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U.S. to cut spending on NATO budget


U.S. to cut spending on NATO budget, Germany to pay more

       WHY IN NEWS?  

Berlin to match Washington’s contribution of 16.35%

: GS 2:International organizations



For PRELIMS everything about NATO stands important

For MAINS  you have to analyse the importance of NATO in the present scenario,compare its role with the past.



The U.S. is to cut its contribution to NATO’s operating budget.Washington currently pays 22.1% of the NATO budget — which totalled $2.5 billion in 2019 — and Germany 14.8%, under a formula based on each country’s gross national income.

Why ?

Mr. Trump has repeatedly criticised European members for freeloading on the U.S., singling out Germany — the continent’s economic powerhouse — for lagging behind on an alliance commitment to spend at least 2% of GDP on defence..

What is NATO?

Image result for NATO

  • NATO is an alliance of 28 countries bordering the North Atlantic Ocean. It includes the United States, most European Union members, Canada, and Turkey. NATO is an acronym for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.


  • Brussels, Belgium
  • The United States contributes three-fourths of NATO’s budget. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump said other NATO members should spend more on their military. Only four countries reach the targeted spending of 2 percent of gross domestic product. They are the United States, the United Kingdom, Greece, and Estonia.


  • NATO’s mission is to protect the freedom of its members. Its targets include weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and cyber attacks. 

Member Countries

  • NATO’s 28 members are: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • Each member designates an ambassador to NATO. They supply officials to serve on NATO committees. They send the appropriate official to discuss NATO business. That includes a country’s president, prime minister, foreign affairs minister or head of the department of defense.


  • NATO participates in three alliances. They expands its influence beyond its 28 member countries. The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council helps partners become NATO members. It includes 23 non-NATO countries that support NATO’s purpose. It began in 1991.
  • The Mediterranean Dialogue seeks to stabilize the Middle East. Its non-NATO members include Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia. It began in 1994. 
  • The Istanbul Cooperation Initiative works for peace throughout the larger Middle East region. It includes four members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. They are Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. It began in 2004.
  • NATO cooperates with eight other countries in joint security issues. There are five in Asia. They are Australia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mongolia, and New Zealand. There are two in the Middle East: Afghanistan and Pakistan.
       IASbhai Windup:  


  • The founding members of NATO signed the North Atlantic Treaty on April 4, 1949. It worked in conjunction with the United Nations, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund. The organizations were created during the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference.
  • NATO’s primary purpose was to defend member nations from threats by communist countries. The United States also wanted to maintain a presence in Europe. It sought to prevent a resurgence of aggressive nationalism and foster political union. In this way, NATO made the formation of the European Union possible. U.S. military protection gave European nations the safety needed to rebuild after World War II’s devastation.
  • During the Cold War, NATO’s mission expanded to prevent nuclear war.
  • After West Germany joined NATO, the communist countries formed the Warsaw Pact alliance. That included the USSR, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and East Germany. In response, NATO adopted the “Massive Retaliation” policy. It promised to use nuclear weapons if the Pact attacked. NATO’s deterrence policy allowed Europe to focus on economic development. It didn’t have to build large conventional armies.
  • The Soviet Union continued to build its military presence. By the end of the Cold War, it was spending three times what the United States was with only one-third the economic power. When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, it was due to economic as well as ideological reasons.
  • After the USSR dissolved in the late 1980s, NATO’s relationship with Russia thawed. In 1997, they signed the NATO-Russia Founding Act to build bilateral cooperation. In 2002, they formed the NATO-Russia Council to partner on shared security issues.
  • The collapse of the USSR led to unrest in its former satellite states. NATO got involved when Yugoslavia’s civil war became genocide. NATO’s initial support of a United Nations naval embargo led to the enforcement of a no-fly zone. Violations then led to a few airstrikes until September 1999. That’s when NATO conducted a nine-day air campaign that ended the war. By December of that year, NATO deployed a peace-keeping force of 60,000 soldiers. That ended in 2004 when NATO transferred this function to the European Union. 





