River Litani is the longest river in Lebanon. It has an artificial lake called the Qaraoun lake created by the Litani river dam. Around forty tonnes of fish were recently washed on the banks of the lake due to excessive pollution. The pollution was mainly due to sewage dumping. This has gained an international spotlight. Such a huge disaster is happening for the first time in the region.
A fishing ban in the reservoir was imposed in 2018. However, the actions were inadequate to stop the pollution.
The river is an important water source for the southern part of Lebanon.
The Litani dam was constructed in 1959 for irrigation and hydropower projects.
It rises in the Beqaa valley and empties in Mediterranean sea.
The rivers originates and flows entirely inside Lebanon, that is, it is not a transboundary river.
Recent environmental disasters in Lebanon
In April 2021, the volunteers removed sticky tar from the beaches in Lebanon coast after an oil spill.
In August 2020, a huge explosion occurred in Beirut port that devastated the country. It even led to the country’s Prime Minister resigning his office. Here are the Beirut Explosion details:
A Massive Explosion occurs at the Lebanese capital, Beirut
The Prime Minister of Lebanon Hassan Diab announces his resignation
India sends humanitarian aid to Lebanon
UNESCO launches new initiative to revamp the heritage buildings in the country
United Nations launches 3RF plan to revitalise Beirut
Battle of Litani River
It was fought on June 9, 1941. It was a battle of second world war. It was fought to advance Beirut. During the war, the Australian troops crossed the Litani river and fought with the Vichy French troops. This was a part of the Syria-Lebanon Campaign, which is British invasion of Vichy French, Lebanon and Syria. Vichy French was an independent ally of Germany.
The Minister of Road Transport and Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari recently announced that the Government of India has set a target of road construction of worth Rs 15 lakh crores in next two years.
What are the plans?
In order to achieve the above target, the Government of India aims to construct forty kilometres of road per day in 2021-22.
The GoI is permitting 100% Foreign Direct Investment in the road sector.
This will help to boost the National Infrastructure Pipeline. Under the National Infrastructure Pipeline, the Union Government aims to provide world-class infrastructure to the citizens and thereby improve their quality of lives. There are 7,300 projects to be implemented under the NIP. The total cost of the project has been estimated as Rs 111 lakh crores.
The GoI recently approved Rs 1,229.38 crores for the state of Punjab under the Bharatmala Pariyojana Phase I. Under this project, a six-lane greenfield is to be built between Amritsar and Bathinda.
It was launched to improve the road network in India. It aims to achieve the following:
9,000 kilometres of Economic corridors
5,000 kilometres of roads to improve connectivity
2,000 kilometres of roads that fall under Border Road Organisation or roads under international connectivity
2,000 kilometres of port connectivity roads
Construction and maintenance of 10,000 new roads
It will mainly focus creating Green Field Expressways for better management of freight and traffic.
As of August 2020, 12,413 kilometres of roads have been constructed. The Phase I of the project aims to construct 34, 800 kilometres of National Highways in five years. The timeline of the phase is between 2017 and 2022. The project was approved at an estimated cost of Rs 5,35,00 crores.
The researchers of Poland recently discovered the first embalmed pregnant woman. This is the first time in the history scientists have found a foetus in a mummy. Initially the researchers thought the Mummy was a male priest.
About the Mummy
The Mummy was first brought to Warsaw in 1826.
It was believed to be the mummy of a male priest due to the inscription on the coffin. However, recent scans have revealed that there is a foetus in the mummy.
The identification was made under the “Warsaw Mummy Project” by the anthropologists and archaeologists at the National Museum in Warsaw.
This Mummy was found at the Royal Tombs in Thebes. Thebes is an ancient Egyptian city along the Nile river.
The Mummy was dubbed as the “Mysterious Lady of the National Museum in Warsaw”. She is believed to be 20 to 30 years old.
The scientists confirmed that the embalmed woman was pregnant when they saw the little foot and little hand. Usually, the mummification process includes removing the organs from the abdomen and chest. They are still wondering why wasn’t the foetus removed. One possibility is that it was difficult to remove the foetus from the womb without causing serious damage.
Warsaw Mummy Project
It was initiated by a group of archaeologists from the University of Warsaw in 2015. It aims to examine the animal and human mummies at the National Museum in Warsaw.
