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Current Affairs 15 February 2022

CONTENTS

  1. Earth Observation Satellite (EOS-04)
  2. Inflation edges past 6% in January
  3. NHA to integrate caste census databases
  4. The Palk Bay fisheries conflict
  5. United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)
  6. Lassa fever
  7. India-Australia interim trade agreement and FTA

Earth Observation Satellite (EOS-04)


Context:

PM congratulated Indian space scientists on successful launch of PSLV C52 mission.

Relevance:

GS III- Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. About Earth Observation Satellite (EOS-04)
  2. Recent Achievements of ISRO
  3. About Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)

About Earth Observation Satellite (EOS-04)

Launch Vehicle: It was launched by PSLV C-52 launch vehicle from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota.

Weight: Its weight is around 1,170 kg.

Orbit: It will be placed in a sun synchronous polar orbit of 529 km away from earth.

Feature: It is a radar-imaging satellite, designed to provide high-quality images under all weather conditions.

Applications: It includes:

  • Agriculture,
  • Forestry & plantations,
  • Soil moisture and hydrology, and
  • Flood mapping

PSLV-C52 mission: Two small satellites as co-passengers namely:

  • INSPIREsat-1: It is a student satellite from the Indian Institute of Space Science & Technology in association with the Laboratory of Atmospheric & Space Physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder and
  • INS-2TD: It is a technology demonstrator satellite from ISRO.

Recent Achievements of ISRO:

Amazonia-1:

  • It is the first dedicated commercial mission of NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), a Government of India company under Department of Space.
  • It was launched by PSLV-C51 in 2021.
  • It is a optical earth observation satellite of National Institute for Space Research (INPE), would provide remote sensing data to users for monitoring deforestation in the Amazon region and analysis of diversified agriculture across the Brazilian territory.

UNITYsat and Satish Dhawan SAT (SDSAT):

  • The PSLV-C51 launch vehicle successfully launched Indian student satellites UNITYsat and Satish Dhawan SAT (SDSAT) on February 28, 2021.
  • UNITYsat: It is intended for providing Radio relay services
  • SDSAT: It is a nano satellite intended to study the radiation levels/space weather and demonstrate long range communication technologies.

CMS-01 Mission:

  • It is India’s communication satellite was launched by PSLV-C50 in 2020.
  • It was injected into an elliptical sub-Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit.
  • It is envisaged for providing services in extended C Band frequency spectrum.

About Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO):

  • Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) was set up by the Government of India in 1962.
  • Indian Space Research Organisation, formed in 1969, superseded the erstwhile INCOSPAR.
  • Vikram Sarabhai played a significant role in identifying the role and importance of space technology in a Nation’s development.
  • It aims to Harness space technology for national development, while pursuing space science research and planetary exploration.
  • Recently, S. Somanath, an eminent rocket scientist has been appointed as the Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Space Secretary.

-Source: The Hindu, PIB


Inflation Edges Past 6% in January


Context:

India’s retail inflation accelerated past the 6% mark in January to hit 6.01%, breaching the central bank’s tolerance threshold for consumer price inflation for the first time since June 2021. Retail inflation was 5.66% in December 2021.

Relevance:

GS-III: Indian Economy (Growth and Development of Indian Economy, Fiscal Policy, Taxation)

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. What is Inflation?
  2. Types of Inflation based on rate of Increase
  3. What is Consumer Price Index (CPI)?
  4. About the Latest inflation data

What is Inflation?

  • Inflation refers to the consistent rise in the prices of most goods and services of daily or common use, such as food, clothing, housing, recreation, transport, consumer staples, etc. Inflation measures the average price change in a basket of commodities and services over time.
  • A moderate level of inflation is required in the economy to ensure that production is promoted. Excess Inflation is indicative of the decrease in the purchasing power of a unit of a country’s currency. This could ultimately lead to a deceleration in economic growth.
  • In India, inflation is primarily measured by two main indices — WPI (Wholesale Price Index) and CPI (Consumer Price Index) which measure wholesale and retail-level price changes, respectively.

