Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Orders (Second Amendment) Bill-2022

In News

  • Recently, the Rajya Sabha passed the Bill to extend ST status to Gond community in four districts of UP.
    • It aims to move the Gond community from the Scheduled Castes list to Scheduled Tribes list. 
    • It was already passed by the Lok Sabha in April 2022


  • Background: The demand for inclusion of the Gond community in the ST list was first raised in the 1980s.
  • The Bill seeks to amend the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) (Uttar Pradesh) Order, 1967 (ST Order) and the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 (SC Order) with respect to its application to Uttar Pradesh.
  • It will ensure the inclusion of the Gond community in the Scheduled Tribes list in four districts of Uttar Pradesh:
    • Sant Kabir Nagar
    • Sant Ravidas Nagar
    • Kushinagar
    • Chandauli.

Who are Gonds?

  • The term Gond refers to tribal peoples who live all over India’s Deccan Peninsula.
    • Most describe themselves as Gonds (hill people) or as Koi or Koitur.
  • They live in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, and Odisha.
  • The majority speak unintelligible dialects of Gondi which is an unwritten language of the Dravidian family.
  • Persa Pen is the most distinctive feature of Gond religion: Like many other tribes, Gonds worship a high god known as Baradeo, whose alternate names are Bhagavan, Sri Shambu Mahadeo, and Persa Pen.

Process of Inclusion 

  • The process to include tribes in the ST list begins with the recommendation from the respective State governments, which are then sent to the Tribal Affairs Ministry, which reviews and sends them to the Registrar General of India for approval. 
  • This is followed by the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes’ approval before the list is sent to the Cabinet for a final decision.

Way Forward

  • The budget allocation under the Scheduled Tribes Component has increased from Rs 24,594 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 85,930 crore in 2021-22.
  • PMAAY: Steps have been taken for the education and economic development of Scheduled Tribes in the country.
    • Pradhan Mantri Aadi Adarsh Gram Yojana has been implemented in 35,000 villages. 
5th Schedule of the ConstitutionIn the Article 244(1) of the Constitution: expression Scheduled Areas means such areas as the President may by order declare to be Scheduled Areas.The President may at any time by order:Direct that the whole or any specified part of a Scheduled Area shall cease to be a Scheduled Area or a part of such an area.Increase the area of any Scheduled Area in a State after consultation with the Governor of that State.On any alteration of the boundaries of a State on the admission into the Union or the establishment of a new State, declare any territory not previously included in any State to be, or to form part of, a Scheduled Area.Rescind, in relation to any State of States, any order or orders made under these provisions and in consultation with the Governor of the State concerned, make fresh orders redefining the areas which are to be Scheduled Areas.Criteria for Declaring Schedule Areas: Preponderance of tribal population;Compactness and reasonable size of the area;Under-developed nature of the area; andMarked disparity in economic standard of the people.States having Fifth Schedule Areas: At present, 10 States namely Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Telangana have Fifth Schedule Areas.6th Schedule of the ConstitutionIt provides for the administration of tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram to safeguard the rights of the tribal population in these states.This special provision is provided under Article 244(2) and Article 275(1) of the Constitution.It seeks to safeguard the rights of the tribal population through the formation of Autonomous District Councils (ADC). ADCs are bodies representing a district to which the Constitution has given varying degrees of autonomy within the state legislature.   Features: Provisions have been made for the creation of the District Councils and regional councils for the exercise of certain legislative and judicial powers. However, their jurisdiction is subject to the jurisdiction of the concerned High Court.They have powers to form courts to hear cases where both parties are members of Scheduled Tribes, and the maximum sentence is less than 5 years in prison.They also have powers to levy taxes, fees and tolls on buildings, land, animals, vehicles, boats, entry of goods into the area, roads, ferries, bridges, employment and income and general taxes for the maintenance of schools and roads.The Acts of Parliament or the State Legislature do not apply to autonomous districts and autonomous regions or apply with specified modifications and exceptions.The Governor is vested with powers regarding the councils. He/she, by public notification, may:Include or exclude any new area.Create a new autonomous district.Define the boundaries of any autonomous district.Increase or decrease the area of an existing autonomous district.Alter the name of any autonomous district.

Need to reform India’s Pensions System

In Context

  • Recently, the Global Pension Index ranked India’s pension system at 41 out of the 44 countries.

