One year of India-UAE CEPA

In News

  • Recently, India and UAE commemorated the one year of signing of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement for boosting bilateral trade.


  • India and UAE signed the landmark Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) on February 18, 2022.
  • Recently, a special business event was organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) in Dubai to celebrate the first year of CEPA signing.
  • The CEPA has already started to yield results, with bilateral trade in goods expected to reach USD 100 billion and services to increase to USD 15 billion within five years.
  • Previously, India has signed CEPAa with Singapore (2005), South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, ASEAN (2011), Sri Lanka, Thailand, Mauritius and Indonesia.
  • India is also negotiating CEPAs with several other countries, including Australia, Canada, the European Union, and New Zealand.


  • It is the first bilateral agreement signed by India in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region.
  • It covers a variety of topics, including commerce, investments, healthcare, digital trade, government procurement, and IPR.
  • The CEPA aims to enhance not only commercial and trade relations but also people-to-people contacts, given that the UAE has one of the largest Indian diasporas.
  • The historic India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) officially entered into force on 1st May, 2022.
Key features of CEPA
Greater access for UAE exports entering the Indian market through the reduction or removal of tariffs on more than 80 per cent of products.An open and non-discriminatory environment for cross-border trade with India.Enhanced market access for UAE’s service providers across 11 sectors and more than 100 sub-sectors.The removal of unnecessary technical barriers (TBT) for UAE and Indian exporters.The use of international standards as a basis for technical regulations.Enhanced access for UAE businesses to Indian government procurement opportunities.Support for UAE companies through a 10 per cent price preference in UAE government procurement tenders. Assurance that UAE products will not be subject to India’s anti-dumping investigations as such products are merely trans-shipped.A Joint Committee to assess, revise and propose amendments to the CEPA, including improving market access.

Impact of CEPA:

  • Bilateral trade between India and the UAE increased significantly in the current fiscal year.
  • Trade in goods valued at USD 57.8 billion, up 27.5% YoY.
  • The CEPA is helping business groups in an exceptional manner, and business houses are the pillars of the success of the CEPA agreement
  • After CEPA, many Indian big business giants are expanding their operations in the UAE, and more investments are expected from both sides
  • During the same period, India’s exports to the UAE grew remarkably by 19.32%, reaching $20.8 billion from $17.45 billion, an increase of $3.35 billion in value terms.
  • CEPA has enabled easier sourcing of jewelry from India and selling to other countries

Importance of UAE:

  • Economic Ties: The UAE is India’s third-largest trading partner after China and the United States, CEPA is expected to boost bilateral trade in goods and services in the next five years.
  • Investment Opportunities: The UAE is an attractive destination for Indian businesses and investors due to its strategic location, world-class infrastructure, and ease of doing business. Indian Diaspora: The UAE has a large Indian diaspora, which is estimated to be around 3.5 million which can serve as a bridge between the two countries.
  • Strategic Partnership: India and the UAE have a strategic partnership that covers various sectors, including defense, security, energy, technology etc., and thus the two countries can work closely on regional and global issues such as terrorism, climate change, and trade.
  • Cultural Ties: Both countries share historical and cultural long-standing relationship that dates back to several centuries making UAE a natural partner of India in the Mediterranian region. 


  • UAE is an important country for India due to its economic ties, investment opportunities, Indian diaspora, strategic partnership, and cultural ties. 
  • CEPA has unleashed new opportunities in bilateral trade, and both India and UAE have started leveraging the duty waivers and enhanced market access offered under the agreement
  • With both countries having a strong and growing relationship, CEPA is expected to benefit both nations in the years to come.

Source: AIR

Solar Panel Manufacturing

In News

  • The Union budget increased allocation for the Production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for high-efficiency solar modules.

What is  a Solar Panel

  •  A solar panel is a collection of photovoltaic (PV) cells that collect sunlight and convert it into electric current.


  • When sunlight hits the semiconductor in the solar PV cell the energy from the light in the form of photons is absorbed.
  • This energy absorption results in exciting a number of electrons, which then drift freely in the cell. 
  • The solar cell is specifically designed to create an electric field. This electric field forces the  electrons to flow in a certain direction- towards the  electrical terminals that line the cell.
  •  This flow is known as an energy current, and the strength of the current is determined by how much electricity each cell can produce. Once the  electrons reach terminals  the current is then directed into wires making the panel a source of electrical energy.

