Current Affairs of Defense and Security

Sea Guardians 2020

The sixth joint naval exercise between China and Pakistan has hosted by Pakistan. It is being held in Karachi. For the first time, the exercise has been named ‘Sea Guardians’.

  • Operation Sankalp

Indian Navy launched ‘Operation Sankalp’ in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman to reassure safe passage and security of Indian flagged vessels traveling through the area. This deployment is in the wake of following recent maritime incidents in the region following the recent maritime incidents in the region.

Key development

  • Indian Naval Ships, INS Chennai and INS Sunayna have been deployed in the region to undertake maritime security operations. In addition to this aerial surveillance is also being done in the area by Indian navy aircraft.
  • The Information Fusion Centre-Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) of the Indian Navy is also keeping a close watch on the movement of ships in the Gulf region.
  • Operation Sankalp has been launched in the wake of escalating tension in the Gulf of Oman, where two oil tankers, one Norwegian-owned and other Japanese-owned were attacked. This incident has led to heightened tensions between Iran and the United States (US).
  • MILAN 2020

Indian Navy will be hosting a military drill called ‘Milan 2020’ at Visakhapatnam MILAN stands for ‘Multilateral Naval Exercise’. The event will witness the participation of several countries. 

About ‘Milan 2020’

  • The MILAN is a biennial exercise that commenced in 1995. It was conducted at Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) until last year.
  • Through the exercise, India will pursue cooperation initiatives with friendly foreign countries, including in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
  • The areas of cooperation include capacity building, training, operational exercise marine domain awareness, hydrography, technical assistance.
  • 41 nations from South Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa, and Europe that share defense cooperation with India have been invited for the drill. 
  • SAMPRITI-IX

Sampriti-IX is the ninth edition of India-Bangladesh joint military exercise.

About Sampriti-IX

  • The exercise commenced at Umroi, Meghalaya.
  • The objective of SAMPRITI-IX is to provide basic counter-terrorism training for mountainous and jungle locations.

    7.  Reports and Indices

  • Women, Business and the Law 2020

Women, Business and the Law 2020 a World Bank Group project collecting unique data on the laws and regulations that restrict women’s economic opportunities has released its sixth edition.

About the Women, Business and the Law Index:

  • The index analyzes laws and regulations affecting women’s economic inclusion in 190 economies.
  • It is composed of eight indicators
  • Mobility, Workplace, Pay, Marriage, Parenthood, Entrepreneurship, Assets, and Pension.
  • Performance of various countries:
  • Eight economies scored a perfect 100 — Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Latvia, Luxembourg, and Sweden.
  • The global average was 75.2 — a slight increase from 73.9 in the previous index released in 2017.
  • India is placed 117th among 190 countries.  It scored 74.4.
  • World’s fastest-growing cities

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Three Indian cities have been listed as the world’s fastest-growing urban areas.

Key finding of the report

  • Kozhikode, Kollam & Malappuram were the only three cities to make it to the top 10 of the world’s fastest-growing cities.
  • Malappuram was ranked first in the world rankings with a 44.1 percent change between 2015 and 2020. While Kozhikode was ranked fourth with 34.5 percent change and Kollam was at number 10 with 31.1 percent.
  • Time to Care report

A report on the alleviation of global poverty named as- “Time to Care”- has been released by Oxfam International.

Key finding of the report:

  1. According to the report world had 2,153 billionaires in 2019.
  2. The number of billionaires has doubled in the last decade, despite their combined wealth having declined in 2018.
  3.  World’s richest 1% have more than double as much wealth as 6.9 billion people.
  4. From 2011 to 2017, average wages in G7 countries grew 3%, while dividends to wealthy shareholders increased by 31%.
  5.  Globally, extreme poverty rates are 4% higher for women than men and this gap rises to 22% during women’s peak productive and reproductive ages.

               Findings related to India:

  • India’s richest 1% hold more than four-times the wealth held by the bottom 70% of the country’s population.
  • The combined total wealth of 63 Indian billionaires is higher than the total Union Budget of India for the fiscal year 2018-19 which was at Rs 24,42,200 crore.
  • Swacch Survekshan league

The results of the 5th edition of the annual urban cleanliness survey (July-September) of the ‘Swachh Survekshan League 2020’ have been released.