Under the project, the scientists are using X-ray, CT-scan, podoscopy and dactyloscopy to analyse the mummification methods and the state of tissue preservation. These advanced techniques helped in discovering the first pregnant mummy though she was unearthed a century ago.
Note: Podoscopy is footprint examination and Dactyloscopy is fingerprint examination
The Ministry of Finance recently released the first instalment of State Disaster Relief Fund. According to the Finance Ministry, the funds have been released early. The ministry released 50% of the amount, which is Rs 4,436.8 crores. According to the recommendation made by the Finance Commission, the funds were to be released by June 2021. The total amount of SDRF to be released for 2021-22 is Rs 8,873 crores.
State Disaster Response Funds
They were constituted under Disaster Management Act, 2005.
In 2020, the Home ministry issued an order to include COVID-19 as a “notified disaster”. This was done to provide temporary accommodation, clothing, food, medical care to the homeless people including the stranded migrant labourers.
The SDRF is the major fund available with the State Government to respond to disasters.
The Central Government contributes 75% of the SDRF allocation for general category states. Around 90% is contributed to the Special Category States and Union Territories.
The State Disaster Response Funds are supplemented by the National Disaster Response Funds.
National Disaster Response Funds
The National Calamity Contingency Funds were renamed as the National Disaster Response Fund.
These funds are placed under the “Public Account”. It does not bear any interests.
The expenditure from these funds does not require the approval of the Parliament.
The National Disaster Response Funds are audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General.
The fund is also used for relief activities for the calamities such as pest attacks, drought, frost, cold wave, that is, basically those calamities associated with farmers. Such funding are monitored by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation. It operates under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare.
The World largest airplane built by Stratolaunch recently completed its second test flight from Mojave Air and Space Port in California.
About the test flight
The flight reached an altitude of 4,267 metres during its test flight.
It reached a top speed of 320 kilometre per hour.
The plane can carry more than 220 tonnes of payload.
The wingspan of the aircraft is 117 metres. This is greater than an American football field.
It has been named “Roc”. Roc is an enormous bird usually addressed in the mythological stories of the Middle East. It is quite popular from “Sinbad, the Sailor”.
It carries a twin-fuselage configuration. Fuselage is the main body section of the aircraft. It holds the cargo, crew and the passengers. A twin-fuselage design has two fuselages.
The fuselages are supported by twelve main landing gear wheels and two nose gear wheels.
The left fuselage cockpit is unmanned. It only houses support equipment. Both the fuselage cockpits are pressurised and separated from the unpressurised vehicle.
Stratolaunch was established by Paul Allen in 2011. He was a co-founder of Microsoft.
Other popular projects of Stratolaunch
Stratolaunch is also developing a reusable hypersonic flight vehicle that shall be used to launch satellites.
Science behind Airplanes
The air wings of the planes are shaped to make the air move faster over the top of the wings. As the air is moving faster, its pressure decreases. This drop in pressure occurs on the top of the wing. This in turn creates a pressure difference between the top and bottom of the wings of the airplane. This difference in pressure creates a force that lifts the wing into the air.
On May 1, 2021, India is celebrating four hundredth Prakash Purab of Guru Tegh Bahadur. He was the ninth Sikh Guru.
Guru Tegh Bahadur
He was born in Amritsar, Punjab in 1621. He was the youngest son of Guru Hargobind Sahib.
He wrote 115 hymns that were included in Guru Granth Sahib.
Guru Tegh Bahadur was executed on the orders of Aurangazeb. The Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib marks the execution place of Guru Tegh Bahadur and the Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Sahib marks the cremation place of Guru tegh Bahadur.
His martyrdom ( the suffering of death on account of adherence to a cause ) is commemorated as Shaheedi Divas of Guru Tegh Bahadur. It is commemorated on 24th November every year.
Guru Granth Sahib
It is the religious scripture of Sikhism. According to the Sikhs, it is the final, sovereign and eternal guru.
The first rendition of Guru Granth Sahib is called the Adi Granth. It was compiled by the fifth guru Arjan Dev. He completed the Adi Granth in 1604 and installed it inside the Golden temple in Amritsar.
Later Guru Har Gobind Singh added Ramkali Ki Vaar. Finally, Guru Gobind Singh added the hymns composed by Guru Tegh Bahadyr. Guru Gobind Singh was the tenth guru of the Sikhs.
Golden Temple and Operation Blue Star
There were insurgencies in Punjab for a separate Sikh homeland called Khalistan.
