[Diplomacy] Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas PBD-2017, Heart of Asia Summit Amritsar & BRICS Goa Summit: themes, venues, highlights, outcomes

Diplomacy36 Comments

  1. Prologue
  2. Summit#1: Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas PBD-2017, Jan
    1. Why organize PBD?
    2. Who organizes PBD?
    3. PBD-2017: highlights of
    4. Rescue operations for VIDESHI NRIs & DESHI Indians
  3. Summit#2: Heart of Asia Summit
    1. HoA: three purposes of summit?
    2. HoA Summit @Amritsar (2016): Highlights of
  4. Summit#3: BRICS: 8th Summit-2016, Goa
    1. BRICS Goa Summit: highlights of
    2. Shortcomings: BRICS Goa summit 2016
    3. Side note: BRICS vs BIMSTEC
  5. Mock Questions for Prelims
    1. Answer Hints


  • Since 2013, UPSC is back in business of asking current affairs related questions from IR/diplomacy, summits and conferences.
  • So let’s check three notable events in Q3 of 2016-17.

Summit#1: Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas PBD-2017, Jan

Why organize PBD? and since when?
9th January
Gandhi returned from S.Africa to Bombay (India).
  • NDA-I (Vajpayee) decides to celebrate Pravasi Bharatiya divas (PBD) every 9th January. First summit @New Delhi.
  • PBD marks the contribution of Overseas Indians in India’s Development.
  • It also provides an interaction platform for them to raise issues with Indian Government.
  • Over 3 cr. Overseas Indians living abroad, remitting ~70 billion dollars per year.
2015, Jan
  • 13th PBD-2015 @Gandhinagar Gujarat: Theme: “Apna Bharat, Apna Gaurav”.
2015, Oct
  • NDA-II (Modi) converts PBD into “biennial” event i.e. grand festival every second year
  • every other year, only a small affair in India, and regional PBD in foreign country (California-2015-Nov).
  • ++ Youth PBD– to connect overseas youth with India.
2016Small scale festival at Chanakyapuri, New Delhi.
Jan. 7 to 9
  • 14th PBD-2017: Mega festival @Bengaluru, Karnataka. (because its second year from 2015)

Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas PBD-2017

Who organizes PBD?

2004, May
  • Ministry of non-resident Indians’ affairs setup.
2004, Sept.
  • Above ministry Renamed into Ministry of overseas Indians’ affairs (MOIA).
2016, Jan
  • Modi merged this stupid MOIA with Ministry of external affairs (MEA), to avoid duplication of work.
  • Therefore, MEA organizes the PBD.

PBD-2017: highlights of

  • Theme: “Redefining Engagement with the Indian Diaspora
  • Chief Guest: Portugal’s PM Dr. Antanio Coasta.
  • Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (PBSA) is the highest honor given in this summit. Total 30 NRI/PIO/organizations received this award. I’m not listing names because cost:benefit is bad.


Notable mentions in Modi Speech:
MADAD app and webportal
  • MEA’s Online portal for consular Services Management System
  • Person can register complaints related to passport, visa and other documents, abuse by employer/spouse; claiming dead bodies etc. etc.
  • In Prelim 2016, UPSC asked the purpose of “SWAYAM” portal, hence such app-GK needs to be memorized.
e-migrate portal
  • MEA’s portal for recruiting agent and foreign Employers.
VAJRA scheme
  • Department of Science-Tech’s “Visiting advanced joint research faculty scheme.”
  • NRI/PIO Scientists can work for 3 months in Indian institutes, per year.
  • They’ll be given ~10-15k dollars to cover their travel and teaching fees.
Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana
  • For Indian youth seeking overseas employment.
PIO to OCI card
  • The deadline to convert PIO cards to OCI card is extended to 30 June 2017.
Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra
  • Inaugurated @Delhi.

This much coverage sufficient for now. Besides, In GSM2- Mains exam, UPSC has not yet asked a single question about diaspora, since the change of syllabus in 2013.

