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May 25 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm



The Chabahar Port Agreement, signed on May 13, 2024, symbolizes a decade-long collaborative effort between India and Iran to develop a vital maritime link that connects India with Afghanistan and Central Asia. This agreement is not merely a bilateral endeavor but a critical component of regional economic integration and trade facilitation.. 

India-Middle East-Europe Corridor (IMEC) 

  • Announcement: Signed at the G-20 summit in New Delhi on September 9, 2023. 
  • Participants: European Union, France, Germany, India, Italy, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and the US. 


  • Stimulate economic development. 
  • Enhance connectivity and integration between Asia, the Arabian Gulf, and Europe. 


  • East corridor: India to Arabian Gulf. 
  • Northern corridor: Arabian Gulf to Europe. 
  • Includes a railway network, electricity and digital cables, and a clean hydrogen pipeline. 
  • Ports Involved: Indian ports (Kandla, Mumbai, Mundra) linked to UAE ports (Fujairah, Jebel Ali, Abu Dhabi), Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel (Haifa), France (Marseille), Italy (Messina), and Greece (Piraeus). 

Impact of Gaza War 

  • Delay in Implementation: The Gaza war, starting on October 7, 2023, stalled the project. 
  • Concerns: Security issues due to conflicts affecting trade routes. 

Challenges and Solutions 

  • Houthis in Yemen: Blocking Red Sea access for Israel and allies. 
  • Strait of Hormuz: Iranian threats to close it, impacting oil and gas shipping. 
  • Port Security: Eilat and Haifa in Israel targeted during Gaza war. 

Alternative Routes: 

  • Oman: Ports outside the Persian Gulf, safer from Iranian threats. 
  • Egypt: Mediterranean ports providing safe, direct routes to Europe. 

Strategic Importance 

  • Counter to China’s BRI: Enhances regional stability and connectivity. 
  • Economic Benefits: Reduces transit time and cost for India-Europe trade by 40% and 30%, respectively. 
  • Geopolitical Balance: Oman and Egypt can stabilize and secure the corridor. 

Importance of IMEC to India 

Economic Benefits 

  • Trade Efficiency: IMEC is expected to significantly reduce the time and cost of transporting goods between India and Europe by 40% and 30%, respectively. 
  • Enhanced Market Access: Improves access to European and Middle Eastern markets, boosting exports and economic growth. 
  • Supply Chain Security: Diversifies trade routes, reducing dependency on the Suez Canal and mitigating risks from geopolitical tensions. 

Strategic Significance 

  • Geopolitical Influence: Strengthens India’s strategic presence in the Middle East and Europe, countering China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). 
  • Regional Integration: Enhances India’s role in regional economic and infrastructure projects, fostering stronger political and economic ties. 
  • Energy Security: Facilitates the transportation of clean hydrogen and other energy resources, contributing to India’s energy diversification and sustainability goals. 

Infrastructure Development 

  • Rail and Road Connectivity: Promotes the development of reliable and cost-effective rail and road networks, improving domestic and international logistics. 
  • Digital and Energy Networks: Includes the installation of digital and electricity cables, boosting India’s technological and energy infrastructure. 

Economic Growth 

  • Investment Opportunities: Attracts foreign investment in infrastructure, technology, and energy sectors. 
  • Job Creation: Generates employment opportunities through the development of new infrastructure projects and enhanced trade activities. 


  • The Kaladan Multimodal Project is a waterway-road transportation route between India and Myanmar. It connects the eastern Indian seaport of Kolkata with Sittwe port in Myanmar by sea, then to Paletwa via Kaladan River, and finally to Mizoram in India by road. This project is expected to boost trade between the two countries and improve access to the North Eastern states of India. 
  • The Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Corridoris a multi-modal transport corridor connecting Kolkata in India to Bhutan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. The corridor will use a combination of waterways, railways, and roads to improve connectivity and trade between the four countries. 

The IMEC is a transformative project for India, poised to enhance trade efficiency, strategic influence, and economic growth while fostering regional integration and stability. 

