Current Affairs Current Affairs - 6 May 2016 - Vikalp Education

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Current Affairs - 6 May 2016

General Affairs 

'Chaiwala' PM Committed To Poor Unlike Congress, Says Ravi Shankar Prasad
  • KAKINADA:  Taking a dig at Congress president Sonia Gandhi for dubbing Prime Minister Narendra Modi as "shahenshah" (emperor), Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today said a "chaiwala" is "more committed" to uplift of poor than "one family-ruled" Congress.

    "Being a 'chaiwala', the Prime Minister is committed to the uplift of poor sections unlike the Congress which stood only for a family rule. BJP is for the people and for upholding the dignity of people by improving their living standards," the IT and Communication Minister told reporters in Kakinada.

    Mr Prasad was in Kakinada to participate in 'Vikas Parv' function organised by the BJP to mark completion of two years in office of the Modi government.

    On the occasion, he announced the sixth electronic manufacturing cluster for Kakinada as a special case to boost economic growth and employment potential.

    Andhra Pradesh government had already proposed setting up of 20 electronic manufacturing clusters and 200 industries in Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, Kakinada, Guntur, Nellore, Chittoor, Anantapur and Tirupati, besides a mega electronic hub in Visakhapatnam and a hardware park at Kakinada.

    "Andhra Pradesh is poised for speedy growth in different sectors with huge support of Central government for setting up prestigious central institutions such as IITs and also developing ports under the 'Sagarmala' project," Mr Prasad said.

    The BJP leader said the communication sector is also heading for a speedy growth with the installation of new generation telephone exchanges and towers, mostly in the Maoist-infested areas.

    "In the coming years, a lot of employment would be created in IT sector with the cooperation of Andhra government.

    "Of the total 2200 BPOs proposed, 178 would come up in Andhra Pradesh alone. 650 postal mobile ATMs would come up in AP, taking the banking near to people. The postmen would carry mobile ATMs for the benefit of villagers," he said.

    However, Mr Prasad parried a question on granting of the special status to Andhra Pradesh.

    "Centre is assisting AP with huge funding as per the recommendations made in the 14th Finance Commission. AP is poised for accelerated all-round growth in the next two-three years," the minister said.

I Have Stopped 'Sweets Of Many': PM Narendra Modi On Corruption
  • DOHA:  Vowing to root out corruption in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said he has "faced problems" by depriving the "sweets of many" and saved over Rs. 36,000 crore annually by stopping leakage and theft in government schemes.

    Addressing the members of Indian community at the end of his two-day visit to Qatar, PM Modi said, "We have only cleaned up the surface (on corruption) and a detailed clean-up remains."

    "We have stopped the sweets of many and in doing so, I have also faced problems. But I get the strength to face these problems from the love received from 125 crore Indians," he said, likening criticism of the government's action to a child getting angry on being deprived of a sweet by his mother.

    PM Modi, who was repeatedly cheered by the Indian community members, said efforts to ensure financial transparency, discipline and efficiency have started yielding good results.

    "Can you imagine? We have saved Rs. 36,000 crore per year by stopping leakage and theft in various government schemes," he said.

    PM Modi said 1.62 crore fake ration cards have been detected and saved crores through subsidised wheat, rice, kerosene and LPG.

    "Corruption has made our country hollow, eating into its vitals like termite," he said.

    In a veiled attack on the earlier Congress regimes, PM Modi said: "Today across the world, India's image has been enhanced and the country is being viewed respectably. Everyone is being attracted to India. You would have noticed the change when people from other countries meet Indians."

    The prime minister said that despite India facing drought for two consecutive years, it has achieved 7.9 per cent GDP in the last quarter of the fiscal gone by.

    "World's economy is in doldrums and the best of the countries are also facing an economic downturn.

    "(But) India is moving ahead at a fast pace despite a lot of difficulties," he said, adding that all the credit rating agencies, World Bank and the IMF were unanimous in recognising India as the world's fastest growing economy.

    "Despite the problems, the 7.9 per cent growth is testimony to the fact that the country is moving fast," he said.

