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    UPSCPORTAL Current Affairs : http://upscportal.com/civilservices/current-affairs

    WWW.UPSC.PORTAL.COM

    INDIA ANDBANGLADESH

    India and Bangladesh signed a

    historicprotocolonlandboundary

    agreement following the talks

    between Prime Minister

    MahmohanSinghandBangladesh

    PrimeMinisterSheikh Hasinain

    Dhakaon 6 September 2011.The

    agreement in itself is historic,

    after signingagreements, Indian

    PrimeMinistersaidthatsigningof

    theprotocolonlandboundarywill

    resolve all issues relating toun-

    demarcated boundary areas ,

    enclavesand landunderadverse

    possession.

    During thevisit ofManmohan

    Singh to Bangladesh, India and

    Bangladesh signed the following

    agreements:

    (i) Framework Agreementon

    Cooperation for

    Development

    (ii) Protocol to the Agreement

    concerningthedemarcation

    of the Land Boundary

    between India and

    Bangladesh and related

    matters

    (iii) Addendum to the MOU

    between India and

    Bangladesh to facilitate

    Overland TransitTraffic

    between Bangladesh and

    Nepal

    because for the first time India

    will have a fully demarcated

    boundary with one of it s

    neighbours.In ajoint statement,

    INDIA & THE WORLD

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    (iv) Memorandum of

    Understanding for

    Cooperation inRenewable

    Energy

    (v) Memorandum of

    Understanding on

    Conservation of theSunderban

    (vi) ProtocolonConservationof

    theRoyalBengalTigerofthe

    Sunderban

    (vii) Memorandum of

    Understanding on

    Cooperationin Fisheries

    (viii) Memorandum of

    Understanding on

    Cooperation between

    Doordarshan and

    BangladeshTelevision

    (ix) Memorandum of

    Understanding on

    Cooperation between

    JawaharlalNehruUniversity

    and DhakaUniversity

    (x) Agreementof Cooperation

    betweenNational Institute

    of Fashion Design (NIFT),

    Indiaand BGMEA Instituteof Fashion Technology

    (BIFT), Bangladesh

    BangladeshPrimeMinister Sheikh

    Hasina described the land

    boundaryagreementasahistoric

    momentinbilateralrelationsand

    added that the framework

    agreementon cooperation and

    development is a visionary

    document that looksnotjustonthe reality today but also the

    potentialsoftomorrow.Indiaand

    Bangladeshalsoagreedtoremove

    al l barriers and improve

    infrastructurelikeroad, portand

    rail linksforenhancingbilateral

    trade. Thiswas agreed after a

    two-daysuccessfulvisitbyPrime

    MinisterManmohanSingh. During

    hi s visit, Manmohan Singh

    announcedtoremove 46 textiles

    lines, of interest to Bangladesh,

    fromIndiasnegative listfor the

    least developed countriesunder

    theSouth Asia FreeTrade Area

    Agreement (SAFTA). Import

    duties on these items from

    Bangladeshwillbeeliminatedwith

    immediateeffect.

    INDIA AND PAKISTANAt the invitation of the

    CommerceMinisterofIndia, Shri

    Anand Sharma, the Commerce

    MinisterofPakistan, Makhdoom

    Mohammad Amin FahimvisitedIndiafrom 26thSeptemberto 2nd

    October, 2011.

    Aftermorethanthreeandahalf

    decades, thisisthefirstvisitbya

    Pakistan CommerceMinister toIndia. Theofficialleveldiscussions

    wereheld on 28th September

    betweentheCommerceMinisters

    and their respective official

    delegations. BothMinistersnoted

    with satisfaction that India and

    Pakistanareenteringanewphase

    of fullnormalizationofbilateral

    traderelations. Thisaugurswell

    for enhancingmutual trust and

    understanding.

    TheMinisters agreed tojointly

    work to more than double

    bilateraltradewithinthreeyears,

    fromcurrentlevelsof2.7 BillionUSdollarsperannumtoabout 6

    Billiondollars. Thisgoalshallalso

    be facilitated through the

    MemorandumofUnderstanding

    signed todaybetween the India

    TradePromotionOrganization

    and the Trade Development

    AuthorityofPakistan. TheMoU

    shall foster better trade

    promotional activities, for the

    benefitofbusinesscommunitiesofboth countries.TheMinisters

    mandated their Commerce

    Secretaries topursuewithvigor

    the task of fully normalizing

    bilateral trade relations. Theyagreedthattheircountrieswould

    cooperateforahighambitionof

    preferentialtraderelationsunder

    theframeworkoftheSouth Asia

    FreeTrade Agreement (SAFTA).

