1) Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference adopted which declaration recognising terrorism as the biggest threat?
- Published on 06 Dec 16
a. Amritsar Declaration
b. Istanbul Declaration
c. Kabul Declaration
d. None of the above
ANSWER: Amritsar Declaration
6th Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference - Istanbul Process concluded on 4 December 2016 after adopting the Amritsar Declaration.
The Amritsar declaration recognised terrorism as the biggest threat to peace and demands an immediate end to all forms of terrorism.
The Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference was held in Amritsar.
It was co-chaired by Arun Jaitley, India’s FM and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, Salahuddin Rabbani.
The sixth conference was inaugurated by President of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi
Participating nations, for the first time, expressed concerns about the high-level of violence in Afghanistan caused by Taliban and other terror groups including Islamic State and its affiliates Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Haqqani Network, Al Qaida, TTP, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, Jundullah and others.
Participating nations also displayed their concern on the increase of production and cultivation of opium in Afghanistan and drug trafficking.
The declaration acknowledges the crucial role of Afghanistan as a natural land bridge, which helps in promoting regional connectivity and economic integration in the region.
Besides, the participants reaffirmed their commitment to the principles, objectives, and outcomes enshrined in the Declarations of previous five Conferences that have defined the ideals for the working of the HoA-IP aimed at promoting regional peace and prosperity.
Heart of Asia Ministerial Conferences
The previous five Ministerial Conferences were held in:
- Istanbul (2011),
- Kabul (2012),
- Almaty (2013),
- Beijing (2014), and
- Islamabad (2015).
India, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Russia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and the United Nations.Countries that supported the declaration of the conference:
Australia, Canada, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Poland, Denmark, Arab Egypt, European Union, Finland, France, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States.
2) Where will 1st International Agrobiodiversity Congress be held?
- Published on 07 Nov 16
b. New Delhi
ANSWER: New Delhi
The 1st International Agrobiodiversity Congress - IAC 2016 will be held from 6-9 Nov 2016.
- It will gather 900 delegates from 60 nations in New Delhi, India.
- The IAC 2016 will initiate and encourage a dialogue among relevant stakeholders including farmers to better understand people’s roles in agrobiodiversity management and the conservation of genetic resources.
- Agrobiodiversity is the foundation of sustainable agricultural development.
- It is the essential natural resource for ensuring current and future food and nutrition security.
- From climate change to global malnutrition, falling agricultural productivity and reduced food security, there are many challenges to be addressed.
- India is the perfect venue for the IAC as a diverse country in the world occupying 2.4 percent of the land area and accommodating 16 percent of the world’s population.
- It also harbours 7-8 percent of all recorded species including over 45,000 species of plants and 91,000 species of animals.
- Discussion will centre around sharing knowledge and discussing strategies.
- The congress is co-organised by the Indian Society of Plant Genetic Resources and Biodiversity International, a CGIAR Research Centre in Rome, Italy.
- The IAC has received support from many national and international organisations.
- The Indian Society of Plant Genetic Resources was founded in 1987 as a scientific body with multidisciplinary approach to provide a forum for those interested in plant genetic resources to express their views.
3) BRICS Nations inked three agreements during which summit held in Goa, India on 16th Oct, 2016?
- Published on 18 Oct 16
BRICS nations namely Brazil, India, China, Russia and South Africa on 16th Oct 2016 inked three agreements to boost bilateral cooperation– these agreements were inked in Goa during the 8th BRICS summit
- The summit was held from 15 to 16 Oct under the theme Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions
List of MoUs signed by BRICS countries includes:
- MoU for establishment of BRICS Agricultural Research Platform
- MoU on mutual cooperation between diplomatic academies
- Regulation on customs cooperation committee of the BRICS
- BRICS members are also part of the G-20
- As of 2015, the given BRICS countries represent 3.6 billion people or half of the world population
- All 5 members are in the top 25 of the world by population and four are in the top 10
- The 8th BRICS summit was attended by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Brazilian President Michel Temer, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and South African President Jacob Zuma.
- Towards the end of the summit, the 109 point declaration was established
- The states indicated it was the responsibility of all states to prevent terrorist action from their territories
- They condemned some recent terror attacks such as the Uri terror attack in India
- The leaders also condemned terrorism in all its forms and stressed there can be no justification for such attacks
- They acknowledged that international terrorism, such as IS constitute an unprecedented threat to peace and security
- All 5 nations reaffirmed the commitment to increase effectiveness of the UN counter terrorism framework
- Goa Declaration also called for reforms in the UN including the Security Council to increase the representation of developing countries
- They also highlighted the importance of public and private investments in infrastructure such as connectivity
- Apart from this, leaders of the BRICS nation also appreciated the progress in the strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership and emphasised the importance of the BRICS roadmap for trade, economic and investment cooperation until 2020.