    PM Modi added: "Even when you go to faraway Mongolia, an Indian there also feels that times have changed (in India)."

    Noting that India-Qatar relations were growing, with the Indians settled here contributing significantly, he said: "When rulers of any country praise Indians, you can imagine how my chest swells with pride."

    After the 14th Finance Commission, the situation was reversed with 65 per cent of the country's revenue going to states and the Centre having to do with only 35 per cent, he said.

    In his 25-minute speech, the prime minister also made a reference to the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme for the retired defence personnel which had been pending for over four decades.

    "The economic burden may have been big but this cannot be less than the prestige of soldiers dying for the country," he said.

Nitish Kumar Launches Public Grievance Redressal Act In Bihar
  • PATNA:  Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today launched the Bihar Public Grievance Redressal Act empowering people to get their grievances redressed within a specific time frame in the state.

    "Today is a historic day in the field of governance and administrative reforms as the Bihar Public Grievance Redressal Act is being launched. It was on this day that JP gave a clarion call for total revolution from Patna's Ganhdi Maidan. Besides, it is World Environment Day," Mr Kumar said while addressing a gathering at SK Memorial Hall in Patna.

    "The Act has empowered people to get their grievances redressed. Now no one can ignore them. They (officers/staff) will have to listen to them and redress their grievances.

    "If the grievance cannot be redressed, then the complainant will get a letter citing reasons for not getting the grievance redressed. The complainant can file an appeal if he/she is not satisfied with the answer," Mr Kumar said.

    "I am quite confident that the Act will be fully successful in the state. It will be implemented in the whole of country once it is successful in Bihar," he said exhorting officials and staff to work for the people.

    Mr Kumar inaugurated the State Public Grievances Receiving Centre in Patna, besides the inauguration of 139 Public Grievances Redressal Officer's Offices and Grievance Receiving Centres in various districts and sub-divisions.

    All these Public Grievances Redressal Officers have been given ample powers to get the people's grievances redressed, he said.

    Sharing experiences of his weekly Janata Darbar, Mr Kumar said out of 2,77,249 applications he received in his 241 Janata Darbar meetings since April 2006, 2,33,260 applications were disposed off.

    "On the basis of my experience of holding Janata Darbar meetings for ten years, I can say people got the opportunity to be heard at police stations, blocks, districts and state headquarters. But, there was no guarantee of their grievances being redressed. Most of the grievances remained unresolved and that used to haunt my mind," the chief minister said.

    As per the Act, anyone or any group of people can file complaint for redressal of grievances with regard to various schemes or programmes run by government, within a specific time frame.

    Complainants can file complaints both at the offices of complaint centres at sub-divisional or with the district public grievances redressal officers and also at the complaint centres set up at state headquarters.

    For more information, persons willing to file complaints can log onto -

    Mr Kumar said the Grievance Redressal Act would not touch the issues covered under RTI Act, RTPS Act, sub-judice matters and service related issues, specially of the government.

    He also talked about his earlier launched scheme of Right to Public Service Act (RTPS) which helped people in getting their work done for things such as issuance of certificates for income, caste, domicile and land possession.

    A total of 13.5 crore applications have been filed under RTPS Act, which was implemented on August 15, 2011 and out of this, 13.33 crore applications have been disposed off.

    Prominent among those who were present on the occasion were Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Prasad Yadav, Ministers Awadhesh Kumar Singh, Alok Mehta, Ramvichar Rai, Abdul Gafoor and Anita Devi, Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh, DGP PK Thakur, Development Commissioner Shishir Sinha and General Administration Department Principal Secretary Amir Subhani.

Call It My Luck, India Growing Fastest In World Despite Challenges: PM Modi
  • NEW DELHI:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke at length on India's growth rate, saying the economy was thriving despite the global slowdown and bad monsoons.
    "Global agencies agree that if there's a fastest growing economy, it is India," he said while addressing a huge audience gathering of expat Indians in Doha.
    India, he said, has clocked a high growth rate "even though the monsoon hasn't been good for the last two years," and even when purchasing power abroad has slid, affecting exports.

