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HomeKERALA PSC EXAM PROGRAMMODEL QUESTIONSNational & International Events

National & International Events

National & International Events                       

  • Which organisation is the lead agency for the BIMSTEC DMEx-2017?

ANSWER: National Disaster Response Force

Explanation: 
The First ‘BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise- 2017’ (BIMSTEC DMEx-2017) will be conducted by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) as the lead agency from October 10-13, 2017 in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR).

This Exercise will be a platform for sharing Best Practices on all aspects of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), strengthening regional response and coordination for Disaster Management among the BIMSTEC member countries.

Delegates from all seven nations of the ‘Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation’ (BIMSTEC) grouping, – namely Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand, representatives from Embassies/High Commissions of BIMSTEC nations in Delhi, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), and Senior Officers from the Nodal Ministries are participating in the event.

At the 17th BIMSTEC Senior Officials Meeting held in Kathmandu, Nepal on February 7, 2017, it was decided that India would organize the first annual Disaster Management Exercise for the region.

BIMSTEC DMEx-2017

  • The main focus of the BIMSTEC DMEx-2017 will be on testing the region’s preparedness and resilience towards effective activation of inter-Governmental interaction/dialogue/agreements for immediate deployment of regional resources for disaster response.
  • It will help create synergy and synchronize efforts to institutionalize regional cooperation among the member countries.
  • The exercise will help strengthen the effective utilization of the Search & Rescue Teams for Disaster Relief & Emergency Response, including Emergency Rapid Assessment Teams and Management of mass casualties especially in situations involving breakdown of infrastructure and communication.
  • At the end of the four-day Exercise, a publication will be brought out on the outcomes and recommendations of the Joint/Common Exercise and include Agreement among BIMSTEC Nations on regional cooperation for Disaster Management and Emergency Response.
  • This would be presented to the BIMSTEC Leaders at the Summit to be hosted by Nepal in October/November, 2017.
  • The BIMSTEC DMEx-2017 is being conducted in two phases in Delhi and NCR. The main exercise will comprise of Table Top Exercise (TTX), Field Training Exercise (FTX) and After Action Review (AAR) which is scheduled for October 10-13, 2017.

India’s Role and BIMSTEC

  • India has been at the forefront of DRR efforts by hosting the South Asian Annual Disaster Management Exercise (SAADMEx).
  • It also hosted Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR).
    India has also offered its expertise and capabilities in DRR such as the South Asia satellite, GSAT-9, and the Tsunami Early Warning Centre to other countries.
  • Disaster Management was one of the important Agenda items the BIMSTEC leaders deliberated upon during the Goa BRICS Summit in October last year where BIMSTEC leaders were the Special Invitees.
  • The BIMSTEC region is home to around 1.5 billion people, constituting around 22% of the global population with a combined GDP of US $2.7 trillion economy.
  • Majority of the BIMSTEC countries are situated in the South Asian Region (SAR), prone to natural disasters such as floods, cyclones, earthquakes, avalanches and drought.
  • Which country launched its first satellite called Mongol Sat-1?

ANSWER: Mongolia

Explanation: 
Mongolia launched its first satellite part of its efforts to make use of new technology to diversify its resource-dependent economy.

The 1,227-megahertz satellite, called Mongol Sat-1, will help landlocked Mongolia expand its television, telecoms and broadband services.

The satellite was launched in partnership with Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS), a telecoms and broadcast provider for the region.

No details about the cost of the satellite and the launch were provided.

The project began over 10 years ago.

  • Who chaired the Second India Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Council?

ANSWER: Both of the above

Explanation: 
Modi government on 11th Sept kickstarted the process by approving 116 additional development projects across 31 provinces in the war-torn country.

New Delhi will also provide assistance to Afghan defence forces, besides extending 500 scholarships to the kin of deceased Afghan soldiers battling Taliban and other terrorist groups.

At the second meeting of the India- Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Council, co-chaired by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbai, both countries agreed to step up security cooperation.

Additionally, there would be trade and people to people contacts by relaxing visa regime.

