Centre issues revised guidelines for mutual legal assistance
The Centre has issued revised guidelines for mutual legal assistance in
criminal matters with other nations as part of the government's policy of
zero tolerance for crime and in an endeavour to fast track the dispensation
India has signed Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties, MLAT with 42
countries for cooperation in criminal matters and the Home Ministry is the
designated central authority for the country for it.
Under the MLAT, a country can request for obtaining evidence for
criminal investigations and prosecutions. The evidence includes witness
statements or the service of documents among others.
The revised guidelines provide step-by-step guidance to the
investigation agencies for drafting and processing letters rogatory or
mutual legal assistance requests and service of summons, notices and other
Home Ministry said, by incorporating various legal and technological
developments in the recent years, it aims to make the documentation in this
regard more precise and focused as well as compliant with international
The guidelines have also taken into account the concerns raised by
various courts for prompt and timely responses in service of documents on
persons residing abroad. As an initiative, the revised guidelines have
provision for service of documents on authorities of foreign country
preferably within 10 days of receipt of request in respect of offences
committed against women and children.
It said, over the decade, there have been substantial changes in
international cooperation based on new legislations, regulations and
conventions and amendment in procedural laws all over the world including
The Ministry said, these changes necessitated the need for comprehensive
review of existing guidelines to keep them abreast the modern era
Centre assures country ready to deal with every situation amidst oil price
Petroleum Minister DharmendraPradhan has said that said India is
preparing to deal with all kinds of situations amidst the rise in global oil
prices due to heightened US-Iran tension.
Replying a media query, Mr Pradhan asserted that there is no crisis for
India. He said Foreign Minister S Jaishankar has spoken to his counterparts
in major oil supplying nations and conveyed India's concerns over the
geopolitical situation since last week.
The Petroleum Minister said there are different dimensions and
ramifications of the developing situation in the Middle East.
He said, India is a major consumer of oil and Government is keeping a
close eye on the developments.
CCEA approves disinvestment of MMTC equity
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, CCEA has given in-principle
approval for the sale of equity held by four Central Public Sector
Enterprises and two-state PSUs in NeelachalIspat Nigam Limited-NINL.
It has approved strategic disinvestment of 49.78 per cent equity
shareholding of Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation Limited and 10.10
per cent of National Mineral Development Corporation.
The CCEA gave approval for strategic disinvestment of 0.68 per cent of
MECON and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited each. 12 per cent disinvestment
in Industrial Promotion and Investment Corporation of Odisha Limited and
20.47 per cent in Odisha Mining Corporation in have also been approved.
NINL is a Joint Venture company, in which these six companies are
shareholders.The proposed strategic disinvestment of NeelachalIspat Nigam
Limited will unlock resources to be used to finance the social sector and
developmental programmes of the Government benefiting the public.
Govt.approves fund to build Natural Gas Pipeline Grid covering 8 North
The Government has approved the Viability Gap Funding, VGF of 5
thousand, 559 crore rupees to Indradhanush Gas Grid Limited to build Natural
Gas Pipeline Grid covering 8 North Eastern states.
The total cost of the grid is 9 thousand 256 crore rupees and sanctioned
VGF amount will cover 60 per cent cost of the project. The 1,656-km pipeline
will connect Guwahati in Assam to major cities in the region such as
Itanagar, Dimapur, Kohima, Imphal, Aizawl and Agartala.
Petroleum Minister DharmendraPradhan said, the project is critical
towards implementing the government's Hydrocarbon Vision 2030 for the
North-East. He said, the Gas Pipeline Grid would be developed in all the
eight states of North-Eastern region.
The Capital Grant will provide natural gas supplies to various types of
consumers and would help in substituting the liquid fuels.
The government said that the pipeline grid would ensure reliability and
uninterrupted natural gas supplies to the consumers which otherwise gets
severely affected due to various reasons in this part of the country.
India-Mongolia space cooperation agreement approved
The Cabinet today gave its approval for an Agreement between India and
Mongolia on Cooperation in the Exploration and Uses of Outer Space for
Peaceful and Civilian Purposes.
The agreement was signed in New Delhi on 20th September last year during
the visit of the President of Mongolia to India.
The Cabinet also gave its approval for signing a Memorandum of
Understanding with the Department for International Development Government
of the United Kingdom for Enabling Energy Self-Sufficiency for Indian
The Cabinet was apprised of the Agreement on cooperation in polar
science between Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India and Ministry
of Education and Research, Sweden.TheMoU was signed on 2nd of last month
during the visit of King and Queen of Sweden to India.
The Cabinet gave its approval for the ratification of Migration and
Mobility Partnership Agreement between India and France. The Agreement was
signed in March 2018 during the State visit of the French President to
Bangladesh-Myanmar to cooperate against terrorism and human trafficking
Bangladesh and Myanmar have agreed to take action against terrorism,
human trafficking and illegal drugs taking place on the borders between the
Briefing media in Dhaka today after the meeting between the BGB and
Myanmar Police Force (MPF), the Director General of Border Guards of
Bangladesh (BGB) Major General Md.
Shafeenul Islam said that both the countries agreed to share real-time
information on terrorist and secessionist activities, illicit drug trade,
human trafficking and illegal border crossing.
The meeting also decided to have frequent interaction between the two
countries to sustain cooperation in these fields.
Bangladesh and Myanmar also agreed to cooperate with each other in
fighting transnational crimes and to notify if shooting takes place in the
border areas. In case of people unknowingly crossing the border into each
other’s territory, both the countries agreed to return the citizens as per
existing rules and regulations.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
LIGO detects collision of neutron stars
The LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) detected
gravitational waves due to collision of two neutron stars. This is the
second time the gravitational waves are being detected.
The mass of the neutron stars detected is expected to be 3.3 times and
3.7 times as that of the sun. The scientists believe that the neutron stars
were formed separately and drifted together to form a star pair.
The neutron stars were at a distance of 520 million light years from the
earth. The combined mass is the heaviest of the stars known so far.
Currently LIGO operates three gravitational wave detectors at
Livingston, Louisiana and Hanford. They are located 3,000 km apart in the
shape of ‘L’.
The gravitational waves are caused by exploding stars, black holes,
merging neutron stars. LIGO helps to detect these waves and analyze the
information that they carry.
As the waves interact very weakly with matter, they help to learn about
the universe and its origin.
Tennis legends join hands for Australian bushfire charity match
Tennis greats Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal will
headline an exhibition match ahead of the Australian Open. The exhibition
match at Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena will raise money for bushfire relief.
Tennis Australia announced that the match is slated for January 15, the
week before the first Grand Slam of the year.
Vast wildfires continue to burn across eastern Australia. 25 people have
been killed since the start of the disaster in September and destroyed more
than 1,800 homes.
Milder conditions are providing a reprieve for firefighters, although
more dangerous weather is forecast for later in the week.
There have been fears that smoke haze could affect the Australian Open,
but Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley said this was unlikely.
Meanwhile, five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova was handed an
Australian Open wildcard as she attempts to resurrect her career after an