    "The quarterly figures, even as India has faced two consecutive droughts, reflect a praiseworthy 7.9% growth rate," he said.
    The Prime Minister was in Doha on the second leg of his five-nation tour. Earlier today, India had inked 7 agreements with Qatar that includes key areas of growth -- including investment, skill development and tourism.
    He also addressed the business leaders of Doha, to whom he held up India as a "land of opportunity".
    "Today the whole world is attracted to India, is curious about India. Even you must have felt the change underway in India," he later told the India community.
    To the deafening cheers and cries of "Modi, Modi," he said, "The change in India has not happened due to Narendra Modi. It is due to the 125 crore people of India.... I get the strength to fight corruption from you. I derive strength from the love you have for me."

India's Admission Into Nuclear Club May Figure In China-US Talks
  • BEIJING:  Amid deepening divisions over the disputed South China Sea, China and US will hold their high level annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Beijing tomorrow during which a host of issues including differences over India's entry into the NSG are expected to be discussed.

    Billed as the most comprehensive dialogue between the world's two largest economies, it will be attended by top officials from both sides, including US Secretary of State John Kerry.

    While South China Sea (SCS) issue which has now become a major flash point between the two countries is expected to dominate the two-day talks, a host of other issues including Taiwan, Tibet and India's inclusion in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) are also expected to figure.

    While the US has expressed its firm backing to India's inclusion into the 48-member nuclear club building on the India-US nuclear accord, China has been insisting that there should be consensus among the members about inclusion of countries who have not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

    India has not signed the NPT on the ground that it is discriminatory.

    Officials are hopeful of a solution as China-US dialogue is taking place ahead of two of NSG's key plenary meetings on June 9 in Vienna and June 24 in Seoul during which the issue is expected to come up.

    As India pressed its case, Pakistan too has applied amid reports that China is trying to push the case of its all-weather ally.

    India itself has taken up this issue with top Chinese leadership as part of high profile diplomacy, specially during last month's President Pranab Mukherjee's visit to China.

    However, China last night said that differences still prevailed among the NSG members about non-NPT members.

    "Discussion within the NSG is still going on about the accession of non-NPT countries, and NSG members remain divided on this issue," Chinese Foreign Ministry told news agency PTI.

    Still sticking to its stand that that new members should sign the NPT, the Ministry said "the NSG is part and parcel of the international non-proliferation regime".

    About the Pakistan application which China is reportedly backing, the Ministry said "China has noted Pakistan's official application for NSG membership. Pakistan is not a party state to the NPT."

    Ahead of the US-China dialogue, Chinese officials said besides the SCS, China will bring up topics related to its major concerns, including the Taiwan question, Tibet and maritime security.

    The two countries have differing pursuits on major issues at the strategic level.

    However, the two still have many common interests, official media here quoted Chinese officials as saying.

    Ruan Zongze, vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies, said the SCS issue will be brought to the table because it has affected the two-way ties, and the US has been "undermining regional stability" while "rebalancing to Asia" in the past two years.

    China claims sovereignty over almost all of South China Sea. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have overlapping claims.

    The dialogue, which started in 2009, has become the highest-level, regular bilateral communication channel for the two nations to compare notes on key issues concerning diplomacy, security and economy.

    High-level officials from the countries' education, culture, health, science and technology, women, sports and youth sectors will attend the talks.

    This is the eighth dialogue and will be the last to be co-chaired by President Barack Obama's administration.

