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February 2018 - Bilateral

  • UK, India launch joint research projects on clean water and energy
    The UK- India Joint research projects on Water Quality Research and Energy Demand Reduction in Built Environment were launched in New Delhi on 19th February. The projects were jointly launched by NITI Aayog member Dr V K Saraswat, Department of Science and Technology Secretary Ashutosh Sharma and Research Councils UK- India Director Daniel Shah. 

    The Water Quality Research programme has eight projects and Energy Demand Reduction in Built Environment programme has four projects, with a total joint investment of up to 15 million British Pound. 

    These projects aim to deliver mutual benefits and research solutions not only to the UK and India but also to address shared global sustainable development goals of clean water and clean energy. 

  • India International Textiles Expo begins in Colombo
    A three –day India International Textiles Expo (IITExpo) of India began in Sri Lankan capital of Colombo on 21st February. 

    It is being organized by Powerloom Development & Export Promotion Council (PDEXCIL) with the support of Union Ministry of Textiles & Ministry of Commerce & Industry. 

    Inaugurating the event, Sri Lankan minister of Special Assignments Dr. Sarath Amunugama said that Sri Lanka sourcing of textile material from India and transforming it into apparel and garments for rest of the world, could lead to win-win situation for both the countries. 

    He cited the rich textile traditions in both countries and stellar contribution of textile sector to Sri Lanka’s economy. 

    Arindam Bagchi, Acting High Commissioner of India noted that India would encourage Sri Lankan companies to be part of the supply and value chains of large Indian companies. 

    He also urged Sri Lanka to make use of fully-funded training opportunities in India, under Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme, in which a number of slots is earmarked for textile related subjects. 

    At the event, about 45 exhibitors from various textile clusters of India are displaying variety of fabrics, home textiles, traditional items etc. suitable for apparel, industrial, technical application and general consumers. 

  • India, Canada signed six agreements
    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 23rd February said that there should be no place for those who misuse religion for political motives and promote separatism. Jointly addressing media after delegation-level talks with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Mr Modi stated that those who challenge unity and integrity of countries will not be tolerated. India and Canada entered into six MoUs in different fields including sports, education, science and technology. 

  • India, Germany sign pact for smart city cooperation
    India on 23rd February signed a MoU with Germany to develop modules for providing urban basic services and housing for smart cities. 

    The MoU signed between Union Ministry for Housing and Urban Affairs and the German development agency GIZ here would develop and apply concepts for sustainable urban development providing urban basic services and housing in select cities as well as smart cities in India. GIZ would contribute up to €8 million for the project which would run for a period of three years. 

    Technical cooperation measure will support approaches for sustainable urban development in the area of integrated planning, provision of affordable housing and basic services with particular focus on water, waste water and solid waste management and mobility. 

  • India and Oman sign 8 MoUs that includes defence, health and tourism
    India and Oman have signed eight Memoranda of Understanding in different areas during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden visit to the Gulf nation. The fields in which the agreements were inked include defence, health and tourism. 

    An MoU on legal and judicial co-operation in civil and commercial matters was also signed. The agreements were inked after Mr Modi held delegation-level talks with the Sultan of Oman. 

    Modi and the Sultan of Oman held wide-ranging discussions on measures to strengthen co-operation in trade and investment, energy, defence, security, food security and regional issues. 

  • India, Iran sign agreements in nine fields
    India and Iran have reiterated their commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and stressed that there can be no justification for any act of terrorism. 

    In a joint statement issued after delegation-level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in New Delhi on 17th February, the two leaders expressed their conviction that the fight against terrorism should not only seek to disrupt and eliminate terrorists and terrorist organizations but should also identify and address conditions conducive to terrorism as well as extremist ideologies. 

    The two countries signed nine pacts in different fields including Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on Income, exemption from Visa requirement for holders of Diplomatic Passports, exchange of instrument of ratification of extradition treaty. 

    Other MoUs were signed in the areas of lease contract for Shahid Beheshti Port- Phase 1 of Chabahar, medicine and agriculture and allied sectors. 

    Both sides are interested to further increase their economic development, energy cooperation and connectivity. 

    Mr Modi said, the Iranian President's visit will further deepen and strengthen bilateral ties. 

    Mr Modi also said, both countries would like to see a prosperous and terror-free Afghanistan. The two leaders recognized the unique role of Iran and India in promoting multi-modal connectivity within and across the region. 

    Both sides reiterated their commitment for early and full operationalisation of Shahid Beheshti Port at Chabahar. 

  • Indian, Vietnamese armies hold first military exercise
    Armies of India and Vietnam on 29th January began a six day-long military exercise in Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh, reflecting growing defence ties between the two countries. 

    Army official said in New Delhi that the exercise, christened 'VINBAX' is the first military exercise between the two countries. India and Vietnam have been exploring ways to strengthen defence cooperation. 

  • India joins Ashgabat Agreement for International Transport and Transit Corridor
    India has joined Ashgabat Agreement on the establishment of an International Transport and Transit Corridor between the Iran, Oman, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. 

    The agreement was signed in April 2011, which envisages facilitation of transit and transportation of goods between Central Asia and the Persian Gulf. 

    External Affairs Ministry said, the accession to the Agreement would diversify India’s connectivity options with Central Asia and have a positive influence on its trade and commercial ties with the region. 

    Turkmenistan, as depository state of Ashgabat Agreement, informed India that all the four founding members have consented to the Accession of India. 

    India’s accession to the agreement will come into force on 3rd of this month. India had deposited the Instrument of Accession with Turkmenistan in April 2016. 

  • Inland Waterways Authority of India signs agreement with World Bank for Jal Marg Vikas Project
    Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has signed an agreement with the World Bank for Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) to enhance navigation on National Waterway-1 from Varanasi to Haldia. 

    Ministry of Shipping said that the signing of the pact comes after Cabinet approved the implementation of 800 million US dollar JMVP for capacity augmentation of navigation on National Waterway-1, River Ganga, from Varanasi to Haldia. 

    The JMVP, which is expected to be completed by March, 2023, is being implemented with the financial and technical support of the World Bank. 

    The development and operations of the National Waterway-1 project will lead to direct employment generation to the tune of 46,000 and indirect employment of 84,000 in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. 

  • Bhutanese consulate office opened in Guwahati
    A Bhutanese consulate office was opened in Guwahati on 2nd February. It was jointly inaugurated by Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal and the Himalayan country's Foreign Affairs Minister Lyonpo Damcho Dorji.


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