On February 18, 2022, India signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with UAE. It came after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan attended the India-UAE Virtual Summit. "I believe that the India-UAE CEPA signed today will be a game-changer in our economic ties," PM Modi tweeted after the Summit. CEPA was signed by Indian Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and UAE Minister of Economy Abdulla bin Touq Al Marr at a function held in New Delhi on the same day.
Different media groups have produced contrasting perceptions of the situation in Ukraine thus far. Internet and social media sources are full of deep fakes, leaving the common citizens divided virtually along with Russian and non-Russian narratives. But, the reality on the ground is that as of March 1, 2022, Russia is in complete control of significant parts of Ukraine's territory. Russian troops are about to surround Kyiv and have fired missiles on Kharkiv, Chernihiv and fourteen other areas.
General Bipin Rawat, the most decorated Indian military officer, who had served as the Chief of the Army Staff from December 2016 to December 2019, became India's first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) effectively from January 2020 until his untimely death in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu on December 8, 2021. Late General Rawat, an officer of the Indian Army from the Infantry (5/11 Gorkha Rifles), had a distinguished career of nearly 43 years of military service.
India has launched a comprehensive but cautious extended neighbourhood foreign policy in Central Asia during India-Central Asia Summit on January 27, 2022.
Swamps are a spooky, ugly, disenchanted place in children’s stories, books, animated serials and movies. These imaginations are relatively antithesis of the real value of swamps and others where land meets water. Wetlands, as commonly known, are abundant in life and livelihood. Therefore, the world celebrates every year on February 2 as World Wetlands Day to encourage global awareness about the vital role of wetlands in the ecosphere.
The world is facing various challenges owing to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and it appears that this threat is not going to get over, at least in the near future. The world is slowly learning to adapt to this new reality. Some states are found doing well (in a relative sense) and are getting tuned to work under the shadow of the Covid-19 menace. Initially, various social sectors and sectors of the economy were finding it difficult to operate under the current crisis.
Alexei Navalny, the Russian pro-democratic opposition figure and anti-corruption activist, wrote in an August 2021 article that “[I] did not die from poisoning by a chemical weapon, and it would seem that corruption played no small part in my survival.” Fortunately, he lives to tell this ordeal. Navalny was recollecting the assassination attempt on his life exactly a year back, with a suspected nerve agent. On August 20, 2020, Navalny was grievously ill onboard a flight from Tomsk (Siberia) to Moscow.
In June 2021, the then outgoing Kerala state police chief Loknath Behera, just two days before his retirement, observed that "Kerala is a recruiting ground because the people here are educated, and the [Islamic State] IS requires engineers and doctors. But we have dealt with it systematically, and it has come down." Perhaps, many Indians took that statement lightly. Many might have thought that the former police chief must be aspiring to join the politics by making such remarks.
China testing hypersonic missile technology: there is one report and one rebuttal. Recently, the London-based Financial Times (FT) report has claimed that during August 2021, China has successfully tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile.
The South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Foreign Ministers meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meeting has become a convention since 1997. Despite the SAARC Summit meetings being cancelled or postponed, the SAARC foreign Ministers have met regularly to discuss the regional affairs. Lately, since 2018, the India Pakistan conflict has also spilled over to the SAARC foreign ministers meet in New York.