Business Affairs 

Cabinet Secretary replaces Raghuram Rajan in key RBI panel
  • In a departure from past practice, the government has asked the Cabinet Secretary to head the committee for the interview of a new deputy governor of the Reserve Bank on Monday to find a replacement for H R Khan.
    The interview, at the RBI headquarters is to be conducted by a panel headed by Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha. The vacancy is being created by the superannuation of Khan who is due to retire on July 7 as he turns 62.
    As per the established practice, the interview panel for the appointment of deputy governors had always been headed by the RBI Governor. Rajan had headed the panel as early as this January that gave a three-year extension to Urjit Patel.
    The committee will include Governor Raghuram Rajan, an additional secretary from PMO and three-four academics and will be headed by the Cabinet Secretary, sources told PTI.
    The central bank has four deputy governors two of whom are from within the ranks.
    The third rung of RBI management includes 11 executive directors and all have been called for the interview.
    The move comes at a time when there is a clamour from certain quarters of the ruling BJP against any extension to Rajan, whose three-year tenure ends this September.
    The government is yet to spell out its official stance. Amid this continuing debate in the corridors of power and among business leaders -many of whom want Rajan to be more forthcoming with interest rate cuts and less strict on bad loans, but still in public utterances favour a second term for him - the buzz is growing in the online space too.
    Close to 60,000 people had signed petitions on online petition platform at the last count, asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow a second term to Rajan at RBI.

    Eyes on Janet Yellen for rate-hike signals after payroll data shocks
    • Investors will be looking for signals from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen this week about the US central bank's next rate move after shockingly weak payroll data all but killed off chances for a hike this month.
      But the focus will also not stray far from developments in Britain as voters there prepare to vote in a referendum on June 23 on whether to stay in the European Union.
      Expectations for the next Fed rate hike were knocked back to at least July or later after US non-farm payroll data on Friday showed US employers added only 38,000 jobs in May, far below expectations of 164,000.
      At an event on Monday in Philadelphia, Yellen gets her last chance to offer insight into Fed thinking before a media blackout takes effect ahead of the June 14-15 monetary policy meeting.
      "We will have to listen carefully for her analysis of what definitely is a deterioration of the labor market conditions," economists at BNP Paribas wrote in a note.
      Investors will be looking to see whether Yellen, who had said last month she expected interest rates to rise "in the coming months", sticks to her tune after the data.
      The Fed raised its key benchmark interest rate in December for the first time in nearly a decade, but has held off since then due to concerns earlier this year about a global economic slowdown and financial market volatility.
      The latest polls on British voters' intentions in the EU referendum will guide investor risk appetite with recent surveys suggesting the Brexit camp making creeping gains.
      Investment bank J.P. Morgan said on Friday that opinion polls suggest the "In" camp had seen its lead narrow to just two per centage points from nearly eight points just over a week ago.
      "As we move closer to the referendum date, markets are likely to become ever more sensitive to the signals stemming from Brexit polls," Unicredit fixed income strategist Kornelius Purps wrote in a note.
      UK manufacturing output data from April will offer insight on Wednesday into how much damage the uncertainty over the referendum is wreaking on the British economy with economists expecting on average a flat reading.
      In the euro zone, the industrial sector will offer clues into how well the economic recovery there is holding up heading into the second quarter.
      Economists polled by Reuters are on average looking for German industrial output on Tuesday to show a 0.6 per cent jump in April, recovering somewhat after a 1.3 per cent drop the previous month.
      In France, April industrial production is seen bouncing back 0.4 per cent while Italian output is seen picking up to 0.9 per cent after stalling in March.
      Elsewhere, Chinese foreign exchange reserves and trade data on Monday and Wednesday respectively will update views on how well its economy is coping with slower growth.
      US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told Reuters on Friday he would "keep the pressure" on Chinese officials during talks in Beijing on June 6-7 to stick to their reform commitments and execute pledges to reduce excess industrial capacity that is distorting world markets.

