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Iran says it launched military satellite into orbit

Iran says it launched a military satellite into orbit Amidst tension with the US, Iran today said that it had successfully launched its first military satellite into orbit. The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) reported that the first military satellite “Noor”, which means the light was successfully put into orbit. The satellite was launched from a three-stage carrier Ghased and was placed in 425-km orbit.

COVID-19: China announces additional USD 30 million grants for WHO

COVID-19: China announces additional USD 30 million grants for WHO China announced an additional  30 million US Dollar grant to the World Health Organization, days after Beijing expressed serious concern over US President Donald Trump's decision to freeze the funding for the global health agency over its handling of the COVID-19 crisis. The grant will be in addition to the  20 million US Dollars provided by China earlier to the WHO. He said China will always support the Genev

Pakistan receives USD 1.39 billion

Pakistan receives USD 1.39 billion emergency loan from IMF to deal with the Coronavirus crisis Pakistan has received an emergency loan of 1.39 billion US Dollars from the International Monetary Fund to boost its foreign exchange reserves in the wake of the further economic downturn due to the Coronavirus crisis. Earlier, Pakistan requested the global money lender for a low-cost, fast-disbursing loan under its Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) to deal with the adverse economic impact of COVID-

Saudi led coalition in Yemen urges Emirates backed southern separatist to honour RIYADH peace deal

The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen urges Emirates-backed southern separatists to honour the RIYADH peace deal Part of: GS-II- International issue (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) A Saudi-led coalition involved in a years-long war in Yemen urged Emirati-backed southern separatists to honour the terms of a Riyadh peace deal and return control of the port city of Aden to the country's internationally recognized government. The statement by Saudi Arabia comes after the separatists' Souther

Yemen crises

Yemen crises Part of: GS-II- International issue (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) Yemen, one of the Arab world's poorest countries, has been devastated by civil war. Here we explain what is fuelling the fighting, and who is involved. How did the war start? The conflict has its roots in the failure of a political transition supposed to bring stability to Yemen following  an  Arab Spring uprising that forced its longtime authoritarian president, Ali Abdullah Saleh

Ethnic clashes in Central African Republic

Ethnic clashes in the Central African Republic In the Central African Republic, 25 people were killed and 51 others injured in clashes in the northeast part of the country. Between armed groups in Ndele led to the deaths of several civilians. Humanitarian workers, however, said that members of the Popular Front for the Rebirth of the Central African Republic (FPRC) had clashed in Ndele the previous day. FPRC last year split into two factions: the Runga ethnic group on one side

Libya crisis

UAE affirmed its commitment to achieving a political solution in Libya Part of: GS-II- International issues (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) The United Arab Emirates has affirmed its commitment to achieving a political solution in Libya and called for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) emphasized the UAE's support for a political solution to end the ongoing Libyan crisis in line with the outcomes of the Berlin

Trump says crisis ‘worse than Pearl Harbor’

Trump says crisis ‘worse than Pearl Harbor’ or 9/11 Part of: GS-II- International issues (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) President Donald Trump said that fallout from the novel coronavirus pandemic has hit the United States harder than Pearl Harbor in World War II or the 9/11 attacks. “We went through the worst attack we’ve ever had on our country. This is really the worst attack we’ve ever had,” he told reporters at the White House. The surprise Japan

Baltic travel bubble

Baltic travel bubble The Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have opened their borders to one another, creating a coronavirus "travel bubble". Anybody arriving from outside the zone however must self-isolate for 14 days. This is the first "travel bubble" in Europe since nations began shutting their borders earlier this year in response to the coronavirus outbreak. European Union officials are now trying to encourage other countries to end restriction

No answers yet for Somalia  

No answers yet for Somalia   As Somalia grapples with the staggering challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, chances are that the June 8 public hearings at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Somalia’s maritime dispute with Kenya will be deferred yet again. The public health emergency also raises a question mark on the general elections scheduled for later this year, especially as the nation seeks to restore universal suffrage after five decades. Maritime disput

Korean Crisis - Analysis

Korean war Context On the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi paid rich tribute to the brave hearts who sacrificed their lives in the pursuit of peace on the Korean Peninsula. Korean crisis Since its current leader, Kim Jong-Un, took power in 2011, North Korea has ramped up its efforts to build a long-range nuclear missile capable of hitting targets around the globe. In a show of force aimed at di

