Current Affairs Today - Current Affairs 2017

हिंदी करंट अफेयर्स प्रश्नोत्तरी 2017 के लिए यहाँ क्लिक करें.

India, Japan civil nuclear deal comes into force

The landmark India-Japan civil nuclear agreement came into force. In this regard, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar exchanged the diplomatic notes with the Japanese envoy to India to formalise the completion of the process.

The deal would enable Japan to export nuclear power plant technology as well as provide finance for nuclear power plants in India. It will also assist India in nuclear waste management and could undertake joint manufacture of nuclear power plant components under the Make in India initiative.

Background

The India-Japan Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy was signed in Tokyo during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Japan in November 2016. Subsequently, the Japanese government also got approval from the Diet (Japanese Parliament) for the nuclear deal with India. India is the only non-Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) signatory country with which Japan has entered into a civil nuclear deal, giving recognition for India’s impeccable non-proliferation record. Till now, India has also signed civil nuclear deal with 10 other countries viz. Russia, United States, France, South Korea, Mongolia, Namibia, Argentina, Canada, Kazakhstan and Australia.

Comment

The India-Japan civil nuclear agreement reflects of the strategic partnership between India and Japan and will pave the way for enhanced cooperation in energy security and clean energy. It will also promote full cooperation between the two countries in the development and uses of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes on a stable, reliable and predictable basis.

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Government releases National Trade Facilitation Action Plan

The Union Government released the 76 point National Trade Facilitation Action Plan (NTFAP). It was released by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi.

The NTFAP has been adopted by the National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF), reflecting Government’s commitment to implement the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

Key Facts

Aims of the action plan: Transform cross border clearance ecosystem through efficient, transparent, risk based, co-ordinated, digital, seamless and technology driven procedures supported by state-of-the-art sea ports, airports and land borders.

Objectives of the action plan: Achieve improvement in ease of doing business by reduction in cargo release time and cost, transparent and predictable legal regime, move towards paperless regulatory environment and improved investment climate through better infrastructure.

Activities listed in the Action Plan: It lists out specific activities which would be carried out by all regulatory agencies like Customs, Drug Controller, Plant Quarantine, FSSAI, DGFT etc. in time bound manner. The co-ordination among all the stakeholders is the key to achieve the objective of Trade facilitation.

It not only covers the activities coming under the TFA but also goes beyond the ambit of TFA, defined as TFA Plus category. It covers many activities in the areas of infrastructure augmentation, particularly the road and rail infrastructures leading to ports, airports, Land Customs stations, ICDs that cuts across all stakeholders for which various ministries like Civil Aviation, Shipping, Railways, Home Affairs, Road transport and Highways, Finance, Commerce etc have been assigned specified targets. All actions falling under the plan have been categorised by prioritising the activities into short term, mid-term and long-term activities.

Monitoring of the plan: The plan will be monitored by the Steering Committee (the operational arm of the NCTF) chaired by the Revenue Secretary and the Commerce Secretary. Further it will be reviewed by the Cabinet Secretary.

Background

Earlier in August 2016, the Union Government had constituted NCTF headed by the Cabinet Secretary in accordance with Article 23.2 of the WTO-TFA. It comprises stakeholders from the Government and the private sectors including trade community. It is headed by Cabinet Secretary.

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