▼ Union Cabinet clears BIT between India and Cambodia [07-28-16]
Union Cabinet chaired by PM Shri Narendra Modi has given approval for the Bilateral Investment Treaty between India and Cambodia.
- Treaty seeks to promote and protect investments from either country in the territory of the other country with the aim of increasing bilateral investment flows.
- Treaty encourages each country to create favourable conditions for investors of other countries to make investments in territory and admit investments in accordance with laws.
- This is the first such treaty in accordance with the text of the Indian Model Bilateral Investment Treaty approved by the Cabinet in December 2015.
▼ India & Japan sign social security agreement [07-25-16]
India and Japan have signed the agreement to come into force on October 1, 2016 and benefit numerous Indian and Japanese professionals as well as skilled workers in the two nations
- Pact will help to avoid double social security contributions in that an Indian worker on a short term contract in Japan will be exempted from making a social security contribution there- this holds true for Japanese workers in India as well.
- Exemption will be provided only if the Indian worker is under the social security system of India and continues to pay contribution during the period of overseas contract.
- India has signed such social security agreements with 15 nations including Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary and Luxembourg.
▼ US-India cooperation in hydrocarbons & energy to increase [07-25-16]
Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and US Secretary for Energy Ernest Moniz has agreed to increase technical and institutional cooperation in hydrocarbons and energy
- Cooperation will be enhanced in assessment of onshore and offshore conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon reserves in India, new technologies for developing biofuel and development of petroleum storage.
▼ Shekih Hasina, PM Modi inaugurate Petrapole Integrated Check Post [07-22-16]
Indian PM Shri Narendra Modi and PM of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the Petrapole Integrated Check Post through video conferencing.
- Pentrapole- Benapole is an important land border crossing for Indian Bangladesh trade.
- More than 50 percent of the trade between the two countries passes through this border crossing
- Trade is worth more than INR 15000 crore and takes place through Petrapole ICP more than all other Indian land ports and land custom stations placed together.
- Around 15 lakh people and 150,000 tricks crossed the border crossing each year according to estimates.
- Petrapole ICP will be the second ICP on the India-Bangladesh border after the Agartala ICP in Agartala (India)- Akhaura (Bangladesh) land border.
- It will be the biggest land port in South Asia.
- Commissioning of the petrapole ICP will foster greater economic integration and connectivity between India and Bangladesh.
▼ Union Cabinet approves skill development MoU between India and Swiss Confederation [07-21-16]
Cabinet approved a skill development agreement signed between India and the Swiss confederation giving ex-post factor approval for MoU to be signed between India and State Secretariat for Education Research and Innovation of the Swiss Confederation for cooperation in skill development.
- MoU focuses on capacity building and exchange of best practices in the area of skill development.
- MoU also envisions the establishment of a JWG to create, monitor, review the implementation framework for the MoU.
▼ United States and India to collaborate in petrol and energy sector [07-21-16]
United States and India have taken several key steps in petroleum and energy sector aimed at attaining energy independence.
- Key prospects include development of petroleum storage, considered critical for national security and strategic needs.
- Other areas of collaboration include increased technical cooperation in new technologies to develop biofuel (2nd generation ethanol and biodiesel) and assessment as well as reassessment of conventional and unconventional offshore and onshore hydrocarbon reserves in India.
- GAIL has contracted for import of LNG from the US to the tune of 5.8 MMT per year from end 2017.
- Indian companies have invested in shale oil and gas projects in the US- GAIL has 20 percent equity in Eagle Ford Basin
- IOC and OIL have 10 percent equity in Niobrara basin.
- Two sides also signed an MoU to renew cooperation in gas hydrates for another period of five years.
▼ The Netherlands and UP have signed an MoU to set up a skill development centre [07-20-16]
The Netherlands and UP on 14th July 2016 signed an MoU to set up a skill development centre to assist farmers.
- MoU will ensure farmers get information on food processing as well as use of modern techniques to boost production of sugarcane, potato, dairy products and flowers.
- Dutch government will also help in cleaning the Yamuna in Agra and in sewage treatment.
- Under this agreement, it will assist the state in solid waste management, urban infrastructure and development.
- It will also assist the state in water management, water supply and cleanliness of water resources, sewage treatment, transport management and revival of water bodies.
- The Netherlands will also help in land reclamation of 1500 acres in the Ganga basin in Kanpur and development of cultural heritage.
- MoU will remain operational for the next three years.