Dual Currency in Cuba

Dual Currency in Cuba As per the latest devaluation plan announced in December by President Miguel Diaz-Canel, the CUP’s artificial one-to-one parity with the U.S. dollar has been removed. The currency will instead trade at 24 pesos to the greenback and the CUC will be phased out in six months. The CUP is in circulation in the domestic economy and serves as the principal medium by which goods are priced and wages paid. A dual domestic currency During the turmoil in C

Comparison between Hongkong and USA Capitol Protests

Comparison between Hongkong and USA Capitol Protests As a pro-Trump mob swarmed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, the comparisons drawn to the storming of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (LegCo) complex on July 1, 2019, were immediate. The two historic moments marked days when protest movements breached the hearts of their respective governments. But that is where the similarities ended. Beyond this superficial level, the differences between the two were numerous. #joinourtel

Uganda Political crisis

Uganda Political crisis Yoweri Museveni, Uganda’s 76-year-old leader who has been in power since 1986, won another five-year term in the January 14 presidential election, but the contested result has pushed the country into its worst political crisis in decades. According to Uganda’s Electoral Commission, he won nearly 59% of the vote, while his main rival, Robert Kyagulanyi, a pop musician better known by his stage name Bobi Wine, secured 34%. Mr. Wine has alleged voter

COVAX Program

COVAX Program Ghana has become the first country in the world to receive a shipment of coronavirus vaccines under the COVAX program. Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) is a global initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. It is led by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and others. It wants to vaccinate roughly 20% of the population in the 92 A

Concept of Product Graduation

Concept of Product Graduation in EU's Generalized System of Preferences Product graduation is a concept that applies when average imports of a product from a beneficiary country exceed 17.5% of EU-GSP imports of the same product from all beneficiary countries over 3 years. India’s exports such as textiles, inorganic and organic chemicals, gems and jewellery, iron, steel and their articles, base metals and automotives are out of the ambit of EU-GSP benefits now.

Covid-19 Vaccine Passport

Covid-19 Vaccine Passport What is a Covid-19 vaccine passport? A vaccination pass or passport is documentation proving that the individual has been vaccinated against Covid-19. As more people are inoculated, there will likely be aspects of public life in which only people who have been vaccinated are allowed to participate. In order to travel internationally, government and health authorities will need to know if you have been vaccinated or have tested negative f

US-Afghanistan Doha Peace Talks

US-Afghanistan Doha Peace Talks The U.S Secretary of State has confirmed the US intention to fully withdraw all forces from Afghanistan as per the Doha Agreement. About Doha Agreement: In 2020, the United States signed a historic deal with the Taliban. aiming to end the 18-year-war in Afghanistan The deal was signed in Doha (Qatar) and thus termed as Doha Agreement. The key features of the Doha agreement are: Troops Withdrawal: The US will withdraw its troops from

2021- Raisina Dialogue

2021- Raisina Dialogue The Prime Minister delivered a video address at the Inaugural Session of the Raisina Dialogue. About Raisina Dialogue: Raisina Dialogue is an annual multilateral conference on geopolitics and geoeconomics. The Ministry of External Affairs and the Observer Research Foundation have been jointly organizing it since 2016. The conference discusses cooperation on the most challenging international policy matters. It involves a variety of global policymakers in

US imposed sanctions on Russia

The US imposed sanctions on Russia The United States announced sanctions against Russia on Thursday and the expulsion of 10 diplomats in retaliation for what Washington says is the Kremlin’s U.S. election interference, a massive cyberattack and other hostile activity. President Joe Biden’s broadside against Russia came the same week as he offered to meet President Vladimir Putin for their first summit. In an executive order, Mr Biden widened restrictions on U.S. banks tradi

Cuba after the Castros

Cuba after the Castros Introduction The retirement of Raul Castro as the first secretary of Cuba’s ruling Communist Party brings to an end the six-decade-long rule of the “historic generation”, who, under the leadership of Fidel Castro, captured power in 1959 through an armed revolution. Background Fidel remained at the helm of affairs in the island, in the face of growing hostility from the U.S. until he fell sick in 2006. In 2008 later, he handed the p

G7 and its agenda on Global Minimum tax regime

G7 and its agenda on the Global Minimum tax regime Introduction The G7 countries seek to overcome internal differences and strengthen their economic and geopolitical bond to face multiple challenges from fighting COVID-19 to tackling the rise of China About G7 Formed in 1975 in the aftermath of the 1973 Oil Crisis, the G7 then collectively produced 70% of the world’s GDP, a number that has dropped to 40% now The G7 became the G8 with Russia’s admission into the

