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Foreign Relations of India


FOREIGN RELATIONS OF INDIA 2017

January 2017

India, Rwanda to enter solar alliance

India and Rwanda have agreed to raise the level of bilateral cooperation to a strategic partnership and India extended a $120 million credit to bring over 41,190 hectares of cultivable land under irrigation in the African country.

India’s Line of Credit to Rwanda and the development of export targeted Irrigated Agriculture Project and its expansion would bring irrigation facilities to more than 41,190 hectares of cultivable land.

India and Israel committed to strengthen bilateral relations in the field of Agriculture

Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, Shri Radha Mohan Singh met Israeli delegation led by the Agriculture and Rural Development Minister of Israel, Shri Uri Ariel to discuss issues relating to bilateral cooperation in agriculture between India and Israel.   Both sides expressed satisfaction over the progress made in cooperation in the agriculture and allied sectors between the two countries.

Under this program, as many as 27 Centres of Excellence (CoEs) in the cultivation of various fruits and vegetables, in 21 states, are being set up, out of which 15 CoEs are complete.

Sino-India relations deepened, military ties healthy: China

China has presented an upbeat picture of its ties with India in a policy document on Asia-Pacific security, saying their partnership has “deepened”, but skirted references to contentious issues like India’s NSG bid and efforts to get JeM chief Masood Azhar banned by the UN.

India extends $683 crore line of credit to Kenya

India has announced a USD 100 million Line of Credit to Kenya for agricultural mechanisation after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta during which they also decided to deepen economic cooperation, identifying expansion of bilateral trade as a “priority”.

India, Kenya sign MoU in area of agriculture

India and Kenya have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the agriculture sector and allied sector and Line of Credit for USD100 million for agricultural mechanisation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta held delegation level talks and praised the strength of the re-invigorated partnership between the two countries, which serves to increase stability, prosperity, and security in the Indian Ocean region and in the Asia-Pacific.

Pakistan to renovate Katas Raj Hindu temple

The Katas Raj temple is revered by Hindus across the globe as legend has it that the foundation of the sacred site was laid by Lord Shiva. Mr. Sharif said the temple was over 5,000 years old and had been the focal point of four civilisations. Al-Biruni, Persian scholar and polymath, had computed the earth’s circumference.

India, UAE to hold 1st strategic dialogue in New Delhi

India and the UAE have held their first strategic dialogue during which they finalised the Strategic Cooperation Agreement aimed at expanding bilateral cooperation to new key areas including energy, defence and security that will be signed during the visit of Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi next week.

India, UAE hold first strategic dialogue

INDIA and the UAE held the first meeting of their strategic dialogue in an attempt to finalise the cooperation agreement. Pursuant to the decision to elevate their relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership during the exchange of visits at the highest level between India and United Arab Emirates in August 2015 and February 2016, the two sides held the first meeting of Strategic Dialogue between the two Foreign Offices on January 20 in New Delhi.

February 2017

India & Austria Signs Protocol to Amend Bilateral Taxation Treaty

India and Austria signed a Protocol amending the existing Convention between the two countries for Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income. The Protocol was  signed by Shri  Sushil Chandra, Chairman CBDT on behalf of India and Mr. Georg Zehetner, Charge d’ Affaires, Embassy of Austria on behalf of Austria.

India & US agree to sustain momentum on defence efforts

India and the US agreed to sustain the momentum in their defence collaboration while committing to build on the “tremendous progress” made in the sector as Defence Secretary James Mattis held his first telephonic conversation with Indian counterpart Manohar Parrikar.

UN Seeks India’s Nominee For Anti-Terror Panel

India has been asked to send the name of its nominee for inclusion in a global team to assist a United Nations committee which decides on banning terror outfits and their leaders.  Following the request from the global body, both the Home and Finance ministries have been asked to recommend names of suitable individuals who can be part of the key team.

India Joins UN Network to Prevent Maternal, Newborn and Child Deaths by 2030.

India is among nine countries that will be part of a global health network focused on improving the quality of care for new mothers and babies and strengthen national efforts to end preventable deaths of pregnant women and newborns by 2030. The nine countries are India, Bangladesh, A Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda.

