Expected Most Important Topics for UPSC - 2018 (Part - 9) (Download PDF)


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India and Afghanistan Launch 2ndAir Cargo Route Linking Kabul with Mumbai - 2nd India-Afghanistan air cargo route linking Kabul to Mumbai. It was officially inaugurated at Hamid Karzai international airport in Kabul.

  • Route is expected to boost export of fresh fruits and medicinal plants from Afghanistan.

  • Launch of 2nd route follows the success of the first air corridor between both countries linking Kabul-New Delhi.

  • That was inaugurated by President Ashraf Ghani in June 2017.

  • Since, launch of first corridor, Afghanistan exported 1,640 tons fresh and dried fruits, carpets and medical herbs worth more than $20 million in 56 flights to India.

United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolved to Reject US Declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’S Capital

  • UNGA adopted resolution declaring United States of America (USA) recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as ‘null and void’.

  • Resolution was moved by Turkey and Yemen and was adopted with 128 countries voting in favour including India, Japan, Britain, France, Germany and 9 against it, while 35 abstained from voting.

  • Resolution stressed that Jerusalem was final status issue to be resolved through negotiations.

  • Demanded that all States comply with UNSC resolutions regarding Jerusalem, not recognizing contrary actions or measures.

US Stalemates Permanent Solution for Stockholding Issue at MC11-WTO

  • US disagreed to any permanent solution on the public stockholding issue at the ongoing ministerial conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) - in Buenos Aires.

  • US move poses a threat to the talks reaching a successful conclusion.

  • India is fighting to get a binding decision on the public stockholding of food grain, a key component of agriculture.

  • It wants to be able to purchase, stockpile, and distribute food without being challenged in the trade body, for protecting farmers and ensuring food security for the poor.

Agreement with UNESCO on Establishment of ITCOO in Hyderabad

  • Cabinet approved establishment of International Training Centre for Operational Oceanography (ITCOO), as a Category-2 Centre (C2C) of UNESCO, in Hyderabad, Telangana.

  • Agreement establishes training centre for countries on Indian Ocean Rim (IOR), African countries bordering Indian and Atlantic Oceans, small island countries under framework of UNESCO.

  • Centre provides assistance in capacity building and training, knowledge sharing and exchange of information.

  • Providing UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanography Commission (IOC) high impact and visibility.

Why Declaring Jerusalem the Capital of Israel is So Controversial?

  • US recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and plans to relocate the US embassy there, against seven decades of US foreign policy.

  • Status of Jerusalem is sensitive issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

  • US policy to avoid declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel in the absence of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, as the Palestinians also claim Jerusalem as their capital.

  • Recognizing Jerusalem as the capital by moving United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem cements Israeli sovereignty over the city.

  • Moving the embassy can lead to diplomatic problems with Arab states which have already condemned the decision.

What is Incheon Strategy? Inter-Governmental Meeting of Asia and Pacific Decade

  • High Level Inter-Governmental Mid-Point review meeting of Asia and Pacific Decade for Persons with Disabilities, 2013 - 2022 was held in Beijing with Indian delegation led by Union Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment.

  • Key Highlights of Meeting:

    • Review progress made by member States during Decade at mid-point in 2017 with regard to Incheon Strategy.

    • Make all rights real for persons with disabilities in Asia and Pacific

    • Discuss future policy for building disabilities.

    • Address gaps and challenges in empowerment and inclusion of persons with disabilities.

What is BIMSTEC Coastal Shipping Agreement? BIMSTEC Discuss Shipping Agreement

  • Members of BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) in New Delhi discussed the promotion of coastal shipping under the draft text of BIMSTEC Coastal Shipping Agreement drafted by the Ministry of Shipping, Government of India.

  • BIMSTEC Coastal Shipping Agreement aims to facilitate coastal shipping (instead of deep-sea shipping) in the region boosting trade between the member countries.

  • Agreement applies to coastal shipping- shipping within 20 nautical miles of the coastline.


    • One of th

    • e aims of BIMSTEC is to enhance connectivity in the region. India is the lead country in BIMSTEC for cooperation in transport and communication.

    • Other BIMSTEC member countries include Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Nepal.

India-Singapore Ink Bilateral Agreement for Navy Cooperation

  • India and Singapore signed Bilateral Agreement for Navy Cooperation.

  • It will allow Indian Navy ships logistical support, including refueling at Singapore’s Changi Naval Base located near disputed South China Sea (SCS).

  • Allows Indian Navy ships sailing through disputed South China Sea or in eastern waters of Andaman Sea to refuel, restock and if needed rearm at Singapore’s Changi naval base.

  • Allow Indian Navy to engage with Singaporean authorities without need for obtaining burdensome political clearances.

48Th International Film Festival of India Held in Goa

  • 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) was held in Panaji in Goa.

  • The closing ceremony was held at Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium in Bambolim.

  • Around 200 films from 82 countries were screened during nine-day event.

  • Amitabh Bachchan honored with the Indian film personality of 2017award.

  • Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan honored with the lifetime achievement award.

  • Best film award: 120 Beats per Minute (French movie) directed by Robin Campullo.

  • Best director award: Vivian Qu for Angels Wear White (China).

  • Special Jury Award: Take-off (Malayalam film-India). Best Actor (Female) award: Parvathy.

  • Best Actor (Male) award: Nahuel Perez Biscayart for his performance in 120 Beats Per Minute.

  • Best Debut Feature Film Director Award: Kiro Russo for film Dark Skull (Spanish).

  • ICFT-UNESCO Gandhi Medal: Kshitij-A Horizon (Marathi movie) directed by Manouj Kadamh.

What Are Sherpa in G20? Shaktikanta Das is India’S G-20 Sherpa for Development Track

  • Union Ministry of Finance appointed Shaktikanta Das, Former Secretary, and Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) as India’s G-20 Sherpa till December 31,2018 for Development Track of G20.

  • Sherpa’s are personal representative of leaders participating at G-20 summit responsible for providing details before meeting of the leaders.

  • In general, Sherpa is personal representative of leader of member country at international Summit meeting such as G8, G20, or Nuclear Security Summit.

  • Career diplomats or senior government officials are appointed Sherpa by leaders of their countries.

PM Narendra Modi, Ivanka Trump Inaugurate Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump’s advisor and daughter Ivanka Trump inaugurated 8th annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES 2017) in Hyderabad, Telangana.

  • Event was co-hosted by National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog and US Government in partnership with Telangana Government.

  • Theme for 2017 GES: “Women First, Prosperity for All” for encouraging diversity in entrepreneurship.

  • Around 1,500 delegates from over 160 countries will participate in 2017 GES.

15Th ASEAN-India Summit and 12Th East Asia Summit in Manila - 50Th Year of ASEAN’S Establishment

  • 15th ASEAN-India Summit celebrating 50th Year of ASEAN’s Establishment and the 12th East Asia Summit are to be held in Manila, Philippines.

  • India’s relationship with ASEAN was upgraded to Strategic Partnership in 2012.

  • Summits are attended by Heads of State and Governments of the 10 ASEAN and 18 East Asia Summit participating countries respectively.

  • Trade between India and ASEAN stood at US $71 billion in 2016 - 17 and comprises 10.85 % of India’s total trade with the world.

  • East Asia Summit is premier Leaders-led forum in the Indo-Pacific started in 2005.

What is Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS)? IMMSAREX in Bangladesh

  • 2017 International Multilateral Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise (IMMSAREX) was held in Bangladesh from November 26 to 28,2017 under Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS).

  • IMMSAREX was inaugurated by Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina.

  • Indian Naval Ships (INS) Ranvir, Sahyadri, Gharial, and Sukanya along with one Maritime Patrol Aircraft P-8I participated in the exercise.

  • IONS is regional forum of Indian Ocean littoral states launched by India Navy in February 2008.

Wassenaar Arrangement Admits India – What is Wassenaar Arrangement?

  • Multilateral export control regime Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) at the meeting of the grouping in Vienna admitted India as its new member, raising India’s stature in non-proliferation and helping acquire critical technologies.

  • Wassenaar Arrangement formed in 1996 to succeed the Cold War-era Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls.

  • Four Important Arms Control Regimes

    • Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)

    • Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)

    • Australia Group

    • Wassenaar Arrangement

What Are Categories of IMO? India Elected to Be in International Maritime Organisation Council

  • India won election to remain a member of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for the next 2 years with 2nd highest margin following Germany.

  • This for the first time voting was held for Category-B in the IMO council since its inception.

  • Earlier all 10 members were elected unanimously with India being a member since 1959.

  • Besides India and Germany, other countries elected to the list are Australia, France, Canada, Spain, Brazil, Sweden, Netherlands, and UAE.

  • Australia and UAE were new entrants in the poll.

  • Until now, Bangladesh and Argentina were members in this category.

Chennai is Included in UNESCO Creative Cities Network

  • Differing geographically, demographically or economically- Creative Cities commit:

    • to develop and exchange innovative best practices

    • to promote creative industries,

    • strengthen participation in cultural life

    • integrate culture into sustainable urban development policies

  • 64 cities from 44 countries are designated as UNESCO Creative Cities by Director-General.

  • Creative Cities are at the frontline of UNESCO’s efforts to foster innovation and creativity for sustainable and inclusive urban development.

  • UNESCO included Chennai in Creative Cities Network for its rich musical tradition.

Dalveer Bhandari Got Reelected, International Court of Justice-How Are Judges Elected?

  • International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the highest judicial body having trans-national jurisdiction.

  • It is filling several vacancies, with the terms of five serving judges coming to an end.

  • Dalveer Bhandari representing India has been re-elected as ICJ judge.

  • His reelection would lend support to Kulbhushan Jadhav case currently pending before the court.

  • International Court of Justice (ICJ) started work in 1946, after half a century of international conflict in the form of two World Wars.

- Published/Last Modified on: May 30, 2018

International Relations/Organizations

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