Padma Awards announced on Republic Day

On January 26, 2020, Government of India announced 141 Padma Awards on the occasion of 71st Republic Day celebrations.

Highlights

Former Union Ministers George Fernandes, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj are to be awarded with Padma Vibhushan posthumously. Former PM of Mauritius Anerood Jugnauth, Boxer MC Mary Kom, Hindustani classical vocalist Chhannulal Mishra are also to be awarded with the prestigious award.

The former CM of Goa Manohar Parrikar is to be conferred with the award posthumously.

Two Bangladeshis are to awarded honoured with Padma awards as well. It includes High Commissioner of Bangladesh to India Mr Syed Muazzem Ali who passed away in 2014. He rebelled against the Pakistani Government and declared his allegiance to Bangladesh in 1971. He was serving in the Pakistan embassy during his allegiance.

Padma Awards

The awards are one of the highest civilian honours of India. The awards are presented in three categories namely Padma Vibhushan, Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan. The awards are conferred based on the recommendations made by the Padma Awards Committee. The committee is constituted by the Prime Minister every year. However, the nomination process is open to the public as well. Even self-nominations are allowed.

Padma Vibhushan is awarded for exceptional and distinguished services. Padma Shri is awarded for distinguished service and Padma Bhushan is awarded for distinguished service of high order.

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India-Brazil ink 15 agreements during Brazil President’s visit on Republic Day

The President of Brazil, Mr Jair Bolsonaro visited India to take part in Republic Day celebrations. During his visit, the countries signed several agreements. Alongside, the fifth session of India-Brazil Trade monitoring mechanism was also held. President Bolsonaro was accompanied by a huge business delegation. They will hold several meetings with their Indian counterparts during the India-Brazil Business Forum that is to be held in 27, January, 2020.

Highlights

The countries signed agreements on trade, cyber security, information technology. The countries have set target to increase bilateral trade to 15 billion USD by 2022.

Outcomes

Animal Husbandry is the new area over which the countries have identified potential cooperation. This is mainly due to the common genetic heritage between the countries.

Concerns

The countries agreed to address the issue of sugarcane bilaterally. The issue was raised by Brazil at WTO complaining India is extending support to local sugarcane growers. According to WTO, Most Favoured Nation status should be awarded by the members to every other member. This will exclude special tariff and also exclude restriction on imports and exports helping to increase trade globally.

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