DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam –19th July 2023

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  • July 19, 2023
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Veer Savarkar International Airport


  • Prelims –Governance

Context: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the integrated terminal building of Veer Savarkar International Airport, at Port Blair, Andaman &Nicobar. .

About Veer Savarkar International Airport

  • It is located 2 km south of Port Blair.
  • It is the main airport of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India.
  • In 2002, Port Blair Airport at Andaman and Nicobar’s Island was renamed after Veer Savarkar International Airport.
  • The Airport’s architecture is inspired by nature.
  • It features a shell-shaped architecture that depicts the sea and islands.
  • The airport design was structured keeping in mind the ecological aspect of the island and some of the sustainability features.
    • These include like a double insulated roofing system to reduce heat gain and skylights to provide maximum inlet of abundant natural sunlight during day time to reduce artificial light usage inside the building.
  • It is a civil airport, and its facilities are shared with the Indian Navy.
  • Administration: The terminal is managed by the Airports Authority of India, while the traffic is handled by the Indian Navy. (UPSC CSE: Reforms In Civil Aviation Industry)

About Veer Savarkar

  • He was a freedom fighter and politician.
  • Born May 28, 1883.
  • He was born in Maharashtra’s Nashik.
  • Death: February 26, 1966.
  • Savarkar entered the Hindu Mahasabha and popularized Chandranath Basu’s term Hindutva to establish a collective “Hindu” identity as an essence of Bharat (India).
  • He coined the Hindu nationalist ideology of
  • He founded the organizations Abhinav Bharat Society and Free India Society.
    • Abhinav Bharat Society (Young India Society): it was an Indian Independence secret society founded by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and his brother Ganesh Damodar Savarkar in
    • The Free India Society: it was formed by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in London in 1906.
  • He organized a youth group named ‘Mitra Mela’ in 1899.
  • He was the president of Hindu Mahasabha from 1937 to 1943.
  • He was the first to acknowledge the mutiny of 1857 as the first struggle for Independence.
  • He wrote the book ‘The History of the War of Indian Independence’.
  • He championed atheism and rationality and disapproved of orthodox Hindu belief.
  • He even dismissed cow worship as superstitious.
  • He created the Aryan Weekly, a handwritten weekly in which he published illuminating articles on patriotism, literature, history, and science.
  • He was sentenced to 50 years in the cellular jail of Andamans for revolting against the Morley-Minto reforms (Indian Councils Act 1909) in 1911.
  • He was a critic of the Indian National Congress and its acceptance of India’s partition and of Mahatma Gandhi.

MUST READ: Kushinagar International Airport



Q.1) By which one of the following Acts was the Governor General of Bengal, designated as the Governor General

of India? (2023)

  1. The Regulating Act
  2. The Pitt’s India Act
  3. The Charter Act of 1793
  4. The Charter Act of 1833

Q.2) Consider the following freedom fighters (2023)

  1. Barindra Kumar Ghosh
  2. Jogesh Chandra Chatterjee
  3. Rash Behari Bose

Who of the above was/were actively associated with the Ghadar Party?

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 2 only
  3. 1 and 3
  4. 3 only

Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA)


  • Prelims –Environment and Ecology

Context: The 19th session of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA) was held in Rome, Italy.

About Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA):-

  • Established in 1983.
  • The Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA) is the only permanent intergovernmental body focused on conserving all types of biodiversity for food and agriculture.
  • Members: The Commission consists of 179 Member States and the European Union.
  • Objective: to promote international policies for the sustainable use and conservation of genetic resources for food and agriculture, while also ensuring that benefits derived from biodiversity are fairly and equitably shared.
  • The Commission offers a unique platform for its members and other stakeholder to promote a world without hunger by fostering the use and development of the whole portfolio of biodiversity important to food security and rural poverty.
  • The CGRFA meets regularly to address policies on genetic resources for food and agriculture.(UPSC CSE: – GM Crops and their regulation)

19th session of the CGRFA

  • Venue: FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy.(UPSC CSE: Intergovernmental Technical Working Group on Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (WG AnGR))
  • Date: from 17 to 21 July 2023.
  • Organized by: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
  • Focus areas: the state of the world’s forest and plant genetic resources, access and benefit-sharing policies, and biotechnologies for the conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources.
  • The Commission will also discuss:-
    • a Framework for Action on Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture.
    • the role of genetic resources for food and agriculture in mitigation of and adaptation to climate change
    • microorganism and invertebrate genetic resources, including pollinator and biological control agents

MUST READ: Food Security in India



Q.1) Consider the following statements: (2023)


According to the United. Nations ‘World Water Development Report, 2022’, India extracts more than a quarter of the world’s groundwater withdrawal each year.


