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18th February 2023

India-Japan joint military exercise ‘Dharma Guardian’


The fourth edition of the India-Japan joint military exercise ‘Dharma Guardian’ commenced at Camp Imazu in the Shiga province of Japan.

  • Participants: Troops of the Garhwal Rifles Regiment of the Indian Army and an Infantry Regiment from the Middle Army of the Japan Ground Self Defence Force (JGSDF).
  • Both the Indian and Japanese forces will be enhancing interoperability in planning and execution through the exercise.
  • The exercise covers platoon-level joint training on jungle and semi-urban/urban terrain operations.
  • The last edition of Exercise Dharma Guardian was held in Belgaum, Karnataka in February 2022


  • This annual exercise will bolster bilateral relations between India and Japan and enhance the level of defence cooperation between the two forces

Important Bilateral Exercises between India and Japan

  • Veer Guardian
  • Dharma Guardian
  • Maritime Exercises
    • Japan-India Maritime Exercise (JIMEX)
    • Malabar Exercise (India – US-Japan - Australia)
    • Maritime Partnership Exercise (MPX)

Manipur hosts B20 Conference


In Imphal, Manipur, a B20 Conference for the delegates from G20 countries and other invited countries was held. 


  • Delegates from 23 nations consisting of 26 overseas business delegates and 24 diplomates participated in the conference. 
  • Interaction in medical tourism, ICT and other sectors were discussed during the conference.
  • The conference was a part of the official G20 Dialogue Forum for the global business community. 

What is Business 20 (B20)?

  • The Business 20 (B20) is an event which is part of the G20 Summit: it is meant to express common views from the international business community. 
  • More specifically, its main purpose consists in developing recommendations and issuing relevant commitments from business leaders and business organizations to deal with nowadays issues.

Supreme Court says no to sealed cover suggestions


While hearing petitions on the Adani-Hindenburg issue, the Supreme Court said that it will not accept sealed cover suggestions from the Centre.

What is Sealed cover jurisprudence?

  • Sealed cover jurisprudence is the practice followed by the Supreme Court (and sometimes lower courts as well) of seeking and accepting information from government agencies in sealed envelopes that can only be perused by the judges.
    • Rule 7 of Order XIII (“Copying”) of the Supreme Court Rules, 2013 (notified in May 2014), says: “Notwithstanding anything contained in this order, no party or person shall be entitled as of right to receive copies of or extracts from any minutes, letter or document of any confidential nature or any paper sent, filed or produced, which the Chief Justice or the Court directs to keep in sealed cover or considers to be of confidential nature or the publication of which is considered to be not in the interest of the public, except under and in accordance with an order specially made by the Chief Justice or by the Court.”
  • These envelopes can be accessed only by Judges.
  • The contents of sealed covers in court proceedings are inaccessible to the other parties in the case.
  • The practice of Judges asking for evidence in sealed covers and making decisions based on such evidence is known as sealed cover jurisprudence.

MHA designates two outfits as terror organisations under UAPA


The Central Government declared two organization as terrorist organizations under the provisions of the UAPA

The Terrorist Organization

  • Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF): It is a militant outfit and it aims to revive terrorism in Punjab and challenges the territorial integrity, unity, national security and sovereignty of India and promotes various acts of terrorism, including targeted killings in Punjab.
  • Jammu and Kashmir Ghaznavi Force (JKGF): It has been found involved in infiltration bids, narcotics and weapon smuggling and carrying out terror attacks in the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • It draws its cadres from various terrorist organisations, such as Lashker-E-Taiba, Jaish-E-Mohammed, Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen, Harkat-ul—Jehad-E-Islami etc.

With this, now there are 54 designated terrorists and 44 designated terrorist organisations under the Ist Schedule of the UAPA.

How does the government declare a terrorist organisation?

  • In furtherance to India’s Zero Tolerance policy towards terrorism, the Central Government amended the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in August 2019 to include the provision of designating an individual as terrorist. 
  • Prior to this amendment, only organizations could be designated as terrorist organization.

Government measures to curb terrorism 

  • Constitution of a Countering Financing of Terrorism Cell (CFT Cell) in the Ministry of Home Affairs
  • Constitution of a Terror Funding and Fake Currency Cell in the National Investigation Agency
  • India organised the third ‘No Money For Terror’ Ministerial Conference in New Delhi.