Manufacturing in India:

  • From less than 10 MW in 2010, India has added significant PV capacity over the past decade, achieving over 50 GW by 2022 .
  • By 2030, India is targeting about 500 GW of renewable energy deployment, out of which ~280 GW is expected from solar PV. This calls for 30 GW of solar capacity every year until 2030.
  • India’s current solar module manufacturing capacity is limited to around 15 GW per year rest is met through imports.
  • An estimated 85 per cent of this import need is met by three countries  China, alongside Vietnam and Malaysia. The value of solar imported since 2014 adds up to $12.93 billion, or Rs 90,000 crore.

Challenges for Manufacturing in India:

  • Solar cell manufacturing is a complicated process that is technology intensive. Establishing state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities needs access to technology. It is unlikely that companies that have spent millions of dollars on R&D would make it easy for India to access the latest technologies easily or at a lower cost.
  • Solar cell manufacturing needs a huge amount of capital .The cost of debt in India (11%) is highest in the Asia-Pacific region, while in China it is about 5%.
  • Solar cell technology sees upgrades every 8-10 months making manufacturing inefficient for new entrants.
  • Lack of an integrated set-up and the economies of scale (despite 100 per cent FDI in the renewable energy sector) translates into higher cost of domestic production
  • Solar panel Manufacturing suffers from a huge  raw material supply crunch. Silicon wafer, the most expensive raw material in the panel, is not manufactured in India.

Govt. initiatives

  • The UnionGovernment established a Rs 19,500-crore production linked incentive (PLI) scheme on ‘national programme on high efficiency solar PV modules’, seeking to attract Rs 94,000-crore investment in the sector.
  • To address the shortages on the raw material side with respect to silicon wafers ,the Centre has decided to provide uniform fiscal support of 50 per cent of the project cost for setting up of semiconductor fabrication plants.
  • Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (M-SIPS) of Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology offers a 20-25 per cent subsidy for investments in capital expenditure for setting up a manufacturing facility
  • The government has mandated that a solar power producer should compulsorily source a certain percentage of solar cells and modules from local manufacturers, in order to be able to benefit from the government guarantee to purchase the energy produced.
India’s Solar Targets India’s solar sector has grown at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 59% from 0.5GW in 2011 to 55GW in 2021.Under the National Solar Mission (NSM)  the total installed capacity target was set as 20GW by 2022. In 2015, the target was revised to 100GW and in August 2021, the government set a solar target of 300 GW by 2030.About 30% of India’s 100GW (2022 ) solar target still  remains unmet.Govt’s SchemesPM KUSUM:The scheme aims to add solar and other renewable capacity of 30,800 MW by 2022 with total central financial support of Rs. 34,422 Crores.Solar Park Scheme: The Solar Park Scheme plans to build a number of solar parks, each with a capacity of nearly 500 MW, across several states.Atal Jyoti Yojana (AJAY): The AJAY scheme was launched in September 2016 for the installation of solar street lighting (SSL) systems in states with less than 50% of households covered with grid power (as per Census 2011).National Solar Mission: It is a major initiative of the Government of India and State Governments to promote ecologically sustainable growth while addressing India’s energy security challenge.SRISTI Scheme: Sustainable rooftop implementation of Solar transfiguration of India (SRISTI) scheme to promote rooftop solar power projects in India.

Land Monetisation


  • To expedite the monetisation plans for government-owned land assets across the country, the National Land Monetisation Corporation (NLMC) has decided to rope in international property consultancy firms to help strategize and implement transactions from start to finish.


  • Land Monetisation means transferring the revenue rights of the asset (could be idle land, infrastructure, PSU) to a private player for a specified period of time.
  • The government gets in return payment from the private entity, a share of the revenue generated from the asset, a promise of steady investment into the asset, and the title rights to the monetized asset.
  • Monetisation is done to unlock the potential of unused or underused assets by involving institutional investors or private players and to generate resources or capital for future asset creation, such as using the money generated from monetisation to create new infrastructure projects.
  • Land monetisation can be done through a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), a company that owns and operates a land asset and sometimes, funds income-producing real estate.
  • Assets of the government can also be monetised through the Public Private Partnerships (PPP) model.

