Tag Archives: Thailand

Rising Bharat International News Feed: October 6th 2020

  • Relation with Burma
  • To counter China, India offers Myanmar a $6bn oil refinery

Key points:

  1. As China further intensifies its energy cooperation with Myanmar, India is working to ramp up its own presence in the same sector in the strategically located neighbour with a booming energy industry. The joint visit by foreign secretary Harsh Shringla and army chief MM Naravane saw the 2 countries discussing the possibility of building a petroleum refinery in Myanmar that will involve an investment of $ 6 billion.
  2. India proposes to build the refinery in the Thanlyin region near Yangon, official sources said. “As of now IOCL has evinced interest in the project,” said a source, adding that this would be a win-win arrangement for both countries. China currently accounts for almost 70 percent of foreign investments in the energy sector in Myanmar. India’s eastern neighbour, which straddles India’s Act East and Neighbourhood First policies, has very few refineries though and imports mostly account for its domestic fuel consumption.
  3. During their joint visit, Shringla and Naravane also called on State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Commander in Chief of Defense Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing. The two sides also discussed, as the government said in a statement, maintenance of security and stability in their border areas and reiterated their mutual commitment not to allow their respective territories to be used for “activities inimical to each other”. The government appreciated Myanmar’s decision to hand over 22 Indian insurgents to India.
  4. Interestingly, Shringla and Naravane presented 3000 vials of Remdesivir to the State Counsellor. India said it was symbolic of its commitment to assist Myanmar in the fight against the pandemic. The visit also saw India underscoring its commitment to work with both Myanmar and Bangladesh for early stabilisation of the situation in the strife-torn Rakhine state. India and Myanmar upgraded a Rakhine State Development Programme (RSDP) agreement meant to address the challenges faced in agricultural productivity by using farm machinery and equipment more effectively and efficiently. This, in turn, is expected to improve the socio-economic status of the people in Rakhine, said official sources.
  5. During the visit, India also announced a grant of $ 2 million for the construction of the border haat bridge at Byanyu/Sarsichauk in Chin State that is expected to provide improved economic connectivity between Mizoram and Myanmar.

(The Times of India, 6 October 2020) News Link

  • India, Myanmar Agree To Target Operationalisation of Strategic Sittwe Port in Q1 2021

Key points:

  1. During the visit of the Indian army chief and foreign secretary to Myanmar, the two countries on Monday agreed to work towards operationalising the Sittwe port in the first quarter of 2021.
  2. Indian army chief General M.M. Naravane and foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla travelled to Myanmar on a two-day visit. They called on State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and Myanmar’s Commander in Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.
  3. According to a press release issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Monday, the ongoing India-assisted infrastructure projects such as the Kaladan multi-modal transit transport project and trilateral highway were part of the bilateral discussions. “They agreed to work towards operationalization of Sittwe Port in the Rakhine State in the first quarter of 2021,” said the official read-out.
  4. In 2010, India began work on the mega infrastructure project in Myanmar, which had several components. This project would not only link India’s north east to the southeast region, but also allow for goods to be transported from Kolkata to Sittwe and then onwards by river and roads to Mizoram.
  5. India had even signed an agreement with Myanmar government for operationalising the port in October 2018. However, conflict between the insurgent group Arakan Army and the Myanmar military had impacted the operationalisation. According to a local NGO, more than 226,000 people have been displaced inside the province due to the violence.
  6. Meanwhile, the high-level Indian visitors announced a grant of $2 million for the construction of a border haat bridge at Byanyu/Sarsichauk in Chin State to “provide increased economic connectivity between Mizoram and Myanmar.India also announced that it would import 1.5 lakh tonnes of Urad from Myanmar by March 31, 2021.
  7. During his visit to the capital, the foreign secretary also inaugurated an embassy liaison office at Nay Pyi Taw. While the planned city became Myanmar’s capital in 2006, nearly all diplomatic missions, including the Indian embassy, continue to operate from Yangon. China was the first foreign country to open an interim liaison office at Nay Pyi Taw in 2017.
  8. As part of diplomatic efforts to help Myanmar contain COVID-19, India handed over 3,000 vials of the anti-viral drug Remdesivir to Aung San Suu Kyi. Shringla also conveyed “India’s willingness to prioritize Myanmar in sharing vaccines as and when these become available”. Myanmar has reported over 18,000 cases of the viral infection and 444 deaths due to the disease.

(The Wire, 6 October 2020) News Link

  • Steps on to complete India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highways

Key points:

  1. Myanmar State Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi (L) with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The 1,360 km long India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway is an initiative pertaining to the three countries. India is undertaking the construction of two sections of the Trilateral Highway in Myanmar namely — the construction of 120.74 km Kalewa-Yagyi road section and construction of 69 bridges along with the approach road on the 149.70 km Tamu-Kyigone-Kalewa (TKK) road section.
  2. This is what has been informed by external affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar in a letter to Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) MP Birendra Prasad Baishya in response to a special mention he had made on September 23 in the Rajya Sabha regarding early completion of the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway project.
  3. The India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) highways project is aimed at opening the gate to ASEAN through the land. The project will boost trade and commerce in the ASEAN–India Free Trade Area, as well as with the rest of Southeast Asia. India has also proposed extending the highway to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
  4. Jaishankar in his letter said that India has undertaken two projects in Myanmar under the 1,360-km Trilateral Highway project that starts from Moreh in India to Mae Sot in Thailand through Myanmar. These are construction of the 120-km Kalewa-Yagyi road sections to highway standard and upgrading of 69 bridges and approach roads on the Tamu-Kyigone-Kalewa (TKK) road section of 150 km.

(Deccan Chronicle, 6 October 2020) News Link

  • Relation with Japan
  1. India, US, Japan and Australia’s Quad: A comprehensive regional construct

Key points:

  1. In a rare departure from the existing precautionary protocols of virtual Summits due to the COVID pandemic, the physical meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the four nations that comprise the QUAD(Australia, India, Japan and the United States of America) over the next two days in Tokyo assumes significance for many reasons.
  2. One of the reasons for the lack of convergence and the ineffectiveness of the Quad in developing a coherent strategy for the region is the underlying perception that it is primarily a security construct with a distinct military connotation aimed at containing China
  3. Most of the interaction amongst the Quad members have been driven by security considerations with the US making no secret of the fact that it is meant to counter the Chinese threat to both, its presence in the western Pacific and to a Free and Open Indo-Pacific.
  4. The elevation of the Quad interaction from mid-level bureaucrats to the level of Foreign Ministers has led to a more mature and nuanced approach to this construct.

(Financial Express, 6 October 2020) News Link

  1. Steps on to complete India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highways

Key points:

  1. Myanmar State Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi (L) with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The 1,360 km long India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway is an initiative pertaining to the three countries. India is undertaking the construction of two sections of the Trilateral Highway in Myanmar namely — the construction of 120.74 km Kalewa-Yagyi road section and construction of 69 bridges along with the approach road on the 149.70 km Tamu-Kyigone-Kalewa (TKK) road section.
  2. This is what has been informed by external affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar in a letter to Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) MP Birendra Prasad Baishya in response to a special mention he had made on September 23 in the Rajya Sabha regarding early completion of the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway project.
  3. The India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) highways project is aimed at opening the gate to ASEAN through the land. The project will boost trade and commerce in the ASEAN–India Free Trade Area, as well as with the rest of Southeast Asia. India has also proposed extending the highway to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
  4. Jaishankar in his letter said that India has undertaken two projects in Myanmar under the 1,360-km Trilateral Highway project that starts from Moreh in India to Mae Sot in Thailand through Myanmar. These are construction of the 120-km Kalewa-Yagyi road sections to highway standard and upgrading of 69 bridges and approach roads on the Tamu-Kyigone-Kalewa (TKK) road section of 150 km.

(Deccan Chronicle, 6 October 2020) News Link

  • Relation with Indonesia
  • Indonesia keen to enhance trade, investment ties with India: Consul General

Key points:

  1. Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia in Mumbai, Mr. Agus Prihatin Saptono, on Tuesday stated that Indonesia is keen to enhance the trade and investment ties with India in the areas IT, Health and Pharma, agro products, automotive components and tourism.
  2. On his first maiden visit to the Federation of Telangana Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FTCCI) here, Mr Prihatin said that the objective of his visit was to meet, interact and understand the potential sector for enhancing the trade between the two countries.
  3. He mentioned online meetings in the sectors of Furniture, Spices, Food Processing to be held and sought participation of industry, for exploring business opportunities.
  4. He also invited participation in Virtual Trade Expo Indonesia scheduled on November 10 to 16, 2020.
  5. He also mentioned that India and Indonesia set USD 50 billion trade targets by 2025. Indonesia is India’s largest trade partner in goods in the ASEAN region.
  6. Our bilateral trade crossed USD 20 billion last year, he said and suggested providing information on the construction bidding process, so as to invite participation from Indonesian companies.
  7. He mentioned that Telangana State has been growing consistently and there are great opportunities to expand trade and investment, particularly in the pharma, agro and food processing, information technology, tourism, logistics, energy and manufacturing sectors.
  8. State of Telangana has set up a T-Hub, a unique platform for entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and academia to interact and collaborate, the President added.

(UNI India, 6 October 2020) News Link

  • Relation with Afghanistan
  • India is a strategic partner of Afghanistan: Top peace negotiator Dr Abdullah Abdullah

Key points:

  1. The Chief Afghan government Negotiator for intra-Afghan Talks,  Dr Abdullah Abdullah has lauded New Delhi’s continuous support to the government and people of Afghanistan. “India is a strategic partner of Afghanistan,” said Dr Abdullah Abdullah.
  2. His comments come as he begins his four day India visit during which he will call on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, National Security Advisors Ajit Doval and other top Indian officials.

(Wion News, 6 October 2020) News Link

  1. India, US, Japan and Australia’s Quad: A comprehensive regional construct

Key points:

  1. In a rare departure from the existing precautionary protocols of virtual Summits due to the COVID pandemic, the physical meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the four nations that comprise the QUAD(Australia, India, Japan and the United States of America) over the next two days in Tokyo assumes significance for many reasons.
  2. One of the reasons for the lack of convergence and the ineffectiveness of the Quad in developing a coherent strategy for the region is the underlying perception that it is primarily a security construct with a distinct military connotation aimed at containing China
  3. Most of the interaction amongst the Quad members have been driven by security considerations with the US making no secret of the fact that it is meant to counter the Chinese threat to both, its presence in the western Pacific and to a Free and Open Indo-Pacific.
  4. The elevation of the Quad interaction from mid-level bureaucrats to the level of Foreign Ministers has led to a more mature and nuanced approach to this construct.

(Financial Express, 6 October 2020) News Link

  • Relation with Bhutan
  • India, Bhutan air transport bubble operationalized

Key points:

  1. India, Bhutan air transport bubble for easier movement of people between the 2 neighboring countries has been operationalised. Bhutan is the 3rd country in South Asia with which India has a transport air bubble.
  2. India’s envoy to Bhutan Ruchira Kamboj in a tweet announced, “#TransportBubble is ready to go! Flights between Bhutan and India have commenced and are ready to facilitate effortless travel.”

(DNA India, 6 Ocotber 2020) News Link

  • Relation with Bangladesh
  1. India-Bangladesh Rail Link Work Likely To Be Completed By December: Official

Key points:

  1. A defunct railway link with Bangladesh is being revived with work on the Indian side of the border from Haldibari in north Bengal likely to be completed by December, a railway official said on Monday.
  2. The railway line from Haldibari to Chilahati in Bangladesh has been defunct after rail links between India and then East Pakistan had snapped in 1965.
  3. “On our side, tracks are ready and other works such as construction of buildings and other ancillary things will be done by December,” the NFR spokesperson said.
  4. The leadership of India and Bangladesh have stressed on the revival of pre-1965 rail links between the two countries and some of them are already functional.

(Outlook India, 6 October 2020) News Link

  • Improving border infra to further fortify ties with Bangladesh: Indian envoy

Key points:

  1. India is developing several projects and improving the border infrastructures to further strengthen its ties with Bangladesh, India’s new high commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram Doraiswami said in Agartala before leaving for Dhaka by road on October 5.
  2. Doraiswami, who succeeds Riva Ganguly Das as the Indian envoy in Bangladesh, said the Northeast region is central to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of stronger, resilient and modern India.
  3. “We are building infrastructure to connect India and Bangladesh and to come closer. We have developed this relationship with Bangladesh as it is the most important neighbour of India,” he told the media.
  4. “This close relationship has great value for India and Bangladesh. If our connectivity, travel, trade and people to people ties develop, it would be beneficial for both the neighbours,” he added.

