GS 2



The issue in news

Russia brokered a new peace deal between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the two countries that have been in a military conflict for over six weeks over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the South Caucasus.


Main points

  • As per the new peace deal, both sides will now maintain positions in the areas that they currently hold, which will mean a significant gain for Azerbaijan as it has reclaimed over 15-20 per cent of its lost territory during the recent conflict, the AFP reported.
  • Further, under this agreement, all military operations are suspended, Russian peacekeepers will be deployed along the line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Lachin corridor that connects the region to Armenia.
  • Straddling western Asia and Eastern Europe, Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan, but most of the region is controlled by Armenian separatists.

Important Info:

Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO)?

  • Russia’s role in the conflict has been somewhat opaque since it supplies arms to both countries and is in a military alliance with Armenia called the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO).
  • CSTO is an intergovernmental military alliance that was signed on 15 May 1992.
  • In 1992, six post-Soviet states belonging to the Commonwealth of Independent States signed the Collective Security Treaty (also referred to as the “Tashkent Pact” or “Tashkent Treaty”).
  • Its 6 members are: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.
  • Headquarters: Moscow, Russia



Category: ECONOMY


  1. Annual Meeting of IBA

The issue in news

In the 73rd annual general meeting(virtual) of the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) the Finance Minister of India suggested the banks to bring new reforms and implement the existing ones in a timely manner.


Main Points


Linking Aadhar:

  • To stop the duplication of accounts and to verify the unverified accounts banks should link every account with the customer’s Aadhaar number by 31 March 2021
  • Aadhaar-seeded bank accounts are needed to reach people by Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).


Widening Financial Inclusion:

  • Banks should promote RuPay cards as the card network has become global
  • RuPay was launched by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), an umbrella organisation for operating retail payment and settlement systems in the country.


On Digitisation:

  • In order to give impetus to the Digital India Initiative non-digital payments should be discouraged .
  • Unified Payments Interface (UPI) should be a common parlance word in all the banks.


On Amalgamation of Banks:

  • There is a need for more large banks amalgamation should become an organic mechanism to grow to such scales that the new demands from the industry, economy, and businesses can all be met up in a changing world.


On Lending:

  • When the economy is facing major challenges Banks must not shy away from lending.



  1. Panna Biosphere Reserve

The issue in news

Recently UNESCO included the Panna Biosphere Reserve (PBR) in its World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR).


  • The Panna Biosphere Reserve is the third in Madhya Pradesh to be included in the list after Pachmarhi and Amarkantak.



Additional info:

  • Panna Biosphere Reserve: It is located in the state of Madhya Pradesh
  • Vegetation: Panna is characterized by forests and marshy vegetation, with an abundance of rare medicinal plants as well as other non-timber forestry products such as Kattha, gum, and resins.
  • Significance: It is a critical tiger habitat area and hosts the Panna Tiger Reserve, as well as the World Heritage site of the Khajuraho Group of Monuments.
  • Ken River (one of the least polluted tributaries of the Yamuna River) flows through the reserve .The region is also famous for Panna diamond mining.
  • Madhya Pradesh has the highest number of tigers in the country followed by Karnataka and Uttarakhand.

2020: UNESCO included it in the Man and Biosphere Programme (MAB).


Biosphere Reserves

  • Biosphere Reserves (BRs) are representative parts of natural and cultural landscapes extending over large areas of terrestrial or coastal/marine ecosystems or a combination thereof and representative examples of bio-geographic zones/provinces.
  • The idea of the biosphere reserve was initiated by UNESCO in 1974 under the MAB with the objective of obtaining international cooperation for the conservation of the biospheres.
  • MAB program: It is an intergovernmental scientific program launched in 1971 by UNESCO to establish a scientific basis for enhancing the relationship between people and their environments.
  • Under the program, UNESCO has established the World Network of Biosphere Reserves(WNBR). Biosphere reserves are nominated by national governments. If selected by UNESCO, they are included in the WNBR.
  • There are 12 biosphere reserves of India which have been recognized internationally under the Man and Biosphere(MAB) Reserve program. These are: 1) Nilgiri(First one to be included) 2) Gulf of Mannar 3) Sunderban 4) Nanda Devi 5) Nokrek 6) Pachmarhi 7) Similipal 8) Achanakmar – Amarkantak 9) Great Nicobar 10) Agasthyamala 11) Khangchendzonga (2018) and 12) Panna(2020)


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