International Relations - General awareness questions on current affairs

1)   Who is the largest G20 investor in India?
- Published on 23 Feb 17

a. Japan
b. China
c. UK
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: UK

Explanation:
Britain beat off tough competition from Japan to hold on to its position as the largest G20 investor in India and the biggest job creator through FDI.

Between 2000 and 2016, the UK invested USD 24.07 billion in India and created 3,71,000 jobs, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) found in its 'Sterling Assets India' report.

Japan by comparison invested around USD 23.76 billion, followed by the US at USD 19.38 billion as the top G20 investors in India.

The top reasons British firms invest in India are the size and growth potential of the market, the easy availability of talented workers and the stable political system, according to the report.

The analysis, supported by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and UK India Business Council (UKIBC), found that Britain had increased its investment into India by 1.87 billion pounds between 2015 and 2016.

This is representing 8 percent of all foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country.

These figures reflect the thriving commercial links that Britain's businesses large and small, and from a whole host of sectors have built in India.

From strengthening the UK's leading position as the largest G20 investor in India to being the biggest Indian job creator through direct investment, it's clear the country is a magnet for British firms.

Further reductions in India's corporate tax rates and improvements to the ease of doing business will see the relationship between India and the UK go from strength to strength.

The chemicals sector receives the major share of British investment in India at USD 6.1 billion (25 percent of UK FDI), followed by drugs and pharmaceuticals at USD 4.1 billion (17 percent) and food processing at USD 3.2 billion (14 percent).

The total number of people employed by British companies in India currently stands at 788,000, representing 5.3 percent, or one in 20, of private sector jobs.

UK: Know More

  • The United Kingdom is made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • It is an island nation in northwestern Europe.
  • Capital: London
  • Code: +44
  • Prime minister: Theresa May
  • Currency: Pound sterling
  • Population: 64.1 million (2013) World Bank


2)   India has committed how much in soft loans to Nepal?
- Published on 20 Feb 17

a. USD 350 million
b. USD 360 million
c. USD 370 million
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: None of the above

Explanation:
India committed soft loans amounting to USD 340 million to Nepal for infrastructure projects.

Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu, who arrived in Nepal on 19th Feb 2017 to attend the 'Nepal Infrastructure Summit 2017', signed a letter of exchange with Nepalese Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Planning Ramesh Lekhak.

According to this, India committed a bridge project and 15 road projects totaling USD 340 million soft loans to Nepal.

Prabhu also called on Nepal's President Bidya Devi Bhandari at Rashtrapati Bhawan and discussed key issues in the bilateral relations.

During the meeting, the two leaders discussed bilateral relations, according to a press release issued by the President's office.

Prabhu is in Nepal to attend 'Nepal Infrastructure Summit 2017' that is being organised by the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) in association with the Nepal government and Youth Community for Nepalese Contractors (YCNC) to be held between February 19-20.

The minister, is the guest of honour and keynote speaker at the summit.

Nepal: Know More

  • Capital: Kathmandu
  • Code: +977
  • Currency: Nepalese rupee
  • Prime minister: Pushpa Kamal Dahal
  • President: Bidhya Devi Bhandari


3)   India and which country inked a pact to boost economic cooperation?
- Published on 16 Feb 17

a. Croatia
b. Malaysia
c. Indonesia
d. Crimea
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Croatia

Explanation:
India and Croatia have signed an agreement to boost bilateral trade and enhance economic cooperation.

The agreement was signed by Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Martina Dalic, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy, Government of the Republic of Croatia, in Zagreb.

The two countries had earlier signed an Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation in September, 1994 with an aim to promote and develop bilateral trade and economic relations.

The present Agreement between India and Croatia would be a step in continuity as the last one expired in November, 2009.

India's bilateral trade with Croatia during 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 stood at USD 148.86 million, USD 205.04 million and USD 148.44 million respectively.

The bilateral trade during the last three years has remained stable despite global slowdown.

