Bilateral Current Affairs
May 2011 Bilaterial Current Affairs
Category : Bilateral Current Affairs
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President of Uzbekistan Islam Abduganievich Karimov visited India on 17-18 May 2011. It was his fifth visit to India. Karimov is the President of Uzbekistan since 1990. He came to India to hold talks on strengthening security, energy links and communication. During this visit, India and Uzbekistan signed more than 30 agreements. India and Uzbekistan also issued a joint declaration in the course of this visit which asked for active cooperation in a wide spectrum of areas including political, counter-terrorism, health, education, human resource development, science and technology and culture.            
Second Africa-India forum summit was held at Addis Ababa (capital of Ethiopia) from 24 to 25 May 2011 under the theme: Enhancing Partnership: Shared Vision. First Africa-India Summit was held in April 2008 in New Delhi.

India signed two MoUs (Memorandum of Understandings) with Ethiopia to avoid double taxation and promote development of small industries. India has tried to assist in Ethiopia’s development through capacity building support and offered lines of credit of more than 700 million US dollars during the last five years. India also decided to establish over 80 new institutions in Africa in areas as diverse as agriculture to English language teaching in its support for institutional capacity building. In addition, India will offer 22,000 scholarships and training slots to African students under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme.        
India and Uzbekistan signed an action plan on tourism cooperation in New Delhi on 16 May 2011 in the presence of the First Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Rustom Azimov and Union Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai. The action plan envisages Exchange of tourists/media who would highlight the tourism potential of each other’s country, setting up of joint ventures in an effort to promote the business of tourism and travel and establishing of the Representative offices in each other’s country for easy and convenient accessibility of information and updates. India and Uzbekistan will also consider exchange visits of Tour operators and travel media to promote tourism between the two countries.        

India signed a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with the Republic of Colombia for the avoidance of double taxation and for the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income. The Agreement was signed by Sudhir Chandra, Chairman, Central Board of Direct Taxes on behalf of the Government of India and by Juan Alfredo Pinto Saavedra, Ambassador of the Republic of Colombia to India, on behalf of the Republic of Colombia. The DTAA provides that business profits will be taxable in the source State if the activities of an enterprise constitute a permanent establishment in the source State. Examples of permanent establishment include a branch, factory etc. Profits of a construction, assembly or installation projects will be taxed in the State of source if the project continues in that State for more than six months.    
The government of Sri Lanka declared its decision to release on 7 May 2011 a postal stamp and first day cover on Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, on the occasion of his 150th birth anniversary celebrations. The stamp, priced at LKR 5, will be released by Sri Lankan Minister for Postal Services Jewan Kumaranathunga at a function presided over by Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Ashok K. Kantha, said Vikram Misri, Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Colombo. Tagore visited Sri Lanka thrice – in 1922, 1930 ad 1934 and was instrumental in the renaissance of its culture. Tagore wrote the national anthem for two countries – India and Bangladesh – and influenced the anthem in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan national anthem was written by Ananda Samarakoon while he was Tagore’s disciple at Visva-Bharathi University. Samarakoon’s first Shantiniketan stint ended after six months but he heralded a new brand of Sinhalese music influenced by Rabindra Sangeeth.           
A three-day joint celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore by India and Bangladesh began in Dhaka on 6 May 2011. The 3-day programme was inaugurated by Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre. Also present to grace the occasion was Indian Vice-president, Hamid Ansari. At the inaugural session, a replica of Padma Boat, used by Tagore during his frequent visits to Bangladesh, was handed over to Ansari. The Bangladeshi Prime Minister announced her government’s decision to set up Rabindra University at Shilaidaha in Kushtia, where the Nobel Laureate spent a considerable period of his creative life. The government would also preserve the poets memories in Patisar and Shahzadpur. Bangladesh also proposed to construct a Bangladesh House in Santiniketan. The programmes to commemorate the Nobel Laureate’s 150th birth centuary in India were inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 7 May 2011.