Multiple Choice Question: 

  1. Consider the following statements regarding the India-Middle East-Europe Corridor (IMEC):
  1. The IMEC aims to enhance connectivity and economic integration between Asia, the Arabian Gulf, and Europe. 
  1. The corridor will consist solely of maritime routes linking Indian ports to European ports. 
  1. One of the objectives of the IMEC is to provide a counter to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). 
  1. The IMEC includes the development of a railway network and infrastructure for digital and energy connectivity. 

Which of the statements given above are correct? 

  1. 1 and 3 only 
  1. 2 and 4 only 
  1. 1, 3, and 4 only 
  1. 1, 2, 3, and 4 



The IMEC aims to enhance connectivity and economic integration between Asia, the Arabian Gulf, and Europe. 

The IMEC will not consist solely of maritime routes; it will also include rail and road links. 

One of the objectives of the IMEC is to provide a counter to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). 

The IMEC includes the development of a railway network and infrastructure for digital and energy connectivity.  



High Court Ruling Found that the OBC reservation was based solely on religion, violating the Constitution. The ruling comes amid an election campaign where Muslim reservations are a contentious issue. 

Government Actions 

  • Previous Government: 42 classes, including 41 Muslim classes, were identified by the Left Front government in 2010. 
  • Trinamool Congress: After coming to power in 2011, they added 35 more classes, 34 of which were Muslim, in 2012. 

Legal Challenges 

  • Initial Challenge: Filed in 2011, argued that the reservations were based on religion without scientific data. 
  • Further Classification: In 2012, another 35 classes were added, leading to further legal challenges. 
  • 2012 Act: The West Bengal Backward Classes (Other than Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) (Reservation of vacancies and posts) Act, 2012, included all 77 new OBCs in Schedule I, which was also challenged. 

Court Findings 

  • Supreme Court Precedent: Relied on the 1992 Indra Sawhney judgment, which prohibits OBC identification based solely on religion. 
  • Commission’s Actions: The Commission identified classes quickly without objective criteria, following a public announcement of a Muslim quota. 
  • Political Motivation: The court suggested the reservations were politically motivated, treating the Muslim community as a vote bank. 

Sub-classification of OBCs 

Struck Down Provisions: 

  • Sub-classification into OBC-A (more backward) and OBC-B (backward). 
  • The state’s ability to amend the Schedule of the 2012 Act without consulting the Commission. 
  • Consultation Requirement: The court mandated that the government must consult the Commission for fair classification and sub-classification based on material evidence. 

Sub-categorization of OBCs on a national level in India, there are some important data points to consider: 

  • Need for Sub-categorization: A key argument for sub-categorization is the unequal distribution of reservation benefits among OBC communities. Studies suggest that a small percentage of OBC castes corner a large share of reservation benefits in jobs and education. 

Rohini Commission Analysis: In 2018, the Commission for Sub-Categorisation of OBCs analyzed central government job and educational institute data. They found that 97% of benefits went to only 25% of OBC castes. Additionally, nearly 983 OBC communities (around 37% of the total) had zero representation. 

State-Level Implementation:  Eleven states in India have already implemented their own sub-categorization of OBCs. These states maintain their own lists with categories and reservation percentages. For instance, Bihar has two categories, OBC 1 and OBC 2, with separate reservation quotas. 


The government cannot reserve seats purely based on religion. 

  • Caste-based reservations: Reservations are offered to uplift disadvantaged castes, and religion is a factor for SCs. Muslims and Christians are not included in SCs. However, the central government has identified some “Backward Muslim Communities” who can get benefits under Other Backward Classes (OBC) reservations. 
  • Reservations in minority institutions: Religious minority educational institutions (like Muslim or Christian colleges) can have reservations for their own religion (up to 50%). 

Multiple Choice Question: 

  1. Consider the following statements regarding the Rohini Commission and reservation for minorities in India:
  1. The Rohini Commission was established to examine the sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) to ensure equitable distribution of reservation benefits among different OBC communities. 
  1. The Commission was tasked with identifying the extent to which various OBC communities have benefited from reservations in government jobs and educational institutions. 
  1. The Constitution of India explicitly allows reservations based on religion for minorities in public employment and educational institutions. 
  1. The Supreme Court of India has ruled that reservations solely based on religion are unconstitutional. 

