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Daily Current Affairs – 2020

Topic: For Prelims and Mains

India stays out of RCEP

5th November 2019

Why in news?

Recently Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was on the horns of an unenviable dilemma at the Leaders Summit in Bangkok, Thailand, finally decided to stay out of the 16-member Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

About RCEP?

  • RCEP is proposed between the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the six states with which ASEAN has existing FTAs (Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand).
  • RCEP negotiations were formally launched in November 2012 at the ASEAN Summit in Cambodia.


  • RCEP aims to boost goods trade by eliminating most tariff and non-tariff barriers — a move that is expected to provide the region’s consumers greater choice of quality products at affordable rates.
  • It also seeks to liberalise investment norms and do away with services trade restrictions.

 Why has it assumed so much significance in recent times?

  • When inked, it would become the world’s biggest free trade pact. This is because the 16 nations account for a total GDP of about $50 trillion and house close to 3.5 billion people.
  • India (GDP-PPP worth $9.5 trillion and population of 1.3 billion) and China (GDP-PPP of $23.2 trillion and population of 1.4 billion) together comprise the RCEP’s biggest component in terms of market size.


Why in news?

Shanghai Cooperation Organization Joint Exercise on Urban Earthquake Search & Rescue. The latest edition is being held in India.

Important  facts:

  • Hosted by NDRF.
  • Aim to rehearse the disaster response mechanism, share knowledge, experience, technology & also for mutual coordination, etc.
  • The participants of all 08 member countries namely China, India, Kazakhastan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan shall be participating in this exercise.
  • Main focus shall be to test the region’s preparedness and resilience towards effective activation of Inter- governmental interaction for immediate response.

About SCO:

What is it?  

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, also known as the Shanghai Pact, is a Eurasian political, economic, and military organisation which was founded in 2001 in Shanghai.

Founding members:

China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The cooperation was renamed to Shanghai Cooperation Organisation after Uzbekistan joined the organisation in 2001.

The SCO’s main goals are:

  • Strengthening mutual trust and neighbourliness among the member states;
  • Promoting their effective cooperation in politics, trade, the economy, research, technology and culture, as well as in education, energy, transport, tourism, environmental protection.
  • Making joint efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security and stability in the region and moving towards the establishment of a democratic, fair and rational new international political and economic order.
  • Presently, the SCO comprises eight member states, namely the Republic of India, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan;.
  • The SCO counts four observer states, namely the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Republic of Belarus, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Mongolia.
  • The SCO has six dialogue partners, namely the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Armenia, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, the Republic of Turkey, and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.


Facts for Prelims


Displaced Brus from Mizoram have claimed that four members of the community, including a four-month-old infant, had died of starvation at the refugee camps in Tripura after the Centre stopped providing free rations to them.

  • Another initiative to repatriate the Mizoram Bru refugees stranded in the camps in North Tripura has failed to receive response from the inmates.

Brus Tribe:

  • Brus (or Reang) tribals inhabit parts of Northeastern states of Assam, Mizoram and Tripura.
  • In Mizoram, they are largely restricted to Mamit and Kolasib.


  • Fighter kites in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan fly on abrasive string called … So-called “chemical manja” or “Chinese manja” is a relatively recent introduction. It is based on non biodegradable synthetic fibers.
  • Fighter kites in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan fly on abrasive string called manja (or manjha).
  • In Brazil, similar string is called “cerol”, and in Chile “hilo curado”.


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