Nod for defence purchase worth ₹22,800 cr.


Nod for defence purchase worth ₹22,800 cr.

       WHY IN NEWS?      

Rajnath Singh chairs Acquisition Council meeting

: GS 3:DAC (defence acquisition council)



For PRELIMS the equipments procured are very important for prelims as well as function and significance of DAC.

For MAINS  this is not an important issue.



The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, met on Thursday and approved the procurement of weapons and equipment worth ₹22,800 crore.

Among them are six additional P-8I long-range patrol aircraft to be procured from the U.S. for the Navy and additional indigenous Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF).




  • As a follow-up to the successful indigenous Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) programme, the DAC revalidated the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for the procurement of additional AWACS aircraft.
  • “The mission system and sub-systems for these aircraft would be indigenously designed, developed and integrated into the main platform by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).”

When was the necessity felt ?

  • The IAF now operates three Israeli Phalcon AWACS and three smaller indigenous Netra AEW&C systems mounted on Embraer aircraft. A shortage of these force multipliers was felt during the aerial engagement with the Pakistan Air Force, a day after the Balakot air strike in February.
  • These platforms would provide on-board command and control and ‘early warning’, which would assist the IAF in achieving effective air space dominance in the least possible time, the statement said. The new systems are likely to be mounted on Airbus aircraft.

Everything about P-8I AIRCRAFT:

  • P-8I is a long-range, multimission maritime patrol aircraft manufactured by Boeing, for the Indian Navy.
  • It is a variant of the P-8A Poseidon operated by the US Navy. P-8I is intended to replace the ageing fleet of Tupolev Tu-142 aircraft that are in service with the Indian Navy.
  • The P-8I aircraft was designed to protect the vast coastline and territorial waters of India.


  • It can conduct anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (AsuW), intelligence, maritime patrol, and surveillance and reconnaissance missions.


  • The P-8I aircraft is based on the Boeing Next Generation 737-800 aircraft. 
  • The P-8I aircraft are produced by a Boeing-led industry team, comprising CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSystems, BAE Systems and GE Aviation.


  • The P-8I aircraft is manned by nine crew members.
  • The cockpit is integrated with primary flight display, multifunction displays, identification friend or foe (IFF), flight management system and stores management system.
       IASbhai Windup:  

Indigenous design

The DAC approved the indigenous design, development and manufacture of ‘thermal imaging night sights’ for assault rifles, and these will be made by the “Indian private industry and used by troops deployed on the front line.”

It also approved the procurement of twin-engine heavy helicopters for the Coast Guard.







Google warned 500 Indians on phishing


Google warned 500 Indians on phishing

       WHY IN NEWS?      

It sent 12,000 warnings in three months

: GS 3:Cyber Security



For PRELIMS its a very important aspect to learn ! What , how , prevention etc 

For MAINS  how strong are our laws to prevent this can be asked , as well as keep a track on recent cyber attacks too !



Google sent out over 12,000 warnings to users globally, including about 500 in India, during the period from July to September this year, alerting them to “government-backed” phishing attempts against them.

What is Phishing?

  • Phishing is a method of trying to gather personal information using deceptive e-mails and websites
  • Phishing is a cyber attack that uses disguised email as a weapon.

  • The goal is to trick the email recipient into believing that the message is something they want or need — a request from their bank, for instance, or a note from someone in their company — and to click a link or download an attachment.

  • What really distinguishes phishing is the form the message takes: the attackers masquerade as a trusted entity of some kind, often a real or plausibly real person, or a company the victim might do business with.

  • It’s one of the oldest types of cyberattacks, dating back to the 1990s, and it’s still one of the most widespread and pernicious, with phishing messages and techniques becoming increasingly sophisticated.

Anatomy of a Phishing Kit [infographic by Duo Security]


Sources : https://www.csoonline.com/article/2117843/what-is-phishing-how-this-cyber-attack-works-and-how-to-prevent-it.html

This comes close on the heels of the Facebook-owned WhatsApp disclosing that an Israeli spyware, Pegasus, was used to spy on journalists and human rights activists globally, including 121 people in India.

