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India – Bahrain relations

Paper: General Studies 2

Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

Why in the news?

  • Prime Minister on Sunday launched the USD 4.2 million redevelopment project of the 200-year-old Lord Sri Krishna temple in the Bahraini capital, Manama. It will be on a piece of land measuring 16,500 square feet and the new four-floor structure covering 45,000 square feet will have an overall height of 30 meters. There will also be facilities for traditional Hindu marriage ceremonies and other rituals, promoting Bahrain as a wedding destination and boosting tourism.
  • India and Bahrain issued a joint statement and called on the international community to avoid the use of terrorism against other countries and help enhance cooperation in the field of security, counter-terrorism and the exchange of intelligence and information.
  • India and Bahrain  agreed to collaborate in the areas of space technology, solar energy and culture exchange
  • RuPay card will soon be launched in Bahrain after India and the Gulf nation signed a MoU to allow the Indian expatriates hassle-free money transfer at cheaper costs.

 

Data Reporting in India

Paper: General Studies 2

Topic: transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

Why in the news?

  • According to the IMF’s “Annual Observance Report of the Special Data Dissemination Standard for 2018”, India failed to comply with multiple requirements prescribed in the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) — a practice mandatory for all IMF members — whereas comparable economies comprising the BRICS grouping of Brazil, China, South Africa and Russia, have maintained a near impeccable record in the same period. 
  • Also, India’s non-compliance in multiple categories in 2018 and to an extent in 2017 breaks with an otherwise near perfect dissemination record.

What is the SDDS initiative?

  • The IMF launched the SDDS initiative in 1996 to guide members to enhance data transparency and help financial market participants with adequate information to assess the economic situations of individual countries. India subscribed to the SDDS on December 27, 1996.
  • The yearly observance report for each member country lists the compliances and deviations from the SDDS under each data category for that year. There are over 20 data categories which IMF considers for this report to capture a nation’s economic health including national accounts (GDP, GNI), production indices, employment, and central government operations.
  • The report lists three types of deviations from SDDS. The first deals with delays in data dissemination from the periodicity prescribed in the SDDS. The second occurs when member countries do not list a data category in their Advance Release Calendars (ARC) despite the category being mandated by the SDDS. The third deviation occurs when data is not disseminated at all for a particular period.
  • The IMF document also states that “monitoring observance of the SDDS is central to maintaining the credibility of the IMF’s data standards initiatives and its usefulness to policymakers.” It further states that if the IMF staff considers a non-observance as a “serious deviation” then procedures would be initiated against the member country.

What is the International Monetary Fund?

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 189 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.
  • Created in 1945, the IMF is governed by and accountable to the 189 countries that make up its near-global membership.
  • The IMF’s primary purpose is to ensure the stability of the international monetary system—the system of exchange rates and international payments that enables countries (and their citizens) to transact with each other. The Fund’s mandate was updated in 2012 to include all macroeconomic and financial sector issues that bear on global stability.

 

NSCN (IM)

Paper: General Studies 3

Topic: Linkages between development and spread of extremism.

Why in the news?

National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) has written a letter to the Prime Minister stating that a separate Naga flag and Constitution are necessary for an honourable solution to the 22 year old peace process.

Who are NSCN (IM)?

The National Socialist Council of Nagaland is a Naga nationalist insurgent group operating mainly in Northeast India, with minor activities in northwest Myanmar.

What are the demands of the NSCN (IM)?

  • Greater Naga territorial unification within India. Naga territorial unification, which apart from Nagaland includes the hill districts of Manipur, namely, Chandel, Tamenglong, Senapati and Ukhrul; and the hill districts of Assam, along with Tirap and Changlang in Arunachal Pradesh, has become the core demand.
  • Separate Naga national flag and a separate constitution

Prelims Specific

  • A team of scientists at IISER, Pune have determined the structure of McrBC a complex bacterial protein which helps prevent viral infections in a bacterial cell and functions as a molecular scissor. It was determined using electron cryomicroscopy commonly known as cryo-EM.
  • The world’s biggest international vocational skills competition, WorldSkills Kazan 2019 got underway with a grand ceremony at Kazan, Russia.