Rescue operations for VIDESHI NRIs & DESHI Indians


table is more relevant to CDS|CAPF than for CSE.
TimeOp-NameRescued Indians from
2016, JulySankat Mochan
  • South Sudan.
  • whether theHindu columnists CRITICISED the ‘hindutva-waadi’ name of this mission? I don’t know.
RaahatYemen crisis due to ongoing conflict between Government and Houthi rebels.
2014Op. LeharHudhud Cyclone in East cost of India. Navy.
2014J&K Floods
  • Mission Sahayta, Megh Rahat and Op. Sadbhavna.
2013Uttarakhand cloudburst
  • Op. Rahat: Air force mission to rescue Deshi and NRI Indians both.
  • Op. Garud Prahar, Surya Singham Hope: Army
2011Op. Safe home comingLibya
2004Madad | Sea wavesTsunami in Indian ocean.
  • Kuwait during first gulf war. Saddam (Iraq) attack Kuwait and USA launched Op. Desert storm.
  • Akshay Kumar’s movie in 2016- “Airlift” based around these events. In prelims-2016, UPSC asked about movie “man who knew infinity”. So need to keep tab on movies as well.

Summit#2: Heart of Asia Summit

  • Origin: Founded in 2011 Turkey’s Istanbul.
  • Purpose: Peace and stability in Asia, with focus on Afghanistan.
  • Members: India, Pakistan, Russia, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and various Central Asian neighbours of Afghanistan.
Difficult to remember all. But since last two prelims, UPSC been asking MCQs on memberships in regional organization, so I’ve highlighted the important nations in bold:

14 participant countries 17 supporter countries.
1. Afghanistan
2. Azerbaijan
3. China
4. India
5. Iran
6. Kazakhstan
7. Kyrgyz Republic
8. Pakistan
9. Russia
10. Saudi Arabia
11. Tajikistan
12. Turkey
13. Turkmenistan
14. United Arab Emirates
1. Australia
2. Canada
3. Denmark
4. Egypt
5. European Union (EU)
6. France
7. Finland
8. Germany
9. Iraq
10. Italy
11. Japan
12. Norway
13. Poland
14. Spain
15. Sweden
16. United Kingdom
17. United States of America

HoA: three purposes of summit?

  1. Confidence building measures: using trade, commerce and investment. India leads this front.
  2. Cooperation with regional organizations– including SAARC, Colombo plan etc.
  3. Political consultation: through annual ministerial conferences. e.g. In Amritsar (2016).


Recent Ministerial summits
2015Islamabad, Pakistan
2016, Dec.Amritsar, Punjab, India

HoA Summit @Amritsar (2016): Highlights of

Heart of Asia Summit
Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sartaj Aziz attended.
Participants agreed on following:

  1. We’ve to combat terrorism and disasters.
  2. We’ve to promote investment via
    1. ACD: Asian cooperation dialogue (forum to coordinate among ASEAN, SAAR, GCC and EU – on financial matters), since 2001.
    2. CAREC:  Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC). 11 Members- China yes, India no.
  3. We’ve to improve connectivity in the region. And we appreciate whoever is doing something for transport. For example
Transport infra-projectBrief points for exam
Belt and Road initiative
and Maritime Silk Road
Lapis Lazuli corridor
  • Corridor connects Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey via road and rail. 
  • Idea by Afghanistan in 2014.
  • Lapis Lazuli is a semi-precious stone of blue color.
Chabahar Port
  • In India helped build this port in Iran.
  • it’ll improve Afghanistan’s connectivity with world.
International North-South corridor (INSTC)
  • Freight transport among India, Russia, Iran, Europe and Central Asia.
  • Via rail, road and ship.
  • It doesn’t pass through Afghanistan directly. But purpose of HoA is development of entire region (with special focus on Afghanistan).

Later on, India gave Mi-24 gunships to Afghan air force. This is the first lethal weaponry India has given to them.

