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PIB – 15 October 2021





Focus: GS II- International Relations

Why in News?

Ministry of defence delivered  the inaugural address at Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) webinar on ‘Role of Women in Armed Forces’.


  • Government has taken a number of steps to strengthen the role of women within the security setup in general and the armed forces in particular.
  • Women have been serving with pride in Indian Military Nursing Service for over 100 years now. Indian Army had commenced commissioning women officers in 1992.
  • It has now moved to inducting women officers in most of the branches of the Army. Women are now being accepted for permanent commission and shall be commanding army units and battalions in near future.
  • Women are inducted in both support and combat roles – in the Indian Navy they pilot Maritime Reconnaissance aircrafts and since last year they were appointed onboard warships.
  • Similarly, Indian Coast Guard has been employing women officers in combat roles which includes pilots, observers and aviation support services.
  • In the Indian Air Force, women fly helicopters, fighter jets and constitute a significant percent of the officer cadre.
  • In UN peacekeeping missions too, women from the Indian Armed Forces participate regularly.

About Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO);-

  • It is a permanent intergovernmental international organization.
  • It’s creation was announced on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai (China) by the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan.
  • It was preceded by the Shanghai Five mechanism.
  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Charter was signed during the St. Petersburg SCO Heads of State meeting in June 2002, and entered into force on 19 September 2003.
  • The SCO’s official languages are Russian and Chinese.
  • Its membership was expanded to include India and Pakistan in 2017.
  • The SCO also has four observer states i.e. Afghanistan, Iran, Belarus and Mongolia,  which may be inducted at a later date.
  • Headquarters:  Beijing, China.

Above Image includes all the SCO members.

Organizational Structure of SCO;-
  • The organization has two permanent bodies i.e. the SCO Secretariat based in Beijing and the Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) based in Tashkent. 
  • The SCO Secretary-General and the Director of the Executive Committee of the SCO RATS are appointed by the Council of Heads of State for a term of three years. 
  • However, the venue of the SCO council meetings moves between the eight members.
  • SCO has the capacity to counterbalance North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), therefore, it is sometimes considered as “alliance of the East”, i.e, the Eastern complementary of NATO.
The SCO’s main goals are as follows:-
  • Strengthening mutual trust and neighborliness among the member states.
  • Promoting their effective cooperation in politics, trade, the economy, research, technology and culture, as well as in education, energy, transport, tourism, environmental protection, and other areas.
  • Making joint efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security and stability in the region and moving towards the establishment of a democratic, fair and rational new international political and economic order.


Focus: GS III- Defence

Why in News?

As part of the ongoing Indo-US Defence Cooperation, the Joint Military Training Exercise “Ex Yudh Abhyas 2021” will be conducted at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, Alaska (USA) from 15 to 29 October 2021.


  • The contingent, comprising of 350 personnel of an Infantry Battalion Group departed on 14 October 2021.
  • Exercise YudhAbhyas is the largest running joint military training and defence cooperation endeavor between India and USA.
  • This will be the 17th Edition of the joint exercise which is hosted alternately between both countries.
  • The previous version of this exercise was held at Mahajan Field Firing Ranges in Bikaner, Rajasthan in February 2021.
  • This exercise is another step in the growing military cooperation between the two countries.
  • The exercise aims at enhancing understanding, cooperation and inter-operability between two Armies.
  • The joint exercise will focus on Combined Arms Manoeuvres in cold climatic conditions and is primarily aimed at sharing tactical level drills and learning best practices from each other.
  • The exercise will culminate after a 48 hours long validation.


Focus: Prelims, GS-II: Governance

Why in News?

Govt. of India launched Climate Resilience Information System and Planning (CRISP-M) tool under Mahatma Gandhi NREGA.


  • For integration of climate information in Geographic Information System (GIS) based watershed planning
  • Open up new possibilities for our rural communities to deal with the issues of climate change – to cope with climate change and protecting them from weather-related disasters.

December 2023