(The News Mill, 6 October 2020) News Link

  1. A Webinar with H.E. Mr. Ajay Bisaria on Advancing the India-Canada Commercial and Economic Partnership

Key points:

  1. Speaking at a special web interaction organized by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) – ‘A Webinar with H.E. Mr. Ajay Bisaria on Advancing the India-Canada Commercial and Economic Partnership’, the Indian High Commissioner stated that both governments are even thinking of a less ambitious smaller byte size agreement which can be agreed on soon.
  2. “The Big story has been the Canadian investments in India by firms like Fairfax and Brookfield. India has now over US $55 Billion commitments from Canadian investors in the Indian economy. This, itself is a huge factor which defines lot of opportunities that are available in India. This money is going into infrastructure, real estate, energy, logistics and now also in Startups,” the High Commissioner said referring to the increasing capital fund investments from Canada. Canadian investors prefer to invest in India as against the OECD countries, as India offers promising return rates, or IRRs in the range of 10-20% and favourable exit options, in comparison to the mere 2-4 % returns most OECD countries offer, he informed.
  3. Mr. Bisaria also expressed confidence that greater opportunities await both countries in view of the India’s recent economic reforms, touted as the 2nd generation economic reforms in labor, agriculture, and FDI norms, aimed to boost manufacturing, infrastructure and logistics and offer India as an attractive investment destination and player in global supply chains as envisioned in Prime Minister’s clarion call for Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India).

(India Education Diary, 6 October, 2020) News Link

  • India likely to join Canada-led multilateral group tackling Covid-19 pandemic

Key points:

  1. In a sign of an upswing in India-Canada ties, India is likely to join a group of foreign ministers from several countries that is being led by Canada and is aimed at forging a common strategy to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.
  2. A senior Indian official said that India is likely to join the conversation on multilateral cooperation when the next monthly meeting takes place later this month. “This is an opportunity to coordinate on issues with several countries, and another piece in the coordination with Canada,” the official said.

(Hindustan Times, 6 October, 2020) News Link

  • Relation with African countries
    • Cheetahs to be Airlifted to India from South Africa, Namibia

Key Points:

  1. Y.V. Jhala, Dean at the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), has also been nominated to head the Cheetah-team for inspecting habitats where the predator can be rehabilitated, said Harsh adding that the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) is appointed as the new Cheetah-Office in India via the Supreme Court Order.
  2. A sum of Rs 2.5 crore has been sanctioned to WII by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) to facilitate this wild cat’s entry into India.
  3. The Asiatic Cheetah survives in Iran only and as this country is disinterested to part with it to any country, the only option left is the African Cheetah and South Africa and Namibia are apparently willing to export to India, he informed.
  4. Lauri Marker, founder-head of Cheetah Conservation Foundation in Namibia, visited India last February and discussed diverse aspects of the project with some key players.
  5. This animal basically needs open and scrub habitat promising a grass cover and abundant feed. However, India lacks such large tracts of habitats which exists in its African homes. Hence, the feed quotient raises yet another question which is “Will village population face the brunt in the suggested areas,” questions Harsh.
  6. The Asiatic cheetah, which once roamed in different parts of India, are now found in Iran.

(Weather, 6 October 2020) News Link

  • European countries
  1. Lufthansa ‘Hopeful’ Germany-India to Agree on Flight Regime

Key points:

  1. Alain Chisari, vice president of sales for Asia Pacific at Lufthansa Group Airlines, discusses the talks between Germany and India about the possible reinstating of flights between the two countries, and the carrier’s strategy for the region. Deutsche Lufthansa AG’s said last week it was pulling 23 weekly flights for the next three weeks following a clash with India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation over coronavirus-related travel curbs. Chisari speaks on “Bloomberg Markets: Asia.”

(Bloomeberg, 6 October 2020) News Link

  1. UK-India water MoU offers ‘great boost’ to trade

Key points:

  1. A new memorandum of understanding (MoU) agreed between India and the UK’s leading water sector trade association will “bring a great boost” to trading relationships between the two countries, according to British Water chief executive Lila Thompson.
  2. Thompson said that India’s Environmental Technology Verification programme is a particularly useful channel for UK technology companies seeking to enter the Indian market.
  3. “A number of companies, including British Water members, have already been selected for work on the Clean Ganges Programme and are already in the process of rolling out their pilots and demonstration projects,” she said.
  4. Dr Vinod Tare, founding head of cGanga, told the Forum that the Indian Government has to deliver and needs to bring the very best know-how, technology and best practice from around the world and to “develop a unique blend of experience from developed and developing world approaches.”
  5. Finance and investment were also major themes of the Forum, which saw participation from the City of London Corporation (CLC) and the London Stock Exchange. In her inaugural address, the Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Gaitri Issar Kumar, said, “The UK is at cutting edge of innovation in the water sector and is also the leading green finance hub of the world – there are today tremendous business and investment opportunities in the Indian water sector.”
  6. Ben Cackett, CLC’s head of global exports and investments said the Indian market was a key priority for the City: “The UK and India are at the forefront of thinking how to unlock green growth and our nations recognise the transition to a sustainable future, particularly post Covid, is going to be the biggest challenge, but obviously the biggest investment opportunity too, for our generation.

(WWT Online,6 October 2020) News Link

  • Relation with US
  1. क्वॉड की बैठक में चीन पर बरसे अमेरिकी विदेश मंत्री पोम्पियो, बताया दुनिया के लिए खतरा

Key points:

  1. जापान की राजधानी टोक्यों में आज हुई द क्वॉड्रिलैटरल सिक्‍यॉरिटी डायलॉग (क्‍वॉड) की दूसरी बैठक में अमेरिकी विदेश मंत्री माइक पोम्पियों चीन पर जमकर बरसे। उन्होंने चीनी कम्युनिस्ट पार्टी और चीन को एशिया के लिए खतरा करार दिया। उन्होंने कहा कि पूरी दुनिया इस समय चीन के खतरे से जूझ रही है और यही समय है कि जब हम उसके खिलाफ गंभीर होकर कोई हल निकालेंगे।
  2. पोम्पियों ने भारतीय विदेश मंत्री एस जयशंकर के बयान से सहमति जताते हुए कहा कि हम हिंद-प्रशांत क्षेत्र को मुक्‍त, खुले और समावेशी बनाए जाने को लेकर प्रतिबद्ध हैं।

(Navbharat Times, 6 October 2020) News Link

  • India, US, Japan and Australia’s Quad: A comprehensive regional construct

Key points:

  • In a rare departure from the existing precautionary protocols of virtual Summits due to the COVID pandemic, the physical meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the four nations that comprise the QUAD(Australia, India, Japan and the United States of America) over the next two days in Tokyo assumes significance for many reasons.
  • One of the reasons for the lack of convergence and the ineffectiveness of the Quad in developing a coherent strategy for the region is the underlying perception that it is primarily a security construct with a distinct military connotation aimed at containing China
  • Most of the interaction amongst the Quad members have been driven by security considerations with the US making no secret of the fact that it is meant to counter the Chinese threat to both, its presence in the western Pacific and to a Free and Open Indo-Pacific.
  • The elevation of the Quad interaction from mid-level bureaucrats to the level of Foreign Ministers has led to a more mature and nuanced approach to this construct.

(Financial Express, 6 October 2020) News Link

  1. After India’s proposal, Nepal starts discussion on Kathmandu-Raxaul Railway

Key points:

  1. Nepal government has started a discussion with various stakeholders on the proposal sent by India to conduct the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the proposed Kathmandu-Raxaul Railway.
  2. The agreement was formalised after Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to this effect on the sideline of the 4th Summit of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) held in Kathmandu on August 30-31, 2018.
  3. The length of the Kathmandu-Raxaul electric railway will be 219 km with a double track and 135.87 km with a single track, according to the preliminary report. The report shows that 892 hectares of land including 13 stations and 39 tunnels will be required for the railway construction.
  4. The Indian government in its budget for 2020-21 has allocated necessary funds for the construction of the project. The electric railway link is estimated to cost around Rs 300 billion. It will run from the site of the proposed second international airport in Nijgadh after passing through Jipur of Bara district
  5. “It has been forwarded to Ministry of Health, COVID-19 Crisis Management Centre for further discussions seeking their suggestions to conduct the study amid the pandemic,” one of the high officials at MoFA said.

(New Indian Express, 6 October 2020) News Link

  • IMS Noida Organized a National Webinar on “India Nepal Relations and Future Path

Key points:

  1. Institute of Management Studies Noida (IMS Noida) along with Antar Rashtriya Sahyog Parishad Bharat organized a national webinar on “India Nepal Relations and Future Path”.
  2. IMS Noida President Rajeev Kumar Gupta said the webinar provides a clear vision about India Nepal relation and helps to aware the society about what effective measurable step we need to take for future path to maintain a friendly relation.
  3. Addressing the audience Ex Former Foreign Secretary Shashank said that India’s relation with Nepal was too good. At last he said that in the longtime Nepal will definitely get to know that relation with India was beneficial for them.
  4. Former Indian Ambassador to Nepal Manjeev Singh Puri mentioned the ground reality of Nepal along with the truth that India think Nepal as their brother but Nepal doesn’t.

(Nyooz, 6 October 2020) News Link

  1. India Nepal border Dispute : भारतीय सीमा पर विशेषज्ञ समिति ने नेपाल सरकार को सौंपी रिपोर्ट

Key points:

  1. भारत से लगने वाली सीमा के बारे में ऐतिहासिक तथ्य जुटाने के लिए गठित विशेषज्ञों की समिति ने नेपाल सरकार को अपनी रिपोर्ट सौंप दी है। नेपाल सरकार ने इस समिति का गठन भारतीय इलाके कालापानी, लिपुलेख और लिंपियाधुरा पर अपने दावे को पुख्ता करने के मकसद से किया था। समिति ने अपनी रिपोर्ट विदेश मंत्री प्रदीप कुमार ज्ञावली को सौंपी है।
    (Dainik Jagran, 6 October 2020)
    News Link
  • Road Connecting Changru, Tinkar In Nepal To District Headquarters Inaugurated

Key points:

  1. The pedestrian road built by Nepal Army connecting Changru and Tinkar, the last villages along its border with China, to the district headquarters was inaugurated on October 5.
  2. The inauguration was done by Far-West Chief Minister Trilochan Bhatt. He was accompanied by several senior officials from the administration and the Army during the event.
  3. The Council of Ministers in Nepal had asked the Army to complete the 87 kilometers pedestrian road network in the region.
  4. The roads are in the vicinity of the bridge between India’s Dharchula, which lies in the Pithoragarh district, and Nepal.
  5. Nepal has been trying to strengthen its road network in the border areas after tensions with India.
    (Business World, 6 October 2020)
    News Link
  • Statement by Nepal about Bharat
  • Nepal requesting India to end onion export suspension before Dashain

Key points:

  1. बातचीत का एजेंडा नेपाल में भारत की सहायता से चल रहे प्रोजेक्ट्स बताए गए हैं| दोनों देश क्रॉस बॉर्डर ट्रेन सर्विस, एग्रीकल्चर, भूकंप के बाद री-कन्स्ट्रक्शन जैसे प्रोजेक्ट साथ कर रहे हैं।
  2. 2016 में नेपाल के तब के प्रधानमंत्री पुष्प कमल दहल उर्फ प्रचंड भारत आए थे। दोनों देशों ने आपसी विवाद सुलझाने और सहयोग बढ़ाने के लिए मैकेनिज्म तैयार किया था। 17 अगस्त को इसी मैकेनिज्म के तहत 8वीं बातचीत होगी।
  3. नेपाल की तरफ से विदेश मंत्रालय में सचिव शंकर दास बैरागी शामिल होंगे।

(Online Khabar, 6 October 2020) News Link

  1. Joint meeting of Nepal-India security officials heldKey points:
  2. The meeting dwelt on various issues and decided to control cross-border crime, maintain peace and security and check smuggling, among others.
  3. Similarly, Bihar Assembly elections are slated for October 28, September 3 and 7.The meeting decided to seal the Indo-Nepal border for three days and halt people’s movement along the border.
  4. The joint district-level meeting of Nepal and India’s districts along the Nepal-India border takes place twice a year. This meeting was conducted as per the same provision.

