International Relations - Current Affairs Questions and Answers

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1)   With which country did the Union Cabinet sign a Memorandum of Understanding for Promotion of Civil Aviation Cooperation on Nov 17, 2017?
- Published on 20 Nov 17

a. United States
b. Germany
c. Turkey
d. Poland
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Poland

Explanation:
The Union Cabinet has approved signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Poland for Promotion of Civil Aviation Cooperation.

The objective of MoU is to recognize mutual benefit of Cooperation in field of Civil Aviation having particular significance in establishing and improving Regional Air Connectivity (RCA) in India.

Besides, both sides will recognize mutual benefits of environmental testing and approvals, aircraft maintenance facilities approvals, flight simulators monitoring and approvals, maintenance personnel approvals and aircrew members approvals.

The MoU will be for a term of five years.


2)   India signed how many agreements with Philippines in Nov 2017?
- Published on 15 Nov 17

a. 3
b. 4
c. 5
d. 6
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: 4

Explanation:
India on 14th Nov, 2017 signed four agreements, including one to step up cooperation in the defence sector, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte to boost bilateral ties.

Modi, the first Indian prime minister to visit the Philippines in 36 years, had a very warm and cordial meeting with president Duterte, Secretary East, Ministry of External Affairs.

The two countries signed an agreement to boost bilateral cooperation in defence and logistics.

The two sides also signed an agreement on enhancing cooperation in agriculture, small and medium enterprises and Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) and the Philippines Foreign Service Institute.

Duterte expressed interest in acquiring fast offshore patrol vessels and welcomed Indian pharmaceutical companies to invest in his country to make good quality and cheaper drugs.

Indian infrastructure companies could explore opportunities in his country.

Prime Minister Modi expressed interest in expanding cooperation with the Philippines in the renewable energy sector and welcomed the country to join the Solar Alliance.
He also invited its premier to visit India to take part in the 25th anniversary of India-ASEAN relations which will be celebrated next year.


3)   Where has a rice field lab been inaugurated in the name of India's PM Modi?
- Published on 14 Nov 17

a. Los Banos, Philippines
b. Manila, Philippines
c. Hanoi, Vietnam
d. Hangphong, Vietnam
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Los Banos, Philippines

Explanation:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Banos, Philippines and inaugurated 'Shri Narendra Modi Resilient Rice Field Laboratory' on 13th Nov, 2017.

He undertook a symbolic ground breaking for a new plot for submergence tolerant rice varieties and unveiled a plaque to mark the inauguration of the 'Shri Narendra Modi Resilient Rice Field Laboratory'.

He also presented two Indian rice seed varieties to the IRRI gene bank.

IRRI is a premier research organisation dedicated to reducing poverty and hunger through rice science; improving the health and welfare of rice farmers and consumers; and protecting the rice growing environment for future generations.

India's ICAR and IRRI have been cooperating for four decades. India is also involved in helping IRRI in strategic planning, helping decide key goals and working to overcome hunger as well as poverty.

The PM also reviewed a photo exhibit showcasing flood tolerant rice varieties; drought tolerant rice varieties; salinity tolerant rice varieties; and Irri's work with women farming cooperatives.


4)   APEC Vietnam 2017 marks the holding of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings for which year(s)?
- Published on 14 Nov 17

a. 2017
b. 2018
c. 2019
d. 2020
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: 2017

Explanation:
APEC Vietnam 2017 is the year-long hosting of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in Vietnam, which will culminate with the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Da Nang to be hosted at InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort.

It marks the second time Vietnam was playing host to the APEC, having hosted the event previously in 2006.

A Round Table Meeting with the theme, "Stronger Joint Action for Apec's Shared Vision", was held in Hanoi in December 17, 2015 by the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss preparation efforts for the 2017 APEC Summit.

The People's Committee of Da Nang, the host city of the Economic Leader's Meeting, has approved a project to upgrade major roads in the city.

The project will cover 34 streets in the city which is estimated to cost around around US $10.9 million.

The Da Nang International Airport is also scheduled to be completed by March 2017.[9]

During the 4th National Committee for APEC 2017 in April 13, 2016 in Hanoi, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam Pham Binh Minh directed ministries and agencies to coordinate with other APEC member states especially Peru and Papua New Guinea, the hosts of the 2016 and

This was the first APEC meeting for United States President Donald Trump, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.


5)   Which 4 nations held their first official level talks to keep the Indo-Pacific region inclusive and open?
- Published on 13 Nov 17

a. Japan, Australia, India, US
b. Japan, Australia, India, UK
c. Japan, Australia, India, UAE
d. Japan, Australia, India, Canada
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Japan, Australia, India, US

Explanation:
Giving shape to their security cooperation under the proposed quadrilateral coalition, India, the US, Japan and Australia today held their first official- level talks to keep the Indo-Pacific region free, open and inclusive, a move that comes amid China's growing military presence in the strategic area.

Soon after the meeting, all the four countries issued separate statements listing Indo-Pacific as the major area of the their discussions and resolved to work towards upholding a rules-based order and ensuring respect for international law in the region.

