[PIN-2014] Part 2/6: International- Presidents, Prime ministers, Summits, bodies & Ukraine Crisis

PIN31 Comments

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  1. Prologue to six part Article series
  2. PIN: Heads of States
  3. Chief Guest in 26th January Republic Day Parade
  4. India’s Ranks (2013)
  5. International Summits
  6. National Summits
  7. Ukraine crisis
  8. International Organizations
  9. International places in news

Prologue to six part Article series

Total six parts covering December 2013 to 8th June 2014- nearly six months that is the usual time span for current affairs most competitive exams below UPSC Civil service exam.

  1. [PIN-2014] Part 1/6: National- Official Posts, Committees, Stamps-2014, Defense, Telengana & more
  2. [PIN-2014] Part 2/6: International- Presidents, Prime ministers, Summits, bodies & Ukraine Crisis
  3. [PIN-2014] Part 3/6: Sports, Mascots, Athletes, Awards, FIFA-2014, Sochi-2014, Grand Slams, Hockey, Kabbadi, Cricket & more
  4. [PIN-2014] Part 4/6: Economic Regulators, Banking Sector CMDs, RBI monetary policy, RBI Committees, Business GK CEOs
  5. [PIN-2014] Part 5/6: Books, Authors, Movies awards & Beauty Pageants
  6. [PIN-2014] Part 6/6: Diaspora, Civilian awards & Dead in News, Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas, Padma 2014, Able Prize & more

Persons in News: Heads of States

Every month some new pm/President gets elected somewhere. given the bad cost benefit, I’ve only listed important ones and ignored many chillar parties for example Chile new President Michelle Bachelet, because Chile is not in news otherwise.