India and Afghanistan jointly agreed to embark on a “new development partnership” in keeping with Afghanistan’s priorities.

New development projects would involve building a drinking water supply system for Kabul, low-cost housing for returning refugees, a water supply network for Charikar city, and a polyclinic in Mazar-e-Sharif.

Both ministers jointly agreed to embark on a New Development Partnership in keeping with the priorities of Afghanistan and the main focus will continue on building governance and democratic institutions; human resource capacity and skill development.

Both countries also signed Motors Vehicle Agreement to pave the way for overland transit. India will also supply wheat to Afghanistan in the coming weeks via Chabahar port.

Afghanistan: Know More

  • Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located within South Asia and Central Asia.
  • The country has a population of 33 million, making it the 42nd most populous country in the world.
  • Capital: Kabul
  • President: Ashraf Ghani
  • Currency: Afghan afghani
  • Capital and largest city: Kabul
  • Points of interest: Shrine of Ali, Darul Aman Palace,
  •  The 4th session of the Joint Trade Committee of which nation was held with India on 29th Aug 2017

ANSWER: Tanzania

Explanation: 
The Fourth Session of the India-Tanzania Joint Trade Committee meeting was held in New Delhi, on 29th September, 2017.

The Indian delegation was led by Hon’ble Minister for State for Commerce and Industry (Independent Charge) Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman.

The Tanzanian delegation was led by the Hon’ble, Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment Mr. Charles John Mwijage.

Tanzania is one of the most important countries in Africa in so far as India’s bilateral co-operation in various sectors is concerned.

With an investment of US $ 2.2 billion, Tanzania is among the top 5 investment destinations for India.

The Indian side conveyed to the Tanzanian side that the potential areas for Tanzania in India include Light oils and petroleum or bituminous minerals, motor cars and vehicles, medicaments etc

Similarly, Metals and Minerals, dried cashew nuts in shells from Tanzania are required in India.

The Tanzanian side encouraged co-operation in the field of Fisheries, Industrial Development including Industrial Research and Development and SMEs Development, Information, Communication and Technology, Labour and Employment, Information, Culture, Arts and Sports.

The Indian Duty Free Tariff Preference Scheme of which Tanzania is a beneficiary has boosted considerably Tanzanian export to India in recent years. India and Tanzania agreed to enhance sectoral co-operation based on respective needs and comparative advantage for mutual benefit.

In the sectoral co-operation Gems and Jewellery, energy (Hydro/Thermal/Gas/Diesel/solar power plants), Oil and Natural Gas, Mining, Transport, Agriculture, Water Supply Projects, Human Resource Development, Capacity Building and trade promotion were discussed.

  • Where is the ASEAN defence ministers meeting plus being held in Oct 2017?

ANSWER: Philippines

Explanation: 
The ASEAN defence ministers began their high-level security dialogue on Oct 23, 2017 to discuss security issues, including counter-terrorism, drug trafficking and maritime conflicts, facing the region.

They held a breakfast meeting before the formal opening of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) to specifically discuss the threat of violent extremism in the region

The Philippines, chair of the ASEAN this year, is hosting the 11th ADMM and 4th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) that include eight of ASEAN’s dialogue partners namely Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia and the US.

The meeting hopes to come up with frameworks for maritime interaction, education and training exchanges, aircraft encounters among others.

ADMM: Know More

  • The ADMM is the highest defence consultative and cooperative mechanism in the ASEAN.
  • It aims to promote mutual trust and confidence through greater understanding of defence and security challenges as well as enhancement of transparency and openness among the 10 ASEAN member states-Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
  • The ADMM-Plus is a platform for the ASEAN Defence Ministers to engage their dialogue partners from Asia and the Pacific.

 

  • Where is the 6th edition of international textiles and apparel fair VASTRA being held on 21st Sept 2017?

ANSWER: Jaipur

Explanation: 
The Minister for Textiles and IB, Smriti Irani was inaugurating the 6th Edition of the 4-day international textiles and apparel fair VASTRA 2017, in Jaipur on 21st Sept 2017.

