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Bilateral Current Affairs
June 2nd Week 2015 Current Affairs
Author : priya
Category : Bilateral Current Affairs
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June 2nd Week 2015 Current Affairs

1) Tanzanian President invites Indian investment in agriculture, tourism
According to President of Tanzania Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete on 18th June, India can explore investments in various sectors in Tanzania as the African country offers a positive, peaceful, stable, predictable and competitive ecosystem to foreign investment community.

  • On 18th June India-Tanzania Trade and Investment Forum in New Delhi was held. As per Tanzania top leaders, India could explore investment opportunities in many sectors including agriculture and livestock development, natural resources, tourism, manufacturing, oil and gas exploration and production and mining.
  • Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete at present visiting India.


2) India offers Tanzania expertise in natural gas sector
India on 19th June offered its expertise to Tanzania in development of its potentially rich natural gas sector. The two countries inked eight MoUs in various fields including Agriculture, Tourism and Hydrography to expand engagement in different sectors. The agreements were signed after delegation level talks between Prime Minister NarendraModi and President of Tanzania JakayaMrishoKikwete in New Delhi.

  • The MoUs signed include a loan agreement between Exim Bank and Tanzanian government on a line of credit for 268.35 million dollars for extension of Lake Victoria pipeline project.
  • Noting that Terrorism is a matter of concern for both countries announced establishing of a Joint Working Group to strengthen cooperation in counter-terrorism. The agreements are bound a fillip to bilateral cooperation.
  • Bilateral trade is heavily in India`s favour and New Delhi is looking for opening up for more sectors for investments and exports in Tanzania.

 

3) Railway ministry to send team for India-Bangla rail project
To push India-Bangla rail extension project, Railways ministry would be sending a high level team to expedite the process soon. The decision of sending the Railway Ministry team to have a first-hand knowledge about the proposed rail project was taken at a meeting of NITI Aayog held in Delhi on June 18, said Transport Secretary Samarjit Bhowmik.

  • NITI Aayog in the meeting decided to implement the railway extension project from Agartala to Gangasagar (Bangladesh) by 2017. It was estimated that Rs 302 crore would be required to acquire land for the 5 km railway track in Indian side.


4) Swiss firms to help in skilling India
Current Affirs Swiss companies in Pune are joining hands to set up a centre of excellence for manufacturing that will provide vocational education at par with institutes in Switzerland. The centre will be set up as a not-for-profit organization under the Indian company law.

  • This initiative is being rolled out in alliance with Malhotra Weikfield Foundation, which has offered land for the purpose at Koregaon Bhima near Pune.
  • The centre — which is expected to be operational in 2016-17 — will offer four-year courses in polymechanics, mechatronics, welding and design.
  • It is supported by AZW, Skillsonics, Gherzi Engineering and Cleantech Switzerland.

5) India, Bangla settle border controversy
Marking a new high in bilateral ties, India and Bangladesh on 6th June sealed a historic deal to settle the 41-year-old land boundary dispute through exchange of territories, removing a major irritant in bilateral ties.

  • On the first day of Prime Minister Narendra Modi`s maiden visit, the two sides swapped documents regarding the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) that paves the way for the operationalisation of the 1974 pact under which 161 enclaves under the control of either countries will be exchanged.
  • The instruments of ratification were exchanged in the presence of Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina besides West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and his Bangladeshi counterpart Shahid-ul Haque signed the protocol.


6) Land pact roll out n next 11 months
Bangladesh and India will implement the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) of 1974 and Protocol of 2011, in a phased manner over the next 11 months. Between July 31, 2015 and June 30, 2016, the entire process, including physical exchange of enclaves and land parcels in adverse possession along with boundary demarcation, will be completed, according to the letters exchanged between the two Foreign Secretaries during the Prime Minister’s visit to China

  • Perhaps the most significant date is July 31, 2015 — the “Appointed Day.” The enclaves on both sides of the border “shall stand transferred to the other” by the midnight of the day.
  • The countries will exchange strip maps showing the narrow stretch of territory, completing the transfer of territorial jurisdiction, while the ground demarcation of the boundary will be completed by the respective Survey Departments by June 30, 2016.
  • The two countries have also outlined the modalities of an immensely complex process of settlement of immovable property. The dwellers, who are hoping to move from an enclave to another country as proper citizens for the first time since Independence, will have to provide “details of the records and specifications of immovable property” to the local district administration. The details will be posted in the public domain by the administrations and the governments will “facilitate remittance of sales proceeds” of the property.
  • The Bangladesh-India Joint Boundary working group will address any dispute that “may arise after the transfer for the next five years till June 2020.” Both sides have agreed “to conduct a joint visit to the enclaves” to address the complex and controversial issues.
  • With India and Bangladesh planning to complete, between July 31, 2015 and June 30, 2016, the entire process of the Land Boundary Agreement and the 2011 Protocol, one of the terms of the joint team of representatives visiting the enclaves would be to identify the “residents who wish to continue to retain the nationality they hold prior to the actual transfer of territory.” To determine the size of the population in the 162 enclaves is one of the many issues.


7) India and China firms to develop macroeconomic models
India’s NITI Aayog and China`s Development Research Centre (DRC) will collaborate to understand the latest ways to calculate economic growth, besides developing other macro-economic parameters and models. These parameters and models can, then, become a reference and basis for assessing future economic growth in both the countries.

  • According to officials, the cooperation between the two could be in the form of understanding GDP methodology, competition between sectors, status of agriculture and models involved in reaching a particular goal.
  • DRC in China functions under the overall supervision of the state council, which is a council of all state governments, and acts as policy research and consulting institution. However, it is not counterpart of NITI Aayog.
  • China`s National Development Reforms Commission (NDRC) could be considered the Aayog`s counterpart, but the former has a much wider role. The Commission is sometimes referred to as `mini-state council` and `number one ministry`. It has broadly 26 functional departments with around 900 civil servants.
  • The major function of DRC, on the other hand, is to conduct advanced research on the overall strategic and long-term issues in the economic and social development. It also conducts research on relevant problems related to reforms and opening up of certain sectors. It provides policy options and consulting advice to the Central Committee and the State Council. Since its inception, DRC has done in-depth research on issues related to national development in China.
  • An agreement between NITI Aayog and DRC will enhance the role of the former as the main think-tank of the Government of India. 
  • However, the current agreement is limited to macro-economic issues. China, which calls itself a manufacturing hub, has focused more on industrialisation over the past few decades through a combination of policy initiatives and measures.
  • India, on the other hand, moved at a greater speed towards services. Despite the new methodology of GDP calculation giving more share to manufacturing, its contribution to the economy is only 17 per cent. On the other hand, services, including construction, contributes 61 per cent. With the Make in India campaign, India plans to increase the share of manufacturing to 25 per cent over a decade.
  • India`s new GDP methodology has puzzled many experts, including leading economists, since other parameters of the economy do not corroborate high economic growth in recent times. The country`s economy rose 7.3 per cent in 20014-15, slightly less than 7.4 per cent by China in 2014. However, in the January-March quarter, India`s economy grew 7.5 per cent, higher than China`s 7 per cent in the same period.
  • Agreements in a nut shell
  • NITI Aayog and China’s Development Research Centre enter into agreement for cooperation on economic models
  • Initially, the agreement was to be between Department of Economic Affairs and DRC, but was later transferred to NITI Aayog
  • This could lay the foundation for more such cooperation between the two countries to understand their economic models
  • Since its inception, DRC has done indepth research on China’s national development
  • The Planning Commission, NITI Aayog`s predecessor, too has entered into a broad agreement with China

 

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