International Relations - General awareness questions on current affairs

1)   India and which country has signed a long term agreement for Sukhoi Su-30 MKI combat aircraft fleet?
- Published on 20 Mar 17

a. Russia
b. Siberia
c. Tanzania
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Russia

Explanation:
India and Russia have signed a long term support agreement for the Sukhoi Su-30MKI combat aircraft fleet.

This covers 57,000 spares and components pertaining to aircrafts.

The agreement was signed by HAL with Russia's United Aircraft Corporation and United Engine Corporation at the first India-Russia Military Industrial Conference.

India has contracted 272 Su-30 fighter jets from Russia in numerous batches and over 230 jets.

Their serviceability rate has been an issue of concern. Serviceability rates have fallen below 50 percent and at one point, it had approved to over 60%.

Pacts provide for an upgraded schedule for delivery of spares from Russia for Su-30MKI, local manufacturing of parts and a proposed logistics hub for fighter jets in Bengaluru, Karnataka by HAL.

Pacts were signed for life cycle support and maintenance for other Russian origin platforms.

This includes MiG-29K aircraft, MI-17 choppers, INS Vikramaditya and T-90 tanks.

A long lasting concern of India with regard to Russian origin military equipment will be addressed.

India has the 3rd largest armed forces in the world and one of the largest importers of defence equipment.

As most of the defence platforms and weapon systems are of Russian origin, maintenance and life cycle support is important from the point of view of defence preparedness.

The deal follows a Russian legislation permitting companies to enter into direct agreement with foreign companies for long term support.

Procurement of spares is a tough process as India cannot deal with Original Equipment Manufacturers directly; it has to go through intermediaries.

OEMs: Know More

  • An original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is a company whose goods are used as components in the products of another company.
  • It then sells the finished item to users.
  • This firm is referred to as a value-added reseller (VAR) (because by augmenting or incorporating features or services, it adds value to the original item) works closely with the OEM.
  • This customizes designs based on the VAR company's needs and specifications.


2)   Union Cabinet on 15th March 2017 approved MoU for border haats with which country?
- Published on 17 Mar 17

a. Bangladesh
b. Burma
c. Bhutan
d. Borneo
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Bangladesh

Explanation:
The Union Cabinet on 15 March 2017 approved the revised Mode of Operation (MoO) and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Bangladesh to establish the Border Haats on India-Bangladesh Border.

The Revised MoU and Mode of Operation will provide a legal framework for establishment and operationalisation of additional Border Haats.

These Border Haats are being created with an aim to promote the well-being of the people dwelling in the remote areas across the borders of the two countries.

Besides promoting the well-being of people who are the residents of the remote areas, these haats will help in promoting the traditional system of marketing the local produce through local markets.

These measures help to improve the economic well-being of marginalised sections of society. The approval to this revised MoU and MoO was given at a Union Cabinet meet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Border Haats: Know More

  • At present, four Border haats are operational between the two countries, two each in Tripura and Meghalaya.
  • These haats were established under the MoU and Mode of operation of Haats earlier signed between Bangladesh and India on 23 October 2010.
  • On 15 May 2012, an addendum to the mode of operation of Border Haats was also signed.
  • The border haats were created with an objective to boost the trade between the two countries.
  • The trade in these haats is permitted in Indian Rupees and Bangladeshi Taka as well as on barter basis. Data of such trade is managed by the Haat Management Committee of the respective haats.
  • As per reports of December 2016, the data furnished by the concerned state governments said that the cash trade was equivalent to Rs 1686.62 lakhs.
  • This transaction was carried out at the four border haats in the five-year period ending 2015-16.


3)   MoU in shipping was approved by Union Cabinet on March 15, 2017 with ________.
- Published on 16 Mar 17

a. Bangladesh
b. Pakistan
c. Nepal
d. Sri Lanka
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Bangladesh

Explanation:
The Union Cabinet chaired by the PM Narendra Modi has approved signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Aids to Navigation (AtoNs).

The MoU was signed between the Directorate General of Lighthouses & Lightships (DGLL), Ministry of Shipping, Government of India and the Department of Shipping, Government of Bangladesh.

The MoU envisages cooperation between Bangladesh and India:

- To extend advice on lighthouses and beacons;

- To extend advice on Vessel Traffic Service and chain of Automatic Identification System (AIS); and

- To impart training as per International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) training module to AtoN Managers and Technicians for Bangladesh.

Ministry of Shipping: Know More

- Website: shipping.nic.in

- Jurisdiction: India

- Headquarters: Parivahan Bhavan, 1, Parliament Street, New Delhi - 110 001

- Cabinet minister: Nitin Gadkari

- Minister of state: Pon Radhakrishnan, Mansukh L. Mandaviya

- Programs: Sagar Mala project


4)   US is setting up which missile defence system in South Korea ?
- Published on 07 Mar 17

a. THAAD
b. TMAAD
c. TCAAD
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: THAAD

Explanation:
US missile launchers and other equipment needed to set up a controversial missile defence system have arrived in South Korea, the US and South Korean militaries said on March 7, 2017.

This is a day after North Korea test-launched four ballistic missiles into the ocean near Japan.

The plans to deploy the Terminal High-Altitude Area defence system, or THAAD, by the end of this year have angered not only North Korea, but also China and Russia, which see the system's powerful radars as a security threat.

The system is defensive and not meant to be a threat to Beijing or Moscow.

The US military said in a statement that THAAD is meant to intercept and destroy short and medium range ballistic missiles during the last part of their flights.

Some South Korean liberal presidential candidates have said that the security benefits of having THAAD would be curtailed by worsened relations with neighbours China and Russia.