Growth of the textiles sector lies the growth of India and the growth of job opportunities.

Textiles sector provides direct employment to over 45 million people and indirectly impacts close to another 20 million households.

Government of India has brought in Rs. 6,000 crore package specially aimed at providing support to the textiles, apparel and made-ups sectors.

VASTRA 2017 is an all-encompassing trade fair and conference on Textiles and Apparel presenting a fusion of the finest and the latest in textiles products.

The event is jointly organized by Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investments Corporation Limited (RIICO) and Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and is supported by the Government of Rajasthan.

More than 50 countries and 13 Indian States are participating in VASTRA 2017.

  •   A 3 day India-Afghan festival is being organised by which body in association with India and Afghan government and Afghan embassy on Nov 29, 2017?

ANSWER: ICCR

Explanation: 
India-Afghan Cultural Festival in New Delhi has been jointly organized by the Government and Embassy of Afghanistan along with the Government of India and ICCR.

India and Afghanistan enjoy age old cultural and civilaisational ties and the deep-rooted linkages in the fields of music, art, architecture, language and cuisine constitute an important bond of friendship between the people of the two countries.

While exponents of Afghan classical music such as Ustad Sarahang were trained in the Patiala Gharana, the popular Indian music of bollywood resonates in Afghan homes,

The central Bamyan province of Afghanistan is an epitome of our shared Buddhist heritage, he added.

Gurudev Rabindra Nath Tagore’s ‘Kabuliwala’ has connected Indians with the honest and large-hearted Afghans.

India-Afghan Festival is a unique event being organized and will further bring out the commonalities between the two countries through art, handicrafts, dance, music and other forms.

The three day festival includes cultural performances, handicrafts, exhibitions, cuisine and cultural shows from Afghanistan as well as India.

 

  • Which of the following MoU were signed between India and Myanmar during PM Modi’s recent state visit?

ANSWER: All the above

Explanation: 
List of MoUs/Agreements signed during State visit of Prime Minister to Myanmar

S.No. Name of MoUs/Agreements Myanmar side India side
1. MoU on Maritime Security Cooperation Between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Brigadier General San Win, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Defence Vikram Misri, Ambassador of India to Myanmar
2. Cultural Exchange Programme between the Government of the Republic of India And the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar for the year 2017-2020 U Htun Ohn, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture Vikram Misri, Ambassador of India to Myanmar
3. MoU on Enhancing the Cooperation of the Upgradation of the Women’s Police Training Centre at Yamethin, Myanmar. Vikram Misri, Ambassador of India to Myanmar
4. MoU for Sharing White Shipping Information between the Indian Navy and Myanmar Navy Rear Admiral Moe Aung, Chief of Staff (Myanmar Navy) Vikram Misri, Ambassador of India to Myanmar
5. Technical Agreement between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government Of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar for providing Coastal Surveillance System Rear Admiral Moe Aung, Chief of Staff (Myanmar Navy) Vikram Misri, Ambassador of India to Myanmar
6. MoU between the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), Ministry Of Health and Family Welfare of the Republic of India and Food and Drugs (FDA), Ministry of Health and Sports of Myanmar on Cooperation in Medical Products Regulation. Dr. Than Htut, Director General, Ministry of Health and Sports, GOM Vikram Misri, Ambassador of India to Myanmar
7. Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Health and Family welfare of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Health And Sports of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar on cooperation in the field of Health and medicine Dr. Than Htut, Director General, Ministry of Health and Sports, GOM Vikram Misri, Ambassador of India to Myanmar
8. Exchange of Letter for Extension of MoU on the establishment of MIIT Dr. Thein Win, Director General, Department of Higher Education Vikram Misri, Ambassador of India to Myanmar
9. Exchange of Letter for Extension of MoU on the establishment of India-Myanmar Center for Enhancement of IT-Skill U Win Khaing Moe, Director General, Department of Research and Innovation Vikram Misri, Ambassador of India to Myanmar
10. Memorandum of understanding in the field of elections between the Election Commission of India and The Union Election Commission of Myanmar. U Tin Tun, Secretary of Union Election Commission of Myanmar Vikram Misri, Ambassador of India to Myanmar
11. Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between Myanmar Press Council and the Press Council of India U Aung Hla Tun, Vice-Chairman (1) Mr. Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad, Chairman, Press Council of India

 

  •  Which city is set to host an International Puppet festival from Oct 26, 2017? 

