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Asia-Pacific navies sign communication agreement at Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS)

India and 21 other countries adopted an agreement at ameliorating communication at sea to cut down the possibility of conflict amid developing friction between a progressively assertive China and its neighbours. Naval chiefs of these nations participated at the biennial conference of the Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) held at Qingdao, China. Rear Admiral S N Ghormade, represented Indian Navy at the meet.

The member nations adopted an agreement for:

  • Preventing miscommunication amongst naval vessels that could lead to enmities in the Pacific Ocean.
  • How naval ships should communicate and manoeuvre when they accidentally come into contact in sea lanes surrounding China, Japan and Southeast Asia

Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS)

Established in 1987 with objective to encourage cooperation amongst the navies of its member nations, fortify mutual understanding and trust, and collectively safeguard regional maritime security. WPNS constitutes navies whose nations border the Pacific Ocean region.

The WPNS has 21 member states:

  1. Australia
  2. Brunei
  3. Cambodia
  4. Canada
  5. Chile
  6. China
  7. France
  8. Indonesia
  9. Japan
  10. Malaysia
  11. New Zealand
  12. Papua New Guinea
  13. Peru
  14. Philippines
  15. Republic of Korea
  16. Russia
  17. Singapore
  18. Thailand
  19. Tonga
  20. US
  21. Vietnam

India is an observer at WPNS and China is one of the WPNS’ founding members.

World Bank to double its lending to developing nations

As part of its efforts to end extreme poverty by 2030, the World Bank Group declared that it will almost double yearly lending capacity to emerging nations like Brazil, China, India, etc. from USD 15 billion to USD 28 billion. In next decade, the WB it would be increasing its lending capacity by USD 100 billion to USD 300 billion for middle income nations.

IBRD  (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) has increased its single borrower limit by $2.5 billion for Brazil, China, Indonesia, India, and Mexico.

Bluefin-21 Robotic submarine deployed to solve mystery of lost Malaysian plane MH370

Flight MH370 flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, went missing on March 8, 2014 with 239 people on board. It lost contact with air traffic controllers over the South China Sea. The Bluefin-21 robotic submarine (Underwater Autonomous Vehicle) will explore for wreckage of the Flight MH370 in an area defined by 4 ping signals from the flight’s Black Box heard a few days ago.

Bluefin-21

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The Bluefin-21 is about 5m-long underwater autonomous vehicle that can produce a sonar map of the sea floor. It is an extremely modular autonomous underwater vehicle with power to carry multiple sensors and payloads at a time. It has a high energy capacity to carry extended operations even at the greatest depths.

Applications

  • Archaeology & Exploration
  • Mine Countermeasures (MCM)
  • Offshore Survey
  • Oceanography
  • Search & Salvage
  • Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)

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G-20 pushes USA to ratify IMF reforms by the year end

G-20 has conveyed its dashing hopes at the stretched out delay over International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) quota and governance reforms agreed to in 2010 and the 15th General Review of Quotas (GRQ) including a new quota formula that would impart emerging economies, including India, a greater voice at IMF. G-20 has given USA a yearend deadline to ratify them.

The reforms would double the IMF’s resources and enhance the voting power of emerging economies like the BRICSBrazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.