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

India & The World

  • Shanghai Cooperation Agreement may provide route to NSG (Free Available)
  • Obama administration named Indo-US ties as “Modi Doctrine” (Free Available)
  • India, Japan and US started Malabar exercise (Free Available)
  • UNGA meet set the world on course to end HIV by 2030 (Free Available)
  • India gets more support for its bid to NSG (Free Available)
  • On defence and cooperation US and India have made great strides (Free Available)
  • India is likely to ask African countries to relax commitment to the Pelindaba Treaty (Free Available)
  • India- Japan nuclear deal facing difficulties (Only for Online Coaching Members)
  • Modi, Obama discusses important Paris climate deal, missile treaty (Only for Online Coaching Members)
  • India and Switzerland agreed to tackle the problem of black money (Only for Online Coaching Members)
  • India and Singapore held the inaugural Singapore-India Defence Ministers’ Dialogue (Only for Online Coaching Members)
  • India looking for port facility in Paira, Bangladesh (Only for Online Coaching Members)
  • US to support India’s bid to NSG (Only for Online Coaching Members)
  • India in favour of a fair and reasonable settlement of boundary question (Only for Online Coaching Members)
  • First round of discussions under Maritime security dialogue between India and US (Only for Online Coaching Members)

Shanghai Cooperation Agreement may provide route to NSG

  • The Shanghai Cooperation Agreement is a six-member Central Asian grouping seen as a counterpoint to the U.S.-European military bloc NATO.
  • Significantly, Mr. Modi called President Putin wishing him on Russia’s national day and confirming the meeting at the SCO.
  • In a statement, the Kremlin said: “The discussion focused on practical issues of the two countries’ cooperation, including preparations for the top-level contacts to be held shortly.”
  • While refusing to confirm whether “the practical issues” included India’s NSG membership, MEA sources said Russia has always been “very supportive” of India’s NSG aspirations.
  • But analysts say Mr. Modi may be hopeful of more: that Russia will use its influence with countries like Kazakhstan and Turkey, who are not yet convinced to back India, and most importantly, as a bridge with China, that has taken a tough position.
  • Since the Russia-India-China meet which External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj attended in Moscow in April, where the three hammered out an acceptable formulation on the contentious South China Sea.
  • Since then, India omitted the explicit reference to the South China Sea in the joint statement with the U.S. last week as well.

Obama administration named Indo-US ties as “Modi Doctrine”

  • Describing the visit of PM Modi as “historic”, the Obama Administration has named his vision of Indo-U.S. ties as “Modi Doctrine” that has overcome the “hesitations of history” and working for the betterment of the global good.
  • “The most important outcome in my mind of the visit this week and of the years of effort that preceded it is the clear and compelling vision that was laid out by Prime Minister Modi before joint session of the U.S. Congress,”.
  • Mr. Modi in his speech furthered his bold vision of India-U.S. partnership that could anchor peace, prosperity and stability from Asia to Africa, from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific and help ensure the security of the sea lanes of commerce.

India, Japan and US started Malabar exercise

  • The navies of India, Japan and the U.S. started the annual Malabar naval exercises in Japan, close to islands contested by China.
  • This also comes just after PM Modi’s visit to the U.S. during which India was declared a major defence partner of the U.S.
  • The location of the war games, which will be conducted over hundreds of miles, is of particular interest as they are not very far from the Air Defence Identification Zone imposed by China over the East China Sea in November 2013.
  • It includes the Senkaku Islands, controlled by Japan but claimed by Beijing, and the nine dash line.
  • The exercise also comes at a time of increased sighting of Chinese submarines in India’s own backyard, close to Sri Lanka.
  • The harbour phase is conducted from June 10 to 13 at Sasebo, and the sea phase will take place from June 14 to 17 off the Okinawa prefecture in the Philippine Sea.
  • The major emphasis will be on anti-submarine drills and protecting aircraft carriers from hostile assets lurking under water. Additionally, the special forces of the three navies will interact during the exercise.

