India-Russia Trade Relations

In News

  • With the sharp spike in trade, Russia has now become India’s seventh biggest trading partner — up from its 25th position last year.
    • The US, China, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Indonesia were the six countries that recorded higher volumes of trade with India during this period.

More about the news

  • India’s bilateral trade with Russia has soared to an all-time high of $18,229.03 million in just five months (April-August) of this financial year (2022-23).
    • Imports:
      • The record level of bilateral trade between India and Russia is mainly due to a sudden jump in imports from Moscow.
      • Petroleum oil and other fuel items (mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation; bituminous substances; mineral waxes) accounted for 84% of India’s total imports from Russia.
        • Fertilisers were second.
    • Exports:
      • On the other hand, pharmaceutical products and organic chemicals were the two main items shipped to Moscow.
  • Significance:
    • Trade:
      • India’s decision on purchasing oil from Russia will continue to be guided by its energy security requirements.
      • Heavy discounts offered on Russian crude and fertilizers compelled India to maintain trade.
    • Global discomfort:
      • When the war with Ukraine broke out in February, many countries, including India, scrambled to find trade alternatives for commodities Russia exported.
      • India has also decided to purchase discounted crude oil from Russia, triggering concern among a number of Western powers.

India-Russia Relations

  • India and Russia have a history of strong strategic, military, economic, and diplomatic relationships.
  • Political Relations:
    • The Annual Summit meeting between the Prime Minister of India and the President of the Russian Federation is the highest institutionalized dialogue mechanism in the strategic partnership between India and Russia. 
    • So far 20 Annual Summit meetings have taken place alternatively in India and Russia. 
  • Intergovernmental Commissions: 
    • There is regular high-level interaction between the two countries.
    • The IRIGC (India-Russia Intergovernmental Commission): 
      • It is the main body that conducts affairs at the governmental level between both countries. Both countries are members of international bodies including the UN, BRICS, G20 and SCO.
    • Two Inter-Governmental Commissions: 
      • One on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC), co-chaired by EAM and the Russian DPM, and 
      • Another on Military-Technical Cooperation (IRIGC- MTC) co-chaired by Russian and Indian Defence Ministers, meet annually.
  • Trade and Economic Relations: 
    • Both sides revised targets of increasing bilateral investment to US $50 billion and bilateral trade to US $30 billion by 2025. 
      • India’s merchandise imports from Russia include petroleum oil and other fuel items, fertilizers, coffee and tea, spices, nuclear reactors, and animal and vegetable fats, among others.
  • Bilateral investment: 
    • Russian investment in India in 2017 has reached 18bn USD and India’s total investment in Russia so far is 13 bn USD. 
    • The investment target of 30 bn USD by 2025 has been achieved.
  • Nuclear Energy: 
    • Russia recognizes India as a country with advanced nuclear technology with an impeccable non-proliferation record. 
    • Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) is being built in India with Russian cooperation. 
  • Space Cooperation: 
    • Both sides cooperate in the peaceful uses of outer space, including satellite launches, GLONASS navigation system, remote sensing and other societal applications of outer space.
  • Science & Technology: 
    • The Working Group on Science and Technology functioning under IRIGC-TEC, the Integrated Long Term Programme (ILTP) and the Basic Science Cooperation Programme are the three main institutional mechanisms for bilateral Science and Technology cooperation.
  • Cultural Cooperation: 
    • There is a strong tradition of Indian studies in Russia. 
    • JNCC maintains close cooperation with leading Russian institutions. 
    • There is strong interest among Russian people in Indian dance, music, yoga and Ayurveda.
  • Defence and Security Cooperation:
    • India has longstanding and wide-ranging cooperation with Russia in the field of defence. 
    • BrahMos Missile System as well as the licensed production in India of SU-30 aircraft and T-90 tanks are examples of such flagship cooperation.
    • Both sides concluded agreements on the supply of S-400 air defence systems, construction of frigates under Project 1135.6 and shareholders agreement on the formation of a joint venture to manufacture Ka-226T helicopters in India.
    • The two countries also hold exchanges and training exercises between their armed forces annually termed INDRA.
India’s Stand on Russia’s War with Ukraine & way aheadIndia’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine has been distinctive among the major democracies and among U.S. strategic partners. Despite its discomfort with Moscow’s war, New Delhi has adopted studied public neutrality toward Russia. It has abstained from successive votes in the UN Security Council, General Assembly, and Human Rights Council that condemned Russian aggression in Ukraine and thus far has refused to openly call out Russia as the instigator of the crisis. India has been under immense indirect pressure from Western nations that have openly condemned Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine. India has been pressing for the resolution of the crisis through diplomacy and dialogue

GM Mustard (DMH-11)


  • Genetically modified crops may soon get the central government nod, further on, activists pressing against allowing commercial use of genetically modified crops.