India needs to extract more than a quarter of the world’s groundwater each year to satisfy the drinking water and sanitation needs of almost 18% of the world’s population living in its territory.

Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements?

  1. Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II is the correct explanation for Statement-I
  2. Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II is not the correct explanation for Statement-I
  3. Statement-I is correct but Statement II is incorrect
  4. Statement-I is incorrect but Statement II is correct

Q.2) Consider the following statements: (2022)

  1. “The Climate Group” is an international non-profit organization that drives climate action by building large networks and running them.
  2. The International Energy Agency in partnership with the Climate Group launched a global initiative “EP100”.
  3. EP100 brings together leading companies committed to driving innovation in energy efficiency and increasing competitiveness while delivering on emission reduction goals.
  4. Some Indian companies are members of EP100.
  5. The International Energy Agency is the Secretariat to the “Under2 Coalition”.

Which of the statements given above is correct?

  1. 1, 2, 4 and 5
  2. 1, 3 and 4 only
  3. 2, 3 and 5 only
  4. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Gambusia fish


  • Prelims –Environment and Ecology

Context: The Andhra Pradesh government released 10 million Gambusia fish to the water bodies to combat mosquito-borne diseases like malaria and dengue.

About Gambusia fish:-

  • Gambusia affinis is a freshwater fish. (UPSC CSE: Puffer Fish)
  • It belongs to the genus Gambusia.
  • Distribution: Gambusia affinis (G affinis) is native to the waters of the southeastern United States.
  • G affinis has a sister species, Gambusia holbrooki (G holbrooki), also known as the eastern mosquito fish.
  • The fish has a high breeding capacity.
  • A single female may produce between 900 and 1,200 offspring during its lifespan.
  • This fish is described as a very hardy fish and can adapt to wide variations in temperature as well as to the chemical and organic content of the water but does not tolerate very high organic pollution.

Mosquito Fish:-

  • It is also known as mosquito fish and has been a part of mosquito-control strategies for over a century in various parts of the world, including India. (UPSC CSE: Malaria Vaccine)
  • A single full-grown fish eats about 100 to 300 mosquito larvae per day.
  • Mosquitofish has been part of various malaria control strategies in India since 1928, including the Urban Malaria Scheme.
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature(IUCN) declared Gambusia one of the 100 worst invasive alien species in the world.
    • Invasive alien species: animals, plants or other organisms that are introduced by humans, either intentionally or accidentally, into places outside of their natural range, negatively impacting native biodiversity, ecosystem services or human economy and well-being.
  • It is declared an invasive alien species in India as well.
  • In India, mosquitofish affected the ecosystem health of the lake after its introduction into the Nainital Lake in the 1990s to control malaria.

 MUST READ: Zebrafish



Q.1) ‘Invasive Species Specialist group’ (that develops Global Invasive Species Database) belongs to which one of the

following organizations? (2023)

  1. The International Union for Conservation of Nature
  2. The United Nations Environment Programme
  3. The United Nations World Commission for Environment and Development
  4. The World Wide Fund for Nature

Q.2) Which one of the following is a filter feeder? (2021)

  1. Catfish
  2. Octopus
  3. Oyster
  4. Pelican

External commercial borrowings (ECBs)


  • Prelims –Economy

Context: Recent increase in External commercial borrowings (ECBs) signal the revival of private capital expenditure (Cap Ex) .


  • Agreements for external commercial borrowings (ECBs) signed by Corporate India jumped to a massive $12 billion in the April-June quarter, three times the level in the year-ago period, and as much as 80% of the inflows during the whole of the last financial year.
  • Nearly two-thirds of the ECBs registered in the quarter were for investment activities.

