Daily News Analysis 30 June 2023

Table of Contents


  1. A grand revival: on India-Egypt Ties

Facts for Prelims

  1. Critical Minerals
  2. Global Environment Facility (GEF)
  3. Sea lion

A grand revival: on India-Egypt Ties


Recently, the Indian Prime Minister (PM) has visited Egypt for the first time since 1997 to discuss bilateral relations between India and Egypt.

Historical Background:

  1. Relations between India and Egypt can be traced back to 2750 BCE.
  2. The exchange between the two included Egyptian ships sailing to the \”Land of Punt,\” believed to be peninsular India.
  3. Egyptian mummies were wrapped in Indian indigo-dyed muslin in the second millennium BCE.

Friendship Treaty and Bilateral Relations:

  1. In the 1950s, India and Egypt became closer and signed a historic Friendship Treaty in 1955.
  2. High-level meetings and contacts between the two countries have further strengthened bilateral relations.

Economic Relations:

  1. The India-Egypt Bilateral Trade Agreement has been in effect since March 1978.
  2. Bilateral trade between the two countries reached a record high of US$ 7.26 billion in the fiscal year 2021-22.
  3. Major exports from Egypt to India include raw cotton, fertilizers, oil products, chemicals, leather, and iron products.
  4. Major imports into Egypt from India include cotton yarn, sesame, coffee, herbs, tobacco, and lentils.

Defense Cooperation:

  1. Collaboration between the Indian Air Force and the Egyptian air force in the development and training of fighter aircraft.
  2. Both countries fly the French Rafale fighter jets.
  3. Joint special forces exercise, \”Exercise Cyclone-I,\” was conducted in January 2023.

Science and Technology:

  1. Cooperation in science and technology through executive programs and scientific cooperation programs.
  2. Joint workshops on agriculture-biotechnology and nanotechnology have been held.
  3. An IT Centre in Al Azhar University, CEIT, has been operational since February 2019.

Cultural Links:

  1. The Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture promotes cultural cooperation.
  2. \’India by the Nile\’ festival showcases Indian classical and contemporary arts, food, and popular culture.
  3. The festival is produced by M/S Teamwork Arts and supported by ICCR and the Egyptian Ministry of Culture.

Challenges of India-Egypt Relations:

  1. Political differences on international issues like UNSC reforms.
  2. Regional instability in neighboring conflict zones.
  3. Navigating complex regional relationships.
  4. China\’s growing influence in Africa.


  1. India and Egypt are forging a closer relationship, considering their historical ties and the current geopolitical landscape.
  2. Both countries aim to strengthen their economies and maintain autonomous foreign policies.

Critical Minerals


An expert committee set up by the Central Government recently identified 30 minerals as critical to India, including lithium and vanadium, which are largely used in the manufacturing of batteries.

About Critical Minerals:

Definition: Critical minerals are metallic or non-metallic elements that are essential for modern technologies, economies, or national security, and there is a risk of disruption in their supply chains.

Characteristics: They have two key characteristics: importance in functioning of modern technologies and the potential for disruption in supply chains.

Changing Criticality: The importance of minerals as critical can change over time as supply and society\’s needs evolve.


Advanced Technologies: Critical minerals are used in the production of advanced technologies like mobile phones, computers, fiber-optic cables, semiconductors, banknotes, defense and aerospace applications, and medical devices.

Low-Emission Technologies: They are also crucial for low-emission technologies such as electric vehicles, wind turbines, solar panels, and rechargeable batteries.

Common Products: Some critical minerals are essential for everyday products like stainless steel and electronics.

Examples of Critical Minerals:

  1. Antimony
  2. Beryllium
  3. Bismuth
  4. Cobalt
  5. Copper
  6. Gallium
  7. Germanium
  8. Lithium
  9. Vanadium

Top Producers:

  1. Chile
  2. Indonesia
  3. Congo
  4. China
  5. Australia
  6. South Africa

What is the Mineral Security Partnership?

  1. Definition: The Mineral Security Partnership (MSP) is an initiative announced by the United States (US) and key partner countries in June 2022 to strengthen critical mineral supply chains.
  2. Goal: The alliance aims to ensure that critical minerals are produced, processed, and recycled in a way that supports countries in realizing the full economic development benefits of their mineral resources.
  3. Focus: The MSP focuses on the supply chains of minerals like cobalt, nickel, lithium, and the 17 \”rare earth\” minerals.
  4. Recent Addition: India was recently included as a member of the Mineral Security Partnership (MSP).

Global Environment Facility (GEF)


Recently, at the 64th Global Environment Facility (GEF) council meeting in Brazil, the governing body approved the disbursement of $1.4 billion to accelerate efforts to tackle the climate, biodiversity and pollution crises.

About Global Environment Facility (GEF):

Establishment and Purpose:

  1. Established: GEF was created before the 1992 Rio Earth Summit of UNFCC to address urgent environmental issues.
  2. Purpose: It is a group of funds dedicated to tackling problems like biodiversity loss, climate change, pollution, and land and ocean health issues.

Financial Assistance for International Conventions:

GEF provides financial support for five major international environmental conventions:

  1. The Minamata Convention on Mercury
  2. The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
  3. The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD)
  4. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
  5. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Membership and Governance:

  1. Member Countries: GEF has 184 member countries, including India.
  2. Governing Council: The governing council is the primary governing body of GEF, consisting of 32 members appointed by constituencies of GEF member countries.
  3. Composition: The council includes 14 members from developed countries, 16 members from developing countries, and two members from economies in transition.


  1. Location: The secretariat of GEF is based in Washington, D.C.

Sea lion


Recently, hundreds of sea lions are found dead or sick on California beaches due to toxic offshore algae blooms.

About Sealion:


  1. Sea lions are marine mammals belonging to the family Otariidae.
  2. They are known for their semi-aquatic lifestyle, spending time on both land and in water.


  1. Streamlined body with a large head and a long, flexible neck.
  2. Usually have a brown or tan coat, and adult males develop a thick mane of hair around their necks.


  1. Inhabit rocky shorelines, islands, and sandy beaches.
  2. Can be found in various regions including the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and parts of the Indian Ocean.


  1. Sea lions are carnivorous and primarily feed on fish like herring, anchovies, sardines, and squid.


Currently, there are six subspecies of sea lions:

  1. Australian sea lions
  2. California sea lions
  3. Galapagos sea lions
  4. New Zealand sea lions
  5. South American sea lions
  6. Steller sea lions

About Algal Bloom:


  1. An algal bloom refers to a rapid and excessive growth of algae in aquatic environments.

Occurrence and Causes:

  1. Algal blooms can happen in both freshwater and marine ecosystems.
  2. Factors that contribute to algal blooms include nutrient availability, temperature, light, and water conditions.
  3. Human causes such as climate change and excessive nitrates washed into the sea can also lead to their proliferation.


  1. Algal blooms produce a neurotoxin called domoic acid.
  2. These blooms can have harmful impacts on marine life and ecosystems.
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