      US industry sends list of complaints to Obama ahead of Modi's visit
      • "Real, meaningful progress remains elusive, and recent signals indicate backsliding in key areas. For instance, India just released its long-awaited National Intellectual Property Rights Policy, which falls far short of industry expectations."
        Strong words. But it's a sampling of the kind of reservations some of the leading industry bodies, business groups and trade bodies in the US have about India. The text above is part of a letter that some 17 industry and business-related entities in the US have written to US President Barack Obama ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the United States, starting June 6th. They urged the US president "to use this visit to engage with the Prime Minister to advance both discussions and concrete action to produce a stronger and more-promising U.S.-India commercial relationship".
        Without mincing words, the letter says: "Prime Minister Modi finishes the second year of his leadership, however, we are concerned that the high hopes and positive rhetoric that accompanied the beginning of his tenure have yet to be translated into concrete measures to improve the business environment for U.S. workers and companies operating in and exporting to India." The letter has been written on behalf of leading bodies like Association of Equipment Manufacturers; American Foundry Society (AFS); Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO); Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA); National Association of Manufacturers (NAM); and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) among others.
        So, what are the big concerns and what is it that the US pharma industry in particular, would like India to do? One issue is unhappiness with India's new IPR policy, which they want Obama to take up with Modi so that India makes changes in the policy. Very broadly, to the US industry "concrete measures", as conversations on the subject of Indian IPR have revealed over the years, translates to measures like scrapping of the section 3(D) of the Indian Patent Act and clarifying that compulsory licensing will not be used for affordability argument, which, going by the Indian stand so far, are non-negotiable. In fact, the new IPR policy, which was out after nearly one year of deliberations, does not make changes on this.
        For many in the US industry, over the years, the key pain points have been the section 3(d) and Section 84 of the Indian Patents Act, and absence of a period of exclusive marketing rights when a new drug gets regulatory approval. Under Section 3(d), new forms of existing medicines cannot be patented unless they improve therapeutic efficacy. It was under this provision that India rejected a patent for Glivec. Section 84 allows issuing a compulsory licence to meet the reasonable requirements of the public at a reasonably affordable price. A compulsory licence can also be granted under Section 92 of the Act in case of a national emergency. Natco Pharma got a compulsory licence, the first ever in India, for generic Nexavar under Section 84. Many multinational companies feel Section 84 narrows the criteria for patentability and undermines incentives for innovation.
        India has maintained that Section 84 aims to ensure that a larger section of its 1.2 billion population gets affordable health care.
        In this letter to Obama, dated May 23rd, however the industry has listed out a range of concerns over India's policies, and says: "Among other things, it continues to allow sectoral regulations to trump the Copyright Act. Persistent issues, such as forced localisation policies in the information technology, energy, and other sectors; excessively high tariffs in a range of sectors; tariff increases that appear to violate the Information Technology Agreement; longstanding challenges on intellectual property; lack of predictability in enforcing the rule of law; barriers to investment, including proposed bans on further foreign direct investment in certain sectors and other related barriers to FDI, such as ex ante vertical integration restrictions in the broadcasting sector; and bureaucratic action that interferes with private sector contractual arrangements continue to hinder company operations and ensure that India remains a challenging place for U.S. companies to do business. Prime Minister Modi's visit presents an opportunity to discuss and resolve many of these important commercial matters that are limiting India's own trade engagement and growth."
        On IPR and pharma, where some of the key industry concerns are expressed, what are the options for Prime Minister Modi and what is it that the Indian industry is expecting. While this will need to be seen and much depends on whom the Prime Minister is meeting in the US, broadly the expectation is that the prime minister may reassure the US industry that compulsory licenses will not be given to all and sundry and given only in deserving cases (in a sense, the current policy would continue) . That apart, he may promise to speed up patent grant referring to the provisions in the new IPR policy on fast track for patent grant in certain cases as part of efforts to promote 'Make in India' .
        Asked to react on what was expected from the prime minister's visit in the light of the pressures in the US to make India yield some ground in its IPR policy, D G Shah, Secretary-General of the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance says: "We need to see how the prime minister and the Indian government will respond to this, though I do not think there will be any change. The pharma industry, I do not think, is expecting any surprises."

