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Memorandum of Understanding Current Affairs January 4th Week 2020

India, World Bank sign USD 210 mn loan agreement for Maharashtras Agribusiness:

Government of India (GoI) and the World Bank signed a $210 million loan agreement for the State of Maharashtra. The loan was aimed to support Agribusiness and Rural Transformation projects in the state. The loan amount from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has a grace period of six years and a maturity period of 13.5 years.

Aim:

The project aims to support smallholder farmers to participate in competitive agriculture value chains and facilitate agri-business investments in the state. The main objective of the agreement is to increase market access and productivity in focus commodities

Agreement:

♦ The agreement will support to build the resilience of crops to recurrent floods or droughts in Maharashtra.

♦ The project will be implemented in all 36 districts of Maharashtra.

♦ It is expected that around 1 million farming households will directly benefit from the project. 

♦ At least 43% of farmers and farm-workers participating in project activities are expected to be women. 

♦ Specific focus will be given to women-led enterprises and the participation of women in the decision-making processes of farmer producer organizations.

♦ It focuses on enhancing the capacity of the state to effectively manage and deliver agricultural technical support and services and increase credit linkages to formal financing institutions

♦ It will improve Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) standards and investing in business development services which will help small holder farmers in the state.

Centre to sign an accord with Bodo militant group NDFB:

The government of India signs an accord with the banned Assam-based insurgent group Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) on 27 January 2020. The agreement will be signed by the Joint Secretary in the MHA, Satyendra Garg, and Assam Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna with the leaders of the four factions of the NDFB. It will be presided over by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

Accord highlights:

♦ The accord will provide a great deal of political and economic leverage without their key demand of separate Bodoland either in the form of a state or a Union Territory (UT).

♦ It will provide for some political rights to the Bodo tribals living in Assam. It will be a special economic package for the community.

Bodo tribals:

The Bodo tribals are an ethnolinguistic group present in Assam. The people of the tribe are a part of the Bodo-Kachari family. The people speak the Bodo language. The Bodo tribal people are active in the Bodoland Territorial Council and in districts of Kokrajhar, Baksa, Udalguri, and Chirang of Assam. 

 

 

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Memorandum of Understanding Current Affairs January 3rd Week 2020

India signed MoU with Finland to deepen defence cooperation:

India signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Finland on 15 January 2020. The MoU was signed by Defence Secretary Dr. Ajay Kumar and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence of Finland Mr. Jukka Juusti. The MoU is signed on the sidelines of Raisina Dialogue 2020.

MoU Highlights:

♦ The MoU is aimed at further defence cooperation between India and Finland.

♦ It will enhance co-operation in the field of Production, Procurement, Research and Development (R&D) of Defence-related Equipment and Industrial cooperation. 

♦ The MoU will induce cooperation between Finnish companies and Indian Defence Public Sector Undertakings. 

♦ Since DefExpo 2018, a draft MoU between the two countries in the field of defence cooperation was under discussion. It has now been approved in the run-up to DefExpo 2020.

Background:

In 2019, Mr. Jukka Juusti led a delegation to Aero India in Bengaluru to participate in the Make in India vision. His visit formalized an arrangement for Defence Industrial cooperation through an MoU. Also, a delegation from Finland had visited India between 29 November and 2 December 2018, to explore new business opportunities for Finnish companies.

Previously, on 13 February 2016, Prime Minister of Finland Mr. Juha Sipila visited India for the inauguration of the Make in India week and held bilateral discussions with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi during his visit to India. On 17 April 2018, Prime Minister Modi held a bilateral meeting with Mr. Sipila during his first India-Nordic Summit held in Stockholm, Sweden.

Note: DefExpo 2020 is has been scheduled to be held in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh from 5-9 February 2020.

GoI signed agreements to end Bru-Reang refugee crisis:

Union Minister for Home Affairs Amit Shah headed the signing of an agreement between the Government of India, Governments of Tripura and Mizoram and Bru-Reang representatives in New Delhi 16 January 2020. The agreement will end the 23-year old Bru-Reang refugee crisis. This historic agreement is in line with PM Modi`s vision for the progress of the North East and the empowerment of the people of the region. 

Background:

In 1997, around 5,000 families comprising around 30,000 Bru-Reang tribals were forced to flee Mizoram and seek shelter in Tripura due to ethnic tension. These people were housed in temporary camps at Kanchanpur, in North Tripura. Since 2010, the Central Government took efforts to permanently rehabilitate these refugees and it has been assisting the two State governments to take care of the refugees. Until 2014, 1622 Bru-Reang families returned to Mizoram in different batches. 

On 3 July 2018, an agreement was signed between the GoI, the two State governments and representatives of Bru-Reang refugees and 328 families comprising of 1369 individuals returned to Mizoram.

 

 

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Memorandum of Understanding Current Affairs January 2nd Week 2020

India to sign MoU with Russia to procure AK-203 assault rifles:

The Indian Army is to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Russia for the procurement of over 7.5 lakh AK-203 assault rifles. The rifles are to be manufactured locally by an India-Russia joint venture (JV). The MoU is expected to be signed in a month.

MoU provisions:

♦ As per the MoU, about 1 lakh rifles will come directly from Russia and the remaining will be manufactured by the JV in India.

♦ The rifles have been planned to be manufactured by the Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL) at Korwa in Uttar Pradesh.

♦ The facility will be set up between the Ordnance Factories Board (OFB) from the Indian side, and Rosoboron Exports and Kalashnikov on the Russian side. 

♦ The OFB will own 50.5% equity and the Russian side will hold the remaining 49.5%. 

♦ The JV was formed after the Inter-governmental Agreement between India and Russia in February 2019. 

♦ The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has floated a Request For Proposal (RFP) to the JV for the supply of 6.71 lakh rifles.

 
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