Q. Consider the following pairs :

Regions often mentioned in news — Reason for being in news

  1. North Kivu and Ituri : War between Armenia and Azerbaijan
  2. Nagorno-Karabakh: Insurgency in Mozambique
  3. Kherson and Zaporizhzhia: Dispute between Israel and Lebanon

How many of the above pairs are correctly matched?

(a) Only one
(b) Only two
(c) All three
(d) None

Answer: (d) None

North Kivu and Ituri:
  • North Kivu and Ituri are the eastern provinces of Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • The President of Congo, Felix Tshisekedi declared a “State of Siege” due to the increasing violence in the eastern provinces of North Kivu and Ituri.
    • The violence killed more than hundred people and displaced more than 1.5 million.
North Kivu and Ituri
  • Nagorno-Karabakh is a mountainous and heavily forested region that under international law is recognised as part of Azerbaijan.
  • Recently, protests against possible concessions by Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh which is disputed with neighboring Azerbaijan, have increased.
Kherson and Zaporizhzhia
  • Russia released vote tallies showing overwhelming support in four provinces of Ukraine to join with Russia.
  • The four regions are Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.
Kherson and Zaporizhzhia
Cabo Delgado:
  • The insurgency in Cabo Delgado is an ongoing Islamist insurgency in Cabo Delgado Province, Mozambique, mainly fought between militant Islamists and jihadists attempting to establish an Islamic state in the region, and Mozambican security forces.
    • Civilians have been the main targets of terrorist attacks by Islamist militants.
  • The main insurgent faction is Ansar al-Sunna, a native extremist faction with tenuous international connections.
    • Ansar al-Sunna (“Supporters of the Tradition”) is similar to the name of an Iraqi Sunni insurgent group that fought against U.S. troops between 2003 and 2007.
    • They are known locally as al-Shabaab but they are not formally related to the better known Somali al-Shabaab.
Insurgency in Cabo Delgado
Golan Heights
  • The Golan Heights (Golan) is a region in the Levant.
  • It is a rocky plateau in south-western Syria, about 60km (40 miles) south-west of the Capital, Damascus.
  • It is bounded by the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee on the west, Mount Hermon on the north, the seasonal Wadi Al-Ruqqād River on the east, and the Yarmūk River on the south.
  • The Golan extends about 44 miles (71 km) from north to south and about 27 miles (43 km) from east to west at its widest point.
  • It is roughly boat-shaped and has an area of 1,150 square kilometres.
  • History:
    • Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria in the closing stages of the 1967 Six-Day War.
    • Most of the Syrian Arab inhabitants fled the area during the conflict.
    • An armistice line was established, and the region came under Israeli military control. Almost immediately, Israel began to settle the Golan.
    • Syria tried to retake the Golan Heights during the 1973 Middle East Despite inflicting heavy losses on Israeli forces, the surprise assault was thwarted.
    • Both countries signed an armistice in 1974, and a UN observer force has been in place on the ceasefire line since 1974.
    • Israel unilaterally annexed the Golan Heights in 1981.
  • There are more than 30 Israeli settlements in the Golan. The settlements are considered illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this.
  • About 20,000 Syrians and 20,000 Israelis live in the Golan.
  • Strategic Importance:
    • The Syrian capital, Damascus, can be clearly seen from the top of the Golan Hills.
    • When it rains here, its water goes to the Jordan River, which supplies water in dry areas. It is believed that this water supplies one-third of Israel’s water.
    • Apart from this, the land here is very fertile, which is very good for farming.
Golan Heights

Q. Consider the following pairs :

Area of conflict mentioned in news – Country where it is located

  1. Donbas – Syria
  2. Kachin – Ethiopia
  3. Tigray – North Yemen

How many of the above pairs are correctly matched?

(a) Only one
(b) Only two
(c) All three
(d) None

Answer: (d) None

Donetsk and Luhansk
  • Donetsk and Luhansk are two states located in eastern Ukraine, which share a border with Russia.
  • Within these two states are two separatist territories known as the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), which are run by Russian and Russian-backed separatists.
  • This entire region, which includes Donetsk, Luhansk and their respective separatist territories, is generally referred to as the ‘Donbas’ region.
Kachin region
  • The Kachin region, also known as Kachin State, is a state located in the northern part of Myanmar (Burma).
  • It shares borders with China to the north and east, Shan State to the south, and Sagaing Region to the west.

Internal conflict in Myanmar: Rohingya conflict, Kachin conflict, Karen conflict, Conflict in Rakhine State.