About ‘Swachh Survekshan League

 ‘Swachh Survekshan League is conducted in three quarters (April-June, July-September, and October-December) with the objective of sustaining the on-ground performance of cities along with monitoring of when it comes to cleanliness.

Result of the survey

  • In the category of 10 lakh plus population, Indore secured first place. Indore has remained in first place for the last three years. Following Indore, Bhopal and Surat are in second and third places respectively. 
  • In the category of the population between one lakh and 10 lakhs, Jamshedpur was in 1st spot following New Delhi and Khargone.
  •  Among cantonment boards, Tamil Nadu’s St.Thomas Mount Cantt was ranked 1st in quarter 1 whereas Delhi Cantt ranked first in the 2nd quarter. Secunderabad Cantonment Board is the worst performer among other cantonment boards.
  • ASER 2019

The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2019 has been released by education non-profit Pratham.

About ASER

  • This is an annual survey that aims to provide reliable estimates of children’s enrolment and basic learning levels for each district and state in India.
  • ASER has been conducted every year since 2005 in all rural districts of India.
  • It is the largest citizen-led survey in India.
  • It is also the only annual source of information on children’s learning outcomes available in India today.
  • The survey was conducted in 26 districts across 24 states in India, covering a total of 1,514 villages, 30,425 households, and 36,930 children in the age group of 4-8 years.

Key finding of the Survey

  • Only 16% of children in Class 1 in 26 surveyed rural districts can read the text at the prescribed level, while almost 40% cannot even recognize letters.
  • Only 41% of these children could recognize two-digit numbers.
  • Many Indian parents choose government schools for girls in the age group of 4 to 8 years while they favor private schools for boys.
  • Global Talent Competitiveness Index

INSEAD business school in partnership with Adecco Group and Google has released the Global Talent Competitive Index (GTCI) for 2020.

About GTCI

  • GTCI, launched in 2013, is an annual benchmarking report that measures the ability of countries to compete for talent.
  • The report measures levels of Global Talent Competitiveness by looking at 70 variables such as ease of hiring, gender earnings gap, and prevalence of training in firms.

Ranking and finding of Index

  • Switzerland, the United States, and Singapore lead the index.
  • India is placed at no. 72.
  • The gap between talent champions and the rest of the world is widening.
  • A similar gap is also seen in the universe of artificial intelligence.
  • More than half of the population in the developing world lacks basic digital skills.
  • Corruption Perception Index 2019

“Corruption Perception Index 2019” prepared by Transparency International has been released.

About the Corruption Perceptions Index

It is a composite index that draws from 12 surveys to rank nations around the globe. It has become a benchmark gauge of perceptions of corruption and is used by analysts and investors.

It ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, according to experts and business people.

It uses a scale of zero to 100, where zero is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean. More than two-thirds of countries score below 50 on this year’s CPI, with an average score of just 43.

Key finding of the observation

  • Denmark and New Zealand have the top spot, followed by Finland, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland in the top ten.
  • With a score of 41, India is at the 80th spot. The rank is also shared by China, Benin, Ghana, and Morocco.
  • India’s Neighbouring Pakistan is ranked at the 120th place.
  • This year’s analysis shows corruption is more pervasive in countries where big money can flow freely into electoral campaigns and where governments listen only to the voices of wealthy or well-connected individuals.
  • Not only are more than two-thirds of countries — along with many of the world’s most advanced economies — stagnating, some are seriously backsliding.
  • ‘8 Wonders of SCO’

Recently The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has included the Statue of Unity among the ‘Eight Wonders of the SCO.

The Eight Wonders of the SCO are:

  1. The Statue of Unity -India.
  2. The Archaeological Landscape of Tamgaly-Kazakhstan
  3. The Daming imperial palace complex-China
  4. Lake Issyk-Kul-Kyrgyzstan
  5. The Great Mughals’ heritage at Lahore-Pakistan
  6. The Golden Ring cities-Russia
  7. The Palace of Nowruz-Tajikistan
  8. The Poi Kalon complex-Uzbekistan

About the Statue of Unity

  • The Statue of Unity is a world’s tallest statue (182 metres) of statue of Indian statesman Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who was the first Deputy Prime Minister and Home minister of independent India.
  • It is the It is located on a river facing the Sardar Sarovar Dam on river Narmada in Kevadiya colony located on the Sadhu Bet island, near Rajpipla the Statue of Unity is located between the Satpura and the Vindhya mountain ranges.