Cairn issue explained

Cairn issue explained What is the issue about? The dispute started in early 2014 when Indian tax authorities started questioning Cairn Energy requesting information on the group’s reorganization in the financial year 2006-07. This escalated, and by 2015, the authorities had sent the company a draft assessment order, assessing in the process that there was a principal tax amount of $1.6 billion that was due. The year in reference, 2006-07, was one in which big corporate changes

Global Minimum Corporate Income Tax

Global Minimum Corporate Income Tax The US Treasury Secretary has urged the world’s 20 advanced nations to move in the direction of adopting a global minimum corporate income tax. What is the Global Minimum Corporate Tax Rate? It is a type of corporate tax. Under this, If a company moves some of its operations to another country having low-tax jurisdiction, then the company have to pay the difference between that minimum rate and whatever the firm paid on its overseas earnin

Meeting of Education Ministers of E9 Countries

Meeting of Education Ministers of E9 Countries Recently, a consultation meeting of Education Ministers of E9 countries was held on the theme ‘E9 initiative: Scaling up digital learning to accelerate progress towards SDG4’. Major Highlights The United Nations (UN) is spearheading a global initiative on digital learning and skills for all, targeting marginalized children and youth and aiming to close the digital divide and drive rapid chan

From revolution to oligarchy in Nicaragua

From revolution to oligarchy in Nicaragua Context: "From revolution to oligarchy in Nicaragua" is an important topic for UPSC GS Paper 2 and Prelims. Nicaraguan President ‘won’ a fourth term in an election that lacks legitimacy. If one were to emerge in 2021 out of a time capsule hidden in 1979 and were to meet Daniel Ortega, the person would scarcely believe that he is the same man 42 years later. Mr. Ortega got “re-elected” as Pre

Organisation Of Turkic State and India-Turkey Relation

Organisation Of Turkic State and India- Turkey Relations Organization of Turkic states is an intergovernmental organization which was framed in 2009 with the aim of promoting comprehensive cooperation among Turkic state. It is constructed on four main themes of common history, common language, common identity, and common culture. Recently in the Istanbul Summit the organization has been renamed as the Organization of Turkic State from Turkic Council. MEMBERS: The foun

14th BRICS Summit

14th BRICS Summit BRICS nations have supported diplomacy and dialogue between Russia and Ukraine, where three of its members China, India, and South Africa have abstained from voting on a United Nations resolution condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine. What is BRICS? BRICS consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. It was launched at a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Brazil, Russia, India, and China in the year 2006. In 2010 BRIC turned into BRICS, with

PGII to counter China's Belt and Road Initiative

PGII to counter China's Belt and Road Initiative In the recent G7 summit in Germany, the ambitious Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) was unveiled, with the aim of collective mobilization of $600 billion by 2027 for transparent investment in infrastructure projects in developing and middle-income countries.  It’s a G7 initiative to counter China’s multi-trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative which the West considers China’s strategy to

  48th G7 SUMMIT IN GERMANY

   48th G7 SUMMIT IN GERMANY The summit was held in BAVARIAN ALPS Germany from June 26th to 28th 2022. PT POINTER G7 48TH Summit was held under the presidency of Germany at BAVARIAN ALPS. Member Countries: US, Canada, France, UK, Germany, Italy, and Japan. BAVARIAN ALPS: It is a collective name for several mountain ranges of the Northern Alps within the German state of Bavaria. ALPS:  Young fold mountain is present in 8 countries (

Garuda Shield: deterrence against Chinese Encroachment

Garuda Shield as deterrence against Chinese Encroachment On the Indonesian island of Sumatra, the United States, Indonesia, and other nations are participating in joint military drills. About Since 2009, Garuda Shield has been a yearly military exercise. The 2022 edition will be the biggest one due to the participation of numerous other nations, including Australia and Japan. A total of more than 5,000 personnel from the US, Indonesia, Australia, Japan, and Singapore are part

China blocks India’s Bid

China blocks India’s Bid  China has obstructed efforts by India and the US to add Pakistan-based terrorists to the UN Security Council's 1267 list of terror organisations. Major Points: Terrorist groups and individuals: India offers a list of terrorists connected to Al Qaeda and ISIS for the UN Security Council to consider. The 1267 list of terrorists linked to Al Qaeda and ISIS included key members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), including Talha Saeed, the son of

India votes against Russia's UNSC resolution

India votes against Russia's UN Security Council resolution on bioweapons. India has voted against a UN Security Council resolution sponsored by Russia that accuses the US and Ukraine of engaging in "military biological activities" in violation of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). Prior to this resolution, India had recently abstained from another UN Security Council resolution that sought to invalidate Russia's annexation of four Ukrainian territories. &nbs

