HCS Exam Current Affairs: Yearly International affairs-II
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HCS Exam Current Affairs: Yearly International affairs-II

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HCS Last One Year Topic Wise Current Affairs: International Affairs Part-II

Haryana Civil Services Exam

CURRENT AFFAIRS YEARLY 2020

Last one-year Current Affairs For HCS Exam: International Affairs Part-II

 1. Saudi Arabia chaired the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Extraordinary Meeting

  • Saudi Arabia chaired the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Extraordinary Meeting which was held in the virtual mode. 
  • External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar represented India in the virtual meeting that was convened in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. 
  • During the meeting, India proposed the setting up of voluntary ‘G20 Principles on Coordinated Cross-Border Movement of People’.
  • The participants deliberated on strengthening international cooperation across borders amid the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

2. Historic Abraham Accord

  • United States President Donald Trump has hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain for the signing of the historic Abraham Accord, which is the first Arab-Israeli peace deal in 26 years.
  • The UAE was represented by Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed and Bahrain by Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani.
  • The Arab Accord -- essentially bilateral agreements with Israel 
  • There were only two peace deals between Israel and the Arab States in more than a quarter of a century.
  • Egypt was the first Arab state to sign a peace deal with Israel in 1979.
  • Jordan signed a peace pact in 1994.

3. Citigroup named Jane Fraser as its  first  woman chief executive 

  • She  became the  first   woman to lead a giant Wall Street bank 
  • She will take over the top job in February, replacing Michael Corbat who will retire.
  • Fraser, who has served as president and CEO of global consumer banking since 2019, will join the board of directors immediately
  • Citigroup Inc. or Citi is an American multinational investment bank and financial services corporation headquartered in New York City

4. The first India-France-Australia Trilateral Dialogue was held virtually. 

  • The meeting was co-chaired by Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Secretary-General, French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs François Delattre, and Secretary, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Frances Adamson.
  •  The focus of the dialogue was on enhancing cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • The outcome-oriented meeting was held with the objective of building on the strong bilateral relations that the three countries share with each other

5. Bangladesh has started the  “Asol Chini” campaign to curb fake news

  • In order to keep a check on rumors and fake news information that spreads like fire in the jungle on social media platforms, the government of Bangladesh has launched a special campaign called, “Asol Chini” when translated in English it is called “Real Sugar”.
  • While addressing the campaign the minister also mentioned about a digital platform called Durbar. Durbar has been developed to register the names of two ambassadors from each union, districts, and wards. 
  • These ambassadors will be responsible for creating awareness among the people and the danger involved with such miscreant activities.
  • The Minister also provided two laptops to Tuba and Mahir; the daughter of slain Taslima Begum Renu who was mercilessly beaten to death due to rumor last year.

6. Mexico has become the first country in the world to issue a sovereign bond linked to the sustainable development goals set by the United Nations. 

  • It has raised EUR 750 million ($890 million) by such bonds. 
  • The SDG bond will mature in September 2027 and offers a yield to maturity rate of 1.603% and a coupon rate of 1.350%. 
  • This new bond was issued under Mexico’s new “SDG Sovereign Bond Framework,” which was released in partnership with French investment bank Natixis.

7. UNEP has recently launched “The Little Book of Green Nudges”

  • UNEP has recently launched “The Little Book of Green Nudges”
  • It  is a quick guide to reducing your campus' environmental impact through behavioural change in the form of a concise and user-friendly publication.
  • It summarises the evidence around what nudges work best while seeking to encourage more sustainable practices among students and staff across several behavioural categories. 
  • It also provides simple guidance on how to implement and evaluate behavioural interventions in a variety of contexts.

8. Togo has become the first country in Africa to eliminate human African Trypanosomiasis or sleeping sickness, a disease caused by parasites transmitted through infected flies.

  • Sleeping sickness is currently found in 36 sub-Saharan African countries, according to the WHO
  • Togo did not report any cases in the past 10 years. The west African country managed to achieve this after more than two decades of sustained political commitment, surveillance and screening of cases

9. Russia released a 40-minute video of the detonation of the world’s most powerful hydrogen bomb. 

  • The bomb was called the Tsar Bomb. It is believed to be 3,333 times more destructive than that of the Hiroshima Nagasaki Atom bombs Little Boy and Fat Man.
  • The Hydrogen bomb was first tested over Novaya Zemlya, an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. 
  • The video released was titled “Top Secret: Test of a clean hydrogen bomb with a yield of 50 mega tonnes.” 
  • The video shows how the bomb was built and carried to the testing centre.
  • The Tsar was a product of the long running nuclear race between USSR and USA. The bomb was 26 feet long and weighed more than 27 tonnes.

