International Relations - Current Affairs for February, 2017

International Relations Current Affairs for February, 2017

Month wise coverage of International Relations Current Affairs helps you improve your general knowledge and prepare for all competitive exams like IBPS, Bank PO, SBI PO, RRB, RBI, LIC, Specialist Officer, Clerk, SSC, UPSC, Railway etc. This section is updated daily with the most important events.

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▼ India, Germany ratify SSA agreement, set to improve investment flows   [02-27-17]

India and Germany on Friday ratified a comprehensive Social Security Agreement (SSA), to come into effect from May.

The SSA aims to improve investment flows between the two countries.

The agreement, signed on October 12, 2011, and of which instruments of ratification were exchanged on 24th Feb 2017, is expected to reduce the operational costs of Indian and German companies operating in either of the countries.

The SSA establishes the rights and obligations of nationals of both countries and provides for their equal treatment and unrestricted payment of pensions even in case of residence in the other contracting state (benefits export principle).

The requirements to be entitled to a pension can be met by aggregating the periods of insurance completed in India and Germany, whereby each country pays only the pension for the insurance periods covered by its laws.

The period of posting will be up to 48 calendar months.

The two countries signed an Agreement on Social Insurance on October 8, 2008, which came into force on October 1, 2009.

As per the Agreement, detached workers of the two countries were exempted from making social security contributions in either country, in case they made such contributions in their native countries.

Subsequently, on October 12, 2011, the two countries signed a comprehensive Agreement on Social Security, which included totalisation of social benefits.

Till date, India has signed and operationalised similar agreements with 18 countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany and Japan.

Germany: Know More

  • Capital: Berlin
  • Code: +49
  • President: Joachim Gauck
  • Destinations: Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Cologne, more
  • Official language: German

▼ India signs MoU with Australia for civil aviation security   [02-27-17]

The Union Cabinet has approved signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Australia for promotion and development of cooperation in civil aviation security.

The MoU will provide an opportunity to Indian aviation security authorities to share the expertise with their Australian counterparts and enhance in India’s overall aviation security environment.

It will also provide compliance of international obligation as well as enhance promotion in the area of security cooperation between the two countries.

Australia: Know More

  • Capital: Canberra
  • Code: +61
  • Currency: Australian dollar
  • Population: 23.13 million (2013) World Bank
  • Prime minister: Malcolm Turnbull

▼ India, UK hold detailed deliberations on extradition   [02-27-17]

India and UK had held detailed deliberations on the legal processes and procedures on Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance held in New Delhi.

Both sides have agreed to further strengthen their legal cooperation and expedite the pending requests. They also agreed to review further progress in these cases every six month through video conference.

The meeting was held pursuant to the decision taken during the official visit of British Prime Minister in November 2016 to India.

The decision was taken to expedite pending requests so that fugitives and criminals are not able to escape the law.

▼ UK - Largest G20 investor for India   [02-23-17]

Britain beat off tough competition from Japan to hold on to its position as the largest G20 investor in India and the biggest job creator through FDI.

Between 2000 and 2016, the UK invested USD 24.07 billion in India and created 3,71,000 jobs, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) found in its 'Sterling Assets India' report.

Japan by comparison invested around USD 23.76 billion, followed by the US at USD 19.38 billion as the top G20 investors in India.

The top reasons British firms invest in India are the size and growth potential of the market, the easy availability of talented workers and the stable political system, according to the report.

The analysis, supported by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and UK India Business Council (UKIBC), found that Britain had increased its investment into India by 1.87 billion pounds between 2015 and 2016.

This is representing 8 percent of all foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country.

These figures reflect the thriving commercial links that Britain's businesses large and small, and from a whole host of sectors have built in India.

From strengthening the UK's leading position as the largest G20 investor in India to being the biggest Indian job creator through direct investment, it's clear the country is a magnet for British firms.

Further reductions in India's corporate tax rates and improvements to the ease of doing business will see the relationship between India and the UK go from strength to strength.

The chemicals sector receives the major share of British investment in India at USD 6.1 billion (25 percent of UK FDI), followed by drugs and pharmaceuticals at USD 4.1 billion (17 percent) and food processing at USD 3.2 billion (14 percent).

The total number of people employed by British companies in India currently stands at 788,000, representing 5.3 percent, or one in 20, of private sector jobs.

UK: Know More

  • The United Kingdom is made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • It is an island nation in northwestern Europe.
  • Capital: London
  • Code: +44
  • Prime minister: Theresa May
  • Currency: Pound sterling
  • Population: 64.1 million (2013) World Bank

▼ India to loan USD 340 million to Nepal   [02-20-17]

India committed soft loans amounting to USD 340 million to Nepal for infrastructure projects.

Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu, who arrived in Nepal on 19th Feb 2017 to attend the 'Nepal Infrastructure Summit 2017', signed a letter of exchange with Nepalese Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Planning Ramesh Lekhak.

According to this, India committed a bridge project and 15 road projects totaling USD 340 million soft loans to Nepal.

Prabhu also called on Nepal's President Bidya Devi Bhandari at Rashtrapati Bhawan and discussed key issues in the bilateral relations.

During the meeting, the two leaders discussed bilateral relations, according to a press release issued by the President's office.

Prabhu is in Nepal to attend 'Nepal Infrastructure Summit 2017' that is being organised by the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) in association with the Nepal government and Youth Community for Nepalese Contractors (YCNC) to be held between February 19-20.

The minister, is the guest of honour and keynote speaker at the summit.

Nepal: Know More

  • Capital: Kathmandu
  • Code: +977
  • Currency: Nepalese rupee
  • Prime minister: Pushpa Kamal Dahal
  • President: Bidhya Devi Bhandari

▼ India, Croatia sign pact for boosting bilateral trade   [02-16-17]

India and Croatia have signed an agreement to boost bilateral trade and enhance economic cooperation.

