March 2017 - Bilateral Issues


  • India, Nepal renew fuel supply pact
    India and Nepal have renewed the supply agreement between Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) and Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) for another five years. 

    According to a statement from the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas: “The renewed agreement is an umbrella document between the two parties which apart from detailing the supply of petroleum, oil and lubricant products and also puts in place an institutional mechanism for cooperation in the areas of additional services and technical assistance between the two.” 

    Supplies to Nepal from India have been meeting the petroleum product requirements since 1974. Both countries are at present working toward further deepening engagement in the oil and gas sector, including construction of petroleum product Motihari-Amlekhgunj Pipeline. 


  • Japan commits 371 bn yen assistance for infra projects in India
    Japan has committed ”official development assistance" (ODA) of 371.345 billion yen (about Rs 21,590 crore) under 2016-2017 for various infrastructure projects, including the dedicated freight corridor, in India. The notes in this regard were exchanged in New Delhi between S Selvakumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs; and Kenji Hiramatsu, Ambassador of Japan to India. 

    A finance ministry statement issued said the total commitment of Japan International Cooperation Agency ODA during two financial years 2015-16 and 2016-17 is 761.40 billion yen, which is 43.50 per cent of the total target for five years. 


  • India, Malaysia sign 7 agreements
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi appreciates continuing cooperation between India and Malaysia in joint anti-terrorism efforts; two countries sign seven agreements including air services agreement and MoUs in education and sports. 

    The pacts were signed after delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Malaysian counterpart Mohammed Najib Razak at Hyderabad House in New Delhi. 


  • India, Mauritius hold talks on expanding bilateral defence, security cooperation
    India and Mauritius on 19th March held talks on expanding bilateral defence and security cooperation to effectively deal with the threat of terrorism. Ways to explore defence ties figured during talks between Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and his Mauritian counterpart Anerood Jugnauth. The Indian Navy has been closely engaged with the National Coast Guard of Mauritius to protect common interests in the Indian Ocean region. 


  • Joint training exercise between Indian Army, Royal Army of Oman concludes
    In Himachal Pradesh, the 14-day joint training exercise between Indian Army and Royal Army of Oman concluded on 19th March at Bakloh in Chamba district. The exercise demonstrated the determination of the two armies in working closely with each other to eradicate terrorism in all its forms. 


  • India, Russia discuss technology transfer at industrial conference
    Indian and Russian defence companies held discussions for technology transfer for manufacturing of spare parts and components for major military platforms at the India-Russia Military Industrial Conference held in New Delhi. 

    The aim of the conference was to primarily address issues related to life cycle support and maintenance of major Russian origin equipment/platforms such as SU-30 MKI aircraft, Mi-17 helicopters, MiG-29K jets, INS Vikramaditya and T-90 tanks. 

    The ‘India-Russia Military Industrial Conference’ was organised by the Department of Defence Production and was attended by more than 100 Russian and over 150 Indian industry representatives. 


  • India-US reaffirms defence ties
    US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis hosted National Security Advisor Ajit Doval at the Pentagon. According to Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis both of them discussed the role of US and India in cooperating to uphold international laws and principles. 

    During the meeting, the defense secretary specifically applauded India's efforts to promote stability in the South Asia region and both leaders reaffirmed their intent to build upon the significant defense cooperation progress made in recent years. 


  • India & Russia ink two long-terms support agreements for Sukhoi combat aircraft fleet
    India and Russia on 17th March signed two long-terms support agreements for the Sukhoi Su-30MKI combat aircraft fleet. The agreements were signed in the presence of Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and Russian Trade and Industry Minister Denis Manturov. 

    The agreements include an upgraded schedule for delivery of spares from Russia for these jets, local manufacturing of parts and a proposed logistics hub for the fighter jets in Bengaluru by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. Su-30MKI was designed and developed by Russia's Irkut Corporation specifically for India and it is the mainstay of the Indian Air Force. 

    The Sukhoi is serviced and maintained by public sector undertaking Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. As per the agreement the Russian companies United Aircraft Corporation and the United Engine Corporation will provide long term supply of spares and technical assistance for five years. 


  • Andhra Pradesh and WTO to promote sustainable tourism
    The Andhra Pradesh Tourism Authority has partnered with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (WTO) to promote sustainable tourism across the state. 

    The U.N. has declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. The decision comes 50 years after the celebration of the International Tourist Year on Tourism – Passport to Peace (1967) and 15 years since the International Year of Ecotourism (2002). 

    AP is the first State in the country to forge a partnership with the global body. The WTO Secretary General Taleb D. Rifai will inaugurate the A.P. initiative in Berlin on March 8. The themes that the A.P. Tourism will focus are sustainable fishing culture in East Godavari district, beach tourism at Yerada in Visakhapatnam, at Pulicat Lake and in Kondapalli village. 

    The tourism drive will be guided by three main themes: protection of environment, protection of the livelihood of the local community and steps to ensure that the benefits of the tourism reaches the local community


  • Google India inks MoU with Telangana government
    Google India and Telangana government have signed a MoU aimed at supporting the digitization efforts of the state. Google India will provide Google Cloud credits and access to all cloud platform products to eligible startups engaged with Telangana government’s T-Hub initiative and through its Developer Relations team provides technical mentor-ship and advisory support to various startups. 


  • India seeks UAE investment for modernising its rail network
    India will invest USD 140 billion to modernise its rail network over the next five years and is in talks with UAE-based sovereign wealth funds, according to Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu. Of the USD 140 billion the majority will go towards India’s modernisation efforts, the introduction of new technologies, and increasing capacities. 

    According to a statement released by the Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi, Prabhu visted the UAE from March 5-7, on the invitation of Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs of the UAE. 


  • India, Belgium sign protocol
    India and Belgium on 9th March signed in New Delhi a Protocol amending the existing agreement and protocol between the two countries for avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income. 

    The Protocol will broaden the scope of the existing framework of exchange of tax related information. This in turn will help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance between the two countries and will also enable mutual assistance in collection of taxes. 

    The Protocol was signed by Sushil Chandra, Chairman Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on behalf of India and Mr. Jan Luykx, Ambassador of Belgium to India, on behalf of Belgium. 


  • India, SE Asian nations improving connectivity: Nirmala
    Union Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated the two day conclave of India-CLMV Business conclave in Jaipur on 27th February. According to the minister government is working closely with Myanmar for sea and road connectivity and the Myanmar is also expediting work on its side. 

    She said, the government has expedited work on the project of Kaladan trilateral transit facility which connects India with South-East Asian countries by road and has expedited work on its side. 

    Speaking on the potential in the CLMV (Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam) countries during the inaugural ceremony, the minister said, agricultural tools, instruments and scooter and moped manufacturing companies have great potential. 


  • UK researchers to study agriculture in Indo-Gangetic plain
    Researchers from a UK varsity have collaborated with a top Indian institute for a new research project aimed at studying the impact of climatic changes on agriculture in the Indo-Gangetic Plain. 

    The project, set up at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, will be led by Hartmut Boesch and Harjinder Sembhi in the UK and Professor Sachichi Tripathi in India, University of Leicester said in a statement. It has also created new partnerships with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Indian Institute for Technology-Delhi (IIT-Delhi). 

    The Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP) is a very important region for the regional food supply and the use of EO data will give us novel means of studying the sensitivity of this area to environmental changes. 

    Funded by the UK India Education and Research Initiative (UKEIRI) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the project will focus on combining expert knowledge in Earth observation space sensors, highly accurate ground-based measurements with state-of-the-art models of the land surface to determine the climatic drivers of yield modulations and its relation to greenhouse gas emissions.

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