Joe Biden elects to the presidency of the America Paper :

Mains : G.S. II : Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and IR.

Why in news? 

Joe Biden has been elected as the 46th president of the USA after conceding victory in the US Presidential polls succeeding his counterpart Mr. Donald Trump.

Key details

  • Biden in his speech to the people of America after his victory pledges to unite America. He said, he seeks not to divide, but to unify.

Expected reforms he can brought and how India is linked to these issues

  • Immigration reforms – Mr. Biden is likely to work towards providing a road map to nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants, including over 5,00,000 from
  • H-1B visa – He also plans to increase the high skilled visas, and eliminate the limit on employment based visas by the
  • Biden is expected to reverse the move of revoking of work permits of the spouses of H-1B visas, which had adversely impacted a large number of Indian families.
  • Biden administration will support family based immigration and preserve family unification as a core principle of the US immigration
  • With the coming of Mr. Biden to the presidency of the US, experts sees return of the US to the Paris Climate Change
  • Experts claim that US can return to Iran Nuclear Deal, popularity known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action which Mr. Trump exited in
  • Biden is a long time supporter of US – India relationship.
  • Biden’s intention is to re – energise the multilateral global order and to restore the global position of the US in not leading by the example of its power, but by the power of example.
  • While Biden will provide greater clarity and bring stability to US policy, a return to more traditional approaches to certain issues with respect to India is possible.

Associated issues needed to be look into

  • Background of Indo – US Relations
  • Iran Nuclear Deal
  • Paris Climate Agreement

Plea on draft Western Ghats notification Paper :

Mains : G.S. III : Environment and Ecology

Why in news?

A Kerala bases NGO for farmers moved the SC to declare unconstitutional a draft notification of the centre demarcating 56,825 sq. km spread across six states as the Western Ghats Ecologically Sensitive Area. The petition said draft notification would affect 22 lakh people and cripple the economy of Kerala.

Key details

  • The petition has also sought a direction to the govt. not to implement the Madhav Gadgil and K. Kasturirangan committee’s reports on the conservation of the Western Ghats and the demarcation of no – go
  • Importance of Western Ghats – The Western Ghats is an extensive region spanning over six States, 44 districts and 142 taluks.It is the home of many endangered plants and animals. Western Ghats host India’s richest wilderness in 13 national parks and several sanctuaries. Recognised by UNESCO as one of the world’s eight most important biodiversity hotspots, these forested hills are also sourcing to numerous rivers, including the Godavari, Krishna and
  • Gadgil Commission, an environmental research commission is named after its chairman Madhav Gadgil. The commission is formally known as Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP).
  • The report was labelled favourable to environment and environmentalists and not development (or illegal mining ). Remember, there is a never-ending debate between environment and development; it’s tough to balance both without compromising the
  • The major criticism faced by Gadgil Committee report was that it was more environment-friendly and not in tune with the ground realities. Recommendations were cited as impactical to
  • Kasturirangan committee was constituted to examine the WGEEP report. The committee is often called HLWG – it denotes the 10 member high-level working group (HLWG), headed by
  • Instead of the total area of Western Ghats, only 37% (i.e. 60,000 sq. km.) of the total area be brought under ESA under Kasturirangan
  • The Kasturirangan panel used remote sensing and aerial survey methods for zonal demarcation of land in the Western Ghats. The usage of such techniques, without examining the ground reality, has caused many errors in the report.

Note ban curbed black money : PM Paper:

Mains : G.S. II Social Justice, G.S. III Economy

Why in news?

4th anniversary of the note ban or demonetization Key details

  • On the 4th anniversary of the demonetization PM Narendra Modi said that the move helped in reducing the black money, increase tax compliance and formalisation of the
  • Massive rise seen in the digital payments transaction. A sharp decline is seen in counterfeit notes detected in the banking system, according to data available on
  • Bank notes in Circulation: The value and volume of banknotes in circulation increased by 47.49 percent and 28.48 percent respectively, from the period between March 2019 and March 2020

  • The Digital Payments volume rose by five times to 3,43,455 lakh in March 2020 from 70,466 lakh in March 2016.

VGIR 2020, Virtual Global Investor Roundtable Paper:

Mains: G.S.III FDI, Indian Economy, Miscellaneous Why in news?

PM Narendra Modi chaired the VGIR 2020 on 5th of November 2020.

Key details

  • Aim – Top Pension and Sovereign Wealth Funds from across the world participate in roundtable

  • It provides an opportunity to deliberate on further accelerating the growth of international investments in
  • The VGIR is being organized by Ministry of Finance, GOI and National Investment and Infrastructure Fund.
  • It will also focus on structural reforms and the government’s vision for the path to a USD 5 trillion economy.
  • It is an exclusive dialogue between: Leading global institutional investors Indian business leaders

Highest decision makers from the GOI Financial market regulators

  • PM Modi acclaimed that the country offers a gamut of benefits spanning Returns with reliability

Demand with democracy Stability with sustainability Growth with green approach

India – Maldives relations Paper:

Mains: G.S.II Intl. Relations

Why in news?

The visit of Foreign Secretary Harshvardhan Shringla to the Maldives is significant for taking forward bilateral relationship. Under Maldivian President Ibrahim Solih, bilateral cooperation, especially on economic front has become a model that New Delhi can adopt to make PM Narendra Modi’s Neighborhood First Policy a sustained success.

Key details

  • Significance of Maldives for India- Maldives proximity to the west coast of India. Maldives is barely 70 nautical miles away from the southernmost island of Lakshadweep, Minicoy. Lakshadweep group is separated by 8 degree channel from Maldives.
  • It is situated at the hub of commercial sea lanes. More than 97% of India’s trade by volume and 75% by value passes through this region.
  • India and Maldives share ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious and commercial
  • India was among first to recognize the Maldives after its independence in 1965 and later established it’s mission in Male in 1972.
  • Since China’s expansion into the Indian ocean, Maldives significance has steadily grown and now it is at the heart of intl
  • Ekuverin is the joint military exercise between India and
  •  Maldives is an important aspect of India’s neighborhood first policy and India First has been stated policy of Maldives.
  • India is Maldives 4th largest trade partner and 5th largest source of tourist arrivals in Maldives.
  • India- Maldives bilateral trade now stands at US$ 300 million heavily in favour of
  • GOI has provided large scale assistance to the Maldives in the aftermath of 2004 Indian ocean Tsunami crisis and during 2014 Male water
  • There is a strong diaspora of around 22,000 Indians in
  • India announced a Greater Male Connectivity Project, a financial package consisting of 100 million USD and a new line of credit of 400 million
  • India’s increasing geostrategic concerns in the shared seas and taking forward the multifaceted cooperation to the next stage quickly could also be at the focus of this visit.