India-Nepal Current Affairs - 2020

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India Nepal inaugurate new check post, Jogbani-Biratnagar at the border

On January 21, 2020, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nepalese PM Oli inaugurated an integrated check post (ICP) at Jogbani-Biratnagar. This is the second check post that is being built at the border with Indian Assistance.

Highlights

The aim of the new integrated check post is to facilitate trade and movement of people across the border. The check post was built under assistance of India. India helped in the construction based on its “Neighbourhood First Policy”. The check post was built over 260 acres with Indian assistance of Rs 140 crores.

The first integrated check post of the countries was built at Raxaul-Birgunj in 2018.

Significance

The check posts ensure better border management for the movement of passenger and cargo. They will also help to boost 7 billion USD trade between the countries.

What is Integrated Check Post?

Integrated Check Posts are trade facilitation centres at borders of India. The centres help boost bilateral trade and also help to improve movement of passengers in the border. This helps to generate employment, developing the area surrounding the check post. Ultimately, it helps in overall growth of the economy.

There are 7 Integrated Check Posts in India. The GoI is planning to construct 14 more ICP and 13 Land Customs Stations. The India-Pakistan ICP is located in the states of Punjab and Rajasthan. The following are the other ICPs in the border located at the corresponding states

  • India-Nepal-Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Uttarakhand.
  • India-Myanmar-àManipur and Mizoram
  • India-Bhutan-àWest Bengal
  • India-Bangladesh-àAssam, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura and West Bengal.

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India Russia to sign MoUs on AK-203 assault rifles

The Indian Army will sign MoU with Russia to procure AK-203 assault rifles. According to the deal, around 1 lakh rifles are to be received directly from Russia and the rest will be manufactured in India

Highlights

The rifles will be manufactured at Korwa in Uttar Pradesh by a joint Venture (JV) called Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL). Of the JV, 50.5% is to be owned by India and 49.5% by Russia.

Current Status

Apart from the AK-203 rifles, the Indian army recently received the first batch of 10,000 SIG-716 assault rifles from US. The contract was signed in February 2019. The plan is to provide the high cost SIGs to the front-line troops and the remaining forces will be armed with AK-203 rifles. Currently Indian army is using indigenous INSAS (Indian National Small Arms System) rifles and is looking for ways to replace them.

INSAS

INSAS is a light machine gun that is currently being manufactured at Ordnance Factory Trichy, Ishapore Arsenal and Kanpur. It was adopted in 1990. The rifles were widely used during Kargil war. There were complaints of jamming and cracking of the rifles in high altitudes of Himalayas. Similar complaints were also reported by the Nepalese army during the 2005 Maoists clash.

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