Types of Inflation based on rate of Increase

There are four main types of inflation, categorized by their speed. They are creeping, walking, galloping, and hyperinflation.

I. Creeping Inflation

  • Creeping or mild inflation is when prices rise 3% a year or less. According to the Federal Reserve, when prices increase 2% or less, it benefits economic growth.
  • This kind of mild inflation makes consumers expect that prices will keep going up. That boosts demand. Consumers buy now to beat higher future prices. That’s how mild inflation drives economic expansion.

II. Walking Inflation

  • When prices rise by more than 3% but less than 10% per annum (i.e., between 3% and 10% per annum), it is called as Walking Inflation.
  • It is harmful to the economy because it heats-up economic growth too fast.
  • People start to buy more than they need to avoid tomorrow’s much higher prices. This increased buying drives demand even further so that suppliers can’t keep up and neither can the wages. As a result, common goods and services are priced out of the reach of most people.

III. Galloping Inflation

  • When inflation rises to 10% or more (i.e., prices rise by double- or triple-digit inflation rates like 30% or 400% or 999% per annum), it wreaks absolute havoc on the economy. It is also referred as jumping inflation.
  • Money loses value so fast that business and employee income can’t keep up with costs and prices.
  • Foreign investors avoid the country, depriving it of needed capital. The economy becomes unstable, and government leaders lose credibility.

IV. Hyperinflation

  • Hyperinflation refers to a situation where the prices rise at an alarming high rate – i.e., more than 50% a month.
  • The prices rise so fast that it becomes very difficult to measure its magnitude. However, in quantitative terms, when prices rise above 1000% per annum (quadruple or four-digit inflation rate), it is termed as Hyperinflation.
  • Most examples of hyperinflation occur when governments print money to pay for wars.
  • Examples of hyperinflation include Germany in the 1920s, Zimbabwe in the 2000s, and Venezuela in the 2010s.
  • During a worst-case scenario of hyperinflation, value of national currency (money) of an affected country reduces almost to zero. Paper money becomes worthless and people start trading either in gold and silver or sometimes even use the old barter system of commerce.

V. Chronic Inflation

  • If creeping inflation persist (continues to increase) for a longer period of time then it is often called as Chronic or Secular Inflation.
  • Chronic Creeping Inflation can be either Continuous (which remains consistent without any downward movement) or Intermittent (which occurs at regular intervals).
  • It is called chronic because if an inflation rate continues to grow for a longer period without any downturn, then it possibly leads to Hyperinflation.

VI. Moderate Inflation

  • Concept of Creeping and Walking inflation clubbed together are called Moderate Inflation.
  • When prices rise by less than 10% per annum (single digit inflation rate), it is known as Moderate Inflation.
  • It is a stable inflation and not a serious economic problem.

VII. Running Inflation

  • A rapid acceleration in the rate of rising prices is referred as Running Inflation.
  • When prices rise by more than 10% per annum, running inflation occurs.
  • Though economists have not suggested a fixed range for measuring running inflation, we may consider price rise between 10% to 20% per annum (double digit inflation rate) as a running inflation.

What is Consumer Price Index (CPI)?

  • Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures price changes from the perspective of a retail buyer.
  • CPI is released by the National Statistical Office (NSO).
  • Base Year for CPI is 2012 and the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) uses CPI data to control inflation.
  • The CPI calculates the difference in the price of commodities and services such as food, medical care, education, electronics etc, which Indian consumers buy for use.
  • The CPI has several sub-groups including food and beverages, fuel and light, housing and clothing, bedding and footwear.
  • Four types of CPI are as follows:
    1. CPI for Industrial Workers (IW).
    2. CPI for Agricultural Labourer (AL).
    3. CPI for Rural Labourer (RL).
    4. CPI (Rural/Urban/Combined).
  • Of these, CPI for Industrial Workers (IW), CPI for Agricultural Labourer (AL) and CPI for Rural Labourer (RL) are compiled by the Labour Bureau in the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
  • CPI (Rural/Urban/Combined) is compiled by the National Statistical Office (NSO) in the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.

