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In news:

India has deployed its aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya with MiG29K fighters on board, in the Arabian Sea at a time China and Pakistan are holding a nine-day mega naval exercise ‘Sea Guardians’ in the region.

About INS Vikramaditya:

  • It is a modified Kiev-classaircraft carriercommissioned in 1987 and was purchased by India on 2004 and inducted formally in 2014.
  • It has the ability to carry over 30 aircraft comprising an assortment of MiG 29K/Sea Harrier, Kamov 31, Kamov 28, Sea King, ALH-Dhruv and Chetak helicopters.
  • Weight – 44,500 tonne
    • Length – 284 m

Financial Inclusion

In News:

RBI released National Strategy for Financial Inclusion for five-year period.

In Brief:

  • The NSFI report has called for increasing outreach of banking outlets of scheduled commercial banks, payment banks, among others to provide banking access to every village within a 5 km radius of 500 households in hilly areas by March 2020.
  • It suggested making the public credit registry fully database of credit information of borrowers operational by March 2022 so the authorised financial entities can leverage on the same for assessing credit proposals from all citizens.
  • Currently, financial inclusion policies are targeted towards specific sectors such as the small and medium businesses, agriculture, or specific regions such as the aspirational districts.
  • Some of the financial instruments schemes are: PM Jan Dhan Yojana that to seeks to provide universal banking services for every unbanked household, Jan Dhan-Aadhaar- Mobile (JAM),pension scheme such as Atal Pension Yojana and insurances schemes such as PM Suraksha Bima Yojana.

National Statistical Office Data

In News:

The National Statistical Office data showed that after three months of contraction, factory output grew 1.8 per cent in November 2019.

In Brief:

  • Industrial output, measured in Index of Industrial Production, increased 1.8 per cent in November as performance in mining and manufacturing sectors improved.
  • The rise has been due to a favourable base effect and manufacturing growth, even as investment demand and consumer non-durables posted a contraction.

WTO Sets Up Panel-Tariff War

In News:

The World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) dispute settlement body has set up a panel to examine the US complaint against India.

In Brief:

  • The US has rolled back export incentives from India under its GSP programme and New Delhi has imposed higher customs duties on 28 American products.
  • The US in July had dragged India to the WTO by filing a complaint against New Delhi’s move to increase customs duties, alleging the decision as inconsistent with the global trade norms.
  • The additional duties imposed by India “appears to nullify or impair the benefits accruing to the US directly or indirectly” under the GATT 1994.

What is GATT?

The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is a WTO pact, signed by all member countries of the multi-lateral body, aims to promote trade by reducing or eliminating trade barriers like customs duties.

Panel process in the WTO:

  • As per the WTO’s dispute settlement process, the request for consultations is the first step in a dispute.
    Consultations give the parties an opportunity to discuss the matter and find a satisfactory solution without proceeding further with litigation.
  • After 60 days, if consultations fail to resolve the dispute, the complainant may request adjudication by a panel.