International Polity - Current Affairs Questions and Answers

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1)   India and Australia held which dialogue in New Delhi between foreign and defence secretaries in Dec 2017?
- Published on 14 Dec 17

a. 2+1 dialogue
b. 1+2 dialogue
c. 2+2 dialogue
d. 2+3 dialogue
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: 2+2 dialogue

India and Australia held their first '2+2 dialogue' in New Delhi and highlighted need to maintain Asia-Pacific region as a "free" and "open" zone.

The 2+2 dialogue model between both countries included foreign and defence secretaries.

India and Australia share warm bilateral relations based on shared democratic values and pluralism.

There is a growing convergence of strategic perspectives between the two countries.

2+2 Dialogue: Know More

  • It was first meeting of this level since the two sides participated in quadrilateral discussion between India, United States, Australia and Japan in Manila in November 2017 for new strategic partnership targeting the Asia-Pacific region.
  • In the 2+2 dialogue, all aspects of bilateral relations with focus on strategic and defence relations between two countries were reviewed.
  • Both countries agreed that free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region serves the long-term interests of all countries in the region and of the world at large.
  • The dialogue indicated that focus remains on freedom of navigation in South China Sea, where China has been reclaiming land for infrastructure, boosting its maritime influence.

2)   Theresa May has lost the Brexit vote over which flagship bill?
- Published on 14 Dec 17

a. EU Integration Bill
b. EU Departure Bill
c. EU Union Bill
d. EU Withdrawal Bill
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: EU Withdrawal Bill

British Prime Minister Theresa May on December 13 suffered a damaging parliamentary defeat over Brexit, after her own MPs rebelled to demand parliament have the final say on the divorce deal with Brussels.

Members of Ms. May's Conservative party joined with opposition lawmakers to inflict the government's first defeat over the flagship E.U. (Withdrawal) Bill, sparking huge cheers in the House of Commons.

It is a blow to Ms. May on the eve of a crucial summit in Brussels, where E.U. leaders are expected to approve the terms of the interim Brexit deal agreed last week after months of tortuous negotiations.

The E.U. (Withdrawal) Bill is intended to formally end Britain's membership of the E.U., as well as smooth its exit by transferring thousands of pieces of European legislation onto the U.K. statute books.

It also gives Ministers powers to amend the laws as they move across, to address any technical glitches.

But MPs objected to the fact that these so-called "Henry VIII" powers also extend to the implementation of the withdrawal agreement with the E.U.

3)   India has entered which of the following groupings in 2016-2017 since the formation of the NDA government?
- Published on 11 Dec 17

b. Wassenaar Arrangement
d. Both a and b
e. Both a and c
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both a and b

After its entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime in June 2016, India was on Thursday admitted as the 42nd member+ of the Wassenaar Arrangement - a global grouping that regulates transfer and access to conventional weapons and dual-use technologies.

In the coming months, India expects to be included in the Australia Group as well, leaving the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) - where it faces stiff opposition from China - as the last non-proliferation regime that India expects to enter.

India still has to apply for licences for high-tech and dual-use exports, but from now, that process is expected to get easier.

This is the second of four non-proliferation regimes India has joined after the India-US nuclear deal was cleared.

The important aspect of three out of the four regimes is that China is not a member of them except for the NSG.

The formal application to Wassenaar was made by India in 2016, although the work to align Indian rules and munitions lists to Wassenaar rules began in 2014.

Bit by bit, India's accession to these non-proliferation regimes is making it clearer that China's political opposition is the stumbling block.

India's membership to MTCR opened doors for its space programme and its ability to source high-end missile systems and technologies as well as surveillance drones.

The Wassenaar membership is important for India, giving it a leg up as a responsible player in the world of dual-use goods and technologies and transfer of conventional arms.

It gives India an important voice in shaping global response to regional and global "security developments, advances in technology and market trend.

Outside these groups India would have trouble accessing a number of these technologies, because India has been for over 40 years the target of dual-use technology denial regimes.

Even after the India-US deal, India hasn't actually been able to break through these regimes.

In the coming months, India expects to be included in the Australia Group as well, leaving the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) - where it faces stiff opposition from China - as the last non-proliferation regime that India expects to enter.

The WA membership is also expected to build up a strong case for India's entry into the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Significantly, China, which stonewalled India's entry into the 48-nation NSG, is not a member of the Wassenaar Arrangement.

What is Wassenaar Arrangement?

