India-International Relations Current Affairs

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Poland supports India’s Permanent membership at UNSC

Poland has assured its support for India’s bid for membership in the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and a permanent seat in the expanded UN Security Council. This was stated during the visit of vice President Hamid Ansari to the Poland.

Apart from discussing various bilateral and multilateral issues, the two countries also signed an agreement in the agriculture sector.  It was also agreed upon that there exists scope to increase cooperation in railway, defence, mining, agriculture, civil aviation, as well as in areas like food processing, solar energy, clean coal, treatment of solid waste.

Poland is a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is a group of 48 nuclear supplier countries that seeks to contribute to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons through the implementation of two sets of Guidelines for nuclear exports and nuclear-related exports. Presently India is not a member of the group.

Also, the countries acknowledged the need for early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism at the UN.

The Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism is a proposed treaty which intends to criminalize all forms of international terrorism and deny terrorists, their financiers and supporters access to funds, arms, and safe havens.

India-Poland ties

India and Poland established diplomatic relations in 1954. The two countries share common ideology like opposition to colonialism, imperialism, and racism.

Poland is India’s largest trade partner and export destination in the east European region. Investments made by India in Poland are around USD 3 billion and Polish investments in India are around 600 million USD. India’s major exports to Poland include tobacco, processed minerals, chemicals, rubber, plastic, machinery, drugs, transport equipment, and ready-made cotton garments etc.

Poland hosts around 3,000 members of the Indian community who are mostly traders who settled in Poland after the collapse of communism.

 

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IOC to build new oil terminal at Motihari to supply fuel to Nepal

The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has planned to build a new oil terminal at Motihari in Bihar to supply fuel to Nepal via the planned pipeline up to Amlekganj in Nepal. The old terminal functioning at Raxaul in Bihar will be shut down as it does not conform to the current OISD (Oil Industry Safety Directorate) guidelines. The decision to shift the terminal from Raxaul to Motihari has been taken keeping in mind the current safety guidelines.

Oil Industry Safety Directorate (OISD) is a technical directorate that formulates the regulatory measures to enhance safety of the Indian oil and gas industry. It functions under the ministry of petroleum and natural gas.

The 69-km Motihari-Amlekganj pipeline will be built at a cost of Rs.325 crore. Nepal is giving at most importance to the project by giving it a national priority status. Also, as per the initial agreement, a new 200 km pipeline would be laid between Patna and Motihari and will be utilised if there is a delay in operation of the new terminal at Motihari. Already a pipeline between Barauni (where a refinery exists) and Patna exists. IOC expects to operationalise the Motihari-Amlekganj pipeline after 30 months of receiving statutory clearances. Nepal wants the pipeline to be extended up to Chitwan for which the IOC has been asked to prepare a detailed feasibility report (DFR).

Background

In August 2015, the India and Nepal signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a product pipeline. As a follow-up, IOC and Nepal Oil Corporation entered into a MoU for laying down of the pipeline. At the beginning, it was decided that the pipeline would be laid from Raxaul to Amlekganj, but later it was decided to extend it till Motihari. Recently, the fuel supply agreements between India and Nepal have been extended to five years. Nepal receives around 2 lakh kilolitres of fuel from IOC every month.

 

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India-South Korea sign MoU on shipbuilding

A MoU has been signed between India and South Korea for defence industry cooperation in shipbuilding. Under the MoU, the two countries would recommend the organisations for collaborating in the implementation of specific projects. The MoUs signed will be valid for a time period of 5 years and are automatically extendable for further successive five years at a time.

While South Korea is yet to name its recommended organisation, India has nominated Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL), Visakhapatnam for the collaboration.

HSL and the nominated shipyard by South Korea will find and develop indigenous sources for the supply of majority of the material and equipment for the construction of the warship. HSL has already teamed with Hyundai Heavy Industries to build five fleet support ships and two strategic operating vessels.

In addition to the above project, Kangnam Corporation of South Korea is slated to provide consultancy, design and technological assistance to India’s state-owned Goa Shipyard Limited in building 12 mine countermeasures vessels.

Significance

The cooperation is part of the ‘Make in India’ policy. Accordingly, the warships will be built at domestic shipyards with the help of South Korea. This will enable HSL to upgrade and modernise its facilities and finish shipbuilding projects in a timely and cost effective manner. It would be able to imbibe best practices in shipbuilding. As a result of which, the production of HSL will increase manifold leading to the creation of more employment opportunities to the unemployed.

In addition, the plan to identify and develop indigenous sources for the supply of material and equipment would pave way for the development of ancillary industry /maritime cluster in the region.

Background

The partnership was conceived under the overall umbrella of the ‘Special Strategic Partnership‘ as declared in the Joint Statement of the Prime Ministers of both the nations in May 2015. Subsequently, the two countries agreed to encourage co-operation between their shipyards in the defence sector.

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