- BRICS leaders also welcomed the signing of the MoU between BRICS nations National Development Banks and the New Development Bank
- BRICS Grouping welcomed the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and said growth was imperative in a sustainable and inclusive fashion.
- Summit’s focus was also on enhancing P2P contact through activities such as Film Festival, Young Diplomats Forum, Youth Summit and U-17 Football Tournament.
- The ninth BRICS summit will be hosted by China in 2017
- Leaders also held an outreach summit with leaders of BIMSTEC or Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation member countries
- The BIMSTEC grouping comprises Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.
- The grouping also examined possibilities of expanding trade and commercial ties between the member nations of the two religious groupings
4) Which country was to hold the SAARC summit in November 2016 that has now been postponed?
- Published on 03 Oct 16
Pakistan officially postponed the SAARC summit in November after Sri Lanka added to the criticism by pulling out of the summit becoming the fifth nation to do so
- Previously, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Bhutan and Sri Lanka had also pulled out of the SAARC Summit
- Only Nepal and Maldives did not object
- China called for restraint, asking the countries to leave aside tensions
- Meanwhile close ally Russia is currently exercising with Pakistan in the first ever counter terrorism operations for the two countries
- Russia called for de-escalation of tensions between the two nations
- China has refused to criticise Pakistan on terror groups though some of these train Uighur militants in Xinjiang
- It has also failed to allow UN Security Council's 1267 committee to ban Jaish e Mohammed's Masood Azhar, a big sore point with India.
- India had submitted a detailed dossier on Azhar and moved the UNSC 1267 committee following the January 2 attack on an Indian airforce station in Pathankot.
- In March, India's submission was considered by the counter-terrorism executive directorate for technical aspects of the evidence provided. The technical team then with the support of the US, the UK and France had sent it to all the members.
- India had said the sanctions committee was taking a "selective approach" in tackling terrorism.
5) Which countries have pulled out of the SAARC summit in Islamabad in Nov 2016?
- Published on 28 Sep 16
d. All of the above
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.
6) Incredible India Tourism Investor’s Summit prompted how many investable projects from across the country?
- Published on 22 Sep 16
IITIS is a platform for domestic and foreign investors to meet project owners from Indian states and private sectors.
- the summit was held on 22nd Sept 2016
- It includes State Presentations encompassing all investible Properties, Session on Why Invest in India, MSME in tourism sector, Panel discussions on core infrastructure for tourism, Session on Start-ups, digital India, Investing into Swadesh Darshan, PRASAD, MICE and Niche Tourism Products, B2B meetings and signing of MoUs.
- It has dedicated space for Seminars, Business to Business meetings and Roundtables around focus themes.
Over 1800 delegates were from:
- Private sector Project Owners;
- Banks and Financial Institutions;
- Business Developers;
- Cruise Liners;
- Domestic Investors;
- Entertainment Companies; I
- Indian States with Ready Investible Projects
- Territory Administrations;
- Global Investors;
- Helicopter Services;
- Infrastructure Developers;
- International Associations;
- Spa and Yaga Centres;
- Tour and Travel Operators;
- Urban Developer and Venture Capitalists
- The Confederation of Indian Industry and Tourism Finance Corporation of India Ltd are principal partners of this summit. Four Knowledge Partners i.e. Ernst & Young, KPMG, Yes Bank and Invest India will assist States and UTs for identifying projects, Suggesting Tourism Policy updates and presenting these to the potential investors during the summit.
There will be six Plenary Sessions on 22nd and 23rd September, 2016
- Plenary Session –1 - Why Invest in Incredible India
- Plenary Session –2 - Core Infrastructure for Tourism
- Plenary Session –3 - Digital India & Start UP India
- Plenary Session –4- Open House with State Tourism Ministers
- Plenary Session –5 - Open-house with CEOs
- Plenary Session– 6 -Medical Tourism
7) World leaders on 19th September adopted which declaration at the UNGA’s first summit for refugees and migrants?
- Published on 21 Sep 16
a. New York Declaration
b. Washington Declaration
c. London Declaration
d. Moscow Declaration
ANSWER: New York Declaration
World leaders on 19th September 2016 adopted the New York Declaration at the opening of the United Nation’s General Assembly first ever Summit for Refugees and Migrants
- Delegates adopted the landmark declaration issuing a solid commitment to address current issues and prepare the world for future challenges.
