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June 10 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm



The Agni path scheme, introduced by the BJP-led government in June 2022, has faced opposition from political parties and Armed Forces veterans. This scheme aims to recruit personnel below officer ranks for a short-term tenure, significantly altering traditional military recruitment practices. 

Agnipath Scheme Overview 

  • Purpose: Recruit soldiers, airmen, and sailors for a four-year period. 
  • Eligibility: Aspirants aged 17.5 to 23 years. 
  • Permanent Commission: Up to 25% may join permanently after four years based on merit. 

Compensation and Benefits 

  • Salary: Rs 30,000-Rs 40,000 per month, plus risk and hardship allowances. 
  • Seva Nidhi Fund: 30% monthly contribution matched by the government, yielding Rs 11.71 lakhs after four years. 
  • Insurance: Rs 1 crore for death on duty; up to Rs 44 lakhs for disability. 

Differences from Regular Service 

  • Pensions: No pensions for Agniveers unless absorbed permanently. 
  • Reduction in Force Levels: Aims to reduce the permanent force and defence pension bill. 

Rationale for Introduction 

  • Youthful Profile: Lower average age in the Armed Forces from 32 to 26 years. 
  • Skill Contribution: Post-service, Agniveers expected to enhance the civilian workforce. 

Opposition and Criticism 

  • Disparity: Lesser benefits and pay compared to regular soldiers. 
  • Economic Stability: Criticism from political parties and disaffection among aspirants relying on military service for economic stability. 

Government’s Stance and Recruitment Status 

  • Modifications: Willingness to alter the scheme without compromising on a youthful profile. 
  • Recruitment: Thousands of Agniveers have completed or are undergoing training across all three services. 

main points of contention: 

  • Job Security and Benefits: Critics argue that Agnipath creates a tier system within the military, with “Agniveers” (recruits under the scheme) receiving lower pay, no pension, and limited benefits compared to regular soldiers 
  • Impact on Military Ethos: Some veterans fear the short service period might affect the development of a strong military ethos and unit cohesion, which are crucial for battlefield effectiveness 
  • Reduced Training Time: Concerns exist that compressing the training period for Agniveers may compromise their combat readiness 
  • Post-Service Transition:  With only 25% retained after four years, questions arise about the reintegration of Agniveers into the civilian workforce 
  • Political Agitation: The scheme’s rollout triggered protests and unrest, particularly in states with a history of high military recruitment 


The Agnipath scheme aims to modernize the Indian Armed Forces by introducing short-term recruitment. Despite its objectives, it faces significant opposition due to perceived disparities in benefits and long-term prospects for recruits. 

Multiple Choice Question: 

  1. Consider the following statements regarding the Agnipath scheme:
  1. It envisages a four-year term for recruited soldiers with a one-time severance package at the end. 
  1. Only 25% of soldiers will be offered permanent commission after the four-year period. 
  1. The scheme aims to address the growing vacancy in the armed forces officer cadre. 

Which of the following is/are correct?  

  1. 1 only 
  1. 2 and 3 only 
  1. 1 and 2 only 
  1. All of the above 



The Agnipath scheme recruits soldiers for a four-year term with a Seva Nidhi package at discharge. 

Only 25% of soldiers recruited under Agnipath will be offered the opportunity to be retained for regular service. 

The Agnipath scheme focuses on recruiting soldiers, not officers. 



In June 2024, foreign investors withdrew significant capital from Indian equities due to election results and attractive Chinese stock valuations. This continued a trend of outflows influenced by various economic factors. 

Withdrawals in June 2024: 

  • Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) withdrew ₹14,800 crore from Indian equities in the first week of June. 
  • Influenced by India’s Lok Sabha election results and attractive valuations of Chinese stocks. 

Recent Trends: 

  • Net outflow of ₹25,586 crore in May due to election uncertainties. 
  • ₹8,700 crore withdrawn in April over concerns about tax treaties and US bond yields. 

Previous Investments: 

  • Net investments of ₹35,098 crore in March and ₹1,539 crore in February. 
  • Net outflow of ₹25,743 crore in January. 

Current Year Statistics: 

  • Overall, FPIs withdrew ₹38,158 crore from equities in 2024 but invested ₹57,677 crore in the debt market. 

Foreign Investment in India: FPI vs. FDI 

FPI (Foreign Portfolio Investment): 

  • What it is: Investments by foreign entities in Indian financial assets like stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. 
  • Nature: Short-term and passive. Investors don’t seek control over companies, just profit from price movements. 

Benefits to India: 

  • Increased liquidity in Indian markets: More investment means more money flowing in, making it easier for companies to raise capital. 
  • Boosted stock market: FPI inflows can lead to higher stock prices, attracting more investors. 
  • Portfolio diversification for foreign investors: Allows them to invest in a growing economy. 