About External commercial borrowings (ECBs)

IMAGE SOURCE: efinancemanagement.com

  • External commercial borrowing (ECB) is borrowing made in foreign currency by non-resident lenders to Indian borrowers.
  • It is an instrument used in India to facilitate Indian companies to raise money outside the country in foreign currency.
  • The government of India permits Indian corporates to raise money via ECB for the expansion of existing capacity as well as for fresh investments.
  • Implementing Agencies: The DEA (Department of Economic Affairs), Ministry of Finance, along with Reserve Bank of India, monitors and regulates ECB guidelines and policies. (UPSC CSE: RBI relaxed norms to stem rupee slide and to forex inflows)

Benefits of ECB:-

  • ECBs provide an opportunity to borrow large volumes of funds.
  • The funds are available for a relatively long term.
  • The cost of funds is usually cheaper from external sources if borrowed from economies with a lower interest rate.
    • For example Indian companies can usually borrow at lower rates from the U.S. and the Eurozone as interest rates are lower there compared to the home country, India.
  • Availability of a larger market can help companies satisfy larger requirements from global players better than what can be achieved domestically.
  • ECB is just a form of a loan and may not be of an equity nature or convertible to equity. Hence, it does not dilute the stake in the company and can be done without giving away control because debtors do not enjoy voting rights.
  • The borrower can diversify the investor base.
  • It provides access to international markets. (UPSC CSE: Hyper globalisation)
  • The economy also enjoys benefits, as the government can direct inflows into the sector and have the potential to grow.

Disadvantages of ECB

  • Availability of funds at a cheaper rate may bring in a lax attitude on the company’s side, resulting in excessive borrowing.
    • This eventually results in higher (than requirement) debt on the balance sheet, which may affect many financial ratios adversely.
  • Higher debt on the company’s balance sheet is usually viewed negatively by the rating agencies, resulting in a possible downgrade by rating agencies which eventually might increase the cost of debt.
  • This may also tarnish the company’s image in the market and the market value of the shares too in eventual times.
  • Since the borrowing is foreign currency-denominated, the repayment of the principal and the interest needs to be made in foreign currency, exposing the company to exchange rate risk.

MUST READ: Rupee appreciation and depreciation



Q.1) Consider the following markets: (2023)

  1. Government Bond Market
  2. Call Money Market
  3. Treasury Bill Market
  4. Stock Market

How many of the above are included in capital markets?

  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. Only three
  4. All four

Q.2) Consider the following statements: (2022)

  1. Tight monetary policy of the US Federal Reserve could lead to capital flight.
  2. Capital flight may increase the interest cost of firms with existing External Commercial Borrowings (ECBs).
  3. Devaluation of domestic currency decreases the currency risk associated with ECBS.

Which of the statements given above is correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Gomti River


  • Prelims –Geography/Environment and Ecology

Context: A 2020 order declaring Gomti a ‘non-perennial river’ have drawn criticism recently.


  • A three-year-old government order (GO) issued by the irrigation department of the Uttar Pradesh government declaring the Gomti as a “non-perennial river” has drawn flak from water experts and river rights activists.
  • The GO has surfaced recently but was issued on September 3, 2020.

About Gomti River:-

IMAGE SOURCE: ResearchGate

  • Gomti is a tributary of the Ganga River. (UPSC CSE: Himalayan River System)
  • Origin: It originates near Mainkot, from Gomat Taala Lake also known as Fulhar Jheel in Madhotanda. This is located around 30 kilometers from Pilibhit town in Uttar Pradesh(UP).
  • Drainage and End: The River flows through Sitapur, Lucknow, Barabanki, Sultanpur and Jaunpur before meeting the Ganga at Kaithi, Ghazipur district. (UPSC CSE: Linking Rivers)

Ecological Importance of Gomti River:-

  • The River serves as a lifeline for the ecosystem it nurtures.
  • Its waters support a rich biodiversity, providing habitat for various aquatic species, including fish, turtles, and waterfowl.
  • The river basin is also home to a diverse range of flora, including submerged plants, floating vegetation, and riparian trees.
  • The Gomti River plays a crucial role in maintaining the ecological balance and contributing to the overall health of the region.

