Union Cabinet gives nod to Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicle Agreement

Union Cabinet meet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the signing of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicle Agreement.

The agreement which is similar to the SAARC Motor Vehicle Agreement (MVA) seeks to regulate the vehicular traffic of passenger, personal and cargo amongst BBIN countries.

The agreement will be signed on 15th June 2015 at the Transport Minister’s meeting in Thimpu, Bhutan.

Key Facts

  • BBIN agreement aims to promote safe, environmentally sound and economical efficient road transport in the sub-region of BBIN.
  • It also seeks to help each member country to create an institutional mechanism for regional integration.
  • BBIN agreement will benefit member nations for mutual cross border movement of passenger and goods for overall economic development of the region.
  • For implementation of this agreement each signatory member will bear its own costs.

Background

  • During the 18th SAARC Summit held in Kathmandu, Nepal SAARC MVA was not able to signed due to reservations of Pakistan.
  • However, the SAARC declaration at the 18th Summit had encouraged Member States to initiate regional and sub-regional measures to enhance connectivity.
  • In line with this declaration, BBIN Motor Vehicle Agreement was pursued among four SAARC members.
  • Draft of this agreement was finalized in February 2015 in the meeting of Secretaries of Transport of the BBIN countries which was organized by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highway (MoRTH).

India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant undocked at Cochin

India’s first indigenously-built largest aircraft carrier INS Vikrant was successfully undocked at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) in Cochin district of Kerala.

The ship will undergo a series of fitment and trial processes along with series of static and dynamic trials before inducting it into the Indian Navy in end-2018.

With successful completion of construction of INS Vikrant India joins elite group of four nations in the world viz United States, Russia, United Kingdom and France that are capable of designing and constructing aircraft carriers.

The carrier was officially launched in August 2013 after its first phase of construction was completed.  It was first left its dry dock in December 2011.

Facts about INS Vikrant

  • It name Vikrant, means “courageous” in Sanskrit or “bold” in Hindi,
  • The carrier has a length of over 260 metres and breadth of 60 metres. It weighs around 40,000 tonne.
  • It has two take-off runways and a landing strip with three arrester wires having short-take off but arrested recovery (STOBAR) system.
  • On completion it will carry up to 36 fixed-wing jets, including MiG-29 K and indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas.
  • It will additionally carry ten helicopters such as Kamov Ka-31s, Westland Sea Kings, or indigenously-built Dhruvs.
  • The basic design of the carrier is done by Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design and was developed into detailed design by the design team of CSL.

After induction into Indian Navy its primary role will only be to defend the naval fleet and will be positioned in the Indian Ocean region where the world’s commercial and economic interests conflate.