Bilateral Current Affairs
Bilateral Current Affairs April 4th Week 2016
Category : Bilateral Current Affairs
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1) Israel keen to partner with India irrigation, Clean Ganga projects

  • Current Affirs Israel has expressed keen interest in joining hands with India for irrigation and other water-related projects as well as for Clean Ganga project. Israel has been named as country partner for India Water Week 2016 which is being organised by the Ministry of Water Resources, starting from April 4.
  • Israel`s Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon said the participation will include a number of dedicated seminars and lectures by leading Israeli experts in the field of water and agriculture among others. He said that Israel has knowledge and experience as a former water scarce country and is keen to provide the right water solutions needed.

2) India has very important role in stewardship of nuclear weapons: US

  • The US has said that India has a "very important" role to play in responsible stewardship of nuclear weapons and materials. In his meeting with India`s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval in Washington, ahead of Nuclear Security Summit, US Secretary of State John Kerry said India has a long record of being a leader, of being responsible, and it is particularly important right now at a time when we see some choices being made in the region that may accelerate possible arms construction, which we have serious questions about.
  • He said that the US has raised these issues with various partners in the Asian region. He expressed the hope this Nuclear Security Summit will contribute to everybody`s understanding about our global responsibilities and choices. Ajit Doval said India was "deeply interested" in ensuring safety and security of radioactive materials.
  • Hoping for increased cooperation with the US, Doval said India and the US would look to work together on their shared concerns, including terrorism and cyber space. The Secretary of State said that the US-India civil nuclear partnership should bolster India`s energy security and the strong economic relationship between the two countries.
3) India-European Union boost strategic partnership as free trade talks flounder
  • The 13th India-EU Summit concluded in Brussels without a consensus on a bilateral free trade deal known as the BTIA (Broadbased Trade and Investment Agreement) even as progress was made in bilateral cooperation in other fields -- from foreign policy to outer space.
  • The talks, which ended on 30th March, were a culmination of efforts to kick-start a relationship that has been flagging for at least four years. The very fact that they occurred made them significant.
  • While both the parties failed to set a date for the next round of trade talks, Tomasz Kozlowski, EU Ambassador to India. The discussions on trade involved an expression of ambitions and degrees of flexibility from both sides.
  • India has been pushing for opening European markets for its services sector and the movement of people to deliver those services while the EU has been keen on reducing or abolishing tariffs in several sectors, including in the automobile and wine and spirits sectors. The Brussels meetings evidently did not see the closing of gaps between the two sides.
  • The fields of cooperation are many, and defined by the EU-India Agenda for Action-2020, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the presidents of the European Council and European Commission endorsed. The sectors of partnership range from foreign policy, counter terrorism and disarmament to transport and space. While at least six agenda documents and declarations were issued by the EU on their website, the extent to which they will be acted upon and not share the current fate of the BTIA, remains to be seen.
  • There was some promise of action that would be taken in areas such as water, climate and energy, with the adoption of joint declarations on the India-EU Water Partnership and a Clean Energy and Climate Partnership.

4) Germany’s Development Bank KfW to provide loan assistance to metro system for Nagpur

  • Germany’s Development Bank KfW will provide loan assistance of three thousand and 750 crore rupees for the modern and sustainable metro system for Nagpur city being executed by Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation Limited.
  • An agreement in this regard was signed in New Delhi by Joint Secretary in Department of Economic Affairs S Selvaraj and Director General of KfW Roland Siller. The loan period is 20 years with a moratorium of five years and disbursal will be based on the progress of the project over three years.
  • Costing 8,680 crore rupees, Nagpur Metro is the first metro to be financed under the Indo-German partnership for clean, socially inclusive and climate friendly mobility for people in cities.
5) India failed to give evidence: Pakistan report
  • A day after the five-member Pakistan Joint Investigation Team reached Islamabad after conducting investigations in Pathankot attack, reports in Pakistani media, quoting JIT sources, claimed that India had "failed to provide any evidence" to prove that Pakistani militants stormed the strategic air base.
  • The News International` website reported that the JIT could not collect evidence from the attack site as it got very limited time (only 55 minutes) to visit the air base. Quoting sources, the report also stated that the NIA could only inform them about the "negligence" of the Border Security Force.
  • The report of JIT dismissing NIA`s evidence is "complete opposite" of what Indian officials claimed. NIA had claimed that all the evidence including the statements; ballistic and forensic reports; call records; and names and addresses of suspects, including those of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar, his brother Abdul Rauf and others based in Pakistan, had been shared with JIT. NIA had also said that "the Pakistani officials were convinced with its investigations and had even admitted that the four fidayeen attackers were their nationals.