Afghanistan
  • President Hamid Karzai served two consecutive term hence can no longer contest election.
  • Right now Presidential race between Abdullah Abdullah and Asraf Ghani.
  • Parliament called shoora.
Australia
  • PM Tony Abbott. capital Canberra (not Perth or Sydney)
  • 1st member of south Asian descent to be member of Parliament – Lisa Maria Singh (awardee Pravasi Bhartiya Samman 2014)
Bangladesh
  • President Abdul Hamid
  • PM Sheikh Hasina (Awami league).
  • Opposition Khalida Zia (nationalist party)
  • Parliament called Jatiya parliament.
Bhutan
  • King Jigme Wangchuck
  • PM Tshering Tobgay
  • parliament called Tasongadu
China
  • President XI Jinping
  • Premier (PM) Li keqiang
  • ADIZ: Air defence idenfication zone aove East China sea.
  • Foreign minister Wang Yi met Modi in June 2013.
CubaPresident Raul Castro (not Fidel Castro)
Egypt
  • President Abdel Fattah El sisi (Ex-Army general)
  • PM Ibrahim mehliv
Fiji
  • President Epeli Nailaukitau (Fiji has largest Indian diaspora in Asia Pacific)
  • Former president of Indian origin Mahindra Chaudhary (1999-2000)
  • Ram Krishna Mission of Fiji has been awarded Pravasi Bharatiya Samman 2014
FrancePresident Francis Hollande; PM Manuel Valls. Anne Hidalg-first female mayor of Paris
Germany
  • President Joachim Gauck
  • Chancellor Angela Markel
  • Lok Sabha: Bundestag
IranPresident Hussan Rouhani, Accepts peaceful nuclear technology use
IraqPM Nur Al Maliki
Israel
  • President Reuven Rivlin (hardliner, he is against creation of Palestine.)
  • PM Benjamin Netanyahu
  • Ex israli PM Ehud Olmert jailed for corruption.
  • parliament called Knesset
ItalyYoungest PM Matteorenzi
JapanEmperor Akihito, PM Shinzo Abe. Parliament called DIET.
JordanJoined non-permanent member of UNSC in Dec 2013. King Abdulla. Capital Amman
KazakstanPresident Nursultan Nazarbayev; PM Karim Massimov
LatviaOfficially joined Eurozone. 18th Member of Euzozone. PM: Straujuma. Parliament: Saeima. Capital Riga.Donot confuse EU vs Eurozone. EU (european union) has 28 members as of now. Croatia became the 28th member of EU in july 2013.
LebanonPM Tammam Salam. Capital Beirut. Country In news because Hezbulla from Lebanon participating in Syrian civil war.
LibyaPM Abdulla al Thani- he quits after family attacked. Capital Tripoli.
LithuaniaPresident Dalia Grybushaite (Iron lady). Only person to win twice.
MalaysiaPM Najib Razak
MaldivesPresident Abdulla Yameen – after defeating Moh. Nasheed in run off vote. Parliament : Majilis
Marshall Islands
  • Capital Majuro.
  • President: Christopher Loeak
  • Parliament called Nitijela
  • In news because they filled a case in ICJ against nuclear power
Mauritius President Rajkeshwar Purryag. PM Navin Ramgoolam
MyanmarPresident Thein SeinOpposition leader Aung su kyi
NepalPresident Ram Baran Yadav. PM Sushil koiralaParliament : Rahstriya Panchayat
NigeriaPresident Goodluck Jonathan. in news because an extremist group Boko Haram kidnapped schoolgirls to get their prisoners released. Capital: Abuja
North KoreaKim Jong- un got 100% votes. Held high level talks with south korea at Pan mun jom. Jang Song Thaek: he was Kim’s uncle, but Kim got him killed for “gaddari”.
PakistanPresident Mamnoon Hussain and PM Nawaz Sharif both belong to PML-N party. Parliament called “Majlis-e-shoora”.Abul Basit: Paki Ambassador to India
PalestineUnity govt. under Moh. Abbas (Fatah) and Ismail Haniyeh (Hamas)
Papua New Guinea
  • First Indian origin to be member of Parliament – Sasindran Muthuvel
  • Pravasi Bharatiya samman 2014
PhilippinesPrez Beningo Aquino. New law to legalize birth control methods Until now birth control was prohibited due to opposition from Christians
S.AfricaJacob Zuma wins Presidential election. (Party African national congress). Capital: Johannesburg.Indian origin – Ela Gandhi – Pravasi Bharatiya Samman 2014
South KoreaPresident female Park Park Geun-hye. PM Chung Hong won resigned after Ferry sinking incident which killed 300+people
South SudanSalva Kiir Mayardit
SpainKing Juan Carlos abdicated throne for his son. PM Rajoy. Capital Madrid. Parliament
SyriaPresident Bashar al assad – ready for election under international pressure
Thailand
  • acting Prime Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan after  court removed Prime Minister Ms. Yingluck Shinawatra for power abuse
  • Later General Prayuth stages a military coup and detained Ms. Yingluck and her family.
Turkey
  • President Abdulla Gul
  • PM Recep Tayyip Erdogen. In news because arbitrarily bans twitter, facebook etc.
  • Soma coal mine explosion killed 280+
Uganda
  • Signed a law under husband can be jailed for 10 years for infecting wife with HIV (and vice versa) + mandatory HIV testing for pregnant women.
  • Capital Kampala.
  • PM/President not important.
Ukraine
  • President Petro Poroshenko, Chocolate businessman
  • PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk
  • parliament : RADA
  • Capital: Kiev
UruguayLegalized marijuana trade. Capital Montevideo. PM/President not important.
VaticanPope Francis (Jorge Bergoglio) became TIME person of the year for 2013. He replaced Pope Benedict XVI.
VenezuelaPresident Nicolas Maduro (and NOT Hugo Chavez- He is dead)
VietnamPresident Truong Tan SangPM Nguyen Tan Dung

UK

  • David Cameron. Queen Elizabeth ruled for 62 years.
  • Recently David said Sikhs can head UK army and judiciary.
  • UK  parliament honored Tagore in 2014
  • Operation Trojan horse: to prevent spread of extremism in schools.
  • Banned sale of non-native aquatic plants to prevent entry of invasive species.
  • Scotland referendum to be held in September 2014.

