PIB – February 15 , 2020

General Studies- II

Topic- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

India-Portugal Relations


The Portuguese President arrived in New Delhi for a 4-day state visit.


  • India and Portugal signed seven agreements to boost cooperation in areas including maritime transport, port development, audio-visual co-production and industrial and intellectual property rights.
  • The agreements were signed after detailed high-level talks between Indian Prime Minister and visiting Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa in New Delhi.
  • The Portuguese President arrived in New Delhi for a 4-day state visit.
  • This is his first visit to India.

Historical background of India-Portugal Relations

  • India’s relations with Portugal remain close and friendly.
  • Relations began amicably in 1947 after India’s independence and diplomatic relations were established in 1949.
  • Bilateral relations, however, went into decline after 1950 over Portugal’s refusal to surrender its enclaves of Goa, Daman Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli on India’s west coast.
  • By 1955, the two nations had cut off diplomatic relations which were followed by Indian military forces liberating Goa in 1961 through Operation Vijay, ending over 450 years of Portuguese rule in India.
  • In 1974, India and Portugal signed a treaty recognising India’s sovereignty over Goa, Daman & Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and related matters.
  • With the signing of this treaty in New Delhi on December 31, 1974, diplomatic relations were re-established and an era of friendly bilateral relations began.

Relation After 1974

  • The two countries today share warm and friendly ties.
  • Portugal and India cooperate actively in multilateral fora including support for each others’ candidatures.
  • Portugal is supporting of India’s bid for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council.
  • In October 2005, Portugal extradited Abu Salem and Monica Bedi to India facing terror charges in India.
  • On October 9, 2015, Portugal became the first European and western country, and only the fourth outside the East Asia Summit, to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of the Nalanda University in India.

Trade Relations

Bilateral Trade in 2017-18

  • Bilateral trade reached a total value of USD 937.47 million.
  • Indian exports stood at USD 747.32 million and Portuguese exports at USD 190.15 million.
  • The trade balance has consistently been in India’s favour.
  • Bilateral trade increased by 125.13 million over the previous year’s figure of 812.34 million, registering an increase of 15.62%.

Major exports from India are: textiles and apparels including readymade garments; agriculture products; metals; chemicals; plastic and rubber; footwear; machinery and appliances; leather and its articles; vehicles and other transport materials.

Major exports from Portugal are: Machinery and appliances; metals; minerals; plastic and rubber; chemicals; textiles and apparels; leather; paper and pulp; wood and cork; optical and precision instruments.

Culture & Education

  • An MOU in Cultural cooperation was signed on June 24, 2017, during PM Modi’s visit to Portugal.
  • A series of events showcasing Indian art and culture was organized in 2018.
  • 4th International Day of Yoga was commemorated in June 2018 in association with the Portuguese Yoga Confederation and Jiya Festival of Dance at Orient Foundation with Nakshatra Productions.
  • A Festival of India was organized in the Vasco de Gama gardens in Belém to celebrate India’s Independence Day while showcasing India’s diversity.
  • The Centre for Indian Studies at the University of Lisbon was inaugurated in April 2016 by the Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs Augusto Santos Silva.
  • It is the first centre in any university in Portugal dedicated to the study of India.

Way forward

  • Portugal-India relations are very special and the two countries enjoy 500 years of shared history.
  • The two countries are closely tied together through Goa and Mumbai, through our culture, language and kinship.
  • The two countries are collaborating in science and technology, defence, education, innovation and start-up, water and environment among other things.


General Studies- II

Topic- Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development)

  • National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) is an Apex Development Financial Institution in India.
  • The Bank has been entrusted with “matters concerning Policy Planning and Operations in the field of credit for Agriculture and other Economic activities in Rural areas in India”.
  • NABARD is active in developing Financial Inclusion policy.
  • NABARD Head Office at Mumbai, Maharashtra, India


  • NABARD was established on the recommendations of B.Sivaraman Committee, to implement the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Act 1981.
  • It replaced the Agricultural Credit Department (ACD) and Rural Planning and Credit Cell (RPCC) of Reserve Bank of India, and Agricultural Refinance and Development Corporation (ARDC).
  • NABARD came into existence on 12 July 1982 by transferring the agricultural credit functions of RBI and refinance functions of the then Agricultural Refinance and Development Corporation (ARDC).
  • It is one of the premier agencies providing developmental credit in rural areas.
  • NABARD is India’s specialised bank for Agriculture and Rural Development in India.
  • International associates of NABARD include World Bank-affiliated organisations and global developmental agencies working in the field of agriculture and rural development.
  • It was set up with an initial capital of Rs.100 crore, its’ paid up capital stood at Rs.10,580 crore as on 31 March 2018.
  • Consequent to the revision in the composition of share capital between Government of India and RBI, NABARD today is fully owned by Government of India.


