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India and Russia Sign 5 Pacts

India and Russia have inked 5 pacts after wide-ranging talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin during the visit of Prime Minister Modi to Russia.

Agreements

An agreement on cultural exchanges for a period of two years (2017-2019) has been signed between the two nations.

An agreement for the construction of the third stage of the Kudankulam NPP (KK5 & KK6) along with the Credit Protocol has been signed between NPCIL and ROSATOM

An agreement between the Federal Service for Intellectual Property (Rospatent) and the Council of India on Scientific and Industrial Research has been signed to provide access to Rospatent experts to the Indian Digital Library of Traditional Knowledge (TKDL).

Contract between JSC (Russian Railways) and the Ministry of Railways on the preparation of the justification for the implementation of the high-speed service at the Nagpur-Secunderabad section has been signed.

Memorandum of cooperation between ALROSA Joint Stock Company and the Council for the Promotion of the Export of Precious Stones and Jewellery of India has been signed.

Others

India and Russia have decided to hold the first tri-Services exercises, named ‘Indra-2017’, this year. Both the countries have also decided to  begin joint manufacturing of frigates and co-production of Kamov-226 military helicopters. 

Of all the agreements, the agreement on setting up of Units 5 and 6 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) in Tamil Nadu with the Russian help was a much-awaited agreement.

The reactors will be built by India’s Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) and Russia’s Atomstroyexport company, which is a subsidiary of Rosatom. Rosatom is the regulatory body of the Russian nuclear complex. The two units will have a capacity to produce 1,000 MW of power. 

An ‘Action Plan’ has also been devised for speeding up the bilateral cooperation in all fields by the two countries.

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Astana Summit: India and Pakistan to become Full members of SCO

India and Pakistan’s admission to the China-backed Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) will be formalised at the SCO’s summit to be held in Astana, Kazakhstan. The Astana Summit will be held on 8-9 June. The summit will complete the admission procedures of these two countries.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisaiton (SCO) granted full membership status to Pakistan and India during its Ufa summit held in Russia in 2015. India signed the Memorandum on accession in June 2016.

The presence of world’s two most populous countries, China and India in the grouping would make SCO as the organisation with the largest population coverage. 

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)

SCO is the political and security grouping headquartered in Beijing. It was founded in 2001. The full members of the organization are China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.  

The groupings main objective is military cooperation between the members. The grouping also works towards intelligence-sharing, counter-terrorism operations in Central Asia.

Afghanistan, Belarus, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan have observer status at present.

China founded this grouping, called the Shanghai Five, in 1996. It comprised Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. In 2001 Uzbekistan was invited to join it and the SCO was officially born.  After the Astana Summit Declaration in 2005, SCO has emerged as a regional security organization.

Mongolia is the first country to receive observer status at the 2004 Tashkent Summit. Pakistan, India and Iran received observer status at the 2005 SCO summit in Astana, Kazakhstan on July 5, 2005.
SCO is primarily centred on its member nations’ Central Asian security-related concerns, often describing the main threats it confronts as being terrorism, separatism and extremism.

The role of China as well as strategic importance of SCO has increased over the period of a decade and now address problems like terrorism, separatism and militancy in the region.

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India and Spain Sign Seven Agreements

India and Spain have signed seven agreements following talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy at the Moncloa Palace in the Spanish capital.

The visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Spain in nearly 30 years. The last Prime Minister to visit Spain was Rajiv Gandhi in 1988. Earlier, PM Modi and the Spanish prime minister had met on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Turkey in November 2015.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has welcomed Spain’s infrastructure, tourism, energy and defense companies to invest in priority sectors in India. Spain is India’s 7th largest trading partner in the European Union. Bilateral trade between both the nations have totalled USD 5.27 billion in 2016. 

Agreements

  • Agreement for Transfer of Sentence Persons
  • MoU on Cooperation in Organ Transplantation
  • MoU on Cooperation in Cyber Security
  • MoU on Cooperation in Renewable Energy
  • MoU on Technical Cooperation in Civil Aviation
  • Agreement on visa waiver for holders of diplomatic passports.
  • MoU between Foreign Service Institute and Diplomatic Academy of Spain.

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