In 1973, Akali Dal passed Anandpur Resolution demanding for more autonomy to the states. Akali Dal was a political party in Punjab.
In 1982, Akali Dal and Bhindranwale joined hands to implement the Anandpur Resolution.
In 1983, Bhindranwale fortified the Golden Temple complex. He started hiding there to avoid arrest.
In 1984, the then Prime Minister Smt Indira Gandhi sent the Indian Army to the Golden temple to capture Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. The Indian Army launched “Operation Blue Star” to capture Bhindranwale.
The Government of Germany recently announced that it is to return the artefacts called the “Benin Bronzes” to Nigeria. The “Benin Bronzes” are currently held in the museum of Germany.
What are Benin Bronzes?
They are a group of thousand metal sculptures. These sculptures once decorated the royal palace of Kingdom of Benin, the current Nigeria. Some of these sculptures were looted by the British during the Benin Expedition of 1897.
Though they are named as bronzes, they are mostly made of brass. They are also made of mixtures of brass and bronze. Some of them are even made of ivory, wood or ceramic.
The golden ages of the sculptures occurred during the reigns of Esigie and Eresoyen.
How are Benin Bronzes made?
They are made using lost-wax casting process. It is a process of making copies from a model. The method had been used in Indus Valley Civilisation as well.
Benin Expedition of 1897
It was a punitive expedition of British force under Sir Harry Rawson. The troops captured Benin city and put an end the Kingdom of Benin. It was then absorbed into colonial Nigeria.
Other countries on Benin Bronzes
The University of Aberdeen in Scotland was the first institute to agree to return the Benin Bronzes.
The National Museum of Ireland has agreed to return the artefacts as well.
Similarly, the Church of England also signalled that it will repatriate the sculptures.
Indian Sculptures in other foreign countries
Kohinoor Diamond in UK
Jagadamba, the Sword of Shivaji Maharaj Shivaji had three swords. They were Jagdamba, Bhawani and Tulja. The sword Jagdamba was presented by the Prince of Wales, Edward VII when he visited India. The sword is now in Buckingham palace.
Tipu’s Tiger It is a wooden toy created by Tipu Sultan in the 18th century. It depicts a tiger injuring a European man brutally. When the handle in the side of the toy is turned the tiger makes a roaring sound and the man wails lifting his arms up and down. It in now in Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Ambika Statute It is a marble statue of Goddess Ambika. It was discovered in the late 19th century. It is now in Britain. There has been huge demand to bring back the statue to the Saraswati temple in Madhya Pradesh.
Royal Jade Wine Cup of Shah Jahan The cup dates back to 1657. The bottom of the cup features acanthus leaves and a lotus flower. It was one of the elegant treasures of Mughal dynasty. It is now in the possession of Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh throne Maharaja Ranjit Singh was the leader of the Sikhs. The throne is made of wood and covered with sheets of gold. It was taken by the British after the Second Anglo Sikh war. It is now in Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Sultanganj Buddha It is a sculpture of Gauthama Buddha. It dates back to 7th century. It is now in Britain.
The United Nations recently released the Global Forest Goals Report, 2021. According to the report, the COVID-19 has increased the challenges faced by countries in managing their forests.
Key Findings of the report
During COVID-19 the forest dependent population faced reduced income, job losses, diminished access to markets and information. Most of the forest dependent population faced difficulty in accessing healthcare and basic services.
Reliance on forests
According to the report,
Around 1.6 billion people rely on forests. This is 25% of global population.
Of the rural areas in the world, more than 40% live in Savannah and forests. This is 20% of the global population.
Key goals as identified by the report
Australia: To plant 20 million trees by 2020. This is to be increased to billion plantations by 2030
Brazil: To increase the planted areas to two million hectares
India: To add 200,000 hectares of tree and forest cover per year
Kenya: To increase tree cover by 10%
Myanmar: To increase forest cover to 30%
Japan: To maintain the 25 million hectares of forest area
New Zealand: To plant 1 billion trees by 2028
Thailand: To increase forest cover to 55%
Sri Lanka: To increase forest cover to 32%
Nigeria: To increase forest cover from 6% to 25% by 2030
The report provides an overview of the six Global Forest Goals out of the twenty-six targets of National Strategic Plan for Forests. The six goals are as follows:
Reverse Forest Cover Loss
Improve Forest Benefits and Livelihoods
Protect Forests and use sustainable forest products
Promote inclusive forest governance
Cooperate and work across the sectors
The United Nations Strategic Plan for forests was created to promote sustainable forest management. It was to be implemented between 2017 and 2030. The main objective of the plan is to increase the forest area in the world by 3% by 2030. That is, to bring 120 million hectares of land under forest cover.
