Bilateral Current Affairs
September 4th Week 2015 Current Affairs
Category : Bilateral Current Affairs
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1) India, Australia begin first bilateral exercise

India and Australia on 11th September started the first bilateral exercise AUSINDEX here in a bid to boost ties between the two navies. From Australia, Anzac class frigate, HMAS Arunta, oiler HMAS Sirius, and Collins class submarine HMAS Sheean entered the Visakhapatnam port.
  • The exercise will include integrated operations with surface, air and sub-surface forces, planning and the conduct of anti-submarine warfare exercises, helicopter cross deck operations, surface and anti-air firing exercises, and seamanship exercises. The exercise will comprise of a harbour phase, a sea phase as well as a debrief phase.
2) DG-level talks between BSF, Pak Rangers conclude
Director General-level talks between India’s Border Security Force (BSF) and the Pakistan Rangers were held in New Delhi on 12th September which concluded with signing of joint record of discussions. The talks were held in a constructive atmosphere and need for cooperation to maintain sanctity of borders was stressed upon.
  • Specific issues of concern like incidents of firing at the borders, smuggling of narcotics, infiltration attempts and defence construction activities were discussed. The issue of inadvertent crossing over by border population and on how to facilitate their return on both the sides was also discussed. It was mutually agreed to hold the next talks in the first half of 2016 in Pakistan.
  • The 23 member Indian delegation was led by DG BSF D K Pathak and the Pakistani delegation was led by Umar Farooq Burki.

3) e-visa facility to be extended to 37 more countries: Govt

Tourism ministry has said that e-visa facility will be extended to 37 more countries to attract maximum foreign tourists in the country.
  • Currently the Ministry has given e-Visa facility to 113 countries and the number will go upto 150 soon. A total of more than 22,000 tourists used e-Visa facility to visit India in August this year, compared to 2700 in August, 2014.
4) US extends anti-dumping duty on Indian preserved mushrooms for 5 years
Current Affirs The United States has extended the anti-dumping duty on Indian preserved mushrooms for another five years. The US International Trade Commission has extended the restrictive duty on the Indian commodity for five years.
The move is likely to impact domestic exporters as the US is a major export destination for India. In 2014-15, India exported mushrooms worth 16.08 million dollars and during April-May this fiscal the exports aggregated at 1.63 million dollars.
  • Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jammu & Kashmir are the major states which are producing the commodity. 
  • Solan in Himachal Pradesh is popular as `Mushroom City of India`.
  • `Preserved mushrooms` refer to mushrooms that have been prepared or preserved by cleaning, blanching, and sometimes slicing and cutting. Mushrooms are very nutritious, rich in proteins, fibre and have folic acid content that is uncommon in vegetables and amino acids which are usually absent in cereals.
5) India, Australia hold talks on boosting security co-operation
India and Australia on 2nd September discussed bilateral co-operation in the field of security on 2nd September. The visiting Australian Minister of Defence, Kevin Andrews and the Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju discussed intelligence sharing, combating international terrorism, cyber security and better working relations for border and maritime security. They also touched upon the issues of stability in Asia Pacific region, security of sea lanes.
  • The two leaders also discussed the follow-up of the financial action task force in Brisbane, Australia in June 2015 and addressed deficiencies in implementation of the recommendations with regard to terror financing.

6) SAARC countries` conference on disaster begins in Delhi

A conference of SAARC countries to chalk out and undertake joint efforts on various issues related to disaster mapping and mitigation in the member nations began on 3rd September
The conference, including the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and National Disaster Response Force, is being held keeping in mind the prevalent geo-climatic conditions as well as increased frequency of natural calamities in the SAARC region, especially in the wake of the recent earthquake in Nepal in April. This calls for enhanced levels of preparedness and risk resilience as well as collaborative action amongst member countries to individually and jointly deal with such disaster situations and ensure minimal loss of lives and assets. It said keeping in mind such scenarios, local, national, regional and international cooperation and coordination are more vital than ever before.
  • Owing to unique geo-climatic-social conditions, South Asia is particularly vulnerable to natural disasters of varying magnitude and manifold dimensions, it said.
  • India has taken the lead to begin the process of simulation exercises on disaster management in the region coined as "South Asian Annual Disaster Management Exercise" (SAADMEx) and has requested the participation of all SAARC countries for augmenting current levels of individual and joint preparedness for rescue, relief and response efforts during disaster situations. The exercise will be conducted in two phases.
  • In the first phase, the current advance coordination conference is being held with representatives from member countries on September 3-4 here to discuss the modalities and requirements of the main exercise. 
  • The main exercise will be held from November 23-26 in the National Capital Region and will consist of three components, namely the Table Top Exercise (TTx), the Field Training Exercise (FTx) and the After Action Review (AAR). This will be followed by a a day-long SAARC Workshop on sharing Best Practices on "Disaster Risk Reduction" scheduled on November 27.
  • During the inaugural event here, NDRF Director General OP Singh stressed on the need to have concerted efforts by all stakeholders to achieve the desired resul
7) India, UAE agree to increase bilateral trade by 60% in next 5 years
India and United Arab Emirates, UAE have agreed to enhance cooperation in different areas including trade, commerce, investments, energy, defence, space, security and combating Crime. The agreements were arrived at the 11th session of the India-UAE Joint Commission meeting held in New Delhi on 3rd September.
  • The two sides also agreed to work for early establishment of the planned India-UAE Joint Fund for investments in the infrastructure sector in India. The two sides also signed MOUs on cooperation in the areas of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Tourism, Telecommunication and also between the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
8) Indian Naval Ships Deepak, Delhi, Tabar and Trishul enter Dubai
  • Indian Naval Ships Deepak, Delhi, Tabar and Trishul entered Dubai and shall remain there till 08 Sep 15. The ships are part of the Indian Navy’s Western Fleet based at Mumbai and are on a long-range deployment to the Persian Gulf to enhance bilateral ties with friendly regional navies. The involvement of Indian Naval ships in combating piracy off the coast of Somalia since October 2008 has further strengthened bilateral ties and interaction with navies in the region.