ANSWER: Kolkata

Explanation: 
The city is all set to host an International Puppet Festival from October 26.

West Bengal principal secretary Tourism and Home Affairs Atri Bhattacharya will be inaugurating the festival.

Artists from the UK, Germany, Peru, Portugal, Italy, Lithuania, Brazil, Singapore and India would be participating in the festival.

Kolkata will host such a festival for the first time and the six-day long festival will end on October 31, officials said.

The puppet festival is aimed at regenerating the emotions attached to puppetry and it will be held at Mohorkunj here.

  • Which country celebrated its first gay marriage on Oct 1, 2017? 

ANSWER: Germany

Explanation: 
First same-sex marriage held in Germany

Germany celebrated its first same-sex weddings on Oct 1, 2017, after a new law came into force putting gay and lesbian couples on an equal legal footing with heterosexual couples.

About 60 guests and an equal number of journalists packed into Schoeneberg town hall’s “Golden Room” to witness the marriage of Karl Kreile and his partner of 38 years, Bodo Mende.

Germany has allowed same-sex partners to enter into registered partnerships since 2001, but these did not give couples exactly the same status in German law as marriage.

The German parliament voted to introduce marriage equality in June, after Chancellor Angela Merkel unexpectedly dropped her longstanding opposition to parliament holding a vote on the issue.

  • How many Ms. World titles has India won to date? 

ANSWER: 6

Explanation: 
India’s Manushi Chhillar has won the Miss World beauty pageant for the year 2017. The win comes 17 years after Priyanka Chopra brought home the coveted title in the year 2000.

Andrea Meza, who is Miss Mexico was the first runner up and Stephanie Hill from England was second runner up. Around 108 women from across the world participated in the beauty pageant.

Ms Chhillar, a 20-year-old from Haryana, studied in St. Thomas School in New Delhi and Bhagat Phool Singh Government Medical College for Women in Sonepat.

According to Ms Chhillar’s profile on the Miss World website, Ms Chhillar aims to be a cardiac surgeon and has plans of opening non-profit hospitals in rural areas.

Ms Chhillar’s profile also says she is a trained classical dancer and has a passion for outdoor sports like scuba diving, snorkelling and bungee jumping.

Ms Chhillar is the sixth Indian woman to win the coveted title of Miss World. Reita Faria was the first Indian woman to claim the title back in 1966, followed by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in 1994, Diana Haydon in 1997, Yukta Mookhey in 1999 and Ms Chopra in 2000.

The winner of last year’s title, Puerto Rico’s Stephanie Del Valle passed on her crown to Ms Chhillar.

  • INA celebrates the Dilli seminar on 12th and 13th of Oct 2017 with which theme?

ANSWER: ‘India and Southeast Asia-Maritime Trade, Expedition and Civilisation Linkages’

Explanation: 
Indian Naval Academy (INA), Ezhimala is all set to conduct the fourth edition of the prestigious annual Dilli seminar on 12th and 13th of October 2017.

The theme for this year’s seminar is ‘India and Southeast Asia-Maritime Trade, Expedition and Civilisation Linkages’.

INA conducts the annual Dilli seminar on elements and issues of maritime history and heritage of the nation to help the young officers and cadets keep an eye on future developments in the maritime domain with a strong foundation of the past.

This year’s theme is aimed to explore and elucidate the impact of historic maritime trade that existed between India and Southeast Asian countries on their society, religion, spirituality, art, architecture, language, literature, administration and other areas of civilization.

The papers presented in the seminar would deliberate and analyse the impact of the historical maritime connections on the present, to extrapolate the future.