  • The Wassenaar Arrangement is an elite club of countries which subscribe to arms export controls, similar to the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Missile Technology Control Regime.
  • The body came into being in 1996 to succeed the Cold War-era Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls. The name comes from Wassenaar, a suburb of The Hague, where the agreement to start such a multi-lateral cooperation was reached in 1995.
  • The WA has 42 members, the latest entrant being India. With the exception of China, all the other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council are signatories of the WA, which is headquartered in Vienna.
  • According to the WA website, the goal of the Arrangement is to "promote transparency and greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies".
  • Participants are required to "ensure that transfers of these items do not contribute to the development or enhancement of military capabilities which undermine the goal". The aim, according to WA, is also to prevent the acquisition of these items by terrorists.
  • The Arrangement works according to what it calls WA Control Lists. The controls are subject to ratification by the participants.
  • WA members agree to exchange information on sensitive dual-use goods and technologies and report on such transfers and denials of controlled items to non-participants.

4)   US President Donald Trump recognised which city as the capital of Israel?
- Published on 07 Dec 17

a. Gaza
b. Jerusalem
c. Tel Aviv
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Jerusalem

U.S. President Donald Trump reversed decades of policy on Dec 6, 2017 and recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, despite warnings from around the world that the gesture will further drive a wedge between Israel and the Palestinians.

In a speech at the White House, Mr. Trump said his administration would also begin a process of moving the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which is expected to take years.

Trump aides contend the move reflects the reality of Jerusalem as the centre of Jewish faith and the fact that the city is the seat of the Israeli government.

Mr. Trump also called his decision "a long overdue" step to advance the peace process.

According to him, decision marked the start of a "new approach" to solving the thorny conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

A Palestinian envoy said the decision was a declaration of war in the region.

Israel Vs Palestine Settlement: Know More

  • Senior administration officials said on Dec 4, 2017 evening that the formal recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital did not prejudice a possible settlement between the two parties on its status later.
  • The construction of a new embassy in Jerusalem would be a matter of years, not months, an official said.
  • They said the location of the U.S. embassy had no bearing on the peace process.
  • Mr. Trump's predecessors - from Bill Clinton to George Bush - made similar promises on the campaign trail, but quickly reneged upon taking office.

5)   Which nation pulled out of the UN Global Compact on Migration on Dec 5 2017?
- Published on 06 Dec 17

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


The United States has pulled out of UN Global Compact on Migration.

It has argued that Obama-era negotiated UN compact process deal contains numerous provisions that inconsistent with country's immigration and refugee policies and Trump Administration's immigration principles.

US under Trump administration has pulled out of several global commitments including UNESCO, UN cultural and educational body and 2015 Paris climate change agreement.

US participation in Global Compact on Migration process was started in 2016 following Obama Administration's decision to join UN's New York Declaration on Migration.

US under Trump administration has held that New York Declaration contains numerous provisions that are inconsistent with US immigration and refugee policies and Trump Administration's immigration principles.

Moreover, the global approach in New York Declaration is simply not compatible with US sovereignty.

UN Global Compact on Migration: Know More

  • UN Global Compact on Migration will be the first intergovernmentally negotiated agreement under auspices of UN to cover all dimensions of international migration in holistic and comprehensive manner.
  • Its genesis can be found in New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants adopted in September 2016 by UN General Assembly.
  • Under this declaration, signatory UN member countries had decided to develop global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration.
  • The process to develop this global compact for migration was started in April 2017. It was to reach international consensus at the UN in 2018.
  • The purpose of Global compact of migration is to provide significant opportunity to improve governance on migration, address challenges associated with today's migration, and strengthen contribution of migrants and migration to sustainable development.

6)   South Korea and United States have launched their largest-ever joint aerial drills named ________?
- Published on 05 Dec 17

a. Vigilant Ace 18
b. Vigilante18
c. Vigil 18
d. Ace Defence 18
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Vigilant Ace 18

South Korea and United States have launched Vigilant Ace 18, their largest-ever joint aerial drills.

The exercise comes after North Korea tested Hwasong-15, its most advanced and powerful Inter Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) as part of its weapons programme.

Monday's Vigilant Ace exercis'es, due to last five days, will involve more than 230 warplanes and 12,000 soldiers from both sides.

The drill lasts from today until December 8 over eight air bases across the Korean Peninsula.

Trump's troops will be using the hi-tech F-35 Lightning IIs and F-22 Raptors.

Both fighter jets are said to be stronger than North Korea's arsenal.

F-35s can fly at speeds of 1,931km/h and are capable of carrying nuclear bombs and bunker busters.

Meanwhile, the F-22 can hit speeds of up to 2414km/h and are armed with Vulcan miniguns and Sidewinder missiles.

7)   Which country is set to launch an independent internet for BRICS nations?
- Published on 30 Nov 17

a. Russia
b. Brazil
c. India
d. China
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Russia

The Russian Security Council has asked the country's government to develop an independent internet infrastructure for BRICS nations, which would continue to work in the event of global internet malfunctions.

The initiative was discussed at the October meeting of the Security Council, which is Russia's top consultative body on national security.

President Vladimir Putin personally set a deadline of August 1, 2018 for the completion of the task, the RBC news agency reported.

