India and Japan Signed Agreements
1) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was on a three-day official visit to India from December 11 to 13, 2015. Abe did hold the annual summit meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 12, 2015. He also attended the Ganga Aarti at Dasaswamedh Ghat, Varanasi.
2) India and Japan signed agreements in the fields of defence equipment and technology, security, infrastructure, education and economy including civil nuclear energy.
3) These agreements are like follows
• Pact on technological cooperation between India’s RDSO and Japan’s JRTRI.
• Pact on cooperation between State government of Andhra Pradesh and Toyama Prefecture.
• Letter of Intent on the strategic international cooperation programme between India’s DST and the JSTA.
• Statement of Intent between NITI Aayog and Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ).
• MoC between India’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation and Japan’s Ministry of health, labour and welfare.
7 Years after Mumbai Attacks, India and Pakistan Resume Dialogue
1) Seven years after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, India and Pakistan have agreed to resume structured dialogue between them. The dialogue that was earlier known as Composite Dialogue and later on known as Resumed Dialogue will now be known as the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue.
2) The decision had come as a result of the talks on terror by the National Security Advisors in Bangkok on December 6, 2015. The joint statement also notes that Pakistan had given assurances on an early completion of the Mumbai trial.
3) The India-Pakistan Composite Dialogue is rooted in the 1997 SAARC Summit at Male where Prime Ministers IK Gujral and Sharif agreed to create a Composite Dialogue Process (CDP). The CDP survived till 26/11 terror attacks on Mumbai led to its suspension.
India and South Korea Signed MoU on Taxation Treaty
1) A new Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) on suspension of collection of taxes during pendency of Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) was signed between India and South Korea on December 9, 2015.
2) Both the countries noted that transfer pricing dispute cases will be taken-up for MAP under the revised Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and South Korea as MAP is a preferred way used to settle cross-border tax cases globally.
3)This is a step towards ease of doing business in India for Korean companies as it will relieve economic double taxation and promote cross-border trade and investment. As a resolution process, MAP draws up parameters for taxation in one country for which credit would be available in another.
Singapore had Replaced Mauritius as the Top Source of FDI
4) According to data from the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) as on December 6, 2015, Singapore has replaced Mauritius as the top source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into India during the first half of the current fiscal.
5) During April-September, 2015, India has attracted $ 6.69 billion (? 43096 crore) FDI from Singapore while from Mauritius, it received $ 3.66 billion ‘(Rs. 23490 crore). Foreign investment from Singapore has more than doubled from $ 2.41 billion in the year-ago period.
6) The Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with Singapore incorporates Limit-of-Benefit (LoB) clause, which has provided comfort to foreign investors based there to invest in India.
Canada Sent First Consignment of Uranium to India
1) Canada has sent the first uranium consignment of 250 tonnes to India on December 6, 2015 for its nuclear power reactors, over two years after the civil nuclear deal signed between the two countries came into force.
2) According to the Canadian government, the contract to supply 7.1 million pounds of uranium concentrate (about 2730 tonnes uranium) to India’s Department of Atomic Energy was worth around Canadian $ 350 million ($ 262 million).
3) In April, 2015, Cameco signed a uranium supply contract with India after the nuclear cooperation agreement between Canada and India came into force in September, 2013.
4) India currently has 21 power reactors in operation, with another 6 under construction and scheduled to start up over the next 4 years.
India and Pakistan Hold NSA Level Talks in Bangkok
1)National Security Advisors (NSA) of India and Pakistan, Ajit Doval and Naseer Janjua, held a meeting in Bangkok on December 6, 2015. They were met just over 3 months after talks were called off amid a crossfire of harsh rhetoric.
2) The development follows the unscheduled meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterpart Nawaz Sahrif during the climate summit in Paris on November 30, 2015.
3) The discussions covered peace and security, terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir and other issues, including tranquility along the line of control.
4) The talks were held outside the Indian subconti did away with the tricky issue of dealing with the Hurriyat separatists.
5) In this meeting, New Delhi got to talk directly to a man who represented both the Sharifs.
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