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.
2016 Small 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.
Time Op-Name Rescued Indians from
2016, July Sankat Mochan
  • South Sudan.
  • whether theHindu columnists CRITICISED the ‘hindutva-waadi’ name of this mission? I don’t know.
Raahat Yemen crisis due to ongoing conflict between Government and Houthi rebels.
2014 Op. Lehar Hudhud Cyclone in East cost of India. Navy.
2014 J&K Floods
  • Mission Sahayta, Megh Rahat and Op. Sadbhavna.
2013 Uttarakhand cloudburst
  • Op. Rahat: Air force mission to rescue Deshi and NRI Indians both.
  • Op. Garud Prahar, Surya Singham Hope: Army
2011 Op. Safe home coming Libya
2006 Sukoon Lebanon
2004 Madad | Sea waves Tsunami in Indian ocean.
1990 ?
  • 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.

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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
2015 Islamabad, Pakistan
2016, Dec. Amritsar, Punjab, India
2017 Azerbaijan

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-project Brief 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

Criticism Counter 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 2006 1997 (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.

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

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