The Dilli series of seminar has always been an intellectually stimulating experience for all participants especially the young cadets and the 2017 edition promises to be equally informative, especially considering the growing significance of Southeast Asian countries in the present socio-economic, geographical and political situation.

  •  What is the maiden search and rescue exercise scheduled in November 2017 in Bay of Bengal called?

ANSWER: IMMSAREX

Explanation: 
Despite growing tensions with China, the Indian Navy would join the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy in a maiden maritime search and rescue exercise to be chaired by Bangladesh at the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) in November 2017.

Bangladesh, the current Chair, is scheduling a maiden International Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise (IMMSAREX) in November in the Bay of Bengal to be attended by ships and aircraft of the members and observers of the IONS.

The IONS is a regional forum of Indian Ocean littoral states, represented by their Navy chiefs, launched by India in February 2008. It presently has 23 members and nine observers.

The exercise comes at a time of intensifying competition among regional navies for dominance in the Indian Ocean — navies of China and Japan, presently observers, in addition to member states like India, France, Iran and the U.K.

In addition, Bangladesh is also scheduling an “extraordinary conclave of Chiefs,” a meeting of chiefs of Navy before it hands over the Chair to Iran next year, the source added.

Under the charter of business adopted in 2014, the grouping has working groups on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), Information Security and Interoperability (IS&I) and anti-piracy now renamed as maritime security.

India has considerably expanded its engagement with countries to further its own interests as well as to check the rapid expansion of Chinese naval forays in the Indian Ocean.

Other countries in the region are also engaged in rapid expansion of their military capabilities.

The working group’s conferences are held annually and India had chaired the one on HADR in May this year and Pakistan had chaired the meeting on IS&I in July.

  •   India is being allowed to construct which hydroelectric plants by World Bank in August 2017?

ANSWER: Both a and b

Explanation: 
India is allowed to construct hydroelectric power facilities on tributaries of the Jhelum and Chenab rivers with certain restrictions under the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), the World Bank has said.

The World Bank’s comments came as officials from India Pakistan concluded the secretary-level talks over the IWT.

Pakistan opposes the construction of the Kishanganga (330 megawatts) and Ratle (850 megawatts) hydroelectric power plants being built by India in Jammu and Kashmir.

Noting that the two countries disagree over whether the technical design features of the two hydroelectric plants contravene the treaty, the World Bank said the IWT designates these two rivers as well as the Indus as the “Western Rivers” to which Pakistan has unrestricted use.

Among other uses, India is permitted to construct hydroelectric power facilities on these rivers subject to constraints specified in annexures to the treaty, the Bank indicated in its fact sheet.

It noted that the talks on the technical issues of the IWT took place this week “in a spirit of goodwill and cooperation”.

The parties have agreed to continue discussions and reconvene in September in Washington DC.

In the lengthy fact sheet, the World Bank said Pakistan asked it to facilitate the setting up of a Court of Arbitration to look into its concerns about the designs of the two hydroelectric power projects.

On the other hand, India had asked for the appointment of a neutral expert to look into the issues, contending the concerns Pakistan raised were “technical” ones.

The IWT was signed in 1960+ after nine years of negotiations between India and Pakistan with the help of the World Bank, which is also a signatory.

The World Bank’s role in relation to “differences” and “disputes” is limited to the designation of people to fulfill certain roles when requested by either or both of the parties, the fact sheet said.

The two countries last held talks over the two projects in March this year during the meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) in Pakistan.

Pakistan had approached the World Bank last year, raising concerns over the designs of two hydroelectricity projects located in Jammu and Kashmir.

It had demanded that the World Bank, which is the mediator between the two countries under the 57-year-old water distribution pact, set up a court of arbitration to look into its concerns+ .

The international lender had in November 2016 initiated two simultaneous processes for appointing neutral expert and establishing of a court of arbitration to look into technical differences between the two countries in connection with the projects.

The simultaneous processes, however, were halted after India objected to it.

After that, representatives of the World Bank held talks with India and Pakistan to find a way out separately.

The talks between the two nations over the treaty come amid tensions between them after a number of terror attacks in India by Pakistan-based terror groups.

