Current Affairs July 2013

India offers Vietnam credit for military ware

Screenshot_1India has offered $ 100 million credit line to Vietnam for the purchase military equipment. It will be used for purchasing four patrol boats.

India’s interests in Vietnam

India aims to remain involved in oil exploration activity in the Phu Kanh basin of the South China Sea. But China has to claim that it is its zone of influence. Earlier, Vietnam and India have focused on strategic ties that include cooperation in the civil nuclear sector, training slots for Vietnamese military officers and frequent exchange of visits.

India seeks to expand its defence ties with Vietnam to military hardware and Brahmos missile is one of the key items on Vietnam’s wish-list. India has co-produced the missile with Russia, which, however, has close ties with both Vietnam and China. Indian wants to enhance security ties with all countries beyond its eastern end as a key component to its East Look Policy.

British government to go ahead with Rs 2.7 lakh visa bond

Screenshot_3The British government decided to go ahead with Rs 2.7 lakh Visa bond despite Prime Minister David Cameron’s gave assurance to exempt India from the controversial visa bond scheme though the Home Office insisted that it was meant to target only high risk applicants.

What is Pilot scheme by UK Govt. for the Rs 2.7 Lakh Visa bond?

Under this scheme that is to be introduced in November, 2013 for the first time visitors from six Commonwealth countries including India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Ghana and Nigeria will need to deposit a cash bond of £3,000 for a British visa. It will apply only to those seeking a six-month visitors’ visa.

Why this Visa Bond Scheme by UK?

As per the UK government, the citizens of these six countries pose the major risk of abuse of visas. So they are interested in a system of bonds that deters overstaying and recovers costs if a foreign national has used their public services.

British traders’ ire for the UK’s Pilot visa bond Scheme:

Britain’s business circles stated that with the Pilot scheme wealthy tourists from countries like India and Nigeria would be put off and would damage their business who were otherwise a boost for their business.

India and France concur to expand defence ties

Screenshot_2India and France discussed about the ongoing military cooperation and future cooperation in the areas of defence equipment and technology. This will be a mutual benefit for both the countries. The cooperation fields will include high technology joint research and development and transfer of technology.

Key outcomes of the discussion between India and France:

  • Negotiations have been made for Rs. 50,000 crore for procuring 126 Rafale combat aircraft for the Indian Air Force.
  • Rs. 30,000 crore project for co-developing the Maitri surface-to-air missile defence system.
  • A deal was done for building six Scorpene submarines for the Navy.

Both nations agreed to enhance exchanges between their defence institutions and armed forces including in the areas of military education and training and through the conduct of military exercises.

Navies of both countries are working towards finalizing the schedule for the conduct of Exercise ‘Varuna’ off the coast of India and the next Air Force exercise ‘Garuda’ to be held during the first half of 2014.

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