Current Affairs 2017 – May

India and Germany Ink 12 Pacts

India and Germany has inked 12 agreements after delegation level talks between Prime Minister Modi and German chancellor Angela Merkel on a range of issues like  trade, skill development, cyber security and terrorism.

Agreements

The 12 agreements include 9 joint declarations of intent (JDIs) and 3 memoranda of understanding (MoU). They are:

  • Agreement on collaboration between the Ministry of Skill Development and Germany’s BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research). This agreement would facilitate training of Indian skill development officers and cluster managers.
  • JDI between Ministry of Science and Technology and the BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) for the establishment of a Indo-German Centre for Sustainability.
  • JDI between the Ministry of External Affairs and the German Foreign Office on cooperation on cyber policy.
  • JDI between the Ministry of Finance and BMZ (Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development) on Indo-German Development Cooperation.
  • JDI between the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and BMWi (Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy) over continuation of cooperation in the field of advanced training of corporate and junior executives from India.
  • JDI between the Department of Heavy Industries and BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) on cooperation in vocational education and skill development for machine tools.
  • Agreement between Ministry of Health and BMG (Federal Ministry of Health) on cooperation in health sector.
  • Agreement between the AYUSH and BMG (Federal Ministry of Health) over cooperation in alternative medicine.
  • JDI between the Ministry of External Affairs and the German Foreign Office on collaboration between Foreign Service institutes of both the country.
  • JDI between the Ministry of Railways and German Ministry of Transport on cooperation in railway safety.
  • JDI between the Ministry of Urban Development and German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development on cooperation for sustainable urban development.

Others

India thanked Germany for supporting its membership bid in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). India and Germany both support each other’s candidature for a permanent seat in a reformed UN Security Council. The G4 nations comprising Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan are supporting each other’s candidature for a permanent seat in a reformed UN Security Council.

India and Germany together has also vowed to counter the challenges posed by those who encourage, support and finance terrorism. They also called for the earlier adoption of Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. European countries like Germany, France, the UK and Sweden have recently faced a spate of terror attacks. The latest terror attack was at a concert in Manchester, UK.

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RBI to introduce New Re.1 Note

The Reserve Bank of India has announced that new one rupee note has been printed by the government and will be soon put into circulation. The one rupee note was discontinued in 1994 because it was more expensive to produce such notes when compared to the one-rupee coins. In the following year, Rs. 2 and Rs. 5 notes were also discontinued to free up printing facilities for higher denomination notes. However, these old notes continue to remain in circulation and continue to remain as legal tenders.

Salient Highlights

The new Re.1 one will be predominantly pink-green on the obverse and reverse in combination with other colours. The new one rupee note will bear the rupee symbol. It will be 9.7 by 8.3 cm in dimension.

The new note will feature ‘Bharat Sarkar’ on its masthead, and ‘Government of India’ printed below that. In contrast all the other currencies in India has ‘Bharatiya Reserve Bank’ and ‘Reserve Bank of India’ printed on them. This is because the one-rupee note has always been issued by the central government. 

The watermarks of the Re 1 note will include the Ashoka Pillar, the hidden numeral “1” and the hidden word “Bharat” in Hindi).

The note will also feature an image of the ‘Sagar Samrat’ oil exploration rig. 

Background

In January 2015, the government began printing of Re 1 notes after getting reports of coin shortage along with instances of melting coins for profit.

The printing of new one rupee note will cost 94 paise, when compared to the one rupee coin, which will cost 70 paise. The new one rupee note will be the third new currency that will be introduced by the government since the demonetization drive in November.

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