Summit#3: BRICS: 8th Summit-2016, Goa

  • Originally started as “BRIC” (2006) but after inclusion of South Africa, it became BRICS (2010)
  • 2015: Summit @Ufa, Russia
  • 2016: Summit @Goa, India. Theme: “Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions.”
  • 2017: Summit @China, location yet to disclose.

BRICS Goa Summit: highlights of

BRICS: 8th Summit-2016, Goa

  1. Usual bol-bachhan about cooperation for economic and science-tech etc.
  2. Happy that following things became operational:
    1. New Development Bank (NDB)‘s Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA)
    2. BRICS Global Research Advanced Infrastructure Network (BRICS-GRAIN).
    3. Inclusion of China’s Yuan (Renminbi) in SDR Basket WEF 1st October, 2017.
  3. Worried about BREXIT, terrorism, corruption.

Shortcomings: BRICS Goa summit 2016

CriticismCounter argument
  • Pak-sponsored cross-border terrorism: neither mentioned, nor condemned. Only UN designated terror organizations condemned i.e. ISIS, Al-Qaeda etc.
  • So India was ‘defeated‘. भारत की फजीहत हो गयी.
  • In SAARC and BIMSTEC- India plays big brother and all other participant countries themselves are victims of terrorism. So easy to get ‘diplomatic wins’ there (such as condemning Pakistan.)
  • In BRICS – Brazil and S.Africa don’t have that much concern for terrorism unlike other three. China and Russia have their own agendas with respect to Pakistan. So can’t expect easy diplomatic wins here.
  • As the host, India seemed to be focused primarily on terrorism.
  • We lost opportunity to come up with novel proposal for Economy, trade, infrastructure, climate related issues.
  • Round the year, BRICS finance ministers, Labour ministers, environment ministers have their separate meetings.
  • So, trade-commerce and climate issues are addressed in greater technical details there.
On the sidelines of BRICS Summit, Modi and Putin signed fruitful deals such as:

  1. S-400 Triumf air defense systems, Range: 100 kms above atmosphere, 30 km inside atmosphere.
  2. Kamov-226T utility helicopters: Joint mfg. in India.

Side note: BRICS vs BIMSTEC

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation
Five nations, listed above.
  • 7 South Asian countries: India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka
  • 2 Southeast Asian countries: Thailand and Myanmar
Founded in 20061997 (older than BRICS)
  • BRICS HQ: virtual network. No physical HQ.
  • BRICS Bank or New Development Bank (NDB) HQ: Shanghai
  • AIIB Bank: Beijing. (not associated with BRICS)
HQ: Dhaka, Bangladesh
8th Summit @Goa (2016)BRICS-BIMSTEC summit- held parallel at Goa, 2016

17th India-Russia annual summit, 2016

  • Nothing special. Putin meet Modi on the sidelines of BRICS-summit, Goa.
  • $25 billion pact signed to build natural gas pipeline from Siberia to India.
  • 2011: Russian Indian investment fund formed.  They’ll invest $500 million in National infrastructure investment fund (NIIF) + 500 billion in Indian infra.= So total $1 billion investment in India.

Mock Questions for Prelims

Q1: Find incorrect pairs Event: Chief Guest

  1. Republic day 2017: Crown prince of Saudi Arabia
  2. PBD-2017: PM of Portugal
  3. Independence day 2016: President of France

Answer choices

  1. Only 1 and 2
  2. Only 2 and 3
  3. Only 1 and 3
  4. None of them

Q2: find incorrect theme

  1. PBD-2017: Redefining Engagement with the Indian Diaspora
  2. BRICS-2016: Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions.
  3. Both A and B
  4. Neither A nor B

Q3. which of the following are known as Girmitiya countries?

  1. Mauritius & Fiji
  2. Suriname & Guyana
  3. Trinidad & Tobago

Answer choices

  1. Only 1 and 2
  2. Only 2 and 3
  3. Only 1 and 3
  4. All of them

(हरेक प्रश्न केवल जो पढाया है उसी में से आये ये जरूरी नही वरना UPSC का नाम बदल के board exam रखना पड़ेगा!! And yes, this is also ‘current affairs’ because of Thalaivaa’s Movie “Kabali”.)
Q4. Which of the following is matched incorrectly?

