India and the United Kingdom on 13th November, launched a British Pounds 10 million (current value of Rs 93 crore) collaborative research programme that will address issues of affordability, prevention and care of cancer by bringing together Indian and UK experts across clinical research. The five-year initiative will be .... Read More
On 23rd March, 2021, the Suez Canal, a critical shipping artery that connects the Mediterranean and Red Seas through Egypt, was blocked after a large cargo ship ran aground while passing through it, bringing traffic on the busy trade route to a halt.
The vessel blocking Suez was the Ever Given .... Read More
On 1st February, 2021, Myanmar military staged a coup and dismissed the democratically elected Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) government over allegations of rigged elections.
This is the third coup in the nation’s history since its independence from British rule in 1948.
The 2021 coup occurred in .... Read More
On 22nd January, 2021, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) came into force today, 90 days after the deposit of the 50th (Honduras) instrument of ratification.
Currently, there are 86 signatories and 52 states parties. On January 22, the Kingdom of Cambodia ratified the treaty.
About Treaty on the .... Read More
On 1st December, 2020, China’s Export Control Law (ECL) officially took effect. On October 17, 2020, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee passed the ECL to unify the pre-existing legal framework composed of several regulations, which aims to consolidate existing mechanisms for safeguarding the national interest in response to foreign .... Read More
The United Nations General Assembly has adopted two India-sponsored resolutions on nuclear disarmament which aim to reduce risk of nuclear accidents and call for a prohibition on the use of nuclear weapons.
The First Committee of UN General Assembly on November 03, 2020 adopted two resolutions which were sponsored by .... Read More
India and the USA have signed BECA, the last of four foundational agreements for strategic ties. BECA stands for Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial Cooperation.
The previous three agreement are:
General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) signed in 2002. An extension - the Industrial Security Annex (ISA) was signed .... Read More
External Affairs Minister of India chaired a meeting of foreign ministers of the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) grouping via video conference on September 16, 2020.
Emphasis on Reform of the UN Security Council
The foreign ministers of the three-nation group- India, Brazil and South Africa adopted a joint statement on the Reform of .... Read More
Senior diplomats of India and Nepal in August 2020 held a virtual meeting during which they comprehensively reviewed the progress made on various India-aided developmental projects in the Himalayan nation and decided to expedite their implementation.The discussions were the eighth round of talks under the India-Nepal Oversight Mechanism.
Outcome of the .... Read More
India, Australia, and Japan have started the discussions for the launch of a trilateral Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI).
These nations are seeking to build stronger supply chains to counter China’s dominance as trade and geopolitical tensions escalate across the region.
About the Initiative
The initiative, first proposed by Japan, is .... Read More
India and the UK have affirmed their commitment to negotiate a free trade agreement (FTA) with a view to further strengthen economic ties between thetwo nations. The issue was discussed in the 14thJoint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) meeting between the two countries onJuly 21, 2020.The meeting was held by .... Read More
Recently, Iran has decided to proceed with the Chabahar rail line construction on its own in July 2020, citing absence of active Indian engagement, and delays in beginning and funding the project. Iran is funding and developing a rail link under the second phase of the Chabahar Port on its .... Read More
India and Australia have elevated the bilateral Strategic Partnership concluded in 2009 to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) at the first virtual summit between Indian PM and his Australian counterpart. The summit was initially scheduled to take place in January but got cancelled due to the bushfire crisis in Australia. .... Read More
The President of United States of America halted US funding to the World Health Organization (WHO), days after he said the international group had “missed the call” on the coronavirus pandemic. US has accused the body and had “called it wrong” on COVID-19. It states that it was very “China .... Read More
Prices of benchmark United States crude turned negative on 22nd April, dropping as low as -$40.32 per barrel before settling in the negative thirties. Oil prices have suffered their biggest fall since the day in 1991 when American forces launched air strikes on Iraqi troops following their invasion of Kuwait.
Why .... Read More
The unprecedented high levels of tension at multiple locations in eastern Ladakh on the disputed India-China border, where Chinese soldiers have moved into Indian territory across the Line of Actual Control (LAC), has raised questions about the Chinese motives for this action.
Reason of Recent Flare Ups
The recent scuffle started near .... Read More
The killer COVID-19 is prompting the reactivation and revival of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC). Indian Prime Minister has taken a bold and positive initiative to engage with his SAARC colleagues for working out a mutually-coordinated strategy to deal with the impact of this pandemic.
A video-conference .... Read More
On 23rd and 24th February U.S. President Donald Trump was on a two day state visit to Indi. During the visit, India and the US pledged to deepen defence and security cooperation by collaborating on the co-development and production of advanced military systems besides pushing ahead with a Comprehensive Global .... Read More
The Brazilian president was in India primarily to grace the Republic Day celebrations as chief guest and explored ways to boost trade ties with India at a time when both the large economies are hit by slowdowns. In this light, India and Brazil inked 15 agreements to boost cooperation to .... Read More
The 11th BRICS Summit which has the theme ‘Economic Growth for an Innovative Future’ was held recently in Brazil.
Highlights of the Brasilia Declaration
Reforming Multilateral Systems: There is an urgent need to strengthen and reform the United Nations and other multilateral organizations like World Trade Organization (WTO) and International Monetary Fund .... Read More
The Prime Minister of India attended the 16th India-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Summit in Bangkok, Thailand on November 03, 2019. Along with this Summit, the other summits that took place in Thailand are-35th ASEAN Summit, 14th East Asia Summit, and 3rd meeting of RCEP.
Highlights of India-ASEAN Summit
Discussions were .... Read More
India and Australia moved closer to closing in on the Logistics Support Agreement (LSA), as the Foreign and Defence Secretaries from both countries met in New Delhi. The dialogue comes ahead of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s scheduled January 13-16 trip to India, during which he will visit New Delhi, .... Read More
Prime Minister participated in the annual summit of G 20 ‘Heads of the Government’ held on 29 June 2019 at Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Japan.
Highlights of the meeting
Nineteen G-20 members apart from the US recommitted themselves to Paris climate deal.
The US and China reached a rapprochement with the US declaring no .... Read More
India was unanimously supported by the Asia-Pacific group for its candidature of UN Security Council’s (UNSC) non-permanent membership.
India’s support in the Asia-Pacific voting
All countries in the 55-member Asia-Pacific Group have unanimously supported India for its bid for a non-permanent seat at the UNSC for a two-year term in 2021-22.
India also .... Read More
Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid visit to Maldives and Sri Lanka on 8th and 9th June 2019 respectively which was his first international visit during his second stint as the PM. The visit to Maldives and Sri Lanka underlines the new government’s priority to giving primacy to India’s neighbourhood, a .... Read More
US Commerce Secretary recently held that American companies can play a supporting role in India’s development but the difficult trade barriers and Indian regulations are a hindrance.
US President has repeatedly called India a “tariff king” which imposes “tremendously high” tariffs on American products.
US in April 2019 announced the withdrawal .... Read More
The executive secretary of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) has invited India to be an observer in the CTBT.
Benefits to India as an ‘observer’
Being an observer India would gain access to data from the International Monitoring System. This system can detect even small nuclear explosions using seismology, hydro-acoustics, .... Read More
Why in News?
The 7th RCEP Intersessional Ministerial Meeting was held during the first week of March, 2019, in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a proposed free trade agreement that is often characterised as a China-led response to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) put forward by the .... Read More
l Strategic Location
Maldives is located at a distance of 700kms from Lakshadweep islands and 1200kms form the Indian mainland making it strategically significant for India’s security.
In the name of anti-piracy operations Chinese ships ply up to the Gulf of Aden passing very close to the Maldives which brings it .... Read More
Why in News?
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met her Maldivian counterpart on 17 March 2019 in Malaysian capital Male during her two-day visit. This is first full-fledged bilateral trip from India to Maldives since the new government of Ibrahim Mohamed Solih came to power in Maldives in November 2018.
India-Maldives .... Read More
Why in News?
Australian national and a right-wing extremist, Brenton Tarrant, armed with semi-automatic weapons opened fire on two mosques in New Zealand’s Christchurch city. Brenton Tarrant travelled from Australia to New Zealand to carry out the attack. The weapons used in the attack and the improvised explosive devices implanted across .... Read More
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump met in Hanoi, Vietnam on 27 February 2019 for their second bilateral summit meeting.
The meeting was conducted to hammer out concrete steps for dismantling N. Korea’s nuclear programme and for the withdrawal of US sanctions on the Korean country.
However, .... Read More
Why in News?
China on 13 March once again blocked the United Nations Security Council’s move to designate Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad’s (JeM) chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist.
JeM has claimed responsibility for Pulwama terror attack that took place on 14 February 2019.
Details of the proposal
A fresh proposal was moved by .... Read More
Robert Mueller submitted his report on 22nd March, 2019 to US Attorney General which investigated the allegations of Russian meddling or any links or coordination between Russia and Trump to defeat Hillary Clinton in US Presidential elections in 2016.
Robert Mueller was appointed by the US Attorney General in 2017 as .... Read More
India has set up an Indo-Pacific division in the foreign office i.e. Ministry of External Affairs. The new division would give a coherent architecture to the Indo-Pacific policy, which was highlighted by Indian PM at the Shangri-La Dialogue 2018.
This signifies the rising importance of the Indo-Pacific region for India and .... Read More
On 22ndApril, 2019 US President decided to end sanctions waiver granted to India and seven other countries which import Iranian oil. The waivers would end on 2nd May 2019.
US wants to cripple the Iranian economy by squeezing its sources of revenue in order to force the country into halting its .... Read More
After the Pulwama attack in Jammu and Kashmir, India once again confronts a problem that has persisted ever since Pakistan acquired nuclear weapons in the late 1980s.
Put simply, it is about India’s inability to deter the Pakistan army from using proxies like the Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba to wage a war .... Read More
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in India for a day’s visit on February 19.
Strong Language against Terrorism: The India-Saudi Arabia joint statement contains strong language against terrorism. It condemns the Pulwama attack by name.
Terrorism as a State Policy Rejected: It calls for rejecting terrorism as an .... Read More
India and Pakistan joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as full member-states at the SCO Summit in Astana (8-9 June 2017), Kazakhstan. Before the addition of the two South Asian nations, the SCO consisted of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. The now eight-member SCO also has four observer-states, .... Read More
Fifty years after being disinvited from the 1969 Conference of Islamic Countries in Rabat in Morocco at Pakistan’s behest, India made its maiden appearance at the foreign ministers’ meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on March 1 as a “guest of honour”.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj attended the .... Read More
On 5th October, 2019 the Prime Minister of Bangladesh paid an official visit to India.
Highlights of the Visit
India and Bangladesh inaugurated 3 projects and seven agreements during their meet.
Projects inaugurated include Import of Bulk LPG from Bangladesh; Inauguration of Vivekananda Bhaban (student’s hostel) at Ramakrishna Mission, Dhaka; Bangladesh-India Professional Skill .... Read More
On 29th October, 2019 the Prime Minister of India paid an official visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Highlights of the Meeting
The two sides welcomed the establishment of Strategic Partnership Council between the two countries and the signing of its founding document by both the countries. It would coordinate decisions .... Read More
The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) ministerial meeting was held on 22 July, 2019 in Caracas, Venezuela which was attended by 120 member nations as well as 7 observer countries, 10 multilateral international organisations including the United Nations (UN).
India was represented by its Permanent Representative to .... Read More
On 11 July, 2019, 5th High Level Dialogue on Migration and Mobility (HLDMM) was held between India and the European Union (EU) in New Delhi which was attended by officials from both sides.
The discussions encompassed a wide range of issues of mutual interest in the context of migration and mobility .... Read More
On 22nd August, 2019 the Vice-President of India completed his 5-day official tour to the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The visit was aimed at strengthening the bilateral engagements with the three nations, besides giving the relationships a fresh impetus in the context of a changing global .... Read More
The 74th Session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) was held from 17th September to 30th September 2019 at the UN Headquarters at the New York, USA. Indian PM addressed the UNGA session on 27th September.
Highlights of the PM’s Speech
Vibrant Indian culture has encompassed universal dreams. Indian culture strives for .... Read More
On 10th September 2019, India and 10-member bloc of Association of South-East Asian (ASEAN) nations agreed to review their free trade agreement signed in 2009, to make it more business-friendly and boost economic ties during the 16th ASEAN Economic Ministers-India consultations. India was represented by the Union Minister of Commerce. .... Read More
On 18th September 2019, the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) released the International Migrant Stock 2019, a dataset that provides the latest estimates of the number of international migrants by age, sex and origin for all countries and areas of the world.
Findings of .... Read More
Indian Prime Minister paid a State Visit to Bangladesh from 26 to 27 March 2021 to join the celebrations of the Golden Jubilee of the Independence of Bangladesh, the Birth Centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and 50 years of establishment of diplomatic relations between .... Read More
On 2nd March, 2021, Prime Minister inaugurated the second edition Maritime India Summit -2021 organised by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways on a virtual platform
The 1st edition of Maritime India Summit was held in 2016 in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
Denmark was the partner country for the three-day summit.
At .... Read More
The 116th Annual Meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) comprising of Indus Commissioners of India and Pakistan was held on March 23-24, 2021 in New Delhi.
