1. India-Nepal Power Pact –


  • India and Nepal recently signed a long-term agreement for the export of power. The agreement was inked during the 7th meeting of the Nepal-India Joint Commission, highlighting the strengthening ties between the two nations.
  • India and Nepal signed a bilateral agreement for the export of 10,000 MW of power in the next 10 years.
  • Three cross-border transmission lines were jointly inaugurated including the 132 kV Raxaul-Parwanipur, 132 kV Kushaha-Kataiya, and New Nautanwa-Mainahiya lines.

Major Areas of Cooperation Between India and Nepal-

  • India and Nepal, being immediate neighbors, enjoy special bonds of friendship and collaboration marked by an open border and strong people-to-people connections rooted in kinship and culture.
  • Nepal shares a border of over 1850 km with five Indian states – Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
  • India is Nepal’s largest trade partner and the largest source of foreign investments, besides providing transit for almost the entire third country trade of Nepal.
  • India accounts for about two-third of Nepal’s merchandise trade and about one-third of trade in services.
  • India has been aiding the modernization efforts of the Nepal Army through equipment supply and training provisions.The joint military exercise, ‘Surya Kiran,’ at the battalion level, is conducted in both India and Nepal on a rotational basis.In 2023, it was held in Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand.
  • The Koshi Agreement (1954, revised in 1966) and Gandak Agreement (1959, revised in 1964) were the initial significant agreements fostering India-Nepal cooperation in the water resources sector.


  1. Swachh Survekshan Awards 2023 –


  • The President of India conferred Swachh Survekshan Awards 2023 at Bharat Mandapam, New Delhi hosted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).
  • Indore and Surat were jointly awarded the cleanest city title. Maharashtra secured the top position among states in the annual cleanliness rankings for urban areas.
  • Swachh Survekshan, conducted by the MoHUA since 2016, is the world’s largest urban sanitation and cleanliness survey. It has been instrumental in fostering a spirit of healthy competition among towns and cities to improve their service delivery to citizens and towards creating cleaner cities.
  • It has evolved, covering an increasing number of cities each year. The 2023 round encompassed 4,416 urban local bodies, 61 cantonments, and 88 Ganga towns.
  • Indore has retained its cleanest city title for the 7th consecutive year. Surat, consistently second behind Indore in recent years, claimed the top spot for the first time.

The Swachh Survekshan 2023 rankings considered various factors, including:

  1. Door-to-door waste collection
  2. Source segregation
  3. Cleanliness of public areas
  4. Clean water bodies
  5. Citizens’ feedback on city cleanliness
  • Maharashtra claimed the cleanest state award with 89.24% door-to-door waste collection and 67.76% source segregation. Madhya Pradesh secured the second position in state cleanliness rankings.Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Nagaland, and Tripura were ranked as the bottom five states in cleanliness.
  • Chandigarh received the Safaimitra Surakshit Shehar award for the city with the best safety standards for sanitation workers. Varanasi was recognized as the cleanest Ganga town. Mhow Cantonment was declared the cleanest cantonment in the country.


  1. India has acquired the five Lithium blocks in Argentina –


  • The Ministry of Mines through Khanij Bidesh India Limited (KABIL), signed an agreement with Argentina’s State-owned CAMYEN (Catamarca Minera Y Energética  Sociedad Del Estado).
  • KABIL was formed in 2019 as a joint venture of state-run miners NALCO, HCL and MECL to source strategic minerals such as lithium and cobalt etc. from abroad. KABIL carries out identification, acquisition, exploration, development, mining and processing of strategic minerals overseas for commercial use and meeting the country’s requirement of these minerals.
  • The deal will help India strengthen lithium supplies, while developing lithium mining and downstream sectors of both the countries. It will facilitate diversification of the supply chain for critical materials towards achieving Global Net Zero goals.
  • Nearly 54% of India’s lithium imports are from China, which hogs 80% of global supply.
  • Lithium is a chemical element with the symbol Li and atomic number 3. It is a soft, silvery-white alkali metal.
  • Chile, Australia, Argentina, Bolivia and China contain most of the reserves discovered so far globally. Argentina, Bolivia and Chile, also known as the ‘Lithium Triangle’ contain 54% of the world’s Lithium reserves.
  • In Argentina the lithium is present in salt pans in the Atacama desert and neighboring arid zones in the region.
  • In India, there is some potential to recover lithium from brines of Sambhar and Pachpadra areas in Rajasthan, and Rann of Kutch, Gujarat. Also the Geological Survey of India (GSI) has found lithium resources in Jammu and Kashmir.