- This includes starting negotiations and adoption of global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration in 2018
Highlights of the declaration are as follows:
- Protection of human rights of refugees and migrants regardless of status including the rights of women and girls ad promoting equal and meaningful participation in finding solutions
- Ensure that refugee and migrant children are receiving education within a few months of the arrival
- Prevent and respond to gender based violence
- Support those countries, receiving and hosting numerous refugees and migrants
- Work towards ending the practice of detaining children for the purpose of assessing the migration status
- Find new homes for all refugees identified by Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees as needing resettlement
- Increase opportunities for refugees or migrants to relocate other countries through labour mobility or education schemes
- Strengthen global governance of migration by bringing the international organisation of migration into the UN system
- Adopting the NY Declaration means more children can attend school, more workers can seek jobs and rights of refugees and migrants will be protected
- Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General has launched a new campaign called Together – Respect, Safety and Dignity for All to respond to rising xenophobia and turn fear into hope.
8) Which is the latest NAM summit to be held in Venezuela on September 17-18?
- Published on 19 Sep 16
The important 17th NAM Summit was held in Margarita Island in Venezuela from Sept 17 to 18.
NAM summit on 17th makes the second time PM of India will not be representing the nation at the summit.
Others who founded NAM include:
- India was one of the founding members of the Non Aligned Movement
- It hosted the 7th NAM Summit in 1983 in New Delhi
- Last NAM summit was held in Iran in 2012
- “The Summit is expected to deliberate on issues of contemporary relevance and concern such as terrorism, UN reform, the situation in West Asia, threats to peace and security, UN peacekeeping operations, climate change, and sustainable development,” stated a press release by the Ministry of External Affairs.
- NAM is a group of states not formally aligned or against major power blogs
- Organisation was founded in Belgrade in 1961 and largely conceived by India’s first PM Nehru
- Indonesia’s first president, Sukarno;
- Egypt’s second president, Gamal Abdel Nasser;
- Ghana’s first president Kwame Nkrumah;
- Yugoslavia’s president, Josip Broz Tito.
- All these leaders emphasised the middle course for states in developing part of the world in the cold war between Western and Eastern Blocs.
- As of 2012, NAM has 120 members
9) 28th and 29th Association of ASEAN summit concluded on 8th September 2016. What was the theme for this summit?
- Published on 12 Sep 16
a. Turning Myth Into Reality for a Dynamic ASEAN Community
b. Turning Vision into Reality for a Dynamic ASEAN Community
c. Turning Dreams into Reality for a Dynamic ASEAN Community
d. None of the above
ANSWER: Turning Vision into Reality for a Dynamic ASEAN Community
ASEAN Summit 2016 namely the 28th and 29th associations of ASEAN Summit concluded on 8th Sept 2016 at Vientiane Laos.
- The theme for the summit was Turning Vision into Reality for a Dynamic ASEAN Community
- HE THongloun Sisoulith, PM of Laos PDF was Chairperson of the summit
- The summit was held from 6-8th Sept 2016
- It was attended by leaders of 10 member ASEAN nations namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Cambodia
- ASEAN leaders at the summit discussed the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and enhanced cooperation with external partners of ASEAN
- The nations also adopted the initiative for ASEAN Integration Work Plan III and Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 which is an integral part of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025
- The ASEAN declaration on One ASEAN, One Response: ASEAN Responding to Disasters as One in the Region and Outside the Region was also signed
- Several outcome documents were aimed at realising the 8 priorities for ASEAN Chairmanship 2016 and the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025
- There was also an agreement to intensify ASEAN Cooperation with Dialogue Partners and External Parties through ASEAN led mechanisms namely ASEAN Plus One, ASEAN Plus Three, ASEAN regional forum, ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus and East Asia Summit
- PM Narendra Modi represented India at the 14th ASEAN- India summit
- The summit is ASEAN’s highest policy making body. Chair of the ASEAN Submit rotates annually in alphabetical order of English names of member states
10) Incredible India Tourism Investors Summit 2016 is held as a platform for investors across the globe in which city?
- Published on 06 Sep 16
a. New Delhi
ANSWER: New Delhi
Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism and Culture has said that Incredible India Tourism Investors Summit 2016 is a platform for investors across the globe to explore investment opportunities available within the ambit of the Indian tourism sector as well as core infrastructure.
- India is one of the fastest growing economies and the tourism sector seeks to escalate its culture and heritage
- India’s tourism offerings will be on display during the summit
- Centre has allowed 100 percent FDI under the automatic route in tourism and hospitality as well as tourism construction projects
- Policies offer attractive investment potential in the tourism sector
- Incredible India Tourism Summit organised by Ministry of Tourism is its initiative in association with CII and TFCI
- Highlights of the summit include participation from more than 27 Indian states, around 600 investable projects from across the country and from across various sectors of tourism participation from 140 investors from 70 companies and 21 seminars across two shows along with event road shows, an updated website and B2G meetings prefixed online