Kachin region
myanmar major ethnic groups
Tigray region
  • The Tigray region, also known as the Tigray State, is a region located in the northern part of Ethiopia. 
  • It is one of the ten regional states that make up the federal system of Ethiopia. The first formal African Union-led peace talks between an Ethiopian government team and Tigray forces are happening in South Africa.
Tigray region
Oromo conflict
  • The Oromo conflict is a protracted conflict between the Oromo Liberation Front and the Ethiopian government.
  • The Oromo Liberation Front formed to fight the Ethiopian Empire to liberate the Oromo people and establish an independent state of Oromia.
Oromo conflict

Q. With reference to India’s projects on connectivity, consider the following statements :

  1. East-West Corridor under Golden Quadrilateral Project connects Dibrugarh and Surat.
  2. Trilateral Highway connects Moreh in Manipur and Chiang Mai in Thailand via Myanmar.
  3. Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor connects Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh with
    Kunming in China.

How many of the above statements are correct?

(a) Only one
(b) Only two
(c) All three
(d) None

Answer: (d) None

East-West Corridor:
  • The East-West Corridor is a part of the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) in India, which aims to connect Silchar in Assam to Porbandar in Gujarat. 
  • East-West Corridor is a 3,300 kilometres corridor via NH 27 (Porbandar–Rajkot-Samakhiali–Radhanpur–Kota–Jhansi–Kanpur-Lucknow–Ayodhya-Gorakhpur-Muzaffarpur–Darbhanga-Supaul-Purnia– Dalkhola-Kishanganj, Islampur–Sonapur- Ghoshpukur-Jalpaiguri Alipurduar- Bongaigaon – Nalbari Bijni–Guwahati–Nagaon–Dabaka–Silchar).
North–South and East–West Corridor
Golden Quadrilateral Project
  • The Golden Quadrilateral is a national highway network that connects the majority of India’s main economic, agricultural, and cultural centers.
  • It comprises a quadrilateral linking India’s four largest metropolises: Delhi (north), Kolkata (East), Mumbai (west), and Chennai (south). 
  • The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), which is part of the Ministry of Road, Transport, and Highways, is in charge of the Golden Quadrilateral project.
  • The fundamental goal of these superhighways is to shorten the distance and time connecting India’s four megacities.
  • This project includes the North-South corridor connecting Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) and Kanyakumari (Tamil Nadu), as well as the East-West corridor connecting Silchar (Assam) and Porbandar (Gujarat).
  • The network also connects other key metropolises such as Pune, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Kanpur, Surat in the north and Bengaluru, Visakhapatnam, and Bhubaneswar in the south.
Golden Quadrilateral Project
India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway
  • It is a significant regional connectivity project that aims to establish a road link between India, Myanmar, and Thailand.
  • The highway will span a distance of approximately 1,360 kilometers (845 miles), starting from Moreh in Manipur, India, and passing through Myanmar before reaching Mae Sot in Thailand.
  • It is an important infrastructure project to enhance trade, connectivity, and people-to-people ties among the three countries.
  • It was first proposed by former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and was approved at a ministerial-level meeting between India, Myanmar and Thailand in April 2002.
  • The construction of the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway began in 2012 and is being implemented in several phases.
  • The India-Myanmar Friendship Road forms the first segment of the IMT Highway. It runs from the border at Tamu/Moreh to Kalemyo and Kalewa.
  • Implementing agencies: On the Indian side, the project is being implemented by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) with the cooperation of its counterparts in Myanmar and Thailand and budgetary allocation from the Ministry of Finance.
india-myanmar-thailand trilateral highway
Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor
  • The Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM) is a proposed connectivity project that aims to enhance economic cooperation and trade between Bangladesh, China, India, and Myanmar.
  • The corridor is expected to run from Kunming in China, through Myanmar, and Bangladesh, and eventually reach Kolkata in India.
Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor

Q. Consider the following countries :

  1. Bulgaria
  2. Czech Republic
  3. Hungary
  4. Latvia
  5. Lithuania
  6. Romania

How many of the above-mentioned countnes share a land border with Ukraine?

(a) Only two
(b) Only three
(c) Only four
(d) Only five

Answer: (a) Only two

  • Ukraine borders with seven countries: Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, Russia, and Belarus.
    • From the given above options, only Hungary and Romania share a land border with Ukraine and Latvia, Czech Republic and Lithuania do not.
Ukraine borders

Q. Consider the following statements :

  1. Recently, all the countries of the United Nations have adopted the first-ever compact for international migration, the ‘Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM)’.
  2. The objectives and commitments stated in the GCM are binding on the UN member countries.
  3. The GCM addresses internal migration or internally displaced people also in its objectives and commitments.