The meeting comes ahead of the ASEAN summit which is also likely to discuss the security challenges facing the Indo-Pacific region and China's military expansion in the South China Sea.

The formation of a quadrilateral security dialogue comprising India, the US, Australia and Japan was first mooted around 10 years back but it did not see light of the day.

Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono last month had said that Tokyo favours the quadrilateral dialogue to further boost strategic partnership among the four countries.

Reacting to the Japanese move, India had said that it was open to working with like-minded countries on issues that advance its interests.

The US had said it was looking at a "working-level" quadrilateral meeting in the near term with India, Japan and Australia.

The US and Japan have been pushing for deeper Indian role in the Indo-Pacific region.

The use of the term "Indo-Pacific" by Trump has led to speculation that it may have something to do with Washington preparing the ground for a revival of the Quadrilateral alliance between the US, Japan, Australia and India to counter China's rise.


6)   India was re-elected on the executive board of which UN body on Nov 2017?
- Published on 13 Nov 17

a. UNESCO
b. UNAID
c. UNDP
d. UNICEF
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: UNESCO

Explanation:
India was re-elected on Friday as a member of the executive board of the UN educational, scientific and cultural organization (UNESCO), an official said.

The election was held at the 39th session of the general conference of UNESCO in Paris, he said. "The news is quite significant and indicates the position of India globally.

The executive board is the top decision- making body, so it is an important achievement,

The general conference consists of the representatives of the states members of the organisation. It meets every two years, and is attended by member states and associate members, together with observers for non-member states, intergovernmental organisations and non- governmental organisations (NGOs), according to the UNESCO.

Each country has one vote, irrespective of its size or the extent of its contribution to the budget. The general conference determines the policies and the main lines of work of the organisation.

Its duty is to set the programmes and the budget of the UNESCO. It also elects the members of the executive board and appoints, every four years, the director-general.


7)   Indian MHA Union Minister chaired the second meeting of Island Development Agency for which islands?
- Published on 13 Nov 17

a. Andaman and Nicobar islands
b. Lakshadweep
c. Daman and Diu
d. Both a and b
e. Both a and c
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and b

Explanation:
The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh chaired the second meeting of Island Development Agency (IDA).

The Island Development Agency reviewed the concept development plans and detailed master plans for holistic development of 09 islands (four in A&N Islands i.e. Smith, Ross, Long, Avis) and (five in Lakshadweep i.e. Minicoy, Bangaram, Thinnakara, Cheriyam, Suheli).

The project being steered by NITI Aayog aims at promoting and implementing development based on sustainable approach to building a thriving maritime economy of the project islands.

The Union Home Minister expressed satisfaction at the progress made since its last meeting held on July 24, 2017, when directions were given to identify and execute infrastructure and connectivity projects together with provisioning of water and electricity.

It was noted that site development potential reports have clearly mapped and delineated environmentally sensitive zones in the project islands and considering the unique maritime and territorial bio-diversity of the islands, enhanced connectivity has been recommended as one of the key priorities.

Accordingly, it was decided that the Naval air station at Shibpur near Diglipur in northern Andaman & Nicobar Islands would be co-used as Joint User Airport.

During the meeting, it was also decided to develop a PPP package including a airport (Joint User Airport) at Minicoy Island, to unlock the tourism potential.

It was agreed to promote tuna fishing industry for improving livelihoods in Lakshadweep.

Union Home Minister directed all concerned to expedite implementation of ongoing key infrastructure projects in the islands and develop community based tourism in consultation with local stakeholders.

NITI Aayog was also asked to drive the formulation of PPP projects and proposed detailed guidelines to boost private sector participation.

The IDA was set up on June 01, 2017 following the Prime Minister's review meeting for the holistic development of islands.


8)   Syrian army has taken over which last major IS stronghold in Nov 2017?
- Published on 10 Nov 17

a. Albu Kamal
b. Damascus
c. Homs
d. Aleppo
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Albu Kamal

Explanation:
The Syrian army and its allies have taken Albu Kamal, Islamic State's last major stronghold in Syria, representing the end of Islamic State's project in the region.

The army said it is now fighting the last remaining IS pockets in the country's eastern desert, an army statement said.

The liberation of Albu Kamal city is very important because it signals the general fall of the terrorist Daesh organisation's project in the region.

Alongside Lebanon's Hezbollah and other Shia militias, and backed by Iran and Russia, the Syrian army has recently seized swathes of land from Islamic State.

Albu Kamal, on the Euphrates River, is located in Syria's eastern Deir al-Zor province on the Iraqi border.

On 8th Nov, during the battle, Hezbollah forces entered Iraq and the Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Forces crossed into Syria to help capture the town, a commander in the pro-Damascus alliance announced.


9)   India's PM Modi along with Bangladesh premier and WB CM launched which cross border train on Nov 9, 2017?
- Published on 10 Nov 17

a. Kolkata-Khulna Bandhan
b. Kolkata-Dhaka Bandhan
c. Darjeeling-Khulna Bandhan
d. Darjeeling-Dhaka Bandhan
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Kolkata-Khulna Bandhan

Explanation:
Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, the Bangladesh Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh & the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, in an historical event on Nov 9, 2017 flagged off Cross Border Train between India & Bangladesh, the Kolkata-Khulna Bandhan Express through video conference from Kolkata station.