The last meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission was held in Lahore on August 29, 2018
The two sides discussed on the designs .... Read More
On 26th March, 2021, an Indo-Korean friendship park was jointly inaugurated by Defence Minister of India and Minister of National Defence of South Korea at Delhi cantonment.
About the Park
The park has been built to commemorate the contribution of Indian peacekeeping force during the Korean war of 1950-53.
It as an imposing .... Read More
The 1st High-Level Dialogue (HLD), co-chaired by the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry and the European Union (EU) Executive Vice-President & Trade Commissioner was on 6th February, 2021.
The decision to establish the High-Level Dialogue had been taken by both Partners during the 15th EU-India Summit held in July 2020.
Key .... Read More
On 17th February, 2021, the Union Cabinet approved signing of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) between India and Mauritius.
It is the first trade agreement signed by India with any country of Africa.
The Agreement is a limited agreement, which will cover Trade in Goods, Rules of Origin, .... Read More
On 3rd February, 2021, the Sri Lankan government revoked a 2019 agreement with India and Japan to develop the strategic East Container Terminal (ECT) at the Colombo Port.
Sri Lanka, Japan and India signed an agreement to jointly develop the East Container Terminal at the Colombo Port in 2019.
The MoC stated .... Read More
On 18th January, 2021, India and Japan signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) to boost the mobility of skilled Indian workers in 14 fields, including nursing, industrial machinery, shipbuilding, aviation, agriculture and the food services industry.
The present MoC would set an institutional mechanism for partnership and cooperation between India and .... Read More
Recently, the Fourth Meeting of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Working Group (JWG) on Fisheries was held through virtual mode.
The First Meeting of the JWG was held on 31 December 2016 in New Delhi. The Second Joint Working Group was held in Colombo on 7 April 2017 while the Third Meeting .... Read More
On 15th January, 2021, Prarambh: Startup India International Summit was organized by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
The two-day Summit was organised as a follow up of the announcement made by the Prime Minister at the fourth Bay of Bengal Initiative for .... Read More
On 17th December, 2020, India and Bangladesh held a virtual summit covering comprehensive discussions on all aspects of bilateral relations and exchanged views on regional and international issues.
Key Highlights of the Summit
Cooperation in Health Sector: Reiterating the highest priority India attaches to Bangladesh under India’s Neighbourhood First Policy, India assured .... Read More
The fifth presidium meeting of the BRICS Media Forum was held virtually, with members pledging joint efforts to improve the forum mechanism and step up post-COVID-19 exchanges and cooperation among BRICS media.
A common thread among members is a growing problem of disinformation or ‘fake news’.
The news media around the .... Read More
On 2nd December, 2020, Oman announced to establish Friendship association with India during a bilateral discussion held virtually between the foreign ministers of the country. This will be the first of such initiative in West Asia.
The association aims to provide a platform to promote matters of mutual interest, understanding between .... Read More
India and Maldives on November 09, 2020 have signed four Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) including on the Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP). During the bilateral meet, the Indian foreign secretary appreciated the "India First" policy of Maldives and said that it is strongly reciprocated by India through "Neighbourhood First" policy.
Four .... Read More
Recently, India and Luxembourg held the first of its kind virtual summit in two decades, on November 19, 2020.
Both the nations have committed for strengthening India-Luxembourg relationship in the post-Covid-19 world, especially in the areas of financial technology, green financing, space applications, digital innovations and start-ups.
In the meet, India welcomed .... Read More
Recently, at the Geneva Donors Conference on November 24, 2020, the External Minister of India proclaimed that India will construct the Shahtoot Dam across the River Maidan. River Maidan is a tributary of River Kabul in Afghanistan. The Shahtoot Dam is proposed to be built in the Chahar Asiab district .... Read More
On October 7, 2020 at the Yushan Forum, the Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation (TAEF), a leading think tank from Taiwan,signed a memorandum with India’s National Maritime Foundation (NMF) in order to foster cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region as part of Taiwan’s South bound policy.
The memorandum’s aim is to conduct joint research .... Read More
On October 19, 2020, the Government of India announced that the Australian Navy will join the Malabar exercise that is to be conducted in November 2020. This means that all the four Quad countries are to participate in the exercise.
The exercise will be a first for the “Quad,” the Pacific .... Read More
A webinar between India and UAE was held on the theme of “Indian Defence Industry Global Outreach for Collaborative Partnership: Webinar and Expo India – UAE Defence Cooperation” to boost defence exports.
The seminar was organized on, October 27, 2020 under the aegis of Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence, .... Read More
The fifth meeting of the India-Mexico Bilateral High-Level Group on Trade, Investment and Cooperation (BHLG) was held on 9 October 2020 through video conference.
Highlights of the Bilateral Meet
Two business to business Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs)were signed, to foster the cooperation in the respective domains-
a)AnMoU between the Electronics & Computer .... Read More
The second edition of Indian Navy – Bangladesh Navy Bilateral Exercise Bongosagar was conducted in Northern Bay of Bengal on October 03, 2020.
Exercise Bongosagar, whose first edition was held in 2019, is aimed at developing inter-operability and joint operational skills through the conduct of a wide spectrum of maritime .... Read More
On October 7, 2020, India and Japan held the 13th India-Japan Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue. Both the countries signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) on cybersecurity including 5G network, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence, Critical Information Infrastructure etc.
Significance of the MoC
It will enhance cooperation in areas of mutual interest, .... Read More
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, on September 02, 2020, has approved Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) for cooperation in the field of geology and mineral resources between India and Finland.
The MoU between the two countries aims to provide a framework and a platform to promote and foster cooperation .... Read More
India and Angola held the first Joint Commission Meetingon September 8, 2020 in which two sides agreed to diversify their trade relationship and discussed cooperation in health, pharmaceuticals, defence, agriculture, food processing, digitization and telecom.The 2nd session of the Angola-India Joint Commission would be held in New Delhi in 2022.
Agreements .... Read More
The first India-France-Australia Trilateral Dialogue was held virtually on September 9, 2020 with a focus on enhancing cooperation in the Indo-Pacific Region. It was decided in the meeting that such dialogues will be held annually now onward.
Various Economic and Geo-strategic Challenges in the Indo-pacific, particularly in context of Covid-19.
The .... Read More
On September 9, 2020 India and Japan signed an “Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA)”.Japan becomes the sixth country with which India has such an arrangement, after the United States, France, Singapore, South Korea, and Australia.
About the Agreement
According to the agreement, supplies and services can be exchanged during joint exercises and .... Read More
India and Bangladesh will open a new chapter in regional connectivity from September 3, 2020 by expanding the scope of inland water transport mechanism that would enable them to boost trade in the region.
Indo-Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) routes
In May, 2020, India and Bangladesh signed the addendum to the Protocol on Inland .... Read More
On 20th August 2020, India signed a cultural agreement with Israel, which outlines a three year programme of cooperation for 2020 to 2023, to strengthen the strategic bilateral relations through promoting people to people exchange.
The agreement was signed between Israel’s Foreign Minister and India’s Ambassador to Israel, at the foreign .... Read More
On July 16, 2020, India and Bhutan opened a new trade route between Jaigon in West Bengal and Pasakha in Bhutan. The new trade route is through Ahllay near Pasakha in southeastern Bhutan.
Significance of the New Trade Route
The new route for Pasakha Industrial Estate in Bhutan will decongest vehicular traffic .... Read More
India and Israel have signed an agreement to further expand collaboration in dealing with cyber threats on July 15, 2020, amid rapid digitisation due to the COVID-19pandemic that exposed the vulnerabilities of the virtual world.
The MoU signed between the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), a unit of the .... Read More
The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has launched the India-Russia Joint Technology Assessment and Accelerated Commercialization Programme.The programme has been launched by DST in partnership with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises (FASIE) of the Russian Federation. .... Read More
On July 27, 2020, India handed over 10 Broad-Gauge (BG) locomotives to Bangladesh, aiming to help handle the increasing volume of passenger and freight train operations in the neighbouring country. Such initiatives indicate furtherance of the Indian foreign policy that has come to be known as 'Neighbourhood-First Policy'.
Previous Railway Co-operations
In .... Read More
Indian government has approved an MoU between India and Bhutan for environment protection and cooperation.
It will enable establishment and promotion of closer and long-term cooperation between the two countries in the field of environment protection and management of natural resources based on equity, reciprocity and mutual benefits, considering the applicable .... Read More
India has summoned Pakistan to cut staff at its New Delhi mission by half and said it plans to do the same at its mission in Islamabad on a reciprocal basis, signalling a further downward spiral in ties.
Reasons for Downgrade
Violation of Vienna Convention:While referring to the recent abduction at gunpoint .... Read More
In the past few weeks Nepal’s Prime Minister has brazenly and aggressively taken on India. From pushing ahead with amending a map that includes disputed territories with India, to claiming there is a ploy on in New Delhi to unseat him.He has been unabashed in his belligerence which many in .... Read More
India recently revised its Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy with the objective of preventing “opportunistic takeovers” of firms hit by the lockdown induced by the COVID-19 outbreak. The move has upset China, which has termed it a violation of international trade principles.
Features of the Amendment
The government said firms in neighbouring .... Read More
India launched Mission Sagar as part of the government’s outreach initiative towards five Island nations in the Indian Ocean amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of the Government of India outreach amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Indian Naval Ship Kesari has departed for Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Comoros, .... Read More
Opening up of Lipulekh pass for Kailash Mansarovar has led Nepal lodge protest with India claiming Kalapani area in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand as its own territory. The new route passes through Kalapani.
Cause of the Dispute
The Kalapani region derives its name from the river Kali. Nepal’s claims to the region .... Read More
Prime Minister of India held delegation-level talks with his Sri Lanka counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa, who came to India for a five-day visit.
Highlights of the Visit
In their talks, the two leaders deliberated on ties between the two nations and resolved to further deepen anti-terror cooperation and boost trade and investment ties.
Security .... Read More
Exploring ways to deepen bilateral ties in a range of areas including trade and investment, Prime Minister of India and Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa held extensive talks, signing seven agreements in the wake of mutual development.
Highlights of the Visit
The two leaders held wide-ranging discussions on bilateral relations as .... Read More
The office of the United States Trade Representatives (USTR) has updated its list of developing and least-developed countries, removing India from the list of countries that are designated as developing.
USTR List of Developing and Least-Developed Countries
In the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA), the US Congress had amended the Countervailing Duty .... Read More
Prosecutors have been given the green light to investigate alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan - and beyond its borders – linked to Afghan, Taliban and US troops.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) overturned an appeal on a previous decision to block the investigation.
The actions of the .... Read More
Thousands of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders have been forced to cancel trips to India owing to the recent ban on their entry by the GOI and are apprehensive they will not be able to get back in the event of an emergency. Dozens managed to get last minute-flights .... Read More
India was a key participant at a special meeting in Tehran on Hormuz Peace Initiative, which seeks stability in one of the world’s busiest and strategically located shipping lanes amid escalating US-Iran tensions.
What is the Initiative?
The initiative, led by Iran to stabilise the Strait of Hormuz, the gateway for a .... Read More
India has restricted palm oil imports after Malaysia commented on its policy towards Kashmir and criticised India’s internal policy decisions. India has cut import duty on crude palm oil (CPO) and refined, bleached and deodorised (RBD) palm oil, and also moved RBD oil from the “free” to the “restricted” list .... Read More
The Ministry of Law and Justice declared the United Arab Emirates to be a “reciprocating territory” under Section 44A of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908. The notification also declared a list of courts in the UAE to be “superior Courts” under the same section.
What is a ‘reciprocating territory’?
‘Reciprocating territory’ means .... Read More
After being sworn in as the President recently, Gotabaya Rajpaksa accepted India’s invitation to visit India as his first foreign visit after holding office.
Highlights of the Visit
Line of Credits: India extended $450 million and $50 million Line of Credit for infrastructure and developing counter-terrorism capabilities.
Fishing Issue: Sri Lanka assured that .... Read More
German Chancellor, Angela Merkel visited India as part of fifth round of Inter-Governmental Consultations(IGC). IGCs are held at the level of Head of Governments which allows for a comprehensive review of cooperation and identification of fresh areas of engagement. The chancellor’s talks with Indian Prime Minister focused on trade, investment, .... Read More
The Union Cabinet has approved a MoU between India and Bangladesh on the withdrawal of 1.82 cusecs of water from the Feniriver by India. The drawn water will be used for drinking water supply scheme for Sabroom town in Tripura.
Feni River Dispute
The Feniriver, which forms part of the India-Bangladesh border, .... Read More
A few days after India redrew the political map of Jammu and Kashmir after scrapping Article 370, the Nepal government strongly objected to the inclusion of ‘Kalapani’ under the Indian Territory. In the new political maps released by India, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is part of the newly created Union Territory of .... Read More
Defence Minister of India and External Affairs Minister of India met Foreign Affairs Minister of Japan and Minister of Defense of Japan on 30 November 2019 in New Delhi for the first India-Japan 2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministerial Meeting.
