goods and services.
  • Central banks are charting new territory with aggressive rate hikes, even if it entails sacrificing growth in the near-term. 
  • Therefore ,The MPC was of the view that persistence of high inflation necessitates further calibrated withdrawal of monetary accommodation to restrain broadening of price pressures, anchor inflation expectations and contain the second-round effects. 
    • This action will support medium-term growth prospects. 
  • The MPC’s decisions are based on the twin objective, with primacy given to price stability driven by the necessity to keep growth in mind

Experts Opinion 

  • The overall indicators and today’s policy action indicates that India is better placed to handle future economic challenges, while the world is on verge of a possible recession
  • On the international front, RBI’s assurance to continue its judicious intervention to ensure stability in the foreign exchange market is a welcome sign to curb uncertainties and support long-term revival and resilience of the economy,

What’s Next? 

  • The Indian economy continues to be resilient and there is macroeconomic stability. 
  • The country has withstood the shocks from COVID-19 and the conflict in Ukraine. Our journey over the last two and half years, our steely resolve in dealing with the various challenges gives us the confidence to deal with the new storm that we are confronted with
  • RBI will continue to withdraw its accommodative stance to ensure that inflation remains within the target going forward while supporting growth.
Monetary Policy Committee (MPC)Constituted by RBI under section 45ZB of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Act, 1934.Chaired by the Governor of RBIMission: Fixing the benchmark policy interest rate (repo rate) to restrain inflation within the particular target level (2% to 6%). MPC conducts meetings at least 4 times a year. The monetary policy is published after every meeting with each member explaining his opinions. Instruments of Monetary PolicyRepo Rate: The interest rate at which the Reserve Bank provides liquidity under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) to all LAF participants against the collateral of government and other approved securities.Standing Deposit Facility (SDF) Rate: The rate at which the Reserve Bank accepts non collateralized deposits, on an overnight basis, from all LAF participants. The SDF is also a financial stability tool in addition to its role in liquidity management. The SDF rate is placed at 25 basis points below the policy repo rate. With introduction of SDF in April 2022, the SDF rate replaced the fixed reverse repo rate as the floor of the LAF corridor.Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) Rate: The penal rate at which banks can borrow, on an overnight basis, from the Reserve Bank by dipping into their Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) portfolio up to a predefined limit (2 per cent). This provides a safety valve against unanticipated liquidity shocks to the banking system. The MSF rate is placed at 25 basis points above the policy repo rate.Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF): The LAF refers to the Reserve Bank’s operations through which it injects/absorbs liquidity into/from the banking system. Reverse Repo Rate: The interest rate at which the Reserve Bank absorbs liquidity from banks against the collateral of eligible government securities under the LAF. Following the introduction of SDF, the fixed rate reverse repo operations will be at the discretion of the RBI for purposes specified from time to time.Bank Rate: The rate at which the Reserve Bank is ready to buy or rediscount bills of exchange or other commercial papers. The Bank Rate acts as the penal rate charged on banks for shortfalls in meeting their reserve requirements (cash reserve ratio and statutory liquidity ratio). Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR): The average daily balance that a bank is required to maintain with the Reserve Bank as a percent of its net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) as on the last Friday of the second preceding fortnight that the Reserve Bank may notify from time to time in the Official Gazette.Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR): Every bank shall maintain in India assets, the value of which shall not be less than such percentage of the total of its demand and time liabilities in India as on the last Friday of the second preceding fortnight, as the Reserve Bank may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify from time to time and such assets shall be maintained as may be specified in such notification (typically in unencumbered government securities, cash and gold).Open Market Operations (OMOs): These include outright purchase/sale of government securities by the Reserve Bank for injection/absorption of durable liquidity in the banking system.

Pangasius Icaria


  • A new catfish species has been discovered in the river Cauvery near Mettur Dam.


  • The edible species has been named Pangasius icaria ( P. icaria) after the Indian Council of Agricultural Research that discovered the species. The species belongs to the Pangasius genus.
  • The genus Pangasius is found in the Gangetic plains but not in peninsular India.
  • Through this study, they found that Pangasius specimens from the river Cauvery are different from other species of the genus Pangasius.
  • The new species is edible and the locals call it aie keluthi in Tamil.
  • Catfish has high commercial value in aquaculture and wild capture fisheries.

Mettur Dam

  • It is the largest dam in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. 
  • It is situated across the Cauvery River.


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