Bilateral Current Affairs
September 3rd Week 2015 Current Affairs
Category : Bilateral Current Affairs
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1) Indo-US strategic dialogue to cover 6 key areas

India and the US will hold talks in six key areas including infrastructure, services, skill development and standards at the first Indo-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue in Washington early fourth week of September.
  • The India-US CEO forum, headed by Tata Group’s Cyrus Mistry and Honeywell’s David Cote, will meet a day prior to the commercial dialogue and provide its inputs. The dialogue will be co-chaired by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman from the Indian side and US Secretary of State John Kerry and US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker from the other side.
  • The US-India CEO forum will meet on September 21 while the Indo-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue is scheduled on September 22. 
  • The US is one of the largest trading partners of India and the two countries have set a target of increasing bilateral trade five-fold to $500 billion over the next few years.
2) $5 lakh Indian assistance to Jordan
India announces a cash assistance of USD 500,000 to Jordan to meet the enormous impact of Syrian refugee crisis; The cash assistance is part of the pledge made by India at the 3rd Pledging Conference on Syria held in Kuwait in March.
  • India on 8th September announced a cash assistance of USD five lakh to Jordan to meet the enormous impact of Syrian refugee crisis.
  • The cash assistance of USD 0.5 million to Jordan is part of the pledge made by India at the 3rd Pledging Conference on Syria held in Kuwait in March.
  • The cash assistance of USD 0.5 million constitutes the first ever cash assistance from the Government of India to the Government of Jordan on bilateral basis.

3) Steve Waugh launches property portal for NRIs

Former Australian cricketer Steve Waugh promoted Waugh Global Realty has entered the domestic real estate market by launching a portal that will cater to the housing demands of NRIs.
  • The company currently has 91 properties listed on its portal of 10 developers across seven cities -- Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai and Kolkata.
  • Waugh Global has partnered with leading developers like the Lodha Group, Godrej, Shapoorji, K Raheja, Kalpataru,Kolte Patil and Sobha Developers among others.
4) Australian panel gives conditional nod for N-deal
The Australian government says it is examining a report by a parliamentary committee that has recommended more safeguards to India’s nuclear programme before the government can approve uranium sales to India. The report was released by the Joint Standing committee on Treaties (JSCOT) that has been studying the Indo-Australian nuclear deal that was signed by Prime Ministers Tony Abbott and Narendra Modi in September 2014.
  • The parliamentary report that has “in principle” approved the nuclear deal, recommended that India be encouraged to sign the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT), to separate its civilian and military nuclear facilities further, and appoint an “independent national regulator” to oversee the movement of Uranium, also called Australia-Obligated Nuclear Material (AONM).
  • The recommendations of the treaty committee are not binding on the Abbott government, but could be used by the opposition Green Party to put further obstacles in the way of uranium sales to India.
  • In response to a question from The Hindu, the Australian High Commission spokesperson said,” Bringing the agreement into force and making it possible for exports to go ahead are priorities for the government.

5) DG-level talks between Border Guarding Force of India, Pakistan

Current Affirs Director General-level talks between Border Security Force of India and Pakistan Rangers are underway in a most congenial and positive environment. The main agenda of the talks include ceasefire violations. The talks gain special significance after the National Security Adviser-level talks could not take place due to Pakistan`s insistence on discussing Kashmir.
  • According to BSF, Major General Umar Farooq Burki, Director General, Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) is leading a 16 members Pakistani delegation.
  • The 23 member Indian delegation is being led by DG BSF D K Pathak. Both the delegations also have representatives from respective home and foreign ministries along with officers from narcotics control and survey department.
6) U.K. largest G20 investor in India, currently employs 6.91 lakh people
Since 2000, the U.K. has emerged as the largest G20 investor in India, pumping in $22.2 billion as of March 2015, more than 30 per cent of all investments made by G20 economies in India in that period, according to a report by the Confederation of British Industry released on 10th September.
  • British companies currently employ 6.91 lakh people in India, working out to 5.5 per cent of total organised private sector jobs, and have revenues of $54 billion arising out of operations in the country.
  • The British companies have invested the most in the chemicals sector, pumping in $5.8 billion. As a result, British companies account for a whopping 58 per cent of all jobs created by foreign companies in that sector, or 26,900 jobs. Other sectors where the U.K. has invested in a large way include drugs and pharmaceuticals, food processing, services, and petroleum and natural gas. 
  • The report shows that Maharashtra, Delhi, and Tamil Nadu account for the bulk of foreign direct investment (FDI), working out to 55 per cent of all FDI into the country in financial year 2014-15.
  • FDI has so far created the most jobs — 6,19,300 — in the services sector, followed by the construction sector with 194,100 jobs. Looking ahead, Lord Maude said that there was substantial excitement in the U.K. regarding some upcoming reforms in India.
7) India, Russia working on general agreement on collaboration
India and Russia are working together on a general agreement on collaboration in science and technology, which will enable the countries to exchange ideas on technology, scientists and students.
  • It`s a general agreement (between Russia and India) related to collaboration in science and technology. This is in the form of exchange of scientists, students and technologies. 
  • Scientists and officials of the two countries discussed the matter during last week`s Russian-Indian Working Group on Science and Technology held in Moscow. The two countries have entered into an agreement to set up the Russian-Indian Association of Universities. 
  • The Russian Science Foundation (RSF) and the Indian Ministry of Science and Technology have announced that they would jointly sponsor an international team competition in the field of scientific research. Russia`s Ministry of Education and Science has already implemented six joint projects with DST.