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Current Affairs 10 April 2023


  1. India-Japan Defence Policy Dialogue
  2. Project Tiger
  3. Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana
  4. Artemis II Mission

India-Japan Defence Policy Dialogue


Recently, the 7th India-Japan Defence Policy Dialogue was co-chaired by Defence Secretary of India and the Vice Minister of Defense for International Affairs of Japan in New Delhi.


GS II: International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Highlights of the 7th Dialogue
  2. India’s Relations with Japan
  3. Challenges Related to Defence Cooperation

Highlights of the 7th Dialogue

  • The dialogue is a regular mechanism between India and Japan to discuss defence cooperation.
  • The purpose of the meeting was to discuss various issues related to defence cooperation between the two countries.
  • The countries discussed service-level exercises, regional security, and cooperation in defence equipment and technology.
  • The Japanese Vice Minister presented updates from their recently released National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy.
  • Both countries appreciated the growing cooperation between the services through staff talks and exercises.
  • The inaugural fighter exercise ‘Veer Guardian’ between the Indian Air Force and Japanese Air Self Defence Force was welcomed.
  • The Defence Secretary emphasized the need to deepen collaboration between the respective defence industries.
  • Japanese defence industries were invited to invest in India under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
  • Both sides agreed to diversify cooperation in new and emerging domains like defence space and cyber.

India’s Relations with Japan

Defence Cooperation:
  • India has a 2+2 ministerial dialogue with Japan
  • Both countries organize bilateral exercises such as JIMEX, Malabar exercise, ‘Veer Guardian’, SHINYUU Maitri, and Dharma Guardian
Common Groupings:
  • Both India and Japan are members of Quad, G20, G-4, and International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER)
  • India-Japan Act East Forum was established in 2017 to provide a platform for collaboration under the rubric of India’s “Act East Policy“ and Japan’s “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy”
Investment and ODA:
  • India has been the largest recipient of Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) Loan for decades
  • Successful examples of Japanese cooperation through ODA include the Delhi Metro and India’s Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) project
  • Japan and India had committed to build a High-Speed Railways in India
Economic Relations:
  • Japan’s bilateral trade with India totaled US$ 20.57 billion during FY 2021-22
  • India was the 18th largest trading partner for Japan, and Japan was the 12th largest trading partner for India in 2020
India-Japan Digital Partnership:
  • Discussion ongoing for the “India-Japan Digital Partnership” to enhance the digital economy through joint projects in the area of IoT, AI, and other emerging technologies
  • Japan is looking to attract more highly skilled Indian IT professionals to contribute to the Japanese ICT sector
Strategic Clean Energy Partnership:
  • For cooperation in areas such as electric vehicles, storage systems including batteries, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, development of solar energy, hydrogen, ammonia, etc.
  • Announced at the 14th India-Japan Annual Summit, along with the India-Japan Digital Partnership.

Challenges Related to Defence Cooperation:

  • China Factor: While India and Japan have strengthened their relationship as a counterbalance to China’s influence, their approaches to dealing with China have differed. India has been more vocal in criticizing China’s actions, while Japan has been more cautious in its approach.
  • Defence Exports: India is looking to export defence equipment to other countries, which could potentially compete with Japan’s own defence exports.
  • Influence of US-China Rivalry: The intensification of Chinese-American rivalry contributes to disturbance of regional security in the Indo-Pacific. This could impact the defence cooperation between India and Japan, as both countries have close ties with the United States.

-Source: The Hindu, PIB

Project Tiger


The number of tigers in India has increased by 6.74 per cent from 2,967 in 2018 to 3,167 in 2022, according to the figures of the 5th cycle of India’s Tiger Census, which was released by Prime Minister at an event in Karnataka’s Mysuru to mark 50 years of ‘Project Tiger’.


GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Tiger Population in India’s Different Regions in 2023
  2. Project Tiger
  3. About the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)

Tiger Population in India’s Different Regions in 2023

Tiger Population Growth:
  • The Shivalik hills and Gangetic flood plains had the highest increase in tiger population.
  • Central India, northeastern hills, Brahmaputra flood plains, and Sundarbans also showed growth in tiger numbers.
Tiger Population Decline:
  • There was a decline in tiger population in the Western Ghats region, although “major populations” were reportedly stable.
Method of Estimating Tiger Population:
  • Tiger numbers were estimated by counting animals caught in camera traps.
  • Statistical techniques were used to estimate tigers that were not captured in camera traps.
Census Results:
  • 3,080 unique tigers were captured in camera traps, compared to 2,603 in the previous census.
  • The census results are still being processed, with state-wise population estimates expected to be completed in three months.
  • The scientists provided a range of estimated tiger populations over four years, with the mean value being highlighted as the latest tiger population.

Project Tiger

  • Project Tiger is a conservation program launched by the Indian government on April 1, 1973, to protect tigers from extinction due to widespread hunting and poaching.
  • The primary objectives of Project Tiger are to promote the conservation of the tiger and its habitat, control the poaching of tigers, and maintain a viable population of tigers in India.
  • The program was started in nine tiger reserves of different states in India, covering over 14,000 sq km.
  • The project also ensured the preservation of the natural habitat of tigers, which is vital for their survival.
Success and Challenges:
  • The program’s success was evident from the rise in the tiger population in India, estimated to be around 3,000 by the 1990s.
  • However, the local extermination of tigers in Rajasthan’s Sariska in 2005 was a significant setback.
  • To overcome the challenge, the Indian government established the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to reconstitute Project Tiger.
Current Status:
  • Today, there are 54 tiger reserves across India, spanning 75,000 sq km.
  • The current tiger population in the country stands at 3,167, showing a steady rise from 1,411 in 2006, 1,706 in 2010, and 2,226 in 2014.
  • The goal of Project Tiger is to have a viable and sustainable tiger population in tiger habitats based on a scientifically calculated carrying capacity.

