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Bilateral Current Affairs
April 4th Week 2015 Current Affairs
Author : priya
Category : Bilateral Current Affairs
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April 4th Week 2015 Current Affairs

1) Nuclear plant agreement with NPCIL, L&T during PM visit to France

Prime Minister Narendra Modi`s visit to France witnessed a landmark MoU for techno-commercial cooperation between ArevaBSE and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd after years of negotiations and a key pact between the French nuclear giant with Larsen and Tourbo for making components in this country for setting up six advanced reactors at Jaitapur in Maharashtra.
  • The Areva-L&T pact was the highlight of the occasion following talks between Narendra Modi and Hollande at Paris on 10th April. The pact is part of Make in India initiative and this involves production of nuclear heavy forging in the country. This is critical for making of outer casket for nuclear reactors which Areva usually sources from Japan but is unable to do so for Indian market in the absence of Indo-Japan civil nuclear deal so far. 
  • This was agreed upon following strong push from both Modi and Hollande for 9,900-MW nuclear power plant, five years after the civil nuclear deal was signed by Delhi and Paris 
  • NPCIL and L&T in 2009 formed a joint venture company to produce special steels and ultra heavy forgings. The very heavy forging capacity in operation today is in Japan (Japan Steel Works), China (China First Heavy Industries, China Erzhong and SEC), France (Le Creusot), and Russia (OMZ Izhora). New capacity is planned in UK (Sheffield Forgemasters) and India (Bharat Heavy Electricals, Bharat Forge Ltd). 
  • And now following the L&T and Areva pact a key component will be domestically produced and this will bring down cost of reactors and therefore per unit tariff of power produced. French government claims that the reactors (European Pressurised Reactors) are expensive because of enhanced safety measures. Addressing India`s concern, France also came down heavily on cross-border terror.
  • Later Modi and French president Francois Hollande went on a boat ride on River Seine in what was dubbed as `Naav Pe Charcha` (discussions during boat ride). 
  • They agreed on dismantling terrorist infrastructure, denying safe heavens to terrorist and bringing perpetrators and conspirators of terrorist attacks to justice. 
2) PM talks with business CEOs
Prime Minister Narenda Modi met CEOs of 15 infrastructure companies of France. At the meet, French Minister Laurent Fabius said that India is identified as a bright spot in the global economy.
  • The Prime minister also met CEOs of Defence companies. The focus is on pushing the Make in India initiative in both the defence and infrastructure sectors. France has emerged as a major source of FDI for India with over 700 big French companies already present in India. French investments have already exceeded around 10 billion dollars. 
  • The 750,000 member MEDEF hosted Prime Minister Narendra Modi. MEDEF is a network of entrepreneurs in France which represents French private companies of all sizes and industries.

3) France to work with India on semi-high speed rail

France will partner India in a study for upgrading the speed on Delhi-Chandigarh rail line to 200km per hour and help in re-development of Ambala and Ludhiana railway stations. France will also help in development of Smart Cities in India to be identified by the host government. These were among the outcomes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi`s talks with French President Francois Hollande in Paris on 10th April.
  • The two sides signed a railway protocol which seeks to establish cooperation between Indian and French Railways for semi-high speed rail and station renovation. 
  • Under the protocol, Indian Railways and French National Railways (SNCF) will co-finance an execution study by SNCF for a semi-high speed project on upgradation of the Delhi-Chandigarh line to 200km per hour and re-development of Ambala and Ludhiana railway stations in Punjab. 
  • The Shatabdi Express between Chandigarh and New Delhi is the fastest train on the route and currently runs at an average speed of 79.80 kmph. France also expressed interest in collaborating with India for development of smart cities from among the list of cities to be identified by the government of India 
  • Airbus plans to increase its Indian outsourcing from $400 million to $2 billion in next five years. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 11th April visited Airbus`s facility in Toulouse, in southern France.
4) India, France to co-develop naval missile
The Defense Acquisition Council has approved the ‘Maitri’ project for the co-development of a Short Range Surface-to-Air Missile (SR-SAM) by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) with MBDA of France
The project has been in the works since 2007 to meet the requirements of the Army and the Air Force. The DRDO had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with MBDA in 2013, but there has hardly been any progress because the DRDO’s Akash missile system has similar functions.

5) Defence Min Parrikar holds talk with Japanese PM

Current Affirs India and Japan have agreed to build a strong relationship in defense and security as Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar held talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on 30th March
  • Parrikar, who is on a four-day visit to Japan, also held talks with his Japanese counterpart General Nakatani and both chaired the Defense Ministerial Meeting.
  • Highlighting that Japan is the first country he is visiting since assumption of office, the Defense Minister said he would like to see a strong partnership with Japan in defense equipment and technology. Japanese PM Abe said he wants to build a strong relationship with India not only in economic field but also in defense and security field. He said that a strong India-Japan partnership is not only in the national interest of the two countries but is also important for peace and security in the region.
6) India, Nepal hold foreign secretary-level talks
Foreign Secretary-level talks were held between Nepal and India in Kathmandu on 2nd April. Officiating Foreign Secretary of Nepal Shankar Das Bairagi led the Nepali team in the talks while the Indian team was led by Indian Foreign Secretary SubramanyamJayshankar who arrived Kathmandu earlier today on a two-day official visit.
  • The Foreign Secretary-level meeting reviewed the agreement signed between Nepal and India in August 2014 during the visit of Indian Prime Minister NarendraModi and during the visit of Minister for External Affairs SushmaSwaraj.
7) Korea, Telangana to ink MoU on water grid programme
The four member team of Korea Water Resources Corporation or K-Water which met Chief Secretary Rajiv Sharma and other senior officials of Telangana government on 2nd April confirmed its partnership in the implementation of the water grid programme in the State. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) will be signed with the government when they come back”, Chief Secretary Rajiv Sharma
  • He said the corporation, a world renowned government entity with more than 40 years of experience in management of water resources would both fund and implement the project with its technical experience up to the village level. Supply of water to individual households within the village would be the responsibility of the gram panchayats. 



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