Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

Sri Lankan PM to visit India

To be noted:

  • Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe will visit India to set the agenda for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to Colombo in May.
  • The visit of the PM of Sri Lanka to India from April 25 is part of our continuing engagement with the Government of Sri Lanka at the highest level.
  • Mr. Wickremesinghe’s visit is also significant as it comes a few weeks before his trip to Beijing to attend the Belt and Road Summit, that Sri Lanka has joined.

Upcoming projects with Sri Lanka:

  • To develop Trincomalee port’s prospects through operating a major oil-storage facility,
  • LNG plant and piped-gas projects and developing it as a key transit point with major expressways and industrial zones in the region.

  • The two sides will also hold discussions on the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA).
  • Chinese companies have already clinched many important infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka, including the Hambantota and Colombo port development projects, India is hopeful of more projects in the North and the East of the island.

Also included in discussion:

  • Sri Lankan PM is expected to discuss the ongoing dispute over fishing rights in the Palk Strait.
  • Despite several rounds of negotiations between the fishing communities of the two countries, Indian fishermen continue to be apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy for trespassing in their waters.
  • In early April, six men claiming to be fishermen were also arrested for smuggling drugs by Sri Lankan forces, and 10 men arrested on March 21, and 12 arrested on March 25.

Source: Hindustan Times

Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

U.S. must support Paris accord’

Points to remember:

  • The nodal climate agency of the United Nations, the UNFCCC, is seeking alternative sources of funding, in the face of likely budget cuts by the United States its Executive Secretary said.
  • Her comments came a day after the U.S. government postponed a meeting to decide whether to remain in the Paris Agreement.
  • She said that the “Trump phenomenon” would not topple global climate action, despite the uncertainty it has cast on the future of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

  • More countries have ratified the treaty after Trump became President, she mentioned.
  • Stressing that it was in America’s own interest to support the climate pact.

Impact of reduction:

  • The U.S. government’s budget proposal which aimed at slashing funds for the Global Climate Change Initiative could lead to a reduction of 20% of funding towards the UNFCCC’s operational costs.
  • This is a proposal that needs to be discussed in the U.S. Congress and is part of a bigger package of negotiations.
  • The UNFCCC currently looking at other sources for financing itself. Not only because of this particular move, but because many countries are facing a critical situation on the budget.

Unavoidable issue:

  • Governments can no longer ignore the issue of climate change because of its widely felt impact.

  • Making clean water, clean air and cheap energy accessible to citizens was on the agenda of every government and the best way to make this happen was by moving away from use of fossil fuels, as they were becoming increasingly risky and unviable.
  • Different track of U.S. The executive orders issued by U.S. President Donald Trump, seeking to reverse the Obama administration’s climate-friendly policies.
  • The Trump administration has asked the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] to review the Clean Power Plan to make recommendations on what they should do with that policy.

Source: The Hindu

Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes;

States to be consulted on BC panel Bill


  • The Trump administration has asked the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] to review the Clean Power Plan to make recommendations on what they should do with that policy.
  • The Trump administration has asked the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] to review the Clean Power Plan to make recommendations on what they should do with that policy.
  • A select committee of the Rajya Sabha looking into a Bill according constitutional status to the Backward Classes Commission will be inviting all State governments to depose before it, and hold meetings every Monday till the logjam over the Bill is resolved.
  • In a meeting held last Monday, officials from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment briefed the members of the select committee on the Bill.

Why involving state government:

  • Since the area of concern most expressed over the Bill revolved around the structure of federal government, and rights of State governments to get names of communities added to the Centre’s OBC list, the committee should want to hear the view of States in the matter.
  • Under the new Bill, any addition to the Central list of OBCs will need to be cleared by Parliament.

Source: Times of India