Terrorism, SAARC - General awareness questions on current affairs

1)   Indian Army conducted surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the LoC on 29th Sept. What other responses has India made to Pakistani terror threat?

a. Withdrawing from the SAARC summit
b. Withdrawing MFN status to Pakistan
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both of the above

Indian Army conducted surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control. DGMO Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh said the motive of the operation was to hit out at terrorists planning to infiltrate into the Indian territory.

  • Lt Gen Singh informed that considerable casualties were caused by terrorists during the operation
  • There have been many infiltration bids by terrorists at LoC reflected by terror attacks at Uri and Poonch on 11th and 18th Sept
  • DGMO spoke of how nothing was done despite Pakistan being told not to use its territory for terror activities
  • Pakistan gave the commitment to India that in 2004, it will not allow its soil to be a ground for terror activities
  • Close to 20 infiltration attempts have been successfully foiled by the Indian Army in 2016
  • India offered consular access to apprehend terrorists from Pakistan and fingerprints and DNA samples of terrorists killed in Uri and Poonch can also be made available to the neighbouring country
  • Lieutenant General Singh shared India’s concerns and told the Pakistani counterpart about the surgical strikes
  • Pakistan has responded to the government statement that “no such strike” was carried out and only “unprovoked firing” was carried out in certain districts “Bhimber, Hotspring, Kel and Lipa sectors which started at 0230 and continued till 0800,” the Pakistani military spokesperson claimed
  • Pulling out of the SAARC summit in Islamabad, Indian government will now go ahead with SAARC minus Pakistan
  • Indian pulled out with Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan also lending support by doing so
  • Pointing to motor vehicle movement agreements, railway linkages and the SAARC satellite program for which SAARC countries apart from Pakistan had signed up, India said it will work with those who share its vision
  • Afghanistan cannot be accessed by land so the two governments have discussed separate air corridor for cargo
  • India will be holding the BIMSTEC outreach summit on the sidelines of the BRICS Goa Summit which is an initiative for Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal
  • Another grouping of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Maldives met for the South Asia Sub-Regional Economic Cooperation programme in Delhi to release the first SASEC Operational Plan 2016-2025
  • SASEC’s lead financier, Asian Development Bank has approved 40 infrastructure and IT projects worth USD 7.7 billion
  • India has been busy with the SAARC minus Pak Programme with Nepal PM Prachanda and Afghani president Ashraf Ghani having visited India in Sept
  • Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is expected to be in Delhi during the first week of October
  • Push for South Asian isolation of Pakistan is driven by the fact that it has received nothing but terrorists and aggression from the Islamic nation
  • Pakistan continues to receive support from non-SAARC nations like China, Russia, and Iran
  • The US which has joined countries to condemn the terror attack in Uri also issued statements to resume dialogue (with remote outcomes of the same seeming more likely)

2)   India was placed at which rank on the Global Terrorism Index, released by Institute for Economics and Peace?

a. 5th
b. 6th
c. 7th
d. 8th
Answer  Explanation 


India was ranked 7th in a list of countries most impacted by terror attacks and terrorism in 2015 as per the GTI or Global Terrorism Index.

This index has been released by a Sydney based think tank Institute for Economics & Peace.

India is one of the 6 Asian countries ranked in the top 10 nations most impacted by terror recording 289 terrorism related deaths in 2015, a 45 percent decline over 2014.

Number of Indian army and paramilitary soldiers killed in 2016 is at a 8 year high.

Indians experienced 7 percent of all terror attacks in the world, the 4th highest after the following countries:

  • Iraq:20 percent
  • Afghanistan: 14 percent
  • Pakistan: 8 percent.
  • India in 2015 had fewer terror attacks (797) than only Iraq (2,415), Afghanistan (1,715) and Pakistan (1,008).
  • India suffered twice as many attacks as Syria (384)
  • OECD countries which are the most developed in the world, witnessed a 650 percent increase in terrorism deaths from 77 in 2014 to 577 in 2015, marking the worst year for the 35 nation group since 9/11.

