GS 2


  1. Israel, India, China : trade talks

The issue in news

Israel is in talks with India and China on trade agreements and hopes that border tensions between the two countries would be sorted out peacefully.

Main points

  • India and Israel are negotiating a limited trade deal for about 200 designated products.
  • Though the trade deal is not in an advanced stage, they are discussing lower tariffs on the products.
  • Israel is also planning to discuss India-United Arab Emirates (UAE)-Israel cooperation in a number of areas such as agriculture, technology and water once the UAE-Israel agreement is formally signed in September 2020.
  • Israel is also in talks for Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with South Korea, China and Vietnam.
  • In its first “Asia-Pacific Day”, inaugurated in August 2020, Israel hosted 11 Asian countries, including India, at a special event.
  • This was done with a view to increasing trade and investment with the East as a key priority for post-COVID-19 economic recovery.



  • China, Hong Kong and India are Israel’s biggest trading partners in Asia.
  • China and India established full diplomatic ties with Israel in 1992.
  • Since then, China’s trade has increased from $50 million to $15 billion.
  • India’s trade has grown from $200 million to about $5 billion.


  1. trilateral dialogue: India, Australia and France

The issue in news

India, Australia and France held the first trilateral dialogue, with a focus on enhancing cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.

Main points

  • The three countries discussed the best ways to strengthen and reform multilateralism.
  • They had an exchange on the priorities, challenges and trends in regional and global multilateral institutions.
  • Economic and geostrategic challenges and cooperation in the region, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and domestic responses to it were discussed.
  • Maritime security including in the areas of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, maritime domain awareness, mutual logistics support, capacity-building of friendly countries in the Indo- Pacific region was a part of the discussion.
  • Cooperation on marine global commons — blue economy, marine biodiversity and environmental challenges such as marine pollution — was on the agenda of the meeting.
  • The Indian side underlined its interest in collaborating on sustainable fisheries in the Indian Ocean, technologies for the harvesting of Deep Ocean Resources, Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion.
  • They agreed on the importance of maintaining resilient global supply chains.



  • France and Australia are India’s key partners in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • The meeting provided a unique opportunity to build upon the progress that the three countries have achieved bilaterally in recent years.



  1. Court stays Maratha quota, sends plea to Statute Bench

The issue in news

A three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court has referred a group of petitions challenging the Maratha reservation law to a Constitution Bench. Chief Justice S.A. Bobde will constitute the Bench.

Main points

  • The appeals challenging the Maratha quota law contend that the statute provides 12 to 13% quota for the community in Maharashtra. This has breached the 50% cap declared by a nine-judge Bench of the apex court in 1992.
  • The petitioners said the Act overstepped the constitutional limitations contained in the 102nd Amendment to the Constitution.
  • The Amendment said reservation can be granted only if a particular community is named in the Presidential List.


GS 3

Category: ECONOMY

  1. Bold action needed to revive economy

The issue in news

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) has urged bold and decisive action from the government to stimulate demand for India to return to a positive growth trajectory, following a 23.9% contraction in GDP in the first quarter of FY21.


  • It has been found that weak demand continues to remain the key bottleneck.
  • In the absence of a major fiscal push on the demand side, India risks ending up in a low-demand and low-income cycle.
  • Job losses, declines in income and disruptions to business will strain the finances of retail and SME borrowers significantly.
  • The Indian travel and tourism industry, one of the worst-impacted sectors by the COVID-19 pandemic, may suffer a loss of 5 lakh crore.
  • The travel and tourism industry accounts for 9.2% of India’s GDP and employs 8% of the population, with a total foreign exchange contribution of about $28 billion.



  • Experts opine that sustained efforts are the key to reviving the economy.
  • Measures are needed on supporting demand, including additional cash transfers to migrant workers, the poor and farmers.
  • Temporary cut in GST rates.
  • Increase in government procurement.
  • Front-ending infrastructure projects and part-funding of wages (as has been done in other nations) to ensure employment is sustained.
  • Immediate measures are needed for the survival of the travel and tourism industry.


Category: DEFENCE

  1. Defence exports increased 700% in 3 years: Rawat

The issue in news

According to the Chief of Defence Staff, in the past three years, India witnessed a staggering 700% growth in defence exports.

Steps taken to ramp up defence exports:

  • India is the third-largest spender on defence around the world.
  • A series of measures have been taken since 2014 to boost exports, including simplified defence industrial licensing, relaxation of export control and grant of No Objection Certificates (NOC).
  • Specific incentives were introduced under the foreign trade policy.
  • The Ministry of External Affairs has facilitated a Line of Credit for foreign countries to import defence products. Where feasible, defence exports can also be financed through the Exim Bank.
  • Defence attaché in Indian missions are empowered to promote defence exports, with a view to strengthening defence diplomacy.
  • With the aim to achieve a manufacturing turnover of $25 bn or 1,75,000 crore, including exports of $5 bn in aerospace and defence goods and services by 2025, the Defence Ministry issued a draft ‘Defence Production & Export Promotion Policy 2020’.

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