International Relations - Current Affairs for May, 2016

International Relations Current Affairs for May, 2016

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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  • Month & Year   
▼ Union Cabinet approves India-Maldives MoU   [05-26-16]

Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 25th May granted ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and the Ministry of Tourism, Government of Maldives for strengthening cooperation in the field of tourism.

  • The Memorandum of Understanding with Maldives will be instrumental in increasing arrival from this important source market. In recent years, Maldives has emerged as an important tourism generating market for India.
  • To expand bilateral cooperation in the tourism sector
  • To exchange information and data related to tourism
  • To encourage cooperation between tourism stakeholders, including hotels and tour operators
  • To establish exchange programme for cooperation in Human Resources Development
  • To invest in the Tourism and Hospitality sectors
  • To exchange visits of Tour Operators/Media/Opinion Makers for promotion of two-way tourism
  • To exchange experiences in the areas of promotion, marketing, destination development and management
  • To participate in travel fairs/exhibitions in each other’s country an
  • To promote safe honourable and sustainable tourism

▼ Union Cabinet on 25th May 2016 gives ex post factor approval to India-Japan MoU   [05-26-16]

The Union Cabinet on 25 May 2016 gave ex-post facto approval to the MoU between Indian and Japan for promoting sustainable, stable and low-carbon thermal power development in India.

  • The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will help India in formulating suitable policies and developing technologies involved in producing sustainable, stable and low-carbon thermal power.
  • The agreement will support Clean Coal Technology (CCT) for thermal power plants such as Ultra Super Critical (USC) and other environmental technologies.
  • It will also explore possibilities for acquisition of carbon credits with bilateral or multilateral offset schemes that are anticipated to be materialized in the future as a result of low-carbon power development.

▼ INSV Mhadei leaves for Port Louis   [05-25-16]

Indian Naval Sailing Vessel Mhadei (INSV Mhadei) sailed from Goa with an all-women crew for a voyage to Port Louis, Mauritius on 24th May.

  • The boat is being skippered by Lt Cdr Vartika Joshi (a Naval Constructor). This would be the first open-ocean voyage of the Navy’s all-women crew of Mhadei, who are currently training to undertake a circumnavigation of the globe in 2017.
  • The crew comprising Lt P Swathi, Lt B Aishwarya, Lt Pratibha Jamwal, Lt Vijaya and Lt Payal Gupta would be undertaking this arduous voyage through rough seas and heavy weather, expected during the Monsoons, in the Arabian Sea.
  • This is a training voyage to expose the young crew to weather that would be faced by them during the circumnavigation in 2017.

▼ Telangana government signs MoU with Eclat Health Solutions   [05-25-16]

Telangana government has signed an MoU with US based healthcare technology firm Eclat Health Solutions.

  • The agreement will involve an investment of USD 15 million in the state to provide 1000 jobs.
  • Release also said that the team signed another agreement with Genesis Pharma company chairman Monif Matouk and Safye Holdings CEO Afi Hasan.

▼ Iran, Afghanistan, India sign three way transit agreement   [05-24-16]

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 23rd May 2016 signed a three-way transit agreement on Iran's southern port of Chabahar

  • The accord, which calls for joint investments, will significantly boost the role of the undertapped port of Chabahar, connecting Iran through India and Afghanistan to central Asia, the Iranian presidency said on its website.

▼ India, Myanmar, Thailand working on highway to link India with SE Asia   [05-24-16]

India, Thailand and Myanmar are working on a 1400 km long highway linking India with SE Asia for the first time in decades

  • This will boost trade and cultural exchanges between the three countries
  • Negotiations are currently underway to conclude a tri- nation motor vehicle agreement for the use of the 1,400-km road that will reach Thailand at Tak, Mae Sot district. “
  • Tri-nation highway exemplifies India's "Act East" policy.
  • Myanmar's Dawei deep-sea port and industrial estate project near the Thai border is also expected to help further integrate eastern India with South East Asian countries. The planned port can be linked up with India's Chennai port as well as Thailand's Laem Chabang Port on the other side of the ocean, the envoy said.
  • India is also preparing to negotiate a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which includes the 10-country-grouping, on top of the current India-Asean free-trade agreement (FTA). Thai-Indian trade amounted to USD 8 billion last year, while more than a million Indian tourists visited Thailand last year.