About the Latest inflation data

  • Rural India bore the brunt of the inflation spike, with the pace of price rise touching 6.12% from 5.36% in December.
  • Inflation in urban India was virtually unchanged at 5.91% in January, from 5.9% a month earlier.
  • The Consumer Food Price Index spiked significantly from 4.05% in December to 5.43% in January, with rural India again reporting a sharper rise.  
  • Food inflation is high mainly due to the higher edible oils component, but the overall basket is below the headline number at 5.6%.

-Source: The Hindu


NHA to Integrate Caste Census Databases


Context:

The Union Health Ministry said the National Health Authority (NHA) is working to integrate the database of Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) 2011 beneficiaries with the National Food Security Act (NFSA) portal so that beneficiaries can seek information regarding their entitlements under the AB PM-JAY using their ration card number.

Relevance:

GS II- Government Policies and Interventions, GS-II: Social Justice and Governance (Issues related to Health, Welfare Schemes, Government Policies and Initiatives)

Dimensions of the article:
  1. Details:
  2. About Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY)
  3. About the National Health Authority (NHA)
  4. National Food Security Act

Details:

  • NHA is also working on a proposal to use fair price shops or ration shops for providing information related to the scheme and entitlement under the scheme to eligible beneficiaries.
  • This will provide an additional avenue to beneficiaries along with the existing Common Service Centre, UTI-ITSL and so on for card creation. This will make the beneficiary identification process very convenient.
  • It added that the existing beneficiary data available with various government welfare schemes can be meaningfully utilised only if a common identifier is available.
  • Aadhaar being a common identity across the majority of government databases will enable this integration. Aadhaar also ensures certainty regarding beneficiary identification through e-KYC. e-KYC enables paperless delivery of services in a targeted manner.

About Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY)

  • Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme having central sector component under Ayushman Bharat Mission anchored in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
  • It is an umbrella of two major health initiatives, namely
    • National  Health Protection Scheme.
    • Health and wellness Centres
  • The PM Jan Arogya Yojana beneficiaries get an e-card that can be used to avail services at an empanelled hospital, public or private, anywhere in the country, with which they can walk into a hospital and obtain cashless treatment.
  • The scheme has certain pre-conditions by which it picks who can avail of the health cover benefit. While in the rural areas the list is mostly categorized on lack of housing, meagre income and other deprivations, the urban list of PMJAY beneficiaries is drawn up on the basis of occupation.
  • AB PM-JAY is the flagship scheme of the Union government as a part of the Indian government’s National Health Policy.
National Health Protection Mission (AB-PMJAY)
  • AB-PMJAY provides a defined insurance benefit cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year. This cover will take care of almost all secondary care and most of tertiary care procedures.
  • To ensure that nobody is left out (especially women, children and elderly) there will be no cap on family size and age in the scheme.
  • The beneficiaries can avail benefits in both public and empanelled private facilities. All public hospitals in the States implementing AB-PMJAY, will be deemed empanelled for the Scheme.
  • Benefits of the scheme are portable across the country and a beneficiary covered under the scheme will be allowed to take cashless benefits from any public/private empanelled hospitals across the country.
  • To control costs, the payments for treatment will be done on package rate (to be defined by the Government in advance) basis.
Health and Wellness Centres (AB-PMJAY)
  • Under this 1.5 lakh existing sub centres will bring health care system closer to the homes of people in the form of Health and wellness centres.
  • These centres will provide comprehensive health care, including for non-communicable diseases and maternal and child health services.

About the National Health Authority (NHA)

  • National Health Authority (NHA) is the apex body responsible for implementing India’s flagship public health insurance/assurance scheme called “Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana”.
  • The NHA been entrusted with the role of designing strategy, building technological infrastructure and implementation of “Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission” to create a National Digital Health Eco-system.
  • National Health Authority (2019) is the successor of the National Health Agency, which was functioning as a registered society since 2018 (Not a Statutory body).
  • NHA has been set-up to implement PM-JAY, as it is popularly known, at the national level.
  • NHA is an attached office of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare with full functional autonomy.
  • NHA is also leading the implementation for Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission ABDM in coordination with different ministries/departments of the Government of India, State Governments, and private sector/civil society organizations.
  • NHA is governed by a Governing Board chaired by the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare and it is headed by a Chief Executive Officer (CEO), an officer of the rank of Secretary to the Government of India, who manages its affairs.