  1. MCA-21: Corporate grievances
  2. MADAD: NRI grievances
  3. BHIM: e-payment
  4. PRAGATI: Union and state Government projects’ monitoring and grievances redressal.
  5. e-Nirvan: income tax
  6. None of above

Q5. The purpose of BRICS -GRAIN network is ___?

  1. Food security for the poor.
  2. Elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers to Agriculture Trade.
  3. Establishment of Research infrastructure.
  4. None of above.

Q6. Lapis Lazuli corridor aims to connect?

  1. Afghanistan with India
  2. Afghanistan with Iran
  3. Afghanistan with Russia
  4. None above.

Q7. In 2016, which of the following summit was held at Hangzhou, China

  1. Heart of Asia summit
  2. BRICS summit
  3. Shanghai cooperation organization (SCO) summit.
  4. G20 summit.

Q8. In 2016, president Pranab Mukhrjee unveiled statue of Gandhi in Accra university. But later on students began Dharna-pradarshan to remove this statue for alleged racist remarks by Gandhi. This university is located in ___

  1. Urugway
  2. S. Africa
  3. Ghana
  4. Kenya

Q9. ___ is the latest country to leave International criminal court in 2016?

  1. S.Africa
  2. Ghana
  3. Gambia
  4. Burundi

Q10. EU Sakharov human rights prize for 2016 is awarded to ___

  1. António Guterres, Portugal
  2. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Thailand
  3. President Juan Manuel Santos, Columbia
  4. Two Yazidi women who escaped ISIS slavers.

1Saudi nahi UAE hai. And French President came for republic day 2016, NOT independence day.
2Given in the article itself
3General Dong is never ___.
4General Dong is never ___.
5 GRAIN is not for food but infra.
6Given in the article itself.
7Given in previous article on diplomacy.
8This is Ghana’s JNU. Gandhi allegedly had said- “Indians were “infinitely superior” to black Africans.”
9Gambia. They allege ICJ is humiliating Africans in pretext of running trials against warloards.
10In 2016- Santos won Nobel peace prize, King Bhumibol died, António Guterres became UN-Secretary general. And none of them won this award.
Visit Mrunal.org/diplomacy for more study material on international relation and diplomacy for UPSC prelims and Mains General Studies Paper-2.

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 36 Comments posted

  1. Dave

    Please keep posting such articles

  2. ajit uttam

    Mains ka result kab aayega bhai

  3. Dharmesh Shah

    Thank you, Sir for your unique style.
    Waiting for so long for your post on Demonetisation.

  4. Yograj

    Sir u write so eloquent please keep writing as much as u can please please please I beg u

  5. mohit

    Phele….ifos mains ka aayega…uske baad cse mains…

  6. Rahul

    can any one tell me how to deal with gs 2 mains ???? it is getting tough to me 🙁

  7. Aryan

    Thanks Sir. Waiting for regular articles.. 🙂

  8. Bhavyasri

    Hi friends, I’ve some doubts regarding ‘Types of minorities mentioned in our Constitution’?
    Reservation in favour of sc’s and st’s in government services was made for?
    A)10 years initially and extended after every 10 year period or B) Unlimited period
    Clarify me

    1. Rangrezz

      ‘minority’ not explained anywhere in Constitution (source, M.Laxhmikant) about reservation ,I guess it was ‘A’

  9. prabhat

    first of all a big thank you sir for this diplomacy article … sir as you can see only 150+ days we have … day and night are running so fast its unbelievable … budget and survey will be coming soon .. core and static we have in your pre n mains section … current is important .. we have your reading hindu, yojana etc series … if you get time in any of this … please sir we want a short lecture series on RC … not much only to secure at least 66.66

  10. Naveen

    Indian foreign policy ka bad luck hi kharab hai.

  11. sachin

    As always.. feels like reading a comic book… thank you for your effort sir..