Russia recently produced the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines for animals. The name of the vaccine is Carnivac-Cov. The World Health Organisation recently confirmed the possibility for transmission of virus between humans and virus.
In 2020, Denmark killed more than 17 million minks after the country concluded that the virus has passed from humans to minks. In Denmark, the virus transferred to mink from humans. It then transferred back to humans as mutated strains.
It was produced by Rosselkhoznadzor, a federal service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance in Russia.
The Russian scientists believe that the use of the vaccine will help to prevent virus mutations.
The results of the vaccine trials say that it has good immunogenic effect.
Response to the COVID-19 animal vaccine
According to Russia, countries such as Lebanon, Kazakhstan, Poland, Greece, Germany, Austria, Iran, Argentina, South Korea have expressed interest in purchasing the vaccine.
Transmission of COVID-19
COVID-19 mainly spreads through human-to-human transmission. However, there is evidence of human to animal transmission. This is possible mainly because it is a zoonotic virus.
It is an infection caused by pathogens such as virus, bacteria. Zoonotic infection are mainly those infections that jumped from animals to humans.
Apart from COVID-19, the other zoonotic diseases are Ebola virus disease and salmonellosis. Earlier HIV was a zoonotic disease. However, it has now mutated into a human only disease.
Other zoonoses such as swine flu and bird flu occasionally recombine with human strains to create pandemic such as 2009 Swine flu and 1918 Spanish flu.
The Ministry of Finance recently announced that it is to provide Rs 15,000 crores to the states for their Capital Expenditure for 2021-22. This is being provided as interest free fifty-year loan to spend on capital projects. Fresh guidelines have been announced in this regard called the “Scheme of Financial Assistance to States for Capital Expenditure”.
About the Scheme
In 2020-21, Rs 12,000 crores was allocated for the scheme and Rs 11,830.29 crores was released to the states.
Part I of the Scheme
The Part I of the scheme is to be implemented in the North Eastern States and Hilly states of India. Around Rs 2,600 crores has been allocated for this part of the scheme. Of this Himachal Pradesh, Assam and Uttarakhand are to get Rs 400 crores each.
Part II of the scheme
Al the other states are included under this part of the scheme. Rs 7,400 crores has been allocated to these states. This fund is to be allocated in proportion to their share of central taxes as prescribed by the fifteenth commission of 2021-22.
Part III of the scheme
Under this part of the scheme, incentives are to be provided to the states for disinvestment of state public sector enterprises and for recycling or monetisation of infrastructure assets. In order to achieve this, Rs 5,000 crores have been allocated.
The scheme will help to speed up the National Infrastructure Pipeline projects. It will help the states to settle the pending bills in the ongoing capital projects. Also, the funds provided under the scheme shall be used for new capital projects.
May Day is also called International Workers’ Day or Labour Day. The date, May 1, was chosen to commemorate the Haymarket affair. It occurred in Chicago on 4 May 1886.
First Labour Day in India
The first Labour Day in India was hosted by the Labour Kisan Party in Madras in 1923. It was initiated from the Labour Union Movement.
Labour Union Movement
The Labour Union Movement began in response to the attacks of industrial capitalism. In Euorpe, the Labour Union Movement began during the industrial revolution.
How did Labour Movement begin in India?
In 1920, the Indian National Trade Union Congress was established. With the establishment of the Union, the Labour Union Movement got a major fillip.
The first Industries Act was passed in 1881.
After Industries Act, Lokhande summoned a summit in Bombay Presidency. The major demands of the summit were to provide weekly holiday, half-an hour of rest every day, accidental compensations to the workers, etc. This is the first time the demands of the labours in British India were agreed by some of the industrialists.
After the Partition of Bengal in 1905, strong social reformers emerged in different parts of the country. They were highly agitated when Tilak was arrested in 1908. It was during this period that the working class awakened and got organised in India. In 1905, the workers of printing press organised themselves into a trade union. In 1907, postal workers formed a trade union and in 1910 the Labour Welfare Association was established.