National Food Security Act

  • The basic concept of food security globally is to ensure that all people, at all times, should get access to the basic food for their active and healthy life and is characterized by availability, access, utilization and stability of food.
  • In pursuance of this, the enactment of the National Food Security Act, (NFSA) 2013 marks a paradigm shift in the approach to food security from welfare to the rights-based approach.
  • The Act legally entitles up to 75% of the rural population and 50% of the urban population to receive subsidized foodgrains under the Targeted Public Distribution System.

-Source: The Hindu, PIB


The Palk Bay Fisheries Conflict


Context:

The Sri Lankan Navy arrested 12 Indian fishermen from Rameswaram district, Tamil Nadu, and seized two of their fishing boats on charges of engaging in illegal fishing activity. This is the third such arrest in a fortnight, prompting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister to, yet again, write to Prime Minister, seeking the Centre’s immediate intervention to secure their release.

Relevance:

GS II- International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. Background
  2. What is the conflict, and between whom?
  3. Why is it yet to be resolved?

Background:

  • For well over a decade now, fishermen of India and Sri Lanka have been unable to agree on how to share the fishes in the narrow Palk Strait separating the two countries.
  • The Strait begins just north of Sri Lanka’s Jaffna peninsula and spans about 100 km at its widest point. It is known to be a breeding ground for rich marine resources, especially shrimp.
  • Although India and Sri Lanka agreed to divide the Strait with an imaginary boundary line in the 1970s —the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) – Indian fishermen, from the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu, and from Puducherry, are frequently arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy for “poaching” or engaging in “illegal” fishing activity in Sri Lankan waters.
  • Several rounds of bilateral negotiations between the two governments and talks between fishing community leaders from both sides have been held over the years, but a solution remains elusive.

What is the conflict, and between whom?

  • The main contention between the fishermen on either side is not so much about territorial rights, as historically both sides have amicably shared marine resources in the stretch.
  • It is more to do with the use of “bottom trawling”, the fishing method used by fishermen from Tamil Nadu.
    • A group of daily-wage fishermen set out on mechanised boats, owned by other affluent fishermen, and drag large fishing nets through the seabed. While they primarily target fish species and shrimps, the practice of bottom trawling scoops out eggs, young fishes, and other marine organisms that eventually die and are thrown back into the sea.
  • The primary conflict here is between the Tamil Nadu trawler owners and the northern Sri Lankan fishermen, who are trying to rebuild their livelihoods after Sri Lanka’s civil war ended in 2009.
  • Until then, they were denied access to the sea at different points and displaced from their homes.
  • It is in the post-war decade that the Sri Lankan fishermen started voicing concern about depleting catches, owing to incessant trawling by the Indian fishermen.
  • With the Indian side of the IMBL already ravaged by decades of high profit-yielding bottom trawling, they flock to the Sri Lankan side, with relatively less damage and therefore, more marine resources.

Why is it yet to be resolved?

  • One reason is the growing human cost of the conflict —five Indian fishermen returned home dead last year after the Sri Lankan Navy allegedly attacked them mid-sea.
  • More recently, the death of the two Jaffna fishermen has aggravated the anger on the Sri Lankan side as well.
  • For years now, India has urged Sri Lanka to adopt a humanitarian approach when it deters Indian fishermen. However, when fishermen deaths occur, apart from customary condemnations and denials, there is little effort from authorities on either side to ensure investigations are completed and perpetrators brought to book.
  • Secondly, New Delhi tried diverting Tamil Nadu fishermen to deep sea fishing methods to wean them away from bottom trawling in the Palk Strait. But the initiative did not take off as planned , and the fishermen still resort to trawling, and often get caught by Sri Lankan authorities.
  • Thirdly, Tamil Nadu is yet to agree to the chief demand of northern Tamil fishermen — to stop bottom trawling to restore trust between the fishermen on both sides, and provide a real opportunity to re-commence talks, which they prefer over confrontation.