Development Bank of the Nation for Fostering Rural Prosperity.


  • Promote sustainable and equitable agriculture and rural development through participative financial and non-financial interventions, innovations, technology and institutional development for securing prosperity.

General Studies- II

Topic- Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)


26th foundation day celebrations of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) was celebrated.

About the NHRC

  • The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India was established on 12 October, 1993.
  • The statute under which it is established is the Protection of Human Rights Act (PHRA), 1993 as amended by the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Act, 2006.
  • It is in conformity with the Paris Principles, adopted at the first international workshop on national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights held in Paris in October 1991,
  • It is endorsed by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 20 December, 1993.
  • The NHRC is an embodiment of India’s concern for the promotion and protection of human rights.

The Human Rights Council

  • The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body created by the United Nations General Assembly resolution on 15 March 2006.
  • It has replaced the former United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
  • It is responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe and for addressing situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them.
  • It has the ability to discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention throughout the year.
  • It meets at the UN Office at Geneva.
  • The Council is made up of 47 United Nations Member States which are elected by the UN General Assembly.

Composition of NHRC

  • The National Human Rights Commission includes a chairperson and seven other members.
  • Out of the seven members, three are ex-officio members and four others are selected by the President on the recommendation of a Selection Committee.
  • The Chairperson and the members of the NHRC have tenure of five years or the age of 70 years before the completion of his tenure.
  • The Chairperson or any other member of this commission can be removed by the President even before the expiry of their full term.
  • They can be removed only on the charge of proved misbehaviour or incapacity or both, if it is proved by an inquiry conducted by a judge of the Supreme Court.

Members of NHRC

  • A Chairperson- retired Chief Justice of India.
  • One Member who is, or has been, a Judge of the Supreme Court of India.
  • One Member who is, or has been, the Chief Justice of a High Court.
  • Two Members to be appointed from among persons having knowledge of, or practical experience in, matters relating to human rights.
  • Additionally, the Chairpersons of four National Commissions,(1.Minorities 2.SC and ST 3.Women), to serve as ex officio members.

Functions of National Human Rights Commission

Comprehensive powers and functions have been given to the Commission under section12 of the Act.

  • To investigate grievances regarding the violation of human rights either suo moto or after receiving a petition.
  • To scrutinize the failure of duties on the part of any public official in preventing the violation of human rights.
  • To interfere in any judicial proceedings involving any allegation of violation of human rights.
  • To visit any jail or any other institution under the control of the State Government to see the living conditions of the inmates and to make recommendations thereon.
  • To review the safeguards provided under the constitution or any law for the protection of the human rights and to recommend appropriate remedial measures.
  • To study treaties and other international instruments on human rights and to make recommendations for their effective implementation.
  • To undertake and promote research in the field of human rights.
  • To encourage the efforts of the non-governmental organisations working in the field of human rights.
  • To spread human rights literacy among various sections of society.
  • To review all facts related to the activities of the terrorists which obstruct the way of the protection of human rights and to make recommendations for their effective implementation.

For Prelims

Maritime Transport and Ports Agreement between India and Portugal


India and Portugal on Friday signed an agreement to enhance cooperation in the field of maritime transport and ports.


  • To promote maritime transport between the two countries for better operation of their merchant fleets,
  • Cooperation to harmonize and unify their position with International Organization Institution, forums and
  • Conferences related to maritime and port activities.
  • It will also help both the countries to coordinate accession to international conventions so that the objectives of this agreement can be strengthened.

Arth Ganga Project


  • ‘Arth Ganga’ implies a sustainable development model with a focus on economic activities related to Ganga.
  • “Arth-Ganga”project, will result into inclusive growth and play a key role in generation of enormous employment opportunities in the National Waterways stretch.
  • Farmers will be encouraged to engage in sustainable agriculture practices, including zero budget farming, planting of fruit trees and building plant nurseries on the banks of Ganga.
  • Water sports and campsites, cycling and walking tracks will be developed along the bankside.
  • It would help to tap the ‘hybrid’ tourism potential of the river basin area- for purposes of religious as well as adventure tourism.

Economical activities

  • The Ministry of Shipping is also developing Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) Freight Village and Sahibganj (Jharkhand) Industrial Cluster-cum-Logistics Park .
  • It aims to creating synergy with Inland Waterways.
  • The income generated from these projects would help to generate sustainable income streams for cleaning of Ganga.