Scope of Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) Framework

In News

  • India is pressing for expanding the scope of the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) at the G20 to include non-financial assets, like real estate properties, under the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) among OECD countries.

The rationale behind India’s Demand 

  • As per the OECD’s Tax Transparency report, amid the current geopolitical and debt crisis, there is a need to check tax evasion and illicit financial flows, especially by Asian nations which are estimated to have lost €25 billion in revenue in 2016.
    • The current global landscape makes the fight against tax evasion and other illicit financial flows (IFFs) even more pressing: the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the geopolitical crisis resulted in slower economic growth
    • Tax evasion and other forms of IFFs are a global problem that hinder domestic revenue mobilisation. 
  • Therefore, there is a need to broaden the scope of AEOI so that the information could be used not only to check tax evasion but also for other non-tax law enforcement purposes.
  • There is also a need to expand the CRS from financial to new other non-financial accounts and assets because the risks are not only in financial assets, there is a risk of tax evasion in non-financial and real assets, properties, etc.

About Automatic exchange of information (AEOI) framework

  • It provides for the automatic exchange of a predefined set of information between tax authorities. 
  • The AEOI Standard requires the annual exchange of information on financial accounts held by non-resident individuals and entities in a pre-defined format.
    • The information exchanged includes details about the financial account (e.g. the financial institution maintaining it, the account number and the account balance) and details about the account holder (e.g. their name, address, date of birth, and taxpayer identification number).
  • Importance: Under the AEOI framework, signatory countries follow a CRS and obtain information from their financial institutions and automatically exchange that information with other jurisdictions on an annual basis.
    • the AEOI Standard provides a powerful tool to help deter and identify offshore tax evasion through holding financial assets abroad. 
    • It provides for sharing of financial account details among signatory countries with the aim to check tax evasion. 
  • Developments:  In August 2022, the OECD also approved the Crypto-Asset Reporting Framework (CARF) which provides for the reporting of tax information on transactions in crypto assets in a standardised manner, with a view to automatically exchanging such information.
  • Indian Scenario:  India currently has AEOI with 108 jurisdictions for receiving financial information and with 79 jurisdictions for sending information automatically.
The Common Reporting Standard (CRS) It was developed in response to the G20 request and approved by the OECD Council in 2014.It calls on jurisdictions to obtain information from their financial institutions and automatically exchange that information with other jurisdictions on an annual basis. Non-financial assetsNon-financial assets held by households include in theory, both produced and non-produced nonfinancial assets and therefore include Dwellings and other buildings and structures and land improvements; Machinery and equipment including livestock; and even intellectual property products, such as software and literary originals, and non-produced assets such as land and taxi-licenses.In practice dwellings form by far the most significant component.Except for dwellings, only those assets owned by household unincorporated enterprises, and used in production, are included as non-financial assets. For example a car used by a household purely for household transport is not a nonfinancial asset whereas a car used by a selfemployed taxi driver is.Do you Know?The ‘Tax Transparency in Asia 2023’ report was launched at the meeting of the Asia Initiative of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.Currently, 167 jurisdictions are members of the Global Forum which include all G20 countries.The report is a key output of the Bali Declaration. It aims to show the Asian countries’ progress in the last decade and to guide the future work of the Asia Initiative.

Rising Sea Level

In News

  • The ‘State of the Global Climate 2022’ report released by WMO highlighted that sea level is rising at an unprecedented rate.

More about Report

  • The rate of global mean sea-level [GSML] rise has doubled in three decades i.e., rate of sea-level rise was 2.27 mm/year in 1993-2002, it shot up to 4.62 mm/year in 2013-2022.

Global mean temperature in 2022 was 1.15 ± 0.13 °C above the 1850-1900 average. The years 2015 to 2022 were the eight warmest in the instrumental record back to 1850.

  • Ocean Heat content (OHC) in 2022 touched a new record high. Around 90% of the energy trapped in the climate system by greenhouse gases goes into the ocean.
  • In 2022, 58 percent of the ocean surface suffered at least one marine heatwave event and 25 per cent of the surface experienced at least one marine cold spell.
  • Concentrations of the three main greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide – reached record observed highs in 2021.
  • Earth’s ice cover known as cryosphere has thinned. The cumulative thickness loss since 1970 amounts to almost 30?m. Six of the ten most negative mass balance years on record (1950-2022) occurred since 2015
  • Ocean Acidification: Global mean ocean pH has been steadily declining at rates not seen for at least the past 26,000 years.

What causes accelerated sea-level rise?