China's condemnation of South Korean plans to deploy THAAD has triggered protests against South Korean retail giant, Lotte, which agreed to provide one of its golf courses in southern South Korea as the site of THAAD.

The South Korean government also raised worries about a reported ban on Chinese tour groups visiting the country.

North Korea recently fired four ballistic missiles in an apparent protest against ongoing US-South Korean military drills that it views as an invasion rehearsal.

The missiles flew about 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) on average, three of them landing in waters that Japan claims as its exclusive economic zone


5)   India and the US have strengthened bilateral security ties under ATA. What does stand for?
- Published on 06 Mar 17

a. Anti Double Taxation Assistance
b. Anti Terrorism Assistance
c. Anti Trade Curbs Assistance
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Anti Terrorism Assistance

Explanation:
India and the US are set to further strengthen their bilateral security ties under the Trump administration.

The two countries deciding to continue exchange programmes on hostage crisis, terror crime scene probe and cybercrime.

A delegation of officials from the US met their counterparts in the Home Ministry last week and discussed ways to streamline the training programmes being conducted under the Anti-Terrorism Assistance (ATA) pact.

Indian police officers will undergo training programmes in the US training institutes on negotiations in hostage situations, terror crime scene investigations, besides on two new courses relating to cybercrime and maritime security.

India and the US are working towards strengthening bilateral ties on security front, including training programmes.

The US will be introducing two new courses for Indian police officers this year.

Indian police officers currently can opt for six training programmes under the ATA pact.

These courses have been an integral part of the bilateral cooperation on internal security between the two countries.

India is a key strategic partner of the US in its war on terror and with groups like ISIS using Internet to reach out to potential recruits in India, the ATA courses are seen as extremely relevant.

Currently the ATA courses include among others, investigating the dark web (IDW), hostage negotiation training, terrorist crime scene investigation.

Around 120-150 police officers from Central police organisations and state police forces visit the US every year for training in these courses under the ATA.

The number may go up to 200 this year with introduction of two new courses.


6)   India and which country have explored ways to enhance defence cooperation?
- Published on 02 Mar 17

a. Oman
b. Saudi Arabia
c. Syria
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Oman

Explanation:
India and Oman on 1st March 2017 explored ways to enhance cooperation between their navies during talks Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba had with top defence officials of this Gulf nation.

The two sides deliberated on ramping up cooperation between their navies in the backdrop of the fast evolving security scenario in the region.

The Chief of Navy Staff also held talks with Chief of Royal Air Force of Oman Mattar Al Obaidani on issues of strategic interests to both the countries.

Lanba, on a visit to Oman, is also scheduled to visit the Sultan Qaboos Naval Academy and the Said Bin Naval Base.

On the first leg of his trip, Lanba visited UAE where he met top echelons of the country's defence establishment and discussed ways to bolster strategic partnership between the two countries.

Oman: Know More

  • Capital: Muscat
  • Code: +968
  • Currency: Omani rial
  • Sultan: Qaboos bin Said al Said
  • Official language: Arabic


7)   SSA was signed to improve investment inflows between India and which country, ratified on 24th Feb 2017?
- Published on 27 Feb 17

a. Germany
b. Spain
c. France
d. Italy
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Germany

Explanation:
India and Germany on Friday ratified a comprehensive Social Security Agreement (SSA), to come into effect from May.

The SSA aims to improve investment flows between the two countries.

The agreement, signed on October 12, 2011, and of which instruments of ratification were exchanged on 24th Feb 2017, is expected to reduce the operational costs of Indian and German companies operating in either of the countries.

The SSA establishes the rights and obligations of nationals of both countries and provides for their equal treatment and unrestricted payment of pensions even in case of residence in the other contracting state (benefits export principle).

The requirements to be entitled to a pension can be met by aggregating the periods of insurance completed in India and Germany, whereby each country pays only the pension for the insurance periods covered by its laws.

The period of posting will be up to 48 calendar months.

The two countries signed an Agreement on Social Insurance on October 8, 2008, which came into force on October 1, 2009.

As per the Agreement, detached workers of the two countries were exempted from making social security contributions in either country, in case they made such contributions in their native countries.

Subsequently, on October 12, 2011, the two countries signed a comprehensive Agreement on Social Security, which included totalisation of social benefits.

Till date, India has signed and operationalised similar agreements with 18 countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany and Japan.

Germany: Know More

  • Capital: Berlin
  • Code: +49
  • President: Joachim Gauck
  • Destinations: Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Cologne, more
  • Official language: German


8)   India has signed a civil aviation security MoU with _______
- Published on 27 Feb 17

a. Australia
b. US
c. UK
d. Canada
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Australia

Explanation:
The Union Cabinet has approved signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Australia for promotion and development of cooperation in civil aviation security.

The MoU will provide an opportunity to Indian aviation security authorities to share the expertise with their Australian counterparts and enhance in India’s overall aviation security environment.

It will also provide compliance of international obligation as well as enhance promotion in the area of security cooperation between the two countries.

Australia: Know More

  • Capital: Canberra
  • Code: +61
  • Currency: Australian dollar
  • Population: 23.13 million (2013) World Bank
  • Prime minister: Malcolm Turnbull


9)   India and which country held deliberations for legal processes and procedures on extradition?
- Published on 27 Feb 17

a. UK
b. EU
c. UAE
d. US
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: UK

Explanation:
India and UK had held detailed deliberations on the legal processes and procedures on Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance held in New Delhi.

Both sides have agreed to further strengthen their legal cooperation and expedite the pending requests. They also agreed to review further progress in these cases every six month through video conference.

The meeting was held pursuant to the decision taken during the official visit of British Prime Minister in November 2016 to India.

The decision was taken to expedite pending requests so that fugitives and criminals are not able to escape the law.


10)   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


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