Highlights of the Meeting
The Ministers reiterated their commitment to advancing bilateral security .... Read More
The US on 31 May announced its decision to end preferential tariffs (GSP benefits) amounting to $5.6 billion of Indian exports from June 5. US cited India’s reluctance to allow US equitable and reasonable access to Indian markets as the reason behind this move.
Indian response to US’ move
India believes .... Read More
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took part in the annual Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit held at Bishkek, Kyrgystan.
Important outcomes of the summit
The SCO Heads of State Council committed themselves to follow the Shanghai Spirit that embodies mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, mutual consultations, and respect for the diversity of cultures .... Read More
India, on 11 June, voted in favour of a decision introduced by Israel that objected to granting consultative status to a Palestinian group at the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
About the UN vote
India voted in favour of Israel in the ECOSOC to deny the Palestinian non-governmental organisation ‘Shahed’ the .... Read More
India hosted a two-day WTO ministerial meet of 16 developing and 6 least developed countries at New Delhi from 13 May- 14 May. In the meeting, India highlighted the issue of WTO’s assessment of a country’s services trade.India believes that the WTO’s assessment procedure of a country’s ‘services trade’ policies .... Read More
India extended the deadline to impose retaliatory import tariffs on 29 US products till June 16 from the earlier date of May 16.
The postponement has been done with a hope to resolve trade issues with the US and also because the US has not withdrawn the Generalised System of Preferences .... Read More
On 16th May, US President announced changes in the way green cards are allocated and introduced a new points-based (“merit based”) system of allocation of cards.
Points will be awarded to applicants based on their education, work experience, age (more points for younger workers), English language ability etc. New immigrants will .... Read More
Geneva based Human Rights Council’s (HRC) Special Rapporteurs recently submitted a note to the government asking about steps taken on addressing the alleged human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir which were highlighted by a June 2018 report of the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR).
The .... Read More
Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar has been listed as a designated terrorist by the UN Security Council 1267 Committee on 1 May 2019
The P-3 or group of three permanent UNSC members, the U.S., the U.K. and France, had co-sponsored the listing request at the 1267 Committee on February 27, weeks after .... Read More
India has invited several heads of state, including those from the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) and Kyrghystan, the current chair of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony on May 30.
Invitation of BIMSTEC leaders is in line with government’s .... Read More
Exercise ‘Mitra Shakti’ which is being conducted annually since 2012 to facilitate military diplomacy and interaction between armies of India and Sri Lanka will be conducted from March 26 to April 8 for the year 2018-19, in Sri Lanka.
Last year the exercise was conducted at Aundh military station in Pune, .... Read More
On March 20, 2019 , UN World Happiness Report 2019 has been released by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations
This is the seventh report and first report was released in 2012.
March 20 was declared as World Happiness Day by the UN General Assembly in 2012.
It ranks .... Read More
On 4 March, 2019, Pakistan passed a Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) which banned Lashkar-e Taiba’s (LeT) offshoots Jamat-ud Dawa (JuD) and Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF) in Pakistan.
Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and other countries forced Pakistan to act on terror groups after the Pulwama attack.
LeT and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) are .... Read More
A bipartisan group of American lawmakers has reintroduced an important legislation, the bill ‘H R 2123’ in the House of Representatives which seeks to advance the US-India strategic relationship.If enacted, the legislation would ensure that the US treats India as a NATO ally and the defence sales to India would .... Read More
The Bhutan government has decided to send a bill for the ratification of the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) initiative to its upper senate.
The BBIN Motor Vehicle Agreement (MVA) was signed by the four countries in 2015 but Bhutan moved out of the MVA in 2017 temporarily. Bhutan feared that the implementation of .... Read More
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the 82-year old leader, resigned from his post on 2ndApril 2019 with immediate effect bringing an end to his 20 year rule.
Anti-Bouteflika protests broke out in late February 2019 when the long time president announced a plan to seek a fifth term in elections scheduled for .... Read More
Highlights of Croatia visit
This is the first-ever visit of a head of state from India to Croatia.
Croatia would assume European Union’s (EU) Presidency in the first half of 2020. Therefore, India seeks greater cooperation with Croatia, within the architecture of the EU, for finalizing a balanced India-EU Broad-based Trade .... Read More
Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, inaugurated the 4th India-ASEAN Expo and Summit 2019 in New Delhi on February 21.
The core idea behind organising this 4th India -ASEAN Expo and Summit is to build upon the success of the previous events and carry forward the .... Read More
India, along with China, South Africa and Venezuela, on February 18 insisted on continuing with the special and differential (S&D) treatment for developing countries at the World Trade Organization (WTO), countering efforts of the US, which is seeking equal treatment for all members at the multilateral trade body.
In a .... Read More
The Union Cabinet on February 6 gave its ex-post facto approval to the Framework Agreement between India and Indonesia on cooperation in the exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes.
The Framework Agreement was signed and exchanged t Jakarta on May 30, 2018.
Areas of Cooperation: This Framework Agreement .... Read More
The 2019 Balakot airstrike occurred on 26 February, when twelve Mirage 2000H jets of the Indian Air Force crossed the Line of Control in Kashmir to perform an airstrike on a terrorist training camp inside Pakistan in retaliation for Pulwama Attack.
Use of Airpower
India Crosses a Major Red Line: The use .... Read More
India has improved its ranking on a global corruption index in 2018, while its neighbour China lagged far behind, according to the annual index released by the Transparency International on January 29.
India rose by three points to 78 in the list of 180 countries in the world, while China .... Read More
At 80th rank, India moves up one position on the Global Talent Competitive Index (GTCI) 2019, according to a report released by INSEAD business school in partnership with Tata Communications and Adecco Group.
China emerged as the best performer among the BRICS countries, with an overall position of 45th.
Switzerland followed .... Read More
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has identified 11 jurisdictions, including Pakistan and Sri Lanka, as having strategic deficiencies in anti-money laundering (AML) measures and combating of financing of terrorism (CFT).
The other nine jurisdictions are: The Bahamas, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Serbia, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and Yemen.
Counter Measures to .... Read More
The Union Cabinet on January 23 gave ex-post facto approval for incorporating a $400-million ‘Standby Swap’ facility within the existing approved overall $2 billion currency swap arrangement for SAARC member-countries.
Standby Swap: This incorporation of ‘Standby Swap’ would provide the necessary flexibility to the current ‘framework on currency swap arrangement’ and .... Read More
A Signing ceremony of Agreement between India and OECD for India’s participation in Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2021, was held in New Delhi on January 28.
Health of the Education System: The participation in PISA 2021 would indicate the health of the education system and would motivate other schools .... Read More
Under the agreement for the provision of reciprocal logistics support between India and France, French Navy’s anti-aircraft destroyer FNS Cassard docked at the Mumbai docks on January 25.
The Logistic Support Agreement: It was inked between the two countries during the State visit of President Emmanuel Macron to India in March .... Read More
The United Nations Security Council on January 25 held an open debate to discuss the impact of climate change on peace and security, while calling for action to diminish the effects of global warming.
Remember This: For the first time in history, the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) was invited to .... Read More
Recently, Chinese ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui visited Bhutan once again. The visit was a part of China’s strategy to intensify engagement with Bhutan, a country it does not have diplomatic relations with.
China’s Bhutan Outreach
Foreign Policy Challenge: China’s Bhutan Outreach poses a significant foreign policy challenge for India in the .... Read More
The US Government on January 29 imposed sanctions on Petroleos de Venezuela, in a bid to force Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro to cede power to the opposition leader Juan Guaido, who declared himself interim president recently. This move, which essentially translates to an oil ban, is expected to complicate the .... Read More
Following the US waiver to India to import a restricted quantity of crude oil from Iran for the next six months, the Persian Gulf nation has signed a memorandum of understanding with India to accept payments in rupee.Domestic refiners will pay Iran through a UCO Bank account of the National .... Read More
At the invitation of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, His Excellency Lyonchhen Dr. Lotay Tshering was on a State visit to India from 27-29 December 2018. He was accompanied by Lyonpo Dr. Tandi Dorji, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Lyonpo Loknath Sharma, Minister for Economic Affairs and senior officials from the .... Read More
The US imposed “the toughest ever” sanctions on a defiant Iran aimed at altering the Iranian regime’s “behaviour”. India is one of eight countries to receive temporary exemptions from U.S. sanctions on Iran that came into effect on 5TH November.
India, China and Japan are among eight countries temporarily exempted from .... Read More
The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, addressed the National Assembly of Vietnam on November 20, 2018 in Hanoi, on the final day of his visit to Vietnam. He also held bilateral meetings with the President of Vietnam as well as led delegation-level talks.
Result of the Talks
On the occasion, .... Read More
Silver Jubilee Commemoration Ceremony to mark the 25th edition of SIMBEX, “Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise” was held onboard INS Sahyadri at Visakhapatnam on 19 November.The Ceremony was attended by Adm Sunil Lanba, the Chief of Naval Staff and Rear Adm Lew Chuen Hong, Chief of Navy Republic of Singapore, Vice .... Read More
As the world commemorates the centenary of the armistice of the First World War, an Indian War Memorial was unveiled at Villers Guislain, 200 km from Paris, on 9th November 2018, to highlight the contribution of the Indian soldiers to the freedom of France in the Great War.
The memorial was .... Read More
India has been elected as a Member of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Council for another 4-year term (2019-2022) on 6th November 2018. The elections to the Council were held during the ongoing ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2018 at Dubai, UAE.
By securing 165 votes, India ranked third among the 13 countries .... Read More
The Indian Prime Minister (PM), Narendra Modi successfully concluded his two-day visit to Japan on October 29. Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and PM Modi may interact with each other in various international forums in the coming months. But this may probably be the last annual bilateral summit between the two .... Read More
On November 22, Indian Cabinet approved the Kartarpur corridor from Dera Baba Nanak to the Pakistan border. On November 26, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu laid the foundation stone of the Dera Baba Nanak – Kartarpur Sahib Corridor (up to the International Border) at an event at Mann village of Gurdaspur .... Read More
On 4 November, 2019, India decided not to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade deal in the RCEP Summit in Bangkok as it did not get any “credible assurance for India on market access and non-tariff barriers”. The rest 15 countries decided to move ahead at the insistence .... Read More
During 11-12 October, the Prime Minister of India and the President of the People’s Republic of China held their Second Informal Summit in Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu.
Highlights of the Summit
Both leaders reiterated the consensus reached during the Wuhan Summit that India and China are factors for stability in the current international .... Read More
On 22 July, the US President announced his willingness to mediate in Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan ‘if mediation is required’.
US President also said that Indian Prime Minister had asked him to mediate in the dispute between India and Pakistan.
Ministry of External Affairs has denied the claim made by .... Read More
On 17 July, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) stayed the execution of Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistan.
The ICJ in a 15-1 decision, directed Pakistan to stay his execution and allow him consular access and fair trial. The only country opposed to the verdict was Pakistan.
ICJ president judge also directed Pakistan .... Read More
On 28 June UN General Assembly adopted the resolution ‘Towards torture-free trade: examining the feasibility, scope and parameters for possible common international standards’.
During the vote, 81 UN members voted in favour of the resolution and 20 against it, with 44 abstentions. India also abstained from voting on the resolution.
The .... Read More
In July, 2019 US asked the WTO to rethink its classification of developing countries (which can avail of special trade protections). It threatened to pull out from the WTO if the trade body does not treat the US fairly.
US targeted India and China in particular for “taking advantage” of .... Read More
Indian PM has been invited by Russian President as the Chief Guest at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) meeting to be held between 4–6 September in Vladivostok, Russia. The summit will focus on economic cooperation between India and Russia in the area of Russian Far East.
Eastern Economic Forum (EEF)
The EEF .... Read More
PM paid two day visit to Bhutan on 17th-18th August 2019. This was his first visit to Bhutan after being re-elected as the PM.
Key Highlights of the Meeting
The PM congratulated the people of Bhutan for its graduation to the category of a Middle-Income country while simultaneously preserving its rich .... Read More
On 7 September, US President tweeted that he had cancelled meetings planned for the next day with Taliban leaders and Afghan President, and “called off peace negotiations” on Afghanistan. The immediate reason cited for calling off negotiations was a Taliban attack in Kabul that had killed 12 people, including an .... Read More
On 14 September 2019, drone attacks targeted a major Saudi Aramco oil processing facility, the Abqaiq oil processing facility in Buqyaq, and oilfield in eastern Saudi Arabia, sparking a huge fire at one of the sites. It is the largest crude oil stabilization plant in the world.
The attack affected nearly .... Read More
On 2nd April, 2021, the US President lifted sanctions that Donald Trump imposed on top officials of the International Criminal Court.
The U.S. sanctions had targeted ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and the court’s head of jurisdiction, Phakiso Mochochoko, for pressing ahead with investigations into the U.S. and its allies, notably .... Read More
The Seventeenth Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Ministerial Meeting was held virtually in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 01 April 2021 to finalize preparations for the Fifth BIMSTEC Summit to be held in Sri Lanka in 2021.
The meeting endorsed the BIMSTEC Master Plan for Transport .... Read More
The World Trade Organization (WTO) compares the “boxes” it uses for classifying trade subsidies to traffic lights when it comes to agricultural trade and commodity subsidies.
Different Box Subsidies
Green Box Subsidies
Green Box Subsidies don’t distort free trade or distort the free trade at a very minimal or negligible level.