India and Japan ink pact on rail safety

India signed an agreement with Japan on enhancing railway safety in the Indian Railways with focus on railway track and rolling stock safety. The Memorandum of Cooperation was signed between Railway Board Chairman A.K.Mittal and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan Vice-Minister Hiroshi Tabata.

India, Bangladesh ink MoU for development of Sylhet city

India and Bangladesh have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the sustainable development of Sylhet city with financial aid from India. Indian High Commissioner Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Additional Secretary of the Economic Relations Division Shah Md. Aminul Haque and Sylhet City Corporation CEO Enamul Habib signed the tripartite agreement in Sylhet, a metropolitan city in northeastern Bangladesh.

India, Germany ratify Social Security Agreement

India and Germany have ratified the Social Security Agreement (SSA), which will come into force from May 1 this year, to help promote more investment flows between the two countries. The SSA will also integrate the provisions of the 2008 social insurance pact that exempts detached workers of the two countries from making social security contributions in either country so long as they were making such contributions in their respective countries.

India clears Rs 17,000-crore mega missile deal with Israel

A Rs 17,000 crore deal has been cleared by the government for jointly developing with Israel a medium-range surface-to-air missile (MR-SAM) for the army, reflecting India’s fast-growing defence ties with the Jewish nation. The project will be implemented by the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) and Israeli Aircraft Industry (IAI).

March 2017

India and Belgium sign Protocol to amend DTAA

India and Belgium have signed a Protocol to amend the existing Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between the two countries. This Protocol was signed by Sushil Chandra, Chairman, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on behalf of India and Jan Luykx, Ambassador of Belgium to India, on behalf of Belgium. The Protocol seeks to broaden the scope of the existing framework of exchange of tax related information.

India, Russia sign long-term support pact on Sukhoi Su-30MKI

India and Russia have signed two long-term support agreements for the Sukhoi Su-30MKI combat aircraft fleet, which is the mainstay of the Indian Air Force (IAF). Pacts were also signed for maintenance and life-cycle support for other Russian-origin platforms, such as Mi-17 helicopters, MiG-29K aircraft, INS Vikramaditya and T-90 tanks. The agreements were signed by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) with United Aircraft Corporation and United Engine Corporation.

Indian-American ranked fourth among overpaid CEOs in US

Indian-American CEO of a Chicago-based property firm has been ranked fourth on a list of top 25 overpaid CEOs in the United States of America. Sandeep Mathrani, CEO of General Growth Properties, has been listed fourth on the list of top 25 overpaid CEOs in America, according to the report from the nonprofit ‘As You Sow.’ The non-profit organisation promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility and takes a close look at CEO pay.

India and Vietnam to strengthen bilateral relations through medium of Cinema

Minister for Information & Broadcasting has said that collaboration in the field of Films, Broadcasting and Information Dissemination would strengthen the ties between India and Vietnam. Cooperation in the field of institutional capacity building in social media, student exchange programs between premier institutes of both the countries in the field of journalism and films would bring the two countries close. He mentioned this while meeting the Vietnamese delegation led by Minister of Information and Communications, Government of Vietnam Mr. Truong Minh Tuan.

April 2017

India, Malaysia sign 7 agreements

India and Malaysia have signed seven agreements, including in the areas of civil aviation and human resources development, following delegation-level bilateral talks headed by Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Najib Razak.  A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on cooperation in the proposed development of an urea and ammonia manufacturing plant in Malaysia and offtake of existing surplus urea from Malaysia to India.

India, Malaysia tie up for skilling, entrepreneurship development

The Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII),  has said it has tied up with Human Resource Development Fund under Ministry of HRD, Malaysia, for skill development, and assist the South-East Asian country in its target of ensuring 35 per cent skilled Malaysian workforce by 2020.

Malaysia agrees to set up technology park in Andhra Pradesh

A Malaysian company has agreed to help set up a technology park in Andhra Pradesh that’s expected to attract private sector investment of $100 million in the first phase. The Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board and MIGHT Technology Nurturing Sdn. Bhd (MTN) have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on building the park, which will cover 250 acres and focus on new technologies.