While discussing the issue, members of the council noted that the increased capabilities of western nations to conduct offensive operations in the informational space as well as the increased readiness to exercise these capabilities pose a serious threat to Russia's security.

They decided that the problem should be addressed by creating a separate backup system of Domain Name Servers (DNS), which would not be subject to control by international organizations. This system would be used by countries of the BRICS bloc - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The issue of excessive dependency on global DNS has previously been addressed by Russia.

In 2014, the Russian Communications Ministry conducted a major exercise in which it simulated the "switching off" of global internet services and used a Russian backup system to successfully support web operations inside the country.

8)   Robert Mugabe resigned as president of which country on November 21, 2017?
- Published on 22 Nov 17

a. Zimbabwe
b. Zambia
c. Ethiopia
d. Liberia
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Zimbabwe

Robert Mugabe resigned as Zimbabwe's President on November 21, shortly after Parliament began an impeachment process to end his nearly four decades of rule.

The 93-year old clung on for a week after an Army takeover and expulsion from his own ruling ZANU-PF party, which also told him to leave power.

Wild celebrations broke out at a joint sitting of parliament when Speaker Jacob Mudenda announced Mr. Mugabe’s resignation and suspended the impeachment procedure.

The origin of Mr. Mugabe’s sudden downfall lies in rivalry between members of Zimbabwe’s ruling elite over who will succeed him, rather than popular protest

The Army seized power after Mr. Mugabe sacked ZANU-PF’s favourite to succeed him, Emmerson Mnangagwa, to smooth a path to the presidency for his wife Grace Mugabe, 52, known to her critics as “Gucci Grace” for her reputed fondness for luxury shopping.

Mr. Mnangagwa, a former security chief known as “The Crocodile”, is expected to take over as President.

9)   Which is EU's biggest economy?
- Published on 20 Nov 17

a. France
b. Germany
c. UK
d. Italy
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Germany

Chancellor Angela Merkel was left battling for political survival Monday after high-stakes talks to form a new government collapsed - plunging Germany into a crisis that could see it hold fresh elections.

Ms. Merkel had been forced to seek an alliance with an unlikely group of parties after September's elections left her without a majority.

But after more than a month of gruelling negotiations, the leader of the pro-business FDP, Christian Lindner, walked out of talks, refusing to forge a government with Ms. Merkel's conservative alliance CDU-CSU and ecologist Greens.

Voicing regret for the FDP's decision, Ms. Merkel vowed to steer Germany through the crisis.

The Greens' leaders also deplored the collapse of talks, saying they had believed a deal could be done despite the differences.

The negotiations, which turned increasingly acrimonious, had stumbled on a series of issues including immigration policy.

Merkel's liberal refugee policy that let in more than a million asylum seekers since 2015 had also pushed some voters to the far-right AfD, which in September elections campaigned on an Islamophobic and anti-immigration platform.

The parties also differed on environmental issues, with the ecologists wanting to phase out dirty coal and combustion-engine cars, while the conservatives and FDP emphasise the need to protect industry and jobs.

Ms. Merkel could now try to convince the Social Democratic Party, which has been junior coalition in her government since 2013, to return to a partnership.

But after the SPD suffered a humiliating loss at the polls, the party's top brass has repeatedly said its place was now in the opposition.

Ms. Merkel, who has been in power for 12 years, could also lead a minority government although she had signalled that she was not in favour of such instability.

Germany could likely therefore be forced to hold new elections.

But that is not without peril for Ms. Merkel, who would face questions from within her party on whether she is still the best candidate to lead them into a new electoral campaign.

10)   Which country's military launched a coup on Nov 15, 2017?
- Published on 16 Nov 17

a. Zambia
b. New Zealand
c. Zimbabwe
d. Ethiopia
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Zimbabwe

The military in Zimbabwe launched a 'coup' on November 15, 2017, calling it a "bloodless correction" to target "criminals" surrounding long-time leader Robert Mugabe.

Robert Mugabe is the only leader Zimbabwe had since it won freedom from British colonial rule in 1980.

At 93, Mr. Mugabe is the world's oldest head of state. His poor health has fuelled a bitter succession battle as potential replacements jockey for position.

His lengthy rule has been marked by brutal repression of dissent, mass emigration, vote-rigging and economic collapse since land reforms in 2000.

On October 30, 2017, Mr. Mugabe sacked long-time ally and Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, widely expected to succeed the former and take control of the ruling ZANU-PF party.

Mr. Mugabe's move is seen as an attempt to install his wife Grace - 41 years younger than her husband - as Vice-President and eventually take over the top job from him.
Though the action had all the hallmarks of a bloodless coup, the Zimbabwean military chose to avoid the word coup.

Instead, it used state television to vow to target "criminals" close to Mr. Mugabe.
Army veterans called the action "a bloodless correction".

The main opposition MDC party called for civilian rule to be protected.

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