Example of these .... Read More
On 15th February, 2021, Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been appointed the new chief of the World Trade Organization (WTO), becoming the first woman to ever lead the institution and the first African citizen to take on the role.
She is the seventh Director-General of the WTO. She will hold the position .... Read More
On 4th February, 2021, India hosted the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) Defence Ministers’ Conclave under the theme- Enhanced Peace, Security and Cooperation in the Indian Ocean.
India hosted Indian Ocean Region (IOR) Defence Ministers’ Conclave on the side-lines of Aero India 2021.
26 out of 28 countries from the IOR .... Read More
Recently, the International Criminal Court convicted a former commander (Dominic Ongwen) in the notorious Ugandan rebel group the Lord’s Resistance Army of dozens of war crimes and crimes against humanity ranging from multiple murders to forced marriages.
International Criminal Court (ICC)
Located in The Hague (Netherland), ICC is the court of last .... Read More
On 7th February, 2021, the newly elected Biden administration announced its intention to rejoin U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that former President Donald Trump withdrew from in 2018.
The Trump administration accused the Council of beingbiased against Israel and had members who were human rights abusers.
Human Rights Council
Based in Geneva .... Read More
On January 1st, 2021, India began its two-year tenure as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
India was the sole candidate from the Asia-Pacific region vying for a non-permanent membership. Its candidature was unanimously endorsed by the 55-member Asia-Pacific Group in June, 2020.
Along with India, Norway, .... Read More
On 9th December, 2020, the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) voted to remove cannabis and cannabis resin from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.
The 53-member CND has chosen to affirm a World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation from 2019 to remove cannabis from its ‘most .... Read More
The UN agency’s executive board unanimously adopted the proposal on UNESCO-Bangladesh Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman International Prize for the Creative Economy in its 210th session on Dec 11, 2020.
Bangladesh proposed the award in August 2019.
UNESCO has declared 2021 as ‘International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development’.
About the Award
Named after .... Read More
On November 5, 2020, the first tri-group- India-Nordic-Baltic Conclave was held virtually. The title of the summit was‘India-Nordic Summit: Shared Values, Mutual Prosperity’.
The Conclave focused on clean technologies and renewable energies, Artificial Intelligence, supply chain logistics and block chain led transformation.
This Tri-Conclave was jointly hosted by Foreign Affairs Ministry and .... Read More
The 20th Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council of Heads of State was held recently on November 10, 2020. The Meeting was chaired by Russia as it holds the SCO’s rotating presidency for 2019-2020.The Republic of Tajikistan assumed chairmanship of SCO for 2021-22.
This was the first SCO Summit .... Read More
During the 12th BRICS Summit, on November 17, 2020, the member countries of BRICS have adopted Counter Terrorism Strategy.
For the first time, the bloc of five emerging economies have approved a counter-terrorism strategy aimed at strengthening linkages on combatting terrorism and sharing of “timely” information.
The summit was attended by .... Read More
Recently, the G20 summit concluded on November 22, 2020hosted by Saudi Arabia.The theme of the summit was “Realising opportunities of the 21st century for all”, which mainly focuses on empowering people, safeguarding the planet, and shaping new frontiers.
Special Focus on COVID - 19
The main focus of the Summit was on .... Read More
Recently, a virtual meeting of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum was held on November 20, 2020. This was the first time that all 21 APEC Economic Leaders met virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This is the second time Malaysia hosted an APEC meeting, having hosted one .... Read More
India hosted the nineteenth meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Ministers of Foreign Economy and Foreign Tradein October, 2020.
The virtual meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Union Minister of Commerce and Industry of India.It was attended by the Secretary-General of SCO and Ministers from Kyrgyz Republic, China, Kazakhstan, .... Read More
India on September 16, 2020 acquired the Observer status in the Djibouti Code of Conduct (DCOC), the anti-piracy group of nations that provides a common platform to manage maritime security for governments on the east coast of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.The Djibouti Code of Conduct is also called the .... Read More
India, on September 15, 2020 got elected as a member of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women(CSW), securing the most votes ahead of China. Afghanistan was the other country elected as member. The election marksthe year of 25thanniversary of the Beijing World Conference on Women, which started .... Read More
India will host a summit of the council of heads of government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)on November 30, 2020 with a focus on contributing to the trade and economic agenda of the influential grouping.
India in SCO
India, which was an observer at the SCO since 2005 and became its .... Read More
The 10th East Asia Summit (EAS), Foreign Ministers meeting was held on the 9th September, 2020 virtually.The meet was based on formulating various ways, in which the ties between the member countries can be strengthened and make it responsive and proactive in dealing with the major changes happening around the .... Read More
The Agreement between the United States of America, the United Mexican States, and Canada, commonly known by its American English title United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), is a free trade agreement concluded between Canada, Mexico, and the United States as a successor to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The .... Read More
On July 15, 2020, the 15th India-European Union Summit was held through video conferencing. The summit aims to strengthen ties between India and Europe. The 15th India-EU Summit took place for the first time on the virtual platform.
The summit comes at a time when India and China are engaged in .... Read More
G20 Summit 2020 is scheduled to take place in Saudi Arabia later this year and Digital Economy Minister's meeting was held as part of the Sherpa Track of the G20 Summit. The theme of G20 Digital Minister's meeting was "Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century For All".
Three Key Agendas of .... Read More
Pakistan will remain on the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for failing to comply with the global terrorist financing watchdog’s deadline to prosecute and penalise terrorist financing in the country.
At the previous FATF plenary in February 2020, Pakistan had been told that “all deadlines” had .... Read More
India has been elected to the non-permanent seat of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the term 2021-22 with overwhelming support of 184 out of the 192 valid votes polled.
UNSC: Non-permanent Seats
The UNSC is composed of 15 members: five permanent members — China, France, Russian Federation, the United States, .... Read More
On 4 November 2019, 14th East Asia Summit (EAS) was held in Thailand during the 35th ASEAN Summit. At the East-Asia Summit, Indian PM proposed the Indo-Pacific Initiative for a safe and secure maritime. This indicates that India is ready to play a bigger role in the region where China .... Read More
Two new countries Eritrea and Saint Kitts and Nevis have signed the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Framework Agreement at its second Assembly held in New Delhi, taking the membership strength of the body to 83.
International Solar Alliance
ISA is an alliance of more than 122 countries initiated by India, most of .... Read More
The first ever ‘BIMSTEC Ports’ Conclave’ was held in Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
The conclave aims at providing a platform to:
Strengthen maritime interaction and ties between the countries.
Enhance connectivity through port-led initiatives.
Explore the possibility of increasing economic cooperation by furthering EXIM trade and coastal shipping.
Discuss various investment opportunities and best practices .... Read More
The four- day Shanghai Cooperation Organization Joint Exercise on Urban Earthquake Search & Rescue (SCOJTEX) 2019 was held from 4th November in India.
It is being hosted by National Disaster Response Force.
Its aim is to rehearse the disaster response mechanism, share knowledge, experience, technology & mutual coordination.
All 8 member countries participated .... Read More
The first Global Refugee Forum (GRF), a two-day gathering of United Nations member states was held at Geneva, Switzerland, on December 17.
Global Refugee Forum
The Forum, jointly hosted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Refugee Agency, and the government of Switzerland, aims to debate and discuss .... Read More
Pakistan will get $6 billion from the IMF over the next three years to meet its foreign debt obligations as per an agreement with the IMF.
The loan would represent the 13th bailout since the late 1980s from the IMF to Pakistan, which is facing a balance-of-payments crisis triggered by high .... Read More
The Delhi High Court has ruled that the United Nations Organization (UNO) is not a State under Article 12 of the Constitution of India and is not compliant to its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution.
A former UNO employee who was sentenced to 97 months imprisonment for misconduct maintains .... Read More
Italy joined the BRI by signing a non-binding agreement with China on 23 March 2019.
Today BRI has expanded to over 80 countries, mostly least developed and developing economies. Italy is the first among the Group of Seven (G-7) industrialized countries to sign up to BRI (Belt and Road Initiative) which .... Read More
The European Union (EU) has granted two weeks extra time i.e. until 12 April, 2019 to the United Kingdom for implementing Brexit (Britain’s withdrawal from the EU). The deadline for Brexit was earlier fixed at 29 March, 2019.
In a referendum in UK in June, 2016, those favouring Brexit (Leave) .... Read More
The council of the Regional Anti-terrorism Structure (RATS), an organ of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), decided to hold a joint anti-terrorism exercise ‘Sary-Arka-Antiterror’ between all members of SCO in 2019.
The exercise is likely to be held in Sary Arka region of Kazakhstan.
The decision to hold a joint exercise was announced .... Read More
India’s rank in the index dropped down to 140thfrom 138thin 2018 which is two points below the previous year.
The index has been topped by Norway followed by Finland. Turkmenistan has been placed at the last in the rankings. Ranks of China, Pakistan, Bangladesh are 177, 142 and 150 respectively.
The Report .... Read More
30th annual summit of the Arab League was held recently in April 2019 in Tunis,Tunisia.
The leaders rejected US President’s proclamation which granted legitimacy to Israeli occupation of Golan Heights.
They termed the transfer of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem ‘dangerous and unacceptable’. They condemned the move as .... Read More
India and the African Union signed an agreement to strengthen cooperation in health sector in a structured and organized manner by establishing an India-Africa health sciences collaborative platform.
The platform takes forward the strategic vision of India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) III held in 2015 and the First India-Africa Health Sciences Meet .... Read More
Reacting to the rising tension between India and Pakistan following the Pulwama terror attack, Nepal, the current chair of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) has urged India and Pakistan to exercise restraint.
SAARC Fails to Promote Peace and Prevent Conflict
On the wider regional role on interstate conflicts that threatens .... Read More
On 18th October, 2019, during the annual meeting of Interpol in Chile, it was decided that India will host the 91st International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) General Assembly in 2022 as part of celebrations of the 75th anniversary of Indian Independence.
The Interpol is a 194-member intergovernmental organization headquartered in Lyon, .... Read More
Recently, India lodged a formal complaint at ICAO against Pakistan for its refusal to let the Prime Minister’s plane go through its airspace. India had sought Pakistan’s permission to use the country’s airspace on October 28, 2019 for Prime Minister, who had to make an official visit to Saudi Arabia.
ICAO .... Read More
The Sixth India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Women’s Forum meeting was held virtually on 16th March, 2021. Led by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, the event witnessed participation of Ministers and officials responsible for Women Affairs of IBSA Countries.
The participating countries also lauded the efforts of Government .... Read More
Recently, the USA President Joe Biden in his first address to the annual Munich Security Conference declared that the 'transatlantic alliance is back' and stressed the need to defend democracy around the world. The Munich Security Conference is an annual conference on international security policy that has taken place in .... Read More
On 24th February, 2021, a “Core Group on Sri Lanka” presented a resolution to the ongoing UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) meeting in Geneva.
The Core Group includes the UK, Canada, Germany, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Malawi. Although US is not a member of the group, it was behind the resolution, .... Read More
Recently, global terror watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has announced that Pakistan will continue to remain on its grey list due to failure to comply with all the points of a plan of action set by it to combat terror financing.
Pakistan was placed on the ‘grey’ list in June .... Read More
On 11th February, 2021, Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and Australia’s national science agency (CSIRO) kick started the India-Australia Circular Economy (I-ACE) Hackathon, 2021.
It seeks to enable talented innovative students and start-ups from Australia and India to address common national issues through innovative technology solutions.
It also aims to further strengthen .... Read More
Recently, India and Afghanistan have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the construction of the Lalandar (Shahtoot) Dam in Afghanistan.
Shahtoot Dam is a proposed dam in the Kabul river basin, one of the five river basins in Afghanistan.
This project will provide drinking, and irrigation water to Kabul province.
Shahtoot dam .... Read More
China has amended its National Defense Law effective January 1 in order to expand the power of its Central Military Commission (CMC).
The broader goal is to speed up the modernisation plans for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
The amendments are aimed at increasing the control exercised by the CMC .... Read More
The first digital nomad village in Europe is about to open on the tiny volcanic island of Madeira, one of two autonomous regions of Portugal from 1st February, 2021.
People across the globe have embraced the digital nomad lifestyle in recent years, drawn in by its freedom and flexibility.
That trend .... Read More
On the occasion of Navy Day (4th December, 2020), the Indian Navy began a two-day Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with Russian Federation Navy (RuFN) in the Eastern Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
The exercise is aimed at enhancing interoperability, improving understanding and imbibing best practices between both the friendly navies, and would involve .... Read More
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Charter Day is observed annually on 8th December. This day marks the signing of the SAARC Charter in 1985 by the Leaders of SAARC Countries at the First SAARC Summit held in Dhaka, Bangladesh. This year marks the 36th Charter Day anniversary.
It .... Read More
On 27th December, 2020, the United Nations and the World Health Organisation (WHO) celebrated the first International day of Epidemic Preparedness. It was called for by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate the importance of the prevention of, preparedness for and partnership against epidemics. This International Day falls .... Read More
On 30th December, 2020, the Indian government approved the opening of 3 Indian Missions in Estonia, Paraguay and Dominican Republic in 2021.
