Bilateral Current Affairs
Bilateral Current Affairs January 3rd Week 2016
Category : Bilateral Current Affairs
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1) India attaches highest importance to its ties with Israel: Sushma Swaraj

  • Current Affirs External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on 18th January said India attaches the highest importance to its ties with Israel as she called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the entire spectrum of the relationship.
  • Mrs. Swaraj, who is on her first visit to West Asia as the External Affairs Minister, said the two countries are intensifying their contacts and cooperation in fields such as science and technology, cyber, defence and agriculture. The External Affairs Minister will also meet President Reuven Rivlin, Defence Minister Moshe Ya`alon and other senior leaders. Mrs. Swaraj will be also meeting the Indian community in Israel. There are four groups of Indian Jewish communities in Israel with strength of approximately 80,000.
  • Swaraj`s visit comes barely three months after the historic visit of President Pranab Mukherjee, the first by an Indian Head of State to Israel, and aims at encasing on the goodwill generated by that visit.


2) India to buy more crude oil from Nigeria

  • India is set to import more crude oil from Nigeria, already one of the biggest contributors to the country’s oil imports, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.
  • Nigeria has now agreed to increase the term contract from 1.7 million tonnes per annum to three million tonnes in 2016, according to Mr. Pradhan. The fourth India- Africa Hydrocarbon Summit in New Delhi.
  • Nigeria is the third-largest contributor to India’s oil imports, accounting for 11.59 million tonnes (MT) in the first half of this financial year, behind Saudi Arabia (19.56 MT) and Iraq (17.01 MT).
  • The benefit of a term contract is that not only does it assure a certain quantity to be supplied but also ensures a stable price unlike oil bought from spot markets whose price can fluctuate drastically. Apart from Nigeria, Sudan also wants to increase its engagement with India.
  • India, on its part, is also keen to diversify its oil import basket as Saudi Arabia’s national oil and gas company recently announced that it would be selling oil to its Asian customers, including India, at a premium of $0.6 a barrel above the prevailing market price in February.

3) India-Australia social security pact comes into operation

  • Current Affirs A new social security agreement signed between India and Australia has come into operation enabling people of both nations to avail retirement benefits in each other`s country, a pact likely to boost bilateral business linkages.
  • Australian Minister for Social Services Christian Porter and Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer Kelly O`Dwyer said the Commonwealth government wanted to make sure people who live and work in more than one country are not disadvantaged.
  • The Agreement signed in November 2014 came into operation on January 1, 2016.
  • Kelly O`Dwyer said, it is an important step in strengthening Australia`s relationship with India, and shows the government`s commitment to the 397,000 Indian-born people living in Australia, who make a substantial contribution to our community