Which of the statements given above are correct? 

  1. 1 and 2 only 
  1. 2 and 4 only 
  1. 1, 2, and 4 only 
  1. 1, 3, and 4 only 

 Answer: C 


The Rohini Commission was established to examine the sub-categorization of OBCs to ensure equitable distribution of reservation benefits. 

The Commission was tasked with identifying the extent of benefits received by various OBC communities from reservations. 

The Constitution of India does not explicitly allow reservations based solely on religion; reservations are primarily based on social and educational backwardness. 

 The Supreme Court of India has ruled that reservations solely based on religion are unconstitutional, as seen in cases related to minority reservations. 



On May 22, 2024, Norway, Ireland, and Spain announced they would recognize Palestine as a state on May 28, marking the first time Western European countries have made this commitment. This recognition is a significant milestone in international relations. Meaning of State Recognition 

  • Montevideo Convention (1933): Defines statehood based on a permanent population, defined territory, government, and capacity to enter into relations with other states. 
  • UN Membership Criteria: Open to peace-loving states willing to carry out UN obligations; requires a two-thirds majority in the UN General Assembly and a recommendation from the UN Security Council (UNSC). 

Palestine’s Status at the UN 

  • Current Status: Palestine is a “Permanent Observer State” at the UN, allowing participation in proceedings but not voting. 
  • Past Attempts: Palestine has attempted to secure full membership, most recently in April 2024, but faced a veto from the US. 

Global Recognition 

  • Current Recognizers: 143 out of 193 UN member states recognize Palestine, mainly from Asia, Africa, and South America. India recognized Palestine in 1988. 
  • Right to Self-Determination: Recognition supports the Palestinian aspiration for self-determination and political autonomy. 

Historical Context 

  • UN Partition Plan (1947): Proposed separate Jewish and Arab states with Jerusalem as an international city. The plan was rejected by Palestinian leaders, leading to the Arab-Israeli war. 
  • Israel’s UN Membership: Achieved in 1949 with support from most P5 members. 
  • Significance of Norway, Ireland, and Spain’s Recognition 
  • Diplomatic Relations: Likely to establish embassies and diplomatic missions in Palestine. 
  • Western Policy Shift: Marks a divergence from the traditional Western support for Israel, especially in the context of the Gaza conflict. 
  • Potential Influence: Could encourage other Western countries to recognize Palestine, following France’s openness to the idea. 

Importance and Role of UN Membership for a Country 

International Recognition and Legitimacy 

  • Global Acceptance: UN membership signifies international recognition and legitimacy as a sovereign state. 
  • Diplomatic Status: Membership enhances a country’s diplomatic status and allows it to establish formal diplomatic relations with other UN member states. 

Participation in Global Decision-Making 

  • General Assembly: As a member, a country can participate in the UN General Assembly, where it can vote on important international issues and resolutions. 
  • Security Council: Although only a few countries can be permanent members, all UN members have the opportunity to be elected as non-permanent members of the Security Council, influencing global peace and security decisions. 

Access to International Aid and Development Programs 

  • Humanitarian Aid: UN membership provides access to humanitarian aid and disaster relief through various UN agencies. 
  • Development Assistance: Countries can benefit from development programs and technical assistance provided by UN bodies like the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme). 

Economic and Social Benefits 

  • Trade and Investment: Membership can enhance a country’s trade and investment opportunities through participation in international economic forums and agreements facilitated by the UN. 
  • Health and Education: Access to global initiatives and funding for health, education, and social development programs, such as those run by WHO (World Health Organization) and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). 

Peace and Security 

  • Conflict Resolution: The UN provides mechanisms for conflict resolution and peacekeeping operations to maintain stability and security. 
  • International Law: Membership commits countries to abide by international laws and conventions, promoting global peace and security. 

Human Rights Protection 

  • Human Rights Council: Countries can participate in the UN Human Rights Council, helping to shape global human rights standards and practices. 
  • Legal Support: Access to international legal support and adjudication through bodies like the International Court of Justice (ICJ). 

