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

India, Japan Bilateral agreement

India and Japan signed have ten agreements to boost the bilateral cooperation between the two nations. The agreements were signed in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, Japan.

 Agreements signed

  1. AGREEMENT FOR COOPERATION IN PEACEFUL USES OF NUCLEAR ENERGY: It provides for bilateral cooperation in the field of Nuclear Energy. It will help to strengthen of energy security of India, by facilitating development of nuclear power projects in India. It will also open up the door for collaboration between Indian and Japanese industries in our Civil Nuclear programme.
    • With this, India has become the first non-NPT country with which Japan has signed a Civil Nuclear Agreement.
    • The civil nuclear agreement between the two countries was not realized so gar manly because India did not fit into Japan’s three non-nuclear principles. These principles adopted in a resolution by Japanese parliament provide that Japan would neither possess nor manufacture nuclear weapons, nor shall it permit their introduction into Japanese territory.
    • The talks for Civil Nuclear Agreement between the two countries had started when a joint statement in 2006 with joint statement by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
    • The cause of delay was political opposition within Japan from anti-nuclear lobbies and media.
    • Till now, India has also signed civil nuclear deal with 10 other countries viz. United States, Russia, South Korea, Mongolia, France, Namibia, Argentina, Canada, Kazakhstan, and Australia
  1. MEMORANDUM OF COOPERATION (MOC) ON THE MANUFACTURING SKILL TRANSFER PROMOTION PROGRAM: It envisages training 30,000 Indian youth in the Japanese styled manufacturing in the next 10 years. It will be achieved through programmes of Japan-India Institute for Manufacturing (JIM) and the Japanese Endowed Courses (JEC) in select Engineering colleges. It will contribute to ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’.
  2. MOU ON COOPERATION IN THE FIELD OF OUTER SPACE: It was signed between ISRO and JAXA. It provides for cooperation in planetary exploration, satellite navigation and space industry promotion, joint use of ground systems, joint missions and studies for mutual support and personnel exchange.
  3. MOU ON MUTUAL COLLABORATION IN MARINE AND EARTH SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: It was signed between Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) and Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)
  4. MOU IN THE FIELD OF AGRICULTURE AND FOOD RELATED INDUSTRY: It seeks to deepen the bilateral cooperation in the fields of agriculture and food industries. It includes industries related to food value chain networking and protecting Geographical Indication (GI) of agriculture products.
  5. MOU FOR TRANSPORT AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT: It was signed between National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) Limited and Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation (JICA). It will enable cooperation for promoting investment in infrastructure projects in transportation and railways, port terminals, toll roads, logistics, airport terminals, urban development and any supporting industries for these sectors.
  6. MOU IN THE FIELD OF TEXTILES: It aims to improve quality of Indian Textiles for conformity assessment for Japanese market.
  7. MOU IN THE FIELD OF CULTURAL EXCHANGE: It seeks to promote bilateral cooperation in the field of art & culture between both countries. It includes exchange of exhibitions & personnel in performing and visual arts, exchange of exhibitions and experts from museums, cooperation in preserving the cultural heritage and to promote people-to-people exchanges.
  8. MOU ON COOPERATION IN SPORTS: It seeks to provide a framework for bilateral cooperation in the field of Sports ahead of the forthcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
  9. MOU BETWEEN GUJARAT AND HYOGO PREFECTURAL GOVERNMENT: It seeks to promote mutual cooperation between Hyogo and Gujarat in the fields of business, academics, cultural cooperation, disaster management and environmental protection.

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

Adoption of the Colombo declaration.

High Level Meeting of Interior Ministers of 18 littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region to Counter Drug Trafficking was recently held in Colombo, Sri Lanka.The meeting concluded with the adoption of the Colombo declaration.

  • The declaration states that narcotic drug trafficking in the Indian Ocean poses a threat to peace and security in the region and its possible link to organized crime and funding of terrorism.
  • It stresses upon the need for coastal states to cooperate more closely on enforcing maritime law, sharing information, and providing mutual legal assistance, including the expansion and development of communication through the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC’s) Indian Ocean Prosecutors Network.
  • The declaration also called on the littoral states of the Indian Ocean to meet on an annual basis within the framework of the Southern Route Partnership (SRP) of Indian Ocean Forum on Maritime Crime (IOFMC) to assess and report on the drug trafficking threat in the Indian Ocean and develop a coordinated approach to counter such threats.
  • The meeting was also attended by seven international organizations/partner agencies and UN agencies engaged in counter-narcotics initiatives in the region.
  • The delegates resolved to work towards making the Indian Ocean a “Drug Free Zone”.