USA

  • President Barak Hussain Obama ; VP Joe Biden both democrat party
  • Jeb Bush (Republican) He is yyounger brother of George Bush, he may fight next Presidential election (perhaps) against Hillary Clinton (democrate).
  • Secretary of State John Kerry (not Hillary Clinton)
  • Speaker of house of representatives: John Boehner (not Nancy Pelosi)
  • Nancy Powell was first women US Ambassador to India. She was made to resign in May 2014 because she was close to Congis and Obama knew Modi will become next PM. in other words, her “boore din” had started even before election result!
  • Peter Haas: US Cousul general in India, opened new trade office in Ahmedabad in June 2014.
  • FBI: James Comey
  • CIA: John O. Brennan
  • Sergeant Bow Bergdahl: American soldier captured by Talibans in 2009. Obama freed some Taliban prisoners to secure Bow’s release.

Chief Guest in 26th January Republic Day Parade

  • 2013- King of Bhutan, Jigme Wangchuck
  • 2014- Japanese PM, Shinzo Abe

India’s Ranks (2013)

Doing Business (world bank)134. Singapore tops
Gender Gap (WEF)101, even Bangladesh, SriLanka and China better.
Global hunger index63rd. Even Paki and Bangla better
Global Slavery IndexIndia first rank! China 2nd, Paki 3rd
Human Capital index(WEF)78.
Human development index (UNDP)136.
Standard and PoorsBBB minus rating
Standard Chartersby 2030, India will be third largest economy after US and China
Transparency International’s corruption perception index
  • India 94th. Even Pakistan better!
  • Cleanest = NZ and Denmark. Most bogus: Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia

*WEF= World Economic Forum.

Ukraine crisis

For non-UPSC exams, this topic is pretty much irrelevant. Even for the interviews, you don’t need to know more than just basic geography and power angles. Crux of the matter is= Ukraine crisis happened because Russia wants to control (Crimea+ Black sea) & counter NATO/US influence in this region.

Observe the map:
Map-Ukrain Crisis

  • Crimea’s port city  Sevastopol=>
  • Black sea=>
  • Straight of Bosporus =>
  • Mediterranean Sea =>
    • Strait of Gibraltar => Atlantic Ocean
    • Suez Canal => Red Sea => Gulf of Aden => Arabian ocean.

Thus IF Russia controls Crimea, it can control Black sea. Result?

  1. Russia can ship its products to major economics of the world
  2. Russia can fight against invading NATO armies and counter USA’s “missile shield”.

Timeline of Ukraine Crisis

Before 1991Both Ukraine+ Crimea were part of erstwhile USSR.
1st December 1991,Ukraine held referendum to declare independence from USSR, also takes away Crimea. This was one of the major reasons for the fall of USSR.
2012
  • Ukraine and European Union (EU) sign free trade agreement and political association. Putin doesn’t like it, not one bit.
  • There was chance of Ukraine joining EU. But then agreements could not be ratified because PM Yulia imprisoned, protests and political instability.
2013
  • Russia offered $15 billion and Cheap gas supply to Ukraine (to counter EU influence).
  • November 2013: Ukraine President Yanukovich refused to EU FTA deal and favoured Russian deal=> Juntaa already angry with economic slowdown, corruption=> protests => Brutal supression => crisis worsen.
Feb 2014
  • More protests. President Yanukovich leaves his country like Dawood Ibraim and hides in Pakistan Russia.
  • Speaker was made interim President. (Putin blames Obama for installing this puppet regime).
  • this new government removed Russian as “second official language”.
  • Russian President Putin becomes active to protect the Russian speaking junta in the Crimea. He sends military to the border. (But ordered them not to cross the border OR shoot at anyone).
March 2014
  • Crimean parliament held junta’s referendum.
  • 92% Junta votes to join Russia.
  • Crimean parliament passes resolution to secede from Ukraine to Russia.
  • Putin passes law to include Crimea in Russia. His excuse: in past Kosovo also separated from Serbia in the same manner, but at that time USA did not oppose.
April-MayAfter this, other parts of Eastern Ukraine also started similar movements to join Russia.
June 2014Chocolate businessman Petro Poroshenko becomes the new President of Ukraine.

G8 suspended Russia. Obama wants world powers to boycott Russia, just like Iran. BUT….

  1. BRICS nations refused to join US-EU backed sanction against Russia
  2. Japan also refused to cancel investment plans in Russia
  3. India also not going to back any US sanction against Russia.
  4. Russia has world’s largest energy resources, therefore, energy-hungry China also silent.

