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8th May 2023

Japan, South Korea seek to deepen cooperation, overcome old disputes


Japan and South Korea agreed to take forward ties and move past lingering historical disputes, pledging to transform a relationship that could have broad implications for the region.


  • Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida became the first Japanese leader to visit Seoul in 12 years.
  • The visit followed a trip to Japan in March by South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol.

What are the common concern?

  • Both countries are brought together by shared concerns over
    • North Korea’s nuclear programme
    • China’s regional muscle-flexing

What are the disputes between South Korea and Japan?

Relations between the two North Asian U.S. allies have been strained over disputes dating to Japan's 1910-1945 occupation of Korea.

  • Japan's colonial-era atrocities: The two Asian nations have long had lukewarm relations because of Japan's colonial occupation of the peninsula for 35 years until 1945. Japan's colonial-era atrocities towards Korea, such as sexual slavery and forced labor.
  • Abuse of women workforce: Koreans accuse Japan of forcing women to work in wartime brothels for the Japanese military and using forced labour, among other abuses.
  • Trade restrictions: Relations deteriorated in 2019 when Japan restricted exports of high-tech material to South Korea.
  • Territorial dispute: The two countries also have a territorial dispute over a cluster of windswept volcanic islets, known as Dokdo in Korea and Takeshima in Japan.
    • The islets are controlled by Seoul, with a small contingent of coast guard personnel, but are also claimed by Tokyo.

How would it impact India?

  • India, which has friendly bilateral relations with both Japan and South Korea, is in a position to steer the trilateral relationship towards outcomes that provide an effective deterrent to China’s overreach.
  • India, Japan and South Korea are major countries willing to contribute to the stability and security of the Asia-Pacific region.
  • The latest development gives India a template to explore a new triangle with Japan and South Korea, where New Delhi shares a wide range of interests.
  • Common security issues:
    • maritime politics in East Asia and the Indian Ocean
    • non-traditional security threats
    • Chinese assertiveness
    • regional politics covering China, North Korea, and Afghanistan etc.
  • This possible trilateral cooperation tends to focus on the “balance of power” equation that can institutionalise structural frameworks in the Asia-Pacific region.

India’s Bilateral Cooperation with Japan and South Korea 

  • India’s Look East Policy was initiated in 1992 to deepen its relationship with Southeast Asia.
  • Since the introduction of the Look East Policy in 1992, New Delhi’s bilateral engagements with its East Asian partners have seen tremendous progress.
    • Its relations with Japan and South Korea have grown significantly as a result of the three ambitious nations’ shared progressive beliefs. 
  • In 2010 and 2011, respectively, India signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with South Korea and Japan, signify that the elevation of the relationship to integrate the developmental aspirations that all three countries encompassed with their economic growth paths.


Arab League Readmits Syria After 12-Year Suspension


Arab League foreign ministers voted to readmit Syria into the organisation, after a suspension that lasted over a decade due to the region-wide condemnation of President Bashar Assad’s crackdown on the 2011 protests-turned-civil-war.

Brief Background

  • The 22-member group had suspended Damascus' participation in November 2011 due to the nation's actions against peaceful protests that started earlier that year.
  • These protests turned into a civil conflict and resulted in the death of over 500,000 individuals, the displacement of millions, and significant damage to the country's infrastructure and industry.

About Arab League

  • Founded in 1945, the Arab League is a loose alliance of Arabic-speaking countries in the Middle East and North Africa that have pledged to cooperate on economic and military affairs, among other matters.
  • Founding members: Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Transjordan, and Yemen.
  • Headquarters: Cairo
  • Composition: The League is made up of 22 member states and four observer nations.
    • Members: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordon, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
    • Observer nations: Brazil, Eritrea, India, and Venezuela

NITI Aayog list of ‘best practices’


NITI Aayog has released the book ‘Best practices in social sector: A compendium 2023’ which documents 75 initiatives that have benefitted a large segment of the society and are replicable.

  • NITI Aayog released the book in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme.
  • The seventy-five best practices highlight models which are innovative, sustainable, replicable and impactful.
  • The aim of this exercise has been to synthesise lessons for the future to expand, enhance and improve life at the grassroots level.
  • These best practices have been carefully chosen from amongst these collated from the Central Ministries/Departments and the States/UTs.
  • Of these “best practices”,
    • 14 are those that have been launched by Central ministries
    • two are joint initiatives by the Centre and the state governments
    • the rest are from 26 states and UTs

Central government (14)

Delhi (4)

Karnataka (6)