      India now a 'lower-middle-income' economy for World Bank
      • The World Bank has dropped the use of developing nation tag for India in its specialised reports and instead classifies it as a "lower-middle-income" economy in South Asia, a top official has said.
        "In our World Development Indicators publication, we've stopped grouping low and middle income countries together as 'developing countries'. For analytical purposes, India continues to be classified as lower-middle-income economy," World Bank Data Scientist Tariq Khokhar told IANS.
        "We are not changing term 'developing countries' or 'developing world' in our general work but when it comes to presenting specialized data, we will use more precise groupings of countries," Khokhar said in an e-mail interview, adding, the term developing country was no more useful for analytical purposes.
        Accordingly, while India will be referred to as a lower-middle-income economy in all of World Bank's analytical reports, it may be referred to as a developing country only in some of the generic communications.
        The decision to stop using the term developing countries, the World Bank specialist said, has been taken in view of the word having no universal definition, causing countries like Malaysia and Malawi to be come under the same category earlier.
        "There is no internationally agreed definition of the term 'developing world'. There's often a big gap between the countries within the developing world grouping -- which make, for instance, Malaysia and Malawi both developing countries," Khokhar said.
        Malaysia has a gross domestic product of $338.1 billion, according to the 2014 figures, while Malawi's stands at a merely $4.258 billion. Now while Malaysia is referred to as upper middle-income economy, Malawi falls in a low-income classification.
        As per the classification, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Nepal are low-income economies, Pakistan and Sri Lanka fall under lower-middle-income, Brazil, South Africa and China under upper middle income, Russia and Singapore under high-income-Non-OECD and the US under high income-OECD.

        Jet Airways to resume Mumbai-Shanghai flights
        • Jet Airways is likely to resume its Mumbai-Shanghai flights which were suspended in January 2009 due to economic reasons, a senior official has said.
          "We are seriously evaluating re-starting flights to Shanghai," said Colin Neubronner, Senior Vice President for Sales & Marketing at Jet Airways.
          "There is a possibility we may recommence direct flights between Mumbai and Shanghai," he told PTI here yesterday.
          Jet Airways flew Mumbai-Shanghai-San Francisco from June 2008 to January 2009 but stopped due to economic reasons.
          Jet Airways is also looking at flights from a number of Indian cities to Singapore, starting with Bangalore from early next year. The plan also includes a Mumbai-Tehran flight.
          Jet Airways recently started flying to Amsterdam, a new gateway to Europe.
          "We are doing extremely well on this route," he said.
          The airlines is also planning to start new flights within the current financial year ending March 2017.
          Jet Airways has 630 daily flights, 130 on international routes. It carried 22.5 million passengers in the last fiscal year ended March 2016, seven million of which were on international flights.