  • According to the report during 2005-2019:


  • Increase inFrequency of cyclones: This will affect coastal communities and lead to large economic liabilities for tropical countries like India and South Africa, which have high population densities. For instance, South Africa was affected by five cyclones in over two months in 2022.
  • Salinization of Groundwater: More seawater could seep into the ground, leading to the groundwater – which is usually freshwater – turning more and more saline. This in turn can exacerbate water crises in coastal areas as well as agriculture in adjacent regions.
  • Forced migration: coastal ecosystems could be “completely changed”. In the Sundarbans delta in West Bengal, rising sea levels and coastal erosion has forced members of local communities to migrate.
  • Record breaking rain: For instance, extensive flooding in Pakistan.
  • Record breaking heat waves affected Europe during the summer. China had its most extensive and long-lasting heatwave since national records began
  • Food insecurity: As of 2021, 2.3 billion people faced food insecurity, of which 924 million people faced severe food insecurity.
Additional Reports and Data

About World Meteorological Organization (WMO) It is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 193 Member States and Territories. The Secretariat, headquartered in Geneva.It originated from the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), the roots of which were planted at the 1873 Vienna International Meteorological Congress. It was established by the ratification of the WMO Convention in 1950, WMO became the specialized agency of the United Nations for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences.

Preparedness and Resilience for Emerging Threats (PRET) Initiative

In News 

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a new initiative to be better prepared for future outbreaks of a similar scale and devastation as the COVID-19 pandemic.

More about the PRET Initiative

  • Global Meeting for Future Respiratory Pathogen Pandemics:
    • The initiative was announced at the Global Meeting for Future Respiratory Pathogen Pandemics held in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Aim:
    • The Preparedness and Resilience for Emerging Threats (PRET) Initiative is aimed at providing “guidance on integrated planning for responding to any respiratory pathogen such as influenza or coronaviruses”.
  • Immediate focus of the mission:
    • While the current focus of PRET will be on respiratory viruses — in the backdrop of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak.
      • Possible threat of an avian influenza outbreak work is already underway to assess what should be the next group of pathogens to be mitigated under this initiative. 
  • Approach:
    • The three-pronged approach includes: 
      • Updating preparedness plans that affirm priority actions, 
      • Increase connectivity among stakeholders in pandemic preparedness planning through systematic coordination and cooperation and dedicate sustained investments, 
      • Financing and monitoring of pandemic preparedness with a special focus on bridging the lacunes highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • The PRET monitoring framework:
    • The framework is expected to be outlined soon, lists a host of actions which countries will be expected to work on with progress being achieved by December 2025. 

Challenges faced globally, during COVID pandemic

  • All countries had insufficient health capacities. This left the world acutely vulnerable to future health emergencies.
    • All countries remain dangerously unprepared for future epidemic and pandemic threats, including threats potentially more devastating than COVID-19. 
  • 65% of assessed countries had not published and implemented an overarching national public health emergency response plan for diseases with epidemic or pandemic potential.
  • 73% of countries did not have the ability to provide expedited approval for medical countermeasures, such as vaccines and antiviral drugs, during a public health emergency.
  • Most countries, including high-income ones, have not made dedicated financial investments in strengthening epidemic or pandemic preparedness.

India’s Health Sector

  • About:
    • India’s health care system consists of both public and private components:
      • The government healthcare system concentrates on establishing primary healthcare centers (PHCs) in rural areas while maintaining a small number of secondary and tertiary care facilities in major cities.
      • Majority of secondary, tertiary, and quaternary care facilities are run by the private sector, with a focus on metropolises and tier-I and tier-II cities.
    • In the Economic Survey of 2022, India’s public expenditure on healthcare stood at 2.1% of GDP in 2021-22 against 1.8% in 2020-21 and 1.3% in 2019-20.
  • Challenges:
    • Unequal distribution: 
      • India’s health care system is concentrated in urban areas with very little presence in the rural areas where majority of the population lives.
    • Low Budget Spending: 
      • India’s public expenditure on healthcare is only 2.1% of GDP in 2021-22 while Japan, Canada and France spend about 10% of their GDP on public healthcare.
    • Lack of Medical Research: 
      • In India, R&D and cutting-edge technology-led new projects receive little attention.
    • Low doctor-patient ratio: 
      • The doctor patient ratio in india is about 1:1500 much higher than the WHO norm of one doctor for every 1,000 people.
  • Initiatives: 
    • Pradhan Mantri-Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM): 
      • It aims to strengthen India’s health infrastructure and improve the country’s primary, secondary and tertiary care services.
    • Ayushman Bharat: 
      • Ayushman Bharat follows a two- pronged approach:
        • Creation of health and wellness centres to bring health care closer to homes.
        • Formulation of a Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) to protect poor and vulnerable families against financial risk arising out of health episodes.
    • Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission:
      • It aims to connect the digital health solutions of hospitals across the country. Under this, every citizen will now get a digital health ID and their health record will be digitally protected.
    • National Ayush Mission:
      • It is a centrally sponsored scheme  for the  development of traditional medicines 
    • Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY):
    • It aims to  correct regional imbalances in the availability of affordable/reliable tertiary healthcare services and also to augment facilities for quality medical education in the country