(The Himalayan Times, 6 October 2020) News Link

  1. कुलभूषण जाधव का केस लड़ने से पाकिस्तानी वकीलों का इनकार, क्या बिना सुनवाई होगा फैसला?

Key points:

  1. पाकिस्तानी अदालत में कैद भारतीय नागरिक कुलभूषण जाधव का केस लड़ने से पाकिस्तानी वकीलों ने साफ इनकार कर दिया है। इन वकीलों को इस्लामाबाद हाईकोर्ट ने जाधव की तरफ से केस लड़ने के लिए चुना था। पाकिस्तानी सरकार पहले ही उनकी तरफ से पैरवी करने के लिए भारतीय वकीलों को शामिल करने से मना कर चुकी है।
  2. इस्लामाबाद हाईकोर्ट ने पाकिस्तान के दो सबसे वरिष्ठ वकीलों आबिद हसन मिंटो और मखदूम अली खान से सहायता मांगी थी। दोनों ने खेद व्यक्त करते हुए कुलभूषण जाधव की ओर से कोर्ट में पेश होने से इनकार कर दिया है। उन्होंने हाईकोर्ट के रजिस्ट्रार कार्यालय को अपने फैसले के बारे में सूचित किया है। आबिद हसन मिंटो ने कहा कि वह सेवानिवृत्त हो गए हैं और अब वकालत नहीं करेंगे। वहीं, मखदूम अली खान ने अपनी व्यस्तताओं का हवाला दिया है।
  3. पाकिस्तान ने कुलभूषण जाधव के मामले में कोई भारतीय वकील या क्वींस कांउसल नियुक्त किए जाने की भारत की मांग को पहले ही खारिज कर चुका है। पाकिस्तान ने कहा था कि हमने भारत को सूचित किया है कि केवल उन वकीलों को पाकिस्तानी अदालतों में उपस्थित होने की अनुमति है जिनके पास पाकिस्तान में वकालत करने का लाइसेंस है। इस परिस्थिति में कोई बदलाव नहीं किया जा सकता। क्वींस काउंसल एक ऐसा बैरिस्टर या अधिवक्ता होता है, जिसे लॉर्ड चांसलर की सिफारिश पर ब्रिटिश महारानी के लिये नियुक्त किया जाता है।
  4. इससे पहले पाकिस्तान की संसद ने उस अध्यादेश को चार महीने के लिए विस्तार दे दिया जिसके तहत जाधव को हाई कोर्ट में अपील करने का मौका मिला है। इंटरनैशनल कोर्ट ऑफ जस्टिस ने आदेश पर पाकिस्तान यह अध्यादेश लाया था। जाधव तक राजनयिक पहुंच देने से मना किए जाने पर भारत ने 2017 में पाकिस्तान के खिलाफ आईसीजे का रुख किया था और एक सैन्य अदालत द्वारा उन्हें जासूसी और आतंकवाद के आरोप में अप्रैल 2017 में सुनाई गई मौत की सजा को चुनौती दी थी।

(Navbharat Times, 6 October 2020) News Link

  • Imran Khan claims Pakistan handled Covid better than India, but data says it’s complicated

Key points:

  1. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has claimed that the country has handled the coronavirus pandemic much better than India through the government’s ‘smart lockdown’.
  2. In episode 585 of ‘Cut the Clutter’, ThePrint’s Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta analysed whether Pakistan has actually been more successful than India in controlling the pandemic.When “dumb data’ on the number of cases and deaths per million from Pakistan is multiplied by 6.5, to equalise it with India’s population, we find that India has 22 times more cases than Pakistan, said Gupta
  3. Similarly, deaths due to Covid in India are 2.5 times more than Pakistan, he added. “Looking at this data, it seems that Pakistan is handling it enormously better than India”, he said.

(The Print, 6 October 2020) News Link

  • Scroll gives space to Pakistani author to blame India for tensions between the two countries

Key points:

  1. Scroll has republished an article initially published on Pakistani media outlet Dawn where Hindutva and India were blamed for a lack of peace between India and Pakistan. The article, authored by one Jawed Naqvi, was supposed to be a eulogy to the late Jaswant Singh but instead it becomes obvious through the course of it that it’s actual purpose is absolving Pakistan of all its sins.
  2. The article used fancy words to cloak the real source of tensions between the two countries. India and Pakistan are destined to be each other’s enemies due to the circumstances which led to the creation of the Republics in 1947. It would be extremely difficult for either of the two countries to look past the events of that period.

(Op India, 6 October 2020) News Link

  • Army JCO killed in Pakistan shelling along LoC in Jammu-Kashmir

Key points:

  1. A junior commissioned officer (JCO) of the army was killed in heavy shelling by Pakistani troops along the Line of Control in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, officials said.
  2. This was the fourth fatal casualty in ceasefire violations by Pakistan in the past five days. “A JCO was killed in unprovoked Pakistani firing and shelling in Nowshera sector of Rajouri,” the officials said
  3. Three army personnel were killed and five others injured in Pakistani firing and shelling on forward posts in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch and Naugam sector of Kupwara district on October 1.

(Hindustan Times, 6 October 2020) News Link

  1. India-China faceoff: 72,500 Sig assault rifles ordered for soldiers deployed at LAC in Ladakh

Key points:

  1. A new batch of 72,500 Sig-16 assault rifles from the US will be given to the Indian Army soldiers deployed on the China front in eastern Ladakh.
  2. The Indian government has approved the acquisition of the second batch of around 72,500 Sig Sauer assault rifles from the US under fast-track procedures for the Army.
  3. Amid the ongoing India-China border dispute, the Indian Army is going to place another order of 72,000 Sig 716 assault rifles from the US
  4. The Indian Army had been trying to replace their standard INSAS assault rifles for many years but attempts failed due to one reason or the other.

(India Today, 6 October 2020) News Link

Rising Bharat International News Feed: October 5th 2020

  1. Thailand-India Business Matching Week 2020 concluded with grand success

Key points:

  1. The Thailand-India Business Matching Week 2020 (Lifestyle Products) was held from 21-25 September 2020 (Monday – Friday). The essence of this trade platform was for SMEs, Brands & OEM suppliers from Thailand to connect with industry buyers from India to create new partnership opportunities by capturing the robust demand for trendy lifestyle products from Thailand.
  2. More than 300 business matching meetings took place during the period of this business matching event and Indian buyers were positive about the quality of products brought to the table by the Thai exhibitors.
  3. On the sidelines of the Thai-India Business Matching Week 2020, Mr. Tananon Praichan, President, Institute for Small and Medium Enterprises Development (ISMED), Thailand, said, “India and Thailand will be more open to find more business opportunities and understand each other better. We strongly believe that Thailand – India Business Matching Week will help find “real entrepreneurs” to grow India-Thailand trade and economy. I am happy to say that we got an incredibly positive feedback from the participants. I would like to use this opportunity to thanks OSMEP and Worldex for their support and incredible teamwork.”
  4. The Thailand-India Business Matching Week will bridge the demand-supply gap by boosting manufacturing and trading opportunities for Indian entrepreneurs. With India as a key business partner for Thailand, bilateral trade has increased 8 times since 2000 to reach US$ 12.12 billion in 2019 due to reduced tariff rates and new initiatives adopted by both countries.

(APN News, 5 October, 2020) News Link

  • Relation with Afghanistan
  • Afghan refugees in India cast adrift amid coronavirus pandemic

Key points:

  1. Afghanistan’s top negotiator for intra-Afghan talks Abdullah Abdullah will visit India and start his four-day trip from October 6. He as the Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation represents the Afghan govt in talks with Taliban which started in September in Doha.
  2. Joint Secretary, PAI or Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran division of Ministry of External Affairs, JP Singh had met him on the sidelines of the beginning of the intra-Afghan ceremony on September 12 in Doha.At the ceremony, India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had said, “Interests of minorities, women and vulnerable sections of society must be preserved and the issue of violence across the country and its neighbourhood has to be effectively addressed.”
  3. New Delhi is Afghanistan’s major development partner and has built number infrastructure projects in the country like India-Afghanistan friendship dam in the western province of Herat and the Afghan Parliament in capital Kabul.

(DW, 5 October 2020) News Link

  • Relation with Bhutan
  • Drawing competition held along Indo-Bhutan Border to observe Wildlife WeekKey points:
  • Indian and Bhutanese carriers are now permitted to operate services between India and Bhutan.
  • The Ministry of Civil Aviation has added more destinations, including Bhutan and Kenya, to the list of countries where Indians can fly. Air bubbles between India and Bhutan and India and Kenya have now become operational, with national carriers of all three nations aiming to restore commercial passenger services to pre-pandemic level.

(Sentinelassam, 5 Ocotber 2020) News Link

  • Relation with Bangladesh
  1. Tripura critical to India-Bangladesh ties: Indian envoy-designate to Bangladesh

Key points:

  1. The Northeast of India is “central” to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of “stronger, resilient and modern” India, and “Tripura is the gateway of the Northeast”, he told reporters after meeting Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Saturday.
  2. Indian High Commissioner-designate to Bangladesh Vikram Doraiswami has visited Tripura and a number of connectivity projects between India and Bangladesh before his scheduled arrival in Dhaka tomorrow.
  3. “As we develop our relationship with Bangladesh, our most important neighbouring country, it is going to be of great value to both the countries if our connectivity, travel, trade and people to people ties grow. To achieve this, Tripura is critical, that’s why I am here,” Doraiswami said..

(The Daily Start, 5 October 2020) News Link

  • Relation with African countries
    • PDS rice from Andhra Pradesh worth crores exported to Africa, Malaysia

Key points:

  1. It is in this context that India’s health sector partnerships with Africa need to be seen, which have the potential to build and strengthen a key pillar of the African economic success story and to gain from it. Over the years, Lines of credit (LoCs) have emerged as a key instrument of India’s economic diplomacy, along with Grant assistance, Small Development Projects (SDP), Technical Consultancy, Disaster Relief, and Humanitarian aid, as well as capacity-building programmes for civilian and military training under Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme (ITEC).
  2. Earlier research by ORF showed that India’s recent development cooperation strategy through its Indian Development and Economic Assistance Scheme (IDEAS) stressed on the principle of “development partnership” for “mutual benefit” with specific aims of promoting India’s exports, opening new markets for Indian companies, and securing natural resources, food, and energy.
  3. Africa has the largest number of  Indian LoCs but in terms of value, the largest proportion was offered to countries in India’s neighbourhood. The sectoral composition of India’s LoCs are dominated by projects range from drinking water schemes to irrigation, solar electrification, power plants, transmission lines, cement plants, technology parks, and railway infrastructure. While India is a major player in the African pharmaceutical scene, the quantum of LOCs directly linked to the health system have been relatively low.

(orfonline, 5 October 2020) News Link

  • European countries
  1. Indian diaspora opposes BJP MP Tejasvi Surya as speaker at Germany conference, call him ‘bigoted’

Key points:

  1. Indians in Germany, among various other organisations and collectives, have asked the consul general in Hamburg to remove Bharatiya Janata Party MP Tejasvi Surya from a startup conference speaker’s list, saying that a polarising figure like him should not find a safe haven in Europe, TwoCircles.net reported on Sunday.
  2. “It brings into question the spirit with which the event is conducted whether it is for all Indians or only for those who endorse or are fine with the polarising, abhorrent and dehumanising views held by Tejaswi Surya, which goes against the diverse community of Indians in Germany. It is extremely concerning to see an official platform is being given for such a controversial figure which will achieve nothing but further division and right-wing radicalisation on the German soil.”- The letter
  3. They pointed out that Surya believes that anyone opposed to the policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is “anti-India”, including Opposition leaders. “One wonders what then is democracy if the voices of Opposition and dissent are stifled,” the letter read. “Such statements bring shame to the largest democracy on global level.”
  4. Surya had also called those criticising the citizenship law as “uneducated, illiterate, and puncture-wallahs”, they wrote. The Bengaluru South MP had made the remarks to loud applause at the Town Hall in the city last year.

(Scroll, 5 October, 2020) News Link

  1. Vijay Mallya extradition: Not aware of ‘secret proceedings’ by UK court, govt tells SC

Key points:

  1. The Centre is not aware of the ‘secret’ ongoing proceedings of in the UK which are delaying Mallya’s extradition, the ministry of external affairs told Supreme Court
  2. The UK government can not set a timeline for extradition of Vijay Mallya, the British High Commissioner Sir Philip Barton earlier told

(Live Mint,5 October 2020) News Link

  • SpiceJet to operate India-UK flights from Dec 4

Key points:

  1. Budget carrier SpiceJet will launch non-stop flights connecting Delhi and Mumbai with London’s Heathrow airport starting December 4.
  2. Accordingly, SpiceJet will become the first Indian low-cost airline to operate flights to UK.
  3. These flights will operate under the air bubble agreement with UK.”The airline will operate thrice-a-week to London including twice from Delhi and once-a-week from Mumbai,” the airline said in a statement.