Croatian Government: Know More

  • Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic
  • President: Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic
  • Prime Minister: Andrej Plenkovic
  • Speaker of Parliament: Božo Petrov
  • Chief Justice: Miroslav Šeparovic


4)   India, UAE trade is set to hit $100 billion by _______.
- Published on 16 Feb 17

a. 2019
b. 2020
c. 2021
d. 2022
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 2020

Explanation:
Trade between India and the UAE is set to hit USD 100 billion by 2020, up from the current USD 60 billion, the Confederation of Indian Industry has estimated.

This is evident in the growing interest by the Indian companies towards the Middle East markets and in particular the UAE.

Also a catalyst are the efforts made by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry and CII to further strengthen the trade and investment ties.

Currently, the trade between Indian and the UAE is estimated around USD 60 billion.

The statement was issued on the sidelines of the Middle East Electricity Exhibition where about 50 leading Indian companies are participating.

Held by the UAE Ministry of Energy and based in Dubai, Middle East Electricity is the largest international trade event for the power industry.

It is covering the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity, the renewable and nuclear energy sectors and the lighting industry.

The various schemes by the Government of India and the announcements made in the recent Budget 2017 shall certainly enhance industries competitiveness in the country and in particular the MSMEs.

The move towards reducing the corporate tax rate for small companies will have a positive impact on the viability of about 97 per cent (67 lakh) businesses in India.

As the MSMEs become more viable and sustainable, the overall attractiveness of the small businesses will increase leading to the positive orientation and entrepreneurship in the country is bound to grow.

CII: Know More

  • Formed: 1895
  • Headquarters: New Delhi, India
  • Area served: Worldwide
  • Members: Direct 7,900+; Indirect 200,000
  • President: Naushad Forbes
  • DG: Chandrajit Banerjee
  • Executive Vice Chairperson: Shobana Kamineni
  • Employees: 1,000+


5)   What is Samudra Pavak?
- Published on 07 Feb 17

a. Pollution Control vessel series of ICG
b. Nuclear testing vessel series of ICG
c. EEZ surveillance vessel
d. Both a and c
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and c

Explanation:
Indian Coast Guard and its UAE counterpart will take part in Joint Exercise and sharing of operational expertise in Dubai.

In the exercise, ICG will have representation by Samudra Pavak. The ship will sail to Oman, Qatar and S. Arabia.

Saumdra Pavak is the Purifier of Seas. It is the third of the Pollution Control Vessel of the ICG.

It has been indigenously deployed along the northwest maritime frontier to safeguard maritime interests of India.

It has also been tasked with EEZ surveillance, search and rescue, pollution response and other duties of the Coast Guard charter.

ICG: Know More

  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • Motto: वयम् रक्षामः (Sanskrit: We Protect)
  • Founded: 18 August 1978
  • Patrol: Dornier Do 228


6)   India held high level consultations on counter-terrorism with which country on 1st Feb 2017?
- Published on 02 Feb 17

a. Russia
b. China
c. Pakistan
d. Bangladesh
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Russia

Explanation:
India and Russia held high level consultations on counter terrorism in New Delhi.

The sides shared views on threat assessment posed by terrorists including India's concern on state sponsored, cross border terrorism.

The Indian side was led by Secretary East from MEA Preeti Saran. Russian delegation was headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Oleg V. Syromolotov.

The two countries shared concerns regarding the emergence of Afghanistan Pakistan region as the epicentre of terrorism.

Successful experiences in countering radicalisation and terrorism were also discussed.

Both sides agreed that the UNSC Sanctions List 1267 for blacklisting terrorists and terror entities must be stringently complied.

Emphasis was also made on prospects for deepening engagement on counter terrorism under BRICS, SCO and UN.

A joint action plan will also be framed for sharing insights and exchange of best practices in curbing terrorism and countering radicalisation.

