South Asian Sub-regional Drug Focal Point Meeting Observed in New Delhi
- The Sub-Regional Drug Focal Point Meeting and Drug Demand Reduction (DDR) Expert Group Consultation, South Asia under the Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Programme (CPDAP) is observed from September 9 to 11, 2015. It is organised by the Narcotics Control Bureau.
- The main objective of the meeting is to review the progress of the Drug Demand and Supply Reduction activities in the region.
- This conference facilitated exchange of views on technical aspects of the drug cooperation programme and it aims at achieving effectiveness and efficiency.
- About 40 delegates from various participating countries namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka and observer countries namely USA and Myanmar are participated in the meeting.
- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) representative from Regional Office for South Asia, New Delhi will also participate in this meeting.
Read also – Smart Practice Current Affairs October 2015 [Part 2].
India-Indonesia Signed Pact to Cooperate on Criminal Matters
- India and Indonesia have signed a pact on September 9, 2015 for repatriation of each other’s wanted prisoners and cooperate in all criminal matters, including gathering evidence.
- In this regard Union Ministry of Home Affairs has issued an official gazette notification for service or execution of summons or warrant in relation to criminal matters in both countries.
- Under the agreement, India will execute summons to an accused person or to any person requiring to attend and produce documents or a search-warrant issued by an Indonesian court. Indonesia will reciprocate with similar action if there is any request from any Indian court.
India-Belarus Set Trade Target of $ 1 Billion by 2018
- A trade target of $ 1 billion was decided between India i and Belarus at the Seventh Session of the India-Belarus Inter-Governmental Commission that was held in Belarus capital Minsk on September 7, 2015. The target is to achieved by 2018.
- Both sides noted the potential to step up cooperation in pharmaceuticals and Mining machinery, energy, fertilizer, and tourism between the two countries. Both countries also agreed to facilitate business to business contacts to promote investment flows in the two countries.
- Issues being faced by Indian pharmaceutical companies exporting their medicines to Belarus, cooperation in potash fertilizer sector and visa concerns of Indian businessmen were also discussed. They also agreed to form a Joint Working Group to discuss further cooperation in health-care and pharmaceuticals.
India-Australia Agreed to Deepen Bilateral Cooperation
- Narendra Modi Prime Minister (India) and Tony Abbott Prime Minister (Australia) agreed on September 5, 2015 to enhance bilateral cooperation in the fields of energy, water, science, education and skills based on long-term, sustainable and reliable supply of Australian resources based on India’s energy needs.
- Cooperation on energy extending to coal, LNG, renewables and uranium and on resources such as iron ore, copper and gold were key elements of the relationship and both the countries committed to intensifying these links.
- The Australia-India Strategic Research Fund, which has provided a high-impact knowledge partnership between the two countries through science and technology cooperation, was also given a further period of four years.
- MoU on water cooperation with Australia which is offering to support India’s Ganga rejuvenation efforts, extended.
India-UAE Step-up Bilateral Trade by 60%
- India and UAE inched towards creation of proposed $ 75-billion joint infrastructure investment fund on September 3, 2015. The two sides also made commitment to step-up bilateral trade by 60% over the next five years.
- Both sides reached to these agreements at the 11th session of the India-UAE Joint Commission meeting held in New Delhi. It was co-chaired by Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her visiting counterpart. Foreign Minister of UAE Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.
- Both the countries set-up Joint Business Council and decided to conclude bilateral Double Taxation Avoidance agreement and the Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement to attract investment from the Gulf nation in infrastructure, energy, defence, railways and highways sectors.
SAARC Countries’ Conference on Disaster Mitigation
- A conference of SAARC countries to chalk out and undertake joint efforts on various issues related to disaster mapping and mitigation in the member nations began at New Delhi on September 3, 2015.
- The conference is being held keeping in mind the prevalent geo-climatic conditions as well as increased frequency of natural calamities in the SAARC region, especially in the wake of the recent earthquake in Nepal in, April.
- This conference calls for enhanced levels of preparedness and risk resilience as well as collaborative action amongst member countries to individually and jointly deal with such disaster situations and ensure minimal loss of lives and assets.
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