Cultural Significance of Gomti River:-

  • It has deep cultural and historical roots, being associated with ancient tales and legends.
  • It holds great significance in Hindu mythology, as it is believed to be a sacred river that purifies the souls of those who take a dip in its waters.
  • The banks of the river are dotted with numerous ghats, temples, and shrines, attracting pilgrims and tourists alike.

Significance for Agriculture:-

  • The fertile lands along the banks of the Gomti River provide excellent agricultural opportunities for the surrounding communities.
  • The river’s waters are extensively used for irrigation, enabling the cultivation of crops such as rice, wheat, sugarcane, and vegetables.
  • The agricultural practices supported by the Gomti River contribute significantly to the local economy and food security.

 MUST READ: Cleaning of River Ganga



Q.1) With reference to the role of biofilters in Recirculating Aquaculture Systems, consider the following statements: (2023)

  1. Biofilters provide waste treatment by removing uneaten fish feed.
  2. Biofilters convert ammonia present in fish waste to nitrate.
  3. Biofilters increase phosphorus as a nutrient for fish in water.

How many of the statements given above are correct?

  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. All three
  4. None

Q.2) Gandikota canyon of South India was created by which one of the following rivers? (2022)

  1. Cauvery
  2. Manjira
  3. Pennar
  4. Tungabhadra

Advance Authorisation Scheme


  • Prelims –Economy

Context: Recently, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) implemented the Advance Authorisation Scheme.


  • The DGFT has created a user-friendly and searchable database of Ad-hoc Norms fixed in previous years.
  • These norms can be used by any exporter without requiring a Norms Committee review as outlined in the Foreign Trade Policy 2023.
  • The database is hosted on the DGFT Website.

About Advance Authorisation Scheme:-

  • It is a type of duty exemption scheme. (UPSC CSE: AAS)
  • Launched: It was introduced by the Government of India under the Foreign Trade Policy 2015-2020.
  • Objective: to make India’s products competitive in the global market.
  • Under this scheme, exemption from the payment of import duties is given to raw materials/inputs required for the manufacture of export products.
  • The eligibility of inputs is determined by Sector-specific Norms Committees based on input-output norms.
  • The quantity of inputs allowed for a given product is based on specific norms defined for that export product, which considers the waste generated in the manufacturing process.
  • DGFT provides a sector-wise list of Standard Input-Output Norms (SION) under which the exporters may choose to apply.
    • Alternatively, exporters may apply for their own ad-hoc norms in cases where the SION does not suit the exporter.
  • Prerequisites for Applying:
    • To apply for an Advance Authorization scheme, an Import-Export Code (IEC) is required.
    • Other prerequisites are mentioned in Chapter 4 of Foreign Trade Policy and Handbook of Procedures.

Exemptions under Advance Authorisation Scheme:-

  • Under the Advance Authorization Scheme, the basic customs duty, education cess, social welfare cess, anti-dumping duty, countervailing duty, and safeguard duties are exempt.
  • IGST and compensation cess are also exempted.

Eligibility for Advance Authorisation Scheme:-

  • Benefits of DGFT Advance License can be availed of by the manufacturer exporter or merchant exporter with a link to the supporting manufacturer.
  • It is also available to sub-contractors of projects where the name of the sub-contractor appears in the contract, in case of supply to the UN or other aid programs.
  • Payment for such types of contracts must be received in freely convertible foreign exchange.
  • It is issued for physical exports, including exports to SEZs, intermediate supplies, and supply of stores onboard vessels/aircraft, subject to conditions.

About Directorate General of Foreign Trade

  • Establishment: 1991.
  • HQ: New Delhi.
  • Ministry: Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • Headed by: Director General of Foreign Trade.
  • Objective: promoting India’s exports.

Functions of DGCI:-

  • Licensing of imports and exports.
  • Regulate, restrict or prohibit exports and imports. (UPSC CSE: Free Trade Agreements )
  • Providing a complete database of all exporters and importers in India.
  • It has the authority to prohibit, restrict, and regulate importers and exporters.
  • It plays an advisory role to the Government on Policy measures pertaining to national and international economic scenarios.
  • It is responsible for formulating and implementing the Foreign Trade Policy. (UPSC CSE: New Foreign Trade Policy)
  • It also issues scrips/authorization to exporters and monitors their corresponding obligations.