10. The World Health Organisation has declared Africa polio-free. The disease is now found only in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

  • Nigeria is the last African country to be declared free from wild polio. More than 95% of Africa's population has now been immunized.
  • This was the major condition set by the Regional Certification Commission to declare Africa polio-free.
  • Poliovirus spreads from person to person through contaminated water. 
  • It can attack the nervous system and lead to paralysis.
  • Now, only the vaccine-derived polio virus prevails in Africa. 
  • The World Health Organisation has identified such cases in Angola, Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

11. Turkey has decided to convert a church into a mosque.

  • It was an ancient Orthodox church that became a mosque and then a popular Istanbul museum. 
  • The decision to transform the Kariye Museum into a mosque came just a month after a similarly controversial conversion for the UNESCO World Heritage-recognised Hagia Sophia.
  • It was originally converted into the Kariye Mosque half a century after the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks.
  • It became the Kariye Museum after the Second World War as Turkey pushed ahead with the creation of a more secular new republic out of the ashes of the Ottoman Empire.

12. Turkey has discovered 320 billion cubic meters of natural gas, the biggest-ever natural gas reserve in the Black Sea.

  • The Turkish President stated that the nation conducted the operation completely through national means and did not rely even one bit on foreign sources for the drilling operations. 
  • Turkey’s drilling ship Fatih made the discovery in the Tuna-1 field and the exploration is continuing in other fields. 

13. Iran has launched underground ballistic missiles during the last day of the ‘Great Prophet 14’ military exercise near Gulf waters.  

  • It also released bombs from Sukhoi Su-22 fighter jets to target predetermined positions on Bani Farur Island in Iran’s territorial waters. 
  • These launches were carried out without the platform and usual equipment.
  • Great Prophet 14 is the largest of its kind in the region. It was started off in the general area of ??Hormozgan province, west of the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf to the depths of the country.

14. China has recently claimed that the Diaoyu Islands are Chinese territory and it has the right to conduct law enforcement activities in the area.

  • The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin denied the criticism of the U.S. of incursions of China.
  • The islands are located in the East China sea and have also been claimed by Japan for several years.
  • Japan calls the territory Senkaku and China call Diaoyu.

15. The UK government will issue a commemorative coin to mark the 150th birthday anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

  • The plan has been announced at the annual GG2 Leadership Awards event to celebrate the most influential members of the UK’s South Asian community. 
  • In 1888, Gandhi left for London to attend law school. 
  • He attended the University College of London law school and was called to the English bar in 1891.

16. Oil-rich Gulf state UAE has finally started its first-ever nuclear reactor “Barakah” at Abu Dhabi on the Gulf coast.

  •  Barakah means “blessing” in Arabic.  Barakah was expected to start its operation in 2017. 
  • However, due to various safety issues, it kept on getting delayed.
  • Developed in a joint venture with the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation and Korea Electric Power CorporationIn association with KEPCO, the nuclear reactor power plant has begun the process of nuclear fission in one of its four reactors. 
  • The energy in the reactor plant will be generated by 1,400-megawatt pressurized water reactors, designed in South Korea, called APR-1400. 
  • For now, only one of four reactors are working, however, the aim of the country is to have all four reactors set to the operational mode by 2023.
  • This will produce around 5.6 gigawatts of energy which will be enough to serve a quarter of the country’s need for electricity in a safe, reliable, and emission-free way.

17. Former Guyanese housing minister Mohamed Irfaan Ali has become the President of the country after he was declared as the winner of the disputed March 2, 2020, general election following a recount. 

  • He is a member of the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP).
  •  He succeeds David Arthur(A.) Granger.
  • The PPP won 33 of the 65 seats in the National Assembly with 233,336 votes. 

18. Pakistan recently released a new political map claiming the entire territory of Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, and part of Gujarat including the erstwhile state of Junagadh as part of its territory.

  • This newly-released grotesque map is very different from its old version.
  • In the early version of the map, the part of Kashmir and Ladakh border with China was not marked and it was described as “Frontier Undecided”.
  • The recently released map clearly shows the Pakistan frontier attached with India and the entire Kashmir region as its territory.
  • The LOC had been extended to the Karakoram Pass, clearing depicting Siachen as part of Pakistan territory.

19. Former Chief-of-Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, Brigadier (retired) Mark Anthony Phillips has been sworn in as Prime Minister of Guyana. 

  • He served as the Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force from 2013 to 2016. 
  • Meanwhile, former President Bharrat Jagdeo has been sworn in as Vice President.
  • Mauritania’s President Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani has named Mohamed Ould Bilal as the 16th Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.
  • Mohamed Ould Bilal belongs to the political party of Union for the Republic  
  • He has served as Political Advisor and headed several state agencies.
  • Bilal’s predecessor Ismail Ould Cheikh Sidiya and his entire government resigned on 6th August 2020 amidst an investigation into high-level corruption charges against them.
  • Capital – Nouakchott
  • Currency – Ouguiya

20. Bangladesh has decided to construct a monument for the Indian soldiers who died in 1971 during the country’s struggle for independence from Pakistan.

  • This comes amid Dhaka’s push to reinforce ties with India notwithstanding recent efforts by Beijing and Islamabad to woo it.
  • Bangladesh War Liberation Minister Mozammel Haque made the announcement 
  • The Hasina government has selected 3.5 acres in Ashuganj of Brahmanbaria district, bordering Tripura.
  •  The architectural design will reflect the bond between the neighbors.
  • “The site that has been selected has historic significance.

