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Foreign Policy Watch: India-Russia

Difficulties faced by India and Russia in following convergent policies

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Indra exercise

Mains level : Paper 2-India-Russia relations

The article analyses the challenges in the India-Russia relations against the background of changing global order.

Context

  • India decided to pull out of Russia’s Kavkaz 2020 military exercises, where it was scheduled to participate alongside other Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states.

Russia’s role in India-China dispute

  • The ongoing conflict between two prominent members, and both close partners of Russia, has given rise to concerns about its impact on India-Russia ties.
  • Moscow has been playing a quiet diplomatic role during the recent border clashes without actively taking sides.
  • Recent visits by India’s Defence Minister to Russia saw detailed discussions around furthering the India-Russia defence relationship alongside the promise to accelerate certain supplies based on New Delhi’s requirements.
  • The September visit coincided with the biannual Indo-Russian naval exercises, INDRA.

India-Russia relations

  • India and Russia have spent the past few years strengthening their partnership, particularly since the 2018 Sochi informal summit.
  • From substantive defence engagement to regional questions in Central Asia, Afghanistan and West Asia, a conversation with Moscow remains an important element of Indian foreign policy.
  • India and Russia are pragmatic players looking at maximising their strategic manoeuvrability,
  • Both recognise the value of having a diversified portfolio of ties. .
  • India on its part has sought to include Russia in its vision of the Indo-Pacific that does not see the region as ‘a strategy or as a club of limited members’.
  • Reports indicate that a proposal for a India-Russia-Japan trilateral is being explored.

Multilateral forums and Challenges in India-Russia relation

  • The multilateral forums are important as they foster continued India-Russia cooperation at the bilateral and multilateral levels.
  •  Increasingly divergent foreign policies of its members pose challenges of agenda-setting and overall scope.
  • At this moment of flux, countries such as India and Russia are keeping all their options open.
  • We live in a ‘curious world’ where one cannot view engagement with different parties as a ‘zero-sum game’.
  • Worsening India-China ties or a burgeoning China-Russia relationship does not automatically mean a breakdown of the India-Russia strategic partnership.
  •  It is the combination of a changing regional order, closer Russia-China ties and India’s alignment with the United States and other like-minded countries to manage Beijing’s rise that has the potential to create hurdles for India-Russia cooperation in the Asia.

Consider the question “Despite difficulties in pursuing convergent policies, India-China relations retains its relevance. Comment.”

Conclusion

Although the evolving global order makes it difficult for India and Russia to pursue fully convergent policies, it does not preclude the bilateral relationship from retaining its relevance.

Parliament – Sessions, Procedures, Motions, Committees etc

Parliament is not just about technicalities, deference to process builds trust

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much

Mains level : Paper 2- Parliamentary procedures

The article deals with the issue of importance of parliamentary procedures and how it has been neglected in the passage of several Bills recently.

2 contexts that explain the crisis Parliament faces

1) Neglecting the procedure

  • Three simple procedural matters are the cornerstone of parliamentary practice.
  • The first is Question Hour, which was suspended.
  • Even in taking that decision, the Speaker did not accede to the demand for a division.
  • The second is referring bills to committees.
  • It is increasingly the case with important pieces of legislation that they are not being either referred to committees, nor are they being fully debated in Parliament.
  • The third and most important is “division.”
  • If a member of a House asks for a division of votes, the Speaker needs to grant it.
  • The Speaker can refuse under some circumstances, but even then he has to take something like an informal headcount vote before refusing division.

2) Substantive context

  • There are three bills relating to agriculture that have occasioned serious protests.
  • There are three far-reaching pieces of legislation pertaining to labour reform.
  • Each of these bills can be improved and crafted in ways that make them more the object of consensus.
  • The bills pertaining to agriculture were debated, ffter the debate,  deputy chairperson refusesed a division.
  • By allowing a division we would at least record where each member of Parliament stood on a question of monumental importance.

Concerns

  • We seem to not want to give flexibility to states when it comes to farmers.
  • Flexibility is given to states, in the most unrestrained manner possible, when it comes to the interest of capital against labour.
  • It seems that the hurried interests of corporate India take precedence over farmers and labour, rather than a well negotiated social contract between all three.