Suggestions for effective pandemic preparedness:

  • Prioritizing health security:
    • Prioritize the building and maintaining of health security capacities in national budgets as they are important for responding to routine health threats and can provide important benefits to countries’ overall health and development.
  • Transparency in capacities and risk factors:
    • National decision-makers need readily available information about their country’s plans and other capacities, and increased transparency is essential for a global prevention, detection, and response to epidemics and pandemics.
  • Conducting post COVID pandemic surveys:
    • Conduct comprehensive after-action COVID-19 pandemic reports so that they can learn from this crisis and ensure that capacities developed during the pandemic are expanded and sustained for future public health emergencies.
  • Global support:
    • Support countries in addressing the urgent global need to strengthen health systems as part of countries’ public health capacity-building efforts.
  • Community engagement and equity:
    • Just as health emergencies have impacts across many sectors, so must our preparedness and response efforts span sectors, disciplines and pathogens. 
    • It is critical, too, that community engagement and equity are the centre of our efforts, especially for those populations that are marginalised and most at risk.

Way ahead

  • The PRET Initiative ushers in a new era for pandemic preparedness and represents an evolution of WHO’s core activities to support all member states in strengthening health emergency preparedness, prevention, and response capacities and capabilities. 

India-UK NET zero innovation virtual center

In News

  • India and the United Kingdom have agreed to create India-UK NET zero innovation virtual center. 

About India-UK NET zero innovation virtual center

  • It will provide a platform to bring stakeholders from both countries together to work in some of the focus areas including the Decarbonization of manufacturing processes & transport systems and Green Hydrogen as a renewable source

Other Developments 

  • The close collaboration between the India-UK strengthened through an ambitious ‘Roadmap 2030’ that provides a framework for UK-India relations across health, climate, trade, education, science and technology, and defence.
  • the MOES and UK Met Office collaboration in weather and climate science aims to conduct joint research on natural hazards in the South Asian monsoon system, improve the modelling capabilities at different scales, and improve tools and techniques for risk based (ensemble) forecasting of natural hazards, 
  • the MOES-NEKTON joint research programme towards exploration and conservation of marine biodiversity under the Deep Ocean Mission in India.


  • The UK has emerged as India’s second-largest international research and innovation partner.
    • The India-UK Science & Technology (S&T) collaboration has been growing at a rapid pace and the joint research programme has gone from an almost zero base to close to £300-400 million now.
  • The partnership will provide a great mechanism to support research and innovation in both countries for long-term sustainable growth through expanding and maximizing cooperation in areas of mutual interest.
  • The revival of the DST Innovate UK Industrial R & D programme will provide opportunity to Indian and UK academia and industry for developing newer products/process together for economic growth of both nations.
Do you know?India is on the fast track move and the nation is determined to achieve its Climate Change and Environmental targets on time.Dwelling on the issue of India’s net zero journeys, energy efficiency and renewable energy are central pillars, where India has already taken lead by various initiatives like India Solar Alliance, Clean energy mission etc.

Revamped CGTMSE Scheme

In News

  • CGTMSE (Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises) has been provided with an additional corpus support of ?9,000 crore in the Union Budget for FY 2023-24 to revamp its Scheme to provide guarantee for additional ?2 lakh crore to Micro & Small Enterprises.

More changes in CGTMSE

  • The modifications included reduction in guarantee fees for loans up to ?1 crore by 50% bringing the minimum guarantee fee to the level of 0.37% pa only.
  • Another major change announced was raising of ceiling for guarantee from ?2 crore to ? 5 crore
  • Enhancing the threshold limit for claim settlement without initiation of legal action to ?10 lakh.

What is CGTMSE?

  • CGTMSE is jointly set up by the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME), Government of India and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) to catalyze flow of institutional credit to Micro & Small Enterprises (MSEs).
  • Established in 2000, CGTMSE has been instrumental in providing:

Guarantee cover to collateral and/or third party guarantee free credit facilities 

  • CGTMSE has created a new landmark by touching the milestone figure of approving guarantees worth `1 lakh crore during FY 2022 – 23.
Manufacturing Enterprises and Enterprises rendering Services Investment < 1 crore and Turnover <5 crore Investment < 10 crore and Turnover <50 croreInvestment < 20 crore and Turnover <250 crore


In News

  • The 7th edition of the joint military exercise “AJEYA WARRIOR-23” between India and the United Kingdom was conducted at Salisbury Plains, United Kingdom from 27 April to 11 May 2023. 

