Mains Test Series

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In the shadow of FARC


  1. Conservative Ivan Duque has won Colombia’s presidential election, putting the landmark 2016 peace deal with the FARC at risk.

  • The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia –People’s Army was a guerrilla movement.
  • It involved in the continuing Colombian armed conflict from 1964 to 2017.
  •   It was known to employ a variety of military tactics.
  •   The operations of the FARC-EP were funded by kidnap and ransom; illegal mining, extortion or taxation of various forms of economic activity, production and distribution of illegal drugs
  • The United Nations has estimated that 12% of all killings of civilians in Colombian conflict were committed by FARC and National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas.
  • In 2016 a peace deal was signed with FARC.

Important facts:

  1. Right-wing candidate has pledged to roll back parts of the landmark 2016 peace accord with the FARC group.
  2. The outgoing President Juan Manuel Santos signed the peace accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), formally ending more than 50 years of conflict that left at least 220,000 people dead and more than seven million displaced.
  3. Duque is supported by former-president, Alvaro Uribe, one of the peace accord’s fiercest critics for its perceived soft judicial treatment of “FARC terrorists”.
  4. The FARC’s withdrawal from the contest worked a setback for the central plank of the peace process.
Peace agreement:

  • The Columbian Peace Agreement on the termination of the Columbian conflict between the Colombian government and FARC guerillas was held on Oct 2, 2016.
  •  The peace agreement negotiations began on Aug, 2021 in Havana.
  • The final agreement included topics of rural reform, political participation, the end of hostilities, solutions to the production of illicit drugs, the rights of victims, and the mechanisms of implementation and verification


The spirit of Sentosa


  1. P. Sreenivasan a former diplomat and Chairman of Academic Council and Director has analyses the key role of South Korea president Mon Jaein in peace process between North Korea and U.S.

Important Facts:

  1. In the recent times there has been many downfall in bilateral relations between North Korea and U.S.
  2. North Korea’s nuclear test has led to nuclear threat and the collapsed relationship with the U.S.
  3. The U.S. has insisted North Korea to look forward for denuclearization.
  4. The U.S. has been calling for “maximum pressure” on North Korea and has sometimes suggested that military action might be needed.
  5. But the final hope has arisen when both the leader from the North Korea and U.S. recently meet at Sentosa island, Singapore.
  6. The meeting resulted with a comprehensive four point document for peace process.
  7. The issue such as denuclearization and the guarantee of security was finalized.
  8. The entire credit for success of the agreement between both the countries goes to South Korea president Moon Jaein.
  9. Author has pitch for Nobel peace prize to South Korean President Moon Jae skilful diplomacy.
  10. South Korean President Moon Jae acting as a neutral facilitator between North Korea and the United States.
  11. The meeting between the two leaders will be critical for South Korea and its wider region.
  12. The transparency and dignity of South Korea president is a model worth emulating.
  13. Another reason why it should be Mr. Moon who should get the Nobel is because it is he who brought the warring sides together.
  14. Moreover, Mr. Moon has a crucial role as both peacemaker and stakeholder.
  15. After the Sentosa meet if peace eludes the Korean Peninsula Mr. Moon’s skilful diplomacy will be rewarded the most.


Road map laid for India-U.S. meet


  1. Indian and U.S. experts began consultation for the upcoming meeting (2+2 dialogue) between the Minister for External Affairs and Defence with their U.S. counterparts.

Important facts:

2. The meeting is scheduled to be held next month in July.

3. Meeting expected to further cement the India-U.S. engagements.

4. The meeting will focus on the  following key areas:

  • To strengthen the defence cooperation, the two nations will discuss  on communication compatibility and security agreement.
  • Intelligence sharing agreement with India to counter-terror cooperation.
  • Sale of armed drones is also on the agenda of the meeting.
  • U. S. also interested to give stress on Indo-Pacific strategy, which give importance to India. The U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) was recently renamed Indo-Pacific Command(INDOPACOM), symbolic of the significance U.S. attaches to India in the region.

5. There are four foundational agreements between the two nations:

  • Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) that helps the U.S. to intensify its defence cooperation with a partner nation.
  • Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation (BECA).
  • The General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA).
  • The Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), which give both nations access to each other’s military facilities.

6. Out of these four foundational agreements, COMCASA and BECA are yet to sign by India.

7. India has already signed the General Security Of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) and the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA).