UNGA meet set the world on course to end HIV by 2030

  • At a high-level meeting on HIV/AIDS at the United Nations General Assembly, Health Minister reinforced India’s commitment to fast-track progress on ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
  • At the meeting member states have adopted a new political declaration, including time-bound global targets, to be reached over the next five years and end the epidemic as a public health threat by 2030.
  • The UNGA meeting brings together heads of state and government, people living with HIV , and donor organisations, to reiterate commitments made in the Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS and to set the world on course to end the epidemic by 2030 within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals
  • India proposed a five-point strategy — the ‘global family’ — to end AIDS. He stated that India was committed to enforcing TRIPS flexibilities to make drugs affordable.
  • “India is proud of being one of the leading partners in the global fight against AIDS epidemic.”
  • These remarkable successes would not have been possible without access to affordable medicines.
  • The low cost generic medicines produced by the Indian pharmaceutical industry have been instrumental in scaling up access to HIV treatment not only in India but in other parts of the world.
  • More than 80 per cent of the antiretroviral drugs, used globally, are supplied by the Indian pharmaceutical industry,” he said.
  • The five point strategy includes adoption of the fast-track target; reaching 90 per cent of all people in need with HIV treatment; commitment to maintain the TRIPS flexibilities; creating an inclusive society with programmes that work towards restoring the respect and dignity of individuals, and lastly, global solidarity.

India gets more support for its bid to NSG

  • As the extraordinary two-day plenary of the Nuclear Suppliers Group began in Vienna to discuss membership applications, India’s chances received a boost from Mexico, considered a “non-proliferation hardliner” thus far.
  • Mr. Modi was in Mexico on the last leg of his five-nation tour, and his visits to both Mexico and Switzerland, which also announced its support, were aimed at garnering backing for entry to the NSG.
  • Italy, which had earlier blocked India’s entry over issue of the arrest of Marines accused of killing Indian fishermen, has indicated that it will support India’s case
  • India’s biggest concern from the 48-nation group comes from China, which has argued that NSG members must be signatories to the non-proliferation treaty (NPT).
  • India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel are among countries that have not signed the NPT, which India believes is discriminatory.

On defence and cooperation US and India have made great strides

  • India and the U.S. have different interpretations of what they agreed upon at the talks on the Paris Agreement on climate change when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama met.
  • But on defence and cooperation in Asia-Pacific, both sides agree that they made great strides.
  • The U.S. has recognised India as ‘major defence partner,’ a classification that will allow India to buy more advanced and sensitive technologies from the U.S.
  • This move will be complemented by India’s entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime, an exclusive club that restricts trade in sensitive defence technologies.
  • The U.S. has also declared that it will be its “strong objective to have India voted as a member “of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), another export control regime, later this month.
  • The joint statement said, “The leaders reached an understanding under which India would receive licence-free access to a wide range of dual-use technologies...”
  • While India is enthusiastic about the prospects of technology cooperation, the U.S is more focussed on the progress on climate change.
  • U.S officials, speaking before and after the release of the joint statement, said India has agreed to complete the ratification process within the year 2016.
  • In a curious addition to the set of shared objectives, the joint statement called for the promotion of yoga.

India is likely to ask African countries to relax commitment to the Pelindaba Treaty

  • On the sidelines of its campaign for membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), India is likely to ask African countries to relax commitment to the Pelindaba Treaty which controls supply of uranium from key mineral hubs of Africa to the rest of the world.
  • President Pranab Mukherjee would begin the process by trying to convince Namibia next week, during his June 15-18 trip, to implement a bilateral treaty with India and supply uranium to Indian nuclear energy projects.
  • The Pelindaba Treaty signed in 1996, also known as the African Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty, aims at preventing nuclear proliferation and preventing strategic minerals of Africa from being exported freely.
  • India and Namibia signed two MoUs on Cooperation in the field of geology and mineral resources and Cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy during the visit of President Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba to India in 2009.
  • The visit by Mr. Mukherjee will give India a chance to persuade Namibia to ratify the MoUs of 2009.
  • A major focus of Mr. Mukherjee’s three-nation visit will be on energising India’s existing business ties with Ghana, Namibia and Cote d’Ivoire.

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