The issue in news

India will be delivering a Kilo Class submarine INS Sindhuvir to Myanmar Navy as part of defence cooperation.


Main points

  • This will be the first submarine of Myanmar Navy.
  • Cooperation in the maritime domain is an important part of India’s enhanced engagement with Myanmar. It is in accordance with India’s vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) and in line with build capacities and self-reliance in all the neighbouring countries.
  • Myanmar is one of India’s strategic neighbours and shares a 1,640-kilometer-long border with a number of north-eastern states including militancy-hit Nagaland and Manipur.

Important Info :

  • Kilo class refers to diesel-electric attack submarines that were designed and built in the erstwhile Soviet Union.



GS 3

Category: ECONOMY

  1. GST: Centre to borrow for States

The issue in news

The Centre has announced that the Government of India (GOI) will now undertake the required borrowings in tranches and pass them on to the States as back-to-back loans that will reflect on their own books.


  • There was an impasse between the Centre and the States over the issue of borrowings to recompense the states.
  • A consensus was not reached over three GST council meetings despite extensive talks.
  • While 21 States and Union Territories had acceded to the Centre’s proposal that the States undertake the borrowings to meet the shortfall (with the principal and interest repayments to be paid from future GST collections), states insistent on the Centre undertaking the borrowing had begun preparing to move the Supreme Court over the matter.
  • The latest announcement may help break this impasse.

More Details:

  • The borrowing would be conducted through a Special Window and would not affect the Centre’s fiscal deficit or expand general government debt.
  • The amounts will be reflected as the capital receipts of the State governments and as part of the financing of the respective fiscal deficits.
  • It is being done to ensure that States would not have to pay different interest rates for these borrowings.


  1. Govt’s fiscal stimulus to have a minimal impact on India’s growth prospects

The issue in news 

According to Moody’s Investors Service – a rating agency, the government’s latest fiscal stimulus measures will have a minimal impact on India’s growth prospects.


  • In order to spur fresh demand of about 1 lakh crore in the second half of 2020-21, the Union Finance Minister unveiled a mini-stimulus of sorts.

More Details:

  • The rating agency opined that the stimulus measures will provide only a small boost.
  • It stressed that the small scale of stimulus is actually a credit negative as it reflects the country has ‘limited budgetary firepower to support the economy’.
  • Moody’s observed that India’s very weak fiscal position has constrained its scope for discretionary stimulus spending in response to the coronavirus shock.
  • The two rounds of stimulus bring the government’s direct spending on coronavirus-related fiscal support to around 1.2% of GDP, while the average spending by 13 Baa-rated nations is 2.5% of GDP as of June 2020.
  • India’s rating is Baa3 negative – following a downgrade from Baa2 negative in June 2020.


Category: SECURITY

  1. IFF questions India’s move to seek encryption access

The issue in news

Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) has questioned the Indian government’s move to join five other countries, including the US, in calling on tech companies to allow backdoor access to encrypted communication.


  • The UK Home Department issued a joint statement signed by the governments of Australia, Canada, India, Japan, New Zealand and the United States calling on tech companies to work with governments and find solutions to ensure the safety of citizens, without eroding user privacy or cybersecurity.
  • It has demanded that tech firms build backdoors to deal with ‘significant challenges to public safety’ posed by end-to-end encryption.
  • It was opined that while encryption is vital and privacy and cybersecurity must be protected, it should not come at the expense of wholly precluding law enforcement, and the tech industry itself, from being able to act against the most serious illegal content and activities online.


Main Details:

  • IFF has filed an RTI with the Ministries of Home Affairs, External Affairs and Electronics & IT asking if any legal opinion was sought before becoming a signatory and whether the government plans to introduce any legislation pursuant to becoming a signatory.
  • IFF is a digital rights advocacy group.



In the recent past, the Centre had demanded that WhatsApp help it trace the origin of fake messages.  However, the demand was turned down by WhatsApp, which pointed out such a move would undermine the privacy of users.



  1. Zoo revives scheme for animal adoption

The issue in news

The Nandankanan Zoological Park (NZP) which suffered a huge loss following its closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has revived its innovative ‘Adopt-An-Animal’ programme.

  • The ‘Adopt-An-Animal’ programme has been revived to mobilise resources for animals. The zoo authorities came up with the scheme urging animal lovers to provide funds from 500 to 2.5 lakh.
  • In lieu, an adoption certificate, a plaque in the zoo and income tax rebates are available to individuals and organisations.

Nandankanan zoo

  • It is located in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
  • It lies in adjacent to Chandaka-Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • It is the only zoological park in India to become an institutional member of World Association of Zoos and Aquarium (WAZA).
  • The Nandankanan zoo hosts India’s only pangolin conservation breeding centre.
  • It is the first zoo in the World to breed White tiger and Melanistic tiger.


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