Why the farmers are concerned

  • A lot of the farmers’ legitimate fear is that in a fiscal crunch, MSP will be rolled back or procurement curtailed.
  • There is genuine uncertainty over what private procurement will mean.

Way forward

  • It is also possible that in the case of the APMC, a more creative solution could have been found for concerns of the states, like an opt-out clause for them.
  • In case of amendments to labour laws, there is need to examine whether it fulfils the twin objectives of both protecting workers and being compliance-friendly at the same time.

Conclusion

Some deference to process can build trust because it is a sign of a government that listens. At least on the APMC this was a possibility. Let us hope on labour bills there is more reasoned deliberation. Parliamentary practice will not be able to knit an enduring social contract between labour, capital and farmers if it does not inspire confidence.

Parliament – Sessions, Procedures, Motions, Committees etc

Explained: Suspension of Members of Parliament

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Suspension of MPs

Mains level : Parliamentary behavior and decency

Recently eight Rajya Sabha MPs were suspended for unruly behaviour in the House.

Try this PYQ:

Q.Consider the following statements:

  1. Speaker of the legislative assembly shall vacate his/her office of he/she ceases to be a member of the assembly
  2. Whenever the legislative assembly is dissolved the speaker shall vacate his/her office immediately

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (CSP 2018)

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 not 2

What is the reason for suspending an MP?

  • The general principle is that it is the role and duty of the Presiding Officer — Speaker of Lok Sabha and Chairman of Rajya Sabha — to maintain order so that the House can function smoothly.
  • In order to ensure that proceedings are conducted in the proper manner, the Speaker/Chairman is empowered to force a Member to withdraw from the House.

What are the rules under which the Presiding Officer acts?

  • Rule Number 373 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business provides for the suspension of MPs by the Speaker of the House.
  • To deal with more recalcitrant Members, the Speaker make take recourse to Rules 374 and 374A.
  • Rule 374 says: The Speaker may, if deems it necessary, name a Member who disregards the authority of the Chair or abuses the rules of the House by persistently and wilfully obstructing the business thereof.
  • Rule 374A was incorporated in the Rule Book on December 5, 2001. The intention was to skirt around the necessity of moving and adopting a motion for suspension.

Procedure in Rajya Sabha

It’s largely similar, with one important difference.

  • Like the Speaker in Lok Sabha, the Chairman of Rajya Sabha is empowered under Rule Number 255 of its Rule Book to “direct any Member whose conduct is in his opinion grossly disorderly to withdraw immediately” from the House.
  • Unlike the Speaker, however, the Rajya Sabha Chairman does not have the power to suspend a Member. The House may, by another motion, terminate the suspension.
  • The Chairman may “name a Member who disregards the authority of the Chair or abuses the rules of the Council by persistently and wilfully obstructing” business.
  • In such a situation, the House may adopt a motion suspending the Member from the service of the House for a period not exceeding the remainder of the session.

Is suspending an MP a decent practice?

  • It is a strong action, but it is not uncommon. In general, a balance has to be struck.
  • There can be no question that the enforcement of the supreme authority of the Presiding Officer is essential for smooth conduct of proceedings.
  • However, it must be remembered that the job of the Presiding Officer is to run the House, not to lord over it.

Alternatives to suspension

  • The solution to unruly behaviour has to be long-term and consistent with democratic values.
  • A previous Speaker had ordered that television cameras be focussed on the demonstrating members so that people could see for themselves how their representatives were behaving in the House.

Present situation

  • In the present case, however, the Opposition has accused the Chairman of stopping the telecast of the proceedings in Rajya Sabha.
  • What cannot be denied is that Speaker’s/Chairman’s actions are often dictated more by expediency and the stand of the party that they belong to, rather than by the Rules and principles.
  • So, the ruling party of the day invariably insists on the maintenance of discipline, just as the Opposition insists on its right to protest. And their positions change when their roles flip.

Foreign Policy Watch: United Nations

Explained: Birth of United Nations

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : United Nations, Atlantic Charter

Mains level : Success and failures of United Nations

The United Nations completed 75 years this year. In order to commemorate the historic moment, world leaders have come together, at a one-day high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly.