G20 Presidency of India as a Watershed Moment

G20 Presidency of India as a Watershed Moment On December 1, 2022, India will formally assume the G-20 presidency. India will hold the presidency until November 30th, 2023. According to the Prime Minister, India's theme is "One Earth, One Family, One Future." More on the news: Agenda: The Prime Minister described India's G-20 agenda as "inclusive, ambitious, and action-oriented." Sharing India's experience: "During our G-20 presidency,

Warming up of the Arctic & India's Arctic Policy

Warming up of the Arctic & India's Arctic Policy Researchers recently conducted an annual assessment of the area and found that the Arctic Circle's temperatures have been rising much more rapidly than those of the rest of the world. The Arctic Report Card, which The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has produced since 2006 and is comprised of nearly 150 experts from 11 nations, was created this year. The vast region of the Arctic, covering one-sixth of the pla

India and Eurasia

India and Eurasia The importance of the Eurasian region has increased as a result of the current geopolitical situation. India being one of the region's fastest-growing economies, connections between India and Eurasia are important. As 2023 gets underway, the world is embracing a "new normal" in which ancient and new fault lines in Eurasia and the Indo-Pacific are being rearranged. What is Eurasia? The largest continent on Earth, known as Eurasia, is made up

World Economic Forum 2023

World Economic Forum 2023 The 2023 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), held in Davos, Switzerland, has ended. Regarding the Annual Meeting: The World Economic Forum's annual gathering was in its 53rd year. 52 heads of state or government are among the 2,700 leaders from 130 nations who have gathered for the gathering. This year's topic was "Cooperation in a Fragmented World," which was set against the backdrop of the conflict in Russia and Ukraine,

Surveillance Balloon

Surveillance Balloon Tensions between the United States and China were raised after a high-altitude balloon from China invaded American airspace. A Chinese surveillance balloon that had been seen over US airspace for a few days was shot down by the US. About surveillance or spy balloon: Military uses for spy balloons were already common. Balloons were employed to provide a bird's eye perspective of the battlefield during the French Revolutionary Wars in the la

India, UAE & France Trilateral Cooperation Initiative

India, UAE & France Trilateral Cooperation Initiative   In a trilateral cooperation initiative in the areas of business, energy, and defence, India joined the UAE and France. India, France, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) recently decided to join forces to cooperate on combating climate change and protecting biodiversity, defence planning, prevention of infectious illnesses, and developing nuclear and solar energy. At a meeting held in New York on September 2022 during th

Moscow halts the New START  

Moscow halts the New START   The final major military deal between Russia and the United States, known as New START, has recently been confirmed to be suspended. The New START: What Is It? The original "Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty," also known as START-I, was signed between the US and the then-USSR in 1991 and went into effect in 1994. It carries the term START. After expiring in 2009, START-I, which set a cap on the number of nuclear warheads and ICBMs( in

Windsor Framework

Windsor Framework The UK government and the European Union (EU) have come to a historic agreement over the post-Brexit trade arrangements that will apply to Northern Ireland. Regarding "Windsor Framework": The Northern Ireland Protocol will be replaced by the "Windsor Framework," which was one of the most complicated consequences of Brexit, leading to issues on both the political and economic fronts. Important elements: the implementation of a

Battle of Bakhmut

Battle of Bakhmut The Ukrainian military may opt to withdraw its forces from Bakhmut, a strategically important position. Bakhmut Battle In the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, there is a little mining town called Bakhmut. Having served as both the focus of Russian attacks and the location of tenacious Ukrainian military defence, Bakhmut is now in ruins. The Significance of Bakhmut The proximity of Bakhmut near numerous significant routes may have some strateg

IMEC

The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) is a strategic project that aims to improve economic development by connecting Asia, the Persian Gulf, and Europe. The IMEEC will consist of 2corridors: East corridor - Connects India to West Asia/Middle East Northern corridor - Connects West Asia/Middle East to Europe The IMEEC was unveiled at the G-20 summit in New Delhi. The route runs through the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, and Greece.

Lashkar-e-Taiba

Ahead of the 15th anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, Israel has declared the Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba as a terror organization. Lashkar-e-Taiba is an Islamist militant group particularly active in the Kashmir region.

Avdiivka & Robotyne

Russia was intensely attacking the eastern town of Avdiivka and the southern village of Robotyne in Ukraine recently. Avdiivka is an industrial hub in Donetsk region. The city is a former coal hub and is home to the large Avdiivka Coke Plant. Robotyne is a village in Ukraine. It's located in Polohy Raion, Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Robotyne was the 1st Ukrainian breach in Russian lines of defense.