More about the Index

  • About:
    • There is an index for ranking the pension systems across the world. It is called the Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index.
  • What does this index track?
    • The index report admits that it is neither easy nor straightforward to compare pension systems across the world.
      • There are differences in population profile and requirements, economic growths, government revenues, regulatory maturity and the development of private markets.
    • The index ranks countries on three criteria:
      • Adequacy: What benefits are future retirees likely to receive?
      • Sustainability: Can the existing systems continue to deliver, notwithstanding the demographic and financial challenges?
      • Integrity: Are the private pension plans regulated in a manner that encourages long-term community confidence?
  • India’s rank:
    • The 2022 edition of this index ranks India’s pension system at 41 out of the 44 countries it considers. 
    • Consistently low:
      • That’s a low rank but it is also important to note that India has consistently ranked low on this index even when only 16 countries were analysed in 2011.

More about the pension

  • A pension provides people with a monthly income when they are no longer earning.
  • Need for Pension:
    • One is not as productive in the old age as in youth.
    • The rise of nuclear family –Migration of younger earning members.
    • Rise in cost of living
    • Increased longevity
    • Assured monthly income ensures dignified life in old age.
    • Global Data suggestions:
      • According to the World Economic Forum: “For the first time in human history, people aged 65 and over outnumber children aged five or younger”.
        • And while this stress may be less for a country such as India, which has a relatively younger population profile, there is such a thing as longevity risk.
      • Longevity risk points to a scenario where rising life expectancy could result in pension and insurance companies needing more cash because people are living for longer than anticipated.
  • Highlights about the gross inadequacy of India’s pension architecture:
    • At least 85 per cent current workers are not members of any pension scheme, and in their old age likely to remain uncovered or draw only social pension
    • Of all elderly, 57 per cent receive no income support from public expenditure, and 26 per cent collect social pension as part of poverty alleviation
    • 11.4 per cent of the elderly draw defined benefit as government ex-workers (or their survivors), cornering 62 per cent of system expense
    • The system for old age income support entailed 11.5 per cent of public expenditure, and sub-national governments bear more than 60 per cent
    • Contributory program funds invested in government paper soak up 40 per cent of all interest payment of sub-national governments
OPS Vs NPSThe Old Pension Scheme (OPS):About:Pension to government employees at the Centre as well as states was fixed at 50 per cent of the last drawn basic pay.Only government employees are eligible for receiving a pension after retirement.Income under the old pension scheme doesn’t attract tax.Issues:The main problem was that the pension liability remained unfunded: That is, there was no corpus specifically for pension, which would grow continuously and could be dipped into for payments.The OPS was also unsustainable:Pension liabilities would keep climbing since pensioners’ benefits increased every year; like salaries of existing employees, pensioners gained from indexation, or what is called ‘dearness relief’ Better health facilities would increase life expectancy, and increased longevity would mean extended payouts.The National Pension Scheme (NPS):About:NPS is an easily accessible, low cost, tax-efficient, flexible and portable retirement savings account.Contributions:Under the NPS, the individual contributes to his retirement account and also his employer can also co-contribute for the social security/welfare of the individual.Defined contribution basis:NPS is designed on Defined contribution basis wherein the subscriber contributes to his account, there is no defined benefit that would be available at the time of exit from the system The accumulated wealth depends on the contributions made and the income generated from investment of such wealth.Beneficiaries:Resident as well as non-resident Indians in the age group of 18-60 years (as on the date of submission of NPS application) can invest.Performance:Over the last eight years, the NPS has built a robust subscriber base, and its assets under management have increased.Regulator:PFRDA is the regulator for NPS. Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) is an Authority set up by the Government of India through the PFRDA Act 2013 PFRDA aims to promote old age income security by establishing, regulating and developing pension funds to protect the interest of subscribers to schemes of pension fundsSignificance of NPS over OPS:The shift to NPS was undertaken due to concerns over the coverage, sustainability, and scalability of the old pension framework. As per research carried out in the early 2000s, India’s implicit pension debt, owing to central (civil) employees, state government employees and the funding gap of the employees pension scheme, was reaching unmanageable, unsustainable levels. Moreover, this framework only benefited a tiny portion of the total labour force.

Way ahead

  • India’s pensions system is in a dire need of a reform and merely fluctuating between OPS and NPS is not a reform. 
  • Reforming the pension system will be both good politics and good economics.

New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (Amendment) Bill, 2022

In Context

  • Recently, both Houses of Parliament passed the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (Amendment) Bill, 2022.