The agreement was signed by Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Martina Dalic, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy, Government of the Republic of Croatia, in Zagreb.

The two countries had earlier signed an Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation in September, 1994 with an aim to promote and develop bilateral trade and economic relations.

The present Agreement between India and Croatia would be a step in continuity as the last one expired in November, 2009.

India's bilateral trade with Croatia during 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 stood at USD 148.86 million, USD 205.04 million and USD 148.44 million respectively.

The bilateral trade during the last three years has remained stable despite global slowdown.

Croatian Government: Know More

  • Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic
  • President: Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic
  • Prime Minister: Andrej Plenkovic
  • Speaker of Parliament: Božo Petrov
  • Chief Justice: Miroslav Šeparovic

▼ CII: India-UAE trade to hit 100 billion in 2020   [02-16-17]

Trade between India and the UAE is set to hit USD 100 billion by 2020, up from the current USD 60 billion, the Confederation of Indian Industry has estimated.

This is evident in the growing interest by the Indian companies towards the Middle East markets and in particular the UAE.

Also a catalyst are the efforts made by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry and CII to further strengthen the trade and investment ties.

Currently, the trade between Indian and the UAE is estimated around USD 60 billion.

The statement was issued on the sidelines of the Middle East Electricity Exhibition where about 50 leading Indian companies are participating.

Held by the UAE Ministry of Energy and based in Dubai, Middle East Electricity is the largest international trade event for the power industry.

It is covering the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity, the renewable and nuclear energy sectors and the lighting industry.

The various schemes by the Government of India and the announcements made in the recent Budget 2017 shall certainly enhance industries competitiveness in the country and in particular the MSMEs.

The move towards reducing the corporate tax rate for small companies will have a positive impact on the viability of about 97 per cent (67 lakh) businesses in India.

As the MSMEs become more viable and sustainable, the overall attractiveness of the small businesses will increase leading to the positive orientation and entrepreneurship in the country is bound to grow.

CII: Know More

  • Formed: 1895
  • Headquarters: New Delhi, India
  • Area served: Worldwide
  • Members: Direct 7,900+; Indirect 200,000
  • President: Naushad Forbes
  • DG: Chandrajit Banerjee
  • Executive Vice Chairperson: Shobana Kamineni
  • Employees: 1,000+

▼ ICG, UAE counterpart to perform joint exercise   [02-7-17]

Indian Coast Guard and its UAE counterpart will take part in Joint Exercise and sharing of operational expertise in Dubai.

In the exercise, ICG will have representation by Samudra Pavak. The ship will sail to Oman, Qatar and S. Arabia.

Saumdra Pavak is the Purifier of Seas. It is the third of the Pollution Control Vessel of the ICG.

It has been indigenously deployed along the northwest maritime frontier to safeguard maritime interests of India.

It has also been tasked with EEZ surveillance, search and rescue, pollution response and other duties of the Coast Guard charter.

ICG: Know More

  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • Motto: वयम् रक्षामः (Sanskrit: We Protect)
  • Founded: 18 August 1978
  • Patrol: Dornier Do 228

▼ India holds high level consultation on counter terrorism with russia   [02-2-17]

India and Russia held high level consultations on counter terrorism in New Delhi.

The sides shared views on threat assessment posed by terrorists including India's concern on state sponsored, cross border terrorism.

The Indian side was led by Secretary East from MEA Preeti Saran. Russian delegation was headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Oleg V. Syromolotov.

The two countries shared concerns regarding the emergence of Afghanistan Pakistan region as the epicentre of terrorism.

Successful experiences in countering radicalisation and terrorism were also discussed.

Both sides agreed that the UNSC Sanctions List 1267 for blacklisting terrorists and terror entities must be stringently complied.

Emphasis was also made on prospects for deepening engagement on counter terrorism under BRICS, SCO and UN.

A joint action plan will also be framed for sharing insights and exchange of best practices in curbing terrorism and countering radicalisation.

UNSC Sanctions List Resolution 1267 : Know More

  • Date: 15 October 1999
  • Code S/RES/1267 (Document)
  • Subject: The situation in Afghanistan
  • Voting summary: 15 voted for/None voted against/None abstained
  • Result: Adopted
  • United Nations Security Council resolution 1267 was adopted unanimously on 15 October 1999.
  • This was after recalling resolutions 1189 (1998), 1193 (1998) and 1214 (1998) on the situation in Afghanistan.
  • Council designated Osama bin Laden and associates as terrorists and established a sanctions regime to cover individuals and entities associated with Al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden and/or the Taliban.

Chronology of events
India and Norway have founded a Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to accelerate life-saving research and development for epidemics.
India and the US agreed to sustain the momentum in their defence collaboration while committing to build on the “tremendous progress” made in the sector as Defence Secretary James Mattis held his first telephonic conversation with India.
India and United Kingdom (UK) have signed a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) to ease restrictions on the number of scheduled flights between the two countries.
India and the United Kingdom (UK) in February 2017 signed a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to allow more flights to boost tourism and trade in both the countries.
India has sanctioned a soft loan of 340 million US dollar to Nepal for various infrastructure development programmes. Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae handed over the approval papers to Physical Infrastructure and Transport Minister of Nepal
India and Rwanda have inked three agreements in the fields of innovation, aviation and visa requirements to boost bilateral relations.
China and India have held their upgraded strategic dialogue to shore up bilateral tie and resolve Beijing’s reluctance to support India’s NSG bid as well as a UN ban on JeM chief Masood Azhar.
India signed an agreement with Japan on enhancing railway safety in the Indian Railways with focus on railway track and rolling stock safety.
India and Bangladesh have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the sustainable development of Sylhet city with financial aid from India.