  • Direct benefit Transfer
  • Academic Bank of Credits (integration of students’ skills, experiences into a Credit Based system)
  • National Academic Depository
  • Ganga Prahari initiative
  • National Artificial Intelligence Portal
  • Innovations for Defence excellence
  • Nasha Mukt Bharat
  • Prayatna project for Transgenders
  • Financial inclusion for street vendors under PM SVANidhi
  • Project on Ethanol
  • One Nation One Ration Card
  • DigiLocker
  • Crash course for Covid Warriors
  • Home based education to children with multiple/ severe disabilities
  • Electric Vehicle policy for clean air
  • Bio Decomposer Solution and Spray Programme to combat stubble burning
  • Sustainable power eco-system
  • Kalika Chetarike – Activity based learning
  • Solving dry waste handling
  • Santhe Kaushalkar – Self Help Group and Artisan Profiling Platform
  • Farmer Registration and Unified beneficiary, Information System
  • Kutumba: Social Protection cum Entitlement Management System; Platform for SDG, CSR alignment

Uttar Pradesh (4)

  • Black Rice Initiative in Chandauli
  • Reducing Maternal, Newborn Deaths (ReMiND), through mobile application
  • SARTHI & SAKHI — Mental Health Helpline
  • Disaster Risk Reduction

Manipur Violence: What is a 'Shoot at Sight' Order?


The Manipur government had earlier issued a “shoot at sight" orders as violence in the state had spread to capital Imphal. 

What is a 'Shoot at Sight' Order?

  • In India, shoot-at-sight orders are a contentious and uncommon type of law enforcement.
  • The directives allow police or other security forces to shoot anyone who defies the orders without warning or even attempting to apprehend them.

When is a shoot and sight order issued?

  • Authorities issue them when they believe there is an imminent threat to public order or security and that the use of lethal force is required to prevent it.
  • Orders to ‘shoot at sight’ are typically granted for a short time and in specific places where there is a significant potential of violence.

What is the legal basis of such an order?

Under Sections 41-60 and 149-152 of the CrPC, 1973, a “shoot-at-sight" or shooting order may be issued in accordance with the legislative authorities relating to the arrest or prevention of offences or the disbandment of unlawful assemblies.

  • Section 46 (2) of CrPC: It authorises the use of force during an arrest. The law states that if a person “forcefully resists the attempt to arrest him or attempts to evade the arrest, such police officer or other person may use all means necessary to effect the arrest."
    • Limitation: Section 46(3), however, limits this executive power by stating that the provision does not grant the ability “to cause the death of a person who is not accused of an offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life".
  • Section 81 of the IPC: “nothing is an offence merely by reason of its being done with the knowledge that it is likely to cause harm, if it is done without any criminal intention to cause harm, and in good faith for the purpose of preventing or avoiding other harm to person or property."
  • Section 144 of the CrPC: It authorises the employment of broad powers in dealing with urgent cases of “apprehended danger" or nuisance by issuing orders.
  • Section 144(3) of the Act authorises curfew orders to be issued in the case of a “specific individual," “persons residing in a particular place or area," or “the general public when frequenting or visiting a particular place or area." The executive frequently issues “shoot-at-sight orders" using the authority granted to it by Section 144.
  • Section 3(a) of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act of 1958, as amended by the Armed Forces (Assam and Manipur) Special Powers Amendment Act of 1972, gives the armed forces the authority to use force in “disturbed areas." A notification in the Official Gazette declaring an area “disturbed" may be issued by the “Governor of the State, the Administrator of that Union Territory, or the Central Government, as the case may be."

Chandrayaan 3 and Aditya L1: ISRO’s moon mission to be launched soon


Taking a leap forward in the space research sector of India, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to launch two back-to-back missions in a few months – Chandrayaan 3 and Aditya L1, both set to be launched in July 2023.

About the missions

Chandrayaan 3

  • Chandrayaan 3 is the third moon mission set to be launched by ISRO, where a spacecraft will be launched into the lunar orbit of the moon for space research.
  • It a follow-on mission to Chandrayaan-2 to demonstrate end-to-end capability in safe landing and roving on the lunar surface.
  • It consists of Lander and Rover configuration. It will be launched by LVM3.

Previous Editions

  • The first edition of ISRO moon missions –
    • Chandrayaan 1 – was launched in 2008 and was successfully inserted into the lunar orbit of the moon.
    •   Chandrayaan 2 was launched in 2019 but its lander had crash-landed on the moon’s surface due to a software glitch.

Aditya L1

  • Aditya L1 is set to be India’s first-ever space mission to the sun.
  • Aditya L1 is a planned coronagraphy spacecraft to study the solar atmosphere and is a first-of-its-kind mission set to be carried out by ISRO.
  • The main aim of the Aditya L1 mission is to insert the spacecraft in the halo orbit around the L1 point between the Earth and the Sun, through which it will be able to study the atmosphere of the Sun and the solar magnetic storms and its impact on the Earth.