Labour Day in US
Some countries such as Canada and US celebrate Labour Day on the first Monday of September.
May 1 is celebrated as Law Day in the US.
Every year, Maharashtra Day is celebrated on May 1. It commemorates the formation of the state of Maharashtra. It was formed on May 1, 1960.
About Maharashtra Day
The States Reorganisation Act, 1956 redefined the boundaries of Indian states based on the languages. Maharashtra was formed on the basis of this act. Different languages were spoken in the state of Bombay namely Gujarati, Konkani, Marathi and Kutchi.
The Bombay state was divided into Gujarat and Maharashtra in 1960. Gujarat was formed where people spoke Gujarati and Kutchhi. The other region was named Maharashtra where people spoke Konkani and Marathi.
The Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti was at the forefront in the movement to divide Bombay state into two states namely Maharashtra and Gujarat.
About Bombay State
The Bombay state was created at the time of India’s independence. Before independence it was called Bombay Presidency that roughly pertained to the current Maharashtra.
After independence, Bombay state was formed including Vidarbha, current Maharashtra and other princely states such as Baroda.
Samyukta Maharashtra Movement
It is commonly known as Samiti. It was founded in 1956 demanding separate Marathi speaking state between 1956 and 1960.
Formation of Indian States after independence
Under the States Reorganisation Act, 1956 the following states have been bifurcated:
1960: Bombay state was split into Gujarat and Maharashtra
1963: Nagaland was created from Assam
1966: Himachal Pradesh and Haryana were formed from the State of Punjab
1972: Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya were formed.
1975: Sikkim joined the Indian Union
1987: Arunachal Pradesh and Goa became states
2000: Jharkhand was carved out from Bihar, Chhattisgarh from Madhya Pradesh and Uttaranchal or Uttarakhand from UP.
2014: Telangana was created from Andhra Pradesh
The Karen Rebels recently seized a military post in Myanmar. The post is located close to the border of north western Thailand.
Who are Karen Rebels?
They are the oldest rebel group in Myanmar. They have formed the Karen National Union (KNU). They have been fighting against the Myanmar government since 1949. They are fighting for an independent state called “Kawthoolei”. It is one of the longest running civil wars in the world.
The Karen Community is an ethnic minority.
In due course of the conflict, more than two hundred thousand have fled to Thailand, the neighbouring country. They have been confined to refugee camps in Thailand.
The Karen people are one of the largest ethnic minorities in Myanmar. They constitute a population of five to seven million. There are more than twenty different dialects spoken by Karen (Dialect is a language which is peculiar to a specific group). Pwo and Sgaw are the most widely spoken.
Current Scenario in Myanmar
In February 2021, the Myanmar military took control of the country through a military coup. This ousted the ruling National League for Democracy Party and also the State Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi. The current de facto leader of Myanmar is General Min Aung Hlaing.
ASEAN leaders recently held a summit to call an end for the violence in Myanmar. They have come up with a five -point consensus along with the military leader. India has welcomed ASEAN initiative on Myanmar.
The United Kingdom is to cut its fund to the United Nations Global Family Planning Programme. According to the UN Population Fund, the UK had pledged 154 million Euros. However, now UK is to provide only 23 million Euros.
About the Fund Cuts
In 2020, the UK Government announced that it will reduce its UK aid spending from 0.7% of its National income to 0.5% of its national income. These cuts amount to reduction in more than 4 billion Euros.
The UK fund to the family planning programme of the United Nations include maternal health care for millions of women in the poorest countries and provisions of contraceptives.
Consequences of UK Withdrawal
Around 217 million women want to avoid pregnancies. But they do not have access to modern contraceptives. The fund cut will have serious impacts on them.
The UK funds would have helped to protect 250,000 maternal deaths and child deaths. It would have avoided 14.6 million unintended pregnancies and 4.3 million unsafe abortions. Now these are going to increase.
In 2020, UK spent 14.5 billion Euros in providing international aid. Today, UK is the third biggest donor in the world.
UN Population Fund
It was established in 1967. It is not associated with the UN regular budget. According to UN Population Fund, India will become the most populous country in 2028.
Population in India
India’s population is 1.36 billion. The life expectancy in India is 72 years. This is lower than the world life expectancy of 69 years. The Maternal Mortality Rate in India is 174 per one lakh live births as of 2015. The fertility rate of India is 2.3 births per woman. This is less as compared to the fertility rate of the world which is 2.5.
