A new draft proposal circulated among NSG member-states early this month
could pave the way for India to become a member of the elite club, but this
is unlikely to happen before the end of the Obama presidency next month.
The American push for India to become a full-fledged NSG member would
now have to be pursued by the incoming Trump administration.
The outgoing Obama administration is unlikely to fulfil its promise made
to the Modi government before its term expires on January 20.
A draft formula for NSG membership to countries like India and Pakistan,
that are not a signatory to the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), was
submitted by Rafael Mariano Grossi, the former NSG Chair, who prepared the
report on behalf of South Korea, the current NSG chair.
US increased sanctions on LeT
Tightening the noose around Lashkar-e-Taiba, the U.S. designated the
terror group’s student wing Al-Muhammadia Students a terrorist organisation
and slapped sanctions against its two top leaders.
LeT was designated as a terrorist organisation by the United States in
Since the original designation occurred, LeT has repeatedly changed its
name and created front organisations in an effort to avoid sanctions, said
the State Department.
Simultaneously, the U.S. Treasury Department designated two LeT senior
leaders, Muhammad Sarwar and Shahid Mahmood, as global terrorists. Both the
LeT leaders are based in Pakistan.
Nepal is not open to India's open sky offer
Nepal has rejected India’s ‘open sky’ offer to allow unlimited flights
between the two countries.
Nepal said it was not yet ready for the agreement. India has been keen
on countering Nepal’s recent engagement with China on the road, railways and
Airlines from India and Nepal are now allowed to operate 30,000 seats
from each side.
India and Nepal signed a memorandum of understanding to set up a joint
technical committee to examine Nepal’s request for developing new air routes
and air entry points at Janakpur, Bhairahawa and Nepalgunj.
India signed an agreement with Sri Lanka, Jamaica, Guyana, Czech
Republic, Finland and Spain to allow airlines to operate unlimited flights
to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
Nepal has long been pushing for new airspaces to ease congestion on the
existing routes and to save time and cost for air passengers.
Hong Kong altered its visa agreement with India
Overstaying Indian nationals violating visa norms prompted Hong Kong, a
China-administered territory, to alter its visa agreement with India.
Hong Kong, which used to be part of a block of countries that gave
Indians unconditional visa-free entry, has introduced “pre-registration” for
Indian nationals to prevent illegal immigration.
Under the previous visa agreement, Indian visitors could visit the Hong
Kong Special Administrative Region for 14 days. However, the region had
complained about abuse of the agreement by illegal immigrants from India.
Indian nationals must apply for, and success-fully complete, pre-arrival
registration online before they can visit or transit the HKSAR visa-free.
It clarified that such registration would not be necessary for those
transiting through the Hong Kong airport without leaving the airport transit
area. The arrangement will be introduced on January 23.
Hong Kong's unilateral decision came a year after its government sent a
delegation headed by the AssistantDirector of Immigration from the
Immigration Department and the Hong Kong Police in December 2015.