  • Approval of GM Mustard (DMH-11)
    • Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), which functions in the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, might approve the commercial cultivation of modified mustard.
    • This would be the first time since 2002 for such approval to grow GM mustard, a genetically modified hybrid variety of the mustard species, for consumption by the masses.
    • The green signal for GM mustard was given by the central government in 2017 after trials in Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) and Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi. 
      • However, it remained pending for approval from the environment ministry. 
  • Future crops in line: 
    • Once the GM mustard is approved, other crop varieties such as BT cotton, BT brinjal and HT cotton are in line for the nod for commercial cultivation. 
  • Protests against it: 
    • The decision to approve it took a pause after activists and farmer bodies approached the Supreme Court to oppose the move. 
  • Issues that will arise after Approval:
    • This could pose a threat to crop diversity, food security.
    • Indigenous crop varieties may get threatened, which are crucial to fight climate change.
    • It will severely affect the agrarian sector, as the seed market will be in the hands of private companies instead of farmers. 
    • The entire biosafety assessment of GM mustard has been unscientific and no guidelines have been followed. 
  • Government’s stand:
    • Farmers in many states like Haryana use illegal cultivations of such varieties. The move is to normalise such illegalities.
    • The government has been mulling over approval for genetic editing, which would not come under the purview of genetic modification

What are Genetically Modified(GM ) Crops?

  • They are that type of plants whose DNA has been modified through genetic engineering for embedding a new trait to the plant which does not occur naturally in the species. 
  • Genetic engineering aims to transcend the genus barrier by introducing an alien gene in the seeds to get the desired effects and the alien gene could be from a plant, an animal or even a soil bacterium.

GM crops in India

  • Bt cotton:
    • Bt cotton, the only GM crop that is allowed in India, has two alien genes from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) that allows the crop to develop a protein toxic to the common pest pink bollworm. 
    • On the other hand, Bt cotton is derived with the insertion of an additional gene, from another soil bacterium, which allows the plant to resist the common herbicide glyphosate.
  • Bt Brinjal: 
    • In Bt brinjal, a gene allows the plant to resist attacks of fruit and shoot borer.
    • In Bt brinjal, a gene permits the plant to resist attacks of fruit and shoot borers.
    • Previously, the government has put on hold the commercial release of genetically modified (GM) mustard due to stiff opposition from anti-GMO activists and NGOs.
  • Global variants: 
    • Across the world, GM variants of maize, canola and soybean, too, are available.

Legal position of genetically modified crops in India

  • In India, the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) is the apex body that allows for the commercial release of GM crops. 
    • In 2002, the GEAC had allowed the commercial release of Bt cotton. 
  • Use of the unapproved GM variant can attract a jail term of 5 years and a fine of Rs 1 lakh under the Environmental Protection Act,1989.
  • The Central government had for the first time exempted certain types of genome-edited crops from the stringent regulations applicable on genetically modified or GM crops, paving the way for further R&D on them.
  • FSSAI issued an order on February 8, 2021, setting the permissible limit for genetically modified organisms (GMO) in imported food crops at 1%. 

Advantages of GMO crops

  • Improves production and raises the farmer’s income. 
  • Reduces the use of pesticide and insecticide during farming that might be great moves for the betterment of the food supply.
  • It can feed a rapidly increasing population because it shows dramatically increased yields.
  • It can produce more in small areas of land.


  • The production imposes high risks to the disruption of ecosystem and biodiversity because the “better” traits produced from engineering genes can result in the favouring of one organism. 
    • Hence, it can eventually disrupt the natural process of gene flow.
  • It increases the cost of cultivation and is more inclined towards marketization of farming that works on immoral profits.
  • The transgenic crops endanger not only farmers but also the trade, and the environment as well.

The current safety assessments are inadequate to catch most of the harmful effects from the GM crops. 

Way Ahead

  • The move will definitely open Pandora’s box for commercial use of GM seeds.
  • Proper guidelines and the SOP need to be framed in case of approval by the Ministry.
  • Also, there is a need to strengthen, conserve and preserve traditional seeds that would ensure food security. 

Mission DefSpace

In News

  • Indian Prime Minister recently launched “Mission DefSpace” at DefExpo22.