-Source: The Hindu


United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)


Context:

Recently, India signed an agreement with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) for the distribution of 50,000 MT of wheat that it has committed to sending to Afghanistan as part of a humanitarian assistance.

Relevance:

GS II- Important International Institutions

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. About United Nations World Food Programme
  2. Major Concern for the distribution of wheat

About United Nations World Food Programme

  • The World Food Programme (WFP) is the leading humanitarian organization saving lives and changing lives, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. 
  • As the international community has committed to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition by 2030, one in nine people worldwide still do not have enough to eat. Food and food-related assistance lie at the heart of the struggle to break the cycle of hunger and poverty.
  • It was founded in 1961 by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) with its headquarters in Rome, Italy.
  • It is also a member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG), a coalition of UN agencies and organisations aimed at fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 
  • WFP was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2020
    • For its efforts to combat hunger,
    • For its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas
    • For acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict,
  • In 2020, WFP assisted 115.5 million people – the largest number since 2012 –  in 84 countries. 
  • On any given day, WFP has 5,600 trucks, 30 ships and nearly 100 planes on the move, delivering food and other assistance to those in most need.
  • WFP’s efforts focus on emergency assistance, relief and rehabilitation, development aid and special operations
  • Two-thirds of  work is in conflict-affected countries where people are three times more likely to be undernourished than those living in countries without conflict. 

Major Concern for the distribution of wheat

  • The route via Pakistan, which has been closed for all exports from India since 2019, and opened only as an exception, is likely to require several weeks for the transport of the current consignment, as infrastructure and labour required to load and reload the wheat has to be organised.
  • Pakistan had shut down all trade with India to protest the government’s changes in Jammu and Kashmir and Article 370 in August 2019.
  • Subsequently, the Pakistan government had allowed Afghan exports to India to pass through the Wagah border, making an exception also for medicines from India during the pandemic.
  • India has also flown several consignments of medicines and medical equipment to hospitals in Afghanistan on board flights.

-Source: The Hindu


Lassa Fever


Context:

One of the three persons diagnosed with Lassa fever in the UK has died. The cases have been linked to travel to west African countries. The Lassa virus is named after a town in Nigeria where the first cases were discovered.

Relevance:

GS II- Health

Dimensions of the article:
  1. What is Lassa fever?
  2. How does it spread?
  3. Symptoms

What is Lassa fever?

  • The Lassa fever-causing virus is found in West Africa and was first discovered in 1969 in Lassa, Nigeria.
  • The discovery of this disease was made after two nurses died in Nigeria.
  • The death rate associated with this disease is low, at around one per cent.
  • But the death rate is higher for certain individuals, such as pregnant women in their third trimester.
  • According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, about 80 per cent of the cases are asymptomatic and therefore remain undiagnosed. Some patients may need to be hospitalised and develop severe multi-system disease. Fifteen per cent of the hospitalised patients may die.

How does it spread?

  • The fever is spread by rats and is primarily found in countries in West Africa including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, and Nigeria where it is endemic.
  • A person can become infected if they come in contact with household items of food that is contaminated with the urine or feces of an infected rat.
  • It can also be spread, though rarely, if a person comes in contact with a sick person’s infected bodily fluids or through mucous membranes such as the eyes, nose or the mouth. Person-to-person transmission is more common in healthcare settings.
  • Even so, people don’t usually become contagious before symptoms appear and cannot transmit the infection through casual contact such as through hugging, shaking hands or sitting near someone who is infected.

Symptoms

  • Mild symptoms include slight fever, fatigue, weakness and headache and more serious symptoms include bleeding, difficulty breathing, vomiting, facial swelling, pain in the chest, back, and abdomen and shock.
  • Symptoms typically appear 1-3 weeks after exposure.
  • Death can occur from two weeks of the onset of symptoms, usually as a result of multi-organ failure.
  • The most common complication associated with the fever is deafness.

-Source: Indian Express


India-Australia Interim Trade Agreement and FTA


Context:

India and Australia have announced that they are set to conclude an interim trade agreement in March and a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) 12-18 months thereafter.