3)   Petitions in the US and UK have declared which state as a state sponsor of terrorism?

a. Iran
b. Iraq
c. Afghanistan
d. Pakistan
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Pakistan

An online White House petition seeking to designate Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism has gained a record half a million signatures, five times the number needed to get a response from the Obama Administration.
Petition was created on Sept 21 by a person with the initials RG and needs 100000 signatures in 30 days to get a response form the White House.

  • Supporters of the "We the People ask the Administration to declare Pakistan, State Sponsor of Terrorism" petition had set a goal of one million signatures.
  • The petition comes after Congressman Ted Poe, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, along with Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, introduced H R 6069, the Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act in the House of Representatives.
  • An initiative of the US President Barack Obama, "We the People" online petition at the White House website provides a window to American citizens to campaign before the administration on key issues .
  • A new petition filed on the official UK Parliament website calling on Britain to "strongly condemn" Pakistan for providing a safe haven for terrorists on Sunday crossed the threshold of 10,000 signatures, making it incumbent upon the UK government to respond to it.
  • The petition titled 'UK Govt to strongly condemn Pakistan or providing safe haven for terrorists' has now crossed the number of signatures required to make it incumbent upon the UK government to respond to it.
  • Tensions between India and Pakistan are growing after militants stormed an Indian Army base in Uri on September 18, killing 19 soldiers.

4)   Which countries have pulled out of the SAARC summit in Islamabad in Nov 2016?

a. Bangladesh
b. Bhutan
c. India
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

Apart from India, Bangladesh and Bhutan have also pulled out of the SAARC Summit in Islamabad in November, saying the environment is not right for the successful holding of the meet.

  • The decision was conveyed by Bangladesh and Bhutan on 27th Sept to the Saarc chair Nepal, sources said
  • The decision by three countries of the eight-member grouping not to attend the summit would lead to its collapse.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the same day also decided not to attend the SAARC Summit in Islamabad in November.
  • The announcement by India came on a day foreign secretary S Jaishankar issued a second demarche to Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit over September 18 Uri attack and confronted him with proof of "cross-border origins" of the terror strike in which 18 jawans were killed.
  • The attack has triggered a strong response from India which has reviewed the 56-year-old Indus Water Treaty (IWT), and decide to reconsider the MFN status granted by it, unilaterally, to Pakistan.

5)   Possible terror attack and explosion took place in which neighbourhood of Manhattan, NYC in Sept 2016?

a. Chelsea
b. Broadway
c. Stanton Islands
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Chelsea

Powerful explosion on West 23rd Street in Chelsea Neighbourhood of Manhattan injured 29 people on 17th Sept.

  • Investigators later found a suspicious device a few blocks ahead
  • The police commissioner, James P. O’Neill, said it occurred in front of 131 West 23rd Street.
  • Officials said they believed the explosion had been caused by a homemade bomb that had been placed under a Dumpster.
  • The authorities said a suspicious device was found on West 27th Street between Avenue of the Americas and Seventh Avenue almost three hours after the explosion.
  • Government officials said initially that they did not believe there was a link between the blasts in New Jersey and New York.
  • But later on Sunday senior law enforcement officials said investigators were focusing more on the possibility that the two were connected. Still, the connection was not confirmed.
  • Police did not believe the blast in Chelsea was related to a mysterious explosion in Central Park in July, when a teenager from Virginia lost part of his leg.
  • An improvised device exploded in a garbage can on 17th Sept in Seaside Park, N.J., near the course of a charity race to benefit members of the United States Marine Corps. The device went off at about 9:30 a.m., around the time the race was scheduled to have started. There were no injuries.

