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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

  1. India has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) to provide 50,000 MT of wheat to Afghanistan as a part of humanitarian assistance through the land border with Pakistan.
  • The shipments, eventually divided into 5 batches of 10,000 MT, will be taken to Afghanistan from 22nd February 2022.
  • 2. Nepal has become the first country to adopt the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) system of India. This will enhance digitalization of cash transactions. The services for the same in Nepal will be provided by the NPCI International Limited (NIPL) in collaboration with payment system operator Gateway Payments Service and Manam Infotech.
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  1. Iran has recently unveiled the long range ballistic surface-to-surface missile named “Khaibar-buster”. It has a range of 1,450 kilometres. 
  • “Khaibar-buster” refers to a Jewish castle overrun by Muslim armies in the early days of Islam.
  1. The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a ‘Quit Tobacco App’ to help people quit the cigarette butt and give up tobacco in all forms, including smokeless and other newer products.
  • It has been launched during WHO’s year-long ‘Commit to quit’ campaign.
  • The app helps users identify the triggers, set their targets, manage cravings and stay focused to quit tobacco.
  1. The 4th Quad Foreign Ministers’ Meeting 2022 has been held in Melbourne, Australia. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has participated in the meeting from the Indian side. Other participants include: Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
  1. 39.Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recently organized a virtual summit in 2022 with UAE’s crown prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. 
  • During the summit, India and UAE have signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
    • Both the countries issued a joint vision statement – “Advancing India and UAE Comprehensive Strategic Partnership: New Frontiers, New Milestone”.
  • The two leaders also released joint commemorative stamp on the occasion of 75th anniversary of India’s independence and 50th year of UAE’s foundation. 
  1. The 4th India – Australia Energy Dialogue 2022 has been held virtually. The dialogue has been co-chaired by Hon’ble Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy, R.K. Singh from the Indian side, and Hon’ble Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor from the Australian side.
  1. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has recently launched a new Digital Strategy 2022-2025 to support countries to build inclusive, ethical, and sustainable digital societies.
  • As per the UN, artificial intelligence (AI) and digital technology could bring a 10-20% reduction in global carbon dioxide emissions by 2030.
  1. The 21st edition of the World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) 2022 has recently been organized by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). 
  • Theme 2022: ‘Towards a Resilient Planet: Ensuring a Sustainable and Equitable Future’
  • The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has delivered the inaugural address at the summit.
    • He discussed the LED bulbs distribution scheme (UJALA) that has been running for over seven years that had reportedly saved close to 220 billion units of electricity and prevented 180 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
    • He encouraged academic and research institutes like TERI to come up with scalable solutions to realize the potential of green hydrogen.
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  1. The air forces of Bangladesh and the USA has conducted a joint air exercise named ‘Cope South 22’ from 20th February to 25th February 2022. It has been conducted at BAF Kurmitola Cantonment, Dhaka, and Operating Location-Alpha, Sylhet, Bangladesh.
  • Objective: To improve interoperability with the Bangladesh air force and to support the armed forces of Bangladesh’s long-term modernization efforts in order to maintain regional stability.
  • The six days exercise has been sponsored by Pacific Air Forces (PACAF).
  1. The 44-member contingents of the Indian Air Force (IAF) has participated in the Singapore Airshow 2022. It is held from 15th to 18th February 2022 at the Changi International Airport in Singapore.
  • India has showcased the IAF’s Made in India Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas Mark-One (MK-1), a 4th generation fighter aircraft.
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