  •   It will facilitate transfer of encrypted communications systems.
  •   It will facilitate sharing of h-tech military hardware, especially armed drones which the U.S. is willing to supply to India.
  • As part of improving high tech cooperation, both sides announced the ambitious Defence Technology and Trade Initiative.



RBI alters ‘relative’ definition to check outward remittances


  1. RBI has narrowed the definition of ‘relatives’ to check the flow of funds as remittances.

Important facts:

  1. The decision was taken keeping in mind the concerned over funds sent abroad under the ‘maintenance of close relative’ category of the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS).
  2. The RBI has decided to align the definition of ‘relatives’ with the definition given in Companies Act, 2013 instead of Companies Act, 1956.
  3. The funds under this category  now be sent only to immediate relatives such as parents, spouses, children and their spouses.
  4. RBI has introduced a system for daily reporting of individual transactions under the LRS by banks.
  5. This enables banks to view remittances already made by an individual during the fiscal.
  6. The system uses the Permanent Account Number of the remitter to aggregate remitter-wise data.
  7. The apex bank has made furnishing of PAN mandatory for such transactions.
  8. Reasons
  • Outward remittances under maintenance of close relatives increased to almost $ 3 billion in 2017-18 from $ 174 million in 2013-14.
  • Funds sent under close relatives have more than doubled since 2015-16.
  •  Overall outward remittances under LRS went up to $ 11 billion from $ 1 billion in the same period.


Govt. to set up fifth national data centre


  1. The centre is planning to setup fifth National Data Centres at Bhopal.

Important facts:

2. The National Data Centre at Bhopal will be country’s biggest data centre with a capacity to host five lakh virtual servers.

3. This move will led Centre to expand BPO promotion scheme to 1 lakh seats from the current 48,000 seats.

4. Under the initiative of BPO promotion scheme, 91 BPOs had been set up in small towns and rural areas till now.

5. Other four national data center is situated at Bhubaneswar, Delhi, Hyderabad and Pune.

6. The National Data Centre will be set up by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

7 .The National Data Centre host the government websites, services and applications.

8. Issues:

  • Credibility of Data Centre for data analysis.
  • Misuse of data

9. In the recent times the issue of data privacy and its protection has become important as the number of Aadhaar has increased from 61 to 121 Crore.


Paper setters to receive training


  1. The center government is planning to setup National Testing Agency.

Important Facts:

  1. The National Testing Agency will provide training to paper setters to frame better question papers and provide  model answers.
  2. Presently, there is no system for paper-setter training in country.
  3. The creation of National Testing Agency was approved by the Union Cabinet in November 2017.
  4. It get a one tie grant of 25 cr. with a aim to make it financially self-sustainable.
  5. Mandate of the National Testing Agency:
  • To put in place a robust system for the conduct of examinations.
  • The National Testing Agency will overtake the conduction of all  competitive examination from Central Board of Secondary Education except the 10th and 12th board examinations.
  1. National Testing Agency will conduct the following competitive exams:
  • Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for admission to engineering colleges like the IITs and NITs
  • National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to all medical colleges in the country, except AIIMS and JIPMER, Pondicherry.


Women’s rights and personal choice


  1. The American economic review in its research paper “Legal origins and female HIV” has highlighted how Africa legal system has influence HIV prevalence.

Important Facts:

  1. HIV a virus that is transmitted largely through unprotected sex and which damages the immune system.
  2. The research paper has compare the Influence of common law and civil law on African woman.
  3. Finding of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS:
  • About 80% of women in the world who are infected with HIV infections are in Africa.
  • Africa is the only geographical area where the number of HIV infection in more in women than men.
  • The prevalence of HIV infections is not uniform across Africa.
  • The report finds that HIV prevalence among African women is higher in countries that had their legal origins in the common law rather than under the civil law.
  • Female HIV infection rates are 25% higher in common law countries.
  1. Reason for increasing HIV in common law:
  • The common law does not provide property rights to African women after marriage.
  • The common law has undermines the bargaining power of women within their families.
  • The bargaining power in turn has increases the chances of them being forced to engage in unprotected sex with their husbands.
  1. The civil Laws has reduce HIV cases as it provide for:
  • Women with better marital property rights.
  • Offered the right to joint ownership of all property under marriage.
  • Civil law offered explicit protection in the case of a divorce.
  • Better bargaining power within their households.
  • Provide better and increased chances of negotiating safe sex.
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