Important Terms

  • Halo orbit: A halo orbit is a type of orbit around an L1, L2, or L3 Lagrangian point. 
  • Lagrange Points: They are positions in space where the gravitational forces of a two body system like the Sun and the Earth produce enhanced regions of attraction and repulsion. These can be used by spacecraft to reduce fuel consumption needed to remain in position.
    • Of the five Lagrange points, three are unstable (L1, L2, L3) and two are stable (L4, L5). 
      • The L1 point offers an uninterrupted views of the Sun and Earth and has been used as a location from which to study both star and Earth.
      • The L2 point is the optimal Lagrange point for satellites conducting deep space astronomical observations. 
      • The L3 point is always opposite the Earth on the far side of the Sun.

Short News Article

Economy (GS-III)

RBI launches G20 TechSprint

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) launched G20 TechSprint, a global technology competition for developing innovative solutions to improve cross-border payments. 


  • It is jointly launched by the RBI and the BIS Innovation Hub (BISIH). 
  • Focus area: The 2023 TechSprint will focus on solutions for three challenges cross-border payments face. 
    • Anti Money Laundering and Sanctions technology solutions to reduce illicit finance risk
    • Foreign exchange and liquidity technology solutions to enable settlement in emerging market and developing economy (EMDE) currencies.
    • Technology solutions for multilateral cross-border Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) platforms

Economy (GS-III)

Transition bond

To facilitate transparency and informed decision-making among the investors, markets regulator SEBI mandated additional requirements for the issuance and listing of transition bonds.


  • Transition bond is one of the sub-categories of 'green debt security'.
  • These bonds are generally used for raising funds for transitioning to a more sustainable form of operations in line with India's intended nationally determined contributions.

Economy (GS-III)


The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has barred five entities, including an employee of Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), in a case pertaining to front-running the trades of the insurer.

About Front-running

  • Front-running is when a broker or an investor joins a trade because they have foreknowledge of a large confidential deal which will impact the asset's price.
  • Front-running is also known as forward-trading or tailgating. 
  • Front-running is illegal in India.

Economy (GS-III)

FM to hold FSDC meet to review economy

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is likely to hold a meeting of the financial stability and development council (FSDC) to review the status of the economy.

About FSDC

  • Set-up in: 2010
  • FSDC is an autonomous body constituted by the Government of India. It is not a statutory body.
  • It is headed by the Finance Minister and is an organisation of financial sector regulators.
  • The Council deals, inter-alia, with issues relating to financial stability, financial sector development, inter–regulatory coordination, financial literacy, financial inclusion and macro prudential supervision of the economy including the functioning of large financial conglomerates.

Environment (GS-III)

World Environment Day 2023 to focus on Mission LiFE

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is planning to celebrate this year's World Environment Day with a thrust on the Mission LiFE.

About Mission LiFE

  • The concept of LiFE or Lifestyle for Environment was introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the world leaders' summit in Glasgow at the 2021 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP26).
  • Mission LiFE is designed with the objective to mobilise at least one billion Indians and other global citizens to take individual and collective action for protecting and preserving the environment in the period 2022 to 2027.
  • Within India, at least 80% of all villages and urban local bodies are aimed to become environment-friendly by 2028.

World Environment Day

  • World Environment Day is celebrated on 5 June.
  • The year 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of World Environment Day. The first celebration took place in 1973.


Will the greenback still be green?


As China, India, and Russia dabble in trade using partner currencies for payment instead of the U.S. dollar, various media are rife with speculation about the demise of the dollar as world reserve currency.

The rise of the dollar

  • Strong and stable economy of USA: The rise of the dollar as the world currency closely aligns with the rise of the U.S. as one of the world’s strongest economies with a deep financial system and a stable government. 
  • Uninterrupted dominance: Dollar has seen many competitors (Pound, Euro). However, the dollar seems to continue its dominance uninterrupted.
  • Chinese currency: China runs a closed capital account. Most of the Renminbi reserves that are held outside China are by Russia. 

Dollar-denominated assets

  • Huge demand: Along with general acceptability as a medium of exchange for international trade, the U.S. dollar is also in demand because of demand for dollar-denominated assets worldwide.
  • Hedge against currencies: The debt issued by the U.S. government is bought by the world as a hedge against currency fluctuations affecting valuation of reserves.
  • Currency pegged to Dollar: Currencies are pegged to the U.S. dollar and a few countries use the dollar as their own currency.
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