New MERS-Like Coronavirus Found in Pangolins Can Infect Human Cells


Pangolin, is confronting the perils of massive poaching and illegal trafficking in India.

About Pangolin
  • Pangolin are also known as an ecosystem engineer for playing a role in land’s health.
  • World Pangolin Day is observed on February 18, 2023.
  • Pangolins are believed to be the only truly scaly mammals in the world. 
  • World Wildlife Fund records the animal to range from Vulnerable to Critically Endangered.
  • The species is listed in Schedule-I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act.

The most trafficked animal

  • They are one of the most trafficked mammals in Asia and, increasingly, Africa.
  • Pangolins are in high demand in countries like China and Vietnam. 
  • Their meat is considered a delicacy and pangolin scales are used in traditional medicine and folk remedies. 
  • All eight pangolin species are protected under national and international laws. But there is still growing international illegal trade in pangolins.

The numbers

  • According to TRAFFIC, 1,203 pangolins have been found in illegal wildlife trade in India from 2018 to 2022. 
  • Up to 24 States and one Union Territory saw seizures of pangolins and their derivatives.
    • Odisha reported the maximum number of incidents, with 154 pangolins in 74 seizures. 
    • It was followed by Maharashtra with 135 pangolins in 47 seizure incidents.
  • The publication, titled ‘India’s Pangolins Buried in Illegal Wildlife Trade’, has tracked 342 total incidents during this time period. 

RBI issues draft norms for lending of government securities


The Reserve Bank of India came out with draft norms (Reserve Bank of India (Government Securities Lending) Directions, 2023) for lending and borrowing of government securities with wider participation in the securities lending market.

Key-highlights of the Draft

  • Government Securities Lending (GSL) transactions shall be undertaken for a minimum period of one day and a maximum period of ninety days.
  • Government securities issued by the central government excluding Treasury Bills would be eligible for lending/borrowing under a GSL transaction. 
  • Government securities issued by the central government (including Treasury Bills) and the state governments would be eligible for placing as collateral under a GSL transaction.
  • An entity eligible to undertake repo transactions in government securities, and any other entity approved by the Reserve Bank would be eligible to participate in GSL transactions as lender of securities. 

What is Government Security (G-Sec)?

  • A Government Security (G-Sec) is a tradable instrument issued by the Central Government or the State Governments.
  • It acknowledges the Government's debt obligation.

Treasury Bill

Treasury bills are money market instruments issued by the Government of India as a promissory note with guaranteed repayment at a later date.

Short News Article

International Relations

World Government Summit

The World Government Summit 2023 held in Dubai. 

  • The World Government Summit is an annual event held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. 
  • Theme 2023: Shaping Future Governments
  • It brings together leaders in government for a global dialogue about governmental process and policies with a focus on the issues of futurism, technology innovation and other topics.

International Relations

First global summit on AI in military domain

At a time when the use of artificial intelligence has triggered a raging conversation all over - with ChatGPT catching attention worldwide - the Netherlands hosted a two-day conference on risks, challenges, and responsibilities linked to the use of AI during a conflict. 


  • The responsible use of artificial intelligence in the military (REAIM 2023) is the first such summit.
  • Held in: The Hague (often termed as "the international city of peace and justice")
  • Co-host: Republic of Korea 
  • The REAIM 2023 brings together governments, corporations, academia, startups, and civil societies to raise awareness, discuss issues, and possibly, agree on common principles in deploying and using AI in armed conflicts.
  • An AI-powered weapon system could possibly make the army decide fast and be more efficient in a warzone. 


Social security and the story of two Budgets


In sharp contrast to the Union Budget 2023-24, the Rajasthan Budget is an example of upholding the rights of the vulnerable through implementation of various laws.

Diminishing Social Security in Union Budget:

  • In the 2023 Budget, severe cuts in various social security and welfare schemes such as food security and the MGNREGA, have undermined the already precarious lives of large numbers of poor people in India.
  • Since 2007, social security pensions being given by the central government under the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP), have remained frozen at an appallingly low sum of ?200 for the elderly and ?300 per month for widows and persons with disabilities.
  • In addition, only those who appear on the obsolete and discredited Below Poverty Line (BPL) lists prepared as in Census 2001 are given pensions.
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