(Manfn,5 October 2020) News Link

  • Relation with US
  1. India-US 2 plus 2 on Oct 26-27, geospatial pact BECA to be signed

Key points:

  1. The third India-US two plus two dialogue is expected to take place here on October 26-27 with the Narendra Modi government ready to sign the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) for geo-spatial cooperation. The last of four military communication foundational agreements, BECA is an important precursor to India acquiring armed drones such as the MQ-9B from the US as the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) uses spatial data for pinpointed strikes on enemy targets.
  2. The India-US interaction at the ministerial level will expand sharply this month with external affairs minister S Jaishankar meeting his US counterpart Mike Pompeo at the Quad security dialogue in Tokyo on October 6.
  3. While the dates for the two plus two are being finalised, the signing of BECA will be a very significant development as it allows India to use global geo-spatial maps of the US for accuracy of stand-off weapons like cruise and ballistic missiles.
  4. The situation in Afghanistan will be discussed during the two plus two with India circumspect about peace in Kabul despite fully understanding the American decision to withdraw after 19 years. Even though India engaged the Taliban leadership at the Doha dialogue in September, it wants the Sunni conservative group to reduce violence in Afghanistan so that the country remains a republic and does not become an Islamic Emirate.

(Hindustan Times, 5 October 2020) News Link

  • US bars communists, but new norms not applicable to India

Key points:

  1. Members of the Communist Party and its affiliated organisations are barred from seeking immigration to the US, says new policy guidance from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  2. It does not seem to apply to members of the communist parties in India. A subsequent clause makes it clear that the targets are ruling communist parties in “totalitarian regimes”, such as China, Cuba and North Korea. The policy says the norm applies to members of a single political party, “organised on a dictatorial basis, with so close an identity with its governmental policies that the party and the government constitute an indistinguishable unit”. No communist party in India makes that cut.

(Tribune India, 5 October 2020) News Link

  • Welspun India Rating: buy; revival of US demand boosts outlook for firm

Key points:

  1. Members of the Communist Party and its affiliated organisations are barred from seeking immigration to the US, says new policy guidance from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  2. It does not seem to apply to members of the communist parties in India. A subsequent clause makes it clear that the targets are ruling communist parties in “totalitarian regimes”, such as China, Cuba and North Korea. The policy says the norm applies to members of a single political party, “organised on a dictatorial basis, with so close an identity with its governmental policies that the party and the government constitute an indistinguishable unit”. No communist party in India makes that cut.

(Tribune India, 5 October 2020) News Link

  • Goldilocks: How US Fed’s AIT framework could help India

Key points:

  1. India along with Indonesia and Philippines will be among the best placed economies in Asia as the region transitions from below-trend growth to a new “Goldilocks” phase in 2021.
  2. “Indeed, we think India, Indonesia, and the Philippines look better placed in this “Goldilocks” environment. They benefit most from the Fed’s AIT given their savings deficit. Vaccine availability would also go further in reducing risk aversion. Their higher structural growth and the potential for them to be relative beneficiaries from supply chain relocation could also enable them to take bigger strides in the recovery path”, Morgan Stanley said.
  3. These will also benefit more from vaccine availability as these have lagged in Covid-19 containment. The institutional responses to contain Covid-19 have been less effective in India, Indonesia, and the Philippines, so the potential for vaccine availability in 4Q20 and 1Q21 could go further in improving mobility and risk aversion by consumers and companies for these economies, compared to other parts of Asia ex Japan, it said.

(Sify, 5 October 2020) News Link

  1. हम दोनों मोर्चों पर जंग समेत किसी भी संघर्ष के लिए तैयार, हमारी क्षमताओं ने विरोधियों को चौंकाया: वायुसेना प्रमुख

Key points:

  1. आरकेएस भदौरिया ने कहा, हमने राफेल, चिनूक, अपाचे का परिचालन किया है और उन्हें रिकॉर्ड समय में संचालन की हमारी अवधारणा के साथ एकीकृत किया है। अगले 3 साल में हम राफेल और एलसीए मार्क 1 स्क्वाड्रन को पूरी ताकत के साथ चालू करेंगे। साथ ही अतिरिक्त मिग-29 का ऑर्डर दिया जाएगा, जो वर्तमान बेड़े में शामिल होगा। 
  2. उन्होंने कहा, राफेल के आने से वायुसेना की ताकत बढ़ी है और ये हमें आगे तक मजबूत करेगा। इसकी मदद से हम जल्दी और ठोस कार्रवाई कर पाएंगे। अगले पांच साल में तेजस, कॉम्बैट हेलिकॉप्टर, ट्रेनर एयरक्राफ्ट समेत कई अन्य ताकतवर हथियार वायुसेना की ताकत बनेंगे। 

(Amar Ujala, 5 October 2020) News Link.

Rising Bharat International News Feed: October 1st 2020

  • Relation with US
  1. COVID-19: US commits $1.9 million to India to support informal sector workers, micro enterprises

Key points:

  1. The US has committed USD 1.9 million to support vulnerable populations like informal sector workers whose livelihoods have been disrupted due to COVID-19.
  2. The financial assistance from US Agency for International Development (USAID), extended generously by the American people to partners in India, will support efforts to rebuild local economies and improve the livelihoods of Indians who have been hit hardest by this pandemic, US Ambassador to India Kenneth I Juster said.
  3. Revive will launch a USD 6.85 million blended finance facility in its first phase to provide accessible and affordable capital in the form of returnable grants or loans to self-employed workers and at-risk nano and micro enterprises to either sustain their work or find alternative business opportunities, it said.

(Financial Express, 1 October, 2020) News Link

  • Defence cooperation between India, US: US maritime aircraft lands in Andaman

Key points:

  1. Increased Defence cooperation between India and US is on. US maritime aircraft landed in Andaman when there was an ongoing standoff between India and China in the LAC. Relevantly, India and China Wednesday held the 5th round of diplomatic talks on the LAC standoff, and again agreed on the need to implement a “consensus” to disengage and also set the stage for the next commander level talks. The 19th meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) was seen as useful but still didn’t seem to move the two sides closer to a breakthrough. (Times of India, 1 October, 2020) News Link
  • US Recognises Arunachal as Indian Territory, Opposes China’s Attempts to Advance Territorial Claims

Key points:

  1. “For nearly six decades US has recognised Arunachal Pradesh as Indian territory. We strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to advance territorial claims by incursions, by military or civilian incursions across the established line of actual control,” news agency ANI quoted a senior official of US State Department.
  2. Encouraging the two countries to resolve the border issue through bilateral talks, the United States said, “And the disputed boundaries, all we can say is that we encourage India and China to use their existing bilateral channels to discuss those and not resort to military force.”

(News 18, 1 October, 2020) News Link

  • US, EU, Canada question India’s agriculture support practices at WTO

Key points:

  1. The developed country members complain that India’s trade practices are not transparent enough and seek more data on the trade of agricultural goods.
  2. The volley of questions has come at a time when India has amended its laws to further liberalise its agricultural trade and allow farmers and agri-businesses the freedom to produce, procure, store and sell agri-produce anywhere in the country and outside without government regulation.
  3. The CoA meeting, held on September 22-23 saw USA seeking response from India over the disclosure made by Food Corporation of India (FCI) that India had exported rice to Egypt commercially in 2016-17 and for humanitarian purposes in 2017-18. The USA saw this as an apparent contradiction to India’s stand that the government does not undertake exports on a commercial basis from public stockholdings. The USA wanted India to explain how the country enforces the ‘prohibition’ of exports on a commercial basis from public stockholdings. India was also asked to provide details of the pricing methodology that is being followed while food grains from public stockholding is offloaded in the open market for domestic sales.
  4. Quoting India’s position that ‘open market sales of food grains from public stockholding are made provided the buyer gives an undertaking of not exporting from such purchases’, the US wanted the country to explain how the buyer gives the undertaking and how it is enforced.
  5. The meeting also saw European Union (EU) seeking details of India’s agricultural loan waivers.  Noting that India has allocated $18 billion for distribution and buffer stock of food grains,  EU wanted to know how much of this amount is used for distribution and how much on operating the buffer stocks.  EU also sought a breakup of India’s $24.18 billion input subsidies to understand how much of this amount is going towards irrigation, fertilisers, electricity and fuel, mainly, diesel.
  6. Meanwhile, Canada sought details of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi

PM Modi releases Rs 17,000 crore to 8.5 crore farmers under PM-KISAN schem (PM-KISAN) programme. “Could India clarify who is eligible for this programme and what are the criteria that determined eligibility for a payment? Could India indicate if payment levels are determined by income of producers and if so, what is the defined and fixed base period used to define eligibility?” the country asked. Canada also expressed doubt over the eligibility of India’s Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) to be qualified for a “Green Box” or permitted subsidy treatment under WTO.

(Business World, 1 October, 2020) News Link

  • US Hails India Partnership As Crucial For Global Recovery From Covid-19

Key points:

  1. The US on Wednesday hailed its partnership with India on protective equipment and medical supplies during the “desperate” early days of the Covid-19 pandemic as the “clearest example” of positive global collaboration rising from one of its “most important partnerships in the world”.
  2. “India has been an important partner for the United States since the early days of the pandemic when countries were desperate for factual information about the virus and searching for personal protective equipment and other medical supplies,” a senior US State Department Official said during a background briefing on the ‘US-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership’.
  3. “Looking forward to the next six months and beyond. We know that our continued close cooperation with India will be an important part of the global recovery from the pandemic,” the US official said.
  4. “American company, Gilead has granted voluntary non-exclusive licensing agreements to Indian pharmaceutical companies to produce a generic form of remdesivir,” according to the State Department official.

(Ommcom News, 1 October, 2020) News Link

  • U.S. Firm Looks To Gain Ground In India’s Energy Storage Market

Key points:

  1. Gregory S. Poulos, CEO of ArcVera Renewables, told the Indian media a combination of factors had made the company take this decision to expand. He said, on the one hand, India is a large and rapidly growing renewables market. With the entry of energy tenders and hybrid project requirements, the country presents an even more complex and competitive market.
  2. U.S.-based ArcVera Renewables, which specializes in consulting and technical services, has announced its entry into India’s solar, wind and hybrid energy storage market.
  3. The Colorado-based ArcVera Renewables has over 40 years of global experience. The firm is now providing expert technical, financial and independent engineering services for stand-alone energy storage or hybrid projects.