The purpose of these missions is to build a conducive environment for India’s growth and development through partnerships with friendly countries.
Opening of Indian Missions in these countries will help .... Read More
India and Kazakhstan held 7thround of foreign office consultations virtually on November 17, 2020. Both countries have signed a Memorandum of understanding on “Indian Grant Assistance for Implementation of High Impact Community Projects in Kazakhstan”.
During the consultations, the countries reviewed their bilateral cooperation within the framework of their strategic partnership. .... Read More
India and Sri Lanka concluded the latest iteration of their three-day naval exercise on October 21, 2020. The eighth edition of the bilateral SLINEX was held this year off the coast of Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka fielded Sayura (Offshore Patrol Vessel) and Gajabahu (Training Ship), while India brought two indigenously .... Read More
The 6th BRICS Parliamentary Forum was organised virtually under the chairmanship of Vyacheslav Volodin, the Chairman of Russian Parliament recently. The Indian Parliamentary Delegation was led by Lok Sabha Speaker, Om Birla.
Speakers and members of five BRICS Parliaments namely Brazil, Russian Federation, India, China and South Africa participated in the .... Read More
Amidst the tension along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) at the Ladakh border, the Foreign Ministers of India and China agreed on five points plan to disengage troops and reduce tensions along LAC, during their talks in Moscow on the sidelines of the SCO Summit on September 10, 2020.
As .... Read More
Germany, current EU president and Europe's biggest economy, has launched its Indo-Pacific strategy with India that is expected to play a key role in Germany’s outreach in the region where China’s aggressive foreign policy has rattled countries.
The new Indo-Pacific strategy, which reflects the realities of the modern world, is focused .... Read More
On 28th August, 2020 Union Minister for Commerce and Industry addressed the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-India Business Council Virtual Meet.
Outcome of the Meet
India extended its friendship and partnership to ASEAN countries and expected to achieve a target of $300 billion trade through Business with them.
The Union minister, .... Read More
The continent of Africa was declared free from wild polio by the Africa Regional Certification Commission (ARCC), a WHO-appointed independent body.
The Africa Regional Certification Commission confirmed that all 47 countries in the WHO's Africa region have eradicated Polio.
Polio Battle in Africa
In 1996, 75,000 children in Africa were .... Read More
Maldives and Sri Lanka have become the first two countries in the South-East Asia region to eliminate both measles and rubella ahead of the 2023 target.A country is verified as having eliminated measles and rubella when there is no evidence of endemic transmission for over three years by a well-performing .... Read More
The World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body (DBS) has established a panel after the European Union (EU) has dragged India into the Dispute Settlement System of WTO for the second time against import duties on ICT (Information and Communication Technology) products, including mobile phones, cameras, headphones and earphones, imposed .... Read More
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has signed a $400-million currency swap facility with Sri Lanka under the SAARC Currency Swap Framework 2019-22.The term Swap means exchange. Under this, a country provides dollars to a foreign central bank which at the same time provides the equivalent funds in its currency .... Read More
Juneteenth is a combination of “June” and “nineteenth” and is a holiday that recognizes the day when the United States ended its historic practice of slavery, legally and in the real world. In this sense, Juneteenth is a day for commemorating the “freedom” of all people living in the United .... Read More
A group of disputed islands-Uotsuri, Minamikojima and Kitakojima- are known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China and located in the East China. They have been administered by Japan since 1972, but its legal status has remained disputed until now. Japan has begun the legal process of complete integration .... Read More
US has made a proclamation restricting the issuance of non-immigrant work visas across the board, purportedly to clamp down on American jobs going to foreign workers. The broad-brush order includes the H-1B visa for skilled workers, which is widely garnered by Indian nationals, the H-2B visa issued to seasonal workers .... Read More
The United States has now twice indicated that it would like to secure priority access to doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Other countries, including India and Russia, have taken similar stances. This prioritisation of domestic markets has become known as vaccine nationalism. Vaccine nationalism occurs when a country manages to secure .... Read More
Recently, the border clashes flared up as Ethiopia and Sudan were preparing to meet in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, for a second round of talks aimed at resolving the border dispute.
It is not clear exactly what triggered the flare-up of this long-standing border dispute. Sources suggest that Sudanese security .... Read More
US President has announced the postponement of the G-7 Summit which was expected to be held in mid-June. He labelled the informal organisation as very outdated group of countries and called for its expansion to include Russia, South Korea, Australia andIndia.
Last year, the G-7 summit was held in France, where .... Read More
India participated in the virtual meeting of the Russia-India-China (RIC) grouping on June 23 which is the third heads of state meeting of the group. RIC is a strategic grouping that first took shape in the late 1990s under the leadership of Yevgeny Primakov as a counterbalance to the Western .... Read More
Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, participated in the 2nd Extraordinary G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting under the Saudi Arabian Presidency on 31st March, to discuss the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy and coordinate efforts in response to this global challenge.
G20 .... Read More
Finance Minister of India appreciated efforts of New Development Bank on fast tracking of financial assistance of about five billion dollars to BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries including Emergency Assistance of one billion dollar to India to combat COVID-19 pandemic.
India has pitched for enhancing the .... Read More
Border Roads Organisation (BRO) constructed a bridge over Subansiri river in Arunachal Pradesh in a record span of just 27 days. The bridge is of utmost importance in strategic connectivity as it links roads leading upto the LAC (Line of Actual Control )between India and China.
Amidst the nationwide lockdown, .... Read More
An international alliance of UN, governmental, and nongovernmental agencies, and Global Network Against Food Crises working to address the root causes of extreme hunger has released a new edition of their annual Global Report on Food Crises.
Key Findings of the Global Report on Food Crises
The report indicates that at the .... Read More
The recently releasedCommodity Markets Outlook report of World Bank says that as countries around the world contend with the health emergency of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic effects of suspending almost all activity have immediately impacted the world’s commodity markets and are likely to continue to affect them for months .... Read More
The Netherlands and UNESCO will host the World Press Freedom Conference 2020 (WPFC) in the Hague on October 18-20. It will be a joint celebration of World Press Freedom Day and the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.
World Press Freedom Day 2020
The theme of World Press Freedom .... Read More
Chinese legislature has approved an internationally controversial Security Law for its’ Hong Kong SAR. China has started pushing for an “improvement” in the Basic Law — the mini-constitution that defines ties between Hong Kong and Beijing — signalling a fundamental change in the way the highly autonomous city-state is run.
New .... Read More
Recently, India’s External Affairs Minister took part in an extraordinary meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the eight member Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) including Pakistan and China and emphasised on cooperation to fight the deadly coronavirus including sharing of best practices.
The eight countries reportedly discussed sharing of information on .... Read More
A Stringency Index created by Oxford University shows how strict a country’s measures were, and at what stage of the spread it enforced these. The Stringency Index has found that India indeed had one of the strongest lockdown measures in the world — at a 100 score since March 22.
.... Read More
Government of India will provide 107.01 million Nepali Rupees for three new school buildings in Nepal. The schools will be constructed in Darchula, Dhanusha and Kapilvastu districts.
The Embassy of India and Nepal’s Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration signed MoUs with Mahakali Municipality, Darchula and Mukhiyapatti Musharniya Rural .... Read More
US President invoked the Defence Production Act in order to boost the production of ventilators as part of efforts to deal with the coronavirus outbreak. The total number of infected patients in the US has now crossed 100,000 surpassing China.
The Defence Production Act, 1950 gives the President the power .... Read More
India-European Union Flagship Call on Integrated Local Energy Systems was announced at India Smart Utility Week 2020.
This partnership between Indian and European Union will help in Clean Energy and Climate and this partnership will foresee strengthened cooperation in energy research and innovation, mainly in renewable energy and its integration .... Read More
The World Happiness Report 2020 has been released by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network and Finland was once again crowned as the world’s happiest country, extending its lead over Denmark and Switzerland.
The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness that ranks 156 countries .... Read More
The Japanese government funding agency JICA has signed agreements to talling Rs 15,295 crore with the Indian government for three mega rail infrastructure projects.
Under these agreements, JICA has granted Rs. 8,553 crore for phase-1 of the Dedicated Freight Corridor; Rs 4,262 crore for Mumbai Trans Harbour Link Project (II) .... Read More
Environmental organisations from across central and eastern Europe have criticised a major project intending to link three rivers and provide seamless navigation between three of Europe’s peripheral seas.
The Danube-Oder-Elbe Canal intends to connect the Danube, Oder and Elbe rivers and thus provide another navigable link from the Black Sea .... Read More
According to a latest US Congressional report, employment-based backlog for legal permanent US residency is expected to double by 2030 and Indians will have to wait for decades for the coveted Green Card. A Green Card allows a non-US citizen to live and work permanently in America.
Indian IT professionals, .... Read More
Constitutional changes allowing Vladimir Putin to run for President again in 2024 sailed through Russia’s lower house of Parliament, opening the way for him to potentially stay in power until 2036.
Putin, a former KGB officer, is currently required by the Constitution to step down in 2024 when his second .... Read More
India’s record has shown a massive decline among world’s 25 largest democracies in the new report by Freedom House, the oldest American organisation dedicated to the support and defence of democracy around the world.
India has ranked 83rd in the ‘Freedom in the World 2020’ report along with Timor-Leste and .... Read More
India’s Minister for Earth Sciences, and Norway’s Minister for Climate and Environment, opened the India-Norway Task Force on Blue Economy for Sustainable Development. The two countries also commenced a new collaboration on Integrated Ocean Management & Research.
The India-Norway Task Force on Blue Economy for Sustainable Development was launched jointly .... Read More
India and Maldives recently signed five MoUs for establishing the Addu Tourism zone in five islands of Addu atoll, Maldivesat a cost of 2.49 million dollarsThe MoUs were signed between the High Commissioner of India Sunjay Sudhir, Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid and Addu City Council.A 6th MoU to .... Read More
India jumped five ranks in the Worldwide Educating for the Future Index (WEFFI) 2019, as per a report published by The Economist Intelligence Unit.
The report and index were commissioned by the Yidan Prize Foundation.
The index ranks countries based on their abilities to equip students with skill-based education. The report analyses .... Read More
The 2nd BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise-2020 (BIMSTEC DMEx-2020) was held at Bhubaneswar/Puri, Odisha from 11th -13th February with themes “A cultural heritage site that suffers severe damage in the Earthquake” & “Flooding or Storm”. The first similar kind of exercise took place in 2017.
It was organized by National Disaster .... Read More
The US administration has come up with new visa restrictions aimed at restricting “birth tourism,” in which women travel to the US to give birth so their children can have a coveted US passport.
Visa applicants deemed by consular officers to be coming to the US primarily to give birth .... Read More
Nepal has invited the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan along with several other heads of government and heads of state for the Sagarmatha Sambaad.
The first ever multi-stakeholder dialogue event is expected to be the biggest diplomatic initiative in Nepal’s recent history that will be attended by many global .... Read More
The maiden Ganga Volga Dialogue (Track 1.5) was held in Delhi on 22 January was conceptualized during the October 2018 India-Russia Summit between President Putin and Prime Minister Modi.
The Dialogue was organised by Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Research Foundation that seeks to provide an interface between the civilizations of India .... Read More
India joined as a founding government member the World Economic Forum’s Reskilling Revolution, an initiative to provide one billion people with better education, skills and jobs by 2030.
The scheme aims to future-proof workers from technological change and help economies by providing new skills for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Founding governments .... Read More
In a major shakeup in Russia’s politics, Mikhail Mishustin was appointed Prime Minister on 17th January. President Vladimir Putin had proposed changes to the country’s Constitution — a move that would make it possible to extend his rule after his term as president ends in 2024.
Vladimir Putin has led .... Read More
The 182-meter tall Statue of Unity in Gujarat has been included in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s ‘8 Wonders of SCO’ list.
The ‘Statue of Unity’, the world’s tallest statue, is a monumental tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, independent India’s first home minister as well as deputy prime minister.
The statue was .... Read More
The United Nations’ top court on 23 January 2019, ordered Myanmar to take all measures in its power to prevent genocide against the Rohingya people, delivering a sweeping legal victory for the Muslim minority.
The ruling came despite appeals by Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi for the International .... Read More
The plenary meeting of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) was hosted by India from 18- 22 November in New Delhi.
Kimberley Process Certification Scheme
The Kimberley Process (KP) is a commitment to remove conflict diamonds from the global supply chain.
Conflict Diamonds means rough diamonds used by rebel movements or their .... Read More
Thailand hosted the 6th ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) - Plus in its capital city Bangkok on 18th November 2019.
The ADMM-Plus is a platform for ASEAN and its eight Dialogue Partners to strengthen security and defence cooperation for peace, stability, and development in the region in view of the .... Read More
Global market research company Euromonitor International revealed the top 100 city destinations for 2019 with Hong Kong taking the top spot.
According to the report, global inbound arrivals are expected to grow by 4.2% to 1.47 billion trips in 2019, with the top 100 cities covering nearly 47% of global .... Read More
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel named tourism minister Manuel Marrero Cruz as the country’s first Prime Minister in decades, under a new constitution that seeks to decentralize former leader Fidel Castro’s job.