Gujral Doctrine- India’s Foreign Policy

Gujral Doctrine consisted of 5 principles, as outlined by Gujral at a speech in Chatham House in London in 1996.It was based on the understanding that India’s size and population made it a major player in South East Asia, and its position could be better cemented by adopting a non-domineering attitude towards its smaller neighbours.It also emphasised the importance of keeping dialogue going. Gujral named the countries from which India would not expect reciprocity, and it did not in

Damascus

Damascus, one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities, is the capital and the largest city of Syria. It is located in South-western Syria at the foothills of the Anti-Lebanon mountain range. It is the 4th holiest city in Islam, and was known as the Pearl of the East It recently secures the top spot as the cheapest city to live in.

Armenia-Azerbaijan Peace Treaty

Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed recently to exchange prisoners of war and work toward signing a peace treaty. As part of the deal, Armenia agreed to lift its objections to Azerbaijan hosting next year's international conference on climate change.

Ban import of diamonds

The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) recently raised concerns on the decision of G7 countries to impose a ban on direct imports of Russian-origin rough diamonds from January 1, 2024. The ban also includes diamonds processed by third countries, including India, from March 1,2024. India is home to world’s 90% Diamond cutting and polishing industry.

MoU between NMCG-MRCTI

The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has signed the Memorandum of Common Purpose (MoCP) with the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative (MRCTI) of USA recently. The signing took place in Dubai during the COP28. The MoCP has signed on behalf of the River Cities Alliance (RCA).

UN Resolution on Ceasefire

A recent UN resolution to call for a ceasefire in Gaza was blocked by the United States using its veto power. A ceasefire is a temporary suspension of a war where each side agrees to stop aggressive actions. The 5 permanent members who have veto powers in the United Nations Security Council - China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and United States.

“Operation Storm Makers II”

Operation Storm Makers II was a global operation by Interpol that targeted human trafficking and migrant smuggling. The operation targeted criminal networks that exploit migrants for cyber fraud. The operation involved law enforcement agencies in 27 countries across Asia and other regions.

Bab al-Mandab Strait

It is a strait between Arabia and Africa that connects the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. The strait is bordered by Yemen on one side and Djibouti and Eritrea on the other. It is a strategic route for oil and a chokepoint between the Middle East and the Horn of Africa. It's also a vital link in the maritime trade route between the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean. About 10% of global trade passes through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. 

Anthrax

5 countries in East and southern Africa are in the middle of outbreaks of the anthrax disease recently. It is a serious infectious disease caused by gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis. It occurs naturally in soil and commonly affects domestic and wild animals around the world. It is a zoonotic disease that can resulting in severe lung problems, difficulty breathing, and shock in humans, usually been found in India’s sout

Currency Devaluation in Argentina

Argentina recently devalues its currency and cuts subsidies as part of shock economic measures because of its 143% annual inflation. Argentine peso will be devalued by 50% to 800 to the U.S. dollar from 400 pesos to the dollar.

Operation Prosperity Guardian

Houthi militants from Yemen have attacked or seized commercial ships near the Red Sea amidst the ongoing Gaza war. It is a multinational security initiative in the Red Sea. Launched by – USA Partner countries – UK, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles and Spain have joined and others. Coordinated by – Combined Maritime Forces, Task Force 153. The Combined Maritime Forces is a multi-naval task

Global Nuclear Order and Geopolitics

The Global Nuclear Order refers to the international system, agreements, norms, and structures that govern and regulate the use, possession, proliferation, and control of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy worldwide. It encompasses a complex network of treaties, agreements, and norms that have evolved over time to manage the risks associated with nuclear weapons and promote nuclear stability, non-proliferation, disarmament, safety, and peaceful uses of nuclear technology. About Global Nucl

Red Sea Trouble and INDIA

Recent attacks on commercial ships near the Red Sea amidst the ongoing Gaza war impacts India’s global trade. What is Red sea? The Red Sea is a narrow inland sea between Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. The nearly 2,000-km Red Sea connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Indian Ocean via the narrow Suez Canal (since 1869). It is connected to the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean to the south through the Gulf of Aden and the narrow strait of Bab el Mandeb. T

Countries of Particular Concern

U.S. designates China, Pakistan and North Korea and some other countries as 'Countries of Particular Concern' recently. Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) are countries where the government engages in or tolerates “particularly severe” violations of religious freedom. The U.S. Department of State designates CPCs under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.

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