More about the news

  • Renaming Arbitration Centre:
    • The bill renames the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre as the India International Arbitration Centre. 
  • International and domestic arbitration:
    • The Act requires the Arbitration Centre to strive to facilitate the conduct of international and domestic arbitration and conciliation and the new legislation expands this to include the conduct of other forms of alternative dispute resolution. 
    • The bill will help India emerge as an attractive destination for arbitration at the global level.
  • Other highlights:
    • The manner of conduct of arbitration and other forms of alternative dispute resolution will be specified by the Central government through regulations. 
    • The Bill also allows the government to provide for removing any difficulties in implementing the Act up to five years from the date of commencement of the Act. 
  • Other ADRs:
    • Bill also includes the conduct of other forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADRs) besides arbitration.


  • Changing name:
    • Important cities in India such as Mumbai and Kolkata have their own arbitration centres.
      • Even in Delhi, another body Delhi Arbitration Centre [DAC] is functioning.
    • So it was envisaged that it will not be good to have two arbitration centres having the same name of Delhi.
  • Making India international hub of arbitration:
    • India is the fifth biggest economy in the world, yet we are not the international hub of arbitration, while small countries and cities have emerged as major centres for arbitration.
      • Presently people prefer places such as Singapore, London and Hong Kong for arbitration.
    • India can provide arbitration awards at more affordable charges in comparative to those centres.
  • Institutaionalisation of Arbitration:
    • The main problem in arbitration in the country right now is of delays – resulting from ad hoc arbitration – which are often appealed in courts. 
    • Considering the issue of pending cases in different levels of courts, the current system of arbitration is not institutionalised and through this Bill, the Government is making it institutionalised.
  • Not under pressure:
    • Government also rejected the allegations that the government has brought this bill and procedure under the pressure of the World Bank.

More About Arbitration

  • Arbitration: 
    • About:
      • Arbitration is outside the court settlement of a dispute by one or more (odd number) persons who are appointed as arbitrators by both the parties. 
      • According to Section 2(1)(a) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 “Arbitration means any arbitration whether or not administered by permanent arbitral institution”. 
      • In other words, any form of arbitration irrespective of its nature has been recognised statutorily in India by bringing such arbitration under the ambit of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. 
    • How does it work?
      • It consists of a simplified trial, with simplified rules of evidence and with no discovery. 
      • Arbitration hearings are usually not a matter of public record. 
      • The arbitral award is binding on the parties just like a court decree or order. 
  • Arbitration Council of India (ACI):
    • Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act 2019 seeks to insert a new Part to the Act of 1996 for the establishment and incorporation of an independent body namely, the Arbitration Council of India (ACI) for the purpose of grading of arbitral institutions and accreditation of arbitrators, etc
    • Composition:
      • The ACI will consist of a Chairperson who is either: (i) a Judge of the Supreme Court; or (ii) a Judge of a High Court; or (iii) Chief Justice of a High Court; or (iv) an eminent person with expert knowledge in the conduct of the arbitration.
      • Other members will include an eminent arbitration practitioner, an academician with experience in arbitration, and government appointees.
    • Functions:
      • Framing policies for grading arbitral institutions and accrediting arbitrators
      • Making policies for the establishment, operation and maintenance of uniform professional standards for all alternate dispute redressal matters
      • Maintaining a depository of arbitral awards (judgments) made in India and abroad.
What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?About:ADR refers to the methods of resolving a dispute, which are alternatives for litigation in Courts.Generally, it uses a neutral third party who helps the parties to communicate, discuss the differences and resolve the dispute.It offers to resolve all types of matters related to civil disputes, as explicitly provided by the law.It is capable of providing a substitute for the conventional methods of resolving disputes.Significance of ADR:Disputes happen frequently between parties in the world of business. Both parties suffer losses if the dispute becomes the victim of a long-drawn, complex court battle. The solution to this comes in the form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms.When the courts are understaffed and overburdened with cases, ADR serves the purpose of providing faster and simpler means of dispute resolution.Methods of ADR:Arbitration, mediation, conciliation, and negotiation are usually the most common methods of ADR. 

Warming of Arctic Region

In News

  • Recently, the annual assessment of the region was done by the researchers which evaluated that the temperatures in the Arctic Circle have been rising much more quickly than those in the rest of the planet.
    • Nearly 150 experts from 11 nations compiled this year’s assessment of Arctic conditions (the Arctic Report Card) which The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have produced since 2006.

