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India ranked 141 out of 163 countries on 2016 Global Peace Index

India was ranked 141 on a Global Peace Index (GPI) for year 2016 out of 163 countries, making it less peaceful country.

The GPI ranking of 163 countries was compiled by global think Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). India has moved up two positions from 143rd rank in 2015 GPI.

Key facts from 2016 Global Peace Index

  • Top 10 peaceful countries: Iceland (1st), Denmark (2nd), Austria (3rd), New Zealand (4th), Portugal (5th), Czech Republic (6th), Switzerland (7th), Canada (8th), Japan (9th) and Slovenia (10th).
  • Top least peaceful countries: Pakistan (153rd), Libya (154th), Sudan (155th), Ukraine (156th), Central African Republic (157th), Yemen (158th), Somalia (159th), Afghanistan (160th), Iraq (161st), South Sudan (162nd) and Syria (163rd).
  • India’s neighbours: Bhutan (13th), Nepal (78th), Bangladesh (83rd), Sri Lanka (97th), China (120th) and Pakistan (153rd).
  • In year 2016, the economic impact of violence on the global economy was around US 13.6 trillion dollars (13.3 % of gross world product).
  • In this year world became a less peaceful mainly on account of increased terrorism and higher levels of political instability.

About Global Peace Index (GPI)

  • GPI is an annual report published by the Sydney (Australia) based Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) since 2007.
  • GPI uses 22 indicators to measure levels of world peace. Indicators range from a nation’s level of military expenditure to its relations with neighboring nations and the percentage of prison population in 162 countries. It also includes safety and security in society, extent of domestic and international conflict.
  • The IEP is an international and independent think tank dedicated to draw the world’s attention towards peace as a positive, achievable, and tangible measure of human well-being and development.

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India, Qatar sign seven agreements to boost bilateral ties

India and Qatar have signed seven bilateral agreements in various fields to boost bilateral ties.

These agreements were signed in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Qatar Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani in Doha.

It was PM Narendra Modi’s second stop to Qatar after he had visited to Afghanistan as part of his five- nation tour which will also take him to Switzerland, US and Mexico.

Signed agreements are

  • MoU for investment in National investment & infrastructure fund: It aims at establishing framework for facilitating participation of Qatari institutional investors in Infrastructure projects in India under NIIF.
  • MoU on cooperation in tourism: Aims at enhancing bilateral cooperation in the field of planning and developi
  • ng of tourism. It will be done through promotion and marketing to support cooperation between private sector stakeholders.
  • Agreement on cooperation and mutual assistance in custom matters: It promotes mutual assistance and cooperation on matters pertaining to customs administration through exchange of information and intelligence between the two countries.
  • MoU on Finance Intelligence Unit-India (FIU-IND) and Qatar Financial Information Unit (QFIU): Facilitate exchange of intelligence related to terrorism-financing, money laundering and related crimes and persons connected thereto.
  • MoU in the field of youth and sports: It provides exchanges and cooperation in sports activities, exchange visits of leaders and officials and training camps for sports teams etc. between the two countries.
  • MoU on cooperation in skill development & recognition of qualifications:
  • MoU on cooperation in the field of health: Provides cooperation in areas of health, including in environmental and occupational health, pharmaceuticals, medical education.
  • It also seeks to exchange of the best practices in the field of primary healthcare, technology, research in the field of health care, health care system and exchange of medical scientists and experts.

Besides, PM Narendra Modi and Qatar Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani had wide-ranging talks. They highlighted the need to isolate the supporters and sponsors of terrorism. They also decided to constitute an inter-ministerial high-level joint committee to regularly review all bilateral matters, as well as regional and global issues of mutual interest.

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India, US ink MoU for exchange of information on terror database

India and United States (US) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to join the global terror database maintained by the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) of US.

Under this MoU, both sides will give each other access to terrorism screening information through designated contact points, subject to domestic laws and regulations.

The real time exchange of intelligence on terror would enhance the counter terrorism cooperation between India and the US

TSC is a multi-agency organisation administered by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) which consolidates several terrorist watch lists maintained by different US government agencies into single terrorist database on terror suspects. It has details of 11,000 terror suspects on its database, including nationality, photos, finger prints (if any), date of birth and passport number. So far US has finalised such agreements with 30 countries.

Comment

By signing this MoU, India has formally entered into the US Homeland Security Presidential Directive-6 (HSPD-6). It will enable India to access ‘unclassified biographic information of known and suspected terrorists’ maintained by the US on a reciprocal basis.

Background

The proposal in this regard was initially made by the US in 2012, but had made little progress due to objections raised by Indian security agencies. The Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) had opposed giving the US unhindered access to the database of terror suspects in India.

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