Relevance:

GS-II: International Relations (Foreign Polices and developments affecting India’s Interests)

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. What is the interim trade agreement likely to cover?
  2. How has the Quad impacted trade relations between India and Australia?
  3. What other Free Trade Agreements is India currently negotiating?
  4. India – Australia Relations, Issues in the past

What is the interim trade agreement likely to cover?

  • An interim or early harvest trade agreement is used to liberalise tariffs on the trade of certain goods between two countries or trading blocs before a comprehensive FTA (Free Trade Agreement) is concluded.
  • The interim agreement set to be announced will cover “most areas of interest for both countries” including goods, services, rules of origin, sanitary and phytosanitary measures and customs procedures.
  • Bilateral trade between the two countries stood at about $12.5 billion in FY21 and has already surpassed $17.7 billion in the first 10 months of FY22.
  • India has imported merchandise worth about $12.1 billion from Australia in the first 10 months of the fiscal and has exported merchandise worth $5.6 billion in the same period.
  • Key imports from Australia
    • coal,
    • gold and
    • LNG
  • Key exports to Australia
    • diesel,
    • petrol
    • gems and jewellery.
  • The agreement with Australia was set to bring opportunities across sectors including mining, pharmaceuticals, health, education, renewables, railways, gems and jewellery, tourism, defence and textiles.
  • India is also likely to seek easier visa access for both students and professionals visiting Australia.
  • Australia is likely to seek market access for wines and agricultural products which are not produced on a large scale in India.
  • India and Australia have also signed an MoU to boost tourism between the two countries.
  • Australia has also emphasised that the agreement would lead to deeper cooperation between the two countries in critical minerals and rare earth elements which are critical to future industries including renewable energy and electric vehicles.

How has the Quad impacted trade relations between India and Australia?

  • India and Australia are both members of the Quad (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue) along with the US and Japan.
  • Both countries have noted that the coalition has given impetus to increasing trade relations between all members of the Quad.
  • Australia noted that it already had FTAs with both the US and Japan and that all four countries could start building a framework for economic cooperation within the countries of the Quad after they announced a deal with India.

What other Free Trade Agreements is India currently negotiating?

  • India is currently in the process of negotiating FTAs with the UAE, the UK, Canada, the EU and Israel, besides Australia.
  • India is also looking to complete an early harvest agreement with the UAE and the UK in the first half of 2022.

India – Australia Relations, Issues in the past

  • The historical ties between India and Australia initiated following the European settlement in Australia from 1788.
  • Australia and India for the first time established diplomatic relations in the pre-Independence period, when the Consulate General of India was first opened as a Trade Office in Sydney in 1941.
  • Following India’s independence, the Australian leaders advocated the British counterparts to retain the strategically important Andaman and the Nicobar Islands within the British Empire.
  • During the Cold War, Australia had decided to be a close ally of the US, while India initially opted for Non-Alignment.
  • Then there was the Pakistan factor. Australia’s attempts to act as the mediator between India and Pakistan in the 1940s and 1950s were not taken well by New Delhi.
  • Over time, during the Cold War era, Australia opted for close ties with Pakistan – a close ally of the US – instead of India.
  • Following the above – India-Australia relations touched a historic low when the Australian Government condemned India’s 1998 nuclear tests.
  • Another issue that plagued the bilateral ties was the lack of people-to-people ties due to the White Australia policy that banned immigration from Asia and the Pacific Islands.
Improvements began when:
  • In 2008, the Nuclear Suppliers Group had granted a waiver to India, leading to Australia lifting its uranium ban against the NPT non-signatories
  • In 2014 Australia signed a uranium supply deal with India, the first of its kind with a country that is a non-signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, in recognition of India’s “impeccable” non-proliferation record it became evident what type of relation Australia wanted with India.
  • The end of the Cold War and India’s decision to launch major economic reforms in 1991 ensured the development of closer ties between the two nations.
  • India is among the largest contributors to Australia’s population growth. There is a massive influx of Indian students and tourists to Australia.

-Source: Indian Express


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