MUST READ: Conditional Market Authorization



Q.1) With reference to Central Bank digital currencies, consider the following statements: (2023)

  1. It is possible to make payments in a digital currency without using the US dollar or the SWIFT system.
  2. A digital currency can be distributed with a condition programmed into it such as a timeframe for spending it.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Q.2) With reference to the Indian economy, consider the following statements: (2022)

  1. An increase in Nominal Effective Exchange Rate (NEER) indicates the appreciation of the rupee.
  2. An increase in the Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) indicates an improvement in trade competitiveness.
  3. An increasing trend in domestic inflation relative to inflation in other countries is likely to cause an increasing divergence between NEER and REER.

Which of the above statements is correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3


GM mustard


  •     Mains – GS 3 (Science and Technology)

Context: A determined battle by environmentalists in the Supreme Court of India against Delhi University’s genetically modified (GM) herbicide-tolerant (HT) mustard is all that stands between GM food and Indian farmers and consumers.

About GM crops:

  • GM food involves the editing of genes of a crop in such a way that it incorporates beneficial traits from another crop or organism.
  • This could mean changing the way the plant grows, or making it resistant to a particular disease.
  • Food produced using the edited crop is called GM food. This is done using the tools of genetic engineering.

GM crops in India

Bt cotton:

  • Bt cotton, the only GM crop that is allowed in India, has two alien genes from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) that allows the crop to develop a protein toxic to the common pest pink bollworm.
  • On the other hand, Bt cotton is derived with the insertion of an additional gene, from another soil bacterium, which allows the plant to resist the common herbicide glyphosate.

Bt Brinjal:

  • In Bt brinjal, a gene allows the plant to resist attacks of fruit and shoot borer.
  • In Bt brinjal, a gene permits the plant to resist attacks of fruit and shoot borers.
  • Previously, the government has put on hold the commercial release of genetically modified (GM) mustard due to stiff opposition from anti-GMO activists and NGOs.

DMH 11 Mustard:

  • In DMH-11 mustard, developed by Deepak Pental and colleagues in the South Campus of the University of Delhi, genetic modification allows cross-pollination in a crop that self-pollinates in nature.

Advantages of GMO crops

Potential benefits for agricultural productivity:

  • Better resistance to stress: If crops can be made more resistant to pest outbreaks, weather conditions such as frost, extreme heat or drought, it would reduce the danger of crop failure.
  • More nutritious staple foods: By inserting genes into crops such as rice and wheat, we can increase their food value.
    • For example, genes responsible for producing the precursor of vitamin A have been inserted into rice plants, which have higher levels of vitamin A in their grain.
    • This is called Golden Rice.

Potential benefits for the environment:

  • More food from less land: Improved productivity from GMOs might mean that farmers will not have to bring more land into cultivation.
  • Rehabilitation of damaged or less-fertile land: Large areas of cropland in the developing world have become saline due to unsustainable irrigation practices. Genetic modification could produce salt-tolerant varieties.
  • Bioremediation: Rehabilitation of damaged land may also become possible through organisms bred to restore nutrients and soil structure.
  • Longer shelf lives: The genetic modification of fruits and vegetables can make them less likely to spoil in storage or on the way to market.

Concerns related to Transgenic Crops:

  • Lack Nutritional Value: GM foods can sometimes lack nutritional value despite their increased production and pest resistance focus. This is because the emphasis is often placed on enhancing certain traits rather than nutritional content.
  • Risks to Ecosystems: GM production can also pose risks to ecosystems and biodiversity. It may disrupt gene flow and harm indigenous varieties, leading to a loss of diversity in the long run.
  • Trigger Allergic Reactions: Genetically modified foods have the potential to trigger allergic reactions since they are biologically altered. This can be problematic for individual’s accustomed to conventional varieties.
  • Endangered Animals: Wildlife is also at risk due to GM crops. For instance, genetically modified plants used for producing plastic or pharmaceuticals can endanger animals like mice or deer that consume crop debris left in fields after harvest.

