Bilateral Current Affairs
Bilateral Current Affairs October 1st Week 2016
Category : Bilateral Current Affairs
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1) India inks open skies pact with Greece

  • India has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Greece to allow unlimited number of flights into each other’s countries 
  • Under the new civil aviation policy, India plans to enter into ‘open sky’ air service agreements (ASA) with SAARC countries and with countries beyond 5,000 km radius from Delhi.  
  • Countries sign ASAs through bilateral negotiations to decide on the number of flights that airlines can fly into each other’s countries. Under the open sky pact, there is no restriction on flights or seats.  
  • At present, India has an open sky agreement with the U.S. and a near open sky agreement with the U.K. under which there are certain limitations on the number of flights that can be operated at the Mumbai and Delhi Airports. For ASEAN or SAARC countries, India has an open sky agreement with more than a dozen countries.  
  • India will soon hold talks with Dubai to increase the bilateral seat entitlements with them. Before that, the Civil Aviation Secretary said, it will call a meeting with the domestic airlines by September 20 to ascertain their future flight plans to the Dubai Airport. 

2) Export of terror common security threat: PM Modi to ASEAN nations

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 8th September expressed deep concern at the rising "export of terror", in an apparent reference to Pakistan, saying it is a common security threat to the region as he sought a coordinated response from ASEAN member nations to combat the menace.  
  • While addressing the 14th ASEAN-India summit in Vientiane, Laos, the Prime Minister also noted that growing radicalism through the ideology of hatred and spread of extreme violence are the other security threats. He said that in the face of growing traditional and nontraditional challenges, political cooperation has emerged as key in relations.  
  • India supports freedom of navigation based on United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), he added. Laotian premier Thongloun Sisoulith complimented India`s Act East policy and its contribution to ASEAN and hoped the summit will provide future direction. 
3) India extends $500 million Line of Credit to Vietnam for defence cooperation
  • Current Affairs India and Vietnam on 3rd September signed 12 agreements in different areas of cooperation. The agreements include exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes, double taxation avoidance, co-operation on UN peacekeeping operation, health, cyber security, advanced IT training, sharing of shipping information between the Navies of the two countries and mutual recognition of standards.  
  • Both countries have also agreed to elevate bilateral relations from Strategic Partnership to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.  
  • Modi also announced a line of credit of 500 million US dollars to Vietnam to facilitate deeper defence cooperation. 


4) India, African nations agree to take steps to boost health & research collaborations

  • India and African nations have decided to take major steps to boost collaborations in joint medical research and work to harmonise regulatory frameworks to develop the pharmaceutical market in Africa.  
  • At the conclusion of the first India-Africa Health Sciences Meet in New Delhi said, India and over 20 African nations, agreed to take concrete steps to boost health and research collaborations.  
  • The statement said both India and Africa decided to make efforts to ensure accessible and affordable health services for all.  
  • It was also agreed to initiate more scholarships, exchange programmes and collaborative research projects to facilitate and expedite research work for improved understanding of common diseases.  
  • Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Soumya Swaminathan said that the principles for this partnership are clear and it will be reciprocal and built on complementary strengths for developing excellence in clinical and biomedical research in both regions.  
  • Jointly organised by ICMR, Health Ministry, and External Affairs Ministry, the three-day meet offered a common platform to policymakers, technocrats, scientists, medical specialists, researchers and industry leaders from the two regions.  
  • The ministries of Commerce and Industry, Science and Technology, and Chemicals and Fertilisers, were also involved to bring synergies to engage with Africa.