  • Volatility: FPI can be sensitive to global market fluctuations, leading to sudden outflows and market instability. 
  • Limited impact on job creation or technology transfer. 

FDI (Foreign Direct Investment): 

  • What it is: Investment by a foreign entity in a business in India, involving a long-term commitment and often a significant ownership stake. 
  • Nature: Long-term and active. Investors have a say in company operations and aim for sustained growth. 

Benefits to India: 

  • Increased job creation: Setting up or expanding businesses creates employment opportunities. 
  • Access to technology and expertise: Foreign companies bring advanced technology and knowledge, boosting domestic industries. 
  • Infrastructure development: FDI can be directed towards infrastructure projects, benefiting the overall economy. 
  • Higher exports: Foreign investment can help companies become more competitive and export-oriented. 


  • Potential for profit repatriation: Foreign companies may send profits back to their home countries. 
  • Dependence on foreign corporations for technology and expertise. 

India’s Stance on Attracting FPI and FDI 

  • The Indian government actively seeks to attract both FPI and FDI: 
  • FPI: Measures include liberalizing investment norms, improving ease of doing business, and enhancing regulatory transparency. 
  • FDI: Initiatives include simplifying approval processes, raising FDI limits in specific sectors, and creating Special Economic Zones with tax benefits. 

Overall Benefits 

  • Both FPI and FDI can contribute significantly to the Indian economy: 
  • Economic Growth: Increased investment fuels economic activity and promotes faster growth. 
  • Job Creation: Both types of investment can create jobs, directly and indirectly. 
  • Technology Transfer: FDI, in particular, can bring in advanced technologies and skills, boosting innovation. 
  • Infrastructure Development: Investment can finance infrastructure projects crucial for economic development. 
  • Foreign Exchange Reserves: Increased investment strengthens India’s foreign exchange reserves, promoting financial stability. 


Foreign investment flows in Indian equities are significantly influenced by political outcomes, economic policies, and global market trends. The direction of interest rates remains a key driver for these investments. 

Multiple Choice Question: 

  1. With reference to India’s economic development, consider the following statements:
  1. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is more beneficial than Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI) because it leads to higher job creation. 
  1. FPI is more volatile than FDI because foreign portfolio investors are more likely to withdraw their investments based on short-term market fluctuations. 
  1. Both FPI and FDI can contribute to technological advancements in the Indian economy. 

Which of the statements given above are correct? 

  1. 1 and 2 only 
  1. 2 and 3 only 
  1. 1 and 3 only 
  1. All of the above 



FDI typically involves setting up or expanding businesses in India, which creates employment opportunities. FPI, on the other hand, focuses on financial assets and may not directly create jobs. 

FPI is short-term and reactive to market movements. Investors can easily sell their holdings if they sense a downturn, leading to sudden outflows and market volatility. FDI has a longer-term perspective, and investors are less likely to pull out due to short-term fluctuations. 

FDI is more likely to bring in advanced technologies as foreign companies establish operations and transfer their expertise. FPI can indirectly contribute by providing capital for companies that might invest in research and development. However, the direct impact of FPI on technology transfer is less compared to FDI. 



The recent Indian election results underscored the robustness of India’s democratic process, with no complaints about EVMs or VVPATs. Despite initial allegations of rigging, the INDIA bloc accepted the results without contest, indicating confidence in the system. The Election Commission deserves commendation for this achievement. 

Election Analysis 

  • EVMs and VVPATs proved reliable. 
  • Election Commission efficiently managed the large-scale election. 

Political Shifts: 

  • BJP’s seats reduced from 303 (2019) to 240 (2024). 
  • Reliance on NDA allies, notably Chandrababu Naidu and Nitish Kumar, has increased. 

Factors Behind BJP’s Loss: 

  • Diverse reasons: constitutional fears, caste/religious factors, unemployment, inflation, and socio-economic promises. 
  • Rural dissatisfaction highlighted by the decline in rural-dominated seats from 253 to 193. 

Rural Economy Concerns 

  • Low rural per capita monthly expenditure (Rs 3,773 in 2022-23). 
  • Agricultural GDP growth at just 1.4% in FY24. 
  • Stagnant real wages in rural areas. 

Government Initiatives: 

  • Notable schemes: PM-AWAS, drinking water, rural roads, and electricity supply. 
  • Despite efforts, rural incomes and agricultural household earnings remain low. 
  • Strategic Recommendations 

Labor Shift: 

  • Move excess agricultural labor to higher productivity non-farm jobs. 
  • Invest in skill formation and rural infrastructure. 

Agricultural Focus: 

  • Transition from staples to high-value agriculture (poultry, dairy, fruits, vegetables). 
  • Develop fast-moving logistics similar to the AMUL model. 