UNSC Sanctions List Resolution 1267 : Know More

  • Date: 15 October 1999
  • Code S/RES/1267 (Document)
  • Subject: The situation in Afghanistan
  • Voting summary: 15 voted for/None voted against/None abstained
  • Result: Adopted
  • United Nations Security Council resolution 1267 was adopted unanimously on 15 October 1999.
  • This was after recalling resolutions 1189 (1998), 1193 (1998) and 1214 (1998) on the situation in Afghanistan.
  • Council designated Osama bin Laden and associates as terrorists and established a sanctions regime to cover individuals and entities associated with Al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden and/or the Taliban.


7)   India and UAE have inked how many agreements to boost bilateral cooperation?
- Published on 27 Jan 17

a. 12
b. 13
c. 14
d. 15
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 14

Explanation:
India and the United Arab Emirates inked 14 agreements in numerous areas to boost bilateral cooperation.

This was delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in New Delhi.

The Crown Prince who is Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces is on a three-day visit.

He is chief guest of 2017 Republic Day Parade.


List of Agreements/MOUs exchanged during the State visit of Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi to India




S. No.Name of Agreement/MoUDetails
1.Agreement on Comprehensive Strategic PartnershipThis is a general framework agreement which highlights the areas of bilateral cooperation identified under the comprehensive strategic partnership as agreed upon in the high level joint statements issued in the August 2015 and February 2016.
2. MoU between the Ministry of Defence of the Government of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Defence of the Government of UAE on cooperation in the field of Defence IndustryThis MoU aims to establish cooperation in the identified fields of defence manufacturing and technology, including through studies, research, development, innovation and cooperation between public and private sector institutions of the two countries. The two sides will cooperate in areas of armaments, defence industries and transfer of technology.
3. MoU on Institutional Cooperation on Maritime TransportThis MoU provides a framework for enhancing bilateral maritime trade ties through facilitating maritime transport, free transfer of monies between contracting parties and reciprocal recognition of ships’ documents.
4. MOU between the Directorate General of Shipping, Republic of India and the Federal Transport Authority- Land and Maritime in the UAE on Mutual Recognition of Certificates of Competency as per the provisions of the Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-keeping Convention (STCW78) and amendments thereofThis MoU aims to deepen the maritime economic activities in general by establishing a framework for Mutual Recognition of Certificates of Competency of marine officers, engineers and crews.
5. MoU between the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways of the Republic of India and the Federal Transport Authority, Land and Maritime of the UAE on Bilateral Cooperation in the Road Transport and Highways SectorThis MoU aims to establish cooperation in the sectors of Highways and Road transport through sharing of technologies, systems and best practices in freight logistics, warehousing and value added services.
6. MOU on cooperation in prevention and combating of human traffickingThis MoU aims to enhance bilateral cooperation on the issue of prevention, rescue, recovery and repatriation related to human trafficking, especially of women and children expeditiously.
7. MoU for the cooperation in the field of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and innovation between the Ministry of Economy of United Arab Emirates and Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MoSMSME) of the Republic of IndiaThis MoU aims at promoting cooperation in MSMEs Sectors, including in joint projects, R & D and related activities.
8. MoU between the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Climate Change & Environment of UAE in agriculture and Allied sectorsThis MoU aims to develop a framework for cooperation in various agricultural fields of mutual interest, including through enhancement of cooperation in food processing and transfer of technology in cultivation methods.
9. MOU on mutual exemption of entry visa requirements to the holders of Diplomatic, special and Official PassportsThe agreement allows holders of diplomatic, special and official passports visa free travel between the two countries
10. MoU between Prasar Bharati, India and Emirates News Agency (WAM), UAE for cooperation in programme exchangeThis MoU aims to strengthen ties between Prasar Bharati and Emirates News Agency (WAM), UAE through cooperation in the field of broadcasting, mutual exchange of programmes, news and best practices.
11.MoU between the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Economy of United Arab Emirates on trade remedial measures to promote cooperation in areas of mutual interestThis MoU aims to enhance cooperation in the field of anti-dumping and allied duties through exchange of information, capacity-building, seminars and trainings in mutually indentified areas related to trade remedial measures.
12. Agreement on Oil Storage And Management
between Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company
This agreement aims to establish a framework for the storage of crude oil by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company in India and to further strengthen the strategic relationship between the two countries in the field of energy.
13. MOU between National Productivity Council and Al Etihad Energy Services Co. LLCThis MOU is on Cooperation in Energy Efficiency Services.
14. MOU between National Security Council Secretariat of India & National Electronic Security Authority of the UAEThis MoU is on technology development and cooperation in cyberspace
Source: Press Information Bureau