▼ Iran and India ink 12 agreements, MoUs   [05-24-16]

India and Iran have inked a dozen agreements ranging from contract to developing strategic Chahabar port to an initial pact to establish an aluminium plant and one on railways line to give India access to Central Asia and Afghanistan.

  • 12 agreements and MoUs signed during the PM’s visit to Iran have deepened bilateral ties in diverse fields
  • Main agreement signed was a contract for development of Phase I of the Chabahar port on southern coast of Iran by an Indian joint venture.
  • Also an agreement to provide USD 150 million credit line was signed by Exim Bank of India. IRCON signed an initial agreement to lay a rail line from Chabahar port to Zahedan, while state-owned Nalco signed an MoU to look at possibility of setting up a 0.5 million tonne aluminium smelter at Chabahar free trade zone provided Iran gives cheap natural gas.
  • An MoU was also signed between the Export Guarantee Fund of Iran and the Export Guarantee Corporation of India. Also signed was an executive protocol between the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology of Iran, and India's Ministry of Science and Technology and an MoU between National Archives of India and National Library of Iran.
  • An executive programme of cultural cooperation between the Ministry of Culture and Iran's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance as well as an MoU between Iran's Islamic Culture and Relations Organisation and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations was also signed.

▼ Indian Naval Ships Delhi, Tarkash and Deepak visit Oman   [05-23-16]

INS vessels Delhi, Deepak and Tarkash under the command of Flag Office Commanding Western Fleet, Rear Admiral Ravneet Singh are visiting Muscat from 21-24 May 2016.

  • VIsit of the INS vessel coincides with that of the Defence Minister of India
  • As part of the visit, the IN ships will undertaken professional interactions with Oman’s Royal Navy
  • Bilateral relations between India and Oman have been strong based on vibrant economic linkages and the establishment of the 1953 Indo-Oman Treaty of Friendship, Navigation and Commerce marking the first link between India and any Arab country.

▼ India rejects China’s condition for joining NSG   [05-23-16]

India on 20th May rejected the Chinese contention that it must sign the NPT to get membership of the Nuclear Supplier’s group. India also said that France was included in the elite group without signing the Non-Proliferation treaty.

  • Even NPT allows civil nuclear cooperation with non NPT countries
  • The only connection between NSG and IAEA safeguards is with respect to export controls
  • China has opposed Indian bid to get NSG membership on the ground that it was yet to sign the NPT- Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang has said multilateral non proliferation export control regime including the NSG have regarded NPT as an important standard for expansion of NSG

▼ India, Slovenia sign DTAA protocol   [05-20-16]

India and Slovenia have signed a Protocol amending the existing Convention and Protocol between the two countries for avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income on 17th May, 2016 in Ljubljana.

  • The Protocol will broaden the scope of the existing framework of exchange of tax related information which will help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance between the two countries.
  • It will also enable mutual assistance in collection of taxes.

▼ Maldives severs diplomatic ties with Iran   [05-20-16]

The Maldives has terminated its four-decade-old diplomatic ties with Iran. Iran’s policies are detrimental to peace and security in the region (West Asia), which, in many ways, is also linked to stability, peace and security of the Maldives, said an official statement.

  • 13th Summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul, Turkey, deplored “Iran’s interference” in the internal affairs of West Asian States.
  • Expressing “deep concern” over the announcement, the Maldivian Democratic Party, the principal Opposition party, said “this kind of irrational adventurism in foreign policy decisions will have serious negative repercussions on the security of the Maldives.”

▼ India, Bahrain sign treaty    [05-17-16]

Bilateral relations between India and Bahrain are characterised by strong bonds of friendship based on cultural and economic ties dating back to ancient contacts between the Indus valley civilization in India and Dilmun civilization in Bahrain. Presence of over 350,000 Indian nationals, comprising nearly a third of Bahrain’s total population is an important facet of this strong bilateral relationship.