        General Awareness

        Modi Foreign Visits 2015 – 2016 Part 5

          • Dear Readers & Aspirants, We collected some Modi Foreign Visits 2015 – 2016 and make it in points format. We Hope it will definitely help you for your upcoming Exams. All the Best My Dear Aspirants & Readers.
            • Modi Foreign Visits 2014 – 2015 Part 1
            • Modi Foreign Visits 2014 – 2015 Part 2
            • Modi Foreign Visits 2014 – 2015 Part 3
            • Modi Foreign Visits 2014 – 2015 Part 4
            Date: December 23 – 24, 2015
            PM Modi was in Russia for two days to attend the annual India-Russia Summit in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin to further strengthen the already close bilateral strategic partnership.
            • The two countries signed memorandums of understanding (MOU)on technicalcooperation in the railway sectorbuilding solar energy plants in India,investment cooperation in Russia’s Far East.
            HERE IS THE LIST OF 16 PACTS
            • Amending the agreement between the GOI and Russia on simplification of requirements for mutual travels of certain categories of citizens of the two countries
            • Protocol amending agreement between the GOI and Russia on mutual travel regime for holders of Diplomatic & Official Passports
            • Cooperation in the field of Helicopter Engineering – It includes manufacturing of 226 military helicopters and construction of 12 atomic plants with involvement of local companies in India.
            • Combating Customs violations in 2015 – 2017
            • Localization of Manufacturing in India for Russian-Designed Nuclear Reactor Unit – Programme of action agreed between Department of Atomic Energy of India and Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation “Rosatom”.
            • Technical cooperation in railway sector – It has been inked between the Ministry of Railwaysand the Joint Stock Company “Russian Railways”.
            • Construction of solar energy plants in India – It has been agreed between Solar Energy Corporation of Indiaand Russian Energy Agency.
            • Development of Centre of Excellence for heavy engineering design at HEC (Heavy Engineering Corporation Limited) – It has been signed between HEC& CNIITMASH
            • Upgradation and modernization of HEC’s manufacturing facilities – Inked between HEC& CNIITMASH
            • Cooperation in the field of Broadcasting – It has been signed between Prasar Bharati and Digital Television Russia
            • Tripartite MoU between Centre for Development of Advance Computing (C-DAC), Indian Institute of Science Bangalore (IISc) and Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU)
            • Tripartite MoU between Centre for Development of Advance Computing (C-DAC), OJSC “GLONASS” and GLONASS Union
            • Investment cooperation in the Russian Far East – It has been signed between Tata Power Company Limited and Ministry for Development of the Russian Far East
            • Cooperation for geologic survey, exploration and production of hydrocarbons onshore and on the continental shelf of the Russian Federation
            • Confirmation of successful completion of the first stage pre-completion actions in relation to the creation of a Joint Venture in JSC VankorNeft
            DEFENCE DEAL
            Reliance Defence signs $6 billion pact with Russian arms firm
            Reliance Defence had signed a manufacturing and maintenance deal potentially worth $6 billion with Russia’s Almaz-Antey, the maker of an air defence system.
            • Earlier GOI had cleared the purchase of five S-400 air defence systems that are estimated to cost about $4.5 billion in a bid to modernize the country’s defences against airborne attacks.
            PM Modi attends 16th Indo-Russia annual summit
            As part of the 16th annual India-Russia Summit, Mr. Modi and Mr. Putin held a one-on-one meeting in Moscow.
            • In this regard, ways to expand economic cooperation between the two countries were explored aiming to take the current bilateral annual trade of $ 10 billion to $30 billion in the next 10 years.
            Modi has visited Russia’s premier crisis management centre which deals with emergency situations and ensures coordination among various relevant agencies.
            • It is named as National Crisis Management Centre (NCMC) aka EMERCOMthe short form of Emergency Control Ministry.
            RUSSIA’s GIFT TO INDIA
            Putin gifts Mahatma’s notes, Indian sword to Modi
            page from Mahatma Gandhi’s diary containing his handwritten notes and an 18th century sword from Bengal has been presented to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
            • Russia Capital – Moscow
            • Russia Currency – Russian ruble
            Date: December 25, 2015
            After two days visit to Russia, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in Afghanistan to inaugurate the newly-built Afghan parliament building in Kabul.PM Modi visit to Pakistan & Afghanistan
            • The building is the latest symbol of a longstanding diplomatic effort by New Delhi to cultivate its links to Afghanistan.
            • It was constructed by India at a cost of USD 90 million.
            • The construction of building was started in 2009 and has missed its completion deadlines at least 3 times since 2011, and has gone over-budget by double the original costing of $45 million.
            Bilateral talks
            After inauguration, Delegation-level bilateral talks between the two countries were held on key bilateral issues including security co-operation and the ways to help the war-torn country.
            • India has committed over USD 2 billion assistance.
            • India is also supplying 3 Russian-made Mi-35 helicopters to Afghanistan’s air force.
            Modi Visit to Pakistan
            On his way back to India from Kabul he made an impromptu visit to Pakistan to wish his counterpart Nawaz Sharif on his birthday.
            • During his 150-minute visit to Lahore, PM Modi held talks with Nawaz Sharif at the Pak PM’s residence. The two leaders decided to open ways for peace people of the two countries.
            • Mr Modi is the first Indian PM to visit Pakistan since 2004.
