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Prelim Bits 02-06-2023 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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June 02, 2023

The Pandemic Fund

India is believed to have placed a funding request of around $55 million in its first call with the Pandemic Fund of the World Bank.

  • Pandemic Fund is a multi-stakeholder global partnership officially established in November, 2022.
  • It is one of the Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF).
  • It is a collaborative partnership among donor countries, co-investors (countries that are eligible to receive funding), foundations and civil society organizations (CSOs).
  • Objective - It will provide a dedicated stream of additional, long-term financing to strengthen critical pandemic Prevention, Preparedness, and Response (PPR) capabilities in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Governing Structure
  1. Governing Board
  2. Technical Advisory Panel
  3. Secretariat - The World Bank
  4. Trustee - The World Bank
  • Funding - The financial volume of The Pandemic Fund depends upon contributions from donors
  • Founding financial contributors - Australia, Canada, China, European Commission, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Spain, United Arab Emirates, United States, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Wellcome Trust.


Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF)

  • They provide independently governed multi-contributor collaboration platforms for the global development community.
  • It focuses on specific themes and each FIF is a type of trust fund for which the World Bank serves as trustee.
  • Examples of FIFs are: Adaptation Fund, The Pandemic Fund, Global Environment Facility, Green Climate Fund, etc.,
  • FIF Trusteeship does not involve overseeing or supervising the use of funds.


  1. Business Standard | India’s request from pandemic fund
  2. World Bank | The Pandemic Fund

Nepal PM visit to India

Nepal and India renewed the Transit Treaty, signed deals in energy and Connectivity

  • Transit treaty - Under this, the contracting parties shall accord the freedom of transit across their respective territories through routes mutually agreed upon.
  • The treaty of transit between India & Nepal expired in 2019.
  • The amended new treaty will allow Nepal to access India’s inland waterways for cargo transportation to sea ports.
  • Hydro Power Projects – Currently, India exports around 452 MW of power from Nepal.
  • India had agreed to import an additional 1,200 MW.
  • India has also agreed to facilitate the export of hydropower from Nepal to Bangladesh through India.
  • Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project – It is a hydropower project to be developed in Mahakali River bordering Nepal and India.
  • The project is covered under integrated Mahakali Treaty signed between India & Nepal.

Mahakali Treaty has been signed in 1996 for the purpose of Integrated Development of the Mahakali River (known as River Sarda in India), including Sarda Barrage, Tanakpur Barrage and Pancheshwar Project.

  • Power trade – India and Nepal had also signed a long-term power trade agreement.
  • Under this agreement, India will import 10,000 MW of power from Nepal in the next 10 years.

Other upcoming projects with Nepal



Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project

River Sarda

Saptakoshi and Sun-Kosi Storage project

River Kosi

Naumere Multipurpose Project

River Rapti

Kamla Dam Multipurpose Project

River Kamla

Bagmati Multipurpose Project

River Bagmati


  1. The Wire | Nepal PM’s visit to India
  2. Ministry of Jal Sakthi | India-Nepal Cooperation

Suspension of Operations (SoO) pact

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, warned that any further violation by insurgent groups would be considered a violation of the SoO agreement. Suspension of Operations (SoO) pact

  • It is a tripartite agreement between the Government of India, State Governments and the insurgent groups.
  • There are nearly 30 Kuki insurgent groups in Manipur, of which 25 are under the tripartite Suspension of Operations (SoO) pact.
  • As many as 17 are under the umbrella group Kuki National Organisation (KNO), and eight are under the United People’s Front (UPF).
  • The pact was signed in August 2008, with the primary objective of initiating political dialogue.
  • AB Mathur, former special secretary of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), was the interlocutor for this agreement.
  • The Kuki outfits who were initially demanding a separate Kuki state have come down to a Kukiland territorial council.
  • Kuki Territorial Council – It would have financial and administrative powers independent of the Manipur Assembly and government.

Terms of the SoO Pact

  • While the period of the Suspension of Operation agreement is 1 year, it is extendable according to the progress of its implementation.
  • To oversee the effective implementation of the SoO pact, a committee called the Joint Monitoring Group (JMG), with representatives from all the signatories, has been formed.
  • According to the pact, the Centre and state governments agreed that the security forces would not launch any operations against these groups.
  • In return, the insurgent groups will also not launch any such operation.
  • The pact also requires these groups to abide by the Constitution of India, the laws of the land and the territorial integrity of Manipur.


The Indian Express | What is the SoO agreement?

Joint Child Malnutrition Estimates (JME) 2023

India is having a reduction in stunting but wasting and obesity remains a concern.

  • JME 2023 is jointly released by UNICEF, WHO and World Bank.

Global Scenario

  • Obesity - The prevalence of obesity marginally increased in a decade in 2022 compared to 2012.
  • But the overall classification for obesity is low and much lower than the global prevalence.
  • Stunting - It is declined from a prevalence rate of 26.3% in 2012 to 22.3% in 2022.
  • In South Asia, the decline was much sharper as it dropped from 40.3% to 30.5%.
  • Wasting - It is probably more complex in South Asia and India.
  • While in Africa it starts from 4-6 months.

In India

  • Obesity - Prevalence of overweight children increased in India in 2022 compared to 2012.
  • Stunting - India continues to show a reduction in stunted children under 5 years in 2022 compared to 2012.
  • Wasting - In India 2/3rds of children at 12 or 24 months had wasting at birth or at one month of age.
  • It is caused by maternal malnutrition.



India's Target

India's target


  1. World Bank | Joint Child Malnutrition Estimates 2023
  2. The Hindu | India sees decline in stunting

Zardosi Embroidery

Zardosi artisans made two lakh car hangers designed like a crown for King Charles III’s coronation.

  • Zardozi comes from two Persian words - zar or zarin meaning ‘gold’, and dozi meaning ‘sewing’.
  • It is a type of heavy and elaborate metal embroidery on a silk, satin, or velvet fabric base.
  • Designs are often created using gold and silver threads and can incorporate pearls, beads, and precious stones.
  • Other names
    • Zardozi - Bhopal, Delhi, Hyderanad and Uttar Pradesh
    • Kamdani or badla – Lucknow
    • Danka and gotta-patti – Rajasthan
    • Tilla - Jammu & Kashmir and parts of western India.
  • Historically, it was used to embellish the attire of the royals.
  • It is found in Iran, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Turkey, Central Asia, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
  • Main Centers in India - Lucknow, Farrukhabad, Chennai, Bhopal, etc.
  • Zardosi embroidery has been in existence in India from the time of the Rig Veda.
  • The Delhi Sultanate era further boosted this craft.
  • It attained its summit in the 17th century, under the patronage of Mughal Emperor Akbar.
  • Under the rule of Aurangzeb, the royal patronage stopped and this led to the decline of the craft.
  • In 2013, the Geographical Indication Registry (GIR) accorded Geographical Indication (GI) registration to the Lucknow zardozi.


  1. The Hindu | Zardosi Embroidery
  2. The Hindu | Zardozi crown for king
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