Castro was Prime Minister until 1976 when the post was abolished. The iconic revolutionary became head of the Communist .... Read More
Donald Trump became the third President in American history to be impeached with a majority of Representatives voting in favour of the two articles of impeachment drawn up by House Democrats.
The articles, essentially the charges against the President, accuse him of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, both .... Read More
India ranks 129 out of 189 countries on the 2019 Human Development Index (HDI) — up one slot from the 130th position in 2018 — according to the Human Development Report (HDR) released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Highlights of the Report
Norway, Switzerland, Ireland occupied the top three positions .... Read More
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has reported that Iran is now producing more enriched uranium than before, but it is not clear when it might reach stockpile limits set in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Also, Iran on 20 June 2019 shot down a U.S. spy drone near .... Read More
Saudi Arabia’s two oil tankers were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates on 13th May in attacks that caused “significant damage” to the vessels, one of them as it was en route to pick up Saudi oil to be transported to the US.
It has not been ascertained .... Read More
North Korea fired two short-range missiles on 9th May less than a week after it test-fired multiple rockets and a missile.
The tests seem to be a protest by the North Korea for failing to reach an agreement during the Hanoi summit with the US on the sanctions imposed on North .... Read More
India on 16th May handed over two Mi-24 attack helicopters to Afghanistan. These helicopters are a replacement for the four attack helicopters gifted by India to Afghanistan in 2015. Two more will be supplied to the Afghan Air Force (AAF). The helicopters were purchased from Belarus.The Mi-24 helicopters shall boost .... Read More
The Union Government signed Tax information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) with Brunei for the Exchange of Information and Assistance in Collection with respect to Taxes.The Central government is authorised under section 90 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 to enter into an agreement with a foreign country or specified territory for .... Read More
India has rejected China’s invitation to attend the BRI meeting due on April 25th . This is the second time India has turned down official invite from China to attend its BRI forum. The first meeting was held in 2017.BRI is claimed by China to be a development project aimed .... Read More
The four-day long India- Singapore joint military exercise ‘Bold Kurukshetra’ concluded on 11th April at ‘Babina Military Station’ in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh.This was the 12th edition of the Indo-Singapore joint military exercise.The training focused on developing interoperability and conduct of joint tactical operations in mechanized warfare along with sharing of .... Read More
Indian Navy’s INS Kadmatt and Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas took part in 15th edition of LIMA exercise held at Langkawi, Malaysia.The navies of Malaysia and India interact closely on issues related to maritime training and exchange best practices during exercises like LIMA. LIMA is Asia Pacific’s premier maritime and .... Read More
The third edition of AUSINDEX, i.e. ‘Australia-India Exercise’ which is a bilateral maritime exercise between two countries took place at Visakhapatnam in April 2019.The aim of this biennial exercise is to strengthen and enhance mutual cooperation and interoperability between the Indian Navy and Royal Australian Navy, providing opportunities for interaction .... Read More
Indian government signed an agreement with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Consultancy Service (NABCONS), a subsidiary of NABARD, for setting up India-Africa Institute of Agriculture and Rural Development (IAIARD) in Malawi, a country in southeastern Africa.IAIARD will be a Pan-Africa Institute wherein trainees not only from Malawi but .... Read More
On April 30th 2019, the current Japanese Emperor Akihito will abdicate the crown, ending the Heisei era which started in 1989 after Akihito’s coronation and the new era ‘Reiwa’ would commence.The year 2019 will be split between Heisei, until the end of April, after which it will become Reiwa, the .... Read More
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was honoured with United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) highest civilian honour, the ‘Zayed Medal’ by the President of the UAE Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.The medal, awarded to kings, presidents and heads of states, was conferred upon the PM for boosting bilateral strategic relations between the .... Read More
The first India-Central Asia Dialogue was held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on January 12 and 13.
It was co-chaired by External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj and the Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan, Abdulaziz Kamilov.
The ministers welcomed the participation of Afghanistan in the India-Central Asia Dialogue as an important land link in the .... Read More
India and South Africa sealed a three-year strategic programme covering all aspects of bilateral ties as Prime Minister Narendra Modi met visiting South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on January 25.
Remember This: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations. This is the second time .... Read More
Ending a 51-day political crisis in Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in as the new Prime Minister of the island nation, following the resignation of Mahinda Rajapaksa after he fails to garner majority in the Parliament; India welcomes the resolution of the political situation in Sri Lanka.Key FactsRanil Wickremsinghe was .... Read More
Morocco has been named the second best performing country after Sweden in the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI). The North African country significantly increased the share of renewables over the past five years and increased new renewable energy capacity.Sweden is in top position, followed by Morocco and Lithuania in the .... Read More
Sheikh Hasina on 31ST December, was invited by Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid to form the next government, hours after she was elected as the Awami League’s parliamentary party chairperson.Ms. Hasina, 71, is set to form the government for the third consecutive term. She won the historic fourth term as Prime .... Read More
During 25th -26th October, 2019 the 18th edition of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit was held in Baku, Azerbaijan with a theme “Upholding Bandung Principles to ensure concerted and adequate response to the challenges of the contemporary world.” India was represented by the Vice-President of India.
Highlights of the Summit
Vice-President lambasted .... Read More
On 24 October, 2019 India and Pakistan signed a pact to open the Kartarpur Corridor project. The opening up of the land corridor between the two countries will allow Indian pilgrims to visit Darbar Sahib Gurdwara in Kartarpur, in Narowal district of Pakistan.The Kartarpur corridor connects the Darbar Sahib Gurdwara .... Read More
On 27 June 2019, the Mahatma Gandhi IT & Biotechnology Park (MGIT-BP) was jointly inaugurated by Ambassador of India and Vice President of Cote d’Ivoire in Grand-Bassam, Cote d’Ivoire to mark 150th anniversary celebration of birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
The MGIT-BP is being built with India’s assistance through Lines of .... Read More
On 1 July, India’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN announced that India has increased its annual financial contribution fourfold to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) core budget, from USD 1.25 million in 2016 to USD 5 million in 2018.
This .... Read More
Chinese government has built accommodation facilities, called reception centres, at various points of the Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage which entails a difficult trek to the high altitude Kailash Manasarovar, the Hindu holy site in Tibet.
The reception centres, each with about 150 beds, have rooms with charging points, a common kitchen and .... Read More
The Financial Action Task Force’s Asia Pacific Group (APG) has placed Pakistan on the lowest rung, or ‘blacklist’ for non-compliance and non-enforcement of safeguards against terror financing and money laundering.
The placing does not bring any new punitive measures on Pakistan; it will mean quarterly reporting to the group on improvement .... Read More
During the recent visit of Zambian President Edgar Chagwa Lungu six Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) were exchanged between India and Zambia.
Indian military will be training Zambian armed forces. To increase the capacity of Zambian armed forces, Indian military and airforce training team will be stationed in Zambia.
India will also provide .... Read More
On 7th August an agreement was signed between the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to initiate a skill development programme for different levels of beneficiaries in the solar thermal energy sector. NISE and UNIDO will engage national and international experts to .... Read More
India on 7th August, 2109 signed United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements (UNISA).
The UNGA adopted the UNISA on 20th December 2018 which was open to signature at a signing ceremony to be held on 7thAugust 2019 in Singapore and would be known as the “Singapore Convention on Mediation” (the .... Read More
On 12 September 2019 India hosted the first ever Shanghai Cooperation Organisation military cooperation event which was addressed by Indian Defence Minister. The conference was attended by 27 international and 40 Indian delegates and was skipped by Pakistan.
India underlined the threat posed by bio-terrorism and the related technologies in the .... Read More
India and South Korea concluded a military logistics agreement during the visit of Indian Defence Minister to S. Korea.
Two MoUs were signed to advance defence educational exchanges and extend logistical support to each other’s Navies.
As a result of the pact signed, India will be able to get assured logistic .... Read More
On 4th September 2019 Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam withdrew an extradition Bill that triggered months of often violent protests. The Bill would have allowed extraditions of Hong Kong citizens to mainland China where courts are controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.
The introduction of the Bill sparked widespread unrest and .... Read More
Codex Alimentarius Commission The Codex Alimentarius, or "Food Code" is a collection of standards, guidelines and codes of practice adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. The Codex Alimentarius Commission(CAC)is an international food standards body established jointly by the Food and Agriculture organization (FAO) and the .... Read More
Extinction Rebellion (XR) Delhi Police have named environmental activists Disha Ravi, Nikita Jacob, and Shantanu Muluk, who are volunteers of a global environment movement seeking to call attention to the climate change emergency, in the Greta Thunberg ‘toolkit’ case. It brought XR rebellion in the .... Read More
1619 Project The 1619 Project is a special initiative of The New York Times Magazine, launched in 2019 to mark the completion of 400 years since the first enslaved Africans arrived in colonial Virginia’s Jamestown in August 1619. The project was initiated by Nikole Hannah-Jones, .... Read More
The Ministry of External Affairs in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand organized 6th Round Table of ASEAN-India network of think tanks (AINTT) on August 20-21, 2020.
The theme of this round table meeting was“ASEAN-India: Strengthening Partnership in the Post COVID Era”.
The round table had five .... Read More
China has proposed the creation of a BRICS innovation base to strengthen cooperation among the five-country bloc i.e. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africain sectors like 5G, AI and digital economy.
China has urged that BRICS countries should cooperate to promote economic recovery, strengthen communication and share their experiences in .... Read More
Recently theFinance Minister of India said that the country could not support a general allocation of new Special Drawing Rights by the International Monetary Fund because it might not be effective in easing coronavirus-driven financial pressures.
Cause of Concern
India is concerned that such a major liquidity injection could produce potentially costly .... Read More
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) made its updated projection in a trade and development report that was released on 22nd April.
Key Features of the Report
According to the report, released by the UNCTAD, titled ‘The COVID-19 Shock to Developing Countries — “Towards a ‘whatever it takes’ programme .... Read More
According to a UN report, more than five million people were internally displaced in India due to natural disasters, conflict and violence in 2019, constituting the highest number of new internal displacements in the world during the period followed by the Philippines, Bangladesh and China.
Key Highlights of the Report
The ‘Lost .... Read More
A team from Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru and UK based University of East Anglia have created a blueprint for accurate prediction of monsoon, tropical cyclones and other weather related forecast. This could mean, for example, that Asian farmers are able to determine the optimal time for planting crops .... Read More
The world is in the face of a devastating impact due to the coronavirus pandemic and has clearly entered a recession, the International Monetary Fund, but projected a recovery next year.
IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva called on advanced economies to provide more support to low-income countries, which face a massive .... Read More
The G20 nations have agreed to collectively inject $5 trillion into the world economy to counteract the social, economic and financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic that has infected close to 5 lakh people across countries and claimed more than 22,000 lives.
Highlights of the Conference
Prime Minister of India in a .... Read More
In a major single-day crash, oil benchmark Brent crude fell 31% after the world’s biggest oil exporter Saudi Arabia launched an oil price war with Russia, by slashing prices and preparing for a big increase in crude production in April.
This came days after Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries .... Read More
India was accepted as an observer in the Indian Ocean Commission , getting a seat at the table of the organization that handles maritime governance in the western Indian Ocean. India’s entry is a consequence of its deepening strategic partnership with France as well as its expanding ties with the .... Read More
The African leaders met in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa for the annual meeting of the African Union (AU) leaders.
Highlights of the Meet
The 33rd summit of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government was held under the theme of Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development.
Silencing the Guns .... Read More
The World Economic Forum has created a new index to measure social mobility, providing a much-needed assessment of the current state of social mobility worldwide.
What is Social Mobility?
Social mobility can be understood as the movement in personal circumstances either “upwards” or “downwards” of an individual in relation to those of .... Read More
IAF Participated in EX Desert FLAG
The Indian Air Force participated for the first time in Exercise Desert Flag-VI along with air forces of United Arab Emirates, United States of America, France, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Bahrain.
Ex Desert Flag is an annual multi-national large force employment warfare exercise hosted .... Read More
US Department of Defense to Create China Task Force
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has come out with details about a new China Task Force that would inform the Pentagon’s strategic approach towards that country.
It will provide a baseline assessment of department policies, programs and processes in regard to .... Read More
5th Joint Meeting of the India-Japan Act East Forum
India and Japan held the fifth joint meeting of the India-Japan Act East Forum (AEF) on 28 January 2021 in New Delhi.
The AEF reviewed progress of ongoing projects in the North Eastern Region of India in various areas including connectivity, hydropower, sustainable .... Read More
10th Anniversary of ADMM-Plus
Defence Minister virtually attended the 10th anniversary of the founding of the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus).
The ADMM-Plus is a platform for ASEAN and its eight Dialogue Partners Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States (collectively referred to .... Read More
As part of ‘Mission Sagar-II’, Indian Naval Ship Airavat is engaged to supply food aid to Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti and Eritrea.
It follows the first ‘Mission Sagar’ undertaken in May-June 2020, wherein India reached out to Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Comoros, and provided food aid and medicines.
Mauritius, .... Read More
India assumes Chairmanship of the Governing Body of ILO
After 35 years, India has assumed the Chairmanship of the Governing Body of International Labour Organization, marking a new chapter in the 100 years of productive relationship between India and ILO.
