UPSC Current Affairs

Milan 2020: Indian Navy to host multi-nation military drill

On January 10, 2020, Indian Navy will be hosting military drill called ‘Milan 2020’ at Visakhapatnam, The City of Destiny. MILAN stands for ‘Multilateral Naval Exercise’. The Event will witness the participation of several countries. Apart from a large number of ships, senior dignitaries are also expected to take part in various functions and visit naval facilities during MILAN 2020. The theme of the exercise is

Theme: Synergy Across the Seas

About ‘Milan 2020’

The MILAN series of biennial exercises commenced in 1995. It was conducted at Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) until last year, for the first time on mainland at Eastern Naval command(ENC).

Significance

Through the exercise GoI will pursue cooperation initiatives with friendly foreign countries, including in Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The areas of cooperation include capacity building, training, operational exercise marine domain awareness, hydrography, technical assistance.

Invited Countries

41 nations from South Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa and Europe that share defence cooperation with India have been invited for the drill. These include- Indonesia, Maldives, Australia, Somalia, Kenya, Mozambique, Sudan, Qatar, Thailand, Malaysia, , Egypt, France, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Myanmar, New Zealand, USA, Israel, Tanzania, Comoros, Seychelles Brunei, Philippines, Japan, UK, Madagascar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Mauritius, Cambodia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Kuwait, Iran, Russia, Djibouti, Bahrain, UAE, Eritrea and Bangladesh.

Of these, 30 have confirmed their participation.

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Cabinet approves India-Mongolia Agreement on exploration of outer space

On January 8, 2020, the Union Cabinet chaired by PM Modi approved the agreement between India and Mongolia to explore outer space for civilian and peaceful purposes. The countries signed the agreement in September 2019.

Highlights

The agreement enables the countries to pursue research in planetary exploration, space system, application of space technology. The plan is to set a Joint Working Group by drawing members from ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation), DOS (Department of Space). Communications and Information Technology Authority (CITA) of Mongolia. The finances for the project are to be approved in stage-by-stage basis.

India-Mongolia

India maintains close ties with Mongolia and is interested in developing trade with the country as it is rich in mineral deposits. During PM Modi’s visit to the country in 2015, which was the first ever Prime Ministerial visit to Mongolia in the Indian history, PM announced 1 billion USD grant to the country. Mongolia has abundant deposits of minerals namely coal, gold, copper, molybdenum, tin, fluorspar, tungsten and tin. The country also holds huge Uranium deposits.

Mongolia is one of the 29 resource rich developing countries in the world according to International Monetary Fund.

In 2018, India exported 51.6 million USD of goods to Mongolia and imported goods with 1 million USD. This is very little as compared to that of its neighbours China and Soviet Union.

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