INDIA AND THE WORLD


Monthly Current Affairs January 2016 “INDIA AND THE WORLD” key points to Remember.
India, Pakistan exchange list of nuke installations, prisoners
India and Pakistan today exchanged a list of their nuclear installations under a bilateral agreement that bars them from attacking each other’s atomic facilities. The two countries also exchanged, through diplomatic channels simultaneously at New Delhi and Islamabad, the lists of nationals (including civil prisoners and fishermen) of each
country lodged in their respective jails.
Netflix set to launch in India
Popular online streaming service Netflix is likely to launch in India next week during the trade show CES 2016. The website was planning to enter the Asian nations soon with Singapore and Hong Kong.It is believed that the U.S.-based company has partnered with an Indian Telecom company to leverage 4G networks. In India, Airtel is the sole provider of 4G network. Reliance will also be launching 4G services but as of now the services are only extended to its employees.
India’s Petronet LNG ink revised contract with RasGas of Qatar
India’s biggest state owned gas importer Petronet LNG has signed a revised contract with RasGas of Qatar to import gas at a significantly lower price than earlier. Under the new contract, Rasgas will supply Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to Petronet at 6-7 dollar per million British thermal units (mmBtu) from January 1, 2016. It would supply to 7.5 million
tonnes of LNG India until the long-term contract ending in April 2028 The new rate is sharply lower than 12-13 dollar per mmbtu agreed earlier and has been revised after falling global prices of oil and gas, saving consumers around Rs.4,000 crore.
Oasis Group to invest Rs 500 crore for setting up ethanol plant
Oasis Group is planning to invest Rs 500 crore for establishing a wheat-based ethanol plant with capacity of 5 lakh litres per day at Ferozepur in Punjab. At present, mostly sugar mills are producing ethanol in the country, which is being sold to the petroleum companies.
India-Nepal friendship bus service resumes after gap of 27 years
A friendship bus service between India and Nepal via Champawat in Uttarakhand has been resumed after a gap of 27 years. These air-conditioned buses with free Wi-Fi facility, painted with Indian and Nepalese flags, will enter the Nepalese district of Kanchanpur at 6 a.m. everyday and start for Delhi, and return from there at 6 p.m., in-charge of Sharda barrage international police station.
Signing of MoU between India and Singapore in the field of Civil Aviation
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its expost facto approval for signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which was signed in November, 2015 between Airports Authority of India (On behalf of Government of India) and Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (On behalf of Government of Singapore) in Civil Aviation during Prime Minister’s visit to Singapore.
Memorandum of Understanding between India and Bangladesh
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its expost-facto approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Bangladesh for,
• MoU and Mode of Operation of Border Haats signed on 23.10.2010 with Bangladesh for setting up Border Haats on India-Bangladesh Border
• Addendum to the MoU signed on 15.5.2012
• To establish new Border Haats after identification of suitable locations in consultation with Government of Bangladesh and concerned State Governments and
• To modify/revise the terms and condition of the above MoU/Addendum in consultation with relevant State Governments/Central Government agencies and Government of Bangladesh.
India-France military exercise Shakti- 2016 begins
Indian and French troops began their eight-day counter-terrorism and counterinsurgency joint exercise Shakti in Rajasthan on January 8, 2016. The French contingent comprising 56 personnel of 35th Infantry Regiment of 7th Armoured Brigade, which had taken part in the Afghan war, had arrived in Jodhpur on January 6 to take part in Shakti-2016. A French Army contingent, led by Maj Thibaut De Lacoste Lareymondie on January 7 arrived at the Mahajan Field Firing Ranges.
Larsen and Toubro set to partner Russia for Rs 5,000-crore defence deal
Engineering giant Larsen and Toubro is set to get a major share in a Rs 5,000-crore deal to upgrade and refit Russian-origin Kilo class submarines. The company, which is already a leading partner for the nuclear submarine project of the Indian Navy, has been chosen as the Indian partner for the Kilo class refit — a program to increase the life of the
submarine by 10 years involving complex engineering.
Indo-Japan Coast Guard joint exercise Sahyog Kaijin to be held on Jan 15
A joint naval exercise between Indian and Japanese Coast Guards will be held on January 15 to strengthen relationship and refine the joint operating procedures between the coast guards of the two nations. The exercise named Sahyog Kaijin-XV is scheduled to be held in the Bay of Bengal off Chennai on 15 January. Japan Coast Guard ship ‘Echigo’
will be visiting Chennai between January 11-16 and a highlight of the exercise includes a “scenario of hijacking of a merchant vessel and subsequent rescue in a combined coast guard operation of both countries”.