Try this:

Q.Discuss the various success and failures of the United Nations. (150W)

Birth of United Nations

  • The United Nations was born out of the horrors of World War II.
  • At the time of its foundation, it was primarily tasked with the goal of maintaining world peace and saving future generations from the evils of war.

A historical backgrounder

  • The UN was born out of the ashes of yet another international organisation created with the intention of keeping war away.
  • The League of Nations was created in June 1919, after World War I, as part of the Treaty of Versailles.
  • However, when the Second World War broke out in 1939, the League closed down and its headquarters in Geneva remained empty throughout the war.
  • Consequently, in August 1941, American President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British PM Winston Churchill held a secret meeting aboard naval ships in Placenta Bay, located in the southeast coast of Newfoundland, Canada.

The Atlantic Charter

  • The heads of the two countries discussed the possibility of creating a body for international peace effort and a range of issues related to the war.
  • Together they issued a statement that came to be called the Atlantic Charter. It was not a treaty, but only an affirmation that paved the way for the creation of the UN.
  • It declared the realization of “certain common principles in the national policies of their respective countries on which they based their hopes for a better future for the world.”

The name ‘UN’

  • The United States joined the war in December 1941, and for the first time the term ‘United Nations’ was coined by president Roosevelt to identify those countries which were allied against the axis powers.
  • On January 1, 1942, representatives of 26 allied nations met in Washington DC to sign the declaration of the United Nations, which basically spelt out the war objectives of the Allied powers.
  • Over the next couple of years, several meetings took place among the Allied big four — The USA, the Soviet Union, the UK and China — to decide on the post-war charter that would describe the precise role of the UN.

Coming to existence

  • The UN finally came into existence on October 24, 1945, after being ratified by 51 nations, which included five permanent members (France, the Republic of China, the Soviet Union, the UK and the US) and 46 other signatories.
  • The first meeting of the General Assembly took place on January 10, 1946.

Its achievements

  • While at the time of its formation, the UN consisted of only 51 member states, independence movements and decolonization in the subsequent years led to an expansion of its membership.
  • At present, 193 countries are members of the UN.
  • It has also expanded its scope to resolve over a large number of global issues such as health, environment, and women empowerment among others.
  • Soon after its formation, it passed a resolution to commit to the elimination of nuclear weapons in 1946. In 1948, it created the World Health Organisation (WHO) to deal with communicable diseases like smallpox, malaria, HIV.
  • In 1950, the UN created the High Commissioner for Refugees to take care of the millions who had been displaced due to World War II.
  • More recently in 2002, the UN established the UN criminal court to try those who have committed war crimes, genocide, and other atrocities.

Various criticisms

  • The UN has also met with its share of criticisms. In 1994, for instance, the organisation failed to stop the Rwandan genocide.
  • In 2005, UN peacekeeping missions were accused of sexual misconduct in the Republic of Congo, and similar allegations have also come from Cambodia and Haiti.
  • In 2011, the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan was unsuccessful in eliminating the bloodshed caused in the civil war that broke out in 2013.

NGOs vs. GoI: The Conflicts and Scrutinies

Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : FCRA

Mains level : FCRA

The Centre is set to amend the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act and has proposed to make Aadhaar a mandatory identification document for all the office-bearers, directors and other key functionaries of an NGO or an association eligible to receive foreign donations.

What are the news Amendments?

(1) Prohibition to accept foreign contribution:

  • Under the Act, certain persons are prohibited to accept any foreign contribution.
  • These include election candidates, editor or publisher of a newspaper, judges, government servants, members of any legislature, and political parties, among others.
  • The Bill adds public servants (as defined under the Indian Penal Code) to this list.
  • Public servants include any person who is in service or pay of the government or remunerated by the government for the performance of any public duty.

(2) Transfer of foreign contribution:

  • Under the Act, foreign contribution cannot be transferred to any other person unless such person is also registered to accept foreign contribution (or has obtained prior permission under the Act to obtain foreign contribution).
  • The Bill amends this to prohibit the transfer of foreign contribution to any other person. The term ‘person’ under the Act includes an individual, an association, or a registered company.

