1. Afghan negotiator urges new era in ties with Pak

The issue in news

The chief of Afghanistan’s peace negotiating team, Abdullah Abdullah is on a visit to Pakistan.

 Abdullah Abdullah is in Pakistan on a bridge-building mission meant to mend deep-rooted mistrust between the two countries.

  • He said that the time has come for the two neighbouring countries to shun the suspicion that had dogged past relations.
  • He asserted that the two neighbours are on the threshold of a new relationship characterised by mutual respect, sincere cooperation and shared prosperity.


  1. India, Denmark in strategic green alliance

The issue in news

India and Denmark have begun a new era of partnership in the form of a “far-reaching Green Strategic Partnership”.

  • The green alliance will give Denmark a special place in delivering sustainable solutions to India.
  • The partnership aims to create a framework for significant expansion of cooperation in areas of renewable energy, environment, economy, climate change and science and technology.



The Ministry of External Affairs said over 140 Danish companies are currently participating in the “Make in India” initiative in India.


  1. EU raises concerns over action against Amnesty

The issue in news

Expressing concerns about the government’s investigation into Amnesty International (AI), the European Union said it hopes the global human rights agency can continue its work in India.

Main points

  • The action against AI including freezing their funds followed a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry, and is part of the government’s scrutiny of more than 20 international NGOs including Greenpeace, Compassion International, and Ford Foundation, over the past few years.
  • The government defended its actions and said AI is in clear contravention of Indian law.



  • In order to circumvent the FCRA regulations, Amnesty UK remitted large amounts of money to four entities registered in India, by classifying it as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
  • A significant amount of foreign money was also remitted to Amnesty (India) without MHA’s approval under FCRA.
  • According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the rerouting of money was in contravention of extant legal provisions. It asserted that human rights cannot be an excuse for defying the law of the land.
  • MHA also added that India, by settled law, does not allow interference in domestic political debates by entities funded by foreign donations


GS 3

Category: ECONOMY

  1. Cairn seeks $1.4 bn from Centre due to losses from tax demand

The issue in news

In its half-yearly statement, British oil explorer Cairn Energy Plc. has said that it is seeking $1.4 billion from the Indian Government in losses arising from the expropriation of its investments to enforce a retrospective tax demand.

Main points

  • It seeks the claim under the U.K.-India Bilateral Investment Treaty. The company is expecting an international arbitral tribunal to shortly give a decree on its challenge to the Indian Government seeking the amount in retrospective taxes.



  • This is the second-most high-profile retrospective tax litigation against India. Recently, an international arbitration tribunal ruled that India’s efforts to claim 22,100 crore in past taxes from Vodafone Group were in breach of fair treatment under the bilateral investment protection pact between India and the Netherlands.


  1. ‘Credit demand from priority sectors drops’

The issue in news :

Despite efforts by the government to boost credit supply by offering many a scheme to MSMEs and other priority sectors, the credit demand from priority sectors has dropped to a low 1.9% in the June quarter from 10.2% in 2019-2020.

  • The government had offered a credit-driven boost to the economy to help small businesses tide over the impact of the pandemic.


What is Priority Sector Lending?

  • Priority Sectors are those sectors that the Government of India and the Reserve Bank of India consider as important for the development of the basic needs of the country and are to be given priority over other sectors.
  • The RBI mandates banks to lend a certain portion of their funds to specified sectors, like agriculture, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), export credit, education, housing, social infrastructure, renewable energy among others. This is known as Priority Sector Lending.
  • This is to ensure that adequate institutional credit reaches some of the vulnerable sectors of the economy, which otherwise may not be attractive for banks from the profitability point of view.


Priority Sector Lending Certificates (PSLCs):

  • Priority Sector Lending Certificates (PSLCs) are a mechanism to enable banks to achieve the priority sector lending target and sub-targets by the purchase of these instruments in the event of a shortfall. This also incentivizes surplus banks as it allows them to sell their excess achievement over targets thereby enhancing lending to the categories under the priority sector.


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