Recognizing Palestine as a state reflects a significant shift in international relations and supports the two-state solution as a viable path to peace. 

Multiple Choice Question: 

  1. Consider the following statements about the United Nations (UN):
  1. The UN was established after World War II in 1945 to promote international peace and security. 
  1. The UN Security Council has five permanent members and ten non-permanent members. 
  1. The UN General Assembly’s decisions are binding on all member states. 
  1. The International Court of Justice is the principal judicial organ of the UN. 

Which of the statements given above are correct? 

  1. 1 and 2 only 
  1. 1, 2, and 4 only 
  1. 2, 3, and 4 only 
  1. 1, 3, and 4 only 



The UN was established in 1945 after World War II to promote international peace and security. 

The UN Security Council has five permanent members (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and ten non-permanent members elected for two-year terms. 

The decisions of the UN General Assembly are generally not binding on member states; they are recommendations. 

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the UN. 


The lack of defined borders in India’s western and northern regions presents a significant challenge to national security. This porousness facilitates threats such as terrorism, radicalism, and drug trafficking, underscoring the urgent need for border clarity and security measures. 

  • Responsibilities of Border Guarding Forces: 
  • Border guarding forces play a crucial role in protecting national interests. They must remain alert round the clock to ensure border security. 
  • Socio-Economic Implications of Border Security: Border security influences socio-economic stability.Influx of Rohingya and people from Arakan region has socio-political implications. 
  • Technological advancements are vital for effective border security. Quality sensors and remote sensing technology enhance response capability. 
  • Tactical intelligence is crucial for border security. It helps in identifying and addressing security threats effectively. 
  • Importance of Community Engagement: Engaging with border populations is essential for security. Villagers provide valuable intelligence and support in monitoring the border. 

Indian Borders and Their Security Forces  

India has a vast land border of over 15,000 kilometres, guarded by various forces under the Ministry of Home Affairs. Here’s a breakdown of some key border sectors and their security forces: 

Western Border  

Primary Force: Border Security Force (BSF)  

Description: The BSF is the world’s largest border guarding force, with a presence along the entire India-Pakistan border. It is responsible for patrolling, preventing infiltration, and undertaking counter-insurgency operations. 

Eastern Border 

Primary Force: Border Security Force (BSF) 

Description: Similar to the western border, the BSF secures the entire India-Bangladesh border. Their duties include checking illegal immigration, cross-border smuggling, and maintaining peace along the frontier. 

Northern Border (with China, Nepal, Bhutan): 

Primary Force: Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)  

Description: The ITBP guards the Sino-Indian border (China) and manages border outposts in the Himalayas. They are trained for mountain warfare and specialize in high-altitude operations. 

Additional Points: 

  • The Indian Navy plays a crucial role in patrolling India’s vast coastline. 
  • The Indian Air Force provides aerial surveillance and support to border security forces. 
  • Assam Rifles, another CAPF, guards the India-Myanmar border. 

challenges in securing its borders due to various factors 

  • Geographic Diversity: India’s extensive borders encompass diverse terrains, ranging from mountains and forests to deserts and plains. Securing such varied landscapes presents logistical and operational challenges for border security forces. 
  • Porous Borders: India shares borders with multiple countries, some of which have porous boundaries, making them vulnerable to illegal crossings, smuggling, and infiltration by hostile elements. 
  • Cross-Border Threats: The presence of militant groups, terrorists, and insurgent outfits in neighboring countries poses a continuous threat to India’s security. Cross-border attacks, infiltration attempts, and terrorist activities remain significant concerns. 
  • Transnational Crimes: Border regions often serve as conduits for transnational crimes such as human trafficking, drug smuggling, and arms trafficking. These activities not only undermine national security but also fuel social and economic instability. 
  • Infrastructure Challenges: Limited infrastructure and connectivity in remote border areas hamper surveillance and response capabilities. Inadequate roads, communication networks, and border infrastructure pose obstacles to effective border management. 


Doval emphasizes the importance of secure borders for India’s economic growth and national security. 

He underscores the need for technological advancements, tactical intelligence, and community engagement to ensure effective border security. 


May 25
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
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