e-Tourist Visa to Chinese Nationals
- e-Tourist visa facility rolled out to Chinese nationals beginning from July 30, 2015. Along with the citizens of China, the e-tourist visa facility will also be offered to the nationals of Hong Kong and Macao from the same day.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced in May, 2015 that the e-tourist visa facility will be offered to Chinese nationals during his visit to China. The number of foreign tourists availing e-tourist visa facility has increased by over 700% in May, 2015.
- Under the e-visa scheme, an applicant receives an email authorising him/her to travel to India after it is approved and he/she can travel with a print-out of this authorisation. On arrival, the visitor has to present the authorisation to the immigration authorities.
World Population Prospects Report Released
- The report ‘World Population Prospects : The 2015 Revision’, released on July 29, 2015 by the United Nations revealed that India is expected to surpass China by 2022 to become the world’s most populous nation.
- The current world population of 7.3 billion is expected to reach 8.5 billion by 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100. China and India remain the 2 largest countries in the world, each with more than 1 billion people, representing 19 and 18% of the worlds population, respectively.
- Currently, among the 10 largest countries in the world, 1 is in Africa i.e.. Nigeria, 5 are in Asia i.e., Bangladesh, China. India. Indonesia, and Pakistan, 2 are in Larin America i.e., Brazil and Mexico, 1 is in Northern .America i,e„ USA, and one is in Europe Le„ Russian Federation.
India-Russia Signed Customs Pact to Boost Trade
- India and Russia have initiated steps to remove the hindrances and boost commerce by signing an agreement in the area of customs and moving to liberalise business visas. They seek to increase trade to S 30 billion by 2025 from $ 9.5 billion in 2014 by overcoming challenges of inadequate connectivity, language barriers etc.
- As on July 19, 2015 they signed an agreement on customs to provide rapid clearances of imported goods at ports, on both sea and land.
- Another agreement signed to set-up a Joint Study Group which will recommend the framework of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between India and the Eurasian Economic Union to improve transportation of goods easily.
Read Also – India & World Current Affairs October 2015 (Part 1).
INSTC is India’s Strategic Gateway to Central Asia and Eurasia
- Iranian port of Chahbahar forms the Southern end of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), a multination rail, road and shipping network connecting India with Russia via Central Asia is considered as gateway for India to expand trade and investment links with Central Asia and Eurasia.
- India wants to expand that trade corridor as a gateway to Central Asia and Russia, bypassing Pakistan. India plans to link the INSTC with other projects in the region, for example 2011 Ashgabat Agreement for developing a transit corridor initially connecting Uzbekistan, Iran, Turkmenistan and Oman.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit of the five Central Asian republics of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkeminstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, with a stop in the middle in Russia, was a move to breathe life into the ‘Connect Central Asia’ strategy launched under Modi’s predecessor, Manmohan Singh, in 2012.
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