Benefits of Land Monetisation

  • The monetisation process aims to capture the real estate value of public land lying idle in monetary terms to improve or strengthen the finances of government bodies and local authorities. 
  • The monetisation of several lakh acres of the land pool with various central government agencies is expected to give a fillip to the Rs 111-trillion National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) in five years through FY25 and Gati Shakti connectivity projects, as well as the housing sector.
  • The 13th Finance Commission of India also underlined the importance of monetisation of land which has the potential for generating additional revenues from under-utilized prime lands of Public Sector Undertakings, Port Trusts, Airports, Railways, municipal corporations, etc.
  • There is an estimate of the extent of land held by various government agencies in excess of 5 lakh hectares, of which, over 160,000 hectares are held across various airports, seaports, and railways.
  • It allows certain State/ Centre funded projects to be created and financed from otherwise defunct assets or under-utilized land parcels.
    • For instance, to maximize its revenues, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) plans to partially monetize around 7591 acres of vacant land owned near eight major airports. The land could be utilized for commercial purposes, including hospitality business and warehousing. 

Challenges faced in Land Monetization

  • Meeting disinvestment targets: The success of NLMC will depend on the government’s ability to meet its disinvestment targets. The government has not been able to meet its targets in the past, which could affect the performance of the NLMC.
  • Complex legal and regulatory framework: The legal and regulatory framework for land ownership, land use, and land development is often complex and varies by region, making it difficult for CPSEs to navigate the process of monetising their land.
  • Mapping the vacant lands: The estimation of surplus land may be a contentious issue in the absence of a clear land title, ongoing litigation, and encroachments.
  • Lack of fast Dispute Resolution Mechanism: More than 60% of the litigation in India is land-related and these disputes need to be resolved in a time-bound manner for timely land monetisation. 
  • Ensuring adequate investment: Private players must invest adequately in the asset to ensure its growth and sustainability. The government needs to ensure that the private players are fulfilling their investment commitments.
  • Use of PPPs: The use of PPPs as a monetisation model can pose challenges, as seen in the case of the Railways’ PPP initiative, which did not see much interest from private players.
  • Market conditions: The value of land is dependent on market conditions, which can be volatile, and subject to fluctuations. Moreover, the vast difference between the state gazette valuation and market rate valuation can create problems.

Way Forward

  • Improve the disinvestment process: The government needs to streamline its disinvestment process and meet its disinvestment targets to generate more revenue. This can be achieved by providing certainty to investors, and by setting realistic targets for disinvestment.
  • Digitization of land records: It will bring transparency to the land records maintenance system, digitize maps and surveys, update all settlement records, and minimize the scope of land disputes.
  • Ensure transparency and fairness: The selection of private players should be through a competitive bidding process to avoid the creation of a monopoly or duopoly in operating surplus government land.
  • Do it in phases: Multi-phased land monetization creates value for developers and investors and increases market appetite. This will make the land more attractive to potential buyers, resulting in higher value and better returns.
  • Partner with the government: Partnering with the government in a PPP model to help cover the holding costs of the land and streamline project clearances. This will speed up the process and make it more efficient.
  • Create a dispute resolution mechanism to address any disputes that may arise between the government and private players over revenue sharing or other issues related to the monetisation of assets.
  • Conduct market research and valuation to ensure that the government is getting a fair price for the assets being monetised and is not undervaluing its assets or giving away too much revenue share to private players.
    National Land Monetisation Corporation (NLMC)It was announced in the Union Budget 2021-22, to carry out the monetization of non-core assets of CPSEs and other Government agencies and was incorporated in June 2022 as a wholly-owned government company.It falls under the Ministry of Finance and has been set up with an initial authorised share capital of ?5,000 crore and a paid-up capital of ?150 crore.NLMC is a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) that owns, holds, manages, and monetizes surplus land and assets of CPSEs under closure and the surplus non-core land assets of Government CPSEs under strategic disinvestment.It also acts as an advisory body and supports in identifying CPSEs surplus non-core assets to monetise them, maximising value realisation. The utilisation of these under-utilised assets sets in motion private sector investments, industrialisation, and employment.