  • High level visits from both sides, rising trade and investment and growing convergence on counter-terrorism and security issues has provided new impetus to this strong and age-old relationship. IN ships Delhi, Deepak, Trishul and Tabar last visited Manama in September 2015.

▼ IIT KGP signs MoU with Curtin University   [05-17-16]

Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IIT-KGP) has signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MoU) with Curtin University, Australia to offer Dual Doctoral Degree Program (DDDP).As per the MOU, a doctoral student of IIT-Kharagpur may apply for the DDDP, and will be admitted if he/she is academically accepted by the Curtin University satisfying demands for both institutions.

▼ India, Bangladesh conclude nuclear agreement   [05-16-16]

India has concluded a nuclear agreement with Bangladesh indicating the relations between the two countries are advancing.

  • Nuclear agreement is a three document package negotiated between MEA and the Bangladesh department of science and technology in the past few months.
  • Following PM Narendra Modi and Sheikh Hasina’s inauguration of a 100 MW power transmission line from Palatana to Bangladesh, India is preparing to upgrade the same to 5— MW.
  • India also wants to transport LPG and LNG to NE states through Bangladesh
  • Four Indian companies have bid to create power plants in Bangladesh

▼ Five countries sign pact for automatic exchange of information on tax issues and developing new tools and standards   [05-13-16]

  • Canada, Iceland, India, Israel, New Zealand and PRC have signed a agreement for boosting transparency by MNEs through the Multilateral Competent Authority agreement for the automatic change of country to country reports.
  • The total number of signatories is now 29
  • Other countries which have signed the pact include Australia, France and Germany.

▼ India, Iran agree to clear US $ 6.4 billion via European banks   [05-9-16]

India and Iran have agreed to clear US $ 6.4 billion in oil payments via the European banks. Central banks of India and Iran have reached an agreement to use European banks to process pending oil payments to Tehran. Unlocking USD 6.4 billion in stalled funds, the way was cleared for global banking channels after sanctions had been imposed on Iran in 2011 over its nuclear programme. These sanctions were eased in January.

▼ IGA set up for Russia to partner India in setting up Kudankulam reactors   [05-6-16]

An Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) between Government of India and Government of Russian Federation was signed in December 2008 for setting up units 3 to 6 at Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu in technical cooperation with Russian Federation.

  • Discussions on the draft General Framework Agreement for setting up Units 5&6 (KKNPP 5&6) are currently in progress.
  • The project is planned to be set up on technical cooperation basis with shared scope of work. The Indian private industry would be involved in supply of equipment, execution of the works contracts, providing services in Indian scope of work and localisation of components.

▼ ISRO signs MoU with 37 nations   [05-5-16]

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) of Department of Space, Government of India has signed MoU/ Cooperative agreements for exploration and use of outer space with 37 countries viz. Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Myanmar, Norway, Peru, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, The Netherlands, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, United States of America and Venezuela.

▼ India and New Zealand sign air services agreement    [05-3-16]

India and New Zealand have signed an air services agreement in a bid to boost connectivity, tourism and trade between both countries.Since the Government’s Air Transport policy was introduced in 2012, Bridges said 50 new or amended air agreements had been negotiated, bringing the total to 78. Most of the major airlines in the world are now able to operate services to New Zealand without restriction, with 18 new air routes announced in 2015 alone.

▼ NABARD collaborates with Germany   [05-2-16]

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development has collaborated with the German government for a special programme on Soil Protection and Rehabilitation for Food Security. A high level delegation from Economic Cooperation and Development Ministry of Germany signed the agreement.

  • NABARD is anchoring 2 major programmes- soil conservation and rehabilitation of degraded land for food security in MP and Maharashtra and innovation of watershed development for rehabilitation of degraded soil and climate change adaptation in 5 states.
  • Programme is part of the German government’s recently introduced special initiative One World, No Hunger on meeting the food security needs of countries.
  • India is the only country chosen for this initiative.