Beyond this, day to day ball by ball commentary keep coming in newspaper. But like I said earlier, no need to do PhD on this topic, for non-UPSC exams.

International Summits

17th NAMVenezuela 2015
ASEAN
  • 2014 chair of ASEAN – Myanmar
  • Theme “Moving forward in unity to a peaceful and prosperous community”
BIMSTEC
  • Nay Pyi Tao, Myanmar
  • March 2014, 3rd summit
  • “Partnership for Harmony and Prosperity”
  • MoU was sign to establish permanent secretariat
BRICSFortaleza, Brazil- 2014; Ufa, Russia 2015
CHOGMCommonwealth heads of government  22nd meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka (Nov 2013)
ending sexual violence in conflict
  • to find practical solution on how to end sexual violence during wars, help victims and punish the criminals.
  • first summit @London June 2014
  • organizer: Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie and British foreign Secretary William Hague
G-20
  • 2013: St.Petersburg, Russia (8th)
  • 2014: Brisbane, Australia 9th
G-7 summit
  • 40th Brussels, Belgium (EU HQ)
  • June 2014
  • 1st time EU hosted G7 summit
  • Earlier scheduled to be hosted in Sochi, Russia
  • But after Ukraine issue, Russia withdrawn from membership G8 -> G7 + hosted in Brussels
GENEVA 2
  • On Syrian crisis. Geneva in Switzerland.
  • Geneva Agreement is different- between USA and Iran on Iranian Nuclear program
IBSA 2013, DelhiMilitary cooperation- joint military exercise “IBSAMAR”
SAARCKathmandu, NepalNov 2014, 18th
UNFCC2013: COP 19 in Warsaw Poland.2014: COP 20 in Lima, Peru
WTO
  • Ministerial conference After every 2 years
  • Bali in 2013 – “Bali Package” Trade Facilitation agreement signed
  • Yemen to become 140th WTO member in June 2014

National Summits

1st International summit on HIV AIDSNew Delhi
28th Suryakund international artisan FairFaridabad Harayana
Asia Gas partnership SummitDelhi, Dec 2013.
National Science Congress 101th sessionwas held in Jammu on Feb 2014
PETROTECH 2014Noida, International oil & gas summit
Rann UtsavCultural festival of Katch dist Gujarat
SuryakumbhSolar cooking initiative in Mumbai
TECNOTEX 2014International summit on clothes , Mumbai

International Organizations

without their structure or mandate for GS2 hahaha

in CDS, CAPF, they sometimes ask “match the pairs” question from this topic.

African development bankDonald kaberukaHQ Abidjan, Ivory coast
African UnionB.N.AmadiHQ Addis Ababa
ASEANLe Luong MinhHQ Jakarta, Indonesia
Asian development bankPresident Takehiko NakaoHQ Manila, Philippines
IMFChristine LagardeHQ Washington
EU
  • Head of European commission –Jose Emanuel Barroso
  • HQ Brussels, Belgium
  • European Central Bank – Frankfurt, Germany
FAODG- Jose Graziano de silvaHQ Rome, Italy
NATOSecretary General Jens Stoltenberg (Formal PM of Norway)
OECDSec-gen Jose Angel GurriaHQ Paris, France
ICC (International CriminalCourt)HQ Hague, Netherland
ICJ (International Court ofJustice)HQ Hague, Netherland
PCA (permanent court ofArbitration)HQ Hague, Netherland
IUCN (International UnionFor Conservation of Nature)President Zhang XinshengFormer Ashok Khosla
IAEADG Yukiya AmanoHQ Vienna, Austria
ILODG Guy RyderHQ Geneva, Switzerland
UN General Assembly
  • President John Ashe, visited India, raised Italian marine issue.
  • Secretary Gen. Ban Ki moon
  • HQ New York
  • UN declared 2014 as International year of family farming.
ITUSec-gen Hamadoun ToureHQ Geneva, Switzerland
UNHRCNavi PillaiHQ Geneva, Switzerland
UNFCCChristina FigueresHQ Bonn, Germany
UNCTRALChairperson Hrvoje SikiricHQ New York
OPCW (Organization forPrevention of ChemicalWeapons)DG Ahmet UzumcuHQ Hague, NetherlandOPCW won Nobel prize 2013
US federal ReserveJENETYELLN
WHODG Dr. Margaret ChanHQ Geneva, Switzerland
WIPODG Francis Gurry, re-elected for 2nd termHQ Geneva, Switzerland
World bankDG Jim Yong KimHQ Washington
WTODG Roberto AzevedoHQ Geneva, Switzerland
WWF (world wild fund forNature)CEO Carter RobertsHQ Gland, Vaud, Switzerland
FAOFood and Agri. organization. HQ Rome. José Graziano da Silva
International Maritime organizationHQ London. Sec General Koji Sekimizu

