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

India & The World

  • India said China following double standards against terrorism (Free Available)
  • Russia providing special privilege to India (Free Available)
  • Growing Japan and India relationship (Free Available)
  • India says CPEC passes through its territory (Free Available)
  • Sri Lanka is in talks to offer the port of Trincomalee to India (Only for Online Coaching Members)
  • Amended version of kyoto protocol ratified by India (Only for Online Coaching Members)

India said China following double standards against terrorism

  • India said that China is following “double standard” on terrorism and asked Beijing to support its campaign to blacklist Pakistan-based terror mastermind Masood Azhar.
  • Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar said China’s block at the 1267 committee of the UN Security Council that prevented India from blacklisting the terror boss was “self-defeating”.
  • Mr. Akbar said, “as a responsible and mature nation, China will understand the double standards of this self-defeating purpose,”.
  • Govt acknowledged that despite tranquillity on India-China border, there remained “divergences” in bilateral ties, including China’s stand on Pakistan-based terror outfits such as Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).
  • India, however, was not in favour of stalling dialogue with Pakistan on the need to stop cross-border terrorism as it had delivered the necessary message to Pakistan and the world, with the surgical strike of September 28, Mr. Akbar said.
  • Mr. Singh also highlighted that the surgical strike of September 28, ten days after the Uri attack, had delivered the expected results.
  • “The aim of the surgical strike was — we have sent a message to the whole world that terrorism will not be acceptable as the new normal,” said Mr. Singh.

Russia providing special privilege to India

  • Russia has amended its laws, allowing long-term contracts for spares and support for military equipment supplied to India. This will address long-standing concerns on the serviceability of the imported equipment.
  • In the next step, India is also discussing the possibility of Russian Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) allowing licence-manufacture of spares locally by Indian vendors.
  • Currently, procurement of spares is a long and cumbersome process as India cannot deal directly with the OEMs but with designated intermediaries like Rosoboronexport. The change in law does away with that.
  • Indian military largely constitutes platforms and equipment of Russian origin and a constant concern has been the availability of spares for them.
  • To address this, the two countries began discussions for a long-term agreement on spares for five years, which would ensure quick delivery of spares and support from the OEMs.
  • One of the biggest beneficiaries of this will be the frontline Su-30MKI fighter jets of the Indian Air Force, the serviceability of which had at one time fallen below 50 per cent.

Growing Japan and India relationship

  • Japan and India have had a long trade and economic relationship starting from the later part of the 19th century.
  • However, post World War II and the establishment of diplomatic relations, the imperatives of the cold war kept the relations between the two countries at a sub-optimal level.
  • In the late 1980s, with the cold war fading, Japan-India relations again looked promising.
  • It is worth noting that even during the cold war period, Japan’s Overseas Development Assistance(ODA) was still active in India.
  • India’s nuclear tests in 1998 again led to severe condemnation and harsh sanctions by Japan and the relations moved to a low keel.
  • The current NDA government’s focused efforts in this regard seem to stem from awareness of the fact that the economic value created by way of trade and investment between the two countries is significantly lower than the potential.
  • The annual outward flow of Japanese FDI is about $130 billion and the U.S. gets about $40 billion annually. India should target at least $25 billion annually for the next 10 years.
  • The two-way trade in 1994-1995 between Japan and India was $4067 million, between India and China was $1015 million and between India and South Korea was $961.9 million.
  • By 2015-16, Japan-India two-way trade had increased to $14,512 million (a cumulative annual growth rate of 6.3%), China-India two-way trade had grown to $70,758 million (CAGR of 22.6%).
  • There are three main challenges which have constrained the Japan-India partnership from achieving its full potential. First, India’s complex regulations, red tape, ad hoc nature of state-level interventions.
  • Second, Japanese companies face considerable logistics challenges and non-availability of uninterrupted power supply constrains their manufacturing plans in India.
  • Third, while India can emerge as a large market for Japanese infrastructure system exports, there have been incredible delays in the commencement of the projects.
  • Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has funded the Tamil Nadu Investment Promotion Program for strengthening policy framework and urban and industry infrastructure to facilitate foreign investment.
  • Japan is working on developing 12 Industrial townships called Japan Industrial Townships (JITs) which will operate like Little Japan with all the infrastructure to support the operations of Japanese companies.
  • The Tokyo Declaration of November 2014 sets a target for doubling Japan’s foreign direct investment, the number of Japanese companies operating in India and an ambitious investment target of JPY 3.5 trillion within a five-year period.
  • The cumulative Overseas Development Assistance disbursement by Japan (India is the largest recipient of Japanese ODA) in 2014 was JPY4.6 trillion and in FY 15-16 only JPY 185.6 billion was disbursed.
  • Given the under-performance on all the benchmarks set up under the Tokyo Declaration, timely intervention from the highest levels of both governments can still ensure that the ambitious metrics can be achieved.

India says CPEC passes through its territory

  • Asserting its territorial sovereignty, India said on Wednesday that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passes through its territory.
  • Addressing the Raisina Dialogue, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said China was yet to respond to India’s territorial concerns on CPEC.
  • “China is very sensitive on matters concerning its sovereignty.We expect they will respect other peoples sovereignty. CPEC passes through a territory that we see as ours. Surely people will understand India’s reaction,” said Mr. Jaishankar
  • Prime Minister Modi too had drawn attention to the territorial sovereignty of India. “Respect for sovereignty is important for regional connectivity to improve,” Mr. Modi said in his inaugural speech.
  • China and Pakistan have fast-tracked the construction work of the CPEC, a large part of which passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Once completed, CPEC will provide an all-weather energy route for China from the Gulf.
  • India’s concerns have also increased in recent weeks with reports of China-Pakistan naval cooperation in Gwadar port of Balochistan, which will serve as the entry point to CPEC.
  • The Foreign Secretary said that China’s rise was a major “dynamic” factor in the Asian affairs and reminded the audience that differences with China had not gone away.
  • The Foreign Secretary’s comments about CPEC and the “political issues” are significant as both India and China have dealt with the differences over the last several months.
  • China’s territorial assertion over Asia, however, received a jolt in July 2016 when the Permanent Court of Arbitration gave an adverse verdict on the South China Sea issue.
  • Mr. Jaishankar said that India’s position on South China Sea was in sync with the international position.

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