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Bhutan China Relations

Why is it in the news?

  • The recent visit of Bhutan’s Foreign Minister Tandi Dorji to China was unsettling for India.


More about the visit

  • It was an unprecedented visit by Bhutan’s Foreign Minister to China as both countries do not maintain diplomatic relations traditionally. It was the first visit ever by a Bhutanese Foreign Minister to China.
  • The visit primarily aimed at boundary talks, which had been dormant for over seven years.
  • A joint statement highlighted the signing of a cooperation agreement to establish a joint technical team for the boundary’s delimitation and demarcation.

Bhutan-China Border Dispute


  • China and Bhutan share approximately 477 kilometers of border.
  • Disputes date back to 1950 when China occupied Tibet and did not recognize the boundary with Bhutan.
  • Post the Tibetan uprising in 1959, Beijing took control of eight Bhutanese enclaves in Tibet.


Boundary Talks

  • Initiated in 1984 between Bhutan and China.
  • Disputed Territories includes North of Bhutan (Pasamlung and Jakarlung valleys); West of Bhutan (Doklam, Dramana, and Shakhatoe; Yak Chu and Charithang Chu; and Sinchulungpa and Langmarpo valleys); and East of Bhutan (Recently, China claimed Sakteng sanctuary).


India’s Concerns


Special Relationship with Bhutan:

  • India is cautious about Bhutan establishing diplomatic relations and finalizing a boundary agreement with China.


Threat of Swapping Doklam:

  • Fears in India that Bhutan might trade Doklam for territories in the north disputed with China.


Doklam’s strategic importance to India:

  • Proximity to the tri-junction of India, Bhutan, and China.
  • Control by China could jeopardize the Siliguri Corridor.
  • Siliguri Corridor (Chicken’s Neck): A vital 22km stretch connecting India’s mainland to the Northeast and linking with Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh.


Direct Threat to India’s Eastern Border:

  • If China gains control over Doklam, it could put increased pressure on India and potentially sever India’s connectivity to the eastern segment of their disputed border.



Way Forward

  • China’s urgency in resolving its border dispute with Bhutan is intertwined with its conflict with India, particularly concerning Arunachal Pradesh.
  • A balanced border agreement, addressing Bhutan’s northern concerns and respecting India’s western interests, is crucial moving forward.



1) Bharat National Cyber Security Exercise (NCX) 2023

Why is it in the news?

  • It was organized by National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), Govt. of India in strategic partnership with Rashtriya Raksha University (RRU).
  • Aimed at boosting India’s cybersecurity preparedness.


About Cybersecurity

  • Practice of safeguarding systems, networks, and programs from digital/cyber- attacks.
  • Goals: Protect sensitive information, prevent money extortion, ensure uninterrupted business processes.
  • Challenges: Increasing number of devices and innovative attack techniques.
  • Protection Measures: Next-gen firewalls, malware protection, antivirus software, and email security solutions.


About Cyber Resilience

  • It is an organization’s capacity to swiftly identify, address, and recover from IT security incidents.
  • To develop a risk-focused plan, assuming potential breaches or attacks in the future.


2) PM Schools for Rising India (PM SHRI)

Why is it in the news?

  • Recently, the Union Minister for Education inaugurated ICT labs for PM SHRI schools in Rohtak, Haryana.

PM SHRI Scheme


  • Aim: Transform existing government schools into model institutions to deliver high-quality education. The focus is on equity, inclusivity, and catering to diverse student needs and backgrounds.
  • Funding: Centrally sponsored scheme with a budget of ₹27,360 crore spanning 2022-23 to 2026-27. The goal is to transform approximately 14,500 schools nationwide.
  • Purpose: Embody principles of the National Education Policy 2020, serve as benchmark schools, and mentor neighbouring schools.
  • Evaluation: A ‘School Quality Assessment Framework’ is in the works to monitor these schools’ performance and progress.


Key Features

  • Green Schools: Institutions will adopt eco-friendly measures like solar panels, LED lights, nutrition gardens, and systems for waste management, water conservation, and harvesting.
  • Modern Amenities: The inclusion of ICT tools, smart classrooms, libraries, digital resources, science and vocational labs. Schools will also receive kits for science and math, as well as annual grants for sports or libraries.
  • Language Inclusivity: Encouragement of education in the mother tongue and other local languages.


Accreditation of the Schools App and Mobile Application (NIPUN)

  • School Accreditation Simplification: An app for accrediting schools will be introduced, streamlining the process and ensuring quality standards are met.
  • Skill Development: The NIPUN Mobile Application will be launched as a tool for students to develop various skills and gain knowledge.


3) Embedded-SIM (eSIM)

Why is it in the news?