About the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)

  • The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) was established in December 2005 following a recommendation of the Tiger Task Force, constituted by the Prime Minister of India for reorganised management of Project Tiger and the many Tiger Reserves in India.
  • The Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 was amended in 2006 to provide for constituting the National Tiger Conservation Authority responsible for implementation of the Project Tiger plan to protect endangered tigers.
  • The National Tiger Conservation Authority is set up under the Chairmanship of the Minister for Environment and Forests.
  • The Authority will have eight experts or professionals having qualifications and experience in wildlife conservation and welfare of people including tribals, apart from three Members of Parliament of whom two will be elected by the House of the People and one by the Council of States.
  • The Authority, interalia, would lay down normative standards, guidelines for tiger conservation in the Tiger Reserves, apart from National Parks and Sanctuaries.
  • It would provide information on protection measures including future conservation plan, tiger estimation, disease surveillance, mortality survey, patrolling, report on untoward happenings and such other management aspects as it may deem fit, including future plan for conservation.
  • The Authority would also facilitate and support tiger reserve management in the States through eco-development and people’s participation as per approved management plans, and support similar initiatives in adjoining areas consistent with the Central and state laws.
  • The Tiger Conservation Authority would be required to prepare an Annual Report, which would be laid in the Parliament along with the Audit Report.
  • Every 4 years the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) conducts a tiger census across India.

-Source: The Hindu

Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana


As the Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) completed eight years, senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram on Sunday said 83% of the loans given under the scheme were under ₹50,000, which left him wondering if any business could be done with such a meagre amount.


GS II: Government Policies and Interventions

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY)
  2. Benefits

About Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY)

  • Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) is a flagship scheme of Government of India.
  • The scheme facilitates micro credit/Loan up to Rs. 10 lakh to income generating micro enterprises engaged in the non farm sector in manufacturing, processing, trading or service sector.
  • MUDRA supports Financial Intermediaries to extend loans to the non-corporate, non-farm sector income generating activities of micro and small entities.
  •  These Micro and small entities comprises of millions of proprietorship / partnership firms running as small manufacturing units, service sector units, shopkeepers, fruits / vegetable vendors, truck operators, food-service units, repair shops, machine operators, small industries, artisans, food processors and others, in rural and urban

The loans under MUDRA scheme can be availed only through banks and lending institutions which include:

  • Public Sector Banks
  • Private Sector Banks
  • State operated cooperative banks
  • Rural banks from regional sector
  • Institutions offering micro finance
  • Financial companies other than banks

Interest rate

Interest rates are charged as per the policy decision of the bank. However, the interest rate charged

to ultimate borrowers shall be reasonable.


The benefits under the scheme has been classified under three categories as ‘SHISHU’, ‘KISHOR’ and ‘TARUN’ to signify the stage of growth / development and funding needs of the beneficiary micro unit / entrepreneur.

  • Shishu: Covering loans up to Rs. 50,000/-
  • Kishor: Covering loans from Rs. 50,001 to Rs. 5,00,000/-
  • Tarun: Covering loans from Rs. 5,00,001 to Rs. 10,00,000/-
  • Individuals
  • Proprietary concern.
  • Partnership Firm.
  • Private Ltd. Company.
  • Public Company.
  • Any other legal forms.

The applicant should not be defaulter to any bank or financial institution and should have a satisfactory credit track record. The individual borrowers may be required to possess the necessary skills/experience/ knowledge to undertake the proposed activity. The need for educational qualification, if any, need to be assessed based on the nature of the proposed activity, and its requirement.

-Source: The Hindu

Artemis II Mission


NASA recently announced the crew that will fly aboard its Artemis II mission.


GS II: Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Artemis II Mission
  2. Artemis I

About Artemis II Mission

  • First human mission to the moon’s vicinity since 1972.
  • Second scheduled flight of the Artemis program and the first crewed Artemis mission.
  • Four astronauts will fly around the moon and return to Earth.
  • The Space Launch System (SLS) mega-rocket and Orion spacecraft will be used to launch the crew on the lunar flyby mission.
  • Astronauts and mission controllers will collect data on Orion and the crew’s performance to assess the readiness of the Artemis program for future moon surface missions.
Artemis Program:
  • It is NASA’s program to return astronauts to the Moon, preparing the way for human missions to Mars.
  • It aim to “land the first woman and first person of colour on the Moon”, explore the lunar surface.
  • The Artemis program includes the construction of the Lunar Gateway space station in orbit around the Moon.

Artemis I:

  • An uncrewed test flight of the Orion spacecraft, launched on the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket on November 16, 2022.
  • It is the first in a series of missions that are planned to not only take humans back to the Moon, but to also explore the possibilities of extended stay there, and to investigate the potential to use the Moon as a launch pad for deep space explorations.
  • The Artemis missions will build on the existing achievements of space technologies over the past few decades, and lay the foundations for more complex and ambitious missions in the future.
  • It will work towards extracting the resources found on the Moon, build from the materials available there, and harness hydrogen or helium as energy sources.

-Source: The Hindu

February 2024