Current Affairs - Points to Ponder for GS Mains

Challenges and prospects of the Quad and Quad Plus economic and strategic ties. (Note: This is one of the most important issues for Civil Services examination)

Study the following points for the above topic:

  1. What is Quad and Quad Plus, model of Quad, reasons behind its formation and challenges of the new alignment.
  2. Quad nations' opportunity in the global economic landscape and the process of confidence-building measures (CBMs).
  3. Impact on economy and job creation within Quad nations.
  4. What is the strategic interest of Quad power and impact of this alignment on Asia Pacific, other nations and groupings like ASEAN, BRICS, SAARC, etc.
  5. What if this alignment of strategic interests of Quad nations could be extended for significant transformation in trade.
  6. Comprehensive analysis of the impact of tariff reduction on trade facilitation.
  7. Changing scenario of Indo-Pacific regional integration on various macroeconomic and trade variables.
  8. India's key benefits from the grouping (read Quad nation-wise).
  9. What are the possible impacts on and reactions from other nations and groupings (in the global scenario) like China, South Korea, Russia, ASEAN nations, etc.
  10. Implementation of Quad model: What is the possible impact of Quad and Quad Plus on existing FTAs. The scope and implications for India with reference to signing of a trade agreement among Quad nations where bilateral tariffs are scrapped.

Recently, the Supreme Court ruled that undertrial prisoners' right to life does not diminish.

You need to study the following points for the above topic:

  • Read related past events and cases on prisoners and correlate with the right to life.
  • Provisions related to right to life in the Indian Constitution.
  • Supreme Court's 2019 judgment on prisoners' right to dignity.

Supreme Court to review the validity of law on sedition.

You need to study the following points for the above topic:

  • Constitutional validity of Section 124 of IPC.
  • Some recent cases and the Supreme Court's stance in similar cases during the past two decades.
  • Sedition law being misused by people in power against their adversaries.
  • New legislations having provisions related to actions inciting violence and disorder, disrupting safety and security, and indulging in terrorism; viz. Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Public Safety Act, National Security Act, etc.

400th birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur

Read the following point for the above topic:

  • His ideology, path of liberation, nationality, philosophy and spirituality.

Dada Saheb Phalke: The father of Indian cinema.

Read the following points for the above topic:

  1. His contribution to society and Indian cinema.
  2. Changes in Indian cinema over the years.
Note: Also read the same points on Satyajit Ray

News: RBI moderated retail inflation in its monetary policy amid a 22% growth in industrial production in March 2021.

Read the following points for the above topic:

  • Retail inflation as a tool of RBI's monetary policy.
  • Institutions and criteria associated with the calculation of Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Index of Industrial Production (IIP).

Owing to the impact of the second wave of COVID-19, economic growth will be hit but still, we have manpower shortage in some sectors.

There is a shortage of manpower in:

  • Logistics (dispatch and delivery)
  • Medical professionals
  • Diagnostic sector
  • Tech talent in areas like AI, data engineering, cyber security, etc.
  • Note: Read about the skill development and employment mobility initiatives in India.
  • How education and industry tie-up can bridge the gap.

With respect to the second wave of COVID-19 in India, the Indian Coronavirus strain has become a 'variant of concern at global level'.

You need to study the following points for the above topic:

  • What is mutation and how the process of mutation works.
  • Mechanism in RNA viruses.
  • Coronavirus spike protein.

Recently, a US-based democracy watchdog institution downgraded India's status with reference to the functioning of democracy in India.

You need to study the following points for the above topic:

  1. Democracy watchdog institutions in India and the world.
  2. Focus areas (parameters) and credentials of watchdog institutions.

For understanding this issue, you need to study the following concepts:

  1. The pillars of Indian democracy.
  2. How Indian democracy functions.
  3. How it is different from western democracies.
  4. Definition and constitutional provisions related to Indian democracy.

Know meaning and explanations of the following:

  1. Partly free democracy
  2. Flawed democracy
  3. Complex democracy
  4. Electoral autocracy
  5. Western bias and hypocrisy
  6. Western liberal value systems
  7. Rule of law
  8. Nationalism vs Liberalism
  9. Ideologies of religious institutions
  10. Freedom of speech and expression
  11. Freedom of conscience
  12. Freedom of religion
  13. Free speech

Reasons behind the growth of mutual fund industry during economic slowdown.

You need to study the following points for the above topic:

  1. What are mutual funds?
  2. What is a Systematic Investment Plan (SIP)?
  3. Understand equity funds, retail investment and money market schemes.
  4. Domestic funds and foreign funds in Indian market.
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