How when and what ?

  • In a blog post, Google said its Threat Analysis Group (TAG) works to counter targeted and government-backed hacking against Google and its users.
  • The TAG, it added, tracks more than 270 targeted or government-backed groups from more than 50 countries.
  • “These groups have many goals, including intelligence collection, stealing of intellectual property, targeting dissidents and activists, destructive cyberattacks, or spreading coordinated disinformation,”.

So how did Google respond ?

  • Stating that the company had a long-standing policy to send users warnings if it detects that they are the subject of state-sponsored phishing attempts, Google said that from July to September 2019, it sent more than 12,000 warnings to users in 149 countries that they were targeted by government-backed attackers.


       IASbhai Windup:  
How to be safe from Phishing?
  • Always check the spelling of the URLs in email links before you click or enter sensitive information
  • Watch out for URL redirects, where you’re subtly sent to a different website with identical design
  • If you receive an email from a source you know but it seems suspicious, contact that source with a new email, rather than just hitting reply
  • Don’t post personal data, like your birthday, vacation plans, or your address or phone number, publicly on social media.






Promotion of e-agriculture


Promotion of e-agriculture

       WHY IN NEWS?  

PIB release   

: GS 2:3:Schemes:Agriculture



For PRELIMS the relevant programs are very important . You will see any one of them in the coming Prelims.

For MAINS  these stuffs can stand as a perfect examples as well as swing the ball in your court if you can remember them for a long time.



Which ministry?

Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare

For promotion of technology in agriculture sector, following initiatives have been taken:


  1. Krishi Vigyan Kendras :The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has established a network of 715 Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) in the country mandated with Technology Assessment and Demonstration for its Application and Capacity Development (TADA–CD).
  • KVKs organize demonstrations, training programs and skill development programs for the benefit of farmers and farm women, rural youth and in-service extension personnel.


  1. On farm trials (OFTs) :For assessing technologies and 2,74,736 front line demonstrations (FLD) showcasing potentials on improved varieties, modern technologies and practices were conducted on farmers’ fields to create awareness among farmers.
  • To update the knowledge and skills on modern agricultural technologies, 47,000 training courses on various technologies were organized benefitting as many as 13.51 lakh farmers and farm women. 139.67 lakh farmers participated in various extension activities.


  1. mKisan portal: Agro-advisories are given to the farmers through various service providers and the mKisan portal.
  • mKisan portal is a platform which provides web-based mobile advisory to farmers with the technological backstopping from Research Institutes and Agricultural Universities supporting farmers.
  • Information on weather, market, various farm operations, outbreak of pest and disease incidence and their control measures are given to farmers through Short Message Service (SMS).
  • About 5.3 crore farmers are linked with mKisan Portal for sending SMS messages on various aspects of agriculture, horticulture and animal husbandry, weather forecast, and pest and disease control.


  1. Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM): provides a suitable platform for converging all activities for inclusive growth of agricultural mechanization by providing a ‘single window’ approach for implementation with a special focus on small & marginal farmers.



  1. Satellite data and GIS Technology :for Crop Production Estimation, Horticultural Inventory, Site Suitability Analysis for crop expansion and Drought Assessment.



  1. National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) scheme: For transparent price discovery for remunerative prices for the farmers for their produce through competitive online bidding system.
  • Under Marketing Research & Information Network (MRIN) Scheme, support is provided to the States towards setting up and maintaining connectivity with Agmarknet portal for collection and dissemination of market information on arrivals and prices of agri-commodities.   
       IASbhai Windup:  
All the schemes are so very relevant for the upcoming prelims .Revise them once again

      SOURCES:   PIB




Index of Eight Core Industries


Index of Eight Core Industries

       WHY IN NEWS?  

The summary of the Index of Eight Core Industries  

: GS 3:Indian Economy and issues relating to planning:Industry



For PRELIMS performance of core industries is important.Keep an eye on the productivity.

For MAINS  relative comparison gives us a relevant information about the health of Manufacturing sector in India. 



Which ministry ?