(Oil Price, 1 October, 2020) News Link

  • भारतीय जमीन हड़पने को खूनी संघर्ष कर रहा चीन, ड्रैगन के विस्तारवादी रवैये की अमेरिका ने की निंदा

Key points:

  1. US की एक संसदीय रिपोर्ट में चीन के विस्तारवादी रवैये को उजागर किया गया है। इसमें कहा गया है कि बीजिंग दूसरे देशों की संप्रभुता का उल्लंघन कर रहा है। वह भारतीय जमीन हड़पने के लिए खूनी संघर्ष कर रहा है। रिपोर्ट में इन हरकतों की निंदा किए जाने के साथ ही ड्रैगन के खिलाफ सख्त कार्रवाई करने की सिफारिश भी की गई है।
  2. भारत और चीन के बीच पूर्वी लद्दाख में बीते करीब पांच महीने से तनातनी चल रही है। चीन हिंद-प्रशांत क्षेत्र में तेजी से सैन्य और आर्थिक प्रभाव बढ़ा रहा है। उसकी इन हरकतों से क्षेत्रीय देशों की चिंता बढ़ गई है। वह लगभग पूरे दक्षिण चीन सागर और पूर्वी चीन सागर पर अपना दावा करता है। उसने क्षेत्र में कई द्वीपों पर सैन्य अड्डे भी बना दिए हैं।

(Dainik Jagran, 1 October, 2020) News Link

  • भारतअमेरिका में स्वच्छ ऊर्जा को बढ़ावा देने को सीनेट में प्रस्ताव, फोरम

Key points:

  1. भारत-अमेरिका में स्वच्छ ऊर्जा को बढ़ावा देने को सीनेट में प्रस्ताव, फोरम स्थापित किए जाने की हुई बात
  2. डेमोक्रेटिक पार्टी के सांसद रॉबर्ट मेनेंडेज ने भारत के साथ स्वच्छ ऊर्जा और जलवायु सहयोग प्राथमिकता बिल पेश किया है। दोनों देशों में सहयोग के लिए यूएस-इंडिया क्लीन एनर्जी एंड पावर ट्रांसमिशन पार्टनरशिप (CEPTP) नाम से मुख्य फोरम बनाने की मांग की गई है।
  3. डेमोक्रेटिक पार्टी के सांसद रॉबर्ट मेनेंडेज ने भारत के साथ स्वच्छ ऊर्जा और जलवायु सहयोग प्राथमिकता बिल पेश किया है। दोनों देशों में सहयोग के लिए यूएस-इंडिया क्लीन एनर्जी एंड पावर ट्रांसमिशन पार्टनरशिप (CEPTP) नाम से मुख्य फोरम बनाने की मांग की गई है। सीईपीटीपी के तहत स्वच्छ ऊर्जा प्रौद्योगिकी की दिशा में संयुक्त अनुसंधान और विकास जैसी गतिविधियों को शामिल किया गया है।
  4. एक बयान में कहा गया है कि यह बिल जलवायु मसले पर भी भारत और अमेरिका के बीच सहयोग को बढ़ावा देता है। मेनेंडेज ने कहा, ‘जलवायु परिवर्तन के साझे खतरे और बिजली के लिए भारत में बढ़ती आवश्यकता के मद्देनजर दोनों देशों के बीच स्वच्छ ऊर्जा साझेदारी को मजबूत किए जाने की जरूरत है। इसी मकसद के साथ मैं यह बिल पेश कर रहा हूं।’

(Dainik Jagran, 1 October, 2020) News Link

  1. Onus on Pakistan for normal neighbourly ties, says India

Key points:

  1. India said it expects Pakistan to ensure the safety and security of the Indian high commission in Islamabad and its personnel following a “staged protest” outside the mission over the recent death of 11 Pakistani Hindus in Rajasthan.
  2. External affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava made the remarks during a weekly news briefing while answering a question on India’s overall relations with its neighbouring countries. He said India’s position on ties with Pakistan is well-known.
  3. “The government has conveyed that it desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan in an atmosphere free of terror, hostility and violence. The onus is on Pakistan for creating such an environment,” he said.
  4. Srivastava also said India expects Pakistan to ensure the safety and security of the Indian high commission in Islamabad and its personnel following a “staged protest” outside the mission over the recent death of 11 Pakistani Hindus in Rajasthan.
  5. He said the Pakistani Hindus, who were in India since September 2015, died after consuming a “toxic substance” and their deaths were reported to the external affairs ministry on August 8. In response to a communication from the Pakistani high commission in New Delhi seeking information on the incident, India had shared an interim response on August 14.“I would say it is the responsibility of the Pakistani authorities to ensure the safety and security of the Indian high commission in Islamabad and its personnel,” he added. (Hindustan Times, 1 October, 2020) News Link
  • Indian Army says Pakistan is trying to create a divide within the organisation via malicious campaign

Key points:

  1. Indian Army said that Pakistan has failed to create religion-based dissatisfaction within the countryShortly before Lt Gen Singh underlined the progress made since the creation of the post of CDS
  2. “Having failed consistently to incite religion-based disaffection within the country, Pakistan, in a desperate attempt, is now trying to create a divide within the Indian Army. Indian Army categorically rejects such malicious attempts to defame the institution,” the Indian Army said in a statement.

(Times Now News, 1 October, 2020) News Link

  • Actor Dilip Kumar seeks photos of ancestral home in Peshawar, gets lots of love from Pakistan

Key points:

  1. A provincial government in Pakistan decided to convert the ancestral homes of two legendary Indian actors Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor into museums under the Peshawar Revival Plan, a move that has earned a lot of praise. And when Kumar requested fans from across the border to share pictures of his ancestral home, they didn’t disappoint.
  2. Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Directorate of Archeology and Museums, in a letter issued on September 23, had said that it plans to declare the Kapoor Haveli as protected antiquity. It has further requested the Peshawar district administration to initiate the process for acquiring land for the ancestral homes of Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor.

(Indian Express, 1 October, 2020) News Link

  • जम्मूकश्मीर में LoC पर पाक की ओर से भारी गोलाबारी, सेना के तीन जवान शहीद

Key points:

  1. Jammu and Kashmir में पाकिस्तान की ओर से भारी गोलाबारी होने के बाद यहां पर तनाव के हालात बने हुए हैं। एलओसी से सटे हुए इलाकों में पाकिस्तानी गोलाबारी के बाद 3 भारतीय जवान शहीद हुए हैं।
  2. जम्मू-कश्मीर में भारी गोलाबारी के बाद एलओसी से सटे इलाकों में तनाव
  3. एलओसी से सटे नौगाम और केजी सेक्टर में पाकिस्तान ने बरसाए गोले
  4. नियंत्रण रेखा पर हुई गोलाबारी में भारतीय सेना के 3 जवान शहीद, हाई अलर्ट

(Navbharat Times, 1 October, 2020) News Link

  • विदेश मंत्रालय की प्रेसवार्ता, ढांचा विध्वंस फैसले पर पाक की टिप्पणी का दिया जवाब

Key points:

  1. ढांचा विध्वंस मामले में फैसले पर पाकिस्तान की टिप्पणी पर विदेश मंत्रालय के प्रवक्ता अनुराग श्रीवास्तव ने कहा कि भारत एक परिपक्व लोकतंत्र है जहां सरकार और जनता अदालत के फैसले का सम्मान करते हैं। यह ऐसी व्यवस्था के लिए कठिन हो सकता है जहां जनता और अदालत की आवाज को सरकार चुप करा देती है। 

(Amar Ujala, 1 October, 2020) News Link

  • जाधव के लिए वकील की नियुक्ति पर इस्लामाबाद हाईकोर्ट में सुनवाई 6 अक्तूबर को

Key points:

  1. पाकिस्तान की इस्लामाबाद हाईकोर्ट ने पाक की जेल में बंद भारतीय नागरिक कुलभूषण जाधव के लिए वकील की नियुक्ति के मामले में सुनवाई की तारीख तय कर दी है। गुरुवार को पाकिस्तानी मीडिया में आई रिपोर्ट्स के मुताबिक अदालत इस मामले पर छह अक्तूबर को सुनवाई करेगी। 
  2. हाईकोर्ट ने बीती तीन सितंबर को सरकार को निर्देश दिया था कि वह भारत को जाधव का प्रतिनिधित्व करने के लिए वकील नियुक्त करने का एक और मौका दे। वहीं, पाक ने कहा था कि उसने इसे लेकर न्यायिक आदेशों से भारत को अवगत कराया है लेकिन भारत ने कोई जवाब नहीं दिया।

(Amar Ujala, 1 October, 2020) News Link

  • Relation with Hongkong
  • चीन के राष्ट्रीय दिवस के मौके पर हांगकांग में प्रदर्शनकारी ने लहराया भारत का ध्वज

Key points:

  1. चीन आज अपना राष्ट्रीय दिवस मना रहा है। इस मौके पर हांगकांग में एक प्रदर्शनकारी ने भारत और चीन के बीच चल रहे सीमा तनाव को लेकर भारतीय सेना का समर्थन करते हुए भारतीय ध्वज लहराया। बता दें कि चीनी जन गणराज्य के गठन की 71वीं वर्षगांठ के लिए आठ दिनों की आधिकारिक छुट्टी की घोषणा की गई है।
  2. हांगकांग में प्रदर्शनकारी ने भारतीय ध्वज तिरंगा कॉजवे बे में लहराया। यहां प्रदर्शन की कम आशंकाओं के बावजूद भारी संख्या में पुलिस बल तैनात था। बता दें कि जून में हांगकांग की विधायिका द्वारा एक विवादास्पद विधेयक को मंजूरी दी गई थी। इसके तहत चीनी राष्ट्रगान का अपमान करना गैरकानूनी हो गया था। इसका अभी भी विरोध हो रहा है। 

(Amar Ujala,1 October, 2020) News Link

  1. China-India relations have great regional and global significance, go far beyond bilateral ties: Sun Weidong

Key points:

  1. ‘The growth of China and India is a global trend and an important opportunity for both countries’
  2. ‘China-India relations go far beyond the bilateral scope and have great regional and global significance’
  3. 6th round of India-China military commanders talks also failed to yeild results
  4. “The growth of China and India is a global trend and an important opportunity for both countries and the two sides should firmly grasp the general direction of the relationship, regard each other as positive factors in the changing balance of power in the world, and maturely manage their differences,” Global Times quoted Weidong as saying.
  5. He further said that a sound China-India relationship is an important and positive factor in maintaining world stability, and as two great civilizations, China and India can also make great contributions to building a community with a shared future for humankind.

(Times Now News, 1 October 2020) News Link

  • दुनिया की सबसे बड़ी सुरंग बना रहा चीन, भारत, पाकिस्तान, बांग्लादेश मेंमहाजलसंकट का खतरा

Key points:

