Gist of The Hindu: April 2014
INDIA, PAKISTAN EXCHANGE NUCLEAR FACILITIES LIST
Pakistan and India Pakistan handed over list of its nuclear installation to
the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. Similarly External Affair Ministry
handed over its list to Pakistan High Commissionin New Delhi.
Exchanged the listof their nuclear installations under a bilateral agreement
that bars them from attacking each other’s atomic facilities.
The agreement, which was signed on December 31, 1988 and entered into force
on January 27,1991, says that the two countries inform each other of nuclear
installations andfacilities to be covered under the Agreement on January 1 of
every calendar year.
This is the 23rd consecutive exchange of such lists between the two
countries, the first one having taken place onJanuary 1, 1992.
Pakistan and India also exchanged the lists of prisoners under the Consular
Access Agreement between the two countries.
According to ForeignOffice here, Pakistanhas handed over a list of 281
Indianprisonerswhile India has reciprocated with a list detailing 396 Pakistani
As per the list, there are 232 Indian fishermen and 49 civilians in
India has 396 Pakistani prisoners ofwhich 257 are civilianswhereas 139 are
PRESIDENTNOD FOR LOKPAL BILL
Themuch talked-aboutLokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2013, got
President PranabMukherjee’s assent. The Bill,whichwas passed by Parliament in
the justconcluded winter session, provides for creation of anti-graft ombudsman
to investigate corruption charges against public functionaries including Prime
Minister,Ministers andMembers of Parliament. Among other provisions, the Bill
makes it incumbent upon States to make within a year their own law for setting
up Lokayuktas on the lines of the Lokpal Bill.
The Billwas sent to the President on Tuesday. Itwill now be notified in the
official gazette for it to become an Act. The Act shall be notified by the Law
The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in 2011 and was taken up
in the Rajya Sabha but could not be voted upon. Itwas referred to the
Parliamentary Standing Committee. Later the Billwas tabled inthe Rajya Sabha and
referred to the select committee. The amended Bill was again tabled in the Rajya
Sabha onDecember16 and passed byvoice vote. The following day, it was passed by
the Lok Sabha without debate.
INDIA TO CONDUCT ON-GROUND ASSESSMENT IN SOUTH SUDAN
India will conduct anon-ground assessment of its interests
inSouth Sudan, especiallythewell being of its 2,000soldiers who are part of a
UnitedNations stablisation team. The Indian Army contingent had lost three men
after its camp was overrun in the ongoing ethnic strife. In an earlier ambush in
April last year, four Indian soldiers and anofficerwere shot dead in an ambush.
The Indian Army contingent had to be evacuated by air and the
situation is considered so delicate thatNew Delhi has sent back a senior army
officer to serve an unusual second term as the deputy chief of the United
NationsMission in South Sudan (UNMISS) because of his knowledge of the land.
India as one of the three biggest contributors of soldiers to
U.N. peacekeeping missions has been unhappy about not being consulted on some of
the ways inwhich operations are now being carried out. India, alongwith some
other nations,has also urged the U.N. Security Council to take steps for going
after people responsible for the killing of their troops.
But India’s interests are also political and economic and
their furtherance depends onpeaceful ties not onlywithin South Sudan but stable
tieswith Sudan fromwhich it was carved out in 2011. Indian companies have 25 per
cent stake in a South Sudan oil companywhose crude is sent across Sudan by an
InAfrica, the two Sudans have the third largest crude
reserves and India appointed a Special Envoy for South Sudan even as its
independence was being negotiated. It was among the earliest to open a consulate
in Juba, four years before it formally became thenational capital.Both Sudans
are keenon Indian assistance and expertise in infrastructure development and
capacity building and a wider footprint by its corporates.