21. Russia has named its first COVID-19 vaccine ‘Sputnik V’ for foreign markets with reference to the world's first satellite.

  • President Vladimir Putin announced the approval of the vaccine in less than two months of human testing amid skepticism from scientists.
  • Russia has already received requests from over 20 countries for 1 billion doses of the new COVID vaccine.
  • International scientists have however questioned whether Russia by moving to roll out the vaccine speedily is putting national prestige before solid science and safety.

22. President of Peru(Republic of Peru) Martin Vizcarra appointed Walter Roger Martos Ruiz, the former defense minister, and retired army general, as the country’s new Prime Minister. 

  • He succeeds Pedro Cateriano
  • The swearing-in ceremony took place at the Government Palace in Lima.
  • The president also appointed attorney Luis Inchishategui as head of the Ministry of Energy and Mines.
  • Pedro Cateriano was sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Peru on July 15 to replace Vicente Zeballos in the post.
  • The Congress recently rejected the vote of confidence requested by the Ministerial Cabinet led by him.

23. The Presidential Candidate Joe Biden has chosen Kamala Harris to run for Vice President. 

  • As a running mate, she will be the first black woman and the first person of Indian origin to be nominated for the national office of a majority party in the US.
  • Joe Biden was the Vice President of the US during President Obama’s period.
  • She is the district attorney from San Francisco and former attorney general of California. She won her first election in 2003 and became San Francisco district attorney. She was elected the Attorney General in 2010.
  • The US Presidential election is scheduled in November 2020. It is the 59th Quadrennial Presidential election.
  • The 22nd amendment of the US constitution states that a person cannot be elected as a president more than twice. This prohibited former presidents George W Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama from being elected as President.

24. India and Uzbekistan held their first meeting of the National Coordination Committee for monitoring implementation of mutually agreed projects.

  • Both countries reviewed the ongoing and planned activities of bilateral economic and trade cooperation.
  • The Committee was constituted under the directions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
  •  It was held under the co-chairmanship of Minister of State for External Affairs, V. Muraleedharan, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade of Uzbekistan, Sardor Umurzakov.

25. China successfully launched a new optical remote-sensing satellite from its Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China.

  • The satellite, Gaofen-9 05, was sent into orbit by a Long March-2D carrier rocket.
  • A multifunctional test satellite and another satellite named Tiantuo-5 were also launched via the rocket.

26. Bangladesh observed the National Mourning Day marking the 45th anniversary of the brutal assassination of its founder President Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on 15th August 1975. 

  • He was offered the post of Minister by Zia Ur Rahman who had become head of state after Bangabandhu’s assassination in 1975.
  • He declined the offer and publicly protested the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for which he was arrested later.
  • High Commissioner to India Muhammad Imran paid homage to Bangabandhu 
  • Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with 16 members of his family was brutally assassinated on this day in 1975 by a group of people from the armed forces at his Dhanmondi residence in Dhaka. 

27. Tunisian President Kais Saied appointed Hichem Mechichi(46-year-old), Interior Minister as its new Prime minister. 

  •  He has a month to form a government i.e., should be capable of winning a confidence vote in parliament by a simple majority.
  •  He succeeded Elyes Fakhfakh, who resigned over allegations of a conflict of interest.
  • If Hichem Mechichi cannot form the government in a month the president will dissolve parliament and call for another election.
  • Hichem Mechichi was not one of the names proposed by the governing political parties to the  President.

28. The Chinese consulate in the U.S. city of Houston officially closed after over four decades as U.S.-China relations hit a new low.

  • Tensions between both nations have escalated in recent months over Beijing's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, China’s crackdown on its Uygur Muslims in Xinjiang, and Beijing imposing a controversial national security law in Hong Kong.
  • The U.S. had asked China to close down its Consulate General in Houston within 72 hours, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo alleging that it was a hub of spying and intellectual property theft.
  • China too has ordered the U.S. to close down its consulate in Chengdu. While ordering the closure, China had accused the U.S. of interfering in its “internal affairs and harming national security interests”.

29. China has successfully launched “Tianwen-1”, its first independent mission to Mars. 

  • A Long March 5 rocket carrying the spacecraft ignited at the Wenchang Space Launch Site in south China’s tropical Hainan province.
  •  China had launched an orbiter destined for Mars on a Russian rocket in 2011, but the mission failed because the rocket malfunctioned.
  • Tianwen-1 is one of three missions heading to Mars this month. 
  • On 20 July, the United Arab Emirates successfully launched its Mars-bound Hope orbiter from Japan while on 30 July NASA is expected to launch its Mars 2020 mission, which includes the Perseverance rover and a Mars helicopter called Ingenuity.

30. South Korea has launched its first-ever military communications satellite ANASIS-II  The satellite was launched by private operator SpaceX.

  • The satellite is aimed at enhancing the nation’s ability to defend itself against nuclear-armed North Korea. 
  •  The South Korean military satellite blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida aboard a Falcon 9 rocket.