Ministry of Commerce & Industry


The Eight Core Industries comprise 40.27 per cent of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP). The combined Index of Eight Core Industries stood at 127.0 in October, 2019, which declined by 5.8per cent as compared to the index of October,2018. Its cumulative growth during April to October,2019-20was 0.2per cent.


Coal production (weight: 10.33per cent)declined by 17.6 per cent in October,2019 over October,2018. Its cumulative index declined by 5.8 per cent during April to October,2019-20over corresponding period of the previous year.

Crude Oil

Crude Oil production (weight: 8.98per cent) declined by 5.1 per cent in October,2019 over October,2018. Its cumulative index declined by 5.8 per cent during April toOctober,2019-20over the corresponding period of previous year.

Natural Gas

The Natural Gas production (weight: 6.88per cent) declined by5.7 per cent in October,2019 over October,2018. Its cumulative index declined by 2.6 per cent during April toOctober,2019-20 over the corresponding period of previous year.

Refinery Products

Petroleum Refinery production (weight: 28.04per cent)increased by 0.4 per cent inOctober,2019 overOctober,2018. Its cumulative index declined by 1.7 per cent during April to October,2019-20over the corresponding period of previous year.


Fertilisers production (weight: 2.63 per cent) increased by 11.8 per cent in October,2019 overOctober,2018. Its cumulative index increased by 2.6 per cent during April toOctober,2019-20 over the corresponding period of previous year.


Steel production (weight: 17.92per cent)declined by 1.6 per cent inOctober,2019 over October,2018. Its cumulative index increased by 6.7per cent . during April to October,2019-20 over the corresponding period of previous year.


Cement production (weight: 5.37per cent) declined by 7.7per cent inOctober,2019overOctober,2018. Its cumulative index declined by 0.6per cent during April to October,2019-20over the corresponding period of previous year.


Electricity generation (weight: 19.85per cent) declined by 12.4per cent in October,2019over October,2018. Its cumulative index increased by 1.5 per cent duringApril to October,2019-20over the corresponding period of previous year.

       IASbhai Windup:  

Best performing Industries : Steel>Fertilizers>Electricity

Worst performing Industries:  Natural Gas<Coal<Crude Oil






Commissioning of INAS 314 – “Raptors”


Commissioning of INAS 314 – “Raptors”

       WHY IN NEWS?   

Indian Naval Air Squadron 314, the sixth Dornier aircraft squadron was commissioned on 29 Nov 19 at an impressive ceremony held at Naval Air Enclave, Porbandar

: GS 3:Defence



For PRELIMS complete information about INAS 314 – “Raptors” is given below.

For MAINS  not an important issue.Can serve as an example in maritime security.




Indian Naval Air Squadron 314, the sixth Dornier aircraft squadron was commissioned on 29 Nov 19 .


INAS 314:

  • INAS 314 derives its name “Raptors” from the “Bird of Prey” family.
  • The insignia of the squadron depicts a ‘Raptor bird’ searching over the vast blue expanse of the sea. ‘Raptors’ are large bird of prey known for excellent sensory capabilities, powerful and sharp talons and strong wings symbolising the capabilities of the aircraft and envisaged roles of the squadron.
  • The squadron will operate the Dornier aircraft, a multi-role SRMR aircraft,  with twin turboprop engine manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautical Ltd (HAL) Kanpur.


  • The aircraft can be used for electronic warfare missions, maritime surveillance, search and rescue and to provide targeting data to weapon platform.
  • Contributing towards indigenous development and self-reliance through ‘Make in India’.


  • “Commissioning of Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 314 marks yet another milestone in our efforts towards enhancing maritime security and our surveillance footprint in the North Arabian Sea.
  • The squadron owing to its strategic location will act as the first responder in this crucial region.


       IASbhai Windup:  

Navy is procuring 12 new Dornier aircraft from HAL with state-of-the-art sensors and equipment including glass cockpit, advanced surveillance radar, ELINT, optical sensors and networking features. The squadron is the first to accept and operate four of these newly inducted technology advanced next generation Dornier aircraft.


