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GS Paper I- History and Geography of the World and Society.

London Retains Number One World City Rank.

Background-

  • London has retained its rank as the number one city in the world shrugging off Brexit worries, according to Global Power City Index (GPCI).
  • The GPCI, published by the Mori Memorial Foundation, ranked London as number one for the sixth year in a row, highlighting the city’s strengths in, its cultural offer and transport links and its rank as a major centre for innovation.
  • The report, released on 12th October, 2017, ranked 44 major cities across six key measures including the economy, research and development, culture, accessibility, the environment and livability.

 

 

Highlights Of The Development–

  • London performed strongly across all areas, ranking ahead of other cities such as New York, Tokyo, Paris and Singapore, and was ranked first for culture, with overseas tourists making a record 19.1 million visits to the city in 2016.
  • A study by Oxford Economics commissioned to coincide with the GPCI, reported that London’s economic growth is expected to be stronger than many other European cities. London’s GDP growth is set to be 2.4 per cent a year until 2021, outperforming a number of other major European cities including Paris, Frankfurt and Berlin.
  • London’s growth is predicted to be greater than the average GDP growth of all eurozone nations, which is forecast to be 2 per cent.
  • Richard Holt, Oxford Economics head of global cities research, told that London by European standards is a super competitive city, in terms of skills, the property market, and across a whole range of indicators. When one looks at sectors, say the digital communications sector, services or tourism, it is performing well.
  • He said that they take that as the underlying driver and put it together with a cyclical pattern and at the moment the UK economy is not performing as well as the eurozone economy, to give a view of what is going to happen to London.
  • Brexit is the major event of the coming years, and Holt said this had been considered and would have an effect on London’s growth.

Sources- Business-Standard.

 

GS Paper II- International Relations.

India-Sri Lanka Joint Military Exercise ‘Mitra Shakti’ Kicks Off, Focus To Be On Counter-Terrorism.

Background

  • The fifth India-Sri Lanka joint training exercise “Mitra Shakti 2017” focusing on counter-terrorism operations kicked off on 13th October, 2017 at Aundh Military Station in Pune.
  • The exercise is based on counter-terrorist operations and an infantry company from both countries is participating in the same.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The exercise will send a strong signal to the world that both India and Sri Lanka understand the emerging threat of terrorism and stand shoulder to shoulder in countering this menace, said an official statement.
  • The grand opening ceremony commenced with a parade, followed by skill displays carried out by troops from both countries.
  • The fly-past by two Cheetah helicopters of Indian Army Aviation Corps carrying national flags of both countries was held at the start of the opening ceremony.
  • The exercise will be conducted for next 14 days till 26 October, 2017 and will involve sharing and learning from each others’ experiences.

Sources- Firstpost.

 

GS Paper III- Security.

Parliamentary Panel To Examine Operational Preparedness Of Armed Forces.

Background

  • A parliamentary panel will examine the operational preparedness of the armed forces and review the accidents involving strategic defence assets.
  • The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence, headed by BJP MP B C Khanduri, will also assess the procurement policy relating to defence equipment.
  • The issue of preparedness of the armed forces is likely to be discussed in the next meeting of the panel, which is scheduled for next month (November, 2017).

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The committee has also decided to “critically review” the accidents involving strategic defence assets and look into the quality of ration given to the forces especially in border areas, according to a Lok Sabha bulletin.
  • Since March last year (2016), various accidents have been reported in naval ships including fire on the soon-to-be decommissioned aircraft carrier INS Viraat and explosion of an oxygen cylinder on board INS Nireekshak.
  • Earlier this month (October 2017), an Indian Air force helicopter crashed in the north-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, killing a few military personnel.
  • The panel of MPs from different parties will also assess the major research and development initiatives, including private sector participation, leading to innovation and import substitution during the last 10 years.
  • Revamping of training for defence personnel in the light of latest technological advancements will also be taken up for discussion by the committee.

Sources- Defence News.