Himalai Celebrating 20th-year celebration, on this eve Himalai extending helping hands to the UPSC-IAS
Most important exam oriented Current Affairs Concepts:

1. Agreement on Trade, Commerce and Transit between India and Bhutan

The bilateral trade relations between India and Bhutan are governed by the Agreement on Trade, Commerce and Transit between the Government of India and Bhutan. The Agreement provides for a free trade regime between the territories of India and Bhutan. The Agreement also provides for duty free transit of Bhutanese merchandise for trade with third countries.

The Agreement was last renewed on 29th July 2006 for a period of ten years. The validity of this Agreement was extended, with effect from 29th July 2016, for a period of one year or till the new agreement comes into force, through exchange of Diplomatic notes.

The new Agreement on Trade, Commerce and Transit Agreement was signed on 12th November 2016 by the Minister of State (IC), Ministry of Commerce and Industry on behalf of the Government of India during her visit to Bhutan on 11th-13th November, 2016. As per its provisions, the new Agreement was to come into force on a mutually decided date. As agreed to by both India and Bhutan, the new Agreement on Trade, Commerce and Transit between India and Bhutan has come into force with effect from 29th July 2017.
The new Agreement will further strengthen the bilateral trade relations between India and Bhutan.

2. RCEP Meeting

The 19th round of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) proposed comprehensive regional economic integration agreement amongst the 10-ASEAN countries (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) and its six Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) partners, viz. Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, Korea and India.

During the 19th round, parallel meetings were held by the three main Working Groups on Trade in Goods, Trade in Services and Investment, including their respective Sub-Working Groups. Working Groups in other areas like Intellectual Property, electronic commerce, Legal and Institutional Issues etc. also had their meetings.

During the 19th round, a set of key elements for significant outcomes, envisaged to be achieved by the end of 2017, were agreed. The Meeting also highlighted the need to have balanced discussions to progress negotiation across all areas, and to continue to deliver outcomes.

During the meeting, all RCEP Participating Countries (RPCs) agreed that a good RCEP agreement has immense potential to deliver on new economic opportunities including job creation that are much needed in today’s world of uncertainty. The Meeting expressed shared commitment to work collectively and in a cooperative manner, to progress the negotiations in an accelerated way, and achieve a modern, comprehensive, high-quality and mutually beneficial agreement that addresses and balances the aspirations and sensitivities of participating countries.

3. e-Rashtriya Kisan Agri Mandi (e-RaKAM)

It is a robust e-Market for purchase, sale, price discovery, MSP booking etc. through internet being developed by MSTC. It is an exclusive e-auction platform for Agri Products with its objective for transparent sale transactions and price discovery. It unshackles the potential of Indian farmers who has been trapped in a vicious cycle of middle man and low margin, providing integrated logistics services like warehousing, pest control, first mile and last mile connectivity, even facilitating exports. e-RaKAM centres are spread all over India.

Advantages:
To the Farmers:
More options for selling produce and making competitive returns.Will have the facility to consolidate their produce and sell at MSP and beyond.

For buyers, processers and exporters:
Provide access to larger market.Buyers will be able to buy from all the above through a centralized portal with standard procedures and pay through e-Payment.

FPOs:
Farm Producing Organisations will have facilities for e-Auctions.
Nodal Agencies:
Organization like Nafed,FCI will be able to e-Procure, e-Book and e-Auction their surplus stores.

For both:
Enable direct participation thereby reducing intermediary cost.Avail integrated logistics services under one roof.

FPOs:
Farm Producing Organisations will have facilities for e-Auctions.

Nodal Agencies:
Organization like Nafed,FCI will be able to e-Procure,e-Book and e-Auction their surplus stores.

4. CRISPR-Cas9

CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing tool, a type of molecular scissors for trimming unwanted parts of the human genome to replace with new stretches of DNA. The genome consists of six billion DNA letters, or chemical bases.

CRISPR is like scissors, DNA’s four chemical bases, adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) and thymine (T). It takes two bases to form base pairs which make up rungs in the spiral DNA ladder, and they follow specific rules – C pairs with G, and T pairs with A.

Single-letter mistakes, called point mutations, can give rise to genetic diseases.
In a paper published in September, researchers at Sun Yat-sen University in China described using that system to correct a faulty gene that causes the blood disorder called beta-thalassemia in human embryos.

5. Indus water treaty

Under Article VIII of the Indus Waters Treaty 1960 between India and Pakistan, both sides appoint a Commissioner for Indus Waters who together constitute the Permanent Indus Commission that is responsible to establish and maintain cooperative arrangements for the implementation of the Treaty. The last meeting (109th Meeting) of the Permanent Indus Commission took place from September 22-25, 2013 in New Delhi.

The Indus Water Treaty is a time-tested framework for the sharing of waters of the Indus river system between India and Pakistan and for the most complete and satisfactory utilization of its waters. India has always strictly adhered to both the letter and the spirit of the Indus Waters Treaty.

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