International places in news

Barbary lionsExtinct. In Atlas mountain range from Morroco to Tunisia. Indian lions have genetic linkages with them.
Bushehr ProvinceIran earthquake in april
HeratIn Afghanistan. Terrorists attacked Indian consulate before Modi oath.
Jinnah AirportKarachi. Biggest terrorist attack in June 2014.
LatviaOfficially joined Eurozone. 18th Member
MaltaNext CHOGM summit in 2015
MauratiaAncient Microcontinent. Its evidence found in W.Indian ocean.
Mosul2nd largest city in Iraq after Bagdad. The Sunni militants took control over this city while Iraqi army ran away.
Mount Fuji, JapanWorld Heritage status under UNESCO. In Honhu Island
PeshawarWorld’s largest reservoir of Polio (WHO statement)
Popocatépetl  volcanoMexico
Samoa AirlineFirst airline to charge passengers based on their weight
SerbiaAgreed to cede some areas to its former province Kosovo.Under EU accord. Serbia-Capital Belgrade. Kosovo-Capital Pristina-Uses Euro as Currency.
ShanghaiStarted visa-free transit scheme with Beijing.
Shenzhen ProvinceChina Launched its first carbon trading scheme here
Sichuan ProvinceChina earthquake of ritchers scale-7.
sumaTurkey coal mine. explosion killed 280+
TitanosaurBiggest dinosaurs, found in Argentina.
West Qurna-2One of the largest oilfield in Iraq. Russian company started exploration.
XishaDisputed islands in South China sea. China is offering tourists rides while Vietnam opposes.
Sevastopolport city  in Crimea, Russia wanted to control Blacksea via this port city, hence the Ukrain crisis.

For more current affairs, visit Mrunal.org/Current

Any updates, corrections please do post in the comments but with reference except wikipedia

Inputs from Mr. Chandradeo and Ms. Rajtanil

Mrunal recommends

  1. (free) NCERT, NIOS, TN-Books
  2. Environment by ShankarIAS
  3. Indian Polity M.Laxmikanth (Hindi | English)
  4. Art & Culture by Nitin Singhania (Hindi | English)
  5. Spectrum: Modern History (Hindi | English)
  6. Bipin Chandra: Post Independence
  7. Fast-track to Arithmetic Rajesh Verma
  8. MK Pandey’s Analytical Reasoning
  9. Disha’s Topicwise Paperset (Hindi | English)
  10. School Atlas
  11. Mains: Language papers
  1. (free) NCERT, NIOS, TN-Books 4 History,Geo,Sci
  2. Indian Polity M.Laxmikanth (Hindi | English)
  3. Spectrum: Modern History (Hindi | English)
  4. Maths: Quantam CAT Sarvesh Kumar
  5. Objective General English SP Bakshi
  6. Word Power made Easy -Norman Lowe
  7. Topic wise Solved Paperset by Disha


So far 31 Comments posted

  1. Lakhan Jadeja

    Thank You Sirji

  2. suni

    Thank u so much sir…..it is really very helpful for my bank exams…thanks once again..

  3. poonam

    mauritius president Rajkeshwar Purryag not Kailash Purryag

    1. saurabh awasthi

      check it once again……..its rajkeshwar purryag only ….