Shri Apurva Chandra, Secretary (Labour and Employment) has been elected as the .... Read More
Kra Canal Project
Thailand has scrapped the Kra Canal Project that was aimed at connecting the Gulf of Thailand with the Andaman Sea across the Kra Isthmus in southern Thailand and was to provide an alternative transit route to the Strait of Malacca.
FinCEN Files is a cross-border investigation based on .... Read More
ILO Child Labour Convention (No. 182) Achieves Universal Ratification
On 4th August, Convention No. 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour achieved universal ratification, following last submission by the Kingdom of Tonga.
It is for the first time in the ILO’s history, an International Labour Convention has been ratified by all .... Read More
Pak-China Agreement on Azad Pattan Hydel Project
Pakistan and China have signed an agreement for the 700 MW Azad Pattan hydel power project on the Jhelum River in Sudhnoti district of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).
The Azad Pattan project is one of the five hydropower schemes on the Jhelum, the other four .... Read More
70th Anniversary of Korean WarAfter theend of the second World War, Korea was divided into two parts.The Soviet Union occupied the area north of the 38th parallel and the United States occupied the area south until 1948.Two new ideologically opposite countries were established in 1948: The Republic of Korea (South .... Read More
India-Iceland: MoU on Sustainable Fisheries Development
India and Iceland signed a Memorandum of Understanding in the field of fisheries.
The salient features of the MoU are:
Creation of facilities for exchange of scientists and technical experts and their proper placement, especially in areas of estimating Total Allowable Catches in off shore and .... Read More
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has mandated the use of very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) in marine shipping starting January 1, 2020. This regulation is part of IMO’s 2020 program aimed at reducing sulphur emissions from marine transport by 80 percent. In contrast to heavy fuel oil (HFO), which .... Read More
Brazil has set up Amazon Council to monitor the country’s Amazon region following global outcry over President Jair Bolsonaro’s environmental policies and his government’s handling of forest fires last year.The body will be headed by Vice President Hamilton Mourao and will centralize efforts across ministries to protect the region and .... Read More
North Korea will attend the Munich Security Conference for the first time in the 56-year history of the top diplomatic gathering.Founded in 1963, the Munich Security Conference hosts hundreds of high-ranking officials and dozens of world leaders each year to discuss security challenges. The 2020 edition will be held from .... Read More
The South American nation Guyana took over the chairmanship of G77 for 2020, the year when the 75th anniversary of the United Nations will be commemorated.The Group of 77 is the largest intergovernmental organization of developing countries in the United Nations. India is among the members of the .... Read More
India has inaugurated first ever convention centre made by it in Africa.The Mahatma Gandhi International Convention Centre (MGICC) in Western African state of Niger (at Niamey) as part of its outreach to the continent. India, for the first time as part of its capacity building outreach for the developing world, .... Read More
Illegal Drug trafficking is a global illicit trade. Massive production and circulation of drugs through various convenient routes especially through Afghanistan is paving ways for high consumption of drugs amongst youth thus creating a negative impact on public health and adding to criminalization of the society.The MoU shall facilitate and .... Read More
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister has given ex-post facto approval for the MoUs between India and Saudi Arabia in the field of combating illicit trafficking and smuggling of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Chemical .... Read More
India and China will jointly hold 70 events to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties. India established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China on 1 April 1950, the first non-communist nation to do .... Read More
An independence referendum is being held in Bougainville, an autonomous region in Papua New Guinea (PNG) between 23 November-7 December 2019, with results to be declared around 20 December. The vote is the result of an agreement between the Government of PNG and the Autonomous Bougainville Government.Voters will have the .... Read More
2019’s Budapest Convention was held in Strasbourg, France from November 20-22.The convention is the sole legally binding multilateral (56-member) treaty that coordinates cybercrime investigations between nation-states and criminalises certain cybercrime conduct. Though India was represented by a senior official, but has again, decided not to sign the convention.In contrast, at .... Read More
The 70th anniversary of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Summit 2019 was held in London.The NATO is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries. Its Headquarters are located in Evere, Brussels, Belgium, while the headquarters of Allied Command Operations is near Mons, Belgium.Montenegro was the latest .... Read More
The 50th meet of the World Economic Forum will be held at Davos, Switzerland.The Geneva-based WEF has selected ‘Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World’ as the theme for its 2020 annual meeting.The World Economic Forum is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The Forum engages .... Read More
Saudi Arabia became the first Arab nation to take over the G20 Presidency on December 1, 2019.It has taken over from Japan and it will host the G20 Summit in its capital, Riyadh on November 21 and 22, 2020.The G20 is an informal group of 19 countries (including India) and .... Read More
China, Russia and Iran carried out a trilateral naval exercise in the Gulf of Oman, the first such move by the three countries in the volatile Middle East amid heightened tensions in the region after the Trump administration withdrew from a landmark nuclear pact with Tehran.The Gulf of Oman borders .... Read More
ILO Treaty on Violence at Workplace
The International Labour Organization (ILO) has adopted a global treaty against violence and harassment in the workplace in its Centenary Conference in Geneva.
The treaty was adopted by delegates from the 187 member states.
The treaty is binding only on those states that ratify it.
It applies .... Read More
BCIM Removed from the BRI UmbrellaThe Chinese foreign ministry website has not listed the Bangladesh China India Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM) as a project covered by the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Although before the Second Belt and Road Forum, which was held on 26 April, BCIM project was mentioned .... Read More
India to Sign UN Convention on International Settlement AgreementsThe Union Cabinet has approved for India signing of the UN Convention on International Settlement Agreements (UNISA). The convention is also known as the Singapore Convention for Mediation (SCM). The United Nations General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention on International Settlement .... Read More
Indio-French Strategy in Western Indian Ocean Region
India and France have taken concrete steps to firm up their strategic partnership in the western Indian Ocean, as part of their respective Indo-Pacific strategies.
Leaders of India, France and Vanilla Islands – consisting of Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles in the western Indian Ocean .... Read More
India, Paraguay Agree to Promote Bilateral Investment: India and Paraguay have agreed to identify sectors of mutual interest to promote bilateral investment and decided to explore new areas of collaboration in various sectors.
The two sides agreed to explore new areas of collaboration including in hydel and solar, health including traditional .... Read More
70th Anniversary Celebrations of PLA (Navy)
Indian Navy Ships Kolkata and Shakti entered Qingdao, China to participate in the International Fleet Review (IFR) as part of 70th Anniversary Celebrations of Peoples Liberation Army (Navy) on April 21st.
The participation of Indian Navy in PLA (N) IFR, for 3rd consecutive time (2009, 2014 .... Read More
On 30th March, 2021, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) released a report titled ‘Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2021: Towards post-COVID-19 resilient economies.
About the Report
Published annually since 1947, the Survey provides analyses to guide policy discussion on the .... Read More
On 24th March, 2021, the World bank released the World Development Report 2021: Data for Better Lives.
It focuses on how data can improve the lives of poor people and advance development objectives
The report explores the tremendous potential of the changing data landscape to improve the lives of poor people, while .... Read More
On 24th January, 2021, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released Global Investment Trend Monitor Report.
Global foreign direct investment (FDI) collapsed in 2020, falling by 42% to an estimated $859 billion, from $1.5 trillion in 2019. FDI finished 2020 more than 30% below the trough after .... Read More
On 1st April, 2021, the US President let a June 2020 executive order banning the issuance of new non-immigrant worker visas expire.
In June 2020, the former US President Trump signed an executive order extending the ban on immigrant and non-immigrant worker visas.
The executive order was first extended for 60 days .... Read More
On 25th March, 2021, Philippine’s military ordered the deployment of more navy ships to the South China Sea amid a growing diplomatic row over a fleet of Chinese boats parked near a disputed Whitsun Reef.
South China Sea Dispute
It is a dispute over territory and sovereignty over ocean areas, and the .... Read More
On 27th March, 2021, Iran and China on Saturday signed a 25-year strategic cooperation agreement addressing economic issues amid crippling US sanctions on Iran.
The deal marked the first time Iran has signed such a lengthy agreement with a major world power.
In 2001, Iran and Russia singed a 10-year cooperation .... Read More
The first ‘Quadrilateral Security Dialogue’, also known as the Quad leaders' virtual summit took place on 12th March, 2021.
A joint statement, titled ‘The Spirit of the Quad’ was presented after the summit.
Quad Vaccine Partnership
The leaders finalised a landmark initiative under which huge investments will be made in India to .... Read More
On 30th March, 2021, India attended the ninth Ministerial Conference of Heart of Asia - Istanbul Process (HoA-IP) on Afghanistan in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
India spelt out her commitment to the development and rebuilding of Afghanistan. The development partnership of USD 3 billion for Afghanistan, includes more than 550 Community Development .... Read More
In a development that could ratchet up tensions between the United States and Germany, Russia resumed work on the controversial Nord Stream 2 Pipeline.
It is a 1,200km-long offshore natural gas pipeline being constructed from Russia to Germany across the Baltic Sea.
The pipeline will run along with the already-completed Nord Stream .... Read More
In a bid to ease travel restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic, countries like Denmark, Estonia, Israel, Chile, UK have announced a new Immunity Passport.
It is to be noted that immunity passport is not a new concept and people have been travelling with 'yellow card' to countries that require vaccinations against .... Read More
Recently, China warned off a USA warship sailing near contested Paracel islands in the South China Sea (SCS).
South China Sea Dispute
Territorial disputes in the South China Sea involve both island and maritime claims among several sovereign states within the region, namely Brunei, the People's Republic of China, Malaysia, the Philippines, .... Read More
(Swiss Neutrality) has become attractive again because of the changing political reality in the world.
Swiss neutrality is one of the main principles of Switzerland’s foreign policy which dictates that Switzerland is not to be involved in armed or political conflicts between other states.
This policy is self-imposed, permanent, and armed, .... Read More
Recently, UK Prime Minister suggested Scotland should not hold another independence referendum until at least the 2050s, shrugging off claims that Brexit has strengthened the case for a new vote.
Scottish National Party leader has called for second referendum and argues that Britain’s departure from the European Union, which a .... Read More
On 24th January, 2021, Argentina’s abortion law that allows abortion up to 14th week of pregnancy came into force, after being passed by the National Congress in December 2020.
With this, Argentina becomes only the third South American country to permit elective abortions, alongside Uruguay, which decriminalised the practice in 2012, .... Read More
On 11th January, 2020, Britain’s, Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), a British Think Tank, published a report proposing a blueprint for Britain’s future foreign policy after Brexit. Titled “Global Britain, Global Broker”, the report sketches a bold path ahead for the UK.
Highlights of the Report
Along with Russia, Turkey .... Read More
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) as a collective entity has tremendous significance for India. The GCC’s substantial oil and gas reserves are of utmost importance for India’s energy needs. The GCC countries are collectively host to a large Indian expatriate community. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia .... Read More
On 5th January, 2021, at the 41st annual summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) at Al-Ula (Saudi Arabia), Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed a “solidarity and stability” agreement with Qatar.
Ties between Qatar and the three GCC members went downhill after uprisings in Arab .... Read More
On 11th January, 2020, the US State Department re-designated Cuba as a "state sponsor of terrorism".
Cuba has been blacklisted again for repeatedly providing support for acts of international terrorism as well as harboring US fugitives and Colombian rebel leaders.
It was removed from the list in 2015 by then-President Barack Obama .... Read More
On 15th January, 2021, Russia announced its intention of pulling out of the Open Skies treaty (OST), saying that the pact, which allows unarmed surveillance flights over member countries, had been seriously compromised by the withdrawal of the United States.
This move was made after the USA pulled out of the .... Read More
Recently, Morocco has become the fourth Arab League country to agree to normalise relations with Israel in a deal brokered with US help.
The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain (under Abraham Accords) and Sudan are the other Arab countries to set aside hostilities with Israel in recent time.
Drivers behind the Deal
Iran Factor: .... Read More
On 14th December, 2020, the United States imposed long-anticipated sanctions on NATO ally Turkey over Ankara's procurement and testing of a Russian-made S-400 Triumf air defence system.
Sanctions were imposed on Turkey’s main defence procurement agency the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) for knowingly engaging in a significant transaction with Rosoboron .... Read More
On 27th December, 2020, the US President signed the Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2020, making it a law.
Tibetans are concerned over the possibility of the Chinese Government making an attempt to install someone loyal to it as the 15th Dalai Lama after the death of the incumbent.
China .... Read More
On 17th December, 2020, the 20th edition of the IORA Council of Ministers (COM) meeting was held via video conferencing under the Chairmanship of United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The theme of the meeting was “Promoting a Shared Destiny and Path to Prosperity in the Indian Ocean”.
All 22 Member States and .... Read More
On 16th December, 2020, the French cabinet presented a draft law that targets “radical Islamism” - although the word “Islamist” is not part of the text. The Bill is called as a law “to reinforce Republican principles”. It aims to reinforce the legal tools available to the government to curtail .... Read More
On 8th December, 2020, the US designated Pakistan and China among eight other countries of particular concern (CPC) for violation of religious freedom. However, the US did not accept the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) recommendation that India, Russia, Syria and Vietnam be also designated as CPCs.
