Virtual Summit between Indian and Finland
The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and his Finish counterpart Sanna Marin met at an online summit. Both the leaders have discussed regional and global issues and covered the entire spectrum of bilateral relationships.
India and Finland Relationship:
Both countries share a warm and friendly relationship with each other.
Both nations believe in the values and principles of democracy and are respected members of the international community.
Trade and Economy:
India and Finland possess $ 2.5 Billion Trade between them. The trade has witnessed a surge in trade in the last decade due to the annual bilateral trade of goods and services.
The two nations have collaborated for science and technological development of a Quantum Computer using Artificial Intelligence to cope up with societal challenges.
More than 100 companies originated from Finland are operational in India in numerous sectors such as telecom, elevators, Renewable energy, and machinery and energy.
On the other hand, more than 30 Indian IT and Auto components companies are operating in Finland.
Major Indian origin software companies like TATA Consultancy Services, WIPRO, Infosys, HCL, Mahindra Info Tech, etc. are based in India.
India is still one of the biggest buyers of Finland’s original Nokia phone.
There are more than 7000 People of Indian Origin (PIOs) and Non-Returning India (NRIs) who live in Finland and the surrounding region (mostly near the capital Helsinki).
First QUAD summit is addressed by the Indian Prime Minister
Recently, the first QUAD summit is hosted by the United States of America. The summit was held online and organized by the USA which has been attended by the head of the state of Australia: PM Scott Morrison, Japan: Yoshihide Suga, and India: PM Narendra Modi.
Highlights of the Summit:
All leaders discussed the access of COVID-19 Vaccine, climate change, and cooperation in technology.
QUAD Vaccine Initiative:
It is an initiative in which all the four countries will be playing an important role: American Vaccine will be manufactured by India, with the help of Japanese Funding and Australian Logistical Support to distribute vaccine in the Indo-Pacific Region.
Following Working Groups have also published:
- Quad Vaccine Experts Group
- Quad Critical Engineering Technology Working Group, and
- Quad Climate Working Group
What is QUAD?
It is a group of four countries India, USA, Japan, and Australia.
The main aim of setting up the group is to counter Chinese assertiveness in Indian Ocean Region and Indo-Pacific Region and to allow freedom of navigation, peace, stability, and development in the region.
It was a product of a farsighted viewpoint by Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who had predicted the dominance of China in the first decade of the 21st century itself.
Quad countries recently participated in the Malabar Exercise near Indian Coast.
SIPRI Report on Arms Import
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute has released a report stating a decrement of 33% in the global arms import in 2016-2020 as compared to 2011-15.
India is the second-largest arms importer after Saudi Arabia.
The imports of India reduced due to following reason:
- Complex and Lengthy Procurement procedure.
- India’s efforts to reduce its dependency on Russia.
Although, the period 2016-20 witnessed a decrease of 53% in Russian Defence Imports. Russia is the largest defense exporter to India, as almost 50% of the Indian Defence equipment is of Russian Origin.
However, the situation is now changing, as France and Israel are racing to surpass Russia.
French Defence Import is increased by more than 700%, however, Israel’s import is increased by 82%.
The United States of America was the fourth-largest exporter to India.
Fresh Elections in Constituencies that witnessed highest number of NOTA votes
The apex court has asked the Union Govt and Election Commission to conduct fresh elections in constituencies where the highest number of votes polled is NOTA (None of the Above).
Why in News?
A petition was filed in Supreme Court to restrict the candidates rejected by the voters should not be allowed to stand again in the election.
Initially the Chief Justice of India was reserved. As per him, we should not arm people with the ‘right to reject’.
Because if people kept on doing like this, the parliament and legislative assembly will remain vacant, eventually affecting the functioning of democracy.
Petition says that the people are empowered to do so, and the option compels political parties to field worthy candidates in the first place.
Sikkim tops in Micro-irrigation in India
The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare has declared that Sikkim, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra possess more than 50% of the net cultivated farmlands under the micro-irrigation in India.
In India between 2005-2020 the total irrigated area under irrigation is 68,649 hectares of which 12,908 hectares of land is covered under micro-irrigation.
Sikkim accounts the highest percentage of area covered under micro-irrigation, i.e., 73%, followed by Andhra Pradesh with 70% and Karnataka with 61%.
A total of 19% of the land is covered under micro-irrigation.
There are two types of Micro-irrigation done in India:
- Drip Irrigation
- Sprinkler Irrigation
Total of 6112.05 hectares area covered under Drip Irrigation and 6796.39 Hectares are covered under Sprinkler Irrigation.
- Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana:
Launched in 2015.
Implemented by National Executive Committee (Under NITI Aayog).
- Micro-Irrigation Fund:
The Finance Minister has allotted INR 10K Crores as Micro-irrigation Fund.
Implemented by Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.