Climate-Smart Agriculture: 

  • Invest in agrivoltaics and climate-resilient practices. 
  • Address increasing climate-induced extreme weather events. 


  • Small landholdings: Dominant small farms often struggle with limited resources and productivity. 
  • Dependence on rainfall: Unreliable rainfall patterns due to climate change create significant risks for farmers. 
  • Traditional practices: Low adoption of modern technologies and practices can limit efficiency and yields. 
  • Market access and infrastructure: Limited access to markets, storage facilities, and transportation can lead to post-harvest losses and lower incomes. 

Employment Opportunities: 

On-Farm Jobs: 

  • Crop cultivation: Food and cash crops like rice, wheat, cotton, vegetables, and fruits require labor for planting, harvesting, and other management tasks. 
  • Animal husbandry: Dairy farming, poultry farming, fisheries, and livestock rearing provide income generation and employment. 
  • Allied activities: Seed production, organic farming, vermi-composting, and value addition through processing offer entrepreneurial opportunities. 

Off-Farm Jobs: 

  • Government schemes: Programs like Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) provide guaranteed wage employment for unskilled rural workers. 
  • Rural services: There’s a growing need for services like agricultural extension, rural marketing, farm equipment rentals, and repair works. 
  • Agro-based industries: Food processing, textiles, handicrafts, and biofuel production create employment in rural areas. 

Insights and Future Potential: 

  • Technology adoption: Promoting precision agriculture, drones, and digital tools can improve efficiency and decision-making for farmers. 
  • Skill development: Providing training in areas like organic farming, value addition, and rural entrepreneurship can create new avenues for employment. 
  • Infrastructure development: Investing in rural roads, cold storage facilities, and market linkages can empower farmers and create new market access opportunities. 
  • Focus on allied activities: Encouraging diversification into animal husbandry, fisheries, and allied sectors can provide alternative income sources and employment opportunities. 


For inclusive growth, political parties must focus on enhancing real incomes and transitioning the workforce to higher productivity sectors. Effective leadership in agriculture, possibly by experienced figures like Shivraj Singh Chouhan, is essential for driving these changes. 

Multiple Choice Question: 

  1. Consider the following statements about Rabi and Kharif crops in India:
  1. Rabi crops are sown during the winter months and harvested in the summer months. 
  1. Kharif crops require a higher amount of water compared to Rabi crops. 
  1. Wheat and gram are examples of Rabi crops, whereas rice and maize are examples of Kharif crops. 

Which of the statements given above are correct?** 

  1. 1 and 2 only 
  1. 2 and 3 only 
  1. 1 and 3 only 
  1. All of the abov 



Rabi crops are winter crops sown in India after the monsoon season (around November) and harvested in the spring season (around April/May). 

Kharif crops are monsoon crops sown at the beginning of the rainy season (around June/July) and harvested towards the end of the monsoon season (around September/October). They depend heavily on rainfall for their water needs. Rabi crops, sown during winter, benefit from residual moisture in the soil and require less water compared to Kharif crops. 

This statement correctly identifies examples of each crop category. Wheat and gram are Rabi crops suited for cooler temperatures, while rice and maize are Kharif crops that thrive in warm and humid conditions with ample rainfall. 



The 2024 Lok Sabha elections highlight significant political developments but reveal a setback in women’s representation. Despite the historic Women’s Reservation Bill, the percentage of women in the 18th Lok Sabha decreased. 

Analysis of Women’s Representation 

  • Women elected: 74 (13.6% of MPs). 
  • Lower than 2019’s 14.4%. 

Context and Expectations: 

  • First election post-Women’s Reservation Bill. 
  • Women featured prominently as voters, not as candidates. 

Candidate Statistics: 

  • Only 9.6% of candidates were women. 
  • Minor increase from 9% in 2019. 
  • Misogynist remarks faced by women candidates. 

Comparative Global Perspective 

  • India ranks low globally (143rd out of 185 countries). 
  • Global average of women MPs: 26.9%. 

Countries like Mexico show higher gender parity. 

Claudia Sheinbaum elected as the first female President. 

Legislative reforms ensuring gender parity. 

Grassroots feminist movements driving change. 

Need for Reform: 

  • Increase women’s representation in state and national politics. 
  • Ensure gender parity in candidate lists. 

Political Commitment: 

  • Political parties must prioritize women’s representation. 
  • Vigilance and continuous efforts are essential. 


  • Addressing gender gaps in politics is crucial for inclusive governance. 
  • India should draw inspiration from global examples and implement thoughtful reforms. 



Biopharmaceutical Alliance Inaugurated during the Bio International Convention 2024 in San Diego. 

Alliance includes India, South Korea, Japan, the US, and the European Union. 