      SOURCES:   PIB 




Indo-Nepal joint military Exercise SURYA KIRAN


Curtain raiser Indo-Nepal joint military Exercise SURYA KIRAN – XIV

       WHY IN NEWS?  

‘SURYA KIRAN – XIV’ between India and Nepal will be conducted at Salijhandi, Rupendehi district of Nepal from   03 to 16 December 2019.   

: GS 3:Joint military Exercise



For PRELIMS importance of this exercise and the venue is important .

For MAINS  this could stand a wonderful inclusion in India-nepal relationship.




Joint military exercise ‘SURYA KIRAN – XIV’ between India and Nepal will be conducted at Salijhandi, Rupendehi district of Nepal from   03 to 16 December 2019.


The aim of this exercise is to conduct a Battalion level combined training between Indian Army and Nepal Army to increase interoperability in jungle warfare and counter terrorist operations in mountainous terrain, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, medical and environmental conservation including aviation aspects.


The exercise will comprise of 300 soldiers from both Indian and Nepal Army who would be sharing their experience in conduct of various counter insurgency and counter terrorism operations as also various humanitarian assistance missions by both the Armies.


Format :

Exercise SURYA KIRAN – XIV is an annual event which is conducted alternatively in Nepal and India.


       IASbhai Windup:  

The joint military exercise will enhance the level of defence cooperation which will further foster the bilateral relations between the two nations.


      SOURCES:   PIB  




International Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure


International Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure

       WHY IN NEWS?  

The Government of India has approved the establishment of an International Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) at an outlay of Rs. 480 crore    

: GS 3:Disaster management



For PRELIMS fund allocated for disaster management stands very important.

For MAINS  look out for ways in which the stakeholders are investing ! These are the technologies , infra, development etc.



Which ministry ?

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
The Government of India has approved the establishment of an International Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) at an outlay of Rs. 480 crore (approx. USD 70 million) for a corpus required to fund technical assistance and research projects on an ongoing basis over a period of 5 years from 2019-20 to 2023-24.

The coalition envisages 3 tiered structures viz Governing Council (GC), Executive Committee (EC) and a Secretariat of the Society. The objectives of CDRI are as follows:

(i)   The CDRI is to serve as a platform where knowledge is generated and exchanged on different aspects of disaster and climate resilience of infrastructure.


(ii)    To bring together technical expertise from a multitude of stakeholders. In doing so, it is to create a mechanism to assist countries to upgrade their capacities and practices, with regard to infrastructure development in accordance with their risk context and economic needs.


(iii) The work of CDRI is to focus on relevant thematic areas including the four major themes of

a) Risk Assessment for key infrastructure sectors at multiple scales;

b) Standards, regulation and mechanisms for enforcement;

c) Role of finance in promoting disaster resilience; and

d) Predictable mechanisms for supporting disaster recovery in key infrastructure sectors.


The charter of CDRI has been shared with 38 countries including G 20 and non-G 20 nations. So far nine countries viz. Afghanistan, Australia, Bhutan, Fiji, Italy, Mauritius, Mongolia, Sri Lanka and United Kingdom have conveyed their willingness to join the CDRI in writing.

The coalition is to :

a). Provide a platform for India to emerge as a global leader on climate Action and Disaster Resilience:

b). Complement the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and address adaptation and disaster resilience.

c). Facilitate India’s support to resilient infrastructure in Africa, SIDS and Asia.

d). Provide access to knowledge, technology and capacity development for infra developers.

e). Create opportunities for Indian infrastructure & technology firms to expand services abroad.


       IASbhai Windup:  

The Government is implementing National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) which comprises eight missions in specific areas of solar energy, energy efficiency, water, agriculture, Himalayan ecosystem, sustainable habitat, green India and strategic knowledge on climate change. NAPCC provides an overarching framework for all climate actions. Thirty three States/Union Territories (UTs) have prepared their State Action Plan on Climate Change in line with NAPCC taking into account State’s/UT’s specific issues relating to climate change.


      SOURCES:   PIB  





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