(3) Aadhaar for registration:

  • The Act states that a person may accept foreign contribution if they have: (i) obtained a certificate of registration from central government, or (ii) not registered, but obtained prior permission from the government to accept foreign contribution.
  • Any person seeking registration (or renewal of such registration) or prior permission for receiving the foreign contribution must make an application to the central government in the prescribed manner.
  • The Bill adds that any person seeking prior permission, registration or renewal of registration must provide the Aadhaar number of all its office bearers, directors or key functionaries, as an identification document.
  • In case of a foreigner, they must provide a copy of the passport or the Overseas Citizen of India card for identification.

(4) FCRA account:

  • Under the Act, a registered person must accept foreign contribution only in a single branch of a scheduled bank specified by them.
  • However, they may open more accounts in other banks for utilization of the contribution.
  • The Bill amends this to state that foreign contribution must be received only in an account designated by the bank as “FCRA account” in such branch of the State Bank of India, New Delhi, as notified by the central government.
  • No funds other than the foreign contribution should be received or deposited in this account.

(5) Restriction in the utilization of foreign contribution:

  • Under the Act, if a person accepting foreign contribution is found guilty of violating any provisions of the Act or the unutilized or unreceived foreign contribution may be utilized or received, only with the prior approval of the central government.
  • This amendment Bill also seeks to prohibit the transfer of FCRA funds to other persons or organisations.
  • The Bill adds that the government may also restrict usage of unutilized foreign contribution for persons who have been granted prior permission to receive such contribution.
  • This may be done if, based on a summary inquiry, and pending any further inquiry, the government believes that such a person has contravened provisions of the Act.

(6) Renewal of license:

  • Under the Act, every person who has been given a certificate of registration must renew the certificate within six months of expiration.
  • The Bill provides that the government may conduct an inquiry before renewing the certificate to ensure that the person making the application: (i) is not fictitious or benami, (ii) has not been prosecuted or convicted for creating communal tension and (iii) has not been found guilty of diversion or misutilisation of funds, among others conditions.

(7) Reduction in use of foreign contribution for administrative purposes:

  • Under the Act, a person who receives foreign contribution must use it only for the purpose for which the contribution is received.
  • Further, they must not use more than 50% of the contribution to meeting administrative expenses. The Bill reduces this limit to 20%.

(8) Surrender of certificate:

  • The Bill adds a provision allowing the central government to permit a person to surrender their registration certificate.
  • The government may do so if, post an inquiry, it is satisfied that such person has not contravened any provisions of the Act, and the management of its foreign contribution (and related assets) has been vested in an authority prescribed by the government.

(9) Suspension of registration:

  • Under the Act, the government may suspend the registration of a person for a period not exceeding 180 days.
  • The Bill adds that such suspension may be extended up to an additional 180 days.

Significance of the amendment

1.Prevent misuse:

  • The annual inflow of foreign contribution has almost doubled between the years 2010 and 2019, but many recipients of foreign contribution have not utilised the same for the purpose for which they were registered or granted prior permission under the FCRA 2010.
  • Recently, the Union Home Ministry has suspended licenses of the six (NGOs) who were alleged to have used foreign contributions for religious conversion.

2.Strengthen National security

  • Many persons were not adhering to statutory compliances such as submission of annual returns and maintenance of proper accounts.
  • Such a situation could have adversely affected the internal security of the country.

3.Transparency and accountability

  • The new Bill aims to enhance transparency and accountability in the receipt and utilisation of foreign contributions and facilitating the genuine non-governmental organisations or associations who are working for the welfare of society.

Criticism of the FCRA Bill, 2020

  • The legislation may be used to target political opponents and religious minorities.
  • Effects NGO Functioning: Due to the 20% cap, many NGOs will shut shop and many people will become jobless.
  • Inconsistency: On one hand the government invites foreign funds, but when such funds come for educational and charitable purposes, it is prevented.
  • High compliance rate: According to the GoI’s FCRA dashboard, there are 22,447 active FCRA registrations in India today. In 2018-19, 21,915 annual returns were filed – a compliance rate of 97.6%.
  • Double standards: PM CARES fund had received exemptions from complying with FCRA provisions when it is headed by Union cabinet ministers and administered by PMO officials.
  • Licence-Raj on NGOs: The Bill assumes that all NGOs receiving foreign grants are guilty and thus makes Aadhar of office bearers as mandatory requirement.
  • Bureaucratic Discretion: There is a thin line between enforcing transparency and using rules to allow official interference and harassment in the sector. Much of the present bill crosses that line and introduces a questionable degree of micro-management.

