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PIB – 17 November 2021





Focus: Security Forces

Why in News ?

The 7th edition of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) Conclave of Chiefs is being hosted by French Navy at Paris. 

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 rotated 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.


Focus: GS II- International Relations

Why in News?

The Pochampally Village in Telangana State has been selected as one of the best Tourism Villages by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

  • The prestigious award will be given on the occasion of the 24th session of the UNWTO General Assembly on 2nd December 2021 in Madrid, Spain.

About World Tourism Organization:

  • The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.
  • As the leading international organization in the field of tourism, UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide.
  • Mainstreaming tourism in the global agenda
  • Improving tourism competitiveness
  • Promoting sustainable tourism development
  • Advancing tourism’s contribution to poverty reduction and development
  • Fostering knowledge, education and capacity building
  • Engaging with the private sector, regional and local tourism organizations, academia and research institutions, civil society and the UN system to build a more sustainable, responsible and competitive tourism sector.
  • Members: An intergovernmental organization, UNWTO has 159 Member States, 6 Associate Members, 2 Observers and over 500 Affiliate Members.
  • Organs: The General Assembly is the supreme organ of the Organization. The Executive Council take all measures, in consultation with the Secretary-General, for the implementation of the decisions and recommendations of the General Assembly and reports to the Assembly.
  • Secretariat: UNWTO headquarters are based in Madrid, Spain.
About Pochampally Village:
  • Pochampally, 50 Kms from Hyderabad, is a town in Nalgonda district of Telangana and is often referred to as the Silk City of India for the exquisite sarees that are woven through a unique style called Ikat.
  • This style, Pochampally Ikat, received a Geographical Indicator (GI Status) in 2004.
  • Ikat is a Malaysian, Indonesian word which means “Tie and Dye”. Ikat involves the process of wrapping (or tying) and dyeing sections of bundled yarn to a predetermined colour pattern before they are woven.
  • Pochampally is also known as Bhoodan Pochampally to commemorate the Bhoodan Movement that was launched by Acharya Vinobha Bhave from this village on April 18th, 1951.
  • Currently a two room Vinobha Bhave Mandir exists within the village which was earlier the place where Vinobha Bhave resided during his visit to the village.
November 2023