(Current Affairs) India and The World | May : 2017

India & The World

  • India strongly condemned attack in Afghanistan (Free Available)
  • India and South Korea signed two agreements to build artillery guns (Free Available)
  • India and EU firmed up plans for holding the 14th bilateral summit (Free Available)
  • Consular access denied to Jadhav (Free Available)
  • Dalai Lama compared China’s actions in Tibet to the regime of Cambodian dictator (Free Available)
  • India urged Myanmar to contain violence against Rohingya Muslims (Only for Online Coaching Members)
  • UAV deal with Israel may get done during PM's visit (Only for Online Coaching Members)
  • India and Malaysia agreed to cooperate to defeat Islamic State (Only for Online Coaching Members)
  • China again warned India against visit of Dalai Lama (Only for Online Coaching Members)

India strongly condemned attack in Afghanistan

  • India strongly condemned attack in Afghanistan and blamed externally backed terrorists for the incident that killed at least 140 soldiers of the Afghan National Defence Forces.
  • Indirectly pointing at Pakistan for offering support to the Afghan Taliban that carried out the attack in Mazar-e-Sharif, India called for dismantling of safe havens of terrorism.
  • Following the attack which targeted soldiers praying in a mosque, Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered his condolences on social media even as the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) called for justice.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on a social media platform, “I strongly condemn the cowardly terror attack in Mazar-e-Sharif. Our prayers and condolences to the families who lost loved ones”.
  • No Indian citizens and diplomats were in the vicinity of the targeted area at the time when suicide attackers drove into the base and shot down dozens of soldiers who were just concluding their Friday prayers.

India and South Korea signed two agreements to build artillery guns

  • India and South Korea on Friday signed two agreements to build artillery guns for the Indian Army and for collaboration in shipbuilding.
  • One of them is an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) between the governments while the other is a manufacturing agreement between two private companies.
  • India has already nominated Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL), Visakhapatnam while South Korea will designate their shipyard soon.
  • The MoU was conceived under the overall umbrella of the ‘Special Strategic Partnership’ between both sides, Defence Ministry said in a statement.
  • The MoU will come into effect from the date of signature by both sides and will be initially valid for a period of five years and would be automatically extended for further successive five year at a time.
  • The two sides will identify specific projects to work on and this cooperation is expected to enable HSL to upgrade and modernise its facilities.
  • Indian engineering conglomerate Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Hanwa Techwin of South Korea signed a contract to manufacture the K9 Vajra-T tracked, self-propelled artillery guns for the Indian Army.

India and EU firmed up plans for holding the 14th bilateral summit

  • India and the European Union firmed up plans for holding the 14th bilateral summit to be held in India later this year.
  • EU’s High Representative met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and discussed common concerns like trade, counter-terror cooperation, maritime security and defence cooperation.
  • The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to deepening their Strategic Partnership. They reviewed progress on the commitments made during the 13th India-EU summit in Brussels in March 2016.
  • Ms. Swaraj condemned the latest terror attack in Paris and said terrorism was the gravest threat to humanity.

Consular access denied to Jadhav

  • The Pakistan’s army ruled out consular access to former Indian Naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, days after India had made a strong case for access to the Indian prisoner now on death row.
  • Mr. Jadhav was awarded death sentence by the Field General Court Martial , evoking a sharp reaction in India which warned Pakistan of consequences and damage to bilateral ties if the “pre-meditated murder” was carried out.
  • “Under the law we cannot give consular access to Khulbhushan who was involved in spying,” Pakistan military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said.
  • However, Indian officials in New Delhi maintained that there was no communication from Pakistan on the denial of consular access.

Dalai Lama compared China’s actions in Tibet to the regime of Cambodian dictator

  • In his sharpest comments yet, the Dalai Lama compared China’s actions in Tibet to the regime of Cambodian dictator Pol Pot, who was held responsible for the death of more than a million Cambodians in the 1970s.
  • Speaking at the Tawang Monastery, the Tibetan leader and spiritual guru said that despite atrocities in Tibet he had decided to “forgive China” and was even willing to follow the “One China” policy.
  • In the run-up to his visit, the Chinese government issued several direct threats to India.
  • The Dalai Lama also accused China of spreading wrong information about his trip to Arunachal Pradesh, saying it is normal for Beijing to give “political colour” to his spiritual visits.