  • What is the name of the Child Rights Week from 16th to 20th Nov 2017? 

ANSWER: Hausla 2017

Explanation: 
The Ministry of Women and Child Development will celebrate the Child Rights Week (Hausla 2017) from 16th to 20th November, 2017.

The country celebrates the Children’s Day on 14th November and the International Child Rights Day is celebrated on 20th November every year.

The period between the two important events will be celebrated as Child Rights Week by WCD Ministry by hosting an Inter CCI Festival for the children who reside in Child Care Institutions (CCIs).

The commemoration of the festival “Hausla 2017” will provide an occasion to showcase the talents of children from CCIs from various child care institutions across the country and provide them with a space to express their dreams and aspiration.

Children will be participating in various events like Bal Sansad, painting competition, athletics meet, football, chess competition and speech writing.

The following events are proposed to be organized:

1. Bal Sansad on 16th November 2017
2. Painting Competition on 16th November 2017
3. Athletics Meet, Chess Competition and Football Matches on 19-20th November 2017
4. Speech Writing

Child Reporters from street children’s news magazine “Balaknama” will cover the entire event and publish it in their magazine, with due approval of the content from Ministry.

CIF, CARA and NIPCCD are assisting the Ministry in organising the events. UNICEF will be supporting the Ministry in publishing the compiled speeches in the form of a booklet.

  •  Make in India: Sweden 2017 was organised by which department in Stockholm on Oct Oct 12 and 13th 

ANSWER: DIPP

Explanation: 
Make in India: Sweden 2017, organized by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion in Stockholm, from October 12-13aims to enhance Indo-Swedish cooperation and explore new areas of partnership.

Minister of Commerce and Industry also met the Co-Chair India-Sweden Business Leaders’ Round Table (ISBLRT) and Chairman, SEB, Mr. Marcus Wallenberg and President SAAB, Mr. HakanBuskhe.

The Commerce & Industry Minister acknowledged the importance of the partnership with SAAB, a pioneer Swedish company in the Indian market.

SAAB expressed interest in introducing full scope for development of industrial systems, from design and engineering to production.

The importance of technological cooperation was highlighted with focus on creation of high-technology zones close to forward going universities.

SAAB representatives appreciated the successful GST introduction in India that has resulted in growth of domestic trade. Importance of fostering an EU-India Free Trade Agreement was discussed, given its potential to open borders and enable products to compete.

It was agreed that higher economic integration and interdependencies will help resolve global political issues.

The main highlight of the event was the second edition of the India-Sweden Business Leaders’ Roundtable (ISBLRT) which focused on cooperation between the two countries, progress update of four joint working groups (Digitization, Smart Cities, Defence and Security and Skill Development) and the work plan for the year to come.

  •  What does JICF stand for in the context of JICA and the NE region?

ANSWER: Japan India Coordination Forum for development of north eastern region

Explanation: 
The first meeting of the Japan-India Coordination Forum (JICF) for Development of North-Eastern Region was held here today.

Secretary, Ministry of Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), Shri Naveen Verma led the Indian side while the Japanese delegation was led by the Japanese Ambassador to India, Mr. Kenji Hiramatsu.

Senior Officers of the Ministry of Home Affairs, External Affairs, Department of Economic Affairs, and line Ministries of Government of India including Road Transport & Highways, Agriculture, Power besides Resident Commissioners of the eight States of the NER participated in the meeting.

The Japanese delegation included Mr. Kenko Sone, Minister, Economic Affairs, Embassy of Japan, besides representatives from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) and Japan Foundation.

Priority areas of cooperation identified by Indian side including Connectivity and Road Network Development, especially inter-State roads & major district roads; Disaster Management; Food Processing; Organic Farming and Tourism were discussed in the meeting.

The regular meetings of the Forum would not only enhance Assistance by JICA but also promote B2B and people to people contacts.

  • Which act was amended by the US House of Representatives to facilitate defence cooperation in India?

ANSWER: National Defence Authorisation Act 2018

Explanation: 
The United States House of Representatives has passed an amendment to National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA), 2018.