  1. लद्दाख और अरुणाचल प्रदेश पर अपनी नजरें गड़ाए बैठा चीन अब अपने शिंजियांग प्रांत को अमेरिका के कैलिफोर्निया की तर्ज पर विकसित करने में लग गया है। विशेषज्ञों का कहना है कि ड्रैगन की इस चाल से भारत, पाकिस्‍तान और बांग्‍लादेश में करोड़ों लोगों के जीवन पर संकट आ जाएगा। दरअसल, चीन भारतीय उपमहाद्वीप में बहने वाली दो विशाल नदियों ब्रह्मपुत्र और सिंधु की धारा को बदलने में लग गया है जो करोड़ों लोगों के जीवन का आधार हैं। विशेषज्ञों का कहना है कि चीन के इस कदम का मकसद पानी को हथियार के रूप में इस्‍तेमाल करना है। उन्‍होंने सलाह दी है कि ड्रैगन की इस चाल को नाकाम करने के लिए भारत को ‘अंतरराष्‍ट्रीय बहुपक्षीय फ्रेमवर्क’ बनाना चाहिए।
  2. दरअसल, सिंधु और ब्रह्मपुत्र दोनों ही विशाल नदियां तिब्‍बत से शुरू होती हैं। सिंधु नदी पश्चिमोत्‍तर भारत से होकर पाकिस्‍तान के रास्‍ते अरब सागर में गिरती है। वहीं ब्रह्मपुत्र नदी पूर्वोत्‍तर भारत के रास्‍ते बांग्‍लादेश में जाती है। ये दोनों ही नदियां दुनिया की सबसे विशाल नदियों में शामिल हैं। चीन कई साल से ब्रह्मपुत्र नदी की दिशा को बदलने में लगा हुआ है। चीन ब्रह्मपुत्र नदी को यारलुंग जांगबो कहता है जो भूटान, अरुणाचल प्रदेश से होकर बहती है। ब्रह्मपुत्र और सिंधु दोनों ही नदियां चीन के शिंजियांग इलाके से निकलती हैं। सिंधु नदी लद्दाख के रास्‍ते पाकिस्‍तान में जाती है।
  3. अमेरिकी अखबार इपोच टाइम्‍स से बातचीत में लंदन के साउथ एशिया इंस्‍टीट्यूट के डॉक्‍टर बुरजिन वाघमार ने कहा, ‘वर्तमान प्रॉजेक्‍ट में ब्रह्मपुत्र नदी के पानी को 1000 किलोमीटर लंबी सुरंग बनाकर तिब्‍बत के पठार से ले जाते हुए तकलमकान तक ले जाना है। तकलमकान दक्षिण-पश्चिम शिंजियांग का रेगिस्‍तानी इलाका है।’ ब्रह्मपुत्र नदी को तिब्‍बत से निकालकर शिंजियांग ले जाने का सबसे पहले सुझाव किंग राजवंश ने 19वीं सदी में दिया था लेकिन इस पर आने वाला खर्च, इंजिनियरिंग से जुड़ी चुनौती और नदियों का अंतरराष्‍ट्रीय स्‍वरूप देखते हुए इसे लागू नहीं किया गया
  4. चीन ने पहले ही बह्मपुत्र की सहायक नदी शिआबूकू की धारा को पहले ही रोक दिया है। हाल ही में गलवान घाटी में सघर्ष के बाद चीन ने गलवान नदी के पानी को भी भारत में बहने से रोक दिया था। गलवान नदी सिंधु की एक सहायक नदी है और यह अक्‍साई चिन से निकलती है जिस पर चीन ने कब्‍जा कर रखा है। तिब्‍बती मामलों के जानकार क्‍लाउडे अर्पी के मुताबिक चीन सिंधु नदी की धारा को पश्चिमी तिब्‍बत में लद्दाख में घुसने से पहले ही उसे बदलकर शिंजियांग के तारिम घाटी की ओर मोड़ना चाहता है।
  5. चीन के सरकारी मीडिया ग्‍लोबल टाइम्‍स ने जुलाई वर्ष 2017 में इसकी पुष्टि की थी कि चीन के 20 व‍िशेषज्ञ जुलाई 2017 में शिंजियांग की राजधानी उरुमेकी में मिले थे और नदियों के बहाव को तिब्‍बत से मोड़कर शिंजियांग की ओर करने पर चर्चा की थी। चीनी इंजिनियरों का कहना है कि वे शिंजियांग को अमेरिका के कैलिफोर्निया राज्‍य की तर्ज पर विकसित करना चाहते हैं। इसके लिए 1000 किमी लंबी सुरंग के जरिए शिंजियांग में विशाल झरना बनाना चाहते हैं। दरअसल, चीन अब अपने पूर्वी क्षेत्र के विकास के बाद पश्चिमी इलाके में विकास को बढ़ावा देना चाहता है जो अभी काफी पिछड़ा हुआ है। शिंजियांग में पानी की भारी कमी है। इस कमी को तिब्‍बत से पानी लाकर पूरा किया जाएगा।
  6. तिब्‍बत से शिंजियांग तक पानी ले जाने वाली यह सुरंग बेहद खास होगी। इसको बनाने में प्रति किमी 14 करोड़ 73 लाख डॉलर का खर्च आएगा। इसके सुरंग के जरिए हर साल 10 से 15 अरब टन पानी भेजा जा सकेगा। चीन का दावा है कि इस परियोजना से चीन के इस इलाके में जलसंकट खत्‍म हो जाएगा। पहले चरण में चीन 29 जलाशयों का निर्माण करेगा जिसकी कुल क्षमता 21.8 अरब क्‍यूबिक मीटर पानी को धारण करने की है। उधर, विशेषज्ञों का कहना है कि इस सुरंग से जैव विविधता बर्बाद हो जाएगी और भूकंप के आने का भी खतरा रहेगा। इतिहास में पहले भी इस तरह के प्रयास हुए हैं लेकिन उसका प्रभाव बहुत ही विनाशकारी रहा है।
  7. ड्रैगन के इस प्‍लान से भारत, पाकिस्‍तान और बांग्‍लादेश के करोड़ों लोगों के जीवन पर महासंकट आ सकता है। भारत का पूर्वोत्‍तर का इलाका और बांग्‍लादेश बह्मपुत्र के बिना तो जीवन की कल्‍पना भी नहीं कर सकते हैं। यही हाल लद्दाख और पाकिस्‍तान का सिंधु के जल को लेकर है। विशेषज्ञों का कहना है कि चीन अब पानी को ‘हथियार’ के रूप में इस्‍तेमाल करना चाहता है। चीन की योजना ब्रह्मपुत्र नदी को भारतीय सीमा से ठीक पहले सांगरी काउंटी में मोड़ने की है। इसी इलाके में भारत और चीन डोकलाम को लेकर वर्ष 2017 में भिड़ चुके हैं। इस घटना के बाद चीन व्‍यापक पैमाने पर आधारभूत ढांचे बनाने में जुटा हुआ है।
  8. विशेषज्ञों का कहना है कि चीन इस विशाल सुरंग के जरिए नदियों को नियंत्रित करके भारतीय अर्थव्‍यवस्‍था के लिए चोक प्‍वाइंट बनाना चाहता है। यही नहीं इन परियोजनाओं की रक्षा के लिए चीन बड़े पैमाने पर सेना की तैनाती करनी पड़ेगी और इससे भारत की समस्‍या बढ़ जाएगी। चीन ज‍ितना ज्‍यादा तिब्‍बत में विकास करेगा, उसे उतना ज्‍यादा ही सैनिकों की तैनाती करनी पड़ेगी। इससे भारतीय सीमा पर उसकी सैन्‍य तैनाती तनाव को और भड़काने का काम करेगी। चीन अभी भारत के सड़क और पुल बनाने पर भड़का हुआ है। सिंधु नदी पाक अधिकृत गिलगित-बाल्टिस्‍तान के रास्‍ते पाकिस्‍तान के गेहूं पैदा करने वाले राज्‍य पंजाब से होते हुए जाती है। चीन के कदम से वहां पानी का गंभीर संकट पैदा हो जाएगा। विशेषज्ञ इस चीनी संकट से निपटने के लिए भारत को अमेरिका, जापान और ऑस्‍ट्रेलिया का साथ लेने की सलाह दे रहे हैं।

(Navbahrat Times, 1 October, 2020) News Link

  • Relation with North American countries
    • Reliance Industries buys Canadian heavy crude to offset Venezuelan decline: Report

Key points:

  1. Indian oil refiner Reliance Industries has agreed to purchase 2 million barrels of Canadian heavy crude per month, three industry sources said, as a substitute for dwindling Venezuelan supply. The deal, large for Canada, shows how global buyers are scrambling for new sources of heavy oil. Venezuela’s production has collapsed over the last several years, and US sanctions have squeezed its ability to sell oil to international buyers, including Reliance.
  2. Reliance’s purchases from Canada will last for six months, two sources said, while a third said it was confirmed for at least the fourth quarter.
  3. With “Venezuela’s collapse in production, (demand) needs to be met by someone,” said a Canadian industry source, who was not authorized to speak publicly.

(Times of India, 1 October, 2020) News Link

  • US, EU, Canada question India’s agriculture support practices at WTO

Key points:

  1. The developed country members complain that India’s trade practices are not transparent enough and seek more data on the trade of agricultural goods.
  2. The volley of questions has come at a time when India has amended its laws to further liberalise its agricultural trade and allow farmers and agri-businesses the freedom to produce, procure, store and sell agri-produce anywhere in the country and outside without government regulation.
  3. The CoA meeting, held on September 22-23 saw USA seeking response from India over the disclosure made by Food Corporation of India (FCI) that India had exported rice to Egypt commercially in 2016-17 and for humanitarian purposes in 2017-18. The USA saw this as an apparent contradiction to India’s stand that the government does not undertake exports on a commercial basis from public stockholdings. The USA wanted India to explain how the country enforces the ‘prohibition’ of exports on a commercial basis from public stockholdings. India was also asked to provide details of the pricing methodology that is being followed while food grains from public stockholding is offloaded in the open market for domestic sales.
  4. Quoting India’s position that ‘open market sales of food grains from public stockholding are made provided the buyer gives an undertaking of not exporting from such purchases’, the US wanted the country to explain how the buyer gives the undertaking and how it is enforced.
  5. The meeting also saw European Union (EU) seeking details of India’s agricultural loan waivers.  Noting that India has allocated $18 billion for distribution and buffer stock of food grains,  EU wanted to know how much of this amount is used for distribution and how much on operating the buffer stocks.  EU also sought a breakup of India’s $24.18 billion input subsidies to understand how much of this amount is going towards irrigation, fertilisers, electricity and fuel, mainly, diesel.
  6. Meanwhile, Canada sought details of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi

PM Modi releases Rs 17,000 crore to 8.5 crore farmers under PM-KISAN schem (PM-KISAN) programme. “Could India clarify who is eligible for this programme and what are the criteria that determined eligibility for a payment? Could India indicate if payment levels are determined by income of producers and if so, what is the defined and fixed base period used to define eligibility?” the country asked. Canada also expressed doubt over the eligibility of India’s Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) to be qualified for a “Green Box” or permitted subsidy treatment under WTO.

(Business World, 1 October, 2020) News Link

  1. COVID-19: US commits $1.9 million to India to support informal sector workers, micro enterprises

Key points:

  1. The US has committed USD 1.9 million to support vulnerable populations like informal sector workers whose livelihoods have been disrupted due to COVID-19.
  2. The financial assistance from US Agency for International Development (USAID), extended generously by the American people to partners in India, will support efforts to rebuild local economies and improve the livelihoods of Indians who have been hit hardest by this pandemic, US Ambassador to India Kenneth I Juster said.
  3. Revive will launch a USD 6.85 million blended finance facility in its first phase to provide accessible and affordable capital in the form of returnable grants or loans to self-employed workers and at-risk nano and micro enterprises to either sustain their work or find alternative business opportunities, it said.

(Financial Express, 1 October, 2020) News Link

  1. Amnesty shuts India operations: UK, USCIRF raise issue with govt

Key points:

  1. When contacted, a British High Commission spokesperson said, “The UK’s Minister for South Asia and our Acting High Commiss-ioner in New Delhi met Indian government representatives after Amnesty International India’s accounts were frozen, to emphasise the importance of organisations like this being able to continue their work. The UK is seeking further information on recent decisions affecting Amnesty and believes the freedom of civil society organisations to operate underpins any functioning democracy.”
  2. The USCIRF said it is “concerned by reports of the halting of operations of Amnesty India, particularly since it appears related to Amnesty’s investigations into and reporting on religious freedom violations in India”. Earlier, EU spokesperson Nabila Massrali had said, “Not prejudging the outcome of any investigation or judicial proceedings, the EU… hopes that the matter will be resolved allowing Amnesty to continue its activities in India without interruption.”

(Indian Express,1 October, 2020) News Link

  • Bizman being quizzed in AgustaWestland says can’t return to India from UK

Key points:

  1. Highlighting the impact to the party, Bob in his letter to the Chairman of Conservative Party Amanda Milling said, “creation of this “conservative friends” group….risks alienating the diaspora that we have worked so hard and for so long, to cultivate and encourage to switch to our party. I cannot emphasize enough how emotive this issue is to our Indian diaspora.”
  2. “Jammu and Kashmir is internationally recognized as a state of India and we do not have any other “conservative friends” that represent other areas of India…Party Policy is that security in Jammu and Kashmir is an internal matter for India and you know that I have previously written to PM regarding the issue and he reiterated Party Policy on Jammu and Kashmir both in writing and also on the floor of the house of commons”.
  3. The official stance of the Conservative Party and UK government on Kashmir is that is bilateral matter between India and Pakistan.
  4. The recent UK general elections saw the Indian diaspora shifting from Labour Party to the Conservative due to the former’s stance on Kashmir.  In fact, the decision taken at the Labour party conference on Kashmir, which was seen as considerably anti-India led to switching of allegiance of the British Indians to conservatives.
  5. Bob elaborated that, “creation of the so-called conservative friends of Kashmir will cause severe tensions” between the already existing groups – conservative friends of India and conservative friends of Pakistan and “alienate a large percentage of voters” (Wion News,1 October, 2020) News Link
  • European countries
  1. Now, Germany withdraws permission for AI Frankfurt flights till October 14; 12 flights cancelled

Key points:

  1. The ongoing air bubble disagreement between India and Germany has taken a turn for the worse. Germany has now withdrawn permission for Air India to operate flights to Frankfurt. “All our flights to and from Frankfurt till October 14 have been cancelled due to that withdrawal of permission by German authorities,” said an Air India official. Twelve AI flights — 10 on Delhi-Frankfurt and two on Bengaluru-Frankfurt — have been cancelled till October 14. The German move comes after Lufthansa had cancelled all its India flights till October 20.
  2. At the moment, France is the only EU country with which India currently has flights under the air bubble agreement. AI and Lufthansa will resume flights between India and Germany from later this month.