8)   India and which other country will hold their first strategic dialogue?
- Published on 23 Jan 17

a. UK
b. US
c. UAE
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: UAE

Explanation:
India and the UAE held the first meeting of their strategic dialogue in New Delhi to elevate the bilateral relationship to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

The meeting was co-chaired by Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs M J Akbar and MoS in Ministry of Foreign Affairs of UAE Anwar Gargash.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed several issues ranging from cooperation in the areas of trade and investments to expanding the bilateral cooperation.

Also explored were new areas under the strategic partnership.

This was in the areas of energy security and renewable energy, defence and security, electronics and IT and space.


9)   Which country has withdrawn visa-free facility for Indians from 23rd Jan 2017?
- Published on 23 Jan 17

a. Hong Kong
b. China
c. Taiwan
d. Tibet
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Hong Kong

Explanation:
Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China has withdrawn the visa-free facility for Indians.

Now Indians will have to complete a pre-arrival registration.

Henceforth, Indian Nationals will require Pre-arrival Registration.

Thus, Indian nationals must successfully complete pre-arrival registration online before they can visit or transit Hong Kong if seeking to enter the region during transit.

The Pre-arrival Registration for Indian Nationals will be implemented on January 23.

The online service for Pre-arrival Registration for Indian Nationals is now open,.

Indians must apply before they can visit or transit the HKSAR visa-free (if seeking to enter the HKSAR during transit).

Pre-arrival registration is not required for Indian nationals in direct transit by air and not leaving the airport transit area.

A Pre-Arrival Registration is normally valid for a six-month period or until the expiry date of the Indian passport linked to it, whichever is earlier, it said.

Till now Hong Kong has permitted Indians to enter with valid passport for a period up to 14 days without a visa. But the facility has been withdrawn.

Hong Kong: Know More

  • Hong Kong is an autonomous territory, and former British colony, in southeastern China.
  • Currency: Hong Kong dollar
  • Government: Multi-party system
  • Chief Executive: Leung Chun-ying
  • Chief Justice: Geoffrey Ma
  • Chief Secretary for Administration: Matthew Cheung
  • Financial Secretary: Paul Chan Mo-po


10)   India has entered into a collaboration with which country for freight rail?
- Published on 19 Jan 17

a. China
b. Japan
c. South Korea
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Japan

Explanation:
India will partner Japan for providing scheduled freight rail services between Delhi and Bengaluru.

Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has picked logistics firm Nippon Express.

It will collaborate with Indian Railways and Container Corporation of India for providing rail services.

The services will transport finished cars as well as general cargo.

The first train service will depart from Delhi for Bengaluru on January 20 and will make a return journey on January 24.

The transit time for the service is less than 70 hours on each side.

The train service would lead to additional freight volumes. It would also promote increased frequency on the route.

Presently, only one time-tabled freight train is running on the Delhi-Bengaluru route.

Nippon Express will be the first major foreign player running a time-tabled freight train for Indian railways.

Japan is also heading India’s high-speed bullet train project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

Of an estimated ₹97,636 crore, 81% of the funding for the 508-km project will come in as a loan from Japan.

Further, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is providing assistance to the Indian Railways in the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor and the Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor.

JICA signed an agreement with the Indian government to provide ₹6,100 crore in loans for the Dedicated Freight Corridor Project.


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