Avian Influenza

In News

  • Recently, the head of the World Health Organisation, warned that the world had to prepare for a possible bird-flu pandemic.


  • The bird flu outbreak has killed 15 million domestic birds, while 193 million others have been culled since October 2021. It has spread from Europe and Asia to North America, South and Central America.
  • Adaptation in mammals: The US Department of Agriculture has confirmed avian flu cases in mammals such as skunks, a raccoon and a red fox. These mammals were suspected to have consumed infected birds.
    • The mutation is a signal that this virus is trying to cross the barrier between species and adapt to the mammalian population.
  • Outbreak in India:  The latest major avian flu outbreak in 2020-2021 swept through many States causing mass mortality of wild birds

Avian Influenza

  • Depending on the origin host, influenza A viruses can be classified as avian influenza (bird flu, subtypes A H5N1 and A H9N2)swine influenza (swine flusubtypes A H1N1 and AH3N2).
  • They are distinct from human influenza viruses and do not easily transmit among humans.
  • The “H” and “N” in the name of a flu virus stand for hemagglutinin and neuraminidase, two proteins on the surface of the virus that allow it to enter and exit host cells. 
  • Hemagglutinin and neuraminidase were the first aspects of the flu virus to be identified hence it was named so.
  • Reservoir of Virus: Aquatic birds are the primary natural reservoir, most cause asymptomatic or mild infection in birds.

Concerns Associated with Avian Influenza in India

  • Lack of active surveillance.
  • In India poultry birds are not vaccinated against flu.
  • The farms with a diversity of animals or in the vicinity of nearby wetlands increases the potential for the viruses to generate more virulent strains which could then infect humans. 
About Influenza VirusThere are four types of influenza viruses: types A, B, C and D.Influenza A viruses infect humans and many different animals.Influenza B viruses circulate among humans and cause seasonal epidemics. Recent data showed seals also can be infected.Influenza C viruses can infect both humans and pigs but infections are generally mild and are rarely reported.Influenza D viruses primarily affect cattle and are not known to infect or cause illness in people.

Human Infection

  • Humans can be infected with avian , swine  and other zoonotic influenza viruses.
  • Spread in humans: Human infections are primarily acquired through direct contact with infected animals or contaminated environments, these viruses have not acquired the ability of sustained transmission among humans.
  • Severity: It may cause disease ranging from mild upper respiratory tract infection (fever and cough), early sputum production and rapid progression to severe pneumonia, sepsis with shock, acute respiratory distress syndrome and even death.
    • Conjunctivitis, gastrointestinal symptoms, encephalitis and encephalopathy have also been reported.


  • Controlling the disease in the animal source is critical to decrease risk to humans.
  • Travelers to countries and people living in countries with known outbreaks should avoid poultry farms, entering areas where poultry may be slaughtered, and contact with any surfaces that appear to be contaminated with faeces from poultry or other animals. 
  • To minimize public health risk, quality surveillance in both animal and human populations, thorough investigation of every human infection and risk-based pandemic planning are essential.


  • Some antiviral drugs, notably neuraminidase inhibitor (oseltamivir, zanamivir), can reduce the duration of viral replication and improve prospects of survival.
  • Treatment is recommended for a minimum of 5 days, but can be extended until there is satisfactory clinical improvement.

Pandemic potential

  • H5N1 is most significant to public health due to its potential to cause an influenza pandemic.
  • An influenza pandemic occurs when a novel influenza virus emerges with the ability to cause sustained human-to-human transmission, and the human population has little to no immunity against the virus. 
  • According to the WHO, there have been a total of 868 cases of H5N1 in humans between January 2003 and November 2022, out of which 457 were fatal.
  • However, as per WHO, there is no evidence of human to human spread of bird flu so far.
  • Whether currently-circulating avian, swine and other zoonotic influenza viruses will result in a future pandemic is unknown. 

Sickle Cell Anaemia

In news

  • Recently in Budget 2023-24, the Finance Minister has announced that India will eliminate the sickle cell Anaemia condition in a mission mode by 2047.