            The two countries have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over Kashmir.
            • Afghanistan Capital – Kabul
            • Afghanistan Currency – Afghan afghani
            • Pakistan Capital – Islamabad
            • Pakistan Currency – Pakistani rupee
            Date: March 30, 2016
            In the first part of tour he visited Brussels, the capital of Belgium to restart and expedite talks on a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty and an extradition treaty to fight terrorism.
            Invitation to Belgian Companies 
            There he invited the Belgian government and companies to take part in India’s ambitious projects, including Digital IndiaStart Up India and Skill India.
            EU-India Summit
            EU India summit 2016
            The 13th Summit between the European Union and India took place in Brussels on 30 March 2016.
            Key Participants – Mr Jean-Claude Juncker (President of the European Commission), Mr Donald Tusk, (President of the European Council) and Mr Narendra Modi.
            Key Highlights of Summit:
            • The summit has endorsed the“EU-India Agenda for Action 2020” as a common road map for the strategic partnership in the next five years.
            • New resolve to work together to reduce tensions in the geographic neighbourhoodthrough dialogue and coordination.
            • ministerial conference to be held in Brussels and Heart of Asia Conference to be held in New Delhi later this year will focus international efforts to bring peace and development.
            • The numerous initiatives launched grouped into a broad categories viz. economic cooperation, sustainable development, research and education.
            • Belgium Capital – Brussels
            • Belgium Currency – Euro
            • Belgium PM – Charles Michel
            UNITED STATES
            Date: March 31 & April 1, 2016
            As a second part of his tour, he arrived Washington on March 31st, to attend the two-day Nuclear Security Summit (NSS).
            2016 Nuclear Security Summit
            It was held in Washington, D.C. This was the fourth edition of the conference. It is an initiative of President Barack Obama to coordinate international efforts to prevent terror organizations from acquiring nuclear weapons or material.PM Modi visit to US – A overview
            • This is the last summit under President Barack Obama’s Presidency.
            Participants – Leaders from more than 50 countries and 4 international organizations –European UnionInternational Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Interpol and UN.
            • PM Modi presented the national progress report outlining the measures being taken by New Delhi for strengthening nuclear security and safety of nuclear technologies and devices.
            NaMo announced n – security plans in the US as a part of the Summit
            Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced several key initiatives taken in the area of nuclear security and non-proliferation. It includes the following:
            • Countering nuclear smuggling and deployment of technology to deter nuclear terrorism.
            • Strengthening of national detection architecture for nuclear and radioactive material.
            • Dedicated counter-nuclear smuggling team has been set up.
            • India will support the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) by a further contribution of USD 1 million to the nuclear security fund.
            • workshop with IAEA experts on International Physical Protection Assessment Service (IPPAS) will be held in India.
            • Indiawill host a meeting of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism in2017.
            Indo – US MoU for LIGO project
            India and the US on inked MoU for setting up a new Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) in India that will act as catalyst in the research of various aspects of gravitational wave astronomy.
            • USA Capital – Washington, D.C.
            • USA Currency – US Dollar
            • USA President – Barack Obama
            SAUDI ARABIA
            Date: April 2-3, 2016
            As a third part of his tour, he arrived in Saudi Arabia. This is the first prime ministerial visit to the oil-rich Gulf kingdom after former PM Manmohan Singh in 2010. He held  talks on bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest with the Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
            • PM Modi interacted withSaudi women IT professionals at the first of its kind all women TCS training center in Riyadh. TCS established the first all women Business Process Services (BPS) centre in Riyadh in 2013.
            5 MoUs were signed between India and Saudi Arabia
            • Labour Co-operation– It was signed for Recruitment of General Category Workers.
            • Technical Cooperation Program– It was signed between the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO).
            • Executive Program for Cooperation in the Field of Handicrafts– Signed b/w Export Promotion Council for Handicraft (EPCH) of India and Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage.
            • Cooperation in the Exchange of Intelligence – Signed between Financial Intelligence Unit of both nations to cooperate on concerns related to Money Laundering, Terrorism Financing and Related Crimes.
            • Framework for Investment Promotion Cooperation– Signed between Invest Indiaand the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA).
            NaMo Conferred with Saudi Arabia’s highest Civilian order
            Prime Minister Narendra Modi was bestowed with Saudi Arabia’s highest civilian order award dubbed King Abdulaziz Sash. The honour was named after Abdulaziz Al Saud, the founder of the modern Saudi state.NaMo Conferred with Saudi Arabia’s highest Civilian order
            • The honour was presented by King Salman bin Abdulaziz at the Royal Court where they held extensive talks on a range of bilateral, regional and international issues.
            On April 4, 2016, PM Modi arrives in India after concluding his three-nation tour.
            • Saudi Arabia Capital – Riyadh
            • Saudi Arabia Currency – Saudi riyal

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