India, UK to set up 240 mn pound fund for green energy

India and the United Kingdom decided to set up a 240 million pound fund to finance clean energy projects here, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said. The Green Growth Equity Fund will be a sub-fund of NIIF.  India had in 2015 set up the Rs 40,000 crore National Infrastructure and Investment Fund (NIIF) to finance greenfield as well as brownfield projects. The fund will focus initial investments in India’s rapidly growing energy and renewables market and a “fund manager would be selected by autumn”.

India, Australia ink 6 pacts at bilateral talks; to boost counter-terrorism

India and Australia have inked six pacts including one aimed at boosting counter-terrorism cooperation after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull in New Delhi. The two leaders held comprehensive discussions on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest and concern. The two sides inked a pact to boost counter-terrorism cooperation which was signed between the Ministry of Home Affairs and its counterpart Australian ministry.

Indo-Canadian Science Programme on Clean Water Technology

The Department of Biotechnology and Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology are collaborating with The India-Canada Centre for Innovation Multidisciplinary Partnerships to Accelerate Community Transformation and Sustainability (IC-IMPACTS), to promote multidisciplinary research partnerships. Five projects addressing the issue of Clean Water Technologies are being implemented by the Departments at the total cost of Rs. 572 lakhs with matched funding from Canada.

India-Australia launches Sports Partnership in Mumbai

India and Australia have launched Sports partnership in Mumbai aimed at increasing cooperation in sports.  The Partnership, which was launched by the Union Minister for Youth Affairs & Sports Mr. Vijay Goel and the visiting Australian Prime Minister Mr. Malcolm Turnbull, in the presence of cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar, will advance India – Australia cooperation in four areas – athlete and coach training and development, sport science, sport governance and integrity, and grassroots participation.”

France, India ink pact to upgrade Railways

The French Minister of State for Transport, Marine Affairs and Fisheries Alain Vidalies signed an agreement with Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu for collaboration in areas such as high-speed and semi-high speed rail, modernisation of current operations and infrastructure, station renovation and operations, suburban trains and safety systems, operations and security. On semi-high-speed, the parties had decided in 2015 to carry out a technical and execution study for upgrading the speed of passengers trains on the current rail corridor between Delhi and Chandigarh (244 km) up to 200 kmph.

India wins elections to two subsidiary bodies of UN

India has won elections to two subsidiary bodies of a UN organ focussed on social and economic issues. India along with 12 other members was elected to the Committee for Programme and Coordination (CPC), a subsidiary body of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The country garnered the most number of votes in the Asian group, with 49 out of 50 members of ECOSOC voting in its favour.

India, South Korea sign pact for defence shipbuilding

India and South Korea signed an agreement to firm up bilateral cooperation in defence shipbuilding. Under the MoU, conceived under the umbrella of the special strategic partnership, the two sides will nominate one shipyard each for this purpose. India has already picked Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) while Korea will make the nomination soon, Secretary (Defence Production).

India-South Korea sign MoU on shipbuilding

India and South Korea has signed an MoU for defence industry cooperation in shipbuilding. The MoU, signed by India’s Defence Production Secretary Ashok Kumar Gupta and South Korean Defence Acquisition and Programme Administration Minister Chang Myoung-Jin, focuses on developing and strengthening defence industry co-operation between the two countries, which will recommend the organisations for collaborating in the implementation of specific projects.

India and Sri Lanka sign MoU on economic co-operation

India and Sri Lanka signed an MoU on economic co-operation. The agreement was exchanged in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe in New Delhi. The MoU proposes Indian investment in development of port and oil tank farms in Trincomalee, setting up of a LNG power plant and terminal, piped gas supply in capital Colombo, highway and railway projects in north and east of the country.

Belgium opens honorary consulate in GIFT City

Belgium has become the first country to open an honorary consulate office in Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City). The consulate was inaugurated by Belgian Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Pieter De Crem, at an event where Ajay Pandey, Managing Director and Group CEO, GIFT City, and members of a high-level delegation from Belgium were also present.

India signs 4 bilateral agreements with Cyprus

India and Cyprus signed four agreements, including on air services and merchant shipping, following delegation-level talks headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades in New Delhi. The two sides signed an executive programme on culture, education and scientific cooperation for the years 2017 to 2020. Both sides signed a work plan under a programme of cooperation in agriculture for the period 2017-2018. Another agreement was signed on cooperation in the area of merchant shipping. A fourth agreement was signed to boost air services between the two countries.

