Bilateral Current Affairs
July 2011 Bilateral Current Affairs
Category : Bilateral Current Affairs
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July 2011

The President of India Pratibha Devisingh Patil visited South Korea on 24-27 July 2011 as a part of her two-nation tour, which also includes Mongolia. The state visit of the Indian President was aimed at accelerating India’s cooperation with South Korea. During this visit, India and Korea signed the following agreements: 

  • Agreement between India and Korea for cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
  • MoU signed between the Ministry of External Affairs of India and the Ministry of Culture, sports and tourism of Korea on Media exchanges.
  • Administrative Arrangement for Social Security arrangement. 
  • India and Mongolia signed three agreements, which includes defence cooperation, media exchanges and cooperation between their planning commissions during the visit of Indian President Prtibha Patil to Mongolia. India also announced that it would extend a 20 million US dollars line of credit for setting up an India - Mongolia Joint Information Technology, Education and Outsourcing Centre in Ulaanbaatar. Besides, India will also upgrade and modernize the Rajiv Gandhi Art and Production School and the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Centre of Excellence in Information and Communication Technology.This is the first Indian Presidential visit after a gap of 23 years; the last was by President R. Venkataraman. Mongolia is a land locked central Asian country. It is also described as land of the blue skies. 
  • The Government of India signed an Agreement and Protocol for Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital (DTAA) with Government of Lithuania in New Delhi. Lithuania is the first Baltic country with which DTAA has been signed by India. The Agreement further incorporates provisions for effective exchange of information between tax authorities of the two countries in line with latest international standard, including exchange of banking information and supplying of information without recourse to domestic interest. 

  • India and Britain on 26 July 2011 confirmed trade deals worth billions of pounds after the talks concluded between Union Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in London. The talks were a part of the Economic and Financial dialogue between the two countries. The commercial ties are growing between UK and India. Around 3000 British firms were either investing in or planning to invest in India. 
  • The Second annual meeting of the India-US strategic dialogue was held in New Delhi on 19 July 2011 to strengthen the India-US global strategic partnership. The dialogue was held during the official visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to India. The two nations issued a joint statement at the end of the dialogue. 

The main features of the statement are as following—

  • India, the United States, and Japan plan to commence a trilateral dialogue at senior official level.
  • The two sides reaffirmed their commitment for consultation, coordination, and cooperation on Afghanistan, and to work jointly in Afghanistan in capacity building, agriculture, and women’s empowerment, expanding on work already underway. Both sides agreed to Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, and inclusive reconciliation.
  • The United States looks forward to a reformed UN Security Council that includes India as a permanent member.
  • India-USA reiterated their commitment to further strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation, including through intelligence sharing, information exchange, operational cooperation, and access to advanced counter-terrorism technology and equipment.
  • The two governments signed a Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) on July 18.

  • The Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) between India and the USA was signed by Nasim Zaidi, Secretary, Civil Aviation and J Randolph Babbitt, Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in New Delhi. BASA will facilitate reciprocal airworthiness certification of civil aeronautical products imported/exported between the two signatory authorities. BASA would encourage indigenous aircraft and aeronautical products industry and the US acceptance of Indian products will help their global acceptance. It would lessen the economic burden imposed on the aviation industry and operators by redundant technical inspections, evaluations and testing. The USA has signed BASA with 24 countries. 
  • India and the United States agreed to step up Science and Technology coordination in New Delhi. The areas where the coordination will be intensified include energy, agriculture, healthcare, nutrition and monsoon forecasting. This was agreed upon during a meeting between Assistant to the US President for Science & Technology John P. Holdren and Minister of State for Planning, Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Ashwani Kumar. The meeting was held in the context of the ongoing Indo-US Strategic Dialogue. The Meeting stressed upon the need to work towards making agriculture resilient and for further research on forecasting various hazards like cyclones. 
  • Marking a major milestone in the cooperation between India and Kyrgyzstan, the Kyrghyz President Ms Roza Otunbaeva and the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony on 5 july inaugurated the Kyrghyz-Indian Mountain Biomedical Research Centre (KIMBMRC) at the Kyrghyz capital, Bishkek. The Centre will carry out research on the mechanism of short term and long term high altitude adaptation. The scientists will focus on molecular biology approaches to identify markers for screening of people for high altitude resistance and susceptibility to high altitude sickness and development of mountain maladies. The benefits of these studies will apply to a large population across the globe, as more and more people travel to the mountains every year. India’s contribution to the project is Rs 6 Crores. 
  • The India-Malaysia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), which will come into effect on 1 July 2011, is India’s fourth bilateral Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, after Singapore, South Korea and Japan. The CECA envisages liberalization of trade in goods, trade in services, investments and other areas of economic cooperation. Trade between India and Malaysia has reached US$ 10 billion in 2010-11, an increase of 26% from the previous year. It is expected that the implementation of this agreement will boost bilateral trade to US$15 billion by 2015.