Current Affairs – January 2018

India joins Australia Group export control regime

India was admitted as the 43rd member of the Australia Group, an informal bloc (group) of countries that keeps a tight control over exports of substances used in making of chemical weapons.

Significance

The inclusion will help to raise India’s stature in the field of non-proliferation, though it is not signatory to Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and help in acquiring critical technologies. India is first South Asian nation to become its full-time member of Australia Group. It is also expected to strengthen India’s bid to enter 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

Comment

With its admission into Australia Group, India is now part of three of the four key export control groups in world dealing with non-proliferation. This includes Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), an informal and voluntary partnership among 35 countries that regulates trade in sensitive equipment and technologies to ensure there is no proliferation of missile and unmanned aerial vehicle technology capable of carrying payloads above 500kg for more than 300km. India had joined it in June 2016.

India had joined Wassenaar Arrangement, which is also an informal grouping of 42 countries, exercising control over the export of dual-use goods and technologies in December 2017.

Now, NSG, which controls the export of sensitive nuclear technologies and equipment, with the aim of preventing nuclear weapons’ proliferation is only export control group that India is not part of. China has repeatedly blocking India’s entry in NSG. Significantly, China is not member of Wassenaar Arrangement, MTCR and Australia Group.

India’s entry into three of four export control regimes burnishes its credentials i.e. a reference to country’s position that it has scrupulously adhered to rules governing non-proliferation of sensitive technologies and equipment.

Australia Group

It is multilateral export control regime (MECR) and informal group that works to counter spread of materials, equipment and technologies that could contribute to development or acquisition of chemical and biological weapons (CBW) by states or terrorist groups through harmonisation of export controls. It was established in 1985.

Coordination among participant countries of Australia Group helps them to fulfil their obligations under Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention to the fullest extent possible.  It has now has 43 members. China, Pakistan, Iran, North Korea are not its members.

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Anandiben Patel appointed as Governor Madhya Pradesh

President Ramnath Kovind has appointed former Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel as Governor of Madhya Pradesh. She will replace Gujarat governor Om Prakash Kohli who is holding additional charge of office of Governor of Madhya Pradesh.

Anandiben Patel

Born: November 21, 1941

Career Profile: She is former school teacher, a gold-medalist in MSc and also winner of President’s Medal.

She was elected to Rajya Sabha in 1994. She was the cabinet minister for education in the BJP-led government in Gujarat from 2002 to 2007.

She also had held important portfolios of urban development, revenue and disaster management and was earlier in charge of education ministry, steering successfully some of key projects of then CM Narendra Modi, including one for boosting female literacy.

She had succeeded Narendra Modi as first woman chief minister of Gujarat, when he was elected as Prime Minister of India following BJP’s victory in 2014 Lok Sabha polls. She had resigned from post of CM in 2016.

Constitutional provisions of Governor

Governor is constitutional head of state.

Article 153: It says that there shall be Governor for each state. 7th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1956 facilitated the appointment of the same person as a governor for two or more states.

Article 156: Governor is appointed by President and hold office during the pleasure of President. It should be also noted that this article also mentions tenure of Governor. In this regard it says that Governor shall hold office for the term of 5 years from date he enters upon his office.

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