  • India is the second-worst affected country in terms of predicted births with SCA — i.e. chances of being born with the condition.
  • Research and screening programmes have found that the prevalence of haemoglobinopathies — disorders of the blood — is more common among tribal populations than non-tribal communities in India. 
  • SCA is prevalent in communities residing in areas where malaria is endemic. The sickle cell trait thus gave an evolutionary advantage, offering immunity to some people during malaria epidemics. 
  • Prevalence of SCA is higher in communities that practice endogamy, as the chances of having two parents with sickle cell trait is higher.

What is sickle cell anaemia?

  • Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of inherited (genetic) red blood cell disorders. 
  • Red blood cells (RBCs) contain hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen. Healthy red blood cells are round, and they move through small blood vessels to carry oxygen to all parts of the body. In SCD, the hemoglobin is abnormal, which causes the RBCs to become hard and sticky and look like a C-shaped farm tool called a “sickle.”
  • It is transmitted by parents carrying a defective ‘beta globin’ gene
  • The sickle cells die early, which causes a constant shortage of RBCs. 
  • When they travel through small blood vessels, they get stuck and clog the blood flow. This can cause pain and other serious complications (health problems) such as infection, acute chest syndrome and stroke.


  • SCA is a genetic disorder, making complete “elimination” a challenge that requires a major scientific breakthrough. The only cure comes in the form of gene therapy and stem cell transplants — both costly and still in developmental stages. 
  • Gene Therapy:  The DNA inside the haemoglobin gene is edited to stop the disease.
  • Stem cells Transplant: the bone marrow affected by sickle cell anaemia is replaced with healthy bone marrow from a donor. 
  • Blood Transfusion: RBCs are removed from donated blood and given to a patient, but challenges include a scarcity of donors, fears around safe supply of blood, risk of infection etc.

Efforts by India to eliminate SCA

  • The Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Rural Health Mission in different States are undertaking outreach programmes for better management and control of the disease. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs launched a portal wherein people can register themselves, in order to collate all information related to SCA among tribal groups.
  • The National Health Mission guideline on Hemoglobinopathies also identifies “establishing services at the community level for pre-marital and pre-conception screening backed by genetic counselling services” as a strategy for addressing SCA. 
  • In the Budget, the Union Health Minister said the government plans to distribute “special cards” across tribal areas and the mission will receive funding under the National Health Mission.
  • The mission will entail awareness creation, universal screening of seven crore people in the age group of 0-40 years in effective tribal areas and counselling through collaborative efforts of central ministries and State governments.
What is Hemophilia? Hemophilia is usually an inherited bleeding disorder in which the blood doesn’t clot properly. This can lead to spontaneous bleeding as well as bleeding following injuries or surgery.Hemophilia is caused by a mutation or change, in one of the genes, that provides instructions for making the clotting factor proteins needed to form a blood clot.These genes are located on the X chromosome. Males have one X and one Y chromosome (XY) and females have two X chromosomes (XX). Hemophilia can result in:Bleeding within joints that can lead to chronic joint disease and pain.Bleeding in the head and sometimes in the brain which can cause long term problems, such as seizures and paralysis.Death can occur if the bleeding cannot be stopped or if it occurs in a vital organ such as the brain.The following two are the most common:Hemophilia A (Classic Hemophilia): This type is caused by a lack or decrease of clotting factor VIII.Hemophilia B (Christmas Disease): This type is caused by a lack or decrease of clotting factor IX.Treatment: There are 2 main approaches to treatment:preventative treatment, where medicine is used to prevent bleeding and subsequent joint and muscle damage,on-demand treatment, where medicine is used to treat prolonged bleeding.


In News

  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has recently confirmed that the lander of Chandrayaan-3 has completed the crucial EMI-EMC test.


  • Chandrayaan-3 is India’s third moon mission and is slated to be launched later this year by Launch Vehicle Mark 3 (LMV3) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota.
  • The lander of the mission has recently successfully completed the crucial EMI-EMC (Electro – Magnetic Interference/ Electro – Magnetic Compatibility) test at the U.R. Rao Satellite Centre in Bengaluru.
  • The test has ensured the functionality of the satellite subsystems in the space environment and their compatibility with the expected electromagnetic levels.