How many of the above statements are correct?

(a) Only one
(b) Only two
(c) All three
(d) None

Answer: (a) Only one

  • The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration is an intergovernmental agreement, prepared under the overall aegis of the United Nations.
  • It is the first inter-governmental agreement covering international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner.
  • So far only 163 countries have adopted the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), the United States, Hungary, Israel, Czech Republic and Poland are some of the countries that voted against the compact.
  • The Global Compact for Migration is a non-legally binding agreement. It is grounded in values of state sovereignty, responsibility-sharing and recognises that a cooperative approach is needed to optimise the overall benefits of migration.
  • The global compact comprises 23 objectives for better managing migration at local, national, regional and global levels. Hence it is true that the global compact in its objectives includes the commitment to address internal as well as international migration.

Q. Consider the fqllowing statements :

Statement-I : Israel has established diplomatic relations with some Arab States.
Statement-II : The ‘Arab Peace Initiative’ mediated by Saudi Arabia was signed by Israel and Arab League.

Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements?

(a) Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II is the correct explanation for Statement-I
(b) Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II is not the correct explanation for Statement-I
(c) Statement-I is correct but Statement-II is incorrect
(d) Statement-I is incorrect but Statement- II is correct

Answer: (c) Statement-I is correct but Statement-II is incorrect

  • Israel has established diplomatic relations with some Arab countries over the years.
  • The first Arab country to officially recognize and establish diplomatic relations with Israel was Egypt. The historic peace treaty between Israel and Egypt was signed in 1979 at Camp David, leading to diplomatic relations and normalization of ties between the two nations.
  • Another Arab country that has established diplomatic relations with Israel is Jordan.
  • In 2020, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain signed agreements with Israel to establish full diplomatic relations, known as the Abraham Accords.
  • Arab Peace Initiative was not signed by Israel. The Arab Peace Initiative, also known as the “Saudi Initiative,” was proposed by Saudi Arabia in 2002 at the Arab League Summit in Beirut. It was endorsed by the Arab League as a potential resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • The initiative called for the recognition of Israel by the Arab states and the establishment of normal diplomatic relations in exchange for Israel’s complete withdrawal from the territories occupied during the 1967 Six-Day War, the creation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, and a “just solution” for Palestinian refugees based on UN General Assembly Resolution 194. While Israel has not officially signed the Arab Peace Initiative, it has been the subject of discussions and negotiations between Israel and the Arab states.

Q. In the recent years Chad, Guinea, Mali and Sudan caught the international attention for which one of the following reasons common to all of them?

(a) Discovery of rich deposits of rare earth elements
(b) Establishment of Chinese military bases.
(c) Southward expansion of Sahara Desert
(d) Successful coups

Answer: (d) Successful coups

  • In past few years, military leaders have toppled the governments of Mali, Chad, Guinea, Sudan and Burkina Faso.
  • These five nations that have recently experienced military coups form a broken line that stretches across the wide bulge of Africa, from Guinea on the west coast to Sudan in the east.
    • Chad: In April 2021, President Idriss Déby was killed while leading troops against rebels in the north of the country. His son, Mahamat Idriss Déby, took over as president and declared a transitional military council.
    • Guinea: In September 2021, President Alpha Condé was overthrown in a coup led by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya. Doumbouya declared himself president and formed a transitional government.
    • Mali: In August 2020, President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta was overthrown in a coup led by Colonel Assimi Goïta. Goïta declared himself president and formed a transitional government.
    • Sudan: In April 2019, President Omar al-Bashir was overthrown in a coup led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. Al-Burhan declared himself president and formed a transitional government.
  • The resurgence of coups has alarmed the region’s remaining civilian leaders.
  • The coups in Chad, Guinea, Mali, and Sudan have all been met with international condemnation. The African Union has suspended all four countries from membership. The United Nations has also imposed sanctions on some of the coup leaders.

Q. Consider the following statements about G-20:

  1. The G-20 group was originally established as a platform for the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to discuss the international economic and financial issues.
  2. Digital public infrastructure is one of India’s G-20 priorities.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

  • The G20 group of 19 countries and the EU was established in 1999 as a platform for Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to discuss international economic and financial issues. Together, the G20 countries account for almost two-thirds of the global population, 75% of global trade, and 85% of the world’s GDP.
  • India is pitching its digital infrastructure at G20 as an open-access platform that can aid in improving development outcomes.