This is a $621.5 billion defence expenditure bill to advance defence cooperation with India.

India related amendment in the bill was adopted by a voice vote in the House by 344-81.

Now, NDAA needs to be passed by the US Senate before it can be sent to US President Donald Trump to sign into law.

The India-related amendment in NDAA 2018, requires the US Secretary of Defence, in consultation with the Secretary of State to develop a strategy for advancing defence cooperation between US and India.

The amendment asks the State Department and Pentagon to develop a strategy to addresses common security challenges, the role of US partners and allies in India-US defence relationship, and role of the defence technology and trade initiative.

It also asks them to address issues to advance communications interoperability and security memorandum of agreement and the basic exchange and cooperation agreement for geospatial cooperation.

NDAA: Know More

  • The NDAA is a United States federal law specifying the budget and expenditures of the United States Department of Defence.
  • Each year’s NDAA also includes other provisions.
  • The US Congress oversees the defence budget primarily through two yearly bills: the NDAA and Defence appropriations bills.
  • They are authorization bill that determines the US agencies responsible for defence, establishes funding levels and sets the policies under which money will be spent.
  • The NDAA-2017 had designated India as a major defence partner of US.
  • This designation had brought India at par with closest partners of US in terms of defence trade and technology transfer.
  • The 4th Michibiki satellite launched by Japan on Oct 10, 2017 is a part of which satellite system?

ANSWER: Both a and c

Explanation: 
Japan launched a fourth satellite for a new high-precision global positioning system (GPS) it hopes will encourage new businesses and help spur economic growth.

An H-2A rocket carrying Japan’s fourth and final quasi-zenith satellite, the Michibiki No. 4, lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan on Oct 10.

Having four satellites that loop over Japan and Australia in a figure of eight orbit will allow for uninterrupted coverage and puts engineers on course to switch the system on in April.

Japanese GPS can locate devices to within several centimeters compared with the commonly-used U.S. system, which has an accuracy of about 10 meters.

Japan plans to have seven of the geo-positioning satellites in orbit by 2023.

Quasi-Zenith Satellite System

  • The Quasi-Zenith Satellite System is a three-satellite regional time transfer system in development and the satellite-based augmentation system for the Global Positioning System that would be receivable within Japan.
  • Planned completion date: 2017.
  • Start date: September 11, 2010.
  • Cost: 170 billion JPY.
  • Regime(s): 3x GSO.
  • Total satellites: 4 (7 in the future).
  • Country/ies of origin: Japan.
  • Operator: JAXA

 

  •  Which three countries signed an MoU for safe zones in Syria?

ANSWER: Russia, Iran, Turkey

Explanation: 
Allies of Syria- Russia and Iran and rebel supporter Turkey signed a memorandum on 4 May 2017, backing Moscow’s plan of creating safe zones in Syria to encourage a truce between the Syrian government and the rebel forces.

The deal was signed by the heads of the delegations representing the three ally countries during peace talks in Kazakhstan’s capital city, Astana.

The Syrian government and rebel delegations were not among the signatories.

The representative delegations reviewed the implementation of the ceasefire agreement and the termination of hostilities during the two-day talk in Astana.

After much deliberation, the guarantor countries agreed to sign a memorandum on the creation of de-escalation zones in Syria.

The main aim of the deal is to put an immediate end to the violence, to provide safe conditions for the voluntary return of refugees and to enable immediate delivery of relief supplies and medical aid.

The proposal calls for the creation of safe zones in rebel-held territories including the north-western province of Idlib, parts of Homs province in the centre, in the south and in the opposition enclave of Eastern Ghouta near Damascus.

However, in spite of all these measures, some issues remain unclear like which guarantor country would be policing which safe zone. Speaking on the same Russia and Iran and rebel supporter Turkey , Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that the issue would have to be taken up in separate talks.

Russia: Know More

  • Capital: Moscow
  • Currency: Russian ruble
  • President: Vladimir Putin
  • Population: 144.1 million (2015) World Bank
  • Prime minister: Dmitry Medvedev
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