The Indian scientists recently developed a new Soy Bean variety called the “MACS 1407”. The new variety was developed by the Agharkar Research Institute of Pune along with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research.
About MACS 1407
It is a high yielding variety that gives 39 quintals per hectare.
The new variety takes 104 days to mature and 43 days for 50% flowering.
The new variety has yellow seeds, white coloured flowers and black hilum.
The seeds have 41% protein and 19.81% oil content.
The stem of the new Soybean variety is thick. This provides higher pod insertion, which is, till seven centimetres.
It has good resistance for pod shaking. This makes it highly suitable for mechanical harvesting.
Their germinability is high.
The variety is best suited for the rain fed regions of North East India.
It is resistant to pests such as leaf miner, leaf roller, girdle beetle, stem fly, white fly, aphids and defoliators.
It is resistant to vagaries of monsoon. Vagaries of monsoon are the abnormal activities that affect the seasonal pattern of rainfall. It is caused due to the late or early arrival of monsoon. It tends to ruin the crops.
What is the plan?
The MACS 1407 Soybean variety is to be made available to farmers in 2022 Kharif season.
Soybean production in India
In 2019, India produced 90 million tonnes of soybean.
Seasons in India
There are three main agricultural seasons in India. They are Kharif, Rabi and Zaid. During the Kharif season, the crops are sown in June and July. They are then harvested in September, October. In Rabi season, the crops are sown in October to November. They are harvested in April, June.
The TRIFED recently signed an agreement with The LINK Fund to work together towards tribal development. TRIFED is Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India
About the Agreement
Under the agreement, they will work towards tribal employment generation and development. This is to be achieved by providing support to the tribal in increasing value addition to their produce.
They will also create a women-centres that will promote innovation, infrastructure and entrepreneurship among tribal women.
Under the agreement TRIFED and LINK will work towards improving the skill training and crafts diversification.
LINK Fund is a philanthropic organisation that aims to end extreme poverty and mitigate the effects of Climate Change. It provides funds to meet the basic needs of the poorest population in the world. Their focus is mainly on India, US, Mali, Indonesia, Mali, Nigeria, Nepal, Mauritania and Senegal.
The fund addresses basic human needs such as education, food and nutrition, large scale infrastructure and women economic empowerment.
In April 2021, TRIFED launched the SANKLAP SE SIDHI. It is a hundred-day drive to activate the Van Dhan Vikas Kendras.
In April 2021, TRIFED launched the Tribes India contest.
In March, 2021, TRIFED announced that the Floriculture mission is to be implemented in twenty-one states.
It is building TRIFOOD parks. TRIFOOD Parks is a joint initiative between the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Ministry of Food Processing. These parks procure raw materials from the tribal people, process them and help tribal farmers sell for better prices. TRIFED is providing training to the tribal farmer about processing their produce. This will help to increase their income by bringing better prices for their produce.
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Russian President Vladimir Putin recently agreed to establish “2+2 Ministerial Dialogue”. The “2+2 Ministerial” dialogue is held between the defence ministers and foreign ministers.
About 2+2 Dialogue
India holds similar dialogues with US, Australia and Japan.
Russia is the first non-QUAD member with which India is to hold the dialogue.
In 2021, President Vladimir Putin is to visit India to hold the India-Russia bilateral summit. The summit is alternatively held in India and Russia.
Currently, Russia is the largest Defence Supplier of India. Also, the key defence systems of India such as S-400 are bought from Russia.
Both the countries are members of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, BRICS.
Russia supports India for its permanent membership at the United Nations Security Council.
The countries had earlier set a trade target of reaching 30 billion USD of trade by 2025. The dialogue will help them achieve the target. Previously, the countries agreed to establish the International North-South Transport Corridor, cooperation at the Eurasian Economic Union and Chennai-Vladivostok Maritime Corridor.
The Astronauts shortlisted for the Human Space Flight Programme of India were trained by Russia.
The Nuclear Power Plant that is being built in Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu is built with Russian Cooperation.
India recently approved Russia’s Sputnik V. It is the third vaccine to be approved in the country after COVAXIN and COVISHIELD.
What agreements govern India-Russia relations?
In 1971, India and Russia signed the Treaty of Peace and Friendship. This agreement was the manifestation of shared goals between the countries. After the dissolution of Soviet Union in 1991, India and Russia signed the Military-Technical Cooperation Agreement.