India urged Myanmar to contain violence against Rohingya Muslims

  • India urged Myanmar to contain violence against Rohingya Muslims in the western part of the country bordering Bangladesh.
  • India had been in consultation with Myanmar to restore normalcy in the Rohingya territory of the State of Rakhine but pointed out that the issue might not figure in the ongoing visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India.
  • India had previously extended a sum of money to the Government of Myanmar to restore communal harmony.
  • India’s comments followed a day after rights body Amnesty International cautioned New Delhi against forcibly relocating Rohingyas to Myanmar where the community faces discrimination.
  • Amnesty said media reports had suggested that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs was planning to “identify, arrest and deport” thousands of Rohingya refugees from various States of India.
  • Government of Bangladesh had been vocal in recent times, due to the difficulties it faced over movement of people across the Myanmar-Bangladesh border.
  • Amnesty International’s India branch issued a fresh appeal for protection of the Rohingyas, soon after Prime Minister Hasina reached India.

UAV deal with Israel may get done during PM's visit

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to get a display of the Heron TP armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) during his visit to Israel later this summer.
  • These would be India’s first armed drones, significantly expanding the aerial offensive capabilities of the military.
  • Armed UAVs for the Indian Air Force (IAF) are already being manufactured in Israel and did not rule out the possibility of them being handed over to the IAF in the near future.
  • The deal is expected to cost around $400 million for 10 drones. The discussion for the Heron TP drones has been going on for several years but the exact status of the deal is unclear as the progress is strictly under wraps.
  • India currently operates a large number of Israeli-built Heron and Searcher UAVs, which were inducted since the late 1990s, and the three services have been quite pleased with their performance.
  • With the indigenous efforts to build UAVs delayed, India has expanded its arsenal of Israeli drones.
  • India also procured a small number of Harpy loitering drones in the past which can destroy targets by direct hits. However the Heron TP would be the first true armed UAV in the arsenal.
  • UAVs have become routine tools for surveillance and the armed variants would give decision makers a new and safe option in planning short and swift strikes on terrorist camps.
  • The manufacturer stated on its website that Heron TP is a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) drone which can fly upto an altitude of 45,000 feet, has an endurance of over 30 hours and can carry a mission payload of 1,000 kgs.
  • The other defence deal expected during the visit is for two additional Phalcon long range Airborne Warning And Control Systems (AWACS) which would join the three systems in service with the Air Force.
  • The radars are mounted on Russian IL-76 transport aircraft and Russian industry officials have earlier stated that India has already ordered aircraft for the purpose.

India and Malaysia agreed to cooperate to defeat Islamic State

  • India and Malaysia agreed to cooperate to defeat Islamic State militants and the growing threat of radicalisation and extremism.
  • Visiting Malaysian PM Najib Razak held talks here with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and sealed six agreements, while extending support to India for a greater role in the maritime security of the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Mr. Razak, expressed support for greater synergy with India on the security front, especially in the maritime domain, and said, “We appreciate the greater role of India in the maritime security of the Asia-Pacific region.”
  • The visiting delegation’s comments on the maritime issue is significant as both the countries have been demanding freedom of navigation in the South East Asian region, where China has been flexing muscles and has claimed most of the South China Sea.
  • Both sides signed agreements on air services, sports, human resources, palm oil production and research, and technological development. An agreement that will allow India to build a fertilizer plant in Malaysia was also signed.
  • A bilateral joint statement issued by the India-Malaysia CEOs Forum emphasised the need for visa-free travel for Indians and Malaysians as travel and tourism in both countries contribute to their economic growth.
  • Both sides also highlighted that Malaysia would allow Indian Ayurveda and Siddha practitioners to serve in that country.
  • As part of the move to popularise courses in Ayurveda, the government of Malaysia and the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman would provide courses in Ayurveda.

China again warned India against visit of Dalai Lama

  • China again warned India that the proposed visit of the Dalai Lama to Arunachal Pradesh would cause “deep damage” to Sino-Indian ties, and stressed that New Delhi would have to make “a choice” in its dealings with the Tibetan leader.
  • “China and India are two major developing countries and we are close neighbours. It is very important for the two peoples to maintain sound and steady China-India relations.
  • But such relationship has to be built on (a) certain foundation,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said.
  • The spokesperson’s remarks are part of a sustained effort by the Chinese officialdom and academia to discourage India from green-lighting the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh in early April.
  • China has been particularly emphatic about its claims over Tawang, which houses the famous Tawang Monastery — India’s largest monastery. It is also the second largest monastery in the world after the Potala Palace in Lhasa.
  • During his briefing Mr. Lu said that China was “seriously concerned about the news” about the Dalai Lama’s visit.

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