Expected Most Important Topics for UPSC - 2018 (Part - 8) (Download PDF)


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UK, India Launch Joint Research Projects on Clean Water & Energy - United Kingdom and India launched joint research projects on ‘Water Quality Research’ and ‘Energy Demand Reduction in Built Environment’.

  • ‘Water Quality Research’ program has 8 projects and ‘Energy Demand Reduction in Built Environment’ program has 4 projects, with total joint investment up to £15 million.

  • Aims: To address shared global sustainable development goals – clean water and clean energy.

MoUs Signed by India and Iran

  • Cooperation key areas include oil and gas & connectivity projects like development of Chabahar port, MoU on Cooperation in the field of Health and Medicine, MoU on Postal Cooperation.

Main agreements between India and Iran:

  • Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on Income.

  • MoU on Exemption from Visa requirement for holders of Diplomatic Passports.

  • Exchange of Instrument of Ratification of Extradition Treaty.

  • MoU on Cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine.

  • MoU on the establishment of an Expert Group on Trade Remedy Measures to promote cooperation in areas of mutual interest.

  • MoU on Cooperation in the field of Agriculture and Allied Sectors.

Growing Influence of China: China and Maldives Build Ocean Observatory on Makunudhoo Island

  • In another challenge for Indian government, China is establishing a Joint Ocean Observation Station in Maldives.

  • Maldives opposition claims that the observatory will have a military application with a provision for submarine base.

  • Makunudhoo Island is one of the closest islands to India.

  • It will allow Chinese access to an important Indian Ocean shipping route through which many ships and merchants pass.

  • India is worried that this observatory would be another pearl in the string of pearls China is building around India.

  • India also has one Indian military base in Maldives.

Indian PM’S Historic Visit to Palestine, First Indian Investment in Upstream Oil Sector-3

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on a three-nation visit to Palestine, United Arab Emirates, and Oman from 9 – 12 February 2018.

  • Narendra Modi was the first Indian PM to visit Palestine with cooperation agreed on investment, trade, defence, and security.

  • Important points are:

    • First Indian PM in Palestine

    • UAE became first country, which will participate in India’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves Programme.

    • First Indian investment in upstream oil sector from buyer-seller to long-term investment for Lower Zakum Concession from 2018 to 2057

What is Nagoya Protocol, Convention on Biological Diversity and CITES?

Botanical Survey of India (BSI) and UK’s Natural History Museum (NHM) signed MoU for cooperation in field of genetic and taxonomic studies, research, and training, conservation of India, including species and habitat assessments.

Objectives of the MoU:

  • Collaborate on science, support research and boost scientific study for both India and UK.

  • Use scientific evidence to support Convention on Biological Diversity, CITES and Nagoya Protocol.

  • Capacity building and scientific exchanges between two nations.

  • Learn from each other and work collaboratively to address important scientific questions and deliver benefit to humanity.

What is Importance of Duqm Port to India? Duqm Port in Oman to Check Influence

  • An agreement giving Indian Navy access to the Duqm port in Oman will increase India’s strategic reach westwards and in the Indian Ocean.

  • A dry dock will be available to the Indian Navy at Duqm as well, allowing for maintenance without returning vessels to India-based shipyards

  • Duqm port is on Oman’s southern coast.

  • Sits on the northwestern edge of the Indian Ocean and provides easy access onward into the Red Sea through the Gulf of Aden.

Assam- ‘India’S Expressway to ASEAN’ Advantage Assam - Global Investors Summit 2018

  • Advantage Assam - Global Investors Summit 2018 was help to position Assam as India’s Expressway to ASEAN.

  • Organised by Assam Government, in association with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

  • ‘Advantage Assam’ will be the largest ever investment promotion and facilitation initiative by Government of Assam.

  • Two-day event, started on 3rd February 2018, showcased the state’s manufacturing opportunities and geostrategic advantages to foreign and domestic investors.

What is Operation Cactus? Maldives Crisis: Operation Cactus Now by India

  • Ongoing political crisis in the Maldives has raised concerns in India over the stability of this important island nation.

  • Maldives is located in Indian Ocean, India’s imports from the gulf pass through this area.

  • Maldives has been undergoing domestic turbulence since 2012, when the first democratically elected President, Mohamed Nasheed was overthrown.

  • This was followed by China giving massive foreign aid.

  • Yameen government has effectively silenced its opposition and imposed martial law.

  • Operation Cactus enhanced India’s prestige enormously and showed our efficiency and capability to mount a successful operation at short notice.

Growing Influence of China in Indian Ocean Region

  • China is increasing its influence in the area to gain control over the region.