Way Forward

  • NGOs are helpful in implementing government schemes at the grassroots. They fill the gaps, where the government fails to do their jobs.
  • The government must stick to the ancient Indian ethos of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam as the framework for its global engagement and should not act with vendetta against the NGOs who criticize its working.
  • Seamless sharing of ideas and resources across national boundaries is essential to the functioning of a global community, and should not be discouraged unless there is reason to believe the funds are being used to aid illegal activities.

Banking Sector Reforms

What are Basel III compliant Bonds?

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Basel norms

Mains level : Basel norms

The country’s largest lender State Bank of India has raised Rs 7,000 crore by issuing Basel III compliant bonds.

Try this PYQ:

Q.‘Basel III Accord’ or simply ‘Basel III’, often seen in the news, seeks to:

(a) Develop national strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity

(b) Improve the banking sector’s ability to deal with financial and economic stress and improve risk management

(c) Reduce greenhouse gas emissions but places a heavier burden on developed countries

(d) Transfer technology from developed countries to poor countries to enable them to replace the use of chlorofluorocarbons in refrigeration with harmless chemicals

What are Basel III compliant Bonds?

  • The bonds qualify as tier II capital of the bank, and has a face value of Rs 10 lakh each, bearing a coupon rate of 6.24 per cent per annum payable annually for a tenor of 10 years.
  • There is a call option after 5 years and on anniversary thereafter.
  • Call option means the issuer of the bonds can call back the bonds before the maturity date by paying back the principal amount to investors.

Back2Basics: What are Basel Norms?

  • Basel is a city in Switzerland. It is the headquarters of the Bureau of International Settlement (BIS), which fosters co-operation among central banks with a common goal of financial stability and common standards of banking regulations.
  • Basel guidelines refer to broad supervisory standards formulated by this group of central banks – called the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS).
  • The set of the agreement by the BCBS, which mainly focuses on risks to banks and the financial system is called Basel accord.
  • The purpose of the accord is to ensure that financial institutions have enough capital on account to meet obligations and absorb unexpected losses.
  • India has accepted Basel accords for the banking system.

Basel I

  • In 1988, BCBS introduced a capital measurement system called Basel capital accord, also called as Basel 1.
  • It focused almost entirely on credit risk. It defined capital and structure of risk weights for banks.
  • The minimum capital requirement was fixed at 8% of risk-weighted assets (RWA).
  • RWA means assets with different risk profiles.
  • For example, an asset-backed by collateral would carry lesser risks as compared to personal loans, which have no collateral. India adopted Basel 1 guidelines in 1999.

Basel II

  • In June ’04, Basel II guidelines were published by BCBS, which were considered to be the refined and reformed versions of Basel I accord.
  • The guidelines were based on three parameters, which the committee calls it as pillars:
  • Capital Adequacy Requirements: Banks should maintain a minimum capital adequacy requirement of 8% of risk assets.
  • Supervisory Review: According to this, banks were needed to develop and use better risk management techniques in monitoring and managing all the three types of risks that a bank faces, viz. credit, market and operational risks.
  • Market Discipline: This needs increased disclosure requirements. Banks need to mandatorily disclose their CAR, risk exposure, etc to the central bank. Basel II norms in India and overseas are yet to be fully implemented.

Basel III

  • In 2010, Basel III guidelines were released. These guidelines were introduced in response to the financial crisis of 2008.
  • A need was felt to further strengthen the system as banks in the developed economies were under-capitalized, over-leveraged and had a greater reliance on short-term funding.
  • Also, the quantity and quality of capital under Basel II were deemed insufficient to contain any further risk.
  • Basel III norms aim at making most banking activities such as their trading book activities more capital-intensive.
  • The guidelines aim to promote a more resilient banking system by focusing on four vital banking parameters viz. capital, leverage, funding and liquidity.