Chandrayaan-3 Mission

  • The Chandrayaan-3 is an interplanetary mission which has three major modules: the Propulsion module, Lander module, and Rover.
  • The mission’s complexity calls for establishing radio-frequency (RF) communication links between the modules.
  • During the Chandrayaan-3 lander EMI/EC test, Launcher compatibility, Antenna Polarization of all RF systems, Standalone auto compatibility tests for orbital and powered descent mission phases, and Lander & Rover compatibility tests for post landing mission phase were ensured.

Key Issues

  • High mission complexity: Chandrayaan-3 is a complex interplanetary mission that involves several modules, including the Propulsion module, Lander module, and Rover whose successful execution requires seamless communication between these modules.
  • Technical issues: The previous Chandrayaan-2 mission had encountered technical glitches during its landing attempt and thus, the Chandrayaan-3 mission may require additional technical advancements, such as improving the navigation and landing systems.
  • Stringent timelines: Chandrayaan-3’s launch timeline is crucial, as it needs to be launched during the lunar launch window, which occurs once every month and any delays in the mission may result in rescheduling the launch, which could cause additional costs and further delays.
  • COVID-19 Pandemic: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the global supply chain and caused significant delays in the manufacturing and testing of space equipment which may lead to further delays in the mission.

Chandrayaan Mission

  • About: Chandrayaan is India’s lunar exploration program consisting of a series of robotic missions that aims to explore the Moon and its resources. 
  • Elite league: It puts India in the coveted league of being only the 4th country in the world after the United States, Russia and China to have successfully landed on the moon.
  • Missions:
    • Chandrayaan-1 mission 
      • It was launched in October 2008 and it orbited the Moon and performed a number of scientific experiments and observations.
      • It was India’s first lunar mission and the first to discover water on the Moon.
      • Involved an orbiter and an impactor, both built by Isro
      • It was launched by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle and made more than 3,400 orbits around the Moon.
      • It carried 11 scientific instruments on board, five of which were Indian while the others were from the European Space Agency (ESA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
      • It was operational for 312 days till August 29, 2009.
    • Chandrayaan-2 mission 
      • It was launched in July 2019, and involves an orbiter, a lander (Vikram), and a rover (Pragyaan), all built by ISRO.
      • It was India’s first to attempt a soft landing near the south pole of the Moon.
      • It was launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh by the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk-III.
      • It aimed to land the Vikram lander on the lunar surface and deploy the Pragyaan rover.
      • It carried eight scientific payloads for mapping the lunar surface and studying the exosphere (outer atmosphere) of the Moon.
      • It’s lander Vikram crashed into the lunar surface apparently because of an issue with its braking rockets.
    • Chandrayaan-3 mission 
      • It is planned for launch by the end of 2023
      • It is expected to cost around 615 crore INR ($82 million USD).and aims to land a rover on the Moon’s surface.

Importance for India

  • Chandrayaan has put India on the map as a major player in space exploration, showcasing the country’s scientific and technological capabilities.
  • The mission has helped India gain valuable knowledge and experience in space exploration, which can be applied to other fields, such as satellite technology and space tourism.
  • The discovery of water on the Moon by Chandrayaan-1 has opened up new possibilities for space exploration and resource utilization, including the potential for future lunar colonies and space mining.
  • The mission has also inspired the younger generation to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, thereby contributing to the country’s overall development.

Way ahead

  • Chandrayaan missions are significant achievements for India, which has demonstrated the country’s capabilities in space exploration and opened up new possibilities for future research and development.

 Source: TH

Indian Origin CEO’s

  • Miscellaneous

In News

  • Neal Mohan, CEO of Youtube joins the list of people of Indian origin leading  global tech giants which includes Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai.

Difference between NRI, OCI and PIO

  • NRI is an Indian citizen holding an Indian passport, but he/ she ordinarily resides outside the country. An individual’s residential status needs to be determined for taxes under the Income-tax Act. 
  • unlike NRI,PIO is a foreign citizen who holds a foreign passport but may have held an Indian passport at anytime or whose ancestors may have been Indian nationals. 
  • OCI is a form of permanent residency for persons of Indian origin (foreign citizens) and their spouses. OCIs are given a multi-purpose, multi-entry & lifelong visa permitting them to visit India whenever they want, for any length of time & any purpose.The registered OCIs are not entitled to the rights vested on an Indian citizen .