About Exercise AJEYA WARRIOR

  • It is a biennial training event with the United Kingdom.
  • It is conducted alternatively in the United Kingdom and India.
    • The last edition was held at Chaubatia, Uttarakhand in October 2021.
  •  Soldiers of the 2 Royal Gorkha Rifles from the UK and Indian Army soldiers from the BIHAR Regiment are participating in the exercise.


  • It involves a Command Post Exercise (CPX) at the Battalion level and Company level Field Training Exercise (FTX). 
  • During the exercise, participants will engage in various missions testing their operational acumen in various simulated situations; showcasing and refining their tactical drills, and learning from each other’s operational experience.

Objectives and Importance  

  • To build positive military relations, imbibe each other’s best practices, and promote the ability to operate together.
  • To develop inter-operability, bonhomie, camaraderie, and friendship between the two armies.

Army to raise Command Cyber Operations and Support Wings

In News

  • The Army Commanders Conference(ACC) has been concluded recently.

Major decisions Taken

  •  (ACC) had decided to operationalize Command Cyber Operations and Support Wings (CCOSWs) in the immediate future.
  • Convert the five-year Technical Entry Scheme (TES) for entry of officers to four years from January 2024

About Command Cyber Operations and Support Wings (CCOSWs)

  • These organizations will assist the formations to undertake the mandated cyber security functions to strengthen the cyber security posture of the Army.
  • CCOSWs are being raised to safeguard the networks and increase the preparedness levels in this specialized domain.
  • Cyberspace has emerged as an important component of the military domain both in grey-zone warfare as well as conventional operations.
  • The Indian Army today is rapidly migrating towards net-centricity, which entails increased reliance on modern communication systems at all levels.
  • A large number of niche (specialized) technology-enabled equipment are being inducted into the Indian Army including swarm drones, loitering weapon systems and ant-drone equipment.


  • Currently India has the five-year Technical Entry Scheme (TES) model. It is now decided to have a four-year (3+1) model, with three years devoted to technical training at CTW (Cadet Training Wings) followed by one year of Basic Military Training (BMT) at IMA, Dehradun.
Additional InformationThe Defence Cyber Agency (DCyA) is a tri-service command of the Indian Armed Forces. Headquartered in New Delhi, the agency is tasked with handling cyber security threats.Army General Insurance Fund (AGIF)Army Group Insurance Fund (AGIF) is a society registered under the Societies Registration Act XXI 1860.The AGIF administers and funds the insurance scheme for the welfare of Army personnel.AGIF provides life insurance cover to Army pers against all risks including war/ warlike situations, while in service and lump sum maturity benefits are paid at the time of retirement/release/discharge.Army Commanders’ Conference (ACC) Army Commanders’ Conference (ACC) is an apex-level biannual event which is an institutional platform for conceptual level deliberations, culminating in making important policy decisions for the Indian Army. The apex leadership also brainstorms current / emerging security scenarios and reviews operational preparedness of the Indian Army.

Sonorous Behaviour & Climate Change

In News

  • Researchers have recorded the bustling sounds of marine organisms in coral reefs off the coast of south Goa to understand their behaviour. 

More about the News

  • The researchers from the Indian Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) used hydrophones to eavesdrop on underwater organisms in a reef in the Arabian Sea.
    • Hydrophones are a low-cost means of monitoring species.
  • The technology can help researchers to study the abundance, diversity and behaviour of organisms. It can also reveal how they respond to climate change and anthropogenic disturbances.
  • Most fish vocalise in the frequency range of 100 Hertz (Hz) to 2,000 Hz, while shrimp use the 2,000-20,000 Hz range.
  • Hydrophones also pick up the sounds of wind (50-20,000 Hz) and oceanic traffic (10-10,000 Hz).

Key findings of the study

  • Link Between coral reef & Soniferous: If the coral reef system is healthy, fish will be there and the presence of soniferous (sound-producing) fish will generate sound. This can be monitored using simple hydrophone sensors.
    • Soniferous fish represent a group of vocal vertebrates that produce sounds during various social interactions.
  • Fish communication: It is more active in the pre-monsoon than in the post-monsoon season. Mating activities of fish are dominant in the pre-monsoon period.
    • For example, most fish are ectothermic, which means their activities are fully controlled by temperature.

International Quiet Ocean Experiment (IQOE)  

  • It is a programme aimed at understanding more about the effects of sound on marine organisms.
  • They used artificial intelligence and other techniques to identify the species making the noises, which included snapping shrimp as well as choruses of fish species that eat plankton – microscopic organisms that live in the ocean.


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