About Countries .... Read More
On 24th December, 2020, Britain and the European Union struck a provisional free-trade agreement as part of the Brexit deal to define the terms of their future relationship ahead of UK’s post-Brexit transition period that officially ended on 31st December, 2020.
Once ratified by both sides, the agreement will ensure Britain .... Read More
The USA and Bangladesh navies have conducted a joint naval exerciseCARAT (Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training), which began on 4 November, 2020 to expand relationships and broaden maritime cooperation between the two nations.
The exercise demonstrates US’s continuing commitment to work with the Bangladesh military to address shared maritime security concerns .... Read More
The Ethiopian government has declared war on the country’s Tigray region, which is ruled by the powerful Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), in response to its attack on a federal military base in Tigray.The conflict escalated when Tigrayan forces in northern Ethiopia fired rockets across the border into Eritrea.
Background of .... Read More
Japan and Australia have signed a landmark defence deal on November 17, 2020 in an attempt to counter China's growing influence in the South China and Indo Pacific region. The deal is named as Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA).
Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA)
RAA will allow Japanese and Australian troops to visit each .... Read More
Russia has adopted new governance reforms on November 17, 2020. The new Reforms are to begin from 1 January 2021 and proposed to be completed by April 1, 2021.
A. Administrative Office
According to the reforms, the staff within the central administrative office is to be reduced by 5%.
The staff within .... Read More
Armenia and Azerbaijan have signed a peace deal on November 10, 2020, to end the ongoing conflict between both countries. According to the deal, the countries will maintain positions in the areas where they currently hold.
Russia intervened and negotiated a new peace deal between the two countries as they have .... Read More
The 20th Amendment (Article 20A) to the Constitution of Sri Lanka was passed by the 225-member Sri Lankan Parliament with 156 voting in favor, 65 against and four abstained on 22 October 2020.
It envisages expansive powers and greater immunity for the Executive President.
The Amendment rolls back Sri Lanka’s 19th .... Read More
The United Nations announced recently that 50 countries have ratified an international Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) to ban nuclear weapons. The historic text would enter into force in January 2021.
The 50th ratification by Honduras came on the 75th anniversary of the ratification of the UN Charter .... Read More
A controversial government Brexit bill that breaches international law has safely passed its final House of Commons hurdle, despite continued serious doubts on September 29, 2020.
United Kingdom Internal Market Bill
On September 9, 2020, UK Government published a UK Internal Market Bill.The bill is designed to “protect jobs and trade” within .... Read More
The parliamentary group in Sri Lanka on September 08, 2020 approved proposal to completely ban slaughtering of cows in Sri Lanka to stop animal cruelty for curbing the desperate move to kill cow and cattle rampantly in the holy land of Sri Lanka.
However, The Animal Act of Sri Lanka which .... Read More
Turkish President announced recently that Turkey had discovered its largest-ever deposit of natural gas in the Black Sea, a move that could help the country reduce its dependence on energy imports from other countries such as Russia, Iran, and Azerbaijan.
The discovery included 320 billion cubic meters of natural gas. Turkey .... Read More
Myanmar has decided to involve international partners in the Chinese funded mega Yangon City Project, a key pillar of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in the Southeast Asian country, marking another pushback against China.
Myanmar’s pushback against China, which is trying to widen its influence through China Myanmar Economic .... Read More
Israel and the United Arab Emirates have announced an agreement that will lead to full normalization of diplomatic relations between the two states, a move that reshapes the order of West Asia politics from the Palestinian issue to Iran.
It is a landmark agreement, given that the UAE is only .... Read More
The United Nations on 7th July 2020 announced that USA will leave the World Health Organisation (WHO) on July 6, 2021. UN decides the same after receiving notification of the decision by President of USA, who has accused the agency of becoming a puppet for China during the coronavirus pandemic.
In .... Read More
China has decided to suspend Hong Kong’s extradition treaties as well as criminal justice cooperation agreements with Canada, Australia and Britain on July 28, 2020, in a tit-for-tat move following similar decisions by those countries over a controversial new security law.
Canada, Britain and Australia are part of the “Five Eyes” .... Read More
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a Swedish think tank that researches international armament and conflict, has updated the number of nuclear warheads in its latest yearbook. It found that despite an overall decrease in the number of nuclear warheads in 2019, all nuclear weapon-possessing states continue to modernize .... Read More
Recently, President of the United States signed an executive order, temporarily banning immigration into the US to protect jobs for American workers. The US government has said it would allow non-immigrant visa holders, such as those on the H1-B visa, to apply for an extension of their stay in the .... Read More
The Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have started what is being referred to as a ‘travel bubble’ to help put their economies back on track post-Covid lockdowns. With the pandemic throwing both international and domestic trade and travel out of gear since earlier this year, such ‘travel bubbles’ .... Read More
Iran's parliament has passed a bill allowing the government to slash four zeros from the rial, after a sharp fall in the value of the currency as a result of crippling U.S. sanctions. Iran's national currency will be changed from the rial to the Toman, which is equal to 10,000 .... Read More
President of the United States of America announced recently that he plans to withdraw the United States from the Open Skies Treaty with Russia, the third arms control pact President has abrogated since coming to office. The US leader said Moscow had not stuck to its commitments under the 18-year-old .... Read More
The UK stopped being a member of the European Union (EU) at 23:00 GMT (midnight Brussels time) on 31 January 2020. The country’s 47 years of membership officially ceased more than three and half years after an in/out referendum exposed deep rifts across British society with majority vote for Brexit.
Brexit .... Read More
The Maldives re-joined the Commonwealth, more than three years after the Indian Ocean island nation quit the association amid mounting criticism of its human rights record then.
Reason for Maldives Quitting the Group
In 2016, the Maldives pulled out of the Commonwealth terming “unjust” the grouping’s decision to penalise the country over .... Read More
On 8th January, Iran said it would abandon limitations on enriching uranium, refusing to adhere to the 2015 nuclear deal it signed with six major powers, but would continue to cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog.
Iran’s announcement comes after its top security and intelligence commander, Major General Qassem Soleimani, was .... Read More
The West Asia peace plan unveiled by U.S.A seeks to give the Israelis what they have long wanted — an expansive state with Jerusalem as its “undivided capital” and tight security control over a future Palestinian state. With his plan, USA is actually pushing to revive the stalled two-state talks .... Read More
Recently, USA has changed its stance over West Bank stating that it no longer thinks Israeli settlement in West Bank violate International law.
Shifting American Policy on West Bank
1981: President Ronald Reagan called such settlements to be illegitimate but not illegal and blocked UN resolutions condemning Israel for them.
2016: President Obama .... Read More
Recently leaked documents of Chinese government described the nature of crackdown on Uighur Muslims in internment camps in Xinjiang, China.
People showing signs of extremism have been sent to these camps.
The conditions of extremist behaviour are decided by the government on the basis of arbitrary markers like fasting during Ramzan, .... Read More
The leaders of China, Japan and South Korea held a trilateral summit in China amid feuds over trade, military maneuverings and historical animosities. Most striking has been a complex dispute between South Korea and Japan, while China has recently sought to tone down its disagreements with its two neighbors. Economic .... Read More
Mauritius called the UK an “illegal colonial occupier”, after it ignored a UN mandated deadline to return the Chagos Islands, a small archipelago in the Indian Ocean, to Mauritius. The United Nations had given UK six months to process the transfer, a move the UK and the US have bitterly .... Read More
Bougainville, an island in the Pacific, held a referendum to decide if it wants to remain a part of Papua New Guinea or become an independent country.
Result of the Referendum
According to the result, voters backing Bougainville’s independence from Papua New Guinea won a landslide referendum victory.
The historic vote caps a .... Read More
Chinese and Russian Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin inaugurated the first cross-border pipeline between their countries, called the “Power of Siberia”. Gas supply to China via this pipe has started.
Details of the Project
The central aim of this gas pipeline is to pump natural gas to China from Russia’s far-east .... Read More
West Africa’s monetary union has agreed with France to rename its CFA franc the Eco and cut some of the financial links with Paris that have underpinned the region’s common currency since its creation after World War Two.
Which Countries will be Affected by it?
The CFA is used in 14 African .... Read More
The United States and China announced a “Phase One” agreement under which the US will reduce some tariffs in exchange for increased Chinese purchases of American farm and energy goods.
“Phase One” Agreement
Tariffs: As part of the deal, the US will halve its 15 per cent tariff on about $120 billion .... Read More
Hundreds of thousands of protesters dressed in white marched in the streets of Hong Kong on 9th June to protest against the government’s extradition bill. Protesters included people from the business community, lawyers, students, members of religious groups andeven housewives. This is the biggest gathering of protesters in Hong Kong .... Read More
On 14th May, China announced that it would raise tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods from June 1, in retaliation to the latest round of U.S. tariff hikes and its plans to target almost all Chinese imports.
A total of 5140 U.S. products will be subjected to additional tariffs .... Read More
US announces closure of embassies:
The US on 15th May ordered all non-emergency staff to leave its embassy in Baghdad, Iraq and consulate in Arbil as tensions mount between the US and Iran. Arbil is the Iraqi Kurdish regional capital, in northern Iraq.
The US advisory announced the partial embassy closures and .... Read More
US President signed a proclamation on 25 March 2019 that recognizes Israel’s sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights.
The U.S. is the first country to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan, which the rest of the international community regards as ‘disputed’ and whose status should be determined by negotiations between Israel .... Read More
Julian Assange, the founder of ‘Wikileaks’ was arrested on 11thApril in London by the British police from the Ecuadorian Embassy on behalf of US authorities under an extradition warrant.
He had undertaken shelter/asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy since 2012 as:
US had issued arrest warrant against him for releasing classified US military .... Read More
President Omar al-Bashir, who ruled Sudan for 30 years, was on 11thApril overthrown in a coup by the armed forces which announced a two-year period of military rule which would be followed by elections.
Defence Minister informed that Bashir, was under arrest in a “safe place” and a military council was .... Read More
A series of coordinated bombings were carried out on 21 April 2019 on ‘Easter Sunday’ at different locations in Sri Lanka which killed more than 250 people.
The attacks were the deadliest in the island nation since the end of its civil war 10 years ago and targeted three churches and .... Read More
The UN Security Council has adopted the Resolution 2462 that calls upon countries to prevent and counter the financing of terrorism, especially in its new forms.
The Resolution is significant considering the spate of terrorist attacks around the world like the Pulwama attack, the New Zealand and Sri Lankan attacks etc. .... Read More
Britain has an obligation to end its administration of the Chagos Archipelago and complete the process of decolonisation of Mauritius, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague ruled on February 25.
Decolonisation of Mauritius: ICJ rejected the contention that the issue did not fall within its jurisdiction because .... Read More
In the first-ever trilateral summit between India, Japan and the US, the three countries focused on building a regional architecture in the Indo-Pacific region, stressing on the new framework being “inclusive”.
This being the first trilateral on the margins of the G-20, the meeting seals the importance of the Indo-Pacific framework .... Read More
Qatar — among the world’s smallest countries by area and the richest in terms of per capita gross national income ($128,000 or Rs 90 lakh, according to World Bank figures) — announced ON Dec 3, it was walking away from OPEC, a cartel of 15 countries that produce about 45% .... Read More
China is all set to build the country’s first permanent airport in the South Pole which will provide logistical support to scientists and enhance airspace management in the resource-rich Antarctic. The 35th China’s Antarctic expedition left on November 2, 2018, and the major task is to build the airport, which .... Read More
India and Colombia on November 8, 2018 have raised concerns at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over the projected lowering of permissible limits on certain pesticides by the European Union and have argued that the measure could significantly impact trade as these substances are commonly used on a variety of .... Read More
On October 18, 2018, the World Bank Group launched the Partnership Fund for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG Fund) in support of global efforts to meet the SDGs.
Sweden is the first partner to help launch the SDG Fund with an initial contribution of USD 7 million. The idea of the .... Read More
On 17 October, 2019, Britain clinched the Brexit deal with the European Union (EU) more than three years after Britons voted to leave the bloc. A referendum was held on June 23, 2016, to decide whether Britain should exit or remain in the European Union. 51.9% of the voters favoured .... Read More
On 10 July, the US House of Representatives passed the Fairness of High-Skilled Immigrants Act, 2019 or HR 1044.
It has to be passed by the Senate before it can be signed into law by President Donald Trump.
The law removes the 7% country-cap on green card applicants.
The Bill will create a .... Read More
The Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919 between Allied Powers and Germany, at the end of World War I. The year 2019 marks the completion of hundred years of signing of the treaty.
Terms of the Treaty
Germany had to lose territory in Europe:
Alsace-Lorraine to France
West Prussia and Posen .... Read More
During 14-16 August, 2019 the BASIC countries (a grouping of Brazil, South Africa, India and China) held their 28th Ministerial meeting on Climate Change in Sao Paulo, Brazil. India was represented by Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
Highlights of the Meeting
BASIC countries expressing concern about the adverse effects .... Read More
The PM attended the 45th Annual G7 summit in Biarritz, France from August 24 to 26 concluded under an overarching theme, ‘Fight against Inequalities’. French President invited; four partner countries, which promote democracy and have significant regional influence (Australia, Chile, India and South Africa); five African partners and civil society .... Read More