Polio Virus


  • The West Bengal government announced the introduction of an additional dose of injectable polio vaccine as part of the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) for children.


  • The additional dose of Inactivated Poliovirus (IPV) at nine months will protect against any polio, like Vaccine Associated Paralytic Polio or Vaccine Derived Polioviruses.
  • As of October 2022, the WHO said only Afghanistan and Pakistan remain with the indigenous transmission of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) worldwide. 
  • Wild poliovirus cases have decreased by over 99% since 1988, from an estimated 350 000 cases in more than 125 endemic countries to 6 reported cases in 2021.
  • WHO on 24th February 2012 removed India from the list of “endemic countries with active poliovirus transmission”
  • Recently genetic variants of vaccine poliovirus type 2 were detected in wastewater in Jerusalem, London, and New York in early 2022.

What is Polio Virus?

  • Poliomyelitis, also known as polio, is an infection caused by a virus (poliovirus). It is a serious, highly contagious disease that can affect a person’s nervous system.
  • There are three types of wild poliovirus:
    • WPV 1: still exists but efforts are going on to eradicate it.
    • WPV 2: eradicated.
    • WPV 3: eradicated.
  • Polio typically affects children aged 5 years or younger. It can result in muscle weakness, permanent disability, and even death.
  • One in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis. Among those paralysed, 5–10% die when their breathing muscles become immobilized.
  • There is no cure for polio, but there are safe, effective vaccines that, given multiple times, protect a child for life.
  • As an unintended consequence, type 2 vaccine virus variants (circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses) that mimic wild viruses’ contagiousness and neurovirulence, have been emerging and spreading.

Efforts to Eradicate

  • In 1988, the World Health Assembly adopted a resolution for the worldwide eradication of polio, marking the launch of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).
  • In 1986 India was provided with a $2.6 million grant for a pilot polio vaccination campaign under the Polio eradication campaign, Polio Plus.
  • India committed to the resolution passed by the World Health Assembly for global polio eradication in 1988.
  • National Immunization nDay (NID) commonly known as the Pulse Polio Immunization programme was launched in India in 1995 and is conducted twice in the early part of each year.
  • Additionally, multiple rounds (at least two) of sub-national immunization day (SNID) have been conducted over the years in high-risk states.
  • South-East Asia Region of WHO including India has been certified polio-free by “The Regional Certification Commission (RCC)” on 27th March 2014. 

What is the need for an extra dose?

  • The additional dose is being given besides the existing oral and injectible polio doses that have been part of the UIP.
  • The oral polio vaccine, which is made from a live virus, has the possibility of leaving the virus in the environment, which can then infect someone.
  • The injectable polio vaccine, which is made from an inactivated virus, does not leave this possibility. Besides, the absorption of the injectable vaccine is better.
  • The third dose will give enhanced protection against the disease and will be given when the child turns nine months.

Way Forward

  • As long as a single child remains infected, children in all countries are at risk of contracting polio. Failure to eradicate polio from these last remaining strongholds could result in a global resurgence of the disease.
  • The Polio Eradication Strategy 2022–2026 lays out the roadmap to securing a lasting and sustained world, free of all polioviruses, and transition and post-certification efforts are ongoing to assure that the infrastructure built up to eradicate polio will continue to benefit broader public health efforts, long after the disease is gone. 
Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI)The goal of the GPEI is to complete the eradication and containment of all wild, vaccine-related, and Sabin polioviruses, so no child suffers from paralytic poliomyelitis ever again. GPEI has helped countries to make huge progress in protecting the global population from this debilitating disease.GPEI’s four pillars include Routine Immunization, Supplementary immunization, Surveillance, and Targeted mop-up campaigns.

Aero India 2023: Overview and Outcomes

In Context

  • Recently, The 14th edition of India’s five day biennial air show ‘Aero India‘ took place at Air Force Station Yelahanka in Bengaluru.

