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

India’s Cabinet Approves MoU Between India, African Nation In Medicinal Plants Sector.

Background

  • The Indian government on 25th April, 2018 gave an ex-post facto approval for an agreement signed between India and an African island nation, Sao Tome and Principe, to increase cooperation in the field of medicinal Plants.
  • The memorandum of understanding was signed on March 14 this year, an official statement said.
  • The decision was taken in the Union Cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi In New Delhi.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The MoU assumes significance as there is global increase in traditional and alternative health care systems.
  • It is resulting in world herbal trade which stands at USD 120 billion and is expected to reach USD 7 trillion by 2050, it said.
  • Moreover, there are large number of medicinal plants, particularly those found in tropical region, which are common to the two countries given similar geo-climatic factors, it added.
  • India is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of biodiversity, having 15 agro-climatic zones.
  • Out of the 17,000-18,000 species of flowering plants, more than 7000 are estimated to have medicinal usage in folk and documented systems of medicine like Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha & Homoeopathy.
  • About 1178 species of medicinal plants are estimated to be in trade of which 242 species have annual consumption levels in excess of 100 metric tonnes per year.
  • Medicinal plants are not only a major resource base for the traditional medicine and herbal industry but also provide livelihood and health security to a large segment of Indian population.

Sources- TOI.

 

GS Paper II- International Relations.

Taipei Opens WTC In Delhi To Boost Ties With India.

Background

  • With an aim to strengthen trade ties with India, Taipei World Trade Centre (TWTC) launched its office in Delhi on 17th April, 2018, ahead of Taiwan’s first ever expo that will showcase cutting-edge technology and smart city solutions in Delhi on 17 May.
  • James C.F Huang, chairman, TWTC said their presence in Delhi will further help strengthen business ties with India.
  • PM Narendra Modi’s initiatives such as Make in India, Digital India, smart cities project are the ones in which Taiwan can be a good partner. They have not paid much attention to India in past but things have changed in last two years. They are where to strengthen our ties, he said.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • Over the last couple of years, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) has been focusing on strengthening trade ties with India. TAITRA is the official body of the Taiwan government for trade promotion.
  • Bilateral trade between India and Taiwan has increased to $6.3 billion in December 2017. Currently, smart solutions in terms of developing cities, street lighting, hardware, software, and IT and electric vehicles are some of the key offerings driving bilateral trade and investment.
  • Huang highlighted that Taiwan’s electric vehicle industry can help India in its initiative to switch to electric vehicles.
  • Our major responsibility is to work closely with trade promoters and business community in India. With the opening of new office we are going to focus on areas like promoting electric vehicles. Our priority is to work closely with private organisations in India to introduce more Taiwanese investments and we should serve Indian business community to promote their products in Taiwan, he said.
  • However, Huang said petrochemicals solar energy, food processing are areas that can enhance cross-border business. During their expo, Taiwan is expected to showcase its latest technologies in the field of electric vehicles, smart solutions for smart cities.

Sources- Livemint.

 

GS Paper III- Security.

HARIMAU SHAKTI 2018: India-Malaysia Joint Training Exercise To Be Held In Malaysia.

Background

  • Joint training exercise Harimau Shakti, which is a part of ongoing Indian-Malaysian defence cooperation, will be conducted in the dense forests of Malaysia’s Sengai Perdik from April 30 to May 13.
  • As per the statement, the exercise is aimed at bolstering cooperation and coordination between armed forces of both the nations and to share the expertise of both the contingents in conduct of counter-insurgency operations in jungle terrain.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • Indian contingent is being represented by one of the oldest infantry battalions, 4 Grenadiers having rich operational experience in conventional as well as counter insurgency warfare. The Malaysian contingent is being represented by soldiers from 1 Royal Ranjer Regiment and the Royal Malay Regiment, known for their experience in jungle warfare, the statement said.
  • This is the first instance wherein a joint training exercise of this magnitude involving Indian and Malaysian soldiers is being organised on Malaysian soil.
  • As per the statement, the exercise will involve a cross training phase followed by a field training phase of seven days in the jungles of Hulu Langat wherein both armies will jointly train, plan and execute a series of training activities.
  • The focus will remain on tactical operations in jungle warfare. Overall, the exercise will not only provide an excellent opportunity to both the armies to hone their operational skills but will also contribute to enhance the strategic partnership between India and Malaysia, the statement said.

Sources- Business-Standard.