▼ India and Malaysia work to combat ISIS [07-20-16]
Following deadly attacks by ISIS in Nice and Istanbul, India and Malaysia have agreed to engage with one another on combating the threat posed by the global terrorist organisation.
- These countries are democratic and oppose the terror groups which are attracting youngsters with extremist ideology
- MoU on combating transnational crime between Malaysia and India is also being finalised.
▼ India and UK researchers join hands to create new cereal crops that reduce GHG emissions [07-18-16]
Team of researchers from India and the UK have come together to develop new cereal crop varieties that use nitrogen effectively reducing GHG emissions and ensuring profitability and sustainability of agriculture.
- Partnership will go for natural variations of cereal and basic research in model plants to deliver new varieties of cereals with enhanced nitrogen use efficiency.
- With a funding of 10 million pounds through the Newton Bhabha Fund, UK, Biotechnology and Biological Research Council, UK and the Department of Biotechnology/DBT of the Government of India, four new virtual joint centres in agricultural nitrogen will be created.
- These are delivered in partnership with BBSRC, Natural Environment Research Council and the DBT.
- Centre comprises multiple research organisations in India and the UK with centres receiving co-investment of around 2.5 million pounds according to an official statement by ICRISAT.
- The Cambridge India Network for Translational Research in Nitrogen is one of 4 centres led by National Institute of Agricultural Botany in the UK and ICRISAT in India.
▼ India, Tanzania sign 5 agreements [07-11-16]
Aiming to enhance ties with resource rich Tanzania, India extended full support to the country to meet development needs and signed 5 agreements including one for Line of Credit equalling USD 92 million in the water resources sector.
- On a visit to the African nation, India’s PM Narendra Modi along with President John Pombe Joseph Magufuli agreed to deepen defence and security partnerships.
- The two sides signed an agreement under which Line of Credit for USD 92 million for rehabilitation and improvement of Zanzibar’s water supply system will be initiated.
- Two countries were also working for water projects in as many as 17 cities in Tanzania.
▼ India and South Africa announced MoU in 4 areas of bilateral cooperation [07-11-16]
India and South Africa on July 8, 2016 announced an MoU and programme in four areas of bilateral cooperation.
- MoUs cover ICT, grass root innovation and tourism, the Programme of Cooperation will cover segments of arts and culture.
- MoUs and programmes were announced after summit level talks between President Jacob Zuma and India’s PM Narendra Modi who is currently on a trip to S. Africa.
- PM Narendra Modi began his 4 nation tour of African countries namely Mozambique, South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania on July 7, 2016
▼ Union Cabinet chaired by Shri Modi approves signing of MoU between India and Tanzania [07-7-16]
Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved an MoU between India and Tanzania in the field of traditional systems of medicine and homeopathy.
- MoU will provide structured framework for cooperating between two countries for propagating indian traditional systems of medicine and homeopathy in Tanzania.
- There were no additional financial implications associated with this and financial resources needed to conduct research, training courses, conferences and meetings from allocated budget and plan schemes of AYUSH ministry.
▼ Joint issue of postage stamps between Department of Posts and Portugal Posts declared [07-7-16]
Union Cabinet chaired by PM Shri Narendra Modi was apprised of a joint issue of postage stamps between Department of Post and Portugal Post.
- The two countries enjoy excellent bilateral relations with each other.
- Joint issue will help postal departments in both countries for production of philately.
▼ Union Cabinet on July 5, 2016 approved the signing of an MoU between India and Mauritius [07-7-16]
Union Cabinet on July 5, 2016 approved the signing of an MoU between India and Mauritius in the field of Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation.
- MoU will help establish a framework for cooperating between National Development Unit, PMO of Mauritius and the Union Ministry of Rural Development in the sphere of rural development.
- MoU will encourage cooperation in the field of rural development and capacity building on the basis of equality and mutual benefit between two nations.
- Joint Committee on Cooperation on Rural Development will be established meeting alternatively in both countries on mutually agreed dates.
- As per the MoU, the two nations have agreed to coordinate and facilitate appropriate technical cooperation in both countries on access to Indian institutions fulfilling MoU objectives and exchange of relevant information and documents in the sphere of rural development including scientific and technical information along with policies and the two nations would exchange relevant information regarding issues of mutual interest.
- MoU is based on the fact that both nations have large segments of their population living in rural areas and depend on agriculture and allied activities for their livelihoods
- An institutional arrangement for bilateral cooperation between India and Mauritius in the fields was under consideration for some period of time