GS Paper I- Indian Heritage and Culture.
PM Caps Off Myanmar Trip With Visit To Bahadur Shah’s Grave.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrapped up his Myanmar trip on 7th September, 2017, visiting to the ‘mazar’ of the last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar and the 2,500-year-old Shwedagon pagoda and performing puja at the Kalibari Temple.
- On the last day of his three-day visit to the Buddhist-majority country, Mr. Modi visited the pagoda, considered the pinnacle of Myanmar’s cultural heritage. He planted a Bodhi tree sapling in the complex.
Highlights Of The Development–
- The 2,500-year-old pagoda, located west of the Royal Lake, enshrines strands of Buddha’s hair and other holy relics. It is covered with hundreds of gold plates. The top of the stupa is encrusted with 4,531 diamonds, the largest of which is a 72-carat diamond.
- Mr. Modi also visited the Bogyoke Aung San Museum where he was accompanied by State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.
- He also visited the grave of Bahadur Shah Zafar and paid floral tributes. He tweeted a picture of himself at the Mughal Emperor’s grave.
- Bahadur Shah Zafar, also a prolific Urdu poet and calligrapher, died aged 87 in the then Rangoon, where he was exiled by the British after the 1857 revolt.
- Mr. Modi paid his respects at the Martyrs’ Mausoleum and performed ‘puja’ at the Kalibari Temple.
- On Wednesday, 6th September, 2017, the Prime Minister visited the 12th-century Ananda Temple in the ancient city of Bagan. The temple is being renovated with India’s assistance after it was damaged in a tremor last year.
Sources- The Hindu.
GS Paper II- International Relations.
Modi-Suu Kyi Ink 11 Pacts During The PM’s Myanmar Visit.
- India and Myanmar on 6th September, 2017 signed 11 agreements in a range of sectors, including one on maritime security cooperation, to further strengthen their multifaceted partnership.
- The Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held wide-ranging talks with Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.
Highlights Of The Development-
- The 11 MoUs included one between the Election Commission and the Union Election of Myanmar, the national-level electoral commission of Myanmar. The two sides also signed an agreement for sharing white shipping information to improve data sharing on non-classified merchant navy ships or cargo ships.
- Another agreement was signed to organise cultural exchange programme for the period 2017-2020, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs.
- The two countries also signed agreements on cooperation between Myanmar Press Council and the Press Council of India, and had an extension of agreement on the establishment of India-Myanmar Centre for Enhancement of IT skill. One of the agreements was signed to cooperate in ‘Medical Products Regulation’ and in the field of health and medicine.
- Another was on enhancing the cooperation on upgrading the women’s police training centre at Yamethin in Myanmar.
- Modi arrived on the second leg of his two-nation trip during which he travelled to the southeastern Chinese city of Xiamen where he attended the annual BRICS summit and held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and other world leaders.
- This is Modi’s first bilateral visit to Myanmar. He had visited the country in 2014 to attend the ASEAN-India Summit.
- Myanmar is one of India’s strategic neighbours and shares a 1,640-km border with a number of northeastern States, including militancy-hit Nagaland and Manipur.
Sources- The Hindu.
GS Paper III- Security.
India, US To Carry Out Joint Military Exercise “Yudh Abhyas”.
- Armies of India and the US will carry out a two-week long mega military exercise in Washington from September 14, 2017 at a time when tensions are rising in the Asia Pacific region.
- The aim of the annual exercise “Yudh Abhyas” is to further strengthen ‘jointmanship’ and facilitate interoperability between the two armies to meet any unforeseen contingency across the globe, the Indian Army said.
Highlights Of The Development-
- It is reported that the exercise, to be held at the Joint Base Lewis McChord in Washington, will be one of the largest joint military training and defence corporation endeavours between the two countries.
- The exercise assumes significance due to increasing tension in the Asia Pacific region following the nuclear test by North Korea and China’s growing assertiveness in the South China sea.
- Multiple scenarios will be rehearsed during the exercise with a view to understand each-other’s organisational structure and battle procedures that would further facilitate interoperability between the armed forces of both countries to meet any unforeseen contingency across the globe.
- It is the 13th edition of the joint military exercise.
- It said both armies will jointly train, plan and execute a series of well-developed operations for “neutralisation of threats of varied nature”.
- In the end, a joint exercise will be undertaken by both countries in an operational setting under a UN mandate. Experts from both sides will also hold expert academic and military discussions to share each other’s experiences on varied topics for mutual benefit.