(Times of India, 1 October, 2020) News Link

  • US, EU, Canada question India’s agriculture support practices at WTO

Key points:

  1. The developed country members complain that India’s trade practices are not transparent enough and seek more data on the trade of agricultural goods.
  2. The volley of questions has come at a time when India has amended its laws to further liberalise its agricultural trade and allow farmers and agri-businesses the freedom to produce, procure, store and sell agri-produce anywhere in the country and outside without government regulation.
  3. The CoA meeting, held on September 22-23 saw USA seeking response from India over the disclosure made by Food Corporation of India (FCI) that India had exported rice to Egypt commercially in 2016-17 and for humanitarian purposes in 2017-18. The USA saw this as an apparent contradiction to India’s stand that the government does not undertake exports on a commercial basis from public stockholdings. The USA wanted India to explain how the country enforces the ‘prohibition’ of exports on a commercial basis from public stockholdings. India was also asked to provide details of the pricing methodology that is being followed while food grains from public stockholding is offloaded in the open market for domestic sales.
  4. Quoting India’s position that ‘open market sales of food grains from public stockholding are made provided the buyer gives an undertaking of not exporting from such purchases’, the US wanted the country to explain how the buyer gives the undertaking and how it is enforced.
  5. The meeting also saw European Union (EU) seeking details of India’s agricultural loan waivers.  Noting that India has allocated $18 billion for distribution and buffer stock of food grains,  EU wanted to know how much of this amount is used for distribution and how much on operating the buffer stocks.  EU also sought a breakup of India’s $24.18 billion input subsidies to understand how much of this amount is going towards irrigation, fertilisers, electricity and fuel, mainly, diesel.
  6. Meanwhile, Canada sought details of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi

PM Modi releases Rs 17,000 crore to 8.5 crore farmers under PM-KISAN schem (PM-KISAN) programme. “Could India clarify who is eligible for this programme and what are the criteria that determined eligibility for a payment? Could India indicate if payment levels are determined by income of producers and if so, what is the defined and fixed base period used to define eligibility?” the country asked. Canada also expressed doubt over the eligibility of India’s Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) to be qualified for a “Green Box” or permitted subsidy treatment under WTO.

(Business World, 1 October, 2020) News Link

  • Relation with Burma
  • म्यांमार में सित्वे पोर्ट का संचालन करेगा भारत, पूर्वोत्तर राज्यों पर चीन के खतरे को कम करने में मिलेगी मदद

Key points:

  1. धीमी गति से ही सही लेकिन भारत ने पड़ोसी देशों में पैर फैला रहे ड्रैगन की साजिशों पर लगाम के लिए अपनी योजनाओं को अमली जामा पहनाना शुरु कर दिया है। इस क्रम में म्यांमार में स्थित सित्वे बंदरगाह का संचालन भारत अगले वर्ष की पहली तिमाही में शुरु कर देगा। यह किसी दूसरे देश में दूसरा बंदरगाह होगा जिसका संचालन भारत करेगा।
  2. सित्वे पोर्ट की सबसे बड़ी अहमियत इसलिए है कि पूर्वोत्तर राज्यों को सामान आपूíत करने के लिए अब सिक्कम-पश्चिम बंगाल के गलियारे पर निर्भरता खत्म हो जाएगी। इसकी दूसरी अहमियत यह है कि भारत चीन के प्रभाव के बावजूद म्यांमार के साथ एक अलग कूटनीतिक व रणनीतिक संबंध बनाने में सफल रहा है।
  3. गुरूवार को दोनो देशों के विदेश मंत्रालयों के बीच एक अहम बैठक हुई जिसमें द्वपिक्षीय रिश्तों की नए सिरे से समीक्षा की गई। यह हाल के दिनों में तीसरे पड़ोसी देश के साथ सहयोग बैठक थी। इसके पहले श्रीलंका के साथ शिखर बैठक व बांग्लादेश के साथ विदेश मंत्रियों के स्तर पर बैठक हुई है। म्यांमार के साथ विमर्श बैठक को संबोधित करते हुए विदेश सचिव हर्ष श्रृंगला ने पड़ोसी देश के लिए कई तरह की सहयोग योजनाओं का ऐलान किया।
  4. श्रृंगला ने अपने भाषण में कहा कि, भारत अभी म्यांमार को 1.4 अरब डॉलर की मदद कर रहा है। कोविड महामारी के बावजूद हम अगले वर्ष की पहली तिमाही में सित्वे परियोजना का संचालन शुरु करने जा रहे हैं। इसके अलावा भारत-म्यांमार-थाईलैंड को जोड़ने वाली ट्राइलेटरल हाइवे पर निíमत होने वाली 69 पुलों के निर्माण के लिए जल्द ही निविदा आमंत्रित किया जाने वाला है।

(Dainik Jagran, 1 October, 2020) News Link

  1. Indian Ambassador Calls On Thailand Senate Speaker

Key points:

  1. Indian Ambassador Suchitra Durai on Thursday called on President of the Senate of Thailand, Pornpetch Wichitcholchai.
  2. The Indian Embassy in Thailand said that New Delhi and Bangkok have a long history of parliamentary cooperation.
  3. “Ambassador Suchitra Durai called on the President of the Senate of Thailand H.E Mr Pornpetch Wichitcholchai. India and Thailand have a long history of parliamentary cooperation,” India in Thailand tweeted.

(Business World, 27 September, 2020) News Link

Rising Bharat International News Feed: September 25th 2020

  1. India tells China: We will discuss A to Z, not just south bank of Pangong Tso Key points:
  2. Sources said that China is not ready to accept that it first transgressed across the line of actual control (LAC) and is insisting that talks should be held on disengagement from South banks of Pangong Tso where India has occupied strategic heights.
  3. Sources said that China had started breaking protocol after Doklam which said that not more than 15-20 soldiers will patrol the LAC. But Chinese army started sending bigger patrol consisting of 50-100 soldiers and this number kept on increasing every year. These bigger Chinese patrol used to push Indian teams. PLA soldiers first started stone pelting and then brought improvised weapons like iron rods studded with nails to attack Indian patrols.
  4. “Now Indian soldiers are directly warning Chinese soldiers that we will fire if you will come near us for attack. Chinese soldiers have also understood that if they will come in large numbers to attack Indian soldiers they will suffer bigger losses,” said sources.
  5. “Now we will not allow Chinese to follow their old strategy of coming in large numbers with improvised weapons and attacking Indian soldiers,” said sources.
  6. Sources said that China is also preparing to stay in the Ladakh sector during winters. “We cannot believe in everything China says. Joint statement is good but whatever China is saying should also be reflected on the ground,” said sources.

(Deccan Chronicle, 25 September, 2020) News Link.

  • Indian soldiers at LAC have go-ahead to open fire in self-defence, India tells China

Key points:

  1. With no signs of disengagement on the ground in Ladakh, where India and China have been locked in a stand-off since April, both sides will stay dug in during the region’s bitter winter too.
  2. India has made it clear to China that its soldiers will open fire to defend themselves, and Chinese tactics of “using mass” — or seeking to outnumber Indian soldiers, like in the 15 June Galwan Valley clash — will not be tolerated, top government sources said.
  3.  “We have told our soldiers that they can open fire if there is a fear of their own safety. They can fire for self-defence,” a source said, adding that China has been told the same.
  4. The Chinese, sources said, have told the Indian side that five of their soldiers, including a commanding officer, had died in the clash. “If the Chinese are saying five, we can easily double it if not triple it,” a top South Block officer said. “The Chinese tactic was to come in large numbers with clubs and crude weapons and surround Indians, who followed the laid-down protocols and moved in a much lesser manner,” one of the sources quoted above said.
  5. “According to the agreement, both sides are supposed to have a 15-20-member-strong patrol team. Over the last few years (since Doklam), the Chinese started increasing numbers,” the source added..

(The Print, 25 September, 2020) News Link.

  • Indian soldiers at LAC have go-ahead to open fire in self-defence, India tells China

Key points:

  1. With no signs of disengagement on the ground in Ladakh, where India and China have been locked in a stand-off since April, both sides will stay dug in during the region’s bitter winter too.
  2. India has made it clear to China that its soldiers will open fire to defend themselves, and Chinese tactics of “using mass” — or seeking to outnumber Indian soldiers, like in the 15 June Galwan Valley clash — will not be tolerated, top government sources said.
  3.  “We have told our soldiers that they can open fire if there is a fear of their own safety. They can fire for self-defence,” a source said, adding that China has been told the same.
  4. The Chinese, sources said, have told the Indian side that five of their soldiers, including a commanding officer, had died in the clash. “If the Chinese are saying five, we can easily double it if not triple it,” a top South Block officer said. “The Chinese tactic was to come in large numbers with clubs and crude weapons and surround Indians, who followed the laid-down protocols and moved in a much lesser manner,” one of the sources quoted above said.
  5. “According to the agreement, both sides are supposed to have a 15-20-member-strong patrol team. Over the last few years (since Doklam), the Chinese started increasing numbers,” the source added..

(The Print, 25 September, 2020) News Link.

  • India-China stand-off: Must avoid changing LAC status quo, says MEA

Key points:

  1. The government said it was important to avoid changing the status quo in border areas while India and China continue their discussions to achieve complete disengagement in all friction areas and to ensure full restoration of peace and tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
  2. The seventh round of military commanders meeting as well as the next round of Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) talks between Indian and Chinese officials will be scheduled “soon”, the MEA said on Thursday.
  3. LAC stand-off: Complete coverage Responding to questions on the state of play in eastern Ladakh between Indian and Chinese troops after the sixth round of talks between military commanders on Monday, MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said the meeting took place after a gap of 50 days but resulted in the first joint statement by India and China following such discussions.
  4. He interpreted this to reflect “the stated commitment of both sides to disengage along the LAC”. Observing that disengagement was a “complex” affair which would ultimately involve two armies moving back to permanent positions on their own side of the LAC, Srivastava said, “Even as two sides work towards complete disengagement in all friction areas, it is at the same time also necessary to ensure stability on the ground.

(Times of India, 25 September, 2020) News Link.

  • Relation with US
  1. “If We Can Help, Would Love To Help”: Trump On India-China Border Row

Key points:

  1. “I know that China now, and India, are having difficulty, and very very substantial difficulty. And hopefully, they will be able to work that out,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
  2. “That is, Chinese aggression in this instance has been so blatant that the United States could not stand by and either ignore it or not come to India”s defence,” said Tellis, the Tata Chair for Strategic Affairs.

(NDTV, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  • Statement by China about Bharat
  1. चीन ने पहली बार बताया, गलवान घाटी संघर्ष में मारे गए कितने चीनी सैनिक

Key points:

  1. गलवान घाटी हिंसा में कितने चीनी सैनिक मारे गए थे, इसके रहस्‍य का पर्दा उठता नजर आ रहा
  2. चीन ने भारत के साथ बैठक में पहली बार बताया है कि गलवान घाटी में उसके 5 सैनिक मारे गए थे
  3. इसमें चीनी सेना का एक कमांडिंग ऑफिसर भी शामिल था, भारत के भी 20 सैनिक शहीद हुए थे (Navbharat Times, 25 September 2020) News Link.
  1. India targets Pakistan at UN body over counter-terrorism record

Key points:

  1. “It is very unfortunate that a country which perpetrated terrorist attacks in Mumbai (2008), Pathankot (2016), Uri and Pulwama is now preaching to the world community,” Mahaveer Singhvi, joint secretary (counter-terrorism) in the external affairs ministry said in his intervention during the meeting with the theme “The global scourge of terrorism: Assessment of high risk threats and trends including the rise of violent extremism and hate speech in a pandemic environment”.
  2. “While the world is coming together to battle the pandemic, it is unfortunate that Pakistan, a state which sponsors cross-border terrorism, continues to use every opportunity to peddle false narratives and make baseless, malicious and egregious allegations against India and interfere in our internal affairs,” Mahaveer Singhvi, joint secretary (counter-terrorism) in the external affairs ministry said, adding that the statement by Pakistan’s representative at the meeting was part of this pattern.
  3. Mahaveer Singhvi, joint secretary (counter-terrorism) in the external affairs ministry added, “Even as Pakistan provides shelter and support to terrorists, it continues to peddle a false and motivated narrative on the situation in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. It is seeking to portray its military, financial [and] logistical support to cross-border terrorism against India as a freedom struggle. It is also peddling misinformation about India’s domestic legislation and policies.”
  4. “Pakistan’s role as epicentre of terrorism has been well documented by numerous international organisations including UN and FATF. Unlike Pakistan, India does not make any distinction between terrorists and invariably condemns terror attacks anywhere in the world, including the one in Karachi, referred to by Pakistan’s representative in his statement,” Mahaveer Singhvi, joint secretary (counter-terrorism) in the external affairs ministry said.

(Times Now News, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  • Won’t allow India to appoint foreign lawyer for Kulbhushan Jadhav: Pakistan

Key points:

  1. Pakistan has once again made it clear that it will not accept India’s demand of having a foreign lawyer to represent Kulbhushan Jadhav in the review and reconsideration case being heard at the Islamabad High Court (IHC), leaving his fate in the hands of the Pakistani courts.
  2. While responding to a query whether Pakistan would be executing Jadhav or not, Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, responded at a weekly media briefing: “Pakistan being a responsible member of International community is fully cognizant of its obligation to comply with the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) decision.”I cannot predict what the decision in the matter would be, but effective review and reconsideration in the case can only be provided by Courts in Pakistan.”Elaborating more about the details and proceedings of the case, Chaudri said Jadhav confessed to his involvement in terrorist activities in Pakistan.