Global Geological And Climatic Events

What are Medicanes?

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Medicanes

Mains level : Frequent landfalls of tropical cyclones in India

Very recently, a medicane named Ianos made landfall along the coast of Greece and caused heavy rainfall and flooding on the islands of Zakynthos, Kefalonia and Ithaca.

Try this PYQ:

In the South Atlantic and South-Eastern Pacific regions in tropical latitudes, cyclone does not originate. What is the reason?

(a) Sea surface temperatures are low

(b) Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone seldom occurs

(c) Coriolis force is too weak

(d) Absence of land in those regions

What are Medicanes?

  • Medicanes are extra-tropical hurricanes observed over the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Medicanes occur more in colder waters than tropical cyclones, hurricanes and typhoons.
  • Hence, the cores of these storms are also cold, as compared to the warm cores of tropical cyclones.
  • Warmer cores tend to carry more moisture (hence rainfall), are bigger in size and have swifter winds.
  • The main societal hazard posed by Medicanes is not usually from destructive winds but through life-threatening torrential rains and flash floods.

Why in news?

  • This year is a mild La Niña, according to the World Meteorological Organization.
  • La Niña is the cooling phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, as opposed to the warming El Niño phase.
  • It is characterized by the unusual cooling of the central and east-central equatorial Pacific Ocean.
  • A La Niña produces more rain in the central-eastern part, where most of the Mediterranean cyclones develop.

Indian Ocean Power Competition

Ocean Services, Modelling, Applications, Resources and Technology (O-SMART) SCHEME

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : O-Smart Scheme

Mains level : India's deep ocean mission

The Union Ministry of Earth Sciences has informed about the progress of O-SMART Scheme.

Do you know?

India’s ambitious Deep Ocean Mission is an umbrella scheme under O-SMART initiative. Bottom of Form

O-SMART Scheme

  • The services rendered under the O-SMART will provide economic benefits to a number of user communities in the coastal and ocean sectors, namely, fisheries, offshore industry, coastal states, Defence, Shipping, Ports etc.
  • It seeks to address issues relating to SDG-14, which aims to conserve the use of oceans, marine resources for sustainable development.
  • It also provides the necessary scientific and technological background required for the implementation of various aspects of Blue Economy.
  • The State of Art Early Warning Systems established Scheme will help in effectively dealing with ocean disasters like Tsunami, storm surges.
  • The technologies being developed will help in harnessing the vast ocean resources of both living and non-living resources from the seas around India.
  • A fleet of research vessels viz., Technology Demonstration vessel SagarNidhi, Oceanographic Research Vessel SagarKanya, Fisheries and Oceanographic Research Vessel SagarSampada and Coastal Research Vessel SagarPurvi have been acquired to provide required research support.

Some of the modified objective

The objectives of O-SMART are:

  • To generate and regularly update information on Marine Living Resources and their relationship with the physical environment in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ),
  • To periodically monitor levels of seawater pollutants for health assessment of coastal waters of India, to develop shoreline change maps for assessment of coastal erosion due to natural and anthropogenic activities,
  • To develop a wide range of state-of-the-art ocean observation systems for the acquisition of real-time data from the seas around India,
  • To generate and disseminate a suite of user-oriented ocean information, advisories, warnings, data and data products for the benefit of society,
  • To develop high-resolution models for ocean forecast and reanalysis system,
  • To develop algorithms for validation of satellite data for coastal research and to monitor changes in the coastal research,
  • Acquisition of 2 Coastal Research Vessels (CRVs) as replacement of 2 old CRVs for coastal pollution monitoring, testing of various underwater components and technology demonstration,
  • To carry out exploration of Polymetallic Nodules (MPN) from a water depth of 5500 m in the site of 75000 sq.km allotted to India by United Nations in Central Indian Ocean Basin, to carry out investigations of gas hydrates,
  • Exploration of polymetallic sulphides near Rodrigues Triple junction in 10000 sq. km of the area allotted to India in International waters by International Seabed Authority/UN and,
  • Submission of India’s claim over continental shelf extending beyond the Exclusive Economic Zone supported by scientific data, and Topographic survey of EEZ of India.

Also read:

Explained:  India’s Deep Ocean Mission