  12. vishal

    really wonderful this style is Sir. Thank You


    Minority status are given based on religion, ethnicity and language at national and state level.
    For ex , Muslim,christians are minority at national level.
    But Muslim is majority in j&k, Christian at Nagaland, where Hindu is minority at state level.
    Minority means less than 50% of population in the defined area.
    Sc and St are not minorities they are come under socially and educationally backward classes.
    Ans to question is A only.

  14. Santosh

    much needed
    sir keep us guiding and give us blessing

  15. Ramesh

    Mrunal bhai Meme bahu saras che

  16. prabhat

    sir one question … for Pub AD optional is it compulsory to go through all the 15th reports of the 2nd ARC and all ?

  17. Sushant Yadav

    Thanks a lot sir for this wonderful compilation.
    But sir i have a doubt in last question regarding EU Sakharov prize, U said none of them won this award.But chronical magazine (december 2016 edition) refer two yazidi women won this award namely NADIA MURAD BASEE and LAMIYA AJI BASHAR.
    Please help!

  18. manish kumar

    Sir plzz.. ..capf essay topics bhi cover karo

  19. Pooja khatana

    Sir pub add ke liye koi achisi book bta do optional ke liye

  20. gaurav singh

    should i start reading magazine from now or year in which i will be appeared in upsc exam. should i make notes from newspaper from now or not. i am in first year of graduation

    1. Nirmala

      hi, Current affairs is a continuous story. If you know today’s story then only you will understand tomorrows; Magazines are only supplementary to news papers, Never consider UPSC exam as just a competitive exam , it is something that need a different attitude. So read news papers and make it a habit first , and understand what is happening around you then take down notes.

  21. Bhavyasri

    Hi friends I’ve one doubt regarding our group2 syllabus (APPSC) I.e.,

    Current Affairs – Issues of National and International importance in politics, Economics,
    Society, Science, Technology, Arts, Sports, Culture and Governance.

    In this what we have to study under ‘society’.(he kept this topic in current affairs part)
    Please guide me in this regard. Thanking you.

  22. Anv

    Hi Bhavya,
    Society includes all the schemes or topics concerning poverty reduction,unemployment, gender issues etc.

  23. zahoor

    Thanks sir keep it up…..

  24. devendra jalandhra

    dear sir,
    plz provide me all upsc matter(ncert & other material) in hindi.
    “Thank You”
    From :-
    devendra jalandhra
    suratgarh, sri ganganagar(raj)

  25. devendra jalandhra

    dear sir,
    plz provide me all upsc matter(ncert & other material) in hindi.
    “Thank You”

  26. Daksh

    sir ,
    one request so far despite ur brilliant effort. This time please make budget and eco. survey videos much earlier, also this year survey comes earlier at same time prelims. also . Sir please make the video as soon as possible when the survey is out. because last time we will not be able to catch up with you due to pressure of prelims.

  27. shweta

    sit please tell me. how can I prepare IAS exam?

  28. Sushil

    Please notify any update on the study plan. I m going with it Sir.

  29. vishwa

    @mrunal sir, Pls start ur lecture series for this year also. Thanks

  30. vishwa

    Bhailog i dont know whether mrunal sir is getting time to read comments or not but please…. Hum logo ko ab apni awaj sir tak pahuchani hi hogi. Mrunal sir is our only hope. Please sab koi mil ke dher sara comment karo taki sir tak hamari baat pahuche…..


  31. vishwa

    Economic Survey aa gaya sir………. Please is baar bhi ECONOMIC SURVEY VIDEO SERIES…………

  32. Jitender dagar

    Please tell me how to cover entire syllabus bcoz till today I covered ncrt of geography only and 3 topics of history so how next statragie to stay in arena I have lot of work load

  33. deepugcinst


    Thanks for this informative article.Tons of information and really appreciative.

  34. Laljeff Haokip

    Respecte Sir MRUNAL,
    I want your advice , I’m a science student but I want to opted Geography or Public Administration.
    Which one is the best for your knowledge concern….
    Hope you will surely reply me
    Thank You Sir.

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