May 2017

India & Japan to Strengthen Defence Cooperation

Japan and India affirmed plans to strengthen their military cooperation amid rising tension in the Asian region. Indian Defence Minister Arun Jaitley told his Japanese counterpart, Tomomi Inada, in Tokyo that his country hopes to pursue a strategic partnership with Japan for regional peace and stability. His visit comes at a time of rising tension in the region, including territorial rows in the South China Sea and nuclear and missile threats from North Korea.

US launch web-portal to track policies of Indian states

A top US think-tank has launched a knowledge web-portal which tracks the policy and regulatory environments of major Indian states. An initiative of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the online web portal the ‘Engaging Indian States,’ was launched by Griffin Thompson, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Transformation and Richard Rossow, senior adviser and Wadhwani Chair in the US-India Policy Studies.

India to buy anti-nuclear suits from US for 480 crore

The United States has approved the sale of anti-chemical and anti-nuclear suits to India for a cost of $75 million — approximately Rs 480 crore. The purchase is sure to boost India’s capacity to handle, contain and even foil possible chemical, biological or nuclear-based attacks. The US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement to the US Congress that it has ‘made a determination approving a possible foreign military sale to the government of India for CBRN [chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defence] support equipment.

India and UK signs MoU to increase efficiency of urban transport system

India & UK have agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on bilateral cooperation in urban transport policy planning, technology transfer and institutional organization of transport. Under the proposed MOU, the Transport For London (TFL) will share with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways its expertise on the mobility and efficiency of transport system and methodologies to facilitate the planning and delivery of mobility solutions including ticketing , passenger information, major project financing, infrastructure maintenance strategies and behavioral change and public transport promotion.

June 2017

India, Russia ink pact for nuclear power units in Tamil Nadu

India and Russia have signed the pact for setting up the last two units of the Kundankulam nuclear power plant with Moscow’s help in Tamil Nadu after overcoming initial hurdles to finalise the strategic deal. The General Framework Agreement (GFA) and Credit protocol for Units 5 and 6 of the Kudankulam nuclear plant are seen as a major outcome of the annual summit talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Sikkim govt signs MoU with British Council

The Human Resource Development department of Sikkim government has signed an MoU with the British Council to enhance quality of education in the state.  The MoU will improve the educational structure of the schools of Sikkim as planned by the Chief Minister and his vision to revolutionise Sikkim’s education and help children achieves greater feats in life.

India, Russia to develop ‘independent’ credit rating industry

India and Russia have vowed to develop a credit rating industry that is “independent from political conjecture”, a move that follows apprehensions about global agencies being biased towards large economies like the US and China.

The move assumes significance in the wake of several commentators and policy makers in India raising concerns that global rating agencies have not been upgrading India’s sovereign credit rating despite its improving economic and political fundamentals, even as China was viewed favourably by the same agencies.

India-Australia naval exercise ‘AUSINDEX 17’ begins

Navies of India and Australia will participate in bilateral maritime exercise AUSINDEX-17 this week with an aim to enhancing interoperability and cooperation between the two forces. Indian naval ships Jyoti, Shivalik and Kamorta are on a port visit to Freemantle, Australia from June 13 to 17 and will join the exercise. The exercise is aimed at increasing interoperability and is in consonance with the growing cooperation between the two countries.

India to be co-partner in global food trade fair ANUGA

India to be a co-partner in a global food and beverages trade ANUGA held in Cologne Germany from October 7-11 this year. The 34th edition of ANUGA is being organised by Koelnmesse GmBH and 7,200 exhibitors from more than 100 countries are likely to participate in the event.

Lok Sabha Speaker inks MoU with Mauritius counterpart

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, who is leading a Parliamentary delegation to Mauritius, met the Speaker of National Assembly of Mauritius, Santi Bai Hanoomanjee in Port Louis, and inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to institutionalise cooperation between the two Parliaments. The MoU on joint framework for parliamentary support and capacity building was a “visionary” step forward.

India, Pakistan become full members of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

India and Pakistan have became full members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a China-dominated security grouping that is increasingly seen as a counterweight to NATO. India’s membership was strongly pushed by Russia while Pakistan’s entry into the grouping was backed by China. With the expansion of the grouping, the SCO will now represent over 40 per cent of humanity and nearly 20 per cent of the global GDP.

