Table of Contents
- Prime Minister’s visit to France (Indo-France Relations)
- India’s third moon mission, Chandrayaan-3
Facts for Prelims
- Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) virtual meeting
- Wholesale Price Index (WPI) slides further
Strengthening Indo-French Relations: Journey of Friendship and Cooperation
- Recent visit of PM Narendra Modi to France highlights deepening ties.
- Bilateral engagements contribute to diplomatic relations and progress.
- India and France share a long history of cultural and economic ties.
- Strategic partnership based on trust and mutual respect.
- Cultural exchanges, trade, and intellectual collaborations over centuries.
- France is the second largest defence supplier for India.
- Induction of French Scorpene submarines and Rafale fighter jets.
- Joint military exercises like Varuna (navy), Garuda (air force), and Shakti (army).
- Joint manufacturing: Tata Group tied up with Airbus to manufacture C-295 tactical transport aircraft in Vadodara, Gujarat.
- Bilateral trade of over USD 12 billion in 2021-22.
- France is the 11th largest foreign investor in India.
- Focus on sectors like aerospace, defence, renewable energy, IT, and pharmaceuticals.
- India-France CEO forum enhances trade ties and explores joint ventures.
- Example: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) partnered with French firm Engie for digital transformation projects.
Civil Nuclear Cooperation:
- France supports India’s nuclear power reactors and joint research.
- Civil nuclear pact signed in 2008.
- Example: France’s EDF and India’s NPCIL collaborate on the construction of six EPR (European Pressurized Reactor) nuclear power reactors in Jaitapur, Maharashtra.
Cooperation at International Forum:
- Alignment on global issues, climate change, counter-terrorism.
- France’s support for India’s UNSC and NSG membership.
- Example: France backed India’s candidacy for the permanent membership of the UN Security Council.
- Partnership for a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
- Indo-French-UAE Trilateral Initiative ensures maritime domain awareness and security.
- Example: Indo-Pacific Trilateral Development Cooperation Fund between India, France, and Australia.
- Collaboration in space research, satellite technology, and exploration.
- Joint working group between ISRO and CNES for enhanced cooperation.
- Example: Planned joint Mars mission and Earth observation mission.
Education and Cultural Exchanges:
- Agreement on mutual recognition of academic degrees.
- Knowledge Summit fosters educational collaborations.
- Example: Joint research programs between Indian and French universities.
- Indo-French Year of the Environment and initiatives on green hydrogen, blue economy, and research.
- Example: Joint projects on clean energy and sustainable development.
- Visit reflects commitment to strengthen Indo-French relations.
- Economic, defence, cultural, and environmental cooperation.
- Demonstrates a shared vision for progress and global peace.
Chandrayaan-3: India’s Lunar Mission in Brief
Chandrayaan-3 is India’s third lunar mission, demonstrating its commitment to lunar exploration and technological advancement.
Chandrayaan-3 consists of a propulsion module, lander module, and rover.
Propulsion module: Carries the lander and rover, and includes the Spectro-polarimetry of Habitable Planetary Earth (SHAPE) instrument.
Lander module: Responsible for soft landing on the lunar surface and equipped with scientific instruments.
Rover: Conducts in-situ chemical studies of the lunar surface, aiding our understanding of the Moon.
- Develop and demonstrate new technologies for inter-planetary missions.
- Contribute to scientific knowledge about the lunar surface and subsurface.
Launch and Progression:
- Launched successfully from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre using the GSLV Mark 3 heavy-lift launch vehicle.
- Entered an elliptic parking orbit around Earth.
- Propulsion module will maneuver towards the Moon and be captured by lunar gravity.
- Lander will detach and attempt a soft landing on the lunar surface.
- Showcases India’s space exploration ambitions and technological prowess.
- Enhances India’s reputation in the global space community.
- Aligns with India’s vision of fostering technological advancements and becoming a global leader in space exploration.
- Chandrayaan-3 reflects India’s commitment to lunar exploration and cutting-edge space technologies.
- A successful soft landing and rover operation will contribute to scientific progress and India’s reputation as a space exploration contributor.
23rd Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit held in India
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually hosted the 23rd summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in India.
- The SCO was founded in 2001 and includes member countries such as Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
Attendance and Format:
- The summit was attended by leaders including China’s President Xi Jinping, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
- The meeting was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Iran officially joined the SCO as the ninth member country during the summit.
- The process for granting SCO membership to Belarus is underway.
Key Points from the New Delhi Declaration:
- India refused to sign the paragraph supporting China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), citing concerns over the impact of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor on its territorial integrity and sovereignty.
- The declaration emphasized joint efforts to combat terrorism, religious intolerance, nationalism, discrimination, xenophobia, fascism, and chauvinism.
- The declaration did not mention the Ukraine war.
- Member states reaffirmed their commitment to peaceful settlement of disagreements through dialogue and consultations.
Factory Inflation Hits 8-Year Low, Wholesale Price Index (WPI) Contracts:
- Factory inflation based on the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) continued to contract, reaching an eight-year low of (-)4.12% in June, as per data released by the Commerce & Industry Ministry.
- This decline in factory inflation is primarily attributed to the fall in prices of food products and other goods.
- The rate of inflation was (-)3.48% in May and 16.23% in June of the previous year.
- The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) measures changes in the prices of goods traded in bulk by wholesale businesses to other businesses and is widely used as an inflation indicator in India.
- The WPI has faced criticism as it does not reflect the prices paid by the general public for goods.
- In contrast, retail inflation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose to 4.8% in June due to a supportive base and an increase in vegetable prices.
WPI vs. CPI
Wholesale Price Index (WPI):
- WPI is published by the Office of Economic Adviser, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
- It measures changes in the prices of goods sold in bulk by wholesale businesses.
- It is widely used as an inflation indicator in India.
- Base Year: 2011-12 since 2017.
Consumer Price Index (CPI):
- The CPI is released by the National Statistical Office (NSO).
- It measures price changes from the perspective of retail buyers for goods and services.
- The CPI has various sub-groups, including food and beverages, fuel and light, housing, and clothing.
- 4 types:
- CPI for Industrial Workers (IW),
- CPI for Agricultural Labourer (AL),
- CPI for Rural Labourer (RL), and
- CPI (Rural/Urban/Combined).
- The RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee uses CPI data to control inflation, with CPI being adopted as the key measure of inflation in 2014.