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Eastern Economic Forum

Paper: General Studies 2

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

Why in News?

  • Prime Minister of India to visit Russia and to participate into Eastern Economic Forum as the Chief Guest
  • PM to also attend 20th India-Russia Annual Summit during the visit

Eastern Economic Forum

  • Eastern Economic Forum is an international forum held each year in Vladivostok, Russia, for the purpose of encouraging foreign investment in the Russian Far East
  • There are Bilateral talks about maritime connectivity route between Chennai and Vladivostok, which would strengthen Indo-Russia bilateral economic relations

Chennai-Vladivostok Link

  • This shipping link that existed during the Soviet Union period would help to transfer cargo between Chennai and Vladivostok in 24 days, against over 40 days currently taken to transport goods from India to Far East Russia through Europe
  • The Far-East region of Russia has a wealth of natural resources such as land, timber, minerals and other resources like tin, gold, diamonds and oil and natural gas.
  • The Russian government has announced several initiatives to attract investments in the region, including an agricultural SEZ, the Vladivostok Free Port Project and also invites participation in the timber industry, mining of the huge mineral resources (coal & diamonds) and precious metal deposits (gold, platinum, tin and tungsten)
  • On strategic level, this proposed maritime route which could be transformed into a corridor could juxtapose with Indo-Japan Pacific to Indian Ocean Corridor amid Beijing’s Maritime Silk Route connecting Pacific with the Indian Ocean Region


FinTech Panel

Paper: General Studies 2; General Studies 3

Topic: e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; e-technology in the aid of farmers

Why in News?

  • The Steering Committee on Fintech related issues constituted by the Ministry of Finance, Department of Economic Affairs, on September 2, submitted its Final Report to Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman
  • The report outlines the current landscape in the Fintech space globally and in India, studies the various issues relating to its development and makes recommendations focusing on how fintech can be leveraged to enhance financial inclusion of MSMEs with a view to making fintech related regulations more flexible and generate enhanced entrepreneurship

Some recommendations:

  • Insurance companies and lending agencies to be encouraged to use drone and remote sensing technology for crop area, damage and location assessments to support risk reduction in insurance/lending business
  • Department of Financial Services(DFS) to work with PSU banks to bring in more efficiency to their work and reduce fraud and security risks. Significant opportunities can be explored to increase the levels of automation using Artificial Intelligence (AI), cognitive analytics & machine learning in their back-end processes
  • NABARD to take immediate steps to create a credit registry for farmers with special thrust for use of fintech along with core banking solutions (CBS) by agri-financial institutions, included Cooperative societies
  • A special drive for modernisation and standardisation of land records by setting up a dedicated National Digital Land Records Mission based on a common National Land Records Standards with involvement of State Land and Registration departments, with a view to making available land ownership data on an online basis to Financial Institutions
  • A comprehensive legal framework for consumer protection be put in place early keeping in mind the rise of fintech and digital services


Prelims Specific

  • Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2019 – is one of the largest joint running military training and defence corporation endeavors between India and USA armies. It will provide an opportunity to the armed forces of both countries to train in an integrated manner at Battalion level with joint planning at Brigade level
  • GFTAM – The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is an international financing and partnership organization that aims to “attract, leverage and invest additional resources to end the epidemics of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria to support attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations. India has announced a contribution of 22 million US Dollars from 2020-2022
  • Induction of Apache Helicopters – IAF has signed a contract with ‘The Boeing Company’ and US Government for 22 Apache Attack Helicopters