Aero India 2023

  • About:
    • Aero India is a premier global aviation trade fair, which provides an opportunity for the Indian aviation-defence industry, including the aerospace industry, to showcase its products, technologies and solutions to the national decision makers.
  • Key Highlights:
    • Theme for 2023: ‘‘The runway to a billion opportunities”.
    • The Aero India show is held every 2 years.
    • It was held by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) this year on behalf of the Department of Defence Production of the Ministry of Defence.
    • The first edition of the air show was held in 1996.
  • Objective
    • The event aims to promote export of indigenous air platforms like Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)-Tejas, HTT-40, Dornier Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) and Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH).
  • It will integrate domestic MSMEs and start-ups in the global supply chain and attract foreign investments including partnerships for co-development and co-production.
  • It highlighted India’s expanding aerospace and defence capabilities.
  • Participation:
    • 98 countries, 32 defence ministers, 29 air chiefs, and 73 chief executive officers of international and Indian original equipment manufacturers participated in the event.

Key Takeaways

  • Over 200 agreements worth around Rs 80,000 crore were signed during the 2023 edition of Aero India.
  • The event focussed on indigenous aerospace and defence technologies, aligned with the Modi government’s push for ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat‘ (self-reliant India).
  • The US government put up a debut display of two fifth-generation fighters being used by its air force — the supersonic F-35A Lightning II and F-35A Joint Strike Fighter multirole jets.
  • Strategic Significance
    • The large US delegation and the decision to fly in their latest aircraft carry a strategic and geopolitical signal. 
    • The bulk of India’s military equipment is from Russia, which is under Western sanctions due to the war in Ukraine — and the US would like to wean India away from its dependence on Moscow, and to woo the Indian military establishment through partnership opportunities in defence projects.

Main Attractions At Aero India 2023

  • A number of Made-in-India defence products were showcased at Aero India 2023 which included:
    • India’s futuristic indigenous aircraft E.g. 5th Generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft, LCA Mark2 ,Naval Twin Engine Deck-based Fighter jet, etc.
    • Jetpack Suits:
      • A model of a soldier wearing a jetpack being developed by an Indian start-up will be inaugurated. 
    • Made-in-India Light Combat Helicopter Prachand
    • BrahMos Aerospace: Showcasing the models of the air-launched version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile along with BrahMos NG missile.
    • HLFT-42: HAL is showcasing the supersonic trainer aircraft named HLFT-42 full-scale model at Aero India.

Sagar Parikrama Program Phase III

In Context

  • Recently, Sagar Parikrama Program Phase III was initiated by the Department of Fisheries from Surat, Hazira Port, Gujarat.


  • Sagar Parikrama is an initiative of Government of India in the sea across the coastal belt demonstrating solidarity with all fisherfolk, fish farmers and concerned stakeholders as a spirit of 75th Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.
  • Objectives
    • to resolve the issues of the fishers and other stakeholders 
    • facilitate their economic upliftment through various fisheries schemes and programs being implemented by the Government of India such as PMMSY.
    • to focus on sustainable balance between the utilization of marine fisheries resources for the food security of the nation and livelihoods of coastal fisher communities.
  • The Phase –I and Phase- II programmes of ‘Sagar Parikrama’ have been organized in March 2022 and September 2022 respectively.
  • Sagar Parikrama program shall be celebrated in all coastal States/UTs through a pre-decided sea route from Gujarat, Diu, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, Andaman & Nicobar, and Lakshadweep Islands.
  • The Parikrama shall be accompanied by the State Fisheries officials, Fishermen representatives, Fish-Farmers entrepreneurs, stakeholders, professionals, officials and Scientists from across the nation.


  • The programme will have an interaction with fishermen, fisher communities and stakeholders  in order to know the problems of Coastal Fisher folk.
  • to improve the quality of life and economic well-being of people in rural areas. 
  • to create more livelihood opportunities, a holistic approach has been adopted by the Government of India to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Key Facts about Indian Coastline and Marine EconomyThe Country has a coastline of 8118km, covering 9 maritime States &4Union Territories and providing livelihood support to 2.8 million coastal fisher folk. India contributes 8% of the global share of fish production and is ranked 3rd largest fish producer in the world. The total fish production of the nation is 162.48 lakh tonnes, of which 121.21 lakh tonnes are from inland and 41.27 lakh tonnes from marine. The value of fisheries exports stood at INR 57,586.48 crores. The sector shows a steady growth rate in GVA accounting for a 6.72% share of Agriculture GDP and contributing to about 17% of agriculture exports.


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