The leaders unveiled jointly an e-plaque to inaugurate the following:

(i) Second Bharirab & Titas Railway Bridges in Bangladesh,

(ii) International Rail Passenger Terminus with End-to-End Immigration and Customs Clearance Facilities (for the passengers of Maitree Express and Bandhan Express) at Kolkata station.

The close connection and understanding between two countries requires connectivity between the people across the border and Maitree Express and Bandhan Express trains will further add to connectivity between India and Bangladesh and strengthen and strengthen bonding.

The Bandhan Express train is the second train to be flagged off after the introduction of Maitree Express' between Kolkata and Dhaka Cantonment stations in April, 2008.

It covers the distance between Kolkata and Khulna through Petrapole & Benapole route to cater to the demands of the people from both the countries to enhance the connectivity.

The Bandhan Express will be a weekly service on every Thursday.

In order to reduce the en-route journey time of the passengers of the existing Kolkata - Dhaka Cantt. Maitree Express and newly introduced Kolkata - Khulna Bandhan Express, Ministry of Railways, with the coordination of Department of Immigration & Customs has opened an International Rail Passenger Terminus at Kolkata station with proper infrastructure and facilities of end-to-end immigration.

With this new facility at Kolkata Terminal, the passengers of Maitree Express and Bandhan Express will be immensely benefitted.

The second Bhairab Bridge and Titas Bridge in Bangladesh built under the assistance of Government of India are two of the most important projects in Bangladesh for infrastructure and rolling stock development.

The one kilometer long second Bhairab Railway Bridge was built over the mighty Meghna river at a cost of around USD 75 millions by Indian contractors and consultants.

Similarly, the Titas bridge over river Titas in Eastern Bangladesh was built with a cost of around USD 25 million. Both these bridges are on the main Chittagong to Dhaka Trunk Rail Line which will help in faster movement of both passenger and freight trains of Bangladesh.


10)   India and Italy have inked which of the following pacts?
- Published on 31 Oct 17

a. Joint Declaration of Intent of Cooperation for Safety in the Railway sector between India and Italy
b. MoU on cooperation In the field of Energy between India and Italy
c. MoU on cooperation in environmental conservation between India and Italy
d. Both a and b
e. Both a and c
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and b

Explanation:
India and Italy today inked six pacts, including on boosting cooperation in the energy and trade sectors, after extensive talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni on key issues such as terrorism and cyber crime.

The two leaders also discussed ways to strengthen the bilateral political and economic relations, apart from deliberating on strategic international and regional issues.

After the Modi-Gentiloni meeting, the two sides signed six pacts to deepen cooperation in the fields of railways sector safety, energy and promoting mutual investments, among others.

Italy is India's fifth largest trading partner in the EU with a bilateral trade of USD 8.79 billion in 2016-17, as per official figures.

India's exports to Italy were at USD 4.90 billion, while its imports were at USD 3.89 billion, resulting in a trade imbalance of USD 1 billion in favour of India. In the first four months of fiscal 2017-18, bilateral trade has reached USD 3.22 billion.

Gentiloni's visit is the first prime ministerial trip from Italy in more than a decade.

The India-Italy diplomatic ties were hit badly after two Italian marines - Latorre Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone - on board a ship named Enrica Lexie, were arrested for allegedly killing two Indian fishermen off the coast of Kerala in 2012.

List of MoUs/Agreements signed during the visit of Prime Minister of Italy to India (October 30, 2017)


S. No.Name of MOUItalian SignatoryIndian Signatory
1.Joint Declaration of Intentof Cooperation for Safety in the Railway sector between India and ItalyMr. Renato Mazzoncini, CEO & General Manager, ItalianRailwaysMr. Ved Pal Additional Member (Planning), Railway Board
2.MoU on 70 years of diplomaticrelations between Indian Council of Cultural Relations and Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation, Government oftheRepublic of ItalyMr. Lorenzo Angeloni, Ambassador of Italy to IndiaMs. Riva Ganguly Das, DG ICCR
3.MoU on cooperation In the field of Energy between India and ItalyMr. Lorenzo Angeloni, Ambassador of Italy toIndiaMr. Anand Kumar, Secretary, MNRE
4.Executive Protocol on Cultural Cooperation between India andItalyMr. Lorenzo Angeloni, Ambassador of Italy to IndiaMs. Reenat Sandhu, Ambassador of India to Italy
5.MoU between the Training Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Government of theRepublic of Italy and the Foreign Service Institute of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of the Republic of IndiaMr.Lorenzo Angeloni, Ambassador of Italy to IndiaMr. J. S. Mukul, Dean, FSI
6.MoU for promotingmutual investments between Italian Trade Agency and Invest IndiaMr. Michele Scannavini President, Italian Trade AgencyDeepak Bagla. CEO, Invest India


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