(Current Affairs) India and The World | February: 2016

India & The World

US supports good relationship between India and Pak

  • Revival of bilateral talks between India and Pakistan will not only benefit the two countries but also help establish security and stability in Afghanistan and across the region, says the United States of America.
  • India has very important role to play in security and stability in Afghanistan and across the region. Good relations between India and Pakistan will not only benefit the two countries but also the entire region.
  • Indians have suffered greatly at hands of terrorists. Many lives have been lost in terrorist attacks in Pakistan. We have seen increasing realisation and action by the Pakistan government to act against terrorist groups.
  • US continue to urge Pakistan to act against all terrorist networks that target Pakistani establishments or U.S. government or Indian government and its interests.

Nuclear partnership between India and Japan will move forward

  • The civilian nuclear deal between India and Japan which has been under negotiation since 2010 finally might move beyond the “nullification clause” which had been the major condition that Japan refused to compromise on in the previous rounds of negotiations.
  • However, complex legislative negotiation in Tokyo will determine how fast both sides can finalise the draft of the civilian nuclear energy treaty
  • In view of the several steps that India has already taken in the field of nuclear safety and nuclear fuel reprocessing, Japan has not insisted onany “nullification clause” during the latest round of negotiations.
  • It is this relaxation of some of the past rigidity which paved the way for the MoU on the principles of negotiation exchanged during the latest visit by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to India.
  • The specificity of the Japan-India civil nuclear negotiation is its commercial aspect. Because of the commercial aspect, Mr. Abe is under pressure from Japanese nuclear energy giants like Toshiba and Hitachi, who own American nuclear energy firms like Westinghouse and GE.
  • In brief, Mr Abe will have to free Japanese nuclear companies so that the American companies can benefit from energy deals with India, as without that, the India-U.S. nuclear deal remains unfulfilled too.
  • Finalisation of the deal will signal an irreversible change in the international civilian nuclear market of which India is poised to be a major consumer.
  • But for now, it is for Mr Abe to con-vince the Japanese parliament that the time for civil nuclear deal between India and Japan has finally arrive

India for better relationship with Pakistan

  • The theme of the conference jointly hosted by Pakistan and Afghanistan, is ‘Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process: Enhanced cooperation for countering security threats and promoting connectivity in the Heart of Asia region.’
  • Ms. Swaraj’s presence has heightened the sense of drama in Islamabad.
  • The presence of an important Minister from New Delhi has turned the Heart of Asia conference into a platform where both India and Pakistan can discuss many other bilateral issues apart from their future roles in Afghanistan.
  • The conference is already being noted for bringing together President Ashraf Ghani with the top handlers of Pakistan’s Afghanistan strategy.

India, Brazil and China positive about Climate deal

  • The countries forming the BASIC group — Brazil, South Africa, India and China — on Tuesday committed themselves to a comprehensive, balanced, ambitious and legally binding agreement emerging from the Paris Climate Change conference, but cautioned that it must not deviate from the differentiation principles that are already part of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

  • China, which has a parallel understanding with the U.S. on tackling climate change, joined the other developing countries in the bloc, and carefully skirted the contradictions between the U.S. position and the stand of the developing countries.

  • Developing countries are being asked to undertake low carbon strategies as a commitment at CoP21, but there are differences on what kind of funding would be provided for adaptation, loss and damage, and support actions.

  • From India’s perspective, events such as the Chennai and Uttarakhand floods and distressing crop failures due to drought are strongly linked to climate change, and an agreement for the future must have provisions for adaptation, and loss and damage.

  • On a second contentious issue, the review of national actions pledged in Paris as INDCs for the period after 2020, India said countries had made national choices of either a five-year or ten-year INDC.
    India-based JV being considered for supply of Sukhoi-30 spares

  • India and Russia are exploring the possibility of setting up a joint venture in India to improve supply of spares for the Sukhoi-30 frontline fighter aircraft. The two sides are also in advance negotiations for a long term agreement for spares for the fleet, of which just over 50 percent are operational at any given point of time.

  • The agreement will simplify the bureaucratic procedures for procuring spares and hence cut the time required to process any request from the Air Force by simplifying procedures like customs, bank guarantees, letter of credit and so on. The prices for spares and a method for price escalation will also be factored in

  • The idea is to eventually in-crease serviceability to 75 percent for the Air Force’s Sukhoi fleet. Sukhoi’s are the mainstay of the Air Force but have poor availability due to spares and maintenance issues

  • India and Russia started working on a long-term agreement in 2006 and eventually agreed on a technical assistance agreement in 2012for aircraft maintenance and spares which brought downtime of repairs of aircraft to be sent to Russia from 8-15months to 60 days.

Govt Gets Invite From Syria

  • External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Who Has Visited Several Arab Countries In The Past, Has Now Been Invited To War-torn Syria.
  • While Extending An Invitation To Ms. Swaraj, Political Advisor To President Bashar Al Assad, Said Regional And National Reconciliation Can Take Place Only If Terrorism In Syria Is Eliminated.
  • He Also Said Externally-imposed Terrorists Were Encouraged And Equipped By Turkey’s Present Ruling Elite.
  • It Is A Clear Sign That Syria Is Eager To Include India Within The Ambit Of Direct Political Consultation To Help In Bringing A Closure To The Destructive Civil War.

External affairs minister statement on Nepal issue

  • External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj informed the Rajya Sabha that Nepal has made “progress in the dialogue on the contentious issues with the agitating parties.
  • Nepal’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa indicated that political differences and “misunderstandings” in India over the leadership of Nepal have been resolved.
  • A team of MPs from both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are expected to visit Ne- pal shortly to revive the smooth political communication channels.

PM Modi says India will fulfil its commitment towards climate change

  • Mr. Modi, in his meeting with Mr. Obama, also appreciated the openness with which the U.S. President addressed issues with him and said it would help in developing a better understanding.
  • India will fulfil expectations from it and its responsibilities. The country is working to take forward development and (protecting) environment together,” Mr.Modi said at a joint press event with Mr.Obama.
  • The Prime Minister also mentioned India’s ambitious target of producing 175 GW of renewable energy.
  • The Prime Minister’s comments came in the back- COP21 drop of India’s green agenda strong resentment over U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement that India would be a “challenge” at the climate conference.
  • Mr.Modi also talked about the solar alliance initiative, saying it would help in fulfilling the dreams which had brought the countries together here.
  • PM Modi had said that there was an urgent need to craft a comprehensive, equitable and durable agreement to limit glob- al warming.
  • In the joint press conference they said”We must come together in a partnership to bring clean energy within the reach of all. The world has assembled in Paris to change the course of our planet to a sustainable path”.

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