About Arctic Region 

  • It is commonly understood to refer to the region above the Arctic Circle, north of latitude 66° 34′ N, which includes the Arctic Ocean with the North Pole at its centre.
    • Eight Arctic States: Canada, Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and USA form the Arctic Council. 
  • The Arctic is home to almost four million inhabitants, of which approximately one tenth are considered as indigenous people. 
  • The Arctic Ocean and its surrounding landmass has been a topic of immense interest and a high-priority area of research among the global scientific fraternity as well as of importance to policy makers. 
  • The Arctic influences atmospheric, oceanographic and biogeochemical cycles of the earth’s ecosystem. 
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationIt is an American scientific and regulatory agency within the United States Department of Commerce that forecasts weather, monitors oceanic and atmospheric conditions, charts the seas, conducts deep sea exploration, and manages fishing and protection of marine mammals and endangered species in the U.S. exclusive economic zone. NOAA’s five fundamental activities are:Monitoring and observing Earth systems with instruments and data collection networks.Understanding and describing Earth systems through research and analysis of data.Assessing and predicting the changes in these systems over time.Engaging, advising, and informing the public and partner organisations with relevant information.Custodianship of environmental resources.

Major Challenges

  • Climate Change: They described how hotter air temperatures, melting sea ice, shorter periods of snow cover, increased wildfire and rising levels of precipitation have forced wildlife and Indigenous people in the region to adapt.
  • Heat wave in Greenland: It caused the most severe melting of the island’s ice sheet for that time of the year in over four decades of continuous satellite monitoring.
    • In 2021, an August heat wave had caused it to rain at the ice sheet’s summit for the first time.
  • Rising Temperatures are transforming the region’s climate into one defined less by sea ice, snow and permafrost and more by open water, rain and green landscapes.
    • Warming at the top of the Earth raises sea levels worldwide, changes the way heat and water circulate in the oceans, and might even influence extreme weather events like heat waves and rainstorms. 
  • Rate of change: Over the past four decades, the region has warmed at four times the global average rate. Some parts of the Arctic are warming at up to seven times the global rate.
  • Growth in green cover: Rising temperatures have helped plants, shrubs and grasses grow in parts of the Arctic tundra.
    • 2022 saw levels of green vegetation that were the fourth highest since 2000 particularly in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, northern Quebec and central Siberia.
  • Reduced snow cover: snow cover in the North American Arctic was the second-lowest on record. In the Eurasian Arctic, it was third lowest.
    • The Greenland ice sheet has lost ice for the last 25 years.
  • Maritime ship traffic: Scientists warned that maritime ship traffic is on the rise in the Arctic as sea ice declines, with the most notable increases in traffic occurring among ships travelling from the Pacific Ocean through the Bering Strait and Beaufort Sea.


  • Threat to humanity: Our homes, livelihoods and physical safety are threatened by the rapid-melting ice, thawing permafrost, increasing heat, wildfires and other changes.
  • Monsoons: The link between the impact of the changing Arctic and monsoons in India is growing in importance due to the extreme weather events the country faces, and the heavy reliance on rainfall for water and food security.
  • Mineral Resources: Arctic region has rich deposits of coal, gypsum and diamonds and substantial reserves of zinc, lead, placer gold and quartz. Greenland alone possesses about a quarter of the world’s rare earth reserves. 
  • Hydrocarbons: The Arctic also contains a wealth of hydrocarbon resources. India is the third-largest energy-consuming country in the world. The Arctic can therefore potentially address India’s energy security needs.

Way Forward

  • The problem is that we do not completely understand the factors that control how rapidly the ice flows and thus enters the ocean.
  • One way to approach the problem of not understanding the process is to study how sea level changed in the past. 
    • Earth is nearly as warm now as it was during the last interglacial period, about 125,000 years ago. 
  • We must act urgently to reduce and mitigate the impact of human-made climate change on the glaciers. 
India’s Arctic policyInstitutional and human resource capacities will be strengthened within Government and academic, research and business institutions.Inter-ministerial coordination in pursuit of India’s interests in the Arctic.Enhancing understanding of the impact of climate change in the Arctic on India’s climate, economic, and energy security.Contributing better analysis, prediction, and coordinated policymaking on the implications of ice melting in the Arctic on India’s economic, military and strategic interests related to global shipping routes, energy security, and exploitation of mineral wealth. Studying linkages between polar regions and the Himalayas.Deepen cooperation between India and countries of the Arctic region under various Arctic forums, drawing expertise from scientific and traditional knowledge.Increase India’s participation in the Arctic Council and improve understanding of the complex governance structures in the Arctic, relevant international laws, and geopolitics of the region.India’s Arctic policy would play an essential role in preparing the country for a future where humankind’s biggest challenges, such as climate change, can be addressed through collective will and effort.