    Theynotedwithsatisfactionthe

    joint and collaborative efforts

    alreadybeingmadebyIndiaand

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    Pakistan to liberalize trade in

    goodsandservicesunderSAFTA.

    They agreed that al l mutual

    obligations contracted under

    SAFTA wouldbe implemented

    withfullsincerity.

    The Ministers appreciated theprogressmadeand roadmap laid

    fortradeliberalizationintheApril

    2011 meetingof the Commerce

    Secretaries . They further

    mandated their respective

    CommerceSecretariesthatwhen

    theymeet inNovember, 2011

    they shall lay down specific

    timelines tonormalize all trade

    relationshipsincludingdismantling

    of all non-tariff barriers. Fullimplementation of SAFTA

    obligationswasalsomandated.

    BothMinisters agreed thatjoint

    and concerted effortswill be

    made in all areas to create an

    enabling environment for trade

    and to encourage greater

    engagementbetweenthebusiness

    communitiesofbothcountries.

    Theyagreed to furtherpromotegreaterintra-regionalconnectivity

    throughroad, rail, shippingandair.

    This meeting has been an

    important milestone in

    identificationof issues impeding

    trade (insectorssuchascement,

    textiles, surgical instruments) as

    perceived by the business

    communities ofboth countries.

    Customsarrangementshavealsobeen significantly synchronized

    and both sides are vigorously

    addressingissuesofinfrastructure,

    tofurtherpromotebilateraltrade

    throughthelandrouteofAttari-

    Wagah.

    The new business visa regime

    would allowmultiple entry and

    couldbe for aperiodup toone

    year.TheMinistersexpressedthe

    hopethatsuchanewvisaregime

    wouldrapidlyexpandthevistasof

    bilateral commerce .They

    emphasized that amore secure

    regional environment would

    progressivelyhelpbothcountries

    to keep liberalizing the visa

    arrangementsforbusinesspersons.

    The Ministers agreed that the

    bilateral trade liberalization

    processshouldbeuninterruptible

    andirreversible.

    Theyaffirmedthatbothcountries

    would cooperate and work in

    closecoordinationatmultilateral

    forum , such as WTO andSAARC, to support eachother,

    thereby strengthening their

    economies.

    INDIA AND CHINA

    Indiaand Chinaheld their firstStrategic Economic Dialogue inBeijing on 26 September 2011.Indiaand Chinaagreedtodeepenbilateralinvestmentcooperation,furtheropenupmarketstoeachotherandimprovetheinvestment

    environment.IndiaandChinaalsoagreedtostrengthencooperationon energy efficiency andconservation, as well as onenvironmentalprotection. Inorderto promote sustainabledevelopment, the two sides

    agreed to cooperate in therenewableenergysector.

    Thetwosidesagreedtohostthe

    next SED in 2012 inIndia.Strategic Economic Dialoguewillincreasemutualunderstandingand trust between India andChina.

    Through this dialogue, bothnations could share theirexperience to achieve economic

    development. Although thebilateral tradecrossed 61 billionUSdollarsin 2011, Indiawasleftwithdeficitofover 40.9 billionUS dollars due to acceleratedexportsfrom China.

    INDIA AND USAMinister of Power Shri

    SushilkumarShindevisitedUnited

    StatesofAmericatotakepartin

    the8thIndiaInvestment Forumin

    NewYork.TheIndiaInvestment

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    Forumhaddistinguishedgathering

    of top ranking India centric

    investors, captainsofIndianand

    US Industries,especially those

    from power sector, senior

    governmentrepresentatives, Fund

    Managersand Analysts.

    Calling upon the American

    investors to invest in Indian

    powersector, ShriShindesaidthat

    Indiahastakenseveralmeasures

    to make the power sector

    investorfriendlyinafastgrowing

    competitiveenvironment, hesaidthat an independent regulatory

    frameworkinIndianowprovides

    business confidence to power

    companiesand a fairly lucrative

    rateof returnonequityof 15.5

    percentperannum.

    Highlighting the reforms in the

    power sector theMinister said

    that the Electricity Act 2003

    allows the sector to align itselfwithmarketdynamicsandclears