1) India Joins Artemis Accords: Recently, India’s Prime Minister announced India’s decision to join the Artemis Accords during the visit to the United States.
- Artemis Accords are established by the U.S. State Department and NASA with seven other founding members: Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom in 2020 for setting common principles to govern civil exploration and use of outer space, the moon, Mars, comets, and asteroids, for peaceful purposes.
- India became the 27thcountry to sign the nonbinding Artemis Accords.
- The signatories will implement memorandum of understanding (MOUs) between governments or agencies to conduct space activities for peaceful purposes in accordance with international law.
- Signatories recognize the importance of common exploration infrastructure to enhance scientific discovery and commercial utilization.
- Relevant space objects are registered, and scientific data is openly shared in a timely manner. Private sectors are exempt unless acting on behalf of a signatory.
2) Deep Sea Mining: The International Seabed Authority (ISA) is preparing to allow Deep Sea Mining in the International Seabed, including mining for minerals needed for Green Energy.
- Deep sea mining involves removing mineral deposits and metals from the ocean’s seabed.
- There are three types of such mining,
- Taking deposit-rich polymetallic nodules off the ocean floor.
- Mining massive seafloor sulfide deposits.
- Stripping cobalt crusts from rock.
- These nodules, deposits and crusts contain materials, such as nickel, rare earths, cobalt and more, that are needed for batteries and other materials used in tapping Renewable Energy and also for everyday technology like cellphones and computers.
3) India-Africa Partnership: Achievements, Challenges, and Roadmap 2030: Recently, the 20-member Africa Expert Group (AEG), established by the Vivekananda International Foundation, presented a Report titled ‘India-Africa Partnership: Achievements, Challenges and Roadmap 2030’.
Recommendations to Strengthen India- Africa Ties:
- Restore periodic leaders’ summits through the India-Africa Forum Summit.
- Increase the number of defence attachés in Africa and expand dialogue on defence issues.
- Promote India-Africa trade through the creation of an Africa Growth Fund (AGF) to enhance access to finance.
- Facilitate greater interaction between Indian and African universities, think tanks, civil society, and media organizations.
- Establish a National Centre for African Studies.
- Establish a special mechanism for implementing the ‘Roadmap 2030’ through collaboration between the MEA and the National Security Council Secretariat.