PAC Flags Issues in Procurement of Facilities for Soldiers

In Context

  • Recently, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), in its 55th report on “Provisioning, procurement and issue of High Altitude Clothing, Equipment, Ration and Housing”.

More about the news

  • About:
    • The report is based on the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) findings in 2019.
  • PAC observations:
    • Mismanagement:
      • The committee observed that a huge quantity of essential items under Special Clothing and Mountaineering Equipment (SCME) Category-II were procured or held when they were not issued or required for long. 
    • Shortfall: 
      • The committee observed that there was extensive shortfall in the receipt of stores from ordnance factories from 2015-16 to 2017-18 in the case of “SCME/Extreme Cold Climate Clothing and Equipment” items. 
    • Less supply:
      • The percentage supply of most items from the factories remained at 50% or less for consecutive years. 
    • Corporatisation:
      • The PAC noted that, in the meanwhile, the factories had been corporatised and restructured into government companies. 
  • Report Suggestions:
    • Implementing CICG:
      • The report suggests that all efforts should be made to fully implement Phase III of the Central Inventory Control Group (CICG) for effective inventory management and procurement.
    • Contracting process:
      • The PAC recommended an overhaul of the contracting process between the Defence Ministry and vendors. 
      • This would also aid in reduction of procurement timelines. 
    • Procurement processes:
      • The procurement processes could be expedited through hand-holding of new Defence Public Sector Undertakings (erstwhile ordnance factories) by the Ministry.
    • Collaborating with other countries:
      • The committee said the Ministry should collaborate with friendly countries with similar terrain/ geographical conditions and learn from their experiences for technical specifications. 
    • Periodic review:
      • Ministry should periodically review and get feedback from troops deployed in high altitude areas in terms of taste, quality and hygienic conditions of rations.
      • Ministry may fulfil assurance that there is no shortfall of High Altitude Clothing & Equipment in Indian Army and complete entitlement of soldiers is adequately met at all forward locations of their deployment.
    • Deployment of technical expertise:
      • Sufficient technical expertise is available in various Indian institutions, including the Indian Institutes of Technolgy, which could be deployed for projects in harsh terrains.
About Public Accounts Committee (PAC)About:The PAC is the oldest parliamentary committee in Indian legislative affairs and has been crucial in upholding the principle of accountability as it exercises oversight of public expenditure.Members: The Public Accounts Committee consists of 22 members elected according to the principle of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote: Fifteen members elected by Lok Sabha every year from amongst its members.Seven members of Rajya Sabha elected by that House in like manner are associated with the Committee. Process of Election:In April, each year, a motion is moved in Lok Sabha by the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs or Chairperson of the Committee, if in office, calling upon members of the House to elect from amongst themselves 15 members to the Public Accounts Committee. Appointment of Chairperson:The Chairperson of the Committee is appointed by the Speaker from amongst the members of Lok Sabha elected to the Committee.As a convention, starting from the Public Accounts Committee of 1967-68, a member of the Committee belonging to the main opposition party/group in the House is appointed as the Chairperson of the CommitteeRole & Functions:Check on the government especially with respect to its expenditure bill.Examines the audit report of C&AG after it is laid in the Parliament.PAC promotes the basic principle that parliament embodies the will of the people by exercising check over the executive.Keeps a check on the money spent on any service during a financial year.It examines the accounts of State corporations, Trading concerns and Manufacturing projects.Assistance by CAG:The Committee is assisted by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in the examination of Accounts and Audit Reports.CAG has been described as a friend, philosopher, and guide to the PAC.