  4. SHIVAM SHUKLA

    MRUNAL BHAI! YOU HAVE BEEN REALLY DOING SOME GREAT JOB ,FOR NOT SO GREAT GUYS LIKE ME .I GOT TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR SITE FROM A FRIEND OF MINE ,WHO IS PREPARING FOR UPSC AND TOLD ME TO GO THROUGH THE CONTENTS OF YOUR SITE.LET ME UNDERSCORE THIS FACT THAT , I WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE EQUIPPED ,HAD I FOUND YOUR SITE A YEAR OR TWO AGO. CONGRATS BHAI .

  5. Ajinkya Gupta

    Hi,
    Latvia is in news because it became the 18th member of “EuroZone” and not “EU”.
    EU (european union) has 28 members as of now. Croatia became the 28th member of EU in july 2013.

    Thanks,
    Ajinkya 🙂

  6. Master Chief

    Mrunal sir, a correction.

    Latvia has already been in EU since 2004. It just had an agreement to use Euro as its currency. It became 18th country to use Euro currency.

    EU has 28 members. Croatia is 28th member, joined in 2013.

    1. Master Chief

      A new update: Lithuania to become 19th country to adopt Euro as currency from 1 January 2015. It will become the 19th member of the euro zone out of 28 countries in the European Union, and the last of the Baltic states to join.

  7. Geena jacob

    Sir,this is very useful.But as far as SBI PO is concerned, they wil be focusing on banking and financing sector only.. this is what I analyzed from SBI PO 2013. can u add some more information on that too?

  8. Suraj Nirmale

    You are God gifted to us sir……!!!!

  9. abhi

    sir,
    a small correction
    LATVIA JOINED EU IN 2004
    18 TH MEMBER IS ESTONIA
    AND
    LITHUANIA PLANS TO JOIN AS 19th MEMBER IN 2015

  10. nish

    lativa is the 18th country to join euro zone and not 18th country to join eu

  11. Gauddy

    Eurozone 19 members, Lithuania joined as last baltic country to join eurozone

  12. Mrunal

    Latvia information has been corrected. thanks all for your input

  13. uCrane

    One of the biggest reasons Russia attacked was because Ukraine has no nuclear weapons. It handed over its nuclear warheads to Russia some years back. Since 1945, no country with nuclear weapons has been attacked by a country.

  14. sureshjangir01

    wto members are 159 at present.

  15. devendra singh

    thanq sir for explaining ukrainian crisis in such a lucid manner…..as no one else can!!!!

  16. Shaashi

    Correction:
    Global Slavery Index is a weighted measure of three variables:
    Estimated prevalence of modern slavery in each country (accounting for 95% of the total)
    A measure of the level of human trafficking to and from each country (accounts for 2.5%)
    A measure of the level of child and early marriage in each country (accounts for 2.5%)

    India has the largest estimated number of people enslaved followed by China & Pakistan which is mentioned by Mrunal Sir.
    But, when we look overall India stands at 4th position followed by Mauritiana, Haiti & Pakistan. Conclusion- We are not that bad! 😛
    Please refer: http://www.globalslaveryindex.org/country/india/

  17. sonu verma

    its really good job mrunal sir. its very much helpfull…thank you very much for your coordination to the students. thank you very much.

  18. Sabarinath

    South Africa capital is pretoria. Other capitals r Johannesburg n Cape Town. But main is pretoria.

  19. Harry

    Thankyou Mrunal for the right guidance and immense motivation to UPSC dreamers! Can you please suggest me how to handle the comprehension part, i find it too boring and time consuming ! Thanks in advance !

  20. pramod upadhyay

    Sir pls provide any special material for uppsc

  21. pramod upadhyay

    Sir pls provide any special material for uppsc especialy agriculture related

  22. Arvind kumar

    India’s rank in hdi list is not 136 but 135 .
    and total number of wto member country are 160 after yemen joined in bali,indonesia ministerial conference.

  23. ankur

    Sir you are doing a tremendous job everyone can read your articles . Now you are my best teacher .. Appreciated !!

  24. Murali

    Great Job…This is a web site which i feel I must browse every time and then and do so regularly.

  25. Rohini

    Please do alert me the updates of your website

  26. sai pathkala

    mrunal sir.., u r the most remembered person for every civil aspirants.. thank u sir..

  27. sunil kumar

    one of the best site

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