India and World Current Affairs February 2016

India Joined Select Club Nations to Build LNG Ships

1) Cochin Shipyard Limited became first shipyard in India to get the nod to build LNG-transporting ships for any client world-wide on December 21, 2015. With this, India has joined select club nations to build Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) ships.

2) Cochin Shipyard has signed a license agreement with French technology company Gaztransport & Technigaz (GTT), which holds patented technology for LNG ships and provides the certification in design engineering and membrane-type containment systems for the transportation and storage of LNG.

3) So, India has joined the league other nations including South Korea, Japan and China building LNG transportation ships. It also opens a new chapter in ship-building technology in India and marks a big step for Make in India.

Construction Work of TAPI Gas Project Began

1) Putting an end to all speculation, Turkmenistan started the construction work of the ambitious $ 7.6 billion TAPI (Turkmenistan,Afghanistan, Pakistan, India) gas pipeline project on December 13, 2015.

2) The successful implementation of the project would help three South Asian neighbours meet the growing demand for gas. The TAPI pipeline would have a capacity to carry 90 million standard cubic metres a day (mmscmd) gas for 30 years. While, India and Pakistan will receive 38 mmscmd each, remaining 14 mmscmd will be received by Afghanistan.

3) Vice-President Hamid Anasri also signed the pipe and a document that was put in a capsule and placed under the ground. He termed the ambitious project as a ‘reflection of desire’ and said that all the four stakeholders would have to work really hard to complete the project in an appropriate manner.

India and Japan Signed Protocol to Amend Tax Pact

1)  India and Japan signed an agreement to amend the convention for double taxation avoidance and prevention of evasion of income tax on December 11, 2015. The existing convention was signed way back in 1989. The agreement was being signed a few hours before- the arrival of Japanese Prime Minister in India.

2) The pact provides for internationally-accepted standards for effective exchange of information on tax matters, including bank information. It further provides that the information received from Japan in respect of an Indian resident can be shared with other law enforcement agencies with authorisation of the competent authority of Japan and vice-versa.

3) As per the agreement, it is envisaged that both India and Japan will lend assistance to each other on collection of revenue claims. The protocol allows exemption of interest income from taxation in the source country with respect to debt claims insured by the government or government-owned financial institutions.

IISC Bagged Solar Panel R&D Contract from US Military

1) The prestigious Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has bagged a US military contract on December 10,2015 for research and development on solar powered micro-grid. The federal contract worth $ 52900 has been awarded by the US Pacific Air Forces, Yokota Air Base in Japan to develop solar powered micro-grid with battery and super capacitor energy storage system.

2) The announcement of the contract comes on the eve of the meeting between Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar and US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter at the Pentagon. Parrikar is on his maiden visit to the US to discuss ways to deepen the long term strategic partnership between the two countries.

MoU Signed with the UK in Energy Sector

1)The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval on December 9, 2015 for signing of a Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) between India and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on cooperation in the energy sector.

2) The MoU will provide an enabling framework for technical assistance, including in-kind grant, and other support, as mutually agreed, through relevant projects initiated by the United Kingdom. Project’ specific agreements may also be developed, from time-to-time.

3) The focus will be the electricity market structure and the integration of renewable energy into the grid. The programme would work at both Central and State levels to improve energy security and reliability of supply, improve energy access and facilitate ‘sustainable economic growth.

Updated: March 7, 2016 — 6:39 pm

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