(Times Now News, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  • Won’t allow India to appoint foreign lawyer for Kulbhushan Jadhav: Pakistan

Key points:

  • Pakistan has once again made it clear that it will not accept India’s demand of having a foreign lawyer to represent Kulbhushan Jadhav in the review and reconsideration case being heard at the Islamabad High Court (IHC), leaving his fate in the hands of the Pakistani courts.
  • While responding to a query whether Pakistan would be executing Jadhav or not, Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, responded at a weekly media briefing: “Pakistan being a responsible member of International community is fully cognizant of its obligation to comply with the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) decision.”I cannot predict what the decision in the matter would be, but effective review and reconsideration in the case can only be provided by Courts in Pakistan.”Elaborating more about the details and proceedings of the case, Chaudri said Jadhav confessed to his involvement in terrorist activities in Pakistan.

(Times Now News, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  • Don’t need lessons on human rights from Pakistan’: India hits back at Pak Foreign Minister’s OIC meet

Key points:

  1. It’s a matter of great concern that population of religious minorities has reduced to an insignificant number in Pakistan: India at UN
  2. The world doesn’t need lessons on human rights from a country known as epicentre of terrorism: india

(Times Now News, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  • Proscribed terror outfits in Pakistan collecting funds in name of charity: India tells UN

Key points:

  1. Speaking at the debate ‘Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention’, Pawan Badhe highlighted how “malevolent attempts by terrorists” has been observed whose aim is “to exploit the financial and emotional distress caused by the lock-downs to disturb the cohesiveness of societies”.
  2. India also raised the issue of fake news and detailed how “increased presence of people online and on social media has been targeted by terrorists to disseminate misinformation through hate speeches, fake news and doctored videos” with the intent to “entice and establish links with vulnerable individuals and recruit them in their cadres.”

(DNA India, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  • Pakistan playing SAARC spoiler with terror, trade hurdles: Jaishankar

Key points:

  1. Jaishankar, in his comments on the virtual meeting, said, “Cross-border terrorism, blocking connectivity and obstructing trade are three key challenges that SAARC must overcome. Only then will we see enduring peace, prosperity and security in our South Asia region.”
  2. He urged SAARC member states to collectively resolve to defeat terrorism, including the forces that nurture, support and encourage an environment of terror and conflict, which impede the objective of SAARC to realise its full potential for collective collaboration and prosperity across South Asia, according to a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs.

(Indian Express, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  • Pakistan playing SAARC spoiler with terror, trade hurdles: Jaishankar

Key points:

  1. Jaishankar, in his comments on the virtual meeting, said, “Cross-border terrorism, blocking connectivity and obstructing trade are three key challenges that SAARC must overcome. Only then will we see enduring peace, prosperity and security in our South Asia region.”
  2. He urged SAARC member states to collectively resolve to defeat terrorism, including the forces that nurture, support and encourage an environment of terror and conflict, which impede the objective of SAARC to realise its full potential for collective collaboration and prosperity across South Asia, according to a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs.

(Indian Express, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  • Indian fisherman shot at by Pakistan personnel

Key points:

  1. Five fisherman from Porbandar were fishing near the International Marine Boundary Line (IMBL) separating the marine border between India and Pakistan off Jakhau coast in Kutch district on Wednesday. Suddenly a Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) boat intercepted the Indian fishermen’s boat ‘Devlok’ and started firing unprovoked.
  2. Four shots were fired of which one hit fisherman was identified as Dhiru Bambhania (38) in his hand. Bambhania along with four other fishermen had set sail in the boat on September 6.
  3. “The PMSA boat first rammed into the Indian fishing boat and then the PMSA personnel fired four rounds at the Indian boat. One bullet hit Bambhania’s hand,” said Manish Lodhari, former president of Porbandar Fishermen’s Association.
  4. “After the incident, ‘Devlok’ sped towards Porbandar and the boat reached the safety of Porbandar shores on Thursday morning. We have urged the central government to deploy Indian coast guard and Indian Navy at the IMBL to thwart and deter misadventures by the PMSA,” Lodhari added.
  5. Last week, the PMSA had apprehended 16 boats with 56 Indian fishermen on board near the IMBL. At present there are more than 600 Indian fishermen lodged in the Pakistani jails, while more than 1,100 boats are in Pakistan’s custody.

(Times of India, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  1. UK plans human challenge studies for Covid vaccine; India says no to the idea  Key points:
  2. UK has become the first country in the world to announce that it will host human challenge studies, in which participants are deliberately injected with a pathogen to assess if a certain vaccine works, for Covid-19 vaccines. This is a proposition that India has considered but chosen not to follow, said senior officials in Union Health Ministry and the ICMR.
  3. What happens if somebody deliberately injected with the virus goes on to have severe form of the disease?” questioned Dr Samiran Panda, chief scientist with the ICMR. “That’s why we are not considering such a testing in Indian context.” Experts pointed out that human challenge trials have been done in the past, but not lately due to ethical issues.

(New Indian Express, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  • West Bengal Government and UK India Business Council Sign MoU to Strengthen the State”s Industrial Development

Key points:

  1. The MoU was signed at a virtual roundtable by Ms. Vandana Yadav, Secretary, Industry, Commerce & Enterprises Department & Managing Director, West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC), Government of West Bengal and Mr Kevin McCole, Managing Director, UKIBC in the presence of Mr Nick Low, Deputy High Commissioner, British Deputy High Commission – Kolkata.
  2. The MoU was signed as part of a virtual roundtable, which examined measures to support businesses in a post-COVID-19 world. What was clear is that Governments and industry are looking beyond the current crisis to re-shape and strengthen economies, supply chains, socio-economic development and business norms post-COVID-19.
  3. Speaking about the MoU, Nick Low, British Deputy High Commissioner – Kolkata, “UK and India share great synergies in trade and investment which have only grown in recent years. I am delighted to see the renewal of the MoU between UKIBC and WBIDC which is a testament to the ever increasing engagement between the UK businesses and the Government of West Bengal.

(Outlook India, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  • Doors Still Open For India To Co-Develop ‘Tempest’ Sixth-Gen Fighter Jet With The UK

Key points:

  1. Officials of the British Ministry of Defense (MoD) along with executives from BAE Systems were expected to brief Indian Defence Ministry and Indian Air Force (IAF) officials regarding the project. Nik Khanna, head of BAE Systems India, while speaking to the Business Standard back then, had said – “We are looking for international partners to access the best-assured capability (for developing the Tempest).”
  2. While referring to the specific role of New Delhi in the Tempest Project, Khanna said – “A big cost driver for a futuristic aerospace system is going to be the requirement for more and more software engineers. India has a huge capability in that area.” However, despite no developments on India’s role in the Tempest project and proposal almost falling through, it seems that New Delhi could still join the program along with the likes of Japan and Netherlands.

(Eurasian Times, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  • European countries
  1. France yet to fulfil technology transfer commitment in India Rafale jet deal

Key points:

  1. India’s audit watchdog has come down heavily on foreign vendors for not fulfilling their commitments to an offset policy for defence procurement, including France in its deal for the sale of 36 Rafale fighter jets. The policy includes conditions for foreign direct investment and technology transfers, which the authority says are not forthcoming.
  2. India’s national auditor, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) sharply criticised the Defence Ministry’s policy for offsets, which also governs the deal with France for 36 Rafale jets made by Dassault Aviation.
  3. In September 2016, India inked a direct deal with the French government to purchase 36 new Rafale fighter jets in a nearly 8 billion euro deal. France has been one of India’s steadfast material suppliers for decades.

(RFI, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  • 36 More Rafales: France Wants India To Order More Rafale Jets For DRDO To Acquire Aero-Engine Tech?

Key points:

  1. According to the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report quoted by PTI, the French aviation giant – Dassault and European conglomerate MBDA are yet to meet their commitments of offering high technology to India as part of the deal relating to the acquisition of 36 Rafale jets.
  2. The French side assured to transfer more work for the production of the M-88 engine that powers its Rafale fighter jets, only if New Delhi orders 36 more Rafale jets.(Eurasian Times, 25 September, 2020) News Link
  • Relation with African countries
    • India executed 194 developmental projects in 37 African countries; working to complete 77 more such projects: MoS MEA

Key points:

  1. India has executed 194 developmental projects in 37 African countries and is currently working to complete 77 more projects in 29 countries in the continent, with a total outlay of USD 11.6 billion, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said on Thursday.
  2. India has also significantly increased its diplomatic footprint in Africa and now has residential diplomatic missions in 38 African countries, he said. “As we speak, today, India has executed 194 developmental projects in 37 African countries; currently working to complete 77 additional development projects in 29 countries, with a total outlay of USD 11.6 billion,” Muraleedharan was quoted as saying in a statement released by the Ministry of External Affairs.
  3. Grants in aid worth more than USD 700 million have been extended to African partner countries for projects in infrastructure, connectivity, skill development, security and health sectors, he said. “India is acutely aware of the needs of our African partners for skilled and trained manpower. Therefore, capacity building has always been one of the key components of India’s development assistance to Africa,” he said.
  4. “In the run-up to the IAFS Summit this year, we had planned to hold the India-Africa Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting in mid-March 2020. We had already received the confirmation of many of our African colleagues to participate in this meeting. Unfortunately, that was the first major meeting to be postponed due to the pandemic,” he said.
  5. “Our external Affairs Minister Dr. Jaishankar, has also spoken to his counterparts in several African countries and offered assistance in our joint struggle and has also discussed matters of mutual bilateral and multilateral interest,” Muraleedharan said. (Financial Express, 25 September, 2020) News Link
  • Relation with Bangladesh
  1. India and Bangladesh to boost slew of projects at Sep 29 foreign ministers level meetKey points:
  2. Foreign ministers of both the countries will lead their respective delegations in the meeting to be held on September 29 through virtual platform. Another key focus of the JCC this time will be the finalisation of the programmes for the Mujib Birth Centenary and for the 50th anniversary of creation of Bangladesh.

(Economic Times, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  • Relation with Afghanistan
  • Afghanistan signs $160 million renewable energy deal with US, Turkey and India

Key points:

  1. Solar and wind power projects will be developed in Kabul, Balkh and Herat provinces
  2. Afghanistan imports 1,200 megawatts of energy from Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan
  3. The projects will be developed in Kabul, Balkh and Herat by a local company with partners from Turkey, India and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
  4. Tawhidi told Arab News that the projects will be developed in partnership with USAID by an Afghan company, a firm from Turkey, and one from India.

(Arab News, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  • Relation with Japan
  • High-speed train, Quad figure in 1st call between Japan’s Suga, PM Modi

Key points:

  1. Days ahead of a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad, to be hosted by Japan, Yoshihide Suga said he would promote cooperation through the grouping.
  2. India and Japan committed themselves on Friday to take forward the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail project and welcomed a memorandum of cooperation on specified skilled workers to be signed in the near future.
  3. Both issues figured in the first phone conversation between Japan’s new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. Suga said he will promote bilateral cooperation in security and economic matters and work with India to achieve a free and open Indo-Pacific.
  4. The text of the agreement on specialised skilled workers has been finalised by the two sides. India has focused on similar agreements with several countries to ensure better mobility for its skilled professionals in fields such as information technology.
  5. The commitment to India’s first bullet train project is significant as the venture has been hit by delays and other issues, people familiar with developments said on condition of anonymity. The 508-km project is being built with an 80% loan from Japan with an interest rate of 0.1% and a 15-year moratorium on repayments.

(Hindustan Times, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  1. India’s Royal Enfield to begin making motorcycles in Thailand

Key points:

  1. India-based motorcycle maker Royal Enfield is setting up an assembly plant in Thailand next year as it continues its Southeast Asian expansion drive.
  2. “We are bringing our success from India into Thailand with the goal to be number one in the midsize motorcycle market in Thailand,” Royal Enfield Thailand CEO Siddhartha Lal said in an email to the Nikkei Asian Review, referring to motorcycles in the 250 cc to 750 cc class.
  3. The Thai factory will be a completely knocked-down facility in Chachoengsao Province, part of an industrial zone the government has been keen on promoting. Such factories assemble individual parts into finished vehicles. At least 40% of parts will be local, while the rest would be shipped from India, with operations expected to start in April 2021.

(Asian Nikki Review, 25 September, 2020) News Link