More about the news

  • About:
    • “Mission DocSpace” is launched for developing innovative solutions for the Armed Forces.
    • The Prime Minister also released the fourth defence indigenisation list which bars the import of 101 items after certain timelines.
  • Significance of Space diplomacy:
    • Space technology is shaping new definitions of India’s generous space diplomacy, giving rise to new possibilities.
    • There are more than 60 developing countries with whom India is sharing its space science. The South Asia satellite is an effective example of this. 
    • By next year, 10 Association of SouthEast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries will also get real-time access to India’s satellite data. 
    • Even developed countries like Europe and America are using our satellite data.
  • Fourth defence indigenisation list:
    • As part of efforts to boost the domestic defence industry and promote defence exports, the Defence Ministry promulgated Positive Indigenisation Lists.
    • It lays special focus on equipment/systems, which are being developed and likely to translate into firm orders in the next five to 10 years.
      • The Defence Ministry had earlier promulgated the first, second and third Positive Indigenisation Lists, comprising 310 items.
    • The items on the lists cannot be imported by the Services and should be sourced from within the country.
New developments at DefExpo2022HTT-40 aircraft:The HTT-40 indigenous trainer aircraft was unveiled at the India Pavilion during the Expo.It is designed and developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).Deesa airfield:The foundation stone for the Deesa airfield in Gujarat which will be a forward Air Force base was also unveiled. Forward air force base would add to the security architecture of the country. Indian Ocean Region plus (IOR+) conclave:The 2nd Indian Ocean Region plus (IOR+) conclave was also held during the Expo, This will provide a stage for a comprehensive dialogue to promote defence cooperation amongst IOR+ nations to foster peace, growth, stability and prosperity.It is in line with the Prime Minister’s vision for Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR)India-Africa Defence Dialogue:India-Africa Defence Dialogue was held on the sidelines of DefExpo 2022.Gandhinagar Declaration was adopted to enhance cooperation in the fields of training & military exercises.The theme of the second India-Africa defence dialogue was: “Adopting strategies for synergising and strengthening defence and security cooperation”.This is the first defence expo where only Indian companies are participating and it features only Made in India equipment.

Significance of the Space industry

  •  Assessing & recording weather information:
    • Satellites provide more accurate information on weather forecasts. 
    • It can also assess (and record) long-term trends in the climate and habitability of a region. 
      • For example, by monitoring the long-term impact of climate change at regional, territorial, and national scales, governments would be able to devise more pragmatic and combative plans of action for farmers and dependent industries. 
  • Real-time tracking:
    • Satellites can serve as real-time monitoring and early-warning solutions against natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, wildfires, mining etc. 
    • Real-time tracking can also serve multiple purposes in defence.
  • Communication and connectivity:
    • As for connectivity, satellite communication can reach more remote areas where conventional networks would require heavy complimenting infrastructure. 
    • Additionally, as to the reliability, the World Economic Forum(WEF) stated that satellite communication can help connect 49% of the world’s unconnected population
    • In this light, it must be noted that satellite communications, which are used to facilitate telecommunication services, are among the major categories for investment in the space technology sector. 
    • Other prominent categories include spacecraft and equipment manufacturing.
  • Benefits to other sectors:
    • The space avenue is an integration of the aerospace, IT hardware and telecom sectors
    • It is thus argued that investment in this arena would foster positive carryover effects to other sectors as well.

Potential of India’s space sector

  • Recently, a joint report was prepared by EY and the Indian Space Association (ISpA).
    • Report highlights:
      • Indian space economy:
        • The Indian space economy is set to reach $13 billion by 2025, according to this joint report.
      • Space launch segment:
        • The report also said the space launch segment would grow fastest at a CAGR of 13% spurred by growing private participation, latest technology adoption and low cost of launch services.
      • Satellite services and application segment:
        • This segment would form the largest share of the space economy accounting for 36% of the space economy by 2025, as per the study.
        • On the country’s satellite manufacturing opportunity, it said in 2020 it was $2.1 billion and this would reach $3.2 billion by 2025.
        • Also, by 2025, satellite manufacturing would be the second fastest-growing segment in the Indian space economy. 
      • Space tech start-ups:
        • There are over 100 space tech start-ups in the country and investments in space tech start-ups increased 196% y-o-y in 2021, the survey said.
      • Space parks:
        • Space parks that are coming up across the country would give a fillip to companies operating across the space value chain, especially manufacturing, found the study

Mission LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment)


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched ‘Mission LiFE’ (Lifestyle for Environment) in the presence of U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the Statue of Unity in Gujarat.


  • Mission LiFE is a new initiative for sustainable and healthy lifestyle
  • With the contribution of every individual, Mission LiFE will make the fight against climate change democratic.
  • It will help in tackling climate change and global warming, as the main challenges before the world and mankind. 
  • Mr. Guterres unveiled the LiFE logo, tagline and released the Mission Document at the event. 