GS III Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano‐technology, bio‐technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights

China launches pulsar test satellite

 China has successfully launched experimental X-ray pulsar navigation satellite XPNAV-1. It is the world’s first pulsar navigation satellite or spacecraft.

  • The satellite operates in a Sun-synchronous orbit and will conduct in-orbit experiments using pulsar detectors to demonstrate new technologies.
  • While in orbit, the satellite will undergo tests on its detector functions and space environment adaptability.
  • The X-ray pulsar navigation will help reduce the spacecraft’s reliance on ground-based navigation methods and is expected to lead to autonomous spacecraft navigation in the future.

What are pulsars?

  • Pulsars are highly magnetized, rotating neutron stars that emit a beam of electromagnetic radiation.
  • They are spherical, compact objects that are about the size of a large city but contain more mass than the sun.
  • Scientists are using pulsars to study extreme states of matter, search for planets beyond Earth’s solar system and measure cosmic distance.

What is X-ray pulsar navigation?

X-ray pulsar navigation is an innovative navigation technology in which periodic X-ray signals emitted from pulsars are used to determine location of a spacecraft in deep space. This method of navigation, based on X-ray signals emitted from pulsars is known as XNAV.


  • XNAV is expected to provide a faster estimation of spacecraft location in space as current systems are limited by the time delay at great distances.
  • It is also seen as a cheaper alternative for a radio-based system as it would require reduced ground infrastructure.
  • Besides, it is expected to lead to autonomous spacecraft navigation in the future. It will also save additional cost as X-ray satellites can be made smaller and lighter.

GS II Topic: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

Punjab Law Terminating Sutlej-Yamuna Link Agreement unconstitutional: SC

 The Supreme Court has scrapped Punjab Termination of Water Agreements Act, 2004 which unilaterally allows Punjab to stop sharing Ravi, Beas waters with other States. Ruling in this regard was given by a five-judge SC Constitution Bench led by Justice Anil R. Dave. The SC bench gave its opinion on a Presidential Reference made by then President APJ Kalam in 2004 to the apex court under Article 143 (1) of the Constitution questioning the constitutional validity of the Act.

SC Order

  • The law unilaterally enacted by Punjab was illegally designed to terminate a 1981 agreement entered into among Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan to re-allocate waters of Ravi and Beas.
  •  By introducing the 2004 Act, Punjab defied two back-to-back apex court verdicts, pronounced in 2002 and 2004. State Legislative Assembly cannot through legislation do an act in conflict with the judgment of the highest court which has attained finality.

What is the issue?

  • Since the creation of Haryana from Punjab in 1966 , Punjab has opposed sharing waters of the Ravi and Beas Rivers with Haryana, citing riparian principles, and arguing that it had no water to spare.
  • After dividing Punjab, Union Government allotted Haryana 3 million acre-feet (MAF) of water of the Ravi and Beas in 1976.
  • Later in 1981 agreement was entered into among Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan to re-allocate the waters of Ravi and Beas. According to this agreement, available supplies of the Beas and Ravi Rivers were recalculated and distributed between the three states with little amount to J & k and Delhi. To enable Haryana to use its share of waters of Sutlej and its tributary Beas, Union Government started Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal Project in 1982 to link Sutlej with the Yamuna.
  • The SYL Canal was a product of this 1981 agreement. The total length of the SYL canal is 214-km, of which 122 km was to be in Punjab and 92 km in Haryana. However, the work of canal was completely stopped after local political issues and militant attack on workers in Punjab.
  • In 1996, Haryana approached Supreme Court for the early completion of the canal. In 2002, SC directed Punjab to complete the SYL Canal in a year. Again in June 2004, SC directed Punjab to complete the work in its territory and ordered the formation of a central agency to “take control” of Punjab’s work on the canal. In response to SC order, Punjab Assembly passed The Punjab Termination of Agreements Act, 2004, in July 2004 terminating its water-sharing agreements and thus jeopardising the construction of SYL in Punjab.


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