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PIB 16th December 2020

  1. Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (Ions)
  2. New Development Bank (NDB)


Focus: GS 2 ;Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

Why in News?

Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (Ions) working group meeting on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief

About Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS)

  • The Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) are a series of biennial meetings among the littoral states of the Indian Ocean region.
  • It provides a forum to increase maritime security cooperation, providing a forum for discussion of regional maritime issues and promote friendly relationships among the member nations.
  • The IONS a regional forum of Indian Ocean littoral states, represented by their Navy chiefs, was initiated and launched by India in February in 2008.
  • Subsequent seminars and meetings of the ‘Conclave of Chiefs’ have been held at the commencement of each two year IONS Chairmanship in United Arab Emirates in 2010, South Africa in 2012, Australia in 2014, Bangladesh in 2016 and Iran in 2018.
  • In 2020 the IONS Chairmanship rotates to France and in 2022 to Thailand.
  • The IONS is a security construct for the Indian Ocean Region which is similar to the Western Pacific Naval Symposium.
  • It is a voluntary initiative among the navies and maritime security agencies of the member nations.
  • In addition to the symposiums, numerous other activities like workshops, essay competitions and lectures are also held under the umbrella of the organization.
  • In the last ten years, the organisation has grown significantly and has a membership of 32 nations.
  • Over the years, member nations have conducted seminars, bilateral meetings and multilateral exercises to strengthen maritime security in the region.
  • While operations such as Search and Rescue and High availability disaster recovery(HADR) require multi-lateral cooperation and interdependence amongst member nations, the growing importance of the Indian Ocean has been an enabler that provided the right fillip to the initiative.
  • The countries in the IOR sit astride the most vital Sea Lines of Communication for international trade and regional prosperity.
  • It is well-accepted that global trade can only flourish in an environment that is free from threats of maritime terrorism, piracy and human trafficking and IONS seeks to provide a cooperative architecture to strengthen security mechanisms, enhance inter-operability and enable speedier response to emerging contingencies.
About Members of IONS
  • The South Asian Littorals: Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan, Seychelles, Sri Lanka and United Kingdom (British Indian Ocean Territory).
  • The West Asian Littorals: Iran, Oman, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.
  • The East African Littorals: France (Reunion), Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa, and Tanzania.
  • The South East Asian and Australian Littorals: Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Timor-Leste.
  • The observers of IONS are China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Madagascar, the Netherlands, Russia and Spain.
South Asian Members 
West Asian Members 
East African Members 
Observer Countries 
South East Asian and Australian


Focus: GS 2 ;Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

Why in News?

Government of India and NDB sign agreement for $1,000 million to provide support to Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan through MGNREG Scheme to support India’s economic recovery from COVID-19

About New Development Bank (NDB)

  • It is a multilateral development bank operated by the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).
  • The membership is open to any member of the United Nations.
  • The New Development Bank was agreed to by BRICS leaders at the 5th BRICS summit held in Durban, South Africa in 2013.
  • It was established in 2014, at the 6th BRICS Summit at Fortaleza, Brazil.
  • The bank is set up to foster greater financial and development cooperation among the five emerging markets.
  • In the Fortaleza Declaration, the leaders stressed that the NDB will strengthen cooperation among BRICS and will supplement the efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global development.
  • The bank will be headquartered in Shanghai, China.
New Development Bank 
Legal status 
Noa, or ND8 
July 2014 (Treaty signed) 
July 2015 (Treaty in force) 
International Financial 
Shanghai, China 
• India 
South Africa 
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  • Unlike the World Bank, which assigns votes based on capital share, in the New Development Bank each participant country will be assigned one vote, and none of the countries will have veto power.
About  Roles and functions of NDB
  • The New Development Bank will mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries, to supplement existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development.
  • The fostering development of member countries.
  • For Supporting economic growth.
  • To Promoting competitiveness and facilitating job creation.
  • To Building a knowledge sharing platform among developing countries.
March 2024