  • In addition to the Belt and Road Initiative that we have covered extensively, following are some other ways adopted by China to increase its influence in this region.

  • China is developing underwater surveillance networks in Indian Ocean, South China Sea.

  • This network will help Chinese submarines to get stronger lock on targets.

  • This network will also help China to protect its coasts.

BBIN Pact: India, Bangladesh, Nepal Finalize Vehicle Movement Procedure

  • Bangladesh, India, and Nepal agreed on text of operating procedures for passenger vehicle movement (Passenger protocol) in sub-region under Bangladesh -Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) signed in June 2015.

  • 3 nations will soon complete internal approval processes for signing of passenger protocol.

  • Trial runs for cargo vehicles under MVA were conducted along the Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala and Delhi-Kolkata-Dhaka routes in the past.

  • The trials were successful in establishing the Agreement’s economic benefits.

India, UK Sign MoUs on Illegal Migrants Return and Sharing Intelligence

  • India and UK signed 2 MoU on return of Indians, who are living in Britain as illegal migrants and sharing of criminal records and intelligence.

  • Paves the way for a quicker and more efficient process for documenting and returning Indian nationals (who have no right to be in the UK) to India.

How Does MoU of Illegal Migrant Work?

  • British authorities will first identify the illegal migrant.

  • Indian authorities will be informed and then verification will be done by police agencies back home.

  • If the claims of the British authorities are found to be correct, then travel documents will be readied and the person deported by UK authorities.

  • The process will have a timeline of one month.

Describe “Shared Future in a Fractured World” in Davos Summit 2018: What is World Economic Forum

  • World Economic Forum (WEF) is world’s biggest gathering of global CEOs.

  • It is a not-for-profit foundation headquartered in Cologny, Switzerland.

  • It was founded in 1971. It is also called Davos Summit.

  • Organization aims: To improve world through public private cooperation by engaging the foremost political, business and other leaders to shape global agendas.

  • Theme of WEF 2018: “Shared Future in a Fractured World”

  • Global event is held in the Alpine resort town of Davos, the event is colloquially called Davos.

  • The forum holds four major annual meetings in a year.

International Workshop on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (IWDRI)

  • International Workshop on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (IWDRI) was held in New Delhi.

  • Organised by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in collaboration with United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).

  • Workshop aimed to take the dialogue on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure and global cooperation further.

  • It brought together countries from different parts of the world with different socio-economic backgrounds and geographical features.

  • UNISDR established to ensure the implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.

What is Australia Group? India Now a Member of Australia Group

  • India gained entry into Australia Group (AG) - an important informal forum of countries.

  • The membership in one of the 4 major export control regimes.

  • India’s bid to ‘Nuclear Suppliers Group’ has been blocked by China at the behest of Pakistan.

  • Australia Group (AG): The group works to counter the spread of materials, equipment and technologies that could contribute to the development or acquisition of chemical and biological weapons (CBW) by states or terrorist groups.

  • India is a Member Other Export control Regimes:

    • The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)

    • The Wassenaar Arrangement (WA)

China Develops Underwater Surveillance Networks in Indian Ocean, South China Sea

  • China successfully developed new underwater surveillance network.

  • Developed to help its submarines get stronger lock on targets while protecting nation’s interests along maritime Silk Road, which also includes Indian Ocean.

  • Project is part of unprecedented military expansion fuelled by China’s desire to challenge US in world’s oceans.

  • Haiyi, which means “sea wings” in Chinese, successfully completed a scientific observation in the Indian Ocean.

  • It has marked that for the first time, the indigenous underwater glider was used in this ocean Haiyi is China’s independently-developed underwater glider.

Prohibition of Attack Against Nuclear Installations: India & Pakistan

  • India and Pakistan exchanged list of their nuclear installations and facilities with each other under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear installations.

  • This is the 27th consecutive exchange of such list between 2 countries after first list was exchanged on 1st January 1992.

  • This annual exchange is conducted on 1st January between the two countries.

JV with China’S Tsingshan Group Set up Steel Plant in Kutch

  • China based Tsingshan group along with its Indian partners will set up an 18,000 crore, cold and hot steel rolling plant in Kutch.

  • The production of this company is expected to start by March 2019.

  • The plant is being set up at Kundrodi, Mundra taluk of Kutch.

  • What will be done in the first phase?

    • Rs. 6,000 crore will be invested.

    • A plant to produce 7 lakh tonnes steel per annum will be set up.

- Published/Last Modified on: May 30, 2018

International Relations/Organizations

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