Legal position of genetically modified crops in India

  • In India, the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) is the apex body that allows for the commercial release of GM crops.
  • In 2002, the GEAC had allowed the commercial release of Bt cotton.
  • Use of the unapproved GM variant can attract a jail term of 5 years and a fine of Rs 1 lakh under the Environmental Protection Act,1986.
  • The Central government had for the first time exempted certain types of genome-edited crops from the stringent regulations applicable on genetically modified or GM crops, paving the way for further R&D on them.
  • The Ministry of Environment and Forests had, in the order, exempted SDN1 and SDN2 genome edited plants from Rules 7-11 of the Environment Protect Act (EPA) for manufacture, use or import or export and storage of hazardous microorganisms or genetically engineered organisms or cells rules-1989.
  • Recently ,the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) issued guidelines easing norms for research into Genetically Modified (GM) crops and circumventing challenges of using foreign genes to change crops profile.

Misleading the court

  • In recent hearings in the Supreme Court, to get around the growing evidence of long-term ecological and health risks of HT crops, the government has argued that GM mustard should not be considered HT at all — since the objective for developing it was to improve yields.
  • In fact, a crop that can withstand herbicides is an HT crop.
  • As far as the science of biotechnology and ecology go, there is no doubt that GM mustard is an HT crop.

Way Forward:

Genetically modified foods can potentially solve many hunger and malnutrition problems in the world, as well as help protect and preserve the environment by increasing yields and reducing reliance upon chemical pesticides and herbicides. However, it is important to proceed with caution to avoid unfavourable consequences for the surroundings and our health, considering that genetic engineering technology is very powerful.

Source:   The Hindu

India-UAE Relations


  • Mains – GS 2 (International Relations)

Context: During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the UAE, the RBI and its counterpart the Central Bank of the UAE signed two memoranda of understanding (MoUs).

  • While the first established a framework to promote the use of local currencies for cross-border transactions, the other was for interlinking payment systems.

India-UAE Bilateral Relations

Political and Diplomatic Relations:

  • India and the UAE have established a comprehensive strategic partnership, leading to high-level visits and engagements.
  • This includes the historic visit of the Indian Prime Minister to the UAE in 2015, which marked the beginning of a new strategic partnership.
    • The UAE’s Crown Prince also visited India in 2017.
  • The two countries have institutionalized their political and diplomatic engagements through mechanisms like the UAE-India Strategic Dialogue.
  • India was invited as the Guest of Honour for the sixth World Government Summit. For this, Prime Minister of India paid a State visit to the UAE in February 2018 further enriching the rapport established at the highest political levels between India and the UAE.
  • Modi’s last visit to the UAE was in August 2019, when he received the UAE’s highest award, ‘Order of Zayed’.

Trade and Investment:

  • The UAE is India’s third-largest trade partner and second-largest export destination.
  • Bilateral trade reached approximately USD 72 billion in the fiscal year 2021-22.
  • The UAE has made substantial investments in India, with sectors such as construction development, power, air transport, tourism, and metallurgical industries receiving significant investment.
  • The first meeting of the Joint Committee of the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) that took place recently, in which the target of achieving USD 100 billion in bilateral trade by 2030 was set.
  • The CEPA, which was implemented in May 2022, aims to promote economic cooperation and enhance trade relations between India and the UAE.
    • It focuses on expanding non-oil sectors of trade, indicating that the target of USD 100 billion will not include oil trade.
  • To facilitate the implementation of the agreement and address various trade-related issues, several sub-committees and councils will be established.
  • One such sub-committee will specifically handle matters pertaining to services trade.
  • India’s major export items to the UAE are Precious Metals, Stones, Gems & Jewellery, Minerals & Refined Petroleum Products, Food Items (Cereals, Sugar, Fruits & Vegetables, Tea, Meat, and Seafood), Textiles (Garments, Apparel, Synthetic fiber, Cotton, Yarn) and Engineering & Machinery Products and Chemicals.
  • India’s major import items from the UAE are Petroleum and Petroleum Products, Precious Metals, Stones, Gems & Jewellery, Minerals, Chemicals, Wood & Wood Products.

Defence and Security Cooperation:

  • Bilateral Defence Interaction between India and UAE has been steadily growing in accordance with other aspects of the bilateral relationship.
  • There have been regular high level and functional level exchanges between the two countries.
  • The ships of the Navies of both countries have regularly made port calls enhancing bilateral defence co-operation.
  • India and UAE signed a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2017, and hold annual defence dialogues.
    • More recently, UAE is a key part of the Indian Ocean Region dialogue.
  • Both sides take part in military exercises with each other and there have been several military chiefs’ visits.
  • The maiden bilateral naval exercise ‘Gulf Star 1′ took place in March 2018.
  • ‘Desert Eagle II’, a ten-day air combat exercise, was held between the air forces of India and UAE.

