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UPSC 2017-18: PIB Summary and Analysis Nov 21

North East Development Summit

  • It is to be held on 21-22 November 2017 at Imphal, Manipur, is an effort to highlight and explore the potential of North East India in further establishing itself as a land hub of India’s Act East Policy.
  • Being our land bridge to Association for South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), the North Eastern Region is a natural partner in India’s ‘Act East Policy’ and it is a means to strengthen the stability, economy and prospects of North Eastern Region.
  • The Act East Policy can significantly factor in ending the geographical isolation of India’s North Eastern Region and transforming it into a bridgehead for India to the booming ASEAN markets and its extended neighbourhood.
  • Given the economic potential as well as the geo-political importance of the region, the North East Region lies at the core of India’s Act East Policy. The focus is now on making the region as a growth engine in India’s economic development.
  • The opening up of economy of the landlocked North East Region to ASEAN countries and extended neighbourhood is considered as a potent means of conflict transformation.
  • In the development of North East India, the aspect of economic linkages should be explored and nurtured to further strengthen ties and contribute in the development of the region.


  • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the Northeast Development Summit in Imphal



World Conference on Access to Medical Products and International Laws for Trade and Health

  • The conference was organized by The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Indian Society of International Law (ISIL) along with WHO
  • The main objective of the Conference is exchange of knowledge and expand understanding on contemporary issues in international trade laws and research and innovation for access to medical products to achieve SDG 2030 agenda.




  • The first India-Myanmar bilateral military exercise 2017(IMBAX – 2017) willl be held from November 20 to 25 in Umroi in Meghalaya.
  • The joint exercise is the first of its kind military training exercise on United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (UNPKO) between India and Myanmar.
  •  The aim of this bilateral training event is to train the Myanmar delegation for participation in United Nations Peacekeeping Operations under the UN Flag.
  • The Exercise includes participation of 15 officers from Myanmar Army and 16 officers from the Indian Army who shall jointly train for over a period of six days



Water Aid’s comments on Swachh Bharat “Out of Order” 

  • Water Aid has recently released a report entitled “Out of Order – The State of the World’s Toilets 2017”.
  • This report quotes data from the WHO-UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP), which extrapolates sanitation data based on available data from past studies between 2000 and 2015.

What does the report say?

  • The report finds Ethiopia is now the country with the world’s highest percentage of people without decent private toilets, while India remains the nation with the highest number of people without a toilet.
  • In India, a staggering 355 million women and girls are still waiting for a toilet; if they were all to stand in a queue, it would stretch around the Earth more than four times!
  • While both have made progress, millions still suffer the fear and indignity of relieving themselves in the open or in unsafe or unhygienic toilets – a situation which is most dangerous for girls and women.

What does the report miss?

  • This means it misses out on most of the progress under the Swachh Bharat Mission which aims to eradicate open defecation from the country by October 2019. 
  • Recognizing that such an unprecedented commitment to bringing so many people out of open defecation in such a short span of time has no parallels anywhere in the world, the JMP, in the same report, inserted a special section with high praise for the rapid results being seen under the Swachh Bharat Mission, and stating that their report does not capture a lot of the work done since 2015, and hence the data is not up to date. 


PM congratulates Justice Dalveer Bhandari on being re-elected to the International Court of Justice

International Court of Justice (ICJ)

  • It is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN). It was established in June 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations and began work in April 1946.
  • The seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands).
  • Of the six principal organs of the United Nations, it is the only one not located in New York (United States of America).
  • The Court’s role is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies.
  • The Court is composed of 15 judges, who are elected for terms of office of nine years by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. It is assisted by a Registry, its administrative organ. Its official languages are English and French.
  • Its judgments have binding force and are without appeal for the parties concerned.
  • Five judges elected every three years to ensure continuity within the court.
  • No two judges may be nationals of the same country.
  • The p5 members of the UNSC (France, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, and the United States) always have a judge on the Court.
  • The exception was China, which did not have a judge on the Court from 1967 to 1985 because it did not put forward a candidate.
  • Judges may deliver joint judgments or give their own separate opinions.
  • Decisions and Advisory Opinions are by majority, and, in the event of an equal division, the President’s vote becomes decisive.


  • As stated in the UN Charter, all 193 UN members are automatically parties to the Court’s statute.
  • Non-UN members may also become parties to the Court’s statute.
  • Once a state is a party to the Court’s statute, it is entitled to participate in cases before the Court.
  • However, being a party to the statute does not automatically give the Court jurisdiction over disputes involving those parties.


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