Aim: To enhance the biopharmaceutical supply chain’s resilience. 

Key Points: 

Purpose and Goals: 

  • To build a reliable and sustainable supply chain for biopharmaceuticals. 
  • To coordinate biopolicies, regulations, and R&D support among member countries. 
  • To address supply chain issues highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic. 


  • The Covid-19 pandemic exposed weaknesses in the drug supply chain. 
  • Many essential raw materials and ingredients are concentrated in a few countries, creating vulnerabilities. 


  • Members agreed to create a detailed pharmaceutical supply chain map. 
  • The alliance will work on diversifying sources of raw materials and ingredients. 
  • Collaborative efforts will be made to ensure steady production and supply of essential drugs. 

Bio International Convention: 

  • The premier event for the biotechnology industry, attended by over 20,000 leaders. 
  • Represents the entire biotech ecosystem, including public pharmaceutical companies, biotech startups, academia, non-profits, and government agencies. 



The Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) fined 11 individuals Rs 7.75 crore. 

The individuals were accused of running a pump and dump scheme. 

Key Points: 

Pump and Dump Scheme: 

  • A stock market manipulation tactic. 
  • Involves artificially inflating a stock’s price using false and misleading information. 
  • Promoters sell the stock at the inflated price, causing significant losses to investors. 

Mechanism of the Scheme: 

  • Acquisition: Large amounts of stock in a small or thinly traded company (often penny stocks) are acquired. 
  • Promotion: The stock is aggressively promoted via emails, newsletters, and social media with exaggerated claims. 
  • Price Increase: The stock price rises rapidly due to increased demand and coordinated buying. 
  • Sell-Off: Promoters sell their holdings at the inflated price, causing the stock price to crash. 

Impact on Investors: 

  • Investors who buy at the inflated prices face substantial losses when the stock price plummets. 
  • Undermines confidence in financial markets, making investors wary of fraud. 

SEBI Regulations: 

  • Pump and dump schemes are banned under SEBI guidelines. 
  • SEBI’s action aims to protect investors and maintain market integrity. 



The 900 MW Arun-III Hydropower Project in eastern Nepal has reached a significant milestone with a tunnel breakthrough. 

Constructed with Indian assistance, it is the largest hydroelectric facility in Nepal once completed. 

Project Overview: 

Location and Specifications: 

  • Situated on the Arun River in the Sankhuwasabha District of Eastern Nepal. 
  • Arun is a tributary of the Koshi River. 
  • Features a 70-meter-tall, 466-meter-long concrete gravity dam. 
  • Includes an 11.74 km Head Race Tunnel (HRT) and an underground powerhouse with four 225 MW generating units on the left bank. 

Development and Cost: 

  • Constructed with Indian assistance at an estimated cost of Rs. 144 billion. 
  • Implemented by Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) Arun-III Power Development Company (SAPDC), a joint venture of the Government of India and the Government of Himachal Pradesh. 

Operational Details: 

  • Operates on a build-own-operate-and-transfer (BOOT) basis. 
  • SAPDC will run the facility for 25 years, excluding the five-year construction period, before transferring ownership to the Nepal government. 
  • During these 25 years, Nepal will receive 21.9% of the generated electricity as free power. 

Transmission and Benefits: 

  • The generated power will be transferred to Muzaffarpur, India, via a 317 km-long 400 kV double circuit transmission line. 
  • Enhances energy cooperation between Nepal and India, contributing to regional energy security and development. 



The European Commission (EC) has excluded Tanzania from its 18 million Euro conservation grant under the NaturAfrica initiative in East Africa. 

NaturAfrica Initiative: 

Purpose and Goals: 

  • An EU program to support biodiversity conservation in Africa with a people-centred approach. 
  • Aims to identify key landscapes for conservation and development. 
  • Focuses on job creation, improved security, and sustainable livelihoods while preserving ecosystems and wildlife. 


  • Short-Term Actions: Targets immediate conservation efforts in key landscapes. 
  • Medium-Term Support: Addresses root causes of biodiversity loss and environmental degradation by integrating conservation concerns into other sectors. 

European Commission (EC): 

Role and Responsibilities: 

  • The governing body is European Union (EU). 
  • Proposes new laws and policies, monitors their implementation, and manages the EU budget. 
  • Ensures the correct application of EU policies and laws across member states. 

Composition and Leadership: 

  • Composed of 27 members, known as Commissioners, each representing a different EU member state. 
  • Led by the President, who is elected by the European Parliament and proposed by the European Council. 

The EC’s decision to remove Tanzania from the grant program highlights the dynamic nature of international conservation efforts and the importance of aligning with the EU’s strategic priorities for biodiversity preservation in Africa. 


June 10
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
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