Recently, major manufacturers like Apple, Google Pixel series, and Samsung have incorporated the eSIM feature in their devices.




  • eSIM is a digital, embedded, programmable, and rewritable SIM, eliminating the need for a physical nano-SIM.
  • eSIM’s software is loaded onto a universal integrated circuit card (UICC) installed within the device during manufacturing, making it non-removable.


  • Convenience: eSIM’s can store multiple profiles, allowing users to switch between them without repeatedly activating a SIM or changing cards.
  • Security: eSIM’s provide added protection. If someone unlawfully accesses a device, they can’t access or duplicate the SIM application.


  • Emergencies: If a device malfunctions or runs out of power, communication halts entirely with eSIM’s.
  • Data Protection Concerns: eSIM’s could, in theory, enable network operators to track user data, including app activity, especially in the absence of robust data privacy regulations.


SIM Card

·       SIM (subscriber identification module) is a microchip that identifies the user within a network.

·       Contains info such as its ID number, the international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI), location details, list of preferred networks, emergency contacts, and possibly stored contacts and SMS messages.

Functioning of a SIM Card

·       When making a call, the phone sends data (signed by the SIM card) via the network to a telephone exchange.

·       Depending on the recipient’s location, the call is either routed directly or directed through the optimal route.


4) Food Labels to Have QR Code

Why is it in the news?

  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has advocated for QR codes on food products to assist visually impaired individuals.

More about the news


  • The introduction aims to ensure safe food access for everyone, including those with special needs.
  • Emphasizes that providing inclusive access to information is a basic right of all citizens.
  • Aligns with The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, which promotes accessibility and health for persons with disabilities.


Information to be Included

  • Under the Food Safety and Standards (Labeling and Display) Regulations, 2020, FSSAI specifies that food product labels should contain Product name, Shelf life, Nutrition facts, Vegetarian/non-vegetarian logos, Ingredient lists, Allergen warnings and Other specific product labeling requirements.



·       Created under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.

·       An autonomous entity under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

·       Dedicated to safeguarding and enhancing public health by regulating and supervising food safety.

Major Initiatives by FSSAI

·       Heart Attack Rewind Campaign

·       Eat Right India Campaign

·       FSSAI-CHIFSS Collaboration

·       Implementation of Health Star Rating (HSR) on packaged food products.


5) Exercise Harimau Shakti 2023

Why is it in the news?

  • Joint bilateral training exercise initiated between Indian and Malaysian Armies in Umroi Cantonment, Meghalaya.
  • Focus on improving military capability for multi-domain operations in sub-conventional scenarios.
  • Boost defence cooperation between Indian and Malaysian Armies and strengthen bilateral relations.


India-Malaysia Defence Cooperation

  • MoU on Defence Cooperation (1993): Establishes the foundation for defence ties between both countries.
  • Naval and Delegation Exchanges: Both nations participate in LIMA, DSA (in Malaysia), and MILAN, DEFEXPO, AEROINDIA (in India) biannual regional events.
  • Cooperative Mechanism: India is part of the Cooperative Mechanism on the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS). India has also contributed to two of the six International Maritime Organization (IMO) Projects focusing on navigational safety and environmental protection in the Straits.


6) Pradhan Mantri Anusuchit Jaati Abhuyday Yojana (PM-AJAY)

Why is it in the news?

  • Schemes like Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY), Special Central Assistance to Scheduled Castes Sub Plan (SCA to SCSP) and Babu Jagjivan Ram Chhatrawas Yojana (BJRCY) are merged into the Pradhan Mantri Anusuchit Jaati Abhuyday Yojana (PM- AJAY).

More about the news


  • Alleviate poverty among Scheduled Caste communities.
  • Create employment via skill development and income-generating schemes.
  • Improve socio-economic developmental indicators in SC-dominated villages.



  • Adarsh Gram: Infrastructure and basic services development in SC-dominated villages.



  • Funding for projects under Adarsh Gram component.
  • Construction of Hostels/Residential schools.
  • Comprehensive Livelihood Projects to increase income and improve socio-economic indicators.
  • Construction/Repair of Hostels: Encouraging SC students to pursue quality education.



  • SC individuals below poverty line.
  • Villages with 50% or more SC population for infrastructure grants.


Scheme Coverage

  • All over India with exceptions: Excluded States: Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya, & Mizoram and excluded UTs: A & N Islands, Dadra Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Ladakh & Lakshadweep.


Special Provisions

  • Up to 15% grants for economic schemes for SC women.
  • Up to 30% grants for infrastructure development.
  • Minimum 10% funds reserved for skill development.
  • Promotion of SC Women Cooperatives for production and marketing.

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