India-Australia social security pact comes into operation
A new social security agreement signed between India and Australia has come into operation enabling people of both nations to avail retirement benefits in each other’s country, a pact likely to boost bilateral business linkages. Australian Minister for Social Services Christian Porter and Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer said the Commonwealth government wanted to make sure people who live and work in more than one country are not disadvantaged. The Agreement signed in November 2014 came into operation on January 1, 2016.
MoU between India and Maldives for Health
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its expost facto approval for the MoU between India and Maldives which was signed in January, 2014 on cooperation in the field of Health. The MoU covers cooperation in the area of exchange and training of medical doctors, officials, other health professionals and experts, assistance in development of human resources and setting up of healthcare facilities and medical and health research development.
Loan Agreement signed between GOI and JICA
The Government of India has signed a loan agreement with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for pollution abatement of River Mula-Mutha in Pune. The Government of Japan has committed to provide a soft loan of 19.064 billion Yen (about Rs. 1000 crore) to Government of India for the project at an interest rate of 0.30% per annum. The loan assistance for the project has been approved by the Union Finance Ministry at an estimated cost of Rs. 990.26 crore.
Singapore inks 4 pacts with Madhya Pradesh
Singapore has inked four pacts with the Madhya Pradesh government in various sectors including one Rs of 7,000 crore to produce nearly 1,000 MW nonconventional energy in two phases. It has also agreed to extend co-operation with the state government in five sectors – food processing, renewable energy, urban planning and smart city, skill development
and Information Technology.
MoU signed with Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been apprised of the MoU between Department of Space/Indian Space Research Organization (DOS/ISRO) and
Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research (KISR) on cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes.
India, France ink pacts for cooperation in space technology
India and France on January 25 signed a Memorandum of Understanding towards an Inter-governmental agreement (IGA) over the purchase of 36 Rafale jets from Dassault Aviation. The deal, announced in April by Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi, has been in limbo after negotiations hit a roadblock over price issues. The purchase of the 36 Rafale jets from France would cost India around Rs 60,000 crore.
India, France ink MoU on purchase of Rafale jets
To strengthen Indo-French cooperation in the field of space technology, India and France on January 25 signed two pacts that will significantly enable them in monitoring environment, weather and water resources. Implementing arrangements were signed between the space agencies of the two countries for cooperation in a future joint Thermal
Infrared Earth Observation mission and hosting of the French instrument for data collection on India’s Oceasnsat-3 satellite. The agreements were among the 14 pacts
signed between the two countries after extensive talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande which focused on ways to enhance cooperation in counterterrorism, security and civil nuclear
energy.
International Solar Alliance – The first of its kind
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the President of France Mr François Hollande, has jointly laid the foundation stone of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Headquarters and inaugurated the interim Secretariat of the ISA in National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), Gwalpahari, Gurgaon. GOI has dedicated 5 acre land in NISE campus for the ISA Headquarters and also has contributed Rs 175 crore for ISA corpus fund and also for meeting expenditure for initial five years.
India donated ambulances and buses to Nepal
India has donated ambulances and eight buses to various hospitals, non-profit charitable organisations and educational institutions in Nepal to strengthen the education and health services in the Himalayan nation. Since 1994, the Government of India has gifted 542 ambulances to various organisations across 73 districts in Nepal. “This has
helped in bringing healthcare services to the doorstep of thousands of people who do not have access to healthcare services,” the Indian Embassy later said in a statement.
India, Arab world call for new strategy to combat terror
India and the Arab League have vowed to combat terrorism and called for developing a strategy to “eliminate” its sources and extremism, including its funding, as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj made a strong pitch for delinking religion from terrorism. While addressing the 1st Ministerial Meeting of Arab-India Cooperation Forum here in the Bahraini capital, she also warned that those who “silently sponsor” terror groups could end up being used by them, in an apparent jibe at Pakistan.
India and Russia sign agreement on scientific research
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi was apprised about signing of an agreement between India and Russia in May 2015. The Agreement provides for competitive research grants to Indian and Russian researchers for joint implementation of research projects in areas of Basic and Exploratory Sciences. The Agreement is
valid for a period of six years and could be extended through mutual consent between Department of Science & Technology (DST) and Russian Science Federation (RSF).
Cabinet approved MoUs related to Cyber Security
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has apprised of the Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs)signed between Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) with its counterparts in Malaysia, Singapore and Japan. The MoUs related to Cyber Security will promote closer cooperation for exchange of knowledge and experience in detection, resolution and prevention of security related incidents between India and respective country.