Current Affairs Today - Current Affairs 2015

India, Germany ink 18 MoUs and agreements in various sectors

India and Germany have signed around 18 agreements and memorandum of understanding (MoUs) in various sectors.

These agreements were signed at the end of third edition of Indo-German Inter-governmental Consultations (ICG) in New Delhi.

The Indo-German ICG was co-chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his visiting counterpart German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Some important agreements signed are

  • Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) on Languages: It seeks to promote German as a foreign language in India and promote modern Indian Languages in Germany.
  • MoU on Solar Energy: Seeks to promote Indo-German Development Cooperation for Indo-German Solar Energy Partnership.
  • Joint MoU on Skill Development: Boost cooperation in the Field of Skill Development and Vocational Education and Training.
  • MoU on Security Cooperation: It was signed between Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Federal Ministry of the Interior of Germany.
  • MoU on Aviation Security: It was signed between Union Ministry of Civil Aviation and Federal Ministry of the Interior.
  • JDI on Disaster Management: It was signed between Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Federal Ministry of the Interior of Germany.
  • Joint Declaration on IGSTC: It was signed between Union Ministry of Science and Technology and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research for extending the tenure of the Indo-German Science and Technology Centre (IGSTC).
  • MoU on Higher Education: seeks to promote Indo-German Partnerships in Higher Education (IGP).
  • JDI on Plant Protection Products: It was signed between Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare (MoA&FW) and the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL).
  • JDI in the field of Railways: Seeks further Development of the Cooperation in the Field of Railways both countries.
  • MoU in the field of manufacturing: It was signed between Department of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises and Fraunhofer Society of Germany.


IS militants blows up Palmyra’s iconic Arc of Triumph

Islamic State (IS) militants have blown up the iconic Arch of Triumph in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra.

Arch of Triumph was a centrepiece of the UNESCO world heritage site of ancient ruins of Palmyra. It dated between 193 and 211 AD.


  • After seizing the ancient city of Palmyra in May 2015, IS militants have demolished several ancient temples as part of their sustained campaign of destruction of heritage sites (or cultural cleansing).
  • The ideology of IS has embarked campaign to destroy ancient monuments that pre-date Islam as it is against the Islamic principal of promoting idolatry.
  • Earlier in August 2015 the IS militants had destroyed the 2,000-year-old Temple of Bel (Palmyra’s main temple) and Temple of Baal-Shamim.

About Palmyra

  • Oasis town of Palmyra is known as the Pearl of the Desert. It is situated about 210 kilometres northeast of Damascus (capital of Syria).
  • In ancient time the city was famous as a stopping point for caravans travelling on ancient Silk Route which connected East Asia and West Asia.
  • Prior to Syrian civil war which began in 2011, Palmyra’s ruins were a major attraction as about 150,000 tourists visited city in a year.


Renowned Swedish crime writer Henning Mankell passes away

Renowned and bestselling Swedish crime writer Henning Mankell passed away in Gothenburg, Swedan. He was 67.

He was best known for a series of mystery crime novels starring his most noted fictional creation Inspector Kurt Wallander.

About Henning Mankell

  • Henning Mankell was born on 3 February 1948 in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Apart from being crime writer he was also children’s author and dramatist. His debut crime novel The Stone-Blaste was published in 1968.
  • His famous fictional character Inspector Kurt Wallander first appeared in 1989’s in his novel Faceless Killers. He has written more than 20 novels and a dozen children’s books.
  • Awards: Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger for Best Crime Novel of the Year (2001 and 2008), Best Swedish Crime Novel Award (1991 and 1995) etc.