Significance of the LiFE Mission

  • Fine Tuning of efforts: It will help in convergence with the measures such as setting up of solar power plants, installation of solar panels on canals and water conservation in drought-prone areas.
  • Disaster Management: It will enable efforts in tackling environmental disasters and calamities and set the domestic and global trends for sustainable development.
  • A global initiative: It will serve as a global initiative by India to help the world in its fight against climate change and promote a sustainable lifestyle to achieve the U.N. sustainable development goals by 2030. 
  • Pro Planet People: It emboldens the spirit of the P3 model i.e. Pro Planet People, as it is premised on the basic principles of ‘Lifestyle of the planet, for the planet and by the planet’.
  • India and the UN partnership: Both have joined hands in this new initiative which will become a global success. 
  • For example, India’s proposed International Day of Yoga with the support of the UN, is inspiring global citizens to lead a healthy life.
  • Harmony with nature: It will encompass every lifestyle related to the conservation of nature and environment adopted by our ancestors which made a part of our lifestyle today. 
  • Fight Climate Change: The fight against climate change goes beyond policy making and needs wider support (individuals, the family, the community) to protect the environment, earth and humanity against climate-related disasters and extreme weather calamities. 
  • A circular economy: The LiFE Mission further the adoption of the concept of ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’ which will help in striking a balance between the development, economic growth and sustainability. 
  • Net zero carbon footprint: This will help India and many countries of the world to achieve their goal of net zero carbon footprint.

India’s Position in Climate Change Efforts

  • National Action Plan on Climate Change: India has been committed to tackle the menace of climate change with an emphasis on renewable energy. Example, the launch of the NAPCC in 2008.
  • National Solar Mission (NSM)
  • National Water Mission (NWM)
  • National Mission for Sustaining Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE)  
  • National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE)
  • National Mission on Sustainable Habitat (NMSH)
  • National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA)
  • Green India Mission (GIM)
  • National Mission for Strategic Knowledge on Climate Change (NMSKCC)
  • Carbon Footprint: India’s annual per capita carbon footprint in the country is only about 1.5 tons as compared to the world average of 4 tons per year. 
  • India’s performance in Renewable Energy:
  • India is ranked fourth in wind energy and fifth in solar energy. 
  • India’s renewable energy capacity has increased by about 290 % in the last 7-8 years. 
  • India has also achieved the target of 40% of the electric capacity from non-fossil-fuel sources nine years ahead of the deadline.
  • The National Hydrogen Mission: Through it, India has moved towards an environment-friendly energy source. 
  • International Solar Alliance: The UN Secretary General has lauded India’s initiative of the International Solar Alliance and for pursuing environmentally sound policies to promote renewable energy and reducing usage of fossil fuels. 
  • The National Year of Millets 2018 was celebrated by India way before the International Year of Millets to be observed in 2023 and will become a global conversation.
  • Successful case study: 
  • Gujarat was the first state in India to initiate measures for the adoption of renewable energy and climate protection.
  • Modhera Sun Temple near Ahmedabad where the entire village draws the power from solar panels installed in the temple campus as well as on the rooftops of the houses and the government offices. 

Way Forward

  • India and the world together need to collaborate in driving forward the agenda of unleashing the renewable revolution. 
  • Over-consumption is at the root of the triple planet emergency of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution and thus should be regulated.
  • Countries worldover and the global institutions need to adopt the triple bottom line approach towards a healthy environmental governance of the 21st century. 
  • This approach along with the LiFE Mission will enable balancing of the interests of people (development), planet (sustainability) and profit (economic growth).
  • Prakriti Rakshati Rakshita: Those who protect nature, nature protects them.

Doctrine of Res Judicata

In News

  • Recently, the Supreme Court held Res Judicata is attracted not only in separate subsequent proceedings but also at subsequent stages of the same proceedings.

About Doctrine of Res Judicata

  • Res Judicata is a phrase which has evolved from a Latin maxim, which stands for ‘the thing has been judged’, meaning thereby that the issue before the court has already been decided by another court, between the same parties.
  • The principle of res judicata applies when a litigant attempts to file a subsequent lawsuit on the same matter, after having received a judgment in a previous case involving the same parties. 
  • Res Judicata as a concept is applicable both in case of Civil as well as Criminal legal system.
  • In order to set up a res judicata, you must establish that:
    • The decision on which your res judicata is based, whether domestic or foreign, was judicial in the relevant sense
    • It was in fact pronounced
    • The tribunal had jurisdiction over the parties and the subject matter


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