Kashi-Tamil Sangamam


  • The Kashi-Tamil Sangamam is the confluence of Kashi and Tamil Nadu, which are timeless centres of Indian civilisation. 
  • Organized by: The Ministry of Education, Government of India
  • Objective:
    • To bring the two knowledge and cultural traditions (of the North and South) closer, create an understanding of our shared heritage and deepen the people-to-people bond between the regions.
    • This is in sync with the National Education Policy, 2020 which emphasises “on nurturing a generation that is modern and in sync with the 21st-century mindset, while being rooted in the Indian culture and ethos”.
    • 2,400 people from Tamil Nadu will be taken to Varanasi in groups for visits and trips to Ayodhya and Prayagraj.
  • Kashi and Kanchi:
    • Both have their importance in the form of “Kashi-Kanchi” in the “Sapta Puris” (the seven holy pilgrimage sites in Hinduism).
    • Kashi is the land of devotees of Tulsi, while Tamil Nadu is the land of Saint Thiruvalluvar. 
    • The names of several temples and towns in Tamil Nadu have been named after Divya Kashi while a sizable Tamil population has made Kashi home.


  • It is an effort to strengthen the bond between the North and South, make people aware of the cultural proximity of the two centres and bring the young generation closer to great Indian traditions, arts, culture and religion.
  • It has helped to bring the Hindi and Tamil-speaking people closer. 

India- China Trade Ties

In News

  • India’s imports from China spiked sharply post the Galwan clash, in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed.

About Trade Ties 

  • Overview: China is India’s second biggest trading partner after the United States.
    • In 2021-22, India-China bilateral trade stood at $115.83 billion, which was 11.19 percent of India’s total merchandise trade of $1,035 billion.
      • The US was just a notch above, with 11.54 percent ($119.48 billion) share.
        • Other countries: Apart from the US and China, the other eight countries and regions among India’s top-10 trading partners during 2021-22 were UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, South Korea, and Australia.
  • Imports Items: During 2021-22, 15.42 percent ($94.57 billion) of India’s total imports ($613.05 billion) came from China.
    • The top commodities that India bought included: electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof; sound recorders and reproducers, television image and sound recorders and reproducers and parts; nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery, and mechanical appliances and parts of thereof; organic chemicals; plastic and plastic articles; and fertilisers.
    • Imports have been up significantly since Galwan clash: 
      • The monthly figure of imports from China, which hit a low of $3.32 billion in June 2020 during the Covid lockdown, started rising soon after the easing of restrictions and rose to $5.58 billion in the following month (July 2020). Since then, it continued rising and scaled a new peak of $10.24 billion in July this year.
  • Exports: In 2021-22, India’s exports to China stood at $21.25 billion, which was 5 percent of India’s total shipments ($422 billion).
    • Among the top commodities China bought from India included: Ores, slag, and ash; organic chemicals, mineral fuels, mineral oils, and products of their distillation, bituminous substances, mineral waxes; iron and steel; aluminum and articles of thereof; and cotton.
      • Among single items, light Naphtha ($1.37 billion) was India’s most valued export item to China during 2021-22.
  • Spike in trade deficit: India’s trade deficit with China has increased from $1 billion to $73 billion in the past 21 years.
    • During the first seven months (April-October) of the current financial year (2022-23), India’s trade deficit with China stood at $51 billion, which was 39 percent higher than the figure ($37 billion) recorded in the corresponding period of the last fiscal.
    • In fact, China alone accounted for over one-third of India’s total trade deficit ($191 billion) during 2021-22.
    • The rising gap between imports and exports from China is evident from the fact that two decades ago, India’s imports accounted for about 60 percent of the total bilateral trade between the two countries, but now it is over 80 percent.

Base Editing

In News 

Scientists in the United Kingdom testing a new form of cancer therapy, reported success in a teenaged girl, Alyssia, with a form of cancer called T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

  • Alyssia was the first to receive experimental gene therapy that relied on a new technique called ‘base editing.’
T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.In this form of blood cancer, the T-cells, which are a class of white blood cells, equipped to hunt and neutralise threats to the body, turn against the body and end up destroying healthy cells that normally help with immunity. The disease is rapid and progressive and is usually treated by chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

‘Base Editing

  • A person’s genetic code is several permutations of four bases: Adenine (A), Guanin (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T).
    • Sequences of these bases, akin to letters in the alphabet, spell out genes that are instructions to produce the wide array of proteins necessary for the body’s functions.
  • With advances in genetic technology, scientists have been able to zoom into a precise part of the genetic code to alter the molecular structure of just one base, effectively changing its genetic instructions.


  • A team at the Great Ormond Street Hospital managed to use base-editing to create a new type of T-cell from a healthy donor that would not attack other cells in Alyssa’s body, not kill each other, survive chemotherapy and finally, hunt down all other T-cells in Alyssa’s body (healthy and cancerous). 


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