Arctic Region and Arctic Council

The Arctic is a polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth.

8 Jul, 2020


About Brahmaputra River: The Brahmaputra called Yarlung

3 Jul, 2020
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    Current Affairs – 28th January 2022

     News: Overcoming the lack of land connectivity between India and Central Asia’s landlocked countries was one of the “main issues of discussion” during the first India-Central Asia Summit hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the Presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, officials said on Thursday.
     Details:
    o The leaders also spoke at length about concerns over Afghanistan, sharing the “same concerns and same objectives” in broader terms and agreed to setting up a Joint Working Group (JWG) of senior officials, said Reenat Sandhu, Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs, listing those concerns as the need for immediate humanitarian assistance, ensuring the formation of a truly representative and inclusive government, combating terrorism and drug trafficking, and preserving the rights of women, children and minorities.
    o All countries at the summit were “concerned about the developments in Afghanistan”. “In this context, our mutual cooperation has become even more important for regional security and stability,”.
     About Central Asia:
    o Central Asia is a region in Asia. The countries in Central Asia are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan (which are mainly Turkic states) but also includes Tajikistan, and parts of China and Mongolia. Caucasia is also part of Central Asia. The United Nations also includes Afghanistan as part of Central Asia.
    o People have lived in the region of Central Asia since prehistoric times. Most of the region was part of the Silk Road. It was a part of the Persian Empire until Alexander The Great captured it.
    o When he died, the land was given to his general Seleucus. Seleucus slowly lost it to the Parthians. When the Parthians (the Parthians were Persians) lost power, the Sassanids added it to their own Persian empire.
    o However, a couple years later, during about the 600’s A.D, Arab armies spreading the faith of Islam quickly captured it.
    o A while later, an Iranian dynasty got semi- autonomy under the Abbasid Caliphate of Baghdad.
    o They were known as the Samanids. The Samanids controlled most of Central Asia and North-western Iran. They had power over this area during the 10th century. With them, Central Asian cities, such as Bukhara and Samarkand, grew in culture.
     Map of Central Asia:

     News: As part of a reflective celebration of India’s Republic Day, a Democratic Senator and three Democratic Congressmen expressed their concerns about democracy and human rights in India.
     Details:
    o The remarks were made at a Congressional briefing, Protecting India’s Pluralist Constitution, organised by the Hindus for Human Rights, the Indian American Muslim Council and 15 other organisations.
    o Former Vice-President of India Hamid Ansari also delivered a video message at the event.
    o as the world’s largest democracy, India had for long been committed to universal human rights and the rule of law, but there were concerns now. “That commitment includes the protection of religious freedom and refraining from actions that limit the rights of minorities,”.
     News: At least five people died and three others fell critically ill in a suspected case of hooch consumption in Buxar district of Bihar on Wednesday night.
     Details:
    o Five people of Amsari village of Dumraon in Buxar district died on January 26 night and three fell critically ill. The sick have been admitted to a hospital in Buxar town.
    o “At midnight, their condition deteriorated and five of them died,” the relative of a victim told presspersons.
    o “We have got the information about deaths. The police have reached the village and investigation is on, but how the villagers died can be said only after a probe and post-mortem report,”.
     News: The European Union angered China on Thursday by launching a case against Beijing at the World Trade Organization (WTO) for targeting Lithuania over its stance on Taiwan.
     Details:
    o The move by Brussels was a further deterioration in ties between China and the bloc, with a long-negotiated investment deal already on the rocks after both sides exchanged tit-for-tat sanctions.
    o The latest spat is over Lithuania, one of the smallest countries in the European Union, which made waves in July when it allowed Taiwan to open a diplomatic outpost in Vilnius.
    o The move outraged Beijing, which does not recognise Taiwan as a state and considers the self-ruled democratic island a rebellious territory of the mainland.
    o “Launching a WTO case is not a step we take lightly,” said the EU’s trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis in a statement.
    o “However, after repeated failed attempts to resolve the issue bilaterally, we see no other way forward than to request WTO dispute settlement consultations with China,”
    o The European Commission handles trade policy for the EU’s 27 member states and takes the lead on conflicts at the WTO in Geneva, even if they involve a single state.
    o By going to the WTO, the EU lent support to accusations by Lithuanian business leaders and officials that the row has resulted in China blocking imports from Lithuania and other economic restrictions.
     About World Trade Organization (WTO):
    o The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an intergovernmental organization that regulates and facilitates international trade between nations.
    o Governments use the organization to establish, revise, and enforce the rules that govern international trade.
    o It officially commenced operations on 1 January 1995, pursuant to the 1994 Marrakesh Agreement, thus replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) that had been established in 1948.
    o The WTO is the world’s largest international economic organization, with 164 member states representing over 98% of global trade and global GDP.