India, UNOSSC launch partnership fund to promote sustainable development

India and the UN Office for South-South Cooperation have launched a partnership fund that will support sustainable development projects across the developing world.

The India-UN Development Partnership Fund will implement country-level projects that are catalytic towards achieving the 17 sustainable development goals of the 2030 Agenda.

The initiative is aimed at reducing poverty and hunger, improving health, education and equality, and expanding access to clean water, energy and livelihoods.

India signs OECD pact to check tax evasion by MNCs

India has signed the OECD multilateral convention that aims to check cross-border tax evasion by multinational companies. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley signed the multilateral convention in Paris to implement tax treaty-related measures to prevent base erosion and profit shifting.

The Multilateral Convention is an outcome of the OECD/G20 Project to tackle Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) which is resorted to by MNCs through tax planning strategies by exploiting gaps and mismatches in tax rules.

India ratifies two key ILO conventions on child labour

India has ratified two key ILO conventions on child labour, according to a statement issued by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva. Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, who is Geneva, said the ratification reaffirmed India’s “commitment to a child labour free society”.

India-South Korea sign Agreements to Push Infrastructure Development and Bilateral Trade

India and Korea have decided to stimulate investments to push infrastructure development and bilateral trade as they sought to ward off threats of rising protectionism. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley co-chaired the fifth India-Korea Financial Dialogue in Seoul with South Korea Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon and reviewed the international economic situation, and economic ties. The two countries also signed agreements to establish $9 billion in concessional credit and $1 billion in Official Development Assistance (ODA)  funding for infrastructure development projects in India.

World Bank approves over $500 million for Afghanistan to boost economy

The World Bank has approved financing worth more than 500 million dollars for Afghanistan to support a string of projects to boost the economy, help improve service delivery in five cities and support Afghan refugees sent back from Pakistan.

The international troop withdrawal, which began in 2011, and political uncertainties have impacted Afghanistan’s economy deeply. The largest chunk of the package, some 205.4 million dollars, will go toward supporting communities affected by refugees returning from Pakistan.

India ratifies United Nations TIR Convention

India was became the 71st country to ratify the United Nations TIR (Transports International Routiers) Convention, a move that will help boost trade through smoother movement of goods across territories. The ratification is a part of India’s multi-modal transport strategy that aims to integrate the economy with global and regional production networks through better connectivity.

Narendra Modi holds talks with Portugal PM Antonio Costa, 11 pacts signed

India and Portugal have announced a €4 million joint fund to bolster research in science and technology as Prime Minister Narendra Modi held in-depth talks with his Portuguese counterpart Antonio Costa on cooperation in areas like counter-terrorism, space and climate studies.

The agreements signed included cooperation in outer space, double taxation avoidance, nano technology, improving cultural ties, youth and sports, higher education and scientific research, and Portugal-India business hub and Indian Chamber of Commerce.

Modi launches India-Portugal Intl Startup Hub in Lisbon

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Portuguese counterpart Antonio Costa have launched the India-Portugal International Startup Hub, a platform developed to strengthen and foster the connection between the startup ecosystem of the two countries. Start-up sphere is an interesting space for cooperation.

The India-Portugal International StartUp Hub (IPISH) is a platform for all stakeholders of the startup ecosystem in India, including startups, investors, mentors, incubators, accelerators, aspiring entrepreneurs, service providers and government bodies.

Aadhaar not valid for travel to Nepal, Bhutan: Home ministry

Aadhaar is not a valid identification document for Indians travelling to Nepal and Bhutan, the Union home ministry has said. Indians can travel to Nepal and Bhutan–both countries for which they don’t need visas–if they possess a valid national passport or election ID card issued by the Election Commission.

India 1st to voluntarily contribute $100k to UN tax fund

India has contributed $100,000 to a UN fund to promote the participation of developing countries in a panel dealing with international cooperation in tax matters. Ashish Sinha, a First Secretary in India’s Mission to the UN, handed over the cheque for the UN Tax Fund to Shari Spiegel, chief of the Policy Development and Analysis Branch of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (Desa).


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