Space Cooperation

  • Space is a new arena in which India and the UAE have collaborated through the work of the UAE Space Agency (UAESA) and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
  • Space cooperation between India and the UAE gained quick momentum during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the Emirates in 2015.
  • Together, the two space agencies have developed the nano-satellite, Nayif-1, which was launched from the Satish Dhavan Space Centre, Sriharikota in India.
  • The two countries are likely to work together on Emirates’ ‘Red planet Mission’.

Indian Community:

  • The Indian expatriate community of approximately 4 million is the largest ethnic community in UAE constituting roughly about 35% of the country’s population.

Challenges in India-UAE Relations:

  • Slow implementation of investments: The establishment of a $75 billion investment fund by the UAE for infrastructure projects in India, announced in 2015, has faced delays in finalizing the modalities and governance structure.
    • This slow implementation hampers the realization of investment commitments.
  • Lack of clarity and transparency: Indian companies operating in the UAE often face challenges due to a lack of clarity in commercial regulations and labor laws.
    • Additionally, a lack of transparency on the part of Emirati businesses adds to the difficulties faced by Indian companies.
  • Issues concerning the Indian diaspora: Indian migrants in the UAE face cumbersome and strict regulations, particularly in relation to Emirati employers.
    • Problems such as favouritism towards workers of other nationalities and a slight drop in remittances inflow from the UAE to India have been observed.
  • Influence of the Pakistan factor: Historical and civilizational ties between India and the Gulf region are strained due to the influence of the Pakistan factor.
    • Political relations are affected by tensions between India and Pakistan, which impact India’s relations with countries in the region.
  • Balancing geopolitics: India’s relations with Iran and the UAE’s relations with China create a dynamic where geopolitical considerations can sometimes challenge the bilateral relationship between India and the UAE.
  • Energy pricing disagreements: As an OPEC country, the UAE has a different perspective on energy pricing compared to India, a major oil consumer. Disagreements over energy pricing, including India’s call for a cap on prices, have led to heated exchanges between oil ministers in the past.

Way Forward:

The UAE today is India’s closest partner in the Arab world and fortunately, there is enough resilience in bilateral ties to withstand the recent convulsions. It continue to forge closer partnership in these areas, building on their close and friendly relations and historical people-to-people connect. India-UAE has a strong energy partnership, which is now acquiring a new focus on renewable energy.

Source:  The Hindu

Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q1) Consider the following statements


India is a party to the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture’s (CGRFA).


Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture’s (CGRFA) membership is open to all Members of FAO.

Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements?

  1. Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II is the correct explanation for Statement-I
  2. Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II is not the correct explanation for Statement-I
  3. Statement-I is correct but Statement II is incorrect
  4. Statement-I is incorrect but Statement II is correct

Q2) Consider the following statements


External commercial borrowings (ECB) provide an opportunity to borrow large volumes of funds.


The funds are available for a relatively long term.

Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements?

  1. Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II is the correct explanation for Statement-I
  2. Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II is not the correct explanation for Statement-I
  3. Statement-I is correct but Statement II is incorrect
  4. Statement-I is incorrect but Statement II is correct

Q3) Consider the following pairs:

                   River                                              Origin

  1. Son:                                            Amarkantak Hills, Madhya Pradesh
  2. Gomti:                                       Gomat Taal, Uttarakhand
  3. Ghaggar:                                   Shivalik Hills, Himachal Pradesh

How many of the above pairs are correctly matched?

  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. Only three
  4. None

Mains Practice Questions

Q.1) What are the current issues related to GM crops in India? What are your views on adoption of GM technologies? Substantiate. (250 words)

Q.2) India and UAE are entering a golden era of economic and trade cooperation with the recent agreements signed by both the sides. Discuss (250 words)

Comment the answers to the above questions in the comment section below!!

ANSWERS FOR ’ 19th July 2023 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.st

ANSWERS FOR 18th July – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – b

Q.2) – d

Q.3) -a

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