6)   India signed a ASA with which nation on 7th Sept 2016?

a. Greece
b. Russia
c. Poland
d. Slovakia
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Greece

India on 7th Sept 2016 signed the bilateral air services agreement with Greece to permit unlimited points of call for domestic airlines in Greece.
Both countries have signed MoU in this regard under the Open Sky Policy

  • This will be the first ASA with Greece known for its beauty and tourist sports
  • Indian government has signed the MoU with the country under the provisions of the new Civil Aviation Policy
  • The aim is to improve international air connectivity for Indian carriers
  • Indian government has signed the MoU with Greece under the provisions entering into a reciprocal Open Sky Air Services Agreement on reciprocal basis with SAARC nations and countries with territory located beyond 5000 km radius from Delhi

7)   Which of the following are objectives of SAARCSTAT?

1) Support regional cooperation and initiatives in Statistics
2) Harmonize classification concepts, definition
3) Promote human resource development

a. 1, 2
b. 2, 3
c. 1, 3
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

Objectives are -Support regional cooperation and initiatives in Statistics

  • Plan and undertake policy initiatives for comparable and timely Statistics
  • Harmonize classification concepts, definition;
  • Adopt international good practices
  • Promote improvement in the official statistics and
  • Promote human resource development

  • 8)   Which of the following is/are true regarding SAARCSTAT?

    1) The SAARCSTAT must meet at least twice a year.
    2) Meetings shall be held in member states in reverse alphabetical order.

    a. Only 1
    b. Only 2
    c. Both 1 and 2
    d. Neither 1 nor 2
    Answer  Explanation 

    ANSWER: Neither 1 nor 2

    Structure of SAARCSTAT -

    • SAARCSTAT will comprise of secretaries/heads of statistical offices/organisations.
    • The SAARCSTAT must meet at least once a year.
    • Meetings shall be held in member states in alphabetical order.
    • Each member state will have a designated officer as a focal point in SAARCSTAT.
    • The SAARCSTAT will submit its report to Council of Ministers through the Committee of Economic Cooperation.

    9)   SAARC Group on Statistics is called

    c. SAARC-S
    d. S-SAARC
    Answer  Explanation 



    • The proposal for establishing cooperation in Statistics received enthusiastic support of the SAARC Member States which got the approval at the Thirtieth Session of the Standing Committee of SAARC (Islamabad, 18-19 July 2004).
    • India was chosen to host the First Meeting of the Heads of Statistical Organisations of SAARC Member States to examine the possibility of initiating cooperation in the field of statistics with a view to finalizing standard formats for exchange of statistical data in various economic and social fields.
    • Accordingly, in order to pursue and concretize cooperation in the field of statistics, the Heads of SAARC Statistical Organisations in their Meeting at Kolkata, India on 26-27 May 2005 formed a permanent “SAARC Group on Statistics”, namely, SAARCSTAT.

    10)   SAARCSTAT member nations met at which city for its 8th meeting of its heads?

    a. Jaipur
    b. New Delhi
    c. Chandigarh
    d. Shillong
    Answer  Explanation 

    ANSWER: New Delhi

    SAARC member states convened to achieve essential ingredients for decision making and policy planners at the SAARCSTAT 8th meeting of heads.

    • The meeting was held in New Delhi
    • Emphasis was on greater regional cooperation for mutual development, to accelerate free trade in goods and services in the Region.
    • It is essential to put into operation simplified and transparent rules of origin; implementation of trade facilitation measures; harmonisation of standards relating to Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures; harmony, streamlined and simplified Custom procedures; elimination of non-tariff and para-tariff barriers;
    • Also discussed were policy initiatives for comparable statistics and smooth & efficient transit and transport facilities, which will provide an opportunity to the SAARC Members countries to review the implementation of the recommendations made in International Merchandise Trade Statistics (IMTS) 2010 and Manual on Statistics of International Trade in Services (MSITS) 2010 and help in better understanding of the existing economic statistics frameworks and guidelines such as the System of National Accounts (2008 SNA), Balance of Payments (BPM6) and the Guidelines on Integrated Economic Statistics.
    • Reducing asymmetry in states data was also a goal.

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